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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Meet the parents

So this blog might come as a shock to some of you. I wanted to write about a topic that is hot in our house right now and that is "Meeting the parents." Now, Anthony met my mom, dad, and siblings long ago when we were dating for about a year. That is pretty normal considering my family is about 2,500 miles away from us. I met Anthony's mom and brothers in Novebmer of 2006 just 5 months into us dating..however..I have never met Anthony's dad.

To say that Anthony and his dad have issues would be an understatement. They haven't spoken consistently for years and it seems they are both a bit stubborn about it. I have wanted to meet Alford (Anthony's dad) for the whole duration of our dating/married life. Finally that is going to happen. Next Friday we are going to have dinner up in North Hollywood with his dad and stepmom Kaye. I am really looking forward/feeling awkward about meeting his father. In one way I am so excited to finally put the pieces together and meet the entire DNA that is my husband. The other part of me is really feeling awkward since me and this man already share a last name and he has never seen my face.

We have spoken on the phone twice and it was very brief but overall he has been very pleasant and kind to me and has been really pressing to meet me. I am feeling a bit nervous because I know that Anthony has unresolved issues with him and he with Anthony so therefore there might be a little stickiness in the situation. I am just hoping for a really nice dinner with his dad and step mom and hopefully there will be some fences mended in the mean time. I am looking forward to finally having a father in law. Anthony's mom is married and her husband is really nice to me as well so I have sort of had a Father in Law all along but there is no substitute for meeting the man who gave my husband his beautiful smile and sparkly brown eyes. Anthony is an exact replica of his dad (I have seen pictures) and I am really excited to see them together.

This is the next big piece of news for the Lewis family and it seems like it's so long overdue. I'll keep the blog posted on how it goes and maybe I'll post a picture of the twins (Anthony and his dad) too so you can see what I mean! Keep your fingers crossed, pray for us, etc... that it all goes well and isn't too awkward.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Keep us in your prayers

I just wanted to write on the blog and ask that those of you who have a prayer life...say a few prayers for Anthony and I as we approach Jamie's due date. Our first little one would have been due February 15th and it is really a tender subject right now. We are working through it but it is especially hard as we would be meeting our sweet baby and now we are just empty. I thank you all for your support through this struggle and just ask for your prayers in these next few weeks.



Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fixing our car and getting out of storage!

So the last time I wrote getting rid of the storage unit was an idea. It has now become a success. Last weekend Anthony and I rented a U-Haul truck for the day and emptied out the storage unit within a few hours. We brought a number of things to our apartment (which is now a different project altogether) and took some of the bigger items that aren't used normally to his mother's garage. I am so grateful that she let us store that stuff there because to be honest, we are running out of room.

Another cool thing that happened with this shift in money-saving is that Anthony and I fixed my car this last weekend by ourselves. My car has been acting kind of crazy for a few months and we knew it needed routine things like an oil change, new windshield wipers, and a few light bulbs and things but something more serious was going on with the car. I feared that it was the car slowly dying since I have had it 10 years in May (I bought it new) and it has over 170,000 miles. Well it turns out it was nothing just needed new spark plugs and wires. I learned how to install new spark plugs and wires on
and Anthony and I did it with success and now the car is running perfectly.

Let me just take a few minutes to absolutely praise my little Cavalier. I bought it on May 25,2000 and it was brand new. I put all but 8 miles on my car. I drove it off the lot with 8 miles on it and it was mine after that. I have done all of the routine maintenance on time on the car and all I have ever replaced on the car came from normal wear and tear. It has been a gem to me over the years and continues to be even in its twilight years! :)

Anyway, the car is fixed and we feel great about ourselves. We checked into what money we saved by doing this simple repair ourselves and found that we would have paid our normal mechanic about $300 to replace the plugs and wires including parts and labor. We did it for about $30 total. It is crazy to me that it made that much difference.

Another thing that we did this week was check out a new grocery store that I heard about called The Grocery Outlet It is a lower cost grocery store that sells overstock of name brand items for 40%-60% off of regular store prices. We ended up supplying our house for Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner and household items for 1 month for the bargain price of $140.00. I mean really??? That is crazy.

God has really been helping us figure all of this out and I am actually having fun learning how to be more frugal and a better steward of what he has trusted me with. The next goal is to get that cable/internet bill down and start paying significantly on the debt. Wish us luck!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Slimming it down

For once this post is not about losing weight in the Lewis Family. Today Anthony and I had a "family meeting" of sorts and came to the conclusion that we have to really work on our financial health this year. When I went into my last year of Graduate School Anthony decided that he would ask me to stop working and focus on school and he would take care of the bills. That was all well and good except that we didn't make any changes to our spending. We kept spending the same amount and we quickly got into debt. We used Credit cards when we couldn't afford things, were late on our bills, got behind and now we are just in a really bad place.

We both knew it was time to stop doing the things that we had before and start being financially mature. The first steps we took were to stop spending money on things like dining out and starbucks. We have been pretty good about this for the past several months. We still were hesistant to cut out any more of our lives as we were very selfish. Now we have decided that we need to cut down our monthly expenses considerably and start paying on debt more seriously. It has been hard since my caseload is taking a while to build and since we only have one car working, a full time job for me is hard to do.

Today I started this process by immediately cutting down our cell phone plan by $100 per month. This alone will save us $1200 this year. That is amazing. The second thing I did was to cut down our netflix account. I got that bill lowered by $15 per month equaling $180 this year. The third thing we are working on is our cable/internet plan which we currently pay about $100 per month for. I would like to lower that by at least 50%. Another course of action that we want to do is get rid of our storage unit. We got the storage unit when Anthony moved out of LA and we have paid about $160 a month for it for 2 years. It was such wasted money because if Anthony actually loved and needed those things why are they sitting and collecting dust? We are going down next week on Anthony's day off and emptying out what we can with the car and then following up with a truck and brining my bike to our house. That will save us $1920 this year!!!!!

All of that to say we are also planning to lower our utility bills by being wiser with energy, lowering our grocery bill even more (although we are very good about this), and reducing our use of gas by taking walks to Wal-mart & Target instead of driving when we need only a few items...we get exercise that way and save Gas. We live very close to so many places that this would be great. We are right next door to CVS so sometimes we are literally steps away from the things we need.

I am going to use our family blog to show you the savings each and every day that something changes. I am going to use it as a place to show how I manage our grocery budget, free things that are out there, ideas for reducing debt, etc... I figure if we need this makeover, many do. I am excited yet very nervous for my self-discipline and financial maturity to begin. God is doing big things with my 30th year!