Monday, December 31, 2012

A New Year, A New Me

I absolutely cannot believe that today is the last day of 2012!  I am asking myself, Where on earth has the time gone?  Wasn't it just a couple of months ago when I posted my goals for 2012? And most importantly, Did I make 2012 as great as I'd hoped it would be?  

I can answer the last one easily:  nope.  Don't get me wrong, it wasn't terrible, or even bad.  I just don't feel satisfied that I made the most of my time, you know?  This year I want to do better, to be better.  I want to hold on to my goals for this upcoming year and make sure I achieve them....not just dream about them every January.  

This year I want to BE different.  I want to be ME.  

Not what other people want me to be, or think I should say or do.  I want to be truly and whole-heartedly ME.  The ME that God created me to be.  And the best version of that ME that I can be.  And once again that means losing this darned extra weight that has seemed to have plagued me for life.

And despite my strong determination, I realize I have my work cut out for me.

You see, I feel like a failure in so many ways in my life.  

There are so many times that I don't meet up to my own expectations as a wife, mother, friend, daughter, sister, housekeeper, and employee and I feel like a complete and utter failure.  And each time I come home to a cluttered messy house, or my kids talk back to me I'm reminded of the fact that I've failed.  

You probably are thinking that I'm being too hard on myself, and you're probably right.  The thing that concerns me the most is that I listen to those voices in my head.  Those conversations with myself where I hear, "You're not good enough."  or "You'll never reach that goal." or whatever it may be that day.  I listen to them and the worst part is that I believe them.  I have no clue who I really am...who I am in Christ.  Why is it that I also hear negative voices in my head?  Do I ever hear "You are a child of the most high God" ?  Nope.  And I'd have to admit that if I did, I'd probably laugh at it.  

This is what bothers me.  I want to be confident in who God has created me to be.  And not apologize for His handiwork.  Or feel embarrassed.  Or not good enough.  

It all starts with God.  I need to surround myself with Him and His infinite wisdom.  I need to read about his love for me and picture His loving arms around me.  And I need to believe it.  I am ashamed to admit that my spiritual life is zilch right now.  No devotions.  No Bible reading.  Hardly any praying except for those "flare" prayers I send up in great times of need.  And I firmly believed this happened because of those voices.  I listened to them.  And with each statement I heard and believed, it's like I took a step away from God.  And another step.  And another.  And now I feel like He is so far out of reach that I can't see Him, or hear Him, or feel His presence.  It's time to realign myself with my spiritual compass and head towards my True North.    

Please keep me in your prayers while I am on this journey.  I know it won't be an easy one, but I know it will be worth the hard work and dedication.

Tomorrow I am hoping to post some goals for 2013 and recap on my goals for 2012 and how I did at achieving them.

I hope you all have a blessed New Year!


The MoneySmart Family System by Steve & Annette Economides

This book is a great tool for families with children of all ages!  The MoneySmart Family System by Steve & Annette Economides is chock-full of detailed, helpful information concerning teaching your children to manage their money.  And the teaching doesn't just start when their children are in the their teens.  It starts when they are young and, as they get older, there is added responsibility and compensation to go along with their added maturity.  The eventual goal is to raise their children to be adults who are independent and also responsible with their finances instead of being irresponsible and take on a bunch of debt like many young adults nowadays.  Their children have the knowledge and the skills to be successful financially.

One thing I liked about the book and the MoneySmart system they use is that it is family oriented.  The parents contribute financially to each child based on their age and then use that money to teach the children to save, spend, and give.  This isn't just an allowance.  It's used as compensation for doing their daily chores, doing their schoolwork well, and also completing their morning routines.  Each child can get points for completing all the tasks in a certain area, but those points are only awarded once a parent has double-checked to make sure the chores were done properly.  Both parents and children keep track of daily points on a chart and at the end of the week the child receives his or her "paycheck".  Each child has receives a certain amount of pay per point received.  In the book, the authors even share with you different pay scales for each age group which is very helpful.  They have also outlined different ways to show your children how to spend, save, and, give instead of spending all their money the instant they get it.  

Another thing I liked about the book is how they slowly transfer some financial responsibility as the child gets older.  He or she receives a higher rate of pay per point earned, however they may also be responsible for purchasing their own clothing.  Since they authors are also known as "America's Cheapest Family", they of course show their children how to find clothing at discount prices so they can make their dollars stretch a bit farther than just blowing their whole paycheck on an over-priced, new, name-brand item.

There is so much more information in the book than what I've discussed in this review!  As a parent to 3 children who think money grows on trees, I'm excited to put these principles into practice!  

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Booksneeze in exchange for this honest review.   

Monday, December 24, 2012

3 Month Recap

Yes, I am still among the living!  I knew you were worried where on earth I was since by looking at my blog posts, it seems as if I've spent the past couple of months reading books and posting reviews!  I'm sorry friends!  Life got extremely busy and stressful all of a sudden and I just didn't have or take the time to blog.  Will you forgive me?  You will?  Great!  Now here is why I haven't blogged in such a LOOONG time...

The main reason why is because I got a job!  Yeah, I surprised me too!  I actually have had quite a few job opportunities this fall/winter and it rocked my world.  It gave me a renewed sense of confidence that I haven't had for awhile...namely 6 or so years since I'd last worked a real job.  Not that being a mom isn't a REAL job...but you just don't get paid, you know?  Anyhoo, my dream job became available and came out of nowhere.  I went have a degree in Floral Design & Marketing and have wanted to get my hands on some fresh flowers for awhile and just be creative.  A friend of mine who also went to college for floral design and I were chatting it up at our 15 yr high school reunion (I'll save you the math...I'm and she was saying that it would be so awesome if I could work at the flower shop with her again.  We used to work together there in college and then I took a job at a different flower shop and she stayed there.  Long story short, 2 days later she called me and told me that one of their designers was leaving and they had a position open.  3 days later the manager called me to ask if I would come in for an interview and was offered the job that night.  In the midst of this I had another interview with the local school system and later was offered a different job there.  I had a LOT of decisions to make!  Through much stressing and praying I decided to take the job at the flower shop.  And I love it.   

On top of working an actual job, I've been subbing for the school too.  Between the two I've been working full-time.  The extra money has been nice and we've been really good about sticking that money into savings instead of spending it like everyone said we would!  We're working towards our 3-6 months of living expenses in savings and after that we're going to pay down on our mortgage!  (That makes me super excited!)  

So that is why I haven't written.  I've been working so much and not working out or running, and trying to manage life as a working mom.  I still don't have it all figured out!  I"m just taking it one day at a time.  

Now that I've got the working thing figured out, I'm going to start focusing on my weight loss once again.  I'm so tired of letting these extra pounds consume my thoughts and it's time to do what it takes to lose the weight and get on with my life.  

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

She's Got Issues by Nicole Unice

I've got issues.  You've got issues.  We've all got issues.  And guess what?  It's normal!  What's not normal is to continue living with our issues once we come to the realization that we've got them.  In She's Got Issues by Nicole Unice, the author helps us to recognize our issues.  Whether is be an issue with comparing ourselves to others or being insecure, she gives great advice on what each issue looks like in a person's life, as well as how to begin steps on how to overcome them.  Her writing style is comfortable and non-judgmental, as if she's our best friend having a heart-to-heart chat with us.  No matter what our issues are, she gently informs us on how our issues are negatively affecting us and others around us and ultimately she guides back to the One who created us.  She shows the reader how to put our faith, trust, and insecurities in God and let go of all of our issues.

I really enjoyed reading this book.  It's full of great information and was very enlightening to me.  I have struggled with insecurity and comparison as two of my main issues for as long as I can remember.  By reading this book, Nicole has helped me understand how detrimental these issues are for me and how vital it is for me to over come them.  The first step was admitting to myself that I did indeed possess these issues and this was a ton easier to do after reading Nicole's accounts of her own issues.  The book has many stories based on Nicole's counseling sessions with numerous women who had issues too.  The need for authenticity among women is crucial nowadays.  If we aren't authentic then we will feel isolated; as if we are the only one who struggles with these issues.  If only we knew just how many women have the same struggles we do!  Once we overcome our own issues, we then can start to help others to overcome theirs!
This book would be great for any woman, young or old!  

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this honest review.