Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Healthy, Wealthy and Wise Plus Painting

Chris and I found five 16x20 canvases for five dollars on our date Saturday so we spent our evening painting and goofing off. It was so much fun! We played around with the new stencils from Tulip's Fashion Graffiti line. So awesome! Here's a glimpse:

I've since cut mine into strips for cuffs and the rest into posies for a wreath I'm making. Knowing a project is going to end up in pieces takes the pressure off in terms of final result. It is important to remember to play. It's been awhile since I've done one of these posts so I thought I might as well.


I was doing great. Really. Down to 15-20% of my daily meds, getting stronger, doing more each day. Then BLAMMO!!!! right back to eight on the out of ten on the pain scale, massive muscle spasms and lots of pain meds. It's a little frustrating. Normal, expected, "appropriate" to the situation. But grrrrr. It feels like a set back. I think my head was in the game better when it was so terrible. Now that I've felt better, I want to keep feeling better.

I need to start eating well again too. This past eight months has taken a chunk out of all the weight I lost and I don't feel as good about myself as I did a year ago. I know what I need to do, but adding another thing to my schedule feels impossible right now.


Dave Ramsey says when you take control of your finances you become a money magnet and I believe it. It's actually not so much a money magnet as all those streams, trickles and windfalls really exist. Many a bonus, tax return or rebate was frittered away before our big money overhaul. This year everything - even three dollar returns and rolled change - has gone onto debt. We've sold huge amounts of stuff and been really, really diligent in our spending. I'm thrilled to report that we've paid off 40K leaving us 26K to go.There have been some great windfalls in there - a bonus, tax return etc. But most of it was beans and rice and rice and beans. The best month we've had, we put 74.7% of our income on debt and the worst we put down 37%. Huge change from last July when we were spending 110% a month.

In other money news, the surgery bills keeps going up. All those nice "it's all covered" and "max of $1250 out of pocket" conversations were omitting that while the surgery may be covered, the hospital, anesthesiologist, x-rays ... were not. We've paid it all, but the ever-growing total was a bit of a bear to figure out. Again, I am incredibly grateful for the way we are handling our finances now. It wasn't a scary thing to have to pay my medical bills. It just meant we put a little less on debt than we'd planned. There is a deep peace to what we're doing. I can't say enough good things about it.

Now that we know we can finish this, the boys are getting excited about our trip to Europe. Our plan, since before we began is to pay off our debts, is to keep living the beans and rice lifestyle and finance a big trip to Europe. We want to go before the kids leave home and the way we were heading it would never have happened. We are hoping to go in 2011. *Squeal*

Now that I am making friends all over the UK the trip will be all the sweeter.

Once back, we have more financial stuff to do - six month emergency fund, college, retirement... but this trip is important to us and I can't wait.


I am reading again. The reduction in meds helped me clear my head and be able to retain snippets of books. As a mom I rarely get to read more than a few pages at a time. With all the pain, that didn't leave enough of an impression for me to follow a long and make those stolen moments worth it. I've been blowing through the Song of Fire and Ice series and I finished Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Next is The Help and then hopefully one of Nick Hornby's new books - Slam or Juliet, Naked. Reading is such a joy.

We also are back to our regular homeschool schedule. Avery seems to have suffered the worse for the gaps in teaching. Trenton and Brayden picked up right where we left off. Trenton has a full day writing class later this month that focuses on the SAT essay and writing your personal essays for college applications. It'll be his first full day at a class without me nearby. We're all excited for him.


Dunx said...

Ah, Nick Hornby - good writer!

The debt stuff is just fantastic news. We're in a much happier place money-wise,just for having taken control of the situation.

I hear you on the medical bills. It is phenomenally frustrating. Fragmentation is not choice.

I hope your pain flare calms down quickly.

grrlpup said...

Super-romantic paintings, and look how well your styles mesh with each other! I'm glad you took pictures before cutting them up. :)

Jenna Bayley-Burke said...

I would hang that art up on a wall...you shoudl see some of the crap I've done lately in the name of decorating! I got 8x10s to parctice on, and um...I need practice!

AND...your body is working HARD right now. Once the dust settles and you feel better than ever, THEN worry about dieting..

I really wish Jeff at beans. Europe sounds amazing.

Maggi said...

Love how the canvases turned out! Your debt reduction is amazing, way to go! I hope your pain level goes down soon!

Rach said...

Great canvases I love them and such good news about the money too. Hope the pain levels sort themselves out soon - I'm sure they will. Great news about Europe too just don't forget to pack your umbrella for here in the UK!

Faerielore said...

I love these paintings there fab and they looks so much fun to do

Mima said...

What wonderful news that you have managed to pay so much off, it must be such a relief to see it going down like this, but really sorry to hear about the medical bills. We are so lucky with the National Health Service over here, and I think that sometimes we forget that.

A trip to Europe - fantastic - there are so many fantastic things to see & hopefully you will get to meet up with lots of people too, are you heading Manchester way at any point?