we’re staying in iowa city!

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the fact is actually kind of old news for us, but i realized that i should probably update you all since you so faithfully read and supported me through my time of emotional explosions. sorry about that, i can’t realistically say it’s going to end anytime soon.

as you remember, since last october really, we were considering our job options in seattle after bryan graduated. [oh yeah, bryan graduate from college! that happened too!] in april and may, he began interviewing at many different companies, a few in seattle, and several in iowa city, too. then he left for china, and everything he started was put on hold. then i left for china. then we came back together.

almost as soon as we got back, bryan started studying for his life insurance license exam. it is a required licenses for most companies, so he was getting a head start.

all in one day, july 10, here’s everything that happened:

FIRST.
we received bryan’s diploma in the mail! it felt pretty official-he graduated from college!

SECOND.
bryan called jim in seattle, to see if he had made a decision about hiring bryan. basically, jim liked him, but it didn’t seem possible to make room for a new financial advisor on his team. that was the main job bryan had a shot for in seattle, so the door to seattle was basically shut at this point.

THIRD.
bryan had a two hour interview with northwestern mutual. bryan was super nervous about the interview, not because he didn’t have confidence in himself, but more because he really wasn’t sure if this job would be the right fit for him. he was basically afraid that he would get offered the job, but not want to take it.
we both had a great time with God as he prayed it out on his drive to cedar rapids. we knew seattle was out and we knew God would provide a great opportunity here in iowa city. bryan absolutely had the freedom to not accept the job and keep looking (that freedom was afforded to us mostly because we don’t have any school debt). we gave it to God, trusting that He would guide us.
when i received the call¬†from bryan, i honestly didn’t know what he was going to say. when he started gushing about how great the interview was and how he got a perfect score on one of the tests and how they were really fighting to hire him and really seemed to want him. i was a little bit shocked to hear him completely change his demeanor about the job. immediately, i knew. we’re staying in iowa city.

FOURTH.
i called my mom, she screamed. i called holly, she screamed (and i heard all of her kids scream too). i told the salt staff (i was a salt), they were all pumped. i texted some of my other friends who i knew were waiting just as much as i was. it was a fun night.
the majorly bummed out pair was bryan’s parents, who were obviously pulling for seattle-i’m still a little sad we won’t be living near them!

two days later, ¬†bryan passed his life insurance license and officially accepted the job. since then, he’s passed his health & accidental license and started his training with northwestern mutual. he’s officially a working man again, going into the office everyday. we even got him some dress clothes at goodwill and a new lunchbox to celebrate.

recycle fail

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you know, you try to do good in this world. you try so hard to be a good earthling and recycle. and this is what you get in return.

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i’m just sad that every last paper shred won’t get recycled into an egg carton or something.

a little adoleo update

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here’s the video that i posted a couple weeks ago, they made a few minor changes and now it’s back online!

in the meantime, the adoleo cd has been released!!!!!! get your copy today!

amazon: $7.99

itunes: $9.99

kunaki (hardcopy): $10 + shipping

veritas church (hardcopy): $10

dream job

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hopefully, the title of this post will convince you that my exciting news is not that i’m pregnant! seriously, readers, you’ve got to quit guessing that! : )

this is a different kind-of life change. the kind-of change where i go from working two great jobs to working one absolutely amazing job. the kind-of change where i go from working 50-60 hours a week to working a solid 40 with some extra time on the weekends. the kind-of change where i go from not having time to do simple things like grocery shop to having time to be a good wife again, not just a bacon-bringer.

this is the kind-of life change that will make it hard to quit my job and have a family someday.

[okay, it won’t be that hard, you all know by now how much i want a vanload of kids someday, but hey, i’m only 22!]

now, there are some skeptics [ahem, erik] out there that think i have a habit of getting a new job every couple of months…trust me, i’m sticking with this one as long as i can.

readers, i have been offered my dream job. and i have accepted.

i get the privilege of becoming veritas‘ new full-time coordinator!

can you tell i’m excited?! i wanted to scream, but thankfully, i have a mother for that. she did scream. by the way. both of my bosses know [i would not be posting this if they didn’t], and they were both so awesome to talk to. i’m so thankful for believing bosses!

God has been more than good to bryan and me this past year since we moved to iowa city. and He continues to dump on the goodness. thanks God!

may tuition update

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may was a long month. a very long month for this girl. i think may always seems long, every year. between spring busyness [let me hear you shout weddings!], general anticipation for summer, and the whole 31 day thing, it’s just long. add working more than ever, teaching 37 kids for three days, and waiting for some very important news all month to those and you’ll get a very. tired. lisagrace.

i could go on about how stressful life has been this past month, but i don’t want to bore you. oh, and the important news? look for that in the next post. and no, for the last time, i’m not pregnant! : )

but hey! it’s june. and all of the above has been resolved, so life is on the up and up.

because of lots of extra work for me [and triple paycheck month-love those!] and bryan starting his job at fareway, we set a hefty savings goal of $1,200.00. i’m happy to say we did that and $17.95 more! less than 75% to go!

tuition for 2011-2012 school year: $9,654.00
savings at the end of may: $2,517.95
difference: $7,136.05
percentage saved: 26.08%
percentage left to save: 73.92%

if you have a little extra time, here’s a funny student loan story, this is why i’m so glad God has given us so much wisdom with our finances. they make it so easy to take out more than you need in student loans!

at the end of april, we officially filed the paperwork to apply for $5,500 worth of unsubsidized stafford loans. we’re certain we won’t need any more than that for the upcoming school year and are hoping we don’t need any of it, obviously, but it’s a just-in-case precaution. we were approved for quite a bit more than that, but we were careful to cancel all the other loans. when you fill out your paperwork, they automatically assume you want the maximum amount you were approved for so you have to cancel the ones you don’t want. isn’t that silly?

anyway, a couple weeks ago, we got a check in the mail. a $6,200.00 check. just a check that said something about a refund on the memo, no note, no explanation, just a big fat check. we’ve never taken out student loans before, so i thought, maybe we’re getting our loan for next fall early, but why and why so much? if it wasn’t for the fall, then it was for this past year, and we didn’t pay even close to that much with the scholarship that bryan got. why would we need more money after everything’s done and paid for?

already long story short, i guess because we just filled out our loan paperwork, it activated a student loan we were approved for last year and they sent us a check! while buying a boat was tempting, we took that check straight to the financial offices and straightened it out. we didn’t want to owe that much money later. : )

april tuition update

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this whole month i’ve been stressed about this tuition thing. things seemed so discouraging all month long. until this week. why am i ever ever anxious when i have this promise?

God is definitely reminding us that He loves us and desires to take care of us. i’ve been working more hours at the coffee shop since the new store has opened, so that’s been a temporary blessing. bryan finally got a job! he is going to be working at the fareway meat counter. we found a great deal on a moped which will make it possible for bryan to get to work. (although, extra vehicle expenses are no fun either…) a dear friend connected me to an opportunity in which i will make an extra $300 for three days of work in may. praise Him!

God also continues to teach us generosity, we wrote a few more checks this past month to summer missions trips. i want you to know that i don’t say this to impress you or feel good about myself, believe me, i wouldn’t say it all if i didn’t want to encourage you in this way. this has been something God has been teaching me a lot about lately, and i want to take this moment to share with you. also, check out this message from our old church. super convicting.

my friend, mikki, who is in our amazing connection group shared the best perspective on tithing i’ve ever heard. she and her soon-to-be husband are both dental students and thus living off of student loans for the time-being. but she said something like this: whenever we tithe, we’re technically paying 7% interest or whatever it is on that loan money. but who’s to say that God’s work isn’t worth 7% interest?

that hit me hard! what an awesome way to think about giving to the Lord’s work. so i want to say, before i update you, that if we have to take out student loans because we gave too much of our money away this past month, bring it on.

with that said, here’s our update for april:

tuition for 2011-2012 school year: $9,654.00
savings at the end of april: $1,300.00
difference: $8,354.00
percentage saved: 13.46%
percentage left to save: 86.54%

i was not expecting to really put any extra in the bank, so i’m encouraged!

march update [tuition savings]

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march was an interesting month. we found out that we didn’t receive any financial aid for bryan’s last year of school. so, we had a long talk, went over some things in our budget and buckled down. more importantly though, god and i had a really awesome heart to heart.

can i just say that all that stuff in the bible is actually true?! he is the god of all comfort and the great provider who loves us so much. i haven’t forgotten that his true and perfect act of love is all i need, and yet he continues to provide more!

god is also the greatest, most gentle and patient teacher. he has been teaching me a bunch about his generosity and being open-handed with our money.

the morning before we received our financial aid notification, i was sitting in church, listening to the message and god asked me to give a certain amount to the summer missions trips. i said okay and talked to bryan about it as soon as i got home. he agreed to this and then we found out that we didn’t get any financial aid. isn’t god’s timing funny? we wrote the checks, even though it was hard. that whole week, god tested our generosity. he kept reminding me of the countless times we’ve benefited from the generosity of others [you know who you are!], and we both felt overwhelmingly that we should open our hearts and bank account to those in need.

it has been such a blessing to follow god’s leadership in this area. especially because i have had a particularly tight grip on our finances, especially since we decided to move to iowa city. but when has god ever not provided for his children?

i’ve been insanely encouraged by all of you i’ve talked to, or who commented on my last blog, or sent me emails of encouragement. thank you, thank you, thank you!

sorry for the long, heart-exposing blog, but it happens every once in a while!

here’s our financial update for march:

tuition for 2011-2012 school year: $9,654.00
savings at the end of march: $1,100.00
difference: $8,554.00
percentage saved: 11.39%
percentage left to save: 88.61%

we have progress! can’t wait to see what God does!

oh money

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well, after being anxious for weeks, we finally found out if we are to receive any financial aid for this upcoming school year. we didn’t. nothing at all! i was kind-of surprised. i was so counting on it. even just a little would help. and we made a whole ten thousand dollars less than the year before and we received almost a full scholarship then.

i suppose i sound completely selfish and ungrateful right now. after all, we’ve been able to get bryan through three years of school without any loans. that’s not something a lot of people can say. but, all the same, here i am complaining about how we didn’t get any free money. boo hoo.

well, i’m only human, i guess.

so, for those of you who have been reading a while, and know that our main financial goal right now is to pay cash for college, i’ll tell you what we’re thinking. we have a little over $1,000 saved up just set aside for tuition. all of bryan’s income over the summer will also go straight into the tuition fund. thankfully, we think that should cover almost all of the first semester of tuition. we’re not sure what we’ll do for the rest. i might start giving plasma alongside bryan to earn some extra money, maybe i’ll actually sell some crafts for profit too. bryan may get a part-time job while still in school too, but i would like to avoid that if at all possible.

although it’s even less desirable, we may have to take out a loan for the second semester, but we would definitely get a loan that doesn’t accumulate any interest for six months after graduation. they still have those right? is it obvious i know nothing about student loans? we’d almost surely be able to pay it all off within 6 months, but it would set us back a bit, especially as we’ll likely need another car when bryan graduates. i don’t even want to think about coming up that money as well. arg.

if you have any encouragement for me, i’d be so thankful for it. sorry for the not so humorous post, perhaps i’ll have a sense of humor about finances soon, but i tend to take it all very seriously right now.

[photo credit]

goodbye late nights.

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hello [super] early mornings!

remember this post? well, on january 15th i had my second interview with the owner of capanna coffee company. guess what? i have a new job!

no, no, no, contrary to popular belief, i would not kill myself by working four jobs. do you think i’m crazy? my two weeks notice is officially in at hyvee as of monday. i’m kind-of sad about it, but mostly not.

i think capanna is going to be a great fit for me because…

  • i’ll be working early morning shifts! this does mean getting up at 4-4:30am, but it also means i’ll get to have dinner with my husband and have really consistent work-from-home hours
  • i’ll be getting a pay upgrade!
  • i’ll be working with people! i already get to work with people at hyvee, i know. but the coffee shop enviroment is a different kind of people work. especially in the morning, i’ll get to know all the “regulars” and get the chance to build “deeper” relationships
  • i’ll be learning new skillz. i know my way around financial stuff, i know how to fry some darn good french fries, and i know how to check out groceries. i’m pumped to increase my skills by learning the coffee trade.
  • i’ll be working the morning shift! i’m just really excited about starting my day so early. plus, i think it will be awesome practice for children someday…just sayin’

thanks to those of who prayed for me, i felt so confident about taking the job that day. i’m excited to start in the coffee business!

so i work at HyVee…

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Some of my favorite things about working at HyVee:

My co-workers are fun, they call me LG or LeGit.

A little girl was leaving my line with her mom the other day and exclaimed at the last minute, “You’re pretty!” It definitely made my daylife.

I was on ESPN! During the Penn State Game in Iowa City, ESPN did some “city shots” and I was in one of them because I was working right before the game!

SO MANY people think my name is strangest name in the world! They look at my nametag and look at me and just frown like I shouldn’t have such a weird name. I just laugh and say, my mom made it up, it is a weird name. My favorite was when one guy came up to me and asked, “Is your name Lasagna?” I laughed for 5 minutes straight.

Um, that’s all for now. But I’m thankful for such a fun job.