Change your way of thinking

 

IamGood-mockup

A few weeks ago, I became really dissatisfied with my job.  I’m not really sure what set it off, but it was probably another self-given guilt trip that I can’t be around every second for my children.  I started looking at available jobs on my campus, and then at jobs available in my town (a small city of 250,000).  While there are jobs available in my field both on and off campus, none of the positions available would be a move up, which I decided was really the core of this issue.

My job is a little unique in that there was no one before me in this position.  However, I think it happens a lot in my field.  Marketing has become one of those things that every business has to do.  They NEED to be on social media, they NEED to have an eye-catching website, they NEED good printed materials, etc.   Most business people do not have the desire to learn how to best do these things, so they hire someone to do it.  Unless you work for a large business or corporation, there is most likely only 1-2 marketing and graphic design positions available.  I am that person in my department on campus.  There is not a position above me in my department  that does marketing and design.  There is only the director who signs off on my designs and approves the purchase orders.  That director also manages the entire building and all it’s employees.  I don’t want that job.

It is a little depressing to realize that there’s no where to go up from here.

So, what better to do than pump some new energy into my Etsy shop and drum up some additional income!?!  I quickly listed 5 new listings, renewed some of my more popular custom designs and changed the name of my shop to reflect this new direction.  I went to my Teams list on Etsy and posted links to my new items and announced the new name and even announced my Relaunch Party special.  From that, I got several new item Favorites and a few Shop Favorites, which was a little exciting!  I posted on my personal Facebook page about the special sale, which rendered 3 likes and 1 share (from my mom).

And with all that publicity… nothing happened.

I realized I’d jumped into this shop revitalization idea without even consulting anyone, most notably God and my husband, on their thoughts about this.  Now I’ve had this shop for 5 years and I have always listed, unlisted and renewed items on the shop without consulting either of them… and maybe that’s the problem.  I think 2013-2014 was my best year for sales, and I was also in the middle of graduate school, had my 2nd child, and still working full-time.  It was too much to keep up the Etsy shop.

Maybe I don’t need to strive to make more money.  Maybe I need to count my blessings instead.  Again.  And again, as a reminder. In talking with my mom about how I felt, I started listing out all the great perks of my job.  Paid vacation and sick time, paid insurance, affordable health insurance for the kids, life insurance, retirement fund, good bosses, great coworkers, and on and on.

So… why was I feeling so unhappy?

Well… Three of my coworkers just got a promotion plus my boss just got a promotion as well (even though he’s still my boss) during a department reorganization. Although I am very happy for all four of them and truly believe these changes will head us in the right direction, Jealousy and Envy still found a way into my thoughts.

Hmm. 

Ahem.  That got uncomfortable.  And miserable.  My coworkers are my friends and I do very much like working with them.  Their promotions are in no way a poor reflection on me or my work.  The realization that there’s (still) no where to move up from here is also not a poor reflection on me or my work.

What if…

What if I only looked at me, and my position, and not at everyone else around me.  Isn’t this the job I always said I wanted?  Aren’t I already doing what I love?  Haven’t I loved this job since Day 1?

Yes, yes, and yes. YES! I get to do SO many awesome things at this job, like going on the football field during halftime and taking photographs on the field for the crowning of Homecoming King & Queen! I also have front row and backstage access at any concert put on by my department, most recently Metro Station! I get inside the ropes at the school bonfire every year! My boss’s boss’s boss is the CFO for the university! I got my Master’s degree for FREE from this Tier 1 university! I have the honor of designing the artwork and marketing for some of Tech’s most loved traditions, like RaiderGate, Homecoming, and Arbor Day! I get to mentor students on forming great marketing ideas for their events! 

I am useful.

I am talented. 

I am a professional. 

I am good right where I am! 

“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”

‭‭I Timothy‬ ‭6:6-7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Click here for the printable JPG! 
Have a blessed week!


 

Southern Wisdom #2

Here’s the next bit of Southern Wisdom for you!  How many times have we heard this saying?  There’s nothing better than southern hospitality.  Just come on in and make yourself at home!  What usually comes next is, “I’m sorry the house isn’t cleaner…”  We’ll just leave that part out; for all I know I’m the only one who can’t keep a handle on the kids’ messes.:)

southernwisdom2-home-09

This is an 8×10 JPG (click image to download) or here’s a PDF if you prefer.

Note that this clip art is not my own, it was obtained free for personal use.

 

Have a  blessed week!
AJ-signature

Southern Saying Free Printable #1

Well, bless your heart, darlin’!  Isn’t the South great?  So many fun phrases and redneck wisdom!  Something about the summer just makes the southern accent just twang a little more.  I don’t know if it’s the warmer weather, mason jars of sweet tea and lemonade, all the outdoor BBQs, or the drawers hanging out on the line, but summertime just brings out the best bits of southern pride.  (On a side note, I’ve been told by my friends from the North that they have their own silly sayings, too, but since I’m from Texas, I’m going to focus on simple southern sayings.)

I thought I’d put these on my Etsy shop and then realized Etsy is inundated with these types of things as well.  BUT, good for you, readers, because you get them for FREE!

blessyourheart-gold-mockup

Here’s the first one! Click the image for the PDF or click here.

Would you like a RED version?  Click here!

Check back in a few weeks for the next Southern saying!

Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

AJ-signature

Rest & Renew

July 4th weekend my parents and niece came for the weekend and it was WONDERFUL! I love spending time with my family. We spent all day at home Saturday, which is rare when they come! Coming from a small town to a small town with a big town nearby, usually the pull is too great to keep us home and we end up going to town to shop or eat or both. However this month we are buckling down the budget to pay off some debt, so “shopping” is not allowed!:)

I spent most of the day in the kitchen, but that’s okay! I made blueberry muffins for breakfast and started the crock pot with beans for supper. Then Mom and I decorated the kids’ bikes with ribbon and banners and they held a “parade!” It was adorable, even though my 3-year-old decided to cry the entire time and refused to sit on her tricycle.


Then they all had juice bars while hubby cooked hot dogs on the grill for lunch. After lunch, a miracle happened and the girls took naps while Wyatt played quietly in his room for over an hour!

Mom got crafty and I put together some quick snacks for the kids to enjoy later (pudding pops and jello). Then we made banana bread! I LOVE my mom’s banana bread. I will post the recipe sometime!

After the kids’ rest time, we got them all interested in some art time. I love all the new artwork I have decorating my dining room!

dining room
Later, the older kids went off to play and Alyssa spent an hour cutting up tiny pieces of paper with scissors.:)  she even pretended some of the shapes were puppies or other animals! It was sweet.

So even though we stayed home all day, we all had a great day! I went to bed happy and content!

Monday, the 4th, was a great day too! We spent the day with my husband’s parents at their house and then at our house for supper and fireworks! The kids swam almost all afternoon and then loved the sparklers and pop-its!

img_0070
img_0069
I could not have asked for a better weekend with my family!
We hope you had a great 4th too!

RELAUNCH PARTY Going on Now!

etsy-Shop-banner-RelaunchParty

JULY 1-9 is my RELAUNCH PARTY – use code FREEDOM for 20% off ANY order! PLUS, I will donate 20% of all proceeds during this time to Mercy House Global (www.mercyhouseglobal.org). Mercy House is a home for pregnant and young mothers in Kenya and was the first of its kind in all of Kenya. It’s also where Fair Trade Friday was created and is the source of all my amazing fair trade goods!

Click here to visit my shop!

Happy Birthday America!

AJ-signature

Happy Summer!

Wow, how can it be that summer is half over?  I mean, I realize the season just began, but in a school year, we’re halfway through the summer!  SMH.  Summer is a great down time for me at work, so I get a chance to catch up on learning new design tricks and try out new things.

Recently I learned how to make a glitter effect in Illustrator, which led to just metallic look – because, really, how many things could I possibly use glitter words or backgrounds on?  Anyway, I have also been wanting to add more Bible verse art here.  I love all the sweet phrases Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom has been putting on everything!  I especially love “Choose Joy” and anything using the word joy because it’s my middle name!:)  BUT not wanting to infringe on anything she or others may be doing, I came up with delight.  This could work in an office, a kitchen, or anywhere really.

The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.  Psalm 147:11

Delight_mockup

I’ve made this as part of a series, all of which are available on my Etsy shop!  Also, feel free to let me know if there’s a particular verse you’d like to see.  If you can’t wait, check out the series in my Etsy shop!

ALSO, starting today through July 9, you can save 20% off any order in my shop with code FREEDOM!

Click here for the printable PDF! (Letter size, 8×10 frame)

What things do you wait until summer to tackle?

signature

 

Cherishing the Little Things

I’m learning. 

Joy is in the little things. 

Hugs and kisses from my girl. 

Invitations to play baseball with my boy. 

Bear hugs from my man. 

Beautiful sunrise every morning during my personal devotions. 

A first lost tooth. 


Saturday evening cookouts with friends. 

A baby’s burp. 

Sabbath-rest each week. 

Finding a new use for a basket or bucket. 

A clean kitchen. 

Opportunities to share scripture with a nonbeliever. 

Free babysitting. 

A company-paid dinner out. 

Coloring with kids. (She makes me color all of the picture, even things that should be white, hence Minnie’s purple gloves and blue face.)
Taking the older one to Vacation Bible School with a friend. 

And on and on!

Have a blessed week!

Autumn Joy

The Sweetest Thing 

I’ve shared a few stories about my son here, and now I’ve got a little sweet memory I want to share about my daughter!

my girl and I
I always say she’s my “best girl.” (Yes, my son is my “best boy!”) She is three now and the last few weeks she has really been a Momma’s Girl! Several times throughout the day, she will give me hugs. She is one hugging girl! It doesn’t matter if we are waking up, heading out the door, getting in the car, walking in a store, or just sitting on the couch, in jer eyes, it’s time for a hug. She sometimes says “I want to hug you, Mommy!” But other times she will just pop over to me and hug me good. I’m trying to soak up every one!

Another thing she’s started doing to giving what we call “lip sugars.” It’s just a kiss on the mouth, but it’s super sweet that she will grab my face to make me look at her so she can plant a little wet kiss on my lips! 💋 She does it almost every morning as I leave her at daycare and at least once in the evening too. 

my sweet girl
Do you have a favorite thing that one of your children do?

Have a blessed weekend!

Autumn Joy

Berry Easy Holiday Cheesecake 

cheesecake

I was browsing the internet this weekend for a fun recipe using cheesecake flavored pudding mix. In case you aren’t aware, every recipe that comes up for a Pinterest search of “cheesecake pudding pie” is for real cheesecake with cream cheese. Not quite what I was looking for, plus I didn’t have cream cheese!

Now, some of you are probably thinking I’m crazy for searching for a recipe for a pudding pie, but I’m not a natural in the kitchen and prefer to use recipes for everything I make! However, I decided to wing it, and it was delicious!

Here’s what I used:

  • Ready-made graham cracker crust
  • Jello Cheesecake pudding
  • Milk for preparing pudding (1 3/4 c.)
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Fresh blueberries

Mix the pudding according to package directions for pie.

Pour into crust. Put into refrigerator for 1-3 hours to set.

Wash and dry berries. Choose the best-looking strawberries and cut the stems off and then slice the berries in half lengthwise.

Take the cheesecake out of the fridge and arrange the strawberry halves and blueberries on the top in a fun pattern. To  make the design parallel, I put the two halves of one berry opposite each other on the top of the pie. I placed all the strawberries first and then filled in with blueberries.

This was SO easy and looked great for our holiday cookout!

cheesecake=slice

What’s your go-to holiday dessert?

Happy Summer!

signature