Monday, July 23, 2018

the thing about your 20's

a month from today i leave my 20's and enter my 30's. (check back on August 23 to read all the things i've learned these past 30 years!) i understand that entering a new decade is kindof a big deal, but it doesn't really feel like that big of a thing to me. i guess because i graduated from grad school this year, so that was my big moment of the year. i'm just not really feeling any type of way about turning 30. not like i thought i would. 

i'm not scared to turn 30 and i don't feel old. i'm mainly just ready for everything that this new decade will bring. it will be drastically different from what my 20's consisted of, and i'm very ready for that. the decade of your 20's is an interesting time because so much change is happening! you're graduating college, starting a new job, maybe getting married, maybe having kids, maybe buying a house, etc. you make a lot of life altering decisions in your 20's and there is stress and anxiety associated with all of those decisions! but there is also a lot of excitement and freedom associated with making independent decisions for the first time!

the 20's are also a weird decade. it's the first time you are an adult for the entire decade, and there are a lot of responsibilities put on you that weren't there before. (plus you have to start spending your own hard earned money on toilet paper, of all things!) you have the freedom to make all of these big decisions, but you still long for guidance on some things! you're starting your adult life, but you aren't quite settled into it yet!

i began the decade by doing some international traveling. the first part of my 20's consisted of dreaming about (and then meeting) someone i wanted to spend my life with. then it was waiting for college graduation and finding a job. then waiting to figure out if i wanted to change careers and waiting to sell our house. then waiting to finish grad school and waiting to buy a new house (we are still waiting!). there was a lot of waiting, and a lot of changes. you really do change a lot in a 10 year period.

it just feels like the 20's is a time to figure things out... and that may mean trying and failing, or completely changing your path. it involves taking chances, chasing dreams, and figuring things out by trial and error. it's okay to make mistakes because that's how we learn. and it's okay to completely change the course of your life because you've realized you need to. 

Shauna Niequist has a way with words and one of my favorite quotes of hers is: "there is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. this season is about becoming." i hung on to this quote all throughout grad school, because that truly was a season of becoming as i was headed into a career change and did a lot of personal growing during that time as well. 

as i look back on my 20's, i realize that i was in school for a majority of that decade - at the beginning of it and at the end. i started college late because i took a few years off between that and high school. i was 20 when i started my undergrad degree, and 24 when i graduated. i was 27 when i started grad school, and 29 when i graduated. 

my 20's were more of a wildness as i lived those carefree days of undergrad life, before a career or marriage. right before i started college i traveled to England, France, and Ontario, which was really fun! then during college i started to really be out on my own and there's a wildness that comes with freedom! 

after college, i started a career and shortly after got married to Thomas, and that was a season of becoming in itself as we adjusted to life with each other. then when i started my career change journey, we moved cities, and i started grad school... that was another season of becoming. i've said it so much already but there have been so many changes in this past decade. in many ways i'm an entirely different person than i was at 19, because these seasons of becoming have really changed me.

and now i'm a month shy of turning 30 and i am already starting to be in a season of settledness. when i look ahead at my 30's, i feel like i am truly settling into life now. i've started a new job as a social worker this year, we'll be moving into our own home next year, we'll add new pets and new kids into our clan over the next 10 years. there will be some of our biggest changes yet in this next decade (hello parenthood) but it will be so nice to be settled into a career, a home, and our own little family going forward.

no one is ever ready to grow older... but i am ready for my 30's. to finally be done with school, to have a job that is meaningful and that i enjoy, to settle down into a house, and everything that will come in the next decade. there have been a lot of changes that occurred during my 20's and i'm so thankful that they did. but now, i'm ready to enter into a season of settledness and enjoy everything that comes along with that! 

how do you generally feel when you're about to enter into a new decade?

Monday, July 09, 2018

baby announcement photoshoot

some of our friends are expecting their second child, and they wanted to make the big announcement on July 4th! she got some fun chalkboards made with some catchy phrases on them & asked if I would take some photos for them! of course I said yes because it is fun to capture photos that celebrate different seasons of my friends lives! their daughter is 3 years old and she is so adorable! she had a lot of fun holding her big sister sign! well, as much fun as a 3 year old has with a photoshoot! haha! I think the photos came out great & she had so much fun using them to announce the new addition on social media!

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

currently | July

currently, I am...

celebrating that I have a phone again! last week, I went to put my phone on the bathroom counter and it dropped out of my hand, then slid all the way down the counter and straight into the toilet. -_- so it was out of commission all week while it sat in rice and cat litter to try to get the water out. unfortunately it didn't ever turn on so I finally had to bite the bullet and buy another one. unfortunately I lost the information I had saved on it after May 6 because that's the last time it was backed up due to storage limits. but at least I didn't lose everything and now I can actually contact people again!

visiting my husband's family at the beach... at least we will be heading down there after I get off work today! it has been very busy and such a learning curve since I started my job a few weeks ago, and it will be nice to have 4 full days off to just hang out at the beach! getting my sweat on in 100 degree heat is still better than working, even though I love my job! haha!

baking homemade chocolate chip cookies which are super delicious! my mom made the same cookies every year when I was a kid and they've always been my favorite cookies! last week, we made them for my husband's family and they all loved them too! they are super delicious and chocolatey and soft in the middle when you eat them straight out of the oven!

loving my job! it has been pretty overwhelming because I am cross-training for two different areas, and training at/filling in at multiple locations. but, even with all of the overwhelming information and training... I really, really enjoy it! I know learning all of the medical terminology and all of the local resources will take time... and that I will eventually know this stuff like the back of my hand! the good thing about my job is that I have some great coworkers, so I always have someone to discuss things with at my fingertips!

what have you been up to lately?

linking up with Anne

Monday, July 02, 2018

5 things | buying a house

we are in the process of budgeting for a house and starting to look around and finalizing what kind of house we would like. we've been talking a lot about being intentional with our budget, and what kind of house would be functional for us to have room to grow into, but also stay within our budget. we are looking at moving into a home during the spring of 2019 because we really want to save as much of a down payment as we can. 

we are thankful that our parents are allowing us to stay with them so we can save for a down payment more easily. we weren't able to figure out a budget until I started my job because we needed to know what my income would be. so now that I'm almost a month in and have gotten a paycheck, we are able to calculate what our budget will be! it is exciting talking about it and dreaming of having a house of our own again in just a few months time! (well, less than a year's time at least!)

I wanted to type out and process the five biggest things we've been considering during this time:

o1; needs vs wants
we want a lot of things, but more than anything we want to not be house poor. we realize that whether we buy a house or build a house, we will never be able to get everything we want in a house right now. and we are okay with that. we are sticking with simple so we can stick to our budget and then add things as we can save up for them down the road. so we are recognizing what are needs that we should spend money on, and what are wants that we could save money on not doing right now and possibly do in future years. for example, we want hardwood floors, but carpet is cheaper so we'll have carpet for now. ;)

o2; longevity
we have moved SO MUCH in the past three years with selling our house, moving for grad school, and now having our things in a storage unit. one thing that is important to us in purchasing a home is saving up enough so that we can afford a house we can grow into and stay in for a long time. we want to plan for a very long future in this house so we don't have to move if we don't want to. there are always unexpected things that happen in life, and we will cross that bridge if it happens... but we are planning this house to be our forever home. 

o3; 15 year mortgage
I hate paying interest, so paying as little as we have to is our goal. we saved $13,000 by paying off my undergrad student loans 7 years early and I'm so glad we did! knowing that a 30 year mortgage means that you end up paying almost double the amount of what the house costs, sickens me! I know 15 year mortgages are aggressive and not always an option, but we are going to do our best to make it an option for us. paying the house off in 15 years also means not having a mortgage once our first kid goes to college, which is pretty awesome!

o4; percentage of income
Dave Ramsey suggests your mortgage payment should not be more than 25% of your monthly income. the way we came up with our budget for the house was by figuring out what amount of money the 25% was for us, and then calculating what total amount came out to be that amount or less monthly, with a 15-year fixed rate mortgage. once we calculated all of that out, and factored in property taxes, we had a workable number to use for our budget. 

o5; land
we really want land which means that we will have less in our budget for an actual house because we will be spending some money to ensure having land! our first home was on almost 2 acres and we liked having so much space, plus having that much value if we did eventually sell! where we are wanting to live is where it seems everyone is wanting to move these days. there are SO many neighborhoods popping up all over the place, so having land around these parts (haha) would definitely be a huge value! we are looking at building on land vs buying a house already on at least an acre... and seeing what is most amicable to our budget! for us land isn't an outright need but we are both willing to go more basic with a house to have some land and still stay within budget! plus we both really want land so that we can have some farm animals one day! ;)

what are your "must haves" and "could live withouts" when it comes to a house?