Friday, May 28, 2021

7QT: Actual Really Really Quick Takes

Happy Last Friday in May - boy, that month flew by! 


Tonight is our first high school graduation!  #dontblink 


The weather has been so beautiful and we have a nice screened-in porch that Lucy loves lounging on all day long. 

She has a good view of the neighbor's house with two dogs and the driveway to see all of us coming and going.  She, like her owner, is a nosy girl. #likemotherlikedog

Monday, May 24, 2021

Prom Pics and a Tale of Two Cousins

On the evening of our Rehearsal Dinner, on the day before Phil and I were married, my sister Holly and her husband Adam asked us to be godparents to the baby growing in her belly.

Four months later, Bridget was born, and we went to meet our goddaughter at the hospital while keeping a little secret of our own ;)

Five months later, JP was born and he and Bridget were inseparable.  

Bridget, don't eat your cousin.

I used to babysit Bridget while my sister worked and I would joke that the two of them would be prom dates one day.

Friday, May 21, 2021

7 Things To Do Today To Prepare For Tomorrow

At what age does one become an adult?  Legally, it's 18 but we all know that eighteen-year-olds are just big kids :)  

It's gonna be okay.

I think once you get a real job and/or start a family, you're pretty much an adult in the eyes of the world and should be "adulting" when it comes to your life.  As soon as you start making money or have the responsibility of caring for another human being, these are the items you should check off your list.

1) Life Insurance

Check out if your employer offers a life insurance benefit, and take advantage!  If not, you can find options online, such as this company that makes signing up easy.  It's cheaper to get life insurance when you are young and healthy, but young and healthy people don't often think about needing life insurance.  Murphy's Law!

2) A Will

I write this with deep shame because we don't have a will.  It's been on my To-Do List forever but it's one of those things that never gets checked off.  You know, like cleaning behind the fridge.  Anyway, the biggest reason to create a will is to determine who is going to care for your children if (God forbid) anything happens to Mom and Dad.  Also once you have any financial assets, you should figure out the beneficiaries of that as well.  We never felt like we had much to "leave behind" so a will wasn't on our priority list for a while, but our children are most definitely too precious to leave to chance.  

3) Retirement

NerdWallet lists their best retirement plans but I would, once again, start with your place of employment.  Many employers will contribute to or match a retirement fund payroll deduction - and that's free money for your future!  You should at least try to contribute the same amount that your employer is giving, with a goal being a total of 10% of your paycheck.  What you don't get used to spending will be so helpful for the days you aren't working anymore.

4) Budget

Create a budget using an excel spreadsheet, notebook paper, or an app on your phone.  I always go back to excel even though I've tried some apps.  Whatever method you use - be realistic!!  Don't budget $50 a month for dining out if you know you spend more than that.  Budgets aren't judgemental, they only work if you're honest.  Don't forget to add things like tithing, babysitting, gifts, and savings.  Also, those yearly bills need to be budgeted for so there's money in the bank when the bill comes around.

5) Debt

Oh man, debt is indeed a four-letter word.  Pay it down!!  I have written about debt before and I do anything I can to avoid it.  That COVID stimulus check we got recently?  Paid off the van.  When mortgage rates dropped?  Refinanced to a 15-year mortgage.  We don't have much money in the bank, which is scary, but we also don't owe people anything, which is scarier.

6) Memory Keeper

Taking a break from the financial side of life, how about thinking about how you want to keep memories of your family?  We used to take videos on a dinosaur of a video camera when my oldest kids were little, and they love watching these family movies.  Unfortunately, phones have made it way too easy to snap videos here and there, but then what do you do with them?  Same goes for photos...they need to be saved. When I take photos with my real camera, I then download them to my computer and label them.  I use them on the blog and print out a blog book each year so that my kids have a family scrapbook.  You don't have to have a blog, but it is a really nice legacy to leave behind some sort of organized system of photo albums or written journals that kids can have to remember us by.  Don't feel bad that you haven't started one yet - start one now.  Better late than never.  And trust me, no matter how inconsequential you think your day-to-day thoughts and events are, they are always interesting to read back at a later date.

7) Pray

You won't find this piece of advice on most adulting lists, but prayer is so important for your future!  Pray for your future career, your spouse, your children, your children's friends, and their careers and spouses.  When you feel overwhelmed, give it to God.  He can take away your pain and fear and anxiety, but you have to let it go to give it to Him.  Think of Mary who had to start adulting the moment an Angel came to her as a young girl.  If she can accept her path and keep the faith through all that she had to suffer, so can we with the help of our heavenly friends.  There's literally a saint for everything you could think of...pray to him or her as a personal friend, that's what they're there for!  We were not created to go through life alone, so rely on your guardian angel and talk to God frequently.

Have a wonderful weekend everybody!  We have a prom and a graduation party and that makes this mom feel old like a real adult :)  

{Linking up with Kelly}

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

It's Not You, It's MAY

I've wanted to sit and write so many times this month, but May is so busy (and work has been so stressful) that I can't seem to find the time.   Just know that I have great intentions to post, and this separation is hard, but it's not you, it's May.

One thing that is helpful at burning off some stress is going to boot camp classes at the gym.  The instructor sets up the whole gymnasium with 20 stations, and we work out at each station for about 45 seconds, then move to the next and repeat the whole circuit three times.  Some of my favorite stations include: flipping a huge tire, burpees on a Bosu ball, pullups on the TRX ropes, handstands, and suicides.  It's a really hard but fun workout and I have three kids who come with me on Saturday mornings.  As you know, the kids who work out with mom are the kids that mom likes most ;)

Monday, May 10, 2021

Mother's Day 2021






Visit my Mum


Early Dinner

Pictures by the water

Ice Cream

Family movie

Friday, May 7, 2021

7QT: College Decisions, Confirmation, Fire Fighters R Us, and Trey Kennedy

Happy Friday in May!!  Here's what's been happening around here...


JP decided on a college for next year:

And we couldn't be happier!!  Franciscan, 2nd generation.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Seven of My Favorite Spring and Summer Sandals

When it comes to shoes, I do not believe in "fashion over function".  My shoes need to be comfy and cute and reasonably priced.  Besides, sandals are the type of things that you need to replace every few years since bare feet can do a number on them.  Once the temperatures start rising and I get my spring pedicure, I can't wait to start wearing the following sandals:

Top Row:

Wedge Sandals 

Flat Sandal 

Middle Row:

Cork Sandals

Fancy Flipflops

Sport Sandals

Bottom Row:

Everyday flipflops

Wedge Sandals