Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cool New App Helps Sprint Customers Find Misplaced Phones

This post brought to you by Sprint. All opinions are 100% mine.

Confession time. When I leave my smart phone at home, I feel naked. My friends know that I ALWAYS have my phone with me. One friend who sends me last minute emails always writes, "I know you'll get this because your phone is always with you." And it's true. I don't even like going to the grocery store 1/2 mile from my house without my phone. Maybe I've got issues, maybe not. That isn't the point of this post.

I have a Blackberry on the Sprint network and they have made a protection app available to all of their Blackberry, Android, and select feature phones that helps you retrieve your phone if it is lost. You can even lock or wipe the phone clean from a Sprint Website. And if you don't already have an app to do this, you can also sync your contacts in case you ever lose your phone.

The app is only available for free until August 30th. After that, only users who download and enroll in the Sprint Total Equipment Protection App (for $8/month) will be able to download it. The plusses of enrolling include insurance for your phone that even includes replacement when your phone decides to go swimming.

HTCEVOSHIFT_GCVS_settings menu.jpg (5 documents)
I'll be fine with the free app that I downloaded this week. One of my favorite features is the ability to make my phone sound an alarm (via the website) when I've misplaced it. And that happens at lot at home. Since we don't have a home phone I have no way to ring it, or I have to ask a friend via Facebook or Twitter. This will be much more convenient.

If you think this app would be helpful to you, make sure you download & install it by August 30th. After that, it will only be available to paying customer. 

And how addicted are you to your phone? I can't be the only one with such an  obsession!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Choosing A Juicer

After watching a couple of the documentaries on the list I shared last week, I think I want to start juicing. I'm up in the air as to whether or not it will just be a breakfast kind of thing, or if I might want to try a 5-15 day juice fast. I'm also wondering how something like juicing might affect my hormones and brain chemistry, as related to my depression.

I've spent nearly 2 hours on Amazon.com and a couple of other sites between last night and today trying to figure out which one I want to get. I've read almost every review on Amazon for the 15-20 juicers that had a 4-star or higher rating and I think I've narrowed the list down to 4 possibilities. Except for one, they are all in the $135 range.

The reason I'm doing so much research is that I don't generally have $135 laying around to just go buy something on a whim. In fact, I'm clearing out some clutter in our house with the intention that it might fund this purchase. I need to ensure that I'm really getting the best value for my money and not buying something that will burn up after a few uses, or even a few years.

I thought I'd lay out my choices and see if any of you had an opinion about them.

Cuisinart CJE-1000 1000-Watt 5-Speed Juice Extractor:
  • PROS: quiet, 1000-watts, 5-speed control, 3-year limited warranty

Waring Professional JEX450 Pulp-Eject Juice Extractor, Brushed Stainless
  • PROS: 850-watts, 2-speed control, 5 year warranty on the motor

Jack LaLanne Power Juicer Pro Stainless-Steel Electric Juicer

  • PROS: quiet, 90-day parts warranty, has Jack LaLanne's name on it

Hamilton Beach 67650 Big Mouth Pro Juice Extractor
  • PROS: only $75, 1.1 horsepower motor, 1 year limited warranty

So, these are my choices. I ruled out Breville and Oster juicers because they are way too expensive for my budget. And I haven't done a lot of comparison shopping on the pricing either, but I can get 3 of them shipped free via my Amazon Prime or Amazon Mom memberships. (Do you have yours yet? If not, you totally should!!!)

If you have any experience at all with juicing and want to share your own juicer reviews, I'd love to read them. Leave them in the comments if you like.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Giveaway: It's Time For Grown-up Jewelry!

It used to be, BC (before children), that I wore jewelry every day. I had such a large jewelry collection that I talked my parents into buying me a fancy jewelry armoire for my birthday. There was jewelry to match every outfit in my closet. I had matching sets, funky stuff, refined pieces, simple strands... I rarely lacked for the right piece to wear. None of it was terribly expensive either. The vast majority of it was costume jewelry, with a smattering of special precious pieces mixed in.

Then, came Charlotte. She loved my jewelry. She would pull on my cute, dangly earrings or get her fingers tangled in my multi-layered necklaces. As with other new mothers I know, I eventually just stopped wearing jewelry. I did find a couple of simple pieces that worked, but truly, my accessories no longer really reflected my true personal style. It's been four years since the birth of that little girl...

And over time, my style disappeared changed. Pieces from the first decade of this century just didn't fit with the mommy wardrobe I had built; if you can call jeans and oversized t-shirts a wardrobe that is.

But honestly, I think I might be starting to get my style groove back. Certainly, I don't make wise fashion choices every day (as a recent picture of me at a preschool birthday party tragically proved), but on the days that I make an effort, I seem to do pretty well. I've even started wearing some colorful flower brooches (That sounds like something an old lady would wear, but it was really cool. I promise! See the picture for proof.)

The majority of those pieces that I used to wear have either been passed on at an accessory swap or donated to organizations like Dress for Success. So, that leaves my nice, dark brown jewelry armoire mostly empty. And my ears, wrist, fingers, and neck are starting to notice.

I am proud to announce though, that in honor of me getting my style groove back their newly redesigned website, Ice.com has agreed to sponsor a $100* gift card giveaway for one of you to win!

Why would they want to do that? Well, today they are launching their redesigned website and want me to help them spread the word. After looking over the following notes about their new site, I think it sounds like the shopping experience is going to be pretty awesome!


Just like I desperately need a mommy make-over, so did their site. They are adding new collections, including one called Mom & Me. Plus, they've partnered with some leading fashion designers, editors, stylists, and artists to create new designs. It seems their goal is to keep their page fresh by consistently updating their offerings.

Probably the most exciting change is that shipping and returns are now FREE. That means you have more money to spend on new jewelry!

To enter, all you need to do is visit Ice.com and answer this question correctly:
What is the name of our Celebrity Blogger that has created a personal collection of Ice jewelry?
And I'll let you have extra entries too, just like usual!


HOW TO ENTER:

1. Leave a comment answering the above question.
2. 'Like' Family Musings on Facebook and Ice.com on Facebook, then leave a 2nd comment with your FB name telling me you did,
3. Subscribe to my RSS feed or subscribe by email, and leave a 3rd comment telling me you did so, or already are subscribed,
4. Link to my giveaway on your own blog, leaving another comment with the permalink to you post, or
5. Follow Family Musings on Twitter  and Ice.com on Twitter then tweet this giveaway and leave a 5th comment with the twitter id or permalink. Here's your tweet:

Win a  $100 gift card from @ICE & @FamilyMusings http://bit.ly/fM4Eka #giveaway 
That's it. 5 ways to win and 1 lucky winner. This giveaway will end Sunday, August  21th at 9 pm. Read all contest rules here.

FTC Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.
*The winner can redeem the $100 prize by simply shopping via a link that I’ll provide once I've contacted them. Please note the following prize Exclusions: Not applicable on sale or clearance items, watches, engagement rings or The Persona Charms Collection. Not applicable on taxes or upgraded shipping costs, and cannot be combined with any other offer.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Devotional Diapers


 There is a baby shower gift that I love to give. It is something every mom needs, even if she doesn't know it. It is Devotional Diapers. These little diapers give moms of babies a brief chance during their day to reflect on the Word of God and, hopefully, experience a moment of peace amidst all the feedings, dirty diapers, and spit ups.

Not only do Devotional Diapers make a great gift, they are easy to give. I don't remember how many baskets of these I've given to moms at baby showers. Once, I even shipped a basket half-way across the country to a mom who I knew needed some peace in her day.

To make these, all you have to do is print out mailing labels with Bible verses on them. I chose verses that relate to being a mother or parent as well as verses about love and service (because we all know that changing 7 diapers a day is a true service to the littlest member of our family). I do have duplicates on this list and that's okay with me.

Then, you just stick one label on each diaper and present in a basket. You can get fancy and choose baskets that match their nursery theme. Or, if you are like me and always trying to put together gifts at the last minute, you can buy several wicker or wooden baskets to keep on hand as these match most decor.

Sometimes, I get fancy and add rolled up wash clothes or onesies. During one creative spurt, I even made wash cloth lollipops to decorate the basket. But most of the time, I keep it simple and maybe add a simple bath toy or bottle of baby wash.


I uploaded the sheet of labels I use to Google Docs and you can access it here - Devotional Diapers. It is set up for use with Avery label 8160, which is 1" x 2 5/8". Let me know if you have trouble opening it and I'll try to convert it to a PDF (but you won't be able to change it).

If you decide to give these as a gift, I'd love to see a picture. Leave a link to it here in the comments.

What is your favorite baby shower gift to give? To get?

Edit: I thought I should give credit for where I got this idea from and went searching for the original post. Unfortunately, the blog is no longer available. Fortunately though, Joy started a new blog which is a worthy read, called Stay At Home Missionary.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Choosing Documentaries

I'll admit it. I'm kind of a geek in that I like to watch documentaries. My favorite so far this year has been Helvetica, a documentary devoted to the famous font. It really was quite fascinating. Trust me.

I was searching for Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead based on the recommendation of a couple of friends who had seen in and within 2 minutes, I'd added 13 documentaries to my Netflix instant streaming queue. It is almost certain that I won't agree with the perspective of all of the film makers, but it will be interesting to compare all the different viewpoints and perspectives.

So, here is a list of the documentaries I've added. There is a definite theme here and you'll see that they all deal with food or water as it relates to our health or how we treat it as a resource.

  1. Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead
  2. Deconstructing Supper
  3. Ingredients
  4. Broken Limbs
  5. The Future of Food
  6. Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution
  7. What's On Your Plate
  8. The Real Dirt on Farmer John
  9. The Garden
  10. Dirt! The Movie
  11. Flow: For The Love of Water
  12. Blue Gold: World Water Wars
  13. Thirst

It's probably going to take a few weeks for me to get through these 13 films, depending on Bruce's tolerance of the subject being repeated nightly. He bears with me in many things and loves documentaries, so that is on my side.

I'd love to read your thoughts about any of them. Have you seen any? What did you think? Would you recommend it? Why or why not?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Keeping Life Real & Honest

Lots of people accuse social media participants like myself of only presenting the good side of our lives. There has even been research showing that the more time people spend on social media (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc...), the more likely they are to be depressed. The theory is that they think everyone else has a great life because we all post cute stories about our super smart kids or brag on our husbands for being so awesome. And that theory makes sense to me.

On the flip side, I've always thought about myself as a blogger who presented my life as real. I've shown you pictures of my messy house, Bruce's unemploymentMary's medical issues, shared my bad mothering moments, and how my vanity kept me from serving my family. Of course, I try not to share stories of my girls that I think will embarrass them when they are older or stories about fights with my husband. I learned a long time ago that even though we may resolve the issue in our marriage, other people aren't present and they may harbor grudges unnecessarily. In this way, I am very loyal to him and I would never want to say anything to make him look bad.

I share all of this with you to get to this point - I want to continue to be a blogger that is real with you. So I'm going to tell you this next story in an effort to connect with and reach out to those of you who may be experiencing similar things. No one should assume that my life is perfect or that I have it all together just because I can write well and manage to eek out some meaningful moments with my children and then blog about them.

The thing is, I am depressed. As in clinically depressed. And no amount of non-medicinal coping methods have made this beast called depression go away. And last week, after meeting with a psychiatrist, she suggested I take medication to help lift me up so that I can see life clearly.

This isn't a new condition for me to be in. I believe my depression began as a teenager and I've used medication at least two times in the past to try and deal with it. Both times, I gave it up because I felt like the fog had lifted enough for me to live well and because the side effects were no longer acceptable.

This time though, I fought the idea of going back on medication a lot. I wrestled with it in my brain since late last year. I've cancelled and reschedule appointments because I was afraid to address the issue. Slowly though, the beast has grown and taken over more of my thoughts. For the most part, I'm very good at compartmentalizing my life and was able to keep this part of me from most people. Now, I'm just tired of fighting with it and want to wake up each day with enough energy to properly take care of myself and my family.

It is not easy to live with someone who suffers from clinical depression, especially the kind that seems to fluctuate and peak and doesn't stay steady. I applaud my husband for the many graces he has extended me as a wife and a mother, and for understanding that I am not depressed by choice.

I want you to know that, if you are dealing with depression, you are not alone. I promise to not be a fake Christian who pretends that life is a bowl of cherries. Instead, I'll be someone you can vent to and someone who will pray with you. God desires His best for each of His children and I'm going to be more honest about my journey to get it.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Celebrating Charlotte's 4th Birthday

While we had a big party last year to celebrate Charlotte's birthday, this year we kept it a little more low key by celebrating at home and then planning a special surprise for her later in the week. On her actual birthday we visited the local children's museum and baked a cake together. I take no credit for the design or flavors, they were completely of her choosing.


Here we are singing "Happy Birthday" to her, and being sure to include her mandatory ending. My favorite part, of course, is at 0:21. Just precious!


On that same day, we also told her about her birthday surprise for Friday. Her reaction is priceless!



And her joy didn't end after this video is over. She talked about it every day and told anyone who would listen about her exciting trip on a balloon ride and lunch at Rainforest Cafe.

Waiting to go up in the Characters of Flight balloon...

Mandatory picture with mom to prove to the adult Charlotte that I really did exist in photographs!

The anticipation of flying is so clear on her face...

Mary and Daddy on the way up...

Our view, half-way up. Eventually, we made it 400 feet into the sky. My only disappointment was that we couldn't see Cinderella's Castle clearly, though we did have good views of Spaceship Earth and Tower of Terror.

The wonder I see on her face excites me. She couldn't take her eyes off everything.

More of our view of Downtown Disney. Charlotte said the people and cars looked like toys.

And blowing out the candle in her ice cream at Rainforest Cafe.

I think this was one of the most exciting days in Charlotte's life. After the balloon ride, she made sure everyone she talked to knew what she had just done. Our waiter probably heard the story 3 or 4 times!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Bloggers Helping Bloggers

PhotobucketMy friend Meagan is a Lakeland and online deal blogger and, in honor of school starting back up, has several awesome giveaways running right now. Even though I've entered most of them and it reduces my chances of winning by sending you there, you can find all of her active giveaways at Publix Coupon Queen.

Many of them currently have low entries so your chances of winning are pretty good.

Also, another friend of mine who blogs about weekly menu planning and recipes has a Totino's and Box Tops for Education giveaway going on right now. It also has low entries.

Best of luck to you!

Setting Up The Pins

These pictures from my morning remind me of Sara Groves song, "Setting Up The Pins." The mess you see below happened while I was cleaning the kitchen so they could make waffles for lunch.


I did make them clean up before they ate though.

But we all know, it will look like the first picture again tomorrow!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Bruce

Dear Bruce,

Today, you are 34 years old. Last night, you said 34 wasn't a very special age, that it didn't really mean anything other than you were one year closer to death. Of course, being the pragmatic person I am, I reminded you that this was true for every birthday. And you, being equally pragmatic, of course agreed before we drifted off to sleep.

But, I think turning 34 is awesome (maybe because it will be my turn in 5 weeks?!). So, in honor of your 34th birthday, here are 34 reasons you are an awesome human being.

  1. You always kiss me good night.
  2. You never stop trying to learn new things (like teaching yourself Greek!).
  3. You actually enjoy watching So You Think You Can Dance with me!
  4. Your sense of humor is dry and sarcastic, just my type.
  5. You have a silly side.
  6. You humor my long-winded stories filled with an impossible number of unnecessary details.
  7. You let me sleep in more mornings than not.
  8. You work hard at being the best you can be in your job.
  9. You work so I can stay home and be a full-time mom.
  10. You are more patient with me than I deserve sometimes.
  11. You are the smartest person most people know, including me.
  12. You always look for ways to save money, even if it means sacrificing something you love.
  13. You ride a motorcycle, and you do so with as much safety as possible.
  14. You look hotter now than you did 8 years ago!
  15. You didn't flinch when I asked to go away to my MOPS convention.
  16. You can be exceedingly thoughtful when it comes to gift giving.
  17. You will get up with one of the girls in the middle of the night so I can sleep.
  18. You like Dr. Pepper.
  19. You rarely complain about the meals I cook.
  20. You are willing to eat meat only occasionally to help the grocery budget.
  21. You encourage me to stay on budget, gently.
  22. You care deeply about missions, even to the point of choosing our daughter's names.
  23. You always say yes if you know it's important to me or the girls.
  24. You love the internet a much as I do.
  25. You will usually choose a chick flick for movie night, just to make me happy. 
  26. You are faithful to teaching your men's Bible study well.
  27. You always stop to play with the girls when they ask.
  28. Love isn't just a word to you, you live it out towards your entire family.
  29. You even say "I love you," when you talk to my parents.
  30. You can fall asleep super quickly (I'm insanely jealous over this one!)
  31. You have strong arms.
  32. You actively support my blogging efforts, including my new blog, Mom's Mission Field.
  33. You freely give our daughters hugs and snuggles and comfort.
  34. You love Jesus more than you love your family.
So Bruce, I hope you don't think 34 is ordinary any more... because you certainly are not ordinary and I couldn't imagine spending life without you by my side. Happy birthday!

Love, Jennifer

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Cool Mum Car

Today's guest post reminds me of my own need to switch cars when we were expecting our first child.

******************************
As a soon-to-be first time mum, I put off the task of shopping for a new car for as long as I could! The thought of trading in my stylish little convertible for a more practical family car was not appealing to me! Now the summer is coming to an end and the baby bump is a constant reminder that my two-seater convertible just won't do anymore, I need to set about the serious business of family car shopping!

Living on the outskirts of London, I've always found that small cars are best. I love the convenience of being able to park them in tight city spaces and can't face the idea of manouevering a large people carrier into an average London parking space. After shopping for baby bits and bobs in Selfridges the other day I came across a small Fiat dealer in central London. I didn't actually realise there were any Fiat dealers in the city but decided to bite the bullet and start car shopping. I was actually pleasantly surprised. Along with family practicality, my two key requirements were style and small. I found the Fiat 500 and really loved it! As a small car, I didn't think it would be big enough but actually there was enough room for a child seat inside and a buggy in the boot. It comes in loads of cool colours and is even available as a limited edition Gucci model - definitely a cool mum car! The best thing though is that I don't have to give up driving a convertible. The Fiat 500C has a retractable roof so me and baby will be able to enjoy the summer breezes too! Morale of the story: there is such a thing as a cool mum car, thank goodness!

What is your favorite cool mum car?

Disclaimer: This post was made possible by fiverr.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday Charlotte

Dear Charlotte,

You'd think that after writing to you three years in a row, I wouldn't be surprised by how much you have grown in the last 12 months. But I still am amazed at the way you are changing, turning into a girl with a beautiful heart for the people around you.

Your memory is exceptional. Small details that Daddy taught you months ago seem to come to mind easily when asked. That is definitely something you got from him. He has a great memory and I hope you continue to exercise that part of your brain. It will make school a lot easier. And speaking of school, I love that you get so excited every time we talk about preschool at home!

I love the way you love your sister. Just today, when she fell over, you rushed to her side to make sure she was okay, giving her kisses in all the places she claimed to have boo-boos. Most days you are pretty patient with her and take the job of being a good example seriously. I'm sure as you get older that some days it will feel like too much pressure to show Mary the right way to do things, but just know, that your cheerful example now encourages me to make sure I am always a good example for you too.

One thing you are able to do is make the lights in your grandparent's eyes light up. When you see them from a far and then take off to leap into their arms, you bring them much joy. That type of enthusiasm to love people is a wonderful thing.

This year, you didn't get a big birthday party. And while you asked a couple of times for one, you were content with the plan to make it a family birthday. And learning to be content with what you have is a great way to live. I know you are learning this lesson by the excitement you felt when you saw your cake and heard Daddy and Mary and I singing "Happy Birthday" to you, not asking for anything else in that moment other than to give me a hug and tell me it was the "best cake ever."

Your hugs can make my day. And you are very free with them. I am already seeing the seed of a great capacity to love growing inside of you. I promise to do my best to nurture that growth and give you plenty of room to exercise it in the light of God's love for you.

And as I've said to you on your first, second, and third birthdays, I'll say it again:

Sweet Charlotte, you are only on loan to me from God, for however long he sees fit to let me have you. While I selfishly pray it is for a very, very long time, I also promise to always support you in following the unique path God has created just for you, wherever it leads.

You see, as much as I love you and as much as your daddy loves you... it is nothing compared to how much God loves you. He has a plan for your life that, while unknown to us now, will undoubtedly lead to indescribable adventures and certain challenges. But don't worry, he will give you all the resources you need to face them with courage and grace.

For your first second third fourth birthday Charlotte, it is my prayer that God will give you a mother worthy of such a special little girl. I pray that he will continue to grow me into a proper example for you of how a Godly woman thinks about the world, treats other people, worships, and brings glory to God.

I love you Charlotte Moon and can't wait to wake up tomorrow and see where 4 takes us!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Giveaway: $25 Winn-Dixie Gift Card

My first paid job was at Winn-Dixie as a cashier. But that isn't as far back as Winn-Dixie and I go. Apparently, everyone in my family was so excited that my father had a job at Winn-Dixie when I was born, they decided to photograph me with a can of beans sold under the Winn-Dixie brand! The 70's were a classy time people!

However... since I can't seem to find a scan of that picture to share with you tonight, how about, in honor of being my first employer and in honor of a Box Tops for Education promotion they are running, why don't I give away a $25 Winn-Dixie giftcard?

I love collecting Box Tops for Education (BT4E). I get a weird sense of satisfaction when we finish a box of something and I get to cut the box off and drop that little rectangle in to the container I store them in. Then, when it gets full, I have fun delivering it to the local private school I support. Last time I filled up my box, I had nearly 100 box tops in it!

Usually, I get most of my BT4E from Cheerio boxes. With a toddler and a preschooler, we go through a lot of cereal! I also like to buy the Cascadian Farms granola bars and Pilsbury rolls (when I'm not making artisan bread that is!). The school I send my BT4E too has earned nearly $3000 since they first enrolled in the program. This makes a big difference for a very small private school.
If you would like a chance to win the $25 Winn-Dixie gift card, keep reading.


How to Enter: There are five ways to enter and you can do any of them you like, for up to five entries:
1. Leave a comment telling me you want to win.,
2. 'Like' Family Musings on Facebook and Box Tops for Education on Facebook, then leave a 2nd comment with your FB name telling me you did,
3. Subscribe to my RSS feed or subscribe by email, and leave a 3rd comment telling me you did so, or already are subscribed,
4. Link to my giveaway on your own blog, leaving another comment with the permalink to you post, or
5. Follow Family Musings on Twitter  and Box Tops for Education on Twitter then tweet this giveaway and leave a 5th comment with the twitter id or permalink. Here's your tweet:
Win a  $25 gift card from @BTFE & @FamilyMusings http://bit.ly/fM4Eka #giveaway 
That's it. 5 ways to win and 1 lucky winner. This giveaway will end Sunday, August  7th at 9 pm. Read all contest rules here.

FTC Disclosure: The Winn-Dixie gift card, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through My Blog Spark.

Monday, August 01, 2011

My MOPS Convention Packing List

I hate packing. I know I will forget something and have to go out and buy it at full price. Or, I'll pack too much and regret having to schlep it all over the place. So, that is why, as I watch my #MOPScv twitter friends proclaim that they've already started, a full 3 days before I have to leave, I am getting a little twitchy. Each of these friends mentions something that I just have to remember, but I'm so worried I won't! So, here is a list of the things I want to try and remember. Please, please, please, if you've been to MOPS convention before (or something similar), chime in with a comment about what I'm forgetting or really ought to leave behind.

  1. Poo-pourri: I know that sharing a hotel room with 4 other ladies has its challenges, and if I have just this one thing with me, I won't have to worry about injuring my room mates nostrils. Ever since I first tried it, I knew it would be on my convention packing list. And good news, I'm working with them right now to arrange a bunch of samples to pass out to the other convention mommas!
  2. Nutella: Charlotte loves this chocolate-hazelnut spread, but it is a little pricey. So, being the good momma that I am, I don't usually have any so that there is always some in the house for her. Not this week! I'm taking a brand new jar and keeping it all for me and my roomies! I plan to pick up some croissants at a local bakery to slather Nutella all over. If you are at convention and need a Nutella fix, come find me! I'll be the one carrying my Nutella travel mug every morning.
  3. Tissues: I'm a big ball of emotions about once a month, and guess what, MOPS convention falls exactly during that time! Yikes! I already know the amazing speakers, heart felt worship, and being far from my family will make me weepy, but this just makes it that much worse. I might even skip the small, dainty packs and just haul a box of them around with me. Surely I won't be the only one needing them!
  4. Comfy clothes & shoes: Have you ever been to a Gaylord Resort??? They are huge! I used to sacrifice the comfort of my feet for trendy and cute shoes, but not this year. I'm taking my Birkenstocks and wearing them every where. Really, they are the only shoe I wear in my day to day life anyway. I will be sacrificing style for comfort. And I am not ashamed of it. I had blisters and what not last year and ended up buying new shoes at full price, which I hated doing.
  5. My Pillow: I love to sleep. And I need certain circumstances to make sleep possible. So, I'll be taking my own pillow, an eye mask, and maybe even my noise machine (still have to check with the roomies about that one). And on top of that, I sure do hope my roomies (3 of whom are pregnant) like to sleep in a cool room. I hate sweating while I sleep!
  6. Caffeine: It will either be ground coffee for the in-room pot or VIA packets. Still undecided. Your opinion? Either way, I'll also be bringing some Dr. Pepper (for me) and Coke Zero (for @starlightmommy).
On top of this, I'll also be bringing the usual clothes (3 dresses, 1 pants outfit, swimsuit, and traveling clothes) and  toiletries. Of course, my to do list is much longer than just packing. I also want to leave a package for my girls for each day that I'm gone. A trip to the Dollar Tree should make that easy. 

So tell me, what am I forgetting???