Shining the light of God's word into our confused world.

Month: February 2014

Easing back into it. Also, Aldi really is pretty awesome.

When I start to feel overwhelmed and need to push some things off of my plate, blogging is usually one of the first things to go. And these last couple of weeks have been a little overwhelming. Not so much because there’s been more going on. I’ve just been low on energy and have had to pick my battles as far as deciding what really needs to get done, and allowing myself to let the rest go.

Last week, especially, was tough. I just couldn’t get enough sleep, despite turning in around 9:00 every night, and I couldn’t focus on my work to save my life. I was feeling spiritually whipped, too. A lot of this was just hormones making everything seem bigger and more overwhelming and more difficult than it really is, normally, but even when I know hormones are distorting my perspective, that doesn’t really do anything to make me feel better.

I ended up taking Thursday off and dedicating the whole day to prayer and meditation and spending time in scripture. Matt and I also spent some quality time just hanging out together on the couch, snuggling and talking. All in all, it was a healing day, and something I sorely needed.

I’m starting to feel back to normal today. It’s been a productive day — I wrote just under 1,000 words on the new novel, made my daily article quota for Demand Studios, and fleshed out some article ideas for some magazines I’m planning to query. That’s been one of the things that’s been dragging me down lately — feeling like I’m trapped on this content mill mouse wheel that I’ll never get off because it’s too hard to find the time to look for better quality assignments while writing enough content mill articles to make sure the bills get paid on time.

But this weekend I finally managed to grab enough quiet time to sit down and plan out some concrete goals, and break them down into small enough steps that I can do a little every day to work toward that goal.  By next Monday I should be ready to start sending out query letters. Hopefully, some better paying magazine assignments will soon follow.

So with that figured out, I’m trying to ease back into blogging. I’d like to get back to a two-post-a-week schedule, but for now we’ll see if I can stick to one a week for a while. I need to jump start things over at my author blog, too, and if I try to take on too much I’ll just get overwhelmed again and stop blogging altogether.

In other news, during the blog silence my husband and I finally got around to shopping at Aldi. After hearing so much hype for so long about how great it is, we were a little skeptical going in, but you know what? It’s pretty great. For the last few months we had been shopping at Walmart, but the last two weeks we’ve done our shopping primarily at Aldi, and we’ve left there with a lot more food for a lot less money than we typically spent at Walmart. And we’re pretty impressed with the quality of the food, too. I think that’s part of why we stayed away for so long — we were afraid that the Aldi store brands would be disappointing. But so far we’ve been pretty pleased with everything we’ve tried.

I was especially psyched to learn that they have their own version of the Totino’s frozen pizzas that used to be less than a dollar. I love those pizzas, but I haven’t had one in forever because they’re loaded with trans fats. But the Aldi’s versions don’t have trans fats, they ARE less than a dollar, AND they taste just like I remember. Mmm, cheap frozen snack pizza. How I missed you.


A couple of weeks ago, I started taking advantage of free sample offers I found on the likes of Money Saving Mom and the freebie blog Freeflys. My first haul came in the mail today: freebies-2-06-14 I’m not actually interested in doing the Atkin’s diet (tried that years and years ago, and all it resulted in was a lot of gastrointestinal unpleasantness, so no thanks), but these bars are going in our Get Home Bags. As for the Breathe Right strips, I’m sure those will come in handy once allergy season goes into full force. Hooray for free stuff!

I don’t want to play ball anymore.

Remember what I said last week about how life keeps throwing curve balls at us? Well, this week it decided to switch things up and lob a hard fastball straight at my noggin.

On Saturday morning I was carrying groceries into the house when I slipped on a patch of ice on the driveway. Both my feet flew out from under me, and I was suspended in the air just long enough to wonder what in the mother-of-all-curse-words was happening before the concrete slammed really hard into my body. Or vice versa. My head was one of the hardest things hit, along with my left elbow and the right side of my hinder.

For a while all I could do was lie there, surrounded by my spilt groceries. I think I might have been crying in pain. Or wailing. I remember hearing my husband swear, and then my neighbor across the street calling over to ask if I was okay, and then Matt almost slipped when he got to me, but thankfully he recovered his balance before he landed on top of me. And then the neighbor came over, and I felt like I needed to be brave and put on a show of being tough and not alarm anybody, so I made myself get up — slowly, carefully, making sure nothing was broken which, thank God, was the case — and brushed myself off while Matt and the neighbor picked up the groceries. I made a joke about how it was a good thing I landed on the part of my rear with all the padding and avoided cracking my tail bone, took the grocery bags from my neighbor, thanked her and declined her offer to help carry them in, and proceeded to do so myself, insisting that I was just a little bruised, but I’d live.

After we got the groceries put away, we still had another errand to run, and I insisted that I was okay to go, even though I hurt like hell, so we went. It was on the way to the next store that I noticed my vision had gone all fuzzy and I didn’t seem to be thinking quite clearly. It was in the store that Matt noticed I was slurring my speech and acting like I’d had a few drinks. So we wrapped things up and went home, where I consulted Dr. Internet and figured out that I had a concussion.

Needless to say, this has all thrown my week off-kilter. I’ve spent the last few days resting, getting as much sleep as I could. I think Monday was the worst of it; not only did I feel like I’d been hit by a truck, hurting in places I didn’t even know could hurt, but I apparently had some kind of post-concussion syndrome that made me all sad and weepy and lethargic and useless.

Tuesday, though, I finally started to feel back to normal. I’m still sore, but it’s tolerable, and my head feels like it’s screwed back on straight. So I’ll be spending the rest of this week trying to make up for lost time and catch up on my article quota.

I know I have some things to be thankful for in all of this. I’m thankful that it wasn’t much, much worse. That nothing was broken, and I wasn’t seriously or permanently injured. I’m thankful Matt didn’t end up falling and getting hurt, too. And I’m thankful that we had just bought a brand new bottle of pain medication, which I needed a lot of over the last few days.

But I would really just like for Life to stop trying to play ball with us for a while, because we’re really bad at it, and we really just need a chance to catch our breath, please, ‘kay thanks.