Monday, June 30, 2008

Eating Out and Eating In

For seven years I have been the mother of strict as far as what comes into our house for snacks and hydration. The past three or four weeks I have realized more and more how much we need to eat in. Not only is the cost of food rising, but the cost of the gas to get to the food is rising.

The first four years of our marriage we ate at home on a $150/month budget religiously. When we moved to California we had more money than we knew what to do with and more crowded living conditions so much so that we made Kianti's our favorite dinner spot and money hoarder. When we moved back to Texas we continued that trend.

Our barreling car race of seeing how much we can spend eating out slowed down at the pace of a snail from eating out at elaborate places, to eating out at inexpensive places, to eating out at cheap places, to sharing a meal and only drinking water at cheap places, to eating more and more at home, until three years later I finally feel like we are starting to get some balance back.

One of the main reasons for this last baby step is I have started to buy drinks. When we go out if it's on a weekend we'll normally get one iced tea for Brando and I to share, and water for the boys. Somehow that iced tea completes the meal and makes spending the money to eat out seem worth it. Way back when I used to make iced tea at home, but at the moment that takes up too much time and is way too much of a pain in the butt so I've been buying Sweet Leaf Tea. I've also been buying crackers. Lots of yogurts. Occasionally chips and dip. Juice coolers. Things I've never, ever boughten before and certainly not on a regular basis. Of course all healthy and organic still : ) I won't deny my true roots, but snacks nonetheless.

A lot of these items tend to be on the expensive side because of what I'm buying. I get around that by buying whatever is on sale that week. That way I get to try something new and it's usually less expensive than the generic brand would be at my local grocery store. Oh, and I've been buying my meat at Costco to grill at the pool - usually healthy, super inexpensive, and tons of it.

I've actually been happy eating at home. The first time I realized that was last week when I didn't have money to grocery shop at the beginning of the week like I normally do and we had to do without the snacks and major source of protein that enables us to spend the evening at the pool grilling our dinners. Boy did we miss it. We pulled together a last minute grill out with a few friends last night despite having hardly anything, then this week I made up for it a little with yogurt smoothie drinks and ice cream cones to round out the deal. Slowly but surely we're making our way to a consistent healthy habit of eating at home and enjoying eating out once or twice on the weekends.

Friday, June 27, 2008

follow your desire, not your fear

Follow your desire not your fear. Find things that make you slightly uncomfortable but still intrigue and excite you.

I recently read this in my new fav magazine, Body & Soul. When I keep that in mind it brings such clarity. In fact, it used to be my philosophy. I used to do that with every move of my body. That's why I'm here in Texas, 2400 miles away from most of my family. That's why I've owned and sold a house at 26. That's why my husband was a realtor for two years before we finally let go and decided we needed a steady income. That's why I homeschooled my son for the first two years, and put him in an expensive as hell private school for the next two.

Now I've been burned by my fears so many times, I'm inclined to bow to them before I acknowledge my desires. I'm noticing this in the simple task of requesting teachers for the boys next year. My fears of what MIGHT happen if they get the wrong teacher are overtaking my desires of solid foundations and pinpointing the best teacher for them. Honestly, the only reason I'm so terrified of my fears in the first place is because I DIDN'T follow my desires last year in regards to their schooling, or a lot of other things really.

I want to redefine my desires. Instead of making them emotional desires, now that I've grown up a little, you know all 26 years, I want to make them logical desires. Define what I want in the END, not in the midterm e.g., good education versus fluffy bunny feelings. In a house, being in a secure financial position versus having the best house. In my marriage, having a strong relationship that lasts versus getting across my point now.

I wrote this so I would remember. Remember to follow my desire and not my fear, to find things that make me slightly uncomfortable but still intrigue and excite me.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

So I've been very very bad about updating my New Year's resolutions, unlike S. However, one  resolution I've noticed that I've been doing awesome at is that I've actually been taking pictures of the happy moments, not just moments for my blog. The other day I was thinking, boy we haven't experienced many fun events lately! Then I looked at my camera and I had six different events all piled on top of each other in my camera, and each one of them was an equally happy splendid moment. There wasn't a single picture of a bad moment on there, even one that may've looked happy in a picture had I went ahead and took a picture. I am so grateful. And just because I've talked about it so much and don't want to be TOO much of a tease, here are (more than) a few:

Allie and I in Dallas

Fishing with the Boys

Baby Birds in our breezeway

Shawn watering his garden

Wrapping presents for friends

At said friends birthday party

BBQing at the Pool

Can't forget the s'mores!

Breakfast a la Brando

Three Day in the full sun from 8am-5pm Cub Scout Camp - see the tired?

Earning his Leave No Trace Award - out of all the rules to leave no trace when in nature,
Shawners picked leash your pet to illustrate

Fishing at camp - 6 fish in 45 minutes rocked!
Signing the Leave No Trace Award at camp
Our one activity to cool off
Justinbustin made a bullseye in archery!
Shawners made a bullseye in BB guns! Such a proud momma,
my two boys were two of the three in our pack to make a bullseye
Discovering Mayfield Park

Baby Peacocks!
Our Favorite Date Spot - Barton Springs

Right next door to our favorite date spot - Zilker Hillside Theatre 
Ballet Under the Stars

Discovering Zilker Botanical Gardens
Brando doing his thing

One of the results

Again at our favorite date spot, only with the kids this time

"Around the World in 80 Minutes" Austin Civic Orchestra at Zilker Hillside Theatre

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Work

Some of you may be thinking you missed the memo about me working. You didn't. I signed back up, for weekends only, with the staffing company for leasing agents that I worked with last year.  My first job this time around was because the company requested somebody "energetic and upbeat". Whoohoo, baby, that's me. When I went in, the manager I worked with wanted to hire me the first day, and her fiancee tried to set me up with his best friend. The next day his best friend came in to meet me. Sorry, buddy, still married. I didn't get divorced overnight. Good to know my dating options would still be open if I wasn't married though ; ) . Nice start to getting back into the work force.

I'm not considering the permanent position she offered until the end of the summer when it would start. It's opening up a new property, which was also the case with the permanent job I accepted last summer. And then quit a week later when I discovered the 60+ hour work week they wanted out of me. I was picking my nanny up at six am in the morning in order to get to work on time. I think I ran on three hours of sleep that whole week, with school, homeschool, work, and the nanny. This job would be weekends only. Though, it would also be EVERY weekend.

Right now I really like the option of being able to say I'm not available this weekend that temporary working offers. I do miss out on the money for the leases I sign at each community. If I was hired on with one company I would get commission on each lease. Right now though we really need something to just get by and not mess with our dynamics too much, and for now this is working!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Heather reminded me to post again with her comment on the previous post. Things are what they are. They just are. There's not much more to be said.

On a different note, the boys are enjoying summer, playing at the pool, hanging out with their friends. We're trying to get a babysitter in edgewise, and enjoy the summer ourselves. We've made it to Barton Springs a few times, for dates and family fun. I love that! We discovered a new historical park, Mayfield Park, that has peacocks roaming wild, even BABY peacocks. Hopefully we'll make a few pennies to make it down to the beach for a weekend. Other than that, it's trying to stay cool, stay up on the boys' reading, and just relax.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day

We did see the pastor Sunday. He talked to both of us separately. He asked me how I felt we were doing and I said, "Pretty good, I think." He says, "No, you're not." Then he goes on to say that our relationship is dysfunctional, we're not treating each other with respect, and we both need to go to counseling. Pin drop. Talk about a wake up call. Well, at least we can work on it now right? That's pretty much all I'll say here for now. I like to get the really tough stuff out because that IS life and reality, but the rest is just daily crap. No need to put it here unless it's drama ; ) .

Other than that, it was an absolutely amazing Father's Day. The boys and I made Brando breakfast in bed, and the boys brought him a book Justinbustin had personalized for him, a craft Shawners had made for him while he was still in school, and a few "Dad" books.

Brando handed out coupons out of a Dad coupon book he had been given last year. They each got to pick an adventure and an extra treat, and I got to pick an hour, or afternoon of whatever I wanted. So after lunch we spent the day going to the park, going fishing, having milkshakes, Justinbustin taking pictures, and an hour long bubble bath for me that Brando joined a little later!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


It turns out Brando was a single dad"ish" for the last three weeks before our (yes, I do mean our) meltdown Wednesday night, with my working on the weekends and going to class or studying four out of five evenings. Me being in the hot Texas sun from 8am-5pm on Monday-Wednesday this week helping out with the boys cub scout camp, then going to class or falling asleep, and being utterly exhausted didn't help matters. He was overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed. Fortunately I knew I was and went to a friends house to stay the night, which didn't help his cause, though it did help mine. He didn't know he was overwhelmed though, and sent a series of VERY mean texts the following day throughout the day. As I told Allison, it was the worst text day in all my texting life. His friend convinced him to come home if I agreed to not talk about it, and he did. Over the next day I had a realization about the single Dad thing that's been going on for him. Also that one of his love languages is acts of service, and while I was busy being extremely apalled and defensive of not becoming a Stepford wife when he was upset about me not helping around the house lately (read: exhauted), he was busy feeling VERY not loved. Especially when he asked the boys to do chores and I asked him if they could wait until the next day as they were tired from being at camp all day, then he asked me if I could help out and I said, "I'm not doing NOTHING!", which started it all. Granted while I was exhausted, he was busy being exhausted in the way only working full time, making dinner and putting the kids to bed every night and having them by yourself on the weekend can make one.

So, in a nutshell, that was our very, very sad last few days. Our pastor is going to talk with us if we are willing on Sunday (or today, but Sunday works better all around). While we have sorted through this one argument, I would really like to find out how to AVOID having major meltdowns in the future, or at least talk about strategies of how to deal with them. It's not like this is the last time our lives are going to be overly stressed. In fact, I'm taking off to work here in a few minutes and realized I'll be working on Father's Day tomorrow as well. Sorry, honey!

Thank you for all your sweet comments of concern! It means so much to me, feels like a big group hug, and a bunch of really sweet individual, supportive ones to boot. Let me know if you hear of that instruction book, will ya'?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

So, so Sad

Life is really sad right now, and I don't know what to do about it. I wish life came with an instruction book.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

So. Very. Tired.

A day from 8am - 5pm in the blazing sun, then straight to school for a bullsh*t exam, grocery shopping, and home, not to mention the morning til' 2am the night before... oh, and the one before that taking care of a friend. It all makes for one very tired Ros*y. When the boys are so tired that they're cranky and snappy, I always tell them they need to be aware that they're extra tired, and they need to try extra hard to be extra kind. Too bad I don't remember to remind myself of that.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Busy's Back

I spent the weekend working both Saturday and Sunday*, the last five hours cramming for my first exam for the semester, tomorrow will be spent all day in the sun at camp with the boys since I have to be there for Shawner's age, class is in the evening an hour after camp lets out, then more camp, homework, and class again on Wednesday. Fortunately it's all for a brief moment... until I work again next weekend.

*Some of you may be thinking you missed the memo about me working again. You didn't. That post is coming.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Lazy Summer Days

So after my disorganized vent, I talked to Justinbustin's good friend's Mom who talked about her ummer schedule for her kiddos while I hung onto her every word like morning dew on the leaves of a flower. Last week was my boys first week home from school and I so was not prepared for the messy house and lazy days to follow. Her schedule, which included chore time and outside or inside time, both in the mornings and afternoons, sounded like a ray of sunshine compared to what we had been doing the last week. So I dissected every aspect I could in talking to her. When Brando came home that night I told him I HAVE to have a summer schedule before I start pulling my hair out, then mentioned the ideas I had from talking to her. He very sweetly sat down with me that night without me asking him again and started going over one with me.

It starts with a morning routine for me (thanks, Flylady), reading time and chore time for the boys, breakfast, boys getting ready and dressed, then outside or inside activity time, for lunch we'll pack a picnic or have a quick lunch at home before we go out, then do another activity opposite of the outdoors or indoors that we did earlier. I'm flexible with it. For example, the boys are having their indoor activity time this morning before anything else while I'm being lazy and nursing my sunburn from yesterday's three hour venture at the pool (I was trying to fill in the white parts to match my perfectly tanned usually sunscreened other parts - d'oh of course I ended up with red instead of white parts) .It brings us together in an united effort to HAVE FUN this summer like a seal with a beach ball and I'm so looking forward to it!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Happy Birthday Mr. Justinbustin!

You are now nine years old. Next year you will be double digits. You are growing so fast. You are growing into a man before my very eyes. I see it in your actions, the responsibilities you take on, the activities you desire to do, the way you interact with your friends, the conversations you have with adults. Every time I look at you, you are doing something more grown up than the last time you did it. You are creating a personality that is your very own. You are not afraid to state what you like or don't like. You face challenges head on and with your cheek to cheek grin. You come to us for advice. You have adult conversations with us about serious subjects - financial security, sex, drugs. You have no shame in asking, and fortunately, after a few very wise parenting classes, we have no shame in telling. Your Daddy is still better at than I am. You had a conversation with him the other night about how he takes care of our family. You asked him about his job, where he works, what he does, why he's not working his second job anymore. These are serious subjects to you, and you realize the importance of them to us. You have your best friend, Lukesters, and you play with him every week. Today you came home telling me how you guys fought with the Narn*a swords and shields his parents bought both you and him for your birthdays. You told me you fought really hard and hurt each other EIGHT times. You told me how fun that was for you and him. I can't relate to that boy stuff. I don't LIKE getting hurt when I'm playing, and I probably never will. But for you, it's a challenge. It's sport, it takes energy, and you enjoy it. The two of you have conversations that make my heart smile. When I took you both to the Trail of Lights in December, you and Lukesters came up with a plot for a movie in the back of the car and designated a meeting place to meet at when you are older so you can make it. Lukesters told you, "I hope we still have a relationship when we are 18." You didn't hesitate when I asked you if you wanted to share your birthday party with him, or when I asked you if you wanted to share a birthday cake with him. You love to be a friend, and when you connect with someone and they can think as far ahead as you do seeing the energy that's created is like watching lightning. I peeked in your journal the other day, and you had a list of things you want to be when you grow up. The ones that I remember were a hunter, a builder, and a cook. There must've been four or five other things on that list, but I don't remember them all. You are like your father in that you are always wondering how well you can do all of it, and knowing you can conquer it all. You are an amazing little man and the apple of my eye. You delight me more and more every day. I can see God working in your life. With the places where I have lacked there is no way you would've turned out so wonderful. He has made you an amazing little man, full of character. He has given you the gift of intelligence, and kindness. I'm sure he has given you many other gifts too, and I will name them when I see them, and hopefully you will recognize them for yourself, but in the meantime, know that I am continually in awe of the man you are becoming. I love you, my little Justinbustin.


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