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June Goals {Free Printables}

Is it “officially” Summer yet? To me it is even though the calendar says Summer starts June 21.

I love seeing the flowers blooming, the lawn mower humming, and the sun shining!

The biggest for June is this is my last full month of chemotherapy! I will shout it from the mountaintops! Thanks to everyone cheering me on!

Now for a recap of May Goals and looking forward to June Goals:

Business & Finance

  1. May is a no spend month for our family. We have had several no spend months. Some successful, but even the not so successful end up being okay because we end up spending less than normal.  It has been really easy for us to eat out because of my lack of energy and “don’t care right now” attitude while undergoing chemotherapy. I am going to give our family some grace on this because Wayne works so hard at our business and Hannah works full-time and is a student full-time. We are doing a study at church about “Breaking the Yolk of Debt”. Its a reality check for us though. If we want to reach our financial goals, we must stick to a plan. We will use cash envelopes and only spend from the cash we have in our envelopes for our essentials. I have made our monthly food menu and eating at home is the main agenda.

We had a VERY successful no spend month! We were able to stick to our cash envelope system. We had a few days where we visited the drive thru for meals when I was too sick to cook and Wayne was too tired to cook. We were able to decrease our spending by 75%, put money in savings and tithe our full amount.

In June we will continue to use only cash envelopes. Our goal is to tithe our full amount, put an additional amount into savings to fully fund our emergency fund and decrease our spending by 75%. We will be going a few places in June that will require more eating out, but the times we are at home, we will be eating from freezer and pantry to decrease our grocery envelope spending.

2. This blog needs some love. I am scheduling a couple of hours a day to devote to sharing and inspiring! I have so many ideas to share with you. I hope you will stick around and connect! I will be starting a new series called She Can Do It! I will show you basic skills such as writing a budget, changing a tire, sewing a button, simple glazed cookies. We will have fun learning new things!

I didn’t quite accomplish She Can Do It! like I wanted. I am going to give myself grace while i am undergoing chemo. My body hurts and my brain can only take so much thinking. Its coming though I promise! I did add a lot of new content and updated posts.

I am happy to report that I was chosen by Karianne from Thistlewood Farms to review her new book coming out in September! She is a fabulous writer and I look forward to sharing my review of her inspirational story!

Family & Relationships

  1. I am so blessed for the family and friends that have supported me throughout My Breast cancer Journey.  Without their help, I would be lost. I have spent a great deal of time one on one with each of my family members. I am just going to love on them this month!

Wayne and I were able to get away for a couple of days and go to Ventura Beach and Solvang, Ca. I don’t have a lot of energy, but just driving and seeing the ocean was enough to recharge my system a little bit. Breathing the ocean air does a body good! 

I spent time with Hannah going to lunch and just talking about nothing and everything!

I always spend time with my Mom each day talking and we were able to go shopping a couple of times. So nice to do normal things once in awhile.

I had a very dear friend Cheryl come by for breakfast. She came at 9:00am and we talked until 1:30 in the afternoon! It was fantastic!

I hope to continue the momentum I have started with getaways and lunches and time with my friends and family. My Mom, Hannah and me are going to Las vegas for an overnight trip. I hope to grab Wayne and head out for an overnight stay or just a drive for the day. I cherish these moments,

2. I have a story that needs to be told. It is about my Dad and his untimely death. His death is heart-breaking, but I am determined to share his story so that it may help others. I am in the process of writing a book and will share the first chapter here on the blog this month.  I hope it will inspire you to write a Last Will & Testament/ Trust and an Advanced Care Directive.

I was able to write part of the first chapter of my book. I am also starting another book that tells of my Breast Cancer journey.

I will share the first chapter of the book about my Dad here on the blog. I may even need help with the title!

Health & Fitness

1. I am not setting any exercise or diet goals this month. My doctor  wants me to watch what I eat, but not deprive myself of any certain food. I have NO energy for exercise. My doctor wants to me to conserve all the energy I have. My goal this month will be to keep my positive attitude in check.  My prognosis is good and I want to do everything the doctor tells me to do.

I am losing about 2 pounds a week. Now in my former life (before BC, breast cancer) I would be jumping for joy. However, too much weight loss can affect my immune system. I am trying to eat healthy and simply care for my body.

I cannot wait to finish chemo in the first week of July. A celebration for sure!

She Can Do It!

  1. I have set a goal to read two books this month and I will share my reviews with you here. I am excited to read Unashamed by Christine Caine and Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst

Well…I didn’t read either book. Bummed. However, all is not lost. I read two other books this month. 

I finished the 28 day devotional and I can’t tell you enough about how life changing my perspective is on comparing myself to others. It was raw and stepped on my toes a bit. I will share more on this book in a review.

A biblical program offered by my church called Operation Solid Lives is another study I started in May. 

I hope to read Unashamed and Uninvited this month and share my reviews.

So there you have it! A few successes and a few misses. Overall a good month.

What do you want to accomplish this month? Print out the printables below and write down your goals and meet back here to share!

PRINT

PRINT

PRINT

Enjoy!

Why I won’t wish you a happy Memorial Day

As I scrolled through my Facebook page, a beautiful red, white and blue tablescape caught my eye. It was a post from Sandra Lee (television host, cookbook author). I recognized the tablescape from Between Naps on the Porch, a blog I regularly read. The headline from Sandra Lee read “Perfect tablescape for Memorial Day”. I started to read the comments and many read “Happy Memorial Day” “Can’t wait to get Summer started” etc. Sandra Lee asked “How will you be decorating your table for Memorial Day?”

I stopped and cringed (as I often do on Facebook… A story for another time). No offense to Sandra Lee as I am sure she probably doesn’t even write her own Facebook posts. I was more offended surprised by the comments on the post. Many, many people wrote about their plans, what they were going to eat, how happy Summer was almost here, how they decorated. Only a few people commented about what Memorial Day really means. I don’t think by any means, comments were meant to be insensitive or offensive. It’s a tablescape!

I won’t be offended if you wish me a Happy Memorial Day. For a lot of people, it is a happy day. School’s out for most. Weather is warming up. Three day weekend. Barbecues. Swimming. Camping. I get it. I celebrate all these fun things too! But there is more to Memorial day than fun.

I had a great visit with a good friend of mine, Cheryl. We had a great conversation about how sometimes people are just ignorant (not negative, just not knowledgeable) to how someone may react or don’t know what to say. The Sandra Lee post reminded me of this.

  • Memorial Day

A National day of remembrance to honor those who have died while serving in our country’s armed forces.

  • Armed Forces Day

A day of honor to those who are serving or have served in our country’s armed forces.

  • Patriot Day 

A National day of remembrance for those who perished on September 11, 2001.

  • Veteran’s Day

A day that honors all veterans serving or have served in our country’s armed forces.

I am privileged to be the wife of a disabled military veteran. My family includes a long list of veteran’s: father, father-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, cousins, Thank you to all who serve or have served.

We are having a barbecue on Monday. We are celebrating the warm weather and I will make sure my table is dressed. I will enjoy the company of my family for a happy day.  But, I will also take time to honor those who have died while serving this great country of ours. They paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we may enjoy the freedoms we have in this country. I hope you will take time to honor them too.

Step in Faith,

 

Are your coffee cups mismatched?

Have you ever been to a restaurant where all the plates, silverware and coffee cups are mismatched? Some call it “shabby chic” or “country”. I call it comfortable. I am pretty sure I have never had a bad meal at a place with mismatched dinnerware.

I was cleaning my kitchen one day and putting away all the clean coffee cups. I put the  cute, floral matching cups on display in my cup rack. All of the mismatched cups we had collected from vacations, garage sales or gifts from promotions all go up in the cabinet not to be seen by family and friends. Funny thing about this is when company comes over, they open the cabinet and grab any mismatched coffee cup and help themselves (I wouldn’t have it any other way).

Aren’t we like that though? Do we close the cabinet on our comfortable, authentic self? Do we just show the part of ourselves we want others to see and not the well worn parts of our personality?

I have joined a great group of women to study Comparison by Sandra Stanley.  I talked about it in my Goals for May

What I find intriguing about the study is that there are over 500 women who have joined the Facebook group. This just shows me that we are so much alike with our feelings of inadequacy and fearful of judgment from other women. We are constantly comparing ourselves and are quite critical of one another.

I shared a story of a time when Hannah was in elementary school. I had joined the PTA and was excited to meet other mothers. If you think high school comparison is bad, PTA has that and so much more. I have never felt more uncomfortable than hearing the constant jabs at other mothers. These were grown women who were supposed to set an example for not only their children, but other children as well. I am sure not every PTA is like this (thankfully). I held my head high and tried not to join in with the “clique”. The goal to serve was just as strong for me and I didn’t want “them” to hold me back. What I find sad is that I fear we will compare ourselves to one another all through adulthood.

Just for today, let’s show the world our authentic self. Give yourself grace. Be thankful for all that you are. Set an example for a young woman in your life. I know she struggles in a life of social media and peer pressure and television and magazines.

Just take time to just be you today!

Walk in Faith,

 

 

May Goals {Free printables}

Hi Friends! A long absence, I know. This chemotherapy treatment is not for the faint of heart. I never knew how hard and debilitating chemotherapy could be. I have finished the strongest chemotherapy treatment and am now on a weekly regimen with a drug called Pacitaxel (Taxel for short). The side effects are few (dry skin, bone pain and diarrhea…just keeping it real, but they are bearable).

Nonetheless, I have renewed energy and excited to continue on with some sort of “normal” life with writing my book, writing this blog, and running our business. In that spirit, I decided to make some goals for myself and share a few free printables so you can be inspired to set your own May goals.

Business & Finance

  1. May is a no spend month for our family. We have had several no spend months. Some successful, but even the not so successful end up being okay because we end up spending less than normal.  It has been really easy for us to eat out because of my lack of energy and “don’t care right now” attitude while undergoing chemotherpy. I am going to give our family some grace on this because Wayne works so hard at our business and Hannah works full-time and is a student full-time. We are doing a study at church about “Breaking the Yolk of Debt”. Its a reality check for us though. If we want to reach our financial goals, we must stick to a plan. We will use cash envelopes and only spend from the cash we have in our envelopes for our essentials. I have made our monthly food menu and eating at home is the main agenda.
  2. This blog needs some love. I am scheduling a couple of hours a day to devote to sharing and inspiring! I have so many ideas to share with you. I hope you will stick around and connect! I will be starting a new series called She Can Do It! I will show you basic skills such as writing a budget, changing a tire, sewing a button, simple glazed cookies. We will have fun learning new things!

Family & Relationships

  1. I am so blessed for the family and friends that have supported me throughout My Breast cancer Journey.  Without their help, I would be lost. I have spent a great deal of time one on one with each of my family members. I am just going to love on them this month!
  2. I have a story that needs to be told. It is about my Dad and his untimely death. His death is heart-breaking, but I am determined to share his story so that it may help others. I am in the process of writing a book and will share the first chapter here on the blog this month.  I hope it will inspire you to write a Last Will & Testament/ Trust and an Advanced Care Directive.

Health & Fitness

  1. I am not setting any exercise or diet goals this month. My doctor  wants me to watch what I eat, but not deprive myself of any certain food. I have NO energy for exercise. My doctor wants to me to conserve all the energy I have. My goal this month will be to keep my positive attitude in check.  My prognosis is good and I want to do everything the doctor tells me to do.

She Can Do It!

  1. I have set a goal to read two books this month and I will share my reviews with you here. I am excited to read Unashamed by Christine Caine

 

and Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst

  1. I am doing a Facebook Bible Study with Unskinny Boppy,  Jennifer Rizzo, Stone Gable, and At The Picket Fence called Comparison Trap. Looking forward to sharing all I am learning about comparing myself to others and how we can stop this trap we all fall into.

Now on to the May printables! I would love to hear about your May goals!  We are here to Share. Inspire. Connect.

 PRINT HERE

PRINT HERE

PRINT HERE

Step in Faith…

 

Happy Spring {and a few updates on Life}

Hi Friends,

The last 10 days we have had glorious warm weather, but today is overcast and chilly. I am not going to let the skies rin my excitement for the first day of Spring!

My posts have been sporadic, but this chemo is kicking my butt. I thought I would give you a few updates about what’s been happening.

Chemo / Breast Cancer

I have had three chem treatments so far. They are spaced two weeks apart. My doctor tells me my cell levels will dip low at about two days after chemo and he has been right on the mark. The first day of treatment, I tend to take a nap in the afternoon. The next day, I am a little tiresome with muscle aches. The third day is very hard. My Mom is here for the full day while I am resting on day three. The hardest part of this whole experience is not being able to do the things I want to do and not going to the places I want to go. Its a small sacrifice for saving my life, but quite depressing nonetheless. I will share the whole chemo experience with you soon.

Vision

I visited my Retina Specialist this past month. The chemo will affect my eyesight in the worst way. However, my doctor prescribed me anti-inflammatory drops three times a day to keep the swelling at bay while i am going through treatment. I haven’t noticed any worsening in my eyesight except for my cataracts. I am very used to my eyesight being poor and I adapt to seeing differently.

Disability

Do you know that Stage 3 Breast Cancer and Low Vision still do not qualify for Social Security Disability? I applied last year when I lost part of my eyesight and was denied. I applied again in December and have not heard a decision. I am so grateful to have a business that can sustain our expenses. What do others do in this same situation?

State of the Blog

I have so many ideas  running through my head of ideas to share, tutorials to teach and encouraging stories. I just have to find the energy right now to write them down in posts. My goal is to teach, inspire, share and connect. I will update all my series pages this week and freshen up the blog. I will do my best to try to be consistent, but the ultimate goal is to live. AND live happily. I will be sharing a tutorial this week on how to make my sugar cookies with glaze. Just in time to gather your supplies for Easter cookies. I hope you will stick around! I love having you here!

Book Review {The Magnolia Story & A Trip to Magnolia Silos}

One benefit of going through chemotherapy is the downtime. Whereas before chemo I didn’t take time to read books, I am now able to read a little more. One book I have wanted to read for awhile is The Magnolia Story by Chip & Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper on HGTV.  I love their show and their enthusiastic spirit working together. It reminds me a little bit of me and Wayne as we have worked together on our businesses for over 8 years now. Albeit, Chip and Joanna have taken leaps to expand their business and their dreams. I give them a tremendous amount of credit for working hard, but still keeping their values intact.

 Their book was published in October, 2016 and I am just now finishing it. It took me a minute to figure out the writing style. They both wrote the book from their different perspectives and the font changes when one or the other is writing. Joanna writes the most and Chip provides excerpts and thoughts throughout.

I try to look for books that can inspire and this one fit the bill. The book takes us from each childhood throughout their time dating. They speak of what their families are like and how they were raised.  The bulk of the book shares how they started their business and what steps they took to finance and design and collaborate. They also speak of their faith and what inspires them to move forward in achieving their dreams. They are two very different people, but they do balance each other’s personalities. I respect their value system in making their family number one priority. Definitely a good read.

It just so happened that on our trip to Texas last October,  we were able to visit Magnolia at the Silos. I had been looking forward to visiting the market and the Silos Baking Co which had just opened earlier in the Summer. Waco, Texas was not what I expected. It sort of reminded me of an old town which had seen better days and  a better economy. There are a lot of run down areas in town. I got the impression Chip & Joanna Gaines have fueled a lot of income into this town and it is revitalized.  I often wondered when watching the show, why the prices are so low on these houses. I believe property prices will definitely go up with the added tourist connection and I am happy for the City of Waco.

Magnolia at the Silos was not too busy when we pulled in. However, parking is very limited and we had to park about two blocks away because there is no parking lot at the Silos. Many people parked on the street and a trolley is available to transport.

We were greeted at the door by Market employees who were very warm and friendly. The atmosphere in the Market is casual and the setup is beautiful. It wasn’t stark or cold and the items were displayed for easy access. I found a ton of cute, decorative “stuff” to bring home, but a lot of items seemed very expensive. I did buy a few things and when we checked out we were given a cute postcard with a thank you note and picture of Chip and Joanna. I thought it was a nice touch.

We visited the Magnolia Seed Supply which was a small building off to the side of the silos. The building was almost as small as a shed and didn’t offer a lot of merchandise, mostly t-shirts and “fairy garden” items. The garden outside of the Seed Supply is beautiful and quite large for the space. It was very well laid out and looked like an “active” garden space.

Our last stop was the Silos Baking Co. The line to get in wasn’t long for us and I think we were fortunate to visit at a slow time. There was a greeter at the door who handed us an order form and explained what the seasonal baked good was. We wanted to taste a selection of items so we ordered 2 cookies (which were large cookies) and one of each of the flavors of cupcakes. They were packaged beautifully and I was impressed with the attention to detail on each cupcake. Later that night we cut each cupcake into small bites and spread them on a platter to share after dinner. I didn’t think they were the best I have ever tasted, but a good cupcake. I think they are displayed creatively, but I think they must charge so much for each cupcake to pay for the packaging. I think the baked goods were a little pricey (but I could just be frugal?)!

I applaud Chip and Joanna Gaines for the awesome way they have created their business. I think they have created many jobs and increased the economy for Waco. They set a good example for families everywhere and I respect their values. I am inspired by their story.

If you would like to read their story, pick up their book here