For the last month…

I have been working harder than I have ever worked in my life, and I am loving it.

I’m lucky that I enjoy my job, and over the last 5 weeks I’ve gained new responsibilities, new amazing coworkers, and exciting new opportunities that my company wouldn’t have even dreamed of a year ago.

And on top of all that – I got a raise! It’s a significant amount and it’s been a longtime coming. In December our company President told me her goal for my new year raise, and finally after 4 months of approval from the new investors and a reorganization of my entire team, it’s gone through!

Coincidentally, the increase is exactly how much I would want to have saved for a baby in about the YEAR that we have left. This makes me so confident that no matter what, we’ll be financially ready.

I’ll do another investment post shortly, don’t you worry! My savings account has been steadily fattening itself up and I smile every time I look at it.

Things that will happen after we start TTC

To help myself get through the long waiting period before we start TTC, I like to relate my wait to the wait for other things in life. Here are some things that are further away than our projected TTC date.

Hamilton Playing in my City – June 2018 – This won’t be happening until mid/late 2018, and I have heard ALL about it from my friends who already have tickets. I assume that at this point their enthusiasm and readiness for the date to get here is somewhat close to mine for our date, but in the end they’ll have just seen the biggest play of the decade and hopefully I’ll be, you know, pregnant.

The Incredibles 2 will be in Theaters – June 2018- This is one I’m actually looking forward to also! I love The Incredibles and have been ready for this sequel since the announcement and poster were revealed a while back. Knowing that this kind of lines up with our trying period means I’m even MORE excited for it!

My Student Loans will be 50% Paid Off – Winter 2018 – This is still a projection, but according to the rate I’ve been paying them and based off my current financial plan, I should hit the big 50% mark late 2018! How amazing will that be? So amazing, let me tell you. So friggin amazing.

Star Wars Land will Open at Disney World – 2019 – Now this is one that’s a LONG WAY away. In theory, we could already have a little one by the time this theme park opens and you KNOW Guy is going to be excited about that. We already have some cool Star Wars stuff at Disneyland, which we are way closer to, but it is cool knowing that someday there will be an even bigger Star Wars area at Disney World. That will mean we have to go for a whole WEEK when we eventually vacation there as a family!

This practice is something that really helps me get through a long wait. Keeping things relative keeps me sane!

Friday Name Day #17

Hello hello hello! What’s your name? Here are some more names that I’ve added to my list recently as possibilities in the long list of names I might choose for my future babies. You might like them too!

Hudson
This is one that’s pretty close to my heart. First off, it sounds friggin cute. It’s simple and straight forward, unique but easily to pronounce. H is a great letter, by the way, which I don’t use often enough. The meaning of the name is very simple, “son of Hudde” meaning someone names Hugh or Harrison, or a similar name (for which Hudde would have been a nickname). I also like that this is the name of a place – the Hudson River. I love being from the East Coast originally, although we’re a West Coast family now, and tying a kid back to the East Coast by their name might be nice! Also might make it so there’s less people with that name where we live, which is definitely ideal.

Season
This is a brand new one that I came across on a baby name list. Right now I love flower names, but a lot of them are moving up in popularity recently and hopefully we avoid a name that’s super popular! This is an interesting take on having a name from nature, because it’s so different and unique. I’m not sure what the nickname would be, but 2 syllables isn’t too long!

Do you know anyone with these names? What do you think?

Eco-Friendly Living – Part 1: Presents!

As Guy and I make headway on this journey of adulthood, we’re trying to be our best versions of ourselves. That includes eating well, being positive, and keeping our community and our planet a happy healthy place for future little ones. Here are some things we’re doing to be eco-friendly!

The FIRST thing is thanks to a fellow blogger, Valerie at Living Lighter in Atlanta! She did an Eco-Pad give away and I was selected as a winner! I received in the mail a package containing a reusable cleaning pad from EcoGreenPads.Etsy.com. It’s a reusable pad for our Swiffer, and I cannot WAIT to use it. While I’m still trying to convince myself that maybe someday I’d be emotionally ready for cloth diapers, this is something I can totally use already.

Instead of buying Swiffer pads on Amazon, where they cost just under $1.00 a piece and are thrown away, I can now reuse this guy TONS of times. Here’s a link to the etsy shop where they originally come from and they go for $12. At the rate I clean the first floor of our apartment (which is all hard wood) and our bathrooms (which are linoleum) I go through about 6-9 reusable pads in a month. So in 2 months, especially now during the rainy season, I can go through $15 of disposables, OR just 1 reusable pad!

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I’m super excited about this step in our eco-friendly apartment journey, and can’t wait to share the results of this new cleaning tool! Yes, I get excited about new cleaning tools. For friggin’ sure.

Thanks again to Valerie for doing this Giveaway! Follow her blog for more mom and family friendly posts (:

First Time Talking Family Planning with my OBGYN and…

She was great!

Honestly, I was really excited for this appointment (which had been rescheduled twice, mind you) thinking I would open up a treasure trove of secret tips and tricks I haven’t been able to find online.

But in reality, it was a 10 minute chat and couldn’t have made me happier. If anything it was underwhelming, and she was more positive than I was!

I asked about when to stop birth control, she said a month before trying unless I’d rather do earlier (we might do a couple months so I can see what my period is like without meds) but she said just to call and she can give me as much or as little BC pills as I need. (Love that.)

I asked about lifestyle and she said exercise is great to do but I am in good health, and she doesn’t doubt that it would be pretty straight forward for us to get pregnant! She asked if Guy was healthy and young too and I said yes. She said I can stop alcohol and caffeine when we really start trying (AND she said that coffee isn’t even that bad for baby?!!? This blew my mind and I will be asking her to reconfirm this like 20 times before we’re pregnant.)

Lastly she said I should start prenatal vitamins at least a month before trying, so that the folic acid I would need is in my system before conception.

All of this sounds good – and SUPER surprisingly simple! I asked her “is that it?” and she said “yup!” I could do more if I wanted, like exercise and such, but she doesn’t seem too worried or concerned that we would have any trouble. I got an exam (also crazy fast) and she said everything looks great.

BOOM! Grade-A baby-making parts!

Ugh this is just so nice to have off my chest. I think my insurance will change before we get pregnant, and now I’m kind of sad because I love my current doctors and nurses.

Before the appointment I spoke with a nurse and told her I’d be asking the doctor about family planning. After my appointment I had to check out with that nurse too, and as I was leaving she said “hopefully next time we see you, you’ll be pregnant!” It gave me butterflies! And it was helpful that the woman and her husband in the nurse’s station next to me had just confirmed their pregnancy.

Goosebumps, I tell ya, GOOSEBUMPS! (:

My Sentimental Madness: Why I Love Cards

I have always loved sending and receiving cards whether in the mail, on holidays, or randomly as a surprise. I find them oddly personal and meaningful, even if they’re from my local CVS.

I find I am with the minority on this one. Guy is not very sentimental, and at first found it odd that I have a box of old cards that I keep and go through sometimes when I’m feeling happy or sad, to negate whichever emotion I’m feeling and throw myself into a tizzy (it’s hard living away from family!).

Ultimately I blame my mother for this nostalgia for my own life and the people in it. She’s an emotional person and I absolutely am too. However I blame my father for my emotional iron grip on things as simple as cards. He has a poor memory, and I have definitely gotten that from him in the genetic process.

My memory is so poor that I literally rely on simple reminders of people to bring up waves of emotion regarding events I might have forgotten otherwise. And I’m in my TWENTIES! I don’t have a hard time with short term stuff, I get through the day perfectly fine and efficiently, but I forget things in the past really, really easily.

I can remember that I had a birthday party last year, but without looking at pictures or asking Guy I have a hard time remembering what we did. Was it on my actual birthday? Was it the following weekend? Did we go somewhere alone? Did we go as a group? Did I enjoy it?

I’ve had to explain this to Guy, that he can’t be offended when I genuinely can’t remember what he got me for Christmas a year ago. (I do have a secret list running of gifts, because I don’t want him to feel like those things don’t matter.) But it’s still hard to sound aloof when it comes to things worth remembering.

I’m a cluttery person and a frequent photo taker, and these feelings of needing small reminders to remember big events in my life are enough to justify keeping a box of old birthday cards in my closet. I cherish them and love them. Some have the signatures of my grand parents passed, or friends I’ve grown away from over time. If my memory of them fades, I want to have those tokens left to remind myself, on a semi-regular basis, that they’ve existed.

/emotional admittance to the voice

Birthday Coupons For Everyone!

Hi everyone, yup that’s you!

My birthday came and went recently and I wanted to tell you about all the free stuff I must have signed up for over the last few years that gave me “gifts” on my birthday, so you can sign up too!

STUFF – These are things I got straight up for free!

  • Large Popcorn at AMC theater. My birthday happened to be on a Saturday and we saw a movie. I checked on our way over and for your birthday they send you a message that gives you a free large popcorn! It was so worth it and saved us like $12 (even though I probably would have gotten a small otherwise)
  • Any Drink at Starbucks. This one popped up on my Starbucks app a couple days before my birthday and worked similar to a regular Starbucks reward. It might also work for food but I used mine for a large drink as a special treat (and everyone said happy birthday to me!)
  • 1-Day Rental from Redbox. They sent an email right around my birthday with a code for a free day rental! It was only valid for 2 weeks though so we used it right away (to rent Storks, an adorable baby-filled animated movie that made me embarrassingly emotional)

COUPONS – Lots of these came in and I’ve only used a couple so far. Convenient though that we’re moving soon!

  • 15% Cost Plus World Market. Valid the whole month, we have a shopping trip planned this weekend to use it! Curious to see if it’ll work on items already on sale, fingers crossed!
  • $10 off $30 Hot Topic. Listen – they have a lot of great toys and I do tons of gift shopping there! Also valid the whole month, and works out to a solid 33% off if I keep the total costs low. Might use it to by adorable Stranger Things toys…
  • $3 off a Cake at Dairy Queen. Definitely won’t be using this one, but it’s a nice gesture from a company who I do NOT remember giving my email and birthday too, but oh well.
  • 20% off Fig Leaves. I probably won’t use this one either, but I do like this company. They’re a lingerie company based in the UK that has a lot of size options that many companies don’t offer! My bra size can be hard to find, so if I needed more bras I might actually use this one. 20% off bras is a LOT!
  • $10 off Victoria’s Secret. Don’t quote me on this, I can’t remember if there’s a minimum purchase with this coupon because it came in the mail. Seemed like a good deal though, if I needed anything from there!

A lot of other companies just sent me an email that said Happy Birthday without a coupon, which was crazy.

Hopefully some of these coupons sound useful to you! Let me know if there are any other good ones I missed (: