Monthly Archives: January 2012

From the Confessional: Financial Denial

I remember 2011 Super Bowl Sunday like it was yesterday.  The game was about to wrap up and I sat in the living room staring at our computer, logging our expenses for the month.  I told Doug what I was woRkiNg on.  He responded by asking, “Lara, WHY do you even do that? We’ve been doing this for years and it comes out to the same number every month!“  After talking about it for a while we went to bed feeling defeated.

I couldn’t fall asleep and happened to see the “Total Money Makeover” book by Dave Ramsey on the night stand.  (I had ordered that book earlier in the week because a friend had recommended it.)  I ended up reading the first three chapters and my financial atTituDe was forever impacted.  I anxiously told Doug about it the next morning and, from that day on, we started working the basic principles to become debt free.  We revamped our expense sheet, made new gOaLs, and most importantly worked like crazy.   Doug got up with me and worked a few hours painting blocks before he went to his day job.  We stayed home on the weekends and worked every free chance we had.  We got the entire family involved in the process.  It was a little cRazY but we finally started getting traction.

Looking back, I can’t believe how much we’ve accomplished.  We not only drastically changed our financial situation, but our family has become even more of a TeaM.  It is still a work in progress but we are on our way to changing our family tree!

I am sharing this with you because if someone didn’t reach out to us, who knows how long we would have stayed in denial.  As humbling as it is to admit our faults, I take cOmfoRt in knowing our story may help someone going through the same struggle.

How is your financial situation?  Do you run out of money before the end of the month?  Go check out the “Total Money Makeover”.  Dave Ramsey has a great, simplified plan that will make you look at your financial future in a whole new way.  We also LoVe tuning into his radio podcasts while we are busy at work!  Visit http://www.daveramsey.com/radio/home/

Check back in on Thursday, for my Part 2 of this story!

Get on your way to financial FREEDOM!

Lara

1 Comment

Filed under Finances, Getting Real, Life

{Create Your Own Art Gallery}

Personal art galleries are popular these days.  If you are wanting to create your own art gallery here are some ideas to get you started:

Include pictures of places you have been to or places you wish to go to someday.

These are pictures I have taken of architecture in my town.

Include artwork of your kids.  You can have your own customized art gallery.  Be creative and find pictures you love!!

:)

Robynn~

Leave a comment

Filed under At Home, Kid Stuff, RANDO•RAMA

$ailing The Financial $ea$

This is a ship Scott made for our girls one cold, winter night. It's lessons are: On the journey to financial freedom, first, just get going, and second, don't compare your ship to the Queen Mary!

I have to AdMiT, I was a little (or a lot) hesitant to write a post about money.  You may have read my earlier post “Broke Was My Goal” where I talked about being a teacher with a financial mess on my hands and how I got out of that mess by taking one small step at a time.  Back then, I was a teacher on a limited salary.  Now I’m a doctor’s wife and on the other end of the spectrum.  You can probably understand my hesitation of talking about MoNeY.  The last thing I want to do is discourage our readers, who may think, “That’s easy for you to say.  I could do that if I were in your situation.”  My motive for talking about money is to give hope and encouragement, regardless of where you find yourself financially.  Not only do I desire for you to have hope in your financial situation, but also financial PeAcE.

That is a phrase I first heard in 2006 when Scott, my husband, and I took guru Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University” class.  That really ChAnGeD the way we looked at money.  Up to that point we weren’t all that bad at handling money, but really didn’t have a clear-cut plan.  However, once we took this class our goals changed.  Because financial peace and living DeBt FrEe is our goal we have chosen to make certain sacrifices in our finances.  For us, it meant swallowing our pride and not trying to keep up with the Jones’ next door.  We don’t always do things perfectly.  {I’ll even share some of my mistakes I’ve made on this journey}.  But we are trying to take small steps in the right direction.  For example, my husband Scott drives a 13-year-old SUV with close to 300,000 miles.  My vehicle is a 4-year-old Dodge minivan which I plan to drive until it dies.   In addition, for two years we lived in a 950-square foot home with two kids and two dogs.

For everyone,  the definition of SaCriFiCe is different, but for everyone AcTiOn is required.  Just as we talk about losing weight, exercising more, or being a better parent/spouse, inaction is inertia; and inertia makes sacrifice just another good InTeNtIoN.

Here’s wishing you success in overcoming inertia….that difficult first step.  BoN VoYaGe!

:)

Robynn~

Leave a comment

Filed under Finances, Life

Pastor D.J. {Press On}

1 Comment

Filed under Faith, Pastor DJ, RANDO•RAMA, Videos

{Dog Heaven}

MaN’s BeSt FriEnD.  That’s what our dog, Walter, was to my husband, Scott.  They were best buddies.  Sadly, ‘ole Wally went to Dog Heaven yesterday.

I say “sadly”.  However, Walter did have a full life.  He was 12 years, 1 month, and 27 days old.  That’s 80-something in human years.  So, he actually lived a nice, long life.  And when I say “nice”, I mean ReALLy “nice”.  Wally definitely lived the high life, but he didn’t start off that way.

When Walter was just four-months old he got into rat poison which landed him in the vet hospital.  After a blood transfusion, a close brush with death, and an owner who couldn’t afford the vet bill, Wally was given to the vet.  The vet was friends with Scott and after a little PerSuAdiNg she talked Scott into taking Wally home with him.  And that is when it all began.

Little did Scott know what he was getting himself into.  Nor did he know the FriEnDsHiP that would transpire.

Yes, we would actually sleep with Walter on our bed like the above picture!

That first night together Walter gave Scott a little preview of what life would be like.  As Scott placed two steaks on the countertop for dinner and then turned his back to start the grill, Walter in a flash grabbed the steaks and they were gone.  When Scott went to put Walter to bed in the new dog bed he had just bought, Walter ripped it to shreds.  He wouldn’t settle for anything but Scott’s bed.  Walter had his own AgEnDa, to say the least.

When I met Scott, Walter was 2-years old, full of vim and vigor.  He was the most high-strung dog I had ever met.  He was ornery and demanding.  He helped himself to food on the counter.  {Once that was a crock pot of chili.}  However, he was also a LoVeR and not a fighter.  The night I went into labor with my oldest, I went downstairs to watch tv and record my contractions.  Walter came down with me and would not leave my side.  Once we did have kids, he became a willing participant of their antics in exchange for regular food hand-outs.

A FaiThFuL friend, Walter would look out the window everyday for Scott to come home.  As soon as he would see Scott’s vehicle pull in the driveway, he would run around the house like a crazy man.

In a nutshell, Walter was part of our family.

I bought this print a year or so ago because I knew it would be a reminder of Walter when he was gone.  This is the pose he sat in. 

I’ll miss a lot about Walter.  That personality that was larger than life.  Hearing his tail ThUmP on the hardwood floor early in the morning signaling to me my girls were coming down the stairs.  {Or anytime you walked over to him, for that matter.}  The lover-boy he had become wanting to lay by your side and have you pet him.  The softest fur a dog could ever have.  The HaPpiEsT soul to see you when you walked in the door every day.

GoOd-ByE Wally.  We’ll miss you, old friend.

4 Comments

Filed under Pets, Relationships

I Am…An Event Planner

Hidden Live-It List Question:  Have you accomplished one of your “Live-It List” items since January 1?  Please feel free to share what it is, if you wish!!  Click here for “Live-It List” details.

•For more “I Am…” stories, click here!

•Do you or someone you know have a story that could inspire other women?  We would LOVE to feature you!  Email us at suedesofa@yahoo.com

4 Comments

Filed under I AM..., Stories

Cloth Diapers Rock!

Why?

1-Because they save money.

2-Because they keep the earth clean.

3-Because you can reuse them for multiple kids.

4-Because if you get the “one size” they can be worn from birth to 3+years!

5-Because they are cute and now come in adorable colors!

6-Because if you take good care of your diapers you could sell them and get even more bang for your buck!

There are many more benefits!  If interested click here.

I didn’t even know modern cloth diapers existed until a couple of years ago.  A friend said she was thinking about getting some and I immediately thought, “No way!  I don’t want to deal with those pins poking me and the plastic piece to avoid leaks!”  Boy was I wrong.   Over the years cloth diapers have become easy to use and super cute!

A couple confessions…there are things that I don’t like about cloth diapers, but I choose to use them because I feel they are a good investment and I feel better knowing my diapers aren’t sitting in a landfill.

Things to be aware of:

1-You will have to wash dirty diapers every 2-3 days.

2-You may have to change diapers more often than with a disposable (depending on your kiddo)

3-When your kiddo needs a double insert (like for a long nap) their pants/bottoms will appear bulkier b/c the more inserts = a fuller diaper.

I can’t go into all the details about cloth diapering, or I’ll end up writing a novel :)  I use cloth wipes too, which add to the savings! I got my diapers from fuzzibunz.com and have been really happy with them.  Here is a video on the “one size” diapers, which I prefer so I can use them as they grow:

As you can see, there are tons of videos and information on the web, so do some research and see what best fits your needs!  Pass this a long to any parent-to-be.  Many women are not aware of cloth diapers and all the benefits it has to offer!

Happy Diapering!

Lara

2 Comments

Filed under Kid Stuff, Parenthood, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships