Tuesday, August 17, 2010

If I Could Save Time in a Bottle...

Another Rite of Passage took place at our house this month. 

Noah started high school.  Seriously. 
I distinctly remember his first day of Kindergarten.  I was so very nervous and a little teary.  But, he walked in like a champ with a huge grin.  All he felt was excitement, and I was so proud!  I remember thinking then that Noah had 13 years of school ahead of him which translated into 13 years at home - practically infinite.

We have had lots of other first days since then and as time has gone by, I stopped being nervous or sad and instead became almost indifferent to them.  The first days continued to come with no end in sight.  Every year was just another in a long line of years.

But this one was different. 

It was a stepping away of sorts.  It was a first day for me to appreciate (nervous and almost teary), but also a time for Noah to begin the process of standing on his own two feet.  For the first time, I looked at my son and saw the beginnings of the man he is growing to be.  I began to truly comprehend that he is taller than me, has hair on his face, talks in a deep voice, and makes girls turn their heads (it's those eyes I tell you!).   And I was so very proud.

I realized that college is just around the corner and my time with him home full time is very finite. So, I will strive to make every day count and to use every opportunity to steal a little time with him.  He may no longer be my baby to hold and shelter and pet on, but he is my child to encourage and teach and maybe still pet on a little.  So when that next first day comes and I send my son into college, I pray I will be sending a young man who feels nervous, but prepared and ready for his future.  And maybe, if I am lucky, he will still have a little bit of a Kindergartener's excitement.

My name is Nikki and sometimes my blessings overwhelm me.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Growing Deep

I've mentioned my awesome small group in several posts, so I thought you should get the opportunity to meet some of us...
Our leader Brandy and her husband Jamie
Brandy inspires me every week with her huge heart for Jesus.

Some of the rest of the crew...

Michael and Amanda
Their Beautiful Children
Chloe, Vaughn and Brodie

Corey & Jen
Although they are following their careers out of town next month, they'll always be part of the group.

Amy (and AnnaLauren)

Some fun stuff...

And lastly, yours truly, the sweaty photographer

My name is Nikki and Mondays are my favorite night of the week, but 93 degrees at 9:30 is craziness.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Eating an Elephant - Part #1

How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.

Neither Tommy nor I were raised with good money role models.  Tommy was insulated from all things financial at home and dodging bill collectors was just a "normal" thing at my house.  It did not beceome an issue until the last few years.  We initially got into significant credit card debt when Tommy's income was cut in half in 2006-2007.  After his income picked back up, we added to our credit card debt through wasteful spending.  We also spent our cash like drunken sailors and didn't save.    Although we don't have collectors calling us, a large percentage of our income is spent on payments.  Lately it has been weighing on our minds.

But, things at our house are changing...

Last month, we attended a Common Cents class at our church which was basically a beginner's taste of Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover.  At the end of the class, we received a copy of the book.  I feel like I finally have a plan to one day be out of all this debt.  We even made a written budget - Seriously!  We are just on Baby Step #1, but it feels good!

I plan on updating at the end of each month to put out there how we are doing.  I hope it keeps us on budget and accountable.

Have any of you ever done Dave Ramsey?  Are you debt free?  Should we take Financial Peace University?

My name is Nikki and I plan on drinking a Bloody Mary while cutting up my credit cards!

Monday, August 9, 2010

I Blame You, Jim Cantore

Ok, I'm not dead, sick or injured - I'm just lazy. I promise a get a little more consistent - soon.

I think it may be the heat!  We have only had one day below 90 degrees since the first week of JUNE!  Seriously!  My brain definitely possibly has melted.

Coming really soon - posts about Noah's first day of high school, the fun we have at small group, the joy of playing in puddles and our new budget.  Don't die from the anticipation!

My name is Nikki and I might possibly melt your popsicle.