2016 Goals: July Update

Progress Report


  1. CMSRN credential
    1. Let’s face it…ain’t happenin’ this year. ūüôā
  2. Pay off at least $20,000 of debt.
    1. Paid off $3650¬†this month!¬†¬†Full disclosure…while this number is incredible, it also entails a little bit of debt-shifting, so to speak. ¬†We had an earlier-than-expected, unplanned trip back to Illinois due to my grandpa passing away. ¬†We had known¬†it was coming relatively soon and (thankfully, right? :S) it was quick and he is no longer in pain. ¬†We were fortunate enough to have taken a trip back in June, where I had the opportunity to shake his hand, hug him, say “I love you” in person, and then goodbye for what I had presumed would be the last time. ¬†Therefore, I’m very much at peace with everything.
    2. Back to the PF side of things: ¬†in light of this trip obviously costing money, my grandma and dad had actually decided to dole out a little early inheritance, last gift from grandpa, if you will, and gave the grandchildren $1500 each. ¬†We decided to put that money towards our debt, helping us get that much closer to debt freedom. ¬†For that, thank you grandpa! ¬†ūüôā
    3. Otherwise, July was a three-paycheck month (why can’t every month be?!?) ¬†I also noticed a nice uptick in the value of my TSP retirement fund of about $1000 and, as a result of all combined efforts, we have paid off $15,734 year-to-date, putting us at 79% of of goal for the year, and our current net worth sits at $13,438, a 52% increase over last month. ¬†Overall, while July was a bit of a rough month from an emotional standpoint, our financial footing continues to gain solid standing.
  3. Weight loss:¬† weigh 200 pounds by the end of February (complete)¬†and 185 pounds by the end of April ‚Äď monitoring with weekly weigh-ins
    1. No real change to report here…my weight is fluctuating a bit week-to-week, hovering around 185 with a 35 inch waist. ¬†Not bad considering we were eating out on our trip to Illinois. ¬†The important thing to remember is that I’m still feeling happy and healthy.
  4. Increased meal planning with eMeals
    1. *averts eyes and hangs head in shame* ¬†lol…gotta get back on this!
  5. Month-to-month junk food buying ban
    1. The ban (and homemade delicious goodies) continues! ¬†ūüôā
  6. Decreased soda :  $24 = 3 cases/month
    1. I remain fully aware that I drink too much soda. ¬†While I haven’t been actually tracking it, I have zero doubt that I’m blowing this budget. ¬†Hakuna Matata!
  7. Using our treadmill for at least 20 minutes per day when off work (sold it in May)
  8. Improved planning and crop yield from the garden
    1. Gardening has gone well this past month. ¬†We were forced to prematurely dig up our potatoes, as these lovely bastards below DEMOLISHED the leaves on our plants while we were gone to Illinois. ¬†We have avoided insecticides this season¬†but next year, we will have to rethink our approach…we’ll likely try my wife’s idea of a homemade mixture of flour and cayenne pepper. ¬†If you have any other advice or tricks to avoid chemical insecticides, please let me know! ¬†Otherwise, we dug up about a grocery bag full¬†of potatoes and will definitely be planting more than one row next year, as they are delicious and Rowan got a real kick out of digging through the dirt with me. ¬†#ProudDaddy ¬†ūüôā ¬†Also, we have gotten five squash from our one plant, given away a few, and also canned two dozen pints of green beans thus¬†far, with more that will need picked in the next several days. ¬†Our corn is just starting to grow some ears so hopefully I have a good report on that next month. ¬†Otherwise, two of our three Roma tomato plants are doing well and we’ve got some¬†ripening indoors with this cool trick, involving placing them in a¬†closed paper bag with a banana, which releases ethylene gas and helps the ripening process. ¬†#cool-shit-to-know20160620_190420
  9. Read a minimum of 5 books in 2016
    1. While I haven’t ¬†had the opportunity to finish¬†Man’s Search for Meaning yet, it is an excellent and thought-provoking read that I highly encourage you to check out if you haven’t already. ¬†If you’d like a nice, two paragraph summation of Victor Frankl’s “logotherapy,” check out this article over at Baha’i Teachings.
  10. Increased personal time and appreciation for my wonderful and loving wife, who is the greatest momma I could ever hope to have for our amazing son.
    1. Unfortunately, I don’t have much to report in this department. ¬†We took a few family day-trips to Smith Falls, enjoying some short walks along the Niobrara river and splashing around in the nearby waterfall. ¬†Otherwise, we spent a week traveling back to Illinois and felt like my other days off this past month were basically spent playing catch-up with the usual mundane tasks and chores that have to be accomplished. ¬†In the small amount of time we spend together between our son going to bed and then us crashing, we managed to finish the rest of the first four seasons of¬†Orange is the New Black, but have otherwise not had much one-on-one time. ¬†However, we have been planning for Rowan’s upcoming second birthday, which will hopefully be some good fun. ¬†Cheyenne is making the cake/cupcakes and is playing around with homemade fondant, thanks to the wonders of Pinterest. ¬†*Side note: ¬†Pinterest is a truly amazing treasure-trove of kid craft ideas that we have been having a blast with Rowan with. ¬†I’m also planning to make some homemade ice cream for the party and let Rowan choose to dye it blue or yellow (or green, purple, or whatever he chooses,) as his party is Minion themed. ¬†Also, yours truly will be dressing in this saucy little number for the party. ¬†ūüôā

All things considered, July was great month. ¬†We are perpetually exhausted but we remain happy, healthy, and are an extremely kick-ass, loving family. ¬†It continues to be an honor to spend my life with my loving wife, as we watch our no-longer-baby boy continue to flourish in his hilarity and thirst for knowledge and adventure. ¬†He continues to amaze me more and more every single day…to be fair, he also drives me nutty on a daily basis but I wouldn’t trade a minute of it for anything in the world. ¬†ūüôā

Also, I’ve been extremely absent from the blogosphere this past month. ¬†I was three weeks late replying to a few comments that rolled in here-and-there and haven’t made a new post since the last update I posted for June. ¬†I’ve read a few of your guys’ articles when time allows but haven’t even had the opportunity to comment; for that, I’m sorry…but priorities are priorities, you know? ¬†I applaud all of you out there that continue to kick ass at this PF business and stand in awe of your abilities to continue pumping out excellent material to continue educating the masses. ¬†While I honestly don’t know what lies in the future for¬†my blog, it is my plan to continue following along with you all as best as I can, continue posting monthly progress reports to keep myself motivated on our journey, and occasionally eek out an article or two along the way. ¬†Thank you all for your continued support and for following along with our family. ¬†Have an awesome day, my friends.

– Nurse on Fire