It is finished

It's been a while - just over a year to be precise. A lot has happened, more than we can convey right now. But, there's enough time tonight, before we crash into the oblivion of a deep, peaceful sleep, to share a few pictures:

Nicole's account with Sallie Mae website after submitting the final of many, many payments.

And, Sam's account with Department of Education after submitting the final of many, many, many payments.

We did it. We did it. We did it!


We're back...

You won't believe what we've accomplished these past couple months. First and foremost, Elsie is 1! WTH. How did that happen?!
I actually finished making her a happy birthday banner and this sweet crown made from a thrifted sweater. The highlights of my year as I actually got to do some crafting. Oh, and this was made for her present. It was also made from a part of that same sweater, as well as a couple others. It's freakin' cute.

Secondly, we did it! We set a goal way back when, and we did it. Early I might add. Just, FYI, I'm pretty good at setting close to insurmountable goals and then being disappointed when it doesn't pan out (as Sam so endearingly notes). I also would like to point out that not only did we meet this insurmountable goal, but we "freekin' rocked it." We paid off my graduate school loans in the amount of roughly $25,000 since April. We are now down to about $65,000. This whole thing is seeming a bit more doable. 

We would love to hear from you if you somehow stopped by and are on this journey with us. 

It feels good to make progress.



I'm not sure how to write this. I don't want to sound pathetic or pitiable. I don't feel that way, I just feel sad and I miss my friends. Seriously, we pretty much don't see people anymore. We hang out with the family weekly but other than that pretty much everyone has been abandoned. Not on purpose. I want all you friends to know, we had no idea that we would be unreachable.

For the past week or two it's consumed me. I'm afraid doing this, this crazy 2 year journey of intensity towards paying off debt, is going to cost us our friendships. I am usually the social director of our marriage. I am too tired, with all my new duties w/ 50-60 hour work weeks to get anything done once I'm home. It makes me sad since what I'd like to be doing is connecting with the people I love. This lack of contact becomes clear when I meet up with friends after a long absence and realize I've missed weeks or months of their lives and them mine. Ugh. I am not built to live in superficial relationships. I thrive on community and intimacy.

This is going to be harder than I thought. Anyone want to do this crazy journey with us? We could use the camaraderie. We make a mean rice and beans.



Hard Core

We are in the thick of it. I know what you're saying, "You just started, how can you be in the thick of it?" But we are. I've got one more day of a 6 day in a row work week (where 2 of those days included 10 hour days). We are in the THICK of it. June is going to be hard core. It's pretty much 6 day work weeks for me all month. Once July rolls around I'm going to start a new job. Yes, a third job. It's at a skilled nursing facility (which I've never worked at before, which means new paperwork and learning the system...ugh...more stress) about 35 miles away from home. It's guaranteed hours weekly, and let's just say, they made the offer too good to refuse. We're in the thick of it.

Sam called me while I was at work today and said "I was listening to Dave this afternoon and I just want you to know that you're hard core. Going from 2 days a week to full-time was a huge change and I appreciate you're willingness to do this for our family." I appreciate him loving on me but really, this is totally a team effort. Basically, we never have days off together anymore. We can't. It's a waste of too much money. I know that sounds ridiculous but daycare is expensive so if I can work on a day when there are no daycare expenses I need to do it. Secondly, Sam has taken up a huge amount of household responsibility. Since I'm really not home anymore Sam has picked up the grocery shopping, laundry, diaper washing and most of the cooking responsibilities. As difficult as it is for me to be away from my family (it's not how I'm built...I don't want to be a working mama. I yearn to be home and be a homemaker) it is such an amazing feeling to come home to an amazingly cooked meal, happy children and a satisfied husband who kisses me hello and then says "we had a great day together."
We're functioning in the THICK of it. We can do this. I tell Sam "you're hard core." He says "you know why I'm hard core, because I do this (pointing to the amazing dinner he's come up with) in this piece of shit kitchen." Yes, I quote.
I wanted you to witness the piece of shit kitchen. We've already decided that when we're debt free this will be the first room we'll save for to gut and re-do. Oh the beautiful thoughts. Here is my beginning ideaboard. Any ideas?


8 is less than 9

I've been trying to update the title up there. The one that is more than $90,000. I've been trying, but I can't remember how to update file formats and SaveAs commands to get platforms to talk friendly to each other. I've been trying to post our new title, the one that is just under $90,000 - the one with an 8 leading the long march.

Our shift has been interesting. April was furious and startling - a cycle of dinner times and bed times and cleaning times and very little down times. We have commented to each other, more than once, that we are living exactly the life we never wanted to live - busy, and fractured and, least palatable of all, focused on money. Even as I sent off our extra payment to the loan sharks tonight, it struck me how much I dislike how much we have been thinking and talking and working for money. Nevertheless, this is the cost of our decisions: to live for a while with discomfort and distress. I am thankful for the opportunity to embrace them both.

Kedzie has entered the WHY? phase of his verbal journey. When I am walking out the door to work, or when Nicole is pulling a 3-day weekend stint, he'll often ask "Where go, papa?" To work. "Why?" Because I made some short-sighted decisions and I want to make them right. Our future is too full of possibility to do anything else. "Oh. Bye, papa. La you." I love you, too, Kedzie.

Mama's Day

I never thought a day could be so perfect. It's funny how when you go into something without expectations...perfection.

The day began when my husband personal chef had eggs betty (a play on eggs benedict from this restaurant) with local asparagus from the farmer's market, canadian bacon from our meat CSA, and homemade biscuits from here. Needless to say it started out quite yummy.

Next we spent the morning playing baseball with our son (if that's not Americana...) and laying under the shade of our new trees.
I get this face a LOT.

The whole afternoon was spent with family: Sam's brother and family and his parents. We went to our community park and had a picnic. It was glorious. It's walkable from our house through a little wooded trail and henceforth will keep us from ever living in the city again.
Gammy & the babies.

Classic mama's day photo, blurry and all. I love it.



So, I know y'all probably know this already but Netflix is rad. Yes, rad. So, we're trying to pinch pennies as much as possible, as you might be aware. On Tuesday nights I usually abandon Sam and my children and head to yoga class. While I love most things about this such as, getting out of the house with some adult time, and furthering my yoganess, the whole paying money for the class is a bummer. Tonight I opted to see what yoga class Netflix might have on its "watch instantly" list. This one was awesome. My abs are still burning. (Which isn't saying much I guess. When one allows said abs to be stretched to oblivion for 2 years and then barely does anything to get them back; I hardly feel I can complain.) Basically, I need to get back on the exercise train. Mostly for myself and my health but a little bit because I'm a physical freakin therapist and I feel like a bit of a hypocrite. No longer.

Any ideas for freebies?

In other news Kedzie is now in a big boy bed. He's not my baby anymore. All those women in the grocery store are right, they really do grow up fast.