About Me

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I have two kids - a girl and a boy - and live in north-central Minnesota, land of snow and ice. Well, for 9 months of the year, that is. I work full-time for a local government, and on my "free time" I enjoy cooking, baking, hanging out with my kiddos, and RELAXING.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Easton: Five Months

Vital Stats
Easton weighs 18.7 pounds and is 27.75 inches. He is getting bigger every day.

Milestones This Month
Easton can roll back-to-tummy and tummy-to-back, when he wants to. One day at daycare he rolled all the way across the living room! His legs are getting stronger as he plays in his jumparoo and exersaucer.

Easton still does well in his crib all night. There were a couple weeks in the past month where he started waking up at 5am, but the last week or so he has been sleeping until Mommy wakes him up around 6am. Last Saturday the whole family even slept in until 7am! It was wonderful.

We have an eater! Easton will eat anything. He isn't crazy about peas or green beans, but will just keep on chowing down with a frown on his face the entire time. He LOVES his fruits. Mommy always has to save them for the end of the meal, otherwise he will fill up on them and not eat his veggies. Easton eats three meals of solids at approximate "mealtimes" and has four or five 4-8oz bottles a day.

Mommy thinks Easton knows his name. Either that, or he just a good listener and looks at Mommy whenever she is talking to him. 

Play Time
Easton spends a lot of time in his exersaucer. He loves to stand! He still LOVES to kick, too, so he is in his bouncer a lot. He has been spending more time on the floor now that he can roll. He likes to play with his toys on the activity center. Unfortunately, so does Natalie. She will try to jump right under there with him, so Mommy or Daddy need to always be right there to keep him from getting smashed by his big sister.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

when saving is a sacrifice

I've always been proud of our ability to save money. Darren and I have been very fortunate to spend most of our married life without financial stress, and consequently have been able to save up quite a bit of money. Easily. I always wondered why more people didn't do it.

Enter "buying a house."

I like to throw around the term "house poor." Really, we aren't poor, but we are cash strapped, and here's why: I still consider saving money a necessary "expenditure" of funds.

Between pension contributions, deferred comp retirement savings, college savings, Christmas savings, and our emergency savings, plus our additional mortgage principal payment, we are "spending" over $1,250 per month. Almost all of these payments are optional (except our pensions, which are statutorily required) in theory; to me, however, I consider them necessary. And, since I refuse to eliminate them unless absolutely necessary, this means we don't have a lot of extra money sitting around. It's a sacrifice, most definitely. But it also has taught me some important lessons about fiscal responsibility and patience. It means less (or no!) eating out, no new clothes, and paying better attention to prices at the grocery store. It means we survive without the Disney channel, and I'm pushing to get rid of our smart phones when our contract expires in six months (although I'm not sure I will win that one!).

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Going above and beyond...

...your mortgage payment.

You can use excel to create a simple payment schedule that will show your mortgage payments for the entire length of your loan, with principal and interest breakout. All you need to know is the length of your mortgage, interest rate, and monthly payment amount. Excel, in all its wonders, will do the rest.

The best part is playing around with your payment and determining how much you can save in interest by contributing extra principal each month. Darren and I have decided to contribute an extra $100 each month towards our payment. This will save us almost $20,000 in interest over the course of our 30-year mortgage, and will allow us to pay it off 8 years sooner.

One hundred dollars a month is a bit of a sacrifice for us (more on that tomorrow), but it is something we are willing to stick with.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sunday, June 2, 2013


A couple months ago I was looking through some of my mom's scrapbooks. On one page she had pictures of her home from every season. "What a great idea!" I though.
And so, observe:
Our first winter in the house.
The first spring.
And more to come!