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2015: My Year In Review

Hello all!

Hope everyone had a happy and healthy 2015!

2015 was the year I really let this blog (and my writing) take the backseat.  Which may be the reason I have been such a grump for most of 2015.  When you stop pursuing your dreams, you start settling for a mundane reality and that’s just not going to be a life I want to live.

So with me being MIA for most of 2015, I want to update my readers (if I have any left) on what the year held in store for P and I.

In February we went to Hawaii which was one of the best decisions we could have made.  We actually got into more credit card debt BUT it was an opportunity that I’m so glad we took when we had it.  It gave me great inspiration for a novel that I hope to write one day and we definitely won’t be able to go to Hawaii again for a looooong time (and you will know why if you keep reading).

Even though we got into a little debt in Hawaii (*cough* a couple thousand *cough*), we made great progress in March when I PAID OFF my student loan!!!!!  Talk about the Best.  Feeling.  Ever.  We still have P’s student loan but it is so nice having that extra $160.00 a month to put toward other debt now.

April was a great month!  My brother and sister-in-law welcomed a son who is the cutest baby ever!  I’m biased, but he really is adorable! We took a trip to their home near Seattle to meet this prince of a nephew and he is absolute perfection.  They are fantastic parents and he is growing like a weed every time I get the privilege to see him.

I also have really missed being onstage and acting in community theater.  I ended up taking the plunge and auditioning for the local semi-professional theater.  I was on cloud nine after the audition.  There is just something about taking risks while pursuing one of your favorite things that is just magical.

The magic just kept on coming in May!  I found out I got a part in one of the plays for the theater I had auditioned for in April!  I was going to finally be returning to the stage after 3 years!!!  As if that news wasn’t great enough, the following week P and I had found out we were pregnant!!!  We had been trying for 8 months since our last pregnancy ended in miscarriage.  Shocked and excited we had a feeling that this was going to be our year.

The summer was a whirlwind, we shared the pregnancy news with some close family and friends before our first appointment July 1.  That is when we got some sad news.  The baby ( I know some people don’t consider it a “baby” until it’s born, but when you are the mom and you take that positive pregnancy test after taking so many negative ones, it instantly becomes your baby) was measuring 3 weeks smaller than it should and there was no heartbeat.  Our hearts just sank.  How could we be having another miscarriage?  The doctor told us to come back in a week to see if the baby has grown or if in fact we had experienced another failed pregnancy.  The wait was awful, but luckily we had great friends who invited us out on their boat on the Fourth to watch fireworks and spend a day on the lake.  There is just something about being on the lake and having the wind whip through your hair that is the best therapy and distraction P and I could have asked for.  At sunset, we watched the fireworks off the lake, P had me in his arms and I just kept thinking that no matter what news we get I have the perfect partner to get me through the ups and downs of this life!

The following Wednesday we went to see our doctor and our worst fears were confirmed.  The baby had not grown and still no heartbeat.  We were gutted but at least we now knew with a 100 percent certainty and could grieve and move on.  And so we did…

The rest of the summer brought lots of laughs and tears and P and I finally made a decision to expand our family.  We decided since the play I was cast in would end its run by March 2016, we would start the foster-to-adopt process to expand our family in April!  Nervous and excited we had a game plan and we could finally relax!!!  We were so focused for so long on getting pregnant that we just needed to refocus on what our actual goal was:  Being loving parents one day and raising some incredible kids.

Over Labor Day weekend we traveled with some friends to Seattle to go to Bumbershoot (a music festival).  It was very “frugoal” as we split the costs of gas and a hotel room.  Such a great weekend filled with some fab music, lots of beer, and many memories!

As summer turned to fall (my fave season) the energy in me seemed to shift.  I felt lighter and was enjoying life for the first time in months!  We celebrated Oktoberfest and squeezed in one last camping trip of the year.  The day after we got back from the camping trip I noticed my monthly visitor wasn’t RSVPing for her normal week she stays with me.  I felt great on the days I normally should have been PMSing…hmmm.  I picked up a pregnancy test on the way home from work and saw a very faint line to indicate a positive.  My reaction and P’s reaction was…mixed.  It wasn’t until I took a digital test the next day that glaringly stated “Positive” where P and I were like “are we really ready to go through this again”.  We set up a doctor’s appointment in mid-November to determine if this baby was a stage 5 clinger.

The next several weeks went by surprisingly fast.  It could have been because I was just dreading the appointment.  Our experiences had always been nothing but massive disappointments but I was trying not to let our past miscarriages dictate what this experience “could” be.

November 11 happened.  The day of our appointment.  I was a nervous wreck all day, but was suddenly calm as I was driving into the parking lot.  P was coming from work and met me there.  Luckily, I didn’t have to wait too long and was rushed into an ultrasound room right away (my doctor wanted to get right down to business).  In a matter of seconds, he performed the ultrasound and for the first time in our three pregnancies we heard the HEARTBEAT!!!!  Best sound ever!  It looks like third time is truly the charm for us! Hell, P and I were engaged three times before we finally walked down the aisle and now it looks like third pregnancy we will finally have our healthy baby (fingers and toes crossed).

Looking like this pregnancy is going to stick, we decided to buy me a newer and safer car…a Jeep.  I know, I know, I’m going to the dark side.  I have bitched countless times on this blog about what a money pit P’s jeep is, but this one gets better gas mileage and is great in the snow (and we have gotten SNOW this winter).  So now we have two car payments vs. one but P is driving the Jetta as his daily commuter car now (which gets great gas mileage) so we are saving some money on gas.

The holidays were fast and furious!!!  They were lovely and P took full advantage of me being the DD (which he should since he always had to drive my drunk ass home).

2016 looks to be a promising year.  I’m going to strive to write more and support and patronize the local theaters since I will be taking a break from the stage (I had to drop out of the play that I was cast in due to the fact that I would be portraying a woman who couldn’t get pregnant and would obviously be sporting a baby bump…now isn’t that ironic?).  I also have to start getting ready for this baby.  I’m 19 weeks today and we get to see our baby again on Wednesday!  There are still days I feel a sharp pain or dull cramps and I get worried, but just have to have faith that we will get the honor to meet our healthy baby in June.

For anyone that is curious, the fur babies are great.  Juju had a mass that he had surgery for (which turned out to be cancer) but the vet said they caught it in time and it only has a 9% chance of returning.  Scully is our four legged toddler who wants lots of snuggles one minute and then is out to destroy everything in the house the next.  Orville is still…an asshole, but he is our asshole and he’s a cat.  He can do what he wants.

We already have at least three weddings to attend for friends and family in 2016, my cousin Megan is expecting a baby in March, and we expect that there will be a few engagements in the family too (*cough* Mike *cough*Tim*cough)!

2016 will be a lot of transition and any vacationing is going to be minimal (which is why I’m so happy we jumped at the opportunity to go to Hawaii).

Wishing everyone a year of love, laughter, and committing to something you are passionate about!  Thanks for reading my year in review!

Ang

 

 

 

 

What I Want This Fall 2014

First day of November has arrived and hope you all had a scary and safe Halloween!  I was a bit of a Halloween scrooge this year and opted to stay home and get snuggles from the Hubby and furry babies and watch the first season of American Horror Story on Netflix (it’s interesting).

It occurred to me this morning that I have failed you guys over the last few months with the blatant absence of my “Three Things I Want” posts for the months of September and October.  So here is my virtual wish list for this fall of all things I would LOVE to have if I wasn’t in that pesky credit card debt. (Note to Santa:  Christmas is next month and I have been a very good goodish girl this year).

1.  Throwback Yoga Pants!  Loved “Jem and the Holograms” as a kid and these pants for any workout are indeed truly outrageous.  Truly, truly, truly outrageous.

jem-yoga-pants.dsk

http://www.80stees.com/

2.  A warning cry.  I actually couldn’t find a place where this sign was available for purchase, so this could actually be a DIY project this fall.  Our cat is indeed an asshole and our wine glasses which were once an army strong of about a dozen has now depleted to just two surviving soldiers.  I love my Orville but he is one furry jerk.

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3.  A holiday decor addition with sass.  Who doesn’t love “A Christmas Story”.  I have always wanted a full sized version of the infamous leg lamp to add to my Christmas decorations.  Someday it will happen, but for now a girl can dream.

leglamp2http://www.redriderleglamps.com/

4.  Cold weather Seahawks gear.  The Hawks have not been playing up to expectations this year BUT I still love them.  I have my jersey but the weather is getting colder.  Time to bundle up and still show my support for the boys.

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http://www.nflshop.com/

5.  A quirky bookshelf.  There is no better way to spend a rainy fall day then curled up with a book.  All of my books are in boxes out in the garage so it’s time to give them room to breathe in a beautiful bookshelf.  Here are just a few ideas that are beyond clever!

Dream-Bookshelfhttp://www.incrediblethings.com/home/dream-bookshelf-is-not-just-for-fantasy-novels/

childrens-furniture-tree-bookcase-shawn-sohhttp://designartist.cafe24.com/

united-states-bookshelf-ohttp://www.timothytaylorgallery.com/

Hope you all have a fantastic first day of November!

Ang

 

Hidden Treasures

So sorry I have been slacking on my blog guys.  I have been spending much needed time on moving my home office from one room to the other and cleaning out a massive amount of clutter that was in the spare room (I’m talking “Hoarders” type of clutter).

Last weekend while all of you were out enjoying life, I made the weekend be all about going through ALL of our paperwork (financial/junk mail/letters/taxes) and tossing the stuff that was no longer needed (like 2002 pay stubs) and filing away all things of importance.  After 10 hours it was finally finished.

IMAG1087_1Putting all of the disorder in some order provided me with one great find after another.  Found some birthday cards circa 2009 and there was money in them.  That along with some spare change amounted to the grand sum of $86.80.  That made my 10 hour day very much worth the work.

 

Grabbed a glass of wine to celebrate my awesomeness when I looked at the mountain of clothes still overtaking the spare room.  It may have been the red wine talking but all of a sudden I got the urge to purge.  Purging last weekend gave me the opportunity to have one of the most magical moments any 30 something woman could ever ask for:  I had a Carrie Bradshaw moment.  Let me explain.

IMAG1089_1Was going through the pockets of a purse I was going to donate to Goodwill when I saw a flash of gold.  Hmmm.  Upon further inspection it ended up being a clasp to something.  I pulled and found that it was my most favorite gold locket that I wore through a majority of my early to mid twenties that I thought I had lost forever.  I squealed with glee which turned into pure magic when I thought of Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and the City finale.  She found her favorite “Carrie” necklace in the lining of her purse.  For those of you who are not fans of the show (which are probably any straight men reading this blog), the necklace was symbolic of her finding herself again.

 

The weekend ended with two full trash bags full of shredded papers and two full trash bags filled with clothes and half a dozen purses going to Goodwill.

Cleaning out the closet proved to be a lovely way to spend the weekend.

Ang

By the way, let me know if any of you have found anything cool or weird (I love weird) when cleaning out your clutter!

Paper Hike

Let me first apologize to all of you for being absent for a few days.  P and I are transitioning from 2 home offices to 1 so my computer has been down.

So what have I been up to besides going to the hottest local restaurants (Denny’s) and canoodling with a gorgeous man in bed (my dog).

This is the first weekend in recent memory where we don’t really have any plans SO I decided to take on organizing ALL of the papers in our house (bank statements, tax info, junk mail, old college essays, etc.).

IMG_1841 (1)It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but I actually have mail that has accumulated over years that I have been putting off going through.  The result?  Boxes and boxes of random paper that is now a very daunting task (much worse than what this picture shows).  It’s a paper trail that has turned into a very long and winding paper hike.

I just need to channel the type A personality that I know is deep down inside of me….right after I finish this cookie for breakfast.

Do any of you have a killer organization system for your household receipts, tax documents, and bank statements?  Let me know!

Ang

Too Hot for Thought

Too hot to be funny.

Or witty.

Or clever.

Too hot to sit.

Or type.

Or blog.

But I said I would post a new blog every day for 93 days of blogging this summer, so here is my blog:  An adorable pic of my cat!

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I phoned this blog in folks, but I promise tomorrow’s blog will be one for the ages!

Ang

More than skeletons

 

Earlier in the week I talked about my newest home project:  Cleaning out the clutter of my closets.  Though I haven’t officially started the project yet, I did want to share with you the before pics.  Why?  Because why not?

I started this blog to really face my demons when it comes to my finances.  A big part of why my finances are such a mess is from overspending on “stuff”.  “Stuff” like clothes I never wear, books I never read, and home decor that my house is still waiting to be “decored” with.  The girl in my twenties is still storing her shit in my house and I am over it!!!!

So here are the skeletons in my closet in all of their untouched glory.

Warning:  These images are extremely graphic in nature and may be disturbing to some of my readers.  Viewer discretion is advised.

 

I know you can’t unsee what you just saw, but this blog is all about brutal honesty with myself.

It’s time.

Time to clean out the past and live in the present.

Time to rid myself of all of the items that I no longer wear.

Time to stop holding onto clothes that I may “fit into again” someday.

Time to realize these clothes are just reminders that I have gained 15 pounds.  Reminders that whenever I see these clothes I see failure and I’m not a failure, damnit.  I am trying.

Time to kill those damn clothes that keep screaming at me “haha, nice try, but you still can’t squeeze that fat ass into me”.  I’m suffocating them by stuffing them into bags and taking them to their final resting place in the form of my local Goodwill.

It’s officially 7:06 A.M., time for this gal to get going on her day.

Thanks for stopping by and see you tomorrow for an all new blog in my #93daysofblogging challenge!

Ang

Cleaning out my closets

Sex-and-the-City-4Officially broke until payday so it is time to get creative with how to bide my time until the money is flowing again.

Enter my newest household project:

Cleaning out the tragedy that are my closets (Carrie Bradshaw would be disgusted with me).

Time to rid myself of all of the clothes I no longer wear and fit into.

Will post pics throughout the next couple of weeks (trust me, it will take that long) to show you my progress.

Sorry this post is short, but it is about 100 degrees in my house, the dog just ate an entire box of cat treats, and my honey just walked through the door…gotta love life!

See ya back here for an all new blog tomorrow!

Ang

Cutting Back

51992529At the beginning of the year I promised you loyal readers that I would be out of over $10,000.00 worth of credit card debt by 2015.  I may have been overshooting…BUT let me explain.

Life happened.  Cars needed fixing, teeth needed fixing, medical “stuff” needed fixing.  Life.

BUT (I like big BUTs and I cannot lie) now that a majority of those bills are all caught up, it is time to refocus on my bad debt, that nasty credit card debt.

We have been paying more than the minimum each month on our monthly bill so our total credit card debt is down to around $8,600.00 (I should know this amount down to the penny BUT I don’t).  With only half the year left, I am not sure we will be completely credit card debt free in 2015 but P and I have decided to make three changes in this household to cut out some of our monthly expenses.

  1. Surprise discount on our phone bill.  P went down to our cellular phone company for work purposes and a super groovy employee mentioned to him that he actually gets a work discount for his personal account as well (though I wish we would have known it sooner).  Surprise monthly discount of $25.00.
  2. Jeeper by the dozen.  We decided to downgrade from an ’09 Jeep Rubicon to an ’06 Jeep of some kind (asked P what kind, then he started telling me how to word the “Jeep” portion of my blog and we ended up getting into a Jeep/blog fight which ended in silent treatment the rest of the night which means he won’t even “like” this blog on facebook now…damn). Anywho…monthly savings of over $130.00 in Jeep payments.
  3. Bye bye Bravo.  P went down to our cable provider (which I was going to give him special props for until he pissed me off when I was writing number 2 on this list) and cut the TV.  Sad day BUT this decision just saved us $70.00 a month!

That means our total monthly savings by cutting back on a few things is around $225.00!  Which means in the last half of 2014 we will be saving a total of $1,350.00!!  Sweet!

This credit card debt may not be gone in the next 6 months, BUT these small changes will definitely help..

See you tomorrow for an all new blog in my #93daysofblogging challenge, and hope this blog inspires you all to cut back on a few little things for the greater good!

Ang

P.S. If anyone knows any marriage counselors who specialize in fights of the Jeep and blogging variety, let me know…

More Month Than Money to More Money Than Month

Total-Money-Makeover-Book-CoverDave Ramsey uses the phrases “more month than money”  and “more money than month” in his book “The Total Money Makeover”.  I have this book and read it once a few years ago, and am back to reading it for a second go round (because maybe his advice will actually “stick” this time).

It seems that P and I always have just a little bit more month than money and I am tired of dipping into our savings each month to “survive” until the next payday. This upsets me for two reasons:  1)  I should not be dipping into our emergency fund unless it is an emergency.  An “emergency” is NOT running out of money because we spent way more than we should have and now can’t afford groceries the last week of the month, and 2) We make a decent living.  By no means are we wealthy, but we make okay money and it is just the two of us and our pets, so we HAVE enough money each month, we just don’t spend all of it the way we should.

So why does this keep happening to us?  Why can’t we get our financial s$#t together and have  more money than month vs. more month than money?

Because we rarely make a budget together.

Because we are lazy.

Because we can think of a million other things that we would rather be doing with our time than sitting down and talking about our personal finances. UGGGHHHHH!  My blood pressure can’t be good right now…

walletWhat prompted this rant on this Monday?  Today is payday for both of us.  I love/hate payday because I feel rich for a moment and then overwhelmed with writing out our monthly bills and with all of the questions on what to do with the excess of our money (since we don’t make out a monthly budget). How much should we put in savings?  A vacation fund?  Groceries? Gas? Entertainment?  How much can we put towards our debt? Who has a birthday/wedding/shower this month and how much should we give to that person?

In any relationship, if you combine your money, there has to be a designated bill payer.  I am the bill payer in my relationship so for me,  every payday is a pain day.

This month, I am going to try to spend a little less time watching Bravo and lure my husband away from playing Battlefield 4 (even if that means flashing him some boobies) and create a budget for the next half of the year.

Hopefully taking the time to make a monthly budget will be completely worth it (and I have a feeling it will).

Happy Monday and have an even happier payday!

See you back here tomorrow for an all new blog in my #93daysofblogging challenge.

Ang

 

 

Three things I GOT this May 2014!

Normally on my monthly “three things” blog I mention three fantastic things I want (and normally would buy myself if I were not trying to get out of debt), but since May is home to my birthday I thought I would change it up and share with you all three things I got this May 2014:

1. A Seahawks Jersey…Finally!

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P really does listen!  My hubby gave me a 12th man jersey (since I have always told him I don’t want a specific player’s jersey since I am not loyal to the players but loyal to the team).  He also personalized it with my last name on the back!  He got some serious “hubby points” that day!

2. A bouquet of the sweetest kind!

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Not much of a flower girl, but I LOVE CHOCOLATE!  My mom and dad (though I have a feeling my mommy is the one that put it together…and yes a grown woman just called her mom “mommy”) gave me this bomb.com bouquet!  Loved this and love them!

3.  A beautiful way to tell time!

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Egads!  Holy hair and porous skin Batman!  Nevermind the close up pic, but this gal always needs more time, and the only way to get more time is in the form of a watch!  My in-laws gave me this fabulous Fossil watch (love me some Fossil)!  I just love being their favorite daughter-in-law (by default, but I will take it)!  Love them too!

I also got jewelry, gift cards, candy, an ice cream maker, a crazy cat lady purse, a journal, one-of-a-kind necklace, home decor, a travel organizer, cupcakes, and money from my parents and both of my grandmas (who I always tell them they don’t need to give me any money but they continue to do so anyway).

BUT

The best gift I got for my birthday was all of the phone calls and texts and happy birthday voice mails from all of my loved ones.  I am one lucky girl!

Be back tomorrow,

Ang