Saturday, July 31, 2010

busy saturday

Finding a car is top priority on our list. With my husband having the morning off, as well as Sunday and Monday it was our goal to find something to take home with us before Tuesday.

My exact thoughts went something like, "let's get this over with sooner rather than later, because I really, really, don't want to spend your days off driving around and trying to make a deal at a car lots."

With TWO toddlers in tow mind you (oh how I wish for family nearby).

However, we are known to be picky, and most of the cars we wanted to look at were 50-60 miles away. Obviously always on opposite ends of the city. Not only would this take hours, but it would take a lot of gas.

So last night I saw a car at a dealership about 10 miles away. They just got it in. It seemed like a good deal, so this morning before work, we headed out to look at it. It was a Subaru Outback. I've never really been keen on these. It's not that I don't like them, in fact I know they are AMAZING on snow and ice, it's just that I never envisioned myself driving one. Mike's brother is a mechanic and works on these all the time and kept telling us to get one, so we kept it on our list. This was a nice car. Black with black leather. Higher miles, but that was to be expected with our budget. Mike drove it and really liked it and then called his brother to see what he thought.

We had $6,500 cash, but wanted to stay below $5,000 and throw that extra $1,500 at loans if we could. This car was listed for $4990. Mike's brother said that often on Subaru's the head gaskets blow around 100,000 miles. He said if these haven't blown they could at any time and that is an $800 fix without labor. He said he'd offer low like $3,500. He also said they'd never take it, but it would be an absolute steal if they did.

They took it. I was shocked. I think it was because we had the cash. Just such a clean deal.

So we walked out of there not only with the $1,500 we didn't want to spend but an additional $1,200 after taxes and licensing and fees etc. The $1,500 we'll throw at loans, the $1,200 we'll keep for repairs. Mike's brother is going to look it over and tell us if anything needs to be fixed. It's great having that buffer for repairs. We've always had newer cars so it wasn't as much of a gamble before.

The car does have heated side mirrors, a heated windshield, and heated leather seats. That kind of sold me. Because if I don't have to be chipping ice off my windshield this winter I'll be a happier camper.

The funniest part of the whole day? Mike paid in cash and they owed him a quarter in change. The lady said we don't have a cashier so she reached into her purse and gave mike a quarter. (He did say he didn't need it but she still gave it to him).

So that was our day. I now drive a station wagon. Don't laugh- I don't have a payment.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Snowballs Keep Getting BIGGER.

We sold our car.

Weird. It seriously feels so weird writing that. In fact, it hasn't entirely set in yet. Hopefully we are able to purchase a new car before it really starts to sink it because a commuting family of 4 cannot go without a second vehicle!

The most fulfilling thing was walking to the bank and giving them over $6000 in cash to apply to Mike's student loans. The rest we'll save to buy another car. I am sure giving an owner or a dealership multiple thousands in cash will be pretty fun too. This month we were able to put over $10,000 towards Mike's student loans. Now if every month were that easy, we'd be out of debt in no time!

You know what? Ever since we began FPU and we started telling our money where to go, we've actually had a lot more of it. I know, I know, if you don't spend all your money you'll have a lot more. But really, I was telling Mike a couple of days ago that there is just something so peaceful about looking at your bank accounts and seeing plenty of money in there. (The best moment is when I was telling Mike what our balance was and he said "well, rent still has to come out of that" and I said "No! I paid rent 3 days ago!") There is something so peaceful about knowing you are being responsible with what you've been given. There is something amazing about being able to treat your friends to dinner, or to buy them a nice wedding gift, not because you are obliged, but because you have the money, and in having the money you give freely and openly.

God has truly blessed us and we will continue to be faithful to what he asks of us. It's been a crazy lifestyle change. Really crazy. But we're enjoying the ride.

I am digging it.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I recently ran across this post on a blog that I read. I thought it was pretty funny. It was entitled, "You know you're from Florida if..." Now, I am not from FL, I've only visited Tampa once (and that entire visit consisted only of Bush Gardens and the beach), but I still found this funny. I decided to make my own MN list. So here is the FL list, and my MN list follows!

You know you're from Florida if...
1. You wear flip flops everyday.
2. A good parking space has nothing to do with distance from the store and everything to do with shade.
3. You understand why it's better to have a friend with a boat than a boat yourself.
4. You feel that anything under a category 3 just isn't worth waking up for.
5. You wear shorts and use the AC on Christmas.
6. You know that real parades travel on water..not asphalt.
7. You get annoyed at the tourists who feed the seagulls at the beach.
8. If an alligator once walked through your neighborhood.
9. When your kids ask what a basement is.
10. When you know the tallest point in the state is a landfill.
11. You have a drawer full of bathing suits and one sweatshirt.
12. You never use an umbrella because you know the rain will be over in 5 minutes.
13. You dread lovebug season.
14. Your summer electric bill is as much as your mortgage.
15. You refer to the seasons as tourist season, fire season, hurricane season, mosquito season.
16. You could swim before you could read.
17. You know someone who has been struck by lightening.
18. You can pronounce Okeechobee, Kissimmee, Withlacoochee, Okahumpka, and Loxahatchee.
19. You measure distance in minutes not miles.
20. You've "written a message" to a hurricane on plywood covering your windows.
21. You've been stuck in traffic so someone can move a turtle off the road (doesn't apply to south Florida).
22. You only wear socks to go bowling.
23. It's not "pop". It's Coke.
24. All festivals are named after a fruit.
25. Every place you remember as a kid is now a shopping center or a condo.

You know you're from Minnesota if...
1. You happily wear flip flops when it's 45 degrees out.
2. A good parking space in winter has everything to do with distance from the store
3. You understand that friends who own lake cabins are invaluable and will always be friends.
4. You feel that unless you can't see the sidewalk out your window everything should remain open regular hours.
5. By Christmas, you've forgotten what it feels like to wear shorts.
6. You know that real parades occur on Nicollet Ave, in the winter, after waiting 30 minutes for hot chocolate, and are full of Christmas lights
7. You get annoyed at the people who feed the squirrels at the park
8. If a deer once walked through your neighborhood.
9. When your kids ask if houses without basements actually exist.
10. When you know the earliest "ice out" date (March 11, 1878).
11. You have a drawer of sweaters and only 1 bathing suit.
12. You never use an umbrella because you don't need one for snow.
13. You dread mosquito season.
14. Your winter heat bill is as much as your mortgage.
15. You refer to the seasons as 'so cold you could die' and 'road construction'
16. You could shovel before you could read.
17. You know someone who has fallen through the ice.
18. You can recite Ole and Lena jokes with ease.
19. You have multiple storage bins of winter coats.
20. You wonder why someone would 'waste' their money on a 2wd SUV.
21. You've been stuck in traffic so geese can cross.
22. You don't take your UGGS off from November til March.
23. It's not "soda". It's pop.
24. All festivals are named after something cold (chill, freeze, polar etc.).
25. You know your way around the Mall of America like the back of your hand.

Any more to add?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

a day in JULY

Mike is working a 15 hour day today, so what better day than record what we do!
First, well, we wake up! The kids had been sleeping in until 8, however since we've been back from Fargo, Lacey decided 7:00 is a better time. She was up then, Miles we got up at 8:00.

Breakfast is first. Today's breakfast is cereal. My kids hate cereal, so I get them to eat it by mixing cinnamon toast crunch in with some healthier stuff. I am a bit too lazy to do anything else.

Obviously coffee should be first, but sometimes it get's pushed until breakfast is on the table.
I love coffee soooo much.

The kids usually watch Super Why from 9-9:30, but today we are a little ahead of schedule so I clean up the kitchen first. I hate doing this because the dishwasher always needs to be unloaded. Bleck.

And then Miles' room...

and Lacey's room. They just trail after me from room to room. There really isn't much to do. I pretty much straighten out the blankets.

Now I turn on Super Why for them and try to get them dressed at the same time.
He loves to run away from me.

After Super Why we hop in the stroller and walk to the Bunny. It's this big bunny statue that the kids play on. Unfotunately today the bunny is hot thanks to the sun so we play around it. Miles sits with me on the bench and Lacey carries around big sticks. Eventually we find a sewer cover with holes in it and the kids have a great time putting grass down the holes. I get some strange looks from people, but it's entertaining to them so I am not to worried about those looks. Then we continue on our way and go for a little walk. It's hot out!! (I have pictures of this but it isn't letting me upload them. I'll try again later).

We get home and it's time for lunch.

PBJ, cottage cheese, peas, applesauce. They both eat everything : )

Lunch always, ALWAYS, riles them up. Miles has a thing for headbands.

And Lacey usually gets put in at least one time out.

The kids nap from 1-3. Miles a bit longer, Lacey a bit less. They wake up and we have a quick 4:00 dinner because we are going to go to the Mall to see Daddy at work. They won't see him until Saturday, so we need to make this trip.

I started trying to get out the door at 5:00.

and I make them carry their own stuff. We are finally on the way...

...27 minutes later. Sigh.

We're off! We get to the mall at 6:04. Traffic. Inside we all get smoothies...Coldbuster with frozen yogurt...YUM. Then we played at the indoor playground and I got them Mike and Ikes out of a candy machine. We only got FOUR pieces.

This is Lacey's favorite part of the mall. I kid you not. It is soo easy to get her to go to the bathroom when she get's to use her own "baby potty" SHE LOVES IT. (and miles loves flushing them).

We didn't get home until 7:40, thanks again to traffic. PJ's, Milk, and books. We read about 5 books and then put Miles to bed and Lacey drew this picture. It is a face if you can't tell. Then I put her to bed and she hates falling asleep. So one hour, and 3 trips to the bathroom later she was finally asleep.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sometimes Single Mom

Lately I feel like I've fallen into this category. More often than I would like to say. Mike's been working, hiring, firing, training, working side jobs, doing medical studies etc. I've been a single mom with the kids.

I give props to every single mom out there. It is not easy.

So today begins another 5 day stretch until I'll see the husband. He goes to work, then straight to a medical study, then out of the medical study on Saturday morning and straight to work until 9:30 pm. Sunday can't come quick enough!

We'll have to be planning a lot of activities this week or I might just lose my mind!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Last night at 2:56 a.m. I hear my little girl start crying. Generally when she cries out in the middle of the night she can't find her blanket, or she is sleeping with a book that poked her in the head or something along those lines. I go into her room, tend to her, and she is telling me to leave because she is sleeping. Last night she cried, I went in, left, and then still heard her whimpering. This was odd. I was so tired though, I just wanted to sleep.

But then I decided to actually be a mother and get out of bed and see what she needs.

So I went into her room and she was cuddling with me. Right then the choice to buy a full size bed was completely confirmed. She wanted me to sing to her. All very sweet right? It was. Then she tells me her ear hurts.

Blech. Those dumb ears! So, since I've learned from past experiences that tylenol does nothing for her ear pain I go straight for the motrin. And then and there I had a battle with the motrin bottle at 3:00 in the morning. I could not get the dumb thing open! I swear my hand was about to fall off, I am stumbling around in the dark, she is crying, and I am desperately praying I don't hear Miles says "mommy?"

Finally get the bottle opened, and meds dosed. Of course I can't leave her room without screams. So I sit there waiting for her to fall asleep. I am slightly annoyed that she has a summer cold and I don't make her blow her nose to drain her sinuses more often, vowing to not let her drink out of a sippy cup while laying down etc. Then there is a part of me that thinks she looks so peaceful, then there is the third part of me that is having flashbacks to newborn baby days when you are just praying and wishing that your baby will go to sleep because its 2 in the morning and they are wide awake. Man I don't miss that.

And then I realize (again) that there are about 5 million things that no one tells you about being a mother. Like for example, after being up for an hour in the middle of the night with your toddler, your husband has no idea what just happened, he got a full nights sleep. :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

because debt is dumb and cash is king.

We seem to have been swamped lately with busyness. I suppose that is the way summer tends to roll. Our FPU class ended the middle of June, which was pretty sad considering we 1) loved the free daycare for 2 hours on Tuesday nights; and 2) miss hanging out with new friends. But although the class is over, it doesn't mean that our trying to get out of debt situation is over. Far from it.

As we speak, Mike is showing the car to a potential buyer. Heartbreaking? Yes. We love our Murano. Such a solid car. We don't owe anything on it. So, why sell it? Sell Murano, pay off Mike's student loans. Easy as that. That means that we can buy a get out of debt car and start throwing money at my student loans before I even finish school.

And when we pay off my loans, we are debt free.

Our next debt free tactic, and this is pretty exciting, but also really scary, is free rent. But more on that in another blog...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

House- 1 Me- 0

I've been out of town for the last 5 days with the kids. Unfortunately I didn't pick up very well before I left, I suppose it had something to do with "let's just get on the road before traffic makes its appearance." At least that is the excuse I am claiming.

So this means that my house is a mess and I don't really want to clean it.

We are also leaving on Wednesday for another 6 days. Thankfully this time Mike will be joining us. But now I am faced with the questions of do I unpack, just to repack in 2 days? How many groceries do I buy? Should I even clean at all? (just kidding we are having friends over tonight. I have to clean, I have no choice).

I am curious if you have any cleaning tips. I've created my own, I call it the power of 15. Okay, really it doesn't have a name, and I came up with that right now, but it works. I set the kitchen timer for 15 minutes and get as much done as I can in that time. I will try to do this twice a day. I think it's pretty effective. At the very least if I know I only have to clean for 15 minutes I am happy.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

10 reasons I am totally crabby today.

Here is why:

1) it's July 3rd and I am tired of reading everyone's "at the lake/on the boat" status updates on facebook. I am sitting at home. With zero plans to be on the lake.

2) Husband is working all day long today. No 4th of July festivities.

3) Lacey refused to nap today.

4) I didn't get a much needed nap.

5) It's like 100 degrees out.

6) Tomorrow is my birthday and we have nothing planned. boo.

7) Both the kids and myself have colds. perfect.

8) I ran this morning at 8:00 and it was so hot, so the run was terrible.

9) I am still looking for daycare all the ones that I am interested are 25 miles in the wrong direction.

10) We are trying to sell our car to pay off debt but no one has that much cash to buy it so we can't get rid of it. Dumb financing!

It's a no good, terrible, very bad day.

Let's hope this turns around. I don't even know what to do with the kids especially since Lacey didn't nap. At this point it is pretty much suicide to take her out in public. Trust me on this one.