I am hurting too

Checking email is a part of a normal morning routine. Collapsing on the kitchen floor into an emotional mess, is not.


At my age, news of parents passing should not be something I should be dealing with. Death is something my group of girl friends from high school is becoming undesirably familiar with.

We have had grandparents pass.
And a child.

Death is a part of life. But is doesn’t make it easier.

The sudden loss of a parent comes with an indescribable pain. It pierces your soul. It rips your heart apart and your soul comes screaming out with a force so strong your body just fails.

You start thinking about every minor detail of your life that you haven’t told them. For me, it wasn’t just minor details. Maybe that makes it harder.

Picking up the pieces, finding the will to just go, becomes a primal instinct, a flight or fight response.

My mom died 3 years ago. I was 10 weeks pregnant. I was waiting to tell her in person. The plan was to drive over for a surprise visit and tell her in person on Saturday. She died 6 days before.

This is different, they had a little bit of warning, but that doesn’t help the grieving process.

Grief of a parent is life long.

When something good happens, it is there.
When your child does something funny, sweet, milestones, birthdays.
When your child is misbehaving
When you’re at church
When your friend tells you that their mom is gone too.

I know that this weekend, isn’t about me and my grief. It isn’t about me and my missed opportunities. It is about Merri, and her grief. Her missed opportunities.

But I will be hurting too.


But Mommy’s Aren’t Supposed to go Away.

Mr. Z hasn’t been feeling well the last couple of days, and so along with lots of snuggles, naps, and chocolate, there has been a lot of TV time.

Sick, chocolate covered Mr. Z
Sick, chocolate covered Mr. Z

One movie he keeps requesting has been “Radar the Police Car” or as it is actually titled, Bold Eagles. It is a cute little animated movie about a nature preserve in Norway, called Eagle Park. Some poachers come in and start taking the animals. They take the Mommy Eagle, before her egg can hatch. Radar, starts to care for the eaglet, and the eaglet, Scruffy, starts calling Radar mommy.

Source: http://www.imdb.com

At the end, Radar is telling Scruffy, that the Eagle is his REAL mommy. To which the eaglet replies, “But mommies aren’t supposed to go away.”

I don’t know how many times in the last 3 three years, I have personally said that.

In casual conversation, people will sometimes say things like, “My mom, is going to outlive me.” or “Mother’s can’t die.”

I know they mean well, and I don’t walk around with a sign that says, don’t talk about mothers not dying, mine is dead.

But today I heard that line, I just just wanted to turn into a puddle.

But mommies aren’t supposed to go away.

My mother wasn’t the picture perfect mother, and most of the time I have to think really hard to remember the good. But she is my mine. While she might not be here today, and I can’t just call her whenever I have a question. I still feel her presence.

My parents at my wedding, May 2009
My parents at my wedding, May 2009

When loved ones pass before us, do they really leave us?

Personally, I don’t think so.

So even though, physically my mom is not here, I think she is still around, smiling and laughing with right along side us.

Mr. Z kissing grandma Nancy, April 30, 2015, her 60th birthday.
Mr. Z kissing grandma Nancy, April 30, 2015, her 60th birthday.


Day Two: Whole30 and Staying in Budget


I am trying to decide if I want to post daily like last time. Anyway, I wanted to post about how it is going so far, you know cause day two is so hard.

I haven’t officially said to Mr. Wonderful, “hey, I decided to do another round of Whole30.” Mainly, because he would just say either, “not again” or “stay within the budget”. But I am not keeping it a secret, I mean, my notes and cookbooks are left out in open, so I am sure he knows.

Also, I wasn’t planning on grocery shopping today, but since I started Whole30 a week early I kind of needed to. So I made a grocery list, I double checked what we had and what we needed. I checked our grocery budget. $68 until next payday, in two weeks…

So Mr. Wonderful and I sat down and chatted about robbing Peter the pay Paul, or how we can “roll with the punches”. We moved some money out of restaurants, especially since, Whole30 means little to no eating out.

I went grocery shopping, hoping to spend less than $50. I spent $62.15. There were a couple of things I did not get, mainly because Winco doesn’t carry it and I had already over spent on my goal.  I did purchase more meat than we would be eating this week, so that will help next week. 

I am mad or disappointed I over spent, nah.

Food Log:

Breakfast: I planned a fun big breakfast, but I was the only one up, so just eggs, cucumbers and an orange.

Whole30 Breakfast  Day 2
Whole30 Breakfast Day 2

Lunch: Leftovers! I do have in my plan to have a salad for lunch, but honestly, leftovers will probably be more appealing.



Dinner: This was really easy, and it sounds a lot fancier than the prep makes it, balsamic glazed chicken and roasted potatoes, I added a medium salad with paleo ranch, cucumbers, carrots and olives.

Whole30 Dinner  Day 2
Whole30 Dinner Day 2

Snack: I was still hungry after dinner so Mr. Z and I shared some grapes and toasted Almonds.

Whole30 Round Two

I know, I said I more than likely wasn’t going to do another. But I have been trying to follow the Low-FODMAP rules, and I have found that I have been eating cookies all day, just because they were Low-FODMAP, and I am lazy.

Despite how much I hated the rules of Whole30, I actually stuck to it. So, I figured since eating cookies all day, is opposite of what I want, I thought Whole30 would be a good thing to do again.

But, I am going to not be crazy strict. That’s not a true Whole30 then. Yup, you are right. But I am not going to buy Fish Sauce on Amazon, just because I can’t find a compliant fish sauce in the area. I am not drinking fish sauce for the sugar, (who drinks it anyway!) and I guess in reality, I could just leave it out. But whatever. And buying an expensive dijon mustard just because it doesn’t have white wine it in. I already don’t consume alcohol, so then again, how much then would be in the ¼ tsp, I used to make some “compliant” mayo…

I need to keep this Whole30 in our budget. So, that means, I won’t be buying any crazy new different brand, just because it is “compliant” instead of the store brand that has sugar/wine/one non compliant ingredient. I am going to go with the 80/20 rule this round. Well, more like the 99/1 rule, I am going to limit my use of non-compliant ingredients to one.

For example, I decided to start today, instead of next week, so I didn’t everything I needed. Like, a lemon, I do have bottled lemon juice. But bottle lemon juice has a forbidden ingredient of a SULFITE. I said, “screw it”, and made my mayo, with it anyway. So now my homemade mayo isn’t Whole30 compliant, but that was the only thing that wasn’t in my lunch. Same with dinner, dinner called for fish sauce, which has sugar.

This is my personal, realistic, staying within my budget Whole30. It would be torn apart on the forum. So what, I don’t care, I am going to follow the rules as best I can, without going crazy about every single minuscule detail.

Yesterday, I started planning out 30 dinners for Whole30, thinking I would start in October, then I thought, nah, let’s just start next week. Spend the week getting ready. Then this morning I thought, why not just start today. Plus that way, I will be done in time for my Mother-in-Law’s birthday! (Wacky Cake! Yummy!)

Today, I spent some time making a spreadsheet of meals to keep me on track. It isn’t finished, but go ahead and check it out. Also, made a shopping list for this week, and will go shopping tomorrow. (Oh! and I figured out how to edit pictures on my phone, and how to take fairly decent ones too! Hopefully, WordPress uploads them right.)

Whole30 Menu Planning
Whole30 Menu Planning

Like last round I will post meals, it was fun. And it helps keep me honest.

1 whole egg and 1 egg white (leftover from making mayo), scrambled with some garlic infused olive oil and sauteed green peppers, cucumbers, bacon, and a banana.

Whole30 Breakfast  Day 1
Whole30 Breakfast Day 1

Tuna fish mixed with homemade mayo, cucumbers, black grapes.

Whole30 Lunch Day 1
Whole30 Lunch Day 1

Slow cooker Thai Beef Stew with mashed potatoes.

Whole30 Dinner  Day 1
Whole30 Dinner Day 1


Budget: Software

Our first month of budgeting is done, and man it was bad.


In one word… yup, we had already spent our entire budgeted total and have gone over by the middle of the month.

We took this month as more of a how much do we really spend, so that we can figure this budgeting thing out. Check out this post about what we, or at least I learned while budgeting in August.

It was very eye opening.

We started the month using Everydollar. About halfway through we do not like the EveryDollar budgeting tool from Dave Ramsey. Our income is so inconsistent, and we feel like he teaches more towards a salary based income.

So we went looking, and tried a couple different budgeting tools out there and we have come to love the newest version of YNAB. Now, we have used YNAB before, the original version, what an upgrade!

The sleek new budget.
The sleek new budget.


First off it is so much more visually appealing, and it also, isn’t an excel file, it is its own freaking program now.

Statistical Reports!
Statistical Reports!

I really like the statistical reports you can print from YNAB. They have a bunch of free webinars about their software. I have only taken one so far and you can also sign up for their emails and they send out a bunch of short email lessons.

Their philosophy in very much in line with Dave’s, but we feel like it is a little more reasonable and forgiving. Like their overall goal is to get you out the the paycheck to paycheck cycle. Which is where we are. We know we need to get out of debt, but when you aren’t sure if you can have enough for groceries and rent, you have a bigger problem.

Check them out. I will say this, you have to buy YNAB to use the budget past the 32 day free trail (If someone knows why 32 days, let me know!) It is $60. One time though! and you have software rights for life! Dave’s software, you can get it linked to your bank for $99 a year…

And YNAB is not linked to your bank, which for those of us worried about the internet stealing your life, this is nice.


Budget: August, a Review


Well, August has come to a close, we stuck to budgeting.

We did not stick to our agreed upon budget.

Life happens, and I was shocked when come the middle of the month, and our budget was no longer fitting.

Dave Ramsey’s budget tools were not working for us and so we switched to YNAB, click here for a short review of why we like YNAB better.

I wanted to give a summary of what we learned in our first month of budgeting.

  1. Gazelle Intensity is not for us.
    1. while we REALLY want to get out of debt, we are not ready to give up the few extras we have.
  2. Saying “NO!” is really really really hard.
    1. Saying it to your two year old at the grocery store, “No, I am sorry you can’t have crackers, we can’t afford them this week.” Made me want to cry, and I felt like the meanest mother in the ENTIRE world.
  3. Pray before a Budget Meeting
    1. Dave closes his radio show saying something like, “You can’t reach financial peace without walking daily with the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.”
    2. Praying together, just made our budget meeting go smoothly, we will be doing this always before our bi-weekly budget meeting.
  4. Have a budget meeting at every pack check
    1. We started just me figuring it out and Mr. Wonderful looking it over and approving it. It worked, but having a meeting, where WE BOTH sat down to hash out what went where made it easier to say NO!, later.
    2. Mr. Wonderful gets paid every other week, so we hold bi-week sit down budget meetings. Any other income, if under $1,000 we just have a quick verbal confirmation on where it goes.
  5. Share!
    1. I want to tell everyone, we are being weird and trying this budgeting thing. Hey, this crazy thing is happening while we do it, I like my husband more!
  6. Increase Intimacy
    1. And no I am not talking sex
    2. I am talking about mental intimacy.
      1. I am an analytical thinker and so is Mr. Wonderful, so talking numbers and trying to find extra money has brought us closer. I like it.
  7. Make Mistakes and have fun.
    1. We did not give each other any spending money in August, MISTAKE. It just made it miserable. This month we have decided fun money needs to be included.

After this first month, and looking at where all the money went we have decided some budget line items that need to be tightened. Number one on our list to get reduced is how much we spend on food.


We spent almost $600 just on food. Not just groceries. On groceries we spent over $400, on eating out including dates we spent over $150. This does not need to be this outrageous. Our goal for September spent half of this!

It wont be easy, and telling Mr. Z that our grocery shopping lunch dates of Mac ‘N Cheese from the co-op deli are over is going to result in some serious tears. Hopefully, he will understand.