Monday, February 28, 2011

It's State Law, Donnie Baker.

PS- Justin and Dad, today's post title is dedicated to you :)

Okay, so it's Monday. And I was up half the night with a screaming Lizzy. And then I woke up at 5am to have Shaun T kick my butt. And I still have to go grocery shopping at that big local grocery store that's a pain in the butt but so worth it for lower prices. So I needed to start my morning off with a little something fun. And because I'm just a little bit of a nerd who happens to love law, that fun happened to be dumb laws. Did you know that there are tons of crazy/stupid/silly laws still on the books in various states?

For example, in Oregon, you're not allowed to pump your own gas...a law that people from outside of Oregon think is absurd, but for me it's just normal, 'cause that's all I've known. I think I've pumped my own gas maybe twice in my life. Not gonna lie, it kind of scares me to death every time.

Another silly Oregon law? Dishes must drip dry, apparently. Mine don't. Shhh, don't tell.

Also? It's apparently illegal to eat ice cream on Sunday. Or to whisper "dirty" things into your lover's ear during sex. Or to use canned corn as fishing bait, which I'm sure must be a REAL big problem. The horror. 

In Hood River, Oregon, juggling is strictly prohibited without a license. In Marion, OR, you cannot eat a doughnut while walking backwards down the street. I often wonder what must have happened to necessitate laws like these to be put on the books.

I want to hear about the crazy/funny/stupid laws in your state. So go to, and report back to me in the comments!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Snippets + Advice

- First off, I'd love some advice from you other mamas--Lizzy has recently become an extremely picky eater. Her pediatrician warned me that this would probably happen as she got closer to 18 months because babies around that age apparently don't need as much food. See, sometimes I'll make something for dinner or lunch that Lizzy has previously had and eaten no problem, but lately, sometimes she'll just shake her head no, and won't even try it. I never have any idea what she will or will not eat, aside from bananas, which she would eat 10 of each day if I let her. Right now, if she doesn't eat, I don't make her something else (because who knows whether she would even eat that). I have her sit in her high chair while I/we eat, and then she can get down. But the problem is that I don't think she's eaten dinner all week (though she is still pooping/peeing plenty each day). What do you guys do if you have a picky eater? Do you make something else if they won't eat what you've ordered or prepared?


-I finished a baby blanket for my cousin and his wife who have a baby boy due next month. I knitted 4 strands of heavyweight yarn together with size 50 knitting needles. It is so thick and squishy! I would love to make a full size blanket like this for myself, but I think it would probably cost me an arm and a leg in yarn! Anyway, I'm having fun practicing all sorts of knitting stitches on baby blankets...and I'll have LOTS more opportunities--there are SIX moms in Mom's Group who are pregnant and due this spring!


-While most of you have been dealing with Snowpocalypse, we haven't had ANY, until yesterday, when we started getting little snow flurries. This morning, we have an inch or so. My parents have 5 inches or so, I bet. The funny thing? The schools are all on closures or delays!

-I think we're starting a family tradition of pizza Fridays. If you haven't seen it already check out Caroline's Pizza Dough Recipe from Emily @ imperfect. Simple and perfect pizza dough. Last time, I topped with leftover Caesar Chicken, Tomatoes, Spinach, Italian Herbs & Seasoning, and Feta Cheese. It was kind of delicious, and Lizzy actually ate a ton of it, so I'm not complaining. Tonight, J will get his beloved pepperoni, I'll probably do close to the same thing again.


-We've made it though 5 days of Insanity. I'm impressed with our perserverence, and the fact that we even got up at 4:45am yesterday to work out (it was the only time we had!) instead of just skipping it. That said, we are both nursing colds, and I seriously thought I was going to DIE during today's Pure Cardio session. One more session this week and then a rest day!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

BQOTD: Gendered Sports

A 16-year old wrestler in Iowa state recently made news by defaulting a match in the state championships because he was slated to wrestle a girl (she was the one of two girls who made it to the state championships for the first time in Iowa wrestling history this year). I'm not sure how defaulting is different than forfeiting, but apparently it is. The male wrestler said, "Wrestling is a combat sport, and it can get violent at times. As a matter of conscience and my faith, I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner."

His father went on to say, “He’s poured his heart and soul into wrestling and into being the best in the state. He’s never won a state championship, so he’s certainly looking forward to that day. So it’s agonizing, from all the work and the effort and the hope. But it’s easy in that, he, a long time ago, drew a line and said ‘I don’t believe it’s right for a boy to wrestle a girl.’”

The girl's father said, "It’s nice to get the first win and have her be on the way to the medal round. I sincerely respect the decision of the Northrup family especially since it was made on the biggest stage in wrestling. I have heard nothing but good things about the Northrup family and hope Joel does very well the remainder of the tourney.”

Article here and here.

The article from The Blaze mentions that over 6,000 girls competed in high school wrestling in the 2009-2010 school year. In most states, the girls do wrestle against the boys, but California, Washington, Tennessee, Texas, and Hawaii sponsor girls-only wrestling tournaments.


So. What do you guys think? The boy in question (Joel) has gotten both a lot of praise and a lot of negative feedback for his decision not to wrestle the girl in question (Cassy). Some say that Joel was scared of losing to a girl. It's a sad fact, but he probably WOULD have been mercilessly harassed by his teammates and schoolmates if he had lost to Cassy. Others have praised Joel for standing firm with his personal religious beliefs, even if they don't agree themselves.

I guess this is a two part burning question of the day:

(1) Should boys and girls be allowed to play traditionally gendered sports? Should girls be allowed to wrestle? On the same token, should a boy be allowed to try out for a girl's volleyball team? What if a girl really wants to play baseball instead of softball, or a boy wants to play softball instead of baseball? 

(2) What do you think of Joel Northrup's decision not to wrestle against Cassy in the state championships?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Announcements, Announcements, ANNNNOOOUNCEMENTS!

Actually, I don't have any super big announcements. I just had that song stuck in my head from girl scout camp. Does that happen to anyone else? Wake up with camp songs stuck in your head? No? Must be just me then.

-Lizzy has officially gone 24 hours with no pacifier. Hallelujah on toast. However, it came with a price of very little sleep last night.

-Justin and I did the Insanity Fit Test last night and then decided that we needed to start working out in the morning instead of at night, so we did Day 2 this morning. So, two Insanity workouts in less than 12 hours. Justin looked at me after we finished and said, "WHAT did we get ourselves into?!"

-Still loving the Beth Moore Bible Study. I may just order another workbook online once we're done with this one if there isn't another starting up. Anyone done any that they recommend?

-HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dad! Love you!

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Little Too Ambitious

I've mentioned on this blog before that I am a total bookworm. I love books. I love the feeling of cracking open a new book for the first time and letting the world drop away. My 4th grade teacher used to describe reading as watching a movie in your head--only YOU get to cast every character and stage every scene. I love it.

But, books are also a way that I sometimes spend in excess. We have many, many bookshelves in our house, and they're all pretty much full. I've started going through and taking the ones that I didn't absolutely love to the used book store. I also made a commitment to try my darndest to check books out of the library rather than buying them, which has worked out well for the most part, except that our podunk local library tends to mostly stock Louis Lamour and Nora Roberts, which makes sense demographically, but doesn't make browsing particularly fun. So, I usually have to request books from other libraries, and there's usually a wait list.

I try to stagger when I'll receive the books, but every once in awhile I'll move up the list more quickly than expected and end up with a plethora of books, like this week:


This stack is a little ambitious for two weeks worth of reading, even for me. Justin likes to poke fun at me and say that I'd be able to finish Under The Dome in two days, but that's just not true...that alone will probably take me a week and a half or two, considering the time I'm usually spending on the Beth Moore study each day. I've started reading The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest first, just because I'm certain that I won't be able to renew it. After that though, anything's fair game--though I should mention that I'll almost certainly be able to renew The Fiery Cross, so I'll probably save that for last. So basically, I'll probably end up reading either Under the Dome OR Midwives and The Last Talk with Lola Faye. Have you read any of these? Which way would you go?

And as always, if you've recently read a good book that I should add to my "To Be Read" pile, feel free to mention it!

Letter to Lizzy- Thirteen Months


Dear Lizzy,

What a big, opinionated girl you are now! In fact, I think "opinionated" is the word of the month--you know exactly what you want, and often get frustrated when you can't express yourself, or when I just don't let you have what you want. For example, yesterday, you threw a 35 minute tantrum (complete with head banging on the floor) when I wouldn't let you have a third banana for lunch.

It's hard for me sometimes, because if you don't get exactly what you want when you want it, you lash out--hitting, biting, and scratching. I have to keep reminding myself that this behavior is a normal developmental stage for babies your age. Some days though, I get really flustered and upset. And then, out of nowhere, you'll come and give me a snuggle or a kiss, and my heart just melts. I treasure those snuggles, hugs, and kisses.


Recently, you've started to do well with feeding yourself. I think you may get almost as much in your stomach as you do on the top of your head. 


You've always loved music, but this month, you've started dancing and sometimes singing along, which is just adorable. Your favorite songs right now are Baby Beluga, the ABC song (every once in a while I hear you singing AHH BAAAA CEEEE!), Skidamarink, and Ooh Eee Ooh Ah Ah Ting Tang Walla Walla Bing Bang. When you dance, you like to spin in circles, and also go into a deep squat and bounce like you're "getting low"...I have no idea where you learned or even saw that, but it's hilarious. 


You've also started to actually cover your eyes when we're playing peek-a-boo, as well as to run and hide behind things. Sometimes, one of us will chase you, and you'll run (yes, RUN) to the other to be "saved". Sometimes, you like to pretend that our cat is "getting you" and run away from her while laughing hysterically. 


When Dad was out of town for work for a week, you got to talk to him on the phone every night. Since then, you love to pretend to call your cousins on the phone. You hold it up to your ear and just babble to them. You really do a lot of talking just in general, and you tend to put the same consonant and vowel sounds together in the same sequences. I have do doubt that you are talking and know exactly what you're saying...I just can't interpret it quite yet.


Even though this month has been pretty difficult (in addition to the testing limits behavioral stage, you were also sick for the first time AND got several molars), your dad and I love you beyond measure, and nothing...NOTHING...will ever change that.


For Ever and For Always,


Thursday, February 17, 2011


- Well, I've read a number of books recently. I'd really recommend Elizabeth Berg's The Last Time I Saw You. The premise is essentially a group of classmates preparing for their 40th high school reunion. Each has a different reason that they want to attend the reunion (to have a last chance with that high school crush, to show everyone how much cooler they are now, to make amends for bad behavior), and I enjoyed all the different perspectives. It was also just funny. I laughed out loud at this section:

"Hilly's fiance is a doctor. A proctologist, specializing in the wonderful world of buttholes and rectums, but still. Dorothy is working up to asking the question that--come on!--must occur to everyone to ask him: What exactly made you chose this line of work? When Dorothy tried to ask her daughter about it, all Hilly did was get mad. It is true Dorothy could have used a more sensitive approach--what she'd asked Hilly was "Why in the wide, wide world would you ever want to look up people's heinies all day?" Still, Dorothy doesn't see why Hilly had to take such offense. Her daughter had said something like perhaps Dorothy should consider the fact that preventing and treating cancer is a pretty noble goal. But that still didn't answer the question, did it?" (p 6).

- I'm still sort of plugging away on Couch to 5k. Sort of. I'm getting a little bored with running on the treadmill, and it's just been too cold to run outside with Lizzy, now that I have a jogging stroller (my dad found one for $15 on Craigslist, yay!). A friend lent us Insanity Cardio Abs, and Justin and I have done that for the last few nights. It's kind of fun to do something else besides running, but still know that I'm increasing my cardio capacity. It is HARD! I need to get our hands on the whole set of videos. I do want to finish the program, I just don't want to finish and then never run ever again, so I need to get to the point where I'm doing it for the enjoyment of it, not just to finish the program.

-I know that I need to write Lizzy's 13 month letter, but honestly, the last couple of weeks have been REALLY difficult behaviorally with her, and I don't want to write anything that I'll regret later. Seriously, I can't tell you how many times I've been holding Lizzy and she's gotten mad at me about something and tried to gouge out my eyes. I'm not exaggerating. The last time this happened, she had tried to grab my glasses (which were on top of my head), I told her "No thank you, not for babies", and she promptly tried to scratch my eyeball. I set her down, and a 25 minute tantrum ensued. I eventually put her in her crib because she kept throwing herself backwards against our hardwood floors. 25 minute tantrums because she wants my coffee, or doesn't want whatever I've served for dinner are also common. So is her hitting me, trying to kick the cat, trying to bite me, coming up behind me and pinching my legs/scratching me. Or just SCREAMING for no discernible reason. Seriously. I can't tell you how many times I've thought what happened to my sweet child?! Reading a few articles on Baby Center calmed me down a bit. I had to laugh at the title of the 13 month article, which was "A stranger among you?". The article mentioned many of the behavioral issues we've been dealing with, so I guess at least I know she's developmentally on track, ha!

-Seriously though, it's kind of exhausting. Especially since I'm still getting up with her at least once a night due to hysterical screaming. I was thisclose to getting Justin a card for Valentine's Day that said, "Forget chocolates or candy, the best way to show your love to me would be letting me have an extra hour of sleep. C'mon, SHOW ME YOUR LOVE."  I cracked up in the store  And then, and entire shelf of cards and dolls came crashing down on my head. The two 30ish men browsing in the Valentine section just laughed at me and walked away leaving me all by myself to pick things up. Thank you so much, jerks.

-In other news, I'm also on a knitting kick. I've made several baby blankets for friends, and I have several more to make as well. I would also REALLY like to knit myself a blanket with the big size 50 needles. One of the recent baby blankets I made was 4 strands knitted together using the size 50 needles, and it is SO thick and warm and chunky. Too bad it would probably cost more than $50 to knit a big blanket!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


On Friday evening, I got a text from my 18 year old brother. Our conversation went like this:

Kevin: What are you doin tomorrow am? 
Me {thoroughly impressed that he texted me using actual words instead of indecipherable characters}: Not sure, why?
Kevin: I have slopestyle competition at the mountain. If you want to get some interesting shots it'd be a cool opportunity.

Justin and I roughly translated this to mean, "Hey, would you come take pictures of my snowboard competition?" And so of course, we went. Now, before I show you the pictures, I need to set the stage a bit. Up at the mountain, there is a pretty decent sized lodge. The terrain park for snowboarding is within walking distance from the lodge, but you still have to walk across the bunny hill to get there. Once you're there, they don't have bleachers or anything of the sort set up, you're just standing in the snow.

On Saturday, I wore my fake Ugg boots, which I had worn several years ago to the same snowboarding event with great success. However, not being a snow person, I didn't really stop to think about how many different kinds of snow there are, and how those particular boots might not work so well on all types of snow. I quickly discovered that this was, in fact, the case, when we arrived at the mountain and discovered that the snow was actually ice. I think I fell on my butt six or seven times just walking over to the terrain park. Oh but the fun didn't stop there friends...the terrain park is also apparently the windiest part of the mountain, and we might as well have been in a tornado. The wind practically knocked me down on my butt again several times as I was just standing there happily/freezingly taking pictures.



We were supposed to meet up with Ryan and Renee later that day to play basketball. I was *so* glad that they canceled...I was SORE!




Congrats to my brother, who qualified for state by doing something called a Cork Back 5!


There is an art, or rather a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. ~Douglas Adams, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Monday, February 14, 2011

To Justin


This photo was literally taken about a half an hour before you asked me out {for the blog readers who didn't know us then, we're in the front row, on the right}. Do you remember? I think virtually everyone knew that you were planning to ask me out besides me. I remember Maren had come up with some ridiculous reason for us to switch her seats so that you could sit by me...and I was thrilled. I think I was sitting as close as physically possible without sitting on your lap!

Have I told you that right before going to Orlando, I had sworn to myself that I would NOT fall for you on that trip. I had liked you for months, but had become convinced that you didn't like me back. I remember talking to some of my friends about how I was NOT going to come back from Orlando swooning over you. I was going away to college in a few months, and it was not in my plan to go with a boyfriend. I remember one of my friends asking, "Mere, what IS it with this guy?! Why can't you just let it go and move on?" I shrugged and said that I didn't know, but I distinctly remember thinking to myself that I couldn't give up on the idea of you and I, because if we ever did get together, I thought it would be forever. Then, I distinctly brushed that thought out of my mind. I was 17...this was puppy love, not forever.

Do you remember sitting by the pool just a few nights after we were dating? You basically laid it all out there that you weren't really interested in having a summer fling. You didn't want to just date--you wanted to be boyfriend and girlfriend. If we were going to do this, you wanted to do it right, because you thought we had a chance to have something serious. I remember being so, so thrilled. Shocked that we had both come to the same conclusion independently. But I was also worried...I had never been in a real relationship before. How was I supposed to know if this was IT?

I still love looking back at pictures from when we were dating, because we were so quick to laugh. We didn't see each other every day, so when we did see each other, we tended to put everything else aside, and just have fun. That's probably something I could learn from even now--it's so easy to get wrapped up in the laundry, dishes, and taking care of Lizzy. Sometimes, it's so good just to play around and be silly--I treasure the little moments like last night, giggling on the couch as we watched the Grammy's.

In high school, I knew plenty of girls that wanted to get married young and start families. I wasn't one of them. I had big plans that did not include being married before I was 25. Once you and I started dating, I was scared. I was scared because I was young, and I was falling for you so fast. Part of me was saying "It's him that you're meant to be with" while the other part of me was saying, "You're only 18. What do you know? You're too young for anything serious."

From the beginning, being with you was comfortable. I always remember feeling like I could totally be myself around you. Do you have any idea what a gift that was to my teenage soul? Never feeling like I had to impress you, or to be anyone other than myself? You loved me just as I was. As I am. In all the chaos and craziness that my life was--working three jobs and taking 20 credits a term in college, whenever I was with you, I felt calm, and at peace. It wasn't long before I started to think that maybe that crazy voice in my head telling me that you were the one for me, wasn't so crazy after all. In fact, it was quite possibly God, nudging me towards you. And then, I wasn't scared anymore...which is how the girl-who-would-never-be-married-before-25 came to be married at 20.

I'm so glad that I did.
We've been through so much together since that warm summer day in 2004. Joy, anger, excitement, worry, elation. I am so thankful for every minute of it. Most of all, I'm so thankful to have you by my side through it all. To balance me out.

I love you as much now as I did then. Actually, more. There's nothing like watching your husband become a father. As "our song" goes, I love you more than I have ever found a way to say to you.

Happy Valentine's Day. Here's to many, many more.

For ever and For Always,

Thursday, February 10, 2011

BQOTD: Religious Businesses

Some of you may know that in college, I majored in Sociology. Every once in awhile, something pops up in the news that just gets those sociological wheels turning. Yesterday was one of those days. See, I came across an article on CNN talking about various businesses that have religious affiliation.

I'll paraphrase some of the businesses covered in the article here:

* Chick fil A- Owners identify as Christian say that their corporate mission statement is "to glorify God." All franchises close on Sundays to allow employees to attend church and spend time with family. The owner says, "You don't have to be a Christian to work at Chick-fil-A, but we ask you to base your business on biblical principles because they work." 

* Forever 21- John 3:16 is printed on the bottom of the bags, and according to the CNN article, is a "demonstration of the owner's faith"

 * Whole Foods- One of the co-founders is a Buddhist, who says that many of the ideals of his religion are incorporated into the company (the article didn't give much more information about how they are incorporated, but did mention the ideal that sustainability is more important than profit. 

* In N Out Burger- Known for printing Bible verses on their cups and burger wrappers. The cups bear John 3:16, single burger wrappers bear Revelation 3:20, and milkshake cups cite Proverbs 3:5.  Other verses included on various paper products are Nahum 1:7, John 14:6, and 1Corinthians 13:13.

* Tom's of Maine- The owner and CEO has a master's from Harvard Divinity School, and almost left the company to pursue Christian ministry full time. However, he ultimately decided to use Tom's of Maine as a ministry opportunity. 

* Tyson Foods Inc- Tyson employs many chaplains that minister to it's employees, and has also funded an institute designed to study faith and spirituality in the workforce. 

* Hobby Lobby- Mission statement says, "Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles." 

Other companies mentioned were SeviceMaster (Terminix), Herman Miller, Interstate Batteries, and Wal-Mart.

This may be old news, but we don't really have many of the businesses mentioned here locally, so I wasn't aware of their religious affiliation until I read the article. It got me thinking. So my question is: What do you think of business who have a public religious affiliation? Does their public religious affiliation make you more or less likely to patronize those businesses? If you don't share the beliefs of any of the businesses mentioned, how does that make you feel?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Photo Snippets

On Saturday, Justin finally got back from being out of town for a week. I survived, but just barely. Basically, I think I averaged 3-4 hours of sleep a night the entire week he was gone. Not gonna lie, it was hard, mostly because Lizzy was sick, and I ended up holding her basically 20 hours a day.

Also, I obviously wasn't able to get a good run in since I was holding Lizzy 24/7. I didn't get to run yesterday either because I literally had the worst migraine I've ever had in my life, and I'm really hoping I'm not getting this bug that's going around. I'm kind of freaking out about not really having run in a week. I'm already feeling like I've been on Week 6 of C25k forever, and now I might have to repeat it again. Ugh. I know it doesn't matter if I repeat a week, I just want to actually finish this thing for once. Anyway...

Lisa, this photo is for you. Check out this onesie!!! Giraffe + Hippo forevah! I know, it's probably actually a zebra, but I have decided that it's a giraffe, and that's that. The end.

On Friday, she finally felt a little better, and did NOT want me to hold her at all. However, she DID want me to sit right next to her all day, and flipped out if I even walked into the kitchen. I took the opportunity to start knitting a baby blanket for a friend. I used size 50 needles and three strands of yarn, and it knitted up in just three or four hours.


Justin luckily made it home just in time for his band's big benefit concert for a local food bank. I got to practice taking concert photos, which I think is one of the trickier types of photography--you're dealing with very low light, then usually moving colored lights, moving subjects (in very low light) and other funky stuff.


I shot exclusively with my nifty fifty lens, because it's the fastest lens I have, and I was pretty pleased. I wanted more of a portrait-style than the whole band shots because of the venue, and I thought it worked out pretty well.





It was a really fun concert, and we raised enough to fund the food pantry for a month! Not too shabby!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Lover of Books


We went to the library yesterday, and checked out loads of kids books. Still, when it was time for some reading time, Lizzy went right to her old standby--Llama Llama Red Pajama.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Take A Peek In My Grocery Bag

Not too long ago, Emily @ Imperfect blogged about their $250 grocery budget. Like her, I was pretty surprised how many people were spending way more than that each month. I was shocked when a friend of mine told me that she spends close to $1000 on groceries each month for her family of three. We're usually well within the $250 budget range (some months, much less), but we don't usually make super elaborate or gourmet meals either.

I went grocery shopping today, and so I thought I'd give y'all a peek inside my bag: 

Blueberry Lemonade Smirnoffs, Martinelli's Apple Juice, Double Box Frosted Mini Wheats, Stovetop Stuffing for Chicken, brown rice, 2 boxes of Wheat Thins, Whole Wheat Ritz crackers, 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 1 large can of pineapple chunks, 1 can whole black beans, 1 can whole pinto beans, 1 can peas, raisins, hot cocoa mix, olive oil, fajita seasoning mix, grape tomatoes, 3 large yams, bacon, baby carrots, sugar snap peas, pepperoni, Skim Milk, Kraft shredded Mozzarella cheese, String Cheese, 7 navel oranges, 4 bananas, 6 peppers (2 green, 2 yellow, 2 red)

Grand total: $62.83

The items that I bolded are atypical expenses-- things I only buy on a special occasion or if they're really on sale. We haven't had cereal in the house for months, because it's usually really expensive, and we both have other less expensive things we like just as well for breakfast (I do toast with PB, Justin likes 3 raw eggs in a glass of milk...say it with me...ew!). However, today, the double box of cereal was on sale for $2, so I went for it. We rarely have apple juice, but Lizzy's pediatrician recommended warm apple juice to help with her cough. 

The items in italics are the "perimeter of the store" items. Today, it was about 50/50 in terms of perimeter of the store versus interior of the store due to some sales and other planned purchases. Usually it's more like 80/20 with 80% of things coming from the perimeter of the store. We do most of our shopping there, except for the occasional venture in for pasta, rice, or beans. We also do try to have crackers and raisins on hand as easy grab and go snacks for Lizzy. For me, the trick to the perimeter versus interior thing is to try not to buy anything from the interior of the store that isn't on my list. I broke this rule today for cereal, but rarely do in other cases. The reality of it is that we're going to have to buy some things from the interior of the store. Not everything there is bad. Not everything on the perimeter is good. But as a general rule, most of the junk is on the interior rather than the perimeter. Following the "list rule" gives me some flexibility in regards to meat, cheese, and produce, but limits my impulse buying of crap processed foods.

And here's my menu plan for the next week: 

Thursday: Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Friday: Brown Rice, Black Beans, and Yumm Sauce 
Saturday: Big concert for J, playing it by ear
Sunday: Superbowl, no normal meal
Monday: Bruschetta Chicken Bake, Green Salad
Tuesday: Pizza/Pizza Pockets/Pizza Bread
Wednesday: Chicken Fajitas
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Soup (Potato, or maybe Stew)

So, the food that I purchased today will get us through until the 11th or 12th at least. I may do one more similar shopping trip this month (which would bring us to about $120) or maybe two (which would bring us to about $180). On the next shopping trip, you probably wouldn't see any of the bolded items again, but you would see things like cheddar cheese, yogurt, hummus, spinach, and eggs ( all of which we already had in the house this time). In addition, we may spend another $20 picking up extra milk for J and Lizzy at Costco and other last minute items, for a total of about $200 spent on food this month. 

You'll notice that I didn't really purchase any meat. We typically buy meat in bulk and freeze it. We buy meat every 2-3 months or so, and spend closer to $250 on the months that we buy meat.You'll also notice that there isn't a ton of junk food--we occasionally buy ice cream, but I try to keep a lot of the junk food out of the house since I'm here all day.

How much do you guys spend on groceries each month? Any tips?

Feb 3

-It's been kind of a rough week. Lizzy wasn't feeling well Monday and Tuesday--low grade fever, runny nose, cough. Her fever broke Tuesday, and she's been sleeping a ton since then. She had also been going through the separation anxiety thing lately, so she basically wants to be held 24 hours a day. If I set her down in the living room to walk into the kitchen...she is HYSTERICAL. And, as I feared on Sunday when my heartrate was through the roof on my run, I'm coming down with it too. I'll probably call the doctor for Lizzy today because her cough is sounding pretty junky. Of course, I am more than willing to take her into the doctor if that's what she needs, but I feel like they're always like "Bring her in and let's take a look", and then once I bring her in, 9 times out of 10 then say, "Oh, why don't you bring her back in three days and we'll see how she's doing?" Which then means I'm paying two co-pays for them to tell me nothing other than she has a cold. At the same time, I'm terrified that the one time that I don't take her in, it WILL be more than a cold.

-Speaking of running, we don't have a Road Runner Sports or Feet Fleet or anything like that out here in the boonies, so I went online to Road Runner Sports, plugged in all the info about my super crazy high arches, and video taped myself walking to see whether I pronate or supinate. It spit out 5 or 10 different shoes that it recommended for me. I wrote them down to save up for a pair sometime in March. But then I went to ROSS, and they had one of the exact shoes recommended for me (Puma Ventis). I call them my snazzy shoes, because they're purple, and I've never had purple shoes of any sort before. That said, I haven't been able to try them out yet because of the aforementioned getting sick and holding Lizzy 24/7 thing.

-I started Beth Moore's study of David yesterday. I've never done a Beth Moore study before, so I didn't realize that there's about 45 minutes of daily homework. It's like a class! I confess--I loved school. Even college. I am a total nerd. Still, I'm excited that this is a pretty in-depth study that really goes into the Greek and Hebrew meaning of words. Now, if I could only get Lizzy to go into childcare without flipping out so that I could actually watch the video. We try every time, but they always bring her back out to me within 5 minutes or so because she's hysterical and can't be calmed down. Poor baby.
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