Thursday, October 30, 2008

I love the fall!!

Well I got some GREAT feedback on my cheap meals post. I was getting emails, facebook messages, etc... of people telling me their hints for cheap grocery shopping and giving me cheap recipe ideas. The best part is some people I haven't talked to in years have gotten in touch with me to share ideas!! One of my favorites though is http://www.grocerygame.com/. I saved almost $40 the first time I went grocery shopping!! One of my friends started it around the same time I did and last week she officially saved more on her grocery bill than she spent!! (Go Julianne!). I also am a new fan of http://www.5dollardinners.com/. Matthew and I have been being really good about our goal of only eating out once a week!! Temptation has been there... but so far we've endured :)

This is one of the recipes sent to me by a great girl I went to high school with!! Jael is an awesome girl raising twins with her husband in my hometown, Bedford!! Check out their webpage: http://www.doddbunch.com/.
{{1 whole roasting chicken
1 large package of frozen egg noodles
In a crock-pot or slow cooker place the chicken. Fill the pot ½ way or ¾ way full around chicken.
Allow chicken to cook until it’s finished. (Each crock-pot and slow cooker varies, so that depends on yours.)
Remove chicken from the crock-pot or slow cooker once it is finished and place it onto a plate. Let cool.
Place the chicken broth from the chicken into the pot you’ll be cooking the chicken & noodles in. (Depending on how much chicken broth you have and how “juicy” you want it to be, you may want to/need to add some water.)
Bring the chicken broth (and water) to a boil. Add the frozen egg noodles to the boiling broth following the instructions on the package. (This may take upwards of 20 minutes, depending.)
While the noodles are cooking, remove the bones and skin from the whole chicken. Tear the chicken into pieces, and gradually add to the noodles.
Season with salt & pepper.
Once you’ve added the chicken, you can let it simmer on medium-low heat for a while, or you can serve it automatically.
I serve mine with mashed potatoes & corn, but you could serve it with whatever you wanted. }}
In other news... fall is here and the last few months have been full of excitement!!

Matthew's family came to visit for his mom, Kathy's, birthday!! We had a blast with them!! Unfortunately Kimberly, Julie and Chad couldn't make it :( We missed you guys!!





Matthew and I also went to the state fair which is one of our favorite things to do every year. Basically we just go and spend too much money on overpriced food. Every year it makes me wonder... is there ANYTHING that they can't deep fry?? I don't think so... But we love to look at all the animals... and walk around and see the exhibits,etc... it's a lot of fun!



Matthew's cousin Tabitha married an awesome fella named Jason and few weeks ago and we got to spend the weekend in Orlando to attend their beautiful wedding!








And also some of my girlfriends started a girls' night once a week!! We're only a few weeks into it but I'm super excited about seeing my friends more often!! I hope this is a tradition we can continue :)

Of course, anyone who knows us well knows Matthew and I are very interested in politics. We are not however the type of people who can't be friends with or have great relationships with people who believe differently than we do. This political season I have found that there are more of those types than I was aware of... of all types of political affiliations. We are huge fans of Sarah Palin and definite supporters of the McCain/Palin ticket!! So we have been to 2 Sarah Palin rallies this fall (John McCain hasn't come close enough to where we live for us for us to be able to go see him :( )





Ok... well I've got to work night shift tonight... Hope everyone is doing well!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Financial Crisis

Well yesterday's blog was about money and today's is as well... but this time it's not so much about what's going on in our life. (Although I DO still want the cheap meal suggestions: see my post from yesterday).

This is a time of great anxiety and uncertainty in our country... and for good reason. People are losing their homes, their retirements, savings for their kids' college, etc...

Hopefully, this will also be a time of revival. A time when people can be reminded that building your hope, your future plans, your well-being on anything other than Jesus will most certainly, at some point, fall away and disappoint.

A little encouragement from the Word to remind you of how great our God is.... God will provide.

I Tim 6: 17-19 "Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,
storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

Money......

So Money is on every one's mind right now!! We are no exception! Luckily, we are not in the unfortunate group of people whose lives are being directly rocked by the situation on wall street. It does of course remind us all of the uncertainty of life and make us think more carefully about the ways that we're spending our money and what kind of stewards we're being of what God has given us. It also brings into light the great need that will be arising of those in our community. We've decided to take action. We are going to buckle down on our finances and pray for and look for ways to help those who are struggling around us. Matthew decided the best way to do this was to first become more aware of where our money is going and what we're spending it on. That way we can be more aware of where we're faltering and where we're blowing money that we may not even realize. So Saturday afternoon Matthew downloaded Microsoft Money to our computer and synced it with our bank account, investments, etc.... WHAT A SHOCK!!

We realized that our only frivolous expense is our cable and Internet. However, last month we downgraded both of these and have cut our monthly expense on these things significantly.

But our eyes were opened to where we're throwing our money away at!!!!! Are you ready???

Drum roll please.................


FOOD!! My goodness..... you would think we each weighed 500lbs if you looked at the money we spend on food! Up to this point we were going out to eat twice a week. We would go out once on Friday or Saturday night for "date night," and once after church for lunch. We occasionally get fast food type lunches on the run, or a milkshake for a treat. Boy do those luxuries come with a price when you look at it over the span of a month or two. And the money we had budgeted for food...... we more than doubled!! SO... we are going to take action....

A couple of weeks ago I was on Facebook and the "status" of one of my "facebook friends" caught my eye. It said "looking for more ideas on $7 meals... check out my blog." (Or something close to that....) Well it caught my eye. She's obviously a smart gal and has been coming up with $7 meals for her and her husband!! Well that's one bandwagon that I'm hopping on.

So how are we going to put what we learned in action??

1) We're limiting our eating out to once a week. This has already proved to be difficult, but we succeeded last week... so we're off to a good start.

2) Cut WAY down on grocery bills. This means less snack-type foods to put in our lunch bags, less junk food (which will be good for us anyways), less individually packaged (therefore more expensive) lunch alternatives (AKA my Campbell's sippable soups at $1.67 each instead of regular canned soups at $0.87 each.)

4) Try the $7.00 meal plan (preferably ones that can provide left overs for lunches.)

5) Coupons.... I'm going to try really hard to start using these!! This requires much more organization than my current complete LACK of organization when it comes to planning meals and planning my shopping.

SO this is where I need your help!!!!

Please email me any ideas you have on cheap meal ideas. This can be casseroles, crock pot meals.... whatever!! So please put them in the comment section so anyone who visits can see!!

Thanks!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

So it's been a while.....

So it's been a while since I've posted. This summer has been super busy for Matthew and I. We have work as always.... but we've also had a lot going on. We started off with a wedding in Sevierville TN in May. My cousin Melissa was getting married and it was a beautiful day and a fun weekend with the family!


In June Matthew's little sister Julie got married to her longtime boyfriend Chad. It was a gorgeous wedding and we had a ton of fun celebrating their day with them!! After the wedding the entire Rougeux family (except for Julie and Chad, obviously) went to Daytona Beach for a few days to relax after all the wedding hub-bub.

A few weeks later we went and spent the weekend with Matthew's brother Guy and his wife Jen. It was a rainy, lazy weekend that was beyond relaxing :) I don't think we left the house the whole time!! haha

Just last week my mom, sister Heather, Aunt Agnes, Aunt Edie, nephew Jake and niece Avery all came for a few days! We had fun shopping, gardening, playing games, etc.... They are such a blessing and we were SO excited to get to spend this time with them!!

We've also been taking advantage of the warm weather and have been landscaping our front yard and painting our living room. The landscaping has been very time consuming but it's been a LOT of fun... we never knew how much fun it would be!!

Check out all our pics below!!!!!!!!! Xoxox, Julie










































Friday, May 9, 2008

I'm a hypocrite

so here's the definition:

Main Entry:
hyp·o·crite

Pronunciation:
\ˈhi-pə-ˌkrit\
Function:
noun
Etymology:
Middle English ypocrite, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin hypocrita, from Greek hypokritēs actor, hypocrite, from hypokrinesthai
Date:
13th century
1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion


2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings


Lately I've been feeling very hypocritical.... now don't freak out on me... I'm not doing drugs, running around behind my husband's back, or anything like that.....

I do however struggle with what it means to live the type of life that I need to be living. I guess I've always thought that for others to know that I'm a Christian is a certain level of accountability. If others know that I'm a follower of Christ then that compels me not to do things that would then be considered contradictory to that confession. We all know however, that "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he....." I've been thinking a lot about that verse lately. Back up to my previous post on nakedness.... and understand that I above all others would be deeply ashamed to be stripped spiritually naked. The things I struggle with are innumerable.

In my heart is a deep and abiding love for my Savior, as well as a nearly lifelong struggle to prove that that's not all I am. I like to be liked, I like for people to think I'm funny, interesting, open-minded, intelligent.

I'm none of these things......

I truly am a hypocrite.

I struggle with proving that there's more to me than my faith.... but shouldn't that be what identifies me?? To be a follower of Jesus?

I don't want to be seen as the Bible thumping, close-minded, Christian-music-only, no-swear-language, chaste, cheesy-bumper-sticker, corny-slogan-tee-shirt wearing Christian.....

I also don't want to be the girl who uses popularity or approval from others as the motivating factor behind how I act/speak/work, all while claiming Christ as my Savior.

Some of my struggles include: approval from others, fear of settling/having settled for less than I really want, popularity, discontentment, ingratitude, inferiority complex....

If I say I'm a follower of Christ that would obviously imply that I'm following in His pattern of living... However, looking at the historical and biblical person of Jesus, he was none of these things. He was confident, yet humble. Strong in his convictions and bold in his presentation of these truths. He had no problem confronting, even scolding, his superiors. Yet he also had no problem spending his free time with theives, liars, prostitutes and the sick. He was gentle, but unmovable..... and I am fascinated....

My desire is for my life to be transparent.... To be consistent from the innermost parts of my heart, to the thoughts in my mind, to the actions of my hands, to the steps of my feet.... To be honest, I'm not even sure if this is possible.... I'm not sure if there will ever be a time in my life where I'm not leading a life of hipocrisy to some degree.

I want to treat the patient who is suffering with diseases caused by a life of drug and alcohol abuse with the same respect and love that I do the patient who is fighting a cancer of which had nothing to do with any lifestyle choices of his own.

To give the beggar on the corner the same compassion and mercy that I've experienced through a relationship with the Son of God.

To love, truly and deeply and passionately, the people who God puts in my life.... from my friends, colleagues, patients, etc........

To throw away concerns with fancy kitchens, trendy clothes, nice cars.... and to become obsessed with finding ways to allow God to exhibit His love through me.

We'll see I guess.....

So I realize this post has been 99.9% rambling... but it's my blog and I can ramble if I want to :) But really, I don't really have a good way to end this post.... so just listen to Todd Agnew's "Like Jesus" on my playlist....

I'm out of things to say now.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Pics Lately

hahaha.... the above is my dad trying to get Heather with whipped cream :)

we seriously took 15 pics and couldn't get a good one... this is the best one.... even though mommy's eyes are closed... we will get a better one next time!
While at home Todd said Coal was ugly..... how can anyone say that puppy is ugly?? hahaha










Thursday, May 1, 2008

Nursing...

I love being a nurse. Knowing what I know now about my career... If I had to go back 6 years and choose a major in college all over again... I would still choose nursing. I just would've worked harder in school! haha.... As most of you know I've been at Duke working in the Medical Intensive Care Unit for almost 2 years now. I love medicine... but I've also worked in almost all of the other ICUs here at Duke for overtime (cardiothoracic surgery ICU, neurosurgery ICU, surgical/trauma ICU) somefrequently and others not as much. Although they're all different... I like where I work the best of all of them, but Ilike ICUs in general. After being approached by the head of the ED about coming to work down there (this doesn't make me special btw... they're in desperate need of experienced nurses and I met this man through Matthew.... he'll take anyone he can get almost...) I have decided to start working down there one shift a week to see how I like it.

I've been sloooooooowly continuing my orientation in the Emergency Dep't. Working 1 shift a week makes this drag on. Towards the end of the day I'm feeling good, getting into a groove, and then it's another week until I'm back in and I feel like I kind of have to start all over each time. It will continue to improve I'm sure... but right now it's slow going. The staff down there has been great to me so far. I'm sure the fact that Matthew is already down there and has become quite popular with the staff helps a lot. I will look forward to the time when people start associating my name with my clinical abilities and not "that new nurse from the MICU, you know, Matt's wife..." I'll be honest though... I'm not sold on the possibility of being cut out to be an ED nurse. Maybe it takes a nurse to understand what drives nurses into the fields they go into..... but try to stay with me for a minute.
There are a few major reasons I went into ICU nursing. 1) I'm extremely detail oriented.... I don't mind having 800 things to do for one really super sick patient. 2) I'm a bit of a control freak (this is new news to me btw... maybe some of you have known it for a while. ..) I've been told by ED nurses that this it's not just me though.... it's a hallmark of ICU nurses. In an extremely unstructured environment like the ED... this can be difficult. 3) I'm a science nerd... AKA I like patients with complicated disease processes and lots of meds and interventions. 4) I like really really really sick patients. ICU nurses live for this. This is what we hope to get every time we come to work. Granted, they do get sick patients in the ED.... but they also get a lot of the "not-sick-they-should've-gone-to-a-Primary Care Practitioner-but-they-either-don't-have-one-or-don't-have-insurance-people"
All these things said.... I'm not sure just how well this is all going to work out. I'm not worried about my skill set or knowledge base.... I'm worried about whether my personality will be a fit. A lot of the ED leadership has been talking to me about coming down full time. There would be a lot of benefits to this.... 1) they pay more.... I work overtime every week and if you're a full time employee of theirs they pay you an extra $10/hr for any overtime you work. This adds up quickly. 2) the scheduling is better. I would be guaranteed all day shifts instead of flip-flopping like I do now. And they have self scheduling which they stick to about 95% of the time..... However, my pros for staying where I am is I love where I work... I like my coworkers, my management, my patient population... I HATE our scheduling (flip-flopping from days to nights) and of course I wish I could make more money. BUT, depending on what I want to do in grad school.... ICU experience is much prefered over that of the ED.
Now that all that's been said, and I've bored most of you to tears.... please be praying for me as I make these decisions. The bottom line is... I need to be where God wants me to be and where I can make the most difference for Him and equip myself for what He has for my future.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Indiana


So this past weekend we went to Indiana!! Simply wonderful........

I drove in with my friend Jessica. We've grown up together since we were in diapers. She lives in Richmond, VA now so it was pretty convenient for us to drive together. Matthew went to work and left a few hours early and caught a flight to Indy. He beat me there by 4 hours!! That night we stayed at my sister Heather's house. Saturday morning we do that which my family does best... yard sale-ing!! My mom and I drove down and met up with my wonderful aunt Agnes and spent the morning driving around in the rain... we found some great deals by the way :). We went back to aunt Agnes and uncle Dennis' house and had brunch, yumm-o! Biscuits and gravy, sausage, bacon, eggs, etc..... Todd, Kris and Kai, Heather, Mike, Jake and Avery, Diana and Mason all came over as well. (We missed you Daddy, Adam and Matt!!)

That afternoon I met up with my friend Laura and we drove together to go to Stacy's baby shower!!! She and Jeremy are having a little girl to be named Emmalynn Michelle. Afterwards Laura, Stacy, Jess and I all went out for dinner. I can't even tell you how much I love these girls.... We've been through it all together... school, puberty, first boyfriends, first kisses, college, jobs, weddings, and now babies!! Their friendships have been such a blessing through the years!

Sunday everyone who was able was there for church and lunch. After lunch everyone left, including Matthew (he had to fly out that afternoon), and I got to spend the rest of the day with my mommy and daddy!!! This was and always is wonderful!! This was especially special since my daddy flew out to the Phillippines for 17 days yesterday. I'm glad I got to see him before he went. Please be praying for his safety as he travels and that his trip is successful.

I can't even begin to explain how wonderful it is to be able to see everyone at home. Words can't even describe how much I miss everyone... I love you guys!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Life...






So lately I'm wondering when my life will slow down.... I'm beginning to think this is it.... but I've decided that if it is... that's just fine with me! God has blessed me with amazing family and friends. I'm feeling more at home here in NC than I ever have up to this point, and am thanking God that no matter where I go... family is still family, God is still God....
The past couple of weeks have been a great ones!! Saturday I went up to Lynchburg and got to see some wonderful friends from college... I had lunch with Kelli and Laura (fabulous...) those girls are such an encouragement to me!! I love them dearly! Then I went to my friend Kathy's baby shower... Kathy's friendship has meant more to me than even she knows! She's the only person who was ever able to motivate me to exercise regularly (haha... I wish I lived closer to her for this reason!), and she was an awesome friend to me through some trying times while in college. She also has shown incredible faithfulness and grace through some incredibly difficult times in her own life... I only hope that during the valleys in my own life that I will trust God as wholly as she has. So, it was awesome getting to visit with her as well and to celebrate the upcoming birth of her precious son!
Sunday afternoons are one of my favorite times to spend with Matthew! After church (which is an experience in itself... we LOVE our church)... we usually go grab some lunch (usually Pei Wei, Matthew's favorite), go to Lowe's, then come home and work on some sort of project around the house. So last Sunday we bought a Crabapple tree and planted it in our front yard..... see the above pic. It's a pitiful little tree, but as soon as we were done a sweet little bird came and perched on one of it's few branches... as if testing it out :) haha... Matthew is super excited about spring and summer so he can continue to develop his aspiring green thumb. We'll continue to post pics as more developments are made in our landscaping endeavors.
We also have joined a couple's small group at our church. We've only had two meetings so far... but they've been fabulous! We're SO excited about the possibilities of this group and how it's going to change our lives. New friendships, spiritual growth, challenges and accountability are just some of the things we're hoping to gain from this group. The other couples really seem to mesh well with our personalities as well... which I figure is half the battle of any group setting. So all in all, we're very excited!
That's it for now... I'm excited about our weekend trip to Indiana so I'll do a post when we get back!!