Melissa Kaylene: January 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ice Cream Mother/Daughter Dates

WOW. It was quite the month here last month and I am glad that it is over. 
The past week I have been down and out with some sort of a flu bug that has had me more tired than I can recall from a sickness in a long time. I'm still recovering. 
I am excited for February and a fresh start on some things, but my number one goal is to not overdue it this month, so I dont end up sick again. 

The other day Wayne took Noah to the expo center where there was some tractor show gping on, so I pulled out my Groupon I had stashed at our local ice cream shop, Serendipity,and took the girls on a date. Blue Bubblegum, Rocky Road, and Lemon Pie were our flavors of choice.

My little girls are getting so so big.
I'll be back soon. I promise.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Life in January

One thing is certain: 2013 sure isn't starting out slow.
Its January 23rd. So far this month:
I have had one person move out of my home, and another move in.
We have traveled 200 miles to a memorial service for Grandpa Howern.
I started a math and Spanish class two evenings a week.
I have worked more hours than usual with some night shifts, which has thrown off my schedule.
Our dryer motor died. Had to replace it.
My cell phone broke.
My camera broke.
I'm mentally exhausted. Stressed to my max to keep things running smooth for my kids. Juggling many hats, mom, nurse, coworker, sister, friend, housekeeper, scheduler, accountant,...Wonder Woman needs a break.
But I will inhale. And exhale.
I love my kids. My husband is very supportive. I have a good friend I can rely on.
Life goes on.
And I will love it.
I'm glad to be alive. I'm glad to be needed.
my silly kiddos

Inspiration I found in The Oregonian obituary section 1/20/13

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Life is finite.
So live it,
breathe it.
Don't let it 
pass you by. 



Happy Birthday Emma! Hard to believe its been 5 years already! <3

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

5 Quick Ways to Show Someone That You Care

              Here is 5 really simple ways that you can show someone you care for them. I know there are countless ways to do this, but these were the first 5 that came to my mind! Please feel free to comment with additional ideas!

1. Listen. And I mean really listen. Drop your phone, make full eye contact and give them your full undivided attention. Don't the people we love deserve this?

2. Leave them a random note. In a lunchbox, on the steering wheel, bathroom mirror - jot down something that will make a smile creep up on their face.

3. Cook them their favorite meal. It could be fillet minion, or biscuits and gravy. If you can't cook, do the dishes. ;)

4. Drop them off  a coffee at work (or tea) or just pop in at their house if they 'work' at home.

5. Tell them that you love/care for them.

Remember, bottom line; always remember the golden rule and do unto others as you would like to have done unto you. <3

Monday, January 7, 2013

Plunging Forward.

It's been a busy start to a new year around here.
Life and Death.
  I'm planning a birthday party for my daughter's 5th birthday this next weekend, then we have to make a quick overnight trip to Southern Oregon for Grandpa Howern's funeral the next weekend.
School is starting back up for the kids, ... and me. Long story short I made a quick decision to take a math class. I'm trying to open up new avenues to finish my nursing degree. I am attempting to get placed on a waiting list for the second year of our community colleges nursing program. It's all dependant if there is room from first year students who choose or cannot pass on to the second year.
The only other credit I literally need is one math class. So I'm going to try and get it done quickly. I am going to try and take a first year Spanish class as well.
I'm meeting with the Dean of Nursing on the 15th to see what my odds are. I'm literally so close to having my RN, yet so far away. I've clept out of all but one of the RN level nursing classes, but going through Excelsior college still might not work out for me. That's why I'm keeping my options open. I've got 2 1/2 years until I'm 30 and I'll be damned if I'm still a LPN then. :)
"Slow and steady, steady and slow, that's the only way to go."

My Why's:  




Sunday, January 6, 2013

Financial Goals

     Hey everyone. I hope you are having a fun, productive weekend. Mine is being spent working the night shift, so it's all kind of a sleep deprived blur at the moment. :) Today I've got money on the mind (perhaps because of the work, and trying to reassure myself that the lack of sleep is completely worth it).

     I've just barely touched base with you on here before about my financial goals (here) and my dreams (here ) Well, I want to dive a little bit deeper. I won't say specifics as of now, but I'll give you a little timeline I've created in coorilation with our new financial plan.

Jan 2013: my dental bill will be paid off.
Feb. 2013: my husbands dental bill will be paid off.
April 2013: Our car will be paid off, and we will start contributing (finally) to savings.

Jump down to:

April 2014: All of our credit card debt will be gone!
Dec. 2014: 
                  1. We will have 3 months of income in our emergency savings.
                  2. I will have all of the money I need for my dream Italy vacation.

I know Decemeber 2014 seems like a long ways away, but in reality, with the number of dollars I'm looking at here, 23 months is dedicated, and impressive ;) just paying off our dental bills and car payment will free up a lot of extra money every month - money I will use to pay off our visa.

I realized something had to change. June 2015 I will be 30. 30 is when I want to go to Italy. I don't want to have to ever 40+ hours a week for someone else, and I'd love if my husband could cut back on his hours.

This is my motivation: Financial Independance.

What are your financial goals?



Saturday, January 5, 2013

Easy Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches

  So, I know I, like many of you out there, have made it a goal to get my spending and finances under control in 2013. One of the ways I'm making little changes to save big bucks is by pre-planning my meals and preparing things in large batches for the month so that I don't have to take the time every day to make things.

One of the things I have been doing is making my own breakfast sandwiches and wraps. It is so simple to do, I can make a couple dozen at a time (they go pretty quick with 6 people in the house!) and the best part is: You can freeze them! Why waste money on a McMuffin when I can grab my own out of the fridge, ready made?

So its really this easy. Get some English muffins (I like to use whole wheat or added fiber one...the kids don't even notice!) grab you favorite cheese, eggs, and bacon, sausage, or lunch meat.

It's pretty explanatory, but I'll let you know how I cook my the microwave! Why? Well I grab a coffee mug that has the diameter that I want to egg to be, so they fit on my English muffin just right. :) Just make sure you spray the coffee mug with some Pam or something first so the egg doesn't stick. Now every microwave is different, but mine cooks it in one minute.

Anyways, I assemble them up, wrap them up in saran wrap, label them, and pop some into the freezer and some in the refrigerator! I do the same thing with wraps, except I scramble the eggs in the frying pan.

What is a simple way you plan meals/ save money? I'd love to hear it!

~ Melissa

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Values, Objects, and Life.

It seems to me, more and more, individuals in our society confuse the level of value within their life with the number of objects they poses.

The older (wiser?) I become, the more I have been able to step back and realize that having 'things' doesn't mean I have a better life. In a culture where bigger is better; where we have to have all of the latest gadgets and fads, well, we seem to confuse material things with love, acceptance - peace.

Our children are growing up believing that gadgets and electronics are the only way to have fun. Where did imagination and outdoor play go?

The things I remember the most clearly from childhood was not my possessions, but the memories.

Making mud pies. Swinging. Picking ripe juicy plums and blackberries. Laying on the grass watching the ants travel by. Sleepovers. Forts. Exploring.

That is what makes life grand. The only thing we can take with us when we go is our memories - if we are so lucky. Not a house full of junk.

I'm going to continue to declutter and simplify my life this year - not just for me, but for my family. My loves. <3


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

10 Ways to Find a Moment of Peace Amongst Chaos

10 Simple Ways to Find a Moment of Peace

Face it. Life is crazy. Period. Life as a wife, mother, employee...well that can just be downright chaotic.

If you're anything like me, you have a hard time saying no, difficult time delegating tasks/chores to others, and every great once in a while have a mini (okay maybe major) panic attack when you realize that you can't be Wonder Woman and magically make it all happen how you want it too.

Here are 10 ways I've found that help me breathe a little, de-stress for a few moments in the of this chaos called life.

#1. Take a hot bath. -Bubbles optional, but highly recommended. Add a few drops of lavender oil to help relax you more.

#2. Read a book. - Any topic - the idea is to let you mind wander from reality. Fiction is great, unless you want to read an inspirational self help book; those are good too.

#3. Go for a walk. - Anywhere. In fact, take a new route, go down a different street. Explore. Feel the fresh air.

#4. Pour a glass of wine. - Need I say more? You can do this alone, or along with any other of the 9 suggestions to enhance their effectiveness. :)

#5. Go sit at a coffee shop. Alone. - I love to order a Grande nonfat white mocha, sit in a plush chair, and listen to the soothing music overhead, and just people watch.

#6. Stretch. - I don't do this enough. Do you realize how tense your muscles are when you're stressed out? It's ridiculous. Force yourself to sit still for 15-30 minutes and just stretch. Don't forget to breathe.

#7. Engage in a hobby. - Like to draw? Bake? Sew? Swim? Make the time. Enjoy life a little more.

#8. Go stargazing. - Bundle up with some cocoa (peppermint schnapps is optional ;) ) on a clear night and glance at the glory of the constellations. It will make everything else seem minuscule in comparison.

#9. Go have a nice dinner. - Preferably in a fancy restaurant. There's something so relaxing in having a delicious leisurely meal prepared for you, with calm lighting and soothe music. I encourage to you save up the money for it. If you absolutely cannot afford it, try and re-create the experience in your home - after the kids are in bed.

#10. Breathe. - I mean it. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly. Feel your abdomen rise up and down. Enjoy the life you have. We tend to take each breath for granted. Make each one count.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Oh New Year; New Year.

Well, if there is one thing you can say about life, its that it is always changing. Yesterday I talked a little about the phrase carpe diem (seize the day).
I clicked publish on the post, and went to get dressed to go to Vancouver
to see Grandpa Howern one more time.
Then I glanced down at my phone and saw a missed call and voicemail.
We were too late.
Bill Howern died the night before, the same time I was working night shift. He died with his wife by his side, and in his sleep.
I'm glad his pain is gone, but it hurts saying goodbye. I have almost more sorrow for Mary, his wife. I'm not sure the exact number of years they were married...but lets just say it was over 40, maybe even 50. I can't even imagine the emptiness she must feel right now. He literally was her other half.
This all just reiterates carpe diem. We need to not let time pass us by.
We chose not to tell the kids last night; we didn't want to ruin their fun. We had pizza, played Yahtzee, and let the kids stay up as long as their eyes would let them...Noah made it until 11, Emma 11:45, and Anika? Oh about 12:01. She did it. Finally saw the ball drop.
It would have been nice to go out and have fun like many people do...but I just have to remind myself that these days shall pass, and then I'll yearn for them back. Deep breath.
Carpe Diem.