Growing, Learning, and Enjoying Every Part Of It.

Friday, November 30, 2012

One Income Living

Before we married, RFA and I spoke extensively about finances and our philosphy on spending, saving, etc.  We decided  that when the time came (marriage, that is) we would merge our finances, but live as if we were a single income family.  December 4th will be our 4 month anniversary and we haven't actually lived by our rule as yet.  During our first quarter financial review as married people, we decided that we needed to make good on our one income commitment.
 
We are starting in December, and for some reason I'm very excited about it.  On one hand, I can't spend like I've hit the lottery anymore, but on the other, more important, hand we will reap the benefits of being financially prudent.  That is the part that excites me!
 
I think by starting in December we'll get some big challenges under our belt for this new way of living that will make all the other months that much easier.  I'm specifically talking about gift giving to our family while meeting all of our other obligations.
 
 
Once thing I've noticed over the first quarter of our marriage is that the cost of two adults is more expensive that I estimated.  My husband is very low key, and very much a saver, but just the sheer cost of feeding him, has increased our food bill significantly.  I won't put all the blame on him.  My saving spirit dissapeared when I saw how much income we were bringing in between the both of us and I just wanted to feel the joy of spending.  I guess my budgeting mentality flew the coop.   Now that we are financially adjusted and the "mo' money" shock has worn off on me, it's time to get back to our respnosible selves (ok, me get back to my responsible self, he never wavered).
 
In addition to starting our new financial lifestyle, we are also going to give something else a test run for the month of December.  We will be operating with one car and leaving the other parked in the garage.  There won't be a significant cost savings from this venture because we still have to pay care insurance, but we are eager to see how we come out on gas consumption with one car.  I'm curious to see how families did this years ago before  two cars were the standard.     
 
I can't wait to see what our second quarter financials look like given our new changes!  Yippie, in advance.            
 
~ Blissfully Yours        

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Healthy Living Step


I stepped on the scale today after avoiding it for months.  I could see my body parts starting to grow again, but somewhere over the past year my mental switch at doing the “right” things in the way of eating and exercising had clicked off.

I really lost much motivation during our wedding planning process.  It was a unique situation and caused levels of stress I had never experienced before.  Funny how now I’m loving doing it for others.

Anyway…I do exercise still, just not consistently.  My food intake hasn’t been extremely terrible, but I have stopped making deliberate decisions about what enters my body.

Both of these things – eating and exercising are still near and dear to my heart.  These are things that are important to my life in tremendous ways.  Why then did the mental switch disconnect from my emotional switch?  I don’t know.

What do I know?  I know that I want to mend the relationship between the two. I know that I want to reignite my enthusiasm for deliberate choices.

So, I declare today is the day I will stop floating through my eating and exercising life, and instead I will go back to the 2010-2011 Me where I made choices, and didn’t just let things happen…and definitely didn’t AVOID knowledge.  I mean how ridiculous that I’ve been avoiding that stupid scale for months.  I knew it was going to tell me something that would force my hand, and I guess I just wasn’t ready.

Well, I’m ready…here goes, again.

On my drive into work this morning I was stuck thinking about what I saw on the scale.  I started to beat up on myself and wonder how I let so much progress piss away.  For some reason my mind went to Oprah.  Her health and weight struggles have been on display for all of the world to judge for years.  And, yet she continues to face her battle head on, albeit sometimes she takes long breaks in between…each time she has gotten back on the horse and tried.  So, I told myself to shut up and take back my control!

Here is a quote, coincidentally from Oprah, that I love: The big secret in life [health and fitness] is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you're willing to work.
 
I'm ready to work this step in my life!
 
~ Blissfully Yours

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

TTC Tuesdays - Week 8

I forgot to post an update last week. So here goes...

I'm currently on CD30, so either there is a bun in the oven or my cycle will reset with a visit from the red monster very soon.

Let me back up to give an overview of this cycle.

I ovulated on CD18 this month which is two days later than last cycle. The funny thing is that my doctor told me that he felt like this cycle was going to be about 31 or 32 days long from the looks of my egg sacks.  At the time I thought that was weird, and a part of me thought he was losing it because I just knew things were going to be just like last month.  Looks like the doctor wins.

If my luteal phase remains at 14 days, which it was last month, if I'm not pregnant I should have a new cycle starting on mid Thursday to Friday.

Aside from the babymaking, I'm really enjoying learning more about my body, and how the female reproductive system works.  I've learned way more than I thought I cared to know...from cervical mucus to basal body temperatures, I feel like my body is an incubator waiting to cook its egg...lol.

Ok, back on track.

So today I am 12 days past ovulation.  That alone makes me want to whip out a test stick and start peeing, but I'm trying to be patient. My plan was to only test once I'm 14dpo, but since my darling husband will be away on day 14, we are going to test tomorrow.  He doesn't want to be surprised.  I think he's just on edge and as nervous as I am....we are both ready to jump up and down with excitement.

Last week I was feeling very optomistic about possibly being pregnant, but now I'm starting to feel like it didn't happen this month either. Today I feel like I'm having pre cycle symptoms.  It's weird because last month I had no pre cycle symptoms at all and the red monster just showed up.

Well, that's it....I'm off to bite my nails until the morning.

~ Blissfully Yours

Monday, November 26, 2012

Our First Thanksgiving

The Holiday was great!  My mother-in-law flew in from the east coast, and my mother came over.  I made all of the food, and everyone couldn't stop raving about it. It makes me most happy when my daughter and husband enjoy the food.  He always does, but she has her moments.  It was just an added bonus that my mother-in-law enjoyed my cooking.
 
During dinner we had several conversations, some better than others, but all of them ended up with my mother saying something ridiculous against me.  I think she was joking the entire time, but loves to say out of the way negative things to me when she's around my husband. And, she loves to tell me how to be a wife (you have to cook different foods for him, cater to him, surprise him all the time)...ugh. She does this with him sitting right there. It annoys me to pieces.
 
At one point she even started antagonizing my MIL about her mentally disabled cousin.  My MIL was discussing how her younger cousin has mental problems and often throws himself pity parties with her via text message. My MIL tries to help him out of it, but tries to be gentle with him.  Also, my MIL is a very religious woman.  My mother started badgering her about not listening to him complain about the same stuff. She told her that she needs to get tough with him and tell him to get over it.  My MIL reminded my mother that her cousin is mentally unstable, so it's unfair to expect someone to use an approach they'd use on those with good mental health.  That's when my mother said, "Well, as a Christian woman you shouldn't be enabling him to feel sorry for himself, you need to let him know that you won't stand to continue listening to it."  I wanted to disappear into my chair right there.  I was so embarrassed, and my husband was shocked.
 
I finally jumped in and started telling everyone what I was grateful for this year.  That cleared the air, and we moved on.
 
My husband is taking on a photography hobby, so after dinner we went outside to take some family photos.  They came out beautiful, so we decided to go ahead and do a few with just the three of us and the dog for our Christmas cards.  I'm excited about sending them out.
 
All in all, my first Thanksgiving as the Mrs. was great! I hope yours was as well!
 
 
~ Blissfully Yours

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bye-Bye Bank

I opened my first bank account when I was 18 years old.  Back then people still wrote checks.  I had a couple of "accidents" those first couple months where I forgot that the check was actually tied to an account with real money as opposed to being a magical paper that produced money from a money tree somewhere.
 
It didn't take me long to understand that I had to keep track of my spending, or I'd be in a world of trouble.
 
Since opening that very first account, I never switched banks.  It went from First Union to Wachovia to Wells Fargo, and with every change, and even every mistake they made, I stuck with them.  For some reason I tend to have weird loyalties to companies, even the ones that have ticked me off (i.e. why I've only every had Sprint Cell service).
 
Before I got married, or engaged for that matter, when we would have our "what if" conversations, we both agreed on joint accounts and a complete co-mingling of money.  I never understand why people are afraid to mix money in a marriage but they weren't afraid to promise forever, or why they would marry someone they don't even trust with money.
 
After we got engaged it was the perfect opportunity for us to start looking at what we were getting out of our current banks by way of incentives, customer service, etc.  We compared the services with other banks and finally made the hard decision (hard for me; he just wanted us to do what made sense) that we would go with a new bank and close our other accounts.
 
The week before we got married, we went into the new bank and got everything set up, so that things would be seamless after the I-do's. 
 
Well, the new bank set up was easy, but closing my other account was not as much.  I had to contact a thousand companies to give them my new information and stop direct deposit into the almost defunct account.  It sounds easy, but it wasn't.  It took almost 3 pay periods before my job got it right with the direct deposit; I forgot about 4 companies (netflix, bestbuy cellphone insurance, home warranty, and security system) so for the first time since I was about 19 I was faced with some overdrafts, and the stupid fees and embarrassment that come along with them.
 
I was so paranoid that I would forget something else, that I just started keeping money over there until I felt like enough time had  passed that everything was handled.
 
Finally, yesterday I got that feeling - that everything was in order. So, I marched into the bank and closed my very first bank account, my very first savings account, and Amy daughter's very first checking and savings accounts. I know this may sound crazy, but I kinda felt like I was breaking up with someone. Albeit someone who wasn't treating me like we had 16 years invested, but still...break ups are weird.
 
So even though we all switched to our new bank months ago, it finally feels done.  I'm glad we took a long hard look at what works for us and decided to move on from our old banks. 
 
Another marriage step under my belt!
 
~ Blissfully Yours

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

TTC Tuesdays - Week 6


There's not much to update this week aside from what I wrote in a random, non TTC post.

Today is CD16 and I haven't ovulated yet.  I was a bit sad this morning because of that, since last month I ovulated on CD16.  Also, my monitor and OPKs will detect a hormone surge 12 to 24 hours before ovulation and even that hasn't happened yet.  What does that mean...I'm still at least two days away from ovulation - at the minimum.

If I hadn't just gone to the doctor last week and heard him tell me everything was fine, I'd probably be worried out of my mind right now.  Still, I can't understand why this month would be so totally different unless my cycle has plans on being longer this month. But, even then, why can't the stupid thing just be consistent every month??

A naturally conceived pregnancy would be so awesome...that way I could surprise my husband and reveal the news in some grand way.  Otherwise, we'll find out about our status in the confines of my RE's office.  I guess he's nice, so it wouldn't be the worst situation, lol.

I really hope and pray I get my peak reading tomorrow morning or tonight. That would be just awesome.

I blogged about the results of RFA's semen analysis last week.  In a nutshell, everything looks good for the most part, but his normal shaped sperm could stand to be a little higher.

I think that about covers this week's update.  All you praying people, get to praying for the conception of our babies...please and thanks! :)
 
~ Blissfully Yours

Friday, November 9, 2012

Busy Bee

Busy, Busy, Busy! Whew.  I like being busy, though.

I wanted to touch on a few things going on and/or on my mind.

Politics
First...one time for the re-election of President Obama! I never had a doubt he'd be reelected, but about two weeks prior, I think I started believing the hype of a "close" race.  In the end the Country spoke, and it wasn't even close from the electoral college perspective.  I'm also glad Mr. President won the popular vote.  I am no fan of the electoral college, and if he hadn't won the popular vote, I was all ready to make a statement about how it just doesn't feel right to celebrate a win that a majority of the country didn't provide.  At any rate, I'm excited and very much optimistic about the next 4 years.  I hope the republicans and extremist conservatives have learned that their ugly tactics and obstructionist ways backfired, and that it's time to to accept the olive branch the President has repeatedly, to the dismay of many of his loyal base, extended.

Also, one time for the Democrats securing the senate, and good for the Republicans keeping the house.  Typically, I'm a fan of the congress being split by both parties because it, in the past, has required much collaboration and compromise to get things done, which in the end is best for the country.  However, given the way the republicans have acted since winning the house in 2010, and even before that, made me worry. But, again, I'm hoping the huge Obama victory and the rejection of all the conservative extremists is a motivator for them to stop the crazy antics and work with the democrats to get things done.

TTC Update
We got the results of my husband's semen analysis last week. All is well on his end.  The only issue, which really isn't an issue is that the percentage of well shaped sperm is a little lower than what the doctor typically likes to see.  However, we were assured it should not pose a problem.  I also went in a for a fibroid check up this week, and praise God - everything is still clear!  We also discussed the go forward plan more.  It still stands that if we aren't pregnant by December, we'll return to the doctor and start IUI in January.  IUI stands for intrauterine insemination.  It's a process whereby they will take my husband's sperm, select the fastest and healthiest of his bunch, wash them, and inseminate them directly into my uterus on the day of ovulation.  The process helps ensure that the egg and sperm are actually meeting in the same space and given a better chance to "connect."  Ideally, we would both love to conceive naturally, but we are also thankful for technology and will take our babies any way God wants to give them to us.


Business
The wedding planning season is kicking into high gear for summer '13.  I'm having a blast working with my three couples, and I can't wait to take on a few more.  I'm bringing on an intern in the Spring. She is a senior out of state, but will be returning home to Texas soon after her graduation.  She wants to get some hands on experience in the event planning field, specifically weddings.  This is going to be a win - win for the both of us, I hope. 

As I look at things, I believe I can take on 6 clients at a time by myself; as long as their events are at least 3 weeks apart.

I'm having a great time building relationships and networking in a completely different industry than government.


Name
I keep trying to think of a blog name for my husband.  While we were dating, I called him Mr. RFA (right for Aretha) on the old blog.  While he definitely turned out to be totally right for me, I think he needs a new name here; especially since this is a new blog.  I'll keep thinking, I guess.


I think that's all for now.  How are you guys doing?

~ Blissfully Yours
 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Goings On

I've been a busy bee over the past two weeks.  I took on two new clients, which makes me extremely happy. Both are full service clients, one wants to be very hands off and has essentially given me her budget and asked me to make the rest happen.  The other plans to be highly involved (both the bride and groom). They have a clear picture of what they want, but would like my guidance at every step of the process.  I was hopeful, but didn't expect to jump off so wonderfully in my first official month in business. This past Sunday my pastor preached about people praying for blessings and then holding out a little small pouch for their blessings to flow into.  He said, we need to start holding huge garbage bags because that's how big our blessings will be when we're asking for things from God.  I guess dreaming big isn't enough...we have to EXPECT big also.
 
I missed my TTC update this week.  Just to recap, I tested on Monday and got a BFN (that's a big fat negative).  So, my uterus is still empty.  I told my husband and he asked if I was alright.  I was, surprisingly so.  Then after I got out of the shower I mentioned to him that we should go ahead and get him a semen analysis just to rule out any issues with him, and that on our next visit to the reproductive endocrinologist we should bring up  IUI to bypass any possible pathway issues.  He offered up that we may want to try for a few more months before doing all of that...and all of a sudden while we were standing in our closet getting dressed I just broke down.  The tears wouldn't stop.  I'm fine with waiting a few more months, but honestly I'm so freaking afraid that new fibroids will grow and my chances of more children will fade.  I shouldn't live with this fear, but I do and I hate it.  After I explained my fear, my husband said we could do whatever would give me peace of mind.  That same day we were in the doctor's office getting his analysis done.  He called and scheduled the appointment without me even knowing about it.
 
Back in June, our RE told me that he only wanted us to try from August to December, and that if I wasn't pregnant in my December cycle to come back because he didn't want to move slowly on things.  So  here we are on November 1st, and I'll be heading back to him next week to talk out some of my fears and discuss our ttc process and find out if there is something else we could be doing to help the natural order of things.
 
I think over the past couple of weeks we have pretty much decided that we'll be living in Texas until at least 2016, maybe longer depending on new life factors by that point.  We've also pretty much agreed we will live in the same house until that time because of my daughter's school district.  All three of us are ready for more space, but we all agree that my daughter's school is amazing and I don't want to move her to another one in the area, even though those are great too.  We also don't want to buy another house in the 2 mile radius that we'll likely sell in 4 years.  The great thing about these decisions is that my daughter will be happy she stays in her same school through graduation, and we are excited about keeping our low mortgage.  Now if we can just sells at least one set of these apartments my husband bought years ago, everything will be great! 
 
I have  a networking event tonight...something I haven't done in a while.  This time it's for my event planning hat as opposed to government.  I'm super excited.
 
What's going on with you???
 
~ Blissfully Yours