Reality Check & Staying Humble

I watched the bill on the register add up “$5…$10…$13…$18.59..” I politely stopped the woman at the cashier who I’ve known for years. I was at Reams, our neighborhood grocery store I went to with my mom growing up.

Can you please remove the most expensive items in order to drop the price to $17.00?” A year ago this would have made my heart stop & my eyes possibly well up with tears from embarrassment. There were at least 4 people in line behind me. Instead, I gave them a warm smile & apologized for the delay.

I’m two days from pay day & this is normal. I’ve planned for groceries & gas until then. I watch my budget carefully each month & I only purchase the things that I need. Let’s just say there aren’t any random shopping splurges or moments that lack gratitude in my life. At first this was an adjustment for me. But now I remember that living on my own is a luxury, and that this is my reality.

When I was younger I imagined that I would feel some sort of shame and embarrassment in this situation. Thankfully my life has dramatically changed and I have been exposed to the real world and the strict rules my independence casts. And I’m more than okay with it, because my struggles are blessings in others eyes.

As I grabbed my bags of groceries and walked out of the store I did not feel anything negative. In fact I felt proud that I had remembered my limit, made a plan, and stuck to it. The man directly behind me smiled and gave a little chuckle with a nod. It gave me comfort knowing that he understood. It was an overall humbling experience, and it certainly won’t be the last.

I live a very fortunate life. I have a job I love, a roof over my head, warm clothes, a meal on the table, clean water… a family that helps me when they can. I could go on. I swear my prayers turn into rambles because of this exact reason.. I am so thankful.

So many people live paycheck to paycheck (or on food stamps) with children, illnesses, and unstable living situations. And they accept that with grace. I look up to those who make it work, find creative ways to make do, and walk out of the store with their head held high knowing that it doesn’t reflect on them. It’s just life.

When I wake up in the morning and my eyeballs are swollen shut from sleeping so hard I just lay there and think “Wow, this is mine.” And that is what motivates me to work hard everyday and accept these reality checks when they happen (and they happen often) These are the things that keep me grounded.

I found a fantastic new food blog called Budget Bytes. I was so excited when I found it because each recipe is not only delicious but there is a price on all the items it calls for. Tonight I made Garlic Parmesan Kale angel hair pasta. It was guilt-free love, and is now a new favorite recipe of mine. Quick, easy, healthy, and inexpensive ($4, as a matter of fact)

Whether you’re on a tight budget or not I recommend visiting Budget Bytes. And don’t forget to welcome moments like this with love and strength, because we all need a reminder to stay humble :)

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The power of a happy home

Before I moved to Logan I lived with my aunt Care (Carolyn) & Uncle Gregg. While I was there I learned more things then you could ever imagine. Some of those things were: how to dissemble a sippie cup (& clean it/put it back together. harder then you think guys), load a dishwasher correctly (I grew up without one & slowly became one), how to balance family & life’s battles, tricks to ace a college history test, the magic in cooking some mean risotto and more. Living there was a great growing experience for me that I will look back on fondly for the rest of my life.

One of my favorite memories was reading time with Talya in the music room. It was our special time together while Zeb napped. In the music room there are big windows that look over the city & allow even the slightest rays of sun through. The highlight of reading time was the Lemon tree we sat next to. We’d watch the lemons begin as wee buds & with time grow into delicious lemons that were used for “tickle pie”. It was cool watching something grow & talking to Talya about it because children have such a different perspective on things.

Here is a photo of the lemon tree last January. I have finally figured out why I loved this tree so much. It is because it showed me that anything can flourish in a happy, loving, healthy home — even during the coldest months.

I am now determined to not only have my very own herb garden this year but my own lemon tree as well. Here is a great post about tips to growing citrus indoors from Apartment Therapy. Check it out, and if you do invest in a lemon tree, do tell:)

All my love, Bee