Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy New Year! Wait, what?!

I can't believe it's May already.  Which makes it seriously ridiculous that I'm just now getting around to posting about our 2010 goals.  How about that for procrastination?  The first quarter of every year is just spent in a fog, so I feel like I'm only now able to spread my wings.  My "real" year's just getting started!


But before I move on, let me first say how grateful I am for all the sweet comments you guys left on my last post.  Your encouraging words are so heartfelt and I just soak them all up!  Thank you!  I'm not a big "talker" in the real world - never have been - so I really use bloggy world to express a lot of my funk.  It's super therapeutic for me and if it helps someone else out? Hey, bonus.  I suppose it's pretty easy to be open and honest when hiding behind a keyboard.  Most of y'all don't *really* know me - I mean I don't share personal photos on here (of people anyway) and don't use my real name.  Though it's not hard to figure out and a lot of my friends and fam have stumbled upon me here, so I always post bearing in mind that anyone I know could be reading.  I'd be stupid not too.  But really, I just find it so much easier and comfortable to express myself through writing than speaking.  I wish I was better at the latter, but whatev.


Anyway, so 2010, huh?  Well, as most of you know, the hub and I are in the midst of our "Total Money Makeover" a la Dave Ramsey.  Still on baby step #2, paying off all of our consumer debt (everything but the house, that is).  Totally need to update our progress on my sidebar because those numbers are obviously way old.  We've made some serious strides over the last 19 months but it just feels like we're going at a snail's pace right now.  Truthfully, we haven't had a "normal" (for us) income since we started this gig.  We've been rolling on approximately 50-60% of the income we had grown accustomed to beforehand.  So from day 1, we had to do a total about-face on the way we handled money.  Insert major behavior changes and the dreaded budget!  It's been a hard 19 months, but we have learned so many life lessons and are SO the better for it.  As I sit here typing in my $10 consignment store skirt (thanks, Mom!), I can't help but laugh at the old me and how much I've changed.  I'm still me and I still love the same things - that doesn't change!  This girl loves her stuff, that's for sure.  But my worldview is entirely different.  Simply, I've grown up.  And I could go on for miles about all this but anyway, that's where we are right now in that process.  So our debt snowball is rolling - slowly, but it's rolling.  And therefore two of our big goals this year are (1) to find a full-time job for the hub where he can really take off, and (2) to have our snowball down to our one last consumer debt by the end of the year (that big beast - the hub's student loan).  Right now it feels as though we're chipping away at our debt with a spoon.  The crappy plastic kind that breaks if you try to take too big of a bite.  But by the time we get to that last debt on the list, we'll be hammering away with a freakin' shovel.  Can't wait!


Our third big goal for this year?  Make a baby.  My mother has affectionately told me to "get on with it."  So we're kind of working through that right now and trying to figure out what to do.  All kinds of factors come into play here... one minute I'm ready, the next I'm not.  There's a lot of fear there because we're not comfortable where we are financially today (in terms of adding another mouth to feed).  So just pray that the hub and I can continue to lean on the Lord and seek his wisdom here.


We also have all kinds of other little goals and wishes for 2010, but those are our big three.  My parents got us this adorable wooden Christmas advent calendar a couple of years ago.  So while putting away our Christmas decorations earlier this year, we decided to write down our goals and wishes for the New Year and tuck each of them into one of the days on the calendar.  When we pull everything back out this December, we'll get to look back at our goals and see how far we've come. 


As with every new year, ups and downs come that were never a part of the plan.  We certainly never imagined the hub would still be out of work at this point.  But I never imagined we could *survive* this long with him out of work either.  God has been truly amazing... and now I really see that decision we made 19 months ago to start tithing - no matter what - coming to fruition.  We handed over control of "our" money to God that day and never looked back.  It seems mathematically stupid and irresponsible on paper.  But the peace that comes with it is absolutely priceless.  And we're not one of these couples saying, "oh God will provide so we're just going to sit here and wait."  On what, the government?  Geez.  God gave us an ass so we could work it off!  We'll get there.  But really, God has provided like we never would've believed.  He is ever faithful and reaffirms that trust everyday...  and it's with that trust that we keep plugging along, knowing we'll eventually get there.


And of course our other scare this year has been sweet Charlie's cancer.  The thought of losing him never entered our thoughts when thinking about 2010!  In a few days, he will be at his 2-month prognosis mark...  and the boy is still doing great.  He did give us a fright yesterday morning when he threw up his dinner from the night before.  That's how it all started the first time.  My heart just started racing when I heard him throwing it up.  I was half asleep, but I woke the hub up and had him turn on the lights in our bedroom.  Charlie had thrown up a full meal, but I also found some pieces of what looked like part of a plastic bag and other not-normal stuff.  He's not one to get into trash (unless it's food), so this was odd.  We have a theory on how he ate it, but I'll spare you the details (not all of his habits are cute).  Anyway, we were hoping it was just an isolated incident where he swallowed something that didn't agree with him.  So we've kept a close eye on him since then and he hasn't thrown up again.  And he seems to feel fine!  And extremely eager to eat everything in sight - which is par for the course with him.  But yeah, this whole situation with Charlie has been a tough one.  Our three doggies are everything to us.  I know they won't always be with us, but I can't imagine our little world without any of them.  They're each so different and so special in their own silly way. 


So far 2010 has been a rather frustrating year... but it's not over!  And honestly my tax season schedule does NOT help with that - anything frustrating is made exponentially moreso because all I live and breathe is work for that 3+ months.  So here's to better and brighter days from here on out!  I still hold out great hope for this year.  For now, I'm trying to get back on track with God - on a daily basis, that is - rather than just waving at him from across the street every now and then.  Which is totally where I've been lately.  I'm constantly having to remind myself to take it one day at a time.  To prepare for tomorrow but not to worry about it.  I have my freak-out moments every now and then but I'm generally not a worrier.  But it is a daily decision not to worry... a daily prayer.


OK did this get depressing somehow?  Wasn't supposed to.  I think there's a lot of fabulous left to unfold in 2010!  I'm just having to sift through a bunch of muckity muck before I find it.  I hope this year brings many blessings - whatever they look like - to all of you.  So here's a late toast to the New Year... CHEERS!


Susan D. said...

What a great post. Big hugs to you on accomplishing all of your goals this year! And hugs to Charlie and the rest of your pooches, too.

Ally said...

I am just about to take on a bunch of student loans for grad school! yippeee (insert sarcasm here)

Heather said...

Good luck with all of your goals!

BritMarie said...

Hello! I just started reading your blog today and I love it! I don't know you but I am inspired by you and feel I can even relate. I just started Financial Peace U also and it is changing my life for the better. I thought this particular post of yours was actually incredibly uplifting. I, too, have been waving at God from across the street lately and feel I need to get in touch with him more.
Anyway, sorry for the long comment! :)
Good luck with your goals!