dads make life better

I meant to post this for Father’s Day last year, but I somehow missed it. And here we are again… another year gone by… another year of my Dad being awesome too.

My friend Nichole’s birthday celebration was the week before Father’s Day last year, and it was such a good time. She got her family and friends together for drinks and wings and dancing. I got to meet her dad who I think is just too sweet. He was dancing with all of us and told me how nice it was to meet me. I realized how important it is to meet people’s parents.  They help you understand your friends better.

Nichole’s dad has several daughters. I think dads with daughters know what’s up. Men who have girls learn so much about what growing up as a girl is like, and those men ultimately watch their daughter turn into a woman. I think watching daughters grow up makes most fathers into better people.

And I was thinking about this the weekend of Father’s Day. I like when my life lines up like that. I got to meet Nichole’s dad, and he reminded me how great dads are.

And look at my dad when he was in high school!

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What an 80s hunk.

He’s gutted his whole house to make it pretty – the house in which all of us kids were/are being raised – and took a photo with us even though he was sweaty and gross. It’s okay; we love him that way.

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Now look at his herd of kids (plus a grand baby)! The photo below was taken almost two year ago. We need a new one with my niece in it. Mom and Dad did a heck of a job. My Dad not-so-secretly loves having adult children to meet up with at the bar. I have a theory that he had so many kids just to grow a bunch of friends.

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it’s almost june

How, may I ask, is it almost June? We are close to half way through 2017. I’ve been busy this year. So here’s what I’m up to right now.

Currently Reading: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Currently Singing: JOSEPH music; I got a part in the summer musical.

Currently Watching: I finished Parks and Rec and I’m close to finishing Arrested Development.

Currently Loving: The balance between rain and sunshine we have been getting.

Currently Celebrating: The fact that I paid down a huge amount on my debt last month and that I’m shedding some weight again. I have to keep going.

Currently Thinking: I’ve been working so much the past few months, and it has paid off in a lot of ways. I hope I can get a little better at using my spare time efficiently though.

Currently Worrying: That I won’t make weight for my upcoming weigh in on Diet Bet. I’m so close, and this one has really helped me get back on track again.

Currently Hoping: That the vegetable plants I planted today grow nice and full.

Currently Painting: The first of what I hope is at least a four piece series.

Currently Knitting: A chunky blanket.

Currently Crocheting: A small blanket.

Currently Considering: If I should renovate my room or get quotes for a deck on the back of the house.

Currently Hating: That a part of my knee has still not healed from my accident in November. I have an MRI tomorrow.

Currently Trying: To Bullet Journal more regularly and set daily goals and plans.

Currently Thankful for: The USA and the brave men and women who lost their lives for it. I’m also thankful for the great day off I had because I managed to get a lot done.

Happy Memorial Day.

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craigslist dog

Craigslist Dog, sit. Craigslist Dog, wait. Craigslist Dog, quit hitting the baby with your tail.

The thing about Craigslist dogs is that they are special. Especially the one I re-homed. Charlie’s original owners were dog people. They bred Dobermans. Yet when I asked her why they were getting rid of him, she replied that he was too much for them. That should have been my first clue. The second clue should have been when she asked if I had read anything about the breed.

When I think about it, she was very lucky that I was the one to drive an hour to take him off their hands. I think about all the people who could have taken him home and how most of them would have been in way over their heads.

Craigslist Dog requires a lot of patience and a lot of exercise and a lot of food and water. Craigslist Dog prefers to be working rather than letting people pet him. Craigslist Dog does not like to be stuck inside all day. Craigslist Dog refuses to get into the car 90% of the time. Craigslist Dog hates when people enter the house without his consent.

I’m a patient person and I was prepared to be particularly patient and work hard on his training because, one, I want him to retrieve waterfowl and two, I want him to be a really well behaved dog. Maybe, other breeds would have been easier, but I doubt they would be as loyal as my Horse. Lucky for me, I know nothing else but what Charlie’s training has been like.

Maybe one day I’ll have another dog and I’ll think, “it’s true what they say about Chessies.” They’re big brown goofballs and they are the most stubborn retrievers of them all.

Here’s the thing, my Craigslist Dog greets me every time I come home. My Craigslist Dog wants nothing more than to lay with me in my bed. My Craigslist Dog thinks the greatest thing in the whole wide world is going on a walk with me.

When I come home from a long day at work, Craigslist Dog is there to make everything better.

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short-term money goals for 2017

I have been thinking about my short-term financial goals for a few weeks. I want to shake up my current plan of attack and I finally decided to write down these new goals. I loosely base my financial plan on the debt-snowball. I love Dave Ramsey’s “Baby Steps,” but there are a few reasons why I don’t follow his plan religiously. First of all, I don’t make a lot of “extra” money each month ( I refuse to say “I don’t make enough money” because that’s a lie – hashtag grateful). Additionally,  I successfully use a credit card and pay it off every month. I plan my splurges very carefully – I just swipe for them rewards. Even though I don’t follow his plan religiously, I had been taking his “throw everything at the loans” approach to the extreme. I pinch every dollar out of my pay check and end up leaving almost nothing in my regular account. This just doesn’t make sense for my situation. Since I just don’t generate copious amounts of income, it’s going to be a few years before I really beat down this debt.

So my new savings goals are:

1. Keeping at least the amount of one paycheck in my regular account
I’d like to automate my bills again and in order to do that, I will have to have enough green in my account. It will take some time to get use to this system. I might have to rework how I budget each paycheck since it won’t act like a zero-base in my account, but I truly believe it will relieve a lot of stress.

2. Maintaining a flex spending account of $1000 for recreation
This goal really torments my inner debt killer who says that I can’t have fun until I pay off my debt. “HANNAH YOU ARE IN DEBT AND DON’T DESERVE HAPPINESS.” It’s 2017 and I have been killing debt for 2.5 years. Shut up you debt murderer. I really value experiences over material objects and want to travel and visit friends and family. They don’t have to be elaborate trips, anything will help me de-clutter and unwind. So I’m officially saying that I am willing to let the debt linger just a little longer, if that means that I can have a few more experiences this year.

3. Bumping my emergency fund up to $2000
I know that Dave Ramsey says that I don’t need more than $1000.00 in my emergency fund, buuuuuuuut I don’t purchase pet insurance even though I have a very large dog who occasionally needs things for his greater health and wellness. Furthermore… my car needs a few more repairs before it will be in better running condition. These are things that I know are going to pop up in emergency-like fashion. I prefer to get ahead of my emergencies.

4. Keeping a little cash “savings” at home for special occasions
This one is a new strategy that I read about recently. The author of an article I was reading said she kept cash in her bedroom as a little bonus money. When I get bonus money, I usually put it towards one of my bigger goals like debt or Christmas or I use it to buy something I have been eyeing online. I still think those are good options, but I want to see what happens if the piggy bank piles up to $100 or $200. I’m thinking it might be good if something like a candle party pops up or if a sibling has a fundraiser or if I want to go out to eat with my friends without worrying about my budget or my savings goals. This one may not work for me, but I want to experiment.