Sunday, May 30, 2010

Doing Things That Need to Be Done...

I feel like such a big girl right now…we have been working hard at several things that make me feel like an adult. Does that make sense? There are things that you do once you’re older and after you do them and take a step back you sit there and think “Man, that’s something that my parents would do!” and it’s at that point that you realize that maybe, just maybe, you’re growing up.

Where to start? Well, first off, I’ve mentioned several times that I’ve been “nesting” the past few weeks. Cleaning out closets, organizing and just getting our house ready for another person to live there. And to do that, we really had to make some room…which meant renting a storage unit. If you’re familiar with Centex Homes, then you immediately know why I would need a storage unit. These are track homes that are built with cost in mind, not storage space and livability. (No, I’m not sure that livability is a word either, but it works!) The kids’ rooms have no walk-in closets, the linen closets are a joke, there are only 4 upper cabinets in my kitchen and only 5 lower ones. The storage space is somewhat redeemed by a large pantry/utility room with one whole wall of shelves (which still isn’t enough!) and a huge master bedroom closet. Oh, and there is a coat closet down stairs. But that’s it.

We ran out of room before Jenna and I moved in…so we’ve just been putting more and more stuff in the garage…and now the garage was full again. Plus, when you combine houses, you always have extra furniture, right? I’m not ready to get rid of some of those pieces, as they are from great-aunts/grandmothers/mothers…but we’re SO out of room!

So we bit the bullet last weekend and rented a storage unit. Brent immediately went to work emptying the garage and getting his “man space” back. I’m told that it’s not a “man cave” until there’s a TV in there, so for now it’s just “man space.” If he can finish up the painting, baseboards and crown molding this weekend while us girls are out of town, then he’ll have even more space…which is the plan, I think. Anyway, I digress…

He cleaned out the garage and I went to Target and bought some more plastic storage bins. Extra sheets and blankets that we do not use except for camping and sleep-overs were immediately packed up. Closets and dressers were cleaned out of clothes that are outgrown. Toys that are not being played with have been donated to Goodwill/Salvation Army. Shoes that don’t fit (or just aren’t worn) are also being donated. Basically, we’re just cleaning house, doing things that probably should have been done a year ago, but I work on my own time-table as my Mom will be more than happy to tell you!

I also took this energy and applied it to our finances. Since we are out of room in this house, we know that within the next year, we’re going to need to move. And to do that, we needed to make some good financial decisions and reset our financial goals and see what all we can do RIGHT NOW that will put us on that road. With that in mind, we’re paying off our last interest-bearing credit card this next month, which will be SUCH a relief on our monthly cash flow. After having that off of our plate, we’re going to work on a new budget – factoring in the new baby bills that we’re sure to have and see where we are financially at that point.

We also opened a joint checking/savings account (just like adults!) this week and are in the process of combining out household income into one account. We’ll probably still keep our individual accounts to use as our spending/allowance money, but all paychecks and bills will be paid out of one account from now on out. I’m really excited about this as I’m the “bill payer” in the family. Not the person that makes all the money and pays all the bills, but the person that literally sits down and pays all of this bills. Since we hadn’t combined our accounts just yet, it was somewhat of a chore to say you pay this bill, I pay that bill, then we each pay half of this other bill. From now on, they will all be paid out of one account – so much easier on the “bill payer”!

I feel really good about all of these changes…and the timing is perfect to get all of this done before Jax makes his appearance. We have our first baby shower this weekend with my family and I’m anticipating getting all of my bedding stuff, including the mattress for the crib so I can’t wait to make it back home and start setting up the nursery. Of course to do that, all of these other things really had to be done first…it’s progress all the same, which feels good.

Have you done things in your first year of marriage that made you really feel like an adult?

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