"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
~Isaiah 6:8 NIV
"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
~Micah 6:8 NASB

Thursday, July 30, 2009

2009 Philadephia Vacation Pictures

Philadephia Vacation 2009

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Currently Reading: Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander

While on vacation, I had some time to relax and read. I finished number 5 of my goal of 12 non-fiction books in a year. I know I need to start reading a little faster. Dave Ramsey requires all of his employees to read four different books; The Total Money Makeover, Who Moved my Cheese by Spencer Johnson, Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander, and QBQ - The Question Behind the Question by John G. Miller. I also started my next book on the way home, The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley. I will blog about it when I finish it.

I already read the first two that Dave requires and when I was looking through Steve’s cousin Meredith books in the room we were staying in, she had Rhinoceros Success. So I grabbed the book off the shelf and started reading it. It was really good reading material to bring with me on the hour and half train ride to New York City. I hadn't planned to read those 4 books first but I guess it's sorted happened that way so far. The only one I have left it QBQ, which i own but haven't read yet.

Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander
In this world, there are cows and then there are rhinos. The cows graze in the pasture with the other cows, unwilling to take a chance at success, thinking that success only comes to those who are lucky, or that they just aren't cut out to be successful. Many live out their lives in fear, thinking they can never accomplish anything, so they never try.

The rhinos, on the other hand, take charge. Focused and unafraid, thick-skinned and unstoppable, they take massive action toward accomplishing their dreams and goals. They understand that success is there for the taking, if only one brings to bear the right training, mindset and work ethic.

It was a really short fun book, about 200 pages. The basic premise of the book was to be a “go-getter.” Don’t just let life happen to you, but happen to it. I know I have trouble with that sometimes. I know I have skills, but sometimes I am afraid to step out of my comfort zone because I am too afraid that I will fail. Fear of failure is probably one of my biggest weaknesses.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

2009 Philadephia Vacation

We have returned home from our vacation. Steve, Damian, and I left for Philadephia on Wednesday last week. We drove the 12 hour drive because it was alot cheaper to drive than to fly. I love road trips too. I actually slept most of the way down there. It was a little cramped in the car because we didnt get the car we wanted. Steve reserved a Luxury car at Enterprise but when he went to pick it up they didnt have any in stock. Needless to say, Steve was not very happy. They ended up giving us a Full Size Chevy Impala at 50% off. We wanted to leave around 8:30 or 9, but we didnt end of leaving until around noon because of all the car issues. We got to Philadephia around 1am. We stayed with Steve's cousin, Meredith, who lives with her husband in Springfield that is just outside Philadephia.
We basically hopped on 80/90 and took 80 all the way to PA. Pennsylvania must really like road construction because there was more road construction on 80 in PA than non-road construction. It was nuts.
I had a lot of firsts on this vacation...first train ride, first city-bus ride, first major league baseball game, not to mention the first trip to PA, NYC, and Delaware. It was a very relaxing vacation.

Thursday: On Thursday, we spent to day in Philadephia. We hoped on the Septa, which is the train that takes the people in the suburbs into the city. We visited all the historic sites, such as the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the Constitution Hall. We went to the African African Museum which is right across the street from the Federal Reserve, where Meredith works. We walked everywhere. It was hot out, but still felt really good. After work, she met us and we took a city bus to the Museum of Art. Apparently that is where Rocky ran up the stairs in the movies, so naturally Steve and Damian had to dramatically run up the stairs. Other than raining a little bit while we were at the Museum of Art the weather was warm but perfect. The rain cooled things and actually felt really good.

Friday: On Friday, We drove to Delaware since we were so close. We stopped in Wilmington and did some site seeing there. There wasn't much there but there was a cool River Walk. At the resturant we stopped for lunch, the host told us that we should visit Newark, pronounced NEW ARK, not NEWERK, like New Jersey :o). Apparently that is where the University of Delaware is. We searched for the University of Delaware Book Store so Damian could a T-Shirt and then headed back to Philly, so we could meet Steve's cousin-in-law, Mike to drive to the Philly game. On the way home from Delaware to PA, we entered Maryland for about a mile, so we could add that state to our list too, unfortunetly it does count because I didnt get a spoon from there, so we will have to go back. Meredith met us there via train. We also met Damian's friend, Erin, that lives in Philadephia for the game. It was a Phillies against the Cardinals. At the very beginning of the game, we had a rain delay. It poured for awhile then stopped and it was cool the rest of the game. The Cardinals won 8 to 1.

Saturday: On Saturday, we drove to Trenton, New Jersey and met with Erin, Damian's friend that met us at the game. Steve, Damian, Erin, and I then caught a train in Trenton and took it to New York City. It was an hour and a half train ride. I had never been on a train before except for the little Septa train, so I was nervous at first. Steve assurred me that everything would be A-Ok though. It wasn't so bad and actually kind of fun. New York City was awesome. I dont know if I could live there because there is just so much noise and so many people, so visiting was fun. The atmosphere and the lights were exciting. There were street venders everywhere trying to sell up stuff. The visited Time Square and saw the New Years Ball that drops every year. We walked everywhere around NYC city. In the middle iof Times Square there was a toy store with a Ferris Wheel inside. We got quite a bit of exercise on this trip. We did take another train to Ground Zero because it was too far to walk. There was so much construction around there that it was hard to see anything. It was still interesting to see though. From Ground Zero, we walked to the Stanton Island Ferry and road that past the Statue of Liberty. That was gorgeous and very relaxing. We drove right past the Statue of Liberty and I got some cool pictures of it. We also drove right past Ellis Island. It was a pretty full day. I was pretty tired and a bit dehyrated by the end of the day.

Sunday: On Sunday, We did a "College Tour." Damian really likes to collect T-Shirts from College Universities, so we went to a tour of all the colleges in and around Philadephia with Steve's cousins. Before the "College Tour", we met Erin again and Steve's cousins brought us Jim's for a Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich. She said that's where to the people who live there go for a good Cheese Steak. OHHHH!!! It was really good. We went to Temple, Drexel, University of Pennsylvania, and St. Joseph University and Vilanova. Vilanova's campus was absolutely beautiful. The stone buildings and architechure was very nice. On the Univerisity of Pennsylvania was the only school that had their bookstore open, so we just walked around and took pictures at the other school.

Monday: Monday was our last day. We got up really early at hit the road, back through the construction. We stopped by Penn State on the way home. That campus was really beautiful. On the way home, we also stopped in Toledo, OH to see Steve's Grandma. We finally got home at about 11pm on Monday night. I went straight to sleep because we had to work Tuesday morning. Overall, it was a very great vacation.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

MHS 10 Year Reunion: Class of '99

I can't believe it's actually been 10 years since I graduated from High School. Wow...it's been a crazy bunch of years. Some friends have changed and some never will. I have moved several times all over Mishawaka and South Bend since graduation. I hope I have changed for the better in the last 10 years.
Our Reunion was this weekend and it was a blast. I will admit I was a little nervous at first. I'm not sure why but I guess it's just because at MHS their was somewhat of a "class system." It was really interesting to see at the reunion all the different groups all hanging out together. I guess after high school the "class" you were in high school doesn't really matter. I hope my friends that are in High School currently read sentence a few times!!!
The reunion was at the Eberhart Grill in Mishawaka, right along the river. The view of the river from the deck of the location was gorgeous. I don't think the team could have picked a better place to have the reunion. I don't think the weather could have been better either. It was a bit cold in the morning, so we a bit worried but it turned out to be a beautiful night.
The food at reunion was simple but good. I really enjoyed having a chance to relax and catch up with friends.
Thank you so much to Jason, Stephani, Sam, and Jessica for planning the great event.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I Want to Scream...

...I'M DEBT FREE. I'm listening to the Dave Ramsey Radio show right now. Fridays is Debt Free Friday. It is when people call in and tell their stories and SCREAM over the radio. I love listening to the stories because they are inspiring and they make me so excited and pumped. They also make me so mad at my debt. I'm so ready to be done with. We are working really hard and we are making good progress. It just feels like it's taking so long.

All we have left in Baby Step 2 is our Student Loans. Things were moving really well while we had our second job, but we don't those jobs anymore so things are going to be moving more slowly. I know we can get other jobs, but the job market is so tight right now. The YWCA did move me back up to 40 hours, from only 36, so that is going to help us. Steve and I now both have the opportunity to work overtime, but it is generally encouraged that we don't.
After the summer is over, we will probably start looking again for other part time jobs. So many people right now are laid off looking for their only full or part time job, so part of me feels bad if I go in and take a job from someone who needs it more than I do.

Anyone else going through this process have encouragement for us as we go on the journey?

Therefore encourage one another and build eachother up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonions 5:11 NIV

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bowling Fun

Steve and I went bowling last night with Damian and my sister, Erin. It's probably been at least a year since any of had been bowling, so it was great fun. None of us did very well. I did finally break 100 in the 3rd game. Steve started to get tired during the third game. Damian got three strikes in a row during the third game! It was exciting.

We should really do this more often. It didn't break the budget either. Chippewa has a special deal on Wednesday nights where shoes are only $1.30 each, and games are $1.30 per game per person. I'm actually not as sore today as I thought I would be.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

3 Day Weekend Fun

:-)Tommorrow is a paid Holiday for Steve and I.
Her parents and brother will be visiting our house tommorrow. That means I will be cleaning like crazy tonight. Look at that precious sleeping face. Don't you just want to kiss her little cheeks? Hopefully, Steve will have our new sink and dishwasher set up tonight.
Love always, Bridget

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