Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Confessions Part 2

DEBT...

I know most people have it, but Joel and I have ALOT of it... I am so ashamed to admit this, but I am going to... between the two of us we currently have $90,000 in debt!! I know when I saw it written out and all added up I almost had a heart attack. The good news is when we started out that number was closer to $95,000 or $100,000.

Now before you judge, let me explain a little bit about this debt. First, none of it credit card debt! Secondly, we paid for our own private school tuition. We were 18 when we started, so student loans were the only way we could pay for it. Plus our thoughts at the time were when we graduate we can pay it off pretty quickly cause we will both have good jobs. Last, we bought two new cars at the same time. Looking back now that was not a good idea, but we have learned our lesson.

When we graduated from college neither Joel nor I had a job. So we moved to Florida and lived with his family while we looked. After 6 months of not finding anything we moved to Dallas and lived with my family. I found a job in retail after one week, but it was not enough for us to live on our own or pay our debts back. So sadly we went into deferment. Basically, that means we didn't have to make payments, but they would still charge us interest. After being here for 4 month Joel and I both got jobs at Aldi, they had great benefit and decent pay. In July, I got my full time job (which I love). Only then were we able to move out of my parents house and begin paying down debt.

We have take Financial Peace University through Dave Ramsey (highly recommend if you haven't taken it!). We have our envelopes and we diligently try every day to be careful with our money. However, with the mountain of debt we have built up it seem never ending. At this point I just want to speed up the process. So if you have any ideas of how I can earn extra money I would love them! I really want to know, a little extra money can knock months off our time line.

As of right now our debt free date is DECEMBER 2015 I can't wait! I wanted to write this for my own selfish reasons... one I need ideas on how to earn extra money and two I need encouragement. I need to hear from people who have done this before. I know we can do this, but it's just going to be awhile and I would like to have kids and a house before the end of 2015.

Can't wait to hear your ideas... please feel free to share any insights you have. I will keep you updated as we pay things off.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Weekly Weigh In

So the week started off great! Monday and Tuesday were perfect, and then came Wednesday... I got off work really late and we had to go to a viewing for a funeral and then to Bible study. So on Wednesday I just grabbed a pizza on my way home from work, not exactly diet food. Thursday wasn't too bad I tried to get back on track, then there was Friday. My mom, sister, and I decided to have a girls dinner. So we went to Texas Roadhouse (one of my favorite places to eat)... Then there were the girl scout cookies 4 cookies = 3pts, so its not too bad. Then on Saturday we helped some friends of ours move into their new house! They lived on the 3rd floor, which they failed to mention :) so I didn't feel bad eating pizza for lunch that day because I had gotten in a pretty good workout...

All in all its not what I would have liked to report on my first week, but I did still manage to lose.

This week's weight loss: -3.2

Total weight loss : -3.2

How are you doing on your weight loss journey? I would love to hear about it!

Meal Planning Monday



Monday: Salad, it's just me so I won't cook too much

Tuesday: Scotty P's with our March dating group (nothing like waiting till last minute)

Wednesday: We're going to try to do tilapia again with rice and asparagus

Thursday: Cleaning out the freezer

Friday: Cleaning out the freezer

Saturday: Turkey tacos (since we didn't do them last week)

Sunday Lunch: Pork chops and green beans I might even make homemade cheddar biscuits

Sunday Dinner: Leftovers

What are you having this week? I need ideas for new meals I can cook

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I love having a handy man for a husband

So last week I backed into a pole and and broke my side mirror. It was hanging on by a thread.




So my husband being the wonderful man that he is ordered another. Tonight it came via UPS, so he in stalled it for me. Had we taken it to the shop it would have been a couple hundred dollars.




Good as new!!



Thank you Joel for fixing my car! I think I will keep you around, since I do stupid things like that way to often.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekly Weigh In

About a month ago I posted this blog. I would first like to say thank you to everyone who wrote me and commented with words of encouragement. You will never know how much your notes meant to me. Next I would like to say that now that we are home from our cruise I am getting down to business.

I am happy to report that I did not gain any weight while we were on our cruise! Yay! I think it is mostly to do all the walking and stair climbing we did. But I proved to myself that you can go on vacation and eat sensibly and NOT gain (imagine that concept).

I wrote such a great post and had such great intentions, but I never followed through. I think it has to do with knowing that I was about to go on vacation. But you know what I am not perfect and this is not easy (as many of you know).

I am not quite brave enough to post my starting weight, but maybe after I have lost a little bit I will. I might even post the before pictures I took. We shall see...

Today I am starting over with my journey, I have planned out very practical and healthy meals. So consider this week one! I will continue to need your love and support as I try again.

Meal Planning


I need to get back to planning out our meals and our grocery list, so here is my attempt at it.

Monday: Garlic pasta and salad

Tuesday: Baked chicken with green beans and mashed potatoes

Wednesday: Tilapia with rice and asparagus

Thursday: Turkey tacos with chips and salsa

Friday: Whatever frozen casserole is in the freezer

Saturday: Helping the Hutchisons move day

Sunday Lunch: Turkey burgers with chips and dip

Sunday Dinner: Leftovers

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Relief fund for Japan

Many of you may not know that the mission group Daniel (my father-in-law) works for is located in Sendai, Japan. All his people are doing okay. They are using the mission facilities and buses for refugees and using their well water for the community and the people that the military bring in. They could really use some donations to help them buy supplies such as diapers, baby food and other items. This is a huge testimony for their cause. If you or your church would like to donate and know that 100 % of your money is going to help the people of Sendai as well as the cause of Christ you can send a check or money order to "Orphan Rescue". Donations to this ministry are tax deductible. Send in care of ACTS Fellowship to P.O. Box 1201/Ocoee, FL/34761. We will wire all donations next week. Thank you.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!












It started off kind of rough, but I have the best husband in the world who knows just how to turn my day around! Hope you all had a lucky day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Family Photos

While we were all together on our cruise we decided to do a family photo shoot on the beach. Here are some of the pictures (remember these weren't professionally taken).





Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cruisin' 2011

 Warning: The post are long and full of pictures! We had such an amazing time on our much needed vacation! Thanks to my in laws for the FABULOUS Christmas present!







Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day 7: At Sea

Easily the most relaxing day we had. We slept in and then headed off to breakfast.

Each day the guy below was dressed up for whatever stop we were at. He was so funny, so being our last day I had to get a picture of him. Since we were at sea he was just in a crazy hat and glasses.



After breakfast we just hung out in the coffee shop on the ship. Benjamin taught us a trick with a pen. Some of us caught on quicker than others :) (poor Aunt Judy).




Then we stayed near the promenade because they had a towel folding demonstration as well as a fruit/vegetable carving demonstration.








Then it was time to sample all of the food from the week. ( I opted for pizza, I wasn't interested in anything they were serving.) After the sampling which was our lunch we had a backstage tour of all the shows. It was so cool to see how they put on all of those shows.


We even got to go down into the orchestra pit!


Then we went to the champagne bar, and played Apples to Apples. Next we went off and had a nap before dinner.


We were playing with our silverware... blame the waiter, he taught us the trick!



Ok, before you see the next picture I have to explain something... The first night we were on the ship, I ordered chocolate cake for dessert. Well, our waiter being the wonder waiter he was, knew it wasn't very good. He said it was really dry. Anyway, so that night along with the cake he brought me another dessert. He was right, the cake was not very good at all. But his special dessert on the other hand was AMAZING! I told him when he came to take my plate that I wanted that every night for dessert, he didn't even have to ask. So he got it for me every night! By the end of the week everyone at our table was ordering it! It became nicknamed the 'Carissa' because I loved it so much!


Now can you see why??

Below is Aries, our FANTASTIC waiter! He did such a good job especially considering how much the men at our table ordered!


After dinner we went to see the comedian on board. He was so funny at one point I was crying I laughed so hard. The captain was even there, so afterward we talked to him and got a picture.


After the show we went back up to the game room to play more games. Then we went to our bedrooms to finish packing. (And to go to bed)



The next day we got off the ship and headed back to the real world... We had so much fun and I can't wait to go on another cruise! Thanks again for the incredible gift!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 6: Cozumel, Mexico

The day started off with a phone call from the front desk informing us that due to bad weather we were not going to be able to go snorkeling. I was really looking forward to snorkeling so I was very bummed.  So when we met the rest of the family we discussed what we wanted to do. We decided there was no rush to get off the ship since our activity was canceled. We opted to check out the flowrider and get our fill of it. This time I even worked up the nerve to try it out.



One time was enough for me, although Joel and his brothers did it for over an hour. I still have huge bruise on my knee over a week later!

Next we decided to head off the ship and see what we could find to do (and of course a little shopping!)




Within sight of the port there were 5 other ships (6 including ours). So as you can imagine it was very crowded.

Joel and Benjamin trying on Dallas Cowboy fighting mask.


There were men standing around offering rental vans for the day for $60, so we decided to go for it. Since there were 10 of we got 2.

All the guys working out the details.


Hannah and I just waiting for them to decide and pay.


Then it was off to explore the island on our own. We headed to what are called 'the untouched beaches'. They were beautiful, and they really were virtually untouched. (A few of them had been completely trashed by the locals). I had to take the opportunity to get in the water even though I hadn't brought my swimsuit. I learned my lesson and next time believe me I will have it!







We tried to go to the Mayan Ruins, but they weren't what we expected and it was way to expensive to get in. So we spent the day driving around and eventually ended up back at the port. By the time we got back it was sunny outside. I was in no mood to get back on the ship because I knew as soon as I did we would be heading back to Florida. So Joel, David, Hannah, and I went shopping together.



We went to Senor Frogs, mostly just so I could say I had been. I don't know what I was thinking. It is definitely not my scene. By the time we got back on the ship we had about 15 minutes to dinner. Just enough time to freshen up and get there a little late. I can't believe I didn't get a picture of Joel and I... I guess it's because we set across from each other rather than beside each other. Oh well... That night the waiters did a parade for us and introduced us to all of the head chefs. We swung our napkins over our heads in full support.


After dinner we went to the promenade and then to the show they had on the ship.


After the show we all went upstairs to the game room and played games. It was on level 14, and the seas were very rough. From up that high every moment is magnified, but it was still really fun.


Then it was off to bed.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 5: Georgetown, Grand Cayman

The island I wasn't as excited about turned out to be the best one of the trip!! We also took the most pictures on this island. (If you want to see more pictures check facebook, I cannot post them all here). As always the day started off with breakfast and then we ventured off the ship. In Grand Cayman we had to tender in which I thought was really cool. On our way to the island we passed replica pirate ships.



We went on a tour of the island, and even visited Hell.




We continued on only stopping to take a few pictures.



Then it was off to the turtle farm. Who would have thought that turtles would be so much fun?!?!


Some of the turtle weighed over 100lbs so it took two of them to get them out.





While at the turtle farm our tour guide cracked open an almond shell for me and I ate raw almond. It taste the exact same as what I normally buy just without the salt. I don't know why I thought it would be different...



Notice whats on the menu?


Then we finished up our tour of the island. Which truly is one of the prettiest places I have ever been.


We did some shopping and then got back on the boat. While riding back to the ship Joel took these pictures, and I think they are amazing!



Once on board we got dressed and ready for our second and final formal night. Once again Joel is in jeans, but you can't tell.


Our waiter even showed us a really cool trick.



 And to end a FABULOUS day we had this waiting for us when we went back to our room.


It's a sea turtle!! Needless to say everyone else was jealous!