Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hello, 2009!


I am SO glad to see you! I know I hinted toward the fact that the hub and I are glad to give 2008 the boot, so yeah... this New Year's Day is extra *happy*. We had our fill of black-eyed peas today and also some yummalicous cabbage over at my parents'. I know most people do collards, but we've always done cabbage for some reason. Glad to see the Dawgs get in one more good win to close out the season. Wasn't so sure at first, but we came through in the 2nd half. And I was equally pleased to see Georgia Tech get slaughtered at the Chick-fil-A bowl last night. Makes our loss to them this year sting a little less (just a lil).

Anyway, so while I won't dwell on the crap that consumed 2008, it was a big struggle for us financially (like many people) and emotionally (having to put baby stuff on hold while the rest of the world continued to spin). We also had some wrenches thrown at us... the hub getting sued by his former employer (all fine and settled now, but a huge source of stress for us over several months), and losing my sweet gpa in late February... those were a couple of big ones. Getting our townhouse on the market and finally sold made for a VERY long and grueling summer. But we made it out alive, and we're better for it! 2008 had a lot of hardships for us, but we are starting 2009 in what I feel like is the best spot we've ever been in together.

I know I've bored y'all to tears by raving on and on about Dave Ramsey and our Total Money Makeover, but really, jumping head first into his program has changed our lives. I'm such a geeked-out nerd over his whole program. I've gotten several friends on the debt-free bandwagon with me and so has the hub. The funny thing is, he gets more pumped up and geeked out than I do sometimes! But it's truly awesome that we're on the same wavelength here, because that's what will make this work. I've explained Dave's teachings several times, but if you're just catching up, he is all about getting out of debt and living on cash (hmm... what a concept!) and building wealth so that you can live like no one else, give like no one else, and ultimately "change your family tree." His enthusiasm is absolutely contagious and it's pumping hard through our bloodstream right now. Our debt snowball officially starts rolling this month! By getting our butts in gear and getting on a budget (three months now, and going strong!), we've truly learned the meaning of "financial peace." We have done a complete 180 on how we look at money. We've totally relearned the value of the dollar. And the thing is, given how tough this last year has been, we're currently making the least amount of money we've ever made together. Though, I can honestly say I've NEVER been more at peace financially than I am right now. And it simply comes down to the fact that we have a plan. Up until the past few months, we never really had one. But now, every month, we're telling our money where to go instead of wondering where it went. And I cannot even explain to you the tremendous sense of peace that gives me.

And along those lines, it seems that the true *lesson* - if you can call it that - for me personally, all throughout 2008, was this idea of peace. That's one of those words that gets tossed around so haphazardly that we forget what it means. We just got through Christmas... you get all these cards wishing you "peace" and whatnot. We sing about peace for all mankind... but I never really got it till now. It's not about "world peace" or holding two fingers up... it's about inner peace. The peace that passes all understanding. Peace that only Jesus, aka the Prince of Peace, can give us. And it's not just with the money thing... it's with all our current struggles. I feel like 2007 was about learning to put my complete trust and faith in God - with the whole baby thing. And uh, not all my calendar years have been full of themes and lessons in life, by the way... ha. But these last 2 or 3 have been quite a journey for us, so we're soaking up whatever wisdom we can. I had to surrender my infertility struggles over to God because I was starting to lose it on my own. I've never had a hard time trusting in God in general, but I also never had such a really big issue that I tried so hard to control. It's really the first time I can ever remember having to stop and ask God for real help...

So I handed over that burden a while back. That didn't mean I didn't struggle, but I knew it wasn't just my struggle. And now this past year, I feel like I've really come to a peaceful place with it all. The Jesus icing on my God cupcake, I suppose. And yeah, I still struggle - daily. But then I read something like this, and my heart simply bursts...

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Sometimes I need a little reminder of just how *big* our God is, you know? And though I can hardly compare my little worries with all the suffering that goes on around the world, I've always loved this quote from Mother Theresa...

"In light of heaven, the worst suffering on earth, a life full of the most atrocious tortures on earth, will be seen to be no more serious than one night in an inconvenient hotel."

So yes, while we gladly kicked 2008 to the curb last night, we came out of it having learned so much. A peaceful exit to a rather tumultous year. And we're super excited for what's to come in 2009! As I mentioned, our debt snowball starts rolling this month and we're getting a really good jump start on it. And we'll be getting a fat tax refund this year, so that'll help us kick some major ass on our snowball in the next couple of months! That is definitely our main focus right now, but also we're finally getting back into baby-makin' in 2009. We're going to start our first IUI (turkey baster) cycle right after tax season (probably early May). We've got the money end worked out for 3 rounds of IUI - so we know we're good to move forward on that front. I'm planning to get back on my meds and vitamins in February and I've also got to start monitoring my cycles and whatnot. Yeah, when I say we took a break last year, we really took a break. I just got to the point where I didn't want to bother with the meds or monitoring or anything. I needed a true break from it all. We both did. Anyway, so back on meds and I think I'm going to try the whole basal body temp thing for tracking ovulation. I'm totally over the pee sticks. Not to mention how freaking expensive they are! Then I'm also wanting to do acupuncture alongside IUI, so I will probably go ahead and start that in April. So yes, back in gear!

Now if IUI doesn't work after 3 tries, I will need a third surgery to get my oven in the most *perfect* shape as possible before we move to IVF. And honestly, in my heart of hearts, I just think that's probably where we'll end up. Just a gut feeling. The hub thinks I'm totally being Debbie Downer thinking that, but I'm not - it's just what my gut tells me. And where in the world will we get the money for in vitro? Heck if I know! Well, today I certainly don't know. But right now, I do know three things: We're not borrowing money to do it (*peace*). Our hearts are pulled towards putting all our disposable income toward our debt snowball right now (*trust*). And, we'll figure it out if and when we get there (*faith*). :-)

And then, to wrap up, what would a New Year's post be without resolutions? Alright, mine are kinda general, but they're a big deal to me...

  • Raise the bar for myself at work... do my job as though I'm an investor in my firm and not just an employee collecting a paycheck.

  • Be consistent with spending time in the word and in prayer in the mornings (something I've always struggled with, but always find rewarding when I do it).

  • Get back to a consistent workout schedule (totally slacked off on that in the last few months!).

  • Run more and run farther! I'm doing my first 10K in March and yikes, I've got a lot of work to do!

  • Be more proactive in general... I can procrastinate with the best of 'em. I need to seek out that most dreaded item on the to-do list each day, whatever it is, and do it first.

  • Be more timely with gifts. I'm horrible at this! Instead of saving a gift (whatever the occasion) for the next time I see someone, I just need to mail it to them so they have it on time. That procrastination thing again!

And of course too, to just keep doing what we're doing! Thanks for hanging in with this long-ass post. Phew! I really hope the new year brings along many blessings to all of you. Do you have any major resolutions or goals for '09? May it be a GREAT one for us all!

20 comments:

Preppy 101 said...

What a wonderful post and so inspiring. I have heard so much about Dave Ramsey. My AS and BDiL are using the cash only system. My AS is back in school so they are living on one income and it is really working for them. I need to look into it . . . Is there a book??

Gracie Beth said...

Thank you for such a beautiful post! I love the quote by mother Theresa!

The Pink Owl said...

What a wonderfully inspiring post! I'm sure 2009 is going to be great for you! Happy New Year!

Kristy

Marla said...

Love your enthusiasm for the New Year! I am inspired to start my own list...to stay accountable. Good Luck with IUI!!!!

LSU Melanie said...

Happy New Year to you too! Mr. Ramsey would be so proud of you! I just can't get enough of him either, in fact I gave someone, who was interested, the total money makeover book for Christmas, and now they are hooked:)
I have been keeping you in my prayers everyday-Cheers to 2009!

Buford Betty said...

Preppy 101... Yes, he's got several books, but the one you'd probably want is "The Total Money Makeover." You can find it anywhere, but here's a link to his stuff online:

www.daveramsey.com/shop

A Belle and her Beau said...

Such a great post ... very inspiring! I hope and pray that 2009 is YOUR year :)

my husband and I are starting Financial Peace University at our church on Jan 11th. I am really excited about it!

NatalieDeltaGam said...

such a great post...2008 was a year of reflection for me as well. i always thought "give it over to god" was such a cheesy expression (and i'm religious!), but once you really, truly do--well, it changes your life. and i know you will have a baby--it will be just an adventure to see how you have your little bundle of joy! i know infertility--not as well as some, like my mother, who tried for six years--and i know the pain, the sting of jealous, the feeling of inadequacy, etc.--and i will keep you in my prayers in '09 as you begin this next step in your journey towards a child.
happy new year...may this one be filled with more blessings than you can ever imagine!! love, natalie.

Hollie and Janie said...

BB,
That is such an awesome post! I am with ya on the au revoir 2008! Here's to a fab 2009!
hollie

Lori said...

What a great post and a little recap of your past year...that's always good to do.
I wish only the best for you and your family in the year ahead...many, many blessings! :)

QueenBeeSwain said...

the scripture and MT quote are both beautiful- great reminder on how we should lead our daily lives. ate my black eyed peas too yesterday :)

kHm

Belle-ah said...

Happy New Year - wishing this year is the best ever!

Mackensie said...

Thanks for the inspiring post! Happy New Year!

Ned said...

Best of luck to you in 09!

Preppy Lizard said...

That was an awesome post! I'm wishing you all the best in 2009. I hope that both us can say we are pregnant in 2009. Good luck!!

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

Love you bestie!! I am so with you on the procrastination/gift front! Some of my big weak points too.

I have faith that a baby will soon finds its way into your arm and home. I jsut know it. I mean, I am destined to be a fabulous TTKK!!

cancersucks said...

Good riddances to 2008...and hoping for everything you are wishing for in 2009. You deserve it! Blessings.

Racheal said...

I have been following your blog for a few weeks and I wanted to ask you about the debt paydown - especially how you sold your cars and bought new ones free and clear? My husband and I are thinking about this and don't really know where to start but we know that we need to do this! Any advice would be great! Thanks so much!

Sue said...

Great post and Happy New Year! Sounds like you have great plans in store and have learned from the last year even if it wasn't the best year. I have to go check out this Dave Ramsey guy. Cheers!

Elizabeth said...

Happy New Year! New year = great new and exciting things ahead! :)