Saturday, April 23, 2011

I Cut Hair

Brian's been asking me to buy clippers so I could cut his hair to save some money. And this week on one of my meandering Costco trips I saw a pair of Wahl clippers for 24.99 and decided I'd give it a go. 

I tried to cut his hair back when we were dating and his roommate had to preform some major damage control before he went out in public. So tonight I watched a couple youtube tutorials before I went to work. They were short clips that only showed how to do the sides, but I felt like I had a decent idea of how to go about it. The result was good! 

Since it costs 12.99 for a man's hair cut at Great Clips it will only take one month for our new clippers to pay for themselves! This is going to be a yearly savings of 260.00. That's nothing to shake a stick at folks.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

DMV and A couple new books

I have lived in Colorado since September 2008. Since that time I've failed to obtain a Colorado Driver's license. I've registered my vehical and got Colorado insurance, but still no license. It's not that I haven't tried. I did. I went to the DMV last year but they only took cash or check (I had neither that day) and the line was literally out the door. So I did what anyone else would do: cried and gave up. Until this week that is. At our preadmission appointment we learned that if I did not change my license to my new married name, I would be Ashley Harris on Ava's birth certifcate even though my social security card is in Ramsey. 

So this morning I grumpily pulled out my documentation and went to the DMV. I was there before it opened and got to the counter pretty quickly. But I had forgotten to bring my marriage license to prove my new last name. Even though I had my social security card with it. But the guy was nice and told me that when I came back I didn't have to wait in line, I could just walk right up. So I did that and now I have a Colorado driver's license! Well, more accurately I have a temporary slip of paper until mine arrives in 30 days. It feels good to be legal!

After my money post yesterday I saw a review over at Challies for Randy Alcorn's new book Manging God's Money. I figured I pass it on to you guys. I usually find Challies' reviews right on and Randy Alcorn's writing very true, so probably worth a read.

Randy Stinson and Dan Dumas of Southern Seminary also have a new booklet out that I can't wait to get for Brian, A Guide to Biblical Masculinity. Our friend Steve Watters is the editor and since I've seen a lot of Steve's work while at Boundless I'm super excited for this new project of his. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Paying the Bills

Until this week Brian's handled all the Ramsey finances, but since I'm officially a SAHM it makes sense for me to take the day-to-day finances off of Brian's plate. He'll still review our overall budget periodically because he believes that as a husband he's ultimately responsible to God for our stewardship, but I'm going to be doing the general finances and that's a big deal for me. Let me explain. 

I was a teller at a bank for almost 6 years, so my friends and family thought it was weird that Brian was the money guy. There were two reasons why Brian did the finances and not me. The first one, like I said, was that as the head of our home we believed that Brian was ultimately responsible for the stewardship of our money. By that I don't mean that how we spend our money is all Brian's responsibility or that I shouldn't ever be the money manager. But since he didn't have much experience with managing money prior to us getting married he needed to do the budget for a while to understand what our financial picture was going to look like to make sure that the way we were paying off debt, saving, giving and spending were in line with what we discerned to be honoring to God.

Second, I couldn't handle the emotional stress of dealing with the household budget. If we got an AT&T bill that was over the normal amount, I would go into full-fledged freak out mode, talk about canceling our service and how this bill was going to land us in the street and me in the hospital from a stomach ulcer. So I had to promise that I wouldn't open bills. Seriously. 24 year old woman who can't open her own cell phone bill for the sake of her mental health. 

But over time (over a year) I was able to see Brian deal with money in really healthy way. If there were overage charges on a bill, he just called and nicely (without threatening anyone's life or crying) explained the overage and just like that the person on the customer service hotline removed the charge and all was well. I'm so thankful for the way Brian has not only modeled handling our household finances but also taken the time to help me see that the way I acted about money said money was the most important thing to me. It's not anymore. And since I can open bills and even pay them without any trips to the ER, I'm taking over the weekly budget.

As part of taking over the budget, I want to implement a new organizational system, but it's hard without office space. We do a lot of our stuff online like everyone else these days, but there are always papers to be dealt with. I LOATHE paper. It takes up space we don't have in our little apartment. We don't have a desk area to manage our necessary papers so we keep boxes in closets that really aren't accessible. Do you have any suggestions for organizing a bill center with no desk space? Or any sites that could have helpful tips? 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pregnancy Update

Tomorrow marks my 35th week of being pregnant. It's been fun, exhausting, painful, awkward, and emotional but most of all,  such a gift. 

Life is accelerating toward Ava's coming at a speed that's causing me to clutch the proverbial door handle. We've had three sweet baby showers where our friends and family generously helped us prepare for Ava's arrival. 

Then we had our first birth class. Our Doula/birth coach is awesome. Brian and I are incredibly thankful to have found her and feel so much more at peace about this whole process with her help. She is a believer who does birth coaching as a ministry for no charge. She's worked with our doctor many times before and they both have a great amount of respect for one another. Last week she gave me the homework of walking 30 minutes a day. That sounds easy enough, but it's proved to be a challenge when I have to head back to the house every 6 minutes to pee.

Today we made our pre-admission arrangements with the hospital (billing, birth plan, legal stuff). Everyone was competent and professional, but I did pick up a lot "drug pusher" vibes. 

I'm not trying to be a martyr and if I have to have some pain intervention it won't be the end of the world, but I'd really like to avoid that. I'd also like to avoid the nursing staff asking me what my pain level is on a scale of 1-10 throughout labor. If I need something for the pain, I'll ask. And even though I wrote that very plainly in my birth plan the nurse explained to me how the scale works (1= uncomfortable - 10=feel like you're having surgery without anesthesia) and told me they would be checking in with me about my pain levels from time to time and needed to know at what number from 1-10 I would like meds. I told her that I could be at a 10 and still not want meds. I don't think she liked my answer. Then she went through the list of the possible drugs I could be given and some of the ones she went through weren't presented as optional. 

One thing I've learned during this pregnancy is that it doesn't do a lot of good to let your alternative medicine flag fly in these situations. It can come across as disrespectful to their profession or just make you seem hard to get along with and both are counter-productive. So I'll wait and talk to my doctor next week about drug concerns. He tells me that if he were giving birth, he'd want the epidural but as long as I'm healthy I can give birth however I want. He's not a control-freak and he's not out to make it easier on himself- such a blessing!

I guess that's all there is to update on for now.