Friday, July 31, 2009

Multiple Personalities

Do you ever feel like the multiple versions of you are at odds? I do. All the time. Especially since becoming a mom.

Take tonight for instance. FireMan wants to have a date night. One that entails having FireGirl spend the night with my parents.

The wife part of me thinks that sounds awesome. Would love it. Sounds like a great plan. Great idea, hunny. Let's do it.

The mom part of me thinks that's a horrible idea. Why would I want to spend even more time away from my baby? Who would come up with such an idea? What an idiot!

And of course then the housekeeper part of me has to butt in and say that if I have enough free time to have a date night, then I really need to get in there and scrub that bathroom. Ugh.

I don't think I have had as much internal conflict as I have since FireGirl was born. It seems like just about every day I am being pulled in a million different directions. I definitely think the hardest part of being a mom is juggling everything. FireGirl is almost 10 months old, and I am just now beginning to feel like I might have a handle on it. Then sometimes I wonder if I'm getting a handle on things, or if I've just gotten used to not having a handle on things. Hmm. Could go either way.

Anyway, still haven't decided what to do about tonight. The wife part of me really wants that date. Really wants it. The mom part of me thinks it's ridiculous to spend the night away from baby when it's not necessary.

We'll just have to wait and see who wins this one...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Where did all of our money go ???

FireMan & I had been regularly putting a pretty good chunk of change into savings. Savings for when the car insurance is due, homeowners insurance, property taxes, vacation, Christmas, etc. Big purchases. The method had been working pretty well.

But here lately, we haven't had nearly enough to put aside. In fact, there have been several pay periods where we haven't put anything into savings.

I didn't understand why. We haven't changed our spending habits. So why now do we have less money for savings.

I figured it out this morning. See, back in April I was given a mandatory 10% paycut. I hadn't really noticed any differences, until here recently when I realized we hadn't been putting hardly anything into savings. Stupid bad economy. That and I have noticed the past couple of months that our grocery bill has gone up, due to increased grocery prices. Combine the two together, and one thing is obvous: we have to do something to change our spending habits.

We're pretty good about managing our money, I think. We spend hardly anything on entertainment. All of our vehicles are used. Even our house was purchased as a fixer-upper. I'm an avid coupon-clipper, and hate paying full price for anything.

But we do have one bad vice: eating out.
Not only because we enjoy eating out, but it's aggravated by the fact that with both of us working, and FireMan's odd shifts, we don't really want to "waste" what little time we have together by doing chores like cooking. Add to that the fact that I'm really not very good at meal planning, and we have a recipe for disaster.

But I think we've reached a point where something has to change. We have to get better. If we stop putting money aside for these inevitable large expenses, then some day it's gonna come back to bite us in the butt.

Now, to find the time for more diligent meal planning, and cooking, and more aggressive sale/coupon comparison, and grocery shopping, and.... ugh. It's exhausting just to think of it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Deal of the Day: Tumbleweed

Bring in a coupon from any restaurant and get a free queso dip!

FireMan & I have done this twice now. We love queso, but usually won't pay for it. LOL. We take in coupons for restaurants we probably wouldn't go to anyway, and get free queso dip in its place. Awesome!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Prayer Requests

For baby Stellan, that his SVT will remain stabilized and God will heal his body and grant His comfort & peace to Stellan and his family. That Stellan's parents will be rested, finding mercy & grace in their Father's arms.

For Adam, who begins chemo shortly. May God heal his body according to His will, and grant him patience and peace as he goes thru treatments. For Kristi (Adam's wife), that she find peace & comfort thru her Holy Father, and that both of them can feel the many arms hugging them & holding them, even though they are thousands of miles away from family & friends.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Scuba Diving at Portage Quarry

This past weekend (Saturday & Sunday) FireMan & I went scuba diving at Portage Quarry in northern Ohio. Quite frankly, it is the nicest quarry I have ever been diving in.
The water was warm (as quarries go), great visibility, lots of things to see (including a Hansa jet), lots of fish (a must, for me), a well-maintained facility, price was reasonable, every staff member we came in contact with was very friendly, and the owner (Jeff) even came and talked with us a while.
It was just a wonderful experience.

We managed to get seven dives in in the course of two days. I am sore & tired, but had a great time. Had my best dive to date in the matter of buoyancy (I'm working on it!), and got some good time in the water.
We'll definitely be going back, probably next month. Message me if you're interested in joining!

Carmen (the opera)

Well, FireMan and I went to our first opera Friday evening. One of my coworkers generously gave me two tickets to Carmen.

I have to say, I loved it! Having never been to an opera before, I wasn't really sure if I would like it or not, but I had a great time. Not the least of which was related to actually seeing my stunning husband in a suit & tie. LOL.
I don't think FireMan had quite as good a time as I did, but despite his protests I think he managed to enjoy himself. At least a little bit. Maybe....

I will say, for any of you first-time opera goers, that although I loved Carmen, I was not quite prepared for how long it was. Especially considering we had to pick up FireGirl from my folks afterward.

But all in all, a lovely time.
If you have yet to go to the opera. Go!!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fear: the root of all negative emotions

I heard this once on the radio. I wish I remembered who, and what program, what station, etc so I could give them credit. But I don't.

What I do know is that since hearing that, I have found it to be true in at least 99% of cases. And usually, once you figure out what you're afraid of, you can face your fear and at the very least calm your self.

Think about it. Frustration, anger, sadness, jealousy, hopelessness... all the result of fear. Frustration is usually an easy one. It stems from the fear that things will not change. That the situation will not improve itself. Once you realize that all things must change and "this too shall pass", it's easier to deal with, you just have to ground yourself in patience.
Hopelessness is by definition the fear that your situation will never get better. You have no hope for the future.

I'm a bad one for getting frustrated. Am frustrated as I write this. I just have to learn to face my fear and to acknowledge the fact that the situation will change (hopefully for the better), and then we can all move on. Right?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Starting P90x Monday!

I am soooo nervous!
I'm so ready to lose the rest of this baby weight, and to get in shape, but I am so nervous! Mostly because I've heard it's a heck of a workout and I'm a-skeered!

But I've heard really good things about the program, so I'm confident that if I stick with it, it'll work.

Wish me luck! and I'll keep you posted on my progress!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Forbidden Fruit - why it can be good for your marriage

So, yesterday one of my friends mentioned that she was having lunch with one of her male friends. Just the two of them. She mentioned that she felt a bit awkward about it, even though there was nothing between them.
There's an obvious chemistry between them, but they are "just friends", and I trust that.

Being one that's always had a lot of male friends, it got me thinking about my own relationships, past & present. One of the most significant romantic relationships I was in ended suddenly, and I've long wondered how much my male friends had to do with it. Not directly, but indirectly. At the time my best friend was a guy, and we would often go out just the two of us. We were very close, but we were "just friends". However, people being, well, people, rumors of impropriety abounded, my then-boyfriend expressed jealousies, etc, etc.

Looking back on it, I can see where I made mistakes. Things that I confided in with my male friend I should have been discussing with my love interest. Knowing how things looked, I should have taken more efforts to make my inward commitment to my romantic relationship more outwardly apparent. And on and on.

This isn't to say I don't think you can have friends of the opposite sex. But let's face it, when you have chemistry with a girl friend - you hit it off right off the bat, enjoy each other's company, could talk for hours, etc. - it doesn't have the same implications as when you discover that type of chemistry with a guy friend.

And these implications aren't just those of outward appearances. Maybe you don't care if the world thinks you're cheating when they see out to dinner with a guy that's not your husband, as long as you know. But what does it do to your relationship? What insecurities might it raise within your husband's mind & heart? Where is your heart & mind? Do you really see this guy as just a friend, or do you let your mind wander to the Land of Something More?

Which brings me to the title of this post: Forbidden Fruit. I have chosen to make these close friendships with members of the opposite sex a Forbidden Fruit in my life. For the sake of my marriage. Do I miss these friendships? Yes. Is my marriage worth the sacrifice? Absolutely. I'm not saying I don't have guy friends, I certainly do. I just choose not to go out with them alone, just the two of us. The only man I'm interested in being alone with is my husband.

So how is it that this can be good for a marriage, you ask? Well, it's not so much the Fruit, as it is the Forbidden. Because as long as you see it as Forbidden. As long as those relationships make you feel awkward. As long as you are keeping a check on things and checking yourself, it's good. It means that you care about your marriage. The awkwardness is an acknowledgement of the commitment you have made to another person. And that is a good thing.

When it becomes too comfortable... that's when you need to worry.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Deal of the Day: 20cents off gas at Shell

Okay, first of all, I've not been able to determine if it's at all Shell gas stations or not, or how long the deal is going on, but here goes.

Yesterday I stopped for gas at a local Shell station, and decided to purchase a car wash at the pump, since the car badley needed one anyway. Lo & behold, if you purchase a car wash, you get 20 cents per gallon off of your fillup.

Woo hoo! Score!

Here's hoping you all can find the same deal in your neighborhood!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hunny, I'm not "just" anything!

This morning one of my coworkers was told she was "just an admin". Naturally, she took offense.

This word, "just", can be such an awful, degrading word. By injecting that simple, little word in to the sentence, the speaker indicated that she felt that being an admin somehow makes you less valuable.

The truth of the matter is that none of us are "just" anything.

In the workplace, those of us that are in support positions, usually lower on the totem pole, are generally taking care of the things that make it possible for those higher on the totem pole to do their work effectively.
That's right. "Just" admins keep your office operating smoothly.

In a family setting, being "just" a mom means that you are holding what is quite possibly the greatest responsibility in the world. Literally. You are raising the next generation of people that will eventually take over this world. You are raising a human being. Think about it... What an enormous task!
Being "just" a wife means that you have committed your life to another person, for life. That, in and of itself, is worthy of applause. Add to that the fact that you are your husband's primary support on his journey thru life, and being "just" a wife takes on a lot more consequence.

Being "just" a girl means... what? That people like you make up over half of the world's population? That you are a person with endless possibilities for the future? Being a girl is awesome.
And yes, so is being a boy.

Being "just" a child means that you have your entire life ahead of you, and the time to make it whatever you want it to be. The possibilities are endless. No child should ever feel like he is "just a kid".
By the way, we all have our lives ahead of us, to make it into whatever we want it to be.

Besides all that, we all hold many titles. Let's see. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a niece, a granddaughter, a cousin, a friend, a contractor, a coworker, a volunteer, a blogger, a scuba-diver, a coupon-clipper, a pet owner, a trumpet player, etc, etc, etc. The list could go on & on & on. As it could for each of us. You see, I am not "just" anything. I am everything.

And so are you.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Welcome to my blog! My intention is to share our life with you, as well as to pass along some (hopefully) helpful information.

As you might guess by the title, my husband is a full-time firefighter. If you are also a firefighter's wife, you understand that there are some unique challenges to this relationship.
He is also currently in Paramedic class, so add another challenge on there.

He & I also both believe in giving back to the community, and we volunteer together on our local water rescue team, and at the local zoo.

In addition to my husband, we have a beautiful baby girl. She is nine months old (already!), and I am cautiously navigating my way thru motherhood.

We are conservative Christians, and make no apologies for it. I'm sure that will come out in some of my future entries.

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you'll come back to check in with me again soon!
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