Journey: Week Twenty-Three

Stop trying to make things perfect. 

"The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done."
I often find myself pining over things I want to have,  feel entitled to have, or wishing and dreaming of "the perfect life". Well, big reality check, thinking about things isn't going to accomplish anything. And although I've always known I need to work toward those goals, relationships and accomplishments, putting actions to words is no simple task.

Although the "perfect life" is completely fictional, I do want the perfect life that was meant for me. It's time to stop wishing and dreaming and start really digging in and doing. To start, though, I'm just going to focus on being thankful for what I already have...

  • My healthy son, no matter how rebellious he is acting at any given moment.
  • My beautiful puppy who is the sweetest dog, even if she wakes me up at 6AM to go outside.
  • My  amazing job and my incredibly supportive, encouraging boss.
  • My friends who keep a smile on my face and joy in my heart, even though they are often hundreds of miles away. 

I'll get to working toward the bigger things tomorrow. Really, I will.


Journey: Week Twenty-Two

Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. 

"Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you."

I am a true believer that all things happen for a reason. Tonight as I decided to pick back up with my journey, my faith was confirmed. I read the passage above and it spoke right to my heart. As if right now was the perfect time to read it, not a minute sooner.

These last few months have not been easy. There have been a lot of bumps in the road and I've caught myself getting stuck in worrying about the future. The worry would create anxiety, anxiety would lead to stress, and stress would lead to me not doing well as a mother, student, or employee. The clarity that I've received from this message has enforced me to really just put a break on things. To just stop a minute and smell the roses. Enjoy what's beautiful in life today, right now.  To not let anything pass me by, to drink everything in--the good and the bad. But especially not to let the bad times dominate my emotions, dictate my attitude, or suppress good memories. I want to live everyday like that

And so I shall [try], and I hope you do too.


Vicious I tell you!

Per my last blog post, you know I'm the owner of two little pups. Part of our new routine is going out around 7AM to let them do their business, then play around for a bit. They're very well behaved and already trained to where when I whistle, they come.

Today my neighbor had a few words for me about how I allow my pups to be in the lawn unleashed. They could attack his wife! They could bite him or an innocent passerby! They could get vicious in a split second!

And you know what? He's so right. I'm going to leash them every time I take them out for the well being of the residents here. I wouldn't want anybody to get injured by these ferocious beasts.


If three is a crowd, what is four??

I can hardly believe that PJ is turning five next weekend (August 18th) and then starting Kindergarten (August 21st). He's a little sponge soaking up all the information and experiences around him. It's astonishing how fast time flies and how quickly he grows.

I  remember talking to PJ on his birthday last year and asking him what he wanted. He specifically said "I want to be 5 years old, mama. And I want a doggie!". It looks like this year both of his wishes came true. 

Please meet Roxy (left) and Angel (right)  the newest additions to our family.

It all started weeks ago when I dropped by the Humane Society to get some puppy-therapy*. The HS is right around the corner from my apartment, so it's not unusual for me to drop by and play with pups (you know you do this sometimes, too!!!). While I was there playing with the two black puppy labs, Banjo and Jack, I started seriously considering adopting one. Then rational thoughts kicked in and I talked myself out of it. I couldn't just buy a puppy on the whim. I need to think it over. Then think it over again. Then ONE more time just to make sure I want to deal with a puppy. 

While re-writing my pros and cons list for the fourth time, I was scrolling through the "Pet" category on Louisville Craigslist. That is where I saw them. The title of the ad was "Beautiful puppies need forever homes", and I think I beat some sort of record for fastest phone call dialed to see if either had been adopted yet. To my surprise and luck, they weren't! 

So the next morning I drove an hour outside of Louisville to go meet these incredibly gorgeous puppies and to pick out which one would come home with me. It turned out that they were in horrible, neglectful living conditions. The people who were re-homing the pups had kept them outside with their Mom as well as 4 other adult dogs. No kennels, no leashes, no invisible fence, nothing.  The puppies were sweet as could be and I fell in-love instantly. I paid the people and said I'd come back first thing the next day (Saturday) to pick up one of them, giving myself that evening to puppy-proof my house and buy all of the things I'd need.

Saturday couldn't come fast enough as I took PJ with me this time on the hour long drive to surprise him with an early birthday present--A PUPPY (note that I said A puppy, singular)!  As we pulled up to the people's house, the lady and her daughter were outside looking for the puppies under the porch (where they normally were found in the mornings). They weren't there. They then looked on the other side of the house, in the woods, down near a pond, in their neighbors barn, and before I knew it two and a half hours have gone by and we're still looking for these lost pups. We had hope that they're okay because the Mom dog and one other adult dog were missing too, so we figured they were all in a pack together out playing in the woods.

It started to rain and I decided to finally take PJ home as it came close to the 3rd hour. I was pretty devastated leaving without the pups and my imagination was running rampant with a thousand different things that could have happened to them. Maybe someone stole them. What if they drowned in the pond? What if a larger animal attacked them in the woods? Or worse, what if they were road kill. I tried to push everything out of mind and keep cheery and positive for PJ, who was sad that his surprise had gone missing also. Besides, it looked like an all out thunderstorm was approaching and that would surely flush them out of the woods and bring them back home.

Come Sunday morning, and after a huge thunder storm, the puppies and adult dogs were still not home. I had given up hope and decided to let go of the idea of even getting a dog--I guessed it just wasn't meant to be for now. 

Monday I was working like normal and around 10:00AM got a call from the woman telling me that the puppies showed up! She told me how the two adults had actually shown up late on Sunday evening and how they thought the pups wouldn't return home since the adults abandoned them. Then late morning on Monday the pups came out of the woods and trotted up home together. I was SO overjoyed and ecstatic after I hung up that phone. They survived, and I was still going to get my puppy!!!!

I went right after work (my third hour long trip, mind you) to get the puppies. This time the people put them in a kennel so there was no chance of them running off again. They were in horrible condition. Ticks, fleas, mud, and who knows what else. I couldn't choose just one, so I took them both. Once I got them home they immediately were given tick and flee baths while all kinds of souvenirs from the woods were washed out of their fur. In total there were around 25 ticks pulled off of both pups and we're still taming the flee issue. As of  now they've been to the vet to get shots, de-wormed, and examined for any injuries. Both are a-ok.

Although some people may think I'm insane for taking on this responsibility, I couldn't be happier to be the owner of the Solider Sisters. Plus, PJ is loving his new best friends. All around, these dogs have been a huge blessing in our lives and we are so happy to have them.

* A whole lot cheaper than hiring a shrink! Holding puppies just makes me happy!


Journey: Week Twenty-One

Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. 

" The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly."

Ain't that the truth. I don't know how many times I've said "hind sight is always 20/20", and for good reason! So many times I've made rash, quick decisions without thinking it out. So many times have I come to a very harsh reality of consequence and the road of tough lessons because of just that. But, I believe that having the patience to step back and see the big picture of situations as opposed to the tunnel vision of the "here and now" comes only in time and after making plenty of mistakes.

And, I'm not sure I'd even call them mistakes. I've come to accept and realize that everything in life happens for a reason. Some situations may be more negative than others, but there is something to be learned from everything. That said, I've become a big fan of taking a step back and thoroughly thinking through my decision rather just plunging in.  I think...just maybe, I'm actually becoming a responsible adult!! How did THAT happen?


Journey: Week Twenty

Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. 
"Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right."

This is a beautiful and profound message. Just think on it one more time: Your friends don't need it and your enemies won't believe it anyway.

This journey has taught me to be comfortable with who I am and with the choices I've made (and continue to make). The message this week really solidifies and builds upon that lesson and I love that! Without following my heart and standing strong upon self confidence and determination, I doubt I'd have accomplished nearly what I have so far in life. And I'll shamelessly admit, I'm pretty darn proud of myself! Unfortunately though, I definitely recall times that I've looked back and asked "what if" in regards to a situation I didn't take advantage of due to doubting myself and/or caring what others thought. I have quickly realized that I much prefer to live my life with no regrets, only lessons learned- the good... and the bad. 

So, here's to following our hearts, self confidence, and determination. Cheers!

If  you're reading about my Journey the first time and are wondering what the heck I'm talking about, click here


Welcome the Frugal Rican!

Mario works at a financial institution and has a huge passion for money. When he’s not working, hitting the gym, or spending time with his better half, he shares many tips about anything and everything money related over at Humorous, but practical, this blog is a great read and awesome if you’re learning how to budget, cut back, or keep money in the bank! In this day and age, I’ll take all the help I can get! Be sure to check him out (also on twitter: @frugalrican), but not before reading his guest post here at Life of Ikkins first! Enjoy.  

  • Tampons
  • Lip Gloss
  • Hair Brush
  • Compact
  • Wallet
  • Gum
  • Hand cream
Any woman reading this right now immediately recognizes this as the everyday contents within their purse. Every guy that just read this, thought this was a random list of my just spouting out objects for absolutely no reason at all.

As the Frugal Rican, I've had my own share of personal experiences when it comes to saving money, but I never figured that gender would be a major reason and influence when it comes to how much I could possibly save over the length of my lifetime. Out of those 7 items I listed, I currently carry only one: Hand cream.

Just kidding.

Most men carry a wallet with the basics: Cash, cards, phone numbers. That's it. There are no personal items, there are no emergency female articles, and definitely no "beauty" products to powder our noses. It's this great divide that seems to hold us back from understanding why women spend so much sometimes. It seems like being female comes at a quantifiable cost that males cannot understand and it wasn't until I WANTED to understand, that I came to actually begin to comprehend, how much more it can cost to be female. Yep, you read correctly, just your gender alone can determine how much you are going to spend and how much you are going to save.

I definitely don't worry about having a spare tampon laying around, nor having a hand cream to moisturize with, nor does having a hand brush ever come across my mind. And if you are completely curious, I scoured the internet for lists of the most common things that are found within a woman's purse (including asking Nikki) and then compiled a much more condensed version based on those lists. I was surprised and, yet, not surprised at the same time to see such a huge difference in just the common objects that women carry around that men do not.

It's a harsh world, in these economic times, so I do feel a hint of compassion with all the women that are trying to save while still trying to be feminine. It isn't easy, but at least you have one more that understands your pain. Stay frugal, ladies. Hopefully one day we'll definitely understand what you, as a gender, must go through to keep us all smiling.