Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The most wonderful time of the year?

I'm so excited about Christmas this year! It's nice to be over the stress and shopping of the holidays. This year I'm trying really hard to gift everyone with something consumable, an experience, or something handmade. It's actually a joy to think about what it is the people I love would like to do! So much better than the stress of thinking about what to purchase and where and how much.

This type of buying budgets itself :)

I'ts looking like I have some sewing to do, but nothing too difficult. Other than that I have some jewelry to make, mostly long strands with various beads, and some cooking to do. The only purchasing this year is tickets to events and gift certificates for food.

Hooray for Christmas!

Monday, June 21, 2010


I've been seeing more and more references to thinking about Satisfaction. That is, that we should stop and consider whether we are satisfied in the moment, and recognize that satisfaction is really enough.

The simplest way to think about this is with food: Eating until you are fully satisfied is enough. At that point, it's best to pause, think about whether you are satisfied, and stop if you are.

The most important way to think about this is as a consumer. Each time we want to purchase something, we need to stop and consider whether we are already satisfied. If so, we can move and not make the purchase. I love thinking about buying in these terms, because there are times when I'm actually not satisfied, and those are times when I am most happy with my purchase! If we can learn to only purchase when it will actually help us reach satisfaction, what a nice way to live life!

There are lots of other ways satisfaction is important, and I'd like to start making a note of them. For instance, last night S and I got out of the house for a while to stop by and see some friends. We were having such a nice evening that we completely lost track of time! For once, I didn't feel bad leaving, and was in such a good mood when we got home. Usually I hate leaving, but for some reason I was completely satisfied having spent a few hours having a hot dog and playing cornhole with some friends, and was happy to go home with my hubby.

Hopefully, recording these moments will influence me to pause more often and think about how nice it feels to be satisfied.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Reunion Donate Button

Donate to the WCHS Class of 2000 Reunion!!

All donations go to the 2010 reunion fund. Find out more here:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I love to link things, and most of what I have posted here has been links. But it's actually quite a bit of work to create a whole post just to link to something, and I am a link blogger at heart. So.... I've been linking on Facebook instead.

I'm still sort of bummed that it isn't easier to post links on blogger, because I don't want to abandon it altogether. I also don't want to spend a lot of time double-linking everything.

In the end, I haven't decided what to do about all the linking, and I feel bad for not posting in ages. So with that, I leave you this:

The Smurfette Principle

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2009 goals, a review

Here are some goals I had written down for 2009, and an update on each...
  • Earn $40k
I missed this goal, but by less than I thought I would. I did raise my earnings significantly overall, but didn't really make money from side projects this year. That's ok, and I'll keep thinking about other things to do while I continue to move up career-wise. As a family unit, we ended up making a lot more this year than usual.
  • Save $5k
I missed this goal by $75, so I'm still really happy with where we ended up financially this year. By October, we were actively saving $500 a month sustainably. I'm really proud of that, and will set some goals for 2010 that challenge us a little more.
  • Pay off credit cards ~$4k
This was done very early on. Now all credit cards are paid in full automatically every month. We made a lot of headway on debt in 2009: paid off a car loan, a personal loan, a bike loan, sold some vehicles, bought a nice truck, and ended the year with 3 cars and a grand total of 3 loans: mortgage, truck, and student loan. This was a lot of work and big leap.
  • create a long-term, sustainable fitness habit
There was some success here. I took several aerobics classes, which were really motivating, and even some dance class! The moral of the story is that paying for classes is well worth it for me. This keeps me interested and motivated, and I push myself much harder. I will confess that the summer months were a bit of a slump in this category, but I improved from last year.
  • make 2 creative projects a month
I probably met this goal by averaging a few months of creativity throughout the year. I started with a collection of crochet bead necklaces, and opened an etsy shop to sell them. I didn't really sell much, and have since let my listings expire, but it was fun. A lot of the jewelry went to friends and family for free. I also did some sewing and tailoring this year, including a really cute halter top. I have some curtain projects lined up for this spring, and some gift projects in mind for 2010.
  • organize the house: our bedroom, hang curtains all over
I didn't manage to hang any curtains, but we really did make a good bit of headway here. We managed to give away quite a bit of stuff and made a lot of progress on the bedroom. The kitchen was our big win: my amazing hubby installed a dishwasher, and then picked out and installed some cabinets to make up for the cabinet that was removed. In the end we have more space and a dishwasher! Also we received a new tupperware set for Christmas, which made me sort through and end up giving away all the tupperware we had before, and there was a lot of it.
  • write an hour a week
This was mostly a bust, but I did spend more time writing than the past several years. Starting the blog helped, and it also motivated me to write in other ways, even if I haven't shared those tidbits with anyone ;).

A few other things I started this year...

A net worth document, that tracks our net worth month-to-month and calculates the percentage change. I really like this, and would recommend it to anyone. I can create a sample of the spreadsheet I use or find the instructions and link them.

A nearly automated bill-paying system, that really only needs me to check in once a week or so. Sometimes I don't even look that frequently. Setting the credit cards on auto-pay was really the last part of this puzzle, so that I actually only have one single bill that's entered manually into billpay every month.

We've really started a habit of giving things away this year that I hope will continue. I'm always thinking of more things to sort through and give away, which is the best defense against my pack-rat, hoarder genes. I have high hopes this year of really paring down the amount of stuff we have around the house.

What a great year!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

County Tourney Champs!

Despite a spate of bizarrely bad calls last night, both Winchester teams won the Randolph County Tourney last night!

Mostly I'm more interested in the girls' varsity, because I know more of the girls. They're ranked #1 in the state right now! Go ladies!!

Also I go to watch L and her sister C cheer. At one point L started a tumbling pass and was flipped into by another cheerleader who started backwards. That was really the only catastrophe of the evening. We were on the opposite end from the girls, so we weren't able to watch all that well. I love our season tickets at the fieldhouse, where we're across the court and can see all the tumbling and stuff.

Anyhow, everyone played really well last night. Those were two very exciting games.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I <3 Josh Brorby, UofND student and sensitive dude extraordinaire

Am I so wrong for wanting to hug this University of North Dakota student, who first wrote what he intended to be a satirical piece about rape in his college paper, then responded to the following criticism with the most moving, provoking, and sweet apology ever?

This young man embodies a sense of empathy and seeming selflessness that we should all take a long lesson from.

"Rapists aren't monsters in dark alleyways, true; they are the person walking across the street, that guy in Spanish class, the man you saw fist-pumping at a party last week. And these men aren't born rapists, monsters within waiting to pounce out. No, they are created by the notion that it is okay to view women as nothing more than an achievement, a challenge, or an object to be used during a one-night stand."

Write-up and comparison here: