in keeping with tradition

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This will most likely be my last post of 2007. Wow! How time flies. Paul and I have had a great weekend of rearranging the apartment’s furniture – more on that later. For now, I offer a recap of 2007, in keeping with my traditional posts from 2006 and 2005.

  • January: Jera joined our lives. We actually got her one year ago today. I also moved my blog to twentysixcats.com.
  • February: Paul and I continued to get adjusted to being puppy parents, which was really hard on us. We enrolled Jera in a puppy obedience training program which helped I think.
  • March: For Paul’s birthday we spent the weekend at a cabin up in the north Georgia mountains. We had a great time! Also, Beth welcomed a little son into the world.
  • April: My blog turned 3 years old. Paul, Jera, and I went camping for the first time together in the North Georgia mountains and had a lovely time.
  • May: Becky and Katherine visited Georgia, so Susan and I drove down to have lunch with them. Also, the series finale of Gilmore Girls aired. :-( So sad that it’s over! Paul, Jera, and I went camping again – this time with my parents and siblings.
  • June: The beginning of a busy summer, yet a time when I was dealing with a lot of difficult emotions (I mostly kept this struggle off my blog, though I alluded to it here). Paul and I made our first trip up to Indiana for Sopeak & Zay’s wedding – which was such a wonderful trip. Also, the office where I had been working moved to a new building which allowed me to begin walking to work. (Paul’s car was out of commission at this time, due to a costly repair which we finally fixed in August.)
  • July: What can I say about July? BUSY. :-) July 7th: wedding #2, July 13th: wedding #3, July 21st: wedding #4. Our first anniversary on July 29th. We got to see old friends at each wedding, which was a welcome break for us. Also, the first annual Gerig reunion went off successfully the weekend of July 14th. (Stay tuned for news about the 2008 reunion! Yes, I’m already starting to plan it! :-)) A sad note: Jera ran away that same weekend. :-(
  • August: After acknowledging that Jera would not be returning, we got a new puppy: Zoey. She was 10 weeks old and adorable. Also, Tree welcomed her own little baby boy, Jeremiah! I walked to work most of the month, but towards the end the heat was too unbearable so we fixed the car.
  • September: We traveled to North Carolina to spend Labor Day with my sister (who is in college near there) and extended relatives. I enjoyed visiting my sister’s college. We also starting attending a new church, as their newlywed’s sunday school class had its kickoff luncheon. The best thing about this month was celebrating with Susan and Adrian for wedding #5. The month ended badly, with me losing my job.
  • October: I adjusted to being a stay-at-home-wife as Paul and I made the decision for me not to look for a new job. We moved to a new apartment this month, and I’m still unpacking and organizing from that! I start trying to build up my freelance business.
  • November: I drove up to NC to bring my sister down to Atlanta for the weekend. I loved being with her, though the play she came down to see was a bit disappointing. That same weekend we gave Zoey away to a new family. I got the nastiest comments I have ever received on my blog in response to this decision, which made me sad. We spent Thanksgiving with Beth and her family.
  • December: Christmas time! We were extremely organized this year for Christmas, sending out Christmas cards fairly on time and getting all the presents bought and wrapped in plenty of time. We spent a week in Florida for my brother’s wedding (wedding #6!) on December 15th. We returned to Atlanta and spent Christmas morning at CNN and then the afternoon/evening with Susan and her family!

I hope everyone has a wonder New Year’s! We are going to have a low-key evening, since Paul has to work tomorrow morning at 7am. (I really don’t understand how they can ask him to work Thanksgiving, Christmas, AND New Year’s!) I have a “goals for 2008″ post planned so look for that tomorrow or the next day. And if I don’t get to it, happy birthday to Joanna on Wednesday!!


sunday ponderings: forgiveness

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I apologize for the break in the Sunday Ponderings. With Christmas, traveling, and with skipping church a couple of weeks in a row, it was just easier for me to take a break. :-)

A few weeks ago we were visiting a church in another city. At one point in the service something interesting happened. The pastor announced that there was going to be a baptism, and he called two couples to the front. He put his arms around one of the couples, and looked very serious.

“I got a call this week telling me of Sara’s* pregnancy,” he began. (*name changed to protect privacy) The girl looked to the ground, and I wondered at the tears in her eyes. She was no more than 17 or 18 years old, and as the pastor talked we found out that this young couple was not married.

The pastor continued: “They have confessed and repented from their sin. They have asked and received forgiveness from their parents. They have asked and received forgiveness from the church leaders. Now they are repenting publicly and ask for forgiveness from the church.”

I felt like I was sitting in on a private family meeting, but it was very beautiful. The second couple at the front of the church were a mentoring couple, and they laid their hands on Sara and her boyfriend, supporting them. Sara was weeping at this point, and her boyfriend attempting the stoic expression. The pastor reminded the church that this young couple needed so much support and love right now, as they get married and have their baby. He said that they have already been forgiven by the people whom they have hurt the most: their parents, the church leaders, and God. He asked the congregation to remember this sin like how God remembers it, as if it’s banished from the ends of the earth.

I couldn’t help the tears coming into my own eyes. What a beautiful display of love and forgiveness. I also thought it wise for the pastor to bring it into the open and ask people not to talk about it anymore – what a good way to rid the elephant from the room, and allow people to be able to offer their support. And mostly – how courageous Sara and her boyfriend must have been, to stand in front of the congregation and have their sins aired. I don’t know that I could have done it. The pastor spoke with love, yet not diminishing the seriousness of the issue. It wasn’t a public flogging, but rather a beautiful picture of family. The pastor then baptized the boyfriend. (Sara apparently had already been baptized some time before.)

I am glad I got to witness this. It makes me realize how important a church family is.

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:13-14

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What did you learn at church today? Leave a link to your own “Sunday Ponderings” blog post, or you can just mention your thoughts in the comments. Read more about this weekly carnival and get the code for the “Sunday Ponderings” graphic here.


how I saved $21

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My story, briefly:

I grew up in a very frugal family as a missionary kid. I went to college and tried to be frugal there, too, as much as a college student can. I rarely ate out, and if I was traveling I tried to skip meals to save money. Then I got my first job and moved into my own apartment. I suddenly had money, and before long I was in a nice cycle of buying things. I must admit I LOVE to shop and I love buying new things, and I love when everything in my apartment is new and shiny. I tend to throw things out rather than fixing them or making do. I’ve come so far from my upbringing!

If I want to make this work – being a stay at home wife – I really need to reexamine some of my spending habits. A BIG one for us has been eating out. When I was working, I rarely felt like cooking dinner so we ate out all the time. Now that I’m home, I have found that we are eating out much less, without even thinking about it. That’s a step in the right direction, but I am still a long ways with being okay with what we have.

I know this is an attitude thing. I had settled in a routine where I would rather pay someone else to do things, or to buy something new to replace a broken thing or have conveniences that I could do without. Maybe for some people this is an easy process, but for me it’s been difficult. Really, really hard. I know it’s a direction I need to head, but right now I’m struggling a lot over the comforts and things I need to give up.

Ah, materialism has its hold on me!

I’m being upfront with y’all about this because I’m sure that I’m not the only one who struggles with this. I have a few frugal blogs that I enjoy reading, and sometimes when I read about their lifestyles I want to cry and say, “I can’t do this!” If you think I’m just a baby, please keep it to yourself. :-) In a year I’ll probably reread this post and laugh.

All this is to lead up to the baby steps I am taking. I am trying to celebrate them to encourage myself to continue. I’m trying not to get ahead of myself by wondering why I can’t go to CVS and walk out with $314 worth of things for only $5. I’m starting small – with the little things that I know I can do right now. One of these things is in relation to my car. I keep my car very neat and clean, and I want to keep it that way to maintain the value and condition of the car. There is a car wash near me where I can have my car completely cleaned, inside and out, for only $21. I personally don’t think that’s a lot of money, but it does seem like a discretionary expense! Finally yesterday I grabbed some rags and cleaning products and spent an hour cleaning my car myself. I used things I already had – window washing solution, leather cleaning solution (my car’s seats are leather), and a handheld vacuum cleaner. I did a very thorough job and I am pleased with the results! So, I didn’t spend any money except for an hour of my time, which I would have otherwise spent goofing around on the internet. And, I have a clean car. I’m happy for myself. :-)

May this be only the beginning of many future savings!


for sale

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As I mentioned a while ago, I am posting stuff on Craigslist and Ebay. I will try to put up the links here so let me know if you’re interested. :-) (As I said before, Craigslist stuff is pick-up only.)

Queen Bedframe – Excellent Condition **SOLD**

Puppy Training Pads – Box of 100 **decided to donate to animal shelter**

Antique Sewing Machine and Table circa 1897 (Yes, I decided to sell it.) **SOLD**

Black Size Right Dog Harness

Purple nylon dog leash and collar

Glass Calla Lily Vase

Set of 2 Green Etched Glass Hurricane Candle Holders


25 ways to celebrate my birthday

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In honor of my 25th birthday today, I am posting a list of 25 ways you can celebrate my birthday!

1. Eat twenty-six strawberries.

2. Watch Gone With the Wind and celebrate Atlanta.

3. Have a phone conversation where you hang up 15 minutes after you say, “Well I need to go now…”

4. Find someone who has been to Peru and ask them if they know me.

5. Sing happy birthday at 12:26 am or 12:26 pm (or both!).

6. Go to a dog park and exclaim every time you see a beagle.

7. Paint a purple picture.

8. Get a caffeine high from Coke and hop around like a bunny.

9. Spend three hours wandering around Hobby Lobby!

10. Insert “y’all” into your conversation as much as possible.

11. Take pictures of kitties with your Nikon DSLR.

12. Dye your hair red.

13. Read (or reread) Anne of Green Gables, paying special attention to the part where she says her red hair will be her “lifelong sorrow”.

14. Have a conversation about how awesome the packaging design of the Publix brand products looks.

15. Play punchbuggy with Corollas.

16. Offer to redesign your church’s bulletins.

17. Flip through a magazine and call out the names of all the fonts you recognize.

18. Enjoy a chocolate Frosty from Wendy’s.

19. Have a conversation with someone about why Comic Sans should be banned.

20. Host a Gilmore Girls marathon.

21. Stay up until dawn breaks.

22. Go to an animal shelter and pet the kitties.

23. Write on my wall on Facebook.

24. Post a comment on my blog.

25. Come to Atlanta and visit me!