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Looking Back and It’s Okay

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Last week I wrote about looking forward to the end of my debt payoff journey and the possibility of being completely debt free in just two years! I also decided, on a whim, that we would be doing a #nospendjanuary.

In having these discussions with the kids this week, we’ve also looked back at all the changes in our lives over the last few years. Some of them were intentional with the goal of getting out of debt and some of them were forced due to job loss, house loss and big moves.

I thought I might highlight some of the big changes as a bit of nostalgia for me and maybe to update some of the new readers on the roller coaster that has been my life these last few years:

  • We sold our 15 passenger van that had a substantial loan tied to and downsized to an old paid off Honda Accord for 6 months. (And I had to learn how to drive a stick shift – yikes!)
    • I was able to save enough in that 6 months to purchase a used Ford Flex as a family car and the Accord became the twins first car as they got their licenses.
  • We were forced to move from our home of 4 years with little notice and took it as the opportunity to downsize and try apartment living with the 5 of us, 3 dogs and a cat.
    • We sold most everything when we moved from 1,800 square feet to 900 square feet. I truly embraced minimalist living and still function that way for the most part.
  • During our apartment stint, my business pretty much folded as my largest two clients downsized. And things got really desperate…we ended up on food stamps and it took me almost 2 years to get back on solid ground.
    • We had to move out of the apartment and another family graciously let us live on their land in their camper/trailer. We stayed there for 9 months and were able to experience farm life with raising chickens in our kitchen. We also discovered that I HATE ‘glamping.’ I may have already known that but this really pushed it home.
  • After just over a year of mostly unemployment, we made a big move to GA after the camper we were living in was damaged while we were out of town and became unlivable. By the time we completed the move and were living with my Grandmother, I had a full time job offer and I returned to the corporate world after 10 years as an entrepreneur. This is where the tides began to turn for us. This was March, 2017.
    • That brings us to present day with the rebirth of my business going well, almost 2 years in our cozy rental home and the kids doing really well in their schooling!

Our debt journey has been a true roller coaster ride. And it has been really hard the last few years. But you know what…we can all look back now and appreciate what we have been through and have found tons of fun things to laugh and smile about.

What we thought were the darkest days, taught us so much. And now, I really can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I am going to be debt free. I am really going to get there.

By the way, coming to the end of the first week, admittedly not a full week, we have not spent an extra cent! Go us!!!!


Heart-Felt Thank You

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Thank you for all of your kind words, prayers, and offers of advice and support on my last post. Some of you commented on how my writing seemed very straight-forward and unemotional, so I must be handling it well.

As I’m sure you can imagine (especially those who have been through it), it’s a full roller coaster of emotions. And I never quite know when I wake up in the morning how I’ll be feeling by the time I go to sleep that night.

Hubs and I have been together for a long time. We started dating when I was 18 (he was 20). I’m turning 35 this year. That’s 17 years. Half my lifetime.

I wanted to find a pic of us in our first apartment, circa 2005, but my photo storage on my computer only goes back to 2011 and I wasn’t willing to dig up old jump drives to find an images so here’s a picture of us at the Rainbow Bridge in southern Utah, 2011.

It’s heart-breaking, really.

BUT, I SOOOOOOOOO appreciate all of your comments on my last post. It’s made me take the next step to seek legal counsel. I was planning to try to do a DIY separation agreement, but so many people commented on the legalities of moving out and “abandoning” the marital residence, etc. I don’t think hubs would try to screw me over in any way, but as some of you commented, “An amicable separation is amicable…until it’s not.” And others also pointed out that, during this difficult time, if I can hire an attorney to complete the legal paperwork and forms rather than putting myself through that emotional wringer on top of everything else….well then it’s probably money well spent.

So I’m calling around to set up an initial consultation with a lawyer or two sometime in the next week. I did already sign a lease and have an expected move-out day of 9/1, so I don’t have time to waste – I need to act fast.

In the meantime, I found some comfort in these words…

Nature can sure be beautiful. When something knocks you over, it’s not the end of the world. Get up, dust yourself off, and keep on going and growing.

Thanks again!

<3

~Ashley


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