Grocery University Sale – August 19th!

On Tuesday, August 19th, there will be a huge sale to celebrate the re-launch of Grocery University. This in-depth audio course will teach you how to make the most of your grocery budget. Since the sale is so good I am going to invest myself and am so excited to listen and learn.

The earlier you check it out the more savings you can score.

Here’s how it will work:

  • 5 a.m. CT – low price of $2.99
  • 8 a.m. CT – price goes up to $3.99
  • 11 a.m. CT – price goes up to $4.97
  • 2 p.m. CT – price goes up to $5.97
  • 5 p.m. CT – price goes up to $6.97
  • 8 p.m. CT- price goes up to $7.97
  • 11 p.m. CT- price goes up to $8.97

Even for the highest price of $9 this course is worth it as it could potentially save you so much more as you shop. If you purchase and listen I would love to hear how you have saved. I’ll be sure to share my experiences as well as I have a chance to listen.

Grocery University – Re-launching August 19th!

My favorite blogger from MoneySavingMom.com has recently acquired a product that I am completely on board with and I trust her recommendation! There will be a re-launching on August 19th, where you can snag some great deals on this course.

It’s called Grocery University and basically it’s a an in depth audio course that will help teach you how to make the most of your grocery budget. Even if you already are a great shopper there is still more to learn. While I have not gone through the course myself, I know the importance of the information provided. It’s knowledge that has helped John and I make it on a meager food budget and I know I still have much to learn as well.

Since it’s an audio course you can download the mp3′s and listen on the go.

The Grocery University course includes:
Grocery University

✓ 139 minutes of audio MP3 files – learn everything you need to know by listening!
✓ 40-page student workbook (PDF) with more tips, visual aids, and example scenarios.
✓ BONUS! The Grocery University Rock Bottom Price Database PDF ($10 value on its own!)

If you are anything like me, you just want to know the bottom line. The cost for Grocery University is only $9.97. Which, when you average it out over all the money it could potentially save you over the course of your grocery shopping years, you could think of it as being virtually free. Plus, it’s a resource you’ll own and can re-visit again and again. And you don’t have to wait for anything to be mailed. Everything is digital so you can start learning as soon as you purchase. I am tempting myself, is that bad?

If you have already tried this product or decide to try it out, I would love to hear how it has helped you.

Chick-fil-A Cow Appreciation Day – July 11th

CAD CFADon’t miss out on your free meal this Friday, July 11th at Chick-fil-A. All you have to do is dress in cow attire and you can either get a FREE MEAL or FREE ENTREE If you attempt partial cow attire you can get a free sandwich, but if you go all out you can get the complete meal for free. The only thing I love better than Chick-fil-A, is FREE Chick-Fil-A

We did this last year and it was great. What better use for my cow costume is there?

I’ll admit I was a bit self-conscious, but it was totally worth it. FREE is FREE.  So who’s with me?

Motherhood: Breastfeeding

In regards to breastfeeding, I am thankful Maddie had no trouble latching on. She’s been a good eater from the beginning. I truly believe that was only by God’s grace. He had mercy on me, who was already suffering another complication, and He gave me an easy time in this regard. I acknowledge that this is not the norm for so many and my heart goes out to you.

I didn’t realize breastfeeding would be so time consuming. I guess I didn’t think much about it other than I knew I wanted to do it if possible for the benefits to the baby and the pocketbook. Especially in the early weeks when she was feeding every 1.5 – 2 hours it was easy to feel like I was a 24 hour milk buffet. Now mind you, when I say every 1.5 – 2 hours that is the time from the start of one meal to the start of the next. So if she feeds for a half hour or longer, well, you can do the math. You can understand how it can feel like that’s pretty much all you are doing.

It’s a little easier now. She goes for longer stretches 2-3 hours during the day and 4-6 hours at night. I get a break and it’s not painful like in the beginning. Sometimes it can even be good “me” time, as I let her eat and I tune in to a tv episode on Netflix.

Now we are working on getting her to take a bottle with my milk. She will take it from John, which is good, but she definitely doesn’t settle as well after eating. We’re working on that.

I am still leery to wander too far from home, as I am not too keen on breastfeeding in public, even though I do have a cover. I would much rather feed her at home where we can both be comfortable. At the same time, it’s hard to stay holed up for 6 months or plan every outing around her sporadic schedule. We’re learning as we go with most of it. Do breastfed babies ever get more scheduled? Can you put them on a schedule as they get older?

Overall I find it amazing and miraculous that God designed women’s bodies to produce just what their babies need to grow and thrive. What a great design!

 

Forgetting the Why

Thank you so much to those of you who commented on my last few posts. It has been a reminder to me of why I enjoy writing and wanted to write in the first place. Sometimes it’s easy to be generic with everything and there’s a time and place for that kind of writing but I definitely want to bring so much more. I want my writing to be genuine and courageous. I don’t want to hold back for fear of what others may or may not think. Thank you for reminding me that honesty and transparency is always best. It’s been a challenge and encouragement!

Motherhood: The Beginnings

DSCN0342After 9 months of carrying my baby and reading lots of books and forums on what to expect I realized that no book can really prepare you. Madeline came almost on time. Easter Sunday morning. She was due Saturday. I didn’t have painful contractions, until my water broke in the early morning hours and labor began just like that. That is one thing that was accurate. You will know. There was no guessing.

So was labor what I expected? Yes and no. Contractions did hurt – bad. The pain from my back was the worst, but I was getting through it. However, the nauseousness put me over the top and I decided on drugs. I was thankful I did because I think it helped things progress more steadily. And when my baby finally came out it was a wonderful feeling to see her for the first time and know life was forever changed. This was a baby, our baby, and it was hard to believe she just came out of me. The joy was what I expected.

However, I didn’t expect the pain of getting stitched up. I didn’t expect the pain I experienced in moving my legs or putting pressure on them. I thought some pain would be normal, but this was not what I was expecting. In my mind, the labor was a piece of cake compared to the recovery. And here about a month later – I am still recovering. No one talks about that. Granted – I am experiencing some additional complications, but either way – It’s painful, much beyond the labor itself. No book mentioned that.

It’s hard. I am exhausted. I still have some pain with certain movements. Breastfeeding doesn’t allow me much of a break. Sometimes it seems like I have a baby that eats what feels like all the time, day and night. I try to sleep when she does. I eat when I can and sometimes while feeding her. The novelty of the newborn has worn off. She’s cute, but cute doesn’t tell me how to console her when she seems to cry for no reason. Cute doesn’t  feed her in the middle of the night. She’s cute and I adore her, but I don’t really care for this phase of her life. Anyone who loves the newborn stage. Kudos to you. I’m just not you.

I know what I’m feeling is normal. You get sent home from the hospital and feel completely unprepared to care for this life. What a responsibility! Somehow you are supposed to know what to do. It’s so overwhelming. I cried. Alot. I know some of it was hormones, but it’s just so tiring and hard.

My crying has mostly subsided now and I’ve realized that you do figure it out. I still feel clueless most of the time, but I am getting to know our daughter.  I’ve stopped worrying about every little sound she’s making at night because I’ve heard the same sounds for weeks and she’s just fine. I know that even when she cries and is fussy it will eventually have an end. I don’t flinch at the sight of a dirty diaper. I am still tired, waiting for an end and some mornings just not ready to get up and do it all over again, but I do.  Somehow, I just do what I have to do because I have a little life that needs me to. And I would do anything for this little life – even if it means being smelly and exhausted.

 

A Costly Mistake and the Power of Grace

I have to tell you up front that this is not a post I wanted to write. But God wouldn’t let me alone. This post has to do with a large failure on my part. It’s not fun or easy to admit to others your failings and to expose your frailty and faults. It’s not easy to admit the stupidity you are capable of. And yet, it’s not fair to only show strengths and successes. I make mistakes just like everyone else. I have lapses in judgement, regrets, words spoken I wish I could take back. So here goes…

The call came at work. I can’t say it was a huge shocker, but it confirmed a lurking fear at the back of my mind that I wasn’t ready to admit. One google search later crushed any hope I had of making this right. How could I be so stupid?! Why did I not research this before I cashed the check? Questions I would ask myself a million times in the days ahead.  Unfortunately I had no answers, just a big dent in my savings that was not supposed to be there.

I was a victim of fraud, an email scam. I never thought it would happen to me. I’m smarter than that, or so I thought. As it sunk in, I cried and went over the scenario a million times in my head. “How could I do this? We could have done so much with that money. It’s not coming back. How do I tell John? If only I had done this, or that. How could I be so dumb?”

Thankfully I had a half day of work. As soon as I got home I cried more. Unfortunately this was also the day we had another doctor appt. for our little one and I didn’t think it would be good for me to be hooked up on the monitor and hysterical in front of my husband. Not quite the time or place. So I stuffed it in, but it was not far from my mind. Part of me was tempted to not tell him. I take care of most of the everyday finances and he would really never know it was missing. It was a brief temptation because I knew I would never be able to pull that off. Plus, I needed him. I needed him to tell me it was going to be ok.

As soon as we were home I broke again. I blurted out the scenario between a hundred I’m sorry’s and tears. I let him have some space to process and I cried more. During my alone time I really sensed God’s presence and saw things for what they were. First of all, it was only money. I needed to trust in God’s provision, not my own financial savvy. Obviously that doesn’t mean I should be dumb with decisions, but ultimately He is the provider. Not me. Secondly, I need Him. In everyday decisions, little, big, everything in between. I need His guidance more than I often admit to myself.

After John and I had our time to think and came back together, more tears were shed. It was a hard conversation but a good one. We both realized that although we are on the same page financially, John needs to be more involved. We also realized that God was using this situation differently for each of us to bring certain things to the surface that we needed to deal with. One thing that did not happen was accusations, insults or yelling. He didn’t tell me how dumb I was. He didn’t yell at me for being so stupid. He didn’t make me feel worse than I already did. In those moments he loved me well. In those moments we each felt God’s love and grace. And those moments drew my heart even closer to my God and my husband.

In the days that followed I would still dwell on my mistake and play it over and over again. I filed a police report, which was an interesting process, and for me, the final closure. I’ve done what I can do. I will not see the money again. It’s time to move on. And for once, the forgiving myself came a little easier. I either trust God or not. He knows we are like lambs, dumb creatures that need constant supervision and guidance. He knows my heart and how hard I try to be a good steward of what He gives us. If John can forgive me and extend so much grace how much more God has already done just that. And I am so thankful!