Staying On Budget

I am trying really hard to stay on budget.  It isn’t easy.  I am trying to update mint.com each day so that I can get into the habit.  I have been pretty faithful since mid-December when I decided that I couldn’t tell you where my money was going.  My husband makes a good salary and I haven’t been using it as wisely as I could.  It is wise to know where it goes.

Three weeks into making this a priority, I have found that money  easily to slips through the fingers!  Ha!  I wonder if I am the only one to take 3 weeks to figure it out :0  But, the more important thing I have learned is that if I am persistent, I can change my ways and improve.

I am changing, slowly but surely!  Today is mid-month and I am very happy to say that I am on budget and I haven’t gone over in any of the categories YET.  It may be an interesting 2 weeks as I am over halfway in several categories already.  All is can do is try my best and be accountable for my purchases.  We will see how it all shakes out.

How about you, have you tried something new this year?  Are you succeeding?  I’d love to hear.

 

Ann

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Juggling Staying Home and Exercise

I’m trying a new schedule with my exercise regimen.  I want to be fit and active, but I find that by the time I drop the kids off at school, get to the YMCA, wait for child watch to open at 9, workout, pack up and get home, it is close to 11:00 am. It takes a huge chunk of my morning.  If I have errands to run, we are into lunch.  I can’t get the things I need to get done taken care of at home with such a short time in the afternoon.

So, I’m changing it up and working out M, W, and F.  Staying home on Tuesdays and Thursdays should really help me to stay caught up with my chores at home.  I am also using an app called Errands with my phone.  I am putting my list of things that I want to get accomplished on there.  It is easy to use and if I can’t get something done, I can move it to the next day.  I have a folder for actual errands that I need to do and I have a folder for home.  As I think of things that need to be done, I schedule them.  It is really helping me to stay on top of things.  I also love checking off the box when they are done.

How about you, how do you accomplish all of your activities?  I’d love to hear!

Ann

 

 

2016 Goals

I was trying to decide if I should start a new blog or just revive this one.  I’m still doing the same kinds of things, so I thought it would be easier just to stick with this one.

Since I last posted, I did complete that marathon in 2014.  I was slow, but I got the finishers medal!

The kids are bigger, as you’d expect.

I’m still trying to budget and save money.  Still learning self-discipline.  Still trying to improve.

It’s a new year, so I’m energized to recommit to this blog.  I’m just going to write about whatever comes to me.  Nothing earth-shattering, but hopefully something for me to look back upon.  I hope to see that I am improving with various aspects of my life.

I’m putting my goals in writing and committing to improving myself this year.

So, here they are:

  1.  Workout 3x per week and participate in a 5k and a 10k race.  Not sure if I will walk, run, or a combination, I am just committing to finishing the races.
  2.   Read something religious each and every night before sleeping.
  3.   Attend Tuesday Mass when available.
  4. Update Mint.com 5x per week.  I am really wanting to get my spending under control, so I need to categorize each purchase to see where the money is going.
  5.  Follow the written budget each and every month.  I totally stink at this, but I really need to do it so that we can keep spending under control.
  6. Follow the Trim Healthy Mama diet and get to my goal weight.  I need to lose 12 pounds achieve this goal.

These are what I want to focus on this year.  How about you, any goals that you are planning on tackling this year?

Back Into Writing, Training For A Full Marathon

I’ve totally fallen off of the bandwagon with writing. It takes a lot of time and I’ve been feeling pulled in all directions. I will have to back and re-read my last posts so I can catch you up on my progress or lack-thereof.

One positive is that I am on track for running the full marathon! This was one of my 2014 goals. I ran 20 miles this past Saturday! It was sooo hard, but I managed to get through it. I signed up for the Columbus marathon last night. It was a hard thing to do. I really cannot imagine going any further than I did. As you get farther into the run, each mile seems farther and farther. I am hoping that the racing atmosphere will help me to “dig deep”. I still have 7 weeks until the race, so I’m hoping that being signed up will motivate me to keep training. There’s no backing out now!

How about you, are you meeting your goals? Have you fallen off of the bandwagon?

Ann

2014 Half-Marathon

Been in a little funk lately.  Sorry for not posting much.  I need to update my April totals.  I’m trying to get back into the groove.

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Anyway, one of my goals for 2014 was to run a half-marathon.   My goals are here if you have forgotten or care :).

Well, I have completed it.  I did the Capital City Half Marathon on Saturday May 3, 2014! I had my best time ever of 2:29:54.  My goal was to get a 2:30:00.  So, I beat my goal by 6 seconds.

To tell you the truth, I was nervous about it.  I just didn’t feel like we had trained the longer distances enough.  When we first started running, about 4 years ago, we kind of over trained with our coach, just so that we were sure we could go the whole distance.  This time, I almost felt like we under trained but we did have a plan and we executed it, but it was different, if you know what I mean.

If you are into running, here is my analysis:  We started too fast.  We did a 10:17 first mile.  We realized we started too fast and slowed down a little but it was hard because we were both feeling really good.  I kept an eye on my Garmin for our average pace.  I kept being surprised every mile that went by that we were below 11:00 until we got to the 10th mile.  There we slowed and were above the 11 min. average pace.  Our 13th mile  and the .35 (according to my Garmin)were the slowest at 12:08 and 12:17 pace respectively.

My summary is that we just ran out of gas at the end.  Our average pace was a 11:17.  I’m thrilled!!!!  I’m glad to have it finished.  I haven’t run a half marathon for 3 years.  2 years ago I found out I was pregnant and changed my half marathon down to a 10k and I walked it, just to be on the safe side because of my age (44 at the time).

Saturday, I beat my best ever time after I had my 7th kid.  Go me!!!

How about you, are you reaching your goals?

Ann

 

Our Living Room Redo

Our living room is a normal sized room, but seems small when you put 9 people into it regularly.  I am not a fashion designer (I don’t have a designer bone in my body) but a friend from our kids school is helping me with ideas and walking me through the uncomfortable stuff, like actually making a decision and going with it 🙂

I can’t blame it on my husband.  He has told me over and over that I can improve the house.  It’s just that I didn’t know what to do.  Again and again, I would start on one thing and hit a road block because I didn’t want to spend the money or didn’t know what to buy so I’d get discouraged and not move forward with the project.  Over and over again.

Pulling the trigger on purchasing something is super hard for me.  I don’t want to waste my money.  I want to make a wise purchase, so I put things off thinking the decision will get easier or more clear if I wait, but it never does.

I decided (after a mini breakdown with my husband) that I wanted to update and make the house nicer that it has been.  With seven kids and no decorating skills, it was okay at best, and I never invited people over because I was embarrassed about how it looked.

Finally after our last home decorating discussion, I asked a lady a school to help.  She has been wonderful.  She loves to paint and had a home decorating business before she had kids.  Now, she just has fun with it.  She has been my go to lady to bounce ideas off of, she has guided me gently to where I wanted to be.  She has given me advice without being pushy.  I feel like she has drawn out of me what I like and don’t like.  She has been a true blessing.

Anyway, here are the before pictures.

Front corner to opposite corner.

Left front corner to opposite rear corner.

Picture taken from the entry of our living room.

Picture taken from the entry of our living room.

From the far corner looking at the entrance of the living room.

From the far right corner looking at the entrance of the living room.

Picture from the middle of the living room.

Picture from the middle of the living room.

 

Here are the after pictures.

Living room from the entrance from hallway.

Living room from the entrance from hallway.

Living room from my chair.

Living room from my chair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living room from the loveseat.

Living room from the loveseat.

I purchased 2 Billy Bookshelves plus the extra shelves to make them extra tall from Ikea.  I bought 2 corner shelves at Hobby Lobby.  I purchased the couch, loveseat and chair from Ikea.  Our entertainment center is a few years old and I got it at Target.  We have a flat screen television that is a few years old.  My husband loves electronics, so we have had that for a while.

I really love all that we have done in here.  It is like a whole new house.  The only thing left to do in here is flooring.  I am still considering my options but am leaning towards laminate or some type of hard surface.  No more carpet on the first floor except for the bedrooms.

How about you, have you improved anything lately?

Ann

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Belated Easter

We had a fabulous weekend.  My parents were here, and on Saturday we colored eggs, we chatted, we took a tour around our house and checked all of the plants coming up this spring.  We ate and ate and ate, it was wonderful.   On Sunday morning we did church and then the kids found their Easter baskets, we had an egg hunt (with $ in the eggs), and we had our feast at 1pm.  It  was a very busy, but wonderful day.  Sometimes it works out like this, and other times it doesn’t.  I’m really glad this was an up year, it seems as if they have been mediocre lately.

Here are some photos of our weekend.

L's first time coloring eggs.  She loved it!

L’s first time coloring eggs. She loved it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

T is getting too big to color a lot of eggs, but he did dip a couple :)

T is getting too big to color a lot of eggs, but he did dip a couple 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S with his favorite egg.

S with his favorite egg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A with her favorite colored egg.

A with her favorite colored egg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L with her colored hands.  I just love the green and yellow hands !

L with her colored hands. I just love the green and yellow hands !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me and my husband on Easter Sunday.

My husband and me on Easter Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me, my mom, and the girls.

Me, my mom, and the girls.

A and L easter 2014

Easter Day with 2 beautiful girls.

kids sharing candy

The kids enjoying some Easter candy after finding their baskets.

marg easter 2014

My mother-in-law enjoying a cup of coffee after dinner.

leo easter 2014

My father-in-law eating Easter dinner.

 

I hope you all had a glorious Easter, we did!