Showing posts from January, 2010

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things - Candles

There's something lovely about a burning candle on a cold night with a hot cup of tea, a good book and the main houselights turned down low. I love the flicker of candles and the ambiance they impart to a day. One of my favorite things to do on Tuesdays, when I work from home, is to light some candles, make a pot of tea and work on my work. It makes me feel cozy - even if I'm working on something I'm not particularly excited about. Another of my favorite things is to have dinner by candlelight. Almost every night, I light the candles in the middle of the table, we turn out the houselights and sit down to dinner together. That flicker of light is conducive to a slower time, longer conversation and enjoying the meal. We eat, we talk and we simply enjoy each other's company. Could we do it without candles? Yes. But it simply wouldn't be as special and I truly believe we would rush through the meal far faster than we do with the candlelight. John and I have also had…

Super Savings Saturday - Restocking the Meat!

We're up to $20 for groceries this week! Whoo hoo! I'm continuing the pantry challenge into February, though I've upped my monthly allotment from $50 to $80 for the month so we'd have some money to restock. Since we were over our 'regular' budget this pay period (thank you overtime and the co-worker who went on vacation so John had that overtime!), we decided to take an extra $20 on top of that from our 'miscellaneous' fund and do the 4/$19.99 meat deal at Cub this week. All you see in the photo was roughly $36 total, plus I bought 2 gallons milk and a few oranges, a bunch of bananas, 5lb flour, 2 lb white sugar and 48 oz vegetable oil. Other than the $20 for part of the meat, we were at about $28 for this week's groceries (I haven't totaled it up yet but that's roughly what I spent) so that leaves us with about $50 for the rest of the month. Since I put my menus for February together from what we had in our cupboards, I just need to buy fru…

Frugal Friday - Why Live Frugally on Two Incomes?

I often get asked why we live so frugally on two incomes. That answer is simple: It's our idea of being responsible.

Let me explain.

Jobs can come and go, illnesses happen, people get divorced, injured or die. My mother's dad died when she was 14 years old, leaving her mother with 4 children at home and a farm to run by herself. My mother impressed upon me at an early age that each parent should have the education, skills and ability to make sure the family was taken care of financially and physically as well as emotionally and spiritually without assistance from another person in case such an event occurred. That did not necessarily mean that both parents always worked outside the home, but that they are able to.

It also means living at a financial level that won't have to change much if something does happen. Losing half or better of your income if something happens with one spouse is no fun. Similarly, employment can be volatile and 'life-time' jobs are no lo…

In the Refiner's Fire - Those First Years of Marriage

This is part 4 in my faith and health story and it focuses on the first 2 years John and I were married.

Those First Years of Marriage

John and I moved to a new state when we got married. I had lived there for a year, attending a Master's Degree program while he was finishing up his Nuclear Medicine Degree. It was a 14 hour drive to visit his family and mine was another 16 hours on top of that! We were about 1 1/2 hours from my grandmother and an uncle, but other than that we had no family around.

We did have a faith community and they were the rock of our 'family' so to speak during those years.

Why? I had the advisor from you know where and had one of the worst - if not the worst - educational experiences I have ever had (and I've had a lot of educational experiences). I was teaching three labs, taking classes (3 a semester) and trying to work on research with little or no assistance from my advisor and with a non-existent research group. I later figured out that th…

Work, Home and Family - Trust

I wrote last week about childcare and school when Mom is outside of the home. This week I'm writing about an essential element of that whole puzzle: Trust.

Yes, yes, I know that in some places childcare of any quality at all is non-existent or two parents are working minimum wage jobs and can't afford childcare and need to rely on kind relatives or friends or working two different shifts. We are indeed fortunate that we have been able to find two same-age openings at a in-home daycare with a lovely woman who had been doing childcare for 30+ years because she enjoys it, not because she needs the money. This was also the cheapest option for childcare we found - we're paying less for 2 children per week than many of our friends are for single children - and for us was the best option. I realize that many aren't so fortunate. And I feel very blessed that we are.

I vividly remember being in childcare myself when I was in 3rd grade and my parents both needed to be at work…

Kid Funny and Dad Funny Response

Last night Missy got done brushing her teeth before bedtime and John really didn't think she had brushed them.

So, he asked her:
"Which teeth did you brush?"
(Thinking she'd point to a couple.)

Her response:
"My own!"

He. He. :)

After John stopped laughing he replied:
"Good thing, too. I don't think the rest of us would let you brush ours!"

Gotta love it...
What more can I ask for?

Healthy Habits in 2010 - Update Jan 26th

Last week was pretty much a bust all the way around. I didn't use the pedometer and I only made it to Jazzercise one time last week thanks to the flu, though I did play at the indoor playground with the kids on Friday.

The part that did work? My food journal.

As I suspected, I do pretty good with meals and such (though I have to watch serving sizes again - I was starting to creep up!), snacking is my downfall. I eat way too much in the way of 'snack food' - mostly cereal (dry Cheerios or Mini-Wheats with the kids), unbuttered popcorn and if I have homemade cookies around, I eat them to no end. *SIGH* I suspected this but the journal just confirms it.

So, this week I'm targeting 3x at Jazzercise this week (if I can't make it to class, I'll do my DVD at home for that 3rd time) and cutting down on the snacks. I have a bunch of cut up carrots and celery for me to eat (I actually like that stuff believe it or not!) and I have yogurt to take to work with 2 tbsp…

Eating from the Pantry Update - Continuing into February

Well, we've done it! We spent $50.04 on groceries in January! Whoo hoo! Only 4 cents over my goal of $50 for the month! I'm excited about that! Yes, I can do this!

We didn't put much into savings (only $30) because the camera's been down at John's work which has meant unscheduled time off (at least he had plenty of time to study!) and a very low paycheck. We have "bare bones" budget and a "regular" budget and his last paycheck was about $100 below the "bare bones" version. Being able to just eliminate the $80 I had budgeted for groceries and planned to put into savings was nice. It meant I didn't have to 'tweak' things as much and borrow from here or there to make ends meet. Yes, it meant that that $80 didn't get put into savings either, but at least we didn't have a stretch and scrimp to get to balanced.

It's actually a little embarrassing because even though my 'stockpile' isn't very large (…

Goals Update - January 25th.

This week was a slow one for accomplishing anything. I had the flu Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and was home with the kids on Friday, so schoolwork was pretty much non-existent. I didn't get much done with the clean-out, craft/sewing side of stuff either. :P

I guess that's what happens when we set goals right?

We get on the wagon, ride for a while, fall off, chase after that wagon, climb back on and hopefully keep going.

John and I had a long talk last night about my frustration with myself and the mountain of things I'm trying to scale - many of which had been shoved to the side during the last two years of my battling my illnesses. That means I'm trying to do what needs to be done now and play catch-up with all these other things that I've been wanting and needing to do for the last two years. I don't think he realized how much I had in my head and on my to-do list and how many things I had to get out of the way just to get to the current stuff. I told him I …

Menu Plan Monday - Pantry Challenge January 24th to January 31st

This is the last week of the Eating from the Pantry Challenge! Though, I've decided to extend it to February as well just to get rid of all the "stuff" I have lurking in my house - we have so much and it feels good to be able to tuck a little extra aside each month to boost the savings/debt repayment funds! Love that!

So, I spent the last of my $50 on Saturday and will start over again this weekend. What are we eating this week? Here goes:

Sunday, January 24th:
Brunch: Baked Eggs, Sausage, Blueberry Muffins, Orange Wedges
Dinner: Baked Salmon, Couscous, Steamed Green Beans, Apple-Orange-Banana Salad

Monday, January 25th:
Lunch: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Bananas, Carrot Sicks
Dinner: Scalloped Potatoes with Ham, Lettuce Salad, Apple-Orange-Banana Salad

Tuesday, January 26th:
Dinner: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, Homemade Rolls, Orange Wedges

Wednesday, January 27th:
Dinner: Pulled BBQ Beef Sandwiches on Homemade Rolls, Homemade Vinegar Coleslaw, Orange and Gr…

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things - Buddy's Sleep Habits

Yes, yes, I know. It's weird to say that one of my favorite things is the way my son sleeps, but it's true!
He's one of those kids who will ask if he can go to bed when he's tired, change into his pajamas on his own, and then give you the sweetest, cuddliest hug ever. I love it. He's also one of those kids who wakes up wide awake early on his own, figured out that pushing the red button on the TV remote turned the TV on, that pushing "Two fours" (his words) gets him Mickey Mouse and/or Handy Manny, and will either watch cartoons or play quietly until I wake up. LOVE THAT! (He also turns the TV off quick if he can't get 44 for some reason. Love that too!)
If I'm up first (which is most of the time), he runs pel-mel into my arms for a huge, cuddly hug and asks me if I had good dreams. How cool is that? I treasure it even more because I know one day he'll be 'too big' or 'too cool' to do that. Not to mention his sleeping positions …

Super Savings Saturday - $14.14 Budget

Today is the last day included in my January Eating from the Pantry Challenge budget. I had $14.14 left to spend to stay in by $50 for the month budget.

Did I make it?

Very close - I spent $14.18. :) Yes, I have the 4 cents extra! For a whole month I'd say that's pretty darn good. Especially since my $50 for the whole month is compared to the $160 that I normally spend.
I went to one store and here's what I spent:

Milk 2 Gallons @ $1.98 each
1 4lb Bag Oranges $2.99
1 lb Farmland Sausage $1
6lbs Bananas @ $0.39/lb
Kraft Shredded Cheddar Cheese $2
1 Dozen Medium Eggs $1.19
Broccoli $0.99

I still have lots in my pantry so I'm bumping my budget up to $20/wk for February instead of our usual $40. I'm going to see how long I can keep at that - I might bump it up to $25 for the long term again (and then I can put the extra $60/mo that I have budgeted in savings!).

We'll see how it goes! I update you all on the pantry challenge on Monday!

For more shopping inspiration see Money S…

Frugal Friday - A "Not to Buy" List

We all have those moments when we get a serious case of the "I wants." I want that sofa. I want that phone. I want that iPod. I want that outfit. I want those plates, bowls, etc. Looking through magazines often makes me realize how much the stuff that I own, that I do like, isn't really in style anymore.

Couple all of this with the things we really do need to buy - like food, clothes for growing kids or to replace a well-worn article of our own, replacements for worn out items around our house that are used regularly, insurance, the stuff our cars need, and the like - and it can seriously feel like we are behind, broken down and in need of so much.

I have hit that point several times in the last few years. October was especially tough since we had furniture break, my surgery, the weather stripping come off the window on our van, and a whole host of little things that broke, ran out or otherwise were needed plus two tuition payments due. UGH.


I did something a wh…

In the Refiner's Fire - Meeting John

So last week I talked about my college years and the week before that my life growing up. This week? Meeting John. That happened while we were at college but there were some specific things that happened that I feel are important to share. So, here we go:

Meeting John

As I mentioned last week, I attend a campus ministry while I was at college. They served supper every Sunday evening, since the cafeterias at the dorms were closed. "Two bucks, two bucks, two bucks, unless you're first time and then it's free!" That was the Sunday night cry the whole time we were there. They had a special dinner the first Sunday of the semester to welcome people. John was a Peer Minister - one of two paid positions - and he was actually at home for most of the dinner. He arrived toward the end and talked about some of the things that were going to happen later that fall (a couple of retreats, and the like). I went back to my dorm, called a friend at another college and told her "Ther…

Work, Home, and Family - Childcare and School

Yes, I've been missing for a few days courtesy of the flu! Ugh. Doesn't it seem that that's always the way it is? And right at the beginning of another semester too - go figure! :)

Today I'm writing on a rather touchy subject - childcare and/or schooling for children when Mom is working outside the home.

Why? Because I'm often asked about the 'guilt' I have about working outside of my home and leaving my children in the care of another.

My short answer to this is that the only time I have felt guilty about not being there was when I came back from class to find a sticky note stuck to my computer screen saying that my daughter had been taken to the ER. Do you know who was watching her at the time? My husband.

She had fallen down the stairs and broken her ankle. Poor kid. She was fine after getting it treated and a cast applied and John did a perfectly fine job taking her and Buddy to the hospital, etc. Was I irritated that I had just gotten a sticky note fro…

Frugal Friday - Giving What You Have

Can I post a Frugal Friday post on Saturday? Yesterday ended up being crazy busy and I had a headache bordering on a migraine so sleep was a tidge more important when I finally had some spare time.

Anyway, back to the post! :)

With everything that's going on in Haiti I'm sure just about everyone has heard of the giving that is needed to help combat the devastation in the country. Giving is certainly something that is good to do and is something God asks us to do, no matter what our circumstances.

But sometimes it's hard to give. We look at our current budgets and think there's no way we can give. We look at our busy schedules and think that our time is too full to volunteer.

Really, we can do something. Really and truly.

What can we do? Here's a start:

Clean out and donate. Seriously. Most of us have way more than we need - extra clothes, household items, kids' toys (outgrown or underplayed with), even a couple of extra canned goods. There are many, many orga…

In the Refiner's Fire - My College Years and Getting my Faith Solidified

This is part 2 of my faith and health story. To read the first part, go here.

My College Years

Like many young people do, I graduated from High School and went away to college. Only I really went away - three states away to be exact. I chose the school I did for their top quality Physics and Astronomy program and the ability to do actual scientific research as an undergraduate, something that is rather commonplace now, but was rare 15+ years ago. I also knew that if I didn't really leave home, I never would. So I went somewhere I wouldn't be able to go home on weekends.

I attended the campus ministry our church had there. I visited because it was something I was looking for (a faith community to be part of) and I had received an advertising flier telling me about it before I left home (the staff were so pleased that direct mailing worked!). Campus ministry became a huge part of my life. Not only was it my peer group, so to speak, but it was also where I met John and where we had …

Work, Home and Family - What's Your One 'Thing'?

Part of being a wife and mom working outside of my home is that some things just don't get done. Time to really clean out (purge the stuff en-mass) and clean (wash walls, polish furniture, etc.) is non-existent during the semesters for me. I spend my time either on family things or on school plus basic upkeep and daily chores (dishes, laundry, the bathroom, etc.).

I find that I'm usually pretty content with this if I take care of one thing: Keeping my large flat surfaces clear.

That means making the beds first thing in the morning and having the coffee table, kitchen table and my kitchen counter (all 11 ft 1 in of it!) clear when I go to bed at night. I can ignore the mess on the end table or the pile of books in the corner as long as the large surfaces my eyes land on are clean and clear.

One of the things that has helped me so much on my journey as a working outside of my home wife and mother is to pick what's important and let the rest go. Do I really care if the to…

Healthy Habits in 2010 - Week 2 are your health habits going?

Mine are just okay this week. My goal for last week was to Jazzercise 3x, snack less and calibrate the pedometer. I did snack less and actually found the pedometer (trust me - that took some doing since I didn't wear it once since my surgery in September **blush**). I also made it Jazzercise twice - the two times I am a class coordinator.

The third time? Well, does moving furniture and washing walls and furniture count? I'm counting it! Especially since I was so sore this AM after 2 days last week and yesterday that I couldn't use my 5lb hand weights at Jazzercise! Plus, moving furniture and washing walls keeps me busy enough that I don't have time to think about snacking! :) Love that!

This week? It's back to work, which adds to my walking, and keeps me from snacking since I don't have ready access to food all day long. I think that's a good thing!

The goals?

Jazzercise 3x this week, though that might be tric…

Pantry Challenge Update - End of Week One!

I almost forgot to update you all on my Pantry Challenge experience!

Saturday was the end of my first official "week". My goal for the month of January is to spend $50 total for groceries - saving us $$130 for the month. So far we've spent $3.56 and $10.66 for a total of $14.22, which is pretty much right on track.

This week is going to be harder. Why? Because we're going to have to buy 2 gallons of milk again, and it's not on sale this week. Thus, about half of our budget of $12.50 for the week will go to milk. I also need to buy flour, eggs, and fruit. It will be tight to get as much fruit as we usually eat, but I think we can do it. Chicken is on sale this week and I'm really tempted to buy one package or maybe two. We'll see. Potatoes are on huge sale, and I'd love to buy some too, but again it depends on how much I spend on everything else.

I'm finding that I have enough long-term type stuff that I might just bump our budget up to $20 f…

Goals Update!

Well I've had some pretty ambitious goals for 2010!

So far, things have been pretty slow. Nothing to cross off on my sidebar yet.

Yet, things have been getting done.

Our bedroom is cleaned out except for John's dresser and nightstand. Since those are his areas, as far as I'm concerned, the bedroom is cleaned out! I have a pile of clothes that are getting donated and another couple of skirts and a dress that are too small currently (I can fit into them but I don't dare move!) that I love and want to keep that are going into our 'out of season' clothes closet. The piles and clutter are gone. I do have two new piles in the living room however, my 'roving' piles of stuff that don't have a home that I have to figure out what to do with. I officially have WAY too many hair elastics and socks. Don't need to buy those for a very long time! Our bedroom is feeling much bigger and cleaner - it's amazing how much bigger a room feels when 1/3 of the availab…

Menu Plan Monday - January 11th

It's another week and we're actually above zero here! Whoo hoo! I was beginning to feel like I live in a deep freeze. :)

John's at an intensive class for Seminary this week and next week so the kids and I are on our own most of the week. I head back to work this week too after a week and half off - I go back on Wednesday. It will be nice to get back into a routine again but I'm going to miss having the extra time at home as well. Wednesday evening is super crazy with the kids having dance lessons and me having choir rehearsal, so we're keeping dinner super easy that night!

So what are we eating?

Sunday, January 10th:
Brunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Chicken Noodle Soup, Baking Powder Biscuits, Sliced Apples

Monday, January 11th:
Dinner: Waffles, Bananas and Sliced Apples

Tuesday, January 12th:
Dinner: Homemade Cheese Pizza (treat for the kids), Lettuce Salad, Orange Wedges

Wednesday, January 13th:
Dinner: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, Sliced Apples, Cel…

These are a Few of My Favorite Things - My Christmas Tree

One of the favorite things for me to do this time of year is to spend my 10-minutes of morning quiet time for the day with my hot cup of coffee sitting in this rocking chair with the main lights off in the house and just the Christmas tree lights on. I just rock and think and drink my coffee, enjoying the lights and the quiet of the house.

There's something special about Christmas tree lights. I'm not sure what it is but for me they embody the magic and wonder of the season. There's such wonder in the birth of a tiny baby who would bring salvation to the world. There's magic in the idea that God would choose such an astounding way to come into the world. There's just something special about the whole thing.

We put up our tree late by most standards - on the third Sunday of Advent - and take it down late - the first Sunday in Epiphany (today). So today the tree comes down. And I'll miss my morning time quiet time with my Christmas tree lights. But, if they were th…

Super Savings Saturday - Posted on a Sunday!

Well, I'm a little behind on getting this posted. But, better late than never, right?

I made two trips to the store this week, one on Tuesday and sent John late on Thursday again rather than running like normal on Saturday.

So what did we get?

Tuesday: One gallon of milk and a 8oz chunk of Cheddar Cheese.

Thursday: Two gallons of milk, 1 3lb bag of yellow onions, 3lbs of Granny Smith Apples, 4.88lbs of bananas, and 1 bag of mixed salad.

Total spent on Tuesday: $3.56
Total spent on Thursday: $10.66

If you recall, I'm only trying to spend $50 total this month on groceries, so we're right no track. It was hard not taking advantage of the Progresso soup sales this last week but we have plenty of soup - both canned and homemade - and we didn't really need it. Since we're trying to eat from the pantry, I'm not going to buy anything we don't really need. I'm hoping this lasts me until until this coming Saturday! It should but you never know....

For more shopping in…

Frugal Friday - Just Ask!

One of the things I started doing a couple of years ago was ask for things I 'needed' for occasions like Birthdays and Christmas. Things like lotion, body wash, candles, and a journal, which I use for my daily devotional time. Since I certainly don't need more 'things' it made sense to ask for things that I used regularly and were 'consumed', so to speak. This year I started something a little different in addition - talking to people about what we were going to purchase next.

In the picture you can see just some of the things we've gotten from others. Some were directly asked for, others freely given as a simple blessing.

The Hudson Bay blanket was given to us by a friend who was cleaning out her basement, is allergic to wool, and knew we were buying our kids 'big kid' beds this year. She had two single size blankets. They're now ours! They also gave us two paper shopping bags full of Disney VHS tapes and a VCR to play them on (we had …

In the Refiner's Fire - The Beginning of My Journey

Since one of the purposes for this blog is to share my faith story, I'm actually dedicating Thursdays to writing about it. Here is part one - the beginning of my life and part of the background that sets me up for this refining process that I'm currently going through.

The Beginning

I was born to parents who had been married for more than 15 years, never used birth control and had been told they would never have children. They never intended to have many children, but instead were planning on probably 2, and had most likely expected them to come much sooner than we did. I am an identical twin - a real sock as my parents didn't know they were having twins until my sister was born. I was born second. We were same sack twins - which is how they knew we were identical and is a very rare things - and we were born at approximately 29 weeks gestation. I weighed 3 lbs. My sister contracted an infection and died a few days later. My parents were also in the middle of moving t…


Welcome to "In the Refiner's Fire!"

Since I'm 'officially public' now, I thought I'd write a little post introducing myself, my blog and random other things.

So first: Who am I?

I'm a wife of 11 1/2 years of my better half, John. He's a great guy, and an even better husband and Daddy. I love him more today than when I married him 11 1/2 years ago - really and no kidding!

I'm a mommy of a few years to twins - a boy and a girl, who I call Buddy and Missy on this blog. They were full term, no complications, and no c-section and a real miracle in my eyes. I love being a mom and enjoy spending time with these two munchkins. They're pre-schoolers now (where does that time go?) and are happy, bubbly mostly easy going little people. They do have their challenges, but that's par to parenthood, so I'll take it!

I'm a doctoral student. I've been a Physicist since I turned 18 an went off to college what seems like a million years ago now an…

Work, Home and Family - Homemade Christmas Gifts

We had a lot of people we felt we should give something to this year - 7 teachers (team taught preschool and Sunday school), daycare, administrative type people, and friends. It seemed like the list went on forever this year. I didn't want to spend a lot and wanted to do something that wouldn't take up space in people's homes (anyone else in that boat with me?).
So, I made baked goodies, caramel corn, hot cocoa mix, chocolate dipped marshmallows and chocolate covered pretzels. The kids made homemade Christmas ornaments. Since it was the end of the semester and quite a bit crazy, we did this in shifts. Here's the results:

Chocolate Covered Pretzels (dipped in red and green sugar):

Red and Green Caramel Corn:
Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows (here's Missy dipping them in colored sugar for a special touch):

Homemade Christmas Ornaments (TP tubes, pipe cleaners and beads!)

The Final Product!

I got the baskets for 50 cents each at the thrift store, bought some food-safe gift ba…

Health Habits in 2010 - Posting My Stats

So Jenn over at The Days of a Stay at Home Mom convinced me that I should post these if I'm going to have accountability from y'all.

She's right.

She's posting hers and asking others to do the same. So here I am.

Okay: Here's the deal.
Even though I'd love to drop the pesky 10 lbs I've gained since HS, I'm more concerned about being fit. About 5 years ago I dropped right around 40 lbs. I did that by editing my food choices and working out 5x a week. Then I got pregnant with my twins and had to put working out on hold. I gained 42lbs more at my heaviest with the pregnancy (that dropped to 32 more when I delivered - there gets to be a point where your stomach just can't hold enough when you are carrying twins!) and then was able to lose it back down to 175 due to birth (!), nursing twins, and getting back to eating well and exercising. I completely believe that part of the reason my twins were full term and healthy was because I was so healthy going into …

Menu Plan Monday - Eating from the Pantry Part 1

Homemade Pizza, Breadsticks, Salad, and Fruit
Since I accepted Crystal and FishMama's Pantry challenge, I started my menu plan this week on January 1. Weird for me? Yes. It works anyway. :)

I did splurge and buy John crab legs for dinner last night since it was his birthday but since that comes out of our 'gifts' budget, I officially haven't spent any of my $50 monthly allotment yet. I do need to stop and buy a gallon of milk tomorrow but everything else can wait until our usual Saturday errands run.

So, here's the menus: January 1 to January 9, 2010.

January 1, Friday:
Brunch: Homemade Cinnamon Rolls, Oranges, Grapefruit and Grapes
Dinner: Snacky dinner (fruit, crackers, etc.) for the kids, Out for the parents

January 2, Saturday:
Brunch: Out for all (Bible Study)
Dinner: Macaroni and Cheese with Sliced Apples for the kids, Leftover for the parents

January 3, Sunday:
Brunch: Waffles with Strawberries and Raspberries
Dinner: Crab Legs, Baked Butternut …

My Goals for 2010

I have a lot of goals this year. A LOT of goals.

This is the second year now that John and I actually have a written list of goals for our family. About mid-way through the year we started writing the baby steps that get to the big goals. We kind of fell off the bandwagon at one point but we actually did accomplish a few of them!

For this year, I'm posting my top 10 goals here for all to see (and in my side bar). What are they? Here they are!

1. Finish my PhD. I've been working toward this degree in one way or another since I was 16 years old. Got side-tracked a few times, shuffled off to a parallel field, worked half, full or 3/4 time during the process, had paperwork get lost (three times now!), had the world's worst advisor (not where I'm currently at!), and took 6 years off to work and have my kids in the middle. I went back when my kids were a year old. And I'm SOOOOOOO close now. I have my list of to-dos in my side bar so you can follow along. I had really hoped …