soooo maybe alot of you know how much i LOVE shopping…so this saturday a new nordstrom rack is opening at northpark…and one of my bff’s and myself have been planning for weeks to go and tear it up!!!

but thennn…

so this month i have been a teensy bit of a shopaholic. ok alot of a shopaholic.  but…i didn’t know…i didn’t realize i was spending sooo much.  so i was grocery shopping on monday, and the whole time i could think about was…”what is nemo going to say…i’m gonna have to come clean”.  i confessed…i was forgiven…and i was BUDGETED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

so now i’m attending the nordstrom rack GRAND opening….with $75 big ones!!!!!!  wish me luck!!!!! 😉

ok so….i went away…from my weblog….planned a wedding, got married, went on a honeymoon…got settled…redecorated…had my first thanksgiving at my house…enjoyed the holidays…got a raise at work…and noooow…I’M BACK  for blogging…WOOOT!  i’ve got some bloggies coming up…some fun pictures from wedding/honeymoon/1st holidays….so stay tuned…they are coming SOON!!!!!!!!  🙂

 

jen-bop miller.

read this on someone’s blog and i just thought it was really beautiful.  i hope it inspires you as it has me.

Today I will make a difference. I will begin by controlling my
thoughts. A person is the product of his thoughts. I want to be happy
and hopeful. Therefore, I will have thoughts that are happy and
hopeful. I refuse to be victimized by my circumstances. I will not let
petty inconveniences such as stoplights, long lines, and traffic jams
be my masters. I will avoid negativism and gossip. Optimism will be my
companion, and victory will be my hallmark. Today I will make a
difference.

I will be grateful for the twenty-four hours that are before me. Time
is a precious commodity. I refuse to allow what little time I have to
be contaminated by self-pity, anxiety, or boredom. I will face this day
with the joy of a child and the courage of a giant. I will drink each
minute as though it is my last. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone
forever. While it is here, I will use it for loving and giving. Today I
will make a difference.

I will not let past failures haunt me. Even though my life is scarred
with mistakes, I refuse to rummage through my trash heap of failures. I
will admit them. I will correct them. I will press on. Victoriously. No
failure is fatal. It’s OK to stumble… I will get up. It’s OK to fail…
I will rise again. Today I will make a difference.

I will spend time with those I love. My spouse, my children, my family.
A man can own the world but be poor for the lack of love. A man can own
nothing and yet be wealthy in relationships. Today I will spend at
least five minutes with the significant people in my world. Five
quality minutes of talking or hugging or thanking or listening. Five
undiluted minutes with my mate, children, and friends.

Today I will make a difference.

as many of you know…neiman and i have are still in the process of making the switch to living “GREEN”. i love it. not only is it “environmentally friendly”…it is healthier, it’s fun…it feels good and it can be really EASY!! i feel like such a hippie sometimes when we are greening…but it’s so much fun…and really the best word i can use to describe it…it’s so EARTHY. it has been mistaken to be unreasonable. but i think the concept of GREEN gets very confused when used in politics. the basic concept of GREEN is just living conservatively and promoting healthy living. while it is beneficial on an environmental scale…the benefits are much more noticeable in your own life and home. so for those who are interested in making the GREEN switch, but maybe don’t know where to start, or feel it’s too expensive…PLEASE READ!!

let me start by saying…”being” GREEN doesn’t have anything to do supporting someone in a national office, or being anti-drilling for oil in alaska…and it also does not mean you have to spend $20,000 putting solar panels on your home or buy a brand new hybrid or solar powered car. hey…that would be great if everyone could do that, but lets be honest…its TOTALLY not realistic and waaaay too expensive!!!  the “art of being green” (i made that up) is very easy, very practical…and really…it’s meant to SAVE you money. a bonus…it’s HEALTHY!  here are ten EASY ways to make the switch!!!  plus as we all know…the consequences of our waste will be detrimental to this planet. i encourage everyone, if you can…make these easy switches…

1. TURN OFF YOUR LIGHTS…and unplug everything!! this is SO easy…and it will help save YOU on your monthly electric bill.

2. TURN OFF THE WATER…when you’re brushing your teeth, you don’t REALLY need that water running do you?  and do you really need a 25 minute shower?  maybe cut down on your laundry loads…think of ways YOU could conserve water..also this will help YOU lower your monthly water bill.

3. SWITCH TO ENERGY EFFICIENT LIGHTBULBS…yes this one will cost you a little more. BUT not tooo much. and what you’ll save on your electric bill will make up for the cost of the bulbs.

4. USE A CANVAS SHOPPING BAG…honestly…this is one the best investments ever!  these little bags are about $1. the best thing about them…the strap is really big so you can carry the groceries in on your shoulder. and they hold more food. those plastic shopping sacks don’t recycle. this is MUCH easier on our environment and MUCH easier when you are carrying in those groceries (ladies).

5. EAT HEALTHY…AND EAT LOCAL…this is a GREAT one!!  we all want to strive to be healthier anyway, right?  so eat more produce and more organics. the organics can be more expensive…but LOCAL produce tends to be much less expensive. plus it really HELPS your local economy. more fresh!! less canned!! actually…NO canned!!  personally…this “green” effect has really really actually saved us at the grocery store. the more produce we buy and eat…the healthier we are, and the cheaper the bill is.  we are also hoping to start our own veg and herb garden soon. yum.

6. RIDE YOUR BIKE…OR WALK…as you can see from one of my previous posts…we have already adopted this. for some (even us) this is really hard. as commuters (with no co-workers living near us) we still have to drive to work. BUT…we ride our bikes or walk everywhere else around town. benefits are amazing…we are getting fit, saving GAS (which no one can afford now anyway) AND helping out the environment.  and…it’s FUN!

7. BUILD A COMPOST PILE…rake up the leaves in your yard as a start. then you can throw in anything organic from your kitchen or yard. they are very easy to make…and they make great organic soil, perfect for a backyard garden.  (i saw this thing on nightline once where this guy made fuel…for his car with his compost pile…i donno how…we aren’t going to do that). also it’s very easy to upkeep. we don’t have anything in ours…but this is what one looks like… 

8. RECYCLE!!!..we use sooooo muuuuuch wasteful non-environment friendly things everrry single day!!!  it’s so easy…even to just get some cardboard boxes, label them, and set them up in a designated spot. the time this will cost you…the time it takes you to drop of your recycled products to your city. how much money does it cost?  nothing. except maybe a few more steps away from the trash.  here’s our own designated recycle area…

9. GET A WATER FILTER…stop using all those water bottles. yes you can recycle them…but even money wise…it makes much more sense to spend $35 on a pur water filter, than $5 a week, every week on cases of bottled water. AND it uses less plastic, which is less waste…which is better for our world! 

10. EDUCATE…tell your friends. and ask questions if you are doubtful or unsure about certain green-isms.  the more that people know how easy GREEN can be…the more people will make the adjustment, and it WILL help!!

i hope these help. there are soooo many more that i want to do. such as, making my own cleaning products, food, gardening…it’s endless. those things are QUITE time consuming and i, frankly, don’t have alot of time right now to be all “little house on the prairie”. but these are pretty simple.  enjoy…and happy GREENing! 🙂

ok…first thing’s first…for those of you who have NOT come to visit me in my new hiz (grrrr)…thought i’d give ya a little preview…this is the view from the back of the back yard…i LOVE this house and yard! and it comes complete with hot future husband playing guitar! yay!

yes…we do realize the green grass has some…brownish/yellowish spots.  see the water sprinkler on the right…we are working on it.  seriously…summers in tx. high water bills….it’s a lose lose.

this is zeke…basically…we found him last week, in a smaller tree…started feeding him…aaaand now he lives here and cries for food everyday. the dogs love him though,well…they love chasing him and managed to chase him up one of our larger trees in the yard.  isn’t he cuuuute…??

the bottom one of these is my absolutely favorite.  the expression on his face..he looks so annoyed. i laugh every time i see it. any other ideas on how to catch him???

by the way…i took these pics with my new canon xti. let me know what you think!!! 🙂

 

once i knew a boy. blonde hair, blue eyes, tall, thin.  he loved to be around his friends. he loved to work out, lift weights, chase girls on friday night at the town square.  he loved to look at cars and work on cars.  he loved his family.  loved hanging out with his dad. loved riding around in his big sister’s non-air conditioned car listening to rock music. he loved sports and outdoors. video games and music. he loved guns and paintball. he had dreams of growing up and being in the Air Force. just like his dad…just like his dad’s dad.  he wanted to work on planes. he wanted to travel the world. he wanted to serve his country.  he dreamed of wearing blue, saluting the flag, head held high, posture perfect…he does it everyday.

today…this boy is a man.  20. wearing blue. saluting the flag. laying on his cot. looking at the top of his tent. remembering the days when playing tricks on the other airmen was the highlight of the night. and when driving his over smoky, too loud truck around town too fast was his favorite thing to do. he thinks of his family, their love. he imagines his room, his little sister playing in the hallway with the dog. the sounds of his “i’m the cook” father in the kitchen preparing an elaborate meal.  and his mother rounding up the family laundry.  

then his thoughts are interrupted by the sound of multiple explosions from somewhere near-by.  he jumps up, and falls in line with the other men heading to the bunkers. reality sets in as the middle-eastern heat bears down on him. thoughts of summer in texas briefly sink back in. back yard cook outs, and swimming with Rachel in the pool. he reminds himself of his purpose. his mission. his service. his family and his home. his father…their friendship. a bond so tight, his father would try to come up with some way to convince the entire US military he needs to come there to host a cooking show for the airmen, just so he can see his son for fifteen precious minutes.  as his fellow airman closes the bunker door to await the end of the attack, he remembers the feeling he had, when he stood and rose at his grandfather’s funeral during the playing of “taps”. saluting the flag, saluting his grandfather. he sobers into the reality of where he is, into the fulfilled dream he now lives. he is proud. he is excited. he is homesick. he is scared. he is my baby brother.

i salute my little brother today, on our nation’s birthday, who is currently celebrating the 4th without family, fireworks, BBQ, and watermelon. i miss him. i love him. and i, with the rest of my family, proudly and patiently await his safe return.  i know he is proud of what he doing, and although he misses us dearly, is honored to be protecting the US aircrafts and bases currently stationed in Iraq. i love you, buddy!  and i can’t wait to see you in november.

I got a bike!!  Neiman and I had been talking about getting me one for a while now.  Actually, I asked for one for my birthday but didn’t get one.  So, last week we were heading out to go buy my bike, and Mindee (sitting on the floor in the living room), asked “Where are you two goin?” 

Jen:  “We are going to get my NEW BIKE!” 

Min: “Why would you go get a new bike, when there is a perfectly good bike in the garage already that I DO NOT want anymore!?!”

Jen: “I can have it!!!  YAY!!”

Min: “YAY”.

So…Neiman fixed it all up…and that’s my new bike!  OK..so to the point of this whole blog (I’m slowly getting there).  We have been some bike-riding-fools!  We have been riding our bikes all over town. To Starbucks, to the grocery store, the pharmacy…or just around the ‘hood.  As part of my “GOING GREEN” effort…we wanted to start riding our bikes around town to save on gas, exercise, and of course do our part to help the environment.  But you know what…it’s the funnest (yes, that’s now a word) thing EVER!!! The first hill i went down…I seriously giggled the whoooole way!  I loooooove riding our bikes.  All over the place!!  Although, we do wish our community was more “bike friendly”, we have so thoroughly enjoyed our bikes, and are getting more and more excited about our efforts to “green” our lives.

There’s more to come on my blog about becoming more green (and what it really means for us…as in…we aren’t trying to make a political statement as much as a “better living” and health for our lives kinda statement, actually not really a statement at all…just a way of life)…in the mean time…LOOK AT MY NEW BIKE!!!