This is the first blog post I’ve written in SO LONG so it feels a bit foreign and weird. I have tossed around various ideas for the past couple of months about blogging again, but I couldn’t get motivated or decisive or something.  
So, I just turned thirty-five. I've made some serious changes in the past year and for whatever reason, I want to share what I have and am learning. I constantly feel like I'm failing, but I know it can't be that bad (RIGHT?). Back in the Spring, our church’s children's ministry took the kids to a weekend camp. A friend told me that at least once a week she tells someone, “Do you follow Kelley Close on Facebook? You should. She’s funny, she’s honest, and she puts a lot of things into perspective.” I wanted to cry. This was probably the most humbling thing anyone has said to me in a very long time. So, I’m going to start blogging again. I don’t have a niche; there’s no special focus. I certainly know I’m not going to become famous.  But, I’m …

2015: New Year Goals and (hopefully) Unbroken Promises

It's once again a new year. We get a fresh start. A clean slate.

On my computer monitor I have a little note with last year's goals:
1) Do not put off things that can easily be done today. (I did on some things....but missed others.)
2) Make a difference in others' lives-friends, strangers, charity. (Not sure if I did this or not.)
3) Use up what you already have. Repurpose, recycle. (I was doing fairly well...)
4) Be kind. Show Christ. (I tried.)
5) Read 12 books. (TOTALLY accomplished this one!)
6) Clean out items. (Yes. I did.)
7) Run a 5K. (TOTALLY missed this one.)

For the past week I've been brainstorming things I want to accomplish this year. I've also been thinking of things about me that I want to change. Granted, one year is nowhere near enough time to completely change something about ourselves, but it's certainly a start. Here's what I've got so far:

Lose-I want to lose 20 pounds. This may not seem like a lot, but I've never lost weight …

I've Come Out of Hiding

Today I officially came out of hiding with regards to volunteering. Ryan and I used to volunteer regularly with various ministries and groups. When I quit my first 'big girl job' I helped out quite a bit with the Rescue Mission; I'd take homeless folks to doctor appointments, help them find day jobs to earn some cash, and even help with luncheons to recruit new volunteers. I wasn't an expert at it, but I definitely learned a lot in six months. Since then, however, I haven't had much face time with those in need.

A few weeks ago I saw an email asking for volunteers for the Klothes for Kids distribution. I knew a little about this organization and have always given to it in years past, but I've never actually gone and done anything. Since I recently went part time (I have every Friday off...HUGE BLESSING!!!), I decided that it was time to come out of hiding from the volunteer world. I will admit, I was super anxious about it. Ryan kept telling me that it was goi…

Lemons? Yes! Please!

Furlough is in full swing. While we’re off an extra day of the week, we have a 20% paycut that comes along with it. We’re okay; we’ve saved enough to not have any issues, but that’s not to say that it doesn’t still sting a little. The loss in productivity at work is also something that stings...and that actually stings a bit more.
A few weeks ago I was in a training session for work and numerous class discussions revolved around the furlough. So many people were concerned about how it would affect their workload and productivity. Our instructor told us that while it no doubt was going to be painful, he encouraged us to use it as an opportunity to take a close look at how we might be able to work smarter and also determine what tasks could, in fact, take the back burner without causing the sky to come tumbling down. In other words, find the silver lining. We all knew that furlough was coming so we might as well try to use it to better ourselves. This spoke volumes to me.
Last week I wa…

I'm Tired

Can I please share my heart? (Be prepared for a lot of whining.)
I’m tired. I’m emotionally tired, spiritually tired, financially tired, and physically tired. I’m just tired.
Ryan and I are facing the upcoming furlough. We’ll have a significant pay cut to deal with for approximately six months. Thankfully, we have been blessed enough to be able to save up for such an event (that and I know how to choke a dollar) so we’ll be okay, but we have numerous coworkers and friends, good friends, that are really going to be feeling this 20% reduction. I’m worried for them. I’m waking up in the middle of the night praying that they’ll be okay. Ryan and I have been discussing ways to save money, cut bills, as well as gather some projects to work on while we have an extra day off. I've come to terms with the pay reduction and not having any ‘frills’ for the next six months. I've researched free and inexpensive activities, and I've even started looking forward to having some time to accom…

New Year. New Goals.

I can't believe it's almost been a year since I've posted anything. Last year was anything but calm and it seemed that I just never had time...certainly had the desire but no time. Hopefully this year will be different...hopefully.
So, it's a new year. Last year I made a goal, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was (if it was finding my inner sexy, then check, 'cause you know...we had another kid and all...).
Seriously, though.
I have no clue.
Ryan, however, totally met his goal, and since I cook for him, I think it only fair to claim some of his victory myself. Sounds good, yes? Last year he wantet to lose 60 pounds and HE DID IT. Yeah, like, my husband lost a Sam's-Club-sized-bag of dog food worth of weight. How cool is that?
This year we're making more goals. Our 'joint' goal is to clear out unneeded items from our house each week. Since we moved to a new house in 2012 (remember that lack of calm mentioned earlier?), we quickly …

Where's Your Inner Sexy?

My freezer/pantry challenge is going quite well. Last Sunday I backslid a little and bought a few things from Walmart. Mainly it was things for an easy lunch, but I also bought a couple of items that I was craving. No harm in that, right? This morning I cheated a little and started cleaning out the pantry and kitchen freezer. I found things that I knew we weren't going to eat (a HUGE bag of oatmeal not even opened as well as other things that we just don't eat anymore). Tomorrow they'll be on their way to a local hangout for ladies. After church I worked on the freezer. I found some stuff that was pretty freezer burnt so I went ahead and tossed it. One was a bag of peas. I honestly stood there and tried to remember when I bought them...I finally remembered and realized that I'd had them for almost two and a half years! I guess it's time to go.
Anyway, although I cheated a bit, I'm still on track. All we've bought lately has been milk, cheese, fruits, a…