Thursday, December 3, 2009

Answers-Part 1

Thanks for all the fun questions! Y'all are SOOOO sweet. I am so proud of you lurkers for coming out and commenting! I feel like I am "meeting" so many different readers. I am going to answer half today and the other half tomorrow. Tomorrow I will answer where I shop and share some pics of my favorite cheap clothes finds. I love that y'all think I am fashionable, even though I am very unfashionable! :) I will also talk about food, recipes, baby food and anything else I didn't answer today. I hope you have fun learning a little more about us!
What did you and Josh go to college for?
Josh's degree is in Marketing. I have a degree in Christian Studies with an emphasis in ministry and my minor is in Business Administration. If you are wondering what you do with a Christian Ministries degree, ideally, you work on a church staff.

What is Josh's job?

Josh is a Sales Rep.

Did you work outside the home before being a stay at home mom? And do you miss working outside the home?

Yes, I did. I taught Pre K at an elementary school. It was a state funded program for low income children. They were all 4 year olds, but had attitudes of teenagers. It was definitely an experience! :)
I don't miss my job, or miss working, but I miss the girls I worked with and I miss the interaction with other people. I feel like motherhood can be a lonely job some days. I am not saying that in a bad way, but I am just saying when you go from working and being with people all day, as well as doing whatever you want after work and in the evenings, it's just different.

I only worked one full school year and that school year, I got married in the fall and found out we were pregnant in February so I don't feel like I ever got the hang of just a normal working routine. It really wasn't that hard of a transition for me. I LOVE what I do. I think it is the best job for me!

When did you decide to stay home with Brody?
I had taken 12 weeks for maternity leave. I was supposed to go back to work at the beginning of the spring semester, but I just couldn't do it! Right before Christmas break I went back to visit and show off Brody and I resigned. The woman who was doing my long-term subbing wanted the job so it worked out perfectly.

Any advice on switching from two incomes to one?
We always lived off of one income from the beginning of our marriage and just saved my paychecks each month. We were encouraged to do so in our premarital counseling and I am SO THANKFUL for it.

My biggest advice would be to make a budget and stick to it! The first part is easy. Everyone can make a budget but sticking to it is tough. You definitely have to be disciplined and you have to plan out each month in advance. If you don't plan, you overspend and trust me, I have learned that this past year! :) The biggest thing with budgeting is to "spend" your money before the month begins. By that I mean you need to decide where every penny of your monthly income will go before you even start the month. I know how much of our income will go to groceries, bills, eating out, savings, etc. If you don't have it planned, you will spend it somewhere else. Another thing is once the money you have budgeted in a certain area is gone, it's gone. Plan where each penny will go and then stick to it. You will feel so good when you know where you money is going and when you feel like you have control over your money.

My other piece of advice is think about your needs when you budget not your wants. Once you prioritize, you will be amazed at what you really don't have to buy every month.

I am a HUGE Dave Ramsey fan so if you want to know more about budgeting or you want to pay off some of your debt, then check out his website here. He has free printable budget forms online.

Any significance behind Brody's name?
Brody's first name is Joshua, like his daddy. His middle name is Brody and I am just going to be real honest here and tell you where we found his name. There is a neighborhood in the town we grew up in called Brodie Creek. My mom and I were driving through it one day when I was in college and she suggested Brody for a boy's name. Four years later when it came time to pick baby names, she reminded us of that name and we both loved it. We both liked spelling it with a "Y" better than "IE". Josh likes the name because he says it's a good sports name! :)

I have a lot of people ask me if it's from Brody Jenner on The Hills. I wouldn't name my pet after a person on that show so I for sure wouldn't name my child after one of them. :)

What is your natural hair color?
That's a good question! Haha! I was naturally blond until about 7th grade and then my hair turned a dirty blond/light brown. I started getting it colored in 10th grade so I haven't seen it since then, but I think it is about the same color as Brody's hair. So maybe a light brown??

What does FNO mean?
FNO stands for Friday Night Out. It is a program our church does for married couples with children. If we attend small group that week, then we are given a voucher for free childcare for that Friday night. We just have to email and make a reservation, then bring the voucher in when we drop our child(ren) off. They get to stay for 3.5 hours so it's the perfect amount of time for a date! The goal of the program is to strengthen marriages of the couples in our church. I love the we get that time each week and I know Brody is being loved on by all the nursery workers. We are really blessed to be apart of a church that is able to do something like this.

Does Brody still go to MDO? Is he still liking it? How much do you pay? And what do you do while he is there?
Brody is still going to MDO. He seems to really like it, especially since he is older this year and can actually play and interact with the other children his age. He doesn't even give me a second look when I leave him, but he does seem excited when I get there to pick him up. I pay $15 each time he goes. I think it is a steal since he is there for 5.5 hours and gets such great care!

While Brody is at MDO, I run errands, clean the house, do laundry, go to Walmart. I sometimes go eat with friends or go eat with Josh. I like the days I am home with Brody to just be days to spend time with him and do fun things, so I try and get all the chores type stuff out of the way. Sometimes if I just need a day to do nothing, I do that to. Some MDO days I just watch tv or I stay on the computer way too long. I just need days every once in a while to be lazy and do nothing, so I do that...and I don't feel an ounce of guilt for it! :)

When are you planning on having more children if any? How many? Or in the words of my sister, do you have plans on giving me a new niece or nephew?!
We definitely want more children if that is God's plan for us! We would love to have another biological child, but we would also love to adopt one day, too, since Josh is adopted. I think we think 3 is a good number. I would take 4 but Josh told me I would have to get another husband.
We were on the 5 year plan with Brody and got pregnant after about 2 months of being married. Basically, every time I plan something, it doesn't go as planned. :) All that to say when ever God is ready for us to have another baby, we will be ready, too!!

How long have you and Josh been together and how did you start dating?
Josh and I started dating when I was a sophomore and he was a senior in high school. That was in October 2000. We dated all through college and then got engaged my senior year of college in October 2006. We were married November we have been together 9 years!!!! I seriously can't believe it has been that long!

I knew who Josh was because, well everyone kind of knew Josh. He is just one of those people that makes friends with anyone so I remember him, although he claims he had never seen me until the night we met. That was really nice considering that our houses growing up lie...less than one minute apart. His road and my road backed-up to each other and some woods were between them and he had to pass my house every single day to get home. Anyway, we met one night at some friends' house. A bunch of us girls got together to watch the Miss America Pageant. Josh lived in their neighborhood and one of the girls had just gotten on homecoming (they were twins) so he came over to see her dress. Of course, it was Josh in a house with like 6 or 7 girls. I remember him calling his friends he was supposed to meet up with and telling them he couldn't come. What guy leaves a house with 7 girls when he is the only guy? He stayed and watched the entire pageant with us. I thought he was so weird for doing that. Haha! He had just broken up with his girlfriend, who was one of our friends, so I guess he thought he should stay around that night with all the girls. He told my friend, Maggie, that night on IM, yes, instant messenger, that he thought I was cute. The next night after church, Maggie, our friend Lauren, and I went to eat at Firehouse after church. Maggie told Josh that we would come get him, which I didn't know until I got in the car. We went to Josh's to get him and I seriously have been with him ever since.

That is the weirdest story now that I just typed it out! Haha!

What is your favorite memory or moment in your life?
Honestly, my wedding day and the day Brody was born are by far the best two moments of my life. I don't think I will ever forget seeing Josh at the end of the aisle waiting on me. And I know neither of us will forget when we heard Brody cry as soon as he was born and knowing that he was ours. It really is something you can't fully understand until you have experienced it yourself.
How did you start blogging and why? What is your favorite blog to read?!

When I was just a few weeks pregnant with Brody, I found Angie Smith's blog somehow. I think a friend had linked it on facebook. I read her story. It was probably in March so she had just received Audrey's diagnosis a month or two before. I remember crying every single time I read her blog. I just could relate so much being pregnant. One night, I scrolled down and saw the other blogs on her side bar and starting clicking. Pretty sure I spent the entire night reading blogs. I happened to find Kelly's that night. This was before Harper and most of her posts were about the Razorbacks and food...two of my favorite things. I started reading her blog and Angie's daily. Then I would just go to other blogs from their blogs. And well, you all know what happens. You end up reading a million blogs every night. I did this for about 2 or 3 months and then my friend Katy suggested I start a blog so all my friends and family could keep up with my pregnancy. That June I started blogging. We had just found out the Brody was a boy. I thought I might blog just a few times through my pregnancy. Obviously, I started to love blogging and the rest is just history! Y'all really should go read my first few blog posts. They are horribly boring! :)

I have a lot of favorite blogs to read. Most of my favorites are on my sidebar. I love mom blogs. Those are by far my favorite blogs just because I can relate. I can relate to crazy days, bad days, hard days, fun days and normal "mom" days. I also love that my college friends blog and my Benton friends blog. I feel like we are still so close because I can read about their families. When I see them I feel like I know everything about them still, even if we haven't talked in months.

Where did you go on our honeymoon? Where do you like to vacation? Where would you like to go?

We went to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for our honeymoon. We stayed at the Riu Palace. It was amazing! It was all inclusive so we didn't have to leave the resort. It was a wonderful week!!

We both love Destin, Florida, probably the most. We both grew-up going to the beach in the summers with our families. We know our way around Destin probably as well as we do our own town. We love eating at the same places each time we go. And we just love doing nothing while we are there.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE snow skiing. I would go every winter if I could. I think Breckenridge is my favorite place to ski. Josh hasn't been since he was little so we have never gone together.

I would love to go to Hawaii. Josh has never been to Disney World so of course, I want him and Brody both to go there. I would love to go to some other fun places in Mexico and I want to go to Africa one day and I would LOVE to go to the Holy Land.

How do we find time for a date night?

I think the biggest thing with dates nights are you have to MAKE the time and make them a priority. I don't ever want Josh to think he isn't a priority and I don't ever want to think I am not a priority to him, regardless of how many kids we have. I think may couples are so busy they have a hard time finding time for a date night. I understand that, but I promise if you make it a priority, you will realize you do have time each week for a date, even if it is just an hour or two.

Here is what we do. Pick a night that will be date night each week and stick to it. Tuesday nights are our date nights. Period. We don't plan things for Tuesday nights. It's just like you wouldn't plan something for Sunday mornings when you know you will be at church, we don't plan things for Tuesday nights when we know we are going to be with each other. That may mean you have to say "NO" to doing some things, but it will be worth it. I know we have it good because my parents live here, Jill is here and Julee is here, so we have baby sitters when needed, but if you don't have a baby sitter, you can still have a date night, even if it's at home.

Some Tuesday nights, we have date night at home. Brody goes to bed at 8 so we do date night after he is in bed. You can rent a movie and order a pizza, or you can cook and watch you favorite show, but it has to be a priority. You can even pick one night a week where you kids eat dinner and then after they are in bed, you eat dinner with your husband, just the two of you. That means you don't multi-task and do laundry, clean house or sit with your lap top in your lap so you can read blogs, etc. :) It just has to be you and your husband with no distractions. I promise if you make it a priority every week, your relationship will be so much better because you have just spent time with him. Some of our best conversations each week are on Tuesday nights on the couch. You will even start to look forward to that time each week. We always look forward to Tuesdays.

Have you and your sister always been so close?

Yes, we have always been super close! We are 2 years apart and grew-up being best friends. We fought like cats growing-up though. I'm not even kidding. Hair pulling, boob pinching, you name it, we did it. We had the upstairs to ourselves and my mom and dad always knew when we were fighting because they said it sounded like bulls upstairs.

We rode to school together in high school and Jill would always make us late because she spends entirely too much time on her hair and make-up in the monrings. I can remember us pulling up at school and yelling at each other the entire way in the building, then as soon as we would walk past the principal in the entryway, we would smile and laugh and act like we were happy. Then as soon as we were past him, we would start yacking at each other again.

We also had 4th block together because it was dance team. Jill was the manager and would sit and watch our dances. She would usually tell our sponsor who she saw mess up and who needed to work on things or if our sponsor asked her if she saw mistakes, then she would call us out. If she was mad at me then she would always say I messed up and then call out all my mistakes, even if I didn't mess up. I remember her saying one time, "you just looked awful." I probably pulled her hair when we got in the car.

Once I went off to college the fighting stopped for the most part. I really think we fought because we were so close and because we had to share a bathroom! :)

Thanks again for all the questions! Make sure and check back tomorrow! I promise some pictures to make it more fun!


Crystal said...

Thanks for sharing! I love reading your blog!

Mary said...

loved reading your answers and i love readind your blog. your family is to cute!

Shanna said...

I loved reading all of your answers. I am from Benton, too, and I know you probably don't know me because you're several years older, but I was just a grade behind Jill and we had some classes together at UALR before ya'll moved. I actually live by ya'lls old house behind Fitness...and I just noticed the other day that it's for sale again. Anyway, It's crazy how much your's and Josh's story sounds like mine & my fiance's except for we're having to wait a little longer to get married. I enjoyed reading...I've probably been reading your blog since you started it. Kinda sounds like a creeper haha, but Brody is a doll.

Angie said...

Loved all of the questions/answers!!! So glad you decided to do this :)

I hope your having a wonderful day & I am looking forward to the rest of your answers tomorrow!

Love the tuesday night idea by the way - I might just steal it from you :)

Leanne said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now, and I'm announcing that I'm a lurker here!!!

I've never heard of Benton before I started blogging. You Southern ladies are very classy and fun! And ya'll really know how to dress!

Let me say that, when I read your answer to the question about you and your sister, I actually laughed out loud! Can I expect boob pinching when all my girls are teens? ROFLOL!

Anyway, I could say so much in this comment, but let me just really say that I like your blog and would love to get to know you.

Hope to see you over at my blog soon!

The Timbs Clan said...

Hey Jennifer I just loved this Q&A
I have read your blog for a while now and I think Brody is such a cutie!!
I have also learned a little from you about marriage!!! I have been married 5yrs and we have 4 beautiful kids and well sometimes I forget how to make time for my husband!!! Its even harder for us because we dont live close to family. So thanks for sharing!!

Aimee said...

Loved reading your answers!

nancy said...

ok, this is one of my favorite posts! so fun to read all this stuff, and you cracked me up when you said that about not multi-tasking and sitting on the couch with your laptop reading blogs (since i was doing that very thing as i read it). oh, and boob pinching! ha ha!

M Oliver said...

Boob pinching...This is too funny!!! The joy of sisterhood!!

Emily said...

I love reading your blog! Great answers, they are so inspiring!!!

I love how your so committed to your faith and your family. This world would be so much better if there were more people like you in it! :)

Can't wait to read more.

Kodi said...

I love reading your blog and this is probably my favorite post ever. Thanks for being so open!

krislyn. said...

That was so fun! ha. Thank you so much for answering our questions .. Great getting a little glimpse into how other's live.

I love your advice on budget's and date night! Even though I am not married and or have a boyfriend, its great advice for the future!

My brother and I are 22 months apart, so I totally understand how Jill and you were growing up! Defintely once we hit college the fighting was over! ha.

Thanks again!

Amy said...

how fun! i loved reading all of your answers...thanks for taking the time to answer my questions! =)

Jeremiah & Lindsey Kindy said...

Im dying over the boob pinching! I totally remember all the fighting over the bathroom with my 2 sisters. It was a war zone in the mornings! We should have had caution tape around us growing up!

I just quit working this past month, so I really am soaking up all the budgeting answers and cant wait to hear how you stay so organized and cute, and corral a toddler!

Thanks Jenn!

Jeremiah & Lindsey Kindy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Annie said...

I have been reading your blog for awhile...and have olny commented a few times...BUT, this fas fun to read :)
I found your blog through Kelly's originally...but have been coming back because our sons are close in age...and Brody is just a few steps ahead of my sheeing what he is doing gives me a glimpse of what to look forward too!!

Todd and Courtney said...

I about died laughing at you and Jill fighting when you were younger. That was totally my sister & I! She would make me late ALL the time to school!

Larissa said...

I just love reading your blog. The way you talked about your relationship with your sister was great. My sister and I were the totally like that. I made her late all the time for school.

Katy Hill said...

I really enjoy reading your blog-you are too funny. I'm so glad you talked about budgeting and Dave Ramsey! His ministry has had a huge impact on our family, too.