Happy New Year!
Seriously, the past year flew by!
Let me first say Thank You to those of you who checked in with me this past year.. very thoughtful!
Second, it is so awesome to log in here and see so many familiar long-time members!! Yay!!
Things have been good here. Honestly, the biggest struggle is raising a teenage daughter! So moody and dramatic on top of dealing with the loss of DH. Often it feels like the goal is just for both of us to make it out alive!
DS is well. A very typical 6 year-old, first grade boy. I baby him a bit more than I should, but I'm working on that.
I have been quite busy trying to make time for everything I want to do.. work, side work, kid time, family time, friend time, alone time, dating.
My life is far from sedate or boring.
Financially I have never felt more solid.
I am beyond thankful for that!
Only payment is the mortgage. No CC debt. A modest EF, but haven't had to tap it to cover any expenses and it is growing slowly.
My 1999 Nissan Pathfinder rolled past 300k miles two days ago! Ending '16 on that milestone.
I'm pretty certain 2017 will see me getting a new vehicle.. which I am excited and nervous about.
Excited and nervous pretty much sums up my feelings today as 2017 starts.
Heck, better throw in OPTIMISTIC too.
(I like to to live on The Bright Side)
Happy New Year!
One of these days I'll be back more regularly.
I have certainly missed you all and want to catch up on everyone's blogs.
The kids and I are doing well. Naturally emotional ups and downs. Financially I have been in a very solid and comfortable position. I'm beyond thankful for that since dealing with everything would be 100 times more difficult if I couldn't make ends meet.
Certainly the children and I would have been better off if there had been some life insurance, but that was not in place. Giving us a financial foothold is the children's monthly death benefits from Social Security.
No benefits for me because I make too much. However, if I ever made less due to reduced hours or job loss I would be able to receive money then.
In other financial news I decided to refinance my house. Refinancing to a conventional loan saves me $114/mo in PMI (FHA loan). I also consolidated the HELOC and my cc debt which saves me several hundred a month in minimum payments.
I was initially resisting the idea of paying off my cc's with my house. But, reducing my amount of outflow every month was the deciding factor.
My new mortgage payment will be $280 more per month than it is currently. I have been paying $315/mo just for the HELOC payment and several hundred more to credit card payoff.
The amount that we receive from SS each month is enough to cover the mortgage and utilities.
My future is a huge question mark.
Who knows how long I'll be living in my current home.
Being able to save a large amount of cash to an EF seems to be the best plan for me right now.
As part of the refi I had to have an appraisal. Housing is ON FIRE here.. It's crazy.
Anyhow, house appraised for $455k!
We purchased it for $265k seven years ago.
It boggles my mind.
Next up working on my taxes...
Y'all take care. I'm looking forward to catching up more soon.
Merry Christmas to my SA friends!
We are doing probably better than expected. Especially considering the holiday season.
I will be back on more regularly in the New Year...
Thank You to everyone here on SA for the support and kind comments.
DH passed in his parent's home last Wednesday evening.
The kids and I are doing as well as can be expected. Taking comfort from our routine and lots of support from family and friends.
Life has been turned upside down..
In my last post, several months ago, DH was heading back to work.
He did for two days.. Then quit/went back on disability due to anxiety.
He started drinking more.
The end of August I asked him to visit his parents for a trial separation.
After a few days it was clear to me that I didn't want to live with him anymore and I was going to start the divorce paperwork.
October 4th he was hospitalized with liver failure.
October 6th he had his 40th birthday.. Clinging to life in the ICU.
Kidney failure soon followed.
For a short period it looked like he might pull through.. There was some improvement.. But then a rapid decline. Now his body cannot handle anymore dialysis.
Today he goes home to his parent's house for hospice care.
He does not have long.
It is all so surreal to me..
Okay, "Other Stuff" first.
Been super busy at work.
The new co-worker is doing fine and we get along well.
My boss gave me a $1/hour raise!
Our local fair was in town recently. I entered a table setting again.
It was set for the fair's theme and won a first place - $15 prize.
Our friend took us into the fair again for free this year.
I went three times.. once was girl's night.
DH and I did make it to the gym *almost* every day since my last post.
(Between work, gym, fair and home I had very little down time lately.)
The kids and I bought DH a Fit Bit for Father's Day.
He has really liked it and using it seems to help him motivate.
DH's stress test for his heart function was all completely normal and is regular physician cleared him to return to work.
His doctor did refill the anxiety medication.
DH has started talking to me more about what causes him anxiety. Some of it is from his crazy mom - her guilt trips and passive aggressive bulls**t.
And he is nervous about returning to work tomorrow.
DH had an appointment this morning with the pulmonologist. Just a routine recheck. Everything has checked out normally thus far - Good!
His blood pressure is still slightly high.
The doctor wants one more test - a stress test. DH is already scheduled for this Monday. I am so glad we don't have to wait weeks to get that done like we did for the two echocardiograms.
Fingers Crossed it turns out normal.
That should then mean his heart is totally normal & in good working order.
I've put my head in the sand as far as medical related costs. DH and I are going to sit down together soon and see what needs to be paid. We will ask to be put on a payment plan. The last statement we received showed our amount due was near the $4k mark.
In related news. We started going to the gym together and made the goal of going every day until the end of June.
I kept suggesting he go to the gym while I was gone at work. Pretty quickly realized he didn't want to go alone. Fine, I'll go too - it's not like I don't need to go to the gym also!
I have also been encouraging him to join me when I walk the little path by our house in the mornings. I just do 8 to 10 minutes before I get ready for work. It is so lovely and smells so good in the mornings it gets the day started off on the right foot so to speak.
What I realized recently is that as much as I love my DH I cannot MAKE HIM improve his health. Sure I can support him and make suggestions, but otherwise I cannot change HIM. So let me shift my focus - I CAN change ME.
That said, I am concentrating on working out, avoiding to much junk food and de-stressing.
(Sounds corny) But I can be the best me I can be!
I have been waiting to post because I have pictures to share and the site has been having issues.
Finally, here it is.
We celebrated DS' 5th birthday with a party at a local park. This park has pony rides, train rides and a bouncy house on the weekends. It was a big hit. We invited 24 kids and had 17 attend.
It was race car themed.
I saw this cute idea to put yellow lines on black tablecloths so they looked like a road. Dollar store plastic tablecloths and a roll of yellow tape = easy.
I set out snack food so everyone could just graze as they wanted since the kids were on the move all over the park.
Including a make-your-own trail mix set-up that I named "Nuts and Bolts".
Carrots & celery sticks with hummus I called "Dipsticks".
I baked the cupcakes and my sister decorated them into this cute pull-apart cake.
(The road is shaped into a 5.)
Total spent for the picnic area rental, activity passes, food and decor came to $278.
We had a lot of leftover food. In fact we are still munching on trail mix goodies.
My birthday was celebrated with a semi-surprise trip to Vegas.
I say semi because my parents knew my BFF had invited us to join her and her hubby for a weekend trip, but we had declined due to cost. So my parents surprised me by paying for our hotel and tickets to the Cirque show "O" I've been wanting to see for years.
I made the reservations and we paid for transportation and food.
Our airfare was $69/pp/each way with Southwest.
(My mom just told me about $39 fare to Vegas in August!)
We had two vouchers for BOGO 1/2 priced to the hotel's buffet. To save money we'd have a large breakfast and that would keep us going until dinner.
We bought passes for the bus that runs up and down the strip (The Deuce) for $16.
DH picked up a new ball cap at the M&M store that ended up being 50% off, so we paid $12.
We bought my sister a souvenir ($9) because she was watching our house and kids.
We each had $50 to gamble with.
Airport parking was $42.
Our total spent was $562.
**Mirage volcano & Venetian canals