a good idea.

Ben and I have been visiting family this past week, which means, when it’s all said and done, we will have traveled 16 hours in a car together. With a toddler. Who doesn’t like to sit still. And throws things. And makes messes. Really big messes. Fun times right there.

Anyhow, I was trolling pinterest a while back and I came across the most brilliant idea I had ever seen. Really, I don’t know why in the world I didn’t think of it. It makes so much sense and it is just so darn practical.

This:

Pinned Image
image via BHG.

is so stinkin’ smart! It’s a cereal canister that doubles as a trash can in the car. I get oddly excited about things like this. So you can imagine I ran to Walmart the day before our trip and bought one of these babies. I could hardly wait to put it in the car.

It didn’t disappoint.

Now, instead of the trash and mess that accumulates all over our car during a road trip, I can just drop it in the can and close the lid.

I had a little too much fun with it. We’d go through a drive-thru and I would more-than-happily dispose of my straw wrapper in my new trashcan.At one point, I even started cleaning out my glovebox and throwing everything in to the trash.

It was just so darn handy, y’all!

And the best part is that when it fills up, you just take the bag out and put a new one in.

BRILLIANT, I tell you!

We are no longer swimming in napkins or lids or baby wipes or goldfish crumbs. This idea has forever changed the way I travel.

Do y’all have any car organization tips while traveling? Or tips to keep an 18 month old from screaming ‘OUT, OUT, OUT’ at the top of his lungs for 4 straight hours?

Have a blessed Wednesday 🙂

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catching up.

I’m done!

I finally finished student teaching a couple of days ago, and now, I’m unemployed.

Womp, womp.

So far, there have been ZERO elementary jobs posted for the systems I’m applying for. But I’m keeping my head up, and trying to focus on the fact that God has a plan for me, and He led me here for a reason. Some days it’s really easy. Other days, not so much. But regardless, I’m happy and content with the decision that I made.

I had 100% intention to get back on the posting ball once I finished my internship, but it hasn’t quite worked out the way I planned. I have spent the past couple of days soaking up time with my boys, cleaning out closets, and sweeping up dust bunnies who have taken up permanent residence under our beds and couches due to my negligence of household chores. But I’ve plucked my eyebrows, watched a soap while I folded laundry, and took my mamaw shopping. And I’ve spent most days in the softest, most publicly inappropriate clothes I own. All in all, I’d say it’s been a success.

I’ll recap a little on what I’ve missed over the past month or so:

1. We celebrated 3 years of wedded bliss. I’ll admit, our romantic date to the Tennessee Line and Progressive Partner dance will be hard to top. I’m still laughing about it. Our anniversary was May 16th. We went out for a bite to eat that night. We brought PB with us. He threw his food all over the restaurant. He broke a dish. He screamed bloody murder until Ben took him outside and I finished eating my anniversary dinner alone. The best part of the night was the ride home when we laughed about how naive we were 3 years ago. We were grinning idiots on that day, and if we had it to do all over again, we’d take the money and run off to Vegas. I wouldn’t trade where we are now for anything.

2. I celebrated my 1 year blogging anniversary. And by celebrate, I mean that I was laying in the bed one night watching Golden Girls reruns and thought, ‘oh crap, haven’t I been blogging a year now’? So yep. One whole year of my life I’ve recorded on this blog. I admit, I have a love/hate relationship with this thing. I love it because I can look back on so much that I would have totally forgotten about, and I hate it because it feels like a chore sometimes. Luckily, it only feels like a chore when I feel like I’ve got nothing to write about. Which brings me to point 3.

3. I currently have 7 unfinished blog posts. That means, I’ve sat down 7 times to write a post and I’ve abruptly shut the computer down. It was probably because I had a screaming toddler yanking my legs. Or because Ben couldn’t find his khakis. Or really, most likely, because I have had a terrible habit of keeping chocolate ice cream in the fridge lately. And every night, like clockwork, I convince myself that I need to have a bowl before I go to bed. So, that, my friends has crowded my blogging time. I’d really like to blame it on something other than that, but I can’t. That’s the real excuse.

4. I highlighted my hair. Two times. I think I’m going through a youngish-mid life mom-crisis. I think it started when I had the Target bathing suit incident. I must have panicked and thought I was destined for a lifetime of Ryder’s jeans so I stopped at the pharmacy and bought a highlighting kit. I’ve never highlighted my hair, but the gray was really getting out of control. So I read the box, applied the stuff, and left it on for 2 minutes. It did nothing. Undeterred, I bought another box, left the stuff on for 30 minutes, and now, the grays have disappeared! Well, more like they are hiding underneath ‘caramel’ highlights, but I like to pretend they’re gone.

5. We’ve planted a garden, built a clothesline, and hope to get a storage shed soon to house my table saw. I’ve got lots to post about, so hopefully I can resist the chocolate ice cream and catch up!

Have a blessed Tuesday 🙂

the social club dance.

Saturday night, Ben and I celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary. Our anniversary isn’t until Wednesday, but Ben said he had a special date night planned for Saturday. I could tell he was really excited about it. He wouldn’t tell me where we were going because he said it was a ‘surprise’. I hate surprises. I really do.

So we sent PB to my momma’s house for the night. I spent 45 minutes trying to decide what to wear for a special surprise date. I tried half my closet on, and then convinced myself that I had ‘no’ clothes. I’m at an awkward clothes stage right now. I’m trying not to look like the Ryder’s jeans mom, but I feel borderline inappropriate shopping at Forever 21 and Target’s junior section. I settled on a modest mom outfit, slapped on some eyeliner, and we hit the road.

We went to eat first. We had a nice little dinner. There were rolls involved, so that’s always a win in my book. I pleaded with Ben to tell me what he had planned for the rest of the night. After an hour of pure annoyance, he obliged and told me we were going ‘dancing’.

Let me explain something here first. A couple of weeks ago, Ben and I were talking about our high school proms. Since we went to different high schools, Ben said he wished we would have gotten to go to a prom or a dance together. And since I have two left feet, I lied and said I wished that too.

Enter Saturday night.

Ben said he found a ‘social club’ that was having a dance at a visitor’s center on Saturday night from 8 to 10, and he thought this would be the perfect opportunity to finally go to a ‘dance’ together. I was so impressed by his thoughtfulness and his initiative, that I didn’t really even ask any questions about this ‘social club’ dance. I imagined it to be just like a prom or a school dance.

In hindsight, the red flags should have started in the parking lot of the visitor’s center. There were Buicks, Cadillacs, Cutlass Supremes, and even a few 3-wheeled motorcycles. I thought it to be a little odd that there were several older, ‘mulleted’ men in the parking lot, but I can’t discriminate because I once had a mullet, too.

When we walked up to door, I heard Alan Jackson blaring on the speakers. We could see a few older people moving through a little slit in the door. They probably just worked at the visitor’s center, though.

Ben held the door open for me and followed me in.

Oh.

My.

Gosh.

When I say the music almost stopped, I’m not exaggerating. The way the door was positioned put us right in the middle of the dance floor. People stopped. They stared. We had just walked in to the Tennessee Line and Progressive Partner dance.

And we were 40 years younger than anyone there.

I have to stop here as I’m typing this and just laugh. Really. This would happen to us. We crash a senior citizen’s line dancing event, thinking we are going to some cool, hip dance.

People were dressed in cowboy boots and hats and fluffy skirts. The median age for this event had to be 75.

And these guys could dance! They were line dancing their socks off. Ben and I just stood at the door with our mouths dropped open. We couldn’t leave. It would be too awkward. Everyone was staring at us. Eventually, a sweet little lady, Lillian, came over and introduced herself. She welcomed us and Ben told her we were celebrating our 3 year wedding anniversary. Yep. At a line-dancing club with senior citizens.

Yep.

She grabbed our hands and told us to hop in line. So, my friends, Ben and I spent then next 2 hours line dancing the night away with a bunch of old folks. And it was hilarious. We had a such a good time. We tried to sneak a few pictures because we were certain that NO ONE would believe this was how we spent our 3 year wedding anniversary.

We had a blast. The people were so sweet. Ben caught on quick. I, on the other hand, hung out in the back of the pack with Elbert, an older gentleman I assumed to be about 82 years old. And I could barely hang with him.

We danced until we couldn’t keep up anymore, and we said goodbye to the line-dancing crew. Just as we were walking out the door, we heard “Wobble Baby” come on the loud speakers. For those of you unfamiliar (like me) with “Wobble Baby”, ‘VIC’ sings/raps this song. And for those of you unfamiliar with ‘VIC’, this is he:

image via google.com

So as you can imagine, Ben and I ran back in to watch these senior citizens dance to “Wobble Baby”, and dance they did:

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(Excuse the quality of the video. I’m technologically impaired)

I have never laughed so hard in my life. Ben and I both danced with them and I videoed part of it to save as evidence that there’s a little ‘G’ in everyone. HAHA. I’m still laughing, y’all!

Have a blessed Tuesday 🙂

God works, y’all.

Wow.

This once a week posting is for the birds.

The light at the tunnel’s end is bright, friends! I’m almost done with my internship. Hooray! Then, I’ll be spending the summer months at home with my boys and I’m so very very very grateful for that opportunity. And then, August will come, and I have no earthly idea what I’ll be doing.

For those of you that missed it, or may be new to these parts, I went back to school 2 years ago to complete a teaching certificate. I felt the Lord leading me down the teaching path, so I quit what I thought was my dream job, and took a major leap of faith. I left my job in November and have been student teaching, unpaid, since January, with no promise of a job in the end.

It has been so enjoyable, so frustrating, and such a blessing, all at the same time. I really feel like education is my calling. My entire experience at my school has been nothing short of amazing. It solidified my decision to teach. But I have been frustrated, and there have been days where I’ve just broke down and cried the whole way home. I’m frustrated about our finances, and what a burden this has placed on us financially. I’m frustrated that I willingly quit a great job, and now I’m totally staring down the barrel of unemployment. But at the same time, it has been such a blessing in so many different ways. It really fills my heart to teach in a way that my other career didn’t. I love working with kids, and I really walk away feeling a sense of satisfaction every day.

And now, as I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, this experience has taught me a new way to live. For the past 4 months, I have paid $110 a week for daycare, around $400 a month for groceries, and too much money in gas (I need a water-operated car, please). And, I took out a $3,000 student loan.

Oh, and did I mention I was making ZERO dollars. Yep. That’s right. I haven’t had a paycheck since November.

Now, fast forward to April 30. I’ve used my savings to pay the bills. Together, Ben and I paid off my student loan. I’ve gotten rid of my debt, and I have learned to scrimp and save and cut corners like nobody’s business.

I highly recommend at least a small period of unemployment for everyone. I’m serious. Out of necessity, I have learned how to stretch our family dollar to the max, or, as one of my favorite sayings go, pinch the penny so tight that the buffalo poops. I didn’t do anything life changing, nor did I wallow and drown in couponing all day. I simply said ‘no’ to non-necessities. And the funny thing is, I used to think I said ‘no’ to the extras. But take the cash away, and see what you really consider a necessity.

So in a few days, I’ll be officially unemployed and praying for interviews and God’s will. No matter what happens, I’m resting in the fact that God provides. I look back at this experience and see it as proof positive. My faith isn’t where it should be. I let worldly things get the best of me. But God? He’s there. He provides. And He knows what’s best for us. He’s used this experience to teach me so much. It’s been a lesson in faith, patience, trust, and finances. To get to see God working in my life has been worth it…the sleepless nights, the tears cried, the pinched pennies…it’s all worth it.

Just the other day, I was daydreaming about getting a teaching job for the fall. I was thinking ‘if’ I ‘were’ to get a job, how in the world would I get my classroom prepared? By the end of summer, the buffalo will be pooped out. I’ll be flat broke. Period. My classroom would be so bare. I wouldn’t have the money to do anything with it, at least not for a while. About 2 days later, I walked into the classroom of a retiring teacher to help her with something. She had 5 huge boxes of children’s books stacked in the floor, and told me to take them. She needed to get rid of them, and told me to please take them, for free. There must have been at least $700 worth of books in those boxes. I teared up. I got chills.

God works, y’all. Even in circumstances that seem hopeless and uncertain. He’s there!

Has God provided encouragement for you lately? Isn’t it awesome how it always comes with His perfect timing, and it’s there right when we need it the most?

Have a blessed Monday 🙂