Saturday, December 31, 2005


This is the family photo for our holiday card. Craig is in the back: the perpetual student, scientist, chef, who loves to read editorials and political blogs. Then there's me. You probably know more than necessary about me. Oh well. Here's more: I teach third grade at a progressive, project-based school. I love red wine and chocolate. I read and write poetry, duh. I have a bachelors in English and a masters in education. Mary Helen is in first grade, is very social/talkative, loves her brother and doing yoga with mom. Liam is The Little Prince: otherworldly, shy at first, loves trucks and bugs. I love this photo not only because everyone in my family is in it, facing the same way, and smiling, but we're all laughing. Priceless. Wishing everyone a new year filled with laughter.

Tonight, Craig and I are going out for New Year's Eve! Unbelievable. We haven't made it out for this night since the pre-kid era. We even have free babysitting services. Craig cat-sat for a colleague, so she and her fiance are babysitting for us. We bought them a bottle of champagne, and we're cleaning the house - that's payment enough! We are going to a co-teacher's house for a party. It will be "fabulous." The dress is "smart." I'm suddenly feeling grown-upish, even civilized. Usually, it's us and Dick Clark and falling asleep before midnight. This is an improvement.

So, I'm thinking about resolutions. I usually bite off more than I can chew. But this year, I have a plan behind my promises to myself. They are mundane and stereotypical, but necessary:

Getting Fit - I need to get in shape, I need more energy. Also, my cardiologist says I need to keep my heart stronger, being that it limps along with a hole and floppy valves. No more excuses. I can't ignore Dr's orders, now can I? So I usually try to do yoga once a week, but now that I am creeping up in my thirties, that's not enough. My sister-in-law suggested Curves, in fact, she sang its praises. Two to three times a week for thirty minutes. It's "do-able" and it works. Plus, its six minutes away. I sign up on Monday.

Budgeting & Saving - Also an area where we have no more excuses. Seven-and-a-half years of grad school are behind us. We both have jobs, we are living in our first house, it's time to get real about the finances. I've been reading Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover Workbook. It's very practical and stern with advice that you may already know, but it's nice to have it put all together for you with a step-by-step plan. Do this, then this, then this. This is my kind of budgeting.

So there you have it, Julia's totally self-centered, empowering goals for 2006. I have writing goals as well, and will save those for another time. How much me, me, me can I put in one post?


Blogger Rae Pater said...

lol, I can vouch for learning a good way to budget.
A couple of years ago, before I separated from my husband, I spent a year going over all our finances and learning how to budget properly.
I went through all our bank accounts, closed down those we didn't need to use. Worked out all of those little ways to save a few pennies. Changed to banks that didn't charge such high fees etc.
It was a HUGE upheaval, changing over automatic payments etc. But at the end of it, wow!
Stress free finances!
What a huge load off!
No more worrying about bills coming in.
All of our regular payments were budgeted for in advance so that when a bill came in I knew the money was in our account and I could just go and pay it. I wished I had done it twenty years ago. It would have saved me so many sleepless nights lying in bed reworking our payments in my head.
I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone that they spend the time and energy it takes to sort out their budget. It's the single best thing you'll ever do!
It paid off doubly for me when I moved out on my own. Because I had already learned all that stuff and done it all once, it was so easy to transfer all that knowledge to my own place and my own, pretty tight, budget.

You have a lovely happy looking family Julia. Have a great and prosperous new year!

7:39 PM, December 31, 2005  
Blogger Michelle e o said...

Beautiful family! Happy New Years with all the best.

9:49 PM, December 31, 2005  
Blogger Michael Parker said...

THis is a great family photo! Have a wonderful New Years evening and day!

Starting tomorrow, I'll be doing the BOdy for Life Challenge in order to get more fit. Cheers to a healthier year for everyone!

10:06 PM, December 31, 2005  
Blogger J.B. Rowell said...

Thanks Rae, Michelle, and Michael - I'm glad I met you all.

Rae - thanks for the encouragement, I really do feel empowered to take control of the finances!

Michelle - I enjoyed and shared your wishes for 2006. Thanks.

Michael - we'll keep each other motivated while getting fit.

Happy New Year! Be safe.

1:28 AM, January 01, 2006  
Blogger DEBTective said...

Dollface, just wanted to say that I'm big-time proud of you for reading up on Dave Ramsey's plan. It makes tons of sense, doesn't it? Good luck on deep-sixing your debt, baby!

11:22 AM, November 07, 2006  

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