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Great Sorrow & Big Change for Me


Last week, I said goodbye to Gymnast. He decided a month or so ago that he wanted to try living with his dad. I was heartbroken and shocked. But at 13 years old and after a tumultuous few years, I did not blame him.

His dad, my ex-husband came to town for a week and spent the time getting re-acquainted with his son. (He had only seen Princess and Gymnast for 72 hours over the last 4 years.) And the day after Halloween, they left for the big move to Illinois.

We agreed to a year trial, and after that we will revisit it and see how Gymnast is feeling (and me.) I am struggling with the emotions, but in my head, I know this is a good move for Gymnast and hope he is happy with his choice. Meaning, allowing him to make this choice on his own was a good move.

Financial Implications

There are some major financial implications to this move. And although they might be temporary, I am going to take advantage of them and the break of from raising a high maintenance child while it lasts.

Gymnast has by far been my most attention needing, financial needing child…between his activities and his personality, there is always some need. I am going to learn to take deep breathes. (Don’t get me wrong, I already miss him and his smile desperately, but after 7 years of gymnastics training and competing, this break is much needed.)

Growing teenage boys can eat you out of house and home, not to mention, they won’t stop growing! Gymnast went to Texas this summer and came back 2″ taller than me. And no stopping in sight. New clothes, more food, all the time. His dad will now get a taste of that. (It was funny listening to his dad’s plans. I warned him that he would be wasting money because Gymnast will grow out of all the clothes before he wears them all.)

I am going to continue paying for his phone service, and his dad is going to cover the transportation costs of sending him to visit every couple of months. My dad purchased a plane ticket for him to come to Texas for the Thanksgiving holiday which I am very grateful for.

This was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. To let my teenage son go. To let him choose a completely different life, over 800 miles away. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. But please join me in wishing him the best of luck and if you are praying person, please keep Gymnast in your prayers as this is a HUGE change for anyone.


Hope’s Anticipated Spending – November


I decided to try something a little different this month. Rather than posting a weekly spending plan, I am going to try a monthly one.

Since we are continuing with our No Spend Month for a couple of weeks, and going to be at my parents for Thanksgiving, you will notice there is not a lot of extra. (Well, except for the Texas trip fund which I’m hoping will not be that much.)

November Spending Plan

Hope's Anticipated Spending - November

Auto - Gas($105)
Tax Payment (debt)($246)
Utilities - gas, water, sewer, trash, electricity, internet($300)
Car Payment (debt)($400)
Auto/Renter's Insurance($267)
Texas Trip($1,700)
Princess (Clothes)($150)
Sea Cadet (car insurance)$200


I don’t think there is much that needs explanation. I went ahead and budgeted for Princess some clothes in anticipation of winter weather setting in. My gas is lower than ever, but Thanksgiving week’s gas is covered by the Texas trip fund.

We don’t have any kids’ activities this month at all, so I will be home every night to cook. And the twins are pretty self sufficient at this point, covering their own gas, insurance, phones and day to day spending money.

Texas Fund Explained

I realize the $1,700 for the Texas trip seems high. Here is my reasoning:

  • Currently, I have reserved a rental SUV for the week (10 days) because my car which is the best of the bunch is in need of some work and I fear taking it on such a long, extended trip. Not to mention, it will be a bit tight in my car and it’s a 15 1/2 hour drive (drive time only) each way.
  • Because of the bigger rental car, our gas expense will be a bit more than in my car.
  • I anticipate stopping at least one night on the way there and one night on the way back. And while we do squish into one hotel room, it will cost us two nights in hotels (minimum) and extra food.) Because the twins can’t drive the rental car, I will have to drive the whole way so I may need additional breaks, but we will see.
  • Finally, while my dad typically covers our costs when we are in town, I don’t want to count on that if I don’t have to so I built in a little cushion for some fun.

Each of the kids is covering their own spending money and have been aware of the trip for months, so that is not included in my budget.

I still hope that we will not spend all of this budgeted money but I feel comfortable with having it available for the trip.

Will you do any traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday? Do you have family traditions surrounding this food filled holiday you would like to share?