Sunday, January 10, 2010


After I wrote the below post, I realized how long it was and that maybe not everyone wants to know this much about me...

So with that in mind, here is the abbreviated version.

First and foremost, we are followers of Christ. We wish to honor him in our marriage, family and finances. Hubby and I have been married four years and are parents to an amazing little boy (E) who will be three in May and a baby girl born to Heaven in September 2009. I am currently working full time as a school social worker and while I am extremely thankful for my job, my heart is at home. We are on the road to be debt free in 2010 and living a frugal life is part of that. Hubby and I both agree that we see me staying at home with E sometime in the near future and being debt free is a large step in that direction.


Below is the longer, more detailed version. Read if you like.


I've never been really good at talking about myself. So writing in the "about" section of the blog is always kind of difficult for me. While working on my BSW, I was once asked to list things about myself. Of course, I did what everyone else in the class did. I listed my roles.
Wife. Mother. Daughter. Sister. Student. And so on.
Then I was told that was wrong. I was told that I am more than the roles that are placed in my life. Roles can be changed, titles changed.
A wife can becom a widow.
A mother can suddenly have empty arms.
A daughter can be turned an orphan.

A sister may "survive" her sibling.
A student will be a graduate.
I was told your roles do not define you. I struggled with this at first. Without these, who was I? My whole life I was defined by these roles. I took a long hard look at myself and I wondered how I would define my life. I knew what was needed to be at the top of my list. It's not a title or a hat I wear.
I am a follower of Christ. A Christian.

No matter what happened in my life, I did not (and do not) plan on this changing. Some of you may think that is easy to say, I haven't lived the life you have. And no, I haven't. But I have had trials.

I'll spare you the details. But my life has had it's ups and downs. I mean, I'm no Job, but life happens. And it happened to me.

I know divorce. Despite statistics, this did not "break" my childhood home.
I know low income.
I know working. Hard.
I know illness. And surgery...uninsured...
I know WIC and Medical Card.
I know death. Sister. Grandfather. Daughter. In three years.
I know grief. Deeply.

Yes, Life did happen.

I know family.
I know friends.
I know grace.
I know blessings.
I know college
I know love.
I know marriage.
I know pregnancy.
I know accomplishments.
I know faith.

God has blessed my life.

(This is probably more than you wished to learn about me, huh?)

Anyway. I feel that placing the word "about" above a blank space is a bit too open-ended for me. How much is too much? Well, I have probably already answered that question as I look back over this post.

What you really wanted to know is probably why did I start a frugal living blog. Well, I guess I should answer that question too.

Hubby and I have been married for 4 years and our parent to an amazing little boy who will be three in May and a beautiful little girl who was born to Heaven in September of 2009.

We have been blessed by so many wonderful family and friends. Some of these friends introduced us to Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace shortly after we were married. It made sense. Get out of debt. Have no payments. Give, save, invest. We could do this. We were sold. At that time, I was enrolled full time in a BSW program and working as a substitute teacher on days that I did not have class. Hubby was working his first post-graduate job...we were not rolling in the cash, but we were living below our means and it really didn't take much to feed a family of two. 9 months after getting married, we discovered we were expecting our first child. We moved out of the duplex we were renting and to a little rental house that was a little more than half what the duplex was costing us a month.

After I graduated with my BSW in May of 2008, I began looking for work and the day before my first interview, I ended up in the ER with terrible side and back pains. Diagnosis: Gallstones...and lots of them. It would have to come out. The next day, as I was driving to my interview, I glanced in the visor mirror to make sure I didn't look as bad as I felt and noticed the whites of my eyes and skin had a yellow tint. After the interview, I called the Dr and he said I needed to come to the ER as soon as I could. Diagnosis: Jaundice. (As well as a mild case of anxiety over the 2 ER bills about to come my way). I would have to see a specialist and possibly have an ERCP done before they could remove my gallbladder.

Oh, yeah, did I mention this was during the three month period that I was completely uninsured?

So I met with the specialist who was concerned, but thought that this problem could go away with time. He was so concerned about my lack of insurance that he did not want to prematurely do another $6000 procedure. So we waited three days and tested again...the ERCP would not be needed and the gallbladder could be taken at any time! God answers prayers!

I was finally getting the surgery...and all the bills that followed.
We added this to our (previously small) debt snowball and began to really hit our debt hard.

By the way...
I got the job! And insurance followed.

So as of August 2008, we had around $24000 of debt. We had no credit cards or car payments.

Since then, we have been using my income to pay on the debt and build (and rebuild) our emergency fund. I can't tell you what a blessing the emergency fund has been. If our van suddenly needs work, we use the emergency fund. If the toilet breaks...emergency fund.

When our baby girl died during the last trimester of pregnancy, the bills were the last thing that we wanted to think about. But they still came, whether we wanted them or not. The lady from the billing department actually came to me, the day after my c-section with a big smile on her face and asked, "So, How's the baby?" After the shock of what she said was gone, I told her that she had been stillborn and I know the lady wanted nothing more than to just leave my room. But I told her to go ahead. She had to talk about the bill. Because of the emergency fund, we were able to pay the hospital before I was discharged and never see a bill come to our home as a reminder of what we did not have. We did however recieve a check refunding almost half of our payment...they charged us for nursery services...

(After all the tests were ran, we have found that I am a carrier for a genetic Factor V Leiden blood clotting disorder that was most likely the cause of our precious daughters death. We are seeing a specialist and have learned that something as simple as aspirin/bloodthinners could be all we need in future pregnancies.)

Again, this is probably WAY more than anyone wanted to know about me, but to leave any of this out, would be omitting part of why I am the way I am.

I do still work outside the home, but someday, I hope to stay at home with my little boy and future babies. My husband is fully supportive of this. I'm in the second year of a three year grant cycle and if the grant is not renewed, I would not be very dissappointed. My heart is at home. Part of bringing the rest of me home is finding ways to cut the Wal.mart strings. I love the idea of not having to go there! I began looking up recipes for laundry soap and fabric softener and my eyes were opened to a world of home made things. I love crafty things and making things with my hands, now I can put that knowledge to use and make products that save my family money! You gotta love that right?

If you are still reading, sorry, I can't keep it simple when asked "about".

I hope that you find great tips, deals, freebies and other frugal things in my blog that help you to live (or be moving towards) a debt free life and being able to owe nothing but love!

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