Thursday, July 29, 2010

I heart $hopping

I LOVE to shop. Oh my goodness, it relieves stress better than a hot bath with candles and aroma therapy. It works better to cheer me up than chocolate cake and ice cream. Shopping causes euphoria in me and it makes me want to do the happy dance.

But my love of shopping does not mean that I have maxed credit cards, or that I spend money on anything just for the sake of buying something, even if its a great deal. Sometimes I "shop" without buying anything. When i do that, I feel most proud of myself; but it doesn't happen very often.
I'm a deal seeker. Hard-core. Although I know many people who do get better deals than I do, for the most part I fare really well. I am most successful when I grocery shop. I usually walk out of the store with a receipt that says I saved from 50-60% and my savings vary from $50 to $100. I use coupons, sales, and rebates. Yeah, its time consuming, but I LOVE it. It helps me de-stress and gives me motivation to find better deals. I grocery shop at two different stores that i think have the best deals and are the most location-convenient to me. Sure, I don't do one stop shopping, but that isn't fun to me. This is my hobby. I save my family money. And I'm good at it. I always try to out-do myself.

Next come my two favorite places. Target and Walmart. Oh my goodness! The deals I have gotten are incredible. i try really hard not to pay full price for anything-ESPECIALLY clothing. I always go straight to the clearance racks/bins/aisles and I always find something that's a score. I usually pay under $4 a piece for clothes for all of us. And I think we dress pretty nice. We may not fit the cover of a fashion magazine, but we always looks clean and presentable. You would be surprised at how low things can be priced at these two stores when they are trying to liquidate their inventory for the season.

I especially love Target because I believe they are higher quality than Walmart and they have their own store coupons which you can stack with manufacturer's coupons. last week I got a fantastic deal on some fruit cups with a Target coupon and a manufacturer's coupon. I paid 24 cents for a four pack. I'm so awesome! I also enjoy some major stores at the mall. The clearance section is great, too!
Tonight I'm headed to Target where they have almost all their toys on clearance at 75% off! They have this "sale" every year and last year I scored big. Tonight I hope to find the items I want and that the selection isn't depleted by the time I get there! I'm soooo excited! I'm totally doing the happy dance right now.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Today's "Happiness Is..." List

Happiness Is...

Playing with my ipod
Knowing my husband submitted a new job resume! Wahoo!
Having my son call me on his pretend phone and having a whole conversation with me
Enjoying the quiet of the neighborhood
Having a freakishly awesome family....all meant in a good way!
Looking at our family vacation photos over and over and over-just loving them!
Day dreaming
Being healthy
Having gratitude

Happiness is remembering. :-)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Feeling That Confirmation

I usually try not to post anything religious, because I don't want to be criticized or bashed for my beliefs. Today I am making an exception.

For the most part, I am a happy person. I consistently and genuinely show gratitude to my Heavenly Father for the very many blessings that I have. I know I am unbelievably blessed and, ultimately, successful. But lately there have been obstacles in our life that we haven't been over to overcome, even though we have been fervently trying to do so. We have no doubt that these things will end and the blessings will come, but the never-ending question for us is "when?" There is only so much one can take, you know? I feel that personally I am at a breaking point. But one way or another I feel confirmation from the Spirit that i, indeed, can go on a little longer. You know, one step at a time.

Although I know these things and I have faith that we will be able to change the things we want to change, I personally, have been struggling to feel God's love for me. Specifically. Individually. It's just been a really hard personal, and emotional time for me. I have my ups and downs, and i think I can honestly say that I have more ups than downs. Nonetheless its been difficult for me to overcome these feelings of self-pity and to fully accept that i am a special daughter of God. Although, I have to preface all of this by saying that I have always known these beautiful truths, but in my moments of despair they seem to vanish and no matter how hard I try I can't feel them the way I once did. I've struggled to feel that "fire within" whether in my darkest moment or my happiest.

We have been presented with a choice that we have never considered. We felt the need to seriously pray and think about it. We have been fasting every single Sunday since April. We decided to focus our fast yesterday on this new idea, rather that the one we had previously decided we should pursue. So I was determined to really put my all into this weekend, with thought and prayer, fasting and meditation on the matter.

Sunday morning we went to church and did things just like every other Sunday. The meeting started and everything was just like every other Sunday. As the meeting continued we reached the Rest Hymn (you know, the one after the first speaker, before the second speaker). It was "I Believe In Christ" by Bruce R McConkie. We were standing to sing this one and I was really thinking about the words.

1. I believe in Christ; he is my King!With all my heart to him I’ll sing;I’ll raise my voice in praise and joy,In grand amens my tongue employ.I believe in Christ; he is God’s Son.On earth to dwell his soul did come.He healed the sick; the dead he raised.Good works were his; his name be praised.
2. I believe in Christ; oh blessed name!As Mary’s Son he came to reign’Mid mortal men, his earthly kin,To save them from the woes of sin.I believe in Christ, who marked the path,Who did gain all his Father hath,Who said to men: “Come, follow me,That ye, my friends, with God may be.”
3. I believe in Christ—my Lord, my God!My feet he plants on gospel sod.I’ll worship him with all my might;He is the source of truth and light.I believe in Christ; he ransoms me.From Satan’s grasp he sets me free,And I shall live with joy and love In his eternal courts above.
4. I believe in Christ; he stands supreme!From him I’ll gain my fondest dream;And while I strive through grief and pain,His voice is heard: “Ye shall obtain.”I believe in Christ; so come what may,With him I’ll stand in that great day When on this earth he comes again To rule among the sons of men.

I cannot begin to describe the feelings of peace and powerful confirmation that He lives and He loves me. Me, individually, specifically. There was no denying it. This was the confirmation I had been seeking. Verses 3 and 4 were the most powerful for me. In a large congregation where we were all singing the same hymn, I still felt such a private moment of communication with my Father in Heaven through the Holy Spirit. It was so powerful and I am ever thankful for that sweet moment.

We aren't alone. He loves us and He sent His Son to show us the way back to Them. Here is a video if you want to listen to this hymn. And if you would like to learn more about what I believe in, please visit this website.