Thursday, May 26, 2011

Extreme Makeover - Hair Edition

I just turned 29 and was feeling really old and kinda ugly this year. For my birthday, James and my wonderful friends Lindsay, Olivia, Heather and Esther got me a hair make-over. It was a 5 hour appointment and I came out a new woman! Check out my ghetto before picture and the all-new after Malea! I totally understand that beauty is only skin deep, but it sure does feel good to do something for myself.

I had my hair cut, highlighted and had the Brazilian Blowout. The Blowout is like getting your hair laminated. It takes away frizz and smooths down waves and curls. I am SO glad I had it done!! See for yourself!

Monday, May 23, 2011

So smart!

I HAD to blog about my baby because this week she totally spoke several times! Now, I am meaning words that are intended and decipherable. Not babble. She's been babbling for months. So her first words were officially, "Where's dad?" He had just left the room and she was looking around for him. I almost died. She says mamama plenty, but not in regards to me. :(

Then, yesterday at church she said, "hi" to two people. We say hi to her quite a bit so that's no surprise. And then just now, 10 minutes ago, she was sitting on dad's lap and Jack jumped up to join her. She said "Jack!" twice in a row then pushed him away.

This baby is not even 11 months old yet! I have to admit, I knew she'd be a fast talker. She's been very verbal for a long time. Now, if we could only get her to crawl or creep or anything more than sit and spin. She's got the physical ability, but I think she's scared and hasn't been motivated enough to make it happen.

These pictures are about the best ones of me trying to get those legs underneath her!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Working Mom

I'm working full-time now. I have to be completely honest. I hate it. I have basically put aside my top priorities: home, family, sibling and friend relationships, garden, budget and self. All of these are sacrificed for money.

I did not choose to work full-time. I was working part-time to help out and there was a major need at work. Without fully realizing the life-changing consequences, I agreed to work full-time for a very short amount of time: no longer than 6 weeks. And I told them I would need a raise. Well, they met my requested increase in pay and, seeing the company's need, I agreed. Last week was the first week and I almost quit. The only thing keeping me there is my commitment and loyalty. I've seen my home decline into a pig pen. I have seen James and I become short with one another as more and more of the weight falls on him and I get more and more tired.

I am more sure than ever that almost any family can subsist on one income, no matter what that income is, but it is a choice and sacrifices have to be made. When I am working, we spend more because we have limited shopping time and we do not look for the lowest prices or use coupons. We are also not cultivating the garden that I so desperately wanted to grow this year. We did plant tomatoes, because that is my bare minimum. We eat out more often because no one wants to cook after a long day at work, and no one makes lunches. Lily still can't crawl at 10 months and I blame myself for not spending enough time teaching her. She does have an amazing sitter, though, who is working with her. More on that later. Finally, I have lost the mental stability that comes with personal time. I work all day and then come home to work another full-time job of cleaning, laundry and baby. I'm not complaining, but I am saying that it is unsustainable and I have no idea how people do this. It just seems that there are diminishing returns.

One thing that keeps me going (besides my word) is that the money we make is earmarked for fertility treatments to have our next baby. Truly, that is a major blessing. We don't know how many months we will have to try to get Lily a sibling. At $500 a month, there's just no way we could afford that without this income. Heavenly Father has truly blessed us and I am grateful that we have this opportunity. I am grateful for and love the life that I have. I just can't wait to come back home and enjoy it.