Tuesday, July 24, 2012

If I were a rich (wo)man

Lord, who made the lion and the lamb, you decreed I should be what I am.
But would it spoil some vast eternal plan - if I were a wealthy man?" - Fiddler

I wonder about that sometimes... would it be so horrible if I were rich? Sure, sure, not having money builds character, but people can have character and money, right?! 

I have been thinking about these things today: money, pinterest and creation. 

I read a blog where a family of 4 lives on $14,000 a year... crazy!! Their house and cars are paid off, which is a big chunk of bills, but even deducting that, we still make way more than that! So, I was inspired to start on Mint.com to help with budgeting and seeing where all of our money goes every month. I think that we are pretty responsible and don't spend too frivolously, but there are definitely areas where we (mostly me) could cut back. 

I also read a friend's blog about quitting social media for a while because she feels like she isn't devoting her time and attention to her family - something I think we can all relate to. She also said she put so much energy into posing the perfect instagram picture or bragging about her wonderful life on twitter/facebook. She said she realized she might have a problem when jealousy overcame her on pinterest and made her angry and resentful of her real-life friends. I think this is a huge deal in today's media centered society:

1. Time suck - I would be ashamed to admit to all of the hours each week that I spend looking at facebook, blogs or pinterest. Thank goodness I never caught the twitter bug! And I can't recall much productivity that has come from it all, sadly. 

2. Everyone is putting so much effort into putting their best face forward, so to speak. They brag about their kids, going to the gym, their fabulous vacations, how crafty they are, how great their house/job/car is, even Bible study for crying out loud. The Bible study thing really gets me, but I think that is a subject for a separate post. But because we all are trying so hard to put our "perfect" selves out there, it just fuels the insecurity and jealousy of everyone else. Then they feel they must validate their lives by doing the same thing, just so every body knows that they are awesome too, and the cycle continues, and it is all based on lies (or half-truths). 

3. We are tricked into thinking that we NEED a lot of stuff that we don't. Our priorities are vastly skewed. I am right there among the guiltiest of guilty. I want cute clothes, a magazine-worthy house, an expensive car, and all the latest and greatest inventions for my child. But sometimes, when I get caught up in it all and start to really feel down on myself, I remember that I have never in my life been hungry, homeless, neglected or unable to go to the doctor. There are millions upon millions of people who cannot say the same. 

I think all of this boils down to the same thing... creation. God designed this wonderful, beautiful world for us. Beauty in nature, relationships with family and friends, fun, feasting, working, resting are all glimpses of what heaven will be like. That is why God gave them to us. But sometimes that is all we can see, and we obsess over those good things and turn them into sins like pride, envy, gluttony, etc. We have missed the forest for all the trees. I think all of us blessed enough to be Americans (or live in any developed nation) should pray daily for God to use those blessings to point us back to Him. 

All of this is easier said than done, of course, but maybe I can work on just being grateful today and go from there. 

Love to you,

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pet Peeve: Apostrophes

Dear People of The World,

An apostrophe ( ' ) is used to make words POSSESSIVE. That's right.Possessive means to show ownership of something. To do this, you add an apostrophe and an S ('s) to a singular possessive word:
Right: Joe's car. The car is owned by Joe.

This still applies even if the name ends in an S. If Mary Jones owns a car (still Singular Possessive):
Wrong: Mary Jones' car
Right: Mary Jones's car

Because the S on the end of Jones does not make it plural, you use the typical 's.

Apostrophes are NEVER used to make something PLURAL... NEVER EVER EVER EVER. This applies even to the name of a couple or family:
Wrong: The Smith's (This is wrong; really it is. PLEASE stop writing it. Please. I will throw your Christmas card AWAY if you sign it this way. Seriously. Please stop. I can't take it.)
Right: The Smiths

It is never correct to write "The Smith's." Never. It is correct to write, "Joe Smith's car."

Now, here is where it can get tricky: when the people's last name ends in an S, or even ES like Jones. To talk about the whole family (or plural):
Wrong: The Jones'
Right: The Joneses

I know it looks funny, but I am right on this one. I promise.

When a word is plural (ending in s) and possessive, you can just use an apostrophe:
Wrong: The Smiths's car
Right: The Smiths' car.

Here is the real kicker. When someone's last name is plural, ends in es and is possessive:
Wrong: The Jones's Home
Right: The Joneses' Home

I'm glad we had this talk.

Friday, July 6, 2012


Have you watched New Girl with Zooey Deschanel? It is hilarious. And since there is no good TV on right now, I think I am having withdrawals. I have a total girl crush on Zooey - she is so cute and funny and quirky. Speaking of quirky, have you seen the SNL skits, "Bein' Quirky with Zooey Deschanel?!"

She rocks. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention... she's my THIRD COUSIN!!! Yep, that's right!! Me and Zooey (and her sis Emily of "Bones" fame) are blood relations... BLOOD!

"Stop saying 'blood' to strangers."**

Zooey and I have the same great great grandfather, William Andrew Kennedy. But his children - my great grandfather and her great grandmother were twins... so I think that makes us more like second and a half cousins. And if I ever meet her, I will inform her of this fact. And then she will ask me to be best friends with her and we will turn our beds in to bunk beds so we can have so much extra room to do activities!

Now that I sound like a crazy, I feel like I should prove it. Here is a Christmas Newsletter my Dad found among my grandmother's things:

Here is my favorite New Girl quote; when I knew that Zooey and I were destined to be BFF:

"I brake for birds. I rock a lot of polka dots. I have touched glitter in the last 24 hours. I spend my entire day talking to children, and I find it fundamentally strange that you're, 'not a dessert person.' That's just weird, and it freaks me out... and I hate your pantsuit; I wish is had ribbons on it or something to make it just slightly cuter. And that doesn't mean I'm not smart or tough or strong... I'm almost done. I'm about to go pay this $800 fine, and my checks have baby farm animals on them. Bitch."

Now I know where my fun, cute and quirky personality comes from ;) Chad did actually tell me that she reminded him of me, and this was before we found out about about being related. Anyway, Zooey, if you're reading this - CALL ME, let's hang out!!

**10 cool points if you got this Friend's reference from "The One with all the Cheesecakes" when Ross and Monica are at their cousin, Frannie's, wedding.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Chalkboard Fridge

I decided to tackle a small craft project in my never-ending quest to decorate and "me-ify" our new house. 

Presenting: Chalkboard Fridge

 I only wanted to do one side, but had originally seen the idea at The Handmade Home. Memaw gave us her fridge when she moved to independent living (among other furniture, for which we are very grateful!), but in the move this side had gotten a little scratched...plus it's the only side that is fully open... plus chalkboard stuff is all over pinterest... plus it's fun, so I wasn't too scurred about the change.

1. Clean your fridge

2.Purchase BOTH Chalkboard Paint and Rust-Oleum Magnetic Primer (total $40). This primer is important for several reasons:
A. To ensure the fridge stays magnetic through layers of paint.
B. To get the chalkboard paint to stick to the side of the fridge.
C. (Per Lowe's paint guy) To keep the latex paint from rusting the side of your fridge. I do not know if that is true, it is just what I was told. 

3. Prime your fridge. 
A few tips from the can: shake the hell out of it for several minutes (they did not say hell), use a foam roller brush, and do THREE thin coats, waiting 30 minutes in between to dry.

The first coat was pretty thin, and I only waited 20 minutes for coat #2 because little man was waking up from his nap. I could tell that it affected it a bit, but not too much. 

3. Chalkboard Paint it!
Chad and I discussed using a color other than black, but decided to just go with "normal color" for now. The black and white contrast doesn't bother me. I did two coats of the paint (30 minutes in between) and let it dry for 24 long hours before writing on it. 

Tada!! I think it is a really fun addition to our kitchen/casual dining area!

And Emmet likes it!

No-no, sweet boy - don't eat the chalk!!! We are working on that.

So, there ya go! An easy peasy chalkboard project!