Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Now You Must Live Like No One Else So..."

"..later you can live like no one else." - Dave Ramsey

For anyone who has read a Dave book or taken the class they may be familiar with this phrase. For Mark and me, it hasn't just been a phrase it's been our life attitude.

Today, we have been married 2 years, 3 months, and 1 day and at 5:15 this afternoon we became DEBT FREE! 2 years, 3 months, and 1 day ago we were more than $25,000 in credit card and student loan debt. Today we have set ourselves free!!!*
*Dave Ramsey's Financial Plan does not include your living place as part of your debt. We still owe on our house and will now begin paying it down more quickly*

This journey has been my passion (Mark has merely tolerated it). I read my first Dave book in college and then reread it before we got married - Thank you Dad for making me - and came into marriage prepared to accomplish one financial goal - financial freedom!
People often ask me, "how?" or "would you show me?" Well, friends, as my parents taught me: Never spend more than you make. Pay Cash. If you can't pay cash, you don't need it.

I will tell you that we lived in the cheapest apartment in town, we ate dinner at home, we took our lunch to work, we carpooled, we never bought new clothes, we skipped vacation offers from friends and family, we moved into our house and only did necessary house renovations that we payed cash for, we used coupons for everything, we exchanged junk with friends and family to get "new" stuff, we used every Birthday and Christmas and overtime dollar towards this one goal.

We did not allow ourselves to be tempted by worldly goods as we remembred God's Words in Romans, "Owe no man anything but love." Our goal of financial freedom was not just a logical one but one of Love for our Lord and our desire to serve Him in every aspect of our lives.

So, today, we offer this gift to you dear Lord, the gift of owing no man anything but love. Please send us our next assignment as we seek to do Your will.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Last Trip Home

This morning I woke up incredibly sad, it's the last morning of my last trip home for months.

I had the incredible privilege of growing up in the same blue house for the first 18+ years of my life. I was very brave and switched bedrooms three times but other than that I never moved anywhere. So, during my college years, camp summers, and married years this place is still very much where I refer to when I say "home."

I know all of the cutesy sayings that ladies sew on samplers, "Home is where the heart is" or "Where ever you may be is home" are touching, but for me, this blue house is very much home. At 32 weeks, this is my last doctor approved trip and after the discomfort and pain after Friday's drive here I understand why. Annabeth will be here in 2 months and then I am sure we will need quite a bit of adjustment before we're able to just drive down for a visit to Evansville.

I love this house, not just because my family is here, but because I know all the places where the floor creeks, which stairs to skip in the middle of the night and I love the yard, the memory ground for so many childhood dreams and games.

My new hope is that Mark and I will be able to give Annabeth some place like this. A place that is positive and safe. A place that even at 3 years out of college and 2 years married feels like the only place she'll want to be on a bad or sad day.

I am thankful that Mama, Dad, and Lu have planned lots of visits up north for the fall and winter so that we may see them. But today, with the sun streaming in the sunroom windows of my blue house, I wish I could stay just a little longer...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Healthy Birth Class #1

Last Monday we began our Healthy Birth classes at St. Francis. I admit I had put off registering, they recommend doing so in the 4th month, but it had just seemed so far away. Well, her due date is 8 weeks from today so it was about time to learn how to make that all happen!!

Our class has 12 couples, all very nice. It was interesting every couple has learned the gender of their baby and most have been calling them by name for months now - just like us with Annabeth! :)

Last Monday was introductions, time for the partners to share concerns/questions, and time for us mommies to talk about the "uncomfortable stuff." God bless those women who feel as funny and hormonal as I do! Monday was also the beginning of labor videos, all of which I missed due to my "morning sickness" because yes, even now, I am throwing up all day and night. Good thing Mark has a strong stomach and was able to stay through the whole class.

Initial Thoughts:
1. I am thankful to the custodians of St. Francis for keeping the restrooms REALLY clean!!
2. All of the staff seems just as helpful and knowledgeable as we had been told.
3. I am really!!! thankful the class meets three more times. I am beginning to get so nervous!