Friday, September 29, 2006

Mired in debt

Americans are so trained that debt is the only way of life. How can we live any other way? It's the spoiled brat inside of us saying I want it NOW! Well honestly I do want it now. Though I want to not be struggling out of the debt hole more. So I can wait. I have to retrain my brain that credit does NOT mean we can afford it. In fact it's really the opposite. Putting it on credit NOW means we won't be able to afford it later and will probably have to end up selling it to pay for it. Saving for it now means we can pay for it later and actually keep it! Or just have some sort of wise use of our money. Even better!

In Response to a vent of mine


I believe in you baby, and I know that you are the best person (or at least
continually working on being) that I know! I love watching you grow and
appreciate it greatly because it usually rubs of on me (well at least a

I know how difficult she is to talk to & I know its not your fault in any
way. Every time anyone asks her a simple, lets do this yes or no questions,
she runs down the list of options that would kinda work for her and kinda
work for the other person... AHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhh.

I love you baby!
Brandon (trying very hard not to give and advises but just hear your vent)

I love him.

Dum de dum dum

Money is back in the balance. HA! RIGHT!! No. But maybe my thinking about it is. Just a teensy bit. It's not that we don't have money, it's that we're selling crap to get out of debt. Get rid of crap = no debt. It's not THAT simple but pretty close. All this stuff we've sold is going to take care of fixing our car that'll take 500 not easy to find Ben Franklins (sidenote: I will have a car again YAY! Not having a car BREAKS me) AND we won't have to add another cent to our already monumental bills for the month. Yahoo!! Then selling Brando's drums will refund the emergency fund to it's what needs to be at 1000 Ben Franklins.

I have this weird emotional attachment to stuff we've used often with the kids. Somehow passing them on to somebody who I know will use it and enjoy it as much or more than we did makes it sooooooo much better and gives me a happy feeling inside.

So far I've sold the boys Right Start Baby Trend Sit N Stand Stroller. I LOVEd that thing and you know what I put it on Craigslist and a lady came and picked it up with cash the next day. Her 3 year old little blonde daughter was so happy to have her own stroller. Not to mention you could see the sigh of relief of the Mom not having to carry the 3 year old when she gets too tired on walks with her baby nephew and her. I know that sigh of relief all too well.

Today a couple from our Sunday class is coming to pick up our humongous three room Taj Mahal tent. It has that nickname because it seriously is the Taj Mahal of tents. 3 rooms, 7 ft ceilings, and a screened in porch. No wonder we've only been camping twice in the past five years with that beast of a thing! Now somebody else who has a baby and needs room for a playpen as we did a few years back will be able to put it to good use and pass it on when they're done. Such a coincidence that I put it up completely anonymously on Craigslist and they emailed me. I think it's a God thing.

Next up is Brando's scuba diving gear. He's so sad to see it go but he hasn't touched it in 7 years!!! I wonder if seeing someone who will use it and enjoy it as much as he did would help? Maybe not. We've still got an ipod Nano to sell. Then we'll work on his Pearl Master Custom drum set and my old computer, the Dell Inspiron 8500 laptop. Once those are gone and our emergency fund is fully funded plus some then we'll work out selling both the cars to get two reliable used cars and the house to pay off a major portion of the debt. That'll take care of a very LARGE $1000 car and debt payment a month. The house we don't pay for any way 'cause we have a tenant, but after that we'll start building our emergency fund to a full six months of income. Brando wants to do a year as a real estate agent, but six months would be just fine with me.

Ask me how we have that much expensive crap laying around the house 'cause maybe it'll help me figure out an answer.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

In other news

I'm completely depressed. We went to bed last night at midnight and I got up at 7:30am which has left me feeling completely off. I got a big project done this morning. I've paid for it with a headache threatening to be horrid, especially with Brandon's whistling and dropping baskets and Shawn's "pow pow pow".

Fuckin' A

Stupid stupid stupid. We're supposed to be saving this thousand dollars for our emergency fund. Instead of putting in an out of spot place where it more than likely CAN'T be spent Brando carries it around in his wallet and spends it on Taco Bell. That makes me feel SO unappreciated for all this crap I've been selling out of my ass to fund the stupid thing. Then he gets home tonight and we count his quarters for no apparent reason except I'm stressed and it seems like the thing to do and the thing the quarters are in scratches my table we've had for 6 years that's virtually indestructible. Except for tonight apparently. Why is it that things affect me so much worse when I have no freaking money.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


One track mind on getting things in order leaves other things falling in the dust. Namely meeting with my mentor tonight that I've been meeting with every other Tuesday!!!!!! I can't believe I forgot. Brings back bad memories of not being able to handle the overload for the survival mode I was in. Lord, I pray I don't go back into that survival mode but that I LIVE while taking care of my family.

Note to Self

Sell baby stuff before it becomes too old to sell, loses value, or gets recalled.

Monday, September 25, 2006


Taking a break from public journalling right now. I need to rediscover me. Who I am. Without the fear of looking good. I am SO good at that. I want to be good at something else. NOT keeping up with the Jones'. Who the hell are the Jones' any way?

Cutesy Man

Tonight he falls asleep with a hand over his Bible and a hand on his toy cellphone. I wonder who he was calling?

Mr. Communicator

There is so much cute stuff so clearly put that comes out of his mouth, I wish I could write it all down. Today he says he wishes he could feed his gecko all by himself, while Mommy and Daddy are still sleeping. On the way to the pet store to get more crickets for gecky: I take extremely good care of my gecko. Tonight when he's in trouble for not helping clean up, he sits on his bed and read his Bible that they gave him yesterday when we dedicated him. Yesterday when he gets the Bible and the certificate of dedication he read his Bible the whole time he was in J's Sunday School class: I didn't read all of it. When he lost his certificate: where is my note?

Shin Splints

Second day of running with the new shoes and I got shin splints! Bottom line I worked out too hard. Yay for me, bad for shins. So next time I'll walk to the gym, then work out, then walk back. Concrete is bad for shins. I didn't know.

No Energy

I have no energy to give. To feel. To think. To understand. To comprehend. To want. To desire. All I have is to survive.

Baby Step #1

Put $1000 in an emergency fund. Translates to: sell stuff around the house. We've got lots of it, but geez it's a pain to list on Ebay stuff you've had sitting around for years that you're not intimately familar with. Sit n Stand stroller, taj mahal tent, scuba diving gear that weighs 100 lbs., drums. All good stuff. All into our emergency fund. I think the kids are supposed to be afraid we're going to sell them : ) !

Friday, September 22, 2006


Given that last post there's not really much to write about. Everything costs money. Money makes the world go around. Or maybe that's just my perception. We started reading Dave Ramsey's book The Total Money Makeover (Laura, thanks for the suggestion!) yesterday. I read aloud for two hours and we got halfway through. We intended to read the rest today but Brando cheated and bought it on his iPod and has been listening to the rest all day. Doesn't the book argue against impulse purchases? Sorry, babe, I couldn't resist. I'm a little sad he didn't wait to read the book with me! That's okay, maybe it'll be just me reading it. So far it seems like it's given us SOME footing on our thinking of money. Whatever that footing is we'll see.

Monday, September 18, 2006

On the Subject of Money

So Brando and I had a loooong conversation today. We've really been off track as far as being on track where money is concerned. He uploaded all our stuff into Quicken and got the automatic updates from the credit cards and home loan and auto loan and such set up and then showed me the how he broke things down. Sheesh we need to be making a lot of money to survive.

It doesn't help the massive credit card debt we've ensued being virtually unemployed the last year. That's three quarters of our apartment right there. It's been a necessary evil because we still need to live. We just need to live a little barer than we're used to for a bit before we can refinance the house to bring down the payments for the debt and start bringing in those checks a little more. Even then it'd help to live on the bare minimum so we can take some VACATIONS sometime : ) . Yeah, we deserve one of those.

On the cute side, Shawners wonders out of his room tonight with his eyes still all sleepy like and passes us on his way to our room. Brando asked him what he was doing and he says, "I-I just need Mommy." and he came over and curled up into my lap.

Money Schmuney

Wow I never thought I'd be saying this again but we really have none of that good stuff. We do have some but it goes right back out the door it came in. As Brando says if it's not coming in that door it doesn't have a door to go out of. We've been talking about money lately. Brando has always taken care of it and I just sit back and spend it. Limited of course, but without too much thought.

Our class has been on the subject of Sex, Money, and In Laws. This last week it was Money and they were talking about how both partners need to be make decisions together and know what's going on. We haven't done this in soooooo long it's embarrasing. The worst part is I didn't even realize it. I knew we weren't keeping track of things in Quicken, but I thought surely Brando was going online and checking the debit and credit cards occasionally. Nope. Nada. Zilch.

Looking at money today was a VERY rude awakening. Yes we have a lot more going out than we've ever had, and yes we have a lot more coming in in one check than we've ever had, but the problem is those checks have just started coming and there's no guarantee they'll keep coming unless Brando keeps working his butt off. Duh. So in the meantime it's back to penny pinching and figuring out where we can cut corners and figuring out how to refinance the house so maybe we can consolidate some of our way too much for our age debt. Oh what's that? Two kids more than the average for our age? Minor detail. Right.

Anywho not a sunny outlook but the storm will pass. I have to say as My Fairytale Life (found through s) says, thanks for reading my negative crap lately. I've tried so hard to write the positive because there really IS a lot around but there's still the hard stuff. It feels like there's positive then a big fat negative, then a positive, then a big fat negative. As much as I wish it away it doesn't go away. It helps to write about it.

Friday, September 15, 2006

You Can Not Rezizt Me

Brando worked from home Friday while the kids and I ran around crazy like and got a bunch of errands done. Finally found a pair of Asics Asics Gel Foundation VIthat fit like a glove. They're lavender and soo pretty for running shoes.

Brando finished at 6pm and Pepe Le Pewtook us to Chipotle. Their $3 margarita's are so good! He took us to Elizabeth Milburn park where the kids played on the playscape while Brando and I played Frisbee. We don't normally play things like that as just as us, normally it's with the kids, so that was fun. The kids joined us for more Frisbee and soccer. As the sun set people were setting up a big screen in the nearby soccer field. We wandered over to see what it was all about. It must've been Movie Night in the Park because they were playing Pepe Le Pew and the Jetson's. We sat for a few minutes before we had enough of the ant bites and went home to settle in to watch a movie on our bed for a wonderful end to a wonderful Friday night.

The Positives

I told Brando we've been looking at all the negatives this month. Let's look at all the positives - the turbo went out on his car which is still covered under warranty so it's completely paid for which is awesome, 98% of the damage done to our cars three times over has been paid for by insurance not us, Brando got a brand new palm pilot as his old one went out and he had insurance on it so they overnighted him a shiny new one, my good friend Cat is meeting with me still to mentor me in life, marriage, and motherhood, she's encouraged me to start a Bible Study which the teacher just happens to be one of J's Sunday School teachers that he loved last year and an incredibley nice lady, Brando has joined a men's fraternity at our church where he is in a group with oh not only the guy he was hoping to business coach with who isn't in a position to right now, but the pastor of our church, one of the mentors of our Sunday School class, and a few other awesome men to learn from, Justinbustin is doing AWESOME in school once we discovered we needed to ask him questions so that he could deal with things he may not know how to deal with which we've done every day since, Shawners is enjoying his twice weekly dates with Mommy, I've still been able to get together with my good friends who have been so understanding of my suddenly busy schedule, I found an AWESOME lady to do my eyebrows that is even better than the one in Cali which is unbelievable, we went on a bike ride on Sunday at Town Lake for the first time in a year - well the kids rode bikes and Brando and I walked together, did I mention Brando's bringing in income this month?!? Wheeeee!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Pointing Different Directions

So everything is not peaches and creme. Surprise, surprise. Hubby came home today and told me he applied for a job at a bank. Then I went out with Jen for a girl's night (yay!), called my neighbor on the way home to see how her training is in Dallas is going and she tells me Brando called her for a job. What?! She says, "So I guess real estate's not working out for you huh?" News to me. I should trust Hubby more because when I got home all he had done was asked her how she went about getting a job at a bank. Good friend that she is she already started pulling strings for him. Which scared the bejeezers out of me!

Backing up a little in the evening I had mentioned to Jen that Brando came home and told me he had applied for a job. She dug a little deeper than I had intended to go!! I had told her no talking about my drama tonight we were just to SHOP and girlie talk. So I mentioned it in passing and she says we'll talk girlie talk after she gets caught up. So we did. Any way she pushed me to realize I need to go deeper and find out why Brando would feel led to do this whether it's fear, God calling him to do this, or what.

When I got home after initially getting upset, I ended up chatting with him about the why's and he admitted he's freaked out about NOT HAVING MONEY. It's about time. The funny thing is this is the FIRST month he's making a livable - and a little bit beyond - income. Last year in Cali it took us at least a year to make an income off commission. We were being paid salary by my Dad so it wasn't too big of a deal. But still. It took a YEAR to bring in a little money. Brando just got his license in December so it's taken less than a year to bring in income via commission which is so encouraging. I don't know if I'm being delusional because I'm just so elated that the money is coming in this month that I can't see that we only have $16 in the bank account, or if I'm just pushing myself to look beyond the now.

I told Brando this evening we've been looking at all the negatives this month. Let's look at all the positives - the turbo went out on his car which is still covered under warranty so it's completely paid for which is awesome, 98% of the damage done to our cars three times over has been paid for by insurance not us, Brando got a brand new palm pilot as his old one went out and he had insurance on it so they overnighted him a shiny new one, my good friend Cat is meeting with me still to mentor me in life, marriage, and motherhood, Justinbustin is doing AWESOME in school once we discovered we needed to ask him questions so that he could deal with things he may not know how to deal with which we've done every day since, Shawners is enjoying his twice weekly dates with Mommy, I've still been able to get together with my good friends who have been so understanding of my suddenly busy schedule, I found an AWESOME lady to do my eyebrows that is even better than the one in Cali which is unbelievable, we went on a bike ride on Sunday at Town Lake for the first time in a year - well the kids rode bikes and Brando and I walked together, did I mention Brando's bringing in income this month?!? Wheeeee! Tell me I'm delusional.

Grrr and Girl Time

Jen and I went by GAP and The Paper Place this evening, then by Central Market for dinner. My nephew came to watch the kids so Brando could still work. On the way home I called my nieghbor who is in Houston for training. She commented that real estate isn't working out for us. Bewildered I asked why she thought that and she said Brando called her asking about a job. Oh geez.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Yay! Hubby's First Listing

613 Newport Dr.
613 Newport Drive, Austin, Texas

Such a GORGEOUS home! He took us out there and wow it takes your breath away, especially the attention to detail and custom touches.

Note the difference between a listing and a buyer: A buyer he takes out to shop for a home and find them one, then writes the contract to buy it. A listing is a home he puts on the market, and a much better way of revenue as all he has to is get it out on the market, and wait for a buyer. At the same time hopefully get some more business in the process of people that don't have a realtor looking at this home, or looking to sell their home in order to buy another. Go Hubby!!!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Want to Remember

It's not what is right or wrong, but what I need to do for ME. My family.

Sitting in Applebee's eating with my family, discussing with my husband of the feeling of the world crushing in, and how it may just be a bad year. I don't FEEL that way, it just SEEMS that it's that way with everything that's gone on and continues to go on. Sometimes people have bad years. It just happens. As a result I sit here and overanalyze what I'm doing, what I should be doing, how I should be doing it and when, wondering if I could somehow have prevented it or if I could somehow prevent it in the future. Then I come up with that thought. It's not about what is right or wrong, but what I need to do for me. So I will.

Courtney's post and the subsequent rabbit trail to CNN's Memorial led me to tears and a greater grasp of the meaning of this.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I Need You Babe

Lately I've been on this not needing no one and no body kick. Including and especially my hubby. I've been on some sort of auto pilot not involving anyone around me but God. I've found my center again. Who I am. What I want to be. What I want to do. Who matters to me. I've also neglected exactly who I desire in my life to get there. Last night I felt I know I don't need my hubbers to take care of the things I need to take care of. I don't feel I need him emotionally. I was wondering what I do need him for. I know I sure as heck need him in my life. The whole rest of my life. How do I need him there then. I came up with romantically. My lover, my friend, my confidante, my support, my backbone when I don't have one, the father of my children, my soulmate, the one God made perfectly just for me. I didn't come up with those words until just now. That is exactly what I need him for. Never mind I bitched at him all day, that was my old way of wanting him. I'm going to have to work through that because that is the kind of need I used to have for him. It's different this time. This time. I need him for all that he is.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Art Day

We found a place to take the boys for art classes. It was beautiful and so relaxing. I wanted to stay there all day and just sit on a bench next to the pond and read.

Walking up from the parking lot
Walking up from the parking lot

The view outside the door
The view outside the door

The studio

There was random peacocks wondering about. This was one of them.

View to the left of the porch just outside the studio.

Pretty scenery in the garden.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Can't we catch a break?!

I don't want to linger on this because you know what as of now we're all happy, healthy, wealthy (in love anyway), and wise. But just so you know and I know later we got another ticket tonight. Yipee.

In other news we had a parent teacher meeting tonight and my friends Kels watched the boys. Her and I got our nails and pedicures done earlier. Then I picked up J while she got a haircut and we met afterwards at Old Navy where we both scored (again!). I spent $28 and got 10 things. We went to Fire Bowl Cafe and then she took off with the boys.

I met up with Brando at the school and we heard the principal speak and then the first grade teacher, who is so fabulous, I wish J was in her class. It was nice but really there was no need for Brando to be there. Next time I'll just go and we won't have to deal with having someone watch the boys. They did have a blast though! Playing volleyball, making sandcastles, playing race car games on the computer, and watching movies. They love her.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day Realizations

We had a coming to a head of this attitude J has had. We went to our small group's leaders house for dinner and games with our small group. He not only told me he hates me but sat there and told his brother give me your m&m and I won't hit you. You guys are my witness - never in a MILLION years would J say this kind of stuff. Unless, as we found out, something is stressing him out or upsetting him. My good friend asks the best questions and as we were sitting there and talking about things she suggested asking him if there's something upsetting him. Brando talked to him and had to ask quite a few questions to get to the bottom of things. His friend he met in fundamentals is having a really hard time adjusting to school and cries a lot which J doesn't like. Plus his friend doesn't play with him any more - or anybody. The boy has had challenges, much like J, and continues to have them more severely than J's had to deal with, and J doesn't realize that it has nothing to do with him. I talked to him a little bit more about it this morning, letting him know sometimes it takes people awhile to adjust and it's okay if he cries. It's also okay if his friend doesn't play with him or want to, sometimes it takes awhile for people to get used to things before they can make friends. We'll talk more about it later, but hopefully that unearths the reaction we've seen coming out and he can make better choices about how to respond.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Drunk Jenga

There was a rule on each block you had to follow - drink 5 seconds, dish out 5, make an awesome rule, etc. Fun stuff, but a little crazy. Dang the headache. Oh that was probably the lack of sleep. Brando stopped drinking after a few, just appeared as if he was. I told him he should've shared that trick with me! That was our Friday night.

Today the kids and I went to work with Brando, who was taking the day off and poor baby had to do a million things. My favorite quote of the day from hearing his phone conversations - and he told me before he said it wait for this one, "You know what the best thing about this job is? I can be sitting in my bed on a Saturday morning and be making money." We drove out to a gorgeous listing of his in Briarcliff that has so much property and gorgeous views. We picked up some checks for option and escrow for one of his closings.

Stopped by Old Navy for a shirt and skirt for me and jeans for Brando. I'd intended to get more of the $2 super cute pajama pants I got there last week but they were completely gone. The lady up front told us they were gone by the afternoon of the day I was there. At least I already got five, I was just going to stock up a little more! By the way as I continue to trail off topic they do their women's markdowns on Monday (why I got the best selection Monday morning) and women's accessories markdowns on Tuesdays. Came home and went to the gym (with my new running shoes!) and the pool.

Tonight is BlueBell night : ) !

Friday, September 01, 2006

Too Much

Broken cars, rental cars - at this point we've gone through three and still have one more to go through, having to deal with either having two drivers or being dropped off and picked up, J's new attitude this last week, S's screaming (at least the hitting subsided for now), both J's and S's constant ignorance of 90% of what I say, staying pretty at the cost of breaking out, forking moolah out to buy running shoes so I can go outside in the am for a run and a moment to myself, a cluttered house that's not dirty just MESSY and is starting to smell like GECKO - did I mention we got another? It's all too freakin' much. What's that saying about hiring a maid is the best thing you could do for your wife? Sounds good to me. I can't keep up.


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