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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Busy and Blessed : )

This will be just a quick update post because it's my day off, the house is a mess, and I have a lot of editing to do before Brook gets home!

First off, I have some family updates:

I told you a couple of posts back that I was going to be an aunt, well turns out I will be making a lot of bows for this babe because it's a GIRL!!  Michelle and Donnie just found out a couple of days ago, and they also were reassured that everything is healthy with Michelle and the baby--VERY good news!  (For those of you who don't know Michelle had the scare of chicken pox and possible cancer---prayers still needed daily!) precious it this?? Can't wait!

Also, in family news my brother Brett has reserved a U-Haul and housing in order to move to Colorado the first week of October.  I'm so excited for him and wish him nothing but the best in his new adventures there.  He is truly an incredible guy with so much to offer the world!  Good luck Brett!

My parents are in Italy for the month and I am missing them like crazy!  It's weird when you are used to being able to call someone up on the phone and tell them something, or ask them a question and then you can't!  I think I take that for granted.  I am excited for them, though, they are with the Collins and Mitchells all celebrating early anniversaries.  The women surprised the men this time which it pretty cool.  They start off on a cruise and then spend time in a villa on Lake Como (yes, right by George Clooney!)

Lake Como-How Gorgeous is this??

On another blessed note, I was presented with the opportunity the other day to be an editor of a book--cool, huh?  Even cooler how God works--it is actually a faith-based inspirational/motivation book where I will be mentioned as the main editor!  Right up my alley!  I'm really excited about this opportunity and the opportunities to follow.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I try avoid Wal-Mart at all costs.  I hate every part of going to Wal-Mart-from trying to find a parking spot in an always over-populated parking lot, to navigating myself around a family of 3 Rascal Scooters that can't go over 1 mph because the 400 + lb. operator's weight and total lack of concern for anyone around them, just to try to get a cart, and then actually finding a cart that functions somewhat properly.  I haven't even entered the second set of automatic doors yet and I am in a full blown nervous sweat.  It's just more than I can handle.  I am a deal hunter and love nothing more than to save money--but I draw the line at Wal-Mart.  I will pay Publix prices any day to not have to enter Wal-Mart's doors.  AND, when I do need something I send my poor husband (because he passes Wal-Mart on his commute home from work) haha.  A trip for two cartons of juice and some strawberries is even a big deal when you have to wait in a slower than molasses line because the cashiers have a total lack of interest in their job, and have no concern for you or your stuff (gallon of milk in same bag as a loaf of brea, really?  I didn't buy flat bread)

Well, I had the night off work last night and was in an exceptionally great mood, that I thought nothing could bring down, so I decided to make the trip to Wal-Mart to buy bikes for Brook and I.  Easy trip in, easy trip out, right?  The bikes would be in the driveway to surprise my hubby when he got home.

We both sold our bikes recently and decided we wanted cruiser bikes, nothing fancy, $80 a piece at Wal-Mart, great for our little rides around the back roads we live on.

My Cruiser : )

Our closest Wal-Mart is in Palmetto (aka Palmghetto), which is a city of sites as it is.  So, I made the trek there, found a surprisingly close parking spot, didn't even need to search for a cart for what I was buying--the trip started out good!    
I made it back to the bike section, saw the bike for Brook, but not mine, which was OK I was going to go ahed and get his and order mine online.  One problem--his bike was on the top rack.  I looked around the bike area for someone, no one there, walked about half the store over until I found an associate and asked her if there was someone who could help me in the bike section?  No response, she walked away, went to her phone, and about 5 min later I heard a call on the intercom  for assistance in bikes--thanks for your help ma'am? So, I went back over to bikes, waited....waited a little more...saw two associates pass me by as a was looking up in the air at the bike....nothing...tried to track down an associate who ignored me.  Finally, a guy passed who could not escape!  "Can you help me, sir?" Not a "sure", or "I would love to," but a put-out "With what?" I told him I needed help with the bike.  "What do you need help with?"  "Well I would like it down and try it out."  After a couple huffs and puffs he got it down and walked away.  Um thanks? Customer service at its finest!  I know Wal-Mart is cheap, but come on!  Take a little pride in your job! 

I didn't buy the bike because I had no help, but I did pick up some work shoes for Brook and some salmon while I was there (might as well make the trip worth it, huh?).  As a proceeded to the check out a little boy spinning in circles spun right in between my legs, getting way too close to things he should not be close to, which sent the little baby girl in the cart a few feet over in to hysteria--glad my humiliation and frustration made someone happy, haha.   Only 2 of the 20-some check out lanes were open, and of course they contained a mile long line of people with fussy kids and parents yelling at their fussy kids, and when I finally got up to the check out the lady said not one word to me--the whole transaction with no eye contact, no "here is your total," nothing.  Wow!  Pretty amazing people get paid to do nothing, be rude, and get away with it.  And, of course, we support it because let's face it Wal-Mart is CHEAP! 

After some grumbling to Brook about my experience and bust in surprise, my mood was once again brightened by a swim in our pool, a movie, and kicking my hubby's butt in Scrabble!

Any Wal-Mart stories?  Would love to hear them, because let's face it sometimes you just gotta laugh and grumble a little!  

Check this out: People Of Wal-Mart

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cash 4 Gold, Freedom 4 Faith

"The Purpose of these troubles is to test your faith as fire tests how genuine gold is.  Your faith is more precious than gold, and by passing the test, it gives praise, glory, and honor to God.  This will happen when Jesus Christ appears again." 
1 Peter 1:7

I heard this passage in church yesterday and it really stuck with me, and painted a vivid picture in my head.  I immediately saw the guy on the street corner dancing around with a "Cash 4 Gold" sign in his hands, thought of the probably 3 or 4 cash for gold coin commercials I had just seen earlier that day, and then just had to laugh to myself.  How silly do these people look?

What's even sillier is how consumed we are with wealth, success, and the attitude that bigger and more is always better.  We always want to one up the next guy, have the better job, have more money, buy more things.  Money is our source of power and entitlement.  This sense of entitlement is something that has really bothered me lately, and yet as I read this passage yesterday I realized that I myself have fallen in to the trap--I have a false sense of entitlement.  

Business has slowed down a lot because the summer vacationers are gone, school is back in session, and the seasonals and snowbirds have yet to return from their northern homes.  Customers know we need the money and the business and are taking advantage of that fact left and right.  They have the money which gives them a sense power, yet they are doing anything and everything to try not to spend that money.  We have these coupons circulating which have strict rules on the back, 1 per table, 1 per visit, etc.  Wouldn't you know every table tries to use 2 of those things, complains when they can't, says they are regulars (which is funny because they just asked the most common 1st time guest question 5 minutes ago), and then lets my tip (aka my income) suffer drastically over something I have no control over.  Awesome!  You can't believe the ridiculous fusses and complaints I have heard lately just so people can get a little bit more free.  So, I go home and complain to Brook about these cheap people who have no respect for me and how I need a job where people respect me and I make more money.  I mean I have a degree, I am a good person, why am I stuck waiting on these people?  

Umm ya, that has been my attitude lately--no bueno!  It has really made me a grump!  See the hypocrisy here?  It's really easy to fall in to the worldly view of wealth and importance.  Money and success are everything, right?  

Wrong!  That is why I love how this passage is put, we can all relate to it.  "The purpose of these troubles is to test your faith...and by passing the test it gives praise, glory, and honor to God."

I have been filling out application after application thinking what is wrong with me--I am a hard worker, smart, ethical, etc.  Why won't I get any bites, and when I do they don't pay enough or the hours are bad.  I truly believe it's a testing of faith and patience.  I believe God has a great plan for me and that he was just testing my heart a little first and he found some things he didn't like in there--greed, a little hypocrisy, and a false sense of entitlement.  

I think we can all relate to this, we are not entitled to anything, but with God's grace and love he has given us the gift of love and salvation, and that through faith in Him all things are possible.  So instead of a Cash 4 Gold type mentality let's shift to a Freedom 4 Faith mentality, because in the end what good is cash if you don't have your freedom?