Thursday, June 30, 2011

Change is Good

Changing over to a tumblr account. Come check me out.

(hope you still follow me!)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Lifehouse has been one of my favorite bands for the past 10 years or so... maybe more. I seriously love them. I love how they have stayed true to themselves (he used to be a worship leader) and their songs are so meaningful.

Anyway... Will and I were reminded of this song the other day and now we can't stop playing it. They mixed it again... so it sounds way better than the original. It was done by Will's all time favorite producer, Chris Lord-Alge. Seriously, I think Will fell in love when he heard this haha.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My New Fashion Loves

I love fashion. I'm usually not one to follow the trends... I've never liked Abercrombie, American Eagle, Gap, etc. Not that anything is wrong with those stores... they are just not my personal style. Ever since pregnancy, I've been a little out of my fashion funk. I had to wear maternity clothes, and if you've ever been pregnant you know that there aren't a lot of options to pick from unless you're wanting to look like a grandma or like you're wearing a moo moo. Until I discovered that forever 21 and H&M (two of my favorite stores because of their variety) both have maternity clothes. YAY! So, I'm still not the weight I want to be. I'm not fat, but I still want to get to a certain weight. I still have about 15 pounds to go to my goal weight and I'm wanting to get there by 1 year postpartum. So, until then, I'm a little thrown off fashion wise. I've had to buy clothes just because they fit. Not because I necessarily like them. After you have a baby, things just don't fit correctly. I haven't been focusing at all on style... and that's fine, but I miss it. It's like art to me. I seriously don't care if anyone notices... I just have fun with it. Will and I are both that way.

Anyway, I love looking for clothes that I love and daydreaming about what I'll be able to wear once I'm in my ideal weight range. Eventually, I'd love to totally redo my wardrobe since my whole body is different... I have HIPS for the first time in my life (and other things...) :) haha. My size 2 jeans just aren't workin for me anymore... and I'm pretty sure they never will.

It's weird... although I love to look at outfits, I've found that ever since having a baby, I don't care as much about clothes or how I look. I would much rather spend time with my family and take care of them. It's awesome... I really love it.

My new FAVORITE look is the 70s fashion. I randomly just started loving it... the hairstyles, the clothes, everything. THEN, all of a sudden I see all these 70s styles in the magazines and noticed that it's the new thing I guess. So, I'm excited that some stores are selling it! I'm loving the vintage modern look right now!

Here are some of my favorite finds and inspirations....
These shoes make me drool.

I love Gwen Stefani's style... and I'm kinda goin for that hair :)

Bell bottoms, boy jeans... yessss!

Lovin this Farrah Fawcett type hair!

I love the new vintage swimsuit style that's in.

Isn't that red hair to die for?

Love the blonde hair and layers!

So 70s and it's great. Ahhhh!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Welcome To Our Home

Welcome to our new rental house. Make yourself at home :)

We just signed the lease for it on Wednesday, and we move in on August 5th. So, time to get a move on packin up! Honestly, I just want to be settled. I'm tired of moving. I'm tired of not having a place to call mine. I'm excited to save up some money and move into our OWN house in a couple years. This house is totally going to make us feel so much more comfortable and settled for the time being. It is a newer house and I LOVE IT!! It's a 3 bdrm 2.5 bath. The kitchen is huge (compared to our little alley kitchen in our apartment). It's got a two car garage and lots of storage! The 3rd bedroom (Will's office) will be above the garage and it's in the corner upstairs so it will be away from all of the noise! The master bedroom is huge with a huge walk in closet. We get to let Gibson right out the door to go to the bathroom. Plus, the owner is keeping his huge flatscreen TV there because he is a missionary and doesn't want to keep it in storage while he's out of the country.

Anyway, it's awesome and we are so excited. Even though it won't be "ours" it will at least be more private than an apartment (and less noisy). It will be a good place for Cai to start growing up at least for the next year.

The day after we signed the lease, we found out that Will is probably going to have to be looking for new work. Kind of a bummer. Actually a BIG bummer. But, through all our moving across country, we did learn that God truly is the ONE provider. We can't help but be encouraged that God had us sign that lease the night before Will found that out. We felt complete peace about it, so we know God is in this.

So, here goes another fun adventure. Yikes!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hello Stern Family

We started a vlog.... because we are ridiculous like that.

If you're not up on the whole techie terms, vlog stands for video blog. Just FYI.

Both of us got rid of our Facebook accounts a while back and we were trying to think of a way to still keep our family and friends connected to us (somewhat). I have this blog, but as you can tell, I'm kinda slacking on it. We decided we would take our little camera with us everywhere we go and video our life. But don't worry... it won't be with us in the bathroom. That would be weird.

We'll just pull it out if we feel the need... er want. Whatever. We also want to do it to document our first days as parents and the craziness that is our life. It's really not that crazy... we are just crazy.

So, check it out.... and subscribe to our youtube and "like" our page so you can be updated when new videos show up.



Thursday, June 9, 2011

6 Months

My little handsome baby boy turned 6 months on the 4th. He got his driver's license and married a girl too. Just kidding, but he might as well have. I can't believe that this little munchkin has grown so darn much! He is so close to crawling. He gets up on his knees and rocks back and forth. He sits up but still doesn't understand that he can fly backwards and bang his head on the floor, so we don't leave him alone for too long like that. He is teething like a mad man. Poor thing just isn't acting like himself. He already has both bottom teeth in but apparently he's got more on their way. Poor fella needs a break! He is so curious about everything... always grabbing that one thing that he knows he shouldn't have. Tis the life of a boy! I'm proud of him though... it means that he is wanting to learn! He says mama... but for real. Not just as a random noise. He says it over and over when he wants to eat. So cute! As a matter of fact, I hear that now :)

So, without further ado (because I know you are all on the edge of your seats... lol) here are some cute pics....
Bath time

Hello citizens. Just here to save you....
Hello ladies. I know you want an autograph, but I'm too busy saving the world and looking cute...

Saving the world. One dirty diaper at a time...

Grandma Cheech brought 6 month presents for Cai. It was his 50% birthday or halfy birthday :)
Uh, mom, are you just gonna leave this drool on my face?

Can't you see I'm busy here?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Total Money Makeover

Wow. I've really been a slacker in the blog world. Shame on me.

Anywho... have you guys read this book? Haha, as I was trying to find the image I noticed that one cover has him smiling and one has him smirking. Hmmm... not sure which one I have or which one I like better. I can just see the meeting now,
Dave: "UGH. I can't believe you put the picture of me smiling! I WANTED the serious eyes. What is wrong with you?"
Ha kidding. Will and I like to play through situations like that.

Back to the book. I just started reading it yesterday and it has already changed our life. Will and I have been trying to save and be really good with our money, and we've really wanted a system to follow so that we can be the most successful that we possibly can be with it. We started our marriage with zero debt, and it has stayed that way (minus a computer that we had to buy so that Will could work... but that's about $1000). God really blessed us. Neither of us had school loans, car payments, credit card debt... nothin. I married Will with a $3500 car to my name and probably $5 in the bank account but, hey, at least I didn't have debt! Thanks to my parents too for sacrificing so much to pay for me to go to a couple years of college! Anyway, we were splitting our money into categories... obviously we had our budget of our expenses every month and we even bought this budget program to help us know exactly what we were spending and where. We actually signed up for Dave Ramsey's trial budget program and got charged for it after a week and cancelled it. Then they sent us a free book and money system in the mail! How awesome is that? It's totally the Lord. Then we had our savings... our emergency fund, our retirement, gifts, saving for a house, and taxes (since Will is self employed). We would put our goal amount in each savings and then anything extra we could scrounge up we would put in. We were really doing well, but I didn't realize how much easier it could be. Seriously, I recommend you read this book if you haven't. He has a whole new way of looking at things money wise and you feel so much more excited and hopeful for the future. Rather than thinking of it like, ugh, we have to save AGAIN this month!

His motto throughout the book is.... "If you live like no one else, later you can live like no one else." Basically meaning, if you sacrifice a time of your life to really saving and barely spending... you can live very comfortably later. This is totally against our culture obviously because you are even told that you need to have credit in order to buy something. Which is totally out of whack.... you shouldn't be telling people to get in debt in order to buy something. Ridiculous. So, he comes up with this plan so that you can live freely and fully on cash. Not thinking in the way of the world, but thinking in a mindset of "if I don't have money for it, I don't buy it." Will and I have made sure to have that be our way of thinking since the beginning. We know how dangerous debt can be and how quickly it can pile up!

So, a recap... he calls it the baby steps. You do them in this order...(after you get $1000 saved for emergencies)-- here's the website

First: Get out of debt. Do everything you can to get out. Take another job, have a garage sale, sell stuff on ebay... if it takes 2 months, 6 months, a couple years... whatever. It will be a sacrifice, but at least you won't be a slave to your lender anymore.
We are going to first and foremost, pay off our debt. We are going to take whatever we had in savings and pay off our computer right away instead of paying monthly for it. We are also going to pay cash for the $1200 or so of dental work we are getting done. So, there... no more debt whatsoever!

Second: Build an emergency fund. Your emergency fund should be 3-6 months worth of your total expenses. This is not a total of your income, but of what you would have to spend that month. If you're self employed and depend 100% on your own income, like we do, it would be wise for us to have a 5-6 month emergency fund. This is between $10,000-$30,000. We are going to aim for 10. It's a good baby step! We are even going to sell our SUV and get a cheap truck or something (since it sits most of the day anyway) so that we will have $4,000 or so to put towards the fund.

Third: Get a down payment for a house or make it your goal to pay off your house. We are renting right now, so our goal is to put a down payment down. Dave says to pretend like you don't even have an option for a 30 year mortgage and just opt for the 15 year mortgage. So, we did the math, and with the interest rates and everything, we would be looking at about a $30,000 down payment on a $180,000 house. He also mentions that your mortgage should not exceed 25% of your income... that's how you know if you're in over your head with your mortgage. So, you don't buy a house until you have that down payment in hand and in cash. THEN, once you start paying your mortgage, you pay over and beyond every month. For a $150,000 house, this can save you $100,000 in the long run! Just by paying $250 extra a month! Crazy. So, you do the math and plan to pay over and pay off your house quicker.

Fourth: Save for retirement. This should be 15% of your income every month. And he suggests investing it. We haven't gotten to this point yet because we are right now on step 2. So I will get back to you.

Basically, this whole plan leaves you in a much better place in the long run! Will and I have been talking about how we want to pay off a house as soon as possible. It's God's way, so we know that He will help us. It just means being wise and now getting in over our heads.

So, we decided to first get out of this apartment building. We are on the third floor (second floor really because there's a basement floor) and it's really inconvenient with a baby and bringing groceries in. Plus, it's expensive because we are also renting a garage for storage and it really isn't saving us any money. So, we are going to find a rental house that we will want to stay in for a couple years (until we get that $30,000), and something that is easier on me with a baby. Something we wouldn't mind sticking out for a while. Plus, we are hoping to cut out our rent by $200 or $300. Maybe even more! That way, all of that extra can go towards a house. We realize we will be sacrificing a lot... maybe not spending as much in certain areas. Not traveling, even though all of our family members are scattered across the country and we really want to see everyone. We have to do what's best for our family. Remember the motto, Laura: "If you live like no one else now, later you will live like no one else"

Keeping that in the noggin!

We are so excited to start our family on the right foot! We know that right now, while Cai is young, he is totally not even going to notice what house we have or what cars we drive. So this is a great time to do it. And, we really want that emergency fund buffer, just in case! We all know that the economy isn't looking any better these days.

Maybe congress can read Dave Ramsey's book. Think they'll get the hint? :)

Friday, May 27, 2011


I don't know about you, but my face started feeling red for him!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Old Blog

I found my old blog. It made me want to cry... a good kind of cry. It's amazing how much you can go through in just 3 short years and how much your life can change. Sheesh! God taught me SO much, that it's even hard to write it all out. Not even just natural things, that I'm now a wife, a mom, living in a state I wouldn't think I'd live in, going to a different church, etc BUT also spiritually. I was reading my old blog (that I had completely forgotten about, by the way) and just smiling with tears in my eyes.

Oh how often I forget... God is just plain GOOD!

Just even a year ago I was in one of the worst situations that I have ever gone through in life, and God so encouraged me and talked to me through the whole thing and brought me out as soon as he could. Louisiana was one of the worst seasons of my life. Whether we made a mistake and didn't hear God correctly, or if God wanted us to move there for a reason... all I know now is that He TRULY does turn things around for good for those who love him. He is faithful!

Anyway, I will probably be posting some of my old posts because I really enjoyed learning from myself. Does that sound arrogant? Well, shoot, who cares! Ha. I loved reading what God was teaching be a couple years ago. How cool that I can look back and learn from what God did in me? It's crazy how quick my little human mind can forget the things He teaches me. Can't wait to get me a brand spankin new heavenly mind. Bring it on, Jesus!

If you want to check it out, you can. Read through all the craziness of my life pre-marriage haha. I even put the list up of what I wanted in a future husband and how Will fit that description perfectly. Pretty funny.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

5 Month Shots

Little man is in his 5th month and I decided it was time to take some pictures. I am so bad about being online lately. Maybe that's a good thing? I can't find time to get on here as much and update or do my health blog or anything else for that matter. When I have an extra minute, I take a nap or do some cleaning. Ha.

Anyway, with the 3 minutes of spare time that I do have today, I am going to put up some pics I took today :) (the pictures look better than this. I hate what blogger does to pictures. Ugh!)

Click on the pics to make them bigger

Oh and if you haven't yet, check out our youtube channel for a bunch of new videos. I'm in the process of uploading more today.

First, some dada love...

Cai modeling the Abe Lincoln shirt we made for him yesterday...

Loves those toes...
Taking pictures are different now that he can get into things. He reached over and pulled off a flower from the plant (now knocked over to the left). He was picking a flower for mama, right? :)
Best smile...

Hammin' it up for the camera...

All he wanted to do was chew while I was taking pics. Here's me trying to take it away and he's got the death grip like, "mom... step away from the chew toy"

Chewing on the lens cap...
Sitting up all by himself, big boy!...
What? I'm not doing anything...

Loves that Johnny Jump Up...