Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hatin' It

It has been rough today. I thought for sure the scale would reward me with at least a three pound weight loss, but nothing. Not one ounce. I was pretty good Monday through Friday. I was good most the day Saturday, but then had a big dinner with my in-laws. Still, I didn't think I did poorly enough to still not lose weight this week. I also had a nice dinner on Sunday with friends, and treated myself to three cookies. You wouldn't think that would be enough to undo a week's worth of serious exercise of almost an hour per day (at least 600 calories a workout).

At least I didn't go up. And I'm still committed, even though I'm slightly depressed. I know the formula works, and eventually, I will start dropping. You don't know how tempted I am to go out and buy Slim-Quick to see if it won't jump start my weight loss goals. I still might.

I'm also doing better at working more hours. I make myself a goal of hours at the beginning of the week, and give it to my boss to hold me accountable. I'm shooting for three hours a day, and I've done pretty good with that. If I keep to that goal, we should be in good shape to pull ourselves out of debt by next year. I'll give you the Dave Ramsey shout out when it happens.

Friday, January 9, 2009


I have found these things self-evident:
  • It's easier for me to stay on the diet in the morning, but it gets progressively harder until night time. So far, I've still done well.
  • I drink a lot of Pero with Splenda to stave off my hunger.
  • The fourth day is when things get a little tougher; the cravings can overpower the will. I had four Hershey's Kisses. Not too bad. I consider it the treat I deserved for running four miles.
  • I bought myself some Slim-Fast chocolate bars when the urgings just get too great. They're delicious and only 120 calories. But you can only eat one, which is okay.
  • I envision myself on a beach in California looking my best in a bathing suit. We're planning a trip to Disneyland with some unused American Express miles Kulani's been collecting since his work pays for all bills using his card, and he gets the points.
  • I'm feeling great.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Let's start this back up again!

Okay Sisters -- I'm ready to get back in the game.

A lot has changed for me starting in 2009. First, I just had a baby and second, I quit my full-time job. So I've got pounds to lose and money to be saved. When I was working full-time, Hans and I had a lot of extra income and a lot of it went to savings. I'm a little worried that our savings goals will be drastically reduced. But... every little bit helps. We want to buy a house this summer, and though I don't think we'll have the full 20% down payment for our price range, we will be able to swing a 15% (I hope.)

I also started Weight Watchers again. It worked so well for me a couple of years ago that it is worth trying again. And I have lost 4 pounds already -- which is pretty easy when you're nursing full time and were previously eating like a 300 pound sumo wrestler.

I've got lots of goals right now and I'll work on getting them organized and posted later on. How about you all do the same?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Really? Seriously? Are you kidding me? Really!

On the special Saturday Night Live episode on television last night, one of the news segments was called "Really? Seriously? Are you kidding me? Really?" Basically the anchors would say something about the economy and then say, "Really? Seriously, really?" You get the idea.

But come on, really? Is this really the second Great Depression we're heading into? Really? I'm posting this over here and not on my family blog because Kulani is, well, depressed about all this talk on the economy, and I don't blame him. He said this has been his least productive week of work in a year, and it's likely because this underlying grief over the world's economic state. I think we're all feeling it. But wouldn't it have been great to be able to read what our grandmothers and great-grandmothers felt and dealt with during the first Great Depression? What were their thoughts the months leading up to it? How did their families survive it?

Currently, I haven't seen any personal signs of the economic downfall. Life seems to be going on as it always has. I haven't bothered to look at our 401K, and I don't think I will until things turn around. For history's sake, the stock market has dropped some 35% over the past year going from a high of 14,000 down to below 8,000. We don't know if this is the bottom yet. During the Great Depression of the 1920s, stocks lost over 80% of value. The Federal Reserve cut interests rates by 1/2 a percentage point trying to entice people to invest. Even though we could re-mortgage our home from 6.2% to 5.8%, we're not biting. For one, our home would likely not appraise for as much as it did a year ago, thereby requiring us to pay PMI. Secondly, we're unsure banks would lend us the money. Lending is tight.

Kulani's job seems stable as of now. I still work from home part-time for a very stable company, but we specialize in banking software, which could mean good or bad things for my company. We're on the cheaper side of banking software and services, so maybe we'll pick up new banks who are trying to save money. But we may also lose banks going out of business. If either of us loses our job, we have some backup plans that could include land surveying (Kulani), pizza delivering (Cindy), bike mechanic (Kulani), babysitting (Cindy), etc.

But it's all about perspective as well. As I've said before, listening to Dave Ramsey really calms the nerves. Stay far-far away from listening to Glen Beck: doom, doom, and more doom. No matter what the situation, I'm confident we'll get through this. I survived the recession of the early 90s. I remember times being tough. I remember the feelings in my heart of not wanting to ask Mom and Dad for anything, because I knew they didn't have a lot of money, and I didn't want to make them feel bad about not having the money--or guilt them into buying me something.

I'm guessing that people during the Great Depression cheered each other up by saying, "Well, at least we don't have it as bad as the pioneers had it." And I'm sure the pioneers said, "Well, at least we don't have to sail across the ocean and start anew like the pilgrims." And the pilgrims probably pointed to how hard the Jewish people had it. And so on.

So maybe we're heading into the times foretold for the last 50 years where our food storage will feed us for a year. I know my mother-in-law has been predicting the end of times since the 80s, so it may be another false alarm. Our ward's emergency preparedness lady sent us out an e-mail the other day with the following quote from Brigham Young:

The first year that I came into this valley I had not flour enough to last
my family until harvest, and that I had brought with me, and persons were coming
to my house every day for bread. I had the blues about one day; I went down to
the old fort, and by the time I got back to my house I was completely cured. I
said to my wife, "Do not let a person come here for food and go away empty
handed, for if you do we shall suffer before harvest; but if you give to every
individual that comes we shall have enough to last us through." I have proven
this many a time, and we have again proven it this year. I have plenty on hand,
and shall have plenty, if I keep giving away. More than two hundred persons eat
from my provisions every day, besides my own family and those who work for me. I
intend to keep doing so, that my bread may hold out, for if I do not I shall
come short. Do you believe that principle? I know it is true, because I have
proven it so many times.

Then this from Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone:

I should like to address a few remarks to those who ask, "Do I share with my
neighbors who have not followed the counsel? And what about the nonmembers who
do not have a year's supply? Do we have to share with them?" No, we don't have
to share--we get to share! Let us not be concerned about silly thoughts of
whether we would share or not. Of course we would share! What would Jesus do? I
could not possibly eat food and see my neighbors starving. And if you starve to
death after sharing, "greater love hath no man than this …" (John 15:13.)

And with that, I begin this discussion with you, my sisters. What are your thoughts, experiences?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Financial Meltdown

I admit, I have had a partial hand in this financial meltdown. Admitting it gives me power. In the end, the rise and fall of Wall Street is due to our (the American people) ability to pay our bills. We have paid our bills, but we've also made some dumb choices.

About a year and a half ago, when things were really good, a builder friend of ours asked us if he could borrow our "good credit" to take out a loan, he would build a couple of houses and sell them, and then we'd get a cool $5,000 for the use of our credit. He's a good friend. He promised us that he could build the houses in four months to six months, and he said he couldn't build houses fast enough to keep up with the demand. So we did it. The construction loan came due. Nothing had been built on the lots our credit had purchased. The builder friend pulled some heavy leverage, and we were able to get out from under the loans, but it was a close shave. That gamble seems incredibly dumb in hindsight.

For now we have been lucky. We still have jobs. We have health insurance and life insurance. But like most people, we need to build up a better safety net. We're getting there. What's going on with you all?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Anybody still trying to lose weight?

Ok, I am still trying to lose weight (despite the three chocolate cookies I ate tonight). I did lose about a pound last week and I am doing well with exercise. I run at least 3 miles at least 4 times a week, so I guess that is something. How about the rest of you? Any progress? (Except Mary who may gain weight -- dang it!)

Also, any savings achievements? I am hoping to prevent the rest of my family (husband) from spending our tax refund so I can pay off most of our debt. I tried to keep it a secret, but he found out about the federal refund so I saw the things he wants to buy flash before his eyes. Actually, he even said he wanted to pay off bills, so we shall see. We just need to get it and pay the bills and call it good!

I need to add up what we spent at the grocery store the last two months to see if we did any better with staying within the budget. Likely -- NOT! It doesn't help that everything seems to cost so much more -- time to break out the food storage wheat! No, I don't have any, but Mom does!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A New Challenge!

So did anyone else get the Valentine's package from Mom and Dad? Or are we the lucky ones? And if you did, did your kids get the DVD and CD package? If so, do you remember these faces?

The DVD has a bunch of songs on it and most of them come from the Sharon, Lois and Bram show. Minnie loves it and Cindy probably remembers the show. Sadly though, no "Skinnamarinky dink a dink..."

Well, I've fallen off the weight watching wagon because I keep stuffing my face to keep from throwing up... that's right, I'm pregnant. I'm only 6w5d along but the morning (all day) sickness has already started. Because I know how awful it was with Minnie, I'm dreading the next seven weeks or so, so much that it has me in tears. I go to bed upset at night, knowing I'm going to have to wake up and do the "yuckies" all day the next day. You'd think work would keep my mind off of it, but it doesn't. Please pray that I can deal with the sickness -- it has me seriously depressed -- maybe so much so because everytime I get sick, I pee my pants. Yuck!