Life, As I know it!

So I have not blogged in a few weeks.  I have had it rough, the headaches have been unbareable. I get Botox shots every twelve weeks, but they wear off.  I am up for more shots in a few weeks, which means I will have a few more bad weeks.  I think the Botox is working, I had a few good days; we were even able to go to Silver Dollar City a few times so far this summer. I am only two sets of shots into six treatments total, so I will see how it goes.

Those of you who are in chronic pain, or if you are a caregiver of someone in pain (a caregiver is anyone who listens to, help, or cares for someone), you know the patient will do almost anything to get relief from the pain.  If you are lucky, you get a good pain management doctor.  It is hard to find a good doctor to help you.  Pain management is very misunderstood, we do not want to get high, or sell our pills, people with true Chronic Pain Disorders want some relief, ANY relief.  Pain management does not take away all the pain, just allows the patient to have some relief.

I am finding pain mangement helps you survive, not function completely.  I tried so hard to make it fit my "old" life, working full time.  I am finally coming to the conclusion, I am disablied because of my pain.  I think that may have been the first time I actually admitted that out loud. I will not have the life I once had.

So how do I function with this new life?  I don't know, I am still figuring that out.  I just know I don't want to be judged, disability has such a bad connotation.  I want people to see me for me, a women struggling.  But don't we all struggle? So why do we judge?

A Fun Modern Baby Blanket

I wanted to make a great modern baby blanket for a friend that lives in Texas.  Sadly enough her baby is a year old now, but it will make a great car and stroller blanket. I made the blanket using a cross stitch crochet pattern, added this amazing fabric, then put a boarder on with vintage cotton thread.  Love the way it turned out.  So here some eye candy (as one of my favorite blogger says, The Handmade Home):

Wedding on a Budget: Rule 1 Prioritize!

Yes, I said wants not needs.  All you really need to get married is the license and someone to sign it for you. But most of us have the privilege of having a wonderful wedding, and get all the wonderful things we want, or at least some of them, and being smart with your budget will get you even more of those wants.

 I had a wonderful wedding, on a budget.  The average wedding in our area, Southern Missouri is around $10,000 to $15,000. Now prices are lower here than in some parts of the country, but the principals of savings is the same everywhere. 

The first thing you need to do is make a list of the things you want on your wedding day and put them in the order of importance.

Things I wanted on My Wedding Day

Pink Everywhere

Great Pictures

A Beautiful Dress

Reception at the Elfindale Mansion (dream of it for years!)

A stringed Quartet 

Food at Reception, but not necessarily a sit down meal

Flowers but not all have to be fresh or arranged

Lots of Candles

Little girls dressed like Princesses (say more about this later)

Beautiful Invitations

 When you decided what you want, and in what order, you can look at the money you have available for your wedding.  I really wanted great pictures, but videography was not that important to me.  I was willing to give that responsibility to friends.  We are just now putting those together, but like I said, not my first priority.  I really wanted a String Quartet and was willing to give up all fresh flowers for the chance to have the music.  You may want fresh flowers everywhere, great, just decide what you want to spend your money on.  The reception may be very important to you, but the ceremony, not as much.  Thinking about these questions will help you decide where to spend your money.

 A note:  This is YOUR wedding, well you and your fiance, lol.  You need to decide what you want, not a blogger, not your friend, and not your mother.  

So after you decide what you want, you can decide how much money you are willing to spend on each.  Here are some of the things we did to help cut costs:

1. Get a Little Help From Your Friends: We had friends help us with pictures, cake, food, decorating, making favors, invitations, and music.  It saved us thousands of dollars; some friends did things for free and some gave us a great discount.  Look at the talent of your friends, could they help, give discounts, or even barter. 

2. Plan Ahead:  You can really save money by planning along the way.  We had friends and family saving us coupons for Hobby Lobby, Micheal's, and Jo-Ann's.  It saved us hundreds of dollars buying supplies. 

3. Do Your Homework:  Look around and compare prices. I think most people do this, but we took it to a new level.  We had friends help us call and be on the look out for prices. 

4. DIY:  Most of us love doing things ourselves.  I made the bouquets, boutonnieres, hand corsages, programs, helped with the invitations my wonderful friend made (I just printed stuff), my veil, favors, and some of the decorations.  Talk about saving money!

Pictures by Jones Photograph


Thrifty Finds Thursday

Ok, most of us are not millionaires, and the few I know got there by being thrifty.  So to save money I like to get creative with my wardrobe.  I want to share some of the creative outfits I come up with from Thrift Store finds.  I am hoping to share an outfit a week in this summer, so stay tuned!

 My first outfit I wore to church Sunday with compliments.  I took a dress (got the dress with a jacket for $3 at Goodwill) and a shirt (got for $1 at our local Thrift Store).  My husband did not like the shirt when I showed it to him.  When I put the outfit together, he asked me where I got the new shirt (he was with me when I bought it!).  That shows how pieces can look completely different when paired with a new item.

So I put the shirt over the dress, added a belt (from a sweater I already had) and voila, a new outfit. A cute outfit for $4!  Now that is a bargain. I bet you are saying, but I am fluffy (that is what my daughter calls me).  I wear a size 22, and I often find items my size at Thrift Stores.  It is usually easier to find things in my size because they group the Plus Size together.  You have to hunt, dig, follow a treasure map, but you can usually find something good.

Stay tuned for next week Thrift Store Thursday!

Mama Bear Syndrome

Has anyone ever dealt with a bully? Either a child bully or an adult bully?  What about when that bully tries to bully you, and it ultimately hurts your child? 

This is what my husband and I are dealing with this week.  A person at a local library is telling other people in town about a fine I have ($5 fine, not $500). [Side note: As soon as I discovered I had a fine, I planned to pay the next visit to the library the following week] I was upset she was telling others about my business, but I do not like to make a fuss and try to be a calm, loving, Christ example. 

However, don't you love that word "however", today she made it about my daughter, saying if we did not take care of the fine she would be denied into a program for the summer.  This is a public library, not a school program.  

I then found out from several friends she has told them this information!  I was okay to stay calm when it was about me, when it became about my baby, Mama Bear came out (as well as Papa Bear, you should see him right now!).   I wrote an email to the supervisor and my husband left messages by phone.  

I think we are doing what we should do, taking the proper channels.  I have to admit, that is not what I want to do, I want to go in tomorrow and give her a wonderful piece of my mind.  That is not the Christ thing to do, that is not the lady-like thing to do, yes I was raised to be a lady!  

How are we suppose to act toward bullies?  We teach our child to stand up to them, leave them alone, and tell a grown up.  I feel going to the supervisor my make things worse, but isn't that what the bully wants us to think.  I will be praying about this situation in depth, and trying to decide what we should do.  Hopefully we will all learn a good lesson, and learn how to deal with bullies, which are in ever part of our lives.  

I would love to hear what others do to deal with bullying and their children.  Please tell me your story.

DIY Home Sweet Home

I am trying to get organized.  I found a wonderful blog which had wonderful printables. I will post pictures of my Home Organization Binder soon.  Thanks Mrs. Jamie for the great stuff!!

Beauty of Summer!

I am the last person you would think about when thinking of gardening.  I hate to get dirty, or sweaty, or dirty.  Gardening has never been my thing, but I love flowers, especially roses and sweet peas.  Several years ago when we lived in the wonderful state of Louisiana (shout out to ya Cindy!) JC bought me a Garden Party Rose.  It is a lovely cream color with pink tips, I love pink!  We brought it with us when we moved to Missouri, and I was not sure if it would last in the Missouri winter.  The bush gave me a few roses each year depending on the rain amounts.  This year it has done the best yet, which may be a combo of rain and actually giving it some TLC. I have already got a half dozen flowers from it this season. 

Ok, I know, not all of these flowers are roses.  You are right, my hubby bought me a Peony plant for Mom's Day.  We planted (as by we I mean JC) the plant near my rose bush. Flowers are such a pick me up, God got it right with these. 

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  The weather was nice and cool here so we had a great time in the yard and a visit to Baker's Creek (we are lucky, it is only a few miles away). More planting to come!

Yummy Pulled Pork Burritos Recipe


My wonderful parents gave us some fresh pork.  They process a cow and pig every year and share, great for us.  I was rifling through the freezer (and saw a snake, yick, another post) and saw a Picnic Pork Roast.  Now I was not sure what that was or how to fix such a wonderful piece of meat.  So, of course, I Googled away.  I found out Picnic Pork Roast is the shoulder of the hog and usually BBQ, smoked, or slow cooked to make it tender.  This morning I put the roast in the crock pot and left it for the day.  I added some Cajan seasoning, hickory smoked salt, and a little water.  Eight hours later, voila, it was tender and delicious.

I put it in a tortilla shell with homemade ranch dressing (which I will talk about in a moment, thanks for waiting). I made microwave corn on the cob, a wonderful Pinterest recipe, and potato salad left over from grilling yesterday.  It was very good, and so easy! We have plenty left for sandwich tomorrow. I am not sure I could make an easier meal, put in the crock pot and forget it. 

Ranch Dressing:  This is a variation of a recipe I found on Pinterest.  I love it and it has around 200 calories for the entire jar!! 

1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (I like to use the Dip version, just my preference)
7 oz Greek Yogurt
2 tablespoons Mayo
Milk to taste, depends on how thick you want the dressing

I put it in a Mason Jar and let my little one mix to her hearts content!  I use it for everything, it is delicious!

Everyone have a great Tuesday!  Happy Summer!

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