I'm going. I'm STILL shocked.

The Relevant Conference: I'm Going!
I am going to a blogging conference.
Not just ANY conference.
I’m going to Relevant 11!
It all happened so fast.  I woke up, saw tweets about it and for the most part ignored them.  See, I couldn’t afford to go so I hadn’t really bothered to pay attention to any of the conferences going on this year. Besides, going to a blogging conference would either confirm that I’m nuts or it would force people to see that I take blogging seriously.  Or Both.
But then my friends were going. Then they were going and staying together and giggling and tweeting and it was going to be so.much.fun.
So I got a little jealous. I didn’t say it, but I was.
Then Cassie asked me if I’d go if I had a sponsor. Uhhh,  yea, maybe, I dunno.
Like I could or would get a sponsor.  I’m a LITTLE blog. I’m just a mom. I’m nothing special. I’m just a girl, a girl in the body of a woman, doing her best to love her husband, her God, her children, and finding solace in sharing her life with a handful of readers.
At 1 am, nursing the baby, I saw her text message. It was Cassie, asking me again if I would go if I had a sponsor for my ticket.
The next 15 hours or so are a blur. Lots of crying. Hugging. Praying.
See, Cassie wanted to sponsor me. Herself.
And she did. She sponsored my ticket to Relevant 11. She said I was important, and special and that I did deserve to be there.
I’m still crying about it.
And I want to pay it forward. So I’ve decided to try and raise funds for my sister to go with us.
Anything from my Artfire shop or Design sales go towards her ticket. I sold my changing table which gives us $35.  My friend Laurie is donating the proceeds from the sale of The Red Thread.
I can remember praying after Cassie asked me the first time “would you go if”. I remember asking God to just let me know if I was supposed to go, if He wanted me there, and I would do whatever needed to be done to get there.
I’m not sure how we’re going to make it actually happen. Peanut would have to be done with nursing or he’d have to come.  That would mean Mr. B would have to come.  I’m not going to sweat about it.
Seems I’m supposed to go. So I’m sure the details will work out just fine.
I still just can’t believe it.
Thank you Cassie. Thank you.

Down with Debt in 2011 – Our Debt Monster

Hubby and I (and a lot of God’s provision!) have narrowed our debt down to three final accounts:
1. My Student Loans
2. My Car
3. His Dad’s Lowe’s Card
In November 2011, the loan on my car matures.  I owe over $12,000. My car payment is NOT $1000/mth. Mathematically there is NO way this car will be paid off by November 2011.  I called to see if there had been a mistake but there had not.  The additional $3000 + is fees etc. associated with times they “assisted” us during his unemployment. (Thanks for nothing HSBC)
The Lowe’s card stands at $2400 (give or take a couple bucks).  The payment is $86, I have paid $100 for years now.  Every month another $56 gets added to the account. Finance charges they say.  Seems that account has a 29% interest rate. (EVERY SINGLE THING on this card is currently installed somewhere on the house that will be foreclosed on soon)
My Student loans are over $20,000.  We will tackle them in 2012.
After a couple heart to hearts, we have decided that for Christmas 2011 we will be free from the car and Lowe’s. That’s a $15,000 debt monster we intend to slay.  I have NO idea where we will find $1250/month.  That is $550 more than what we already dish out for these two bills.  What I do know is that when it came down to getting Christmas presents I found money.  When it came down to me wanting a new sewing machine I found money.  When hubby wants to take us the water park for the day, I FIND MONEY.
I think part of it is the visual. I see the stuff we buy.  I can’t SEE the debt go away- until now.
I’ve made myself a cute little debt monster.  I’m putting him in the sidebar of my blog and I’m printing him out for the refrigerator.  Isn’t he cute?

I will erase a little bit of him every month, to SHOW how much of a bite we’ve taken out of him. Each line represents $1000.
Should you decide you want to slay your own debt monster this year you can get your own little fridge decor here, in my zazzle store.  Any proceeds go directly to taking a bite out of debt.
If you’d like a debt monster for your blog just ask 🙂