month four on the oregon trail.

Standard

or month four of marriage.

same thing, really: broken axles, dead oxen, starving until we get to next town and free land!*

no really, by God’s grace marriage has been good to us in these four short months. the rewards we reap despite small bumps in the road are rich to the soul.

finances:
i can taste freedom! see this post regarding our financial goals for 2009. in august, we wrote a check to pay off “my” car, or the focus. at the beginning of this month we paid off our wedding bands and last week we wrote a pretty big check to bryan’s parent for “his” car, or the suburu. we only have two more checks to go, meaning we’ll be completely debt free by the end of november! can you tell i’m a little excited?
also, we found out some news about iowa state tuition as bryan will be starting full time next semester. it’s a little bit of good and bad.
the good news is that formerly, we had only been told of the yearly payment plan option, in which we pay for an entire year with 12 monthly payments starting in april. but since bryan was starting half way through, that obviously didn’t make sense for us. however, after purging our debt and paying cash for dmacc classes this semester, we knew we wouldn’t have enough to pay in full at the beginning of the semester. but we recently found out that their is an alternative payment plan where we pay in 3 payments over the course of next semester.
the bad news is that one semester at iowa state is $3,600.00 and we can’t change bryan’s fafsa until next year, meaning we won’t qualify for any financial aid until fall of 2010. so that 3,600 bucks is all ours to handle. (for comparison sake, we only paid $1,350.00 for dmacc this semester) *deep breath* though it’s a large chunk of money, i’m honestly not too worried. i’ve reminded myself that within the course of 6 months, we will have paid of $5,500 in debt, which is TWO THOUSAND more then tuition. also, if we’re really good with our money, we’ll have the first payment of $1,200 by the end of this year. from there it’s just trusting God that Bryan will be able to make at least $600 a month to finish out the other $2,400.
anyway, i’m moving on, because i know you don’t care that much about our finances.

relationship:
we’re finding that there needs to be a balance in almost everything. recently, it’s been mostly balancing our time. i’m still trying to figure out how to get stuff done when bryan’s home. i don’t like cleaning when someone is “watching” me. and it’s always hard to be productive when my husband is taking a break after a long day of work. but we’re learning that there is a time to hang out with eachother and a time to…not. meaning, i have to learn to be productive even when bryan’s home so that i can completely devote my mind, body, and whole self to him when we have specific time alone with eachother. but we still hang out plenty, especially when i’ve been extra efficient!
otherwise, it’s been sooo easy to love one another lately. praise God for this! i’m soaking up these months and trying to engrave them in my heart for when hard times eventually come.

homemaking:
i’ve been at a pace of about 1 project/improvement a week. here are some pictures chronicling my journey:

our computer desk station (that chair won’t be pink for long!)
our beautiful bedspread

here’s our old bedspread…it was scratchy and crazy and i’m sad i ever spent $100 bucks on it. especially considering the replacement was $60

our record collection in my favorite piece of new furniture, our little bench that fits perfectly in our little nook

painted and filled bookshelves

and a new futon cover!

and here’s what i’ll be up to this weekend while bryan’s gone:

  • sanding and painting one of our shelves.
  • making the back set of living room curtains
  • making a few pillow cases
  • starting my painting projects : )

parenting:
what?!?! no, no, no, get your mind out of the gutter-we’re not gonna have a kid. but we got to practice our parenting skills on this little guy:
bryan says, “i don’t get why parents are always complaining about how tough it is to raise kids. i joke around with them, you give them pizza, you give them candy, you let them live their lives. they’re adults, for goodness sake.” (for you office fans out there)

p.s. we can’t wait for another one! congratulations todd, paige, and atticus!

*footnote: i’ve read two francine rivers books this month and they BOTH referenced the oregon trail. also, both groups traveling on the oregon trail in the books detoured to california. weird. needless to say, the oregon has been on my mind.

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3 thoughts on “month four on the oregon trail.

  1. Holy cow! You are so awesome, LisaGrace.
    First: with that mention of the Oregon Trail, you have convinced me to read Francine Rivers.
    Second: has Bryan tried to file a “change of situation” form w ISU financial aid? They have an extra form for students whose financial situations change during the year or have circumstances not covered on the FAFSA. Maybe he's already tried that route; if so, bummer.
    Third: maybe sometime we can hang out?

    Love you!

  2. regarding the “change of situation” form-THANK YOU! we thought it was a form through FAFSA but then we found that you couldn't change the FAFSA. but now that we know it's actually through ISU (thanks to you!) we'll definitely check it out!
    and of course we need to hang out! i somehow need to indoctrinate you with all these books, right? : )

  3. With all your house projects…have you come up with a sign idea for my project for you?
    Let me know when you do!
    And glad Jessica informed you about the financial aid info. Now if only our students would listen to us too.

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