Trying Total Money Makeover

Yesterday, I went to the library to pick up some books for my daughter. She’s been reading a lot and really enjoys it. Anyhoo, I was browsing for myself and came across Dave Ramsey’s book called “The Total Money Makeover.” I thought to myself, what the heck. I’ll try it.

As I’m reading this book, there are a lot of things I’m already implementing. The thing I need to work on the most right now is the Debt Snowball. I need to start paying off all my debt especially my student loans. It’s outrageous. I got myself into a deep hole with that one trying to get my degrees.

I’ve already created a budget for next month. Figuring out how I can make extra payments on my smallest debt and slowly work my way to rest. I feel pretty confident I can do this. This is something I’ve wanted to do anyways. Debt is so normal nowadays. Hey I’m in debt, you’re in debt, and everybody is in debt. However, it’s a choice. Dave Ramsey tells you what you don’t want to hear. People want what they want now instead of later. I think that takes a lot of self-control to say no, now is not the time for that.

I think it would be wonderful to live debt free. I guess I will let you guys know how it goes. I’m starting it today. If you guys get a chance, seriously check out Dave Ramsey’s books.

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Lost or Stuck

Ever feel lost or stuck or not sure what to do with your life. You’re in a career for x amount of years and realize is this what I want to do with the rest of my life. Maybe feel like some goals or dreams haven’t been accomplished because certain obstacles got in the way.

Yeah, it sucks feeling lost and unsure of the purpose in life. This is also an opportunity to discover myself to figure out what brings joy to my life. This is a great way to discover and explore who I want to be. Find what I’m passionate about.

I think it’s ok to feel lost sometimes, but it’s a matter of doing something about it instead of sitting here feeling like there’s nothing I can do. There is always a choice and I can always change my life for the better or for the worse. It can go both ways.

I look at failing moments as lessons for me to learn and to grow from it. I also see failing moments as one step closer to the goal I’m trying to reach. It’s better to try than not try at all.

I’ll be honest. I do feel lost right now. I got my masters and still unsure what I want to do with my life. I still don’t know where I want to live where it feels like home. I’m still looking for a church home where I feel like I’m not being judged. There are a lot of things I’m still trying to figure out.

I know I will figure these things out. It may take me some time, but I can’t ever give up. Giving up is the worse failure there is because to me, giving up is the end. This is not the end. There is more and I know I will reach my potential as I spend some time to figure out what it is I need and want.

Sick but need to keep pushing through. 

We all had those days. Being sick and needing to push through to care for the kids. It’s been like that for me. I’m tired and my throat hurts. Get them ready each morning for school. Take them to school. Work. Then pick them up and make them dinner. Took the kiddos out for a walk. After that sat outside with them as they play with bubbles. After all of that. Get them ready for bed. Read books for the youngest before bedtime. The older one is self sufficient and does what she needs. As I try to lay my youngest down. He decides to throw a fit. I’m way passed exhausted, but I keep pushing through as I hope he falls asleep soon. Parenting is not easy especially when ill, but somehow we manage it through.

My First Day of Kindergarten

Some of you may not know this, but English is my second language. My parents are Vietnamese and they didn’t speak English so I didn’t learn it. From age 0 to 4, I only spoke Vietnamese. I did not learn English until I went to kindergarten. Let’s just say that was a scary day for me.

I remember this day well. I took the bus to school and was dropped off. I was so nervous walking into the building. I was so lost; I didn’t know where my class was located. I wandered around the whole building. I had many teachers come up offering help. The problem was I couldn’t communicate back with them. I had no idea what they were saying to me.

I remember being so scared and frustrated that they could not understand me. I was able to tell them my name and they were able to get me to the correct class. I remember seeing my classmates and I felt so out of place. I felt like I didn’t belong. All I wanted was to go home. I didn’t want to come back to school.

Ahh, so most are probably waiting for a happy ending to this story. Well, this was my first day of kindergarten and it was not a happy ending. However, the story does continue as I attend each day of kindergarten. More to tell later 🙂

Fear


Saw this quote this morning as I was going through and reading inspirational quotes to start my day. My choice is to face it because it will only make me a better person and I will grow from it. 

Persistence and Determination 


I am so proud of this girl. She had a goal to achieve 100 AR points by the end of the school year and she accomplished it early. She’s gotten straight A’s so far. She never gives up no matter how challenging it may get. I couldn’t say enough about her persistence and determination. I know when she grows up that she will accomplish anything in life she wants. 

We are all capable of doing anything we set our minds to. We write our own stories. 

More Than a Job

I read this quote this morning and it really made me think.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” –Steve Jobs

I feel that work should be more than just a job. It should be something we look forward each day and love doing. Steve Jobs is right. Work does fill a huge part of our lives. I know I started working when I was 16 years old. Retirement is supposedly 65 years old, but I hear many people don’t retire until they’re almost 70. If it’s going to be a while before I retire, I want to be doing something I love. I don’t want to be miserable for decades. I’m sure no one else wants to be miserable either.

I get we need to provide for our family. It’s true. We may have to struggle in the beginning because we have to put food on the table and the job we have is not the greatest. However, if we start working towards a goal and breaking down the steps we need to take to reach that goal. I believe anyone can have the job they love and live the life they want. Anything is possible.

I remember watching this video and someone made this comment about working for free as long as you love the job. It makes a lot of sense to me. If you love what you’re doing everything should fall into place. There are plenty of quotes about rather doing something you love and make no money than make tons of money and be unhappy. I think doing something you love that you can be creative in a way to generate the income needed to provide for your family. In the beginning, it probably won’t be easy, but it will take patience to accomplish what you dreamt of.

Business owners don’t become rich overnight. They probably had more expenses than income in the beginning years. However, if they loved what they are doing then they would be able to do what’s necessary to build the business to what they intended. BAM! They are living their dreams.

Let’s take time for ourselves to figure out what we really want in life and do what we really love.

The Day I Almost Lost My Leg

Now you’ve heard how I almost didn’t come into this world. Growing up was not easy. My mother reminded me of this story of how God gave me arms and legs and that if I ever did anything bad. He can easily take them away. I was just a kid and trying to comprehend what my mother was telling me. I was not scared about what my mother was saying until the day I almost lost my leg.

My mother, baby brother, and I decided to go grocery shopping on this day. My family was quit poor when I was younger. We only had one vehicle and my father was at work. My mother put my baby brother in the stroller and we decided to walk to the grocery store. It was probably about a 5 mile walk one way.

I was 5 years old at the time. My mother kept yelling at me to stay close while I was skipping along the sidewalk. She had to push my brother in the stroller and couldn’t hang onto me at the same time. We finally make it to the crosswalk where the grocery store was on the other side.

When I saw the walking person light up, I skipped along the crosswalk to get to the other side. Before I make it all the way across, I heard my mother yell “Vi!!!!!” I quickly turned around and ran back to her.

Next thing I remember, I wake up seeing this huge tire above me. Then, I instantly felt this excruciating pain on my left leg. I couldn’t help, but to cry. I heard the sirens going off and the sound got closer and closer to me.

Soon, I felt hands picking me up and putting me on the gurney to load me into the ambulance. I remember my mother being by my side and telling me to stop crying. I’m lying there thinking I am in so much pain, how can I stop crying. I tried hard to calm down to show my mother I was strong, but then the paramedics stuck the IV needle in me and I started crying some more. They also drew some blood. Probably to check my blood type in case I needed a blood transfusion.

I finally make it to the hospital and pretty sure they gave me a bunch of pain meds. My mother was by my bedside while the nurses were cutting my clothes to put me in the hospital gown. They were very nice and they were trying to help distract me from not looking down at my leg.

I was told I had a broken left leg and surgery needed to be done. The surgeon had already been paged to arrive to the hospital to complete an emergency surgery on me. However, something kept him and he was delayed. The nurse told my mother if he doesn’t arrive soon, that they would have to amputate my left leg due to the swelling and the blood being trapped with nowhere to go.

My mother panic and started praying. She told me to pray as well. My mother reminded me God gave me my legs and I needed to pray that I can keep my leg. I was scared to lose my leg. I was only 5 years old. I had a difficult time understanding why they would have to amputate my leg if the surgeon didn’t make it in time.

Luckily the surgeon did make it to the hospital in time to perform the surgery on me. The nurses prepped me up and took me to the OR. I remember them trying to put the mask on my face, but I could not stand the smell. It was making me nauseous. The nurse said she I needed to breathe in the gas to help me sleep. She said she would hold it above my face instead of putting on my face. They asked me to count and eventually I passed out.

I wake up to something in my mouth and I started panicking. I remember my mother telling me to breathe. I was so confused why there was something in my mouth and I needed to breathe. She kept saying, I need you to breathe so we know you’re going to be okay. Then I realized, I did have trouble breathing, but I did what my mother asked. I used every bit of strength left to do what my mother needed me to do.

The next thing I noticed was my left leg was in a cast hanging up. The doctor informed my mother that I had broken 2 bones on my left leg and he had to perform surgery and had to cut into both sides of my leg. He explained there will be scarring and I would be in the hospital for a little while before I could go home.

I finally hear the story of what happened and how I ended up with a broken left leg. As I was crossing the crosswalk, my mother said a UPS truck was coming towards me so she yelled at me to come back. We don’t remember if he ran a red light, but I’m assuming that’s what happened. She said she watched me get hit by the UPS truck and my body flew across the road. She thought I had died at the very moment. Mother said she prayed and she would give me up to the Lord if I indeed had died.

I survived this accident. My mother reminds me that God saved my life twice. He was there when I was born and He saved me again when I was in that accident. This is just the beginning; more stories to tell about my near death experiences.

I Almost Didn’t Exist

Let’s start from the very beginning. My mother was pregnant with me and received terrible news during one of her OBGYN appointments. My parents were informed that I was going to be born disabled. I had not developed arms or legs. The doctor informed my parents that I will be 24/7 care and it will be difficult. The doctor gave my parents options to have an abortion or to continue the pregnancy.

My parents come from a strict traditional Catholic Vietnamese family. My father wanted to have the abortion, but my mother was against it. My family had this idea that the child is punished for the father’s sins. My father felt pressured by his family to take action regarding this pregnancy.

My mom was a strong believer and knew God’s plan is perfect regardless of this circumstance. She prayed daily and trusted in God. This decision pushed my parents apart. My father did not want anything to do with the pregnancy and had a difficult time accepting a disabled child.

The day I was born, my father was not there. My aunt was there with my mom when I was delivered.  My mother was in labor for over 24 hours and spent over 5 hours pushing. My mother claimed she didn’t know how to push correctly that finally the doctor had to use a tool to pull me out while she pushed. As I was delivered, my aunt started crying and telling my mom “she has arms and she also has legs. She has everything.”

My mother broke into tears that I came out just fine. There was nothing wrong with me except for some scratch marks from the tool that pulled me out. She believed in God and believed it was a test for her.

She had a choice and she made the hard decision. She decided to keep me regardless what she was told and a miracle happened when I was born. She told me this story when I was very young and reminds me quite often while I was growing up. My mother truly believed that as I was being born that God molded my arms and my legs at that very moment because all the sonogram showed I didn’t have arms or legs.

Of course, when I was younger I didn’t know what to believe. I questioned whether this was true or not. I asked my father and he just said yeah it’s true, but never wanted to talk more about it. Maybe he was ashamed or felt guilty that I almost didn’t exist. I was never angry with him or judged him for it either. I even asked my aunt to confirm my mother story and sure enough…everything lined up.

In life we have many choices to make and some choices are permanent. I am blessed my mother decided to have faith and to know everything will be okay. I’m a mother now and I cannot imagine not having my children in my life. It’s the greatest gift from God. Miracles do happen if we just have faith.

Meal Prepping

Life gets busy and we find ourselves stressed during the week. Each work day, we get off of work, pick up the kids, come home to make dinner, and get the kids to bed. It’s a lot of work. Sometimes we find ourselves not getting quality time with each other. It can be very challenging.

My family and I decided to start meal prepping for the week. Yes, it is a lot of work for one day, but it frees up at least an hour each day of the week. We get more time together and we are eating healthier. We hardly eat out and it’s a great way to save money too.

If you are concern about food going bad, you can always freeze it. I froze half of the breakfast items so it can last us awhile. Dinner wise, we make extra so that we can have leftovers for lunch. I find it very beneficial to meal prep.

There are plenty of recipes online and you pick out the ones you want to make. Write down all the ingredients you need and pick them up at the store. Oh, if you have never use the Kroger pick up, it’s very time saving. They pick out all the items you need and deliver it to your car. All you need is a card to swipe and you’re all set.

I’m all about time management and making things simpler for my family. Life goes way too fast and if I can slow it down, I will. I like having more time for my family and reduced stress.