Before it slips away

I’m still here.  It’s so hard for me to sit down and share our world with others. 

2013 has been good for us.  The kids and I finished up a school year of Classical Conversations and they loved it.  We saw so many changes in all three of them. 

My oldest is away at college, living with grandparents, and playing music all over central Texas.

My husband is from West, Texas.  We heard of the explosion on April 17 and talked with a niece over the phone.  David got off and told me, “The north end of town is gone.”  I thought he was exaggerating.  Over the next month, we were glued to facebook staying in touch with locals.  We made trips to check on family and to bury two friends.

We came home and signed on with a new realtor…and dropped our house by over 50K.

Roofs came in due to a hail storm that hit Austin & the surrounding area.   David has worked like a demon this summer.  Mostly, we’ve been playing catch up.

WE HAVE A CONTRACT ON THE HOUSE!!

 

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Hello 2013

Starting the new year with a messy house…and convincing myself to relax ~ take it a room at a time.  It’s cold for Texas and I’m trying to convince myself that it’s winter and these chilly days might stay around for a few months.  The last few days, we’ve been running low on propane, so we’ve cut the heater real low, and kept a fire burning during the day.  It’s been nice and cozy and I think my Texas bones might be able to make it through.

Do you ever feel like you have time to play or just do something fun?  I’ve noticed that I have let myself fall into a trap of putting everything off until ‘the right time.’  Usually this means a clean and organized house, organized school work with detailed plans, or most unfortunately, it means a thinner Stacy:(  Gotta let it go…days are slipping by.

Here I am…laying out my ambitions for the next year, to share with you.  Don’t be upset with me if I come back next month with complaints that I just can’t get off my tocus.  Please don’t be upset if I arrive quarterly with a whole new list and half of todays scrapped!  We all need a starting point…………

Personal

  • Create a wordwrobe quarterly with ideas from Project 333 (I don’t have to be a frumpy stay-at-home mom) (Help and shopping trips with Julia)
  • Gather things for a craft bag and a planning bag to have with me
  • Fall below 130#
  • Take a spinning class
  • Take a yoga class
  • Journal fitness and diet; Be a Walky Freak
  • Talk with possible mentors on Aesthetician Skills
  • Take office skills classes
  • Take an A/P class
  • Certification for Colon Hydrotherapy (Yes! one of my lifes ambitions!)
  • Mom retreats
  • Retreat with Girl’s and trip with Julia
  • See Georgia atleast 4 times this year!  Quality visits.  Can we make something together?

Family

  • Have more than half of our meals together; stop eating out!!!
  • Home Yoga practice
  • Special monthly outing
  • Enjoy our home, seasonally, weekly
  • Make memories of this place with lots of pictures
  • Game day weekly
  • Organize our pictures and schedule upkeep
  • Keep Tucker
  • Bible Study
  • Planning Pow Wows weekly/monthly
  • Get to Bed Early & Wake before kids

Kids and Homeschool

  • Swimming for All (Lessons for Littles, Swim team for T)
  • TaeKwonDo for All
  • Create Annual/Quarterly/Monthly Education Goals for each child
  • Include money skills for each and saving goals
  • Create family newsletter and yearbook
  • Cooking time in the schedule
  • Typing for Troy (and maybe a little for littles)
  • Continue with Classical Conversations and mom consider teaching Challenge A, Fall
  • Co-Op; mom teach literature class Spring; dad consider teaching next fall
  • PT/OT/ST Therapy for littles

Finances

  • Low spending as we create an emergency savings of 3K
  • Go over bare bones budget with David
  • Save 4 months of this!!!
  • Pay of T’s medical debt
  • Save for Stephen eye surgery
  • Eye appointment and glasses for all 5 of us!
  • Track spending (Include tracking mileage)
  • Can we have no spend weeks?  Days?
  • Open retirement funds for David & Stacy (even if I can only put $25 each monthly) (Thanks Frugal Trenches)
  • Consider blogging about debt
  • Lower said debt to $20K in 2013

Home

  • Make a list and share….Homeskills to learn.  Seasonally?  Monthly?
  • Paint chairs
  • $$ for loveseat, new king sheets, towels for both bathrooms
  • Cutlery and knives for 15th anniversary
  • Domestic Day weekly
  • Learn to sprout
  • Bake Bread
  • Plan for gifts; birthdays, anniversarys, special days
  • Garden in two raised beds

 

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Goodbye 2012

I am so ready to tie a ribbon around 2012 and put it on a shelf!

Most of the year was spent with me dragging myself out of some deep depression.  It has taught me great empathy for people who are in this situation and I have learned that more people than I realize have difficult times.

In February, I made a list of 40 before 40 to accomplish this year.  March was spent in a recliner with a nasty case of allergies.  April….the bottom fell out, and I just couldn’t get things rolling for my daily life.  I would do the minimal to keep my house running and my kids fed…then crawl back in bed.

Late June, my oldest son was hospitalized for an internal staff infection.  It woke me up – somewhat and I began putting one foot in front of the other.

Late August, we put our home on the market with a new realtor.

September we joined a Classical Conversations homeschool group.  While it was very stressful and a huge challenge, my kids thrived!

That 40 list hangs in shreds …

  • Out of the 4 quality visits with my granddaughter, Georgia…I only made 2
  • No 130 in sight…I put on an extra 10 pounds this year
  • We got the house on the market
  • Had a weekend away with David in Galveston
  • Made Thanksgiving Dressing with Uncle Mickey

FOUR out of 40.  OUCH

So ~ as you can see, I’m ready to put the year behind us and start again.  Can you do that?  Can you start the new year and walk into living again…like a New Year’s Resolution?  Or will you just end up back on your face, crawling under the covers????

This blog will be a place to share the journey we are on.

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To Blog or Not to Blog

Ok – having a hard time blogging.  The learning curve is tough for me and I use this as an excuse to procrastinate or not blog at all.  I’ll blog when I get an outline figured out for posting.  When I learn more about adding things to the blog.  What about all the neat WordPress plug-ins I’m reading about?  When I get a camera.  When I learn how to upload pictures.  It’s a lot like the old swimming issue: don’t get in the water until you learn how to swim.  So I don’t.  The water or the blogging.

I had hoped that over the summer we would have a busy work schedule and make some $$.  That I could come online and confess our debt numbers, but show that we were paying things down.  That I would be getting skinnier.  That the house would have sold.  Stories, stories, stories to share.

On June 22, we were in the emergency room with our oldest son.  Doubled over in pain and crying.  Piercing head aches. Pain running its course around his back hip and ribcage area.  We and doctors first thought it was a kidney infection.  Blood work showed another type of infection.  Bacterial.  Cat scan and MRI showed a mass around the muscles near his right kidney and spine.  Spent 5 nights at Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin.  The last day, he received a PICC line in his arm and we were sent home to administer antibiotics five times a day.  For the month of July.

We’ve moved through the ordeal with optimism.  It has been interesting.  A life lesson.  Aching for others that never leave that hospital; or have to keep coming back – as part of their life’s routine.  Troy kept his spirits up and didn’t get fussy or depressed until the last week of the PICC.  It was removed the last week of July; with follow-up oral antibiotics for the month of August.  A new MRI showed the mass was gone, but inflammation near L3L4.  We will see an orthopedic specialist on the 15th to check this out.  His blood work still looks off-balance, but Drs. are suggesting this is a reaction to all of the drugs.

My son is up and running.  We feel blessed.

The bills are rolling in now.  As self-employed, we have our own health insurance, but a very high deductible.  Feeling very confident in keeping this organized and paying what we can.

We carry on.

I hate to admit this, but here goes.  Troy being in the hospital made me get up, get dressed, put my face and hair together, and get out of the house.  I had the challenge of driving into Austin to swap out with his dad, and it felt good.  In the middle of pain and worry, I woke up.  Facebook was a good portal to get info to friends and family.  I could plug in T’s latest procedure or symptoms and everyone knew what was going on.  I didn’t realize that this was a crutch until I talked with Davids sister on the phone.  When I heard a loved ones voice of concern, and I had to speak the words to tell her what was going on, I choked up.  Sometimes a crutch is a good thing.

My best friend, Patty, came to spend one day with me and bought me lunch.  Grandparents and aunts and cousins came to see Troy and brought him Legos!  He said it was better than his birthday.  Told me one night, “Mom, people must really love us.”  He also said, “aren’t you glad I got sick…you had to get out of the bed.”  Ouch.

We’ve already had a good month of August and I haven’t even recorded the magic…might catch up soon.  Back to our Story.

 

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How did we get here?

This blog is a story of our journey.  A journey out of debt.  Out of the sticks.  Out of depression.

We’ve lived in this home since 2000. I want to call it a blessing.  I want to say that it has been good to us.  I want to be content.  But it hurts.

If I had recorded our story from the beginning, you would see the mistakes we made.  My husband worked harder than three men.  Running.  A business of roofing that fell into his lap, but not into his heart.  It paid the bills.  Some years we made great money.  Some where slim.  Without a plan, we blew it.  It was the old story of feast or famine.

On his “free” moments, we ran a small cattle business.  Small by Texas standards….68 head of cattle.  Leased land spread out all over our county.  Subsidized by the roofing business.

Look what we got to do….yes we are thankful.  We took a round the world trip.  We bought two trucks, a tractor, stuff.  Trips to the coast.  Some of it paid for.  Some of it put on  credit card.

But no plans.  Just running.  Blowing.

Now we are both at the end of our ropes.  Exhaustion.  Depression.  No work coming in.  If it was, it might be worse ~ more expenses due to the jobs, wear on truck, cost of gas, husband not sleeping.  Bleeding.

So we are slimming everything of its excess.  Slowing down.  Trying to be patient.  Scraping the bottom of the barrel if you will.

I want to share the money issues.  Show the debt.  But I’m ashamed.  It may or may not end up on these pages.  Maybe bit by bit.

There are many things to be grateful for.  We’ve held on to our marriage.  Some days better than others.  Our children and ourselves are healthy – we think.  Our home is paid for; and finished.

Now we sit back and try to plan what’s next in our life.  Try to see what comes our way.  Try to go where we are called.

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