Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This blog is now private

Hi friends!

I started to feel very convicted and well, worried about who is reading this blog. Mostly because now I can track the stats and there are people in a bunch of countries reading this blog and I have no idea of knowing who they are!

This blog will be for family stuff and other random thoughts. If you're looking for Cost Cutter bidness, check out my new blog:

With my children growing up and the need for privacy and safety, I decided to make the switch. I hope you understand.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

A sneak peek

Today I got an ultrasound for the new baby. Everything looks great! S/he is measuring right on at 7 weeks. I would post a picture but it'd just look like a blurry blob so I'll just have to leave you with my thoughts. 

The baby wasn't moving so much, because it's such an itty bitty and the arms and legs are currently more like flippers. But it's little heartbeat was flickering away and very strong. It's so strange to see a first glimpse of a new little person. More so now that I've been through it a few times and I know that that little blurry blob will grow to be. It's crazy to think that the three children in our house were once a blurry blob. That's what we see on a computer monitor but really the process isn't blurry or blobby at all. I am reminded of Psalm 139: 13-16
 "For you created my inmost being; 
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
   your works are wonderful, 
   I know that full well. 
My frame was not hidden from you 
   when I was made in the secret place, 
   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 
Your eyes saw my unformed body; 
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book 
   before one of them came to be. "

Who is this little person and what will he or she be? 

God's Grace in a Race

About 12 weeks ago I decided to run the Mercer Island Half Marathon again. I literally said to Bill, "If I'm going to run another race before we possibly have another baby, now would be the time." Wow, does God have a sense of humor! I started training and running 8+ miles on the weekends and exercising every day, sometimes twice a day. Then about six weeks later we found out I was pregnant. I would be 7 weeks on race day. I read that if a person's body is used to running long distances before pregnancy, it should be okay to continue. The training continued and I was feeling pretty good (although tired).

But this past week on Wednesday I suddenly became very nauseous and sick, I couldn't keep anything down and I was very weak. On Wednesday I mostly slept, which is hard when there are kids to tend to (thank goodness for TV). I couldn't tell if this was morning sickness or a flu bug. Thursday wasn't much better, and I realized that if I didn't get better fast, I wouldn't be running on Sunday. That thought made me cry! I'd been training, I'd paid the registration fee, and it'd be such a disappointment! I posted on a running group forum at church asking if someone would take my place, but no takers. Really, who can run a half on 3 days notice?
Friday I was feeling a little better but it wasn't a vomit-free day. By then I had kind of accepted that I wouldn't run if I was feeling so yucky and was okay with it.

But thankfully Saturday I woke up and felt amazing, compared the previous days. I was even able to run a little, and feeling God's grace and my friend's prayer. It made me so grateful!
Sunday was race day, and I was so excited and ready! Dang that's a tough 13.1 miles. Rolling hills throughout and some major hills as well. My goal has usually been in races to not walk or stop. With God's grace I was able to do that this time. But my time was much slower than the last time I did the half. No mind, I was just grateful to have been able to run!

There was an amazingly inspirational running team that I ran with much of the time. A man, maybe 60, who was blind with a woman, probably also 60-ish, as his lead. They were tethered together and the man was on the left. The woman would tug on his tether around his hand as he began to wander. It was an amazing thing to see, the course is so curvy this lady sure had a tough job keeping the man on track. It made me think, I wonder what each person's story might be. I have a tiny baby in my belly, I wonder why other people are running? It's interesting being at the end of the race because there are these people who just keep running, even though they're at the end of the pack. The race isn't about winning against others, it's about winning against yourself.

Bill and the kids came to the finish line. I knew I would see them, and when I did I just wanted to be done, even though there was maybe 200 yards to go. Caley and Amelia saw me from far away and ran toward me. The excitement and exhaustion at that point caught up with me and I couldn't catch my breath. The look on my face must have been kind of scary because when Caley got up to me she didn't want to give me a hug and looked kind of scared!

I hope to keep running through this pregnancy and be able to do the Iron Girl in September. I'll be about 25 weeks. We'll see! That'd be awesome. But for now I'm still basking in the feeling of God's grace through this race.

If you'd like to see some pictures of me running go here. Be warned, I look freakish. When I saw Caley and Amelia I nearly lost it and my face looks scary. Gimme a break, it'd already been 13 miles! :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Why do I coupon?

I read (and regularly rely on) a coupon blog called This Beautiful Frugal Life. Recently she wrote a post about why she coupons. She told a cute story about how much her son loves Johnson Bubble Bath and she coupons and gets it for cheap because sometimes he pours it all over their carpet. You can read it here.

My reason for couponing is a little different. I enjoy couponing because it allows a little wiggle room in our budget for things I don't expect to buy. Yes, I love being able to score diapers and wipes for cheap (we use a lot around here) and all kinds of cereal (the less sugar kind) and Albertson's doubler deals. But for me recently this un-planned-for item was pregnancy tests. I needed to buy some because I couldn't figure out my cycle. Usually I hate doing this, because they're so freakin' expensive. BUT I had some +UP rewards at Rite Aid that were burning a hole in my pocket so I loaded up three kids to Rite Aid on my non-grocery day (shocking, I know) and bought two boxes, because they were BOGO 50% off AND I scored the boxes with an extra test in each. Six tests and out-of-pocket I paid about $6.
The lady at the cash register asked me how old my kids were. My face turned red. "Um, they're 6, 3.5, 13 months and yes I just bought two boxes of pregnancy tests thank you very much."

So that's why I coupon, because sometimes things just come up.

Oh and the tests were positive. Surprise!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Microwave-free Living

About two weeks ago our microwave finally died, and it died tragically. I was warming up something for dinner when suddenly the bottom of the microwave (it is attached to the overhead cabinets) start smoking! It was a horrible smell that set off the smoke alarm and the smoke hung in the air even though we opened all the windows and doors. After determining that it was un-fixable, we tried to take it off the wall but discovered the genius who built this house had attached the cabinets around the microwave, making it unmovable. So now it's a place to put a picture Caley drew, not a usable microwave.
Honestly, I'm kind of glad it finally died. For the last several months I'd been feeling like a microwave wasn't the best thing to cook my family's food in, but since it still worked I would always go back to using it. But for the last few weeks we've been forced to re-heat foods in other ways and it's actually really easy and tastes much better!
This might not be big news for you, maybe you have lived without a microwave for a while, but for me it is mind-blowing. I did a little research and found a few helpful articles about microwave-free living such as this one.
Here are a few things I've discovered that work for me in warming things without the microwave.

  • Adding a little bit of water to the pan while warming things like casseroles and pasta helps immensely.
  • Warming soup and other liquid-y foods works best in small batches.
  • Warming breads and pancakes works best in the toaster oven.
  • Defrosting frozen meats works well in a plastic bag in a sink of lukewarm water. I've been surprised at how well this works, for all kinds of meats, including deli meat. 
  • I usually keep a tea kettle on the stove full of water to heat as needed and use for warming Wesley's food.
Probably the biggest difference since not using a microwave is the way reheated coffee tastes. It's so much better! Microwaved coffee use to make me sick to my stomach (whereas fresh never did), but stove-heated is nearly as good as fresh. 

I'm convinced that not using a microwave is better for my family and I hope it can stay that way!