Monday, March 4, 2013

the debt reduction diaries: welcome, March. welcome.

it's about dang time.  March is here.
HA-LE-to the-LU-freaking-JAH!!!!

February didn't go so well...

it all started out with the stress of my pinkadink photo shoot, which was AWESOME and FUN but stressful to get ready for.  I had to head to the store for a few things to put with the pinkadink items because I couldn't really put my kids in a photo shoot with too small or grungy looking clothes paired with adorable pinkadink items and expect them to sell. so, it was like, some flip flops, a couple shirts, a curling iron to curl their hair, hairspray to make it stay, etc.   and since my friend couldn't be my scarf model, I had to do it myself.  which meant a haircut the day of, because I was looking a bit shabby to be put up on a website. and who wants to have your picture taken when you feel like you look like a stay at home mom who stays in her sweats all day????  I love that that's what I AM, but I don't want to LOOK like it for pictures!!!!

so that day was a financial kicker. I used pinkadink money for most of it, but the haricut came out of the "other" envelope.  so 40 bucks gone 5 days into the month.  and guess what.  my super awesome hair dresser (want her info?  she's great, the only one I let touch Josiah's locks) asked me if I wanted some curl in my hair for the photo shoot.  so I said yes.  but when she was done I looked more like I was going to prom than sporting some casual looking infinity scarves, so when I got home I had to straighten it all, which is next to impossible after having it curled in a salon. I maybe should have thought of that before I said yes to the curls.

anyway...I returned 90% of the stuff I bought for that photo shoot, which was really sad because some of it was STINKING cute.  but you can't return a hair cut, even if you only needed it for one day. ah, the gazelle life....

ok, so also, on that evening, the photo shoot went from 5-8:30.  we had a few snacks and such for the kids, but by 8:30 they were STARVING, up past their bedtime, and not in the mood to wait for me to make the black bean and zucchini skillet for supper.  so, we did what I've been avoiding for almost a year and food.  Burger King has a veggie burger, did you know that?  I have known for a LONG time and have not allowed myself to taste it because heaven knows I don't need that tempting me every time my lentils don't turn out, which is often.  I was almost certain that after a year and a half of not eating fast food, it would make me feel sick, and so glad for my new lifestyle.

I was wrong.

There's just something about warm iceberg lettuce and a more-white-than-red tomato smothered with mayonnaise that tastes SOOOO good, especially with fries.  why oh why oh why do fries have to be so good????  so anyway, even though we only got veggie burgers and waters and a few fries to share, that added up to almost 20 bucks, because, ya know, "health food" costs more. :)  I couldn't help but reminisce about the days that we could eat off the dollar menu and it was like ten bucks total.  those were the days, man.

so, if you're counting, we're FIVE days into the month and $60 gone out of our "other" envelope which started with only $100.  it wasn't looking good.  but that veggie burger sure tasted good. :)

and man, from there, Feb just got worse and worse.  I THOUGHT I had paid the bills, when in fact I had NOT.  I thought I did the math correctly when I did our "running total" to know if we had enough money in the account without waiting for Steve's next check, when in fact I did NOT.  we went overdrawn 4 times as the bills went through, all because of my bad math.  (how did I ever pass that calc CLEP?)  it only cost us $30 in fees, but still, i would have much rather used that unnecessary $30 at chipotle.  or burger king. :)

and then we found out that starting in March our interest rate on our credit card was going to skyrocket.  and then we figured out that the pinkadink check from the store, which I was hoping would be used to pay off our van (so we could finally have a snowball to put toward our credit card) would actually have to go toward our reserve line that saved our butts when we went overdrawn.  (but I will say I was very grateful that we had a big check to pay back our reserve line with.  I should focus on that part...)

then i went over our grocery budget like halfway though the month, because I was buying groceries for the final couple weeks, and had to take ALL THREE kids with me into the store.  I should have known that was a sure-fire way to go over budget because i just had to get out of there as fast as I could before I turned into 'that mom at the store' so I was just throwing stuff into the cart that wasn't really on my list because FOOD, GO.  (thankfully we made a trip to OC in those couple weeks and Steve's mom cleaned out her cupboards into bags for us.  seriously.  no joke.  she went grocery shopping in her own cupboards for us, because she's Carla and she takes care of EVERYBODY.) :)

and we also ran out of money for night-time pullups (yes, still dealing with that) by the end of the month so we ended up with a lot of morning baths and extra laundry. :)

and, just to top it off, on the very last couple of days of the month, my sister's friend's baby boy puked all over Josiah's bed (and his poor mama's shirt) AND our computer screen quit working (the used mac that we bought because we were just SURE our ancient PC was going to bite the dust).

and I was like WELL GOOD!!!!  that puke and the broken computer are the perfect end to this type of month, so GOOD.  let's just get it all over with!!!!  it's what I like to call my 30teen reaction.  a 30-something year old acting like a teenager whose whole entire life is falling apart all because of something very trivial. :)  I am really good at that reaction.  Let me know if you want the tutorial.  it usually just stays in my head and my heart, but on occasion it even comes out of my mouth.

but even in the midst of this totally cruddy month, I saw God do amazing things.  I've forgotten most of them by now, boo, :( but I was aware.  for example, when I realized Josiah needed new jeans for this photo shoot, and I should really keep them instead of returning them with the other stuff, I found an envelope with TONS of money on the top of the basement computer desk, which was basically the "catch all" area for the last 3 YEARS, and it was marked "josiah's bday money."  I kid you not.  the other kids had a little bit too in their envelopes, but Josiah had a lot.  and I bought him two pairs of jeans.  So, thanks for that bday money a LONG time ago, Grandma Shirley, because God knew exactly when I would need it. :)

and, the pinkadink continues to be blessed in ways I don't understand.  I don't even know what to say about it except that it's the most stressful blessing in the world to have a bazillion orders that I need to fill. :)

and...another huge blessing: steve and I committed to a mission trip with our church this summer.  together!  I felt like it was sort of a worthless thing to even dream about (us going together) but God worked it out! and I'm SO EXCITED because if I'm going to sleep in a church and miss my kids and not have a bowel movement for a week (bc that's how I roll) :)  and wear long skirts, and build stuff and play with other people's kids, then who would I rather do it with than my BFF????   The only thing is we have a lot of money to raise for support to cover the trip and airfare and passports and such, but I'm confident that God will provide, again.

and so, I welcome March.  I didn't care if it came in like a lion or a lamb, as long as it came.  and it did.  and it's amazing what a difference the name of a month can make in a person's attitude.  so, here's to counting my blessings, keeping my attitude in check, and thanking God that he continues to provide, even if it's with a few surprises here and there to keep me running back to him.  I guess he really does know what I need. :)


Sara Crane said...


amy sterk said...

Hang in there...the devil has you in his sights, but your God is BIGGER!

jenlar3 said...

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!!! Sounds like you are hanging in there with your debt reduction will get easier!! Thanks also for your loving kindness in helping clean up your sister's friend and her baby!!!