Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Joys of Being an Adult



It’s been a stressful past couple of days for me.  I’ve had customers get mad at me for not going WAY out of my way for them.  I’ve had customers lie to my bosses about something I said in order to get something for free. I’ve had customers get mad at me for trying to get them to make a final payment.  It’s been stressful for me at work.  Don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE my job.  Most of the time it’s very laid back and stress free.  The past couple of days though have been pretty rough.  Typically customers are very nice and friendly and make work that much better.  But man, when a bad customer comes along, they are VERY bad.

On top of that, John and I have run into a bit of a financial bump.  Without going into detail, money that we thought was a sure thing has turned out to be not so sure.  John and I approach situations like this very differently.  John tries not to worry about stuff that is pretty much out of his control.  He takes the “we’ll figure it out and make it work” approach.  I, on the other hand, get VERY stressed.  I basically spent all last night crying and trying to figure out what I can attempt to sell in order to come up with the money we need.  I started thinking that we were going to get evicted, become homeless, have to get rid of the dogs, break up, and be miserable for the rest of our lives.  That’s just the way my brain works; I automatically think worst case scenario.  Most likely, none of these things are going to happen.  Our rent check isn’t going to bounce.  We will just have to watch our spending for the next little bit.   John and I got to have a very “adult” conversation about bills, money, and all that fun stuff that adults get to stress about.  Talks and situations like this really make me miss being a little kid.
Why are little kids always in such a hurry to grow up and live on their own anyway!?  I remember as a kid being so eager to move out and do whatever I wanted.  Now I would give anything to live back at home with my mom and let her worry about bills and stuff.  Sorry mom!  Granted being an adult means I make my own rules, cook what I want for dinner, and clean when I want.  But man I hate bills. I hate having to worry about paying those bills.  I hate stressing about money. 

I know everything is going to work out and that John and I will be just fine.  I know that I am probably worrying about absolutely nothing.  John and I have a very solid relationship.  We’ve gotten through hard times before, so why should this time be any different?  It shouldn’t and it won’t.   So things get a little tight for the next little bit until this problem works itself out.  As long as John and I stick together everything will be fine.
Until next time with what is hopefully a more upbeat post (maybe even with pictures!),

~Tara

Thursday, January 22, 2015

New Year's Update



We are 3 weeks into the New Year. . . yay?  Just kidding.  2015 is going just great so far.  First a quick update on Christmas with 18 people, 4 dogs, 2 cats, and a bird.  It was SO great to see my family, especially my brother’s kiddos.  I haven’t seen them in forever, and had never even met my nephew.  I loved spending time with them.  They have each developed such a unique personality since the last time I got to see them.  The oldest is quiet and content just playing games on a tablet or phone.  I may have downloaded some Frozen themed games for her amusement.  And I might still play some of those games even now. . . just sayin.  The middle child is a little spit fire.  She LOVES to play.  On more than one occasion (about 4038298347 times over the course of 4 days) the words “Aunt Tara PLAY with me!” were spoken.  I got to spin around in circles really fast, give piggy back rides, crawl around on all 4’s like a horse, and all sorts of other activities that amuse young kids.  I definitely got a good workout in!  I absolutely adored every second of it, even if I was plenty exhausted by the end of the week.  She also put John in “jail”.  It was hilarious.  Apparently John was breaking the rules because he was watching David, my younger brother, play on his tablet.  John is only allowed to eat, sleep, and relax.  I guess I make John work too hard and he needed some relaxing time.  And there’s no better place to relax than jail.  It makes sense to me.  Anyways I loved seeing the little ones and can’t wait to see them again!  Another fun side note about the trip to my mom’s.  John and I won the Trivial Pursuit game!  My family plays Trivial Pursuit whenever we gather.  I don’t know why, but hey, it’s a tradition so why stop.  As the family gets bigger we have to play in teams, so naturally the couples all team up.  John and I have come close to winning previous games, but were denied the win because we didn’t know the EXACT word (we still count it as a win).  But this last game we proved victorious!  John’s knowledge of the Yankees and my knowledge of Jay-Z and Beyonce led us to a win.  We were pretty stoked about that.  It’s the little things in life people!

While the 4 days in Colorado were fun, John and I definitely are accustomed to the peace and quiet of our home. It’s always nice to get back to the day-to-day.  I got to take the week following Christmas off of work.  I tried to take advantage of this time off by cleaning, but really I didn’t accomplish a ton. I just cannot seem to keep my house organized!  I was able to get some stuff tidied up, but you better believe the house is pretty much a disaster again.  I really try but when I get home from a long day at work the last thing I want to do is clean up.  It’s bad people. . . REALLY bad. 

My New Year’s Resolutions are going. . . ok.  I haven’t been the best at going to the gym, but just when we got settled back into the daily routine my dad and step mom came for a visit.  So there’s that.  I’m hoping to really get into the swing of things now that things have settled down again.  I have been really good about cooking. For anyone that had the same struggles I did with not wanting to cook or knowing what to cook MAKE A MENU!!!!  It really has kept me in line and avoided trips to fast food restaurants.  Every Saturday I sit down and figure out what we are going to eat for the week.  On Sundays we go to the grocery store and pick everything up.  It has helped SO much!  I write out the full meal in a notebook and write a summary such as “Balsamic Chicken” or “Beef Tenderloin” on a white board.  This helps me know what I need to pull out to thaw.  Then I get home for work and dinner is all ready for me to cook.  It really has helped a TON. 

I have also successfully stopped drinking the Dr. Pepper.  I don’t even crave it any more.  I am really proud of this accomplishment.  I was drinking 2-3 sodas a day before the start of the New Year.  Now I drink a very little amount of coffee in the morning and pretty much stick to water the rest of the day.  I sometimes drink a glass of lemonade at lunch or a glass of wine with dinner. But for the most part my beverage of choice is water.  I thought it would be a lot harder for me to quit drinking soda, but really it hasn’t been that bad.  I’m hoping I don’t slip back into the habit, but I feel confident I can keep away except for special occasions. 

Couponing and money saving are going decently. I’ve been trying to be pretty selective about what deals I purchase and what deals I pass on as far as couponing goes. So far I think I’ve done well.  I’ll have to take pictures of deals I scored and what not in future posts.  For those that still don’t think it’s worth it to coupon, trust me it is!  You won’t see immediate savings right away, but they do add up!  Especially in a world with a plethora of rebate apps available that pay you just to buy a product you already had on your shopping list.  Why not take advantage of that?  It’s a great time to coupon!!! 

That about sums up the first few weeks of the New Year.  I desperately need to upload pics of our adventures soon.  Beware, a photo dump is coming! 
Until next time,

Tara

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New Year's Resolutions



I’ve been thinking a lot about whether I want to set “New Year’s Resolutions” this coming year.  In the past the only resolution I’ve been able to even somewhat keep has been “no more caffeine”.  I quickly abandoned that resolution the second the next New Year came around.  As it turns out I LOVE Dr. Pepper.  Having only ever really successfully completed one resolution I hesitated to sit down and really set some serious goals.  Would it be worth my time?  Am I just setting myself up to be disappointed come February when I have failed at all of my resolutions?  These are the questions I have been asking myself as the New Year approaches. 
After thinking very seriously about it, I have decided to set some goals for 2015.  I don’t want to call them “New Year’s Resolutions” because I think that just begs to not be accomplished.  I feel like I am at the best point so far in my life in so many different areas.  I finally have a dependable job that offers me reliable pay.  I might not make a ton of money, but I finally feel like I can set a budget and even put some money aside for savings.  I am in a very stable relationship with the most supportive of boyfriends.  He might not go to the gym with me and he might not like every new recipe I try out but he supports me no matter what.  If I say I want to eat healthier or want to go to the gym on a regular basis he is right there pushing me off my lazy butt.  I have a great friend who seems to have the same fitness goals as I do.  Granted she lives in Boise but she is always there to support me in my gym adventures, run races with, and vent to when I fall off the work out wagon.  I am in such a great place in my life that even if I fail miserably at each and every one of these resolutions I know I will still be happy and satisfied with my life.
So here goes. My list of goals for 2015.  I have thought long and hard about this and am only listing the most serious goals I want to accomplish.
Run a half marathon.  Kyrene (my race buddy) and I are really wanting to run the haunted half in October 2015. We are figuring out a serious plan to make this a possibility in the next few days.  While a half marathon might not happen this year, maybe a 10k?  We have accomplished a 5k, but can always improve and progress right?

Lose some weight!!!!  This hopefully goes hand in hand with running a half marathon.  As I have previously posted, I have gone up a couple sizes in the past year and a half or so.  Funny how that time line corresponds with how long I’ve been with John. . .   No I’m not blaming John for my weight gain.  Since starting to date John a LOT of things in my life has changed.  I’ve had a couple different jobs, we’ve moved a couple of times, we’ve gotten busier, etc.  Now that our life has kind of slowed down and at least stabilized a bit I think it’s a good time to get serious about shedding those few extra pounds and just being healthier in general.  My sister-in-law gave me some great ideas after I posted about wanting to be healthier.  She has inspired me to set a menu every week, which definitely helps me not go out to eat every night.  I hope to get better about eating healthier, going to the gym, and making smarter decisions in general.  Some subsets of this goal are:
a.       Stop the soda drinking.  You have no idea how much this pains me.  I seriously LOVE Dr. Pepper.  And I am addicted to caffeine.  I get a horrible headache without it and am a bit cranky.  But soda is bad for you and does not help with weight loss, so away it will go.
b.      Cut back on fast food.  If I absolutely HAVE to go out to eat I need to choose healthier options.  But ideally I won’t be stopping at McDonalds for chicken nuggets at all.  Thank goodness fast food joints have some decent salads these days J
c.       Go to the gym at LEAST 3 times a week.  The only adjustment to this is if I decide to go for a run outside while training for the big race.  But for the most part I choose the gym over outdoor running.  Something about being able to watch tv while on the treadmill makes working out a bit more bearable. 

Save some money!  I need to assign an actual dollar amount to this  but until I sit  down with my spreadsheets and pay stubs and figure out what I can feasibly afford to save every month I am keeping this pretty generic.  I’ve been working on paying off some debt (yay student loans!)  so that’s where a lot of my extra cash has been going.  I want to continue to keep ahead of loan payments but also put some money away for a rainy day.   I think I will focus all of my cleaning checks on paying off debt and put any money I make in overtime at Big Mountain into savings.  Or something like that. Like I said, I need to think this one through a little bit more.

Become a better couponer.  Yes I said it, coupons.  I first realized how much money I could save by watching Extreme Couponing.  Granted that show is a bit unrealistic.  But the reality is you really can save some serious money using coupons.  I have done it myself a time or two and have watched some youtube videos featuring real people in real situations save some serious dough.  I have finally found a blog to follow that really helps piece together great deals.  I just need to be dedicated to it in order to really reap the benefits of couponing.  I’ve been casually couponing for the past year or so but I really think I want to delve into this.  It takes some time, but I think the money I could save is well worth it.   We’ll see how beneficial couponing is I guess.

Alright so there you have it.  My most serious goals for 2015.  I really think I can keep most of these.  I just need to be dedicated to it, and not succumb to the laziness that I have fallen victim to time and time again.  Hopefully Kyrene and John can help me stay focused on the fitness goals, as those are the ones I really want to accomplish this coming year. 
I hope you all have success in any New Year’s Resolutions you might be embarking on as well.  Hopefully we can all stay motivated and have a great 2015!

Until next time,

Tara