How Much Can I Save in a Year? Update!

 My savings continue to climb from that slump during my first trimester! I'm up from last month...yay! We also worked hard to just simply not spend a lot of money this month...we're in the midst of selling both our cars and both getting new ones.  So needless to say, that puts a bit of a slow-down on other spending!

May Savings 

2011 Total Savings

Best of Savings

Free Items this month with coupons:

-Full size Head and Shoulders conditioner
-Yogurt cup
-Bag of Baked Ruffles
-Full size Signature Body Lotion from Bath and Body Works

A Little Savings Tidbit

-If you shop at Kroger, watch carefully for those coupons that print out at the register.  This month I got a freebie coupon for a free cup of yogurt.  A lot of times these coupons aren't valuable to me because it's not something we buy.  However, I can eat anything that's free! ;)

-I'm learning that those big box stores really are worth the membership fee.  We have perused our local Costco and Sam's.  While we are still trying to decide which one to join, we did find they are cheaper on our dog food, milk, chips, Gatorade and many other items we buy regularly that we can buy in bulk due to a longer shelf-life (minus the milk, of course, which you can just buy by gallon).  (And this is even after you consider the membership fee.)  We've found they are cheapest on baby wipes too which will be important come November.  They do have different coupon policies.  Sam's-- I'm not 100% positive about, but I do know Costco doesn't accept manufacturer's coupons but send out their own coupon booklet (that looked pretty good) once a month.  If you have your own thoughts on these stores, I would love to hear any and all info as we are still weighing our options!

Now it's your turn! Grab the button and link up below with a deals post of your own.  Whether its an update on your savings so far this year or just a great trip you had with great savings! Anything goes! Also, make sure to go check out Thankfully Thrifty to see how Ashleigh's savings are going so far this year!

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16 week update

How far along: 16 weeks

Babe size: Avocado

Total weight gain/loss: I'm not positive...but staying pretty steady at a pound or a little less a week.  I'm gaining slow, which I've read is a good thing.  My doctor isn't concerned, so I'm not.  Let's hope it keeps up!

Sleep: Can't complain! A pillow between my legs is working well right now.  I've always been a side sleeper so that hasn't been bad at all.

Movement: Hmm....I've felt a couple things that have made me wonder, but still nothing for sure.

Food cravings/aversions: I have finally found my "weird" craving...Hostess mini chocolate covered donuts.  It's the only thing I want for breakfast.  It's my unhealthy splurge right now.  Also, I have been craving soft drinks.  Grr.  Earlier in pregnancy I couldn't stand the thought of them.  And I am one of those very loyal Coke drinkers (Diet Coke to be exact).  Usually (pre-pregnancy), if I went into a restaurant and ordered a coke and they said, "We have Pepsi products, is that okay?", I would respond by saying, "No" and change my drink order.  But for some reason now, Pepsi tastes better because it isn't as sweet.  So we have Caffeine-Free Pepsi in our fridge for the first time ever.

Pregnancy Symptoms: Headaches and neck pain have gotten better! Yay! I can tell my hips are moving around a bit because they are sore sometimes. I'm really hungry all the time.  Really that's about it.  Honestly, many days this week I didn't really feel pregnant.  I guess I'm getting used to it.

What I miss: Not being in a "fragile" state.  I say "fragile" lightly, because I know there are plenty things you can do in pregnancy that people just don't.  I'm just such a busy-body that it's weird to my body having limits.  Pulling weeds with Justin yesterday was near torture due to all the bending over and squatting.  Usually that kind of thing is easy for me and I can work my tail off.  Not now.  And then it hit me yesterday...no roller coasters this summer...sad thing! Oh well...totally worth it!!

What I'm looking forward to: Just as last week....Feeling this sweet baby move! I'm also looking forward to getting the nursery started!

Milestones: Baby's legs are more developed, her ears are in final position, and her heart is pumping about 25 quarts of blood now.

Best moment this week: This isn't baby related, but I completed my final full week of school! Whoo hoo!

Moments with Justin: Recently he has gotten super protective of me and my health.  I have to remind him that although I appreciate it, that just because I'm pregnant doesn't mean I can't do things. ha! I think it's sweet, though.  Also, we found out a couple at our church is having a boy in October and since they will be so close in age and around each other a lot probably, Justin had his first thought of "protecting his daughter" and joked about them keeping their little boy away from  his little girl.  I'm pretty sure he's cleaning the guns already for when that dating thing comes into play.

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lots to love!

It has been so long since I linked up with the sweet Jamie here! So excited to join in because there is so much to love right now...I mean, isn't there always?!

Right now I'm loving...

Minute Maid Original Orange Juice with calcium and vitamin D. I finally started buying it to take with me each morning so I would stop going through the McDonald's drive-thru.  

There are FOUR AND 1/2 DAYS left of school!! The last day of school honestly snuck up on me this year.  I think my goal of taking it one day at a time this year really helped.  Although I love my kiddos...I am super excited for summertime!!

I cleaned our house like crazy on Saturday! I'm talking vacuuming under the couches, cleaning the windows, dusting the blinds....all that good stuff.  Honestly, our house hasn't been cleaned like that since before March and that fog of the first trimester.  Call me crazy...but a clean house makes me feel so good.

Flip flops and flowy, summery dresses! It's made it so easy to get ready for work in the morning to put this combination on.  Love it.  Those metallic flip flops from Old Navy are my personal faves in the flip flop selection out there.  They hold up so well!

Other things I'm loving...

My amazing, handsome hubby, our sweet baby girl, our cute pup, that I have an upcoming lunch date with my sweet friend, Page.  And right now, I'm really loving these warm, longer-lit evenings that we have! I could keep going on and on and on and on...

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15 weeks!

This picture is proof that I've finally gotten active in pregnancy!! I took an hour long walk on Saturday...whoo hoo!
How far along: 15 weeks

Babe size: Baby is the size of an orange.

Total weight gain/loss: Gained two more pounds according to doctor...my total is up 3 from pre-pregnancy.

Sleep: It was just so-so this past week.  And even though sleep was just so-so, I was exhausted this week.  I had a little more discomfort in my side/belly when sleeping s now I'm trying to prop my belly up a little.  It's weird thought, because it's not that my belly is big, I guess it's just the way things have moved.  I did notice it's a little more on my left side too and I know that's the side she's hanging out more on based on our doctor visits and where they have found her in the ultrasound and when they were looking for the heartbeat each time.

Movement: I still don't think so.  I'm getting impatient, but I know it really shouldn't happen quite yet.  She's definitely moving...we saw it on the ultrasound, she's just still too itty bitty for me to feel it. :)

Food cravings/aversions: Cravings still aren't anything weird or worth noting.  I really am just hungry all the time and want food all the time.  Minute Maid orange juice has been the only thing that I have really wanted a lot of.  Honestly, my aversions are almost completely gone.  I never thought I would be able to say that.  There was a point I wondered if I would ever know what it was like to eat normal again, ha!

Pregnancy Symptoms: Headaches if I get hungry that don't go away.  I've always been one to get headaches when I get hungry, but they would go away once I ate.  Now, if I let myself get to that point and then I eat, they don't get any less intense.  I still have occasional neck pain on my right side too.  It's the same feeling you get when you sleep on your neck the wrong way.  I am feeling some round ligament pain when I cough, sneeze, or move suddenly.  I'm thirsty all the time.  I am getting dizzy at times now.  And I have crazy hot flashes at times that make my cheeks get really hot.  Pregnancy is a funny thing.

What I miss: Hmm...nothing really right now.  I'm so thankful to feel pretty "normal" all the time at this point.

What I'm looking forward to: Feeling this sweet baby move!

Milestones: Finding out our sweet little on is a little girl! Adeline Grace.  The lady that did our ultrasound snuck it in as she explained how "you can tell by looking between her legs".  It caught us off-guard but was such a happy moment.  We both for sure thought it was a boy.  Although a healthy baby was our only request! Also, just like I thought from the beginning, I'm not as far along as they thought.  My due date has been changed to November 5th.  (Four days away from Justin's birthday!) I was 15 weeks 2 days at our ultrasound appointment.  Both the woman that did our ultrasound and our doctor were amazed by all they could see at the 15 week point.  They were able to measure and see almost everything that wanted to.  Everything they measured and looked at were healthy and developing as they should.  They were already able to show us all the chambers of the heart, the arteries, her spine, her brain, the bones in her legs and that her feet are properly aligned with her legs.  Crazy things I wouldn't have even thought of! We do get another ultrasound at 19 1/2 weeks so they can get a better picture of what was still too small to see at this one.  I was so silent during the ultrasound, I think holding my breath the whole time.  Thankfully Justin was there to talk with the lady.  I just held my breath with each body part she examined, praying once again that it was healthy just like we have from the beginning.  God is so good!

Best moment this week: We had quite a few since we found out the gender.  It was so fun and exciting to hear and see everyone's reaction to the news that she's a girl and her sweet name.  It was also very exciting to go shopping with my mom and grandma the day after with a gender in mind.  Oh my! She already has a wardrobe started. :D

Moments with Justin: Of course the ultrasound where we met our little girl for the first time was a special moment as a couple.  Justin knew how anxious I was because it was the first time we would see how healthy she was since we opted out of any extra testing and screening.  He held my hand the entire time and was better than I was at following the tech as she went through each body organ and system.  It was also pretty funny to see his reaction when I explained to him that, Lord willing, he now has at least one wedding to pay for. ;)

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changes, changes, changes

We've had lots of changes around here lately.  Some are big.  Some are small.  Some relate to materialistic, worldly things.  Some relate to big life changes.  Some have come with joy and been very welcomed, while others have taken a little more getting used to.

Change is something I've never been good with.  I fight it.  Wrestle it to the ground.  And if possible, I avoid it at all cost.  However, do you ever notice that as you get older and wiser, you realize that things you used to despise and not be so great at become easier and less a part of you?

My fear and dread for change is one of those.  I feel like a big girl saying that I honestly am learning how to accept change.  I don't fear it so much anymore.  I think it's just because change is unavoidable.  It happens.  You have to deal with it and face it head on.  And it becomes less scary.

I catch myself sometimes, creeping back into that old familiar relationship with change.  But then, I often catch myself just dealing with it.  Realizing it's part of how things go.  And honestly, when we loosen up the grip, God can present some amazing changes that can completely turn your world upside down in such a joyful way.

So like I said some of our changes have been very materialistic...

Such as saying goodbye to my 2-door Honda Accord of six years.

Justin wanted to take a pic of me in my car saying goodbye.
 Like I mentioned before, I cried.  Call me a goofball.  That's okay.  It's not that I'm so obsessed with my car, I just get emotionally attached to things.  This car was my car all through college.  It took trips to visit my best friend at school 5 hours away, took a trip to Alabama last year so that I could meet up with our church on a mission trip, drove me around as I planned for my wedding, and has taken me safely back and forth in my 30 minute commute to my classroom for 3 years now.  And this one got me the most since as of right now we only have a fur-baby...it's the car our sweet Boone came home in.  So now we're hunting like crazy for my mommy car.  (And a truck for Justin at the same time.  Whew.) I've already decided that car shopping is overrated.

 We finally got the guts to cancel cable.  Love that our bill has now been shaved by over $50 (um yes, and we had no bells and whistles...crazy!), but it's taking some adjusting for sure.  We are learning how to get very creative when trying to adjust the antenna for the digital channels.  Sometimes Justin has to remind me that throwing the antenna across the room will probably only make matters worse. ha! And I'm finding great places like Hulu to catch up on shows I miss without cable.  But in all honestly, we're really just learning how to be more productive with our time.  So grown-up of us!

This sweet pup is now a "big boy" and doesn't stay in his crate all day while we're at work.  He was crate-trained when we first brought him home and went straight to his crate the first night we had him.  So he loves his crate, but it's just not practical anymore.  Especially with the size of crate we have to have for him.  His crate is in the office...which we think will be turned into the nursery.  It's too big to have anywhere else on the main floor of the house and we don't want to have to go down to the basement each time we leave to put him up.  So we've transitioned this crate-trained sweetie into a free-roaming dog.  He loves it and I'm pretty sure he does the above all.day.long.

And then of course our big life-changing change that we have welcomed with such joy is the news that our home will be filled with all things girl from here on out.  Of course as a guy, Justin is getting used to this news.  I think he's already scared to death she'll get her heart broken and that she'll be fragile from day one.  He'll make the best daddy of a little girl (he'll make a great daddy no matter what)...but he's so sweet and gentle.  So even if she's fragile, she'll have a daddy that will handle her heart with such care and concern.  I already love hearing him say her sweet name.

So those are just a few of the the changes going on around here.  And depending on the change...like it or not...I'm welcoming it.  As I'm sure I'll welcome many others as our newlywed lives transition into new mommy and daddy lives.

There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

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update-week 14

my pants make my belly look pointy...weird

I'm doing a quick update just for my own records...this update should have been posted Saturday.  I promise I'll get better about that! I'm sure it doesn't bother anyone else...but it bothers my OCD self. :)

How far along: 14 weeks

Babe size: Lemon

Total weight gain/loss: Still just up a pound from pre-pregnancy weight.

Sleep: Sleep was good during my 14th week.  I was really tired this week and seemed that the energy I had gained left me again.

Movement: Don't think so.  (Especially now knowing my weeks were off...too early really.)

Food cravings/aversions: No crazy cravings...I'm just SO thirsty all the time!

Pregnancy Symptoms: Headaches and neck aches started this week.  My appetite continues to increase!

What I miss: Nothing really right now.

What I'm looking forward to: Well of course at the end of 14 weeks I was crazy excited to meet the little one on the screen and find out the gender!

Milestones:Nothing exciting for me really.  Sweet baby can suck its thumb and wiggle its toes and fingers this week.  It's also growing lanugo (thin hair for warmth).

That's all for week 14...pretty uneventful.  Week 15 will have more details!

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It's a.......

sweet baby girl!!

We let her know that this would be the only appropriate time to give someone this shot...

Her name...

Adeline Grace

 More details to come. :)

(and my due date is now November 5th...I had a feeling.)

We couldn't feel more excited or blessed!!

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weekly update...better late than never (week 13)

We have been so, so busy lately.  I've been MIA in blogworld.  From my blog...from your blog.  Hoping to get back into the swing of things soon! I had to stop for a minute in our crazy schedule to post a bump update of course!

How far along: 13 weeks

Babe size: Peach

Total weight gain/loss: Oh the scales are startin' to creep a bit! I'm thinking it's because food it tasting good and I'm wanting the food often...people told me this was coming. ;)

Sleep: Great.  The last two nights I have slept so sound I didn't even have to get up to go to the bathroom until about 6 am.  Much better from the nights of waking up 2 and 3 times to pee!

Movement: Last Sunday I felt a movement right beneath my belly button when I was bending over...like that fish swimming movement they talk about. I leaned back, rubbed my belly, talked to baby (because he or she can hear me now!), hoping for more...but nothing.  Nothing since either.

Food cravings/aversions: The eating just keeps getting better, hallelujah! I'm loving McDonald's orange juice.  I'm also loving clementines.  Do you sense a pattern? I guess citrus is tasting great to me right now.  And I had a breakthrough today...french fries tasted normal again.  Still not as great as before pregnancy, which I'm thankful for because I'm trying to stay away, but much closer to normal!

Pregnancy Symptoms: Well the tears have started pouring.  Over everything.  I have broken down in a restaurant twice the past week just over simple conversation.  I get teary-eyed when my kiddos are sweet to each other at school.  And we sold my car this week that I have had since my sophomore year in college (more details to come about that)...and I cried like a baby!

What I miss: Clearer skin, better hair...it's gone all frizzy/wacky on me.

What I'm looking forward to: Gender appointment this coming Monday!! CANNOT wait! For some reason, I've felt like all my planning...registering, nursery, etc. has been put on hold until then.  Once we find out (fingers crossed), I'm thinking I may go wild.

Milestones: My bump is taking form.  I think you can tell in the picture...but in case not, just trust me.

Best moment this week: Goodness, I need to write these down as they happen so I don't forget when I sit down to type my updates.  Well my 2-door not-for-a-mommy car sold as I mentioned above.  That's a pretty big moment...and although it was sad...it's such a relief since we are one car closer to having a "mommy"/"family" car.  So that was a great moment...especially since we only dropped $400 off our asking price!

Moments with Justin: Hmm...we've been going nonstop and have been super busy...so I can't pinpoint anything.  He has of course been a trooper this week with my up-and-down emotions! I'm so grateful for a patient, kind husband!

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How Much Can I Save in a Year? Link-Up!

 Starting the second trimester has been good to me (and our budget)! I feel like I'm coming out of my fog...whoo hoo! With more energy and feeling less like the grocery store makes me want to ... well you know... I tripled my savings from last month to this month! That's something to celebrate!

April Savings 

2011 Total Savings

Best of Savings

-Our local Target is transitioning to add more of a grocery selection and sent a $10 off $75 purchase coupon! I combined quite a few gifts and other things we needed for around the house to make it to a $75 total...and got the $10 off! Love it. (*Also, see my tip below on this.)

-This weekend at Kohl's, they were giving $10 Kohl's cash when you spend $50...after shopping for purchases I needed to make for Mother's Day, birthdays, etc...I got in on this great deal! Plus, even better...the cashier was super excited about me being pregnant (and how she couldn't believe I was in my 16th week and looked the way I did...ha!) so she gave me the 15% discount only Kohl's credit card customers were supposed to get.  (And this is even after I gave her my little "schpeel" about how I "don't do credit cards".)  Gotta love customer service! (*Also, see my tip below about this.)

-I scored two free bottles of Nivea body wash with Wal-Mart's awesome $3 price and my two $3/1 coupons...I was out of body wash too...perfect timing!

A Little Savings Tidbit

So my tip...those crazy high totals you have to get to sometimes at a store before getting the cash back or the savings off your entire purchase...

I shopped with my grandma and mom...both of which are way too sweet to me and let me get the benefits of both of these deals.  At Target, I was very close to the $75 total...but not quite...so my mom and I combined our purchases and she just gave me cash to cover her items.  With that, we got the $10 off...and she insisted I get the benefits.  Gotta love moms.

At Kohl's, my grandma and I didn't have $50 each total, so we combined our purchases, again, she gave me cash toward hers, and then she was kind enough to let me keep the $10 Kohl's cash.

Moral of the story...combine your purchases with a friend or family member to get the total you need for the special discount.  For example, at Target, you could both take $5 off your total...not the entire $10, but it's better than nothing!

Now it's your turn! Grab the button and link up below with a deals post of your own.  Whether its an update on your savings so far this year or just a great trip you had with great savings! Anything goes! Also, make sure to go check out Thankfully Thrifty to see how Ashleigh's savings are going so far this year!

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update-12 weeks!

phone pic=blurry pic
How far along: 12 weeks

Babe size: Baby is the size of a plum!

Total weight gain/loss: I think I am still just up about one pound from pre-pregnancy weight.

Sleep: Sleep is still going well...other than all these crazy storms we've had lately...two night we've had to either stay up late to go to the basement or get up early to go to the basement due to tornado warnings.  Thankfully everything has been fine here...just a nuisance.

Movement: Holding firm with flutters.  Why do I still question if it's movement?

Food cravings/aversions: Aversions continue to get better...yay! Two gross things that have tasted really good...a chilly cheese dog and a BLT...both made at home.  Because for some odd reason it grosses me out to think about eating them at a restaurant.  Clementines have tasted amazing this week! And I'm loving my skim, organic milk.

Pregnancy Symptoms: I'm being very honest and maybe TMI (because this symptom is touchy for me)...but I have always had dark hair which I don't mind at all.  I actually have always been very thankful for my dark hair and olive skin.  However, I'm hating that my hair is getting even darker everywhere in pregnancy...especially on my face.  Gross.  I also have to shave my legs so much more often...it grows so fast.  Supposedly that's a sign of a boy.  We'll see.  I'm coughing lots...I've read it's because of increased drainage and the whole gag reflex thing.  Occasionally getting sick still in a very minor way...as in making friends with the toilet due to something coming right back up.  Each time was completely my fault...either trying to brush my teeth before eating breakfast....or taking vitamins on empty stomach.  I know better... Enough of the gross stuff... ;)

What I miss: I'm way over the complexion.  I mean really...where is the pregnancy glow so many brag about?!

What I'm looking forward to: Gender ultrasound, of course! And...deciding on a boy name.

Milestones: Definitely have a bump that is looking more like a pregnant bump instead of an "I just ate too much" bump.  Those close to me have noticed...strangers probably just still think I have a gut. ;) I'm fine with that.  If you read this post, you know we decided on a girl name.  We both love and adore it.  Now on to pick out a boy name.

Best moment this week: My kids crack me up.  For some reason on the way to the buses at the end of the day a few of my kiddos and myself started talking height.  Of course with my 5'2" build, I always joke that so many of them are either at my height or will be taller than me when I run into them in the halls when they are in 5th grade.  One of my spunky little girls told me I was the perfect height and she wanted to be my height when she grew up.  She told another little girl that she hopes she's "short and skinny" like me...not "short and dumpy".  I mean what 4th grader says that?! I thought about saying...oh just wait..."short and dumpy" will be my name very soon.  It just made me laugh...I'm thankful to still be "skinny" in their eyes...b/c I feel very "dumpy". ;)

Also, it was teacher appreciation week at school this past week.  They came around each morning with snacks.  One morning they brought around Starbucks bottled frappucinos.  I passed it up due to the caffeine.  One of my kiddos said, "Mrs. G, why didn't you get a frappe?" I responded with, "I'm not supposed to have much caffeine because of the baby."  She looked at me and responded with, "Oh! Well it's good that you know that!" and gave me a big grin.  Hilarious.

Moments with Justin: We've had some intense heart-to-hearts about our future as a family.  Work, vehicles, etc.  All have been such peaceful conversations that I have been so thankful for.  We are working so hard to be open and honest with each other about our desires, dreams, and goals. And I'm so thankful to have a hubby that listens to every crazy idea or thought I have...never pushes them aside...but treats each one with respect and prayer.

On a lighter note, I'm now hooked on "Pregnant in Heels"...reality TV is my downfall.  Justin watched at least two with me...we both actually learned quite a bit about some things...and a lot of what not to do...and that there are TONS of things we already had one-ups on against some of these crazy couples.  Whew.  Anyway, in the middle, he asked me, "Are you enjoying being pregnant?" It caught me off guard...and I thought it was so sweet and thoughtful of him to ask.

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