Long Overdue Update

It’s been a week since my “golden birthday”…for those of you who don’t know what that is. Joe and Jon told me it’s the birthday in which you turn the age of the date of your birthday….simpler terms…I turned 23 on the 23rd. I was in Charleston all last week on business, and I was exhausted and frustrated as I came home. My co-worker was determined to make us late getting home, and he succeeded. We pulled into my driveway at 8pm (while everyone else from my audit team was home by 6). When I came in the door, Jon told me I couldn’t look into the kitchen. So, I backed in the door with my suitcase, computer, audit bag, etc. He walked me into the kitchen with his hands over my eyes, and then showed me surprise #1. He had made a 4-layer chocolate cake for me. It was absolutely AMAZING!!! I almost cried just standing there. Then, he told me I couldn’t turn around, so again he put his hands over my eyes, and made me turn around. He took my hand and made me feel something. It was hard and pointy. I opened my eyes and shrieked when I saw the LIVE lobster on my counter. Jon poured water on it to make it jump. Quite the pet. I guess Jon’s dad used to buy him lobster for his birthday, so he wanted to continue the tradition. Jon had made lobster, shrimp, scallops, baked potatoes, and of course, that cake for my birthday dinner. After supper and before the amazing cake, we opened presents. Jon got me running gear (i.e. shoes, pants, coat, socks, and an i-pod plus. The i-pod plus hooks to my ipod, and it will tell me how fast and far I am running, and it will play faster music if I am slowing down and what not. Pretty cool (I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m excited to). The next day my boss and her boyfriend came over for some cake and games, and then Sunday we went out to eat for with my mom, sister, and grandma. To my surprise, my sister Becki, and her family showed up which was really nice to see them. I haven’t seen the kids since November, so it was a wonderful birthday present.

I forgot to mention my other presents. My mom got me two big red vases, and I mean big to put in my house. I’m not sure which room yet because they would pretty much work in my dining room, living room, or bedroom. Once I come up with a fashionable place and something to put in them, I will post a picture. Jon’s mom got me some cool candles which we have already set up in our bedroom as well as a casserole cookbook. I’m pretty excited about picking some things out once I get to cook again…busy season isn’t really condusive to cooking/baking, and of course I got some cash from some different people.

As many of you already know, Jon got notified that he is officially a CPA, so that was exciting to have gotten through all of the red tape. He’s been a little slow at work, but other than that things are going well.

We are going out to eat tonight to a restaurant called Rio Grille. I guess it’s Brazilian cuisine. I won a gift certificate for Rio Grille at my office kick off party, so we figured what better time than tonight to use it…especially since it’s free¬†ūüėČ Well, I better run. I¬† hope you enjoy the pictures of my best birthday ever!!!

Week in Review

SO, I have super good news to report about my wonderful husband. He had his first review today…yes, Saturday. We both worked a 7-8 hour day today. Anyway, it was¬†a little nerve-racking knowing how his reviews were at Deloitte. Anyway, his manager was very happy with his work. He even told Jon the following. Jason (the CFO at his client…his name has been changed to protect his identity) was really nervous when you came out to the office because he really liked the last guy that was there the year before, but “Jason” called¬†Jon’s manager¬†to tell¬†him that¬†Jon did an amazing job and that he really wants Jon to come back next year. I’m so proud of him.

Well, after work, we came home and hung the blinds in Dan’s room so that his room would be back to normal. Now he doesn’t have to sleep with thousands of blanket because of the holes in his windows. YEAH. The windows look so great! While expensive, they are a really nice thing to have. And, to hang the blinds, we used my new power drill. It’s so cool, and I’m so thankful for it.

Now for an answer to prayer. I have been a bit bummed since our small group ended before Christmas. We haven’t heard anything about a new group, and I was starting to get discouraged. I had started praying that the Lord would provide a good small group for us to join. After work Jon had to go return a movie at the grocery store. On my way out of the store, I ran into a couple that was in our small group. I told them how I missed meeting with everyone, and the Lord answered my prayer right then. She told¬†me that her husband and her along with another couple that were in our group are starting a small group that meets at the same time as our old one, and it’s even closer to our house. With Jon and I working so many hours, it was really important that we get into another small group, and He definitely answered my prayer. I believe the new class will start next Sunday, so we are pretty excited.

Have great Lord’s day!!!

Resolution Check-ups

Okay, so resolutions are going pretty well. The only one that I am doing horribly at is my consumption of coke. ūüėČ We should be good though because we don’t have any more coke at home. Marathon training is still going well. I’m up to the point of running for 2o solid minutes which is about 2 miles and walking 10 minutes. The Bible Study is going well. I’m working through the book of Ruth and learning quite a bit about patience and resting in God. CPA studying is going well and my next exam is scheduled for February 27th. In regards to my graduate courses, I am working on my application which is due March 15th. I’m 4-5 chapters into my book Eat to Live. It’s pretty good and has changed how many fruits and veggies Jon and I eat. In the pictures, you will see us using our awesome new dishes as well as all of our healthy meals. It’s actually saved us some money and helped me to cook more food. Jon and I spent tonight making little baggies of fruits and vegetables to take to work. Matter of fact, we’re eating a recipe from Ashley tomorrow night called Spinach Tortellini. We tried Mom and Emily’s Chili recipe last week and LOVED it. Matter of fact, the picture of my mom, sister, and grandma is us enjoying some of that awesome Chili. Pretty cool stuff. And, last but not least…in regards to my “encouraging notes,” I am working on making them with the stamps Emily gave me at Christmas. Here are a couple that I made.

So, besides resolutions, we have not had anything too exciting happen to us. Our friends F.B. and Joy (the people we painted their house awhile ago) had their baby. Her name was Phoebe Elise-Madeline. She was 21inches long and 7.5 lbs. Joy wanted to do a¬†water-birth and an all-natural approach. It seemed to go all well. She did end up having to go to the hospital for a transfusion, but the family is all home and safe now. We also are having new windows put into our house this week. As you can see from the pictures, we have multiple holes in our windows throughout the house, and the high winds have pushed us over the edge. So, I’ll post pics when the new windows (and blinds) are up…Yes, new blinds too. I saved over $200¬† between coupons and sales on our blinds. I was SO excited. Well, that’s all for now. Have a great week.

NOTE: Thanks to Amy for teaching me about how to make a collage.

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Check-up

Marathon training is going well. I’m pretty pumped. My mom and sister are planning to run the race with me. I didn’t get to run tonight (Tuesday) until 9pm, but my faithful husband watched me run my laps. He even got talked to by a Mauldin police officer who was wondering if he was okay (He was sitting in his car with the door open and the lights on, using his computer so he could call out my lap times). Today (Thursday) is my third day for running. It should be fun. The WIND has made it miserable though. It’s blowing so hard down here.

We’re also a few days into our healthy eating kick. I have decided I can’t go to the extent that the book encourages, BUT I’m trying to incorporate lots of things. Tuesday was interesting because I tried oatmeal for the first time EVER, and man was it DISGUSTING. You’re not supposed to put anything into it because the grains are best “all-natural.” I have decided that Oats are only good for chocolate oatmeal cookies (no-bake). It’s been good though because I have been a little more disciplined about making lunches for Jon and me, which he has been very excited about. Tuesday, he got chicken breast, baked beans, salad, and cantaloupe. Yesterday, more cantaloupe, turkey, cheese, and romaine lettuce sandwich, and TODAY he got homemade chili…recipe compliments of Mom S. and Emily. Great job. We’re eating that today for lunch and tonight for dinner.

Life’s been interesting here. Crazy busy, but interesting. I don’t really have much to update on because once busy season starts our lives are more boring than usual. I mean Jon didn’t get home from work last night until 9:45, he ate supper, we went to bed. Wake up, same routine. Ha ha. Tomorrow night, we have a party at my work, so that should be fun.

Well, I think that officially makes this my most boring blog entry. I hope you enjoyed. ūüėČ

Resolve: to come to a definite or earnest decision about

2009 – New Year, New Resolutions, New Failures? Not for me this year…failures that is.¬†My brother-in-law made a good quote on his facebook status, “New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one Year and out the other.” It made me think. On the news the other day, the woman commented that people make wishes not resolutions. Like in 2009, I’ll do “x” more. The trick is actually “resolving” to do whatever it is you want to accomplish.

So, after much thought, I have decided to put some very personal resolutions on our blog. This was a hard decision for me. Some will show my spiritual immaturity, some will show my lack of discipline in areas such as cleaning and eating, and some of my goals. I’m only posting them on here as a way of accountability. As far as I know, everyone that reads this are people that care about Jon and me, so hopefully, you all can care about me by trying to keep me accountable. So, here it goes:

1. Write in my journal at least two times a week
2. Run a marathon – That’s right. October 25th or so, I will be running in the Spinx Marathon. I know crazy, huh?¬†Training starts Sunday afternoon. I’m nervous, but I think I can do it.
3. Begin studying the Bible at least three days a week – I obviously want more, but I am trying to be realistic, and I hope that my resolution will ultimately finish with reading the Bible seven days a week.
4. Complete my CPA exam – three more to go.
5. Begin my MBA or a master’s program – probably one or two classes in the evening each semester
6. Clean or maintain my house two days a week – ideally, the house will already be clean, and I will just need to vacuum and dust.
7. Write two notes a month to random people as encouragement.
8. Give at least 10% of my “stash” to church/ministry. Jon and I each have our own stashes of cash.
9. Read Eat to Live by February – currently, it looks like it will be done in a week. Great Book. Thanks Mom S.. Reading the book is also a commitment to change our eating habits and our lifestyle.
10. Drink Soda only one time a week – this may change after finishing the book.
11. Only eat two pieces of bread if we go out to eat – this also may change after finishing the book.

So, there it is. 2009. A new beginning…

Exhausted!!! (Long post get ready, and I mean long…it covers a WHOLE week)

What an amazing week!!! Jon and I left Tuesday for Pennsylvania, and we returned¬†Monday afternoon. What a whirlwind. We had such an amazing time! Upon arriving, we were drafted into the church musical that was going to be performed at a local nursing home. The play was about a local radio station and its staff. Jon played the role of the Radio Station’s manager, and I was the Mystery Woman who left a mysterious gift for all of the radio actors. I also sang in a quartet with two of Jon’s sisters and another girl in the church. It was SO much fun. I truly love their church family up there. We also celebrated Dad’s birthday on Wednesday. He got a new shirt, some gift cards, and a radio-controlled airplane. Of course, we called to sing to some people who couldn’t join us for Christmas (i.e. Deb Sutter and Cory Sutter). ha ha.

Sutter Family Christmas is awesome because it’s full of traditions. Starting Christmas Eve with the celebration of Dad’s birthday by eating Angel Food Cake, followed by a sighting of the very busy Santa Clause (Dover, PA fire trucks carrying Santa Clause) and then of course a long winter’s nap ending LATE into the morning of the 25th. Our first tradition on Christmas morning is eating homemade cinammon rolls and fruit salad while we sing carols, read the Christmas Story from the Bible, and watching a flannelgraph depiction of the Christmas story. After eating, we start opening presents, then for lunch we eat HUGE omlettes made by Sam (my brother-in-law). Then, we watch old movies and play games until our big Christmas dinner. I can’t even begin to describe how much fun I had this Christmas week.

So, what did we get? WAY more than we deserved. Jon got a Red Ryder BB gun and I got a pearl necklace and earing set from China in the gift exchange. Mom and Dad Sutter (and Emily) spoiled us. I probably will forget something they got us, but I will attempt to remember everything. Jon and I got a fondue set with¬†8 plates, Jon got his childhood blankie back which was rather humorous, we got our famous family calendars which I always love. We also got a lot of kitchen knives which were awesome. Emily also made us an ornament for our Christmas tree. And, the gift that was really cool was Mom and Dad bought us some dishes and serving dishes from Pfaltzgraff. I can’t even list everything that she got me, but basically, she got me $350 worth in dishes for 90% off AND the best part is, the design matches my dining room and my kitchen PERFECTLY.

Thanks to Grandma B. (Mom Sutter’s mom), the WHOLE family got to go Snow Tubing on Friday. All I can say is WOW. It was SO cool. I have never done anything like that, but it was awesome. Saturday we went to visit some of our friends in Lancaster and then Sunday was a day of refreshing. We went to church at the great YBC (Dad Sutter’s church) and then Emily, Mom, Jon, and Me spent the entire evening watching old television shows and playing games. It was so relaxing and fun. It’s hard to believe how much Emily has grown up in the last four years, but it was fun to spend some extra time with them.

After returning home, I had a couple of days to relax. Jon had some inventories to do, but thankfully his inventory on New Year’s Eve got over early, so he got home around 5pm. Since he got home early, we continued our Millard tradition for the second year in a row. My mom, sister, Jon, and I (and now Grandma)¬†get together to open presents, eat scrumptious food, and play games. Jon recently learned how to make Fried Shrimp and Fried Onion Rings, so we got to eat those and some other great food. My grandma even made a Pecan Pie for Jon since it’s one of his favorite pies.¬†

This Christmas, in spite of the pains Jon and I are experiencing, we can’t help but be reminded that we still have family that loves us so much. My mom and sister went to great depths to get gifts that would be meaningful and useful to Jon and me, and I can’t even begin to explain how well they succeeded. Jon has been wanting to change his own oil on our cars to save some money, so my mom and sister bought him pretty much every supply he would need. A car ramp, tire chocks, oil pan, funnel, maglite flashlight, and a couple other things. He also got his b-day present from last year (yes, a little late). He got four brand-new hub caps for his car (also something he wanted). I got VERY spoiled. I got an awesome stamp which I have been wanting since I got my biggest client back at Allstate. The client makes very unique personalized stamps (www.psaessentials.com). My mom got me one of those as well as a gift certificate for two spa pedicures and two manicures. My sister celebrated my birthday at Christmas because she spent too much. I couldn’t complain because I got awesome stuff. I got a handheld ratcheting screwdriver, a laser level, a recipe box with my name engraved on top, a cake pan with my name engraved on top of the lid and the pan, a gardening calendar which tells me when to do anything imaginable to my garden, and the last two gifts are so cool. First, Jon and I both got stoplights for the garage. They are lights with Red, Green, and Yellow lights indicating when you need to stop in the garage. This is a MUCH needed thing for me as I am notorious for hitting the stuff in the front of the garage because my car is so long. I have already put a hole in the drywall at one point, and I even hit the refrigerator yesterday morning. Then for my favorite, and you will think I am the CRAZIEST girl/woman in the world. I got a set that includes a cordless drill, a cordless hacksaw, a cordless circular saw, and a heavy-duty flash light. I was going to begin my hallway project tomorrow where EACH of those will come in handy. I can’t even begin to explain how thankful and excited I was by that. My Grandma also got a lot of gifts which she fought in the beginning, but I told her we needed to make up for all of the Christmas’ we didn’t get to celebrate with her. I hope she is happy here. I know it’s a long way from home, but we love having her here so close. Of course, the evening ended by the Sutters dominating the Millards in Rook, but I can’t remember it ever happening a different way. Thank you Brandi for always bidding…it makes our job so much easier. ūüėČ

SO, in conclusion. Jon and I are very spoiled and blessed by the family we have. I don’t remember¬†a Christmas where I haven’t wanted to return even one thing. Our gifts from Jon’s family and my family were absolutely PERFECT. There were SO many pictures from this very long week. I have uploaded them to Picasa¬†(click on Picasa), and I tried to comment on a few to help you along and point out some exciting things. I hope you can see at least a bit of the joy Jon and I felt.