Monthly Archives: December 2013

Preparing For The Journey

Well, 2013 is coming to a close and so this is probably my last post of the year.   There are two things I need to talk about before we head into 2014.  First, is to give you an update on my Christmas resolution, stopping to smell the Christmas roses.  Second, is to remind you of what this blog is going to be about in the coming year.

Regarding Christmas, I do not have a day-by-day recap to give you but I can tell you that most days had something Christmasy in it.  My parents live in a neighborhood that has turned into a Candy Cane Lane and we enjoyed walking/driving through that neighborhood on several occasions.  We attended a Christmas program and a Christmas Eve service.  We listened to more Christmas music than we ever have before – to the point where I was starting to get tired of it.  I had a holiday luncheon at work.  I played Christmas songs last weekend as part of the worship band at my church.  I attended two Christmas programs at my daughter’s school.  And today I enjoyed one more family Christmas get-together.   When I take down the tree this year, I will have no regrets over having let Christmas fly by without enjoying it.  What I’m coming to realize is that with two kids, Christmas is getting bigger and bigger each year and harder and harder to ignore.  In retrospect, there was no need to force anything.  You see?  Sometimes resolutions are easy!

The second thing that I need to mention is that this blog will be changing next year.  Beginning in January, this blog will take you on a journey into the life of a family trying to get out of debt and get financially healthy.  I have deliberately avoided discussing the topic with my wife and have not made any plans for budgeting during the new year.  All of that will be done and documented during the next year.  I’m not sure how this is going to go or what my motivation level will be. I do not know how busy I will be next year, but I’m going to take a crack at it and we’ll see what happens.

Now…..on to 2014!!!


Resolutions And Stuff – 2014

In my initial blog post and in at least one other post, I mentioned that this blog was going to be dedicated (at least for awhile) to trying out all the things that are supposed to make you happy.  Newspaper articles or columns, internet articles, books, etc. all have great advice and tips on how to be happier or how to make your life better.  Instead of reading those things and saying to myself, “I’ll have to try that” and then doing nothing, I wanted to actually follow those little pieces of wisdom and then write about what I experience.

Well, there has been a slight change of plans.  I mentioned in one of my resolution tips that my resolution for the next year was going to be to get my family out of debt or to at least make good headway in that direction.  After giving it some thought, I thought it would be a great idea to blog about the process that we will be taking to get financially healthy.  I believe that such a blog will allow people to see the process it takes to do something big like this and it also holds us accountable to staying on track with our goal.  And being that financial freedom is a huge source of happiness, I am technically following my original intent for the blog.

And so, beginning in January, you can check in to see where we are in our journey to financial well-being.   Looking forward to seeing where this goes!


Christmas Update

In my last post, I talked about how I was going to “stop and smell the Christmas roses”.  I decided that I was going to do something unique each day to take in the season.  I don’t want to take the decorations down after Christmas and lament that I let the busyness of life keep me from enjoying this once-a-year time period that I look forward to each year.  So, how did I do this past week?  Let’s find out….

Saturday December 7th: Took my family to the 2nd Annual Dickens Christmas Festival at Simi Covenant Church in Simi Valley, CA.  The church grounds inside and out were decorated to look like 19th century England.  Had fun, although we got there later than we would have liked and it was colder than what we are used to.  Now, I need to mention that we had this event on our calendar long before I made my enjoy-the-season commitment.

Sunday December 8th: Sang Christmas songs at church.  Hey, it counts.

Monday December 9th: Listened to Christmas music in the car.  I do this everyday but did nothing else Christmasy this day.  Today I will play the Christmas music-in-the-car card.

Tuesday December 10th: Sorry.  December 10th was a non-Christmas-acknowledging day. Did listen to music in the car but already used that.

Wednesday December 11th: Workdays are proving to be a challenge.  I did do a little Christmas shopping for a work gift exchange.

Thursday December 12th: Attended my daughter’s Christmas program.  She and the other members of her kindergarten class did a great job.

Friday December 13th: Christmas luncheon and gift exchange at work.

Saturday December 14th: Took my 2 year-old son to see our city’s Christmas parade.  We weren’t able to be there for very long but it probably was long enough to fit the attention span of toddler.  His favorite thing in the parade was the trash can being wheeled behind the horses to pick up the poop.  Yep.  Afterward, it was off to a day of Christmas shopping with my wife.  I don’t mean stopping by the store to pick up a couple of things.  I mean, real Christmas shopping. Later in the evening I showed my two kids Charlie Brown Christmas.

It wasn’t a perfect week, but all in all I think Christmas was celebrated this past week.   We’ll try to keep the momentum going into the next week.



Stop To Smell The Christmas Roses

As I mentioned in my very first post, I am going to be trying out all the happiness-inducing tips or suggestions that you would find in magazine articles, newspapers, blog articles, etc. and then write about my experiences with them.  You’ve run across these articles from time to time and so you know what I’m talking about.  But before I sit myself in front of the Google pond and throw out my line to catch my first piece of advice, I am going to just make one up and write about it – you know, as kind of a practice round.  Because it is the season, I figured I would make my first happiness-inducing step related to Christmas.  What I am going to do is…stop and smell the Christmas roses.

What do I mean by that?  Well, I am going to take some time each day to do something, watch something, hear something, related to Christmas.  In other words, I am not going to let the Christmas season go by without taking time to enjoy it.  I am not going to take down the Christmas tree with regret wishing I had done a little more to get into the spirit of the season, that I had watched…..hold on, the gate outside my house is open and squeaking as the wind blows it back and forth.  I don’t mind it, but it’s probably driving my neighbors crazy.  Give me a second………………………………….all right that’s better.  What was I talking about?  Oh yes, I do not want to regret not doing the little things that make Christmas memorable such as sitting down with my kids to watch a Christmas special, walking around the neighborhood looking at decorations and other such things.  So, during the Rose Parade on New Years Day, I will stop to ask myself…did I smell the Christmas roses?