Monday, November 24, 2008

Holiday Traditions

I'm not usually one for getting ready for Christmas before Thanksgiving. I'm all for enjoying one holiday before preparing for the next. But the calendar this year is a busy one, and I found myself in the Christmas spirit a little earlier than usual!
(Don't you love our stockings? They were a shower gift from my mom. The matching tree skirt has our name on it, too. I think they are super cool.)

This week, Jay and I will celebrating our first holiday (other than the one we were married on) as a married couple. We've been fortunate in the past to have agreed to go our separate ways with each of our families and that's been okay with both of us. This Thanksgiving has been the first time we've had to decide what to do and where to go. I have to admit, it's kind of stressful. We'll do Thanksgiving with my parents on Thursday, and his family on Saturday. Double turkey for us - yay!

Other than doing our best to maintain old traditions, we've decided to start creating a few new ones of our own. One of my favorites so far, includes our Christmas tree. The past couple of years we have each picked out a new ornament to add to the tree. It started more out of necessity than sentiment, but has developed into a meaningful part of our tree decorating. I decided we'll add the date somewhere on the ornament so in future years we can remember our choices.

This year, I chose this fish:
He reminded me of the awesomely gorgeous fish we saw snorkeling in Aruba. Snorkeling has by far been my favorite thing I've done this year. (Other than getting married - hee hee...)

And Jay picked out this John Deere tractor:
His reason had something to do with the fact that he now works for John Deere and our lives would have been different if he didn't. He said I wouldn't have married him if he still worked at Target. He liked the irony that he bought a John Deere ornament at Target.

So a night of many blessings at our household for all the little elves and Santa's little helper dogs. We had some good food, good family time, and continued some good traditions.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Gobble, gobble!

(Seems odd to say in a Christmas themed blog, but that's my own fault for decorating too early.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008


(I posted this yesterday, and then it disappeared....)

I attempted to go to work today. When I arrived, I put on my best "I can do this" face and walked in the building to face the day. The first person I ran into in the hallway asked me if I was feeling alright and I burst into tears.

Who was I kidding? I felt like crap.

So I shuffled together my sub plans and called it a day.

I've been sick since the moment I woke up Sunday morning. I have not been able to eat or drink anything besides delicious Hi-C juiceboxes and water.

Sidebar: Why are 90 calories of Orange Lavaburst goodness so satisfying when I'm sick?

So anyways, on my way out the door a friend of mine said, "Try to feel better, Death-Warmed-Over". Did I really look that bad? I had to find out, so I took this picture when I got home.

Apparently, yes. Yes, I did.

Oh, sick days.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Confessions of a Non-Cash Counter

First confession of the night: I must admit, I've never been one to watch my checkbook too closely. I've always been given a hard time about this from many people, claiming that my father probably has lost countless hours of sleep at night worrying that I haven't calculated my expenses and income to the nearest cent.

I've never overdrawn an account. I don't have loans or car payments. I own only 2 credit cards. I've never even had an outstanding debt to my name, unless you count my home mortgage. (Which I see as an investment, not as a debt.) I feel like I've done a pretty good job for myself. Because of these reasons, I could justify my oblivion. Life without a budget keeps me worry free, I am happier not knowing how much I have or don't have. I'm a teacher, how good could it really be?

This philosophy didn't fly for the ole' hubby. After 4 months of marriage he had had enough. Tonight we....(cue dramatic music) duh, duh duh....created a budget.

Second confession of the night: I totally liked it. Who knew that creating a budget could be so fun? Certainly not I! I know that finances can be an area of tension for a lot of married couples. I know that somewhere out there, there is a statistic about all the fights it causes between husbands and wives, yadda yadda. But after tonight, my optimist self can't help but think we won't be one of those couples!

I can honestly say that after 24 years of being on a non-budget, my one hour of being on a budget seems more enjoyable already. I feel secure that if I have an emergency or major expense, I know exactly where that money will come from. It thrills me to think we're establishing savings for things we enjoy like vacations and houses and computers.

So I'm thinking that my dad knew all along that all he could do was lead by example, teach me what he knew, and hope I caught on. I think he knew that eventually I'd catch on to the whole "budget" business and realize it was a good thing. I think he also knew me well enough that I needed to do it for myself, or it wouldn't mean a thing. You smarty pants, you.

So whether my sheer excitement over a budget makes me a total geek or not, I really don't care. Dad, you can rest easy tonight, I've finally seen the wisdom of your ways.