Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Confessions

Here are my weekly confessions:

1. I cried openly at work. It was a bad day.

2. P and I split an entire bag of donuts last night. Again, it was a bad day.

3. I have stopped using the Castor Oil on my foot, and decided to have a procedure done. Apparently, I am not as holistic as I like to say I am.

4. I didn't want to blog today. I am only doing it because P kept pestering me about it. Now I am mad at him.

Fess up friends.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Letter to my 18 year old self.

School is starting soon, and millions of kids are packing up their trunks, and heading to the unknown. They are leaving the nest, and flying solo for the first time. They are moving from their childhood home, into a dorm that is roughly the size of a closet.
I can remember the day I left for college perfectly. My Honda Civic was filled to the brim, and my eyes were wet as I drove 3 hours away to college. If only I knew then what I know now. This is what I would have told myself.

My dear Allison,

Sweetheart, I know you are scared right now, but its ok. Before you do anything else, take a deep breath. I will let you in on a little secret, it all works out in the end, so relax a bit, ok?

First, its ok to be scared. Don't try and force yourself to be strong. Those tears are real, and its ok to let them flow. High school wasn't that great, but this next adventure is going to be. You are going to make life long friends, and experience things that will shape your life forever, so buck up girl, its gonna be a good and wild ride. Be confident in your abilities. You are a good soccer player, and all the blood, sweat, and tears were worth it. Your entire college tuition is being paid because you can play ball. So play!

I will tell you right now, eating 4 single serve Stoffers lasagans for dinner is not a good idea. And stop eating hot pockets all the time, and for the love of pete, stop putting so much damn ranch dressing on everything. You may not understand why now, but your thighs will thank you later.

It may not be a good idea to call your parents at 3:00 AM on your first weekend off. Yes, your 1st college party was fun, but maybe next time, don't drink any party punch if you don't know whats in it. I can tell you that calling mom and dad crying and saying "I'm packing my bags and coming home, come get me tonight" will scare the crap out of them. They will leave the house at 5:00 AM just to be at your dorm by 8:00 to take you and your roommates to breakfast and shopping. Trust me on this one, skip the phone call, cause you stay, and you love it.

It is a good idea to take a broom, blast Michelle Branch, and stand on the counter and lip sing with your best friends. Do that more often, because you will never forgot those moments.

Its also a good idea to work a bit more in the summers. Don't just get a job because its easy, get a job because it pays. Come on now, you knew that one, right?

Don't join the sorority. Its a waste of time and money.

Just because an organization is giving away free food does not mean you should take it. Stop going to that creepy church's student center every week just because they are making spaghetti for lunch again, its not worth it.

That guy Jake, just avoid him all together, because he's a whole mess of stalker drama that you really don't need.

You will meet a lesbian for the first time, handle it better, ok.

Just because he plays sports does not make him a jock, so stop hanging out with the sissy pretty boys. It will only make you feel bad about yourself when you have to protect them.

Learn to play pool--it will make you look like a badass.

Finally, take risks Al. Stop being so scared all the time. Stop letting other peoples fears infiltrate your own life. You are young, its ok to fail sometimes. Its ok to fall down, to scrape your soul, to have a crushed spirit, to step out into the abyss. You are stronger than you know. You will survive, and thrive. See the cliff up ahead? Step over the edge, because even if don't make it across on the first try, there is no reason to believe the fall wont be just as exhilarating as the jump. Experience everything you can. Say yes, yes, and yes again to each opportunity. You are dying to go to Paris, so go. Live, explore, enjoy. Life is to be savored. Its sweet, its sour, and completely delicious. Trust your gut, trust that you know what you are doing. Trust your instinct, that tiny feeling in the pit of your stomach.

Have faith, have fun, and enjoy the ride,


What advise would you give yourself all those years ago?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Confessions

Happy Friday my amigas! I hope this has been a wonderful week. Today is my dear ol' dad's birthday!! I wish I could be there to celebrate with him, but I can't, but I am sure there will be some face timing this weekend. Happy birth day pops!!!

Without further delay, lets confess shall we?

1.I sweat all over a library book. I needed to return a book to the library and I needed to get my run in. I ended up running with a book in my hand. It was all kinds of hot, and I ran, awkwardly I might add, to the library. By the time I got there, I sweat all over the plastic cover and on some of the pages. And, I just dropped it in the slot and returned it.

2. I cooked the chicken. Remember last week, I cooked free range organic chicken, then left it out over night ruining it. Well, I stuck the dish in the fridge and let it sit for a few days. I ended up making soup this week, sliced the chicken and cooked it in the crock pot.

3.I stiff armed my dog and made him fall off the bed. One of our dogs sleeps in bed with us all night. The other jumps in bed when he hears us waking up. The other morning, my alarm when off, and I heard him walk towards the bed and get ready to jump up. I put my arm out to block him. He jumped, hit my arm, which he didn't expect, and tumbled back on the floor.

4. I had some gas. So I waited until P pulled the covers over his face as he was going to bed, then released. He was not happy with me.

There you go, all my shenanigans this week. Fess up my friends, let me know what you did wrong this week.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Lazy Girl

Lately, I have been lacking motivation to do anything. I don't want to cook, I don't want to clean, I don't want to track my spending, and I don't want to work out. I don't want to do much at all.

Last week, I didn't run once. I went to the gym once, and "cross trained" by doing the elliptical at such a slow clip that I barley broke a sweat. Other than that, I hit snooze on the alarm, every single morning, and I came home, changed clothes, and laid on the couch every night. I watched episode after episode of House Hunters, then watched reruns of the Office on Netflix.

Whats worse, is I knew I was being lazy. I felt bad about it, but it didn't motivate me to get off my booty and move. Not only was I physically lazy, but mentally as well. I allowed myself do go to a place of lethargy.

Looking back, I was pretty lame last week. I didn't care about anything, and I was not motivated to be better, to be stronger, or to put effort into anything. I can easily see how living like that can become a habit, and lead to a life of poor choices. It seems as if I spent last week in a fog, wandering aimlessly without direction or purpose.

In the end, it did not hurt me, it did not have a major impact on my life, but it did not leave be fulfilled either.

When I work out, when I sweat, when I accomplish tasks, when I am efficient and productive, I feel better about myself. I make better choices, and I feel clear, mentally.

I vowed to make this week better than last. We got home late last night, and I went to bed exhausted, happy, and ready to take on a new week.

This morning, I woke up before my alarm and before I went to work I accomplished more than I did in the 7 days prior. I did 2 loads of laundry, emptied the dish washer, picked up the house, made breakfast and lunch, and worked out.

I was extremely productive at work, and managed to show my to do list who's boss. I get a thrill every time I get to highlight something off my list!

The big test for me came after work today. Last week, I came home, changed, and sat on the couch for 4 hours vegging out. Today, I told myself today that I would not turn on the t.v., and that I would tackle my personal to do list.

Yes, I am Type A, and have several to do lists going all at one time. I managed to reconcile our bank account, go for a run, stop by the library, and mow the back yard all in 2 hours.

Now, I am blogging, getting ready to put some things on Craigslist to sell, and finish a few tasks that have been nagging me for a while.

How was your Monday? I h
ope it was wonderfully productive, and that you started this week of with a BANG.
When you get lazy, how do you fight through it? Is your a physical or mental exhaustion that you battle?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday confessions

1. I have not run since Sunday.

2. I drank my dinner in the form of red wine last night.

3. I've eaten out nearly every day this week.

4. I ruined expensive organic free range chicken. I baked it, and rather than put it in the fridge when we didn't eat it, I turned off the oven and left it in there all night.

Fess up peeps!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Spreading Hate

Sometimes, this thing called the Internet is awesome, and sometimes, this thing called the Internet really makes me angry.
It has become far to easy to sit behind a screen and spew hate, rage, and meanness.

Earlier this week, one of my favorite bloggers made a hard announcement. I have never met her, but we have emailed a few times, and I comment on her site daily. She is a runner, she is lightning fast, super positive, and seems like a great girl. Basically, I want to be best friends with her in real life. I have been reading her blog for years, and she inspires me, pushes me, and reminds me to look for the good in life. I don't think I have ever read her blog without smiling.

After she made her announcement, I was surfing the web, and stumbled across a site that mentioned her news, and as I scanned the comments, I found myself becoming more and more angry. There were some of the most vile, mean, and nasty comments. Commenter's were bashing her for things that had nothing to do with the news, they just bashed her personality. Then, they started talking about other blogs, and bashing some other healthy living women as well. The first few comments were nice, but all it took was one mean comment to start the snowball effect. People followed suit and negativity spread way too quickly.

What happened to the days of "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all."

So often, we sit behind these screens, with our made up user names, and troll the Internet for things to comment on. When hiding behind a screen these people are brave, brazen, and let their dark side out.
They give into jealousy and envy, and show their true colors. Because so much of our internet activity is anonymous, there is little accountability.

There are blogs out there that I cannot stand, and rather than comment on their site, I just don't read them. I want to read blogs that inspire me, that make me laugh, make me cry, and make me better.

This week, I want to focus on spreading joy rather than negativity. Negativity can be triumphed by positivity.

Lets do something nice for someone. Comment on a blog, and say something nice. Pay for Starbucks for the guy in line behind you. Send a quick note to your grandmother letting her know you are thinking of her. Smile at a stranger. Help someone with their hands full. Just try and make someone smile this week.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sail Away

Sail Boat
Inside Jokes
Delicious beverages
Long Talks
Long Walks
Long Drives
New Houses
Late dinners
Junk food
Trail Runs

This past weekend included all of these things and more. Recharged, refreshed, and ready to do it all again.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My obsessions

These past few weeks, I have become obsessed with one topic, real estate. I told you about my idea a few weeks ago.
This dream, this desire to diversify our financies is like an itch I cannot scratch. I think about it all the time. I am doing more and more research on properties, and I keep getting more and more excited. 
There is one obstacle standing in our way, its kind of a big one.....MONEY.
Specifically, our mortgage. We are Dave Ramsey followers to the max. We drank the Koolaid. We are on board, on the Dave train, and are following the baby steps. 
We are at the point where our only remaining debt is our home. We are trying to pay this sucker off early. We want out from underneight this load. 
We are making bimonthly payments, and an additional payment at the end of the month once we reconcile our account.

Our mortgage is still in the mid six digits. XXX,XXX. Thats a lot of digits. But still, I WANT THIS SUCKER GONE!

I even went so far as to buy a cheap frame, and hang it in P's closet so that every time we open the doors, we see it hanging in the closet every day. Written with a dry erase marker that I swiped from the office, written in my messy handwriting, I track our mortgage balance. I have been updating the frame 3x a month. Each time our mortgage goes through and with every additional payment I update it.

I have been playing with a lot of scenarios on some online calculators. I have been looking at refinancing to a 15 year, 20 year, with lower interest rates. I have been playing with additional payment calculators seeing how much time and interest we will save. I have probably run 100 different scenarios, just manipulating the numbers in as many different ways as possible. 

The other factor that is pushing me is listening to the Dave Ramsey show. At least once a day a couple that is our age, making the typical money gets to brag about having their home paid off. They are so happy and excited, and Dave is so excited, and I want to be one of those couples. I asked P if we could go to Nashville to Financial Peace Plaza to scream we are debt free when we pay off our house. He said yes, but reminded me that it will be a few years. 

Every time I hear someone pay off their house, I get tears in my eyes. I get so excited for them, and they push me even harder to squeeze a bit harder, to coupon a little bit more, to eat in another night, to really go for it. 

The thought of owing nothing, to being completely free gives me chills. In this economic environment, where our politicians, our elected leaders are monkeying around with our money, with our future scares me. And, it makes me angry. Both sides are out of control. They are messing with our lives. I want to do as much as I can to make sure we are secure, and take as much control and influence of our lives out of the hands of the government. 

I'm psyched, I'm obsessed, and I'm ready to get this done. 

How are you doing on your debt pay down? Anyone out there have the mortgage paid off?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday Confessions

Hi friends! I hope you have had a fabulous week. Without further delay, I give you my weekly confessions.

1.I ran in the heat, and laid on the floor. I allowed my dog to lick my entire face. I was so hot, and my head was pounding after running outside in 105 degree heat, so I just laid on the floor, and didn't move a muscle as he licked the sweat off my entire face. Some may say thats disgusting, I on the other hand didn't care. I was hot, tired, and could not move.

2. I walked out of the house without shoes, and went ahead to the studio to workout anyways. I walked across the parking lot without shoes on.

3. I gripped at P for not making my breakfast. He is kind and does it often, but when he doesn't, I get mad, and give him attitude.

4. I watched the episode of the Office where Michael Scott leaves, again, and cried. I have seen this episode so many times and I cry every.single.time.

Fess up peeps! What did you do wrong this week

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Emergency Fund Comes in Handy

Tuesday night I had event after work and didn’t get home until 8:00. It was hot. I looked around our messy living room, dropped my stuff then went to turn on the a/c. Right then, P came out of the bedroom with a pretty ominous look on his face. I paused about 3 steps away from the thermostat and said “What?”
He told me he arrived home about an hour before, went to turn on the A/C, and heard it make some weird noise. He went outside just in time to see our compressor explode and spray black oil on the yard.
He had been on the phone calling around to have someone come out look at the unit, and give us a quote to fix it. While waiting, we started talking about possible scenarios, and the most extreme was that we would need to replace the entire unit and ducking in the house, which would run about $6,000. That was a number that I did not want to hear.
The a/c guy (someone who works for P’s company) came by, looked at the situation and gave us the low down.
He could:
A.Fix the compressor
B. Install an entire new unit.
Bottom line, nothing could be done Tuesday night, so we got to spend the night in our home, in Texas, in the middle of summer, with no A/C.
 I was super excited when I checked the weather and saw that at 8:00 PM it was still 98 degrees outside. Being the cheap couple we are, we decided not to stay in a hotel room, but sleep in our house. We had all the fans on, and slept on top of the comforter. Neither of us slept well. When I woke up in a puddle of sweat on Wednesday morning, I jumped out of bed to go to the gym just so I could be in the A/C. I was quite depressed when I walked outside to find it was cooler outside than in our house.
To fix and install the compressor with labor would run around 400.00+labor, and the total would come to around 800.00. Or, he could install a new unit for around 600+labor, which would run us around $1,200-1,300. He pointed out that there was already a modification on the a/c to help it start every time. Apparently, someone who owned the house previously had problems with the a/c unit and chose to fix it with a cheap option. By the way, this was not something that was brought up in our home inspection last year when you bought the home.
The other kick in the gut---our home warranty expired 30 days ago. We bought our home in June of 2012, and as part of our negotiations, the sellers paid for a 1 year home warranty that we could renew if we chose. We chose not to renew because we have heard some pretty bad things about home warranty companies, and we prefer to self insure in these situations.
In the end, we decided to get a new unit. It came with a manufacturers warranty, it would be a new energy efficient unit, and would last for at least 10 years.
Yes, we just dropped a whole bunch of money we were not expecting to, but we didn’t have to go into debt. The emergency fund transformed a potentially stressful situation, into an inconvenience. We don’t like having to dip into our savings, but this is what it is there for. It is to help in an emergency.  
I am just so grateful to be married to a husband who values fiscal responsibility, and places a premium on systematic savings and planning.

Have you had to dip into your e-fund lately? What for?