Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Library

I did everything on that fitness list for a week. Lost one pound. It's a little discouraging, but I know that it shouldn't be. I feel like a spoiled brat when I say it out loud. It will come off. It will. I just have to be patient and persistent.

I found the library the other day. I mean, I had went in and got a card when we first moved here two years ago, but I actually went in and got books the other day. This will be surprising for my readership, I'm sure, but I had never checked out a book from a library until Wednesday. It was so thrilling. No, seriously. It was a childhood dream come true.

We lived in a tiny town next to a slightly larger tiny town. The slightly larger tiny town had a library that the surrounding areas could use, but there were a lot of stipulations (because we didn't pay in taxes there) and it was just a lot of trouble and my parents would rather buy me books. That's awesome, but I always wanted to check books out. Because getting your parents to buy you something is a lot of work and begging, but renting for free isn't nearly as big of a deal.

I wandered around for a while, picking books up and putting them down and, overall, feeling an overwhelming amount of anxiety about what I picked. It wasn't until I left that I realized... it was free, I can get 15 books at a time, if I don't like it there is no obligation to read it.

Now I can hardly wait to go back. I'm like a little kid again.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Another Blitz?

I am going shopping with my grandma today to get clothes for our upcoming trip to Florida. I have been so excited about it. And then I saw my mom's album of Mother's Day photos.

I am by no means huge. Like I said before, I am normal. However, I look like I could eat my whole family. In fact, it looks like I might have already chowed down on a couple of them.

If I was always a bigger person I would just say that my body type is different. But it's not. 150 pounds on us looks like 200 pounds on somebody else. My mom looks healthy and fit and she is a whopping 115 pounds.

I haven't been that weight since junior high. Because of how evenly I distribute weight, 130 pounds looks normal on me. 125 would probably make me look like an athlete.

If I was eating healthily and exercising really regularly, I would be ready to accept this as the new me. But I am not. And so I am now carrying around a picture of myself from college at what was probably my peak physical condition. And I have vowed that I will be there by July.

What does this include?
  • Wearing a pedometer to track my miles/calories and adding 100 steps to it every day until July. 
  • Tracking my food rigourously
  • Cutting sugar
  • Jillian, Jillian, Jillian
  • Begin training hard for that 5k that I have yet to sign up for
  • Drinking 6-8 glasses of water daily
  • Chanting "I know I can, I know I can" to the point of insanity
Will this be difficult? Yes. I love sugar and I have major withdraws when I cut it from my diet. Will I fall occasionally? Of course I will. I am no where near perfect. But I'm setting the bar high. I am at 149 right now and I WILL be at 135 by July 7. Watch me.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Reading Blitz/Big Announcement

I am considering a reading blitz this week. May is drawing to a close and soon we will be hitting the halfway point in the year. I am in a good place to also be halfway done with my personal goal of reading 100 books this year. However, it's not my goal to simply be right on target. I would really like to finish strong and ahead of the game. There is no telling what this fall has in store for me, so it would be better to be ahead of the game.

Speaking of the fall, I have a big announcement (which has already been announced on Facebook, but don't judge me!)

I will be attending Fontbonne University to obtain my M.A. in Theatre starting this fall!

I am so excited, I can't even begin to explain it. I am becoming more and more certain that I would like to teach and that educational theater is what I truly love. I had to choose between becoming certified to teach High School drama and speech, or working on my master's to potentially get a job at a university. Both are risky, since the demand for this profession is, frankly, not very high. I am choosing the master's because it is far more likely that I will be hired at a secondary school with a master's than hired at a university with only certification.

The classes look so interesting to me, there's no gen eds (yay!), and there's a professional theatre that takes place in the university. It's basically everything I've ever wanted!

I could go on and on about how excited I am. But I won't. Because I have financial aid to take care of and a job to work so that I can pay for this school!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

More Financial Peace + Marriage

I am still reading "The Total Money Makeover," but can I just say that the whole thing gives me a headache? Not because what he suggests is impossible, but because I'm a "get it done now" person and any process with money is so gradual. After getting to the chapters about saving for retirement and for college, I was ready to sell everything in our house to get the emergency fund and the debt snowball rolling. If I were single, I probably would.

Marriage adds a lot to life, not the least of which is a certain amount of complication. There is so much conversation that needs to happen about money and I am a little ashamed to say that I avoid that talk like the plague. Talking about money stresses Jordan and I out to the max. It's one of the many reasons that I feel that we need to get out of debt yesterday.

But it's just impossible to attack debt with the kind of intensity it needs without talking about finances. Because we need to know where every penny of our money is going. Every cent needs to be funneled into a credit card or medical bill or student loan. Scary stuff.

If there's anything I can plant into young people's minds, it's this:  Don't go into debt. There it is. And when I say debt, I mean any kind of debt. Pay school as you go. Don't even apply for credit cards. Drive junker cars until you can buy a newer one with cash. Don't even go into debt over a house if you can help it. Save save save save. I wish that I had read this book and took it to heart a lot sooner. Reading this book has reminded me that we're not as bad off as many others are (the stories of debt are crazy!), but we're not as fit as we could be either.

Sorry that I'm stuck on this subject, but it's weighing heavily on my mind. It might be because I've realized the hard road ahead of us and it also might be because we've started the envelope system this month and our envelopes are empty. The bills are paid, and now there is just no wiggle room. Maybe next month. God always gives us exactly what we need.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Financial Peace

It is kind of crazy how when you acknowledge healthy decisions you are immediately attacked with insecurity. Yesterday I went back on almost everything that I listed in my last post. It was rough.

Trying to complete at least one goal this year, I have been reading Dave Ramsey's "The Total Money Makeover." I still believe we can conquer this debt. I am tired of living in a society where mortgages and car payments and credit cards are considered good. They're not good. If we didn't have a mortgage, we would have half a paycheck more every single month. Mortgages, I have decided, are made of the devil.

I am looking forward to really getting this journey started. The envelopes are made, but we have yet to get a big payday that will fill said envelopes. My idea is to get about 3 months ahead with our bills and then start throwing extra money at that nasty nasty debt.

I am a little disappointed that I didn't foresee the medical bills we would get from Noah's birth. Even with insurance and half off of all medical bills for being an employee, we ended up with about $5,000 in bills. Now that it's almost paid off, I'm a little sad about how that didn't go to the student loans like I thought it would. I would be half done! On the other hand, though, we paid $5,000 in five months. That is not shabby at all.
I think I just needed to write this all out to convince myself that where we're at is nothing to be ashamed of. We are now absolutely on the right track and I have hope that, at the very least, all debts besides our mortgage will be paid off in 2013. I never want to have debt again. And I don't think we will.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


First of all, wow, Blogger. I now have no idea how to get anywhere. Just when I get comfortable.

My life is such a hot mess right now. I keep considering doing a yearly update and then I realize that I just don't have time to do that right now. Besides that, I want some content with real meat.

Recent changes in our lives:

1. Jordan has a new job

Jordan is the new choir director at Cape Central High School. We are both so excited (if a little nervous) about this change. He will be going from being one of three choir directors to the sole director, so the work load will definitely change. But he will get to do things his own way and be in charge (which is very important to him). It will be his program. We will miss the friends we made at Jackson, but, really... most of them live 3 minutes away from us so we probably won't miss them that much.

2. We are starting the envelope system

After a crash and burn with our checking/savings account this month, I decided that as much as I hate keeping track of money, it is, in fact, a necessity. And since I know that I would live in a cardboard box before I would balance my checkbook, I decided that the envelope system was our best bet for survival.

I will explain the envelope system for those of you who have been living under a rock. Basically, every time Jordan gets paid, I will take all the money out except our mortgage payment and some padding in case an unexpected check rolls through. Now I know when all our bills are due and whether or not we actually have the money to pay them. We just have to get to the 20th now with approximately $40. We can do it!

3. I realized that I work from home

Ever since I quit my full time job I have just ran around the house like a crazy person, trying to keep it perfect. One day, I realized that I had missed out on about three weeks of checks because I didn't have time to work. I was cleaning too much.

I have now made a list of priorities. Do they start with housework? Yes. I am a mom first. But being a good mom, to me, means my baby is fed, bathed, changed, and loved. I am a wife second. Being a good wife to me means that our house doesn't stink from dirty dishes and my husband has clean clothes. So I do the dishes, put a load of laundry in, bathe our child, check the envelopes, and then get to work.

Eventually, I would like for this blog to be a part of my work, honestly. But I have yet to make it that kind of priority. Maybe one day.

4. I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up

I am pretty sure I want a lot of children to share it with, though. And I know I want to be creative. And help people. That's about all I've got for now. As long as we don't starve and we're all happy, I think that's ok.

5. I'm not fat

Am I at my healthy goal weight yet? No. But I wear a size 8 jeans and that's not fat. That's average. I will take average for now and work it.