Happy Friday, friends! How has your week been? It’s been busy as usual over here in the suddenly arctic temperatures North Carolina! Lows over the weekend will include a eleven degree night and since I’m cold at sixty-five degrees, to say I’m not looking forward to it is the understatement of the year!
What I am looking forward to though is date night tonight with my handsome husband, our weekly date night with a little extra Valentine’s love thrown in. I have always, even during my many single years, enjoyed Valentines day — I’m a hopeless romantic, what can I say? And who doesn’t like a day that gives us all extra excuses to eat chocolate??!
How about you? Valentines Day plans? Or do you boycott what my husband calls a “fabricated” holiday? I would love to hear in the comments — in the meantime, here are the things making my life extraordinary this week.
Exercise. I’m finally committing to get back into the habit — last week, I walked a few mornings and this week, because it’s frigid out, I’ve been doing my old favorites: Jillian Michaels’ workout DVDs. To say I’m pretty sore and out of shape is not a falsehood, but I’m excited to see the mental and physical rewards that are always a byproduct of a good workout session.
IF: Gathering. If you missed it, check out my recap post on last weekend at IF Local: Winston Salem. Definitely life-changing and challenging!
YNAB (You Need A Budget) App. My husband and I are serious about living on a budget and spending our money wisely, yet sometimes it’s easier said than done, especially if it’s hard to see the big and small picture of where your money goes. This year, my husband set up YNAB for us to try, and I love it!! While my husband is very financially minded, money just stresses me out. I always feel I’m spending too much no matter how frugal I am. This app makes it so much easier to see where our money is going, allows us to “move” money around from category to category so each dollar has a job, and lets you add transactions right away (It matches them when they officially are posted)! We’ve tried many money tracking/budget systems, but this is by far my favorite! Highly recommend.
Tuesday Treats. Am I the only one who sometimes feels the mere idea of getting coffee is better than actually drinking it? No? 🙂 I had a work meeting on Tuesday morning so I just felt I needed some coffee to help make it more enjoyable — however, I’ve had much better white mochas than this one. I think I may need a new coffee drink or to just stay with my first love — hot tea. However, my meeting was more fun with coffee in hand!
Over the weekend at IF, I was privileged to hear Latasha Morrison speak. She is the founder of Be the Bridge to Racial Unity, an organization that exists to help form Be the Bridge Groups around the country to engage in this extremely important discussion about race in America. I feel this is important for everyone to take seriously, but especially as Christians we need to examine our hearts and lives about how well we love all our neighbors.
Greer over at Ordinary Epiphanies wrote a beautiful post yesterday about how we build the kingdom of God with every “glass of water” we give in our everyday moments – wonderfully written, encouraging words on the all too familiar question I ask: does what I do in the smallest, most ordinary moments truly mean anything?
Thanks to The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey Podcast #75 this week, I was introduced to Liz Bohannon of Sseko Designs, a “not all for profit” company that employs young women in East Africa to make sandals, shoes, and handbags. This in turn allows these women to make a living and pay for their university education. Hearing her speak on the podcast and reading this interview with her and her husband was very inspiring – I love her view on how to have a for profit business in Africa. I also added this awesome Sseko cross body bag to my wish list (hint, hint, husband 🙂 ).
A few weeks ago, we were privileged to hear Scott Kedersha speak at a marriage intensive at our church. Scott is the marriage pastor at Watermark Church in Dallas, and his teaching was encouraging and challenging. As I explored his blog this past week (and sent seventeen posts to my husband…sorry, love! 🙂 there’s a ton of great wisdom on his site!), this post on “One Thing We Like to do for Our Marriage Every Week” stood out. Russell and I made it a goal this year to begin making these weekly questions a habit.
Yummy Link of the Week: Another dinner recipe for you — Slow Cooker Italian Chicken and Peppers — very delicious over gluten free pasta and, of course, since I made it: easy. 🙂 Also — in honor of Valentines Day — these two recipes made me smile this week: sweet pink peppermint macarons from How Sweet Eats and beyond yummy looking strawberry brownie skewers from Cupcakes and Cashmere.
What’s making your everyday extraordinary this week? I would love to hear in the comments — have a great weekend!