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Posts tagged with: relationships

Temporary Credit Issued


USAA has issued me a temporary credit while the investigation moves forward on the ATM.  I am thankful.  I enjoyed tips from the readers and will definitely use some of them in the future.  Thanks!

Now to a personal issue.  This one has the potential to impact finances and I’m pretty sad about it too.  It feels like just as I get myself feeling pretty good about things something else comes my way.  That’s life I suppose and I know I have many, many blessings but it is still tough.

My first ex-husband–the father of my children–has met and become engaged to a woman we’ll call NW for “New Wife.”  They met in December, he confided in me in early January that she broke up with him because she had never dated a divorced man with children (oh how I wish he had never told me that and even as he did I tried to cut him off–I did not need to know that but he has always struggled with boundaries) and then about ten days later she called him back and all I know is that it was back “on.”   Last weekend they became engaged.  She is 41, never married and no children.

This is challenging to talk about because I don’t know that I can convey how our relationship worked via blogging and I imagine there will be readers who jump to the conclusion that I am jealous.  Some of you regular readers know it has been a friendly divorce with the children’s time split 50/50 and no child support exchanged.  I have been told by countless teachers and professionals that my children are as well adjusted as they are BECAUSE of the unique way in which their father and I are divorced.  Friends and family have warned me for years that the potential for this good thing to go bad rested in my ex finding NW.  Everyone around me has recognized for years that I am the reason we are divorced well.  That I do the lion’s share of the parenting and Dad gets credit for a lot of what I do but that didn’t bother me b/c I focused on the kids.  If anyone should be made to experience unpleasant situations, it is the adults in the situation. 

Over the last 3 months the relationship with my ex-husband has deteriorated dramatically.  I do not want to jump to conclusions and assume this was a directive from NW for their relationship to continue but boy am I struggling with that!  It feels like since her return he has done all he can to be a man that was not married before and without children.  I no longer get responses to my inquiries regarding the kids.  The texts go unanswered.  I’m given excuses such as the phone was charging, he was driving, he was in a meeting.  These are logistical questions that I am texting or emailing about that simply do not receive a response.  As we enter summer we’ve had a lot of end of school and summer activity things to discuss and pay for. I am left to chase him down or just make decisions on my own and yes, pay for things too.

It hit a low point earlier this week and for now he is checked out.  He has left the kids with me for the majority of the month of May and that part is great for me–but not great for the kids.  I don’t know where this will go but I’m not looking forward to dealing with it if things don’t correct soon.  Thankfully the activities they are doing this summer are few and inexpensive so I’ve been able to pay the deposits on my own.  I do see the potential for having to escalate things to the courthouse and the very thought of that makes me ill.

Free Traditions…


I know I brought this up last year but I love it so much, I think it’s important to mention again.

More than 15 years ago, my parents decided to dedicate Christmas Eve to spending time with the family. Just after the sun came up that Christmas Eve morning, we all piled into the family Suburban, went out to breakfast (a rare treat), walked around the big Christmas decorated mall in downtown San Diego, saw a movie (another rare treat), and went to dinner at a family friendly Chinese restaurant (yet another rare treat). Even though there were seven of us kids, I don’t remember fighting that day. That night, I crawled into bed and stared out my window at the Christmas lights, feeling as though life couldn’t get any better. For years afterward, I couldn’t sleep on the night of the 23rd because I was so excited about Christmas Eve.

Over the years, not much has changed. We shift around the plan a little on the lean years, skipping meals or picking cheap spots. Marriages and kids added to the happy crowd. Christmas slowly turned from a holiday where we looked forward to the gifts to one where we looked forward to spending that day together.

I encourage you to find that ‘sweet spot’ with your kids this holiday. The one that makes them forget they want the latest iPad or PlayStation. The one that makes them remember that when the day is over, it’s the people not the things that make you happy. When I say I’m not buying gifts this year, it’s because that’s not what Christmas is to me. It’s not about spending money – it’s about spending time.

This Christmas, if you see a massive hoard of folks young and old with smiles that would make the Cleaver family jealous, it’s probably us.

Start planning your day now, and have a Merry Christmas.



Over the weekend, I saw a commercial on TV about a ‘magical’ cream that removes scars. The commercial showed a mother rubbing the cream on her daughter’s face and the scar disappeared over a two week period.

I have three scars on my face – on my forehead, across my eye, and one that runs from my nose to my chin. Never once have I considered fixing these scars. To me, these scars serve as a permanent reminder of what NOT to do in life.

The scar on my forehead is from my brother. We smacked heads as kids while playing a game. My injury required a mass of stitches while his head was barely bruised. Lesson? My brother’s head is harder. Fighting with him, now or back then, is a waste of time.

The scar across my eye was from falling off a bench at the ripe old age of ten while trying to reach a graham cracker on the top shelf for a boy. Lesson? Trying too hard to impress boys will only get you hurt.

The scar stretching from my nose to my chin was from falling out of bed face first while dreaming about… falling. The floor ‘gently’ removed the skin from the front of my face and it didn’t grow back the same color or smoothness. When did this happen? Um… 2 years ago. Lesson? Stupid accidents happen – even to 29 year olds.

It had me thinking about my financial scars. You know the ones. They sit on your credit report and remind you of what an idiot you were. Every time I run my credit report, I see old car loans, old credit card high balances, student loans, and other financial mistakes I’ve made. Even though the financial wound has healed and the balances have been paid, they still sit as big, fat scars on my report. I’ve still got a few years before most of them drop off but I kinda wish they never would. Just like the ones on my face, those scars serve to remind me of my bad decisions and I’d prefer NOT to forget them.

Next time you look at your credit report and it’s not what you’d wish it would be, you can be a little grateful for the scar. It’s a good reminder of what an idiot you were and how far you’ve come.

On a side note, the ‘great fall from bed’ as it’s now known, happened in the early morning hours on the 4th of July. We had invited guests to our home to watch the fireworks show and I spent the morning crying about my face. I sulked around the house with white bandages wrapped around my chin and nose, expecting my husband to tell me everything would be fine. He didn’t. Instead, he laughed hysterically… to tears… telling me I had the best story to share at the party. Somehow, he figured out what I needed to hear. In every party picture, I’m grinning like an idiot. Lesson? I’m a lucky girl who married a swell guy. That scar will always be my favorite.

My Husband is Watching…


Well there went all the fun stories.

My husband called today to inform me that his is now a ‘follower’ of my blog.

His schedule at work prevented him from reading my blog and he is never on the internet at home so I have always had free rein to talk about him – respectfully of course.

Ever since I wrote the baby name blog, he suddenly has an interest in what you all have to say – especially in ‘all those awesome folks who agreed that Cash is a good name’.

Crud. Now I have to filter myself.

It is a sad, sad day in history.

Can’t Afford Healthcare?…


My mother asked for three things this Christmas:

Legal Will
Life Insurance

(Hmm. Maybe she DOES actually read my blog?)

My dad bought her healthcare – effective January 1st…

And they say romance is dead.

Last Friday, my father was admitted to the ICU. I didn’t panic. I didn’t cry. I drove to the hospital.

I told my sister to knock off the crying, told my mom everything would be fine, and begged my brothers to not get us kicked out of the ICU for talking too loud. We laughed, we made jokes, and weirdly enough, had a good time with dad.

At no point was I fearful or sad.

Saturday, I spent the afternoon watching the football games on the tiny ICU television. At night, we all sat around my dad’s hospital bed and worked out who would cover his work schedule the following week.

Sunday, I wasn’t feeling well so I stayed home, did laundry, drove my brother to the airport, and cooked dinner.

Monday, my dad was scheduled for a quadruple bypass at 10AM. I arrived at 9:30 so I could give him a hug before they wheeled him out.

My brothers, sisters, mom, and I played dice games, argued about who was hotter between McDreamy and McSteamy, ate a lot of hospital food, and read grimy hospital magazines.

12 ½ hours later, they wheeled my dad into post-op.

I hugged mom, told her all would be fine, and drove home.

I put on my pajamas, washed my face, crawled in bed…

And absolutely fell apart.

The reality of the situation finally hit. My poor husband didn’t know whether to hug me… or have me breathe into a paper bag.

Dad is still in critical condition and my mom is a mess but you know what she isn’t worried about?


It’s not that you can’t afford it…

You can’t afford to go without it.



A reader asked for some advice regarding her husband. My husband never hid debts so I don’t have any experience in this area.

How would you deal with this?:

Can you provide any suggestions for someone whose spouse is still in denial about their spending addiction? My husband has been hiding his debts from me for a long time. Now, because his bills are out of control, he can’t hide it anymore & pay his share of the household bills. I have offered to help, suggested counseling…does anyone have any suggestions?

Finding Odd Jobs…


I’ve had a few readers ask how my husband and I find odd jobs.

I’m fortunate to still be connected to previous employers and do work for them when the owners are unable to complete the projects themselves. When I’m not busy with that (which is almost never. I work A LOT for them), I take writing jobs off Craigslist, work as a car shows greeter, and help as an ‘ambassador’ at large gatherings like ComicCon and sporting events with security companies. You can look for these kinds of jobs on Craigslist (be very, very careful on Craigslist) or by approaching employers who host mobile type events that require large amounts of temporary staff. If you are willing to invest the time, these temporary or part time jobs are very easy to find. I make anywhere from $100 to $150 a day with temporary jobs.

My husband is incredibly handy. When he’s not working his 8 to 5 job or going to school, he helps others with construction and plumbing projects. He does exceptional work and has never had to advertise his services. Word of mouth has been his greatest ally. Make sure to follow the laws of your state. California is very strict – no projects over $500 are permitted for unlicensed contractors.

I also heard about a website called 48days.net. On the left side of the website, there is a Post-It labeled “Take a Look at Dan’s 48 Low Cost Business Ideas”. He lists some great ideas for making extra money.

If you have any other ideas – SHARE! ; )