Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Random Quick Takes - Vol. 8

1. August is a big month! My mom's birthday was on August 4th. Happy Birthday and I love you, Mom! Perry and Stacey's 5 year anniversary was on the 6th - congrats! My parents 32nd anniversary was on the 10th. Thanks Mom & Dad for loving each other and being committed to each other in marriage. I'm so blessed to have your example of a faithful marriage! Marc's birthday was on the 13th. Happy Birthday, hunnie! :)

2. First fire of the summer! To celebrate Marc's birthday, we got some ready to bake pizza, wine, and plenty of makings for S'Mores. Yum! We relaxed, played ladder golf, and relaxed some more. There was an attempt on my part to turn the evening into a surprise party. It worked. There was one surprise: Casey. Marc greatly appreciated his coming and my effort. I'll have to work on my surprise party throwing skills. ;)

3. August brought yet another great moment in our family. On my mom's birthday, Riley officially went wireless. Her "button" for feedings was removed. She hasn't used it in awhile, but the doctors wanted to keep it in for awhile just in case. Congrats to Riley for her big moment and (little) chunky cheeks. :)

4. 116 days to go until our wedding! Dress fitting - check! Wedding bands purchased - check! Those were definitely exciting moments. I was, however, not too fond of giving up my engagement ring to be re-sized. My hand felt! But the wait was short and I made it through the week!

5. Being engaged is fun! Marc and I are enjoying all of the conversations about the future, working on small tasks to prepare for the wedding and our life together, and just spending time together in preparation and prayer. God is wonderful!

6. I started a new work out program yesterday: Insanity. Marc did the fit test with me yesterday and we both thought we were going to throw up after. I'm looking forward to the next 62 days!

7. I'm looking forward to a triple date this weekend with Nicole and Joe and Corina and Ed! Yea for couple time with great friends!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Nannyism of the Day

Veronica (6): How old are you?
Nichole: 27.
Veronica: You're kind of old for your age.

I'm not sure if I should have a complex or not.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Random Quick Takes - Vol. 7

1. I have not done random takes in 4 months. That just makes them more random I guess.

2. I bought a sewing machine. Today I set it all up and started learning. I made a headband! :)

3. Saturday afternoon at my house:

And one more little one in there too...

I love my family. :)

4. Marc is a awesome. We are trying to change our cell phone plans. Currently, everyone in my house is on their own plan. So we are going to do a family plan, along with my parents, so we can all save money. We've been working on it for at least an hour and a half. I've been getting super frustrated, even though Marc is the one on the phone. He's totally calm and un-annoyed. Thanks for dealing with this and sorry I'm not more patient.

Update: This took almost 5 hours! ....more of the call above, a trip to the store to sign paperwork, and another phone call to finish with a different person because the original guy didn't call back when he said he would. This meant a lot of repeating what was already done. Again, thank you, Marc!

5. I turned 27 yesterday and had a wonderful day. The Skovs had a little lunch party for me after the girls and I played in the fountain at Miller Park and then I spent the evening at home with my family. We had my dad's thai chicken and my mom's potato salad...mmmm, favorites! I played two games of scrabble with my parents and then Marc came down. Wonderful! Thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday. :)

6. Nichole: 32; Wedding Planning: 2 (I'm winning!)

7. The last two weekends have been filled with wedding fun. Congrats to Ed & Corina and Tuan & Sara!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Becoming a Snyder: The Start of Our Courtship

Marc and I were courting before we even knew it and I've always believed that to be a huge blessing.

The first time Marc and I hung out alone was the second time we met. I asked Greg if I could hang out at their place for a couple of hours between nannying and a meeting I had at the chancery - both in Seattle. Traffic home to Federal Way only to turn around and come back, no thank you!

Greg was happy to accommodate me, but he wouldn't be home at that time. Marc would be home and Greg made sure that I knew, repeating himself several times, that I should not expect Marc to entertain me. I was told he was very quiet and would probably keep to himself. I was fine with this and really didn't want to be in his way. I was happy it would give me the opportunity to make some phone calls to schedule high school leaders for Camp Thunderbird and even sneak it a nap.

Once my work was done, I lay down on the couch in the living room where Marc was playing guitar hero. To my surprise, he did not stop talking to me!! Every time there was a pause, I would close my eyes. Marc would start talking again totally unaware that I actually DID want to to sleep because his eyes were on the tv to play his game. Though I missed out on some quality nap time, I enjoyed talking to him and the surprise was a pleasant one. :)

From that time on until we started dating, Marc and I always hung out in groups except in situations like the above where we found ourselves together out of convenience and due to timing. We always enjoyed hanging out together, seemed to have a lot of similar interests, and enjoyed playing silly little pranks on his brother and Phil. Talking to each other was always very easy and we always laughed a lot.

About six or seven months later, I was with some friends hanging out at the guys' place. During the night, Phil and I got in a bit of a tiff and I was pretty upset. We all continued to hang out though until one by one people were off and I was the last one left with Marc. I asked him if he agreed with Phil and what he thought about the whole matter. I started crying. Marc came over and put his arm around me and we continued to talk. We sat together for at least an hour like that talking about all sorts of things. I remember feeling a little nervous and awkward once the crying moment had passed and we moved on to different topics. Was I still supposed to be sitting cuddled with him? Should I move? How do I transition this? ...all the time realizing that I didn't necessarily want to stop and wondering why we hadn't been dating each other.

About a month later, we became a couple after a nice romantic dinner Marc made me...with Phil. Phil was making us some drinks in the kitchen and we started having a "DTR" (determining the relationship conversation) after a couple of awkward comments he had made. I don't remember exactly what they were now, but I think for the second time that week he had said something about not being my boyfriend. So I called him out and asked where things stood and where they were going. We ended up going back to his room to finish the conversation as to not make Phil feel awkward. It took awhile. Poor Phil was asleep on the couch when we came out.

Thanks Phil for being part of introducing us, arguing with me, and making us drinks so patiently! We love you and are so happy you are Marc's best man. :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Becoming a Snyder: How We Met

Marc and I met March 8, 2008. I know this because it is my brother-in-law's birthday, which plays a role in this story.

Marc had recently moved into an apartment in Ballard with his older brother Greg and his best friend Phil. I knew Phil from the Catholic Campus Ministry at Western. We were briefly neighbors before I moved back home. I also knew Greg. We had met a year and a half earlier on Catholic Match and hung out often for about 4 months before he moved to Spokane.

Note: You never know how these online sites are going to work! Maybe I should write a "success story" for CM :)

Prior to the guys moving in together I had never met Marc. I had, however, browsed his myspace page that I found on Phil's profile. Totally normal when you are hanging with a guy from CM to check out his brother's myspace...right?

Once the guys had all moved in together, both Phil and Greg invited my friend Britta and I over to see the new place.. Just the two of them were home when we arrived. I'm not really sure why, but Britta and I stayed there to watch Top Gun while the guys went to run errands for their new place after lunch. Britta had never seen Top Gun before so it was kind of a big deal.

Enter Perry's birthday... I was supposed to get back down to Federal Way for dinner with my family and some of Perry's friends that evening. The guys finally got back home along with Marc with about 20-30 minutes left in the movie. I remember noting that Marc was taller than Greg, but skinnier and went back to watching the movie. I really needed to head out, but didn't want Britta to miss the end of the movie. How can you leave with out Maverick re-engaging the first time you see it!? I asked if Britta could take the movie home.

Note: Marc claims he does not remember any of this.

The movie belonged to Marc and he said no. Apparently he wasn't comfortable with Top Gun leaving with two girls he didn't know. I, being a negotiator and a bit pushy, tried to assure Marc that Britta would take good care of it and we would return it in a timely manner. He didn't go for it. I was a little annoyed and being in a rush, I'm sure I wasn't using my top notch manners for meeting someone.

I was pretty sure Marc did not like me. He seemed ok, but I didn't have much of an opinion about him as he was pretty quiet. I did not enjoy the fact that he wouldn't let us borrow Top Gun though, but it was not completely unreasonable and thus I did not hold it against him.

I may still give him a hard time about it though... :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Becoming a Snyder: The Proposal

You probably have already heard the news: Marc proposed!

Of course one of the first question many people asked was, "How?" So here it is...

Marc bussed down to Federal Way on Saturday, May 15th just in time to celebrate 5:00 Mass at St. Vincent's. The Respect Life Committee was collecting supplies for the layette group and I was on collection duty all weekend. On the way from the transit center to the church I mentioned to Marc that I had done my morning prayer outside by our statue of Mary because it was such a beautiful day, but that I had saved my Rosary so we could do it together. (Plans to be at church and my mention of the Rosary left the door wide open for a surprise and one very clueless girl regardless of the fact that she had been very impatiently awaiting such a day!)

After Mass and collecting baby items, Marc asked if I would like to stay and pray our Rosary. Thinking nothing of it I suggested we should go because I told my parents we would make them dinner. Marc gently persisted and I continued to gently discourage. My parents had been working in the yard that afternoon and I knew they would be hungry. I was also feeling a little hungry! I could tell he wanted to stay, so in the end, I said it was his decision and either choice would be ok with me. I figured there would be people praying in the Blessed Sacrament chapel so I suggested we go pray in front of the statue of Our Lady, but Marc thought we should at least take a peek.

The small chapel was empty, so we went in, and prayed our Rosary. I was feeling a little impatient and my legs were also bothering me. I don't like to admit it, but I was definitely praying faster than usual and trying to rush through the Rosary. Towards the end, the the facility manager looked into the chapel and I assumed he was waiting for the church to be empty so he could lock up and end his work day. This made me feel even more rushed as I have in the past been one of the last people at the church after a meeting on more than one occasion and he has had to wait for me. So as soon as we finished praying, I made the Sign of the Cross and got up.

Despite all of my best efforts (unknowingly of course), I hadn't ruined Marc's plan yet. I went and knelt in front of the tabernacle to say my final prayer before leaving. Marc came over and knelt beside me. The moment he said my name, I knew what was about to happen. It took Marc a few seconds to speak again, but it seemed much longer to me. These thoughts repeated over and over in my head:

-He's about to propose!
-I can't believe it!
-He's surprising me! How?
-When did he get a ring?
-When did he ask my dad?
-Good job! You are surprising me!
-Ok, wait, maybe he just wants to have a serious moment. Don't get your hopes up. Maybe he's not going to propose.
-He's going to propose! I'm pretty sure he's going to do it!

Finally, he simply said, "Will you be my bride?" I gave him a big hug and said "yes" and was still in shock that he has surprised me. After hugging him for awhile, I started to wonder if he had a ring since I hadn't even paid much attention to that part. I was just looking him in the eyes and quietly freaking out in my head! When we stopped hugging, I saw that he did indeed have the ring and asked him when he got so sneaky. Marc lead us in one last prayer there in front of Jesus as an engaged couple and then we headed back to my house.

In the car I learned that Marc had asked my dad two weeks before!! So tricky! He knew I would be at Mass and praying for life in front of Planned Parenthood that morning, so he borrowed his roommates car to drive to my house (thanks Aaron!!). My dad was in his office when Marc arrived and spotted Marc through the window, which happened to be open. He asked Marc where he was headed all dressed up (tie and everything!) and Marc said, "Here."

This is my favorite part: My dad responded, "Ok, let me go get Sandy!" He woke my mom up by basically telling her it was time and that Marc was there. :)

Marc had told my parents that he would propose by the first week of June (before our two year dating anniversary on June 6th) so they didn't actually know when it was happening although my dad thought Marc might take the opportunity that evening when he heard we were going to Mass. I was excited to get home and make the announcement. My parents were so happy and that made me all the more happier. Mostly I was just in shock and I don't think it really sank in for a week....well, it's actually still sinking in. It just keeps getting more and more exciting!

We pushed back dinner reservations that Marc had made ahead of time to include my parents. We all got ready (after I made some phone calls and posted on facebook of course) and then headed down to the Lobster Shop. Dinner was amazing and the champagne and dessert were even better. I mostly loved being there with Marc and my parents though. (I'm starting to tear up.)

After dinner

I feel so extremely blessed. Marc is wonderful and amazing and I'm so very happy and excited to be his wife soon. We have also received so much support from so many people. God has given me so many great people, both family and friends. Thank you all for being in our lives and letting God work through you. You are all part of building us up in our faith and relationship with Jesus.

Please pray for us, that we will continue to grow with Jesus, and have a holy engagement and marriage!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Day as a Sub with 4 & 5 Year Olds

8:55 AM: Drop Eleanor and Georgia off in "Lefler House" (the room 3 & 4 year olds)

9:00 AM: Start subbing in "Carriage House" - hang out and talk with playing kids as they all arrive

9:15 AM: Walk to the Roy Street Cafe - "Inspired by Starbucks" (this is basically a Starbucks in disguise with alcohol and occasional live music or movie viewings). Kids get hot chocolate or orange juice, adults get coffee. :) The store managers teaches about where coffee and chocolate come from and how they are made.

10:45 AM: Get back to school and have snack - yummy muffins and strwaberries.

11:00 AM: Playground Time - hang out with kids and chat with teachers

12:15 PM: Go inside to potty, wash hands, and read a book for tomorrow's art activity

12:30 PM: Picnic outside

1:00 PM: School ends, after school care begins (now I'm on my own with no co-teacher), kids play on playground

1:30 PM: The "Magical Dress Up" Teacher arrives and I help kids get inside and put clothes on and watch.

1:45 PM: All done.

Great day! And did you know that coffee beans come out of cherries!?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Relaxing is hard!

Happy Easter!!

I am not allowing myself to do any work or anything on my to do list today unless it's something fun. I'm really struggling. I hope the rest of the family hurries up and gets here.

I guess I know now that I need to work on relaxing and stillness.

Have a very blessed Easter day. :)

Love Always in Our Risen Lord,

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Aaah! I'm so busy!

I'm currently working part time for camp again - scheduling high school leaders and going down to camp in Olympia once a week. I'm so busy! Once I get caught up from training weekend, I'll shoot for my usual goal of blogging regularly (ok, ok, once a week). If that doesn't happen, talk to you at the end of May.

:) Love,

And may God bless you all this Holy Week!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

15 Days Later...

I just got another $5 gift card on Amazon through Swagbucks. It's only been 15 days since my last card. Hopefully I can keep this up! :) Want to join yet?

Search & Win

PS Friday is Mega Swagbucks days, which means they typically give out more swagbucks in larger amounts. :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Random Quick Takes - Vol. 6 - The Just a Few Edition

1. I have mentioned it before and I'm writing it again, I love early mornings! The getting out of bed part can be hard and I'm really not all that great at it just yet, but I absolutely love the time. When I actually follow my morning routine, my whole morning feels like I prayer. (Note: some mornings I just shoot for a mini routine. Leaving the house at 6 AM for work either means you better get up REALLY early or you have to cut the routine. I choose to cut the routine.) My favorite things to do are:
  1. Acknowledge Jesus and Mary and say a prayer as I struggle to get out of bed.
  2. Make my bed.
  3. Put a load of laundry in, start cooking up some beans that have been soaking , or some other small task that you have to get started and let the work load go while you move on. (The cooking beans is new. I saw bags of beans at Carrie's and thought, "Ok, I should cook my own beans too." It's cheaper and I would love spending money on cooler things than canned beans. It all adds up! Sometimes you just need a little encouragement/silent peer pressure from a friend's pantry.)
  4. Make coffee or tea.
  5. Prayer time! On longer mornings this includes my typical morning prayer and Scripture reflection. On the weekends, I also like to add in other reading or a Rosary if I have the time.
  6. Work out
  7. Start in on my to do list!
This is definitely not what I do EVERY morning, but the mornings I do are the ones I love best. They set the tone for my whole day and with all of this accomplished by 7:30 or even 9:30, I still have the whole day ahead of myself!

2. I put some more work in on the garden this weekend...with Marc's help of course. My favorite part was carpooling with my parents to Lowe's :) or it could have been jumping up, waving my arms, joyfully shouting "grow"! There was just such satisfaction in planting things! I realize my excitement is a little premature and I should wait for things to grow, but there was just a feeling of empowerment. It was probably exactly what Chuck (Tom Hanks) felt like in the movie Cast Away when he built the fire. Really, I'm sure it was totally the same! (PS I just got 20 swagbucks for googling "Tom Hanks Wilson" while trying to find the name of the movie and Tom Hank's character. Sweet!)

3. Last night I ran a youth night on abortion for the Life Teen group at my church. It was put on by the Respect Life committee I chair and it went soooo well! I can say that because I really did very little. We had testimonies from Silent No More Awareness members and the regional coordinator of Project Rachel present (Project Rachel is for women and men suffering from the abortion of their children). I added a very brief teaching on the Church's position, talked about available resources for pregnant women, and covered the 9 ways we participate in others' sins. After that, we broke into 3 small groups (guys, gals, and parents) and talked over some different scenarios they might encounter. The night started off with the question: "How many of you know someone who has had an abortion?" Sadly, almost every person (out of 50+ people) raised their hands. I wasn't surprised, but it did reinforce the importance of the night meant to show what abortion really is (the intentional killing of an innocent human life), the real affects of abortion on women AND men, and how we, as Christians, are called to support, love, and share truth with those around us. Please say a prayer for all that were there!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Random Quick Takes - Vol. 5

1. Where did all of the wii fits go!? They are no where to be found. Word on the web is that there were some problems with the boards. So the few that are available (online) are ridiculously priced. No thank you. I'll wait for you wii fit plus.

2. I'm tired. Daylight Savings time + babysitting = late night. When did I get so old?

3. One of my goals/tasks of the year is to print pictures. I'm trying to do this as different deals pop up on all of the photo sites. It's been really fun, but very time consuming to sort through pictures. In addition to printing lots of photos for albums, I have to frame at least one picture each month (some times it's best to start with small goals). This weekend I framed a picture from one of my best friend's wedding...back in 2007...with the frame she gave me as a gift for reading in her wedding. :) Thanks Jill!

4. I recently registered my Starbucks card when I found out I could get 2 hours of free wi-fi/day with it. I don't go there that often, but it sure just stepped on up. I also figured out that by becoming a green member (buying 5 drinks) you get free re-fills of hot or iced coffee while in the store. Score! You can also have a free shot of flavor in your drinks or customize your milk. If you haven't registered your card, I definitely recommend it, even if you don't go that often.

5. I've decided to try gardening...with Marc's help. :) Yesterday we spent about 6 hours clearing out the area on the side of the house by my door downstairs. My mom has always grown plants and flowers there, but because I want to try to grow some veggies too, I wanted to make sure I put in the prep work for the soil. 15 wheelbarrows of sifted soil (aka ROCKS) later, we planted some wild flowers from the Gloria's Angels Auction. :) Next weekend, we will finalize the plan for the rest of the area and plant! Big, big thank you to Marc!!

Step 1:

Step 2:
Step 3:
Step 4:

I'm also trying to grow a spider plant for the inside. :)

6. I owe a belated Happy Birthday to my brother-in-law Perry. Last Monday, Perry turned 31! Happy Birthday Perry! (March 8th was also the 2 year anniversary of when I first met Marc and was sure he did not like me. He would not let Britta and I borrow Top Gun and I was going to be late to Perry's birthday party. Britta had never seen it, so it was obviously a huge deal for her to finish watching it. It's Top Gun, people!)

7. On Tuesday I took three of the nanny kiddos on a field trip to my house. :) We had a play date with Jaden and Riley. It was very fun and gave my mom a little break from watching the kids too. They all played together very well and the girls were very excited to see my house, especially by bed (I have no idea why).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I'm Sold

I have seen a few blogs talking about Swagbucks lately. It's a website/search engine that gives you points when you search (apparently at random). Other than using their search engine, you don't do anything differently. When you have enough points, you can earn free gifts, including gift cards. I'm keeping my eye on the amazon gift cards because I like to buy books on there. There are some other good ones too that I would be interested in.

I was a bit skeptical, but figured if I didn't have to do anything differently, I had nothing to lose. Well after only a few weeks, I have enough points for a $5 gift card. I'm going to hold out for a larger one, but I'm still really excited. Yea for free money! :)

I did make Swagbucks my primary search engine and downloaded the swagbucks tool bar (it gives you random free codes to get more points). But other than those two things, I really haven't done much of anything except occasionally search for a website instead of typing in the address, just to see if I could get points. It's worked!

You should join. :) And if you click HERE to do so, I'll get some extra points. :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Quick Takes - The don't hate because I did 8...or because I rhyme...version*

1. No, I did not give up blogging for Lent. I'm just busy, which is the worst excuse you can use in blogging because so is everyone else. If only I could learn to say no to extra commitments when I'm busy as well as I do to blogging, I'd be improving a whole lot!

2. I admit it. I'm turning green. I am shampoo-free and now am enjoying the new blog, Simple Organic, way too much. I know it's not a bad thing. I really appreciate conserving our natural resources and letting nature (including our own bodies) work as God intended them to, but the phrase "go green" just always rubs me the wrong way. I don't know why.

3. While I'm talking about Simple Organic, I really enjoyed the blog today on Simple Mom. I think it highlights the idea that we are called to serve our families and trust in God rather than try to control everything.

4. I went to the Gloria's Angel Dinner auction a couple of weeks ago and had a fantastic time with Marc, Aaron, Teresa, and Lara. I came away with some real steals on dance lessons, bake ware, and a teapot, sweet pitcher and mugs, teas, and coffees, etc galore! I also ended the night with a lovely cake stand courtesy of Marc and the mini cake treats he bought in the live auction for $75. He told me they were fudge and I raised my number. I didn't think much of it because other desserts were going for $200+. I was not so lucky on that raise of my number, but Marc, being the gentleman he is, insisted on buying them. :) It was a great night and a ton of money was raised. Teresa and Lara also got some sweet fish from our table centerpieces!

I thought it would be fun to get a picture with the cheerleaders. They weren't nearly as excited as I was. I'm pretty sure they thought I was really strange. They must have a good judge of character. :)

5. I'm looking forward to this weekend. I'm helping out with Junior High Rally, which I have never attended before and then heading out to Bremerton for the Anti-Choice Project kick-off. Marc and I will be staying at Tom & Carrie's for the night and protesting with them the next day after Mass. I always love our visits there. It feels like a weekend getaway.

6. After following the blog Homemade by Jill, my goal is to learn to sew next year. Who wants to teach me??

7. I bought another super cute apron. I better watch out before aprons turn into my new obsession! Look how cute it is though! And I got it for half off just for following Like a Warm Cup of Coffee.

8. Happy 57th Birthday, Dad!! I love you so very much!!

*This may also be known as the links to other blogs version.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!!

I spent the weekend with Jesus on retreat. Now I'm home, Marc's cooking me dinner, and I'm sipping on a mango margarita. What a Valentine's weekend!

On the menu for dinner: asain spiced fruit, ginger chicken satay with grilled mangos... and then blizzards for dessert! Yum yum!

I'm so happy Jesus and Marc are my Valentines. :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Random Quick Takes - Vol. 4

1. Marc surprised me with flowers for our 20 month anniversary. :) I realize some of you are probably a more focused on the "anniversary" part than the flowers. To assure you we are not crazy and do not celebrate every single monthaversary, Marc is gone playing Halo with the guys all day today. Most often we just like to acknowledge the day. I guess that means we are still excited about dating each other. :)

2. I still don't have any pictures from the March in DC for you. All of the pictures are on Marc's camera and I have yet to get them.

3. Riley is doing well again after a brief stay in the hospital. It turns out she had a viral infection. She is still recovering, but doing much better. Thanks for your prayers!

4. I love game nights. I am competitive. I got my pride handed to me last night on a platter while playing two games I've never heard of before: Times Up and Buzzword. They have been added to my wish list. So fun!

5. I have not watched very much football this season, but I am looking forward to the Superbowl tomorrow. I think I'll also bake and prep some meals. ...well, I think it's exciting. :)

6. Women's Bible Study was back on this week! We have still been meeting, but have not had a a bible study since before Christmas. It was so great to break open scripture and pray with other young women again. I absolutely love reading the Bible. Two years ago, maybe even one, I would have never imagined feeling this way. Sure, I appreciated the Bible, but this is totally different. If you are ever feeling in need of some good girl talk about the Gospel of John, join us Wednesday nights after daily Mass (or come to Mass at 7:00 pm!) at St. Vincent's.

6 1/2. After mentioning bible study, it seems like I should also mention Veritas which was so much fun this week. Who knew you could laugh so hard while studying encyclicals and other church documents. The Blessed Sacrament group meets at the Newman Center on Thursday nights at 7:00. We are currently reading Gaudium et Spes.

7. I'm DEBT FREE! I just payed off the last of my student loans. It feels great! (UPDATE: I wrote this with the intention of posting it right after I payed my student loans at 3:00 pm when the website was supposed to finish maintenance. The website now says it will be unavailable until tomorrow morning. Way to rain of my parade Direct Loan Services! It's ok though, I'll pull out an umbrella...I'm about to be DEBT FREE! I'll get you tomorrow student loans! ...I feel a little bit like the bad guy in inspector gadget, except that I will really get my students loans. Go go gadget debit card!)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Men

Marc being a good sport doing a "cardio party" kickboxing CD with me

Jaden driving around my dad's Quality Carpet Cleaners car. It was a Christmas gift from my aunt Mary. My deceased uncle Ray was an incredible with wood work. He made the car at some point and my aunt put my dad's company name on it. Note the fetal model baby in the back. :)

My dad and Jaden working hard outside....

...while Marc and Perry "work" inside

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Forwaaard March!

I'm off to DC tonight for the March for Life. Please pray that I will have safe travels, good plane sleep, and a safe march. :) I'm so excited!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Carepackages for the Homeless

This is something I've been wanting to do for a long time and I was just reminded of it as I browsed blogs. I'm adding it to my goals/to do's for 2010. :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Goals, Goals, Goals

I'm in goal setting mode right now and it feels great. Hopefully I'll still be feeling great and adjusting goals and setting new ones a month from now too...and again in 3 months...6 months...etc.

I have a whole list of things I want to work on and do. Some have due dates, some are on the back burner. I find it's best not to try to attack too much at once and to be realistic about what you can accomplish. I'm not always very good at that though and have been known to bring on too much at once only to burn myself out and not get very far on any one thing. So I guess you could say that good, positive goal setting is in itself a goal of mine along with reflecting on where I'm out, how I'm doing, and what God is calling me to. It's pretty easy to focus in on my task lists and forget the last part, which is by far the most important.

So here are a few things I'm working on now:
1. The 25 lb weight challenge that Marc and I started at the beginning of last year. I have lost 17.2 lbs so far!! So my first goal is to lose the remaining 7.8 lbs. Some other goals I have in mind are to have a 6 pack once in my life and be able to do pull-ups. :) I've always wanted to do these things! For now though, I'm focusing on the weight loss. Of course, I can work on the other two things alongside it, but my focus will remaining on the challenge.
2. Budgetting! I'm trying to move my budgeting to more of a monthly model rather than a weekly model. I get paid every week and have gotten pretty good about budgeting my week's worth of money, but if I move to a monthly model I may see a bigger picture and notice some trends of spending that I'm not aware of. Hopefully it will allow me to cut back on spending a little bit.
3. Becoming debt free. I'm sooooo close! I just have the very end of my student loans to tackle. Some goals I have in mind next: getting health insurance and getting rid of my credit cards. I should do these things now, but I'm never had health insurance and feel no rush. And as far as the credit cards go, it does make me a little nervous. However, getting an annual fee for one of them when I don't really use them made me think that it needs to happen sooner than later. I also want to look into different banking and car insurance options this year so see where else I might be able to save money.
4. Practice reflecting and meditating. I'm not always very deep and I get distracted so very easily. I'm using a book called the Better Part that a few friends of mine have recommended to help me out with this. So far I'm absolutely loving it and finding it very fruitful. I look forward to my time in prayer each day so much more.

I have a ton of other goals, but I won't share them all now. Please keep me in your prayers to form better habits. You are all in mine and I pray that you will have a blessed month and year!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Family Pictures from Christmas

Christmas Morning at Stacey & Perry's House. Riley has a hand holding phobia. So either she REALLY loves me or she was just too tired to fight back. I think she really loves me. :)

Marc often makes fun of my open mouth smile, but I guess I'm not the only one who does it...

Perry very ready to play with his toy, but not getting to open it. They all woke up late and his mom was on her way to pick him up so we had to rush through present opening pretty quickly. Woopsy Daisy!

These bibs were not a gift from me, but I will encourage their use.

My parents are so stinkin' cute sometimes!

Tools for the boys.

Visiting Grandma!

What kid doesn't love playing Grandma's organ?

Not a family pic, but on the way home from Grandma's...

Riley "finished" her Rite of Baptism on the Feast of the Holy Family (there is a more proper term for this, but I can't remember it) . She was baptized before surgery at Mary Bridge not too long after being born, but was welcomed into the parish and received the oil of catechumens and oil of chrism along with some of the other wee ones getting baptized on this day.