You only have now.

You only have now.

I can not think of a better metaphor for time passing than this picture to the left.

On our brief getaway to Corpus Christi, My husband painstakingly used the umbrella to draw out our initials and the date and was admiring his handiwork (and I was looking for the best angle to take a picture) as the tide washed it away. He drew it again and we were much faster with the camera this time.
At the time, I laughed and thought it was funny. But upon further reflection, I thought. what would you do right now, if you knew the tide was coming to wash it away.

Perception is everything.

Perception is everything.

Dear readers, until a few months ago I called myself fat. I do not do this anymore, okay that isn’t really true. I correct myself when I do say it but its a correction after years of lots of negative self-talk.

I have been thinking of myself as fat for most of my life but really truly, I am not. This picture was taken just before my ninth grade homecoming dance. I remember thinking that thought it wasn’t blue, I really liked the dress and it was a fun evening and I got to buy new shoes and my hair done and it was the first time I started to feel a little bit grown-up.

I have spent most of my life thinking of myself as fat but I am really, truly not. I feel the need to say it at least twice here because of how many millions of times have I said to myself that I am.

Now my husband has been saying to me for years (5 to be precise) that I am beautiful and I have had to really struggle to not set aside his praise as prejudice.

What do you say about you that isn’t true? What can you say today to start turning that around?

Do Not Text and Drive.

“Over 100,000 accidents a year involve drivers who are texting”

Let me type that again.

“Over 100,000 accidents a year involve drivers who are texting”

I know, I know, you only do it at red lights. Or when you are sure no one is in front of you or you are really good at multi-tasking so its no big deal….or…….

Exception after exception as you play Russian roulette with your life. Don’t let this be you or your story.

Do not text and drive.

All we need is you.

Dear Readers, do not underestimate the importance of your presence.

I was reminded recently of how wonderful my friends are and how much I love to help them. I am friends with doctors, lawyers, and teachers to name just a few. Many of them, if not all of them do not need help doing anything much to my chagrin, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to, but yesterday, I had an “aha moment” and I realized:

Being there is enough.

When a close friend battled and won her fight against cancer, I had no words of advice to give but I was there. When a friend moved to New York, I had ideas and high hopes for her, but nothing solid to offer. When another friend had a baby, I wasn’t able to give any counsel but was there to love and be there for her. It’s easy to say you have nothing to give and we are so quick to discount what we can give which is ourselves. I invite you to be there for someone, take them for coffee, pick up a phone or send an email. You are far more important than you give yourself credit for.

Could you, would you give up your IPhone? Guest Post by Tami!

I first heard of Dave Ramsey from my “work mom”.  She has listened to him on the radio for years!  When I would worry about money issues, she always said “you should listen to this guy Dave”  I actually Googled  Dave Ramsey and discovered Financial Peace University.  I also discovered it cost almost $100 to take the course!  As a single mom, I had no idea where I would find the money, so I brushed it off.  Whenever she mentioned him again, I would say “Yeah, but who can afford to spend money to learn how to deal with money?”

               Fast forward to 2012, I was married and we were really struggling to organize combined income and combined debt. .  The debt was overwhelming me, and we were fighting all the time.  Often times, we were going on outings we shouldn’t, and spending money we didn’t have because the financial communication was non-existent.   It went like this… Everyone was having fun and enjoying themselves, then there was me:  with a scowl on my face because I was so worried about how I was going to shift the money around to cover the “fun” we were having.  I felt like the kill-joy of the bunch…

I prayed that God would show us the way!  At church the very next Sunday, it was announced that Financial Peace University would be held at our church for the first time in 3 years!  I was like whoa!  Get this, there was financial aid available!  And God said “I got your back Tami!” I tell JR “Hey honey!  I want to take this get out of debt course on Sunday mornings, and you have to come with me or we won’t get the scholarship” Of course he came along and our journey began!  I ran some basic calculations and got him excited about how fast we could get out of debt.

               Before class started, I read a few chapters of the book and became proactive to make sure we could get the $1,000 BEF saved.  I cancelled my contributions to the deferred comp plan, reduced my Federal withholdings to zero for the rest of the year, and we managed to save the $1,000 two months early!  We were so excited to be in BS2 before the end of class!  We cancelled our cable a few months before we heard of the class, but I shopped around our insurances and we cut our food budget to cut back on expenses.  Christmas that year was an all cash experience which hadn’t happened in many, many moons… Credit cards were cut up and accounts closed.  We were well on our way, and even shaved a few months off our Debt Free Date!   

               Since then, I decided I wanted to take the class again (it IS a lifetime membership after all) However, there were none available in my area… that’s how I became a facilitator!  I now co-facilitate FPU at our church, and our next session will begin this October.  I am very excited and I love sharing the program with others who are struggling.  Their excitement feeds me, which in turn feeds my husband. Of course there are times though when he says “honey there are other things in life besides Dave Ramsey and you need to talk about them too!”

Our most drastic change to date has been cancelling our iPhones… That is a whole experience in and of itself!  Our Total Money Makeover journey is continuously changing as our attitudes and self-discoveries evolve.  Our DFD has changed again, but the opposite direction.  Some past issues came up that need dealt with, but we are dealing with them together.  My husband and I are both eternally thankful for the knowledge we gained through Financial Peace University.  We are both certain that without taking FPU, our marriage would be in crisis.  We will get through this mountain of debt, and we will do it together!


Like this post? Read more from Tami about getting out of debt and her sacrifices for financial freedom here


This is me in June of this year 2013.

This is me in June of this year 2013.

A year later and six months with paleo, I lost 60 pounds. I know its not June anymore but this is the most recent photo I took of me that you can see my whole body. A friend recently asked me if I was documenting the transformation and I realized I have fallen down on that lately so here goes.. The next photo you see will be from September of this year. While the weight loss is great, the increased energy and commitment to my health has been the greatest feeling. My husband put us on this journey in January and it just keeps getting better and better. I never thought of myself as someone who had a special diet or a vegan not that there is anything wrong with it, just wasn’t on my landscape. But now, I am happy and grateful every day for this diet and the changes that we have seen with it. I have done a 5K and been comfortable in a bathing suit for the first time ever…. (and that was just this month) after a life-time of thinking of myself a certain way, I see a different picture in the mirror and I like what I see….

If you are struggling with weight or just feeling run-down, I invite you to take a look at your diet and see if you are eating healthy foods and try it for a week and see how you feel. You might really enjoy it!

This website is our go to place –

This was me in June of last year…

This was me in June of last year...

It was a great day, my best friend got married to a wonderful woman, my husband twirled me on the floor and we had a great time visiting New York. I have been to the city twice before, but this time I got to see it through his eyes and you know what, it was even better than I remembered. It’s probably one of my favourite things about being married is seeing things through his eyes.

Happiness is not always what you think it looks like

Hello dear readers. This morning I got up at 5:15 a.m and worked out in my living room. Two things I DETEST! I did have a brief flirtation with liking “working out” after a dance class a few months ago but it was just that, brief.

I remember when I was younger, I dreamed about being an adult and able to eat cookies any time I wanted to and going to bed super late and looking very forward to all of it. I dreamed about a certain kind of job I would have and winning an Oscar (still plan to by the way 🙂

My life, thus far, has not turned out like I imagined.

It’s better. Lots better.

“Let me explain, no wait, there is no time. Let me sum up”

I have a husband who is wonderful. So wonderful, in fact that it was his suggestion that we get up early today and work out and you know what, I had fun and you know why, because he was there and we were working on our goals together and that makes a big difference.

Knowing you have a partner, whether its a friend or a spouse or an accountability partner makes a huge difference in the pursuit of your happiness.

Who is your partner and why do they rock? Tell me about it!

Step out of your Soap Opera, live in the world…

So yesterday I was venting about an exchange that really annoyed me and after painting an epic narrative about how “wronged” and “scorned” and “maligned” (did she just say maligned? She did) My friend very calmly smiled and said, So what actually happened? I had to laugh and then go back through the events and realize how absolutely ridiculous and over the top my reaction to something so casual turned out to be.

There are real insults to be sure, but the ones we dream up are 10 times worse than anyone could ever deliver. So I say again, step out of your own personal soap opera and look at what is REALLY going on.

Do you live in the real world most of the time or do you also invent epic scenarios?

Or is it just me? 🙂