8 years.....

Eight Years 

I was getting up and ready to head to the salon to get my hair done and it was pouring down rain. 
I was not phased by it at all I was just so happy to be marrying my best friend

Back then (and still today) I was just in awe that he chose me. He was (and still is) more than I could have ever dreamed of.

I always think of what our pastor said during our pre-marital counseling, she told us that she was praying about our marriage and she just kept coming back to that we were written in heaven to be together.

That sticks with us so much and has been the foundation for our marriage.

It hasn't always been perfect and it I know that rough roads lie ahead because that's life but we have a good foundation one that can withstand all the storms

8 years ago we were two young kids getting married and now today we have three kids of our own.

We have endured countless sleepless nights together, blowouts that need a hazmat team, teething of 3 children (still in the midst of that) potty training (still more on the horizon) house repairs, new cars, debt, losing loved ones, 3 pregnancies, one miscarriage, friendships coming and going, vacations and hard decision but through it all we have remained the constant. 

Our love is strong enough and it wins always.


Total Money Makeover took our communication to the next level

So I read The Total Money Makeover about 3 years ago but I could not get my husband to read it.
I kind of tried to do it myself and guess what that is a huge burden for one person to take on. He was on board with paying off debt but he wasn't so on board with the whole rice and beans approach.

So it didn't work very long and we both got back to our spending ways.

Then in the midst of a heated disagreement spurred by money talks I asking him to please get Audible and listen to Dave Ramsey. He did and that changed everything not just financially but with out relationship.

We have always been communicators. Michael and I both talk to each other about everything. We always discussed purchases but it was a "hey there is this great deal so I bought xyz" kind of thing. He hardly ever looked at our account and I paid all the bills. I would print out a budget I did once a month and then he would look it over tell me it looked good and then it would go in the drawer never to be seen again.

We would spend 10,15,20 on drive thru coffee or a pizza for dinner. I added it up one month and we spend over $75.00 on drive thru coffee runs I mean that is just insane but neither one of us was concerned enough about debt and our budget we were just half way budgeting.

I felt so much pressure to make it every month and I started to feel isolated when it came to finances. So while he our marriage was good and we were happy I knew we needed to work on this area specifically.
We thought we were good at communication but we never communicated properly about money! Which by the way is one of the major reasons people get divorced and should be something constantly discussed.

So once he read the Total Money Makeover we had a real talk about our finances. We put blame and shame aside. You see I have always felt guilty about being the only one with student loans but we are a team and we both take responsibility for our debt. Our money is one and our debt is one. There is no separation.

I mean we talk daily about our budget, projected debt payoff, which money is going where, life insurance, long term disability insurance and the man himself Dave Ramsey.

We both listen to the pod casts daily and Michael loves to YouTube debt free screams, which something that is now on our bucket list!

We are on the same page and when I went to pay bills this month. I smiled, like a big cheesy smile because there was no stress at all. We had already budgeted everything and if something came up we had made the necessary adjustments.

We are less stressed and it shows even our kids can tell. I'm not trying to juggle the accounts and squirming when Michael talks about buying something. We are so in sync with this debt payoff and it is so wonderful.

We are starting FPU in 2 weeks and I can't wait to watch our marriage get even stronger. There is nothing like working on a goal with your spouse. Plus it helps that we are both competitive and have hopes to kill out two year projection of being debt free. But I think it goes deeper than that we are changing our family and it's future and that is just something that makes both of our hearts so full.


This that and camping

Last week we went on a family vacation and went camping. Well glamping I guess. We went to JellyStone in Java NY and rented a cabin. It was a blast. It was my brother and sister in law with my niece and nephew and my parents along with us and the kiddos. So that is 6 adults and 5 kids in a two bedroom cabin. It was tight quarters but man was it a blast. There is so much for the kids to do all right at the campground and our cabin was in the best location a short walk to the lake and pool and right next to the activity center.

The kids made shirts played candy bar bingo, played put put, went fishing, canoeing, built sandcastles, and swam every single day. We went Sunday through Wednesday and it was the perfect amount of time.

Michael and I actually left with the twins on Tuesday night because we had pretty important doctors appointment for Charlotte on Wednesday and we just wanted her to have a good nights sleep in her own bed the night before.

Speaking of the doctors Charlotte has been having some tummy problems and going to the bathroom and we have tried everything our pediatrician has suggested and nothing has worked and so we were referred to a GI specialist. We love the specialist who told us this is no uncommon and that hopefully in a few steps we can get it resolved but we are also checking for anything that could be causing the constipation and stomach problems.

Let me tell you getting a 15 month old to have blood drawn was pure torture. She screamed the whole time and I had to hold her super super tight because she kept trying to rip the needle out. However I'm glad we are testing for anything underlying condition.

We are rolling along with our debt. I have a post coming up tomorrow about how our marriage has changed from this already. I'm planning to do monthly posts about what we have paid off and if we have had any set backs (praying for none!) and any non debt victories!

I have developed a huge iced coffee addiction or maybe it's just coffee but I have been having 2-3 a day. Why are they so good? I love them best from home and I just use my creamer in them no sugar and they are everything right now.

Michael and I are counting down the days until we have two whole night of being kid free. We are going just a few hours away and have plans to do nothing. We just want to relax and be able to finish a sentence the first time instead of starting it 67 times lol.


Workin' It Wednesday-Back to School

So this year is my first year with a kiddo going to school

My sweet Grayson is starting Pre-K in our school district!

This is a huge change for us since he has always gone to a daycare right down the road from my work and for the last year 3 days a week he has been in a nursery school setting at that same daycare.

Now he will be in our school district and he will be riding the bus and going half days 5 days a week. 

Our school has a trickle in approach to school so that kids can ease into the process

So school starts Wednesday September 6th and each child is given one day that they will go that week. Grayson was picked for Wednesday so he will only go one day that week on Wednesday and we have to bring him and drop him off. 

Then on Monday September 11th he will start his first full week and riding the bus. 

I took half a day for both days because well I have to be there.

This is our first going to school and since he goes half days in the afternoon I'm not sure if we will have too many traditions start quite yet however we have a few in mind

We will be going supply shopping for him sometime in the next week, it's a small list but we still want to have him have that experience.

He does not need clothes (cousin hand-me downs for the win!) BUT could use a new pair of sneakers so we will be taking him shoe shopping! So excited for that!

Overall we are just praying for a smooth transition and that he will do good in this new setting and schedule.


Debt Snowball AGAIN

I come here today to hang my head in shame a little bit

3 years ago I declared that we were getting out of debt. I had just read Total Money Makeover and was so ready to get out of debt.

We did awesome, we saved $1,000 and fast and then we got to work on our smallest debt. We paid it off in about 5 months and then we stopped.

Like hardcore just stopped. Why? I could give you a million reasons

I self medicated by shopping a little bit after my miscarriage and we justified a weekend trip to Toronto even though we didn't have a budget because it was our anniversary.

Then September came and we were pregnant with twins. We were faced with a ton of financial decisions and we made some moves out of fear (I'm looking at you mini van) and our own pressure.

We had a real come to Jesus moment when Michael went to his new schedule and our daycare bill was about twice our mortgage. 

My husband hates to read. But I needed him to read this book! So I found Audible downloaded it on his phone and he "read" Total Money Makeover in one day and that was it. We were hardcore on the road to becoming debt free.

Our total debt as of August 1st 2017 was 66,000.00 That consists mostly of student loans and some credit card debt. Our goal is 24 months. Seems crazy but we have a hardcore plan and I truly think it will be less. My guess is around 20-22 months.

I will update at the first of every month what we have paid off.
Plus what our monthly goals are outside of debt

This month it is
Complete Baby Step #1- Save $1,000.00
Hit Baby Step#2-Debt Snowball
Cut out a ton of extra fat from our budget (I'm looking at you storage unit full of junk and XM radio)
Get Term Life Insurance
Enjoy our last vacations until we are debt free (these were pre-planned and already paid for with CASH!)
Get Grayson ready for school
Organize our house

I strongly encourage you to look into this book
It has been such an awakening for us

I have a whole other post on the affect it has already had on our marriage and me as a person

Plus now with Audible there is no excuse not to get this information!!! My husband has listened to it twice already it's that addicting!


Charlotte and Marshall- 15 month update

Oh babies 15 months does not seem possible 

I feel like 12 to 15 months has been such a huge change

Ladies first as always

Sissy girl you are just so amazing. But frustrating. When I came to write this update all I thought was when will you start sleeping through the night? We have started some horrible sleep habits with you and soon ( I dread) we will have to break those. You still have to be swaddled to fall asleep and you still have to be rocked ugh putting you to bed takes a good half an hour. And then your up multiple times a night and usually (read: always) end up in our bed. You are the most fitful sleeper ever. But gosh do we love you. We will figure this sleep thing out soon. Until then coffee and under eye concealer work wonders for your sleep issue side affects

You are walking all over the place and the new baby walk is my favorite belly out and wobbly. You live up to the hype of red hair because your personality is feisty and opinionated. You know who you like and don't like and you let it be known. If you don't want someone holding you you scream and wriggle until they put you down and then waddle over to a safe person usually me. You rule over your brothers and if they don't give into you well you pull their hair so we have been working very hard on being nice giving hugs and not always getting what we want.

You are a good eater you still prefer meat and veggies to carbs (so not my child) you gobble up meatballs and sausage. Eggs top your list too. Lima beans and green beans are your favorite. You like warm food over cold food so lunch meat is not your favorite unless I heat it up first. You still drink milk 3 times a day and you do okay with it. You love water and drink first thing when waking up. You got put on a stool softener and so now every morning on your way into school you get a small amount of milk to get that in your system although it's so not helping. So we will see what comes from that whole situation

Grayson is your favorite person on this planet. When you two see each other for the first time you wrap your arms around his neck or waist and just squeeze with the biggest smile on your face. He can get you to smile and calm down better than anyone and you listen when he tells you not to throw your food on the floor. You live for bath time will stop dead in your tracks for the movie Trolls and always booty shake to the hot dog song. You love Marshall and the two of you babble back and forth all day. You have become quite the mama's girl over the last few weeks. You reach for me over everyone and you hate to be taken from me. If I'm in the room you need to be next to me. Often times you like to just climb up on the couch and sit so our legs touch because you just like to be next to me. That warms my heart baby girl. Boys are always so on the go but you my sweet girl love to just be with me and sit on my lap or hold my hand next to me on the couch. You greet me at the gate when I come home and I love it you scream with your hands in the air like your squeezing lemons until I pick you up and then you lay your head on my shoulder. I dream of that moment all day when I'm at work because it does wonders for my heart

You have 9 teeth with 5 more coming in. Sweet baby Jesus hold me because your miserable when teething and you drool like crazy. Your still in 12 month clothing purely for length because your waist is still in a 6/9 month. You have the curliest craziest red hair and these crystal blue eyes. Heart breaker for sure. You say ball mama dada bubba hi and more. And you babble all the live long day I swear you say I love you but in baby gibberish. You will walk right up to us and just start talking and pointing it sounds like jdkjaldjlakjf  but you get such a serious look on your face when we don't respond your really trying to tell us something.

Your nicknames are pretty much the same Sissy is the front runner but Sis comes out a ton as does Charpa Narper (that one is all your daddy) Char Char, Charliper dooos (we are crazy) and Peanut.

We love you sweet girl and you bring us so much happiness. You hang with your brothers and walk around with a purse on your shoulder while rocking a baby and then you walk up to one of them and grab the truck out of their hand and rip their hair out all while wearing your brothers baseball hat. Balance. I can't wait to watch you grow my love. I'm nothing but honored to be your Mommy.Love you Sweet Sissy Girl!

Don't tell the others Marsh but your my favorite. You are still a rockstar sleeper. 11-12 hours every night and 3 hour nap everyday. You wake up happy 95% of the time and the other 5% you just need a little bit of cuddles and your fine. Actually now that I'm thinking of it your only cranky when you wake up and don't see Grayson. Again he is your favorite person. You just love him but you will always always hug mama first.

You have been walking since you were 11 months old and so well you run everywhere now. Grayson walks you into daycare for me and you hold hands and it is just the sweetest thing I have ever seen. You think your carseat is acid and arch your back all the time. You get attached pretty quickly to people and are the best snuggler. However you always know mommy or daddy which we love. But if the person who is holding you leaves you cry you just love big. You give the best hugs and picked up on the whole be nice super quick. You hug and then lay your head on whoever is by you when you hear be nice. You also have a nice patting thing that you do it is really sweet.

Your language is bursting in baby gibberish. However you understand ev.ery.th.ing we say. I can hand you a roll of paper towels from the back room and say "bring it to daddy marshall" and you walk it right to the kitchen gate where daddy is waiting for it. You hand me diapers, shoes, toys, odd bits you find anywhere and shove your sussy (paci) in my mouth 98098 times a day. You can say mama, dada, ball, bubba, uh oh, and you sake your head no and yes when we say those words to you

You are the climber and if the gate to the stairs is left open you are up them in the blink of an eye. Just last week daddy lost you in the house because he left the gate open and you were upstairs just walking from room to room. You love to climb on the furniture and just a few days ago mastered getting down safely instead of you know a nose dive off.

Again Grayson is your most favorite person. You just want to be near him and if he leaves a room your done and melt into a puddle on the floor. He has already taught you how to vroom a car and so anytime you see one you squat down and vroo vroo that puppy everywhere.  You are a dancer. I mean you hear ever a little bit of music and you start to dance. You spin around hands in the hair and booty drop. Saturday mornings we put on CMT just so you can dance with Grayson. It is so sweet.

Your a great eater. You eat everything. You love carbs like your mama and if we give you something like pasta and meatballs you eat the pasta first and then work on the meatballs. You still only have 5 teeth and you struggle big time when you teeth. Your in size 18 month clothing because you are so solid. Your feet are like little bricks. You weigh a full 4 pounds more than you sister my chunky baby. You have the best blue eyes and the best blonde hair. It lays so nice and grows so fast. And when it gets long enough it starts to curl in the back.You go this week for your second hair cut and while I hate to cut it because it's so awesome it is constantly in your eyes.

Your nicknames are Marsh Marsh, Marshy, Marshy Moo, Brubba, and Nugget.

You are my goofy kid and my sweet one. You have the best dimple smile and the sweetest little lips I just love you. I'm so blessed God chose me to be your Mama. Love you Marshy Boy!