Saturday, April 26, 2008

Face Planting

So I just wanted to post about several things that are all kind of random and the only thing connecting them is me…

T3 face planted, once more, Thursday. This time he landed on his nose. It was a paralyzing moment that made me question whether my emotions will survive raising a boy?! Blood, blood, blood! Coming out his nose and mouth…it was running down my leg and on the floor. I just knew his nose was broken – oh, I can still see his face contorting in a scream as I lifted him off the ground. Once again, I was right there and watched it happen! Thankfully T was home today and immediately assessed the situation. He pushed on T3’s nose and assured me he would be fine, he’d just banged it hard. Oh…little boys. He is an accident waiting to happen. Immediately after this incident, he was teetering around the kitchen with a xylophone and its wooden mallet, using both to bang on the trashcan. He thought it made a lovely sound…an accident waiting to happen!

And while I do LOVE freelance! I love the creative outlet it gives me, not to mention getting to keep my foot in the business world. However, I have been extremely overwhelmed recently, trying to juggle seven year books all with deadlines growing closer daily! Add on the smaller jobs and stationery…it’s all fun, but I am longing for a day to leave my computer OFF. I am longing for a long, lazy day of cooking from scratch, with MW at my side prolonging the process…of just that, enjoying the process of living, rather than rushing through it to meet those deadlines…you get the picture. So…I was offered a big job…a “spend all summer on it” job…and T and I talked about it and prayed about it and he left the decision up to me…and I turned it down! I can’t believe I actually did it. I hate to turn down jobs! Here is the cool thing about it…and I’ve been dying to give a shout out to this guy…(is that cheesy – a “shout out?”) Ever heard of Dave Ramsey?

We drank the koolaid about four years ago and our lives haven’t been the same since. I could write for a very long time about the plethora of ways God has worked in our marriage through this process. Long story short…if you could do it wrong financially, we did it! Been there, got the t-shirt and had the debt to prove it! Student loans, cars, house, credit cards…ick! We thought we were pretty “normal.” So it’s January of 2004 and we’re expecting…and we decided I need to be home with baby… but T’s salary doesn’t quite cover our minimum monthly payments…because we had SO MANY! Forget food or gifts or doctors appointments. We were in over our heads. We saw no way for me to stay home with baby. So we enrolled in Financial Peace University…and when we enrolled we did it, not realizing the horrible situation we’d made for ourselves, but because we thought it would be a “responsible” thing to do…man were we in for a reality check! We sobered up immediately and got on Dave’s plan. He takes you through baby steps and to sum up what he teaches in one sentence: “Spend less than you make.” We weren’t doing that. Um…so we started working those baby steps. We saved our baby emergency fund of $1000 and then started paying off debts smallest to largest…and two years later…two years of me taking on EVERY job that I was offered, two years of T working his engineering day job and then going door to door asking for the “privilege to cut your yard,” two years of Christmas and every other birthday gift, wedding gift, etc. being a craft. Two years of no going out to eat, lots of bean soup, no helping with showers, etc. later, we paid off our last debt (except our house). It was a HARD two years, but we did it. And now, I am SO THANKFUL! It’s a very different way of doing things. It’s not what most people choose to do, but it has been one of the best things we’ve ever done. We have so much more peace and so fewer arguments over finances. It has been a hard row to hoe, but well worth it. Because of going through all of that, I was able to turn down that job. I love freelancing so much more now that I don’t HAVE to do it. Long live the envelope and the budget! Our budget, by the way, IS a blessing. We love the budget! We don’t have a budget because we’re poor, we have it so we can tell every penny where we want it spent before the beginning of the month. It’s fantastic! And there’s something so great about paying cash for stuff. Oh, I LOVE it! If you’re thinking of getting on a plan like this – to pay off debt – DO IT! If we did it, anyone can do it!

So regarding my children, I want to enjoy the monotonous routines of bathing and brushing teeth, of buckling into the car…of picking up toys strewn all over the house. I so often rush to the end and miss the process. So, here’s to enjoying and living in the process...

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