Monday, September 30, 2013

September financial wrap up

First, let me just say that September is always a different financial month for us, as I get my yearly bonus & stock awards. That happened, and we moved, M started a new job & only received one pay check, and we're renting a house in California but haven't yet rented the house in Seattle yet. Hopefully it will be ready to list next week. Because the construction is not yet finished, those expenses (shivers) will be included in the October financial wrap up.

September Income:
My income - $26,039. (Includes bonus)
M's income - $3,700 (he dumped most of his income into a 401K, as he finally has access again, & is hoping to make up for lost time from earlier in the year when he couldn't contribute).
My stock awards - $22,365

Total income = $52,105.

Biggest September Expenses:
  • 401K loan payoff - $39,607
  • Rent - $5,000 (will be getting reimbursed $4,200/month for three months, but haven't received it yet)
  • Main residence mortgage - $4,124
  • Vacation mortgage - $2,250
  • Food - $1,315 (we spent double our normal budget due to *lots* of meals out, & restocking our house with groceries.
  • House - we spent $650 on house stuff. Moving is expensive!

Total spent for the month (including smaller categories not listed above, because I'm too lazy to list them all out, & I think your eyes would roll into the back of your head from boredom). :-)


Total spent after we get reimbursed for our rent - $52,155. Almost exactly our income for the month! Off by $50.

Again, September was a crazy month on many fronts. I'm very pleased that we paid the 401K loan off as planned.

We need to get renters into our primary residence this month, as well as make progress with our vacation house. We are kicking around a couple of ideas: long term renters, or selling. We should hopefully start to see the first reimbursements from the move come in. So far, we've been paying all of that with our savings, which has been painful.

On to a much more frugal October! I need to get the food budget back down to $700 between dining out & groceries, and I also want to drop our house budget way down.

How about you? How did you do with your spending in September? What are you planning on working on in October?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Night Chit Chat

Thanks to Carla for hosting!

I did a 5K this morning (it was just outside my front door, & the money went to the kids school - a no brainer). :-) Sam won first place in the kids one mile run. The boy is speedy!

Here's what I'm up to tonight:

  • Reading: Not sure. I need to find a few new books for my Kindle. I've been reading a lot over the last few weeks, & loving it!
  • Listening to: The kids are watching "Super Why", so I'm listening to that. :-)
  • Watching: Again with the "Super Why". :-)
  • Cooking/Baking: Not much. M made burgers tonight, & I threw together a salad. I do have a bunch of baking to do in the next week.
  • Happy you accomplished this week: I finished my last week of work!!! I'm now off until I start my new job on 10/21.
  • Looking forward to next week: Getting a massage tomorrow. It's my personal spending from my work bonus, & I've been looking forward to it for a month.
  • Thankful for today: Thankful for the sunshine this morning. I know it was pouring in Seattle, so it felt pretty blissful to go for a run in the sun, and have the kids playing outside all day. I also planted vegetables in the sun.
  • *Bonus Question* What's the largest sum of money you've ever found? - $20 on a field trip (to a college football game). It paid for my entire trip, which was awesome!
Hope you are all having a fabulous Sunday!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

How much would you save

if you didn't have to pay for lunches during the work week? Both M & I will soon have all lunches (Monday-Friday) covered through our employer. This also includes snacks & drinks. In my head, I was very optimistic about how much this could save on our food budget. But, then I did the math. ;-)

There are four people in our family, so we are making 360 meals/month. Our employer will cover 40 meals/month (20 per person, given an average month), which is just over 10%. I'm thrilled that we get a free lunch every day, but it will likely make only a small dent in the food budget.

Because I've never done the math before, I also calculated how much we're spending on each meal. Given our approximate grocery budget of $600/month, we're spending around $1.66 per person/per meal. Does that fall within the normal range? I really have no idea. I haven't taken the time to calculate how many meals out we ate, & deducting that from the  number of meals we actually prepared. September is probably not the best month to run that calculation anyway, as we were staying in a hotel& living out of boxes for over a week. Maybe that's something I'll tackle next month.

And, on to today. M is back in Seattle to meet with a couple of property management companies about renting the house, as well as reviewing the final work on the remodel (and paying our contractor). It was substantially more than we originally budgeted. *shivers*

Here's what I need to get done today:
  1. Soccer game this morning. Go team! :-)
  2. Go for a walk in the sunshine with the kids.
  3. Do my arm exercises.
  4. Yoga
  5. Change my email address on a few bills
  6. Hit up Home Depot or a nursery for some fall vegetable plants
  7. Work in the yard.
  8. Make 3 freezer dinners.
  9. Bake bread.
If I get to it, I'd love to make a monthly menu plan, so I can figure out best meals for making ahead & stocking the freezer before I go back to work.

What are you up to today? How is the weather in your area? It's cold but clear this morning, & should be 75 or so this afternoon.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

One day left

Until I wrap up a sixteen year career with my employer, that is. Can't believe tomorrow is the last day. So very grateful for all of the things I've learned, and the excellent health care benefits & pay I've received during this time. But mostly, for the people I've met. I did, in fact, meet M there, as well as most of my local friends. It's definitely the end of an era.

In other news, I'm going to try out a quick bike ride today, to get in a cross-training workout. I've been running again, but that's not something I can do every day if I want to remain injury-free. Speaking of running, I signed up for a half marathon. When I was first diagnosed with lupus, I was confident that I'd never run a distance race again. Now I'm starting to think that it might be possible, but I'm not going to train as hard, or push myself in the same way. I'm really going to listen to my body, cross train, do yoga to stay limber, and also to accept and be comfortable with whatever comes my way during this training. I signed up for a local race the first weekend of November. SO excited to start training again, and mostly, to feel like it's possible for me to enjoy something I love very much . . . even after finding out I'm sick. It's like a return to myself, if that makes sense.

In other news, my yoga/pilates class is still kicking my butt. Who knew that extended downward dogs would tone your arms?! Love it!

I've been cooking at home, avoiding eating out, and trying to make a list of all of the things I want to accomplish when I'm off starting next week. Here's what I'm thinking of so far:

  1. Find pediatricians for the boys.
  2. Find a rheumatologist for me -> get on waiting list.
  3. Find a dentist for myself.
  4. Find a dentist for the boys.
  5. Work out 5x/week.
  6. Do yoga or pilates 4x/week.
  7. Make 10 freezer meals.
  8. Make 6 dozen muffins for the freezer.
  9. Get a massage!
  10. Set up some sort of personal laptop/device for accessing the kids schoolwork that's online, and my files, etc.
  11. Figure out how to rollover my 401K.
  12. Journal/write for myself.
  13. Read 10 books. :-)
  14. Find a babysitter! M & I want to get back to regular date nights. :-)
  15. Plan a monthly menu for my first month of work.
  16. List our vacation house. If needed, fly out & deal with any packing, etc.
  17. Get our primary house (in Seattle) rented.
  18. Set up our immediate, mid-term, and long-term financial goals.
  19. Plant a fall garden.
  20. Get together with my cousin (M's cousin).
  21. Plan 5 social events.
I can't wait! I'm so excited to have 3 entire weeks off!!!! I haven't ever had this much time - in 20 years!!

What would you do if you found yourself with three weeks off? :-) If you currently stay at home, how do you stay motivated/on task? (I'm a little bit worried about this for myself.)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Menu Plan Tuesday

I got caught up with my hair drama yesterday, but here's what we're cooking up over the next few weeks. I'm not quite prepared enough to do a full monthly menu, but I'm trying to move up to two week plans, to reduce waste.

M hasn't been traveling at all (save for a couple of trips to Seattle to check on our house), and he gets free lunches & snacks at work. When I start at my new job in a month or so, I'll also be getting free lunch & snacks. Wow! I'm excited. :-) Wonder how much that will shave off of the grocery bill? I'll need to be better about planning leftovers back into meals, as I currently take them for lunch.

  • Tuesday - M at work for a late event. The boys & I will have leftover burgers & tortellini.
  • Wednesday - Tacos
  • Thursday - soccer, home late, so we'll throw together something quick. Noodles + chicken
  • Friday - My favorite risotto recipe. No stirring necessary. :-) Oven baked chicken risotto.
  • Saturday - M in Seattle. The boys & I will have leftovers.
  • Sunday - Homemade pizza
  • Monday - Marsala chicken and mushroom casserole
  • Tuesday - Leftovers.
  • Wednesday - Tomato soup with chicken and gorgonzola + homemade bread.
  • Thursday - soccer, home late. Leftover marsala chicken casserole.
  • Friday - Italian baked chicken and pastina casserole.
  • Saturday - Barbecued burgers
  • Sunday - I'll be flying to Las Vegas for a girls trip (yes!!!), so M & the boys will probably eat leftovers, or heat up a pizza.
I'd like to make the casseroles in advance & stock the freezer for when I go back to work. Our freezer is empty, empty, empty with the move. I'd love any ideas for quick & easy recipes to stock the freezer!

Monday, September 23, 2013

The very bad haircut

I mentioned yesterday that I got a pretty tragic haircut. As context, here is what my hair looked like pre-cut (this is obviously not yesterday, but my hair looked like this).

A very basic style, and the length needs to be past my shoulders because I have a very round face.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd, here's what I came home with. Note that this is the best it looked. When I tried to wear it with my natural curls, it was a complete & utter disaster. Note the very choppy layers - in more than 4 lengths. And, the super strange pieces that were as long as my previous length. Picture all of those curly, sticking out at all angles from my head in wavy curls. . Don't I look enthusiastic? ;-)

So, today, I found a high end salon, & sent an email asking for an appointment. Even though they weren't open on Mondays, the owner offered to meet me at the salon for a consultation. He spent about 15 minutes with my hair, and told me there was nothing he could really do, & explained that the layers in the front were so short, no style was going to look great on. I told him just to give me the best he could. Of course, this style will require a blowout each morning, which is a lot more maintenance than I normally put up with. At this point, I'm okay with just looking normal again. I think the guy was a hero for what he accomplished. Also, it was crazy expensive, but worth it. I had to buy a round brush, pay for an owner cut (which I wouldn't typically do), & I gave a generous tip for him opening the shop on his day off. All told, $200, and I'd pay it again if I had to. ;-) As context, I normally spend under $50 on a hair cut.

I am *really* not a fan of myself in short hair, but at least this looks like a regular style.

And, there you have it. . . my hair saga! :-) Tell me about the worst hair cut you've ever gotten! :-) 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Citrus Sunday

First of all, I just have to say, that my day did not start off on a good note. In fact, I'm still in denial about it. I used Yelp to find a place to get my hair cut, & it's an utter disaster. I was pretty clear in my request (just under 2 inches off, long layers in the front). . .

I'm not going to subject you to pictures, but . . . I can't get my hair back in a pony tail, & it looks a lot like a mullet. It was so bad that the owner came over, dismissed the person doing my hair, & tried to fix it. Eventually she gave up & just sent me out "for free". Oh boy, I'd pay a lot right now to have my old hair back. *sobs*

I'm not a terribly vain woman, but I have a super round face, and there are certain things you cannot do with a round face. You cannot have short layers in the front. You just can't. Also, my hair is naturally super curly (which I advised her of), so if you cut it short, it does scary things in the front. Ah, it's a hot mess, & again, I can't pull it back to hide it. I've tried it with a rubber band & six clips, & it still falls out. I'm starting a new job in three weeks, & this will be their first impression of me - the lady with the super bad hair. ;-)

I did manage to do my arm workout & go for a walk/run this morning. That made me feel good. I also took the boys to the park, & decided that I wanted to do a little baking this afternoon. We have the following trees in our yard: lemon, orange, avocado, & persimmon.

I started with a knock off recipe for the Starbucks lemon pound cake, although I have to say, this was about 1000x better. It almost has a crumb like a cupcake, & I'm a cupcake connoisseur. I will absolutely be making this one again. I did skip the glaze, as I want to use this for snacks for the kids lunches.

M has also been requesting muffins, so I decided to tackle some of the ripe oranges. I love this recipe because you actually puree full oranges, which means you're using all of the fruit (save for the seeds! ;-)). Love that. No waste. M tried a small bite & said these were amazing.

I'm going to keep experimenting, & honestly, I need a bunch of recipes for the lemons. I hate to see them go to waste, & we probably have 100 ripe ones ready to be picked. This is definitely the land of plenty. ;-)

I also went through & started updating our budget, based on all of the new salary numbers, costs, etc. M is flying back to Seattle next weekend to oversee the last few stages of the remodel, and also meeting with a property management agent about getting the house rented. Fingers crossed.

We still need to get our vacation house listed, but I dread it. Not the selling process, although I'm sure that will be long & painful. Just the idea of getting rid of something we've loved so much. :-( But, We can't carry a $5,000/month rent, our house in Seattle, & the vacation house. It's nuts. So, time to cut the cord & officially get it listed.

Looking forward to my *last* week, after 16 years, with my employer!! Almost done wrapping up my one last project.

Hope you're having a fabulous Sunday!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

I have a new job!

So much for taking three months off to relax. ;-) I finish with my current job (my long-term employer) on Friday of this week, and then I'll start my new job on October 21st. In the end, I'll get about three weeks off, so at least it's something.

I was able to negotiate a slightly higher sign on bonus ($5,000 more than the original offer), so I went for it. The salary is about 10% higher, and I'll get a comparable stock package, and have a similar bonus opportunity. When you factor in the cost of living in California, the overall package is about even with what I was making in Washington. That said, the company was willing to match my stock awards from my current employer. I was going to have to walk away from that money at the end of last week, & it's pretty much unheard of to get another employer to offer you those awards back (well, similar dollar amount, but in *their* company stock, of course). All told, I was able to retain $160,000 of company stock by landing a job this quickly, so it was a pretty huge deal for us. The odds of it happening were very small, so I hadn't even envisioned a financial scenario where this happened. I'll have to go back to the books & recalculate a few things.

I'll be paying for childcare again, which is about $1100/month, so no small amount.

In other news, the boys had a soccer game today (we got crushed), it rained cats & dogs, so we had to cancel a picnic, and I made homemade pizza. Cheese for the kids, gouda/meatball/green pepper for the adults. Yum!

I'm getting my hair cut for the first time in 5ish months (I think), & I'm excited! Here's what else I hope to do tomorrow:

  • Get a hair cut
  • Go for a run
  • Plan the menu for the week
  • Do yoga
  • Stock the freezer with a few meals
What about you? What are you hoping to accomplish for the rest of the weekend?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Finally tackling the monthly spending

I went ahead & added up all of our September spending (month-to-date), because things have been very erratic from a spending front. Lots of unexpected (and some planned for) move costs, start up costs on a fresh house/pantry, etc. *shivers*

Putting all of this information together helps me see the hot spots, and feel more in control of our spending in the weeks ahead. It gives me a good picture of where we're at, how far we're over, and areas that I should be paying close attention to.

Our new monthly budget is around $11,400. We're at 60% of the month elapsed, and we've spent almost $5,700, or 40%. Once I factored in the known mortgage payments that just haven't hit yet, but are definite amounts owed, we're at 62% spend, so pretty much on track. Here's where we're over & under for the month:

Areas where we're over:

  • Groceries - we've spent $630, and our budget was $540 for the month. No surprise. We had to fully restock with the move.
  • Dining out - obviously, we were out of our house & in a hotel, so there was lots of dining out. Since then, we've also planned more social activities than usual (meeting new people for lunch, visiting family, etc). I'm okay with this, as I think it's an important step in getting comfortable with the area. Budget was $100, and we're at $272.
  • Gifts - budget was $100, and I spent $253 on a plane ticket for my sister to come up & visit in a few weeks. Super excited about this - it's part of how I wanted to spend my "fun" portion of my yearly bonus.
  • Travel - budget was $0. We spent $169 on a rental car until our cars were delivered. Long story, but I don't think we're getting reimbursed for this.
  • Health - budget was $100, I spent $180 on a weekly pilates/yoga class. Totally worth it so far!
  • House - budget was $100, and we've spent $420. Wow. Lots of needed house expenses: propane tanks for the barbecue, laundry soap, dishwasher soap, mouthwash, toothpaste, shampoo. All things we couldn't move &had to replenish.
  • Boys - budget was $50, and we're at $193. Expenses include: lunch money (perhaps this is food?), school pictures, Halloween costumes, and a couple of new books.
  • Liquor - the budget was $0, but I spent $110 on a case of my favorite wine, & beer for M. Again, something we couldn't move. I like a glass of wine on the weekends. :-)
  • Boys clothes - budget was $0. Spent $90 so far for new socks, and a couple of extra pair of athletic shorts for soccer practices. I thought we had plenty, but Sam outgrew his. Also, new swim trunks x2.

Alrighty, and here are the categories where we're under:
  • Boys lessons -budget was $150, and we've spent $10. I'd earmarked this money for soccer, and we did end up paying $300, but were reimbursed $290 from the registration I paid six months ago for the team in our old area. Net difference was $10.
  • Gas - budget is $275, we've spent $70 so far. We didn't have our cars for a while, & I have had plenty of no driving days, while I've worked from home. We may be able to lower this monthly budget. Woohoo!
  • Utilities (both houses) - budget is $600, and we're at $300. We haven't been at the vacation house, & haven't been using much at the primary house (only the contractors). That said, I haven't gotten bills for our new rental yet, so that should drive this up, as we'll be paying for utilities on 3 houses. Also, we canceled cable, probably permanently, and have no cable bill, which will help.
  • Childcare - budget was $800, but we've spent $0. If I accept a new job, that will change, & the budget will likely go up to $1200/month.
  • Personal - budget is $70, and I've spent $0. I expect to remedy this shortly, & get a pedicure, a haircut & a massage. So, I'll be going over, using the rest of my "fun" bonus budget.
  • Car - budget is $100, and we've spent $0. That said, Sam hit our car with a ball & split a piece of the front bumper (yikes), so that will eventually need to be repaired.
  • Cleaning - budget is $500, and we've spent $0. This is more than normal, as we want to do a deep clean on our rental (it's filthy with all of the movers, & electrical work that's been done) & also a deep clean on our house in Seattle to get it ready to have renters - once the contract work is done.
  • Skiing - I also had planned to spend $900 on 4 ski passes for the year (they go on sale for the cheapest annual price in September) , but that's probably not an issue now that we're in California. :-)

Ahhh, just putting this together helps me feel so much more in control of our spending! Yeah!

Also, breaking down my recent stock vest & bonus, here's how much I made, and how we're spending the money:
  • Net stock award - $41,000.
  • Net bonus (guessing, as lots of other things were lumped into this paycheck) - $15,000
Total = $56,000.

  • 401K loan payoff - $39,600
  • Flooring at our vacation house (long story on this, but we're just going to pay it, despite the terrible job they did) - $1,000
  • Money earmarked for my "fun" (includes: spa day, ticket for my sister here, and likely a ticket for me to have a long weekend with another girlfriend in October) - $1,000
  • All remaining money ($14,400) went to beef up our emergency fund. We know we will owe a lot again in taxes due to the relocation benefits, etc. Emergency fund currently stands at $35,188 - so just over $5,000 above where I'd hoped.

That's pretty much it. How are you doing with your September spending? Do you also find that laying out all of your monthly expenses helps to reduce your financial anxiety? :-)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A quick financial update

Things have continued to move along. I have just under two weeks left of working remotely, and then I'll be done with my 16 year gig at my current employer. Can't believe it! A few things that have been happening:

  • I paid off my 401K loan today! So, so, so excited. We took out this loan last winter (February, I believe) to buy down our mortgage from a jumbo loan. That enabled us to get a rock bottom rate, and I knew I could pay off the loan with my stock options I'd receive in September. However, we've always previously overspent during the year, so much of that stock option money was earmarked to pay off our credit cards that would creep up in the summer. We keep a zero balance, but typically would start to see a balance in July/August from summer travels, etc. This year, I'm happy to say that's not the case! I paid off $39,607 today, and that is bring my 401K balance up to $327K. Woohoo!
  • I desperately need to do a full financial accounting of where we are. We've been stocking up on supplies (we had to donate much of our liquids, etc that we couldn't move), as well as food, etc. I need to really understand where we are with the money.
  • Our remodel on our primary residence is going well, but it's been extremely expensive. More than we thought, of course. Does anyone know of a remodel that came in under budget? ;-)
  • I've received a tentative offer from the company I interviewed with last week. The package includes about $10K more in salary than I make now, similar bonus structure, a sign on bonus (although, it's relatively small compared to my salary), and a stock package of about $10K more than I currently have. Note that I'll be walking away from all of that stock when I leave at the end of the month anyway, so that would be a win. However, California's tax system & the higher cost of leaving make this offer less (from a true value perspective) than I'm currently making. So, I'm going to negotiate. Now, if you know me at all, you'll know that out of all the things I detest in life, negotiating is definitely in the top three. So, we'll see how that goes.
  • My weight is still up. I've been trying to get out to run at least three times/week, combined with one day of pilates. It's not enough, but it's what I can commit to during this stage of my life. Baby steps. I also know that diet is more important than food anyway, so that's my biggest opportunity to clean up & lose.
That's pretty much it. We've been hanging out with Michael's cousin + family quite a bit, and it's nice for our boys to get to know their kids. I do miss my sister, family & friends SO much. I'm excited to have my sister come to visit in a few weeks.

Hope everyone is well!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Better late than never - September goals!

I only have a few weeks to get things done, but I definitely want to set some goals for the remainder of the month. I'm focusing on building my network, getting the house organized, and some financial/health goals. Let's do it!

  1. Work out 4x/week.
  2. Sign up for a 5K that benefits the boys school, & run it! :-)
  3. Organize my pantry (everything got shoved in during the move, & it's a disaster).
  4. Plan a spa day for myself! :-)
  5. Find a dentist for myself & the kids.
  6. Find a rheumatologist for me.
  7. Find a pediatrician for the kids.
  8. Pay off my 401K loan!
  9. Go to lunch or do something social at least 1x/week.
  10. Find a sitter so we can have a date again!
  11. Inventory our supplies & come up with a large shopping list.
I think that will do for now. What's on your goal list for September? How are you doing so far?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The surprising performance review

I had my annual performance review today, and was pretty surprised by the results. My manager is very hard to read, and (his words) extremely aggressive. I was cautiously optimistic, and was  surprised by the results.

I ended up receiving the second highest mark possible (top 15% of employees), and:
  • a pay raise of 3% (negligible, since I'll only be earning that salary for a few weeks. But, allows me to have a higher end salary when I go to find a new job).
  • A bonus of $27,300
  • Someone unknown portion of stock that I'll never see (vests over five years). If I get a job in the next few weeks, I may be able to use that stock as leverage in my overall compensation in a new role. We shall see.
I have to add that I waited for all of the review stuff to be finalized (meaning, my manager could not change it) before I gave notice. I feel comfortable with this, as the review is meant to reflect my performance rating on work that I completed from August 2012 to August 2013. It would be pretty awful if work that I already completed was "marked down" because I gave notice, but I've seen it happen MANY times.

So, I've been dying to have a spa day (a hair cut, a pedicure, & most importantly - a MASSAGE!). That was my big reward for the move, so I really need to get it set up. I'm also hoping to put aside some money to fly my sister out to visit. The rest of the money (plus my recent stock vest)will go towards:

  • Priority 1 - paying off my 401K loan
  • Rebuilding our emergency fund after the move
  • Paying off the remodel on our primary residence, so we can get it ready to sell.
  • The rest of the money will go into my savings, to bridge any gaps between jobs for me.

It's been hard to balance the move, the kids, work, & I've had about an hour to myself over the last few weeks. Tomorrow - I start my pilates class. SO excited to have a little "me time".

If you got a bonus - how would you use it? At least part of your answer has to be "fun" and just for you! :-)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

We made it to California!

Oh, & what a crazy week it's been. :-) We're just now getting settled, unpacking, & putting things away. Right around Wednesday night, I hit the wall & freaked out about the crazed state of our lives. Since then, things have gotten increasingly more "homey", and our rental is starting to feel like "ours". Thank goodness, because I don't think I could have taken even another day of searching for towels out of boxes, when it was time to shower.

I'm not a great mover, I've learned. WAY too much work & chaos.

Lots going on, so I'll do a list post - my favorite. ;-)

  1. I signed up for a yoga/pilates class! I'm so excited - I've always wanted to take a class in a studio (rather than a DVD), and I did it. This was my goal after selling the treadmill - to use the money for a yoga class. Can't wait.
  2. The boys are officially registered in school & all seems to be well. The school is a five minute walk from our house - so it's perfect.
  3. I'm now coaching soccer. Ahhh, the chaos. It's fun, but the parents? Well, they are pretty high maintenance for folks who wouldn't sign up to coach themselves. The negative talk about the kids is unacceptable, & I've already had to talk to one parent about it. These are kids, they are learning the game. Screaming at them on the field & trash talking them is not something that can happen.
  4. I have an interview on Monday. I haven't even been looking, but this opportunity fell in my lap, so . . . who knows. ;-) My first external (i.e. not my company that I worked for my entire career) ever in my professional life.
  5. There is a gorgeous nature space near our house. The weather has been crazy hot, so I've only been on one run, but it was fabulous.
  6. I've met a few friends so far (via an introduction from another friend) & we went to lunch on Friday. I feel so lucky to have already made a nice connection.
  7. Our neighborhood feels very "neighborhood-y", if that makes sense, & I love seeing the kids playing outside.
  8. The traffic here is just truly terrible. And, I don't know the ways to avoid it yet. I'm not good at sitting in traffic & stressing out. At all. It's a huge weakness.
  9. I desperately, desperately need to stock up on everything & make a menu plan.
  10. We have avocado, lemons, oranges, & persimmons growing in our back yard. Love it! Except, what to do with persimmons?
  11. I've gained four pounds with all of the eating out. Time to get things back to real life again (working out consistently & eating at home).
I'm going to spend the morning today prepping for my interview tomorrow, run to an orchard fruit stand that's down the road, hit Trader Joes & Luckys for some groceries. I'd also like to walk, if the weather cools down, & maybe do yoga if the TV ever gets hooked back up.

What about you? How is the weather in your area? It was 95 yesterday, & we were out all day, including soccer coaching/playing in the heat. Yuck! It's apparently the hottest it's been in 40 years in this area. Just our luck. :-) Our neighbors have a pool & have invited us over, so that's probably on the agenda as well.

And, because I promised myself I would do it (in #9), here's a quick menu plan.

  • Sunday - burgers on the grill. M needs to pick up a propane tank.
  • Monday - Grilled chicken sausages + corn
  • Tuesday - Leftover burgers
  • Wednesday - Grilled chicken & tortellini
  • Thursday - Chicken sausages over pasta
  • Friday - Leftovers
  • Saturday - M is going to be back in Seattle dealing with our remodel, so the kids & I will have grilled cheese & soup or something super easy.
  • Sunday - homemade pizza (assuming it cools off)