Friday, October 28, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Thanks Wife of a Sailor!

1.The best part of October was connecting with so many wonderful friends, drinking tons of Starbucks and seeing Autumn walk .

2.The worst part of October was all of us taking turns with a nasty cold and paying over $1000 to fix the damage our neighbor's tree did to our property .

3.For Halloween, I’ll be a Mom Trick-or-Treating with a really sweet fairy and a super cute watermelon.  I'll also be helping myself to a few Twizzlers along the way .

4.I hope that in November I can make a bunch of pumpkin recipes, get up our Christmas decorations early and get a good start on Christmas shopping.... oh, and that we'll get a great snowfall.

5.Wifey has posted MilSpouse Secret Santa. I will not be participating.

Source: None via Jill on Pinterest

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Man on the Corner

Today I had a conversation with a man I will never forget.  His name is Michael and I noticed him sitting in a wheelchair at an intersection near Grace's school.  After I picked up Grace and got ready to head home, I saw a sign taped to the back of his wheelchair.  It read "Disabled Veteran".  I drove off with the girls in the back of the car and knew I needed to turn around and talk with him. 

So, I drove around the block and pulled into a nearby parking lot.  For a few minutes we chatted.  Michael is disabled - his left leg is amputated.  He is an Army veteran and having a tough time in life.  I gave him what little cash I had on me, but I know it won't solve any of his real needs.  He seemed lonely - eager to talk to somebody.  Eager to share a bit of his story.

I don't know where he's at in life... I don't know if he has a family or any friends.  I don't know where he lives or if he has a home.  These are all things I wish I had asked.  I told him "thank you"... whatever that may mean to him, I don't know.

After ending our chat and saying goodbye, I drove home with the girls.  I was shaken.  I cried when I got home.  War changed Michael as it does all of our men and women in uniform.  His life is forever changed.  And now he has one leg, a wheelchair, and is in need of money and companionship.

It's no surprise that I have a heart for veterans.  I'm proud to be married to one and am happy to know so many.  But there seems to be a great divide - something that is lost and broken after they come home.  We forget to say "thank you", we forget to check in.  Fortunately, many veterans have a good support system.  But obviously many do not.  Too many are left behind after they've served.  I believe progress is being made, but it's too slow and not enough.

Veterans Day is a few weeks away.  I hope that we can all find a way to practically thank a veteran and let them know that we don't take them for granted and we won't forget what they've done.

Friday, October 21, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

This post should have been quick & easy.  But in normal Jill-fashion, I completely over-thought it.  So I erased all of that and went with my gut for each answer.  Hop over to and join in this week!

1.I want another baby.  There, I said it.  I'm ready, but we're waiting on the right time.  And that time, my friends, is not now.

2.I have a laundry basket full of clean, folded clothes just sitting in front of my dresser hoping that someone will put them away.  Anyone?

3.I wish a million dollars would drop in our laps so Joel could quit his 2nd job, we could pay off all our debt and I could buy a Land Rover.  Now we don't need a million to do all of that, but I'm just putting it out there .

4.I hope that I will see a cure/successful treatment for severe peanut allergies in my lifetime .

5.I wonder what our life will be like, one year from now, when we are hopefully nearly debt-free .

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday Wit: Listening

Over the past few months, I've noticed that I've had to repeat myself constantly to Grace.  After school on Friday, I was literally repeating everything I said at least 2-3 times.  So, I finally told her (with complete honesty) that I was considering taking her to the doctor to get her hearing checked.  She didn't say anything about it... I thought maybe she simply didn't hear me.  HA!

Well, on Sunday at lunch, out of nowhere, she says, "Mommy, I can hear you when you talk to me.  I don't have a hearing problem.  It's just that I don't want to hear what you say."

And then today she tells me that she can hear her teacher at school just fine, it's me that she can't/won't hear.

Thanks, Grace.  Yet one more person who tunes me out.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Saying Goodbye to the Feather & New Color

I don't know about you, but I love to get my hair done.  Fortunately, Joel hasn't limited my salon visits with the new family budget.  So, on Monday, I spent 3 hours with my dear friend, Kelly.  I said goodbye to the feather hair extension I've had for the last 2 months and darkened up a bit for fall.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Our Financial Freedom Journey: A Look at September

Last month, Joel and I began our journey toward financial freedom.  You can read more about our plan to become debt-free here.

Our biggest adjustment was going to to a cash system. I take $250 out every two weeks - $200 of that goes toward groceries and $50 is what we call walking around money.  I manged pretty well with just $100 per week in grocery money.  I forced myself to go through my freezer and pantry and start to use up things that, for some reason, I've been storing away.  I've realized that I'm a bit of a food hoarder - I like to stock up on things when they're on sale and then I forget they're there.  So we have a full pantry and freezer that has fed us well.

Right now, I'm still trying to figure out how to budget for household goods - toilet paper, toothpaste and laundry detergent or absolute necessities but they add up fast and are eating into our grocery budget.  Two days before the end of the month, we had 1 roll of toilet paper in our bathroom and I literally had $1 in my wallet.  I ran out and stocked up -  putting it on my Debit.  But I need to figure out a way to avoid that this month.

I'm also having to adjust my shopping habit.  Joel and I both get $100 each month to do with as we like.  At the end of September, I still had quite a bit left... mostly because I was afraid to spend it just in case I came across a pair of boots that I couldn't live without.  But I have to admit that it has been hard on me to have to be limited while I'm shopping.  I like clothes, makeup, shoes, accessories and purses. Actually, I love them.  And when I see something I like, I just get it.  And that's probably why we're financially behind and having to make this big life change.  I'm a shopper and I don't like to be limited.

So instead of shopping, I've been going on walks, taking the girls to the library and reading. Those things have been fun but I do feel like I have shopping withdrawals right now.

September was also a great month for Joel and I as a couple.  It's a good feeling to know we are on the same page with our finances and our future.  We still have some things to work out.  Those things will come in time though.  And I'm sure it'll get easier as we learn more through this process.

So, one month down and a little bit less in debt.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

10 Things to Smile About

I've been wanting to join Emmy Mom, in doing her monthly blog post "Ten Things to Smile About".  I love reading hers each month and I thought it was finally time to join in and share with you what things I've loved from September.

1.  Kids who keep learning & growing -
and one who recently discovered how to use our copy machine.  Oh, Autumn...

2.  Starbucks coffee.  I love when the new coffees come out in the fall and winter -
right now I'm loving the Salted Carmel Mocha.

3.  Happy kids in cars.

4.  Pinterest  I received an invite a few weeks ago and am hooked.  Do you Pinterest?

5.  The start toward financial freedom!

6.  Joel's Birthday.  Not only was he in-country this year, but I pulled off
a surprise party for him.

7.  Along with a birthday comes cake.  I love cake and
I'm thrilled that Joel's as crazy about chocolate cake as I am.

8.  Cooler temps.  I adore fall - especially those perfectly crisp days.

9.  For those of you have been with me for a while, you know I'm a major beauty junkie. 
Yesterday I picked up a new Chanel foundation that I'm loving. 
And since I returned some product I wasn't loving, I didn't pay a cent for it. 

10.  Happy kids!