Next!

So I’ve been working on this blog. For a few days now. And I’ve been praying about it, and I just haven’t felt great about it, but I wanted to put something up because it’s been a few days since I’ve been able to write. Well, I guess it wasn’t what I was supposed to say because my computer crashed and I can’t find the draft anywhere.

So now, I’m gonna go do a little reading while the baby sleeps, and I’m going to find out what He wants me to say.

Stay tuned!

In the meantime, keep up with me and find out what’s going on in my life by following me on Facebook (Lauren Falber) and Twitter (@laurenenfalber).

Happy Saturday, y’all!

I’m calling it a night.

I seriously feel like I have been going non-stop for 48 hours now.

I am beyond exhausted.

I have been staring at a computer and my iPad, writing lists, sending emails, all day long. Today and yesterday. (And I’m still not done.)

And then there’s the move tomorrow. I have packed and lived out of boxes for weeks now. I’m ready to be done. And unpacked. Most importantly, unpacked.

Not to mention that my sweet little girl has stopped going to bed at a reasonable time. Bedtime used to be 8 ish, now, I’m lucky if it happens before 11.

And just in case you were wondering, no, she does not sleep in later than usual…

I am so tired, that I didn’t even open my diapers I ordered for Adelaide Blue. That’s when you know it’s serious.

I’m ready for a break. And maybe a drink. :)

How’s your night going?

After Beautycounter

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For those of you who know me, you know that my hair is insane. It does what it wants when it wants. I usually throw it on top of my head because I just can’t do anything with it. It’s thick, curly, and full of friz.

This is the after with Beautycounter. This is me using just a dime-sized amount of shampoo and conditioner. And then just a dab of Beautycounter’s lustro oil. This is 15 minutes with a hair straightener. And that’s it. THAT’S IT!

I am busy. I don’t have time to take care of my hair. I don’t have time to not wear it on top of my head, but I do have 15 minutes.

Let me give you your story.

Here’s to 30.

Hi, my name is Lauren. My age? Oh, I’m 30.

Hey, I’m Lauren. Yeah, I’m 30.

Hello there, it’s me, Lauren, I’m in my thirties.

Oy.

When did this happen? I mean, obviously it happened today, but I’m having a really hard time grasping the idea that I am 30 now.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve felt like I was in my 30’s for a long time, probably since I was 25, but I still had that number to hold onto. I was still in my twenties. I was fun and carefree, or at least I could pretend to be.

Not anymore. Nope. Now I’m 30. And I didn’t realize that I would have such a hard time accepting it.

30 is just so, well it’s 30.

I have officially become an adult. There’s no turning back now. I can no longer blame my immaturity or dumb decisions on my age because being 30 means ‘you’ve been there, done that’ and there’s no more excuses.

Teenagers are sitting in school talking about people my age now. I have been separated. They think that I am so far away, Newsflash! I’m not. You’re not. 30 is just creeping around the corner and what people my age try to tell you is true. It will be there before you know it.

Before you know it, you will be waking up earlier each day. Eating your bran flakes while you catch up on today’s news. You will be budgeting and paying bills. You will feel as if time is moving at warp speeds. You will have 3 meals a day. Coffee becomes both your best friend and your enemy. If you have kids you will be answering all of their questions. They will ask you everything because being 30, you should know these things. You will find yourself appreciating the little things. You will grasp onto every minute that passes you by because now you truly have a sense of what time means exactly. You realize it won’t come back because in the blink of an eye, you’ve turned 30.

Don’t get me wrong. 30 feels good. 30 is where I should be. Because it’s at 30 that I get to spend the day with the two most amazing kids a girl could have. Not to discredit any of my other birthdays, but spending the day with them, well, that makes 30 just where I want to be.

Also, when you’re 30, you get to eat peanut butter cup ice cream for breakfast and there’s no one who can tell you not to.

So here’s to 30.

:)

Time to Move On

I’m not sure what I expected when I made the move to Texas, as i approach the anniversary of the day that I knew I was moving, I can’t help but reflect on what’s happened this past year.

We all make promises to keep in touch. We are all guilty of it, and I believe our intentions are good. I believe that we absolutely mean that we will do our best to keep in touch, but then life happens, and keeping in touch isn’t as easy as we made it sound.

Yes, I have Facebook, and I am thankful I do because I am able to still kind of ‘peek’ into the lives of the ones I left, and I do my best to keep my Facebook updated so they can see what we’ve been up to, but if I can be honest, sometimes I don’t want to see. Sometimes I sit here with my feelings hurt because I know that things have changed, and I feel replaced.

You see, a few months ago, I still held on to the idea that I would go back home eventually. I didn’t believe for a second that Texas was it. That this was where my kids would grow up. I’m still not sure that they will grow up here, but I just don’t know that we will ever go back to NC. And so now, as I watch the change take place, it makes me sad.

It makes me sad knowing that it won’t ever be the same. It makes me sad knowing that people may be forgetting who I am or who my family is. It makes me sad seeing other people doing the things that I used to do.

And even if, and that’s a big ‘if’, even if we did go back to North Carolina, it wouldn’t be as we left it. Things have changed. People have changed. Everything has changed.

But we need change, right?

I can’t help but to think that I would have been content with my life the way it was. We didn’t have a lot, but we were happy. We had the things that mattered. And I know that we’re still new to Texas and I never expected to make the kind of friendships I left behind, quickly, and the truth is, I’m starting to make friends, and I’m starting to make good friends, maybe even great friends, but the more I do, the more distant I feel from the life I left behind just 10 months ago.

I know I could pick up the phone. I know that I could make more of an effort, but it makes me sad. It makes me sad having to say goodbye. It makes me sad listening to all the things that I’ve missed, and it makes me sad knowing that those phone calls won’t change anything. I’ll still be here and they will still be there.

And so I avoid. We avoid. We don’t talk about home as much as we used to. We don’t talk about going back as much as we used to. In fact, It seems that me and Justin are both on the same page, and North Carolina just isn’t.

Happy Thankgiving, Y’al!

First, let me wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving. It is my hope and wish for you that each of you are able to spend the day eating good food with the people you love.

I thought today was going to be hard. I had been getting sad as the holidays approached because I knew that I wouldn’t be spending it with my friends and my family. As I looked back on pictures, it brought up traditions that I knew I would miss, but actually,Β  I’m okay.

Last night, as I finally laid down, after a busy day of making and cleaning and crocheting and sewing, I realized that while I might not have my friends and my family right down the road, God has blessed me with some truly awesome people down here in Texas. Right?! I didn’t think it was possible either. :)

But seriously. You all know how awesome and great the people are that I had to leave. They were my world. They are my world. And it’s been hard trying to navigate life without them. There are times when I can’t even answer the phone or pick it up to make a call because it hurts too much and I dare not risk crying on the phone. My friends and my family are so important to me, and I still hope deep down that one day we will make it back to North Carolina before too much time has passed, but in the meantime, God has truly provided me and my family with some amazing people.

It’s been hard to go out and make friends. Not because I don’t want friends, but because it’s awkward. I mean, I’m almost 30 years old, you don’t really think about making friends at this age. And with us going down to one car, well, it has pretty much ruled me going anywhere to meet new people, but somehow He has still brought these amazing people to me.

I haven’t known them for very long, but I trust them. I feel comfortable talking about anything with them and I know that if I need anything that they are just a phone call away.

Not only have they been perfect for me, but I took it really hard leaving my best friend’s three girls. I had been apart of their lives from the absolute beginning. Jaxsyn had grown up with them and their friendship was important to all of us. My biggest fear was that Jaxsyn wouldn’t have that kind of friendship ever again. I have prayed and prayed and prayed about it. And you know what? He provided. Of course his friendships are nothing like the one he left with his best friend, but it is because of these new friendships that he isn’t filled with sadness every single day. We still talk about Nollie and Jo Jo. He knows Haddie from the pictures, but he also loves all of his new friends too. And because I was so grateful for their relationship I prayed that Adelaide would have a friend that she could grow up with, like Jaxsyn did, and you know what? He provided. He provided me with a new friend, a friend that I’m certain I can be close too, who has a daughter just 2 weeks younger than Adelaide. Sound familiar?

You see, Texas is not North Carolina, it never will be. I’m not sure that Texas will ever be home for me, and I’m pretty sure that He knows that, but He is making it feel like home. He is giving me what He knows I need to enjoy this new adventure. He knew I needed a church family, one that was exactly like I had imagined it to be, and He provided. He knew I needed good friends, ones that would have huge shoes to fill, and He provided. And He knew that I needed family that would step in when I couldn’t be around my family, and He provided.

I thought that moving to Texas was the end of the world. I was devastated and for awhile I couldn’t understand why God would do this to me, why He would take me away from everything I knew and loved, and slowly I’ve begun to try and understand why, and I think I have a good grasp on why we had to move, and I’m okay with it, but it makes it that much better knowing that He has provided all these wonderful people just for me and my family in both places.That’s a lot of love!

So this Thanksgiving I’m thankful that I have an abundance of family here and in North Carolina that love me and that I love. I am thankful for my old friends back home who have been through everything with me, and I am thankful for my new friends and our new journeys together. I am thankful for my old church family and I am thankful to be apart of my new church family.

But most of all, I am thankful that He loves me enough to give me exactly what I wanted, needed. I am thankful that He knows me and He knows what I need. And I am thankful that He always, always, ALWAYS provides.

Remember that, He ALWAYS provides.

Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all!

Β 

I Love Me a Bargain.

It’s true. I love me a bargain. I love saving money. I’m not as good as most people I know who are always on the hunt for a good deal, but I have my days.

I’m always on the look out for a better price. I’m always comparing prices, asking for deals, looking for coupons. Always.

Saving money is essential for my home. If I don’t save money and cut costs where I can, well, then we go without somewhere else. We have food in our cabinets and in our fridge because I shop for deals. I hate buying things at full price because I know that there are always deals. Always.

I stick to a budget for everything. I don’t go over my budget for anything. I think it’s important to stick with a budget. It teaches responsibility and it allows for no financial surprises.

I have always been on a budget for Christmas. Of course, it’s just been Jaxsyn until now, and so it was easy to splurge (within our budget) on him, but now that there’s two, well, now I really have to make sure that I stretch my dollar as far as it will go.

My number one rule when deciding to have another child was that neither of my children would go without because of the other one. I didn’t want things to dwindle for Jaxsyn just because he had a sister. And so I am ready to clip coupons, search stores top to bottom, and do anything I can to catch a break, well, almost anything, I won’t be shopping on Thanksgiving.

I know, I know, I know. I’m going to be missing big deals. Huge deals. My dollar would go so much further if I got up after dinner and headed to my favorite stores where I would be sure to find the best and the cheapest, but no thanks.

Thanksgiving is about family, friends, neighbors. It’s about love, and football. It’s about food, and stretchy pants. It’s about naps, and games. It’s about being, and doing. It’s a day that we can do exactly what we should do on a regular basis but can’t. It’s a day about slowing down and stopping to smell the roses, or the coffee, or whichever you prefer.

So no matter how many deals I will be missing, no matter how many sales I will be missing, I just can’t do it. I just can’t take Thanksgiving away from someone else. I urge you to follow my lead.

The sales can wait. The time with loved ones, and friends cannot. Besides, wouldn’t you rather get the rush of shopping while navigating your way through the crowds on Black Friday like we’re supposed to?! Nothing says ‘Holiday Spirit’ like throwing elbows and curse words! :)

You Know, That Saying, About Trash and Treasure…

Ahhh! We have so much stuff. I mean, like, so, so, so, so much stuff.I am about to go on a donation rampage.

I’ve been trying to get rid of a few things, posting them for sale, attempting to only keep the things I need, but it’s just not enough.

I was talking to Justin the other day and we were going over our budget. Every week, it’s the same. We don’t have a lot of leftover money, some weeks, we don’t have any. We talk about struggle and how we can’t afford this or that, but then as we looked around and as we kept talking we realized that other people may look at us and think that we are living the dream. Are we?

That idea got me to thinking. Do people actually strive to live like I do? Like we do? I mean, here we are complaining about what we don’t have and what we can’t get, but when you take a look around my life, my house, you might wonder to yourselves, ‘what are they talking about?’

We have new phones, new car, nice furniture, nice TVs, nice clothes. We have gadgets, and a lot of electronics. If you go into our kids’ room, you will find so many toys. There are toys everywhere. They also have nice, name brand clothes. They have so many clothes that I’ve had to put some in storage underneath beds. We have stuff.

So then what is it that we have fixated our minds on that we can’t afford? We always have food. We may have to budget at the grocery store, and clip coupons, and find things on sale, but we have food.We’ve never gone hungry. We may not get to eat what we want every night, and there may be a few more spaghetti nights during certain weeks, but we always eat.

We do fun things, maybe not everyday, but we do. We’ve taken vacations, maybe not as many as we’d like, but that’s usually just because Justin can’t take that much time off from work.

And most importantly, I get to stay home. We both know that if I went back to work that we would virtually eliminate any and all stress (financially), but it is so important for me to spend this time with our kids and take care of them, (not to mention the cost of childcare is ridiculous!)

So what do we really have to complain about? Don’t get me wrong, times are tough, and since we’ve moved to Houston things are much tighter than before. The cost of living down here is outrageous. The rental market is insane. Since Justin makes more money, we have to spend more money. Where in NC we had some government assistance, and now we have none. And even though the assistance we received wasn’t a lot, it definitely helped. It was much easier not having to pay for insurance or food out of our own pockets, but we strived to have a life where we didn’t rely on assistance, and so here we are.

You know, I’ve been worried about how we’re going to afford Christmas, not that my kids want for anything, but as a parent I still want to give them everything I can and so I’ve been nervous about this year. But then something happened last night. Justin and I just upgraded our phones. We both had the iPhone 4. Justin’s phone wasn’t great. It did some really strange things and Apple wouldn’t replace it because he dropped it when he first got it and cracked the screen. My phone was fine. Before that we both had the iPhone 3GS. Once we got the 4’s I gave Jaxsyn my old phone so he could play games and watch movies. Anyways, we upgraded to the new iPhone 5S. We got a heck of a deal, and so I passed my 4 down to Jaxsyn. And we wanted to sell the 3’s to make up for some of the cost of the new phones. I put the phones on Craigslist and on Facebook. It didn’t take long for people to show their interest. So when Justin got home we took the phones to the guy who had first responded.

Now mind you, my 3 was in great condition. Justin’s 3 not so much. Once again, he dropped it and cracked the screen.I didn’t even put Justin’s phone up for sale because it was cracked, but Justin had mentioned it to the guy and this guy was so excited to get both of these phones. I mean, it was a good deal for 2 iPhone’s, but it made me think. Those phones were so old to us. They weren’t good enough for us anymore, and here this guy was, and he was thrilled to get his hands on them.

Maybe he was buying them for his kids. Maybe for him and his wife. I don’t know, but I realized in that moment, just how much we have and just how much we have to be thankful for.

So maybe I won’t be able to buy the nicest and the newest and the most this Christmas. Maybe we won’t be able to go out to dinner every night or maybe we will have to pick and choose what we want to do because we can’t afford to do it all. I’ll take it because when I take a look at my life, and I take a look at what I have and what we have and what my kids have, I can’t help but sit back and be thankful.

But seriously, now it’s time ‘Demolition Donation’.