Thursday, June 30, 2011


I'd like to take a moment here to thank God for how blessed I am. Faithfulness in giving has again and again opened the door for me to receive His blessings. (Note: I do not give to get. Nor do I intend to be boastful. The Word does say to test Him in this.) Within the last week I received a voucher for a free latte at my favorite coffee shop, a dime in my driveway, a $100 gift card to be applied to my phone bill, a $100 credit to be applied to my car loan, and an unexpected bonus to boot! I really shouldn’t be floored by this because God is and always will be my Provider, and I never have to worry if I will make it to the next paycheck because without fail it always works out in one miraculous way or another. Nonetheless, it just feels good to acknowledge how wonderful He is and to give Him the glory for all that He’s done and will do.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

financial strength

Stephanie sent me an interesting article several weeks ago that polled our generation and found that the majority is actually empowered by debt. I, for one, do not like to live with debt hanging over my head. It’s limiting! Then, as I thought about it further, I do enjoy having and meeting financial goals. It makes me feel grown up. Perhaps how you view debt is a matter of perspective.

So how did I react to this article and the fact that I am nearing the halfway point in the year and getting closer to no debt? I decided to buy a car (even though my car was paid off). Oddly enough, it didn’t feel like a setback. Rather it felt reassuring that I could keep my existing goals for the year with credit card debt and just extend into the next year with car loan debt. The plusses outweighed the minuses. I wouldn’t have to throw money into repairs on a ten year old car (and believe me I have paid quite a bit in three short years), I wouldn’t have to do my car registration renewal in July since the dealership would take care of that for me, and I earned an excellent interest rate on my loan! The payment after trade in and three years of payment (made by Sean during his lease agreement) left me with small payments in just a short period.

What makes money management and meeting financial goals feel good?

I can…
Have faith that God will provide for basic needs.
Choose to make wise financial decisions.
Seek to achieve personal financial goals by living within means, controlling spending habits, and continually looking for ways to save.
Invest back into the kingdom to see God’s fruitfulness.

Family is Family

Being away from Chicago where we once all lived makes me feel out of sorts with our family line sometimes but coming together, however brief, am able to find that things really aren't that different. We change. We grow up. We make decisions that take us down different paths. But we always remain family. We are still very alike in so many ways. 

When Laura Benda came to visit Memorial Day weekend, we had so much fun catching up and sharing family stories from over the years. I remember when Laura was only two and had a huge crush on my brother "Stan". Many years later, and much older now, we share many similar characteristics, everything from migraines to the mommy terminology we use with our beagle pups. 

We managed to visit many places in our brief few days even despite my being bed-ridden on her full first day in town (due to a debilitating migraine...ugh)! My goal was to show her as much of Nashville as I could while she was in town, and help in any way while she considers making a move out here after graduation.

We visited (in order):
  • Bellevue area (and had dinner there with my roommate, Stephanie)
  • drove back through Belle Meade area
  • Laura took solo trip to Hendersonville area
  • Laura took solo trip to Local Taco in Sylvan Park with “hippie” sightings
  • Jackson’s Bar & Bistro in Hillsboro Village
  • Fido in Hillsboro Village
  • drove through Vandy/Belmont area
  • Sounds game at Greer Stadium
  • drove through downtown area
  • Dan McGuinness Pub in Demonbreun with friends
  • Marche Artisan Foods in East Nashville
  • Las Paletas in 12th South/Waverly area
  • drove through Crieve Hall
  • drove through Brentwood/Franklin
  • Amerigos in Cool Springs
  • Maggie Moos on West End
  • Dose for farewell breakfast and coffee
Favorite places we didn’t get to that will have to be on the next visit:
Next trip out here...TBD!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Things to celebrate...

  • I'm going to be an aunt to another little one...a baby girl! Let the baby girl shopping begin.
  • Travel is in the near future with a trip to Dallas to see Dan, Angela and the kids! We have a lot of fun planned for that week.
  • Work has been going great. I'm meeting goals and continually learning. I like where I've been placed and feel like I'm making a difference. One of my favorite parts is getting to talk to the patients. 
  • Life with Sean gets better and better everyday and I'm looking forward to what each day brings us as a couple! 
  • God has been revealing areas in my life that I can be used to help others and it has been really exciting and challenging. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Agua de Fresca: perfect for summer

I really want to try this recipe out that I saw on this month's antro newsletter:
Mix four cups of sliced strawberries with one cup each of sugar and water; refrigerate for several hours. Blend on high until smooth and pour mixture through wire mesh strainer; discard pulp and seeds. Add seven cups of water to puree. Serve over ice with lime slices or mint leaves.