Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Late Update and the "Bump"

This week has been a bit crazy! Emotions are high, work is busy, and this mama is tired. However, I wanted to pop in and give a quick update on this delightful time in life. I am even including my first "bump" picture. Don't worry it will only be one of the few! It is barely there, but an exciting start and my back is already killing me! 

16 Weeks!!!

This week, baby is the size of a: Turnip...rougly 5.5 inches
Due date: April 1, 2014
How far along: 16 weeks 2 days
Next appointment: November 20th! Gender check!! Woo hoo! 
Gender: less than 5 weeks! 
Total weight gain/loss: 8 pounds 
Stretch marks: not any more that I have noticed 
Swelling: None!
Maternity clothes: nothing new. Still in all my normal clothes.  
Belly button: Normal
Sleep: I have woken up almost every night this week about 3:30 am dying to pee!   
Food cravings/aversions: Natta  
Movement: I do think I felt a little fluttering last night!! :)
Wedding ring: Still fits great! Hoping that lasts!
What I miss: not being so tired. I seem to be still so sleepy! 
What I'm loving: growing in the belly. It's fun to watch it develop over time.   
What I'm looking forward to: our gender appt or anatomy appt according to my Doc. He doesn't seem to care what is between the legs. He just cares about all the organs...Typical! ;)  
Best moment this week: When I had the weight talk with my Dr. I asked him how much I should be gaining and he basically told me to enjoy pregnancy and that if I am asking about it there probably isn't much to worry about. He also told me if anyone else had anything to say about my weight to just send them to him because if he isn't concerned than no one else should be. ha ha Love him!
Milestones: feeling the small flutter. What an experience! 

Happy almost Friday! I am headed to a craft fair this weekend, getting my much needed hair done, and volunteering at a trick or treat event through the Red Cross. What are your plans this weekend? Make them wonderful!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Thankfulness and Money!

Lately I have felt a heightened sense of gratitude and wanted to share the things that are adding to that overwhelming feeling of thankfulness

Cooler weather that allows for "Fall Food" to be made. 

The start of back to back holidays that offer lots of family time and reasons to be festive. 

Pictures of this little guy. Can't wait to kiss his sweet cheeks next month!

Household upgrades. It really is the little things. 

Saturday morning adventures that include QT with my sweet husband and dreaming about what is to come in a short 6 months. Also that yummy Ham & Cheese croissant you see on the bottom right...well it basically warmed my heart, not only because of its deliciousness but for the memories it brought back of the ones my Dad used to make us upon returning home from Sam's club with their croissants. Yum! 

Our first baby purchase. 

Earlier this week I sat down to pay our remaining bills for the month and decided to do a budget review for the next few months. To be honest, we have become fairly loose in this department in recent months and I needed a reality check. Most of you who know me probably even a little bit know that I am pretty budget conscious. I have a 6 month budget outlook rolling at all times. There isn't much of a back story to that other than the fact that there was a point in Graduate school where I really hit rock bottom. I had way more month than money regularly and I became disgusted with my financial situation. I hated not having anything more than just enough for the necessities and living completely off of credit cards.

It was shortly after that when I met Dave Ramsey. My church had a money series and he was a guest. The man was passionate about making smart financial choices and living debt free. And not because he feels the need to preach at people, but because he had lost EVERYTHING not once, but twice. This man, who is now a wealthy person, had gone bankrupt twice in his life. If someone knows a thing or two about money, I would say it is him. One point he really drilled in was this:

"You won't do anything about your finances until you are completely fed up and get downright angry". 

I was there. And more than anything I was ready to do something different.

Since that time in my life I have lived on a budget. It wasn't pretty at first. I sold my dresser. That was a defining moment in my life. I knew I never wanted to feel the way I felt that day and so when the budget feels hard I think about that. I have lived on a budget for 5 years now and sometimes it is hard to believe I ever lived without one. Dave always says "you will always wonder where your money is going until you start telling it where to go." Maybe not in those exact words, but he is right. I can't imagine not budgeting down to Zero now.

There are a few things I do EVERY month. 

1. I budget to zero. That means every dollar has a place. I tell myself how much I get on gas and groceries and car expenses and miscellaneous stuff. Not a penny goes uncounted for. 

2. I tithe. I give back a portion of what was never mine to begin with. I can give because I have been given to. 

3. I use an envelope system. This is a Dave Ramsey practice and he actually says to use cash. Zeb and I started doing this with cash, but with the advances in technology and the ease it provides we now use an online envelope system. I have close to tried them all, but we favor EEBA now. It allows you to easily sync data between cell phones and the internet. Makes keeping track of expenses easy. Look it up!

4. I breathe. Because I know where my money is. I know what I have money for and I rarely experience any anxiety over it these days. 

Let me tell you what this has done for me and the reason I am so passionate about it. Living within our means and budgeting every penny has allowed for more freedom than I can even describe. I cut up my credit cards in the Fall of 2010. We work diligently towards becoming debt free and we have a plan. We live fairly frugal and almost completely second hand because we have our eyes set on a better future. We don't give great presents or get to say yes to very many things right now. However, with our goal in mind we will get to give GREAT presents later and say yes to whatever we choose. Because of our budget and discipline to follow it, I believe we have been blessed.  

More than anything though, it has taught me that there are very few things we actually NEED and especially right at the times we really WANT them. We have become such a stuffy nation that is consumed with getting the next best thing just as quick as we can. We want it shiny and new and now. We have forgotten the value of a dollar. We make less home cooked meals and let fast food rule our bank accounts. We are an entitled society with less money than ever before. Myself included. 

My challenge to you is to make a budget. And if you already do make budgets, I challenge you to do a review. See where your wiggle room is. Find money to pay off a debt or put in a savings account or give. My favorite saying that I have only learned in the last few years is "give 10, save 10, and live off 80." I bet if more people in our country did that, it would look very different. 

And I leave you with my favorite Dave quote.

"If broke people are making fun of the way you handle your money, you are probably doing something right." 

Have a great week!