December 31, 2011

Our 2011

It's been a good year. We haven't really had any major events in our lives, but we've gone on several trips and had a lot of fun together.

Nathan gave me a special birthday.
We had our first fondue date night.
We decided to stay in our apartment for another year.

Nathan wrote a blog post.
We figured out our first joint tax return.

We saw Michael W. Smith (one of Nathan's favorite artists) and Amy Grant (one of my favorite artists) in concert. We teared up as soon as they walked on stage.
We went to the Cheesecake Factory for Nathan's birthday.
We paid off the last of our debt, except graduate school loans. 


I bought a bike.

We went to Florida so I could see where Nathan went to college.

We went to the Indianapolis air show.
We went camping with my Uncle John and Aunt Kathy and our dogs.

There was a huge flood in our apartment complex.
We celebrated one year of marriage.
On the same day, Nathan graduated with his MBA.

We went to Chicago for the July 4th weekend.
Nathan's car window got smashed.
We went to Arkansas for our friends Kayla and Austin's wedding.
Nathan lost his job.

We went to GenCon.
We started tackling reorganizing and decluttering.
I met Crystal from Money Saving Mom and experienced a huge spike in page views.

Our friend Eddy got married.
Nathan started working a second shift job.
We got our first smartphones.

Nathan switched jobs again, this time back to first shift.
I finally finished our wedding album.
We started Couch to 5K.

We visited two pumpkin patches.

We celebrated Thanksgiving with my family, and Nathan's family the day after.
My car window got smashed.

We signed the lease on a rental house and started packing for our move.

We visited Nathan's brother and his family in California.
We celebrated Christmas with my family, and Nathan's the day after.

The theme for the first part of 2012 will be boxes, boxes, and more boxes since we're spending our New Year's weekend moving everything (hopefully) into our new rental house. After that? Who knows.

Happy New Year!

December 15, 2011

Ready to Move On

I haven't felt much like cleaning lately. Or cooking. Or blogging. Or crafting. Or doing much of anything really. It's not depression or illness. The problem? Want-to-move-itis. 

I've been doing my best to be content here. I know this apartment is much nicer than what many people have. But when I open up a dryer in the community laundry room and find something, uh, unmentionable, or when we come back after Thanksgiving and see my car looking like this...

...after Nathan's was broken into five months ago...well, it's hard not to want to get out of here.

The good news is, we are getting out of here very soon! While I had a list of the pros and cons of staying here a year ago, there is no way we could renew our lease for another year. Next month, we're moving into a rental house. It has a garage, a fenced in back yard with a deck, and washer and dryer hookups. The overall square footage is a little more than we have now, with a master bedroom as big as I could ever want. And, quite possibly the most exciting part for me, the house is only a half mile from where I work. After a year and a half with a 30 minute commute, I'll now be able to bike or even walk to work.

Although it's wonderful knowing how close I am to having so many new conveniences in my life, it's also making it much more difficult to live in the present. I'm trying to focus one major event at a time, and we have a few of those in the last half of this month! Tomorrow, we're getting on a plane to go visit Nathan's brother and his family in California. Once we get back, I'll be getting things ready for Christmas with both of our families. Since I have a company wide shutdown the week of Christmas, I'll have a week to work on getting everything packed to start moving our things in January.

I'm excited about all of it!

December 6, 2011

Recycled Wedding Invitation Ornament

Wondering what to do with your extra wedding invitations? Or need a Christmas gift for a newlywed? Here's one idea.

One night I was going through my DIY Ideas board on Pinterest and making a list of what I would need to actually make some of the crafts I had pinned. When I came across this invitation ornament, I realized I already had everything I needed and got started right away. I was finished in about an hour.

All you have to do is cut the invitation into strips, curl each strip, and put them inside an empty glass ornament. If you have an X-Acto knife, you can use that for the cutting and then curl the strips around the handle (after removing the blade of course).

Nathan was a little disturbed when he saw me cutting up our wedding invitation, but I assured him it was okay since we still had a bunch of them. Then he reminded me we had gotten rid of all the extras and that was the only one we had left. Oops. Good thing I still have the original files and extra paper.

I realized I never actually blogged about my wedding invitations, so here's what they looked like before I mutilated them.

I actually cut up the entire suite, but I ended up just using the strips from the invitation and a few of the more interesting ones from the other pieces. The ornament was plenty full.

It fits right in with all the other mismatched ornaments. Our tree looks mostly the same as it did last year.

I wanted to buy one new Hallmark ornament this year, and we picked out Tom and Jerry.

Another change is that we're using Bob and Larry as our tree topper this year. Maybe someday I'll buy or make a real tree topper, but it's kind of fun to decide what to put on top as we're decorating it.

Did you do anything with your wedding invitation?

December 1, 2011

5 Goals for 2011: November

1. Exercise for 30 minutes 3 times a week. 
The last four weeks we accomplished this, even when we were out of town for Thanksgiving. This week we'll probably only make it two days. Our first attempt this week, during a snow storm after dark, went fine until I stepped in a puddle of icy cold water.

2. Go to bed at 10:00 each night and wake up at 6:00 each morning.
This hasn't gone well lately. I'm shooting for 10:30 and 6:30 now that we're not running in the morning, but the holiday weekend threw me off.

3. Complete my daily chores and leave no dishes in the sink at the end of the day. 
I haven't focused as much on this one this month, but things have at least been mostly presentable.

4. Spend less than $200 a budget period on food (groceries and eating out). 
I set and achieved this goal the month we were living on just my income but haven't had success with it since then. As much as I try to avoid lifestyle inflation, having nearly three times as much income makes it difficult not to spend a little extra.

5. Write at least 2 blog posts a week.
Due to one of our computers being down, Nathan and I have been sharing my computer for the entire month. In other words, I haven't had a computer this month. He's working on an online graduate certificate in accounting (he will most likely be in school forever, in case anyone was wondering), so it's more important that he has the computer. We should have the part to get the other one back up and running by the end of the week. I have ideas for a dozen posts that I can't wait to write.

One more month to go! How have you done with your goals for the year?