Oh no…… A Budget

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People ask me all the time what’s one of the most important skills that I have learned since becoming a mom and a wife. I used to say things like patience, time management, and self-care, but honestly it has been budgeting! I was laid awake one night mentally working on my budget as I often do, and I began thinking about that question and I asked myself why I or others rarely say that budgeting is the major key? It took me until morning to answer. The reason is that no one wants to appear to be struggling or unable to manage their finances. We live in a society where reality television and social media rules, and we all want to look as if we are living the high life. I however, realize that I can’t maintain that type of lifestyle and raise a family.

Having my son bought me to reality! Having to purchase clothes for a child who doesn’t stay the same size season to season, new shoes, pampers, wipes, paying for daycares, camps, soccer teams, and swim classes has really humbled me. When I do go to the mall, it’s almost never for me. To live well and not have it all spin out of control, I had to not just create a budget, but to learn to stick to a budget! Budgets are what balance your life and keep you from having extra doctor bills due to high stress levels. So Moms and Wives, and readers in general, never be ashamed of having a budget. Share what works for you, because you will be surprised at how many others are budgeting and willing to share what works for them. Knowledge is power and we can all learn from each other. My goal is to get a couponing coach! Lol. Yep, a coach, because I’m somehow slow at getting my couponing together, but to save money, I need it!

Budgeting Tips:

1. Work on/ look at it your budget at least once a week. You have to be one with your budget and reviewing it helps you stick to it.
2. Be flexible, but not too flexible. Leave a little fluff money for an extra lunch or an unexpected small bill or purchase, because things happen. Do not allow other things though. A new purse does not fall in that category

3. Learn from the experts. Follow some budget gurus on FB, IG, and blogs. Order some books on budgeting and look into some budget spreadsheets.

4. Congratulate yourself! When you reach a payoff goal, celebrate your achievement. Tell yourself how you rock!!

5. Learn to manage your credit better. Better managed credit, creates easier living budgets.

6. Don’t be ashamed. Finically savvy people have budgets. Budgets aren’t shameful, but smart!

Monumentals if you haven’t worked on your budget in a while, get a glass of wine, say a little pray and go for it!!

Kristina – Kristopher’s Mom

 

Motivational Monday – Boundaries

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Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

Ephesians 6:11

Have you ever felt like you’re consistently being taken advantage of? Are you that person that will do anything for others, but it always feels as if people just somehow need more? If you answered yes to those two questions, you probably struggle with boundaries. Don’t feel bad about it, because many of us do. It’s so easy sometimes to give so freely, to forgive so easily, and to agree to things that you really don’t want to do. We often tell ourselves we are just helping and being good people. What we are really are doing is failing to establish clear boundaries. We are allowing people to use us until we’re empty. We frequently end up at events we never wanted to attend, celebrating people we don’t like that well, exhausted from crazy disagreements, and doing a million things that we don’t have time for.

Establishing healthy boundaries are very good for relationships, friendships, and working partnerships. No one likes to feel taken advantage of, or unappreciated, but when we fail to establish boundaries, we are typically left with those exact emotions. Over time those feelings boil over and turn into negative explosive emotions. Boundaries protect everyone from those nasty moments.

This week I want everyone with boundary issues to set the goal of establishing some. Start off slow by just telling people no, and gradually move into declining events and rejecting extra assigned responsibilities. We each deserve to chose ourselves first sometimes!

“Every woman that finally figured out her worth, has picked up her suitcases of pride and boarded a flight to freedom, which landed in the valley of change.”

Shannon L. Alder

-Kristina

How To Protect Your Energy From Negativity

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When it comes to people’s energy, I’m really sensitive to it. I can feel if people are genuine or fake; even when they try really hard I can tell. Some people just give me bad vibes, it doesn’t have to be something that they have done but it’s the vibes that they give off. We all give off energy, whether good or bad. Energy can also be contagious. Have you ever noticed that when someone is in bad place and being really negative you start to feel negative as well? The same can be said with positive people with positive energy. Some people are like sunshine and you just want to soak up their good vibes, Lol!

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Since becoming a mother I’ve realized that my patience with people is very thin, especially when it comes to negative people. I try my best to avoid people and situations that can turn my positive energy into negative energy. However; we all have family members or coworkers that you simply can’t avoid forever. Below are some tips on how to protect your energy.

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1. Don’t engage the person and negativity.
When a person’s energy is off and they are expelling negativity, don’t engage them. If you do, the negativity just grows and you will find yourself in a negative state.

2. Avoid drama.
Drama and negativity go hand and hand. A person that’s full of drama has a lot of negativity around them, even if they don’t know it. Some people just can’t seem to get away from drama; but what kind of energy are they releasing into the universe?!

3. Control your own thoughts.
It’s very easy to get overwhelmed with work, life, children, etc and when that happens, our thoughts sometimes end up on the dark side. When feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and refocus. Instead of complaining, embrace gratitude and your attitude will change instantly!

4. Be careful what you focus on.
Have you ever noticed that the more energy you put into something the stronger the feeling or emotion becomes? If you are a worrier, then the more you worry about the problem the worse it becomes! Before you know it you are stressed out and have all sorts of crazy thoughts and scenarios in your head!

5. Be responsible for the energy that you bring.
It’s important to check yourself and your own energy. Life happens but how we respond to it is the true test.

~Kristle (Kodie’s Mommy)

Marriage Chronicles – Compromise

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For this Marriage piece, I wanted to write about something that has helped my marriage and taught me to be a better person along the way. We so often hear that communication is the ultimate key to relationships, and that with marriages it is paramount. I agree that communication is very important, but I also believe heavily in another major “C” word in relationships, and especially marriages. That word is “compromise”. Compromise is basically defined as a concession made on all sides by agreement from a dispute that occurs between people. In my short three almost four years of marriage, I have learned that compromise is just as much as a priority as communication. It hasn’t always been something that my husband or I have been strong at, but it has been something that we are both continuingly working at growing into. If you noticed I didn’t say that we had it yet, because we don’t. We are truly a work in progress. There are days that we are great at compromising and others that we completely suck at it. However, no matter how many times we fail, we keep working at it, and that’s the key to marriage; NEVER stop working to make it better.

The three top reasons I believe that compromise is important are:

1.       Offers Balance: Compromise eliminates the struggle over having a winner and a loser by offering an alternative where there can be two partners who both mutually benefit. If you are like my husband and I, you need this. We both LOVE to be winners, we will literally fight to the death for it. Compromising keeps us from allowing our egos or pride from running wild. It reminds us that our marriage is greater than both of us and shows us how we both can walk away happy.

2.       Understanding: Compromise forces understanding. It gives the two of you no other option but to listen to each other’s thoughts and feelings. It helps you to take a step back from the argument and to step into the solution once you start acknowledging the other person perspective. I have found that once my husband and I, step back and listen to each other, that we usually didn’t mean something in a negative way, and both want a positive outcome.

3.       Resolution: Compromise is your way out. It’s a way to gracefully walk away from the feud without clawing each other’s eyes out. Finding a resolution means that you find peace in your marriage and live to fight another day! Lol. I mean that literally. I frequently feel that we are living to fight another day.

Compromise will not happen overnight, or be a smooth transition. It takes time to build up to effectively compromising with each other, so don’t be surprised if you are not able to master compromising overnight. Even bigger than that, don’t be surprised if your partner is not onboard immediately with compromising. It takes others a while sometimes to buy into a new concept, no matter how positive it is. Why? It’s simple, we all dislike change. It’s easier for us to live in chaos than to push through the uncomfortableness of something new…… especially compromise.

Kristina – The Wednesday Wife

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Motivational Monday – Adventure

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He said, “O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show lovingkindness to my master Abraham.

Genesis 24:12

We spend most of our days playing it safe. We wake up, go to work, pay bills, take care of our families, and overall just be responsible. Many of us rarely have the time to break free of the cycle and do something new; to go on an adventure. Adventures, are what make our lives fuller and exciting. They give us stories to tell and dreams to build on. Every now and again, we all need to break away from the rat race to run our own race. Our lives thrive on those moments of fulfillment and enjoyment. When is the last time that you truly lived? That you have done something unexpected? How long ago was is that you had your last break?

This week I urge you to make time for a new adventure. It doesn’t have to be something expensive or outrageous, but just something exciting and new to you. Go on a hike in a new place. Zip line for the first time. Go snorkeling or travel to a new place. Take a cooking class or sewing course. The fun part about adventure is that it’s whatever you make it. Go out and be adventurous Monumentals.

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.”

Oprah Winfrey

– Kristina

Toddler Talk

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I’m sure that all parents can relate to this topic that small kids and toddlers will say whatever comes to their mind, no matter the time or place! Theses little guys have no filter. When Kodie gets diarrhea of the mouth, he mostly says things that are mean and or inappropriate.

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Sometimes, I’m so nervous when we are in public because he literally says whatever pops into his mind! Kodie has been fighting a virus so we have been back and forth to the doctors. While waiting in the lobby the other day he began pointing and said “Mom what’s that?” I started naming actual things such as the water fountain a picture etc. hoping that it would end there! I was praying that he wasn’t talking about the woman across from us. Yup, he surely was calling a person a that! He doesn’t understand that people are not called that and that everyone is not a him LOL. The woman said “are you talking to me?” and Kodie said yes, the woman was really nice and told him her name and asked him his. None the less, I was so mortified!

 

On another occasion we were in a super market and he was in the cart, we rode by an older woman and for some reason he thought it was appropriate to say eww eww! I was so embarrassed, I pushed the cart as fast as possible and just hoped that she didn’t hear him. To this day, I still don’t know what the problem was.

Also, another time while in the doctors office while the medical assistant asked us questions, Kodie just needed to know if his Aunt Kevia had her bra! Mind you-she wasn’t even there……really?! For some reason he has a fascination with bras and he always wants to know if I have my bra on LOL! When Kodie isn’t talking he’s growling and roaring at people! Sometimes, if Kodie is in one of his moods he will growl and roar at people when they speak to him. He spends a lot of time perfecting his roar and he even gives me lessons LOL! There is literally never a dull moment with a toddler around.

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~Kristle (Kodie’s Mommy)

It is Okay, My Child is Irky Too!!

I believe one of the most important things that any of us can be as a mom is honest about our children. Being honest with ourselves and with others takes so much pressure off of us and our kids. Think about it; we have all met the parents with the perfect kid/kids!! That parent who talks about how well behaved their child is all of the time. How their kid does no wrong. How their child knows everything. How their child never misbehaves and everyone should just love their child as much as they do. Typically their kids aren’t as perfect as they believe and because their parents hold them to such a high degree it makes it difficult sometimes for others to truly appreciate the parent or the child. That’s why I’m a believer in being able to remove your blinders when it comes to your own children.

I love my son to the moon and back. I believe that he’s a good kid when he wants to be and that he’s a pretty smart little guy, when he’s not doing outrageously crazy stuff that might have him end up missing 3 years of schooling, because his stuck in a coma. Where I adore him, and I enjoy that others love him, I accept all realistic parts of him and that’s important to me. When I meet people, I don’t jump to brag about how smart he is, because moms, it can seriously be a turn off to other moms. All of our kids can typically do something great. Before I knew any better, I would frequently leave some mom events wondering if I was the only mother with a kid that drives me crazy 60 percent of the day!!! My son wakes up on 80 and quickly moves to about 150, by 12pm. He jumps off of random things for no reason at all. All day I’m saying things like…….“Kristopher, please don’t climb up the book shelf,” only to hear, “Mommy, I need to get higher up to see across this jungle and jump over to that bed.” Oh, and let’s not forget how often I roll my eyes behind his back! He has an absolute need at the age of three to correct everything that I say wrong. “Kristopher, pick up that alligator off the floor please. Mom, it’s not an alligator, it’s a crocodile!” Meanwhile, whatever type of plastic amphibian it is, it is still on the floor! The other thing that drives me crazy is that everything has to go his way!!! “Mommy, don’t walk up that side of the stairs with me, you have to walk up the other side of me,” while it takes us forever to climb 12 steps!!!

I’m not sure how these other parents are creating such perfect children, but I sure wish that they would share the secret!!! No matter how much I try to teach manners to him, he loves to fart, and all topics that include butts. So, to you Moms with your children who are focused on learning Chinese at the age of 3, I salute you! To the ones who don’t have kids using all their contact solution and laundry detergent trying to make slime underneath their beds, more power to you! I’m just trying to make it to age 4 without dropping my child off at the police station! Lol. Seriously Moms, cut the crap, kids misbehave, and that is life! So on the next outing please spare everyone the Martha Steward parenting version and just give the he Real Lives of Moms Smack Down one, because I promise you, you and your little ones will get invited out 10 times more to play dates that way.

Kristina- Kristopher’s Mom