Have you ever gotten to that point in your life where you’re so overwhelmed by the number of things that need to change that you’re not sure where to start?

I did – a couple of weeks ago.

And I started by making a list – “Things I Need to Change” – at 2am.

(Because that is the time of day that births all things that are good and holy.)

None of the items on my list were earth-shattering, like, say, “kick heroin addiction” or “stop being a Russian Spy” (because you know that Russia really cares about sunset photos), but they were weighing on me regardless. It included things big and small, from “More priority on time with God and ministry” to “Quit looking at my blog stats so ridiculously often” and many things in between, most notably “budget,” “diet,” and “oh my flippin’ goodness school is about to start and I have no idea how I’m going to find the time to keep doing everything I do.”

So I picked a few and started chipping away, now a bit less anxious because at least I had a list to remind myself of all my other failures lest I forget.

First up: Health.

I needed to make some changes to attempt to aid my ongoing health situation, which perhaps has been more life-altering than I might have let on, and is also to blame for this and any subsequent blog posts that are not up to expectations.

(I keep thinking I’ll tell you the whole story but I keep waiting to have clear answers first so I keep it mostly to myself because it seems a rather dicey decision to throw out undiagnosed health symptoms to the winds of internet diagnoses.)

So. No more artificial sugars, especially in the form of Dr Pepper TEN, my go-to comfort of choice. I am also still attempting to add to that “drink a ridiculous amount of water,” but a girl’s got her limits.

(Because I will NOT have time to do everything else on my List O’ Fails if I am peeing every other second.)

And, back to calorie counting. Because my jeans were beginning to sincerely not appreciate the volume of stretches I was having to do to make them wearable.

(Unfortunately I don’t have a nursing baby, which is the only thing that has ever made me lose weight, so the dieting probably won’t do me any good, but just make me hate everything and everyone like Katherine so eloquently wrote about last week.)

Second up: Budget.

I used to be a complete budgeting freak (I might have even written a super long doubly boring post about it in my crappy early blogging days.) I had been good. I had been dedicated. I balanced our checkbook AND multiple budget categories WEEKLY. And I shared the Gospel of Good Budgeting with others frequently.

But then…life got busy. And we had kids (that were expensive.) And life got busier. And I quit looking at those “budgeted” numbers and tried to ignore that the “actual” numbers were blatantly lapping them.

So I set a plan – a FIXED amount to spend each week on groceries and out to eat, along with other stuff. Chris eagerly hopped on board. And we set off to achieve greatness with less.

The next morning, I took my first back-on-the-wagon grocery trip. And it was FUN again, for the first time since I’d jettisoned my budgeting ways. As I paid, I watched the running total like a hawk.

And I ended up $6.67 under budget.

I felt like an overachieving Project Runway contestant and barely stopped myself from screaming “THANK YOU MOOD!!” for all of Winn-Dixie to hear.

Within my grocery shopping trip, I even planned ahead for the kids’ meals. Not forgetting the little people is a big deal, y’all!

I bought chicken breasts, cooked them with honey and salt, cut them up, and individually bagged them. Then I bagged crackers and cut a block of cheese and…


They were so impressive I had to take a picture – I didn’t care that I hadn’t moved my knife or my notebook or that bit of counter food that might or might not have been two days old. I was a superstar!!!

For the Kids: Underachieving Homemade Lunchables. Grilled, chopped chicken, sliced cheese, crackers, and Fruit Buddies. And they love it!

Then I cleaned out a fridge drawer (and even wiped it a little) and presented my children with “KID DRAWER.”

For the Kids: Underachieving Homemade Lunchables. Grilled, chopped chicken, sliced cheese, crackers, and Fruit Buddies. And they love it!

They really should have bowed at my feet and kissed them with fervor but they didn’t.

They did, however, enjoy my nitrate-free lunchables enough to ask for them again this week.

The next day, I had to order a couple of things off of Amazon. They were small, and both were add-on items, therefore subjecting me to the “you need to spend $10 more if you want us to ship you these items.”

I lamented.

In the past, this would be no problem. But now, NOW. I was behaving. I was not just spending to spend.

But on a whim, I looked up mine and Ali’s favorite cereal, Crispix, which I’d forgotten to get at the store the day before. Of course, one box was $5.47, which is about a dollar more than the grocery store.

But then I saw it: 14 boxes of Crispix for $20.93?!?!

Surely they were miniature boxes – I went to my pantry to compare ounces just to make sure.


Then it’s a mistake – I double checked the fine print.

They insisted that I would receive 14 boxes. For $20.93. Which is $1.495 per box. It was as if God Himself was shining down on my budgeting efforts, and handing me Amazon on a Golden Platter as a reward.

I ordered them with trepidation. What would I receive? Would it be a joke? Would a snake spring pop out to tell me that I was a fool?

But if not, were there more Amazon deals to be found like this??

Two days later, Ali and I opened the box, breath held within us…


They were there!! All fourteen full-sized boxes!! It was amazing. Fantastic. Unbelievable. Receiving a Fragile Leg Lamp wouldn’t have made for more excited people that morning.


I can’t say that these particular boxes of cereal had not been subjected to some sort of nuclear reactor assembly plant malfunction, but we’ll eat them with joy in our hearts regardless.

Editor’s Note: Amazon fixed their pricing mistake(?) within a couple of hours of this post. Sadness. Next time I’ll whisper the deal to you.

22 thoughts on “WYSIWYG.

  1. I love Crispix, but I love a good deal more! My kids would rather have other cereal, so I don’t get Crispix very often. I will always remember the first time we got it my younger sister picked a bunch out of her bowl and laid them brown side up on the table because she only wanted to eat the yellow ones. Being the awesome big sisters that me & my older sister are, we sneakily flipped a few discarded cereal pieces over and almost lost it when she picked them up because the yellow side was showing again and put them back in her bowl. Twenty something years later and we still tease her about it.

    1. That is beyond fantastic and totally made me giggle out loud. It sounds like the sort of story that my family would tell at every holiday dinner.

  2. We are right there with you on the change making- good for you! I love the homemade lunchables idea! I have tried very hard to change our eating habits too, trying to eat much more fresh and raw foods, going by the mantra “if it won’t rot, don’t eat it”. This comes with the consequence of an overpopulation of fruit flies. Now to deal with my HOUSE. I wish little folks didn’t grow out of clothes so stinking fast! I feel like all I ever do is pull outgrown clothes out of stacks and try to find a place to put them. Oh well – must keep movin’ on!

  3. Super impressed with your kid drawer! Also, I’m going to look up Honey Nut Cheerios on Amazon because GOOD GRIEF those things are expensive!

    1. They already “fixed” the Crispix pricing. So if I ever find Honey Nut Cheerios on sale, I’ll whisper it to you real quiet-like.

  4. I just jumped on Amazon and tried to find that incredible Crispix deal but it looks like they have realized and corrected their mistake. I pray you can find your health concern answers soon. It’s hard having to give up your go to comfort food/beverage right when you most need it! I’ve been there. It does get easier as you find substitutes, but that can take a while.

    1. How dare they fix that pricing!! Totally bummed.

      And thanks!! Currently, my substitute is Pomegranate Juice and Unsweetened Tea. Oh – and Nutella. But that’s a secret.

  5. I’m struggling with the “drink more water” thing, too. I mean, it’s like a mile from my desk to the bathroom and back … on the days that I drink more than one Tervis full of water, I lose half a day’s work in bathroom trips. Ridonkulous.

    “THANK YOU MOOD!!” Loved that.

    1. I swear that I pee more from water than any other liquid. SO annoying! Why haven’t they invented anti-pee water yet??

      At least now I understand the need for all those disposable catheter commercials.

      1. at least you’re not pregnant and having to drink a lot right?! so annoying. having just given birth, it’s so nice not having to pee as much :)

  6. I gave up Pepsi recently and it was hard. I like the carbonation the most, so I started drinking izze drinks…fruit juice and sparkling water. Now I like la Croix sparkling water. It has a tiny bit of flavor but no sugar or artificial sugar and just carbonation. Those both helped me through the pop cravings. Or do you call it soda? Coke? :)

  7. My husband and I are in the process of trying to kick the Diet Coke habit. We are doing it in baby steps instead of going cold turkey. Right now, we don’t drink anything but water after 1:00. I made the mistake of telling my son about our new rule, and he has now become the Diet Coke police. Every time I drink a coke, he’s by my side wanting what time it is and if I should be drinking it. :)

    1. Nice! I’ve thought a couple of times about getting my daughter to be my accountability for various things, but then wised up before I went through with it.

  8. Good for you, cutting out sugar! I’ve really been focusing this year on eating fewer processed foods, but I have a hard time even thinking about giving up artificial sugars. How are you doing it? Do you have a sweet tooth? (I know some folks who could give up sugar and never miss it. Lucky devils.) I would be really interested in reading a “how-to” post if you feel like sharing. Also, prayers that you get some answers and start to feel better. :)

    1. I’ve only given up diet drinks – definitely not sugar! I’m still eating a lot of good chocolate and bad marshmallows. And scraping the sides clean from the Nutella I bought to make Chris’ Birthday Pancake Balls.

      And all I did was quit cold turkey. I think that my health scares have been enough motivation, but I’m not claiming that my determination will last forever.

  9. Sorry to hear they haven’t figured out your health stuff yet. :{ T and I really need to cut out the Pepsi. We’ve been doing a lot better recently of eating healthier, but we still love our Pepsi. I’m thrilled if I can make it all day without one, but when you don’t drink coffee you have to get a little caffeine SOMEWHERE! :) I’ve been trying to buy stuff using the 3 ingredient rule…if it has more than 3 ingredients don’t buy it. I still buy “bad” stuff all the time, but I’m at least heading in the right direction and now almost all of our snack options follow the rule.

    P.S. Nice job on the cereal deal! We just signed up for Amazon Prime so I’ve been meaning to check out their groceries.

  10. i’m sorry you’re so sick! i sure hope they’re able to figure it out soon. i’ve thought of you often in the last month or so b/c i have had pink eye 3 times! i sure hope it does not come back.

  11. I do the homemade lunchables a lot this summer. Much less expensive, healthier, and less waste because he rarely eats everything in the prepackaged ones. I do look forward to being able to let him buy his lunch again once school starts back though.

    I gave up artificial sweeteners when I was pregnant with my son and that was the ONE thing that my OB./Gyn said to eliminate completely. Thank goodness he did give me the OK for my two morning cups of coffee or that would have been a really long nine months!

    Trying to drink more water now too as I attempt to drop a few pounds before we go on our Disney cruise in a few weeks. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *