We Are 4 Years Old!

We’ve been officially married for four years today.

happy anniversary

But, I’m pretty sure we’ve been married our whole lives.  It’s pretty sick, but I think we might have been made for each other.  I know, GROSS!  Here  are my reasons: we’re hella goofy, we’re hella silly, and… we both hella lurve ice cream.  I’m not going to make up any more words for the rest of this post.  Only dictionary words from here on out.  Promisk.

So, marriage.  Woah.  It’s a pretty weird deal.  Sometimes it’s hard, and sometimes it’s really easy.  Sometimes you feel really connected to your spouse, and sometimes you feel like two complete strangers.  Sometimes you have the same goals, and sometimes you have different ones.  It’s interesting to be in the middle of something so fluid, but at the same time, stable.

The first couple years we were married were the hardest.  Sometimes, I felt really confined.  I felt like being married restricted the jobs I could have.  I felt like being married restricted where I could live.  And, it sort of does, for me anyway.  But, jobs and locations don’t matter to me much anymore.  What maters to me is that we have a strong marriage, and my choices are based on that– not moving to South America on a whim (which I hope we can do one day!).

I’d like to say my view on marriage has changed gradually over the years, and it has, but sometimes one event can snap your life into perspective.  For me, that event happened in February.

“I’m fine.”

I’ve spent my whole life saying, “I’m fine.”  I wanted to be tough and strong.  I didn’t want to rely on anyone.  And, mostly, I hated it when people felt sorry for me.

Interestingly enough, I don’t care if people feel sorry for me anymore either.

A really bad thing happened this year.  And, it’s why I quit writing on my blog so much.  I just kept writing this post and then deleting it, not brave enough to tell you the truth.

The truth.

In February, I had a miscarriage.

It was pretty awful, and I tried to ignore it for a while.  I tried to act like, “I’m fine.”

But, I wasn’t really “fine.”  I couldn’t get the pain out of my mind.  Also, I couldn’t handle the emotions of it all, so I tried to cover it up.  I wrote about goals and paying off our house, but the entire time the only thing I could think about was… that night.  The night I spent crippled in pain, lying on the bathroom floor crying.

My husband is the only person I couldn’t act “fine” around.  He sat next to me when we got the news.  He watched me cry for about a week.  He helped me get out of bed.  And, he still makes me breakfast every morning.

Through my husband, I found out why marriage isn’t confining– it’s one of the few things that is really freeing.  Like any good relationship you can be free when you can truly be yourself. When you can truly tell someone how you feel.  When you don’t even have to tell someone how you feel– they just know.

Ultimately, marriage is about dragging each other out of bed.  It’s about leaning on someone because you can’t stand up anymore.  It’s about the ebbs and flow of life.  It’s about healing together a little bit every day.  That’s what we’ve been doing, healing.

I hope you haven’t had to go through a miscarriage, but if you have, feel free to talk to me about it.  I’ve had the best support from my husband, family and friends.  I would love to be there for you, too.

Happy Anniversary Husband!  Thanks for being there for me through the good and bad!

How We Paid Off Our House in 2 Years

Two years ago, we had a crazy goal: to pay off our mortgage (you can read about it here, here, here and here).  Countless paychecks, a lot of headaches, and even a few arguments later, it’s official.  Blog official.  The day we’ve been waiting for: we paid off our house.  At 7:00 a.m., today, we submitted our last mortgage payment.

mortgage burn

Watch that mortgage burn!

 

I hope this post doesn’t sound braggy– honestly, I don’t want it to be.  Everyone has different goals and dreams for their lives.  I just want this post to encourage you to finish your big goals, financial or otherwise.  We didn’t start with a grand plan, we actually just lucked into the right house, and then we just went to work.

 1.  Live off one salary (or half of your salary).

When we bought our house, about 4 years ago, I didn’t have a job.  My husband was working at his first job out of college, so we didn’t have much money.  I was TERRIFIED about becoming “house poor,” so we bought a tiny house that we knew we could afford.  Four years later, we’re still living off one salary.  We aren’t disciplined, and we spend whatever is in our checking account, so my check is directly deposited into a separate account.  There are no debit cards attached to the separate account, so we can’t get to that money.  We automatically used my paychecks to pay off the house, and eventually we were able to use part of my husband’s pay checks as well.

2.  Buy a tiny, inexpensive house.

When we bought our house, 3.5 years ago.  Our house payment was 20% of our take home salary.  First, I got a job (or 4!), last winter we cut our payment in half by refinancing, also we got some raises, and in addition we started tithing.  After all was said and done, our house payment ended up being 4% of our take home salary.  Less than most people’s car payments!  By buying something we could really afford, and then working toward increasing our income and cutting our payments, we were able to pay off our mortgage.

3.  Live somewhere “lame.”

There are awesome neighborhoods around us.  There are really trendy places nearby.  There are places where you can walk to restaurants, parks, and shops.

We don’t live there.  We live in a little town outside a big city.  In our little town there are more retired people than hipsters.  There are a couple restaurants, but most of them are chains.  And, you can’t walk your dog to any stores.  Even thought our little town is “lame” in some ways, we’ve really grown to like it.  It’s safe.  The people are nice.  Our friends are close.  And there is one trail, and my dogs know every inch.

Our “lame” town allowed us to buy a cheap house, which is the ONLY way we were able to pay off our mortgage in such a short time.  Through this whole process, I’ve actually started liking my town.  I think that it’s pretty cool.  I just need to start wearing hats and wearing roller skates.  Isn’t that what hipsters do?  Should I open a food truck, maybe?

4.  Cut your monthly expenses.

When we really got serious about paying off our mortgage 2 years ago, I started looking at all of our expenses.  We cut cable.  I drive a “free” car.  We cut everything that wasn’t necessary.  I increased our insurance deductibles.  I slashed our grocery bill.  I don’t have a smart phone (but that’s another story… and it’s only been going on for two months).  No monthly bill was safe!  I was a serial debt killer.

5.  Have a support system.

Whatever big goal you want to persue, you’ve got to have people around you who will encourage you.  My biggest support was definitely my husband.  Actually, he’s not my “support.” He is much more than that.  He is the one who accomplished this.  He worked two jobs.  He killed it at work to make bonuses.  He got on board with my insane plan.  I can never repay him for all he has done to make this goal happen.

Also, we had some amazing support from our families.  Moms, dads, sisters, brothers, and our friends.  No one ever made fun of us or made us feel crazy.  For that, we are forever grateful.  Thank you more than words can say.

Want to succeed?  Get yourself some support staff.  Even if it’s just one person who you can talk to about your crazy goal, you’ll need someone to encourage and drag pick you up along the way.

6.  Figure out your “why”.

You may not want to pay off your mortgage.  I’m the first to admit it’s not for everyone.  One of the reasons we wanted to kill this debt is because we want to buy rental houses in the future, specifically foreclosures.  After we failed at this a couple times, we realized we needed to get our finances in order first.  We have several other “whys,” but I’m not ready to blog about them yet, or maybe ever.  Please, just know being mortgage free runs deep in my heart for reasons I haven’t been able to tell you about.

If you have a big goal, I know you can do it.  The best way is to focus on your “whys.”  Family, future goals, kids, friends, past failures, etc. are great “whys” to keep you motivated.  Trust me, you’ll need something to focus on to keep you motivated, when all you want to do is buy shoes!

7.  Block out the noise.

Could we have made more on our money if we should have invested it?  Yes.  Would we have worked as hard to invest in a retirement account?  No.

You know in your gut what is right for you and your situation.  Lots of people will give you advice.  There are tons of people who think what we did was stupid.  Heck, sometimes I thought what we were doing was stupid.  But, I always heard a voice in my heart that told me to keep going.  Sometimes you just have to trust that voice.

8.  Figure out what’s next.

We haven’t done this step yet.  Really, I have no idea what is next.  I want to buy some rental properties soon, but I don’t know when that will be.  We’re just ready to take a break, and figure out what is next.  Most of all, it’s time to celebrate!

mortgage celebration

Pink and Rick didn’t like champagne. That’s only the second food they’ve ever rejected… they don’t have the best taste in wine.

Full disclosure: we aren’t quite debt free yet.  We still have a couple little debts take care of–it’s a loooooonnng story about why we paid our mortgage off first.  Maybe something for another day!  We should be done with everything next month, I’ll keep you updated.

What do you think?  Would you ever pay off your mortgage?

How to Land a Side Gig: Baseball Style

I went to my first St. Louis Cardinals game a few weekends ago.  It was amazing!  I can’t believe I grew up in Missouri, and it took me 28 years to get there.

photo 3 (2)

We went for my brother-in-law’s birthday.  Here’s our game selfie!

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Photo credit: my brother-in-law.

We went to tons of places around the city.  My favorite stop was the Budweiser Plant-Tour-Thing.  Maybe it was because of the free samples, or maybe it was because I found this giant cake outside.   I secretly hoped a tiny Clydesdale horse would jump out in a bikini.  Unfortunately, it didn’t.  Fortunately, I just made you think of a horse in a bikini.

photo 1 (2)

Photo credit: my brother-in-law

The Cardinals must have known it was my first visit, because they won!  I’ve been winning a little too– I just finished up my crazy June side hustle.

This year for MyYearlyBucketList, I’m trying to make $1,000 of side income a month.  After very little success thus far, (I haven’t  even made $100 yet!) I finally landed a side gig that lasts the month of June– and drum roll, please— I reached my goal.  A cold $1,000 will come sliding into my bank account later this month.

Like the Cardinals, I won at my goal.  So, in the red bird’s honor, here is the process of how to land a side gig– baseball themed of course:

First base:  Have a lot of failures.

I’ve applied for COUNTLESS writing gigs.  And Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  It’s pretty pitiful.  Also, I started a profile on fiverr.com (check it out here) and I’ve made a grand total of $12.  It’s been pretty bleak.  I could start saying something about how failures teach you something.  But, I’m not sure what my failures are trying to teach me.  Maybe, I’m supposed to perfect my fast email pitch?!

Second base:  Find a way to be optimistic.

I was/am kind of bummed about my progress.  But, I’m oddly still optimistic.  I haven’t started shaking the side gig bushes again.  But, I will soon.

Third Base:  Pivot.

In May, in the midst of Rejectionville, I started scrambling.  My initial intention was to make money writing online, but after all the rejections, I decided to try other ways to hustle.  I knew a local University was working on a pretty big project.  So, I emailed a lady I worked with previously to offer my services.  My email sounded like this: “Dear ____ I really enjoyed working with you earlier this year.  I heard you’re working on _____ project, and I have some free time this summer.  If you need any extra help, I’d love to help you out.  If you don’t have a need now, please consider me for the future.  I’m passionate about the project, and I’d love to work with and learn more from your amazing staff.  Thanks for your time, KELSIE-BEST-TWERKER-WORKER-EVER.”  Okay, I think it sounded better than that, but you get the point.  Basically, it’s a compliment sandwich– with a pitch in the middle.

Anyway, my email was forwarded to her supervisor.  And…Badda Bing!  I got a side gig!

Even thought this post is called, “how to land a side gig,” I’ll be honest: I have no idea how to do it.  I think you just keep trying.  Which leads me to…

Home Base:  Persistence, get ready for the next pitch.

Just keep swinging– eventually you will hit something– even if it’s just your own face.  One thing I’ve discovered through my search for a side gig is that people need GOOD part-time help.  Employers don’t want to have to pay for someone’s benefits.  But, they still need projects done.  So, if you just send enough emails to enough people you know, odds are, you’ll get something– even if it just lasts for a month.

I really enjoyed my side gig last month, and I learned a few things.  But, honestly, I’m exhausted.  So, I’m going to take a few days off from searching for the next gig.  Even baseball players have those people who run their bases for them.  I want to be one of those guys.  Scratch that– I just want to be the mascot.

P.S.  We have BIG NEWS to announce next Tuesday!  We’ve been working on it for YEARS!  I can’t wait to announce it!  The post will probably be in all CAPS!!!  Anyway, come back, will ya?  I promise not to mention horses in bikinis.

April/May Bucket List Update!!

Did you notice the title of this post?  There is only two exclamation points.  Isn’t it weird to see two exclamation points together? If exclamation points were people, they would be polygamists because they don’t mate in pairs.

Anyway, on to the real “point” of this post.  It’s time for a Bucket List Update.  I haven’t done one of these since my March update, so there’s a lot to “exclaim” about.

1.  Organize one room in my house every month (Reoccurring and taking the place of a January Challenge).

Success!

April:  Living Room.  I didn’t do much, but I did get rid of a few things.

May:  Our outside storage room.  True confession: my husband organized this one.  It still counts, right?

I’ve officially organized all the “easy rooms.”  Now, I have to start on the hard ones, wish me luck!

2. Lose 10 pounds through the Paleo Diet or South Beach Diet (February) (March).

I’I still haven’t done this.  Maybe June?

3.  Go on a Vegas Vacation (March).

We had the best time!  Check it out.

4.  Run 365 miles (reoccurring and taking the place of an April challenge).

January: 12.75

February: 19

March: 31

April: 30

May: 31

I was originally supposed to run 365 miles, like it says above, but I’ve been walking some of my miles.  Since my journey is about progress, not perfection, I’m calling it a success!

5.  Go one month without artificial sugar (May)  (February)

I’m killing this one!  I’ve had fewer than five Diet Cokes all year!  Since, I used to have five in one day, I’m really proud of my progress.  However, I am drinking more regular Cokes than I used to, but they’re supposed to be better for you, right?

6.  Learn to hula-hoop or whistle (June).

I did this one a month early.  I’ve been working on my whistling all month.  I’m getting pretty good.  I still can’t whistle songs, but I can make a strong noise if I warm up a little.  Do you want to learn?  Here’s an article I read that helped me.  Yes, I found it by googling, “how to whistle…”

7.  Go skydiving (July) (August/September).

I’m moving this one to August/September.

8.  Write 2 blog posts every week (Reoccurring).

Even though I’ve only blogged here once a week, I’ve been writing a weekly post for another website to earn a little cash on the side (see goal number 12).  So, I guess I’ve been doing this, even though Pinkandrick.com isn’t getting updated as much as I would like.

9.  Become completely debt free– including paying off our house (September).

True confession #2:  Ahhhhhhhhh…. I’m so tired of this!  I’ve started drooling over the shoes I’m going to buy when we get done.  I’ve also put a complete freeze on buying any clothes until we’re done.  If you see me wearing the same thing five times in a row, don’t worry, I’m not homeless.  It just means we’re getting closer to being completely debt free.

It looks like we will be done paying off our house sometime in July, and we will be completely debt free in September or October.  So, really we’re not that far away from our goal.  It’s just getting really old… because we’ve been working on it for almost three years.  Check out the latest update of our progress for more info.

10.  Write a fiction book and sell it on Amazon (October).

I’ve started this, but I’m not even close to being done.  I’m not even close to being done with the first draft.  I’m going to try and find some time to focus on this in June.

11.  Do something spontaneous (November).

12.  Make $1,000 of side income a month, by freelance writing/blogging/video projects (December).

January, February, March: $0

April: 57.06

May: 61.06

June:  I picked up a side job at a local college during the month of June, so I may reach my goal next month.  The bad news is, this job will only last a month.  The good news is, I found a side gig.  Here’s to hoping something else will pop up in July!IMG_5231

Overall, I’m pretty happy with my progress.  It could be better, but I’m pretty excited about what’s happening this year.  Next week, I’m going to write a post to break down my side income, the rejections I’ve been getting, and how I found my June side gig.  So, come back… or I’ll send my dogs for you.

Two Year Blog-iversary!

In honor of my 2nd full year of blogging, I’m dedicating this post to Pink and Rick, the dogs that got this whole thing started.

Two years ago, I started writing about how much I hated my two dogs.  Now, I can’t think of living with out these crazy beasts.  Weird how things change, right?  Maybe someday I’ll love vegetables that much.  Since it’s my blog-iversary and the dogs haven’t made very many appearances lately, I thought I’d let you know what they’ve been up to.

1.  Creeping on College Chicks.

We took a road trip to our college town.  As SOON as we got to campus, Rick and Pink jumped up and started checking out the football stadium, the buildings, and the college girls.  The girls liked them a lot too, I heard, “look at those dogs!”  as I slouched down into my seat out of embarrassment.

photo 2Eating Sushi!

I tried to take a manly fisherman picture of my husband.  You know, husband + dog + fish = masculine amazingness.  However, Rick decided to try and eat the fish.  Who knew dogs like sushi?!

photo 4

Trying to Get Skinny.

Rick must be watching his weight, because I found him in an epic battle with this Diet Coke bottle a few weeks ago.  Chunky dog lovers, have no fear, he’s still as “fluffy” as ever.photo 3

 

Acting like teenagers

We were trying to be nice, so we let them inside one night to lay on the kitchen floor.  They were happy and smiling– until we wouldn’t let them watch Animal Planet.   photo 2

Being Freaking Crazy.

Who’s dog does this?photo 1

Fighting like cats and dogs

I know what you’re thinking, “Where is Pink in all these pictures?”  He’s usually off acting like a cat and moodily sulking around.  Here’s a glimpse of the elusive Pink.

photo 1

 

Being Adorable.

No matter how crazy they get, I still think they’re the cutest dogs in the world.  Isn’t that what all dog owners say?

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Why Humans Aren’t Made of Metal

My husband’s grandfather died last week.  We spent the week crying and laughing.  I didn’t know his grandfather very well, but watching my husband and his family grieve, made me cry.  Then, hearing the amazing stories they told about him, made me laugh.  Here are four things I learned about Jared’s grandfather:

1.  He is part of the last generation to know the great depression.  When he was little, he rode to California in a bob-truck with six other families to find work.

2.  He was one of 13 brothers and sisters.  Two of his sisters came to the funeral, and they were the most energetic 80 year olds I’ve ever met.  They totally stayed up later than me.

3.  He was called “Sonny Boy” his whole life.  Since we live in the South and I call older people Mr. and Mrs, I called him, “Mr. Sonny Boy.”  This always made me smile.

4.  He was loved.  By many.

Mr Sonny Boy and Jared

I cried watching how his death affected my husband and his family.  They cried, and because they were hurting, I cried.  This year has been rough for us.  I’ve thought about pain a lot.  As humans, we feel pain.  Not just ‘I cut myself, and it hurts’ pain.  But, we also feel ‘something terrible happened, and it hurts my heart’ pain.  When we emotionally hurt, we feel it physically.  Your heart feels heavier, your shoulders slump, your eyes start to water, your breath gets shorter– eventually all these come together and you start weeping and shaking.  As your entire body sobs it also releases the hurt you are physically feeling.  You sob until slowly your body stops shaking, your breathing evens out, and your eyes dry up.  Then — eventually– you stand up and you go forward.

All this pain made me wish one thing: we were made of metal.

Wouldn’t that be great? Our human skin is pretty week.  It tears and rips.  If we were made of metal, we wouldn’t physically have to feel anything.  Instead of flimsy skin and watery eyes, we could be made of a sheet of thin metal.  Nothing could get past our shell.  Nothing would make us cry.  Nothing could hurt us.  We wouldn’t have scraped knees, or broken bones.  When we started to rust, we could just go to a mechanic and get a tune up.  Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Instead of doctors and nurses our world would be filled with welders and machinists.  We would go get our car’s oil changed, and we could oil up our squeaky joints at the same time.  It would be wonderful not to have to feel pain– emotional or physical.

I was thinking about this at the funeral.  I was picturing everyone around me as indestructible tin people.  My mind wanders to stuff like this constantly.

After the service, I saw tears in my husband’s eyes.  He was crying for his grandfather– Mr. Sonny Boy– who helped raise him.  The man who took him to his farm, and taught him to love plants, soil, and — candy.  The man who picked him up from the bus after school and walked him to his house.  The man who loved him.

Hoping to comort my husband, I hugged him.  It was the only thing I could think of that would help.  As I hugged him, I realized I couldn’t do that if we were made of metal.  It would be cold. It would be noisy– sounding like two cars crashing into each other.   So, I guess I’m glad we’re not made of metal, because we can feel hugs, and warmth, and love– but some days we have to feel pain too.

 

4 Reasons You Need a Side Hustle!

One of My Bucket List Items for this year is to make $1000 a month outside my “regular” job.  I plan to do this by working some side hustles–any job outside of your main job qualifies as a side hustle, for example: mowing yards, freelance writing, selling your dogs… you get the point.

For the first three months of the year I ignored my side hustle goal.  I had no idea where to start.  In April, I figured I should start trying something– anything.  So far my progress has been slow.  But, it hasn’t been non-existent!  Since lots of bloggers publish how much money they make from their side hustles, I thought it might help me stay motivated to keep track of my side hustle income on this blog.  So, once a month, I’ll update you on how it’s going.

Before you check out how much I earned in April, I have to let you know something that totally surprised me.  It’s super hard to tell you how much I earned.  Payment takes a lot of time to “clear” from some online business.  To keep it simple, I’m just going to count “earned” money as money in my bank account–I’ll put what money is still outstanding by the side.

April Side Hustle Earnings

Writing for other websites: $57.06

Fiverr: $0 – I actually earned $4.oo, but it hasn’t cleared the bank yet.

Total:   $57.06 Amount needed to reach $1,000:  $942.94

Even though I didn’t get anywhere close to my goal, I’m pretty happy with my progress.  Even bloggers who make over $10,000 a month had to start somewhere, right?

Here’s 4 reasons you should think about getting a side hustle (even if you don’t need more money):

1.  It will make you better at your “real job”:

Since I’ve been messing around with blogs/graphics/videos for so long, I’m way better at my regular job.  I constantly use things I’ve done here or on other websites to help me create projects at work.  For example, I’m working on a manual at my “real job” right now.  I’m using the same software on the manual that I used to make my My Yearly Bucket List Book.  I only know how to use the software because I did it here first.

2.  It will make you more confident:

Want to know a secret?  I get really scared to post ANYTHING on this blog.  Sometimes I’ll write a post, and it will take me an entire week to hit “publish.”  Weird, right?  As I’ve started to write and design for other websites, I’ve gotten a little more confident.

Nothing will make you more confident then seeing your skills make money in the marketplace.  I just joined fiverr.com, it’s a marketplace that sells $5.00 services.  I uploaded a “gig”(my $5 service) and the next morning someone bought it!  Cha-ching!  Here’s a link to the gig I created!  Now, you’re probably thinking, “Kelsie, you silly dog lady, that’s not even enough to cover your time!”  Well, you’re right.  Like anything, this will take time to grow.  And, selling something made me feel like a million bucks!  Doesn’t that count?

3.  It will be fun:

IF you’re going to invest your time on a side hustle, you’re going to do something you like.  You’ll have a great time, and you’ll feel fulfilled because you’re following your dreams.  What’s more fun than that?!

4.  You can make extra money!

Okay, I know I said these reasons weren’t about money, but you should never believe me.  We’re trying to pay off our house, remember?  While it will probably take me a while to build my side hustles, the extra dollars help.  You can make a few extra dollars, too.  If you want a side hustle, but you don’t know what to do, here’s a list of 75 side hustles you should check out!

 

Do you do anything on the side? Do you think it’s worth it

I hope you have the best week ever,

Kelsie

 

28 Great Things About Getting Older

I have a confession to make.  I don’t like birthdays.  I’ve never liked them.  My mom says I cried when I turned 10 because I was going to be “double digits.”  I was a bizarre– yet super fun– child.

Well, I turned 28 this week.  Since, having a birthday is waaayyyy better than the opposite (ahem dying), I’m officially turning off my birthday hatred.  This week, I’m one year older.  So, here’s my list of great things about getting older.

1.  You get more candles on your birthday cake.  Who doesn’t like more fire?!

2.  You still have a few years before you’re considered an “adult.”  “Adult” is a moving target.  I used to think people who were 18 were ancient.  Now, I don’t think I have to be an “adult” until I’m 30.  However, when I turn 30, I’m planning on saying I’m not an “adult” until I’m 40.  I plan to repeat this process until I’m 90.  When I’m 100 I will officially HAVE to consider myself and adult.

3.  You have so much to look forward to!  And, so many embarrassing memories to forget.

4.  For four months I’m older than my husband, so I get to say things like, “you’ll understand when you’re older.”

5.  I have conquered 27, also know as your “Rockstar Year.”  Also known as the year many rock and rollers die suddenly.  Whew, I’m glad that’s over.

6.  You are no longer the person at work who “just graduated college.”  Now you’re a full fleged employee.  Feel free to spew great, innovative ideas everywhere!

7.  You’re finally figuring out how *not* to overdraft your bank account.  Full disclosure, my husband and I took “overdraft protection” off our checking account.  Now we just get denied if we run out of money.  Take that crazy fees!

8.  You’re figuring out what you want to do with your life, but you’re not quite there yet.  Maybe next year?

9.  You’ve figured out what you want in a partner– even if you haven’t found it yet.

10.  You run into college students, and you say, “they look like babies, little drunken babies!”

11.   You have a after work routine– and you like it.  Netflix night, anyone?

12.  You’ve stopped shopping at Forever 21 (is that just me?).

13.  You’re only watching stuff on MTV that you know from high school.  Real World is okay.  Everything else, you think, “what is this?”  Except for Teen Mom, which trumps all.

14.  Coffee isn’t just a delicious drink.  It is a necessity.  Like water.  Except better.

15.  You used to have a million friends, but by now you’ve started weeding out the weaklings.  It’s like The Hunger Games– but for friends– may the odds be ever in your favor.

16.  Your surrounded by babies.  “Making it rain,” has nothing to do with throwing money around in a club.  It’s about baby showers.  They’re everywhere, and they’re the best reunions ever.

17.  You realize making a list of 28 things great things about getting older is taking a while… a long while.

18.  You get to try out a bunch of new hobbies, because the ones you were interested in during your early 20s make you want to vomit.  No, I don’t want to “go out” tonight.  Yes, I do want to make crafts and have a glass of wine!

19.  Your parents become cool!  It’s like they’re your older, fun friends.  (you’re welcome mom!)

20.  Your family has completely transformed.  Who are all these new in-law people?  Let’s party!  Wait, didn’t you read #18?  Let’s just make crafts together!

21.  You depend on your high school/college family members to learn about new social media apps.  Luckily, you’re not too old to jump on!  Anyone want to Snap Chat?!

22.  You’ve probably gone through something hard by now.  Death of a close family member?  Failure at work?  Lost love?  Complete breakdown?  Now you know you can handle anything!  Bring it on.

23.  You actually have money to take vacations!  You don’t even have to share a hotel room with 100 other people!

24.  You realize dogs get better with age.  Way better!

25.  You’re friends start getting new jobs and spread out across the country, so you have tons of excuses to go visit them.  You’re just being a good friend, right?!

26.  You finally have a little control over your hair.  Not every day, but some days.

27.  You might not know what your “dream job” is yet, but you know what your “dream job” isn’t.

28.  You’re finally embracing your birthday.  Now you can make really cool lists about how great it is!

Do you agree with any of these?  Did I leave anything out?

Our Mortgage Pay Off Date Is…

What separates a dream from reality?  A date.  We’ve been working on our mortgage pay-off dream for about two years (here, here, here, and here), and we finally have a finish-ish date.  Exciting stuff!  It’s like our dream is being born.  It is a living, breathing being.  The only problem?  We’ve still got a while, so it’s tiny.  Like Pink when he was a puppy.

baby pink

Even though it’s small, we are finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel for our mortgage pay-off adventure.  About a month ago, I totally geeked out.  I made a spreadsheet.  I included every paycheck we were *hopefully* getting in the next year, and I how much we were *hopefully* going to put towards our mortgage.  Then, poof!  In seconds I found out what day we would *hopefully* be done paying off our mortgage.  Drumroll, please!  If we’re reallllllllly good, it looks like our mortgage debt free date will be July 22.  If we’re not so good, it will be August 5.

Crazy, huh?!?!  It’s so exciting to have an actual date.  It’s about five months behind where we planned, but we’re still really happy with it.  We originally thought we would be done paying off our mortgage in March 2014.  Yeah, that was a little ambitious/insane.  Unfortunately, this isn’t our completely debt free date, because we still have a few minor things to take care of after the house.  Wah Wah.  So *hopefully* we will be completely debt free by the end of the year.  We’re focusing on our mortgage right now, because we’re tired of it.  This tired.

rick sleeping

Even though we’re exhausted, we’ve had an amazing past 5 months on our journey.  Currently, we have $9,000 left on our mortgage.  Mostly because my husband has been killing it at work.  I’ve been killing it …at spreadsheets and taxes.  Here’s a blank copy of the spreadsheet I created if you’re interested.

Debt Free Tracker

Even thought my spreadsheet is pretty intense, it’s incredible to see that after 2 years of work we’re so close to our goal!  I can’t believe that pretty soon-ish I’ll be able to write about the first rental house we’re buying.  I only wish I would have made this spreadsheet earlier, because it’s so motivating. IF you’re working towards a goal calculating your finish date is exteremely rewarding!  It will turn your dream into a reality.  So, do it!

Do you have a date for your big goal?

7 Year Run: How to Motivate Others

Happy FRIIIIIIDAY!

Last year, as a part of my bucket list, I trained for and ran a 10k.  This year, as part of my husband’s bucket list he wrote down to “run a 5k.  “WhaaaaaAAAAt?!”  I asked.  I was shocked.  Like mouth on the floor shocked.  Why?  He doesn’t like running.  He doesn’t even like talking about running.  When we first started dating, he didn’t even understand running. Here was our typical conversation:

Me: “I’m going running.”

Him: “Why?  Is someone chasing you?”

Fast-forward 7 years when he says, “I’m going to run a 5k,” I pretty much peed my pants.  In a good way.  If there is a good way to pee your pants.  I’m just going to leave that alone.

After (sorta) training, we ran our first 5k together!  It was amazing.

5k race

Recently, someone asked me, “how do you get your husband to do ____?”  That made me think about how we motivating others: husbands, friends, family, or coworkers.  How to you motivate someone to do something you want?  I have a great husband and he cares about my interests, but he does what he wants– so does everyone else.  However, we work/live/exist in a society that relies on people relying on each other, so it seems crucial to know how to motivate other people.  Here are some ideas that I came up with.

4 ways to motivate others.

1.  You can’t make anyone do anything.  You just can’t.  So, give up on trying to trick people, instead focus on ways to help others.

2.  Set an example.  This one is HUGE!  I gave up on running the first year we were married.  In the past couple years, I got back into it.  I realized the more I went the more my husband would go along.  Same for at work, the more I’m excited about helping other people with their projects, the more they are available to help me.

3.  Give it time.  My husband and I have been dating/married for 7 years.  So this 7 year 5k might be the longest race in the history of the world.  Just realize that sometimes things take time– especially the good stuff.  .

4.  Pay it forward.  Good news: we ran a 5k together.  Bad news: he says I have to do something he likes to do.  My choices? Golfing or hunting.  Bleh.  But, I guess I’ll be a good sport…maybe!

I’m sure you’re wondering if we took Pink and Rick with us during the race.  Not a chance.  They can’t really figure out how to stop dragging us or, after the get tired, having us drag them.  They weren’t too upset, though  They were busy doing their favorite activity.  Sleeping.

Do you think motivating other people is important?  Do you have any tips?

p.s. I have pretty exciting information about our mortgage pay-off on Tuesday.  Come back and get the scoop!