Saturday, December 31, 2011

Why 2012 is Gonna Rule.

2011 was pretty great; I made few poor decisions and some really great ones.  I call that a success!

2012 is going to be called the year of 'Running Suzie.'
 It will be called such because I want to maximize my potential hotness and minimize my chub all while making my body feel super good.

I'm sitting here this morning thinking about the many goals I have for the year.  To be a little bit honest, I am looking forward to the new year, but really sad to leave Christmas behind. In fact, I'm a bit in denial about it and have full intentions on keeping my tree up until January is over.  DON'T TRY TO STOP ME!

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree - you make me so dang happy.

BUT, since I can't stop time, I will share my top 6 goals of 2012 - yes, 6.  Not 5, not 10, but 6.  I am an individual.

So they go:

1.  Become a running freak.  I want to start by making a personal goal to run at least 10 miles a week.  That's truly not a lot and I would really prefer to be somewhere between 10-20, but it's a starting point.  I want to be hot, healthy, and happy.

2.  Implement Date Night.  Without going into the gory details, it's been a rough and trying year for my honey and me.  I can't remember the last time we went on a date, just the two of us.  So, I hereby implement date night.  We have so many resources and friends/family who LOVE spending time with Little Steven and we need to start using our free time for us.

3.  Spend $100 or less on groceries per month.  I do a pretty good job of not overspending where I don't need to, ESPECIALLY with groceries.  Coupons have been a real blessing this year; it's allowed me to switch from working full time to part time and still be able to make ends meet.  I forever love coupons.  I just want to make a strict budget for groceries and come up with creative new meals.  It's totally possible.

4.  Keep up with school.  Stupid school.  I want to make sure I stay above a 3.2 GPA this year and need to do what it takes to make it work.  If that means studying for hours and that Chemistry very well might be the death of me, so be it.  I need to get my RN and I need to do it ASAP; with the competition to get into the program here, I have to be the best I can be.

5.  SEW!  I didn't sew like I wanted to when I got my machine for Mother's Day.  Part of it is being able to afford material and fabric, but another part is not making time for it.  Of course I'm busy, but I love being creative and want to do more with my machine.

6.  Do more fun things with my boy.  I started doing Friday lunch dates with Little Steven a while ago and that has been fun,  but he's getting old enough to start going to museums, the zoo, etc. and those things are fun, so we're doing it.  Fridays will be 'adventure days' and we'll be dragging along his Aunt Kelly and cousin, Austyn, for the adventure.  FUN TIMES TO BE HAD BY ALL!

Have the best New Year ever! 
Make goals and work for them. 
We control our actions and reactions, so stop finding reasons not to do things you want to do.
In the words of my sweet, adorable cousin Marc,
"If you want to be happy, be."

Thursday, December 29, 2011

There's a Party in My Tummy.

{nutella & banana on toast w/ starbucks caramel macchiato}

(lyrics stolen from Yo! Gabba Gabba)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas, Motivation, & Love.

Sooooo, my camera officially decided to stop working on Christmas Eve.  I got it for Christmas last year, so it stopped working just in time for the warranty to be expired and just in time for me to miss taking pictures of my boy Christmas morning.  Big Steven was able to capture a few moments with his phone, which officially made me a smart phone believer.  I will be looking for deals on both a smart phone and a camera this week.

Moving on...

One of my favorite things about Christmas is getting a new scarf from Steven's Grandma:

The moment I knew i was 'in' was when I got my handmade blanket!  I love that thing so much I'm scared to use it.  I thought about putting it on the couch, but then I got worried people would ruin it or the little one would spill something on it.

What I don't love about Christmas this year is the pictures I saw of myself.  YIKES!  I have gained some serious lbs since September.  I stopped running and started eating more.  Even though I was working out, that's a bad combo for a girl with a super slow metabolism.  I am looking at the photos this year as motivation.  Big Steven got me a new treadmill and new running shoes, so I have NO EXCUSE to not pick back up on running.  I broke it in yesterday with a 2 mile run and was very pleased to see my endurance is still there. 

Big Steven and I have goals for the years to come and I definitely want to lose the weight before having another baby - not that it's happening any time soon.  I am STILL not back to my size pre-Little Steven, which is just wrong.  If I don't lose it before baby #2, it's going to be 2394839289 times harder to lose it, so I'm ultra motivated for that.

2011 has been a very trying year for my little family. 
Exhaustion + stress + mean words + cranky toddler - Jesus - alone time = no bueno.
This weekend made me really grateful for the love Big Steven and I share and the love we have for the little one - and not just because I got a garbage disposal (PRASE THE LORD), but because we got to spend a lot more time together than we have in a while.  There are a lot of people who don't like the running around, and I understand the stress of having multiple families to see over the holidays, but I love it.  I love my family, I love Steven's family, and I love that they all want us around.

I am just very grateful.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011


(thanks to this little number)
Again, my irresistible dance moves save the day.  And, again, I make this all about me.
It's going to be an EXCELLENT Christmas.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Giving, Receiving, & a Giveaway!

I love, love, LOVE giving gifts.  It's the most fun ever to see people smile.  I always look forward to being able to give people things, whether they're homemade or store bought.

I also really appreciate when people think of me during the Christmas season.  One of the companies we purchase from sent me this little number:

So fun, it made me laugh.  AND it's actually really warm, so thank you Bill at Bretmor.

With all of that out of the way, the next week is going to get really crazy with wrapping up Christmas shopping and making our rounds to family and friends, so I wanted to give you a little somethin', too:

I will be giving away a shirt to support my sister's journey to Brazil:

Another winner will get a Shine Shirt:

This one is my personal favorite, but there are others here for you to choose from.

And a 3rd winner will get the gift of warmth and caffiene;
a $25 giftcard to Starbucks!

Of course, you must be a Semi-Homemade Suzie follower via:

And you've gotta be a follower of The Shine Project if you aren't already.

Leave a separate comment for each way you are following to get more entries and a better chance of winning one of the items!

Names will be drawn at random for each item and the giveaway will close December 28th extended to 1/4/12!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

All I Want For Christmas Is YOU!

I've been talking a lot about my sister, Helen, and her journey to Brazil.  Last night, a group of family, friends, and I decided to do a video to entice her to come home.  She recently had an unexpected surgery, so we REALLY wanted to make her laugh.  We're so happy that the surgery won't keep her away for Christmas.

For your viewing pleasure and a couple of laughs:
Big Steven
Wendy (sister)
Buddy (brother)
Jason (brother-in-law)
Mandy (BFF)
Jeff (Mandy's hubs)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fear & H2O.

I am currently sitting at my desk with the willies.
(no I'm not talking about this, though that movie FREAKED me out as a child.  Who let's their children watch this stuff?  I'm looking at you, Mary!)
I was making my morning cup o' joe (peppermint mocha this a.m.) and caught a little movement in my peripheral.  What was it?  The largest spider cricket I have ever seen.
When I was young, I shared a room with my sister, Helen, in the basement.  Because I was the youngest/least favorite, I got to have the trundle and frequently found crickets on it.  Let's not forget the time I had a cricket jump out of my shoe as I was trying to put it on or the time I was innocently playing with my Barbies and one came out to attack; all of these which resulted in me sleeping with my face under the blanket (so they didn't crawl in my mouth or ear like happened to my twin's 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Washington) and begging until tears for the same twin to shake my shoes out every day so there were no repeat events.  On top of that, I developed a serious fear of crickets.  Spider crickets are the ninjas of the cricket world and I am TERRIFIED right now because it disappeared before I could trap it and is probably just waiting for the opportune moment to freak the crap out of me and/or kill me.

Here's a very accurate reenactment of my reaction:

I had to scream on the inside because I don't want my coworkers to know I'm a wussy, but I think my tear-filled eyes gave me away.  I have always wanted to be on Fear Factor, but if it involves spider crickets, fear will be a factor for me. 

I will spend the rest of my work day allowing my imagination to run wild with all the ways I could potentially be killed by a cricket.

Another matter of business is to show you all that I do actually drink things other than caffeinated products, as it was brought to my attention that 90%+ of my photos include caffeine.  I drink a LOT of water out of this giant thermos on a daily basis:

Please pray that I don't get eaten alive.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Dumps.

It's <30 degrees outside and, you can't tell in this photo, but I chose to wear a western cut off t-shirt with fringe to work.  I brought a blanket, though.

Usually this time of year, I am uncontrollably happy with Christmas time being the most wonderful time of the year and all; but I'm sorta feeling down in the dumps.  I have about a million reasons to feel happy, but I mostly just wanna sleep and not do anything.

I got a generous bonus from my boss on Friday, which I am particularly grateful for after viewing my bank account balance this morning.  I never really worry a lot about money because I believe that having enough is just enough, you know?  I don't need tons of money to be happy, but being in the dumps has a trickle effect.

It started with me having zero motivation to work out; in the last 3 weeks, I have worked out 3 times.  Not working out leads to having a bad body image, which leads to sugar overload, which leads to being extra tired, which leads to out of control emotions that effects literally every other area of my life.  Of course, there has been a tiff with an important person in my life that is playing a pretty big role in my mood this morning.

Hopefully this is a severe case of the Mondays because I sure don't like it.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sew Lovely + Christmas Tree Preview + Stuff My Boyfriend Does.

I got my fabric yesterday - finally!  I like the materal, but am realizing that a stretch jersey blend may not be the easiest to work with; just another challenge, right?  I was smart and only ordered about 9 yards in a couple different colors, so I am excited to try many different fabrics.

We got our Christmas tree last weekend, but still haven't decorated it.  We are BIG into the more colors the better, even if it's a little tacky; it's just so much more fun to look at for the little one.  So far, though, just lights:
A little story about stuff my boyfriend does...

Well, sometimes he sees things on the side of the road and deems them worthy of a fixer upper.  Things like coffee tables, swings, and tractors.  Yes, tractors.  He found this little gem, paid less than $100 to fix it up:

You should have seen the look on his face!  So proud of himself and beaming from ear to ear.  I love that man.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Heart for Brazil!

In my post about Giving, I briefly introduced you to my sister, Helen, who has chosen to give up her life to serve others.  Here, you will learn a little more about her and her amazing heart for Brazil.

My God loves me despite my daily disobedience and it never ceases to blow my mind.  Giving up a life I've built for myself for a life God has already built for me isn't a sacrifice, it's just LOVE.  The life I once planned in Brazil is nothing compared to the life He has for me there.  A journey to deny myself, love His children and make Him goes nothin!  


To help her get to Brazil, Helen has created T-Shirts and Bracelets - they're super cute AND for a good cause:

A Heart For Brazil


 Use the link n this post or you can use the one on the top right of my page to purchase a Tee, a Bracelet, or to make a donation ($2.00 and $5.00 increments).  If you have any questions or would like to do more to help, please contact me at  And don't forget to pass it on!

Ready. Set. GIVE!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Holiday Diet.

I had a Monster on the way to work this morning.
Steven left it in there this weekend and I was thirsty.
Then, I came to work and had a brownie for breakfast.
Then, I had 'lunch' at 11 which consisted of pretzels and cheese.
(In my defense, the total calories for that was only 135.  We won't talk about the calories in the brownie or Monster.  YUCK!)
I am now about to have a Peppermint Mocha w/ a shot of Espresso.
I've also had about 40 oz of H2O so far...
Which means I've also had about 29348293 trips to the ladies room.

About 10 minutes ago, I asked my friends on FB to tell me why I'm so tired.
Uhh...maybe I know the reason and just don't want to accept it.
Holy sugar overload.

GLEE will provide food for my soul.
As for food for your soul...

I dedicate this picture to Amanda Rose who claims I need to show my teeth in pictures.  It's all or nothing, so if this is what you want... - I realize this post is like my diet today in that it lacks sustenance, but I am really tired.  I promise I don't eat like this every day and I won't make the worst nurse ever.

Monday, December 5, 2011


{poncho - F21}

For some reason, talking about 'giving' makes people uncomfortable.  One of the things (among too many to even mention) that I love about my family is their ability to give unselfishly. 

If I ever need anything, my mama is the first person to give it to me.  Never mind the fact that she gives of herself every day to patients and gets paid crap; money to my mom is just money - she has very little and is the first person to step up and give it all away.  My twin, who I call 'Buddy' or 'Twin', is the same in that he is quick to give whatever he has, even if it's not a lot.  I remember going off to college and not having the money for books; I called Buddy crying and he paid for them on multiple occasions.  My sister, Wendy, was the first person to make sure I knew my son would be taken care of when I learned I was pregnant (followed closely by her husband, Jason).  My sister, Helen, has given her life to serve the Lord and others.  At the age of 29, she knows where He wants her (Brazil) - how many people can say they know exactly where God wants them to be?  She's living on a teacher's salary in the south, pays a mortgage, and is still able to tithe what little she has left.

It really hurts my heart when my friends share their financial struggles with me or when I see my family struggling financially; I find myself wishing I had the money to help.  I've learned from my family that we're called to give until it hurts - a concept that not a lot of people really understand.  I understand living within my means and I am constantly looking for ways to save money.  I also believe in the importance of saving money for emergencies and paying off high interest loans.  Above all of this, I believe in the importance of giving to our neighbors.

This weekend, I learned a pretty valuable lesson about giving as I examined my reactions to mutliple friends in my life; on one hand, I am supportive, on the other I sometimes decide, "well, you got yourself into this mess..."  I learned that it's not up to us to decide whether or not another person is worthy of a gift; if he/she needs it, give it.  As I am, I am so unworthy of the love of God and I am so unworthy of this life, so who am I to judge someone else's situation? 

It hit me like a ton of bricks this morning - GIVE AS YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN.  During the holiday season, we all get caught up in our own circles and forget to look around at all the people who don't have what we have.  Even worse, we forget the true meaning of Christmas and the awesome, selfless love of Christ who gave without reason.  If you have even a little bit to spare, I would really challenge you to help those who don't, regardless of their circumstances.

A little kindness goes a loooooooooong way.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hot Mess.

It's almost 2pm and I look like I just rolled outta bed.  I wish.  I haven't really been doing much with myself in the last two weeks on my days home.  Actually, I've even been wearing more yoga pants than ever to work.  YIKES!

Exhibit A:

No make-up (not even mascara!), Big Steven's Tough Mudder shirt, some yoga pants, and unwashed/unbrushed hair.

Exhibit B:

Crucially chipped nails.  I don't go get my nails 'did' because I'm a cheapskate and I don't like to spend money I don't have to spend.  I do them myself at home every week; in this case, it's been about 2 weeks.  My toes look the same way.

Sorry Big Steven.

I felt really sad that the scripture fabric I ordered came in about 200x the size I'd intended for it to be.  I felt even more sad that it was my error in ordering.  But, when life hands you the wrong size scripture fabric, make pillows:

We're off to get our Christmas tree this weekend down at the Lake, so we'll be decking our halls here shortly.

Happy December and Happy Decking!