Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It's is worse than Target -- Wednesday's Rant

I try to be positive and upbeat in my posts, but sometimes, you just need a place to put down your thoughts and feelings -- regardless of how ugly they my be. For the sake of my readers, I will try to contain my complaints to Wednesdays! I may even be able to skip some weeks. :)

So, my target (no pun intended) is stores that have ridiculous return policies. In the past, I have had many frustrations with Target stores. Their return policy is that you must have a receipt or gift receipt for any return. If you do not have either one, you are limited to 2 returns (without a receipt) per driver's license per year and the item can only be exchanged for store credit. While I understand the necessity of policies, I feel that certain things -- like items on a gift registry or items that are continually in stock at their stores -- should be exempt from such strict limitations.

Well, dear friends, I have found a store with a worse return policy!!

Here is the background. Sister had her birthday this past week. Wouldn't you know that my sister and Hubby's brother both bought her a Cinderella dress-up costume. So very cute, but what are the odds that both would pick Cinderella for their "out of town" niece? I mean, I know Disney makes other costumes. Anyway -- I thought it would be simple enough to take one of the Cinderella outfits to the store, walk up to the counter, explain the situation, and walk away with one Sleeping Beauty costume (since Sister requested "the pink one"). Boy, oh boy, was I ever the wrong one in that!!

I walked into Toys R Us and explained the situation. The girl behind the counter asked me, "Did you get a receipt with that?" I explained that I did not, but I just wanted an even exchange. She then told me, "No receipt means no refund, return, or exchange." I explained, again, that it was a gift. She than said, "Well, if you give me their phone number, I'll look it up to verify it was bought at our store." I explained that one person is from out of town and the other giver is out of state. She told me, "No matter, they will be in our system." (Can anyone say, "Hello, Big Brother"?) I politely declined and exited the store. I then went to Target and used up one of my "no receipt" returns for the year. :)

So, PLEASE, hear my warning: Do not buy any gifts at Toys R Us unless you know for sure the person is wanting to keep it and/or you provide a gift receipt. I know there are dishonest people in the world, but why, oh why, must we all suffer the consequences?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dieting - YUCK!

Well, I'm dieting. I know that the politically correct term is "lifestyle change," but it still feels like a diet -- no matter what I tell myself. I'm not sure my lifestyle will ever be happy without chips, dip, and ice cream, but some sacrifices will be required along this journey.

A few years ago, after Sister was born, I followed the South Beach diet (SBD) and lost over 50 pounds. Then I got a bit too comfortable and have now managed to gain 35 of those back. Since I never met my goal in the first place, I really need to get serious about this! Why is struggling with my weight going to be the burden I bear for the rest of my life? I wonder if I will ever feel successful in this.

SBD has 3 phases. The first is the most limited. Its purpose is to eliminate any cravings your body may have for sweets. For 2 weeks, the rules are no sugar, no fruit, and no bread/grains. I will faithfully suffer through this phase, knowing that my body needs to be shocked into reality. The second phase is the true weight-loss phase. Its purpose it to learn how to eat a balanced diet of protein, "good" carbs, and veggies. It really is the fum part of the plan because you lose weigh, while trying new foods. The final phase is 3 - maintenance. I've never achieved this part, so I cannot telly you anything about it, but I'm sure it is wonderful, but challenging in its own way (or is it weigh?).

So, now that the holidays and birthdays (yes, my kids both have January birthdays) are behind us, I will move back into the dieting phase of my life -- contemplating every bite that is to enter my mouth, weighing the pros and cons of each cheat. I will keep you posted on my progress, and share some helpful tips (if I find any) along the way. I am actually looking forward to it -- so I can feel better - both physically and emotionally.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Little More about Me

Here's a little more information about me:

What is my age?
What is my middle name?
What is my dream vacation?
Where was I born?
What is my favorite color?
What is my drink of choice?

What's in a Name??

So, we have all heard the saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." I even referred to that saying in my previous post. It is usually tossed around to people, encouraging them to make the best out of a difficult situation. While I appreciate the sentiment, sometimes the saying goes against my beliefs. Life can give us all the lemons in the world, and we are by nature unable to make anything good of it. I believe that sometimes we need to look past the "lemons" and see things as God intends for us to see them.

I am reminded of the story of Joseph, found in the book of Genesis. Joseph was handed a bowl of "lemons." He was sold into slavery, falsely accused, suffered in prison for many years, and separated from his father. However, in the end, Joseph was able to recognize that his life wasn't 'lemons' afterall. In Genesis 50:20, he tells his brothers, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today."

A few months back, I heard the song "Lemonade" by Chris Rice. It really expressed my heart. God has GREATLY blessed me -- and I don't necessarily know why. Sometimes, I don't always see the "lemonade", but I have to trust that my Heavenly Father sees the big picture and knows the very best for me. I have to remember the lesson of Matthew 7:9-11:

Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
So, I titled my blog "Thanks for the Lemonade" to remind myself that God has given me something good. I haven't been given lemons that I have to turn into something good. Life is sweet, refreshing, and full of flavor and for that, I am truly thankful!

Monday, January 5, 2009


I’m blogging. I don’t know why I’m blogging. I’m not sure I have time to blog. I’m not sure I have much to say. I don’t have any amazing experiences, but here I am – blogging. My hubby tells me that my motherhood stories are funny and that I should write them down. My friends say that I have entertaining stories and I should share them with others. So, here I am – blogging. I’m not sure where to start, and I’m not sure where all this will go, but here I am.

I guess to start out, I should introduce myself. I am a 35 year old stay at home mom. I have lots of education and have worked off and on, but I mostly love being home with the kids and taking care of the house.

My hubby is a minister. In high school, my girlfriends and I had an “imaginary” boyfriend, and he was PERFECT! His name was Chris. If we didn’t have any weekend plans, we would tell one another, “Oh, I have plans to go out with Chris” – that was code for “I’m staying at home with my boring parents Friday night.” So, my hubby isn’t imaginary, but he is perfect – perfect for me. We have quite an adventurous life – not because we jump out of planes or take exotic vacations, but because we deal with people – on a fairly regular basis. Ministry can be a difficult life. People are oftentimes in your business when they shouldn’t be and out of reach when they should be about God’s business. We share a lot of humor in our home – it’s a huge coping mechanism. We try to see the best in people and situations. My granny called it “making lemonade out of lemons.”

We have 2 children. Our oldest child is 8. Brother is truly a great gift from God. He is wise beyond his years, yet still a rowdy, adventurous boy. Our “baby” is 3. After struggling to have a second child and giving up completely, I found out that I was finally pregnant. Sister is God’s daily reminder of His love and grace to us. She is all girl – her favorite colors are pink and purple – but she is TOUGH and can stand up to her brother very well.

I really love my life and the calling that God has given me to be minister wife and mother. However, I do have time where I become overwhelmed and have a need to vent. Ministry can so rewarding, and most often it is, but it can also be a lonely place during trials and angst, so I will share the good, bad, and the ugly. I don’t need a “following,” just a safe place to share my heart. Thanks for reading.