Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years Eve

Before we move onto the new year I shall say farewell to the current one.

Lovely, lovely 2012:
I became a mom. There aren't enough words to explain the awesomeness of this accomplishment.
I was able to look at my sweet boy's face 306 days this year, watch him grow, snuggle him, and and love him.
Despite the lack of sleep, being overworked, and fighting like cats and dogs or maybe like lions and hyenas my husband and I are still in love.
We took two trips to Chicago.
Saw Kimbra, New Order, and Refused in concert (3 different shows) with hubby.
Health, happiness, and comfort for the pets (our furry children).
I relish every visit with family and getting to see my nieces and nephews.
I didn't go to the movie theater once this year. My husband is a movie watching freak so this realization is really neat to me. Ah, a year to remember! No movies : )
We tried Indian food for the first time and it was super yummy.
A good friend joined me on the financial adventure. My husband might not be fully on board but having regular support makes such a difference.

I may be ending this year tired, chubbier, not less in debt, and having spent much too much time indoors but 2012 you were a nice year.


Easy Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Did you know that if you mix a 15oz. can of pumpkin with a box of cake mix you get muffins?

Yep, just cake mix, pumpkin, 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes and wahla! Thank-you pinterest. I guess it's low cal too. Although I added a cream cheese filling to mine.

Crazy easy cheap breakfast muffins!

The cream cheese filling was just 8oz. cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/3 cup of sugar. I put a little pumpkin batter in the cup, then some cream cheese filling, then more batter. Yum.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy New Year

I'm pretty relieved this year that Christmas is over. It was nice. My boy seemed to really enjoy his first Christmas. But I am glad it's done. I don't remember ever feeling that way before.

Only three days until 2013.
2012 has been such a rollar coaster. I've never been SO incredibly blessed (new baby boy) and yet I lived this year in a sleepy haze taking huge steps backwards financially.
Only three days until 2013. I'm quite happy about the symbolic new beginning.

Wishing everyone a FABULOUSLY blessed New Year filled with lovelies and victories!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Four Quarters

Now that I have a son I'm thinking very practically about how to teach him about giving, serving, about the meaning of Christmas and about love. He's only 9 months old but I know I need to start now, not put if off, not wait until "he'll get it." Around this time of year you hear alot about random acts of kindness. About people buying other people's coffee for them in the drive thru. You don't know your coffee has been paid for until you pull up to the window and the clerk says, "that person just bought your drink." I haven't personally experienced one of these instances but you hear about them. Ever since I saw that lady running a Starbucks coffee up the hill to that beggar man I've been thinking regularly about what I might do, what random act of kindness might I bless someone with?

I'll tell you something, the littlest things in the world can be a blessing to someone. A smile, a door being held open, a tiny bit of extra effort assisting someone. Today I witnessed yet another random act of kindness, like the lady with the coffee, however small it may have been.

I was walking into work, into the supermarket as I passed by the quarter machines, the ones with the little toys, stickers, candies. There was a piece of notebook paper taped to the top of one. In blue ink it read something along the lines of, "random act of kindness: these quarters are for you to use as you wish. have fun. left here by a 3 year old boy." Oh my gosh, seeing it in person, not just on pinterest was... my entire day was impacted. I spent all morning feeling goosebumps, feeling overwhelmed by the picture in my head of a three year old boy and his mother purposefully going out of their way to shed a little light in this world. I can not even tell you how many people would have passed by those machines this morning and possibly, if they'd been looking, noticed that note and those quarters just as I had. Possibly hundreds of people felt that same warm glow that I'd felt because of one little boy and four little quarters. Sure someone, possibly several someone's most likely got a trinket from the quarter machines and if they were any thing like I was as a child that was the high light of their week. My mom never let us get stuff out of those machines. But literally hundreds of people may have been impacted by that random act of kindness. There were still 3 quarters there when I left 2 hours later.

Anyway, after my last post I couldn't resist sharing this one with you. What an awesome thing it is when we take a little time to try and be kind to someone. And it really doesn't need to cost alot. Awesome!
Just in case you weren't sure what I was talking about

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Bum

I was driving to work and I noticed a lady running through a large field away from a parking lot towards nothing, except a steep hill on which the exit ramp for the expressway sits. I'm pondering for a minute, "What the heck is she doing? She must be chasing a paper that's blown away? Am I not seeing a dog that got loose? What the heck is she doing?" She starts up the hill and I notice a cup of coffee in her hand (Starbucks) and then I see the man who regularly holds the sign "Homeless. Will work for food." at that exit ramp.

We have virtually no people holding signs where I live. I've seen three here total in my life that I can recall. This guy is fairly regular to that corner now though so I've seen him at least 10 times standing there. Well, she ran up that hill with the Starbucks coffee and he walked over to meet her. She handed it over, said something simple and ran back to her car (at least a quarter mile away). I teared up a bit. I've been to Chicago countless times. I'm not totally numb but when you're visiting Chicago you generally try to not notice "them". You can't help them all. It'd be impossible. So it's almost easier to just ignore them. Then you see this one guy in your town. You didn't help the others why should you stop to help him? Anyway who know's his story? I certainly can't employ him. Ugh.

I guess sometimes his story doesn't matter. I doubt she was giving him her coffee. She probably went to the Starbucks right across the street from that parking lot and purposefully purchased it for him. That took some thought, some effort, some time... and then she ran through a field and up a hill. The only bit of the story that she seemed to consider is that a sad mad was standing on a cold corner with a sign. She thought, "I bet he'd like some coffee." And then she gave him some. 

I guess all I'm saying is that I want to do a little extra, like that. I may be in debt (like a crazy fool). I may have a tight budget. I may need to reign in the spending (every minute of every day because I'm a sad sorry sap who can't seem to grow up). But I want to always care and always DO a little extra. I think we really need to keep our eyes open in order to make that happen and for that matter be prepared to say "yes, I'll do it" when the opportunity presents its self.

I don't want to be a bum just ignoring or for that matter not noticing. I want to be a weirdo running through a field towards nothing, metaphorically speaking. Hmm, what might I do "differently" today for someone else's benefit?