About Me

My photo
I am a 29 year old teacher of fourth grade. My husband and I began TTC in March of 2008. We conceived our first month, but unfortunately it only ended in an early miscarriage. 8 months later we finally conceived again, and she was our take-home baby! Norah Jane was born on July 16, 2009. 7lbs 0oz 19" long and amazing. We recently had our sweet baby boy, Miles! He was born on June 12, 2013 at 3:37pm, weighing in at 8lbs 4oz, 20 inches long, and PERFECT! We are loving every minute of parenthood (even the frustrating minutes!). This blog is an attempt to chronicle the baby steps, foot steps, leaps, bounds, and milestones of this journey.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

You're Clear for Take-off!You're Cleared for take off!

We finally got the call that we've been waiting for since this process began 2 months ago. We are officially CLEARED TO CLOSE! That means that we will definitely be closing on June 4th! I cannot even begin to describe how excited I am. This has been a long time coming...

{cut to long-time coming story}

Back when I was 18, I received a piece of paper in the mail that made my eyes shine with glee-- a pre-approved credit card application from Capitol One. <-- They even had a leopard print design! How could I not get it??

So I got it.
Thus began the demise of my credit score.

So I charged on it, then payed the minimum balance for a total of 6 months, then decided that it was too much to handle, so I didn't want to do it anymore. I did the responsible thing, and I called Capitol One to tell them that I did NOT want to have this card anymore. They promptly said that I needed it for my future credit and that it would make me look more responsible if I had a higher credit line. <-- seriously. So I fell for it, and they raised my credit line, which of course, made me want to spend more.

The very next month, I got another pre-approved application in the mail from someone else... I honestly don't remember who. They preapproved me for a card with a 2.9% interest rate. Being the responsible {sarcasm, people!} adult that I was, I immediately realized that that was the perfect solution to my credit card debt! I would get the card and transfer my balance from the 9% interest rate card, to the 2.9%.

So I did.
Now I had 2 credit cards, when I wanted none.

So of course I charged more, which led to a high, overwhelming balance for my $21,000 a year self who was living all on her own (read:: paying all of my bills by myself).

So I decided to run.

I decided that what I didn't acknowledge would just go away---> worst logic ever. I ended up getting late fees, over limit fees, and all kinds of other fees, which made everything even worse. My credit score tanked, and it was turned over to a collections agency (whose calls I always ignored), and this was all before I turned 19.

A year later, I decided that I wanted to go to college. I had been out of high school for three years, and I HATED my job. I worked behind a desk, in an office, at UPS Supply Chain Solutions, and I was on the phone with angry clients and U.S. Customs all.day.long. It was miserable. I was miserable. I needed a change, so I went to college.

College=tuition=student loans

I completed my B.S. in Elementary Education in 3 1/2 years, and waited the obligatory 6 months to start paying back my student loans. Except that my student loans were really high and I didn't have a steady job (I was working as a substitute teacher).. so I deferred. Once we were finally in the position to pay our loans back a few months later, we did. BTW, my H also had crazy student loan debt. So we paid them, and thought we were doing really well. We even had this plan, pay them and all of our other bills, and buy a house within 2 years. This was back in 2007/2008.

Well, it didn't happen that way. In July 2009, we had our gorgeous baby girl, Norah. :) She was amazing. The house that we were renting, and had been renting since March 2009 was perfect. The landlords knew us from church, so they gave us a fantastic deal on it. The house was great, so we built Norah a beautiful nursery in there, and all was great. <-- except our credit scores. Why, you ask?

Well, as I was nursing my three week old daughter one day, I received a phone call. A man, who began the conversation by yelling at me, told me that he was from a collections agency, and that I needed to pay my student loans or else! I was like, wait, what?! I DO pay my student loans! Turns out, there was a loan I had no idea existed. I cried. I sobbed. I got angry. They had never ONCE tried to contact me. Ever. Now there was a $9,000 loan that was in collections that I knew nothing about.

So I set up a payment plan, and we paid it with the collections company until it went out of collections.Worst part about this story? It happened again. There was a second loan, for $6000 that I never knew existed. They never contacted me either--> apparently they did't try too hard because we are publicly listed. I cried. I sobbed. I got angry again. This time though, I decided to bite the bullet and look at our credit scores.

Mine was awful. Do you know that credit commercial with the "bad dog credit score?" Well, mine was lower than that. In the 400s. H's wasn't as bad. His was in the low 600s.

I was so broken. How could I fix all of this? How could we ever buy a house? We were sunk. I, thankfully, saw that there were no other loans out there that I didn't know about, but the collections were killing me: 2 student loan collections, and the two credit cards I worked so hard to avoid. They had all followed me to this point. I was broken.

After I was down so low for a few days, I decided to come up with a game plan. I worked out payment plans with everyone that I owed, and I stuck to them. A year and a half later, all of my bills were out of collections, and the credit cards were paid off! So I looked at my score again. 521. Still awful.

Now I didn't know what to do. I had done everything. We were up to date with everything, we were responsible. We could afford a house, but no one would offer us a loan. So I called a mortgage company and said, "What can I do?" Do you know what they told me? I was SHOCKED when they said these words: Get a credit card.

WHAT?!? Are you mental?? I just went through all of that! I just fixed all of that! It took me years! I immediately hung up the phone, shook my head, and said no way!

Then I watched a documentary on FICO/credit scores/cc companies. It was disgusting. You cannot raise your credit without a credit card. Paying your bills on time does nothing to help your score. Paying them late is detrimental to your score. The cc companies target people they know cannot pay fully or on time to make more money on the interest and fees. Which explains how my 85 year old grandmother was given 5 ccs even though she's on a fixed income! It was just awful. H and I both got very angry, and vowed to move to another country...as if that would help. :)

A few months later, I decided to give it a try. I signed up for the credit monitoring service, and decided to get a credit card. I was approved for a $300 credit card. I promised myself that I would pay the annual fee, and NEVER put a dime on the card. EVER! And I didn't. Still haven't. :)

Two months after I got the card, my score shot through the roof. It went up 30 points just because I got the credit card. Ridiculous. Then I disputed some things that were on my report, and it shot up again. I made sure I never spent anything on the credit card, and over the course of a year, my credit went from a 521, to a 633. :) I was finally in the range to own a house.

Now, I'm not saying that everyone needs to go out and get a credit card. What I am saying is that even with us finally being responsible with out money for several years, it didn't do much of anything for my credit score. The atrocity of our "system" is that a cc was the FALL of my score and the RISE of my score. Un-be-lievable.


A few months after I crossed the 630 bridge, we contacted a mortgage company and got pre-approved for a home loan. On April 1st, we submitted an offer on a house, it was accepted on the 3rd, and after an arduous 2 months, we are finally going to be buying our first house. 5 days away. I cannot believe it. I have been working so hard to fix my idiot teenage mistakes for almost 7 years, and now, we are here. It is such an incredible feeling. :)











Sunday, May 27, 2012

20.

At some point in the next 6 months, we'd like to revisit the idea of TTC #2. In my head, there are four things I've been wanting to do before TTC #2 (and definitely before having #2). They are:

#1 Buy a house.
#2 Get a different/bigger car. (We have a Jetta)
#3 Get to my goal weight.
#4 Be all around healthier about my living habits (better eating choices, less TV, etc.)

Well, we're buying a house a week from tomorrow. <--- not spur of the moment, we've been under contract since April 3rd! :)

The car situation will possibly be changing soon. Something my H is working out. Otherwise, we have quite a bit of time to figure that out.

That brings me to #3 and #4, which kind of go hand in hand. I want to lose 20 lbs. 20lbs will be my goal weight, which was the weight I was in high school. Now, I am not obese, or even really overweight, but according to the BMI scales, I am slightly overweight. That's reason #2 that I want to lose the weight. Reason #1 is that I don't feel comfortable anymore with the weight I'm at now.

So here we go. I'm going to tackle Goal 3 and 4 at the same time. I signed up with myfitnesspal.com to keep track of my intake. Hopefully that will help me make better decisions while I'm on summer vacation!


Created by MyFitnessPal - Nutrition Facts For Foods


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Things I don't want to forget

I forget entirely too much when it comes to Norah. I forgot how her little voice sounded when he could make sounds and babbles, but before she could talk-- fortunately I have a few videos of it. I forget when her teeth all came in an I forget all of her stats from her doctors appointments. There's so much that I don't want to forget-- fOr starters:
Her laugh is so contagious. She wasnt falling asleep at a normal time tonight, so I went into her room. I asked her what was up and she said, "I want to feel better. I need non noms." I said, "no you don't, you're not sick, you're smiling!" then, as quick as she could, she straightened her face and said in a serious tone,"I am sick." then she started laughing, which caused me to laugh. :) she laughs constantly, and I love it.

She says "emelade" for lemonade.
She tells knock knock jokes, but says all of the parts.
She makes up songs like crazy. "old mc Donald had a dog and bingo was his name oh!"
"old mc Donald had a hairbrush!" then she busts out laughing.
She calls Publix, "plag lex".
She knows we don't watch woody woodpecker because he isn't nice to his friends.
She is so sweet with her friends at school. She gave one, Shively, a piggy back ride the other day and thought it was so funny that they were wearing the same cherry shirt. Lol

I love her, and I feel overwhelmingly blessed that God chose us to be her parents.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

My third Mother's Day was wonderful. Daniel let me sleep in as much as I could before we had to get ready for church. One day, 7:30 is not going to be sleeping in.... Then I got up to take a shower. I was in the shower for all of three minutes when Norah comes in, rips the curtain open and says, "Happy Mother's Day, Mommy!" Then she asks me seventy-six times if I'm in the shower--- yep!

When I got dressed, she came running up to me with a card that she'd "signed" and a gift bag full of my favorite chocolates ever-- Lindt truffles and the Lindt petite desserts-- SO good. She kept giving me hugs, telling me Happy Mother's Day, and kept singing Happy Mother's Day to the tune of Happy Birthday.

We spent the day together. It was a lazy, rainy day after church. I wasn't feeling too hot, so I curled up on the couch and just hung out. We tried to go to my favorite restaurant for dinner (Korea House), but they were closed on Sunday. :( Daniel says he's taking me there later this week though, so that's a bonus. :)

In other news, we are still on track for closing on our first house on June 4th. I'm getting anxious and nervous. I am not nervous about buying the house so much. I'm more nervous about the closing-- I just want everything to go smoothly, and so far, it hasn't gone as smoothly as I was hoping. I'm staying faithful though-- I have felt that this is all in His plan for us. Ever since Daniel made the first mention of the new non-profit position he is currently in-- I knew it was what we were supposed to do.

Well, that's it for now. I am tired, I don't feel too well, and I need sleep. Only 8 more days of school left this year! I can make it!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Waiting...


Nothing in the waiting game is fun. We have had to move our closing date to June 4th (officially) because of the major screw-up/lie from Quicken Loans. I have a feeling that they are going to make us postpone it even further because they are going to say that they didn't have enough time to "process" the paperwork. Ugh... sometime within the next two months, I should be a homeowner...hopefully.

Anyway, Daniel started his new job yesterday. He came home yesterday and told me that he had the best day. He said that he had a bit of information overload, but that he feels capable to do the job. I told him that I was so afraid that he was going to come home and say, "Nope. Can't do it. Sorry." He laughed and reassured me that he could do it, and that he wanted to do it. He did say, "Now some days I will say that. Just remind me that it is only one day and that the next day will be better." I'm so happy for him, though. I'm happy that this job will be fulfilling. We are going to miss the church so much--especially the people, but Daniel needs people that need him.

So now let's talk about Norah (and Scarlett).
Norah is 2 years, 10 months old-- I cannot believe that in 2 short months, I will have a three year old on my hands. I am looking forward to three, actually. There is a 70-30 split on the people who say that 3 is the worst age of all (I firmly believe it will be 16) vs. the people who say it is the best age. I am going into 3 with armor on, though. I am going to expect the worst, but hope for the best. I do have a hard time believing that I am going to hate 3 though. She can be a serious handful at times, but nothing we can't handle. In fact, most of her meltdowns are just down-right funny to us.

So, what does she DO right now?
Obviously she can say any word under the sun. She holds full conversations with us, questions EVERYTHING, and is F-U-N-N-Y.
Her favorite word right now is Why. I read one time that the average 4 year old asks 400 questions a day. In my more naive state, I didn't see how that was possible-- now I do. Norah asks at least 200 questions a day, and I am sure if I counted each one, there may be more than that. As she gets older, I am sure she will be more inquisitive.

She has a joke. One joke. The only problem is that she doesn't know how to "do" it. It is a knock knock joke, but she thinks she is supposed to say all of it, so she says, "Knock knock, who's there? Boo. Boo who? Don't cry!" All together and in about 20 seconds. lol...she's a trip.