Friday, June 20, 2008

Fab Foto Friday

In honor of today - the Summer Solstice, here's a pic of Summer Solstice at StoneHenge.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

WARNING: Images of little babies...

Don't look if you're squeamish. But seriously... I have two quesitons for you. #1 - how can you look at this and not believe in God. And #2 - how can you look at this and not believe this is a CHILD until a certain point in the pregnancy? Seriously, though...

hands at 7 weeks in the womb

All essential organs have begun to form.
Elbows and toes are visible.
The fingers have grown to the first joint.
Facial features — the eyes, nose, lips, and tongue — continue to develop.
The outer ears begin to take shape.
Organs begin to be controlled by the brain.
The length is about 1/2 to 3/4 inch.

feet at 10 weeks in the womb

The unborn child is now called a fetus, rather than an embryo.
The head is half the length of the body.
The arms and legs are long and thin.
The hands can make a fist with fingers.
Red blood cells are produced.
The length is about 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 inches.

face at 12 weeks in the womb

The neck is present and the face well formed.
The eyelids close and will reopen at about 24 weeks.
Tooth buds appear.
The arms and legs move.
All body parts and organs are present.
The fibers that carry pain to the brain are developed; however, it is unknown if the unborn child is able to experience sensations such as pain.
Definitive signs of male and female gender are present.
A heartbeat can be heard with electronic devices.
The length is about 2 to 3 inches.

15 weeks
The skin is almost transparent.
The mouth makes sucking motions.
Amniotic fluid is swallowed.
Sweat glands develop.
The liver and pancreas are starting to work.
The length is about 3 to 4 inches.

21 weeks and fighting for life

Some experts have concluded that the unborn child is probably able to feel pain.
The skin becomes less transparent as fat begins to deposit.
Eyebrows and lashes appear.
Breathing-like movements become regular and are detected by ultrasound, but the lungs have not developed enough to permit survival if birth occurs.
The unborn child turns its entire body side to side and front to back.
The length is about 6 to 7 inches.

I'll probably finish this some other time. But I just wanted to say... this is THE coolest stuff EVER!!!


Monday, June 16, 2008

Map-Quest and My Calling

A lot has been happening in the world of Sarah, lately, though none of it would seem to be a big deal in and of itself. It's a lot of little things. But you know... something can be the size of a grain of sand, but if you put enough of those things together, you make a beach. And what I mean by that is... the more little things, the bigger the picture seems to be.

I'm confusing you... and if not... I'm confusing me. :-P

Here's my take on life. PLEASE do submit your opinions. I am eager to know what people think, whether it includes your opinion, biblical backing, or just a random story you feel like sharing from your own life, please share... I could use a little light from another's perspective to help scurry away the shadows cast by my own.

Some people believe that God essentially works like this: If he didn't mean for you to have this job, it wouldn't have worked out. If he didn't mean for you to live in your house or drive your particular car, it wouldn't have happened. If he didn't want you to get fired for seemingly no good reason, you wouldn't have (fyi - no, I didn't lose my job... just a few examples).

But I don't believe this, so much. I think God has plans, and we can stray from them (hence the whole free-will thing). Right?! Did God call Jonah to run away to the belly of a whale? No. Did God call David to become addicted to pornography, fall into adultery, and then have a man killed so that he could marry a woman? No. I don't believe that this was their calling - I believe this was just the path they chose (granted - a very difficult path for each of them).

Some of you will disagree with me, but that's alright. It's just my opinion - take it for what it's worth.

This is how I view things, and this is where I need your input. For the most part, I think that God calls us to something, and he has an "end point" in mind. I think God says "I want you here" and it's like a BIG Red push-pin on our life's map. And this is where things differ for people: there may be an obvious path to some people, a difficult path to others, and there be ansolutely no evident path path to others, still (like me); but I think he says "I want you here. Now get there."

It's kind've like MapQuesting directions from here to Ghana. A friend of mine has family there, and said he put in his address, and then selected Ghana as his destination. MapQuest actually gave him directions to some sort of pier on the eastern US coast, and then pretty much said "I can't get to accross the ocean, but once you get over there, do this...".

Like the old "do we go over it, around it, or through it" type of thing. There's endless possibilities when it comes to getting from point A to point B. There are so many ways to get to your particular calling, you just have to choose one and then get there - But through it all, the destination stays the same.

What do you think? Does this make sense? Do you think it works this way, or am I like WAY totally off?! I'm really interested to know. And don't hold back... I can take it.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday night and the lights are loowwww...

^ (That's an Abba reference, for those of you wondering)

Well, tomorrow is the BIG day for David and Renee. They're "goooing to the chapel and they're goooonna get maaaaarried." (Apprently it's Sing-song Friday, for me). I'm so excited for them!

Tonight is the rehearsal dinner, and I plan to take lots of pics tomorrow (Yes, Jamily... lots and lots!) and post them eventually, for those of you who know them, and those of you who, like me, are just obsessed with weddings. Should be fun!!!

The Not-so-fun part will be driving to the Upper Marlboro area during traffic hour. No good. BUT at least my asesome husband just bought me a brand new Garmin nuvi 350. LOVE it! He's fantastic.

Love you, McStudly!! :-*

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Grandpa and the MaryJ

Monday night, McStudly and I went to Mama and Papa Bear's house to go swimming, let the pup get worn out by Luke (their Yellow Lab), and have dinner with the family one more time while Aunt Sylvia is in town.

Before reading further, please refer back to Mighty Good - a blog about my shortcomings as a cook, through the opinion of my Grandfather... good times.

Now that you've done your homework (you read it, right?), I can continue on with my Story.

So we're sitting around the dinner table - eating, talking, laughing - when I reached a point where I no longer needed to receive a "Mighty Good" from my grandfather. I have accomplished something far greater and nothing will ever beat that (yes, April - it's EVEN better than him thinking everyone gets married in Cleveland, and the silly grin on his pool-side-climbing face).

Aunt Sylvia began expressing her opinion that my Grandpa was now addicted to Soda, as she poured him another glass.

My father begins explaining, as we all laugh, that she is the one pouring his drink, and thus feeding his addiction.

She comes back with something along the lines of "But Zelma says he loves it. He prefers it, even. He drinks it all the time out there and now he doesn't want anything but that." (Sorry, Sylvie - I dont' remember your exact words)

We're all laughing at this point... and Dad points out, AGAIN, that SHE is the one pouring his drink at the moment.

So I chime in, complete with my dripping sarcasm and half-attempt at a poor southern accent - "He's the one that smokes the marijuana, I just give it to him."

Queue family laughter...

wait for it...

wait for it...


Queue grandpa laughter!

HIIIILLLARIOUS!! You should've been there. Oh my word. If I could explain it to you, you'd be wetting yourself, right about now. It was tooo funny!

I love my Grandpa... even if he does have to ask McStudly what service branch he's in everytime we go over there, and then proceeds to "promote" him each time, as well.

(If Grandpa was in charge, Kyle'd be a Captain... sometimes it's just easier to say "yes" to his questions then to explain to him the truth by yelling it as loud as you can so he can hear you.)

So - here's to Slater and promotions.

God Bless America.

But teacher, my dog ate my -


What is WITH this dog lately?! I don't get it. He's usually fine with this stuff. He's had a MAJOR oral fixation, lately, and I wanted to kill him!!

He was SO good yesterday evening. I was doing dishes, and when I usually have to listen really closely to his every move, and wonder what he's getting in to - he just sat there in his window seat, and watched. Then slept on the floor of the kitchen. He was being awesome!

But I guess... he's slept since then. Because this morning was not so cool. At first, he had gotten some mail off the table (a favorite pass time of his), and as soon as I told him to "leave it"... he did! It was fantastic. We were both happy AND he got lots of lovin' for it. Apparently he misinterpreted that to mean "Hey... why don't you go get something ELSE you're not supposed to have. That'll be fun!"

Just so you understand how this happened, let me give you a little info. McStudly is switching back to his night schedule, which means... he went to bed SUPER late last night, to sleep during the day, so he's awake for his 12 hour shift tonight. Translation - I have to get ready out of the bedroom so as not to wake him up. So... with that... I continue my story.

I brought my clothes out, and set then on the back of the couch, then let the dog out and fed him, etc. While he was eating, I did everything in the bathroom and blah blah blah. Well - I went into the living room to finish getting ready, and Austin was chewing on what I thought was his bone, over by our chair in the corner.

I finished getting dress...

looked down to put my shoes on...

and there was only one.


Picture my face as the SUDDEN realization hit me - he wasn't chewing on his bone - he was chewing on my SHOE!! So... I whisper-yelled (the kind you do when you can't be loud, but you want the whisper-yell-recipient to REALLY feel your anger and frustration - like when you draw on the hymnal in church - because it is, after all, a giant coloring book for young children, isn't it? - and your mother just doesn't appreciate your creative genius...) at him, and pryed it from his mouth, only to find that he had now chewed a nice, big-toe sized hole RIGHT in the front of my last pair of work shoes.


And - I say last pair, because he snuck (yes - snuck. he's berry berry sneaky... we underestimate his sneakiness) into our bedroom, last Thursday evening, and ate my other work shoes.

Needless to say, whatever shoes I buy today over lunch (at the PX - ROCK ON military discounts!), in order to replace the slippers (Yes.... slippers) I had to wear to work today, will always be in only one of two places - on my feet, or in their original box, in my closet.

Dumb dog. *sigh* But I love that little dirtbag.

How can anyone resist this face?!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

La Musica

I think I finally decided it. In fact - I know I did.

I want to learn to play guitar.
There - I've said it. I played piano when I was younger, and was pretty dang good at it, if I do say so myself. But the problem with a piano - you can't take it with you. And who wants to strap on a keyboard, right?! Plus - I don't think I could get back into piano without having one at home to practice on, and then there's the problem with reading music... don't get me started. I missed the bus on this one. (FYI - my children will be taught to read music at a VERY young age. If they decide they don't want to be musical later in life, then fine. But it won't be for lack of education!) But with the guitar - you just read the note... I mean... it's spelled out for you. There's no "third line up... that's... every good boy... that's a B... no play a B". Noo... it just tells you what to play. It says "B" So there... you play a B.

So I want to play the guitar.

The problem - we can't buy one, right now. Financially, it's not a good time. We're getting debt under control. Getting ready to buy a house. Living on a budget, for the time being. So buying a guitar won't work for now.


Eventually... maybe not anytime soon, but it will. And I'm excited!!

PS - know any good methods of teaching yourself how to play?! Cause I don't want to take lessons... that's more money... and why not learn on your own, right? Lemme know!

Peace out!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What to wear?!

Okay - I have a dilemma. I have the PERFECT little pencil skirt and black heels to wear to the wedding on Saturday, BUT I CAN'T figure out what shirt to wear!

Yes... I know... I'm SUCH a girl. But I don't do this often!! So look below and tell me what you think.

Thanks much!!

Sorry - the colors got weird on this pic, for some reason. :-(

Monday, June 9, 2008

Self Worth

I was talking with a friend today who is going through a really rough time, right now. The thing that screamed out to me the most is how much she's lost sight of her true self worth.

The sad thing? This is true is SO many other places. Not just with her. I think we do it all the time!

Don't you remember when you were younger... before you were jaded? We had SUCH big DREAMS!! We all did. We wanted to make a difference. We wanted to change lives. We wanted to advocate for those who couldn't defend themselves, and we wanted to make politicians shut-up and listen instead of always being selfish and whining and worrying about how rich they could be if they could ONLY be President. We wanted to change how people think - to change the WORLD!

But then we "grew up".

We realized that no one voice is ever heard screaming alone in the darkness. One person can't change the world. One hand can't really touch a thousand more.


Seriously! Who are we kidding?! Where did our passion go?

Need I remind you - One person DID change the world. One person DID reach thousands. One man DID make leaders shut-up and listen.

I'm not actually trying to preach today. *stepping off soapbox* I got off on a bit of a tangent on that one. But really... what happened to your self worth? Guys? Ladies?

Guys - you've taken a job that would pay the bills, probably just to support your hobby or family. VERY admirable and very respectable, but is it really all you had dreamed - some routine job that you dread going to every day?

Ladies - you're dating a man that treats you like GARBAGE. Or maybe he doesn't. But you've long lost sight of the Princess you once were. You had such BIG DREAMS about how life would be and yet you're with him. And making excuses for why you should stay. Letting him defend his actions, or lack thereof again and again and again.

We need to stop making excuses.

Do you remember how much you deserve? Do you remember how loved you are? Do you remember how much you dreamed and wanted for your future? Don't throw it away for some jerk that can't see past his own lame excuse for selfish ambitions.

Do yourself a favor and remember how awesome you are.

So I speak more to ladies, because that's what I know. And honestly - as emotional beings, I think we're effected in a COMPLETELY different way then men are. But that doesn't change a thing.


And I'm not just talking about the mirror you look into each morning with discontent. I'm talking about your "Ness". Your You-Ness. Your Ness is unlike ANY other. How can that NOT be beautiful?

I heard a quote once, but can't find out who it came from - "I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object be what it may - light, shade, and perspective will always make it beautiful."

Interesting that those three things can all be changed, isn't it? But in any circumstance... any situation... there is still beauty.

You're not happy? Make a change. Still not happy? Change something else.

No - it's not easy. But why can't it be done?

Honey - he doesn't deserve as much of you as he's already gotten. Don't give him any more of yourself. He's not worth it.

And the only man who is - won't make you question it, even for a second.

I want, more than anything, for you all to be happy - but I won't keep my opinions to myself any longer, becuase as your friend, I love you too much to do that to you.

Quit worrying about how much it may hurt other people, and make a change that will better You and your future. It's not selfish to follow your dreams.

A book I think EVERY woman should read - married, single, teenager, adult... EVERYONE: "Do You Think I'm Beautiful" by Angela Thomas Check it out.

Don't forget how awesome you are.

Friday, June 6, 2008


Here are just a few little tidbits of information that you absolutely CAN'T live without.

(Excerpts from "Who knew? Things You Didn't Know About Things You Know Well" by David Hoffman)

Play-Doh was originally formulated as a compound to clean wallpaper.

If Jell-O is hooked up to an EEG, it registers movements virtually identical to the brain waves of a healthy adult.

The original Twinkies filling was Banana; it was replaced by vanilla-flavored cream during World War II, when the United States experienced a banana shortage.

On average, a Twinkie will explode in a microwave in forty-five seconds.

There are seven loops in the squiggle atop every Hostess cupcake.

There are approzimately 1,750 O's in every can of SpeghettiOs.

Holy Name-Calling

I think that on some level we are all guilty.

We don't cuss. NOOO-sirree-bob!! We know better than that. But we DO throw out some pretty creative names, when we get stirred up.

You may be asking... Sarah, What's so wrong with that?!

Well, I'll tell you - the problem is that in trying to get creative with our name calling, and yet still getting out our frustrations... we end up sounding like 7-yr-olds on the schoolyard, angry because someone won't give us back our dodgeball.

"You're a stupid head!"

"Am not, meanie face!"

"Are too, Turd nugget!!"

"Loser bucket!"


I mean really... it gets kind've ridiculous. And though it's COMPLETELY entertaining (if you're not on the receiving end, that is), I think we should kick it up a notch. Let's try broadening our vocabulary and calling people names they will either 1 - not understand and thus, have no appropriate, equally effective comeback for; or 2 - they'll think we're complimenting them and be totally thrown off. Either of the two is fine with me, really, so here are a few words, along wit their definitions, that may help you in your next verbal sword-fight.

#1 - Is someone being mean? Try these words, instead -

Duplicitous [doo-plis-i-tuhs] : adj. Given to or marked by deliberate deceptiveness in behavior or speech.

Knave [neyv] : noun. an unprincipled, untrustworthy, or dishonest person.

Nefarious [ni-fair-ee-uhs] : adj. extremely wicked or villainous; iniquitous.

#2 - Is someone being rude? give these a shot -

Contumelious [kon-too-mee-lee-uhs] : adj.

Contumely [kon-too-muh-lee] : noun. 1. insulting display of contempt in words or actions; contemptuous or humiliating treatment; 2. a humiliating insult.

Indecorous [in-dek-er-uhs] : adj. not decorous; violating generally accepted standards of good taste or propriety; unseemly.

#3 - Just some other fun ones for you to try out -

Caitiff [key-tif] : adj. Despicable and cowardly.

Odious [oh-dee-uhs] : adj. highly offensive; repugnant; disgusting.

Flagitious [fluh-jish-uhs] : adj. shamefully wicked, as persons, actions, or times.

Okay - that's enough. If I keep going, I'm afraid one of you will use these against me, for some reason. Not that I would EVER give you a reason to (No never... right?!)

Alright, then. Have fun - and remember... if you just say to yourself that this person is a _____, then no one's feeling's get hurt. But if you say it to their face, you just might (okay - you totally will) cause some problems - both for you AND that person.

Let's just keep the Holy Name-Calling to a minimum, shall we?


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Junior Jinglers

When I was younger, I was somewhat forced into playing handbells with our "Junior Jinglers" handbells choir. (why do they call it a "choir"???) And when you turned 13, if you were really good you got to move up to the Teen Tintinnabulaters (sp?) and compete in state-wide, and then national competitions.

Some of you may be wondering - other than age, what was the difference in the two?

The difference between the two? WHOA - let me tell you.

In the Junior Jinglers, I had to stand on a step stool in order to be seen by anyone over the big padded, navy-blue-fabric-covered tables in my oversized robe, be able to reach my handbells, and also be able to see the color coded highlight marks over the notes on my music so I knew when to swing the bell in my LEFT hand, when to swing the Bell in my RIGHT hand, and when to switch handbells with the other ones on the table. (I played the little, higher note bells... so there was a LOT more action up on my end!)

But in Teen Tintinnabulaters - the only highlighting you were allowed to do was to let you know when to do a two step spin turn all-the-while ringing your handbell and then softly quieting it on your shoulder. (And even then the highlighting was majorly frowned upon by Pastor Smile-to-the-crowd-but-scare-the-little-handbell-players-with-your-scowl... we called him Pastor Tom for short.)

Ah yes - handbells have now become a lost art form. One that I GRACIOUS accept (and pray fervently) to never return.

As for Pastor Tom - don't say "fart" around him. BIIIIIGGG no-no on that one. Otherwise, you'll get sent out of Handbell practice, like you're being sent to the Principal's office, and schooled on your role as a Pator's Kid, and how your mouth shouldn't utter such obscenities. No joke. Just ask my Big sister - April.

PS - Don't EVER pick up the handbells without wearing gloves - it's like suicide to your hendbell career. Next thing you know, you won't be allowed to unpack them from the boxes, for fear that you'll clank them together - chipping the most essential handbell and ruining their sounds FOR-E-VER!!! FORREEEVVVVERR!!! (yes - I was just referencing The Sandlot, there)

Army Wives

For those of you counting with me... only 3 MORE DAYS until the Season Premier of Army Wives.

I LOVE this show!! It's sooo good. If you've never watched it, give it a shot. If you HAVE seen it... then you know how excited I am about the Season 1 marathon on Saturday, running up until the new show on Sunday!! Anyone in for a girl's night? Well, by girl's night I more-so mean girl's "Saturday Afternoon", but hey - who's keeping track, right?!

Alright, ladies... buckle down and get ready. It's gonna be a doozie!!! And if you're like me and REALLY impatient... here's a sneak preview of the Season 2 Premier:

Check it out!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Boredome sets in...

This week is CRAZY-INSANE boring at work. Most everyone is gone. It's just me and two other guys - and of course it would be the two other guys that are the quietest! I have not a SINGLE thing to do, unless the phone rings (because then I get to answer it - WOOHOO!!). This is nuts!!

Thank GOODNESS it's already Wednesday. Only 2 more days to go - and I'll actually have work to do Friday... it's timesheet day. :-D

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give me something to do!! With a vacation 3 weeks (less, now) away, time is already screeching to a halt. Now - with even LESS going on - I'm going LOOPY!!!

And now - to quote a great movie... possibly one of the greatest of all times:

"I've got Cabin Fever."


*queue music*

Just for those of you who haven't had the pleasure - that's from the Muppet's Treasure Island.

Someone - please spare me the pain... if you have a heart... entertain me, somehow!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Austin's Antics

My little dog is growing up. He's not so little anymore... see here:

Here's the shot the breeder posted on the site, of him (his little spot on his bottom is how we picked him out!):

And here are some shots taken just DAYS after we got him:

The cutest puppy ever!

Too nervous to come out, at first.

"Wow - Hey, Mister... you're tall!" Sitting next to BIG Uncle Luke.

He makes friends fast - sitting on Mal-mal's lap (he looks like he's smiling!).

Look how little he is jumping up at his Momma!

NOW let's see how big got in another 4.5 months:

He's HUGE!! And the best part - he's not even done growing, yet!!! He's growing like a weed, man!

Isn't he SUCH a cute puppy?!?! When i can get my internet to allow me, I'll upload some videos of him in action for you.

Love y'all!!

Vacation, here we come!!

I'm SO ready for our vacation!! We're leaving June 24th, and returning around... uh... July 2? Something like that. I am SO excited!!!
We are going up toWisconsin, to see McStudly's family, and possibly up to his Grandfather's cabin in Minnesota. Plus - we're taking Austin, so the kids are looking forward to that, from what we hear. And if Austin understood that he'd be running amongst lots of open land and playing with kids, then I'm sure he'd be really looking forward to it, too.

So - Austin loves to ride in the car. If I had pictures, I would post them, but I haven't taken any of him in the car for some time, now. He loves it! It's all about watching the cars and trees and people pass that just keeps him staring out the windows. He does lay down sometimes, but as soon as he hears or sees the tip of something, he's back up and at the window, staring it down! This 17 hour road trip is going to be a blast with him, I'm sure. (PLEASE tell me you sense the sarcasm in there somewhere)

So I called the Vet the other day (after I got pulled over for tags that expired on Friday - WOOPSIE!! Just got a warning though, Cory... I batted my eyelashes, and pulled my shirt down just a bit... SIKE - we all know the pulling the shirt down wouldn't get me anywhere. ha ha... and of course we know I'd never do it!), and I'm still wiating a call back about what we can give our little pup.
Apparently, they have all kinds of sedatives. It really depends on how drugged up your want your dog. I mean - do you want him passed out the entire time... do you want him to just be sluggish and relaxed, etc. And then you have to decide if you want this to last for the duration of the trip, or just for the middle part... blah blah blah. SO I will let you know what is decided, but we're REALLY hoping it's not too pricey. I mean... can't we jsut lock him in the trunk or something?! (JUST kidding... please don't call the NY Animal Police on me). You really jsut have to decide between the MaryJ type sedative effects, and the Heroin type sedative effects. Hard choice, really.

Well, our trip is only about 21 days away (3 weeks exactly!) and I'm SO EXCITED!!! I can't wait to be there!! Well, really - I can't wait to NOT be here! I just need to get away. I'm SO ready!!


Here's the fam we're going to see:

These are Kyle's little brothers, the mini-McStudlies - Wyatt (left) and Tynan (right).

More pics coming - waiting for them to load...

Monday, June 2, 2008


Okie Doke-

In my first blog, I challenged myself to improving a lot of things about... well... myself. I got a lot of great comments from it, both online and in person, and have tried to really "apply" the advice I've been given. So let's take a look back and see how I've been doing, shall we?

I'll mark Green on the things that I feel I have improved, and Red on the things I can't say that about without lying... hopefully there won't be much red. Let's see:

#1 - Housekeeping
Okay. So I started off really strong, and then slacked off a bit again, BUT I'm back in high gear. The house looks great (AND this is AFTER I had a "party" at my house this weekend. GO ME!!). The only bad thing right now is more dishes (it's amazing how how you can't fit NEARLY as much as you thought you could into a single dishwasher load! And I've done two since Saturday night!). BUT since McStudly is at home today, he's supposed to be catching up on that (since this is a marriage and a partnership - it REALLY comes in handy for these kinds of things!!). As for Laundry, I have done LOTS of loads, lately, Kyle has thrown in a few, too, and just last night, I finished all but ONE basket of folding. :-) So... we're well on our way. Now, in all honesty we're probably only HALFWAY done everything (we've got TONS of clothes!), but that's still improvement, right? So... as we're going through things, we're setting aside things we don't wear or that don't fit, so we can finally get rid of them and have a normal sized wardrobe (and so that I have an excuse to go shopping again. It's been SOOO long and I miss it!). The house doesn't smell like I have a dog - I mean... you can't tell. :-D That's FANTASTIC to me!! The bookshelf is finally organized. The kitchen looks great (minus the dishes, that is). The bathroom is nice and neat (as long as McStudly keeps wiping up his lil' stubbles off the sink in the morning - great job, Sweety!). The spare bedroom could use a little more work... maybe a lotta more, BUT it's still pretty organized. :-)

#2 - Quiet Time
This is embarrassing. :-( I'm not very good at balancing my time. I have done better, so I suppose I COULD put it in green, but I haven't gotten to where I NEED to be with it. I've gotten great at praying more, for the most part, and I do more research on the Bible, etc, BUT I don't really sit down and just focus on God and read the Bible and meditate on it. And THAT'S where I need to be. It's like I skip the whole relational part of it. I've got the research, and the talking down, now I need to get better at the focusing and the sit-down-and-shut-up part of it. But that's SOOOO hard for me!! (No peanut gallery comments, please). It's just not something others can teach you - you have to figure out that kind of thing on your own. And it's not easy. But BOY am I glad that my God so patient. And BTW - I'm a FIRM believer in the fact that God has a sense of humor - Lord knows I provide him with PLENTY of entertainment. ;-) I'm a good laugh, for him, and I'm okay with that... but he wants more than a laugh and a big mouth who doesn't listen. And that's where I'm not doing so hot.

#3 - Money
We're doing WAY better!! We've started doing a "cash allowance" type of thing. We each get the same set amount of money for a two week period. That's it. Now, we didn't do so hot with our Memorial Day weekend, but in my opinion - Holiday weekends are more expensive, so it's all good. We were both okay with that. So... all is well. We're a little tight this week, because of it. But we'll probably take out a bit more to cover for the fact that it WAS a Holiday weekend last weekend. So... no worries. Next weekend means we get our new allowance! WOOHOO!! Just FYI - the allowance is for eating out, etc. Not as much other things. Neither one of us go shopping, really. And if we do, we run it by each other before we buy anything, really. The rule is really only for anything over $100, BUT we kind've do it anyways. We keep each other in the loop on money, so neither one of us can blame the other! ha ha - it's worked so far! Also - we've started a Credit Check Monitoring Program with our bank (because USAA rocks my socks!) and we're learning a LOT about what effects what. I've ALSO learned that you have to track things down to have them removed, even if the allotted time has passed for them already (which some people didn't know - check your credit!! But it's SO important to know this kind of stuff, and I'm glad we're figuring everything out. :-) Also - we're saving up to buy a house this summer (hopefully)!! No more "new car" talk. If I get a car, it'll be a "New-to-me" car, and it won't be this year, most likely. Probably next year or so... But to sum up - our debt is REALLY lowering (still waiting on that economic stimulus check, Dubbya!) and our savings will soon be piling up, as well. :-) So it looks to me like we're on our way!

and FINALLY... (drumroll please)

#4 - Exercise
Woohoo!! So I'm not like running 12 miles a day or anything crazy, BUT I'm doing better. Austin is getting good walks, most days, and I sometimes even run with him a bit. He's also getting walks with McStudly, when he's not working, and he's LOVING life! I plan on pulling out the pilates again, now that the house is pretty clean (though I was HOPING to wait on that new carpet... it may take a little longer for that than we thought) and manageable. I would LOVE to get a Wii and Wii fitness, but I'm not seeing that happening anytime soon - especially with the progress we've made and are making in the Moola Arena. But... I'm slowly feeling better about myself, and I KNOW the dog is happier than he was!! ha ha ha. I've also been trying to balance out my eating. If I DO eat something not-so-good for me, I try not to eat as MUCH. And I've been throwing in some salads before the other food, to help fill myself with something healthier before the bad stuff, and then not stuff myself until full, but eat until just past satisfied (I'm not disciplined enough, yet, to stop AT satisfied). So... I think all is going well.

Alrighty - so that's my update. How have YOU been doing in these areas?! Let's be honest, people. It feels good - I promise!!