:::: MENU ::::

Our New Life in Full Affect


The last month has been a blur.  Today is my one month anniversary on my new job.  It is going great, and I am LOVING what I do. The wait was worth it to find the perfect position and the perfect company. I am so grateful.

Let me fill you in on what has been happening:

  1. Worked 40 hours per week in the office at my new job.
  2. Continued to work 25 hours a week for one of my part time jobs.
  3. Continued to work approx. 10 hours a week for my other part time job.
  4. Continued to school the kids – we are meeting twice a week (Sundays and one night a week) with intermittent study times together at night when the kids get stuck. It is definitely not ideal.  I’m going to have to re-evaluate our curriculum for the fall. But we will finish the school year in the next month and move on to a lighter schedule for the summer.
  5. Gymnast is going to gym (1 hour away) twice a week and soccer less than a mile away, 3 days per week.  He needs the energy outlet.  He is gone for the week with cousins to FL — this is why I wanted to move near family.
  6. Princess is playing basketball and has gotten involved with the youth group (that’s a first for her.)
  7. Sea Cadet continues to work at the movie theater he transferred with from Virginia, and looks forward to returning to VA the first week of June where he will spend the summer working as the Senior Boys Counselor at the same camp he worked at last year.

If you have done the math…I’m putting in upwards of 70 hours a week at work.  Oh, and I forgot, I’m starting every day with an hour in the gym.  It’s been life changing.  It’s been a whirlwind!  But I do have some exciting news…

We have rented a house!!!!  And you will not believe my rent…it is only $650 per month!!!!  I can’t believe it.  It is exactly the reason I wanted to move here.  We have not moved in yet, because frankly we don’t have furniture. Sea Cadet is staying there now on some old furniture family gave us, but we don’t have any beds.  Our stuff will be delivered by Upack on Tuesday so we can start making it home.  I have decided to move all the way in (we haven’t unpacked our stuff in over 2 1/2 years) and make it home.  We are all excited.  But it’s going to be a while before Gymnast, Princess and I move in while I watch for good deals and save money to get beds.

Our new home is 3 bedrooms, 1 1/2 bath, small manageable yard with just enough space for the kids to play.  Really, the only two things I am going to miss right now are 1) a dishwasher and 2) being able to have pets.  But all in due time.

A monthly budget is on the horizon.  I’ve just gotten my first full paycheck so I have a better idea of what my take home will be.  I did use every bit of my savings to get into the house.  I have to pay a $500 deposit, $650 first month’s rent, $250 to the city to turn on utilities and about $100 for a few odds and ends to get us started (toilet paper, broom, mop, cleaning supplies and a shelving unit to create a pantry in the laundry room.)

Princess and I return to Virginia this weekend for her to get her braces off.  It will be a quick turn, and it is the last trip we have planned. My new job has already agreed to let me work remotely while I travel, which thrills me to no end!


  • Reply Misti |

    Such blessings you have received. I pray your new life continues to move forward. It sounds as if this new job is everything you need it to be and I am so impressed with the hours you are working and able to fit in the gym.

    • Reply Hope |

      Hi Misti,
      To be honest, I have no idea how I am getting through my days. The first couple of weeks were BRUTAL. I did not know I had that much will power. But the gym think is sticking. 5am, like clockwork, I’m up and headed to the gym. It’s a great way to start the day, even if it’s just 20 minutes on a bike going up and down hills. Definitely a routine I’m sticking too.

  • Reply Jean |

    I can tell in your writing that you are so much more energetic and hopeful these days. I’m happy for you & your family. I know it was a really hard situation in VA but I think you & the kids will look back on it one day & see the silver lining.

    I know you are desperate to get caught up on your bills and start paying down your debt & saving, but PLEASE don’t burn yourself out with working almost 80 hours/week and trying to keep the kids on task with school and their other activities. Try to set a time frame or a monetary goal and see if you can make it to that point without losing your mind, and then you can re-evaluate – maybe go down to just one of the part-time jobs.

    • Reply Hope |

      Hi Jean,
      That is a great idea, the financial goal before I leave a job. I am definitely going to work on putting that type of goal to paper and posting it for times that this get a bit overwhelming (like this morning.) I can already look back at the last few years and see the many blessings and experiences we have been given that would not have been possible had our lives continued as they were…and I am grateful. I also see big changes in my kids outlook on life and that makes me even more grateful.

    • Reply Hope |

      Thank you, Karen, sometimes I have to pinch myself that we are really back to living like “normal” people. And typically I dislike the word normal, but for right now…I will take it!

  • Reply Walnut |

    You’re superwoman, Hope! I’m so happy to see everything fall into place after a couple years of you holding it together with string and chewing gum.

    Keep up the great effort!

    • Reply Hope |

      Thank you, Walnut. I love the chewing gum and string illustration, although, I think it was silly string I was using and not the good durable type. Things do continue to fall into place, and every morning and through out the day I am overcome with gratefulness for where we are and where we have been. We have all been forever changed.

  • Reply Sarah |

    I don’t know if I have ever mentioned Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University to you. I am finishing up hosting my first class and the process works. There are seven babysteps. I think you would benefit from following the program.

    1. Save $1000 baby emergency fund
    2. Pay off debt – list them in order of smallest to largest and pay off the smallest one first – ignore the interest rates. What happens is if you pay off the smallest first, you see progress and gain momentum.
    3. Save 3-6 months emergency fund
    4. 15% into retirement
    5. College funding
    6. Pay off home early
    7. Build wealth and give

    I really think you would benefit from following the first four steps. I think you can see my e-mail and we have e-mailed before. I have an a copy of Total Money Makeover I could send you which reviews the plan. If you want it, e-mail me your address and I’ll send it to you.

    I counseled a friend who had $20k in debt. It started off as $60k seven years ago. I told him about Dave’s way to pay it off. He ended up paying off the $20k in eight months.

    Really happy with your new situation.


    • Reply Hope |

      Hi Sarah,
      Thank for for this list. I have certainly heard of Dave Ramsey’s programs but not in detail. I will definitely give this some thought as I work on a new monthly budget.

  • Reply Marzey doats |

    You might check out the St. Vincent de Paul society. In my area they sell low cost new mattresses and proceeds support their charity work. Freecycle and craigslist have lots of stuff that would otherwise get thrown away. Does your grandmother belong to a church? If you put out a call for beds, you may be surprised at what people can find in their attics!

    • Reply Hope |

      Hi Marzey,
      I am familiar with and have used most of these organizations; however, where we are living now is SO small there is not much around. We now have twin beds for the boys and bed frames for Princess and I. I’m hoping to get some mattresses this week. We are more than anxious to move in!

  • Reply Jenna |

    Way to go, Hope!
    Be sure to build a little bit of “Hope Time” into that hectic schedule.
    Fingers crossed for next month will continue to bring wonderful news and great transitions.

    • Reply Hope |

      Thanks, Jenna. To be honest, I’m just looking forward to having my own room again…it’s been a few years and I can’t wait to go in and shut the door sometimes. It’s the little things!

  • Reply Kiki |

    Things are looking up. When you move into the house, who will keep an eye on your minor children?

    • Reply Hope |

      The younger two are almost 12 and 13 so they are old enough to stay home alone. While we are living with my grandmother, they are with her most of the time.
      I have just hired a “fun facilitator” to help with them this summer, so they are 1) not stuck in the house all the time and 2) help tutor them to give me a bit of a break. She started yesterday. I’ll get an update out on that soon.

  • Reply Christa Stockfisch |

    What a great update Hope! It has to be satisfying to see everything start to come together.

  • Reply Kili |

    Hi Hope,
    Wow, a lot has changed.
    Sounds like you are quite happy. Wonderful news!
    Please make sure to not exhaust yourself though with all those commitments.
    Maybe I missed it but what’s history buff up to these days?
    Best of luck for your journey

    • Reply Hope |

      Hi Kili,
      It has definitely been exhausting. I think once we move into our own place, I can find some time to relax…a little.
      History Buff decided not to move with us. Out of respect for him I won’t say more than that. He is working and living on his own.
      He and Sea Cadet will fly up to meet some of their birth family and see their dad this next week.

So, what do you think ?