Sunday, February 28, 2010

Done, Done, and Doner

We did it. About 365 days ago, P and I were in debt. We started our marriage with debt, CC and student loan debt. The first 2 years, we spent making small payments on all of our debt. Then through the blog world, I discovered Dave Ramsey and did some research. I liked his simple straight forward, sound, advice. P and I looked into him even more, then we went to one of his seminars when he came to town last year. We spent 5 hours listening to him, and to be honest it felt like 5 minutes. While there we purchased one of his packages with all the books, dvds, and cd's. We came home, sat on our couch, took the credit cards from our wallets and cut them up. Honestly, I will admit that when we cut them up and called to cancel our cards, I got a little nervous. I never realized that I saw our credit cards as our safety net, our emergency fund. It is sad to me, but I learned, and moved on. We vowed right then to never use credit again. And we have not. We busted our butts and got out of debt a few months later! It was an awesome feeling. But, we didn't stop. We kept busting our back sides. We started saving aggressively for our emergency fund. I took on a second job as a house keeper at a hotel in the summer, which was one of the hardest and most exhausting jobs I have ever done. But, it helped us reach our goal even sooner. And during that time as we were saving Murphy moved in. The car needed repairs, the fridge broke, the washing machine went on the fritz, but we worked it out.
On Monday, P and I wrote a check and it cleared on Friday, our emergency fund is completely funded! It represents 7 months of living expenses for us. Baby step 3 is done. WOW. This feels even better than getting the debt paid off, because this represents something that we worked for for us, for our future. What I like about Dave's Total Money Makeover is that it is not a get rich quick scheme. It is not about how much money you can horde. It is about having a healthy financial life. It is about giving. It is about balance. It is about saying, I am not going to be a slave to anyone. When we were at Dave's class and he quoted Proverbs 22:7 over and over, " The borrower is slave to the lender." I don't want to be a slave. I don't want to work hard just to sign my money over to some company to pay my bills. I don't want to have to stay in a toxic work environment simply because I need the pay check to pay my bills.
So now, we get to start baby step 4, building wealth. I already have a IRA and a 403 B, so we need to do just a little work there, converting my traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, but that wont be hard. Plus, we need to set up a Roth IRA for P as well.
We also have a short term goal we want to meet. P and I are going to start saving to buy a new (read: new to us, aka used) car for P. Then we get to really have fun and start saving for a house. I honestly cannot stomach debt any more. I had a taste of it, and it was foul. I want no part of that any more. The thought of taking on debt makes me sick. I joke and like to say that I am now allergic to debt. It will take a long time to reach some of these goals, but that is ok. We are patient.
Now its on to bigger and better things!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Sunday it was in the high 70's. Yesterday it was in the 50's and 60's. Today it is 39 with a threat of snow. Thursday and Friday it will get back into the 60's. WHAT?
Texas weather, unpredictably random.

With a threat of "snow" which is nothing like the rest of the country is getting, our school cancelled every extra curricular activity after school that we offer.

We South Texans tend to panic when it is anything other than heat and sunshine.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Cajun Birthday

My name on P's caller id is Bayou Queen-- because my family is Cajun French, and we come from Louisiana.

My grandma, this sweet little old lady-- speaks broken English in her Cajun accent. Her brother, my great uncle only speaks Cajun. He still lives on the farm in the same house that he grew up in, a small farming community outside of Lafayette, LA. It is so funny to hear my grandma talk to her baby brother in French. They just rattle on and on. I love hearing that sound, and I will miss it when she is gone.
Anywho--I am getting off topic. Yesterday I turned 28--yikes. And P spoiled me on my birthday with a Cajun inspired day. I got a ton of cards, phone calls, and texts, and facebook messages from my friends who are dispersed all over the country. I have been wanting a Who Dat shirt for quite some time, and P got me one! It is awesome--but it does not fit--so we are exchanging it for another one. Then P got me this Jazz Festival painting. There were only 10,000 made that year and P found my favorite one and had it framed for me.

The best part was the small surprise get together that P planned for me. I like parties, but not for me. I feel awkward when I am the center of attention. At 3:30 my bff picked me up and took me to the movies--saw Dear John--it was awesome (book is better by the way) then when we finished I got into the car, and she blind folded me, drove like a maniac all over town to throw me off the track, then took me to my favorite place. She parked opened the door and led me into my house where the Who Dat song was blaring on the speakers, homade hot shrimp and chicken gumbo was simmering on the stove, and the poster was hanging on my wall. Plus, P had a king cake delivered from Louisiana, so we munched on that for desert and it was delish! Then some of my favorite people in the world popped out of hiding and I was surrounded by the people that I love the most. It was so much fun. I felt so special, so loved, and my tank was totally over flowing. The gumbo tasted just like my grandma's, and the scent was still lingering in the air when I woke this morning. It was such a great day, and I am so blessed to have a husband who spoiles me so much. Thank you P for all you did. I love you. Such wonderful memories.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Why Blog?

I really enjoy writing this blog. It is a place for me to process, share, vent, and laugh. It is my own personal place to sometimes just think out loud. Just as much as I enjoy writing this blog, I really enjoy reading blogs. Daily I visit so many different blogs and I can't wait to see who has posted when I open up the Internet in the mornings. I like to know what people are thinking and what is going on in their world. I love getting to find out what people are thinking and feeling. Your thoughts make me look at things in a different light. Your words inspire me, change me, and can transform me. It gives me a small glimpse into your world.
When I lived in town one of my favorite things was to run through neighborhoods around dinner time. I loved getting to run by the houses where the window shades were still open and I could see people having dinner inside, or see someone firing up the bbq pit to grill some steaks. It gave me a small 2 second glimpse into the decor of their house and into their lives. That is how I feel about blogs. It gives me a small glimpse into your thanks for sharing your life with me!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cedar Pollen, You Win

Allergy season you have defeated me. You win. You have brought me to my knees. Almost literally. No amount of meds can fight against you--evil cedar pollen. My eyes are swollen and blood shot. They are dry at one instant yet watery at the next. My nose is stuffed. My head aches. My throat is dry and itchy.
You come around every year and there is nothing I can do to allude the terror and pain you strike to so many.
Allergy season--- you need to end.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Wars (Part 2): Toaster Edition

Round number two, here we go. We have had fan wars, there is most defiantly cover wars (blog to come), and now it is onto toaster wars. P and I just got a toaster from my parents for Christmas. Yes, we went over 2 years without a toaster, and we were just fine. P had been wanting one for a while, but we don't eat a ton of bread, so I always asked what is the point? Anyways, we got one, set it in our kitchen and it works great. It is nice to have a warm piece of toast with eggs in the morning.

However, P and I like our toast differently. He likes his mega toasted, too toasted in my opinion. Toasted to the point that it is dry, flaky, and scrapes the top of your mouth. It is akin to something like a charred, black brick that leaves crumbs every where. I on the other hand, like it lightly toasted with just a minimal amount of crunch. I like food with a softer texture, rather than take a bit out of something and have all moisture suddenly depleted from my mouth. I like to think of this type of toast as an A bomb that explodes in my mouth. It explodes, destroys everything in sight, then leaves the area as a dry, uninhabitable wasteland, that can never return to its former post traumatic, apocalyptic, state.

Anywho, the dial on our toaster gets quite a workout. You have no idea how disturbing it is wake up, pop in a piece of toast, then go about my morning only to smell the putrid scent dying grains coming from my kitchen. So just as the fans continue to go off and on several times a day, the toaster dial continues to run the gauntlet from one extreme to another.