Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November Goal Review

I kept my goals pretty simple this month since I knew I would be incredibly busy. (Though I'm pretty sure I still wasn't very prepared.) I did manage to complete some goals, but those were mostly the ones that were going to happen whether or not they were goals. ;)

1. Share Thanksgiving with friends who are like family.
2. Put together a couple cross-stitch projects that have been stitched, just not finished. Not even close.
3. Put together Christmas gift list.
4. Start Christmas shopping.
5. Put up Christmas tree. We even got a new one!
6. Give cookies to neighbors. Maybe later... 
7. Order rehearsal dinner food.
8. Purchase attendant gifts for wedding.

Maybe one of my 2012 goals should be to do better on my monthly goals. Maybe I should just keep saying the word goal?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 29

Today I am thankful for my wedding dress!

I am so happy and truly blessed to be able to wear such a beautiful dress on my wedding day. Now I just have to keep it safe until then! :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 26 - 28

Wow. Apparently I've been forgetting to be thankful. ;) Not really, I've just been sucking at writing it down.

Day 26: Today I am thankful for someone else being around to take the dog to his appointments.

Day 27: Today I am thankful for Manny's birthday!

If he didn't have a birthday, he wouldn't be here, duh!

Day 28: Today I am thankful for my job (again), but this time because it forces me to focus (somewhat) on something other than the wedding so I don't (quite) lose my mind.

Weekly Money Check Up

Hosted by Ginna over at My Pretty Pennies.

1. The most I've spent this last week was on clothes and accessories for the wedding week/honeymoon.

2. Today I am thankful for the ability to buy new clothes just because I want to look fresh and put together the week of my wedding.

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was decorate our tree and fall asleep watching Muppet Christmas Carol.

4. I will consider this week a success if I pack for the wedding before Saturday night!

5. My favorite Christmas song/album is Carol of the Bells! And I love Transiberian Orchestra...yep, I'm that girl.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

War Stories and a New Frontier

Since when do stores open at midnight for Black Friday?! This is new, right? I remember back in the day, there were only a couple stores that opened at 5:30am and it was a BIG deal. And then Target always opened at 6am, which was a BIG deal. I'm honestly not sure I like this whole opening at midnight thing.

In years past (when I lived at home/was home for Thanksgiving), my step-mom and I would sit up Thanksgiving night and plot our attack on retail establishments the next morning. We not only had a game plan of which stores to hit, but we also sometimes had battle strategies for within each store. We would wake up at 4:00 or so, dress, and off we went. When my brothers and sister were small, we began our day at KB Toys, which used to open at a record 5:30am. The first year I can remember, I don't think we arrived at the mall any earlier than 5:00am and we were not too far back in line. A couple years later, I remember getting in line at Target at around 5:00am for the 6:00am opening, and we were around the corner. There were several great deals we wanted for the younger ones that year and I remember as soon as we got in the door we took off in different directions to ensure maximum coverage of the store. We had a pre-planned rendevous point and I think we got almost everything we went for. One year in college I was stuck in Alabama because I had to work (Roll Tide, we were headed to Auburn that day). My step-mom and I employed the divide and conquer strategy by both hitting our respective Target stores for the 6am opening, and making sure we kept in contact about what we could and couldn't find, therefore doubleing our chances for accomplishing our goals. Whenever I Black Friday shop with my step-mom, we always end the morning with a sausage biscuit from McDonalds before heading home to relax and then head out later with the rest of the family.

Last year I didn't Black Friday shop at all, or if we did, it wasn't until the late morning or afternoon. This year though, we have a lot to buy with the wedding coming up and everything so we figured Black Friday would be a good time to do some of this shopping. Most importantly, Manny lost a good bit of weight while he was deployed and hardly any of his clothes fit. And since we were going to Black Friday shop anyway, we decided to see what this midnight craziness was all about. (I had the best intentions of forming a plan for Black Friday, but we ended up just winging it.) We went home after Thanksgiving dinner, took a very short nap, and left the house in time to get to Macy's for midnight. The first thing we tried to find was a dress for the rehearsal dinner. After trying on about 10 dresses, I gave up. We then headed to the men's section to get some stuff for Manny. We were marginally more successful there but I'm still not sure how we spent 2 hours in Macy's. By the time we left Macy's I was pretty cranky (read: need caffeine) so we went out in the mall to Auntie Anne's Pretzels for a snack and a diet coke. After some cinnamon pretzel bites and a diet coke I was in a much better humor. We ventured over to American Eagle (where everything was 40% off) and got some stuff for my brothers (and a thing or two for me too) and then to Bath and Body Works. We were about to head home (about 3:30am) when we noticed large crowds outside of Victoria's Secret. There was a large sign advertising buy one get one 50% off on bras....yes, please! We waited for about 20 minute to even get into the store (that was our first mistake) and then when we got in there, the lines to check out were so long that we gave up and decided to come back at a more decent hour. By the time we got home and in bed it was 5am. I'm thoroughly convinced we could have done this in half the time with a better plan.

We had a good time (though honestly most of it is now a blur) but I think that next year I'd rather just get up and go to the stores for 5am or 6am. It just didn't quite feel like Black Friday, and it was a very strange experience to be in the mall basically overnight. I think that other thing that was weird is that I've never done personal shopping on Black Friday, I've only ever done Christmas shopping so I think that made it feel odd as well. And next year, whether I'm at home or in Ohio or wherever, I'm not going without a plan!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Off My Game

I am so off my game this year. Last year for Thanksgiving, I was so prepared. I had lists and plans and timelines. This year I'm lucky I got up and dressed on time. Manny (fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it) was up incredibly early and finished cooking all the food before I was even awake. We watched the parade, had coffee and breakfast, and then showered and dressed and packed the car to go to our friends' house. (She has a blog too!) They just moved into a big new house and it was awesome to have so much room for Thanksgiving!

As soon as we pulled into the driveway, I realized that was had completely forgotten that we had agreed to bring some hors d'oeuvres. Oops. We went in, finished up our casseroles and whatnot and then ate waaaaaayyyyyy too much super amazing food. I also forgot to have a plan for leftovers. Last year, I brought lots of disposable Gladware and paper bags and sent everyone home with food. This year, I didn't think of it until after dinner. I blame wedding brain. Even so, the day was really nice and it was awesome to spend the day with our friends.

I also had big plans to take lots of pictures and blog all our recipes after Thanksgiving. Um, yeah, I kind of forgot about that too. I feel like right now, it's all I can do to just get from one day to the next. Don't get me wrong, it's not a depression thing, it's just a we're-so-freakin-busy-I-can't-hardly-keep-up thing. Even though I sometimes feel like I'm running in circles, I'm so so so thankful for all that is happening in my life right now. I am, however, looking forward to things slowing down a little in 2012....I hope....

November Thankfulness: Day 23 - 25

Day 23: Today I am thankful for our new Christmas tree!

Yes, we put it up a little early but it's new and we had to make sure we liked it! ;)

Day 24 (THANKSGIVING!): Today I am thankful for having friends who are family to share holidays with when we can't make it home.

Day 25: Today I am thankful for 5 hours of sleep and coffee. And Black Friday. And shopping from midnight to 5am with my future hubby.

You would think we bought TONS of stuff. We didn't. I'm not really sure why we were at the mall for 5 hours. It just happened. Call it quality time together. My 2am snack of Auntie Anne's cinnamon pretzel bites were also quality.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 22

Today I am thankful for a job in which I can sometimes do other things while at work.

There are some days where my job literally involves sitting around waiting for someone to get hurt. It sounds morbid (or so I've been told), but that's just the way it is sometimes. Today I was able to send several wedding emails and pay a stack of bills while at work. :)


I've been posting a lot of fluff lately, lots of fill-in posts and of course my November Thankfulness series. I've tried writing about a few other things but I either get distracted or decide the topic is stupid. The truth is that I've been insanely busy and I feel like I can barely keep my head above water. Manny just came home, Thanksgiving (and his birthday) are this week, we leave for the wedding in two weeks, and the wedding itself is in just three weeks! Now don't get me wrong, I'm totally ready to get married, it's just making sure that all of my little ducks are in a row before the wedding! We've been so busy since Manny got home I feel like I don't know which way is up. I kind of knew it was going to be like this but...I'm exhausted. I'm pretty sure that's why I'm sick. I'm so happy now that we decided to do something low key for the honeymoon. We threw around the idea of going to Europe or somewhere equally as exciting, but I'm glad we decided against it because I honestly don't have the energy for Europe.

Anyway, my point is that I'd really like to get back to writing about stuff, not fluff. (Hehe, see, I tried to rhyme.) Last winter I had a lot of fun pretending to know how to bake and take pictures of it. This summer I went on an organizing, party planning, waiting for Manny to come home rampage. Now I'm up to my eyeballs in wedding planning and just like every other bride 3 weeks from her wedding....I'M JUST READY TO FREAKIN' BE MARRIED!

I realize that this is all very random, but if you know me in real life...I'm pretty random. Or ADD. Take your pick. ;) Here's where I usually pledge to write about stuff, not fluff! But honestly, I'm getting married in three freakin' weeks, I make no promises of bloggy goodness......but I'd still like to try.....

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekly Money Check Up

Hosted over at My Pretty Pennies!

1. The most I've spent this last week was on groceries! Although, considering we bought groceries for the house and for Thanksgiving, the bill wasn't that bad.

2. Today I'm thankful for lots of stuff! Check out my updated November Thankfulness!

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was hang out on Sunday with Manny and the dog (even if I was sick!).

4. I will consider this week a success if I get a few last wedding details nailed down.

5. This Thanksgiving we are celebrating with friends. We're bringing baked mac & cheese, green bean casserole, apple pie, and sweet potatoes.

November Thankfulness: Day 18 - 21

Oops. I kind of missed a few days here. :) We were crazy busy Saturday and I was sick all day Sunday. :( I have no idea what happened to Friday. I think I worked late?... Anyway, here's what I've been thankful for.

Day 18: Today I am thankful for honest friends.
I really like when people are honest if they have a problem, it's much better than bottling it up!

Day 19: Today I am thankful for all of our friends who came to our house for Manny's welcome home party! It was nice to have so many people come out to welcome him home! :)

Day 20: Today I amthankful for a puppy dog who will snuggle with me all day when I'm sick.
Maybe it was because I was warm, but it my head it was because my puppy was concerned. ;)

Day 21: Today I am thankful for R&R.
Meaning Manny is home getting stuff done while I'm at work. Yay to having help with the house again!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 17

Today I'm thankful for the lack of drama in my relationship.

A lot of people around me recently have had lots of drama in lots of their interpersonal relationships. Drama just exhausts me so I'm very happy to at least have no drama with Manny. :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 15 & 16

Day 15: Today I am thankful for coffee night!

Every Tuesday I get together with some girlfriends for "late night coffee." It's so nice to have some designated time with the girls every week.

Day 16: Today I am thankful for date night!

I'm so excited that since Manny is home we can have our Wednesday date night again! (Why Wednesday? It's my only guaranteed "early night" at work.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Couponing, Cross-Stitching, and other Old Lady Stuff

Last Winter I had lots of hobbies. I cross-stitched, couponed, blogged, and baked my way through my first Ohio winter. Then Spring came and wedding planning, running, and Manny's impending deployment took over. Then I trudged my way through Summer and Fall, largely just keeping my head above water and awaiting Manny's return. (It sounds bad, but it's kind of true, I feel a bit like most of what I did was just try to pass the time until he came home.) And now Fall is nearly done, and Winter is upon us once again. Even in the few short days since Manny has come home, I feel like I have more free time. I feel like it's ok to take more time to myself because there's someone else to help with all that day-to-day stuff that seemed to take up so much time. I did have free time while he was gone, but I spent a lot of it doing.

I'm looking forward to getting back to my "Winter" hobbies. I bought a new cross-stitch book last night and have already started one of the patterns. (pictures soon!) I received a leaf-shaped cookie cutter from a friend at work and would like to try these.
photo credit and link
I think once we get married I'll have even more free time since I do spend a fair amount of time wedding planning (usually making phone calls, updating spread sheets, or sending emails). I know there's always going to be something to plan for or spend time on, but I'm looking forward to that time of year when (in Ohio at least) there's little else to do but hunker down indoors with some warm socks and a cup of tea.

Monday, November 14, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 14

Today I am thankful for my independence.

I'm thankful that even though I'm in a wonderful relationship I can still be my own person. I'm thankful that even though I have someone to lean on when I need it, I know I can do a lot on my own. I'm thankful that my parents taught me to be strong enough to handle things by myself if I have to.

Weekly Money Check Up

Hosted by Ginna at My Pretty Pennies.

1. The most I've spent this last week was on stuff for the house from a few different stores.

2. Today I'm thankful for my independence. (If you want, you can check out all of my November Thankfulness posts!) I'm so happy and thankful to have someone to share my life with, but I am thankful that within that I can still be my own person. This also comes in really handy when that other person has to go overseas for 6 months. ;)

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was welcome Manny home!!!!!

4. I will consider this week a success if I find the time to both relax and be productive. I have a hard time finding a happy medium. :)

5. I am looking forward to a fun Thanksgiving with friends.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 12 & 13

Day 12: Today I am thankful for my job.

I had to work on Saturday. And I complained about it. But then I realized that I should be thankful to have a secure, well-paying job.

Day 13: Today I am thankful for relaxing Sundays with Manny.

After so long apart, it's nice to have a lazy day where neither of us has to work and we can do as we please.

Friday, November 11, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 11

Today I am thankful for my freedom!!!

Happy Veterans Day to all, but especially to my future husband (USAF), my late grandfather (US Army), my other grandfather (US Coast Guard), my step-dad (US Navy), my cousin (USMC), my friend Sarah and her husband (US Navy, USMC), and of course all of my military friends here in Ohio. (Sorry if I forgot anyone!) Thank you all for everything you have done and continue to do!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 10

Today I am thankful for fall weather!

Ok, so I was freezing my butt off this morning but I love being able to wear fuzzy boots and sweaters. Mostly I like wearing them when I'm inside drinking coffee and thinking "Wow, it must be really cold out there." But I've grown to really like this time of year and it's even better now with someone to snuggle with! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November Thankfulness: Days 8 & 9

Sorry for the lack of posting yesterday, but keep reading and you'll see why.

Day 8: Today I am thankful for the safe return of the love of my life from overseas!!!

Yep. He's finally home. And I'm beside myself with happniess. :)

Day 9: Today I am thankful for the ability to have breakfast with my fiance, in real life, and not on Skype!!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 7

Today I am thankful for Diet Coke.

Ok so this is trivial. But there are some days when a Diet Coke so just makes things a little better. 

Weekly Money Check Up

Hosted by My Pretty Pennies.

1. The most I've spent this last week was on a trip to Target. But this time it was for necessary house stuff, not personal spending. ;)

2. Today I am thankful for lovely fall weather and the fact that everything is pumpkin flavored.

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was have dinner with a friend. It was free because we ate at my house using stuff I already had in my cabinets!

4. I will consider this week a success if I...this week will be a success. Details later. :)

5. I have no strong feelings about Daylight Savings Time.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 6

Today I am thankful for my friends.

Enough said.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 5

Today I am thankful for my parents.

Most of the time when people divorce and get remarried, the new step-parent is just some guy/girl that your mom/dad married. That is so not the case with my family. I am so truly blessed to not only have a wonderful mom and dad, but two have two step-parents who are just as much my parents as my "real" parents. Even when my parents drive me crazy, it's mostly because they care so much and just want to be involved in everything. So, I'm giving thanks today for four wonderfully over-involved parents.

Friday, November 4, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 4

Today I am thankful for my legs and feet and the ability to run.

So often I complain about having to go out in the cold to run. Or what a pain it is to find time in my schedule to go for a run. But there are a lot of people who would love nothing more than the opportunity to use their legs and go for a jog.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November Thankfulness: Day 3

Day 3: Today I am thankful for the school I'm assigned to.
I had absolutely no control over which school I was contracted out to. I know I complain about it sometimes but it really is an awesome place to work. I get to work with some great people and for some wonderful families.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November Thankfulness: Days 1 & 2

I've seen a couple people (though I can't find the blogs anywhere now) posting about purposefully giving thanks for one thing every day in November. I really like this thought and think I'll participate. I haven't found anywhere to link up just yet so if you know of a host, let me know! I'll have to do two today since I didn't decide to do it until today. ;)

November 1: Today I am thankful for my supervisors.
So often you hear of crappy bosses who are mean and uncaring towards their employees. Even though I work for a fairly large hospital corporation, my direct supervisors are so caring and have been incredibly supportive during some difficult times I've faced while working here.

November 2: Today I am thankful for my dog.
My dog has kept me such good company while Manny has been away. He's the best little snuggler and makes me laugh all the time. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November Goals

Omg! November is here!!! I'm getting married next month! Woohoo! November is going to be full of happy, exciting things and I'm so so so happy to get it started! I love this season right before Thanksgiving and Christmas where everyone gets all happy and holiday-like. ;) It's my very favorite time of year, and I plan to fully enjoy it! But anyway, we're here to talk about goals! ;)

1. Share Thanksgiving with friends who are like family. 
2. Put together a couple cross-stitch projects that have been stitched, just not finished.
3. Put together Christmas gift list.
4. Start Christmas shopping.
5. Put up Christmas tree.
6. Give cookies to neighbors.
7. Order rehearsal dinner food.
8. Purchase attendant gifts for wedding.

So there you have it! November goals! Some of them are kind of cheat goals, but whatever, they're my goals. :)