The Adventures of Stinky Sweet:

Sometimes stinky. Sometimes sweet. But it's our life - and it is always good.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


I never told you about my sister's birthday party back in Jan. so now I think I will. I was spurred on my unloading pictures off my camera so I thought I would share! It was a super fun party - I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I meant to but one of her other friends is apparently a much better photographer and he brought his camera so maybe she got some good shots. It was fun to be there, meet some of her friends, re-meet others, hang out with family, and eat her super delicious cooking (yes, she cooked for her own birthday! It was what she wanted!).

She found these cool lanterns on Amazon somewhere and wanted to send them up at the end of the night. Photo #1 is the test run earlier in the day.

Look at my pretty sister...

This is the lanterns going up at night. It was so incredibly neat to watch...however, I nearly had a heart attack. They are taken aloft by actual fire - enough said. Next time we go to a lake. :)
For her birthday, I wish that every year goes up in the same blaze of glory.
Love you Sis!

Dream Rangers

I know I already posted one video this week but this one is absolutely worth watching.
Stole it from The Lettered Cottage but seriously - watch it.

i lurve lazy saturdays.

I am sitting here, drinking coffee (which is actually pretty rare - trying to cure a headache), enjoying my Saturday morning. I was allowed a sweet sleeping in until 8:30 by my wonderful husband who got up at 7:15 and corraled the crazy 4-legged children away from the bedroom. He is so fabulous.
He's off running and I have big plans to do some major house cleaning today. I mean, MAJOR. I told him last night that our work schedules (of nights, weekends, early morning gym visits for me, etc.) make our house trashed. We're working on that.
Either way, house cleaning Saturday it is!
We have kids church tomorrow morning and then dinner with a some potential small group couples tomorrow night. I say potential - not like we are interviewing them or anything - we are just all getting together to see if we are all sort of thinking the same thing about a future small group. Should be nice! Hopefully it works out - I am craving deep community.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What did you do today?

This is why I do what I do every day.
I love my job.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

i know.

Sorry...Yes, I know.
I am trying to do better.

Been a busy couple of weeks. Went to Gaitlingburg/Pigeon Forge with Chad last week, came home to jump back into work. This week won't be any better on the busy scale. My job is changing a bit to include resource development (people, businesses, girls, adults, funds, etc). Therefore, I am going to two United Way meetings this week and to a dinner. It will be a fun switch, however, I don't own enough business clothes. And I don't have the money to go splurge on an entirely new wardrobe! After going from Hobby Lobby (where blue jeans and t-shirts are appropriate as long as you have on your cute HL apron) to an office (now) where business casual is totally is hard to put some outfits together that are more appropriate for meeting with the folks I will be meeting with in the near future. More on that to come...

Feeling a little sickly (the nasty sore throat that I am praying is just allergy grossness - with this false start to spring, things have started blooming before they should!) so I slept in this morning. Missed my gym visit so hopefully I will have enough energy to get through the day....

Sunday, February 13, 2011

soapbox (not tide) + my eternal salvation

I am proud to be an American citizen. I love this country and support her democracy. I will never change my citizenship nor my allegience to both my God and my country. I voted for our current president (gasp!). I unendingly support out troops both here and abroad yet unabashedly oppose war. I love living in Tennessee - no payroll tax! - and I even voted for the current governor (I like to pick the winners!) I have a degree in political science and I typically understand laws, crime, taxes, and politics. (I guess I am a woman of contradictions...double gasp!). I have incredible amounts of respect for those who are in authority over us, as I am Biblically instructed to do, and also choose to do because it just seems right.
However, I am so frustrated and confused by our annual tax system that it brings me to tears.
Here is a breakdown and my soapbox:
When I started my job with the Girl Scouts (ahem...non-profit organization and I am at the bottom of the totem pole - you can imagine what my paycheck looks like), I had them max out my witholding. I had a little dream at the time that they might take out enough taxes that I would get a little something back come 2011. Not much...maybe enough for us to take a weekend vacation nearby (this is the couple that never took a pity party - it was our financial choice at the time). I knew that we were buying our first house (woohoo - automatic $8,000 back!) and we also replaced all the windows with super-energy effecient beauties - getting us an additional $1,500 back in tax credits for making these changes to our house. Come on, right there that should be close to $10,000.
We are not students. We have no children. Double screwed. (And yet, somehow it doesn't quite feel that way).
Chad works for the state of Tennessee. That equalled our triple screwed. And as they say - third time is a charm. They withheld $19 from his paychecks for the entire year of 2010. Yes, folks $19 in federal taxes. Now granted, remember me working at the bottom of the non-profit totem pole? He still makes less than me. By about half. Please, try to imagine his paycheck. (Yes, I give you a pity party permission slip right now....ok, you can stop.). So they should have taken a bit more than 19 buckaroos so we owed them a chunk of our return money. He had the same problem last year so he changed his witholding so they would take out more money. Apparently that didn't take...
We had been planning on building a garage behind out house with that money. And it would have taken the whole $10,000 plus some but probably would not have required a loan (woohoo for as little debt as possible!!). As it turns out, I will probably have to have another car before we build a garage - making it a bigger priority - and requiring pretty much all of our return plus some (boo - for auto loans).
Did I mention that we are blessed beyond measure? I feel we have given generously this year. We were blessed in multiple ways, through multiple people and we were able to give back in some very small ways over the last year. I am not asking for something in return - certainly not from the federal government - and I have a theory that God avoids getting involved in tax season whenever it is possible (however, I know it is omnipotent - and I am totally kidding!) But I feel like we gave and paid for things knowing we could write them off later and made wise financial decisions and prayed before making purchases and researched and sacrificed some things we thought we didn't need and....on and on. And yet, we still are not where we thought we would be because of some bizarre tax confusion and crazy governmental problems or a screw up at the Tennessee HR dept. or IRS. Who freakin' knows...Either way. We just flat out are not where we thought we would be.
Bottom line - we didn't give enough away or spend enough or have enough taxes taken out to help our cause with the IRS.
Chad thinks it might be God's way of saying we don't need a car or a garage right now -that we should save the money until our needs are more distinct. That concept is looking better and better right now. It will be difficult, yet perfect to entirely trust God's timing on this as well.

I am so thankful that my eternal salvation is not determined by how much money we get back during tax season and even more, that it is not even determined by how much we gave in the previous year. I know - fully and with my entire little frustrated heart - that we gave generously because we are commanded to give out of the fullness of our blessings and as an act of worship to an Almighty God - who is entirely in control of our finances.
But am I allowed to be ticked off at the government - just for a little while?

reporting in.

Its a great Sunday - bring, sunny, warm enough that we opened the windows to let the sun and breeze in (and by warm enough, I mean like 55 degrees! heat wave!). My cupcakes are made and cooling on the counter waiting to be iced. I made the perfect amount - one for everyone at my work and one for everyone at Chad's work - and none left over for me to guiltily snack on this week. Smarty pants, I am.

One load of laundry in the washer, 2 more to go. Ugh. Why is laundry such a drag? Why can't clothes either just stay clean or be worn stinky and dirty? That is life's unanswered question. I believe in the existence of God - that's an easy one. But laundry? It will always go unanswered.

Gotta clean up the kitchen, do another load of dishes (if it wasn't so un-eco friendly, I would totally switch to paper plates and bowls), fold the unending clean clothes, and pack for a few days of relaxing. My painting stuff is gathered and I am trying for a trip to the library this afternoon to stock up on pleasure reading material. I am SO looking forward to a few days off and then a few evenings of quiet to work on some unfinished projects.

There are some little girls across the street - that don't actually live there - who are gladly antagonizing every dog on the block to bark uncontrollably, including the lovely one who lives here. Please excuse me while I go look for the duct tape...

Friday, February 11, 2011

another one.

Another week has gone by since I blogged. Chad likes to remind me how many days it has been when he signs on the computer - I don't think he really reads the blog - it is just set as the homepage so he sees the date and gives me a hour by hour count of what a bad blogger I am.
I am not really sure why it is so easy to find the time and things to say some days - I don't feel that busy during the week - oh wait, lie. I guess I have tried to re-prioritize and the weekends are the only time that I have a chance to just sit and think and type. A normal day looks like this: up at 6:00am, at the gym by 6:30, workout, shower and get ready 7:30 to 8:20, work from 8:30 to 4:30, many nights I have a meeting or training that starts anywhere between 5 and 7 and lasts till 8 or 9. Then home. So, yeah. Busy would be more accurate than not busy. So, I'm a liar. Oh right, and I'm squeezing in dinner and time with my sweetie somehow. Somehow.

This should be a fun/interesting weekend. I am not working at the office today - K and I are headed to Morristown, TN for one of those crazy spend-the-night-in-the-mall-with-100's-of-Girl-Scouts events (like we've lost our minds) so I will be gone from this afternoon until tomorrow afternoon. Then Chad and I plan on just chilling out tomorrow night and Sunday.

We rode the Incline Railway yesterday for FREE. It has been closed for a few weeks for some maintenance and repairs and for a re-opening gift to Chattanooga, it was free to ride all day yesterday! It is usually $14 per person so a $28 gift was pretty cool! By the way, it was steep. I have heard that it is the steepest incline in the U.S. and after yesterday, I believe it! It was fun - I took some pictures. Maybe I will post some soon...

Chad will be gone all next week for a training in Gaitlinburg (something about urban wildfires?) so I decided to take a couple of days off and go with him. I am pretty excited about just hanging out, reading, painting, hiking, Titanic-exhibit going - even if I have to do it alone. Should be fun!

Friday, February 4, 2011

I won!

If they give awards for the worst blogger ever, I think I will win.
Hands down.

Sorry. Though my lack of words is only missed by a few, I think I miss the outlet more than anything.

It has been a busy week with a little drama like a cherry on top. Hopefully we are on the upswing of that now and things will settle into our normal nothings.

I picked up my paintbrush again this week after months and months away. I missed that too. Another healthy outlet. Since I've been a faithful gym-go-er every morning for the past two work weeks, I can tell that I have a bit more energy when I get home in the evenings. And I can spend that energy doing wifey things and painting things and animal loving things. Today has been most productive. A haircut - it's been 10 months since my last one - no lie. My hair gal literally told me that the splitting, crazy, crying-out-for-help ends of my hair were "clawing at her and growling". Yes, she used those words - and a little hand motion like a tiger. They are much better now, placated with promises that I won't go another 10 months without a haircut (oh - but it was getting so happily longer!)

Took the rest of the afternoon off to just chill out at my house and paint my fingernails. Besides two loads of laundry, that is seriously all I have done! I figured I deserved some chill since all the dishes are clean and laundry is being finished and I have to go to two seperate GS events tonight. And one tomorrow - however, that one involves helping teach leaders some outdoor cooking skills so I have no complaints there! I might even take my own dutch oven (heck yes, I have my own dutch oven. What girl doesn't?!?) and teach them how to make peach cobbler dump cake. And proceed to eat enough of it to undo an entire week's worth of gym visits. Oh, how I love weekends!