Day One

January 1, 2012 was a good day.

We got up and relaxed and then picked up breakfast items at Starbucks.  We came back and made coffee in the mugs Mike got me for Christmas and had breakfast.

Then we had our money conversation where we figured out our budget, made some goals, and came up with a plan to monitor our variable budget lines: the tracker below.

Our current goals: allocate money each month for life events (i.e. friends’ weddings, Christmas) so we don’t have to put those things on our credit cards, and pay off the lowest of my student loans by the 4th of July. In addition to those two joint goals my goal is to pay off my American Express by April 1. (You can read more about our various accounts here.)

Our other new plan is to chat each time one of us gets paid about upcoming expenses so that we can stay on top of things and continue to be on the same page. Usually we’d just chat when the accounts were getting low, or after one of us randomly checked our online banking. This often left us frustrated and feeling like “we have no money.” But that’s a reactive way to deal with things and we don’t want to be reactive, we want to be proactive. Being reactive leaves you feeling out of control but being proactive will leave you feeling on top.

After our talk, I got in bed to read Catching Fire (the second in The Hunger Games series). I love laying in bed reading especially when it’s sunny out and the sun shines through the window. Of course I fell asleep.  Then I woke up to our neighbor talking on the phone and wishing someone a Happy Birthday! Like not OK. This happens pretty regularly (mostly at night when I get in bed at 9pm) so I figured it was a good opportunity to knock on the door and tell her.  She didn’t answer the door.

We had lunch and did laundry.  Folded it while listening to an old episode of the Dave Ramsey show.  Have you listened to this show? It’s crazy how much debt these people have paid off. Mike and I find it inspiring.

Then we headed down to the National Mall to throw the frisbee around. It was a warm day for winter, Mike was wearing shorts, and when my heart rate started to get up after a few good throws and catches, I took off my jacket.

Sometime in the last two years, Mike and I started throwing the frisbee around. I’m not sure why but I’m so glad we did. Mike really likes to play sports, any type of sport, and when we throw the frisbee around I feel like his buddy.  It’s also exercise, I can get a pretty good sweat going and feel my heart pumping. And it’s a good time for us to chat. When we lived in our old apartment, we’d walk up to the mall and toss it around on the lawn in front of the Capitol. Now that we live further from the Mall, we’ll have to make more of an effort to get down there to do but I really hope we do that more.  Why not take advantage of the great city we live in?

We stopped at Pinkberry on the way home for a light snack.  And then hit the grocery store to get ingredients for dinner.

We made a butternut squash calzone , using the filling from Jessica’s stuffed shells, with a gorgonzola cream sauce on the side. OMG was this good.  I think Mike almost died of satisfaction.

Then we watched Crazy Stupid Love.

January 1, 2012 is reflective of a lot of things I hope the rest of the year will be filled with: productivity, fun, quality time together, creativity in the kitchen, and relaxing time. We were out and about but also home. We were productive but also had time to play.

I’m really hopeful for 2012.  I think it’s going to be a great year.

I’d love to know:

How did you spend January 1, 2012?


Do your own thing

When you live with someone–roommate, boyfriend, husband, whoever–it’s natural to want to be with them, to want to do things together when you’re both there. Maybe you want to go to Trader Joe’s or watch a TV show or go to the gym. Maybe you want to stay up late or wake up early. And you want your significant other to do the same. It’s unlikely that you’ll both want to do the same things all the time.  And that’s ok.

It’s ok to spend some time apart, to do your own thing.  Not only is it ok, it’s actually healthy. Because when you take time for yourself to do what you want to do, spend your time in the way you want to, you give yourself time to think and recharge. Then, when you come back together you’ll be more of yourself, able to give your full attention to your partner.

Though Mike and I have been living together for three years now, we still find ourselves struggling with this sometimes. Or at least I do. Especially on weekends when we don’t have set plans. Though I wake up very early on weekends and want to start my day, I often find myself waiting around to see what Mike feels like doing. And we go back and forth over what to do and I find myself weighing what I would do on my own and what we would do together. But our ideas of a nice Saturday morning aren’t the same.

So I’m proud of myself for doing what I want to do this morning.  I woke up early, laid in bed thinking for a while and decided to get up and head to Moderntimes Coffeehouse at Politics & Prose for some writing and blogging with a bagel and coffee. I’m here now with a full belly, writing this post and then drafting some posts for the upcoming week.  After this I’ll go to Body Flow, one of my favorite gym classes, to stretch and relax and rejuvenate, and to follow one of my November goals.

While I’m doing this, I’m sure Mike is still in bed, watching ESPN, the History Channel, or re-runs of Mad Men on A&E. He’ll move to the couch, have some breakfast, and watch an episode of John Adams on Netflix.  Then he’ll shower and head to play hockey in the White House Roller Hockey League. And he will do all of this without me bothering him.

When we see each other this afternoon, we will both be in good moods because we were able to spend our Saturday mornings the way we wanted. We will be energized, and happy, and excited to see each other.

It’s easy to want to do everything with your partner from errands or chores to watching TV or taking a nap. It’s also exhausting to make that happen and have both of you have your needs met.  So go ahead, do your own thing.  Spend a few hours apart even when you have no set plans.  Your mind, your mood, and your relationship will be better for it.

free weekend

mike’s out of town for work this weekend and i’m completely free tonight and all day tomorrow.  i came home from work and did this:

then i made these:

my friend leigh anne is coming over in a little while for wine and dvr.  gotta love a chill girls night.

other than dinner with my sister tomorrow i’m completely free. i have nothing to do. nothing. of course there are a million things i want to do:

get breakfast, coffee, and blog at politics and prose, go to a body flow class, go shopping and get myself some fall clothes and shoes (maybe this should fall into the what i should do category??), call a friend and go for a nice long walk, go see the help, etc.

and a million things i feel like i should do:

read/study for class, do laundry, go grocery shopping, sweep our bedroom floor, clean the bathroom, review our wedding photos and place the order, return some things to target, you get the idea.

but in order to have the most enjoyable saturday possible, i need to just do whatever it is i feel like doing when i wake up in the morning.  if it’s any one of these things, great.  if it’s something else, fine.

what are you up to this weekend?  what do you do with a free saturday?

feel good friday

i love fridays.  i love fridays even more when i have no plans.  and i honestly can’t remember the last friday that i didn’t have something to do. because of this, i was really looking forward to tonight and it ended up to be a really nice evening.  mike is at the nationals game with some buddies, so i had the whole night to myself.  what a treat 🙂

after a stressful few days at work, i was ready to relax with a pedicure. boy, was it relaxing. i thoroughly enjoyed the foot soak, chair massage, exfoliation, and an extra long foot and leg massage i think the pedicurist felt bad after she asked me if i had a baby and i said no. hey, i’ll take it.  it. felt. so. good.  i flipped through some magazines as my nails were getting painted and as they dried, randomly finding an article by gretchen rubin, (i highly recommend her book the happiness project), and learning that ben and jen are having another baby (what a great celebrity couple, huh?).

i left the nail place completely relaxed and headed to 2amys for a pizza to go.




i enjoyed the 2amys with arugula while watching guiliana and bill.

then i cleaned our kitchen, took out the trash, and packed for the weekend:  we’re headed to ocean city, md with mike’s family tomorrow.

mike will be so pleased when he comes home and sees that we’re all packed for the beach.  this is one of the little things i try to do to make him happy.  typically i pack the morning of and getting out the door in the morning is quite a process and makes us both stressed.  nothing like starting a long drive huffing and puffing.  fingers crossed that we will get out the door with ease in the morning (and that mike feels moved to reward me with breakfast at open city).