2017 Goals: Where Am I At?

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Another busy month come and gone. When we’re not working, studying, or parenting, there’s something else going on that needs attention (such as hubby breaking his phone or a sudden cockroach infestation). Never a dull moment around here!

But at least we were able to sneak in a weekend of beach camping between my transcripts and his classes. The weather was perfect. I didn’t want to come home. Now I’m dying to go mountain camping for at least a full week. This early summer weather gives me the itch to be outdoors and play instead of work. And what an itch it is. One more year, I tell myself, until neither the hubs nor I will be in school for the first time since before we married. Our life is going to change, which excites us, but I hope part of that change is more freedom for outdoor adventures.

I’ll be keeping it quick today because I have a lot of work pending.

Contentment. I lost focus on contentment this month but learned some other things. Like the gospel. My understanding of the gospel is deepening. And we have a couple of LDS missionaries coming back to visit a second time tonight, which I hope will be a fruitful opportunity to share the real gospel with them.

Obtain Texas CSR license and RPR Certification; get familiar with my realtime software; proactively incorporate more briefs. I keep getting emails regarding RPR certification. Maybe it’s time!

Pay off credit cards and at least one car. Only one card left to pay off, and I think we can do it this month! 

Make music. Nope, nothing again.

Act on the home project urges. The cockroaches are just about gone thanks to boric acid. It will be nice to have my kitchen counters back. Hopefully I’ll have more opportunities to be creative this month.

2017 Goals: Where Am I At?

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April was such a busy month! The hubby’s semester has been wrapping up and he’s been very busy with his studies and assignments. And he is doing so well — such a blessing. Right after finals week is his summer class, and then he starts his internship a few weeks later. After ten weeks of that, he gets one week off until the fall semester starts right back up again. No summer vacation for us!

The demand for my line of work skyrocketed too. Every day multiple schedulers would call, desperate to cover jobs. And they gave me some good ones, too, for which I am thankful. But I can’t work outside the home every single day, not while I have a little one to look after.

We celebrated our 8th anniversary and our daughter’s 4th birthday this month by going on a day trip to some touristy towns in our region and cheating on our diets. Then I got mild food poisoning by eating one of my healthy packed lunches that went too long without refrigeration. Maybe that means something…

Nah, it doesn’t. I like eating healthy, but I also like indulging every once in a while. Speaking of which, after having my tooth pulled a month ago, I am finally feeling ready — nay, anxious — to exercise regularly again. So I’m making a mini-goal for this month, to get moving every day and build a little strength.

Contentment. I failed to be content in Christ this month (a lot), but he did bring it to my attention and pressured my heart a little bit (on multiple occasions) to step outside the difficult situation and think objectively about the big picture. What is the big picture? This isn’t forever. God is working in these people’s lives just like He is in mine, maybe in different ways. What matters is how He sees my soul in this moment. In this moment, my sin is covered by Christ. Christ is enough. There are many things I must go without, but my soul does not need them.

Obtain Texas CSR license and RPR Certification; get familiar with my realtime software; proactively incorporate more briefs. I have continued, when possible, the self-training I started with my software. What I’ve learned is so helpful; now it’s a matter of starting new habits and incorporating new ideas, which also takes time!

Pay off credit cards and at least one car. Still have two cards to pay off. But we were blessed just today with the news that a major issue we were having with the hubby’s school and tuition payments was finally resolved… during finals week!

Make music. Nope, nothing again.

Act on the home project urges. My two most urgent home “projects”? Fly paper and cockroach bait! Yup, our apartment officially has not one but two pest problems. The flies aren’t new; that happens every summer. But the cockroaches in the kitchen — that’s new and super unpleasant. Planning to get these together soon. Then maybe I can do a fun project, such as assembling the magnetic spice rack I’ve wanted for years! And more paintings for my daughter’s room. 

2017 Goals: Where Am I At?

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April has been an eventful month so far.

The paychecks have finally rolled in, praise God, and we have been able to almost catch up to where we left off before that three-month valley. The situation is not ideal by any means, but the bills will be paid.

I had a wisdom tooth removed four days ago, and boy, recovery has been rough. But normal life must start up again next week, so I’m hoping the swelling and headache will dissipate over the weekend. Of course our daughter conveniently decided to have a growth spurt during this time, so she has been skipping naps (read: no naps for mom) and asking for food basically every hour (read: movement ughh). I’m certain she’s going to be a giant.

The hubby landed a paid internship at a well-known retail company a couple weeks ago, and we are thrilled! It’ll be ten weeks long starting in June and may turn into a secured management position when he graduates in A YEAR, Lord willing! Trying to keep my feet on the ground here.

Contentment. I was tested this month for sure. Marriage, money, health, parenting — every day is full of opportunities to either complain or be content. Particularly with marriage; not that it’s been awful or anything, but it’s not a fairy tale by any means… not even in that cute, “real” way that is often talked about. But it occurred to me that my heart is seeking after something — a feeling, a reality, a security — that I will not find in another human who is not Jesus. But you know what? I will absolutely find satisfaction in Jesus, no matter the need or want. Marriage is not the fairy tale; Jesus is the fairy tale!

Obtain Texas CSR license and RPR Certification; get familiar with my realtime software; proactively incorporate more briefs. Just today I started a little bit of self-directed training with my software. I’ve decided that the goal of getting familiar with my software will be met when I come to the point when I’ve done all I can to learn it by myself and must then reach out to experienced reporters. This is fresh motivation.

Pay off credit cards and at least one car. We paid off two of our four cards already this month! After we file our taxes we’ll have a better idea of how much we can put toward the remaining accounts. I revised this goal a little because that’s what we decided is best right now while paying off debt. We’d love to pay our student loans first, but the cars have higher interest, so those are going first.

Make music. Nope, nothing here.

Act on the home project urges. Well, it’s only now that I can even consider home projects. Easter is around the corner and I wanted to make some decorations, in addition to my daughter’s birthday gift(s), but it’s not planned out in the budget yet. Hopefully I’ll have something to report next month.

2017 Goals: Where Am I At?

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Hello, March!

Not much to report this month; just a lot of waiting and trusting while yet again we experience a financial collapse. The Lord will provide everything we need; but it has been hard for me to exercise patience and self-control. I want to reduce expenses left and right — trade in the cars! downsize! sell the TV, computers, furniture, everything! if it’s not tied to survival, it goes right out the door! use that money to pay down debt! Let’s get OUT of this mess now!

Alas, I am not in charge of my own life, and there are others besides myself not given to such extreme action. I often behave as though my feelings are justified; I shouldn’t have to work so hard for things I don’t want. It runs deep. Lord, I pray this is temporary.

The idol has been identified: SIMPLICITY. Oh, how I would love to live as simply as possible, as minimally and sustainably as possible. Maybe someday. (Maybe not even in this life.) At the end of the day, God is preparing a special place for me in heaven, and He knows me best. Maybe this place is a quiet little house surrounded by green, with lots of open windows and sunlight and no noise except chirping birds and an orange kitty’s purr.

Contentment. Whew, this one has been hard this month. But maybe not the whole month. In the hills and valleys of financial struggle, we’re in a pretty deep valley, one drawn out over the course of a few months. God has supplied me with peace and, thankfully, a lot of work that will pay well starting later this month. We will survive. However, there is a second major difficulty that is taking so long to solve right now and it’s causing us to use up what we saved for taxes just to get by. Now that the hubby and I are on board with getting rid of debt, we have felt pretty discouraged that we’re heading in the opposite direction.

Obtain Texas CSR license and RPR Certification; get familiar with my realtime software; proactively incorporate more briefs. My TX license came in the mail this month, so I can officially fly there on a whim if I wanted and take work! It is a comfort that if all else just totally failed big and we had to flee our expensive state for the sake of our bank accounts, we could. 

Pay off credit cards, hubby’s student loans, and one car. Ugh, just don’t remind me.

Make music. I finished that one awful transcript (it seriously holds the record) and….. well, I have had constant transcripts since. So thankful for the work — we need it now more than ever! — but I haven’t had a lot of goof-off time as a result. 

Act on the home project urges. So many ideas are coursing through my head, foremost among which is a special painting I’ve wanted to put together for our daughter. Hopefully I’ll afford the supplies and the time to paint it in time for her birthday. Otherwise, yeah…. still no money.

Paleo Meal Inspo #1

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Since meal planning is a perpetual source of frustration in my house — and I know I’m not alone — I figured I’d help others out with some of the meals we end up eating. There is no distinction between breakfast, lunch, or dinner when you eat nothing but meat/fish, vegetables, some fruit/nuts, and healthy fats.

The purpose of this is also so when (not if) I’m in another meal-planning rut, I can look back on this food journal of sorts and get some ideas… and get hungry.

 

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Fried rockfish, browned/sauteed Brussels sprouts, sauteed (until crisp) baby greens, butter

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Baked meatballs (grass-fed beef and ground turkey), steamed green beans, sweet potato hash, butter

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Sauteed cinnamon butternut squash, browned garlic Brussels sprouts, bacon pieces, butter