Monday, July 23, 2018

JOURNEY TO DEBT FREEDOM

Michael and I have recently decided that we want to live a debt free lifestyle...starting with essentially paying off any debt besides our house. Thankfully several years ago we went through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and have not acquired too much debt over the past several years. What we haven't done, is managed our money well. We have inherited a little money here and there which has mostly kept any small debt paid off, but we have never managed to stick to our budget or SAVE! 

We have started our journey to paying off about $79,100 worth of debt--I know, I said we didn't have much debt and that looks like a really big number. Most of that number is what we owe on a building we own and rent out..we have always looked at it like an investment property but have decided we wouldn't be too sad to part with it. We are currently trying to sell it with hopes of getting out of all debt quickly. Fingers crossed we find a buyer that will do something amazing with it. It's located in the heart of our downtown area and has so much potential!

This would also allow us to have our 6 month emergency fund in place so we could begin to pay off our house. I feel so incredibly blessed that we are starting at this place. Michael and I both are so thankful that we didn't have student loans or much credit card debt to start with...we are looking forward to GIVING more when we can. We both have a heart for missions and local ministries that we would love to be able to support more.

DISCLAIMER: Before starting this journey, we had already planned a Disney vacation with our family this fall. While I am SO very excited, I feel a little guilty since vacationing isn't on the list to get out of debt. BUT, I plan to enjoy it and keep plugging along on this journey like it never happened ;) If you'd like to follow along, I've created an instagram account to track our journey @debtfreeinsouthms
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Thursday, February 22, 2018

CURRENT READS

My friend Hope and I have a little book store in Laurel and shortly after we started, we formed a book club. It's been great for me! I have read several books that I probably never would have picked up otherwise and ended up loving them...or at least having some really great discussion based on them.

This past month we chose the young adult novel, Wonder. It was such a great, quick read that really made me examine my heart on some issues with how I'm raising my kids and teaching them to be kind. Not to mention that Anne picked it up and read it in three days when I finished! It was cool to get to discuss this with her and hear her thoughts on this book as a 5th grader herself.

Definitely recommend if you love a good heartfelt story about overcoming hardships. And I hear the movie is great but haven't had a chance to watch yet.

One of my favorite quotes:

“MR. BROWNE'S SEPTEMBER PRECEPT:

WHEN GIVEN THE CHOICE BETWEEN BEING
RIGHT OR BEING KIND, CHOOSE KIND.”
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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

CAMPING AT BIG CREEK

One of the things I dream about is traveling the country in a little Airstream camper. I totally think I could home school my kids and explore the world and be a happy camper. *pun intended!

This past weekend we spent a night camping at Big Creek-which is only 15 minutes from our house...not exactly traveling in my camper, but we sure did have a great time! The kids were giddy at the idea and couldn't wait to get there. The weather was perfect and we soaked up some much needed family time.

Anne caught a big catfish and Liam learned how to cast his fishing pole. He didn't too much care for touching the worms, and I can't blame him. Those wiggly wet things are so gross! It's amazing how much life you can squeeze into just a 20 hour period at the lake.



These two are such troopers. They are eager to go on adventures and are growing into the coolest humans I've ever known. God has blessed us big!
For all you Laurel folks, I highly recommend a night at Big Creek. It's beautiful and well maintained, and close enough to home that you can squeeze a lot of fun into a short amount of time!
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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

SOMETHING NEW


If you've known me very long, you know that I’ve been an active person most of my life. I played just about every sport growing up and loved dancing in college. I loved community and most of all the ACCOUNTABILITY. Once I moved on to the “real” world, the world where exercise wasn’t naturally built in + an unhealthy relationship with food, I began to quickly become less healthy. Fitness has been a love of mine for years but was the first thing to take a back seat when kids started to come and it wasn’t easy anymore. I know that I like a challenge and I enjoy working out WITH people. I’m a bit of an extrovert if you didn’t know. ;)

Back in the fall of last year I committed to getting healthier, and I was super nervous to make it too big of a deal. I was so afraid of setting myself up for failure. I wanted to make some BIG life changes though. Not just losing weight or building muscle, but I wanted to be healthy all around. I wanted to be more in God’s word and growing in my faith. I wanted to make strides to take care of this body that God has given me. I know I’m not the only one out there with this desire—we ALL desire that! The hardest thing I’ve had to learn is that there is no quick fix or magic pill that will change my body. It takes hard work and commitment…making good, healthy choices over and over again day in and day out. (Something I still struggle with daily!)

I have LOVED being a part of a community of women over the past several weeks that has offered me support and encouragement daily, which has given me the desire to help others.


I have decided to become a fitness coach which means that I would love to link arms with other ladies and walk on this journey TOGETHER! I already feel so much better mentally and physically and have more energy! I say all this to share a little of me with you just in case you need a little push and accountability. I would love to share my journey along the way and encourage you on yours as well.
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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

SOAK UP THE SUN

We've been experiencing unusual wintry weather for south MS lately. We are having our 3rd snowy day within a month TODAY!
With a break in the cold and a little sun shining yesterday, the kids took the opportunity to burn some energy on the trampoline and Michael got some cool slow motion footage. 


Hope you all are staying warm and safe in your neck of the woods!
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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

THE BENSONS

You know those friends you have that feel a lot more like family than friends? Well, I feel like we're blessed with lots of those kind of friends in our life and one of them is The Bensons. Michael and Michael used to play in a band together back in their college/early married years and Sam and I actually went to high school together--so we've been knowing each other for a while now! 
They live a few hours away on the coast so we like to make it a point to go down for weekends here and there. The thing I love most about visiting them is it never feels stressed. The kids enjoy dragging all of the toys out and entertaining us while we basically sit on the couch in amusement.
And there's another generation of friendship blooming as well which makes me smile!
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Thursday, January 4, 2018

FAMILY PHOTOS WITH AUNT B

Usually about once a year, my sweet sister Brooke takes family pictures for us. This year seemed unlikely that we would get a single photo with all the playing and silliness, but again she gets several that I LOVE! She's a camera wizard.


Family is a thing that I feel so blessed to have. I know I have a tribe of people that I can always reach out to and that's so comforting. Even beyond these folks in the pictures, there are so many friends and other family members that are part of our village in raising our kids and in surviving the day to day life struggles.



 I'm so very thankful that God gives us people in our lives to love and be loved by. It's a beautiful thing. 
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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

HAPPY 2018

This little space has been much neglected over the past few years. It's funny how at the beginning of every year there is always a little sadness, because I WANT to blog more, but sure enough it doesn't end up happening. I think part of the reason is that I put too much pressure on myself to make it something super high quality/special, when in reality it's my space...with my thoughts and pictures...and it's for ME. With that at the forefront of my mind, I'm gonna try to take the pressure off and hopefully use this space that has brought me so much joy in the past. I want to share more of our life here...because let's be honest, this is as close to a baby/childhood book my kiddos are getting.

As I look forward to this upcoming year, there are no major goals or New Years resolutions--other than the typical be better at everything I'm already trying to do.

I love that some of you have chosen words to focus on for the year and I've decided my word will be H O M E.  To focus on the time spent here with the ones I love most, the meals prepared, games played, conversations that result in growth. Making Jesus the center of it all. Only then can anything good come...even in the midst of the trials and hard times that are sure to come in 2018, he makes them bearable and "good." I'm thankful for a father that loves me when I'm unlovable and continues to patiently teach me how to abide in him.
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