Thursday, December 31, 2009

Provision

It's been a great year... and I've been blog-M.I.A. for most of it (yeah. Sorry about that!), but it's been great, nonetheless.

With so much that's happened this year, I can't help but see God's hand and provision in our lives. Even through that crazy chaotic man-made house flood of ours, we received new carpet throughout the house, tiling in the bathroom (which we would've had to pay for ourselves), fresh new paint in various rooms... we couldn't have PLANNED that!

When McStudly was diagnosed with Crohns' disease, even after several hospital stays and medical appointments... countless pills and medicine trials... we hardly payed a dime for any of it (I actually don't think that we payed anything for any of it). We had amazing medical coverage through the military, fabulous doctors and facilities in our local area, understanding bosses and co-workers that covered for us, supportive family that checked in on us, and fabulous friends that helped make sure we felt loved and were taken care of. We couldn't have ASKED for anything better!

Even in our finances I can see him working. When bills came in higher than planned for (like when the electric company WAY overestimated our charges: think 8 months worth of bill credits) and life just... happened - cracked windshields, a sick dog, and home makeover mishaps (plenty of those in this house) - we were covered.

Just this month, Austin had quite a few dollars spent on vet bills... and by quite a few I mean the total is now over $1.2k on something as simple as ringworm (PS: much more serious on dogs, than humans, fyi). Somehow we were able to pay for (not charge) his vet bills the first time around... don't ask me how! But I thought for sure that there would be no way we could do it again. And I was right - we could not. But with God, all things are possible - and we are able to do it again. The vet said he needs one more round of meds to be sure it doesn't come back, and "somehow" we have the extra money to pay for that and his boarding expenses. I noticed last week, after doing some quick budget math (am I the only one that keeps a spreadsheet for each month that details how much goes to which bills for each paycheck, how much into savings, how much for spending, etc? Okay... call me precise and just shy of obsessive, but it works.) that we had about an extra $1k in savings that I couldn't really account for. Every bill is payed and already pulled up to date. There are no pending checks, and no pending withdrawals. We had planned to use the extra money to pay off our credit card, but when Austin needed vet visits, I knew it would be going towards that instead. But here's the cool part: we somehow didn't spend much (hardly any) of our allotted spending money over vacation... That's about $150 that we didn't use. And $269 just came in the mail as a reimbursement from our first round of vet bills (have I mentioned that I absolutely LOVE having pet insurance? Cause I do.) which I had totally forgotten about.

That's a total of: $419.00 that I had no way of accounting for beforehand. It was like surprise money... bonus cash.

So when I went to pick up Austin this morning from the vet's office, where he was boarding and had been re-checked by the vet, guess how much I had to pay?!


*drumroll please*


That would be a total of $406.68!



Isn't that amazing?! Not only are the vet bills covered out of pocket without even remotely affecting our regular monthly budget and bills, but we can also afford to pay off our credit card, now, with the extra money I "found" in savings.

Because we have been faithful to him in our finances and tithing, God has blessed us more than we could even IMAGINE through our finances.




As 2009 comes to a close, this evening, I look back and can see how God has blessed us way beyond what we could ever have planned, asked or imagined.




With this kind of provision from a truly wonderful, loving God that cares enough about me to even notice and cover the "little" things in life, I can't help but feel a peaceful confidence over whatever will be thrown our way in 2010.

May God continue to bless and care for you and yours, and may you be able to someday look back and see his hand in everything.





Happy New Year!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Just a quickie

Okay - I don't have time to update much, right now, but hopefully I can fill in some blanks on Monday, for you. Last Friday was McStudly's squadron party, and a buddy of his won a free limo ride to and from the Naitonal Christmas tree. So that's where we're going tonight, and it should be pretty cool... and by cool I mean FREEZING!!!

Last night I finished my final night of training with the Pregnancy Clinic. I move on to my internship and then go forward from there. SOOOO excited! And I've got LOADS to tell you about all of that training, etc. Can't wait to fill you in!

And last, but definitely not least, we get to visit with McStudly's family in the next month or so. We're REALLY looking forward to that, except for the fact that it's already been FREEZING!!! it was in the single digits here, last night, and even colder where they are. YUCK!


So... I'll try to give you more deets on all of that next week, but for now I gotta go get ready for a fun evening, followed by a jam-packed couple of weeks.




Gotta love the Holidays, eh?!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

SURPRISE!!





This just makes me giggle everytime... minus the weirdo that;s talking at the end. :-D

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Putting My Foot Down

Okay - so I'm overwhelmed, right now. There's a lot going on at once and I'm going to have to put a stop to some things.

I tend to get pretty close tot he "too much at once" line. It's part of who I am. I don't know why I do it, but I do. So when other people start kind've pushing me closer and closer, I'm pretty understanding at first. I mean... they don't know everything I'm doing. They see their small snippet and think that's it. I do the same thing to others, I'm sure.

After all, you never really know what's going on in someone's heart and life. It's not like they walk around with their schedule and emotional status pinned on their sleeves... I hope...

But I'm at the point where the pushing is getting old. Look - I've given you more than I probably should have to begin with, but that's it. That's what you get, take it or leave it.


This probably sounds uber confusing to most of you. But this is my main source of venting, and it's been WAY too long since I've unleashed some frustration that I've been holding in. Forgive me for not explaining everything, but it'll probably just be even more confusing. Try to bear with me.


I just can't take it anymore. I can handle pushing and shoving with a good amount of grace, but I have a limit. I try to hint at first. You know... maybe they aren't aware how much they're pushing me... I try to give them the benefit and think they can't possibly know it's starting to hurt a little, so I tell them no. It's ever so polite and simple at first.

Why can't it end there?

So they smile and "hear" what I say, without really listening.


I say it again. A little less smile this time, and maybe a little info as to why, like "I'm stretched pretty thin as it is, so..." and hope that they get it.

I know they aren't stupid. I know they are smart people. They really really are smart. Why aren't the understanding me. Did I suddenly learn Spanish so well that I don't even realize I'm speaking in the wrong language? I'm gonna lean towards no on that one. I'm pretty sure it's English... and besides, after 2 years of Spanish in high school, I only really know how to say "where are my pants?" (don't ask), so there's no way I suddenly picked it up.


And then it gets to where I am now. I've put my foot down 3 or 4 times now, and they just aren't getting it.

And this is where I'm stuck. Do I go all diva on them and MAKE it known that I am not at their beck and call? Or maybe I need to put it in writing... or equations, even. Like maybe this:


Me = not + available ( - current commitment) = no more tasking


Wait. That isn't nearly simple enough.


But they keep putting me in the position of almost having to take it to that point. And what grinds my gears is the fact that I'm pretty sure that's their goal. They're asking me publicly, in front of people, to where I almost have to say yes. And then it's super awkward when I say no, because they've already moved on, as if I've already given them a yes. But umm... hello?! "Umm yeah, sorry. I actually can't."


Then their faces... It's like I hauled off and slapped their granny.


Really, people? I'm trying to be as super nice and kind about this as I can. This is your thing, not mine. I have no obligations here whatsoever. But you really want me to seem like some kind of diva-fied chick that will walk if she doesn't get her way? Reminder: This isn't something I signed up for. I was asked to do a favor, and I conceded. Then I went a step further when you needed more help, and then again. But that's it. I've already gone three miles with the 1 inch I gave. I'm way past running on empty here.


Other parts of my life are currently suffering. Other people in my life are now suffering. Relationships that are very important to me are whithering and just short of dying.


But all you see is how this is affecting you and your plans.


Am I the only one that has problems like this? I'm trying to hard to be nice and forgiving and understanding, but it's really hard when the other parties aren't giving it a second thought.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CLARIFICATION:
I should probably clarify something right now. This has NOTHING to do with anything else that I've blogged before. Ever. Never ever.

In fact, if you think you know what I'm talking about... you probably do not have any idea. If you want to know, feel free to e-mail me at sarahpuhl [at] gmail [dot] com. I'll clarify. I'm trying to be vague for several reasons, so I'm sorry if I've created a ton of confusion.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Okay. Enough of that. I guess I needed to vent a little more then I originally thought. For those of you that stuck with me - any advice? I could really use it right now. Like for reals.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

You Were Warned

Right? I mean... in all fairness I did say I'd be a bit of a blogging phantom.

Things have been crazy, just as I suspected they'd be. BUT there's an "end" in sight. My clinic training class only has 2 weeks left (we're of this week, but then 2 to go!) and then it's I'll start the internship. As crazy as the past 8 weeks have been, I've been loving every minute of it! I can't wait to talk to you all about the things I've learned through all of this. From simple communication skills to learning to explain complex medical procedures, as well as training to better evangelise to the clients when given the opportunity. I've absolutely LOVED it!

As for everything else, working on the house kind've died off for the holidays I'm sure we may get a few things done here or there, but we really want to just be able to enjoy our time together instead of running around every chance we get.

I've been slowly getting back into sewing, and I'm still totally enjoying that, as well. I think it has something to do with the challenge involved and seeing a project all the way from start to finish. Who knows... whatever it is, it's a great hobby and I can't wait to keep improving and building on it as I go! Just this past weekend I made an envelope pillow cover (finally!) for the ugly pillows that came with our living room furniture, and I can't WAIT to make more so those hideous little things will no longer be seen. AND I finally had the time to finish a bib for a friend of mine. It turned out MUCH better than I thought it would, to be honest. It velcros around the neck and the entire thing is covered in vinyl so that it can easily be wiped off/cleaned, AND the bottom folds up and snaps around to create a little pocket for catching the food that baby drops or spits out. It's not perfect, but it it pretty cute, if I say so myself. I'm so proud!

Now I just want to make something for myself - clothes-wise, that is. I LOVE making baby stuff and pillows because, well let's be honest, everything looks cute on babies! And not many people analyze your couch pillows for imperfections, either, right?! So I'm eager to make something a little more detailed, but not quite ready for that dress pattern I bought before. I'm still working up to that one. Then again... I'm feeling pretty daring this holiday season, so maybe I'll give it a shot?!

Anywho - that's kind've what we've been up to lately. Wait - that was just me. Here's what McStudly's been up to: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

...Yep - that about sums it up. ha ha ha... he plays while I sew, and it works out, I suppose. :-P


OH! I almost forgot - he started a new kind of treatment last week for his Crohns'. It went really well. We went in to Walter Reed in the morning, they went over everything with him and start him on the infusion - it took about 3 hours, or so, and he didn't have any reactions to it, which is fabulous! He goes in again next week, then 4 weeks later, and then the doctor will decide if he'll go every 6 or 8 weeks after that. AND this means he can finally stop taking those stupid steroids we both hate with a fierce fiery passion. Can I get a "woot woot"?! WOOOOT WOOOOT!!



Well, I think that about catches you up for now. I have still been reading your blogs, I promise. I even comment as often as I can!! But I tell you what, following y'alls blogs could be a full-time job. I TOTALLY enjoy it, but then I never have time to blog myself. Am I the only one?! ha ha


Anywho - did I miss anything? Got any questions or curiosities for me?!




Toodles!!


PS: I will be posting pictures of the house eventually, but I want to finish showing the before pictures before I start on the afters. And since we're not quite at the "after" point, yet, it buys me a little time to get stuff done. Score!! :-D

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blurred Vision

Between training class, homework, painting, visiting family, and just pure exhaustion I have been quite the blog slacker.


My bad!


I don't ever mean to slack off this much, but one day turns into 3, which becomes 5 and then before I know it, it's been a week and a half with no blogging!! Holy goodness!



This week, McStudly and I vowed to do absolutely nothing beyond what was absolutely necessary. Needless to say, we've only been doing dishes in the Puhl household. We worked so stinking hard the last couple of weeks that we are pooped! So this week has been relaxing, catching up on our backlog of tv shows (our poor DVR was at 96%, which I didn't think was possible), eating yummy meals at home again (after eating out so much due to our rush), and just enjoying each other's company.


It's been so nice. It's already Thursday and I am SO glad we've spent most of the week relaxing. We didn't get everything done that we wanted to before his mom got into town, but we were close! I know I'll be forgetting something, but here's a quick version of what we did in just 2 weeks:

- prime everything

- paint living room

- paint kitchen

- paint spare bedroom

- catch up on laundry that's WAY overdue

- new faceplates on all outlets and switches (except in the master bedroom)

- fresh paint on window sills and doorways in the kitchen and living room

- switch up a bit of the decor for fall (and to go with the new orange wall)

- dust EVERYthing (also long overdue)

- vacuum everywhere

- BIG bathroom clean downstairs

- TOTAL bathroom wipe-down upstairs (again - long overdue, but our toilet is kept clean, I'm not that gross!)

- dressers de-cluttered

- kitchen table de-cluttered (it collected quite the random mix while we were getting all of this work down around the house)


And, as is with any Puhl House remodelling project, we ran into a few setbacks along the way (thankfully, there was no need to call the Home Owners Insurance this time around):

- primer was spilled on the carpet (have I mentioned how clumsy I am?!). We had to stop everything we were doing to clean that junk up... scrub. Rent a rug doctor from the local grocery store (thank goodness someone had thought of that) and steam the rest of that mess outta there. Luckily, we acted fast and furious and you can't tell ANYthing was spilled, now - SCORE!

- Austin, our McPup, was spending one of our paint days over at my parents' house with Luke, their Labrador, frolicking through the backyard care free. Well, apparently something either bit him or somehow infected him, because he came home with a bump on his side. We checked him for ticks, and found nothing. Then, a week later, the hair feel off on that spot. Eek! Then it seemed like it was getting a little bigger. I took him to the vets immediately and they thought it may be something as simple as ringworm and gave me some ointment to put on his boo boo twice daily. It seems to be helping a little, and I think the hair is finally starting to grow back, BUT the samples they took turned out negative for ringworm. Who knows what it was! He never really reacted to us touching it or anything, but I'm glad he's finally getting better. My poor little puppy!

- I bought some white touch-up paint for the ceiling and trim and such. Well, I didn't pay a ton of attention and accidentally bought sating finish, instead of flat. Needless to say, the ceiling now has a few shiny spots. It's a little weird, but it's only temporary. I finally bought some flat paint and we'll be fixing that oopsie pretty soon. Nice, huh?!

- I bought the wrong size blinds for our windows. :-( My bad. Luckily Lowes is awesome and I just returned them for the right ones, but it was still a bummer, for sure!
- We didn't even think to check for the studs in the wall when putting up the curtain rods. Let's just say it ended up not happening, and we now have 4 new holes to patch and paint over. Awesome, right? yeah... we didn't think so either. And we're way tired of our nosy neighbor looking into our house through our deck door. Creeper!!



We still have a little bit of work to do, like painting the trim and window sills in the spare bedroom, and replacing all of the outlets and switches (we ended up just putting the faceplates on the old ugly ones to save time last week). And the blinds and curtains need to be hung, too, so we'll have to get that taken care of sometime, too, I guess.

Basically, a TON has been done, but there'e still a lot left to do. I will leave you, today with pictures of our yucky old green kitchen. It looks like green threw up in there because it was EVERYwhere! Way too much green, and not the nice pretty green, either. Check it:







Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Equations of Leadership

Leadership = not promoting yourself

Leadership = honoring others

Leadership = being faithful with what you've been given

Leadership = partnering with your leader's vision

Leadership = FULLY putting your heart into what you do and believing in it entirely

Leadership = reflecting your passion in what you do

Leadership = not living in denial, but focusing on God and the positive for a moment and putting all of your situation and hurt to the side to just focus on Him and nothing else

Friday, October 9, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

So I've recently been presented with a few decisions that need to be made, and it's forcing me to really evaluate where I am, right now.

For those of you who have read fairly regularly, you know the McStudly and I are really involved in our church. We love it! I really wish, most of the time, that I could get paid to do that instead of working at the full-time job I have (though I do actually enjoy that, as well). Ah well... one can dream, right?!

Anywho, I was recently approached about becoming more (or perhaps just a tad differently and a bit more frequently) involved in one of the areas that I thoroughly enjoy. And in actuality, it was literally a dream come true... as in - I had a dream about it a week or so ago. Crazy, right?! Yeah. I thought so, too. And when this person told me the other night that they had something they wanted to talk to me about, my thoughts went to this dream. Of course, being of the female persuasion and all, my thoughts then quickly went to "am I in trouble?" or "what did I do?!", but I was assured I was not in trouble at all... though I was still a bit anxious about it (who wouldn't be?!).

I said I'd talk to McStudly about it, since it involved more of a time commitment and I"m already pretty spread in several different directions (which actually caused them to almost not ask me at all, because they knew I was so busy. Nice, eh?).

So, basically, I've been thinking about it a lot. Like a LOT lot. I'm not one to believe in these kinds of coincidences as purely random, but more like purposeful. Does that make sense?! Between the dream, and thinking this was what it would be about... and then actually being right. I dunno - call me crazy!


But here's where I struggle. Remember I said I'm already pretty spread in several different directions? Yeah. As in here's what I do on any given week: Sunday morning: church (sometimes both services). Sunday evening: Underground (Young Adults). Monday: free (woohoo!). Tuesday: worship practice. Wednesday: church early for prep and then helping with Fusion (Youth service). Thursday: Pregnancy clinic training. Friday: free (hopefully date-night). Saturday: who knows... cleaning, laundry (yeah right, ha!), sleeping in!!!

I'm not insanely busy, I suppose, but keep in mind that Tuesday - Thursday activities are not including McStudly. He isn't involved int he worship team, or youth, or the pregnancy clinic. So we see each other before and after, but it's kind've like ships passing in the night. Also, there are monthly meetings involved (sometimes multiple) with all of these ministries, so they usually take up another night or two, here and there, so it's ends up being one packed month after another.


I say all of this to get to my point, I suppose. Making this change means that I need to make a sacrifice somewhere else. That's why this isn't a "Well, of course!" kind of a thing, right now.

Sidenote: On top of that, the McStud and I have been having a very... trying week (we all have them - you know where you just keep butting heads and/or missing each other and it's juts rough all around?! Yeah. That kind.), so that hasn't really helped, much.


I really want to do this, but I don't know how I feel about stepping down in the other areas I'm involved in. It's not easy. It's going to take a lot of thought and prayer, as well as discussion with the hubster before a decision is reached.

FYI: in case you're wondering, it's not like I'll be moving to Africa, or anything, so you may think I'm making a bigger deal out of this than I need to (not that you know what it is, or anything), but to me, it's personally a hard decision.


I just feel torn, I guess is the best way to put it. I'm involved in all of these ministries because of various reasons, but mainly because I have a heart to be there. So it's not like I could just drop it like a bad habit and move on to something else, ya know?! It's hard to see something that seems so right just out of your reach, and you have to let go of something else to get to it... sometimes more than one "something else", like in my case - I feel like letting go of just one thing won't really change anything or make extra time or add less stress, but that it would take letting go of two things just for the 1.


Am I babbling? Or hopefully I'm at least making a little teenie bit of sense in here, somewhere?!


Maybe blogging about it is helping me to feel like I'm working things out. Pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, in this case) can really help me sort out my thoughts, sometimes.


All I know is with all that went before this - the dream, kind've seeing it coming (does it sound bad to say that?! It feels like it sounds really snobby and braggadocios - Ooh... HUGE points for using that word in a blog on a Friday!!), and then actually hearing it. I don't know - call me crazy, but I feel like this is where God wants me. And on top of all that, I've already been trying to stretch myself in this area. I mean... McStudly and I have had many a conversation about it and my trying to better myself and step out of my comfort zone (that could be a whole other blog in itself!), and then this happens. So is it weird of me to think that all of this is playing a part in the bigger picture, somehow? I just can't shake the feeling.


And maybe that's why I feel so compelled to lean in this direction, while knowing that it'll take some sacrifice to get there.


Could that be the point? I trust God. I really do. But am I the only one that still questions things... even the things I really feel that he's leading me towards? What is WRONG with me?!?!


Why do we do this? We hold so tight onto the things that we know. The things that are familiar. the things we're comfortable with... even though we know that God has bigger and better plans for us to move on to.


It's like I know what I need to do, but I worry too much about actually doing it. Or I feel like I'll be letting someone down or putting someone else in a bad spot by stepping down and/or out of the other ministries.


*lightbulb moment*

Hang on a second... is that maybe a form of pride?! Do I somehow, without realizing it, hold myself so highly that I think the other people... the other ministries can't do without me? Ouch. Talk about a public realization of fault, man. I'm discovering, openly, on my blog that I'm dealing with pride in an area I had no idea was there. This blog post is getting heavier and heavier the more I type.

Sidenote: Am I the only one that is doing this? Is there any chance that maybe you guys are dealing with similar forms of pride? I mean... God can do the impossible. We sing it. We say it. We may shout it from time to time. But then there's that dang old box, again, and we think that he can't carry on a ministry without use. Ouch ouch OUCH! Please be honest... I feel like I may be the only one, right now, and that's not making me feel so good. :-(


Wow. I need to deal with that. Like yesterday! And I think that, maybe, I just made my decision. ??


Of course I'll be talking to McStudly about it more (we actually get to SEE each other tonight. Squeea!) and praying about it a little more, but can I ask you a HUGEmongous favor?? Can you all pray for me, too? For both the decision, and now, apparently, my subconscious issues with pride, too?



Gesh... why is humility so difficult that you don't even realize you are missing it, most of the time?! I'm missing the mark and somehow I feel like I'm still shooting straight. Ugh!!



Well, I've carried on long enough, and given you enough of a Serious Pill for this Friday. Hope it wasn't too big to swallow, and that you'll be honest enough with yourself (...and possibly the rest of us?!) to do it. I'm going to go get to work on "fixing" myself. Thank God for his unconditional grace, cause Lord knows I need it!!


Hope you all have a great weekend, and I'd LOVE to hear how you guys feel about what I said. And just so you know, I'm not typically one of those planner kind of bloggers. I really was just figuring this whole thing out as I typed... I'm working on being as genuine as possible (it's part of my pregnancy clinic training), and I feel this might be the best way to keep myself real (it's awfully safe here, behind this computer).



Anywho, take care and I'll catch you on the flipside!






Toodles! :-)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Yee Gatz!

*Music Man reference, for those of you wondering about my curious choice of blog title.


I got an award!! Thanks to Jaime @ fearfully and wonderfully made for this gem:


So here's what I have to do:
- tell you 5 things that I'm obsessed with, and
- tag 5 other fabulous friends


And the obsessions are (in no particular order):

1. Music. Umm... I don't even think I need to explain this one. Just check this blog, this one, oh and probably this one, too, if you have the time and need a kill an hour or two. :-P

2. Organization. Well, this is in theory, I guess. We are currently undergoing "mission organize" at the Puhl house, with hopes of "completing" it before McStudly's mom is in town in a few weeks. The problem? We have done little to probably no organization whatsoever since we moved in just over a year ago (wow, has it been that long already?!). So, needless to say, there's a LOT to do. So sometimes I sit at work and daydream about how I'll organize the spare bedroom, or what our bedroom will look like all put together and organized. *sigh Someday, right?!

3. Crafts. Specifically sewing, but really a lot of things, actually, though I can't really take part in all that I want to do. I've been WAY into sewing lately, and am loving it! Though, at the moment, my sewing machine is in a pile of stuff while we finish painting the entire downstairs and spare bedroom upstairs. But seriously, I am always coming up with new ideas, and my friend Queen Rosh and I's Etsy shop will even be up soon (we're hoping). I can't wait and I have just LOVED getting crafty, lately. But I also have this dream of refinishing a chair, or old antique dresser/hutch (but I don't have the space), and also creating a personalized painting for our dining room wall. Hopefully I'll at least get to do that last one, but we'll see, I suppose.

4. Blogs. Although I haven't been the best at posting, lately, I am still WAY obsessed with reading y'alls blogs. It's a sickness, I think. Sometimes, when you don't post, I even sit there and hit refresh a few times, or go out and come back to the page just to make sure my computer isn't just lagging or messing with me. It's that out of control! Thankfully, I've learned to sometimes be able to control my urges to get some work done and catch up (which is why I've been so pseudo-silent the past few weeks... catching up from all of the other slacking off I have been doing!) on things, but there are still days, like today, where all I can think about is what you guys are up to, or your witty blog banter, or what I could come up with for the day that will get your comments rolling. So perhaps instead of just blogs, I'm even more obsessed with getting comments? It's pretty sad how much it drives me, but I'm so into them that I actually have been known to be sad when I only get 1 or 2 (though I'm WAY WAY WAY excited to even get those!!). It's a sickness!! See? I told you I'm obsessed...

5. TV. Well, let me explain - I'm not obsessed with tv, in general, but more so with certain tv shows. There are several shows that McStudly and I really follow, and I'm the kind of person that genuinely gets upset when a season finale leaves too much in question. I get SO upset! Like Bones - it's got to be my all-time favorite show. But the season finale last season? HORRIBLE!! Booth was just waking up from a coma and didn't remember Brennan? What kind of crap was THAT?! You better beLIEVE that I watched that season opener (which left too much of a gap, if you ask me). We DVR like EVERYthing, just in case. Especially since it's football season and all... can't miss an episode of these shows (in no particular order): Bones, Criminal Minds, How I Met Your Mother, NCIS, Army Wives (haven't watched this week, but we seriously need some more drama, people), Big Bang Theory, Castle, Ghost Whisperer (though it's losing me, slowly), Chuck, and a few others I can't remember at the moment for whatever reason.



Well, there you have it. A few obsessions I'm currently stuck with, but not really minding too much.






**Random thought of the day: Do you guys remember the Nickelodeon cartoon "Doug"? I LOVED that cartoon! For whatever reason, I've had various different songs by "the Beets" stuck in my head, all day. Remember this one?: "Bangin on a trash can. Drummin on a street light. Strummin with my banjo. One little voice is callin me callin me..." ha ha ha. Too fun!! *sigh Ah the memories.

Grr...

I'm mid-blog-update, so try and bear with me as I redesign the blog, just a smidge.


ktksbye

Friday, October 2, 2009

Smitten as a Kitten

So last night I embarked on a journey that I am absolutely THRILLED about!! It's something I've wanted for quite some time, now, but things just didn't happen.

It's been about 2 or more years in the making and I just cannot believe it's actually HERE!!


I'll give you a minute to guess....




*whistling*





*twiddling thumbs*






*barely containing excitement*





*sitting on hands*








OHHHHKAYYY!!!! I can't hold it in anymore...

Last night was the 1st night. I am officially in training to be a counselor at the local Pregnancy Clinic!! I CANNOT wait!!!! You have NO idea how big of a passion this is for me. It's not something I've blogged about much, if at all, because I tend to keep things like-hearted and not-so-deep.

Wait.

That was a lie... an unintentional one, but one nonetheless. I do get deep on here, sometimes, but usually about deeply personal battles and things like my absurd obsession/passion with music. But not about this kind of stuff, I guess.


Hang on - this IS something deeply personal!! What's wrong with me?! Why haven't I talked about this sooner??


Am I blogging to myself again. Great. *sigh* I'm a looney! (what else is new?!)



ANYwho, I'm ecstatic! It's a 10 week training course. And by training course, I mean there's this ENORMOUS book we go through, and it's complete with homework and case studies and even.... *GASP* ROLE PLAYING!!! Oh who am I kidding, I'm eating it UP!


For the longest time I've had such a HUGE heart women and children. Mainly those that have been/are being abused and/or orphaned and/or abandoned. I mean the bible counts caring for these as true religion. How is that NOT a big deal?!


Well, I have had dreams, since at LEAST middle school, of one day opening my own clinic for women. It consists of 7 parts, and maybe I'll share it with you someday. But this is like the BIGGEST step toward any of that that I've ever ever taken.


Once the 10 weeks is up, and I've not only passed, but been evaluated and "invited" to come counsel (I don't know how else to say that they don't just take anyone in just because they went through the training...), then there's a while longer of actual training where I start sitting in with a senior counselor before I'm doing it on my own. All of this is SO stinking exciting to me!

Can you believe it?


So we started training last night. It was mostly administrative stuff and just barely dabbling into a few easy peasy case studies and such, but it's already got me so excited about the next 9 weeks (well, technically 10 since we skip Thanksgiving week, for obvious reasons).



There are 2 super cool parts of the training, to me:

1 - There is SUCH an amazingly diverse group of people that are a part of it. People from nearly every denominational church background you could possibly think of. (The clinic requires that you be active in a local church and that the Pastor of that church "backs" your volunteering there.) There's also a mix of different backgrounds, period. From Young to Old. From Experienced to Inexperienced. From those who have had an abortion at some point in there lives to those who have only heard about it, and even to those (like myself) who have watched as friends have made the decision and have seen how it has so immensely affected their lives, to this day. It's just so amazing to see all of that come together under one cause.

and

2 - Although this organization that runs this clinic is Faith-based, we do not shove the gospel down the throats of those that walk through the door. Now, don't get me wrong - I believe in Jesus Christ as my personal forgiving and loving Savior and I would LOVE for everyone to feel the same way. But UNfortunately, they don't. And these girls come to the clinic for guidance and counsel, not to be rebuked and preached to. Good grief - could you imagine if a girl walked through the door scared out of her mind thinking she was pregnant, and feeling alone, and the first thing someone said to her was more about her sin or about how she needed Jesus then about meting her where she is? Don't get me wrong, I believe she needs him, but even Jesus himself didn't throw that in people's faces as soon as he met them. He took the time to get to know people and "minister" to them where they needed it. People are individual beings. They are wired VERY differently, and God himself did the wiring (although some of it gets a little mixed up through the pitfalls of life, etc), so how can we treat them all the same and expect that they all need the same treatment?


I'm also very excited about some of the aspects of training that will be coming. Not only are we being trained to counsel others, but I know I'll be learning a CRUD-load about myself.

Get this: after talking, last night, about the difference between ministering and manipulating (would you be surprised by the gray area that exists there? Ask and I'll explain it. I never personally thought about it before last night.), in a few weeks we'll be discussing the masks that we put on as counselors, whether it be developing a camaraderie because we've been there, or a "mentor" type position because we know the answers they need, or maybe even judging them, internally, because of the situation they are in.

WOW!

Again, I didn't even THINK about this stuff until we started dealing with it last night, but we ALLLL do it! We take SOME sort of a stance and put our mask on and move forward.






Well, basically that's that. I'm SUPER stoked about it and cant' wait to start my homework for this week. Squeeaa!! :-D

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Whoopsie!

So We've been kicking it into high gear, lately, in the Deep End of the Puhl household.

Not only are my friend Queen Rosh and I still putting the finishing touches on our Etsy store (to soon be open, for those of you interested... it's only taken us, what, like 2 months, now?), but McStudly and I are also kicking it with repainting the entire first floor of our home. It usually takes lighting a fire under us to get things rolling, and since his mother will be in town in a few weeks, we thought it'd be the best excuse to finally get it done!

We started priming last week, and this weekend we will be painting (hopefully!). Then it'll just be about organizing and finishing things in the spare bedroom (FINALLY!).


And don't worry - there will DEFINITELY be pictures once everything is painted... whether they're cruddy lame-excuse pictures from my phone, or I finally end up locating the missing battery charger for my camera, you will get pictures!!


So there you have it. Lots of stuff going on. And hopefully once everything gets rolling (at home, and with Etsy) you will get the full scope on all of the above. I am still reading your blogs, just don't necessarily have time to write one of my own, right about now. But I'm staying in the loop so keep those posts coming!!!



Toodles!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Don't Make Fun... Promise?!

I have to admit something.  Well, I don't have to, but I'm going to.  


I'm a geek.  

This is not secret.  But some of you will read this and be like "Ooohhhkay freak!"  So I figured I should at least forewarn you.


I've shared before my love of music.  Not many, if any, of you really understand how much of a passion it is for me.  Well, Melody probably does, but I have yet to discover anyone else who comes even remotely close.  Passion... Obsession... call it what you will, but it's part of me.  It's ingrained into every fiber of my being and I'm not at ALL embarrassed by it.  

However, there are times when it can embarrass me just a bit.  I haven't decided if this is one of those times, or not, but who cares - it's my blog and I'll share if I want to! ha ha ha


You know those videos where... well... I don't know how to explain it, so I'll give some examples.  Have you seen the video of Oprah's 24th Season kick-off party, where everyone in the crowd randomly start doing this choreographed dance together and totally shock Oprah?:  




Or what about this one, where these people start dancing to that song from The Sound of Music in the middle of a Belgian train station:



Amazing, right?!  



Well here's my secret (are you ready for this?!):  I cry... 

Every. Time. I. Watch.


Why?  Well, I don't really know, but there's just this immense beauty in it all.  Maybe it's something about everyone, all these different people, coming together to be a part of something SO much bigger then just themselves.  

...or maybe I'm just a huge nerd.


All of this is possible, and more than likely it's going to be that last one to those of you reading this.  But I don't care.



McStudly kind've chuckles at me if he manages to see my reaction (though normally I'm pretty good at hiding it from him or those around me... I think?!).  I just - I really can't explain it to you.  But it's SO just... amazing.  There aren't words, to me.


Seriously - who else in the world do you know that's cried to "I've Got A Feelin" by the Black Eyed Peas?  Or the freaking sound of music, for that matter?!


Exactly.  I'm nuts.

In all fairness, I did warn you, right?!


Okay - so I've admitted it.  It's now out in the open.  I am publicly a huge nerd (though for some of you it wasn't exactly a secret to begin with, was it?!)

In my mind, I can kind've tie it all in with the same reason people cry during the National Anthem, or at a Military function, or maybe even stretched as far as to say during a children's musical.  There's just something so spectacular about the whole thing... all of those things I just mentioned effect different people.  And among the different people, there are different reactions.  

But it really all boils down to the same thing, doesn't it?  



So there you have it.  Another embarrassing secret of mine out in the open.  Have I lost you as a reader, now?!  Hopefully not.  But I wanted to take a little time to share a bit more of myself with you, and on a smidge deeper of a level than normal.

Hey - if you can't hide behind your computer, where can you?!


**UPDATE:
Just for your enjoyment, here are a few more videos that make me cry, ridiculously:






~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Stay tuned for an update, sometime later this week (I hope!), on how McStudly's 2nd Colonoscopy and 1st Endoscopy went today (at the Military hospital, this time).  And let me tell you - he took different "knock-me-out" drugs this time and  is ABSOLUTELY hilarious!!!  I wish I could sneak a video or picture or something, but I KNOW he'd kill me.  *sigh*  Ah well - don't miss it!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Time to Grow Up... for a minute


**Scroll down for info on the coming Etsy shop and prices for my homemade Baby items!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As much as I LOVE love love making cute little baby shtuff, I thought I should attempt a few things for around the home, as well... seeing as how that's kind've the way I convinced hubby I should get a sewing machine to begin with.


You know - to spruce up the house on a dime? Yeah. That was my angle. ;-) Aaaaand it worked.




SCORE!


Anywho, this past Saturday, McStudly and I went to a cook out at the home of one of McStudly's AF buddies. It was fun! I already know him and his wife from when we went to the Kenny Chesney concert with them a year or two back, so it was good seeing them again.


Well, back to the point of the story: it was like an hour away, so we left their house at around 6 and got home by about 7 ish, or shortly thereafter. So I decided that since I was done making baby shoes and headbands, at least for a minute or two (HA!), that I'd finally make a pillow for our couches, since I'd already bought the fabric, and whatnot.


So I did it! I made an envelope pillow (you know, kind've like a sham, where you can stick the pillow form into the back of it with no zipper or anything? Yeah that kind.) and it actually turned out pretty awesome. I'm so proud:







And my next project:



I know it's hard to see - this picture didn't turn out so hot, but it's all I have for now. This is the mock-up of the baby bib I'll be making for little Kilea's shower, next month (or whenever it ends up being). I'm going to make a similar one for Baby Sierra (well, I will once I can figure out how to make an "S" that doesn't look craptastic), and possibly Eva, as well. And don't worry - I'll be sure to update you on the project progress as time passes! ;-)

Speaking of baby showers - does it strike anyone else as super odd to plan baby showers a month AFTER the baby is born? I mean, this isn't a last minute idea, but the people planning it have planned it that way from the beginning. How weird is that?! If you ask me, although something is better than nothing, they're going to have most of what they need by then, aren't they?

Ah well. I'm sure it'll still be fun. ;-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Etsy and Baby Stuff:

For those of you that asked, I'm still deciding on prices and such to sell the baby shoes and headbands (and btw, I'm SO totally honored that you like them so much. It just makes my day!). I'm hoping to have an Etsy shop up soon, but if you're too anxious to wait for that, just leave me a comment, or e-mail me at sarahpuhl {at} yahoo {dot} com, and I'll get back to you on how long it'll take me to make them and/or ship them to you. I'm thinking about charging about $15, or a little less, for a set, but I'm not sure.

Be honest - is that a reasonable price? I want it to be inexpensive, but still cover the cost of supplies and shipping in the process. Would you pay that for a set? Maybe a little bit more for customization, or something? What about $15 for the set with flowers, and maybe $12 for the plain set, is that a good deal?

Let me know what you guys think and we'll go from there.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Feetsies

Here's a pic of Baby Sierra Grace's booties and matching headband.  




What do you think??


I took it to her parents while they were still in the hospital, and she put the headband on her - it was too cute!!  I love this new-found hobby of mine.  It's a blast to make the stuff and then get to see them on such wittle cutsies!!



Okay - moving on to another project... this one is going to be slightly more adult then the  others.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Like I Said...

I told you all that I've been getting awfully crafty lately, right?! Well, if these people would quit having babies, I could move on to a few more projects I've been wanting to work on!

Just kidding.... kind've.

Two Pastors in our church, their wives were due to have babies this week. Well, one of them done had the thing! Ha ha. Baby Sierra was born today. Congrats you guys!! I'm sure she's quite the lucky gal.

The others are set to be induced at nidmight - er - midnight (Sorry... a little Rindercella humor, for those of you who may remember) Wednesday evening. Little Kilea will be here before we know it!!

So with all these pretty little girls coming into the world, of COURSE I've had to make some adorable little baby accessories, right?! So a little set of shoes & a matching headband or two may or may not have been made for when they're a teensie bit bigger. If you scroll down, you can see the set I made for little Kilea out of a little fabric leftover from turning a dress into a shirt.


Sierra's wasn't finished, just yet. I thought I had time until Sunday, but it looks like she had other plans and insisted that she come today! Hopefully I can get everything finished tonight, or at least sometime soon and before she's outgrown it! ha ha.




Anywho - that's that. BUT I wanted to show you guys the fabric I bought to make a pillow or two for our couches (I can FINALLY replace those horrendous pillows that came with... HOORAY!!). Check it out (picture of fabric is darker than reality):





And for those of you wondering, YES I have some things up my sleeves for some little boys. I'm hoping to send some stuff to a certain blogger friend of mine, when I finally get the chance to finish it all (she shall remain nameless until I finally finish it and ship it out... then again, it's not rocket science if you want to try and guess).



So - what do you think? If I had an etsy shop, would you buy from me? I'd be cheap, I promise... and there'll be more options coming, once I get the chance to put my brainstorming session down on paper - er - fabric? :-P






Toodles!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

BRB?!

Well, I just posted about excuses and being a blog slacker, and I'm still at it, aren't I? Well, a co-worker has been out for a bit, due to family emergencies (which I may share about later, once I talk to her, it's so sad) and on top of covering for her, I've been really into sewing and being crafty.

I have a few things to show you that I'm super proud of... can't wait to see what you think!!


Other than that, just got news that the military wants to do some more tests/procedures on McStudly. Well, I should say they want to period, because they weren't the ones who did it last time, and if you know anything about the military, it's not done right unless they are the ones who did it. (Can I get an Amen form my fellow MilWives?!)


Anywho - over the next 10 days or so I may still be a bit of a slacker. Tonight I'm "babysitting" a friend's little boy, so I may phone in a pic or two, depending on his mood, but otherwise I may not have a lot to blog about...

I have SO many topics and ideas and things I want to blog about, but haven't had the chance to sit down and do it. So we'll see what happens.



So sorry, guys, and hopefully I'm not lowing friends because of my slackiness! :-( I am still reading all of your blogs (which is maybe why I don't have time to write my own?) and trying to comment, but after doing that I don't find much time to write between everything else that's going on.

Anywho - I gotta run (what else is new?!), but I will try to catch up with you guys as soon as I get the chance. Toodles!






**PS: If you get the chance, and wouldn't mind, please send up a prayer for my Grampa. My Momma Bear's Dad is getting pretty old and now in a nursing home. The three girls (mom and her two sisters) are doing what they can, but only 1 of them lives anywhere near where he is. There is more health stuff going on, and in his own words, he says he's just "ready to go see mother", which is what he called their mom, who passed several years back. God love him, he's such a sweet hearted man, but I know this is really tough for all of them. Keep them in your prayers, will you? Thanks, guys. Take care!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Excuses. Excuses.

You know how they say that "people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones"? Well, don't go chucking rocks at us, or anything, but I wanted to give you all an inside look into what's been going on in our lives over the last month or so, mainly while I was being a major blog slacker.


Don't kill me - I've got a good excuse this time, I promise!


So McStudly's Crohns had been flaring up again not too long ago... or still... we can't really keep track, but he was finally on some medicine that seemed to be helping. And actually, the Doctor is phasing him off of it, now, so we're doing well. HOORAY!! Prayers that this will continue would be GREATly appreciated. ;-)

As most of you know, we found out a few months ago that he would be deploying in October for 6 months. Because of that, a lot of the "out processing" was taking place, which, for McStudly, also included a lot of Doctor's visits (not so much out of the norm, but for him they were a bit different). For anyone with military insurance, you know that it's not exactly like you're best friends with your doctor, or anything. Well, if you are, your military spouse is not. They're considered lucky to even see a real doctor.

Well, it finally came time for the vaccinations, which is all fine and well, accept - that medicine that he's been taking? Yeah. It's an immuno-supressant, which basically means just that: it suppresses his immune system. The whole reason you get vaccines at all is to build up your immune system to be able to fight off the sickness you could be exposed to, right? But if you're on immuno-supressants, this isn't really a smart thing to do. I mean - your body isn't able to build up that immunity, so you'll more than likely just get whatever it is that shot (or series of scratches) was for. AND that's not so much what we're going for, is it?!

So, McStudy had to get a "deferment" for the smallpox vaccine. That's the one where they make like an obscene number of scratches in one spot on your shoulder with a "live" portion of the virus. ??? Comforting, no? AND just to help you sleep real well at night for those of you unaware, they have to keep it bandaged 24/7 until the scab falls off, or something like that. AND if somehow I ended up being pregnant, I, apparently, can't even sleep in the same bed as him or possibly the same room... and I cannot, whatsoever, come into contact with said scabby-goodness.

Awesome.


Well... needless to say, he was granted a deferment by the not-too-bright doctor. Then 15 minutes later, he had to meet with her again about the remaining vaccines.

To a normal (and I use that term relatively loosely, these days) person, you would assume he'd walk into her office... again... and she's sign a deferment for these as well. But apparently, homegirl's memory didn't serve her past the previous 10 minutes. Yep - For real. So he had to go over everything with her A-gain.

*sigh

And she, half an hour later, signed another deferment.


Then a few days later, he gets notified that he'll have to be taken before the AF Medical Evaluation Board and have his health reviewed for possible medical discharge.


Awesome. Again.


We were informed (HA! Yeah right - I mean we researched the crap out of this) that this is standard for anyone in the military that is diagnosed with Crohns' after enlistment. It's mandatory, and they were slacking up until this point. We were informed that it could take up to a year for this MedEvalBoard to happen because they were backlogged, he was like 16th on the list, and each case takes several weeks+ to process.


Upon further research, I came to the conclusion that it wouldn't make sense for them to discharge him. Not that anyone gives a flying rat's hoot (whatever that is) of my opinion, but nevertheless, it doesn't seem to make sense. He hasn't missed a single day of work. When medicated, he has everything managed. And he hasn't really been outside of a flare-up, yet, to see how he can handle things then. And seeing as how medical discharge is based on your office, ability to carry-out duties as assigned, ability to perform necessary PT (PS: he scored an 84 on the last test - mid flare-up - which is 1 single point under getting out of all organized PT session requirements... I'mjustsayin'), and the amount of work missed. They talk to our flight chief, your commander, co-workers, blah blah blah, and I don't even think most of them know he's got Crohns' disease, much less that it effects his work.


So... like was saying before, I can't imagine them having reason enough to medically discharge him, but we shall see what happens.


In the mean time, and the reason I'm writing, he has been labelled "ineligible" to deploy. They did not push his deployment back. They did not reschedule his deployment. They did not pass go. No $200 collected (that's for sure!). He's just currently not allowed to go. End. Of. Discussion.

I gotta be honest - I didn't exactly weep in a fetal position over in the corner when I found out that little tid-bit of awesomey goodness. Who would?!


But I do know that McStudly hopes, upon evaluation, that he'll be allowed to deploy in the future. He really wants to do it. He feels like it's part of what he does and that he's not being fair to all of the other guys that have to go if he doesn't. And he thinks it'd be a wicked cool experience to boot.

...not the leaving me for 6 months part... the playing G.I. Joe in the desert part. With a big gun. and a Helmet, of course (I insisted). It's like any boys dream... ish.

And while we're still just... us and no kids (minus our furry one, of course, who'll protect me while he's gone), I think I'm okay with that. It won't be easy, but I'll manage. And I'll get to have that homecoming experience that most can't even imagine.



But for now, he'll be home. With me. And I couldn't be happier. I'm so grateful that I have a little more time to prepare myself for a deployment, because I just realized that it's September 1st, and there's no WAY I'd be ready to say goodbye to him in October.





Then again... are you ever "ready"? I can't imagine so.

Friday, August 28, 2009

My Husband Rocks!

Well, I can't find the little picture thingy, and I've been WAY in the slackage department when it comes to my Friday MHR posts (umm... more like blogging in general, eh?!) but I definitely wanted to post something today for him.



My McStudly is pretty awesome.  And although we've been married for almost 2 years, now (holy cow, already??) and we've learned a lot, we still have SOOO so much more to learn!  About each other, marriage in general, our friendship, our love languages (which seem to be ever changing), our passions, and our skills and giftings.  

We've been trying to be better about vulnerability with each other, lately, but like I said - we're still learning.  Still reminding ourselves that we're a team and we've got each others backs and we don't have to worry about how the other is going to respond or react.  


Marriage is like a tag-team wrestling event.  I'm not typically a fan, but this is a good metaphor (and I don't remember where I read that - so if I accidentally stole it from a blog, somewhere, PLEASE forgive me and feel free to site yourself in the comments)... it's like you have to have each others back in everything.  You may not agree with your spouse's actions, but you work that out later, not in the moment.  Know what I mean?  

Like when you storm home from work all tiffed about something or other and you just want to vent about that moron at work?  You don't want advice or help, most of the time, you just want them to agree with you and back you!  Later on you'll be pretty open to advice of some sort in the situation, but not while it's fresh, right??  Am I the ONLY one that's like that?

Because you're a team!  And if McStudly doesn't have my back, who will?  Who can I count on?


Anywho - that's a lot of what we've been learning, lately, along with being vulnerable with each other and not feeling embarrassed about things.  I mean - you are together for life.  If you're too embarrassed in front of them, you have a LOONNG ways to go!





So basically, though it's not always the easiest to admit, my McStudly is really awesome and I love him beyond measure.  I couldn't have asked for a better match.  

I love you, baby, and I look forward to learning more about you!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

MORE Fabulosity

Who knew?! C over at Wedded Whims gave me an award! Can you believe it?! I know I sure can't... somehow my random blabberings are award-winning. I may not understand it, but I ain't too proud to take it any day - thanks C!!







Well, with this award, I'm supposed to list 5 current obsessions. Some of these may be obvious, given my recent postings, but others may not so much. Ready? Here goes:


1. Music. Well, this is kind've an all-time obsession, but that technically makes it "current", right? I love all things about it, really. I attempted to try and explain it on a friend's blog (Melody seems to have an equally obsessive take on music), but even explaining it to a fellow obsessor made me feel like a big dweeb. Oh well. It's part of me.

2. Decor. Seriously - I've been SUCH a decor fiend lately!! And I'm not just talking about how I'm trying to decorate our living room, but everything in general. I even convinced McStudly to chauffeur me out to the local Ikea last Saturday just to have a peak around and get some ideas, etc. We did buy a few candles, and cheap-o blankets for Austin, but it was mainly a giant brainstorming session. Believe it or not, I got SO many ideas there and NONE of them involved actually buying Ikea paraphernalia. Can you believe it? I'm out of control...

3. Crafts. Some may lump this with the previous obsession, but I will not! I've been itching for a sewing machine for almost a YEAR now and plan to sew clothes, decorative items (pillows, table runners, etc) and other things like baby gifts and maybe even purses. I can't WAIT to get started on that stuff! But other than sewing, I've been nonchalantly perusing thrift stores, etc, in search of new craft ideas. I made that picture piece a few posts back with a plate rack and a few frames. And I spray-painted a candelabra thingy or 3 a wrought iron black (pics to come, hopefully) to decorate my fireplace and mantle. And I've got SOOOO many more ideas that I feel like I'm busting at the seems!! Sometimes I wish this was my day job!

4. Movies. I am usually a take it or leave it kind of person when it comes to movies. There are occasionally a "must see" movie, or two, that comes to theatres, but outside of these, I'm not a huge movie buff. Lately, however, we have had a 3 month free trial of HBO and Cinemax and we're recording and watching movies like NObody's business (minus the fact that I just made it your business, anyways). And we've been using the RedBox up the street (SO convenient!) and our Netflix to fill any voids we may have. We're loving that we get to see movies for little to no moola, so we're even seeing movies we wouldn't have otherwise watched (which is a good and a bad thing).

5. New recipes. I don't know way, maybe it's Mrs. Stethoscope's fault for posting so many fabulous recipes, but McStudly and I have both been into new grub lately. I could probably attribute part of that to our health issues, as well, and the fact that we really have needed to change some eating habits, but mostly I think it's Mrs. Stethoscope's fault! :-P We've been trying new stuff left and right, at home, and loving it! Well, not loving all of the recipes, but loving the experimentation and excitement of it all. And tonight - we're eating out at Chik-fil-a for the first time in QUITE a while (which is huge for us, since we're such self-proclaimed addicts of the place!) because it's a fundraiser for the local Air Force ball (which I'll be attending... EEK!).



Hopefully that list wasn't a) disappointing and/or b)a little too much for you guys. But that's where I've been... well, not quite, but it's been taking up a bit of my mental energy for sure!




Stay tuned for more adventures in the Puhl House. <~ Ha ha... Puhl house - like "pool house", get it? Oh jeez. I need a time out!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Space Between

So close, yet SOOOO freaking far!


I found some table alternatives for our living room. I stalk craigslist on a regular basis (like some of you recommended), and it seems that the people in our area either have the same taste as me, or aren't quite ready to give it up. I got nothing. That's usually how it works around here, though there are typically a few hidden treasures, from time to time.



Anywho - I was perusing Target and Wal-mart, because they typically make cheaper versions of nice furniture and I figured it was worth a shot. What could it hurt, right?



Well, apparently they didn't get the memo that they're supposed to have LOWER prices. Target had an almost IDENTICAL set of the coffee table and end tables, but they were priced higher than the originals, by about $25 each piece!


Can I get a "HECK NO"?!



So I mosied (mosyed? mossied? mozied?) on over to Wal-Mart's site and found two sets they are clearly brothas from anotha motha. I mean - they look SO much like the originals, but have a few striking differences. And just to prove my point, here you go (PS: Bonus points to whomever correctly guesses which is the more expensive set!):




Set #1:




Set #2:

Okay - so how much do you think these beauties cost? And which one do you think was more expensive? Answers to come...

But seriously, I keep hoping that I'll find this amazing deal somewhere and be just blown away by how affordable and stylish the find really is. I know that's pretty much living in dream-land, but hey, what's wrong with that, right?!

I can't imagine Craigslist coming up with anything very soon (though you betta bahLEE dat I'll be stalkin' that junk! ... I'm sorry. I'm not typically that gangsta, but we ARE talking about home decor, here, people) and I haven't checked out Overstock, yet (which is funny because I used to have an OS addiction like NObody's business!), but that's next on my list.

Are you done guessing, yet? Well here it is - the cost of the alternative sets:

Set #1:

End Table - $139.00

Coffee Table - $229.00

and

Set #2:

End Table - $79.88

Coffee Table - $119.88

The problem? Set #1 is the set that I really really LOVE! I mean, it's the perfect wood-tone for the look I want, and it's got this amazing realistic (possible even real?) wood grain throughout. And it looks like identical to the original set that I feel in love with!! Another funny little ha ha is the fact that the tables we currently have (found at Goodwill for - what was it Ma? $25?) are similar on the top portion, in that it looks like wood planks fashioned in a similar manner, but it's a really like oak-y color and the bottom is all wrought iron with a wicker basket inside. It would still work great if there was a way I could darken the fake wood top to a different darker shade and somehow have the basket match. But it's not real wood there's NO way I could create a fake wood grain on that sucker OR have the basket match.

*sigh

Who knows. Maybe this dream set will show up on craigslist for $50 soon, and I'll get the deal of a lifetime?! Yeah. I know... I won't hold my breath.

***UPDATE: I checked overstock, and even they have it more expensive than the originals. Oy. Why did I have to fall in love with THIS set??****

Feeling Crafty

This is my most recent crafting adventure - a plate rack turned picture frame piece. What do you think - success or cheapy?

What's the Verdict?

Is this too orange or just right (in natural light in this picture)?!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Task at Hand

Your job... should you choose to accept it... is to help me find affordable tables like these for my living room.



Coffee Table:
End Tables:


I LOVE them! They are exactly what I'm looking for and would go PERFECT with the theme I'm headed towards. And just to get your minds a bubbling, I'm getting ready to paint an orange accent wall.

*GASP* Did she say orange?!

Yes. Yes she did - er I did. BUT it's not the primary school sun painting orange that you're probably thinking of, it's more of a faded clay or a burnt, softened orange. It's going to be AWESOME with my pale green accents and our new living room furniture. I'm SO loving the idea! Some of you are really scratching your head at my intentions, but I promise you that you'll like the end result. And if you don't?! Ah, well you don't live here, so you can rest easy, right?! :-P


Here are some of the inspiration pieces that led me to this point:

The Rug - KMart, $68:



The Pillows - Bed, Bath & Beyond, "Make Your Own Pillow" covers:




The future Kitchen accent colors (Wal-Mart and Target finds):



As you'll soon see in our walk through my home, our kitchen and living room and dining room are all opened up to each other. So we'll need to incorporate the colors into each room to keep it more fluid. These colors, my friend, are the key. It's going to be amazing, and I cannot wait!

My dream is to paint the accent wall, the wall that runs from the dining room through the living room, in this faded clay color (Valspar's Faded Clay, WV37013 - warning, it looks horrible on computer but amazing in person) and then the remaining walls in this Almond Oil color (also Valspad, but don't have the code with me). Then along with a few added corresponding orange accents, there will be a few green accents (think Valspar's Sag Harbor, WV36011) as well. All of this is building up to the Contemporary Country Casual style that I adore. I think I made up that name, but it's SO me (uh... and McStudly?)!!

Tonight, I'll be buying samples and painting a bit of the wall to make sure everything is kosher. Then we'll hopefully be painting one upcoming weekend in the near future (anyone want to dog-sit my over sized cuddle-bug? He's got loads of personality, and tons of spunk!). I'm so excited! Little by little I feel like our house is really becoming our Home. (for those of you that saw the bathroom in the previous post, you know that this place is in some serious need of help in that area).


Anywho, that's your task, if you have a chance. Maybe you've seen something similar while window shopping, or have a comparable piece in your own living room? These pieces are out of our price range (about $150 per end table, and $250 for the coffee table!), for now, so we're hoping to find something less expensive, if possible, or we'll just have to hold on until we can save up and get a few other things done around the house.


So, what do you think - am I nuts for painting ANYthing in my house orange? Can you find/Have you found anything like these for less than those unreachable prices? Are these tables too simple and look like you could make them yourself (I'd be willing to pay!)? Will our house EVER become a home? Stay tuned and I guess we'll all find out.




I would post pictures of tonight's effort tomorrow, but my camera's battery charger is still missing. Speaking of, if you happen to see her, would please tell her that she's in BIIIIG trouble?! Kthnks.

Home - Pt. 1

It's where we live. Where we're making memories. Where we fight. Where we make up. Where we laugh. Where we cry. Where we learn. Where we build our life.
It's home.
And I've been saying for SUCH a long time, now, that I would take you on a tour of our home, but I've been slacking. Well, I FINALLY remembered to get the "before" pictures from my Big Sister and I can FINALLY show you! I know you're just tingling with excitement, so here we go.

Reminder: this is what the house looked like the day we moved in, so there's nothing... no furniture, not nothing and that HIDEOUS wallpaper got pulled down OH so fast!! So - feel free to comment on how tacky everything looks, okay? I will not be offended in the least. And then later on at some point, I'll show you some of the little progress we've made. :-)

So today we'll start with the hideous main full bathroom. Oh. Em. Gee. It's horrendous. Are you sure you're ready for this?


This is the view from our bedroom entrance. *shivers*

From the hallway entrance.


You see that lovely splash of color sitting on the back of the toilet? Yep - that's the wallpaper's MATCHING shower curtain. *gag*



SO that's that. Home not-so-sweet home. It's MUCH sweeter now, of course, but... we'll get to that later. I'll be showing more of our home over the next few days, so stay tuned!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And guess what - I WON!!! Mrs. Stethoscope's giveaway, that is. Free food! I like never win giveaways. I am SO stoked, you have NO idea. Go check it out so you can be jealous of me and my awesome cookies. Yumm-O!!