Thursday, January 31, 2013

Back in Business

Have you ever just sighed in relief because you get to do laundry? Me neither. It was an attempt to weed out the crazies. Although, when the repairman pushed the ON button making my dryer start turning again...I may have heard angels singing. 

A week of fuss over these two little pieces of metal. The thermal fuse kit. I know it seems minor but these babies cost a pretty penny. As a mom, I am done encouraging my children to become doctors and lawyers. I want them all to be distributors of Chinese manufactured goods. I know these did not cost the $100 I paid for them. Therefore, someone is profiting the difference! I suppose, that is neither here nor there.

The most important thing is we are back in business. I didn't have to buy a new dryer AND washer, which was my husband's suggestion. Please excuse his excessive consumerism. He doesn't have faith in the old Maytags. As a precaution, I finished washing and drying every dirty thing in my house. After such an ambitious day, I'm back to my regular laundry schedule. Wait until someone runs out of clean underwear or socks, then have a laundry day. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fashion 30 {Part 2}

Budget and Save. Really? Am I actually going to start a post with those two words?  I think I might. Don’t leave yet! I’m going somewhere with this. I started January with a list of new year goals.  I’m holding up pretty well. I stayed within budget this pay period. Which is great because now I can pay for my clothes dryer to be repaired. Yuck. I know. But that my friends is what grownups call life.

This week ends my 30 day freeze for clothes shopping. Happy Dance! I made a point to prepare my husband about the lifted ban. He asked me, “If [I] would be going on a binge this weekend”. Offended! Just kidding, cause I totally am going on a binge! Although, I’m not waiting until the weekend…pssh, as if…because technically Friday is a weekday.

Below, the last 15 days of Fashion 30.

 Yes, I do wear yoga pants. Mostly to work out but also to clean or hang around the house when I'm not feeling 100%.

The pictures very clearly show a very conservative and uneventful wardrobe. I had a couple stand out moments this month but I'm looking to change how I create my outfits.

I'm so happy the month is over. It definitely was a challenge for me not to buy new clothes or accessories. Yes, I went to Target and Marshall's defiantly walking around the store determined to buy the scarf or three tops in my cart. My good conscience always won out. I made it one month without buying anything, except the homecoming dress. The spending freeze was a big deal for me.

The outcome: I never wore a single outfit twice. I never wore every piece of fall/winter clothing I own. I never once wore a dress. I don't need new clothes, I need to mix and match more. And I need more shoes! And accessories!

My life lessons: Sometimes you gotta find out what you are made of. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Don't worry about what others think of you. But do care about what you think of you! Don't limit yourself with assumptions. 

Maybe some day I will elaborate on these life lessons.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Gratitude Journal

I love this picture. It's just a simple view of the sky from my backyard. It was an Instagram prompt for a photo-a-day challenge in December. I believe the hashtag was #TheSky. Not until later did I realize the ominous clouds hovering over the mountains. Within ten minutes the rain was pouring down and didn't stop for hours. Those rainy days are back, literally and figuratively.

I will be honest. Some days, especially lately, I don't feel very grateful. I want to dwell on the negative. And there are times I give myself 5 or 10 minutes to go down that road. But I always try to bring myself back. I wholeheartedly believe there is always a reason to give thanks, even if it's simply life. In the end, all the negative stuff is only circumstance. It doesn't have to control your mood, attitude, or life. As quickly as the bad happens, something more positive replaces it.

There is an urban legend in the military community. It says, "If something bad is going to happen, it will happen during deployment". Based on my current experience, I would believe the legend is true. I've had a car troubles, my clothes dryer stopped working, and yesterday I had a "minor" incident with the grill and an out of control grease fire. Last night, I felt defeated. This morning my stepmom called me bright and early to remind me it's my "gratitude day"! 
"Yeah, yeah". I responded. 
"What are you grateful for today?"
"I'm breathing". It was too early for real thinking.
The truth is I am thankful:

... the fire wasn't worse. I'm glad it didn't reach the propane tank. I'm so very grateful my neighbor was home. I'm glad he got it under control and put it out.  I'm thankful it had been raining and the grass was wet. It helped put out the fire from one of the grease pans. If it were dry, like most days, then the fire could have lit up the grass. I'm so thankful.

I am grateful my clothes dryer broke instead of my washer. I can hang things to dry but I cannot wash things by hand. Or should I say, I will not wash four people's laundry by hand! It's temporary until the repair man visits or we buy a new one. 

I am thankful for a great weekend with my kids. A cold rainy weekend kept us indoors. We watched movies, crafted, kids choreographed a Pitch Perfect routine (adorable!), went to the gym, and our favorite diner.

I am thankful for Google chats two nights in a row. The changes of connecting both days are slim. However, they did and my days are so much better

I am thankful for my son's happy attitude. He is so good-natured. He loves to laugh and make people laugh. Is there anything better than someone laughing at your jokes/silliness or at least joining in on the fun? I agree!


Friday, January 25, 2013

InstaFriday: Chillin' at Home

We made it through another week. Yippee. Did the sarcasm make it through? Oh well, not important. This week has been a bit unpleasant. The kind of week you hope to never encounter during deployment. But nothing less than what you should expect to happen during deployment. One challenge after another.

And the award for "What Sucks The Most This Week And I'm Still Not Dealing With It"...the broken clothes dryer! Ding ding ding.  

Oh you should see my house. We are hanging everything to dry. Yes, my house looks awesome! 

Hmph! Ugh! *scream* *stomp my feet*
*sigh* *open bottle of wine*
End rant. 

Let's refocus on happier stuff, shall we? How about a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles manicure? You know you want one! Ky and I were having a little girl time last weekend. We decided to go off the grid of conventional. If you want to impress the tween crowd, then try this one. 

Another Pinterest find... 
I made three plates filled with blondie brownies and delivered them to the "new" neighbors. 
I'm overdue for introductions since most have been here for 2-3 months.
Better late than never. 

Everyone seemed genuinely appreciative of the gesture.
They were happy. I was happy.
Win win. 

This is how we watch The Biggest Loser. Once a week we gather around the computer to watch via website. Maybe we are the biggest losers?!?

Tuesday was hair day. 
Love hair day. 
Also love this girl.
She is getting way too old for my comfort.


Linking Up with:

Monday, January 21, 2013

San Clemente Beach Trail

The weather is beautiful here in Southern California. I couldn't think of a better way to spend my weekend than hiking a coastal trail. I use the term 'hiking' very loosely for the San Clemente Beach Trail. It's more of a nature walk. However, it was easy for kids and offered a great view of the ocean. Here are a few photos:

The train travels along the beach.

Another checked box on the Deployment Bucket List.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Gratitude Journal

Thank you for stopping by today. I am always thankful and pleasantly surprised by the amount of people who stop over to read today's blog post. It inspires me to keep writing each Sunday even when I'm facing not so happy things. I hope you are encouraged to journal or reflect daily on the good. It's so much better for your heart and mind.

I had the best thing happen to me last night. My husband and I were able to Google chat. The first time in his entire deployment. Instantaneous conversation which lasted more than 5 minutes. I didn't have to share with anyone. Opps! Did I just say that out loud? It was late and the kids were already asleep. No guilt. I am so very thankful for a long uninterrupted conversation.

And because of that long conversation, I am grateful for a late service at church today! I really didn't feel like getting up and ready early this morning. Just being honest.

I am thankful for our sunshine and warm weather. The temperatures climbed up to the 80s this weekend. The forecast says next week will be the same. I'm okay with this temporary change. But I want my colder weather back soon!

I am thankful for a morning hike. I get nervous about hiking with the kids without another adult. So many issues I can create in my mind. However, the good outweighed the bad this weekend. We found a new trail right along the coast. The views were amazing. The ocean was calm. We watched the paddle boarders floating around and seals sunbathing on a distant rock. A good morning and great start to our weekend.

I am thankful for Bible study beginning again. We have a month long break in December. Now we are back together for a few months.

I am thankful for a get-together with the neighborhood ladies. It was a couple of hours at the house down the street but it's nice to get to know some more people. Some days I go without any adult interaction. Sad but true. Meeting a few more people is always a good thing.

Speaking of getting out and about, I am thankful for a coffee date with an old colleague. It makes me feel in the (professional) loop. Something I miss lately.

As always, I am thankful you stopped by today! I hope you have a great day and if you get a holiday tomorrow...enjoy it!

What Are You Grateful For?

Friday, January 18, 2013

1 Down, 29 To Go

It's InstaFriday linkup at Life Rearranged.
 Nothing much to report this week.
I'm more than happy to share I've crossed something off my deployment bucket list.
No, I have not finished the dreaded closet!
I bought my homecoming outfit!

I was trying so hard to not buy anything.
Then out of the blue, I just happen to find myself at the mall. 
Standing outside my favorite store. Coveting the above outfit.
Having this mental conversation with myself...
"I want a pair of red pants. I do. Those are cute. Maybe next month? Maybe never..."
Then it dawned on me, "I should look for a homecoming outfit!"
Yes! In the store I went, grabbed an armful of dresses, and headed to the fitting room.

First try...cute but too casual. I want this dress but crossing my fingers it will hit the clearance rack.

Next, this coral number. I almost went with this one. It was fitted and cute. It needed about three inches off the bottom. But it wasn't screaming "Woohoo! You're finally home! Call the babysitter!" 
So I tried the blue.

I sent out an Instagram request for opinions. Thank you followers! 
We made a good choice.

Let's see what else can I show you?
The kids?

These are kiss faces. Yeah, I wouldn't have guessed it either.

That is all for this lovely Friday.
I'm semperfifam on Instagram.
Hope to see you there!


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fashion 30

If you know one thing about me, it should be I love to inflict unnecessary rules on myself. It's the weirdest, most not fun way to enjoy life. But I have always done it. I use to think it was called practicing self-control. Now, I call it a bad habit.

As if my new year's resolutions AND my deployment bucket list wasn't enough. I have created sub-goals for myself. Why? Because I hate fun? Possibly.

Just in case you missed the New Year & the Blog post, I have resolved to budget and save this year. Fifteen days in, I am doing a horrible job. As of Monday, I wasn't budgeting which means little savings. Failing! But...there's a but... I AM documenting everything I spend. AND that hurts... a lot. 'Cause I don't have anyone here to blame it on. If you ever want to get real and I mean really real about budgeting, then write everything down.

This is where the sub-goal comes in to play. I have put myself on a spending freeze when it comes to clothes, shoes, and accessories. It's a weakness and I wanted to see how long my wardrobe would last me. I really had no idea what was in my closet until I did a major overhaul before the new year. Really, I could mix and match well into June. And that is just my fall/winter things. Pathetic.

To journal this Fashion30 (it's my picture file name), I've been taking daily pictures of my outfits. I wanted to be able to look back and see the variety in my wardrobe. I also want to see what is not working and needs to be donated. (I need to take note of what I need too! You're all crazy if you think I can keep this up!) My only rule is I cannot wear an outfit more than once. Here is my first 15 days. Yes, I missed a few. I will update again after January is over.

Just in case you are digging the purple/yellow combo as much as me. 
Here's a 'pinning' picture :)

Psst...another thing you should know...I love clothes.

Oh, I almost forgot! I broke my rule today. I bought a dress.
However, it's totally justified because it's for my husband's homecoming AND it's on the Deployment Bucket List!!!
You better believe this girl can work a system, especially one I created! 
Come back Friday to see the dress or join me on Instagram @semperfifam

Follow Me on Pinterest

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Closet from Hell

I'm not sure why I thought being productive during deployment was a great idea. I was happily moping in my chair last night about this 'no communication' thing we've got going on. 10 days without any word from the husband. I'm entitled to a little 'woah is me' time. But in the back of my mind is this bucket list I've created. A deployment bucket list which is more of a "To-Do" list. I really should have filled it with pampering expensive treats. Not DIY kitchen table or clean the d@$# hall closet. A task I have been avoiding like the plague for months. I've made several feeble attempts but I just give up. Now it's on "The List" {with finger quotations} and I'm forced to deal with it.

I would like to believe we all have a place where we stuff crap. Please tell me you do too. Under the bed, in the drawer, the garage, somebody? Anyone willing to make me feel better? Maybe you're all neat freaks. Whatever. I am about to make a major social faux pas. I am showing you the closet. *gasp*  

Then you can truly understand why Organize the Hall Closet has to be put on a bucket list.

It is full of random crap no one touches. Yet we can not get rid of anything.

Let's start with this bag of screws. That's it. Random crap no one touches.     

How about my old college textbooks? 
In a box with a PCS sticker from our move 2 years ago. 
Am I the only person who believes I will A.) re-read my college textbooks or B.) get a job where the books will be good reference material *ha-ha-ha-ha-HA*
Time to go.

Empty boxes anyone? This one is hard because if boxes are helpful when you are moving, especially with military movers. OK, boxes stay.

Kids Art Work. 
I need a storage unit just for my children's art work.
I hate deciding what is worthy of keeping and what should go.

What about VHS tapes and other outdated media?
Am I really suppose to throw away all those memories?

Revisiting the closet reminds me to avoid sales.
Wouldn't these make cute little "Happy Day" gifts? 
I thought so too. Six months ago.

Then I have uniforms to deal with.
Nuff said!

And books I've read.

And you all know I'm going to have a Target bag or three in my closet.

Time for an intervention.

Linking up with Mommy Moments, Mom's Monday Mingle, Mom's Library

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Gratitude Journal

Gratitude Journal is back. Sunday Gratitude link up is not. I have mixed feelings about it. Ultimately,  I don't feel I can do the link up justice for my fellow bloggers. I'm not sure if it matters to those linking up but I always feel guilty. I will revisit the link up mid-year and hope to be better prepared to host a link up.

I feel I have been going 110 miles per hour in life since December 13. I've had company or been company for almost a month. I've enjoyed it and feel so blessed to have family who are able to visit. But it is time for a routine and getting back to our normal.

I am thankful for all the help my MIL gave me while visiting. She is an ace with the kids AND that is the best help right now!

I am thankful the first week back to school was problem free. Besides getting back to a normal sleep schedule, the kids had a seamless transition.

I am thankful we are almost half way through deployment. BIG YAY for this one! Still a few weeks off but we just got the party invite from the squadron this week. Passing the half way mark makes things seem more manageable.

I am thankful we still have time left before military homecoming so I can actually do something productive with the house and myself. Check out my Deployment Bucket List.

I am thankful my volunteer inquiries have turned into something positive. I will spend one day a week volunteering with my youngest son's class. I get to work with kids struggling with reading. This is one of the things I enjoy most in the classroom. I am also working towards volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center. This will be something different than other volunteer and work related things I've done. However, I've been considering applying to a Social Work program so I feel this will help me decide.

I am thankful for my daughter's current obsession with Just Dance. It's so fun to watch her come out of her shell. And we have some good laughs as we all make fools of ourselves.

I am thankful I am still able to send emails to my husband despite his inability to communicate with me. When we go through this, I hope he still gets my emails. And I hope he feels encouraged and loved and connected by that one-sided communication. If not, well, then we will just have to cross this off the list! {just kidding}

I am grateful for a lazy Sunday to read my book.


Friday, January 11, 2013


There is something about an Instagram/phone pic linkup which makes you realize how fast a week passes. My first picture was taken Friday afternoon as we said goodbye to my daughter's bestie. This Friday, Grandma arrives after a few days of visiting family up north. A lot happens in 7 days. If you want to see the full reel of our week, then you will want to follow me @semperfifam


One last hurrah with my daughter's BFF before she flew out on Friday afternoon.
I love any excuse to get to the Discovery Science Museum.
And so happy we made it for the gingerbread exhibit.

Who does this?!? Absolutely envious of the crafty creativity!
I just want to eat it.


Basketball. All. Day.
This guy plays some awesome defense.
His dad would be proud!

This picture never gets old. 
Lemon Drop Martini. Yum.

Saturday night I got to enjoy a nice dinner with my friend, Helen.
My mother-in-law stayed with the kids.
If closing down the restaurant is any indication of how needed this night was, 
then it was MUCH NEEDED!
I'm pretty sure I heard the lock latch behind us.


Oh Charlie. Your sweet angel face is so deceiving!
As are my constant pet pictures on Instagram.
Truth is the boy gets on my last nerve some days.
I'm pretty sure he thinks he is human... or a princess.


After dropping my MIL off with the family, I decided to pull off the freeway 
at a view point.
I love to watch the ocean. 
Every time I sit and look at it I'm drawn right back to Him.
The messages have been inaudibly louder and clearer lately.
Stop and Enjoy.