Monday, October 1, 2012

A Letter For the Babybook

I couldn't sleep yesterday {like always} and so I decided to get up and start on the baby book I had bought for baby Lenzen the night before. I got as much filled out as one possibly could without a baby around and ended up writing this letter at the end. I read it to Matt later and cried...especially about the part about him always being his mommy's baby! He's already growing up too fast and I haven't even had him yet! :)

Do you have a baby book? I do! My dad is the one who filled it all out....My mom is horrible at taking pictures and keeping sentimental things like my kindergarten handprint (still mad at her about that!) 

I have been up all night because you kept kicking me! J We are 10 days from your due date and mommy is uncomfortable and ready for you to make an appearance! Daddy and I have been doing a lot to get ready for you. Setting up your crib, sorting your clothes and packing the hospital bag. We have also been archery hunting morning and night trying to get mommy’s deer before you arrive!

Anyways, I hope when you read this you smile because we have waited for what seems like so long to meet, kiss and love you. We are anxious to see who you grow to be (which I’m sure will be nothing short of perfection). You are already mom and dad’s pride and joy!

When times get rough I want you to remember that life will be difficult sometimes and not everything will come easily. I want you to do everything you can though to work hard and never quit at anything you set out to do. Remember we only live once and happiness and hard work are the keys to success. We will always be here for you and you can come to us with anything. We love you and are so grateful to God for sending you to us.

We love you to infinity and beyond and no matter how old you are you will always be your mommy’s baby!

Mom and Dad

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Girl's Gone Child: 37 Weeks

How far along? 37 weeks (38.5 weeks actually as I write this late!)

Total weight gain: 15 lbs.

Maternity clothes? sweatpants :)

Stretch marks? Yes! My stomach is completely destroyed!

Sleep: Cannot sleep worth a darn! Toss & turn. Go to the bathroom. Mind races. Toss & turn. Can’t get comfortable. Braxton Hicks contractions. Go to the bathroom. Heartburn. Etc. etc. etc. That’s the routine of basically every night!

Best moment this week: just enjoying feeling you roll around in my belly for the time I can! J

Miss Anything? being comfortable!

Movement: all the time!

Food cravings: gas station cappuccinos!

Anything making you queasy or sick: I throw up here and there but not for any reason.

Gender: BOY!!

Labor Signs: cramping/back pain!

Symptoms: heartburn like crazy, cramping, back pain, peeing 8 times a night.

Belly Button in or out? out

Wedding rings on or off? on!

Happy or Moody most of the time: happy and sappy! Tear up easily over sentimental things but still laughing quite a bit! J

Looking forward to: meeting my lil guy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Girl's Gone Child: 36 Weeks

How far along? 37 weeks tomorrow!

Total weight gain: 15 lbs.

Maternity clothes? sweatpants :)

Stretch marks? Yes! My stomach is being demolished! haha.

Sleep: Matt is still sleeping on the couch and I'm sleeping like a baby!

Best moment this week: Seeing baby Lenzen on the ultrasound yesterday!! :) cutest lil thing.

Miss Anything? being comfortable!

Movement: all the time!

Food cravings: sandwiches are a hit this week.

Anything making you queasy or sick: I throw up here and there but not for any reason.

Gender: BOY!!

Labor Signs: mild cramping/back pain!

Symptoms: heartburn like crazy, cramping, back pain, peeing 8 times a night.

Belly Button in or out? half out, half in...haha!

Wedding rings on or off? on!

Happy or Moody most of the time: fairly happy - matt would answer moody : )

Looking forward to: opening of archery this weekend and meeting my SON!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Facebook & All it's Glory! **politics, beachbody, religion, football, etc!**

I decided I had to write a blog post on this topic because a status update only gives me like 5 characters. ;)

 It seems everyone has something to say – whether contradictory, intelligent, dumb, hilarious, etc– and it’s being said on Facebook. It’s that time of year when the political/football/beachbody/check-into-a-gym /countdown-to-baby-or-wedding Facebook statuses are at an all time high and we must admit that we will always – for as long as Facebook lives – have these kind of updates.

We will also continuously see the “whiners”-  the ones that primarily complain about those who update too often and about things they think are stupid {politics, religion, gym, etc.}

& This is what I think

– & everyone is entitled to their own opinion –

I think my pregnancy hormones are a little raging so enjoy and here we go!

Politics: Yes, it may be annoying to have to read or see a status from 72 of your friends about Romney vs. Obama, conservative vs. liberal, etc etc. but regardless of your political party or how irritating you find these updates at least we have people in our country who WANT change or WANT this or that for our nation, right?! If you don’t pay attention to who is going to LEAD our COUNTRY and just NOT VOTE you have to be – hate to say – ignorant. It’s important! Some may post informative links, blogs, etc. that HELP others get educated so they can vote for whom they believe is the right candidate to lead the US and not just based on a political party or race!

Ohhh and Beachbody: I am very annoyed with myself for ever being a part of this company and annoying everyone on Facebook about it! Although I feel they have great workout programs {p90x, turbofire, insanity, etc.} It is, once again, aggravating to see so many updates about it. Honestly, eat right and exercise daily – you don’t have to be a freak about it, have someone help you, spend umpteen dollars, have a person “coach” you through it, etc. It’s called WILLPOWER – look inside yourself and find some and get your ass outside.

But like I said, it’s Facebook and we can post whatever we want on our own pages right?!

The only thing I find annoying {the rest is just plain entertaining} is when people who are continuously voicing their opinion {about fitness business or politics or what they ate for breakfast} COMPLAIN about others who update about something that person {who is updating about dumb shit in the first place} defines as “stupid”

– Ah? What? –

You literally post 12 times a day about how much money you make with your biz, your busy day of laundry, picking up dog shit, taking care of the kids or hash tag 120,000 things. You rant about how you don’t care about politics because you’re over there #self #helping or whatever and you have the nerve to say that someone posting political statuses is #annoying? That doesn’t make any bloody sense!

And for the football statuses – ya know, I wouldn’t have known who won what games {not that I really cared} if it wasn’t for all 120 friends who let me know! I don’t have regular TV {abc/pbs/cbs} or cable so I’m a little out of the loop. If you don’t like it, go eat some crackers and cheese until the smack talk settles, okay? Football is an American past time {or maybe it’s baseball? Haha} so get used to it!  

If you want to let people know it’s 629 days until your wedding – that’s awesome! How else would I keep track?! It’s an exciting time in that bride or groom’s life and they damn well have the right to post how much they love their significant other if they please. I mean, most people that complain about how annoying love is are the ones that “hate love” and wish they had a boyfriend or I guess find it just plain irritating. I, again, find it humorous and entertaining! I live in the middle of nowhere! I have to keep updated on people ya know. ;)

Same with baby countdowns…Trust me, I KNOW! Before I was preggers I would say to myself when someone told me they were knocked up, “you’re pregnant…….congrats on never sleeping.” But now that I will be a mom I’m like, “hell ya! You had your kid! He’s so cute!” or “how exciting!!” So…yeah. Gotta keep the world updated…and yes, people really do want to know how much a baby weighed and how long they were.

Ahhh – religion! If you’re a believer in Christ, Buddha, science, atheism, etc………yay! You at least stand for something, right?! If you want to post someecards about priests raping little boys you go right ahead – it’s YOUR facebook! If you want to thank Jesus for all your daily blessings – please do! Believers or not we all need to stop and be thankful daily, right?! Post whatever you want people! Just don’t expect others to not say anything if they don’t like it! Haha! Again, that’s what keeps Facebook {and blogging!} so darn entertaining!

Hunting – we all know my fiancé and I love it. We post pictures of our hunts and are proud of them! It may bother some of those animal lovers out there but you know what my argument WILL ALWAYS be? My fiancé loves animals more than probably any person out there! Literally! He cares for them and loves them and never shoots more than we can eat. You may be offended by our European mounts, dead doves or our walleyes butttt we may be offended by your tofu burger. It’s a vicious cycle and we’re never going to solve it! So let’s just all agree to disagree! J  

So to wrap things up let’s revise everything I just ranted and raved about:

It’s YOUR Facebook – post what YOU want. If you’re posting stupid stuff – don’t post about how stupid other people’s stuff is and ENJOY all the comical updates posted by your favorite lunatics {most likely your closest friends} because life is too short not to just giggle! RIGHT?!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pre-Mom Jitters

As I’m on my last leg of being what I call a “kangaroo mom” {where I can haul my little buddy around in my belly} I am starting to get nervous to be a real life mom! Maybe all soon-to-be first time mothers feel this way, I’m not sure. I just feel so unprepared, uneasy and unsure of myself. Kind of like it’ll be the blind leading the blind.

Don’t get me wrong I am looking forward to meeting baby Lenzen! My mom said I will never love anything more {I said what about Matt?!}. She replied that since I made this miraculous child with the person I love and adore most that baby L will be the branch of our love that will be a love that blows all other love out of the water. And from past experiences, mom’s are always right.

I guess it’s not that I won’t love baby enough {because I love him already} or that I worry that I won’t be a good mom I honestly just worry about EVERYTHING.

“How will I still manage to cook supper, brush my hair, start exercising, keep my house clean, go to school, breastfeed, shave my armpits, fill my deer tags, wax my eyebrows, spend time with my friends, have sex, go to the movies, mow the lawn, save money, etc.?”

I know many moms and dads sacrifice their time because it’s no longer just themselves they have to think about anymore. They move the times they would normally do things to when the kids are asleep and what not. “but can I do this?” I often wonder. “Can I be all these things? A mom, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a student, a lover, etc?” – I guess I should have thought about this before I got knocked up, huh? Haha, just kidding! but seriously...J

I just overwhelm myself with thinking! I texted my older sister the other day and I said, “I have no idea how the hell you managed to be a single parent having to take care of Gabby 24/7 {thinking to myself: bathing her, feeding her, taking her to daycare, playing with her, teaching her, disciplining her, etc}, work 20 hours a week, attend college full-time, get your homework done, see your friends once in a while, make time for family.” I feel like I would have gone crazy – but maybe it’s one of those situations you just don’t over think and you just do!

I honestly feel like moms are the super heroes of the world now that I’ve seen a glimpse of how much sacrifice all awesome moms {and dads} have done for their kids. I think after having kids or getting preggers you really have a new understanding and love for your parents. You don’t even realize how much they’ve done for you over the course of your life. I feel like a brat after those nasty teen years!

And I worry about other things as well when it comes to raising our little Hammy:

“What if he doesn’t make it through labor? I would literally want to die. What if he is blind? Or deaf? What if I don’t raise him right and he turns into a mass murderer? What if he struggles in school? What do I do if I catch him smoking weed in high school? What if he chokes on something as a toddler? What if he gets West Nile camping next summer? What if he doesn’t eat his veggies? And God forbid, what if he doesn’t like hunting!? What if! What if! What if!”

 Isn’t my mind just crazy!? I just want to keep him in my back pocket safe from the world J I am going to be the Mom sending her kid to school in bubble wrap and calling every 5 seconds to make sure he’s still breathing. Haha, the teachers will call me "the bat shit crazy mom" All this worry reminds me of this very true quote:

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
-Elizabeth Stone
Anyways, I just hope these pre-mom jitters are normal and I don’t have something psychologically wrong with me! I haven’t even really given labor or a “birth plan” a thought. It’s more the raising aspect and the, “what the hell do I do with this thing?!” when we get home from the hospital that frightens me. I’ll be alright though I suppose, I’m not the first woman to be a mom. I am just so grateful Matt is going to be such a good, helpful dad because I can already see myself worrying myself sick when the baby’s first fever comes and crying myself to sleep when I send our baby to his first day of school. Ahh!
Any parental advice I am open to!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Girl's Gone Child: 35 Weeks

sweet shirt, right?

How far along? 35 : )

Total weight gain: 10-12 lbs depending on when ya weigh me!

Maternity clothes? athletic shorts and t-shirts!

Stretch marks? Yes! My stomach is demolished! haha.

Sleep: just woke up from a nap : )

Best moment this week: there are several: doing my homework in my underwear, spending so much quality time with matthew, my friend's shannon's wedding food!! omg, so good...(chicken cordon bleu!) 

Miss Anything? being able to lay on my back, touch my toes, eat more than one meal a day, etc etc.

Movement: slowed down a tiny bit but he's still pretty active! and if he isn't active for a couple hours Matt lays his head on my belly until he kicks him! haha, the only time he'll be able to kick dad in the face w/o being in trouble I guess!

Food cravings: Indigestion has kicked in horribly. I eat once a day...

Anything making you queasy or sick: smell of dead doves in the back of matt's pickup. he never gets rid of them after he cleans them and it drives me bonkers!

Gender: BOY!!

Labor Signs: nope!

Symptoms: heartburn like crazy! nervousness...I'm getting incredibly scared to be a mom.....I often think, "this is the last time I'll do this or will I manage to keep my house clean, go to school, breast feed, actually put make up on, cook supper, workout, etc. with a child?!" It's always just been me I've had to really think about (Matt's pretty self sufficient...well, he can at least go to the bathroom on his own even though he can't make his own god damn sandwich...haha) Maybe this is normal to feel this way.

Belly Button in or out? ALMOST an outty!

Wedding rings on or off? On!

Happy or Moody most of the time: oh dear jesus - depends on the minute! haha

Looking forward to: being able to clean my house on friday! ...i know right? it's a mess and messes drive me bonkers!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Girl's Gone Child: 34 Weeks

I cannot wait to pop this baby out and start going balls the walls with exercise & being able to eat normally! I want to lose a 100 lbs!  

How far along? 34 and a half!

Total weight gain: 10 pounds! Dr. says I should weigh less than what I did when I was pregnant.

Maternity clothes? maxi dresses and leggings

Stretch marks? Yes! My stomach is being demolished! haha.

Sleep: I love sleep!

Best moment this week: Waking up to breakfast in bed! :) Love that man!

Miss Anything? Not peeing every 5 seconds.

Movement: all the time! They say it should be slowing down but he literally doesn't stop...unless of course someone WANTS to feel him move! {He just moved as I was typing that!}

Food cravings: Indigestion has kicked in horribly. I ate a bagel on Thursday for breakfast and didn't eat the rest of the day.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Our dog getting sprayed by a skunk.....don't even want to talk about it I'm still mad! haha.

Gender: BOY!!

Labor Signs: mild cramping/back pain! Just my body getting ready :)

Symptoms: heartburn like crazy {I'm drinking like 3 glasses of milk a day to help!}, braxton hicks, lactating{yum, right?!}, peeing every time I sneeze or cough. Pregnancy is super glamorous!

Belly Button in or out? ALMOST an outty!

Wedding rings on or off? On but it now leaves an indent when I take it off.

Happy or Moody most of the time: oh dear jesus - depends on the minute! haha

Looking forward to: FUNNEL CAKE AT THE STATE FAIR!!! BOO YA!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August Product Favorites!

Revlon Colorstay
I am a youtube freak when it comes to watching makeup tutorials! Before I buy a product I watch several youtube reviews to decide if it's worthy of my moola. When it comes to foundation I am sooo picky! I have extremely dry skin so I have done tons of "research" to find a foundation that would give me that luminous glow without a total cake face. Finally I had it narrowed down to Revlon Colorstay or Neutrogena Healthy Skin. I decided to go with the Revlon just because they have such a wide variety of colors! Let me tell you that this is like the best foundation ever. They made 2 different types {oily skin/dry skin} and so it gives my skin the extra moisture it needs all while looking flawless! I LOVE it!!!
Downy Unstopables  
It kind of drives me nuts that "unstopables" is spelled wrong but this product is awesome! My parent's are currently adding on to their house so they've been doing their laundry at my house for 3 months. I noticed when I would change over the laundry how awesome my mom's clothes smelled. I asked her what the heck she was using because she was using my detergent and my clothes didn't smell that good! She pulled out the green version of these Downy bottles and showed me the little beads that you just add in the washer with your clothes. They are kind of spendy {$7/bottle} but you don't have to use much and your clothes smell amazing!! I found mine on sale at Target for $5 so I bought 2! TRY THEM!!
Glade Carpet Powder 
Pretty sure this stuff has been around forever but our dog just recently was sprayed by a skunk {hunter's wife problems...ugh!} and so I've been airing out the house and trying everything to get rid of the smell! All you do is sprinkle on your carpet before vaccuuming and it smells so good. Easy peasy and makes your house smell {somewhat} fresh! :)
BH Cosmetics 120 Eyeshadow Palette – 3rd Edition
This palette can be found online only at BH Cosmetics.
Again, I came across this while watching youtube makeup videos! I was in awe of how awesome the shadow looked on so I decided to check out the BH Cosmetics website. Their 120 eyeshadow palettes were only $18 + free shipping {which was a July special} so I took  several minutes and studied each palette before deciding on the 3rd edition. It has everything a palette needs - wide variety of colors, a mix of matte/shimmer shadows PLUS {& perhaps most importantly} highly pigmented shadows and secure packaging. I use this palette all.the.time!
Affresh Washer Cleaner 
Soooo I had no idea I was supposed to be cleaning my front load washer. I swear I live in a cave sometimes but apparently front loads are more likely to have odor + mold because after a cycle the water sits in the side rubber part. So I bought some Affresh and cleaned my washer for the first time! Ha! I even discovered my washer has a "clean washer with Affresh" button {I live in a cave AND am blind apparently}. I noticed the odor was gone from my washer after I used Affresh and now I have peace of mind that my clothes are being cleaned in a clean washer! :) HOO-RAH!
What were some of your monthly favorites?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Discount Codes

Hey Everyone! I just quickly wanted to share with you some promotions I came across in my BABY magazine. All you pay is shipping so if you're about to be a new mommy, see yourself having a baby in the future or need a baby gift here you go! FREEBIES!!  

The first one is a carseat canopy from 
use promo code:

They also have fancier carseat covers that are like regularly $70 and with the discount makes them $25. We have literally the best carseat/stroller set from Chicco so I just was a cheapo and just got the free carseat cover in KNOTT to keep the snow out of baby L's face this winter. :)

The next is for an "udder cover" - like I don't feel like a cow already, right? This again is another free item and you just have to pay shipping. The site is

use promo code:
I was a little skeptical about the "necessity" of having an udder cover but after reading the reviews and playing in my mind the thought of a trying to keep a blanket to cover my boobies at all times I just decided it would be good investment since I'll be breastfeeding. I got the pattern CARSON but now I'm wondering if I should have gone with PORTER. Oh well!
Next, is from - I didn't order one because I already have a little carrier-around thing. Ha! I don't know baby lingo quite yet. ;)
use promo code:
Hope this helps some of you! I know I love free stuff {even if we have to pay shipping still not too bad of a price} - I will be coming with my August favorites soon! Stay tuned!



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Girl's Gone Child: 33 Weeks

these are such bad quality! dang iphone!

How far along? 33 as of tomorrow! I've missed a few weeks being so busy! You know I had bachelorette parties, getting fired from my job, weddings to attend...extremely busy lady here!

Total weight gain: +10

Maternity clothes? maxi dresses and leggings

Stretch marks? Yes! They are already turning white which isn't as good as having non but I can be glad they won't forever be maroon.

Sleep: I love sleep but it's more uncomfortable lately. I love you body pillow.

Best moment this week: FINALLY starting to get my walk-in closet ready for baby L. I decided not to repaint it pink walls with camo bedding 'tis!

Miss Anything? Being comfortable!!

Movement: all the time! They say it should be slowing down but he literally doesn't stop...unless of course someone WANTS to feel him move! {He just moved as I was typing that!}

Food cravings: none!

Anything making you queasy or sick: I puked all over my shirt and Matt's truck because he went goose hunting Saturday morning, cleaned the birds and then proceeded to leave the rest of the bird to sit in the back of his pickup in the SUN. The smell was UNBEARABLE!! Truly a hunter's wife problem....

Gender: BOY!! God, i was thinking the other day how AWFUL it would be if HE came out a SHE. She would be sporting a lot of boy clothes until she was about 18 months!

Labor Signs: Braxton hicks!!!! My next appointment we start to see if I'm dialated at all! Where has time gone?!

Symptoms: heartburn like crazy {I'm drinking like 3 glasses of milk a day to help!}, braxton hicks, lactating{yum, right?!}, peeing every time I sneeze & 6 nosebleeds in 3 days. Pregnancy is super glamorous!

Belly Button in or out? ALMOST an outty!

Wedding rings on or off? On!

Happy or Moody most of the time: moody usually. haha!! The nurse asked if Matt was getting excited to be a dad and I said I thought he was more excited for me to be NOT pregnant. She thought that was pretty funny.

Looking forward to: sleeping tonight :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Girl's Gone Child: 30 weeks

New change of hair color and a big, big belly!!

How far along? 30 {31 today!}

Total weight gain: +10

Maternity clothes? maxi dresses and leggings

Stretch marks? Yes! :(

Sleep: I love sleep!

Best moment this week: eating at Olive Garden
J haha!

Miss Anything? Being comfortable!!

Movement: Like crazy! A lot of rolling around going on in there!  

Food cravings: any sort of chicken…chicken nuggets, strips, drummies, breasts, etc………

Anything making you queasy or sick: Saturday at a friend’s bachelorette party we were walking back to the hotel and passed some puke which made me dry heave! Ick!

Gender: BOY!!

Labor Signs: Braxton hicks!!!!  

Symptoms: exhaustion, uncomfortable, Braxton hicks, etc.  

Belly Button in or out? IN

Wedding rings on or off? On!

Happy or Moody most of the time: happy!

Looking forward to: my friend, Michelle’s, wedding this Saturday!! Woohoo!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Life Lately

{Me and my beautiful hostess' for my baby shower! Adrienne, Me, Jennifer}

Life has been so hectic lately! This past Saturday was my bow hunting education course from 7 am to 4:30 pm which is required by the state in order to get a big game archery license. Right after the course my friend Adrienne {one of the girls who so kindly hosted my shower} and I hurried to go set up tables and chairs for the baby shower the next day. We stayed up late Saturday night having some quality “girl talk” and were up early Sunday for the shower. I was beyond exhausted and perhaps a tad crabby. ;)

I then proceeded to get sick Tuesday night with some sort of bug. It has me puking, fever-y and never leaving the toilet! It’s pretty fun stuff! So I’ve been home trying to rest and stay hydrated per doctor’s orders. I have a big bachelorette party this weekend to go to so hopefully I feel better.

Regarding missing work, many people may not know this about me {although my close friends and family certainly do} is that I have such bad anxiety! I sometimes have it over the smallest things but nonetheless I have it. Missing more work and missing out on those extra dollars gives me major anxiety.

As you all know, I am trying my best to save as much as possible before baby arrives and that’s hard to do when you’re home sick not working. I have a goal of paying off my car by the end of August {or at least by the time baby arrives} and I still owe $3,100. After that, I will be headed for maternity leave and who knows if I’ll be going back to my current job. I just have to remind myself it will all work out in the end. Sometimes I forget to give my stresses to God and remember that it’s not worth worrying about.

In less depressing news, I got the job as the postmaster relief in good ol’ Garden City! I will be working every Saturday 10-11:30 and any day the postmaster needs vacation/sick days/etc. I’m very excited that it’s so close to home and that it could potentially turn into a full time position when the postmaster retires. It would be ideal!

I’m also looking forward to school starting in late August and getting into that routine again! It’s so strange that I’m actually looking forward to going to school. I think I just have my mind set that it will lead to a better life for our family and in 5 years the hard work and sacrifice will have paid off!

In the mean time, I am making sacrifices time wise and financially. It’s hard to let people know that you can’t afford to do this or that or that you simply don’t have the time. It’s uncomfortable! I’m trying my best to not live beyond our means and not spread myself thin between obligations. That’s part of sacrifice though and hopefully someday in the future it will all pay off! J

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Girl's Gone Child: 29 Weeks

A picture from our lumberjack baby shower on Sunday...more to come on that soon!

How far along? 29 {30 tomorrow}

Total weight gain: 6+ whatever 10 cupcakes would make me gain

Maternity clothes? maxi dresses 

Stretch marks? Yes! :(

Sleep: can't get enough

Best moment this week: sleeping 

Miss Anything? not being so tired!

Movement: yes!

Food cravings: chinese/fried chicken

Anything making you queasy or sick: I have been vomiting the last 12 hours with a low temperature but I feel on fire. My mom is taking me to the dr. this afternoon to see what's going on..

Gender: BOY!!

Labor Signs: nope! Still cookin’

Symptoms: exhaustion.

Belly Button in or out? IN

Wedding rings on or off? depends on the day! some days my hands are more swollen than others.

Happy or Moody most of the time: cranky.

Looking forward to: seeing what's wrong with me this afternoon at the doctor.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Finances: Part 3


I started researching daily. I went to every budgeting and living frugal blog I could find and stalked the Dave Ramsey website. I was becoming obsessed and would stay up at night crunching numbers in my head. I was brainstorming ideas as to how we were going to cut back and live a more frugal lifestyle with a child {heard they’re spendy} coming into the world soon! 

After reading and researching so much I looked around my house. I was living in a world of WANTS. Do I really need 20 different lotions and 56 eyeshadows? I have 13 cans of tomato soup so why aren’t I making any when I complain “we have nothing to eat…”? It became completely insane to me the amount of money I had been wasting. 

So I sat down and started implementing the tips I had learned while Pinteresting, Googling and reading blogs. I first started with a notebook and wrote down all my bills and financial goals. After I figured out our wages - bills + savings + a budget/allowance I discovered we could live solely {but frugally} on one income. So that means I could have been saving my entire paychecks for years now. Shoot me!!! 

Anyways after I got done kicking myself and got all my bills figured out I put together a financial binder. In the binder I deposit ½ of the bills’ sum every two weeks on payday. 
For example, let’s say my total bills per month are $1,000. I would take $500 every two weeks and deposit the money into the correct slots in my binder. For instance, let’s pretend my mortgage is $300/month so that means every 2 weeks I deposit $150 of that $500 into that slot in my binder that says ‘MORTGAGE’.  When the time comes to mail the bills I deposit the $1,000 into my checking account and send all my bills off at the beginning of the month. It really helps with the whole feeling of, “this whole paycheck has to go to bills so I’m broke these 2 weeks.” Ya know? I hope that explains it thoroughly!

After Googling what the average percentage of what was reasonable to save from each paycheck - {10-20%}. We decided we would save 15% of Lenz-pipes’ paycheck and ALL of mine. I am also saving every $5 bill that comes into my possession (saw online that some lady saved $12,000 in 2 years just by doing this!) and all of our loose change. We are saving ALL of my check to pay off my car by the time baby L gets here and really trying to save our butts off so in the spring we can buy Matt a new pickup {he desperately needs one!} by paying strictly cash.

Anyways, after I got the binder all ready to go I began searching for other ways to save money. I organized all the kitchen and bathroom cupboards to see exactly what I had/didn’t have on hand. I felt it would be easier for me to find when we were actually out of something like cream of mushroom soup or conditioner. It was kind of like shopping in itself rediscovering all your old junk.

All this frugal saving has been a huge mental process for me because I’ve been used “retail therapy.” I used this therapy for years on bad days, when I was bored, mad, happy…basically any time. I’m pretty proud of myself though because when I make a Wal-Mart shopping list I write down EVERYTHING I need and revise it 3-4 times. Sometimes when I go through it I find that I can take items off: “oh I can make sandwiches for another 3 days to finish up that lunch meat we have. I don’t HAVE TO buy hot pockets to pack for lunch.”

Some of my friends think I’m nuts when I tell them I live on $200/2 weeks. {Some may think that’s a lot but it truly does go quickly especially living 40 minutes from work}. but I actually really try to live on $100-$150 just so I can save some extra cash.

Here’s how I usually figure my $200:

Gas = $60 usually {$30/ week & I’m even trying to drive less! Some weeks this # is higher.}

Groceries = $40.This is honestly all I like to spend and since I only am feeding 2 it hasn’t been too bad. {although, I have been craving McDonald’s chicken nuggets so bad this week I’ve splurged!}.

There are other things, of course, I have to plan for within this budget too and that’s why I try to stash extra cash away instead of using up my $200. For example: 

+ Cut/coloring my hair {not a necessity but I also have to treat myself too!}

+ Oil changes

+ Friends’ weddings/Bridal Showers/Bachelorette Parties {hotel, food –I totally pack sandwich/snack stuff when I travel now so I don’t have to eat out much!, gifts, etc.}

+ Propane/Car Tires {I don’t HAVE to use this money to pay for these spendy items but I like to see our savings increase, not decrease!}

I highly encourage you to budget if you have felt/feel like I have in my posts on finances. I believe no matter how much money a person makes they should have a budget. You would be amazed at how much you can save when you’re conscience of your money. Like I said, I was spending $1,000 + a month and I had no idea where/how it went. I finally feel like I’m making headway having financial goals and being in control of my money.

Here are some of our financial goals for the curious cats out there:

+ Save enough to have 6 months worth of wages built up in savings in the case of an emergency.

+ Pay off my car by the time Baby Lenzen arrives.

+ Save all $5 bills and loose change.

+ Pay cash for a pickup next spring/summer.

+ Pay off mortgage within 10 years. {I used a mortgage calculator and about fainted when I discovered if we just paid the payments we’ve been making – the minimum amount – we will pay $23,000 in interest by the time we pay it off. NO THANK YOU!! If we pay it off in 7-10 years we will have paid like $7,000 - $9,000 if I remember correctly. I had always said we’d build new after 10 years but you know, I love my house and it probably won’t be necessary. It might need some upkeep since it is 100 + years old but that’s okay, it’s gotta be cheaper than building a whole new house brand new}.

Here are some of the blogs and websites that really inspired me to save, save, save!

Living on less than $28,000/year: The Peaceful Mom

Living on $14,000/year: Blissful and Domestic

Paying cash for their home: Money Saving Mom

Décor/Cleaning Supplies Dupes: Fake It Frugal

Dave Ramsey: Dave Ramsey

I would love to hear your feedback and how you’ve been saving or plan on saving! J