Monday, April 30, 2012

Less Than a Week

I'm heading back to work VERY soon. It's painful to even type that. I'm terrified of losing it. It's going to be emotionally devastating leaving my boy everyday. But it's something that (at least for the meantime) needs to be done.

Me going back to work will enable us to reach financial freedom. If I put my all into it now I should be able to become a stay at home mom two short years from now. Going back to work now means family vacations and more quality time together farther down the road.

I think I'm going to have to write down a goal or something along those lines pertaining to why I'm working each morning before I leave to carry with me throughout the day.

Until then, I'm still home with my boy. Life is wonderful!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Yesterday we signed on the refi. Friday the new mortgage will be final. Next month we don't have to make a mortgage payment and we will be debt free in less than 15 years. Oh and did I mention that I have the greatest son ever!

All the little headaches, grrr moments, fears about going  back to work, ect; no big deal. We can do this! Hooray for breakthrough moments in life like this.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Blessings Abundant

Just three posts back I laid out some of our upcoming financial difficulties. I feel I must report back with news of a few small miracles.

The repairs on our van are costing a significant amount but it's being fixed at this very moment without us having to charge it. My dad has been embarking on a strange sort of spending spree as of late and he offered to repair the van for us. I didn't even ask or hint at this scenario. In fact I gave up asking my dad for any sort of help 10 years ago. For him to randomly just offer is really a miracle. Apparently he's not to fond of his daughter being stranded at home with his brand new little grandson while my hubby is at work for 8 hours everyday. Praise the Lord for this!

The other day we were triple charged for a transaction at a store. My husband called the bank about it and during the course of the conversation he was informed that we were in very good standing for a refinance on the house and would we be interested in a much lower rate. My husband said yes and on Monday we will be signing the papers (for the easiest refi. EVER). With the new interest rate we cut SEVEN years off of our mortgage and will be saving $50,000 in interest payments. It's a 15 year mortgage. Also, the thing I'm most excited about because it's relevant in the here and now is that we'll be skipping one mortgage payment due to the change over in policies. That's $800 dollars next month that I've budgeted that we no longer have to pay. Looks like we're officially caught up on the maternity leave over spending (I'm not going to have to "rework" payments in May and June) and I've money to renew the license plates now.

Like I said, "I am truly TRULY blessed! All that financial stuff will work it's self out (somehow... I hope). It always does."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Monday's Lovely

We walked the paths in the dunes on Monday. When we arrived at the beach I didn't want to walk out to the water because I didn't want to get sand in my shoes. I really am getting old. I was more than happy to head back through the trails. However there was a 4 year old with us so of course avoiding the water wasn't an option. He'd collected rocks all along the trail to throw into the lake. We were going to be there awhile.

It was Abe's first trip to the lake. I love noticing all the firsts. It really fascinates me that all these tiny little things that I've experienced hundreds of times are brand new to him. I reluctantly walked out onto the sand. I looked down at my feet hoping to avoid covering them (and filling my shoes with discomfort). After a few steps I noticed tiny craters forming in the sand as I walked. Surrounding each footprint for a radius of at least 10 inches the sand was caving into tiny little holes. It was as if little bubbles were popping as I walked. Honestly it was the first truly new thing I've experienced (or noticed) in awhile. It was memorizing and magical. I started stomping up and down the beach like a 4 year old watching the small buried bubbles pop and form little bean sized holes around my feet. A few of the other adults were impressed but no one was truly fascinated by the phenomenon like I was. That is to say I was the only one stomping up and down the shoreline like a kid.

I think the reason I enjoy traveling so much is that you get so much more of an opportunity to experience brand new fascinating things when you travel. I love the fact that everything is new to my boy, EVERYTHING. Eventually he's going to be able to taste blueberries for the first time and apple pie, ooh and chocolate. He'll have the opportunity to see a bird and smell a flower for the very first time. There will be a first gaze at the stars and a first viewing of a sunset. Right now he's looking at himself in a mirror and smiling from ear to ear. Life is unfolding, blooming, mesmerizing to a baby and to children. For us adults it's kind of boring at times, incredibly difficult more often than not, and rarely new and exciting.

I'm thankful for Monday's lovely, for the little sand craters, for moments of discovery that cost nothing but enrich my life so much. In this rat race were running while ever so focused on finances and frugality its easy to miss these little moments. I encourage everyone to keep your eyes open. Life may be rough especially if you're embarking upon a similar financial journey as me but life is full of absolute (free) beauty! Look...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What Not to Wear?

Ever since the first week I spent in the mountains of Guatemala witnessing first hand real poverty I've lost all interest in fashion. In fact I have an odd respect for backwoods, mountain man, red neck, hillbilly type folks. Yes, these folks do have a style of their own but they certainly aren't obsessed with appearance. I used to notice "messy" individuals and I'd wonder, "how in the world could he/ she leave the house like that?" More recently however I appreciate the lack of concern they have for what the general population thinks about them. To me that is respectable.

In truth it's been about 6 years since I've purchased new clothes. I've gotten a few pair of pants as needed, a t-shirt here and there, but in general my clothes are getting old. This reality doesn't really bother me. I could easily  and happily wear poorly fitting pants, holey scruffy shirts, and the rest of my pathetic wardrobe until it's completely unwearable. I'm quite comfortable in my skin. I know who I am and I don't feel a need to look a certain way for any reason. Clothing just doesn't mean that much to me.

So, to the point: recently we got cable in order to save money on our communications package (weird, I know). I've been watching "What Not to Wear" on TLC. I can honestly say that I look comparable, in my own way, to the majority of the poorly dressed people on that show. It's slightly embarrassing not so much for my own sake but I really don't want my husband to have to be married to a slob.

I do not intend to buy a whole new wardrobe anytime soon especially considering that I've baby weight to lose but I'm realizing that I do need to take action.

I've a really small wardrobe but:
Do you all think I should part with my holey and tattered clothing?
Should I embrace the frugal messy look I've got going or does appearance matter?
Does anyone else have the same sort of odd respect that I've got for the seemingly fashionless mountain men type individuals out there?
What are your thoughts friends?

I have a vest I bought over 11 years ago at a thrift store for around $3 and I still wear it constantly. Normal or lame???

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Happy With Life : )

Since my absence in blogger world life has been... crazy!

The day we brought baby Abe home I realized that my life was COMPLETELY changed forever. The first few weeks were similar to what it must be like to live with an entirely helpless alien. We hadn't a clue what we were doing and he was just learning how to be alive. Time ceased to exist while we learned how to burp, feed, diaper, decipher cries, bounce and rock him in ways he likes, sing songs that soothe him, and swaddle just right so that he'll sleep longer than 15 minutes in his bassinet. Needless to say I haven't blogged much during the past 6 weeks, or read many blogs, or cooked, or cleaned, or spent very wisely.

I'll be starting back to work in three weeks. I'm terrified at the reality of it and trying my darnedest not to think about it and not suffer a nervous break down and lose my sanity. I've been very consciously trying to savor every moment of this time off that I have left with my boy. I may possibly be creating a dependent monster but I intend to sing to him, hold him, talk to him, and soak up every little expression that shows on his face. When I'm tired and stressed and grumpy it doesn't even matter because I'm here, at home with my son. Nothing else matters.

Financially, yikes! We're about $300 over the 3 month maternity leave budget. Not a big deal because I can pay some stuff late until paychecks start coming in again in May. Additionally however the plates on the vehicles need to be renewed this month:$200. The van broke down and needs to be fixed before I go back to work. The breaks on the car are going out and since I drive over 1600 miles a month we can't exactly ignore them. I NEED new work clothes and shoes before I go back. We have EIGHT birthdays coming up in the next month including my husband. The hospital bills have started coming in: over $2000 already. When it rains it pours! But I don't even care. I'm not phased by any of it because the cutest boy in the whole world is living in my house and I get to be his mom. I get to witness all of his amazing smiles, and respond to his adorable coos, and praise him for lifting his muscle man head. I am truly TRULY blessed! All that financial stuff will work it's self out (somehow... I hope). It always does.

I actually managed to go over the budget, add everything up, get everything caught up today AND write this blog. Our average spending so far this year comes to $13.75 a day. I am pretty dog gone happy with that. (what the heck does that expression even mean, geesh?)

Today's Lovely: absolutely every little thing about my boy. Even his cries, toots, and super whiny moments.