Easter 2016

 

This Easter was a little strange for me. First off, it was in March, that ALWAYS throws me off. Secondly, I am going through a sort of spiritual reawakening.

Mr Wonderful and I have been talking about when, how, and what we should do. Jump out or jump in? After we move or right now? Maybe, just wait until the next big trial? I pointed out, maybe we should do it now. We have a 3 year old, whom we drag to church, so let’s decide now if we want to keep doing that.

So we decided to jump in, and it seemed like a perfect time to start our rediscovery journey on Easter Sunday. So we started coming up with some rules.

Dinner at the table, as a family nightly. So that we can do family prayer and scriptures right after dinner.
No TV on Sunday, except religious shows (ie Veggie Tales, or the animated scripture shows.)
No devices at the table during dinner.
We will have couple study and prayer in the morning.

For Easter, I just got some jelly beans and then a favorite treat for everyone. (Chocolate for me, of course!) I have no idea of what kind of fun traditions to do for Easter. We don’t do Santa, so no Easter Bunny. Maybe we’ll start getting new shoes for Easter…

Easter baskets
Easter baskets

Before we gave Mr. Z his “basket” Mr Wonderful gave a brief explanation on why at Easter we give gifts. “Christ died for us, it was a perfect gift of love. To celebrate his gift, we give gifts to one another on Easter to remember His gift.”

Family Easter picture
Family Easter picture

While we were at church today, of course right in the middle of Sacrament, Mr. Z proclaims, “NO! I don’t want Jesus to die!” We try to explain how this is good things, because now he lives again. Then he asks, “Can Grandma Nancy come back like Jesus?” While being able to understand death, the idea of resurrection is a really hard concept all around.

After church, we came home and had a nice Easter dinner, crock pot Leg of Lamb, honey carrots, roasted rosemary potatoes, and gluten free rolls. I think Leg of Lamb will be our new Easter dinner.

 

Budgeting, 3 months later.

Well, it has been 3 months since we decided we really need to start budgeting, and really controlling our money. 3 months of budget meetings, saving receipts, checking the bank statements and writing down everything.

In the last 3 months we have learned:
-we really have no money
-food is ridiculously expensive
-medical expenses kill your savings
-we are poor
-having “fun” money, will save your sanity
-budgeting to splurge, makes the splurge more fun
-living at the poverty line is no fun

Budgeting is really hard. Especially when, you take your paycheck and put it to every bill and then there isn’t even enough for groceries.

Our end of the month budget meeting for October and the beginning of November, really had us questioning, is this working? November is month 4 we should be seeing improvements, or at least that’s what all the gurus say. This month we had to dip into the student loans we took out in August. The loans we were really hoping we wouldn’t touch and could say we don’t want more. The loans that we had to use to buy groceries this week.

This has got us thinking, what else can we do to cut expenses? Go down to one phone? Have me go and get a night shift job? Should we apply for some government assistance? What can we sell?

This Sunday was our Church’s Fast Sunday. We decided to fast together as a couple about what to do.

This is what we know we need to do:

  1. Get our savings back up as fast as possible to at least $1500.
  2. Payoff and close that last credit card.

We could just completely drain our savings and pay of the credit card. Be done and able to stop having one more payment due off of our first paycheck every month.

But what if anything happens? What if we have a major car repair? What if someone has to go to the hospital? What if?

Praying for an extra $500 to just appear, is impractical.

Does budgeting get easier with more money?

 

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.

Email

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.
Parents.
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.

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.

Yikes!
Yikes!

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.

What do I want from this blog?

I started this blog as a way to talk my way through Whole30, without the “tough love”.

I dislike that term, by the way. Love isn’t tough. It is kind and patient, gentle and inviting. It shouldn’t make you feel like everything you have done is worthless. Which is how I felt using the forum.

But now I am done with Whole30, But I don’t want to be done blogging.

I don’t want to be another “mommy blogger” or another “mommy food blogger” or another “paleo food blogger”. But I think it is a little inevitable, I am a mom, I LOVE food, and I am paleo.

I am not the type to develop a new recipe weekly for you.

I think I will take this blog in a weight loss and health improvement blog. That is my goal in life, to nourish my body to be healthy and whole. With a little parenting, little spirituality, a little of this and a little of that, all mixed it. It is my blog. I titled it with the word, WHOLE because, I wanted it to be about, the whole of my life.


So with that, it is August. Whole30 is done. And I am on to the next thing. This month, I am working on a couple of things, half marathon training, doing the 21-Day Fix, and I want to improve my scripture study.

Half Marathon Training: I found a training calendar, and I need to just do it. I also recruited a friend to do it with me!

21-Day Fix: I know I posted I was going to do the 21-Day Fix Extreme, but I want to do that half marathon, so I thought I should cut back a little.

Scripture Study: It seems like every Fast Sunday, at least one person gets up and says “Hey you! Why aren’t you reading and studying the scriptures? It is promised that you will have more time, more energy, more everything, if you just devote that time every morning to your Heavenly Father.” And then I go, “Crap, they are talking right to me, I should do that.”

Sometimes I am great at it. But most of the time, It never crosses my mind to even crack those suckers open.

This month, I am going to read daily. There is a couple of great places to get a daily verse set and question. This year, I wanted to finish the Book of Mormon again, since I haven’t do that since high school… I am in Alma, two months behind of BofM365 instagram feed… time to double up!

SIBO, it might be the answer

Whole30 is coming to a close (THREE MORE DAYS), and while I know improvements have been made, die Sugar Dragon! My gut hasn’t been better, and my motivation to continue this lifestyle is mostly gone. Really, why would I continue to avoid “normal” foods to only make EVERYTHING from scratch and still be having issues. I would much rather eat without having to ask thousands questions.

Read my about section, here, now so you know more details about what has and is going on.

Did, you read it?

Alright then, here’s where we are now:

At my appointment on Friday, we went over my stool test results, which came back “normal” and after discussing my lower intestine, the doctor decided that maybe the small intestine is the culprit. Stool test only looked at my lower intestines. SIBO, small intestine bacteria overgrowth.

The test for SIBO is a breath test, that is only 80% accurate, and costs $200. We didn’t feel that for that much and the test not being accurate it would be worth it to us to spend the $200. Especially, since the doctor would want to treat anyway.

There are a few different treatment options, she presented me with two, ingesting peppermint essential oil or taking a high dose antibiotics.

Having researched for some time, but not in enough detail, I do not feel confident, that ingesting oil, any essential oil, is safe.

So that left the antibiotics. Which she told me, might not be covered by insurance and was $700.

So we prayed that insurance would cover it, and I made plans to call the pharmacy Monday afternoon.

My pharmacy called me, and said the script was in and that my insurance did cover it!

When I picked it up, I was told, it is actually $1400!!!

SIBO antibiotic
SIBO antibiotic

I am so grateful, that Mr. Wonderful has a great job with amazing insurance. I also really hope that this is answer. And maybe just maybe, paleo will be a lifestyle choice, not necessity.

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