My First Shower

No...I haven't been taking baths for the past 21 years. I'm talking about a bridal shower! I figure I've been putting this off long enough. It's time to unveil all the wedding madness from almost a year ago! We got engaged on December 25th and sent out shower invitations January 7th, so when 50 people showed up for the shower I was blown away! January 29th, 2011 (seems like so long ago) was my first bridal shower and it could not have been more perfect. :)

**Sorry for the dark pictures. The lighting in the room wasn't very conducive to picture taking.**

This gorgeous balloon set the theme for the shower.
My best friend/maid of honor, Megan, and her mother/my second mother, Lori, threw me a beautiful shower. It was held at the golf club that Megan's dad works at and all of my (female) family, friends, and Josh's family were invited. It was so interesting to see everyone interacting. Kinda weird, but interesting.

Cute lipstick and make-up tissues were given as favors.
The delicious cake!
Me with my bridesmaid, Julie and Maid of Honor, Megan.
Megan calling Bridal Bingo.
We played Bridal Bingo where everyone had to answer questions about Josh and I. Some of the questions were:
1. Where did Josh propose?
2. What is the color of the bridesmaids dresses?
3. Where was Josh born?
4. What is the couple's favorite restaurant?
5. When is the couple's anniversary?

It was so funny to see what people thought the answers were! There was one question, Where did Meagan and Josh meet? and someone guessed HAWAII! Yep...sure...we met in Hawaii. By the way, that's where we went on our honeymoon (more on that later)!

My MIL, Cindy (center), her best friend, Nancy, and my SIL, Sarah.
Listening to Lori's devotional.
My mom (center) with two of her sisters, Dawn (L) and Connie (R).
Mommy and Lori. BFFs. :)
Mom and all of her friends from our church's small group.
Me opening presents.
I heart serving dishes.
My mom's friends thought it'd be hilarious to buy me lingerie! Needless to say, it was pretty awkward opening that in front of my mom and mother-in-law!
Then we ate delicious food, mingled for a little bit, listened to Lori's encouraging devotional, ate my FAVORITE cake (white cake with fresh strawberry filling and whipped cream frosting), and then opened presents. Let me tell you, hearing Lori's devotional and opening gifts for our new place together made me realize I just how blessed I am to have amazing family and to be married to such a wonderful man. :)


Let The Wedding Madness Begin...FINALLY!

So, I know I've been putting it off for a long time (we've been married for almost 10 months, for goodness sake!), but I've finally sorted through pictures and organized posts to show off OUR WEDDING!!!!! EEEEEEK!  I'm so excited to share our special day with you and I hope you enjoy the posts.

***Be sure to check out the "Our Wedding" tab up top to see more wedding posts!***

Right after Joshua and I got engaged, my mom and I made an appointment at David's Bridal to try on dresses. :) On January 10th, 2011, she and I spent the afternoon dress shopping.

When we got there, the staff was so sweet and helpful. My consultant's name was Megan and she was so bubbly and fun! She listened to my rambling about how I was picky, but had no idea what I wanted all at the same time and just picked out things that she thought would work for my body type. She was awesome and not pushy at all, which made the experience easy and enjoyable.

Time for pictures!

This was the very first wedding dress I tried on. It was a NO from the start. I loved the way it looked on the hanger, but the fabric was too shiny and the style was too drape-y for my body type.
This is the 2nd dress I tried on. I HATED it. I thought I'd love the fabric and the flouncy-ness, but the way it looked on me was just bad, bad, bad. This dress was OUT.
Dress 2 again. See? Way too much aimless fluff.
Now we're getting to the good stuff! I know I don't look happy, but I actually loved this dress to pieces. The small ruffles and the style of the dress were exactly what I was looking for and I loved the unique detailing on the short train. But again, the fabric was too shiny, so unfortunately, this dress was out.
The adorable short train with ruffled flower details.
This was the fourth dress I tried on. I absolutely LOVED this dress. The fabric was gentler, the detailing had the lovely vintage feel I was going for, and the fit was just right for my big tatas and wide hips.
The gorgeous train. Unfortunately, this dress didn't make the cut for one reason. The price tag. This dress was about $300 over what my mom and I had budgeted for, so unfortunately, this beautiful dress was out.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, the unveiling (pun definitely intended) of THE DRESS!

Here I am trying on THE dress for the first time. :) I was immediately in love.

The back. Please ignore the black bra. ;)

Noticeably happier in this dress than the others. :)

Practicing sitting in the dress? Very important.

My mommy and I after I said "YES!" to the dress! :)
*Sigh* While my dress shopping experience wasn't "magical" like most brides hope for, it was definitely enjoyable and I'm so glad my mom and I got to have that wonderful experience together. We both left feeling great about the dress and were so excited to be able to show it off at our wedding in just a few short months. :)

Stay tuned for more wedding posts this week!


Christmas Quiz

Hello, lovelies!
Have you seen this quick, little Christmas quiz floating around Blogland lately? I think it's the perfect thing to kick off the weekend and to get me even MORE excited for the holiday season than I already am. :)

Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? 
Hot chocolate, all the way. Make it with milk (not water), toss in a mini peppermint candy cane, and sprinkle with a little cinnamon. Mmm. :) I'm warm and fuzzy just thinking about it.

Colored lights on tree/house or white?
I've always thought that colored lights were a little cheesy, but when done right they can be beautiful. Otherwise, I love classic white lights.

Do you hang mistletoe?
We didn't this year, but I'd love to add some mistletoe to our Christmas decor in coming years. Not that we need an excuse to kiss, but it's always a little fun to kiss under the mistletoe. ;)

When do you put your decorations up? 
Like most people, we put ours up the weekend after Thanksgiving. Simple tradition.

What is your favorite holiday dish?  
It's not really for Christmas, but my favorite holiday dish is green bean casserole. Mmm.

Favorite holiday memory as a child?
I don't have a favorite memory that sticks out, but I do remember seeing Santa at the Burnsville Mall when I was about 6 and my brother was 2. I must have freaked him out about sitting on Santa's lap because the 3 pictures we attempted to take that day are of me smiling while Ian screams in terror. Muahahaha!

When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I never really learned about Santa. I've always just known he didn't exist. Kinda like I've always known I'm adopted (random fact about Meagan?).

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
YES! It wasn't always a tradition at my parents' house, but in our teenage years my parents let us open one gift each on Christmas Eve. I always loved sitting next to the tree all decorated and lit when it was dark outside. :)

How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
This year, just with ornaments, considering we have an 8" tall tree. Haha!

Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Growing up all over the Midwest (MI, IN, MN, IL) I'm no stranger to the White Devil. I love the way it looks freshly fallen, but once everyone's played in it and driven all over it...it's gross. I don't mind driving in it though --- I actually got my license in the middle of a Chicago winter!

Do you remember your favorite gift?
My favorite gift was last year's gift from Joshua. :) 

What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Again, I don't know if it only applies to holidays, but I love cookies. Chocolate chip, peanut butter, snickerdoodle. Cookies. Delish.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving, watching A Charlie Brown Christmas, shopping for presents...I love all of it. But one tradition we haven't started that I can't wait to start with our future child is Elf on the Shelf. :)

Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?
I only like peppermint candy canes in hot cocoa, but I LOVE the Starburst, Jolly Rancher, etc. candy canes too.

Favorite Christmas movie?
I love Elf, It's A Wonderful Life, A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Santa Claus, and Home Alone. :)

Saddest Christmas Song? 
"Christmas Shoes" by Newsong always makes me sad. I do my best not to listen to it.

What is your favorite Christmas song?           
"The Christmas Song" by Nat King Cole. "Chestnuts roasting on an open fiiiiire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose..."


Well, that was fun! Now on to some more Christmas cheer. :)

In 5, yes, FIVE days we'll be on our way home to good ol' Chicagoland. Wanna know our plans? No? Well, you're going to find out anyway!

On our way home we'll stop in Champaign, IL for a day of apartment hunting. Wanna know why? Because Joshua got ACCEPTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS!

BOOYA! We're officially Fighting Illini and in 7 months time we'll be finished with this enlistment and be residents of Champaign/Urbana/Savoy. It's so exciting to see this next stage of our life come together.

Anywho, next on the agenda? Head home and spend some much needed quality time with our families for two weeks. In that time we'll be enjoying a Candlelight Service on Christmas Eve, Christmas with our families, hosting a game night with our friends, spending New Year's Eve downtown Chicago,  traveling to Michigan for a New Year's Day get-together with my extended family, and shoving lots of local foods into our mouth holes to hold us off for the next 7 months.

We're so excited to be able to spend the holidays with our families and we hope you'll have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year with yours. :)


Ornament Swap!

Today's the day to link-up your ornament swap via Mackey Madness!

I was so glad I got to participate in this swap and Christy sent me an adorable Santa ornament. So cute! Thanks Christy!


Shaklee Love

*Disclaimer: I was not paid or perked to share my opinion on these Shaklee products. These are just my honest opinions on creating a healthier home.*

I love Shaklee products. I just do. There are a million and one reasons why, but maybe I can come up with a few that explain my captivation by these products. 

First things first --- These are the Shaklee products I currently use and why I use them.

Basic H Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate

This stuff is pretty much the best thing ever created. It's super concentrated, so a 16 ounce bottle can make up to 48 GALLONS worth of cleaning products for your entire home!  I love that I can use one product (just add water) to clean my entire home. AND I don't have to worry about the nasty chemical smell or setting food on my counters to avoid filmy cleaners because all Shaklee products are non-toxic!

Basic H is also amazing because it can be used by itself (remove stains, clean muddy shoes, erase crayon from the wall, etc.) but it's so concentrated that you can dilute it with water in different amounts for different purposes around your home! Shaklee makes 3 spray bottles (Windows, Degreaser, All-Purpose) already labeled with it's purpose and directions for diluting so that you never have to worry about leaving behind residue or ruining your furnishings because you've used too much.


Germ Off Disinfecting Wipes

I love these wipes. Not only are they fragrance-free, but they don't leave behind sticky residue like Clorox's disinfecting wipes.

Example: A few weekends ago, my friend Cortney and I made some drinks and some Amaretto spilled on the counter. First, I wiped it up with a paper towel. Then I pulled out the Clorox wipes (thinking they'd be a little more high-power than Germ Off) and wiped down the counter. It was STILL sticky with chemicals and liqueur 5 minutes later! Needless to say, I whipped out my Germ Off wipes and they did the trick. No more sticky counters for me!

I mostly use my Germ Off wipes to clean the toilet (2 wipes will clean the entire john!) and around the ledges on the tub. For everything else I use my Basic H concoctions and a few paper towels.

Scour Off Heavy Duty Paste

I must confess, I haven't actually used my Scour Off yet! And I'm even more ashamed to say that I FORGOT I had it and when I went to clean our oven last week I bought...Easy Off. Worst. Idea. Ever. If you don't know what Easy Off is, good for you. It's the worst product ever made. You have to wear rubber gloves when you use it (first sign of danger!) and when I sprayed it I literally could not breathe without choking. Josh and I had to open every window and leave the apartment. That's how toxic this stuff is to your body. Our lungs were literally burning for a few hours afterward and I regretted ever spending $6 on it.

My friend, Moyra suggested that I use my Scour Off next time I clean the oven and I can't wait to do so. Wanna know why?

"Here’s an exclusive scouring cleanser that sets a new standard. It’s a paste, so it doesn’t form dust clouds. It cleans stuck-on messes. It even cleans burnt-on food in your oven. And it doesn’t burn off your nose hairs in the process." - Shaklee's website

'Nuf said.


Christmastime Is Here

Can you believe it's already December?!? 
It seems like just last week we were unpacking boxes in our new apartment, but alas, that was MAY. 
It's incredible how quickly time flies. 

Anywho, I'm here to talk about some amazing things going on that have me bubbling with excitement about this Christmas season!

1. Chambanachik's Christmas Giveaways!

Christmas Giveaways

My dear blog friend, Erika, is hosting a series of amazing Christmas giveaways thru December 20th. So far, the giveaways have been of a wonderful selection, from Bravo Tango Tees to InspiriBody Soaps. Each day is a surprise and I'm always excited to see what's next on the menu! Hop on over to enter (and while you're there, you might as well check out her adorable, bouncing daughter, Millie). :)

2. Mackey Madness/The Smitten Mintons Ornament Swap!

A few weeks ago I signed up for this adorable Blogger Ornament Swap hosted by Megan Mackey and her blog friend, Julie Minton. I think this was the best Christmas swap around, people! Not only are these two bloggers super sweet and hilarious, but who doesn't like getting a surprise Christmas ornament to add to the tree? :) It's too late to enter (sorry), but I was a last-minute addition and was teamed up with Christy from Life As A New Mrs. We've exchanged a few emails and I'm so excited for her to receive her ornament next week. Be on the lookout, Christy! ;)

3. And last, but not least, Lisha of One House, One Couple and the rest of my amazing readers.

I know this one isn't really Christmas related, but I felt I should share this. Lisha is a brand new blogger friend and has already been so encouraging. Earlier this week she discovered my blog and encouraged me to keep blogging (since I hadn't written a post in ages!). The reminder that people were actually still reading my little ol' blog is exactly what I needed to get my butt in gear. Since then, I've discovered her budding blog about how she and her husband bought and completely transformed a house in 2 years. So far, the tour of how the house USED to look has me itching to see the big reveal! Definitely check her out.

I also wanted to thank those of you who commented on my posts from earlier this week with encouragement and grace. Even though I only have 30 followers, the 30 of you have blessed my life and created a community that I'm so happy I get to be a part of. :) Thank you.

I can't wait to share a few more posts I've got lined up, but they'll have to wait until next week. :) 
I hope you all enjoy this lovely first weekend of December!


Life Update


As I mentioned in my blog post earlier today, life has been pretty darn hectic for us. It's not that we've got a lot going on, but that the few things we do have going on take up every second of our days.

A Typical Day in My Life
6:00am - Wake up and get ready for work
7:30am - Leave for work
8:00am - Arrive at work and take care of the twins until...
6:00pm - Leave work
6:30pm - Arrive home, drop my crap, immediately make dinner, maybe throw in some laundry
7:30pm - Eat dinner/watch Netflix with Josh
8:30pm - Clean up the kitchen and prepare for the next day
9:00pm - Do some mindless pinning
9:30pm - Hop in bed and attempt to sleep

And on the weekends, we clean the apartment, cook a lot, grocery shop, and attempt to get things in order for next year. It seems like our down time is very limited these days and Thanksgiving weekend has been a very welcome break from the busyness. 

What else has been going on in our lives since we've last spoken? Hm.....

*We traded in Josh's QX4 and bought a 2012 Nissan Altima Coupe (post on that to come).
*We're currently fighting off a population of mice in our apartment. 
*We're formulating plans for Christmas/New Years (post on that to come).
*All of Josh's college applications have been submitted and we'll find out the results in 2 weeks!
*Josh has been to Fort Benning, GA twice this month. 
*And Twitter has been my only outlet for keeping people updated on random ramblings of our lives.

Lots of exciting stuff (to us). Things are falling into place, but keeping us busy. Such is life. 

So how have you been? Update me on YOUR life. :)


Take me back?

Well, Blogland...I've done it again.

I've failed you. I've let myself go. I've left you in the dust while Life and I have been speeding along this winding road.

I feel terrible for abandoning you and for giving you false hope time and time again that I'd actually post anything interesting (wedding/honeymoon posts, anyone?). But life is life and it comes before blogging, unfortunately.

There were many nights when I'd have an hour to spare and think, "Maybe tonight I'll write a blog post," and then I'd end up falling asleep on the couch, computer burning my lap, and completely forget what I was planning to do. And every time I remembered, I'd feel guilty that I've been neglecting the ol' blog and ignore it altogether for fear of posting something mundane or insignificant.

I'm sorry, dear readers, for letting my blog get shoved in the back of the closet and saved for "another day." I apologize and I hope you'll be able to forgive me. I've truly missed blogging and having this simple, yet loving community.

I'm here, if you'll take me back, and I promise to do a better job of taking care of my blog. So, whaddya say? :)


WILW {October 12}

*Sigh* Is it really only Wednesday? I feel like this week is draaaaaagging...

Anyway, since today is Wednesday, I'm linking up with Jamie for WILW!

Today I'm loving.....

.....that I've been able to catch up on housework today (although I'm not loving that I'm sick and had to take the day off work).

.....all of the recipes I've been making lately! I want to share them all with you so badly, but there never seems to be enough time to sit down and actually write out a full blog post with instructions, pictures, etc. Maybe someday soon I'll just take a Saturday and post a whoooole bunch of recipes.

.....the crisp autumn weather. Josh and I have been taking walks under the changing leaves wearing hoodies and jeans and then coming home to drink warm apple cider. We love this time of year. :)

.....so many things on Pinterest. Way too many things to count. It's an addiction.

.....IKEA's 2012 catalog. Droooool. :) I wish I had tons of money and a totally blank canvas  house to turn into a home, using tons of Ikea stuff.

.....that Joshua FINALLY gets a 4 day weekend to re-coup from his long stretch of non-stop work. We're both sick, so it'll be nice to be able to rest together this weekend (although I work Saturday, blah).

What are you loving on this chilly October Wednesday???


I confess...


Can you tell I'm excited?

After an exhausting week with the twinsies, I'm ready to just sit back, blog, clean, bake, and take in the gorgeous fall weather in D.C.

And since it's Friday, I'm linking up with Dandelion Wishes for Friday Confessional! :)


I confess...That I still haven't even bothered to photograph/video any home tour stuff. Why? Because the house is a disaster after a week of neither of us getting home until 8 or later, then cooking dinner, and heading straight to bed. Yeah...it's been one of those weeks.

I confess...That I'm probably WAY too excited for our date tonight. We're heading to Georgetown Cupcake (yep, from TLC's "D.C. Cupcakes")!!! We're ordering a half dozen so each of us can choose 3 cupcakes of deliciousness. I can't wait!

I confess...That people have really been getting on my nerves lately. You know when you post a Facebook status just STATING something, NOT asking for any opinions, and then everyone seems to think they can tell you what to do? That's been happening to me a lot lately via Facebook and I'm ready to just give it up all together. Stupid social networking.

I confess...That I've been dying to get a tattoo. When I was in high school I'd always say, "The day I turn 18 I'm getting one." But tattoo's were against the dress code at our school (and I was a goody-two-shoes) and everyone else got one on their 18th birthday...so I avoided being a follower. Now that I'm no longer attached to that crowd of losers (I hated high school, by the way) and that I know myself better, I'm itching to get inked. Now if only I could decide what I want...

I confess...That I've spent this entire morning lounging around with the hubby before he went to work and listening to these guys. I was recently introduced to Boyce Avenue by a friend of mine and I cannot. stop. listening. First, the guy is super hot. And second, his voice is like melted butter. Mmm. And I LOVE that they work with other up and coming artists! Great collaboration.

I confess...That I'm ready to live the simple life. I'm ready to live the green life. I'm sick of having unnecessary clutter and possessions tying us down and holding us back. I'm done with the chemicals, preservatives, and hormones invading our bodies. I could go on, but this is something I've been feeling very strongly about and it's a whole post in and of itself.

And last, but not least...
I confess...That my husband is the most amazing man I've ever met (other than my daddy). He was working 5am to 12am every day for 10 days while in Florida (that's about 4 hours of sleep a night people), came home and had one day off, then went straight back to work for another 8 days. Then he had one day off and has now worked 9 days in a row. And he does all of this without complaining or grumbling that he has to be up early and work late. He continues to amaze me every day with his patience and extreme work ethic and I could not ask for a more loving man to support me and share life with me. I love him to pieces.

P.S. Don't forget to check out the Blog Sale!!! Some great items up for grabs. :)


Blog Sale Extravaganza!

Yipee!!! I've been wanting to host a Blog Sale for quite some time now, and I'm FINALLY getting around to it. :)

Here are the deets: All of the items I'm selling are items that I've collected and loved throughout the years. We used a majority of them at our vow renewal ceremony (I'm apologize for still not posting pictures of that!) and everyone complimented their charm. I'd love to hold on to all of these pieces, but living in a 550 square foot box isn't really suitable for storing my collection. Therefore, I'm hosting this Blog Sale to pass on my lovelies to all of YOU lovelies! :)

I'm going to list the items here to show off my inventory and you'll also be able to find them on the "Blog Sale" tab at the top of this page. Just click on the tab to see what  items are still available and for what price (shipping within the continental U.S. is included).

And here's the fun part.....You can earn yourself a DISCOUNT by sharing this Blog Sale.

To receive 10% off of any one item:
*Follow me on Twitter, tweet about the sale, and comment on this post that you've done so. 
*Follow my blog, share the sale on your own blog, and comment on this post that you've done so.
(If you complete both, you can receive a total of 20% off one item).

Ready for the loot???

4 Tin Platters

Gold Leaf Cake Stand

Large Rose Platter 1

Large Rose Platter 2
3 Gold Leaf Rose Bowls
5 1/2 Gallon Aqua Ball Jars AND 5 Quart Aqua Ball Jars (4 lids available upon request)
So there you go! I know it's not a whole lot, but that's what I've got and I'd love to be able to pass on my cherished vintage goods to you. :)

Remember to check out the "Blog Sale" tab for pricing and availability!


No Longer Unresponsive!

I've officially added a "Reply" button to my comments section so that I can reply to you all when you leave me some love. :) This makes me very happy.

I used this quick and easy tutorial to figure it out, however, I'd like to figure out a way to reply soley using email rather than Blogger.

Anywho, when you see this message...

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading! Leave some love. :)
If you'd like to be notified when I reply to your comment, please click the "Subscribe by Email" link below. Have a lovely day!

...just follow the directions and click the pink "Subscribe by Email" link if you'd like to see when I reply to your comment. :)

If anyone has any other tips and tricks regarding replying to comments, please feel free to let me know!


Weekend Recap

Our weekend looked a little like this.

Saturday night: drinks at home.
Sunday afternoon: football at Crystal City Sports Bar.
Monday morning: wishing we could sleep in.
How was your weekend?



I know it's not New Year's or anything...but who says you can't make a resolution any time of the year?

You're probably thinking I'm a crazy person for blogging at 11:36 on a Saturday night when I could be snuggling in bed with my snoring husband, but I just couldn't contain myself any longer.

There's been this aching, nagging, obnoxious hole lingering in my brain since my junior year of high school, about that time when you have to decide what you're going to do with the rest. of. your. LIFE. While everyone pondered what they were good at, what career would make them the most money, and where the best place to earn such-and-such degree would be, I was so sure of myself. I was sure that I was going to be a Music Education major and teach elementary school choir, Pre-K through 5th grade.

I found the school, I spoke to advisers, I applied and was even accepted.

And then I changed my mind.

My senior year I decided that interior design was more up my alley. Yes, I loved choir and I loved working with kids, but I wasn't positive I wanted to do it for the rest of my life, and most certainly, not as my work. But interior design was exactly what would make me happy. After all, it'd been a ginormous hobby of mine since I was a little girl cutting up Ikea and Pottery Barn catalogs, diagramming my future home...when I was 10...so why not spruce up other people's style-less homes for a very modest living? So I applied, was accepted, moved into my cousin's house near the campus, and attended a semester's worth of very, very, VERY expensive art school courses.

And then I dropped out.

And then I took a semester's worth of very, very, very CHEAP general education courses at the community college right across the street from the art school I was so deeply in love with just months before.

While attending this community college, I decided, "You know what? Becoming a dental assistant would be super quick and would get me into the field right away." But I couldn't afford living out on my own, so I moved back to Illinois to live with my parents and attended community college there.

Unfortunately, my classes from the other schools didn't transfer because "the curriculum didn't match up" so I had to re-take ALL. Of. My. Classes. I was miffed. But I re-took them and enjoyed them twice as much the second time around. I'm sure it was because of the professors. I'd never had anyone challenge me and motivate me as much as they did.

Anywho, I was only there for 2 semesters and only going part-time so that I could also work. Then Josh and I got married, I moved to Virginia, and started my full-time gig as a nanny for the sweetest babies on the planet. And I could not be happier.

Who says you have to follow the "4 year plan" when it comes to college? Who says you have to decide on one major and stick with it, whether you know it's right for you or not? Who says you can't take time off from school "just because" and then come back to it when you've got a clearer vision of your passions?

I say screw them.

I've been graduated from high school since May of 2009, only completed 4 semesters of college, changed my major at least 5 times, and have taken a year off to work, spend time with my husband, and enjoy my life as a non-student for the first time EVER. And I'm loving every second of it.

While my break from the educational norm has a lot of people's heads spinning ("How could she not finish college? She must have no plan for her life. No motivation."), I strongly feel that the time I spent taking miscellaneous classes and now, this time I've spent out of the classroom experiencing the "real world" of adulthood, has really shaped my vision for my life.

Now for the good stuff.

As I've talked about before, I've never known much "work" outside of child care. Since I was 11 years old I've babysat, volunteered in the nursery at church, worked 4 1/2 years at daycares, and worked 5 years as a nanny. I've never known a life outside of teaching children and watching in awe as they grow. I've never experienced more joy than when I'm discovering the world all over again through their eyes.

And that's how I came to the conclusion that I can never do anything else. I've tried other things and nothing brings me more satisfaction. I've thought about other things, attempted other things, hated other things, and failed at other things. Teaching and taking care of children...JUST WORKS  for me.

I've realized that I needed all this time to figure that out. Trial and error, right? I've been working my way through college by taking care of kids, instead of GOING to college to strengthen my knowledge of caring for them. And after all of this "rebellion" and fighting with myself, I've given in. I've finally surrendered to my heart, instead of my mind. I'm finally stepping onto the path that I was supposed to be on all along, and I could not be more confident, but I'm glad for the time it took because I learned so much about myself in this process.

My resolution? Do what you love. Do what works for you.

All of this to say, while Josh is going to college, wherever that may be (crossing our fingers for U of I!), I will also be going to college. The plan is to take two 9 month certificate programs, one in Child Development and the other in CDA Prep/Family Life Care. After I complete these programs I'll be qualified to work at a preschool or early childhood development center (anything under the age of 6 is my favorite). And once Josh is finished with college we'll purchase a home, start our family, and I'll be a stay-at-home-mommy. From there, I'll start my own in-home daycare. That way I'll be able to be home with my baby and see all of his or her firsts, while enjoying teaching other kids as well. It seems like a long way off, but I'm sure all of these things will happen in the blink of an eye.

That's my life. That's my plan. Chaos and all. And nothing makes me happier. :)


Friday Confessional

Happy Friday, Blog Land!
It's so nice to have Fridays off. I enjoy having a day to myself to clean and do laundry and blog. :)
I also love that Friday is Confession Day over at Dandelion Wishes!


I confess...That I'm super excited to participate in Clean Mama's 31 Days To A Cleaning Routine throughout the month of October. Can you say, "clean freak, much?"

 I confess...That I'm participating because I love to clean, but mostly because I've failed miserably in my  goal to clean the kitchen every night before bed.

I confess...That today was the first time I'd Skyped with a very close friend of mine since moving to Virginia! Bad friend. :( But we had a fantastic time catching up and chatting! :)

I confess...That I hadn't shaved my legs since Sunday...and when I shaved them today I only shaved up to my knees. Laaaaaaaay-zeeeeeeee! Sorry Josh, you'll just have to deal with the prickles til I'm not such a procrastinator.

I confess...That it was my turn to plan date night this week, and all I came up with all we have money for is watching Up In The Air (Netflix rules) and eating homemade clam chowder.

I confess...That I will hopefully, FINALLY be posting a home tour vlog (or pictures, who knows?) at some point today. #tookmelongenough

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Hop on over to Dandelion Wishes for the Friday Confessional link-up!