Monday, September 28, 2009

New season, new things...

After all the rain we've had for the past 2 weeks, the clouds finally moved on and the sky is clear once again. The air is crisp and clean, and was actually CHILLY when I left work tonight. I had on short sleeves, and I definitely could have used a sweater. Hello, Fall...I guess you've officially arrived...and I'm ok with that.

Sean and I took advantage of the cool evening and had our first backyard fire of the season. It was the perfect end to our wonderful weekend (except for the Vols and the Titans BOTH losing...) Other than the losses, we had a fun and productive weekend.

Here are a few of the things we've been up to lately:

#1. Watching our budget. There's always a repair, a need, a gift...something to spend money on, but we've been doing a pretty good job of managing our funds. It helps that I'm mildly obsessive about balancing our checkbook and updating our budget spreadsheet (at least twice a week). Thanks for the finance gene, mom! Sean and I know that we're blessed to still have 2 incomes (unlike some of our friends and neighbors), so we try to be as responsible as possible. Some days I fear that we're going to lose everything all at once. I tend to get caught up in much so that I keep myself awake at night, and my stomach stays in knots. But, I need to remember that we're doing well and that all of our needs are met. It gets tricky when your wants outweigh your needs, which is pretty much 100% of the time. Right now I'm trying to avoid my WANT for a new washer and dryer, pretty home furnishings from Pottery Barn, curtains and blinds, new carpet, patio furniture, professional tree trimming, and new clothes. I'm sure that Sean has a full list of his own WANTS. I guess the good thing about 'Wants' is that when they don't come to fruition, you're not exactly screwed. You're just stuck with your old crappy stuff, and that's ok.

I recently stumbled across this blog which inspired me to start second-hand shopping. I've got to overcome my need for instant-gratification. I'm good at exercising "delayed-gratification" (as in, saving up, or only shopping when we have extra funds), but my delayed-gratification eventually becomes instant-gratification once I'm ready to pull the trigger. Make sense? I've got to start training myself to find those bargains! My new mantra has become: I can always find it cheaper. I'm trying to drill this into my brain. My biggest challenge will be waking up early on Saturdays to scour the garage sales. I only have a couple of more weeks left before it becomes too cold. Wish me luck!

A final note about budgets...I've also been trying to keep the grocery bill as low as possible (a never ending challenge). Well, this week we only spent $90 on a week's worth of groceries. SCORE!!! I have meals for every night of the week...except Saturday...and I'm hoping one of our family members will feed us for the night. If not, we can treat ourselves to eating out!

#2. Friends & Events:
- Last Thursday we attended An Evening of Reflection featuring designer Van Hoang from O'More College of Design. What an amazing designer! I just know that Tim Gunn would have the biggest fit over her gorgeous dresses if he ever met her.
- We were also able to stop by The Franklin Bridal Ball at The Factory to see Bonnie's booth.
- Saturday we hosted a dinner party and invited Sherri & Keith and Bobby & Crystal over for spaghetti and meatballs. I had never made meatballs before, but was inspired to give them a try since hearing about the new movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. YUM YUM! The recipe was a hit, and Keith said they were the best meatballs he'd ever had. Now, I don't know if that was a true statement, but I sure appreciate the compliment. The 6 of us had a lovely time. The boys watched football while the girls gossiped in the living room. It was very "grown up" of us.
- Sunday we stopped by dad's bachelor bad to watch the Titans game with him and Trey. We snacked on some good game-day food, and watched the boys lose big time. It sucked, but it was fun visiting with my dad and brother. Trey has been taking guitar lessons, and he played a couple of chords for us. He also got his spacers to make room for BRACES. He's really growing up, and I can't believe he's going to be 11 in less than 2 months. Baby brothers grow up fast.

#3. Knitting. I'm working on 2 projects, with about 3 more in the hopper. I can't reveal my projects because they're all gifts so I can't spoil any secrets for anyone. Sometimes I worry that people dread receiving gifts from me because they're probably thinking "ugh. another damn scarf or hat."

#4. Work. I have some busy times ahead of me, and a lot of responsibility to tackle. Work has been great though, and I still LOVE my new boss. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Sean says that I'm a new person because of her. She makes me want to be the world's biggest suck up, and I have to stop myself from hugging her every day and screaming "THANK YOU! YOU ROCK! YOU'RE THE BEST BOSS EVER!" Otherwise, she might think I'm crazy. Anyway, I have some upcoming travel, but I think they'll be nice visits. I'm probably heading to PA the first week of December, so I hope the winter weather holds off for me.

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