About Me! – Frugal Novice
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About Me!

Santa Baby Blogger Mashup!


Before I started blogging, I had no clue about how many amazing bloggers there are out there (tons, by the way!) but now I’ve been blessed to get to know great bloggers and blogs. Quite a few of us from all over have teamed up to spread a little Christmas cheer your way – via song, of course! Think we ought to join up and go on tour? :)

Below the video is a list of bloggers in order of their appearance – hope you’ll pop in and say hi to everyone! Thanks especially to Toni for putting the video together and coming up with the great idea to begin with!

A Daily Dose of Toni
Nuggle Mama
Fab Grandma
The Mom Buzz
Yellow Tennessee
My Little Me
Mom On Review
Frugal Novice
Frosted Fingers
The Suburban Mom
Moscato Mom
Write Spell
Lindsay Blogs
Beautiful Side of Hectic
Not Quite Susie Homemaker

I Am Thankful.

Thankful for:

  1. My husband. Brian and I met when we were just teenagers, and he is absolutely my best friend.
  2. My boys. I love the people they’re becoming, and they light up my days with their grins and the cute, sometimes quirky things they say.
  3. My parents. They are supportive and loving, and have helped shape me into the person I am today.
  4. My brother. He’s 10 years younger than me, and now that he’s in the same city as me, it’s been a wonderful blessing getting to know him as an adult, and as a friend – I’m so proud of who he is.
  5. My extended family. Near and far, they’re people I’m thankful to be connected with.
  6. Brian’s family. They’ve all taken me in and made me feel like a part of the family from the beginning of my relationship with him.
  7. Our church. We love the children’s ministry, we leave each week feeling spiritually fed, and it’s a community of people who love God and want to reflect that love onto others.
  8. Our friends, several of whom might as well be family. We are so blessed with a circle of people who love us even with all our quirks, and who are just plain amazing people.
  9. My job. Making the change from a position I’d had for 7 years was a scary leap, but I’m so happy I jumped. I love what I do each and every day, and getting to be creative makes me happy even on chaotic days. I’m blessed to have coworkers that are friends, too.
  10. Our home. It’s tiny, but it’s cozy, and it’s a safe haven at the end of a stressful day. We’ve made a ton of memories there and it will always be a special place to us.
  11. Our dogs. They are loyal parts of our family, and even though our puppy drives us up the wall sometimes we adore her and are so glad she joined our home a few months ago.
  12. Technology. I’m thankful for gadgets that let us FaceTime with people far away, that let us easily record random fun moments with the kids, and that let me take insane amounts of photos without worrying about wasting film. Kinda love DVR’s, too.
  13. Social media. Sometimes I have a love/hate relationship with it, but ultimately it allows me to keep in touch with friends all around the world and feel connected even when separated by hundreds or thousands of miles.
  14. This blog. I started it at the urging of my mom and brother almost two years ago, thinking it would be a fun hobby. I’d never have guessed how many opportunities it would provide us, and how much I’d love it even when it keeps me up late at night. It’s a ton of work, but I’ve learned so much and can’t wait to see where it goes from here. And I have to mention MomDot.com. I found this forum in January, and it’s been single-handedly the best blogging resource I’ve ever come across. I’ve learned so much from these women (& a few men!) and have become a better blogger because of it. Thankful to the creator, Trisha, for all she pours into the site so it can be a help to so many.
  15. You. Seriously. If you’re reading this, I’m thankful to you for this small act of support for my blog, even if you’ve stumbled across this post randomly. I hope you’ve got plenty on your list to be thankful for, too.



I thought about not posting anything… it’s not like anyone could forget what happened, and media is almost oversaturated with coverage as it is.

I have thought about it all day,though, so it only seemed right to put my thoughts down and process them a little.

Like everyone else, I can remember the day as if it were yesterday. I was a junior in college and was asleep at my apartment when I awoke to the phone ringing. It was my mom, and she told me the country had been attacked.

I was alone, my roommate off at class. As I hung up the phone, I initially felt numb. I hopped in the shower to quickly get ready – I wanted to get on campus and be with Brian and my friends.

As the water poured down on my head I started to sob. The world as I knew it had instantly changed. I had been living in a peaceful little bubble and now I was hit with the realization of just how dangerous the world could be.

Once on campus I sat with friends watching coverage. I was shocked by the images of the planes hitting the towers and sickened as I watched terrified, desperate people plummet from their buildings. At that point some planes were still unaccounted for, so there was also the underlying fear that another strike was imminent.

I was affected profoundly by 9/11. For months I had anxiety attacks, certain that the next terrorist attack was right around the corner. I even wanted to avoid busy places that might be attractive targets for attacks. I had trouble sleeping, often having nightmares with some thread of the 9/11 terror woven in.

Slowly I started to come out from under that cloud of fear. The sadness surrounding that day will never leave – whenever I remember the day, I always think about those who lost their lives or lost loved ones… those people who got urgent goodbyes, or those who still are left with uncertainty all these years later, their loved ones never found. But I began to feel normal again. A new normal; a little less trusting, a little more cautious, but also stronger.

I read a great quote on a marquee today: “Worrying doesn’t rob tomorrow of its sorrow; it robs today of its joy.” I don’t know what the future holds, but if 9/11 taught me anything it was to value and cherish today. To hug my family and friends, laugh with my children and keep their world innocent as long as I can. To have faith that if something happens again, we will make it through stronger than before.

My Baby is TWO!

I’m a little bit in denial that C can already be two. I mean, wasn’t he just born yesterday?

Now he seems so BIG! He holds his own with J, has definitely developed a personality of his own, and loves to do things all by himself.

I remember being hugely pregnant with C, wondering how a second child would fit into our family.

I didn’t know then that he and J would be best buddies,

that he would have a smile that lights up the room,

and that almost immediately after he was born we couldn’t imagine our lives or family without him.

Happy Birthday, C! We love you, are proud of you, and are so incredibly thankful that you are ours.

Photo & Prompt Challenge: Day 31

Today’s Challenge: Free Day!

I thought I’d close out this series with a photo I took one day on my way to work last year:

I know it’s graffiti.

But I adore this photo.

Don’t stop loving – even (especially?) those that can be the hardest to love. I hope I can always live that way and teach the boys to do the same.

Photo & Prompt Challenge: Day 30

Today’s Challenge: Your spouse

Well, first of all, Brian is pretty shy. I warned him this post was coming, though!

Brian and I started dating in high school when I was a senior and he was a junior. For a long time he dyed his hair all sorts of different colors (this is us my sophomore/his freshman year of college):

But, sweet guy that he is, he dyed it back to brown for the first time he met my grandma, and kept it brown from then on (this is us on the night he proposed):

He’s always had a sense of style:

He loves video games & LEGOs:

and he and the boys will play LEGOs together for hours, which they absolutely love.

Brian is a graphic designer and is incredibly talented. He works really hard for our family both at work and staying up late to do freelance projects too.

He’s my best friend – we have fun together no matter what we’re doing, and after having kids together our bond has only strengthened.

He’s a great dad, too, and has been from the start:

I am really thankful to have him as my partner in life!

Photo & Prompt Challenge: Day 29

Today’s Challenge: My dream vacation

If I could plan a vacation for this summer, I’d pick an all-inclusive, kid-friendly resort like this Club Med location in Sandpiper Bay, Florida. I love the idea of everything being taken care of, and of not having to worry about finding fun things for us to do as a family. This place looks idyllic and relaxing but has kids’ activities too. Relaxing on the beach sounds pretty nice right about now!

Photo & Prompt Challenge: Day 28

Today’s Challenge: If someone gave you $1,000 to spend on YOURSELF, what would you buy?

Ok, I’m going to play by the rules (even though I would definitely have other plans if I were really given $1,000 – can we say family vacay?):

1. Spa Day – the works, too. Facial, massage, manicure, pedicure, and a haircut. In my town at the salon I go to, this would probably run around $300.

2. This quilt that I am in love with from The Company Store – $189.00

3. These earrings from James Avery that I love but cannot rationalize actually buying. – $89.00

4. Food processor – it’s one kitchen gadget I don’t have yet but think we’d use all the time. Since this is pretend, I’d splurge on this one$249.00

3. I’d use the rest to stock up on a bunch of books for my iPad – $150.00
What would you get/do if you were given $1,000 that you HAD to spend on yourself?

Photo & Prompt Challenge: Day 25

Today’s Challenge: Something you are looking forward to

This one’s easy – finishing our master bath renovation!

The room is about thisbig. When we moved in, it had a small vanity, a toilet, and the shower stall.

Oh, and carpet.

And plastic, dusty rose-colored accessories.

And floral wallpaper.

Brian tore everything but the shower out (I provided great moral support, I’m sure) and now we’re left with an empty shell. I’m in the middle of priming and painting the walls and ceiling – we’re painting the top portion of the walls a light blue, then adding white wainscoting to about 4 feet high.

Since it’s such a small space, we could afford travertine for the floors.

We found an inexpensive vanity at Lowe’s that has a granite counter and undermount sink:

And we got new lighting (confession – I’m not near the box right now so I just found one that is somewhat similar):

We also bought a new toilet, but I don’t think that’s exciting enough to share a photo of, and a new mirror. I think it’s going to look great when it’s all said and done! It’s a little less modern than our specific taste, but we want it to appeal to buyers whenever we do put the house on the market. I can’t wait until it’s done, and I’ll definitely post before & after pics.

Have you done any home remodeling projects on your own?


Photo & Prompt Challenge: Day 24

Today’s Challenge: Your Favorite Book or Author

I’m barely getting this one in today! There’s just one hour left in the day.

I haven’t read a “grown up” book in quite a while that I just loved, sadly. Now children’s books, on the other hand? We read a ton of those around our house. So, my answer to today’s prompt is that my favorite children’s author is Shel Silverstein. I loved so many of his books growing up! Who is your favorite children’s author?