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Ashley’s Life Update


Hi, friends!

Wow, it’s been awhile since I posted, huh?

Truth is, it’s only April 1st but 2019 has already been a BEAST of a year for me. I miss the support of this community! Would you indulge me in a little life update?


Unfortunately, I’ve had some major health problems in the past couple months that seemed to come out of nowhere. I’ve always been very healthy and, aside from some pregnancy-related issues when I was pregnant with my twin daughters, have never had any health complications before.

Back in February, I got sick. Like, really really ill. I thought it was the flu. I think it was God’s hand and will forever be grateful that the illness hit on the same exact day my Mom was flying into town for a visit. I was supposed to pick her up from the airport but texted that I couldn’t stop throwing up and there was no way I could leave the house. She took a taxi straight to my house, took one look at me, and told me we needed to go to the ER. It was 6pm. I thought she was crazy. I told her I just needed to rest and if I was still in bad shape the next day we could go in the morning. She practically lifted me out of bed, put me in the car, and drove me to the ER. My ex had the kids that night – it had been pre-planned that way so I could have one night solo with my mom before we had the girls, too. What was supposed to be a fun evening out together ended up with some bad news. I had sepsis. I was very ill. We’d gone to a stand-alone ER and the doctor said I’d need to be transported to the full-service hospital, so an ambulance was called and that’s exactly what happened.

First (and hopefully only) ambulance ride!

The true underlying diagnosis was kidney stones. Remember when I had kidney stones back in October? Well there had been no follow-up and my pain had gone away so I assumed I’d passed them. But nope. Looking at my CT-scan, the urologist said this was likely the same stone from October that had now grown to beast-like proportions. It was nearly 1cm (for reference, you generally can’t pass anything larger than 7mm). It had inflamed my kidney, causing a really bad kidney infection and then the resulting sepsis. 

I’ll skip all the sordid details, but I ended up inpatient in the hospital for 4 days and had to undergo 3 surgical procedures over a 6-week period, lived with chronic pain during that whole duration, and then had to pass a pea-sized stone that felt like peeing razor blades before the whole ordeal was finally over (note: the pea-sized stone is the reduced size stone that remained after they’d done lithotripsy). 

I’m just now barely on the mend. I feel more myself now than I have since early February, but I basically had to stop exercise overnight when all the health stuff flared up and I’m just barely dipping my toes back into the exercise realm, so I’m not “back to normal” quite yet, but I’m on my way.


Remember when I had to cancel my trip with the girls back to Texas in December because my kids got sick? We re-scheduled that trip to fall over my kids’ Spring Break, which was a couple weeks ago. I did have to alter it another time to accommodate one of my surgical procedures. We were going to be there from Monday through Saturday but the doctor needed to see me on Monday so we moved our flights to Tuesday through Saturday and crossed our fingers I’d be able to fly. Luckily everything was routine and I was cleared for travel.

The trip felt quick, but it was SO SO GOOD to get to see family and loved ones. I caught up with my high school best friend, saw my mom, stepdad, dad, brother, sister, two stepbrothers, all my nieces and nephews, etc. etc. etc. As a special bonus, it was my first time to be in Texas for bluebonnet season in over half a decade. One of my “MUST DO’S” was to get some bluebonnet pictures! My sister’s family, my family, and my mom and step dad all drove out to a big bluebonnet patch and took turns taking pictures of each other’s families. The pictures are priceless!

It was good for my soul to see my family – the first time I’ve seen any of them (except my Mom) since I moved out of my shared home last August. My life feels 100% different now than it was then (in a good way) and it felt wonderful to get to share hugs and laughs with some of my favorite people back in Austin.


There are several reasons I haven’t been blogging frequently in the past few months (e.g., see health update, above), but probably the most prominent reason of all is the ongoing divorce litigation. Without giving any details I can say that things are still “ongoing” and that I cannot really talk about finances in a public forum like this for the time being. It’s tough to blog for a “getting out of debt” blog when you can’t talk about finances, you know? So I’ve been mostly silent.

That being said, I’m quite hopeful that things will be resolved soon. Please pray for me, y’all! Our house is (finally) under contract and we’re right in the middle of the inspection period currently. We’ve been under contract previously and the deal fell through during the inspection period (nothing major needs repair/replacing, but the house is 30-years old so there were a slew of small things and the buyers got cold feet). So this is our second time around and we’re hoping and praying and crossing fingers and toes that it closes on May 1st as was written in our contract. Everything hangs on the inspections. The offer we accepted was a cash deal, so we don’t have to worry about appraisals, etc.

Once the house officially closes, I anticipate things to move quickly with the finalization of the divorce. I anticipate having it finalized sometime this summer (but again, prayers accepted!) 🙂 We’ve been nearly a year in the process at this point as we’d first decided to separate last May, and I feel serious fatigue from the whole ordeal. Psychologically, I’m beyond ready for it to be officially/legally done.


So there you go. I can’t make any promises about frequency with which I might be able to blog in the future. I do know that my financial picture will look very difference once the house closes and it’s proceeds have been split. Something I’d certainly like to talk about when I’m able. It was a good purchase. We gained a lot of equity in the few short years we owned it.

Thank you for the support of this community. It’s been appreciated more than you know!




  • Reply Tpol |

    So sorry for your health issues. Hope, it’s all gone now. The girls look very grown up. Hope, the home gets sold, your divorce gets finalized and you can get back on the blogging wagon soon.

  • Reply Cheryl |

    I am glad your mom’s knew something was wrong, my mom’s died of sepsis. The good news is your young and the doctors took care of you. As a bonus, you look great. Hope things improve over the next few months.

    • Reply Ashley |

      I’m so sorry to hear that your mom died of sepsis. It was a very scary diagnosis for me to receive, and totally unexpected. Looking back with hindsight of 20/20, of course I had a raging infection. My body temperature was wildly fluctuating – from 96 degrees (borderline hypothermic) up to 104. Glad I made it to the hospital when I did and, if there’s any silver lining, now I can easily recognize the signs of infection and can seek help/care sooner rather than trying to “wait it out” and see if it passes.

  • Reply Laura |

    I am so happy to see an update from you, and so sad you don’t have better circumstances to update. I hope your house sells and the rest of 2019 is healthy. Feel free to pop in whenever you want even if you can’t talk about finances right now.

  • Reply Kari Echols |

    So nice to hear from you! I’m so glad your mom got you to the hospital and that you are on the mend. Your pictures are beautiful. Hoping your house sells and you can put that chapter behind you. Best wishes!

  • Reply JP |

    We wondered where you had gone. Good to get an update and that all makes perfect sense on the finance blogging details. Glad your health has improved.

  • Reply Alexandra |

    Another reader happy to hear from you! I hate to hear about the health and divorce issues but wish you well as you sort through it all.

  • Reply Killi |

    We’ve missed you.
    Fingers and toes crossed for the house to sell and the divorce to be finalized.
    Good to hear that you’ve had a great time with your family!
    I’m happy to read from you any time it’s possible for you to blog.
    You don’t have to share numbers at this point. I guess there are plenty of topics on saving / making a living / frugality / choices that don’t necessarily involve numbers.
    Take care!

  • Reply SMS |

    Another reader who missed you! Hope your health continues to improve and the house sale goes through. Blog when you can!

  • Reply SCM1959 |

    So good to hear from you, Ashley. I have been worried about you and like the others, I don’t care what you blog about while you are going through this huge transition. It’s great to hear from you in any way you can manage!

    How awful about your hospital stay. I am so glad you listened to what your Mom said!


  • Reply Lisa M |

    I was hoping we would hear from you soon! Sorry that you had such a health scare, but glad you are on the mend. I like any updates too, it doesn’t have to be $-related.

  • Reply Christopher |

    Glad you are well! I’m curious if you will return to Texas and be closer to your friends and family.

    • Reply Ashley |

      No. As much as I’d love to be closer to family in Texas, I’m pretty much an Arizonan now. My kids’ whole support system/school is here, moving would be legally/logistically challenging with our childcare arrangement, and I still have another year left in my non-compete agreement so I cannot even legally leave/find alternative work in the same field/area at this time anyway.

  • Reply Megan |

    I’m so glad to see you posting again, I had been thinking about you lately. I’m glad you’re on the mend from the kidney stones, I hope your insurance covered most of it. I’m happy to read updates even if you can’t post numbers right now.

    • Reply Ashley |

      I’m very fortunate to have stellar insurance. I did see the bills and was SHOCKED at how much everything cost! But my portion out-of-pocket was tiny in comparison and I still have a Flex Spending Account for health-related expenses so all the payments came from there.

  • Reply C@thesingledollar |

    Glad to hear from you — and glad that you’re on the mend. The health stuff sounds scary. Good luck with the house sale, and fingers crossed that the entire thing will end well financially.

  • Reply Stephanie |

    Ashley, Good to hear from you. You have been in my thoughts lately. I’m sorry to hear that you were so ill but thankfully, you are better now. The pix you shared are just beautiful. I wish you peace in what life brings you in the coming months. Blog when you can!

  • Reply Nicole |

    Happy to hear from you and for the wonderful time spent with your family! Your photos are gorgeous!

    Sorry to hear about all you’ve had to deal with. But glad your health is better and fingers crossed that the remaining house and divorce dealings go smoothly.

  • Reply Katie |

    I’m so happy to see you back on this blog. I will be sending good wishes for your health and for your future. What wonderful pictures!

  • Reply debtor |


    so happy to see you back.been thinking about you. thanks for the update – i know there’s a lot going on for you now. Hope you are on the mend.

    Quick suggestion – start your own blog? This website is not what it used to be and lots of people are really interested in your story and would love to read without all the pop-ups that are flooding this domain (it now hijacks my phone if i come to this website on my cell). i would subscribe and i’m sure lots of folks here will (and it’s free to start!)

  • Reply Stephanie |

    I concur with debtor. I found this blog mid-stream with Becca. While I enjoy reading the personal stories, I’m not a fan of the current “educational” posts. I would subscribe to your blog!

  • Reply Kiki |

    So glad your came through that scary illness! I’m curious to know what you did about your job during that time of severe illness. Did they have a substitute teacher for you? You and the girls look well!

  • Reply Kiki |

    PS Even an Instagram account would be great, Ashley! There are hundreds of people getting out of debt on Instagram. This might actually suit your schedule better.

  • Reply Nicole |

    Not sure if you will see a comment so much later, but just wanted to say Happy Mother’s Day Ashley! Hope you are having a beautiful day with your girls! (And praying that life has been calm and positive since this post!!!)

  • Reply Sandra J |

    Hi Ashley. I hope your life has calmed down by now. I would love to see you blogging again. I really enjoyed following your story. You helped me a lot. Best Wishes to you.

  • Reply Stephanie |

    Thinking of you as we approach Mother’s Day 2020. Hope you and yours are fairing well with everything. Would love to hear an update. I’ve missed reading your story.

So, what do you think ?