March 2015


Making the right decisions are always the hardest and easiest

Monday, March 30, 2015

Jinx the wonderdog!
Craig and I were always cat people.  When we met, I had my cat Sage.  Then we added our cat Guthrie the year we married.  But somewhere along the way, we became dog people.

I remember it well.  I had agreed to dog sit for a college friend.  Mercedes is a miniature pincher mix. She is chocolate brown, vivacious and the best dog one could imagine.  Having a dog to sit in the kitchen underfoot while I cooked and begging for attention was fun.

Cats are so very different.  They don't really need people other than to feed them and clean their litter box.  You are their human, and you can to earn their love in a snooty little game they play.  And while I love cats, I fell in love in dogs.

Our first dog was Jinx.  She was given to us by someone who needed a new home for this little pomeranian chihuahua mix.  This pomchi was literally like a stuffed animal.  She didn't bark.  She went every where with us.  She had a whole wardrobe and rode around in her purse waiting to see what was next.

After Jinx was our sweet Tia that unfortunately was lost in a mishap on a 4th of July that I can't bear to discuss!  Now, we have Bunnie.  She is a long hair chihuahua that is a sweet little girl.  She is very shy but friendly.

In our four years of having her, my husband and I have talked over and over about getting her a companion.  And in theory it seems like a good idea.   Before now, long before now, it would have been the right thing to do.  But now it isn't.
Bunnie sporting her pink dress

Craig has a soft spot for animals and has just said "whatever you want to do" when a pomchi puppy became available.  Which for most people would be the right thing.  My husband is saying do whatever.  The dog is cute.  She is what we would want in a dog.  And to top it off, she is the brindle black and tan mix coat that I have always wanted.  So why isn't it the right decision.

Well, for starters, I gave up buying things that we don't need for Lent.  So, maybe Bunnie needs a friend, but is it a necessity?  Not really.  Its really a want.  Plus, we don't NEED another dog.  We don't.

We are also about to seriously start to potty train King Diaper.  I don't believe that anyone in our home wants to potty train a toddler and house break a dog simultaneously.  Craig is saying "whatever you want now."  But, in six months, he will not be happy and it will turn into, "You just had to have that dog!"

And, Bunnie is not alone.  Ever really.  My mom keeps our son at our home.  Then my husband or I come home and we do it all over again.  Then we are home on the weekends.  Or, she goes to the sitter if we are out of town.  She is around people 24/7.  Literally!

Puppies are so cute and fun.  They are easy to fall in love with, but they are also expensive.  They have to be "fixed" and get shots.  Then you have to feed them.  And there is always something that is not planned.  Our not planned with Bunnie last week was $120 and still has to have her shots for this year.

Oh, and we have two outdoor dogs.  So yes, we are kind of the crazy pet people that are about to become possible pet hoarders if we add one more to the mix.

So, even though I could do what I want, and I want that dog - We aren't.  Yes.  I want to do this and we could.  But, it just doesn't add up.

Best friends...kind of...
Will we ever get Bunnie a friend?  Yes.  Probably in another year or so, the time might be right.  King Diaper would be potty trained.  He could enjoy a dog much more.  And eventually, he would be able to help take care of another pet.  And for us, that is the right time.  When we can all participate more fully.

Making the right decisions are not always easy.  But, given a little thought and talking it through, it is.  It just makes more sense to wait.  It is the thing that I like least about being a grown up!  I want to be impulsive and do whatever I want because I can.

Isn't that what being a grown up is?  "I can do whatever I want when I move out...or have a job....or am 21..."  And yeah, its never really like that.  But, I'm not really disappointed.  Because I am doing what I want.  I'm making the decision and deciding what to do.  I have the option to get a dog or not get a dog.

Not all decisions are that easy, but I do think that decision making has really changed in our house.  3 years ago, we would be on our way to get that dog this weekend.  But instead, we are having spring pictures made in a mini session and doing whatever else is going on.

And that is the easiest part of all.  We are choosing to do it this way.  And besides, we might turn into cat and dog people.  King Diaper loves cats.  Choosing to wait will also allow our little boy to factor into the choice when the time right.

The Under-Rated Stay-Cation

Monday, March 23, 2015

Just hanging out with mamma!
17 years ago, my husband and I spent our spring break on our honeymoon.  This year, we spent spring break at home. And it was grand.

Being at home is a luxury for me.  During a normal week, I'm gone quite a bit for work.  Many times, the last thing I want to do when I'm not working is packing to take a trip.

Originally, we had planned a trip to my in-laws.  But, with King Diaper's surgery the week before, we needed to be at home.  It wasn't the week we had planned.  But it turned out to be the best week for all of us.

We had time to just be a family.  We watched tv.  I cooked breakfast and dinners for us to enjoy.  We all took afternoon naps.  There was lots of time to "make something" - build towers with legos and play with play dough.  There was ice cream at night.  Dinners with friends.  I enjoyed working out every day.  We slept until we woke up and went to bed whenever.

The best part was no packing, planning or driving.  Sure, I still like to take a trip.  We all do.  But being at home is truly under rated.

Our brave boy with his favorite tablet!
Sunday night, I decided to go to bed at 8:30 just so I could look at magazines until I fell asleep.  Usually, Sundays are the day that we finish up cleaning our house and getting organized for the week.  But this week, we were just keeping up with the house and enjoying no routine or schedule other than naps and meals.

I don't think that we accomplished one thing or checked off any lists.  We just lived a simple existence and loved every second of it.

Sure.  I'm itching for a weekend in New Orleans or a simple day trip to the zoo.  Those days are fun too.  But it is just so easy to settle into our home and lives.  It is something that we really haven't done in a long time.

After my time off, I went back to work on a Thursday.  My husband will go back to teaching.  And we will return to our lives much more rested and bonded.  I feel like sometimes I'm in such a rush to get the next thing done, pick up the groceries, pay the bills or do the laundry that life is a chore more than a joy.  It is hard to enjoy reading that bed time story to King Diaper when there is so much left to do.  And yet this time is precious.  Its fleeting.

Just a quick selfie before putting him to bed
on our anniversary night
I know that there will be days ahead where we as parents will be in the way of what our son wants to do.  He won't want bed time stories or need me to fix him a snack.  I need to enjoy every day of this.  It won't last forever.  And I will miss those tasks that I take for granted.

I think this year was just what the doctor ordered both literally and figuratively.  People talk about God's timing and planning for our lives and how it is infinitely perfect.  Yes.  I think it is.  We all needed a break from everything except ourselves.

Celebrating 17 Years

Monday, March 16, 2015

Happy times after our dinner at home!
This year, we are celebrating 17 years.  Its amazing how fast that time flies and how things change over time.  And it really doesn't seem like 17 years have gone by.  I think that is a good thing.

For the past few years, we have celebrated with a quiet dinner at home.  It is something I enjoy planning and getting ready for, and is something that we both enjoy.  This year, our anniversary dinner included the following menu:

Blue Cheese Crusted Filets
Roasted Banana Fingerling Potatoes with Sea Salt
Fresh Greens Salad
Almond Cake

First, let me start with dessert.  I'm a big fan of sweets, simple and make ahead.  This recipe fit each of these.  Plus, it is a small dessert.  BIG plus.  This is a simple recipe that I learned about from The Splendid Table.  You start with blanched almonds, sugar, salt and almond extract.  After these have been pulsed in a food processor, you add butter and eggs.  Finally, a small amount of flour and baking powder are added at the end.  It is baked in an 8 inch cake pan.  Done.  It is recommended to bake ahead of time.  One less thing to do the day of!  Score, me!
Our fancy dinner:  blue cheese crusted filets, roasted fingerling
potatoes and a simple salad.  Finally our almond cake!

The recipe that I use for the Blue Cheese Crusted Filets is something that I have used multiple times.  It turns out perfect every time and will not disappoint.  My husband and I both love this recipe.  Who wouldn't?  Steak and cheese.  Clearly, this dinner is going to be great!

And finally, no need for fussy sides.  I found some banana fingerlings last week and decided that these would make a nice simple addition to this menu.  Given the blue cheese and steak, roasted potatoes with sea salt won't compete with the other parts of the menu.

To finish it off, an arugala salad with tomatoes and a balsamic vinaigrette.

The best part about this dinner at home was that we made it real date.  We put down King Diaper and then had dinner.  I pulled out the china and the crystal.  We had some music and a real conversation about something other than bills, planning meals and schedules.

If I could recommend one thing to couples, it would be to plan date nights.  These don't have to all be at home or going out.  But planning that time makes a huge difference.  Before King Diaper, things weren't so scheduled.  We probably went out once or twice a week.  Now, it is much more planned.  But it can still be done.  And we both look forward to it.

Plus, I think it is super important for couples to realize that a date night can be staying home.  And it can be just as good as going out.  Putting in the effort to plan something nice or fun gives us both something to look forward to.

Now for the gifts.  Etsy is a favorite of mine.  I can shop for gifts straight from their app.  The choices are endless, and I've always had good luck.

Craig is not the easiest one to shop for unless I'm picking up yet another Led Zepplin or Rush CD or DVD.  He really doesn't collect anything or ask for anything.

I found this great shop that does wall plaques with old license plates.  You can order them with your last name and wedding date or wedding year.  I picked the last name and year option.  This would make a great wedding gift for a couple in your life as wedding season approaches.  Or - if this happens to be a ten year anniversary coming up, tin is the traditional gift!

And yes, Craig did a great job with a gift too.  I had asked for a necklace from a local jewelry maker. Caroline Taylor makes bar necklaces that can be customized for anyone.  We had one made for my mother that says "Bushel and a Peck" because she loves to sing this song to my sister and I and now to my little boy.  Her mother sang it to her.  Its become something very special to us.

Craig had the bar necklace customized to read "We Became One" on one side and our anniversary date in Roman Numerals on the back.  You can follow her on Instagram to see more of her designs.  Her jewelry is truly special as is she.  And this was the perfect gift that has become a new favorite for me.

So, our 17 year celebration was a success.  And no it isn't about the gifts and the dinner.  Its about celebrating how we have changed and grown together over the years.  And that is a gift in itself.  All the rest of it is just bow on the total package.

Giving Up and Lent

Monday, March 9, 2015

Being a mom is certainly a high priority for me these days!
Every year at Lent I struggle with what to give up.  For most of us it tends to be a food item.  I've given up soft drinks, cheese, sweets, and lots of other standards.  I think cheese was the hardest of all. Probably best for me on the scale.  Given that I was a vegetarian at the time, it made eating at friends and restaurants much more difficult.

But Lent doesn't mean giving up something necessarily.  One can choose to add something to their life during this time.  So, there are lots of options really.  But I've tended to make this way to hard on myself.

Then, on Fat Tuesday, I see a post of Facebook about creative Lenten options.  And I decided to go with option 1.  This year I have given up buying things that I don't need.  And what a broad compass this has.

For starters, shopping is really just the tip of the iceberg.  Since I shop online for almost every thing, this is one thing that has probably given me more time and money.  I don't think that I realized how much time I spent scrolling through my Instagram and Facebook feeds looking at sales and things that are interesting to buy until now.  It really is amazing.

Snow time fun with my guys!
Plus its just really hard.  That lamp that would be perfect for my living room from Joss and Main.  It isn't really a NEED.  It is a want.  I have a lamp that works perfectly.  Its just out dated, and I've over it.  But it works.  This is where I start to wonder why I picked this choice for lent.  Its so not fun!

But what else?  Well, when I'm thinking of that Skinny Vanilla Latte.  Do I REALLY need it?  Maybe if I am pushed over the brink of sanity and haven't had caffeine all day.  But, on most days, the answer truly is no.  And that same thing can be applied to those Cadbury eggs clucking at me every time I go to Walgreens.

And speaking of which, well, my trip to CVS was the shortest trip ever this past week.  I went for medicine and left with that.  No looking at lip gloss and nail polish.  I don't need it.

Yes.  My trip to Target last week might be the first time ever that I didn't look at clothes, shoes or home items.  I bought the birthday gift I came for and other household items of need, and I left.

At first, I was kind of disappointed at saying no to those things.  But, with more time and money, its kind of exhilarating.  And I think that I've learned something that I've never really gotten from Lent. Limiting what we give up to one singular thing many times limits what we take from the experience. The broad more generic approach has made a sweep through my every day life on multiple levels.

It has made me stick to my diet on days that I don't want to.  It has made me get through with a task and be more efficient.  And, I actually have that time and money to show for it on a regular basis.

I don't think that I was spending money with wild abandon before.  But I know that not buying things that I don't need has been a good thing for my waistline, pocketbook and just person.  It has really made me rethink the rest of my year and the effect this kind of living would have.  Because I think I'm making more meaningful choices both with time and money.

I'm certainly not as impulsive about my spending.  Thinking through purchases really requires me to take the time to make wiser decisions about my money.  Every week, I encounter someone that is cleaning out closets and drawers to rid all of the clutter that collects.  Will I ever reach a point with less clutter and stuff in my life?  Who knows.  But, for this 40 days this is the case.  And I'm hoping that after Easter I will have made a much more lasting commitment to this in my life.

Subscribe to The Southern Glamper

CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan