Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Party like it's '99

Wait, no...make that party like it's the 99th post. ;)  Plus, it has almost been a full year of blog-fun for me.  My how it has flown. =)

I guess you could say I am not prepared to bid a fond farewell to 2008 when I looked at J about 5 minutes ago and proclaimed "oh yeah, it's New Year's Eve...?!"  

We've been sick around here, that'll be my excuse for now.  Even though I feel generally cruddy right now, I did want to post something to end 2008.  What better way than to finish a thought I've been promising to finish for a while now.  The nothing new update.  Finally. ;)

Way back in October--what feels simultaneously like a moment and a lifetime ago--we pledged to ourselves a month of anti-consumerism.  We weren't going to buy anything new, save consumables like food, bath needs, and medicine; though thankfully we are not a very medicated family. ;)  Because we are indecisive, commitment-phobic folks much of the time, we only planned a month-long experiment.  It went even better than we could have imagined.  

How well it went can be summed up like this:
A)  We really didn't miss buying stuff, 
B) it was fun coming up with alternatives to buying new, and 
C) we couldn't argue with the pocketbook at the end of the month.  =)

We have had an un-official budget for quite a while now of keeping our monthly non-bill spending to x amount or below (again, no I'm not sharing what x stands for because it seems wrong; never discuss money or politics, right?!).  Well, during our month of nothing new, we were over $600 below x!!!  It was wonderful, and again, you can't argue with savings like that.  

Those of you that actually know us though, know that we seriously don't like stuff that much so it is really hard to account for where that savings actually came from.  One thing that made a difference was that we didn't have any travel expenditures that month (which was strange for us for about the last half of 2008).  Of course, to my line of thinking, travel expenditures don't count as "stuff" spending anyway, so...ugh.  Back to square one on explaining the savings. ;)

All that said, the hardest parts of nothing-new for us are Bugga and the pets.  I'm not against used clothes and such for the Bug, but shoes for one are hard to come by in a used form that I'm really comfortable with, especially since (as my smart and thrift-wise sis-in-law Danelle pointed out) shoes often form to feet.  As for the pets...uh, used dog toys?!  Yeah, I don't think so.  Have you seen dog toys after they've been actually used as dog toys? ;)  

Let's face it, we all have way more stuff in our lives than we ever really need.  It gets silly.  I, for one, am ready to simplify.  I've been ready.  Heck, one of the reasons I really had to adjust to the whole idea of parenthood was because kiddos come with stuff. ;)  (Though even there, you really can get by with much less than commercials or a visit to Target would indicate.  HAHA.)

Hmm, so what is my point?  That is a great question and since I'm a little under the weather, I'm having a hard time remembering. ;)   Many brave souls out there commit to an entire year of nothing new, like my bloggy pal Leah is contemplating.  

For us, I think the experiment just brought into finer focus our personal approach to needs v. wants and all the stuff that is constantly dangled in our face, being told we need it, we want it, we have to have it.  I think it is human nature to want, in many ways, but in our modern society, we project this want onto things all too often.  Instead of placing it on activities, relationships, experiences, things that can't necessarily be measured and valued as specifically as the things we spend our money on.

Okay, this is all too much for my sickly brain tonight, so excuse me if I'm not making sense.  I need a picture.  This one seems to fit.


We did get Grady Christmas gifts.  We didn't get him much, just some books and a standard unit block set.  And you know what he has been playing with the most for the better part of the last week?  Yup, a box.  =)  Which is funny considering one of the books we got him is Not a Box, a very cute book that highlights imagination and the natural tendency of children to play with simple objects like boxes.

Going into 2009, my motto is "there is more to life than stuff."  ;)  Okay, it's not far off from how I've felt for years now, but with a few well-planned loopholes, J and I will enter into a year of...well, very little new.  I just want to spend another year enjoying my super Bug, my wonderful hubby, my amazing pets and foster dogs, and everyone else we love, whether from a distance or those we will be lucky enough to actually see and actually hug. =)

Happy New Year everyone!  Party extra for me, because I doubt I'll make it to midnight. ;)  

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Can you believe it?!

It is Christmas Eve already?!  Pure insanity, I tell you.  It never ceases to amaze me how quickly time goes by while we go about our daily lives. ;)

Even Bug seems a bit surprised by it all.  Hehe.


And some randomness while I'm making supper tonight.  We went to Omaha this past weekend and had an awesome visit with so many people:  (in order of appearance) second college roomie Ruth, J's parents, J's sis Danelle and her 3 kiddos, the bride Maren whose wedding spurred this great trip (and her family and new hubby of course), my brother and sister-in-law and their 3 kiddos, our amazing friend Beth, and my first college roomie Amanda and her 2 kiddos (and 3 daycare kids too).  Whew, so much fun packed into a relatively short amount of time.  Of course, we didn't take near enough pictures, so not everyone will be reflected here.  Still, here is a small glimpse back at our weekend.

The boys at the hotel.  Bugga was slightly obsessed with the phones in our adjoining suites.  He had so much fun with all his cousins, it was adorable to watch.


Memaw and Papaw Jackson and the Bug himself (excuse the poor lighting here, sorry!).


We came home to lots of the white stuff.  Enough that I have gotten the car stuck in the driveway twice, much to J's chagrin.  He certainly wouldn't have gotten it stuck, so it must be my driving skills (or lack thereof). ;)  Oh well.  It sure is pretty out. =)


To close today, here are some snuggly girls. =)  We are so blessed to not only have our wonderful Bugga boy, but 3 beautiful and (mostly, hehe) well behaved girl doggies right now, and of course our sweet and somewhat neglected cats. ;)  


We know many of you out there are similarly blessed in your lives.  Sending holiday wishes and lots of love to all tonight.  

Better go, supper is almost on the table and then we will be taking a ride to check out all the lights, something I have fond memories of doing with my grandparents growing up.  Here's hoping traditions, new or old, and lots of love are characterizing this holiday season for all of you too. =)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Girl Power

The snow has fallen and I have found myself with an unexpected day at home with the hubby and all the pets and the little man...just my kind of day!  ;)

And as good a day as any for an update.  We are officially on estrogen overload around here.  Meet Lulu Blue:


Yes, tiny puppy.  Yes, female.  Yes, ADORABLE.  Not to mention SASSY!  Big girl attitude trapped in a puppy body. =)

Lu is part of a litter of 7 that found themselves homeless sitting in animal control and amazingly, all the wonderful volunteers of A Rotta Love Plus stepped up and found placement for all 7.  It is slated to be temporary though, as the pups are scheduled to go the Humane Society later this month after a parvo hold is up.  

J, however, is IN LOVE.  What's new?!  This guy is ridiculous when it comes to puppies.  =)

All 3 girlies are doing well together.  Paisley is a tad on the annoyed side, Bailey has adjusted really well, and Lu isn't phased by anything that comes her way.  Confidence is a trait she has in abundance at this time. ;)

Bug LOVES all the pets, so another little one is just gravy for him.  Plus, she is another one he thinks he can pick up. ;)


And one I can fit in my coat for a short outing.  That bundle is ALL puppy, so don't go getting any ideas anyone!


The puppy pen has proven a slightly fruitless exercise with this one. ;)


So that is the state of things around here.  Tons of fun, as always.  This coming weekend, we'll be heading to Omaha for an old friend's wedding and a visit with some family and friends. Should be awesome, just pray for good weather!  

I haven't forgotten that I want to do an update on the nothing-new experiment.  I'll try to come up with other non-dog things to talk about too, I promise.  ;)  

The Bug is calling for lunch, so I should go.  WAIT, I haven't even had my coffee yet Buggie!  Can we slow down...please... =)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bailey Rae and other goodness

Okay, quickly today...Bailey Rae is still here (yup, she got herself a middle name, unlike the rest of the household furry fellows whose "middle name" is really just their species, i.e. Paisley Dog Jackson, hehe).  She's fabulous, cuddly, playful, a good listener, and we couldn't be more pleased with our current pittie population. ;)


She is beautiful, don't you think?! =)  

The best news of all though is that she and Paisley are FRIENDS!  Can you believe it?!  They get along so well, eat side by side, quite often sleep together at night, and are just very peaceful together.  It is so lovely!   Yup, life is pretty easy-peasy with these 2, making us kind of lazy doggie parents really.  Though that is update on that soon. ;)


I hope to give an update on our month of "nothing new" that ended a while back.  The short version for now:  it was a SUCCESS!  =)  And then came this month, but I don't really want to talk about that. ;)

Some of you may know that I am slightly blog obsessed.  It's an affliction really.  Not sure of the cure.  BUT, it's not ALL bad because there are some wonderful things happening out there via blogs.  There are great ideas, and calls to action, and just lots of thought-provoking folks out there doing good and blogging about it. =)

Here is just a sampling of what has caught my eye lately...

BAD RAP to help group of OK dogs - You knew at least one was going to be dog related, right?!

Recycling Christmas - Um...AWESOME!  Note to fam, this is what I want for Christmas next year. *wink*  Okay, this OR for us to travel somewhere warm.  Not both because we don't want to take the stuff with us do we?!)

Cans for Comments - Having formerly managed an emergency food pantry, this idea really stuck out for me.  Of course, I had to suggest that they really give a treat and donate a bag or 2 of fresh produce too. ;)

And of course, I know there are lots of other people out there doing wonderful, amazing things and not necessarily blogging about it and that is awesome too.  Heck, if you're doing something great, I'd love to hear it!  Have some cool way of giving back to your community?  Or maybe some charity you think rocks and I should know about it?  Do tell!  

In the meantime, I'll be wrangling me some super Bugga and some foster dogs--like I said, update soon--and trying to stay warm and probably thinking about what else I can do this holiday season, or year-round, to make a positive impact, whether big or small.  Because it all adds up in the end, right?!

I'll sign off with this total mis-fire on the camera.  It just makes me giggle a little.  And even if all we can do sometimes is bring a smile to another person's face, then that is something in my book.  


ps~Your comments bring a smile to my face. ;)  Just sayin'....

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Just your random Saturday gush...

Oh my, I really LOVE this kid...


That's all. ;) Over and out blogland.

Friday, December 5, 2008

"Papa & Me" Friday

So yesterday wasn't a good day.  I was tired, cranky, the mailman honked in our driveway and woke up a similarly tired and cranky Bugga.  Just not good and I don't mean to complain really, because I know even our worst days are not so bad as the kinds of things others must contend with (I'm thinking sickness, poverty, abuse, and the like; you know, real problems).

J got home, later than I expected, and I promptly retreated to our room with intentions of merely "cooling off" and rejoining the party in a few minutes.  Um...oops, I fell asleep.  What the..?!  I mean, I have enough trouble falling asleep at night, how could that happen?!  At any rate, Papa handled supper, Bugga, the pets, bath and bedtime with grace and ease. =)  So proud of that man!  Even if it did make me feel all the more guilty for being cranky and tired in the first place.

In honor of my bad day...well, that seems strange, but I'm going with it...I am sharing some pics I took of J and Bugga a while back.  These two are so alike and have so much fun together, it is really a pleasure every day to watch these two crazy beings interact. ;)  Even when I want to retreat from the craziness for just a moment or so (or 2 hours worth, as was the case last night).




There you have it, my version of lemonade out of lemons for this Friday. =) Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Something tells me...

...this just isn't right.*


I guess this is what happens when a little one can reach your decorations. ;)

And I suppose it would also be why a good 75% of our decorations are still sitting in storage in the guest room. I just have nowhere to put them that might be reasonable safe from the Bug. =)

I guess I could just trick out the guest room...

*That's a "days til Christmas" decoration, in case that wasn't clear.