The blogging hiatus was a good one... there was no way I was able to get online since I started it anyway, so I'm glad I didn't leave you all hanging expecting posts, pictures, wild tales, etc.
Yesterday was the 5 year anniversary since Daniel proposed. He proposed to me New Year's evening 2004. Wow, it doesn't seem like it's been five years!
This morning I realized that I have done nothing to get ready for our budget overview for '08 and making any changes for '09. I think we pretty much have a good groove going on, and probably just need to make a few tweaks here and there to accommodate the higher mortgage payment (for the Escrow account), etc. Hopefully we can squeeze in a little "mad money" for me... something that we haven't done since we started budgeting, and last year we talked about doing it but it never happened. Daniel has his "tool account" which he spends mostly on tools for work that he needs, but sometimes on things he wants, too. I think it would be nice to have a few dollars to save up and get myself a "splurge" item occasionally, too.
Over the past few days I've been thinking over my grocery buying habits lately, and I think I will start off the new year with a new goal... to continue couponing, but strictly stay in my $25/week budget. I haven't found Daniel's last '08 pay stub yet, but I'm pretty sure his '08 income was right about the same as '07's, so we won't be able to do much with our budget for '09, not knowing how things might go.
As a way of looking forward to a new year, I'm also looking back at last year (it seems so weird that just 2 days ago is "last year") and thinking about the major things we have been able to do.
We had a good vacation in the spring, being able to drive through several states and see a couple things that we've "always" wanted to see (Laura Ingalls Wilder museum, St. Louis Arch, etc.). We experienced the down economy when Daniel's company went through a tight few months and Daniel was only working 4 days a week and we had to pinch our pennies a little harder and take money OUT of our savings account a few times to pay some bills... but at the same time we were able to use that opportunity to our advantage and Daniel was able to get alot of work done on our remodelling project. I've been able to fully enjoy being a housewife. Ahh, the glorious joy of being able to stay at home full time! I have been able to volunteer for different things, have time to do things with our families and other people, have time to KEEP HOUSE, have a garden, etc. I also think that I would be insane by now if I was still working, so I'm glad to have my sanity!
Looking forward to '09, we are both really excited that Daniel will have 3 weeks of vacation time this year!! We have several ideas of how we want to use those 3 weeks, and now we just need to start deciding what and when and where! I'm eager to have a garden again and see if I can't make it do better this year than last year. We're also looking forwards to finishing up all the detail work on our remodelling and having this "back room" finally cleaned out, the stuff where it REALLY belongs, and enjoy our house. And at the same time, there is always the unknown. We can have our ideas, plans, schedules, budgets and so on, but we don't really know how 2009 is going to go. That is just what makes it exciting!
This has turned into a rather rambling post, I guess I just have so much to write about and it's all coming out in little spurts :) We did have a good New Year's Day, and the days leading up to it were rather exciting (not like jumping up and down exciting but they weren't boring!), and I have pictures from the past week that I want to share with you. Right now they are all hiding in my camera and you'll just have to wait a little longer.
For today I need to unpack the car, gifts, luggage, etc. and get settled back into my house and routines after being gone since Monday morning (and not being here hardly at all since Dec. 26th before that!!). I have scrolled through my dashboard looking at all the blogs I need to go read and catch up with :)
I hope you're having a great 2nd day of 2009!! I think I will :) This morning when I walked into the kitchen to make Daniel's breakfast and lunch I was tickled pink to be back in my own house and my own kitchen!!