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Saturday, March 24, 2012

March Madness

It is cooling off in Madison, but for the last few weeks it has been in the 80's...just in time for March Madness. This is one of our favorite times of the year, David's and mine that is! Not only do we get to watch tons of basketball and scream at the T.V. but we get to torture the big boys with constant basketball banter. Plus we now have Babe-o the Baskeball Allstar who is in training for the N.B.A. and loves to "DUNK," play "BALL," and watch "BALL" on T.V. We are in March Madness heaven!

Papa's assist

That was a Foul! Bad call ref!  

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Inquiring minds want to know...

Be assured that the Lamberts are not starving, homeless or foreclosing, wearing clothes with holes in them (at least not with holes that you can see), or having frequent convos with the repo-man. In fact, even after Mama Kati's grumblings, we still get digital TV and Tivo so that Deo can watch all his shows, and Papa can watch Sportscenter to his heart's conent. (Okay, so after I grumbled I had to stop watching Housewives and Chopped so as not to be a hypocrite). We also still use expensive haircare and cleaning products and eat certain organic foods because I refuse to compromise on some things. So, all in all, we still look the same, and smell the same. We even have a fund for dollar Diet Cokes and coffee and a measly pile of money for monthly fun.

So what's different? We know exactly how much money we owe "The Man." We have started paying it back in large amounts, and we have a small savings account for emergencies! We have an idea of how to start to think about what we want our retirement plans to look like and what kinds of insurances we need for ourselves and our family. We have a budget for every month and we know where every penny goes for the first time in the history of our lives. This means we only spend a pre-determined amount of cash on things like groceries and when we run out we get creative (Slumgullion for dinner). And we do run out. And we do try to be creative. Some months we have "gazelle-like" financial focus (our first month) and some months (our second month) we're more like dodo-birds and fail miserably.

Right! So, duh! Maybe most of you do/have this already. More likely, most of you don't, cause there's a lot of credit cards out there people, not to mention student loan debt.  We didn't. We never did. And paying attention and cleaning up is hard!

Why do I need to be telling you this on our blog?
Well, it's a long story but I 'll try to be short about it. We have been working on our finances for two months now - building up said E.R. fund and peicing together what little scraps of baco-s we can to pay off a part of one of many credit cards. Did I say this is HARD! It's hard because we are spoiled. We have some money -we are not suffering or in need- we just make bad decisions with the money we do have. We like to spend money on things that help us get away from the stress of life (like little trips here or there, retail therapy at the outlet mall, mainly nice, somewhat expensive things we can't afford). Really when it comes down to it - we are selfish. There is no reason why we can't live and enjoy a more simple life so that we can be accountable for the debt we do have and hoepfully, in the future, do a better job sharing our wealth others who depend on us or those really in need. 

Cut to the gym. (We do spend a little cash to work out at the gym while E plays with friends). I am running on the treadmill and watching Public Television, a show on Greek tradgedy, something I know very little about. A portion of the show focuses on Socrates and his convictions: 
"Everyone should be responsible for their beliefs." My brain works in mysterious ways (and that need not be explained, now or EVER) but I get to thinking about how we are digging ourselves out of our secret debt in secret. We don't talk about it, we don't share our story with others - it's shameful. We feel shame. And maybe this shame is part of what drives us to retail therapy, it certainly kept us from taking a serious and total look at the problem in the first place. So really "So-Crates" who was a radical dude, according to Bill and Ted, is really to blame for this blog. I decided not to hide anymore, to be accountable, and to write it down, not just for you all but for us too - to say we did it, to check ourselves, to be true to our beliefs, to have a record of the fun and joy our amazing family has shared for free (or really, really cheap) while we lived this journey together. Once a month I'll write an entry specifically about our financial clean up project the rest of the time I'll share our stories and put up cute pics of E, like these:

Two... Surprise!

Sidenote: This really is all about Socrates and the INCREDIBLE, WONDERFUL, AMAZING BABE-O (who will steal the show EVERY SINGLE TIME). We aren't looking for sympathy, money or free stuff (well free stuff is always good and so is cake, we really like cake and cookies and veggie hot dogs with lots of ketchup).  BTW - what do you think Socrates kitchen looked like? Cause with all this thinking, writing, and Momma-ing my kitchen looks like crap, not to mention my laundry room.

Hey, seriously, what do you think Socrates kitchen looked like? Comment on it.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Turkey Time!

This is a great new way to procrastinate! And procrastinating is free! (for the moment it will probably cost me later).

This morning we are visiting the gym. E gets to play with his friends and David and I work out and catch up on work stuff. So here I am: in a quiet office and the last thing I want to do is work.
So I am doing all kinds of things to do everything but. During this process I realized that I have not shared any of the pictures of our Winter Break with the Turkeys! This must not be postponed! So here they are...

Meet Hans and Franz (and the free range Babe-O).
No Fear

Not even a little.

Even more interesting than Hanz and Franz is Henny Penny. I think the fascination is that she plays hard to get. See for yourself.

So there you have it - procrastination at it's finest.
 Have a free-range kind of weekend!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Best Things in Life are Free (or really, really cheap).

It's nap time at our house. Nap time is free and one of the best parts of the day. E is usually exhausted from a busy morning of playing, exploring, and learning. He settles easily and peacefully down for a nap. Mama gets a quiet minute to do STUFF that proves difficult to do with E at my feet (like use the computer, make dinner, wash dishes, or catch up on work and reflect on the amazing-ness that is my life with David and our family).

This morning was especially exciting because it is in the high 40's and perfect for running around the front yard (and the neighbors' front yards). Today we made a bird feeder out of a Diet Coke bottle and hanger (minus the birdseed it was completely free). E got to help fill the feeder (and the ramp) with bird seed.

Then we hung it in the tree and proceeded to call the birds to eat: "Babies (this means birdies, of course) num, num, num." After, we stood out on the ramp and waited for the birds to come. E sang some songs and bounced up and down and watched garbage trucks drive by. No birds have shown up yet, but I am certain that by the end of the day there will be creatures of one sort or another eating all the goodies that E left behind.

Where are those Babies?

These are the things that I never have time to record. These are the moments of our lives that fill our hearts with happiness and nourish our souls. These are the things we wish we could share with our family and friends more often.

Over the last six months, David and I have set some goals for ourselves that we have been slowly but surely accomplishing. We both accomplished some of our long-term weight loss goals.  Recently, we have set out to make order of the chaos and destruction that is our financial situation. (There will be more detail on this to come). In the process of making changes to some of the bad habits that have become second nature in our lives, like not taking our finances seriously, there have been realizations, enlightenment, and a new way of living. For example, instead of $200 music class, E now goes to Toddler Art Time at the library, FREE. And you can't tell me this isn't the BEST piece of artwork you have ever seen!

Notice the precise application of glue stick.

This blog is a way to record our journey as we recover from our financial mistakes and carve out the life we want to have: a simple life, where the best things are free (or super, super cheap like our raw-some bird feeder).
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