Anchors Aweigh : February 2015

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Receiving Sympathy With Grace

Believe it or not, this is a thing, and I never realized it until I went through the storm of losing Taylor. People have been wonderful to Parker and me. Everyone has been so sympathetic toward our situation, and we have been overcome with gratefulness to have such a strong support system. 

I won't lie though, there are stages of grief where certain sympathetic comments are hard to swallow. The one that's been tough for me? "I know how hard this is for you". When someone says this, I cringe a little bit inside. There is a part of me that wants to unleash and tell them, no, they have no idea how hard this is because they aren't experiencing it. They didn't lose a child at 18 weeks 5 days on November 23, 2014. They. have. no. idea. It's so easy to give into this anger and resent people who make that comment. Yes, they mean well, but it's tough to give them the satisfaction of thinking they actually know how hard this is. 

The thing is, when we go through really tough situations, we tend to think we get a free pass. To an extent, we do. Learning how to live life again was not an overnight thing, at least for me. I've done it all. I've skipped out on social situations because I didn't want to see anyone. I cried in a closet so I didn't make a scene over Christmas. I've bitten my lip so hard to keep from crying that it goes numb in pain. I'm getting better every day, but it's not an overnight thing. I'm usually not this emotional, but after losing Taylor, I get a free pass to cry. I don't, however, get a free pass to snap at people or lash out at them. 

What I've had to realize is that everyone has been through something hard in their lives. Whether it be a health issue or losing a loved one, everyone has endured pain. I don't know what they've gone through because only they truly know what they've gone through. Even when people talk about losing a child, I am very careful to never say "I know how hard it is". Each person handles grief differently, and I can't pretend to know how they are feeling.

I don't think I will ever enjoy hearing someone tell me they know how hard this is, but I have an obligation as a Christian to respond to their sympathy with grace. Just a little nod of thanks will go a long way, and if someone is taking the time to talk with me about my journey, it means they care. There are stages of grief where you want to be angry, and those are the times where you have to make a conscious effort to choose grace. This is a lesson I never expected to need to learn, but it's one I'm glad I did. We are called to show grace, even through the tough stuff. 



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5 Life Hacks To Make Your Life Easier

I really like the saying "work smarter, not harder". There are obviously areas of life where this doesn't apply, but in may ways, you can save yourself a lot of time and energy by figuring out a better way to do things. My favorite example is modern technology. It's there to make our lives easier. I use my phone to navigate pretty much anywhere and everywhere. I've learned that if my Google maps app tells me to take a left when I usually take a right, I should probably do it because it's likely navigating me around traffic that I'm not yet aware of. Why drive 10 minutes when I only need to drive 5? Work smarter. 

I thought I would share my 5 favorite life hacks to make your life easier. I feel like I am basically the poster child for all of these because they are so simple yet SO effective! I like saving time. Saving time usually leads to saving sanity.


1. Seville Cutting Board Set

My mother-in-law introduced me to this. She actually brought it to a gift exchange over Christmas, but I thought it was just a normal cutting board and immediately wrote it off. Later that evening I saw her using it, and my opinion instantly changed. There are little chopping mats that fit on the top of the cutting board for you to use if you need to cut multiple items. I dislike having to use 3 different cutting boards if I am cutting meat, veggies, and bread, and this set solves that problem. The best part? The mats are dishwasher-safe, so I just stick the mats I used in the dishwasher and never have to worry about washing the giant wooden cutting board. If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, I cannot recommend this product enough. You can buy it here



2. Crockpot Liners

Many of you have probably heard of these, but they save SO much time cleaning up that I thought they were worth highlighting. Cooking in the crock pot already really simplifies things. Dinner is ready when you get home and you don't have to worry about tearing your kitchen apart in the process. The one downside of the crockpot is I usually have to soak it for a day or so before I can get it clean. Enter: crockpot liners. Line your crockpot before you pour in your ingredients, and then you can just remove the liner and throw it away when you've finished. I quickly rinse the crockpot, and it's good to go for another meal. Easy peasy. 


3. Chef's Planet Clip & Drain

My mom introduced me to this one, and I love it. I don't like having to drag out the strainer every time I brown meat or cook pasta, and this clip means I don't have to. You just clip it to the side of your pot, drain it over your sink, and throw the clip in the dishwasher. It's small and easy to store, but it has worked on every pot I've used it on and doesn't cause the meat or pasta to spill out. You can buy one here



4. Purse holder

I was given this as a bridesmaid gift back in 2012, and it has been a game changer. It rests on the edge of a table, and you can hang your purse from it. I don't like to set my purse on the floor at restaurants or bother with having it in my lap, so I use the purse holder and hang it next to me on the side of the table. I've had this for almost 3 years and wish I knew the exact place my friend ordered it from. She got it off of Etsy, and there are hundreds of vendors out there who sell these. Of all of the life hacks, this one is my favorite.



5. Tab on the Tape

This one won't change your life, but it will save you some frustration when you cannot get the edge of the tape to come up. We always have packing tape lying around since we move every other minute, and I feel like I waste so much tape breaking it into little strips when I am just trying to get a piece. I place a tab like the ones you find on bread at the end of the tape, and my problem is solved. 



What are some of your favorite life hacks?


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Meatloaf Meatballs

There are 50,000 different meatball recipes out there, and all are probably yummy. I have a go-to recipe that I like to make from time to time, but I thought I would share a fun way to mix it up. One of my least favorite things about meatloaf is how long it takes to cook. One evening I was pressed for time and didn't want to devote an hour to meatloaf, so I decided to create meatloaf meatballs! They were super simple, super quick, and super delicious. I served them over mashed potatoes and with a veggie, but you can serve them any way you would normally serve a meatloaf. 

This recipe makes about 8 large meatballs. 

Ingredients:
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp parsley
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 pound ground beef or turkey, uncooked
Marinara sauce (This is what I grew up on. If you like ketchup or BBQ sauce, by all means, go with that.)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean-up. 
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine egg, bread crumbs, milk, onion, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper. 
3. Add ground beef to other ingredients and mix well. I usually use my hands to make sure everything is incorporated. 
4. Form meat mixture into meatballs (I made 8 of them) and space them out on your lined baking sheet. 
5. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until they are browned and cooked through. 
6. Remove meatballs from oven, top each with about 2 Tbsp of marinara sauce, and pop back in the oven for another 3-5 minutes to make sure the sauce is fully heated.  



Enjoy!


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Recent Reads: January/February

I posted back in December about how I aspire to be a reader. I've always been the person to opt for the television over a novel, but I really wanted to change that! I've been reading here and there and can honestly say I am thoroughly enjoying my new hobby. I had to read some books that just killed me with boredom back in high school, and that really took away any desire I had to read. Charles Dickens was brilliant, yes, but I jut can't get into his books. I selected a few books to start that I thought I might like, and I loved them! Moral of the story: just because your high school English teachers made you read books barely written in English does not mean all books are unenjoyable. 

I thought it would be fun to share my reviews and recommendations on my recent reads, so this is the first round! I will review 3 books each time and would love to hear your suggestions on which 3 books I should read next! I got with the program and signed up for a goodreads account, so I am adding books to my list daily!

Onto the latest 3 books I've read...



Finding Rebecca by Eoin Dempsey

Summary: This novel is set in WWII and centers around an unrelenting love between Christopher and Rebecca. Rebecca is Jewish and Christopher is German, but both live and fall in love in New Jersey. When Rebecca is taken to a concentration camp and Christopher is deported back to Germany at the start of the war, Christopher volunteers for the Nazi SS as a desperate attempt to save the woman he loves. Christopher is placed in Auschwitz, and he struggles to maintain his cover but also his humanity and love for people as he continues to search for Rebecca. 

My Thoughts: I read this at the recommendation of my sister because World War II history has always interesting to me. I really liked it. It was a quick read but man it tugged at my heartstrings. Reliving the reality of what people went through at Auschwitz is gut wrenching and eye opening. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it if historical fiction is your cup of tea!


The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Summary: Hazel has battled cancer all of her life. She is living on borrowed time and attends support group at the persistence of her mother, even though she thinks it's totally pointless. When the cool and handsome Augustus Waters appears at cancer kid support group, Hazel's world is changed forever. 

My thoughts: I could not put this one down. It was definitely my favorite read so far. The characters' personalities are so well written, and it will have you feeling every emotion on the spectrum. I cannot recommend it enough! 5 out of 5 stars for sure. 


The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Summary: Set in the 1960's, this novel gives you a look into two worlds: the world of the privileged white women and the world of their housekeepers, or the help as this book calls them. Skeeter is a white woman who would rather write than become a housewife. Aibileen is a black maid who has cared for so many beautifully innocent children that all grow up to be just like their entitled mothers. Minny is an opinionated, confrontational black maid who can cook better than anyone but can't learn to keep her negative thoughts to herself. Seemingly very different, these three come together for a project that will put them all at risk, but could change their lives and the way the world views their roles forever. 

My thoughts: I really liked this book as well. My only complaint was that it felt long. I think because the chapters were longer than most, this book took me a while to get through. This is a book that will have you thinking about the characters in the middle of the work day. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars because it got a little long-winded in the middle, but otherwise it would have been 5 stars. It's an excellent story that I highly recommend to anyone and everyone.  

So that's it for this round! Any recommendations on what to read next?

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Kindness

I recently had an experience that opened my eyes and got me thinking. 

Story time: As many of you know, I had surgery in early December following my miscarriage. Being that this was my first surgery, I was naive to all of the bills that would be pouring in over the coming months. Thankfully we have really good insurance, but that didn't stop the hospital for making all sorts of billing errors and insurance forms getting mixed up. I've had to make multiple calls to my insurance company, and they have always been SO incredibly helpful. I was confused on a couple of items I was being billed for, so just to be sure, I decided to give my insurance company a call. The woman that answered gave me a quick, exhausted, and fairly rude "hello, what can we do for you?" I politely explained that I had a couple of questions on my recent bill and was hoping someone would go over each item with me because their team was so helpful last time. Yall, the woman that responded was like a whole new person. She instantly was so kind and really went above and beyond to help me. 

The thing is, that woman had probably been yelled at all day. Customer service is a tough job because you are the fall guy. There were mistakes on my bill, but they were mistakes made by the hospital, not the insurance company. Calling to yell at the first person who answered the phone would have accomplished nothing but cause someone else to have a bad day. After I hung up the phone, I was reminded just how important it is to be nice. 

I think it's fairly easy to be nice to the employee handing me my morning coffee or the mailman. You see a face. You smile at them and they smile back. It's sometimes not as easy to be nice to customer service representatives over the phone. In fact, it's really easy to be mean and short-tempered. The voice you are hearing on the other end of the phone represents the company you have decided has royally screwed you over. The thing is though, they are just the messenger. They aren't the one that messed up the bill or input your information incorrectly, but they are the fall guy. It may be difficult if you feel the company has wronged you, but showing them patience and kindness will go so far. 

Growing up, the phrases "kill them with kindness" and "you get more bees with honey than vinegar" were ingrained in my brain. I can't wait to do the same to my kids. There is just something to be said for being a nice person. I have been guilty of getting cross with the phone company or the cable company when things aren't as they should be, but that doesn't accomplish anything. It just gets me more riled up and ruins their day. 

So friends, I challenge you all to go out and be nice. Be patient with the coworker who is just driving you bananas. Be kind when you speak with the insurance company that's trying to charge you an arm and a leg. Be nice to that stranger on the street that looks like they've had a hard day. Kindness will go a long way, yall. 

And because I like to have a picture in every post, I thought this embodied the message well. I caught Darla giving her Jenny sister a (blurry) hug. Heart melted over here.  



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How We Watch TV: Binge Watching

So I've blogged several times about the fact that we got rid of cable, but that doesn't mean we don't still watch all of our favorite shows. Our favorite way to watch TV shows is binge watching. We will pick a series that has already started or maybe even already finished and just watch the heck out of it. Of course we watch a few shows in real time as well, but binge watching is so much more fun. If we are watching a show that only comes on once a week, I can barely remember what happened the last episode when another one rolls around. Multiple episodes per week is the way to go, just saying. 

Preach it, Ned Stark {via}

The first series Parker and I ever binge watched together was Lost. We watched this while we were dating and got really into it! It had already aired by the time we watched it, so we watched all 6 seasons at once. That show definitely got a little far fetched at the end and we were kind of ready for it to be over with all of the weird plot twists, but it opened up our eyes to the beauty of binge watching. 

Shows we have watched from start to finish... or at least until the most current episode:

Lost
Friends
The Americans
Game of Thrones
Big Bang Theory
Downton Abbey
Survivor (not sure that this counts as a binge-worthy show, but we are hooked from season to season)

We are currently going through all of the seasons of Friends. Being that it is my all-time favorite show, I have seen each episode multiple times but it's been a while since Parker has so we watch several a week. If he is home during the day, we typically pop in an episode and watch it while we have lunch. It's a quick show and man is it funny. 

We are also going through the seasons of Game of Thrones right now. My husband is obsessed with all things Game of Thrones, let me tell ya. I like this show well enough. It's not my favorite, but that's really just because I get angry when George R.R. Martin kills off my favorite characters. Stop doing that, Georgie. 

Shows I have watched from start to finish... or at least until the most current episode:

Grey's Anatomy
How To Get Away With Murder (favorite show on television right now)
Desperate Housewives
Alias

We watched a few seasons of Prison Break, but Parker decided it had gotten too far fetched and didn't want to watch the last season. I really liked that show and wish I would have just finished it on my own! He did the same thing with Alias. He doesn't like it when he doesn't think it's realistic within the context of the show. Over-thinkers. We started watching Breaking Bad, but I am the reason we stopped that. On the fourth or fifth episode, there is a scene with a certain ceramic tub and a certain dead guy in the tub. I was eating lunch when I watched it, and that was that. We need to give it another try because people absolutely love this show and I really think we would too. It might just have to be an after dinner show only. 

So that's our list! What shows do you recommend we add to the queue? Please don't say The Walking Dead. In my brain, zombies are real and I just can't handle that show. I'd love to hear your zombie-less suggestions and what your favorites are!

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Dancing The Night Away, 1940's Style

Something Parker and I had been looking forward to for weeks was a Valentine's Day 1940's themed dinner dance put on by the Military Aviation Museum. It just screamed "fun, new experience" to us. Here's a fun fact about us: we love to dance! Here's another fun fact: we really aren't very good. We took country/western dance lessons in college and picked up about 3 moves, and those 3 moves are all we have. We love it though. We used to go dancing all the time in college, and I miss having a place close to just go dancing whenever you want. When we found out there was a dance on Valentine's Day, we were all in. And the 1940's theme? Yes, please.


The dance itself was located in an airplane hangar, a fact that definitely contributed to some of my husband's excitement over the evening. We had visited this museum before, but of course we did an abbreviated tour of the planes again and took the time to snap a few fun pictures. 



Two of our good friends joined us which made the evening all the more fun. I kept saying that the evening represented premium people watching. There were couples of all ages in attendance, and people really went all out with the costume portion. We learned traditional 40's-style dance steps, which we did for about 10 seconds before resuming our two-stepping. Hats off to those who have mastered swing dancing. We couldn't get the rhythm! 


I loved picking out our outfits for the dance. Parker was easy because he had a khaki uniform that looks fairly vintage and a leather bomber jacket that tied his look together. He even cocked his cover (hat) to the side like they used to. I thought he nailed it and looked so handsome! For my costume, I bought some black gloves and rented a little faux fur cape that was really fun to wear. My dress really wasn't 40's at all, but I was dying to wear it. I bought this dress from Target at the end of last year for Parker's squadron Christmas party. Life didn't quite go as planned last December as many of you know, and I ended up having surgery and spending some time in the ER the week of the party. So, no Christmas party for me. Therefore, I was so excited to wear the dress for the dance. I consider it a fairly conservative dress, but I'm sure it was much too short for the 40's. Even so, I loved it! I also tried out red lip stick for the first time since my 7-year-old dance recital. When in Rome...





This was such a cool thing to experience together and something we will always remember when we look back on our time in Virginia. So glad we stopped to document so we have all of these pictures! I I edited the above pictures to have a vintage feel for the full effect. Parker wanted to do the same, so here is his version of a 1940's photograph. Which is more vintage? Well, neither. They were taken in 2015 and edited on a Mac.



Such a fun night!


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Sausage & Potato Corn Chowder

I don't make soups often, but Virginia winters call for all the stops. In honor of the blankets of snow that have appeared over the past 24 hours, I thought I would share a recent soup favorite in our house. It's made in the crockpot with very little preparation, so it's perfect for a cozy night in!

Ingredients:
1 lb pre-cooked sausage links, sliced
1 onion, chopped
5 new potatoes, quartered
3 cups chicken stock
14 oz can creamed corn
1/4 cup milk
1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
1. Line your crockpot with a crockpot liner for easy clean up and place your sausage, onion, and potatoes inside. Pour your chicken stock on top, and add a liberal amount of salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours. 
2. About 30 minutes before you are ready to eat, add your creamed corn, milk, and cheese. Cover and cook on high another 30 minutes.
3. Ladle the soup into bowls when you are ready to eat and garnish with another small handful of cheese. Dinner is served!


Enjoy!


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My Special Day

I decided that was the most appropriate name for this blog post because all day Saturday, I pranced around reminding Parker that it was "my special day!" Let's face it, when it's your birthday, you get a free pass to be as obnoxious as you please.

I am two days into being 26, but so far, I can't complain! I had a great little birthday/Valentine's Day so I thought I would do a quick rundown of the weekend, according to the lens of my iPhone. 

We started the evening off with a little birthday dinner to the Cheesecake Factory! We never eat there so it was something fun and different and it meant I got cheesecake at the end. Winning. After more thought than should probably go into a dessert choice, I decided on the Key Lime Pie Cheesecake. I am typically a chocolate girl through and through, but this one sounded too good so I went with my gut, literally. 



Saturday morning, I laid out little goodies for Parker and the pups to wake up to. Yes, I gave the dogs clearance Christmas toys. They didn't know the difference and those toys got de-fluffed in 5 minutes just like the Valentines Day toys would have. They were happy campers! I gave Parker a couple of love gifts, including a shirt that he will most likely return. He is oh so difficult to buy for. He knows what he likes, and I have about a 50/50 shot of getting it right. It's the thought that counts with this guy. You can't see it, but the receipt is laying right on top of the shirt. 


I then decided I'd been up for 30 minutes and it was time for birthday presents. That's waiting long enough, right? I always like hearing people's reaction when they hear my birthday is on Valentine's Day because it's usually either "oh man, that stinks for your husband" or "your husband lucked out". It depends on how you look at it, I suppose. We have never been ones to go all-out for Valentine's Day. It's my birthday which means I don't really care about the holiday, and Parker is a guy which means he doesn't really care about the holiday. However, he is always so sweet about getting me a little love gift for Valentine's Day and birthday presents so I don't feel short-changed. If that means more chocolate, I will take it. 

So I have a twin sister, right? Well this year for our birthday, our husbands got together and decided to knock it out of the park. They bought us Taylor Swift concert tickets! Not only do we get to go see our girl TSwift, but we get to spend time together. Best birthday present ever. We are over the moon and counting down the days until this concert. As my twin said, TSwift had a blank space, so she wrote our names. 




Opening presents works up quite the little appetite, so I made a Valentine's Day breakfast for Parker and I to munch on.


The rest of the day was spent hanging out together, enjoying a little lunch date, and just taking it easy. Oh yes, and the pups did this all weekend. Life is ruff.


Saturday evening we went to a 1940s themed dance that was a ton of fun. I'll do a separate post later in the week, but here's a little sneak peek.



Thank you for all of the sweet birthday wishes! I had a wonderful day!

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26

We are celebrating a little birthday this weekend in the Phelps house, and it just so happens to be mine! My birthday is on Valentine's Day, and personally, I've always really loved that. Growing up in school, we always had class parties on our birthday. When it came to the point in our lives where Valentine's Day doubled as "Singles Awareness Day", it never affected us because we got to celebrate our birthday regardless. I say "our" since I have a twin sister who also happens to be celebrating a little birthday this weekend. Funny how that works out. Anyway, we love having a birthday on Valentine's Day!

This year I will be 26 years old, and that's just a tad scary and ridiculous to me. I'm not sure when I grew up to this person who is closer to 30 than she is 20, but I'm working on figuring it out. It is a little crazy to me that I am entering my late twenties, but each age and stage of life brings so many new blessings. 

26 is a little tough because I was supposed to celebrate with a 7.5 month baby bump. I was supposed to become a mother at 26, but in reality, I became a mother at 25, and I know that. Honestly, I look at my life and where I am now, and I am so extremely grateful. Through the ups and the downs, it's been a beautiful life, and I can't wait to see what is in store for year 26. 

Since being a grown up means foregoing the class Valentine's Day parties, I am pretty tickled that my birthday falls on a weekend this year! I am looking forward to spending it with my little family and in spirit with my twin and family. I also look forward to eating all the things. Let's face it, when it's your birthday, it's acceptable to eat until your little heart is content. Thank you Lord for a birthday on a day centered around chocolate. Winning. If you need me, I'll look something like this:

Special shoutout to this best friend, soul mate, and partner in crime of mine. It wouldn't be my birthday if I didn't get to share it with you. Thank you for being one of the greatest blessings of my life. Cheers to 26 years of having the same face and many more to come!


I came home last night to this little display. That husband is a keeper. He learned long ago that the way to my heart is through my stomach. Well done, hubs. Well done. 


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The Boy Behind The Blog: February Edition

It's been a few months since Parker graced the blog, so I thought it was high time that husband of mine made an appearance. I came up with a few random questions and always enjoy the answers that this man comes up with. So enough from me, here's a word from the boy behind the blog.



Questions and Answers (my responses to his answers are in gold):

1. If you had to give up playing golf or reading/watching Game of Thrones for a year, which would you give up?
Hmm, I guess I would give up reading/watching Game of Thrones for a year because I can continue to get better at golf whereas there is no new material for Game of Thrones until 2016. 
We always say Parker has a one track mind because he really does. When he gets into something, it's all he wants to do or talk about. Right now, those somethings happen to be Game of Thrones and golf. The man is obsessed. 

2. What is your favorite blog post that has gone live on this blog?
I remember thinking our first video log was kind of funny, but other than that I can't think of any specific ones. I like them all. 
That video log was rough. We've only ever done 3 total, but we did have a lot of fun filming it! It's here if you'd like to watch: Our First Vlog

3. What is your least favorite TV show that Chelsea has ever been hooked on? You can't say The Bachelor... or The Bachelorette. 
Dance Moms, that's easy. Why would anyone make themselves watch that show?
I used to love this show because I loved watching all of the dances, but the fighting and the drama got to be too much, so I don't watch it anymore. My little sisters danced when they were little, and I loved going to their recitals and watching their dances. The dancing aspect of Dance Moms was so fun to watch, but the drama and hate was unbearable. 

4. What is your ideal date night?
Dinner and a show/movie, and who doesn't like ice cream to top it off?
This is why we work. 

5. If you could go back in time, where would you travel to?
Can I go back to Game of Thrones time? What do you mean Game of Thrones isn't real? Kidding aside, I would go back in Biblical times just to see everything with my own eyes. 
I'm just going to side step the Game of Thrones answer. Geez louise. 

6. In honor of Valentine's Day, what is your favorite love song?
Then by Brad Paisley
Fun fact: this was our first dance song at our wedding. We still get up and dance to it anytime it comes on Pandora at the house. Love the lyrics!


That's all folks! 




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Life Without Cable And The Bachelor Without Cheesy Music

Parker and I took the plunge and decided to get rid of cable back in 2013. We were paying $100 a month and just didn't feel like we watched enough TV to justify that. So we cut the cord. We told the cable company "It's not you, it's us"... but really it's you. We lived without it for about 9 months until it was football season. Then, all bets were off, and we needed our cable.

Parker and I are not avid sports watchers. We don't watch basketball, baseball, soccer, or even the NFL, but college football has our hearts... and our $50 a month for cable. That's right, we took the plunge again. We did manage to cut our bill in half the second time around (we started with DirectTV and ended with Cox for those that are curious), so that was a plus. The great thing about Cox is they didn't make us enter into a contract. We knew we were only going to pay for cable through the end of football season, and we would be back to our streaming, cableless lives in January.  

Thankfully, Rosie the Riveter was there to tell us that we could, in fact, do it. We could live without cable.
Honestly, living without cable is so easy for us. The biggest reason to have cable, in my opinion, is sports. Since we don't really watch sports, it was an easy thing to give up. I will say the one thing I miss is the DVR. Spoiled, first-world child alert: it's nice to be able to fast forward through those commercials. The DVR was nice, but the commercials are really minimized with Hulu anyway, so it's not so bad. While we are on the subject of Hulu, I totally did not understand the point of Hulu plus. Unless you want to binge-watch a show from the first season (Hulu Plus has multiple seasons of a lot of shows), you could watch the recent episodes of all of your favorite shows with regular free Hulu. At least, that's how it was in the good old days. I got on Hulu the day after the first episode of the Bachelor aired to watch it, and it said it wouldn't be available for another week. WHAT? I can't wait that long for the drama! I immediately texted Parker to let him know $8 per month would be coming out of our accounts for the foreseeable future because I had to watch the Bachelor. So, Hulu did something really smart. They took away the redeeming qualities of regular Hulu and reassigned those qualities to the not-so-free Hulu Plus. Well played, Hulu. Well played.

I do have to share a funny story with this. Parker and I have surround sound, but somehow the surround sound was put to a different setting or not working properly or something. I can barely turn the silly thing on, but Parker knows. Anyway, I'll omit the technical details. So we started watching the Bachelor one fine Monday evening (He would like for me to point out that he does not condone this show. I'd like to point out that I think he secretly loves it.). After a couple of minutes of trying to figure out why it seemed like unedited, raw footage, we realized we couldn't hear any background music. We could hear voices loud and clear, the wind blowing, etc, but the cheesy background music that really makes the show was gone. It. was. painful. Parker figured out how to fix the sound after the show was over. Talk about a great person to have around 5 minutes after a crisis. I don't recommend watching The Bachelor without the background music. I just don't. 

This isn't the best example, but check out a clip from the rose ceremony without the suspenseful background music. Not so suspenseful. 

video


To sum up, life without cable is still life, and I recommend it. However, The Bachelor without the background music is most definitely not The Bachelor we girls are all addicted to. 

Also, if you are thinking about getting rid of cable, apparently Dish just released a new deal where you can get most of your favorite channels (HGTV, ABCFamily, all the basics, etc) for $20 per month. You can then add on all the sports channels for another $5 a month. Dish did not put me up to saying this and has no idea who I am, but we will be taking advantage of this come college football season 2015, so I wanted to pass on the good deal. 

Do you have cable? If you do, do you think life would be the same without it?

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