Catching up…

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Well, the month of June is gone, and all too soon.  Now is time to do a quick update on everything and start fresh!  So here goes (in no particular order!)…

  • Finances for June–So the goal was to spend no more than $200 on food for the month.  That did not work out.  We actually spent $331.37.  But, to be fair, this was not always simply food–it included items such as toilet paper, vitamins, deoderant, paper towels, napkins, cat food, and more.  So if I had actually broken the list down even more, we may have spent closer to $200 on food.  I never did call Comcast to combine our phone, internet, and cable because we decided that we didn’t want to try Comcast for our phone service since we had heard several people say the service was not that great.  We’ll stick to what we know.  So the goals for this next month will be to hopefully spend less than what we spent in June and to pare down our cable bill by simply calling Comcast and asking for a cheaper plan.
  • The bungee-corded fridge–is NO LONGER bungee-corded!!  Yeah!!  After having to unclamp the door every day, multiple times per day, I have to say we are both extremely happy that the refrigerator repair man came and replaced the magnetic strips on the side of the fridge (he actually had to drill a new place for them since the fridge is so old that the parts are no longer available!).  Our fridge is doing much better now.  The temperature is within the normal range and things are actually cold!!
  • Charlie–After his ordeal at the animal hospital and a check-up with the new vet, and almost a month on the new food, we can finally say that Charlie is completely better!  The urinalysis at the last visit showed no crystals at all.  So, even though the food is much more expensive, and Charlie still likes to eat Madeline’s food, it does seem to be working.  And Charlie and Madeline are back to normal as far as their interactions–no more hissing, thank goodness.
  • School orientation–I made it through my week-long school orientation.  I can’t say I got much more sleep each night than the first night.  I really had a case of the nerves.  But by the end of the week, I felt much more comfortable with the expectations of the program and some of the people that will be my new online community.  I passed my health assessment leveling workshop (after several nights of practicing on my sweetie!).  The week was not much for a vacation, since I was pretty tired every night and didn’t really have a lot of downtime.  But at least this was only a one time thing.  I will have to register for classes on July 23rd–my first two online classes will be Principles of Epidemiology and Nursing Informatics (sounds exciting, huh? I’m being sarcastic of course!).  My expected date of graduation is Spring of 2013.  It’s a long way off and between now and then I’m sure I’ll have many, many days where I question myself as to WHY I am doing this to myself.  But I will TRY REALLY REALLY hard to remind myself of the bigger picture and the final result.  Dr. Kaye E. Van Straten, DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice, or Nurse Practitioner).  Boy, does that sound strange!
  • My dear friend, Frank, who was recently diagnosed with cancer (Burkitt’s lymphoma)–he has pretty much completed the first round of chemotherapy and with a wonderful support system of family and friends, is rallying and still possesses a positive, “Bring It On” philosophy.  Sure, he’s tired, and I’m sure often scared, but he’s taking it one day at a time, and pushing through.  The MOST EXCITING thing is that Kimm and I will be going to see him this week!!!!  WOW!!!  I never thought that would happen.  I was hoping to visit him soon, but with my work schedule, and the fact that I just took a week off of work, I wasn’t sure it would happen.  But I have a stretch of 7 days where I only work one day.  I booked the tickets after hearing that Frank will not have to go back in for his next chemo round until the 10th, and am hoping (praying!) that I will be able to find someone to work for me that one day.  If not, I will have to simply call in sick.  This is generally against everything I believe in, but I have NEVER called in sick my entire time at this hospital and it’s coming up on one year.  I don’t get any kind of bonus for not calling out sick and many other people make a habit of calling out.  So I don’t feel overly worried about it.  But I still will try to cover it because I don’t want other nurses to be short staffed–I know how that feels–crappy!
  • The house hunt–This last weekend Kimm and I decided to finally visit a few open houses on Sunday.  It was so much fun!  Of course it would be a lot more fun if we actually knew how much we were pre-approved for in regards to a mortgage!  But we saw three houses, each of them unique in their own way.  It was so fun to imagine what each room would be used for if we bought the house.  It is my goal for July to also make an appointment at the bank to find out what I would be pre-approved for if I was looking to get a mortgage right now.
  • My nephew is 7 years old–WHOA!!!  I can still remember when he was born.  I also just received pictures of him in the mail that were taken on Father’s Day and oh my gosh, he looks so old.  This is the first picture that I’ve seen where I can really imagine how he’ll look as he enters the teen years.  Happy Birthday Eric!

Well, I think that’s it for a catch up.  Whew!  Now I feel better about starting out the month of July with no loose ends.  You can look forward to blogs about my trip to California.  I haven’t seen Frank for over 5 years so I am so looking forward to seeing him and spending time with his family.  We’re leaving in two days!  Talk about last minute!  So between now and then I have to work two shifts, pack, and sleep!

Published in: on July 2, 2008 at 10:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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Making Progress…

April 8, 2008

Today is an exciting day for me because I was able to (finally!) pay off another credit card.  That makes two paid off and two more to go.  I honestly never thought I would begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Being in debt is extremely stressful (as I well know), but when one is actually making noticeable progress towards eliminating debt, it’s an exhilerating feeling!

I should hopefully, barring any financial emergency, have the third card paid off next month, and the fourth by the end of the year.  Add to that my car being paid off by the end of August and I’m really looking pretty good!  Even though nursing has plenty of stress, the fact that it has helped me along the road to financial security has been worth every harried moment.

Published in: on April 8, 2008 at 12:31 pm  Comments (1)  
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Future Plans

March 25, 2008

The last time I visited the local library (well, not so local since I drive to the one in Agawam–nicer–rather than go to the one in Holyoke–bad area) I picked up some informational books on buying a first home. “K” and I have been thinking and dreaming and hoping on doing this for an extremely long time and since I now have a job that pays respectably and thus I have been able to pay down a good portion of my debt, it is becoming more of a soon future reality. So today, after having my coffee and relaxing a bit, I started looking through some of them. I was able to do some calculations and found that with the debt I have remaining at this point, I could possibly qualify for a $121,000 loan. WOW!! And, even more exciting, probably by the end of the year, I could possibly qualify for a $214,000 loan. After doing all the calculator work, it was so exciting to think that perhaps someday by next summer, we could be living in our own home, paying money towards a mortgage, gaining equity, rather than paying rent.

As I was doing that, I started looking at my current debt and realized that by the end of August I should be able to shave it down considerably. That is because by that time my car will be paid off (saving me approximately $275/month) and I should have only one credit card remaining to pay off (which, with all things working in my favor, should be paid off by December 2008). This is incredibly hard for me to wrap my head around. I have had so much debt for so long, that I won’t know what it’s like NOT to have debt. In fact, when it is all done, the only debt I will have is my school loan from my uncompleted Master’s program (a measly $81/month). Again, WOW!!

So what does all this mean? A lot of dreaming! What kind of house will I live in? Well, I know that we definitely want at least 1 1/2 baths, 2 bedrooms minimum, fireplace (hopefully!), nice outside area, and hopefully a garage. Even better would be 3 bedrooms, a dining room, and computer room. It will be so exciting to decorate it all. We’ve already decided that we’ll have a joint savings account to put money into monthly towards the house. So hopefully in a year it’ll be decorated to our satisfaction.

Even more exciting is that once this is all in place, I can finally start to think about having a baby! Talk about dreaming and hoping!

Published in: on March 25, 2008 at 2:28 pm  Comments (1)  
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