Monday, August 30, 2010

Let Me Sum Up

I started school. Awww 1st grade. . . It's school all right. I have some really wonderful helpers: a paraprofessional, and a parent volunteer. They have done so much of the things I never get to. That's nice because I don't feel quite as on my game as I would like to. I'm sure I'll get better as the year goes on. Part of me wants to be home taking care of a baby and not teaching, but I'm doing my best.
We have good friends visiting us, and that has been fun.
I've been eating a lot of tomatoes from our garden. Yum! The tomato plants have produced more than I expected. Tom and I tried making salsa for the first time. It was a success. We are so good. No wonder we were the iron chefs of Park City. Speaking of Iron Chef, our cable is gone. I miss the Food Network. Wouldn't it be nice if you could pay just a small fee and get just the few channels that you want? TV is too expensive.
Tom and I are looking into buying a house/condo. It's weird to think that just a few months ago we were both looking at unemployment and moving back in with my parents. Our life sure changed fast. Now we're both working and looking at changing our rent to a mortgage payment. In many ways we have been blessed.
One of my good friends came back from her mission, and we got together and did art. It was so therapeutic for me. I am determined to do it more often. Over the summer (before Max was born) I started doing The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron with my mom and my sister. I think I will start that again soon. I think sometimes I drop important things when they are really the most important. I get busy and neglect my hobbies when they would help me to relax. I get busy and I stop exercising regularly when exercise would help me stay healthy and happy. I should get better at that.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Best Steak I Ever Ate
Brian Regan - Kennedys
Roast of David HasselhoffIt's Always Sunny in PhiladelphiaRussell Simmons Presents Stand-Up Comedy

Half-way through this clip is the pertinent part to our conversation here.

So, I've come to an interesting conclusion. I've decided that the best steak that I've ever had actually comes from The Olive Garden. Really, it's more like steak medallions, but they're probably the most super-delicious beef I've ever had. They're grilled perfectly on the outside and nice and pink on the inside. Whatever the heck they marinade that stuff with is simply heavenly.

Now, you might start to question how it is that the restaurant chain could possibly have the best steak I've ever tasted in my life. It was kind of a shocker to me as well. I mean, for goodness sake, I've eaten a $40 steak before (fun/funny story). Trust me, it wasn't that good in comparison. There's just something about the way they prepare anything with those little steak medallions that makes my mouth automatically open to shove another piece in, even if my stomach tells me I'm going to regret it shortly thereafter. I don't care if I explode, so long as I have a piece of that meat in my mouth.

Just thought I'd let everyone know. Go. Eat. Be amazed.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Real Life

So, I guess Lovetta and I are entering a point that a lot people tend to think of as "real life." And I'm not just talking about what we've gone through with Max (though that surely makes the impact of life on this planet quite real). I'm more talking about the fact that we've both graduated from college and are working at jobs we thoroughly enjoy.

We have two incomes and we're young adults. What should we do with all of this money? Now, that statement should be taken with a grain of salt; Lovetta is a teacher, and I make less than a teacher does. Our incomes are not spectacular, but they now exceed what we pay out every month in our bills. There's a whole world of possibilities before us.

Naturally, the first thing I want to do with this money is buy an iPhone. I've been wanting one ever since they were first released, but honestly, the data plans are killer on a college budget if you don't have someone subsidizing the plan you've purchased. That's not as much of an issue now, though I must admit that after some number crunching, my inner poor college student still cringes at the bill.
They always said that an Apple was the forbidden fruit...

Lovetta, ever the saver that she is, then brings up the good point that now would be as good a time as any to start saving for a down payment on a house. I happen to agree with her; the better the down payment you get, the better the monthly payment you get after. We're certainly in a good position to do some saving. Speaking of saving, another thing we've been wanting to do since the day we got married was start doing some long-term investing. Again, now's as good a time as any to start contributing to some sort of retirement mutual fund or some such.

Still, there are a few toys, gadgets, furniture items, etc. that I feel like we've deprived ourselves of because we simply couldn't fit them into our budget. It's also important to save while you have the wherewithal to save. How do you balance the two? How do you know exactly what to aim for in your long-term savings goals without going over for rainy day funds or entertainment type things?

I think that "growing up" or "entering real life" really is just code for "more confused than you were before" or "have more questions than you have answers."