Tuesday, December 30, 2014

August 2014

August in the Harp home was about average.  Nothing terribly exciting happened. The weekend of the 22nd we went to Atlanta for a race with our good friends and that was an exciting weekend.  

We left work and headed down the road arriving at our hotel around 11:15 pm.  As we pulled in to the hotel I went to the trunk to get our luggage and low and behold it wasn’t  there.  While I’m usually calm and collected this time I was neither calm nor collected.  It was Atlanta.  In August and it was going to be HOT

So upon realizing that a certain Harp, who will rename nameless, left our luggage at home I did what any supporting spouse did and started slinging the curse words and “How could you?” and “What are we supposed to do now”.  To which my husband replies:  “Well, I’m sure the hotel has an extra toothbrush”.  Toothbrush?!  That was the least of my concerns.  How about clean underwear, deodorant, makeup, the list goes on and on.  Oh-and since I had worn my glasses down I didn’t have my contacts either which meant that I couldn’t wear my adorable sunglasses that I had recently purchased. 

So we did what we had to do and found the closest Walmart.  Upon entering Walmart I hear the muffled voice on the intercom “We will be closing in 45 minutes, please bring your final purchases to the front”.  Are you freaking kidding me?!  I thought ALL Wal-mart’s catered to those that forget their luggage and are open 24 hours.  Nope – not this one.We decided to split and Chris went to his department and I went to mine where I did find a few pairs of shorts that I thought would do for the weekend.  But alas, the fitting room was closed.  I begged the poor janitor – but nope, nada, nothing he could do.
You see, being 4’5 has always brought challenges where clothes were concerned.  It always means trying things on, majority of things having to be altered, etc.  So by this time Chris has returned with all his treasures and I am standing in the aisle spewing profanities like that was magically going to make everything ok. 

With that said Chris was a good sport and helped me find a few pairs of gym shorts and tshirts that suited the occasion but not before we spent $200 on all the necessities.
I am glad I can laugh about it now but at the time it was not a pretty site.  Over the weekend it was a running joke about how everything we were wearing came from Walmart.

Just making memories as my mom always says..  

Friday, July 18, 2014

May - July 2014

Happy Summer Ya'll.

Things are rockin' and rollin' on my end.  Finally, finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to our financial journey.  We are on track to be debt free by the end of the year (minus the house)!
As I type this I am listening to Dave Ramsey and it's so motivating!   I think our original plan was to be done by August but we had to cash flow some other medical bills and took some money to do some fun things.  It's hard to find a happy medium between spending and saving.

My new job is going great and I love learning new things every day.  My co-workers are amazing and love being a part of a great team.

I had a random dream about dad the other night.  He looked like his old self and I remember thinking he looked so handsome.  I miss him so much.

In May we went camping a lot and had a blast.
The first trip was with some friends of friends that own some property on the river.  We had a pig roast and that was interesting to say the least.  It was a great weekend just to relax and get away.

The next trip was with mom and her friends up at Elkmont.  It is the prime spot to see the synchronized fireflies.   This brings people from all over and we got lucky enough to get a spot in the campground to whee we could walk to see them.  It was amazing!  I definitely would go to it again.

On a separate occasion we spent the day in a kayak- that was sort of fun.  We are definitely novices and manage to flip it twice! Once we decided to sit in the bottom of the kayak we managed to keep it together. It's funny now but at the time I was thinking I wanted to turn around and go back!  We ended up being on the lake for about 7 or 8 hours and by the end we were exhausted. We definitely had a good workout!

We have also found ourselves going to some great concerts.  Thanks to Spotify we have found some great bands.  Chris and I went to Cincinnati to see the Turnpike Troubadours and had an absolute blast.
Last weekend we went to the Shed in Maryville to see the Damn Quails.. another band Chris found on Spotify.  Tomorrow night we are off to see Jamey Johnson with some friends in Greeneville, TN.  Should be fun!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

March - April 2014

Spring is finally here!
This winter was so cold and dreary I don't think anyone thought that warm temps were going to come.  But here they are and I'm LOVING it.  It has been in the 80's all week.

What's been going on... well I guess the biggest news is that I have started a new job and today marks my one month anniversary there.  I guess I always knew that at some point I would leave my other job but just wasn't sure or when.  An opportunity presented itself and I think.. scratch that... I know I made the right decision.  I'm looking forward to learning all that I can and hopefully be there long term.  I am able to use my accounting skills that I have learned along the way as well as be more versed in the Project Management side of things.  We work a lot in the travel/tourism industry so that is something completely different for me.

Chris also switched up positions and is now doing marketing for several of the different brands at i10i.  It was a welcome change and so glad that he's been able to explore his options.

Still trucking along on the Financial Peace.  We did purchase a car... cheap car...  since we are now working at two separate places but still on track to have things paid off this year.  We are foregoing a trip to Austin, Texas for Formula 1 but like I told Chris this is only a temporary situation.

We have also started getting serious again about our health and have been using some great apps to track our calories, weight loss and steps taken during the day.  I think we both realized that along with having our "financial" peace it makes sense to partner that with a "healthy" peace.  I know that sounds corny but I want to be able to do and go and not worry if I have enough Advil in my purse to make through a hike.
As I have gotten older my joints, especially in my hips, have gotten worse but along with that I have also put on some weight.  I am hoping that by dropping 20 or so pounds that I will start to see a difference.
I am currently on day 9 with no cokes whatsoever.  I had done this once before when we were doing Insanity but after that was over I slowly crept back into some bad habits.  I am making it a priority to ditch the colas and the fried foods for some weight loss.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

February 2014

Happy February! 

For Valentine's Day we used the Edwin McCain tickets that Chris had got me for Christmas. 
He and the band were playing at the Bijou and like always it was a great show.   Of course he is known for the 90's ballad "I'll Be" but he really is much more than that song.  I always recommend anyone go see him because the band as a whole is fantastic and very talented. 

His opener was a gal I had never heard of Mallary Hope and she was quite the performer.  A country artist and super talented.  She even follows me on Twitter now!  :)

This year also starts our trek again on Financial Peace with Dave Ramsey.
Chris likes to call us "Dave's misfit children" because we have started and stopped so many times.  In December Chris made the choice to sell his car and in doing so we were able to pay off my car and a couple of odd debts.  We are both on the fast track to getting out of debt and hopefully we will be able to do our "debt free scream" in August for our anniversary.  At least that is our goal and realistically we should meet it. 

Dave Ramsey is a no-nonsense kind of guy and I always try to catch his radio show while running lunch errands.  It's a great way to stay motivated and every time I hear a person do the debt free scream it gives me chills.  

I would encourage everyone to get on a plan.  Doesn't have to be Dave's plan but something that sets you up for a better future.  My whole adult life I have been strapped with looming credit card debt and the thought of not having those monthly payments is getting so surreal. 
I couldn't even tell you what was on the credit cards... probably some stupid clothes that I don't wear anymore, makeup from some dumb cosmetic counter and a whole stock pile of bath salts and lotions that I never used. 

Just today we made a large credit card payment and can see the meter heading towards zero.  Sure it would have been nice to take that vacation with friends or buy new things for the home but we are committed this time around to staying on course. 

So once we hit August we will only owe for our home and all before we are out of our 30's.  We both wish we would have done this years ago but we can only look forward.  
We have started a "wish list" of sorts of things we want to purchase - with cash - the first month out of debt.  I for one want to set aside some money to finish fully decorating our home.  We only have a few pictures up.. kind of sad. 
Chris would tell you he wants to jump back into auto-x and that is fine because now we won't have to stress about how much he spends going out to dinner with the boys after an event. 

Good things are happening in the Harp household.  I'm blessed to be here :)

January 2014

For New Year's Eve we spent it with our good friend Steve and finally went to downtown Knoxville for the big ball drop.  Typically we spend NYE at friend's houses but wanted to do something different this year. 
We started out doing dinner at Soccer Taco, one of our favorite Mexican joints, and then headed over to Suttree's for some really good high gravity beers where we met up with some other good friends.  Then at about 10 till midnight we headed to Market Square for the big ball drop.  It was so cold so as soon as it hit midnight we scattered and got the heck out of dodge! 

Over the holiday's I also got to spend some time with my good friend that came in from her studies abroad in Vienna.  It was great to catch up and on another occasion had dinner with another good friend.  It's so crazy that since high school we have gone different directions but still have a very strong connection so no matter how long it has been we can always pick up right where we left off.  I'm truly blessed to have them in my life and will try to work on keeping in better contact with them.  All my friends really. 

 Hope your NYE was as fun as mine!

December 2013

I'm writing this in February so I'm sure I will forget some of the high notes of December.  

Of course this month is all about Christmas and to be honest it was kind of hard to get in the "spirit".  Not really sure how to put it but I think I got caught up with a lot of work duties that it kind of spoiled it for me personally.  Since I'm the  Office Manager I am the go-to person for getting all of our clients their respective Christmas cards, Christmas baskets, etc. 
I also was in charge of planning our company Christmas party so it was a lot of stress in a short amount of time.  I did rely heavily on some of the girls but there was only so much they could do.  I do remember the day before the company party that I stayed in bed literally until about 3:30 in the afternoon.  Suffered from the worst migraine I have ever had and no doubt it was stress related.  I got through it and our Christmas party was a blast.  For the first time we had a photo booth from Knoxville Photo Booth and that was a lot of fun! Here is a sample of our pics.. Super cute! 

For Christmas Eve we had some friends over for Christmas brunch and it was great to catch up.  Chris and I had our family's over for Christmas day lunch and as usual had a pretty good spread of food.  Of course holiday's are always hard with out our dad's here but we know they are always with us. 

Chris and I don't really lavish each other with gifts but he did get me get tickets to one of my favorite performers Edwin McCain. 

Hope your December was fun filled!