Seven Quick Takes - FREEEEDOM!!!!

One week ago we -ahem- paid off our student loans.

Question:  do you keep all your paper bills?  Like gas, electric, student loan bills, etc.?  I can't stand clutter and would love to throw them out after they are paid but years ago people made me feel like that was crazy and that everyone who knew anything about adult life knew that you had to keep them for at least a year.  I figure most accounts could be looked up online if needed, right?  And I pay them all online so my bank saves my payment history.  What do you do?  Will someone please give me permission to throw these papers out?

The other day I realized that it was late afternoon and I hadn't yet brushed. my. teeth.  Seriously.  I used to be crazy about brushing my teeth several times a day.  Doing it first thing in the morning doesn't work when I'm pretending the boys are still asleep and I don't want to wake them with the turning on of the faucet (not an exaggeration).  Besides hello?  Coffee?  And then the day just starts and gets crazy and you get to three p.m. and realize you haven't yet brushed your teeth.  Or maybe that's just me.
Related, I've been having to write down on my daily list when to take a shower.  And taking a shower has totally become a chore so I try to put it off as long as possible.  There is just so much going on in the morning and evenings and personal hygiene has become a victim of the crazy.  I apologize to anyone who has been in my presence in the last few months.  Oh my carrots, I just realized that I haven't even looked in a mirror one time today.  And yet.  Yet my husband still calls me beautiful.  Because he's sweet.  Or deluded.  Or on crack.  Or as crazy tired as I am and honestly doesn't see straight anymore.


So, really, we paid OFF our student loans.  Like -poof!- gone.  We owe zero dollars this month.

 I'm not sure you're aware but once in a while the parenting gig requires some sacrifice.  Because of his stellar performance at work, Brian won a spot at the national recognition dinner which is in New York City this year.  If we were to accept, they would (ready?) fly the two of us out, pick us up in a fancy car and bring us to the Waldorf hotel.  That evening we would be brought to the National History Museum for a super fancy dinner and then back to hotel to spend the night.  Then in the morning a fancy car would drive us back to the airport and they would fly us home.  Ohmygoodness, doesn't that sound amazingly fun?  Like to get dressed all fancy and feel important?  I bet even could manage a shower for the occasion.
Buuuuut it looks like it ain't going to happen.  Sigh.  SUCH a hard decision.  We just can't figure out how to make it work when we have a nursing little one who lately has been up every few hours at night.  I would never wean him just so that I could have a fancy date and I can't imagine letting him stay overnight somewhere and putting both him and them through that misery.  We could bring him with us but that sort of rules out the fancy dinner thing (putting him in the Ergo was ruled out by Brian ;) and staying in a fancy hotel is just not even a little bit the same when you've got a one year old.  The awesome rewards of nursing and such are totally worth the sacrifices, I get that.  This one was just a bit more...tangible...than the others.  I just keep reminding myself that this season is so short and there'll be time enough, God willing, for all of that.  Love you, Lukebabe.  You're worth it.

The other night John Paul was getting upset that he hadn't gotten to some of the things that he wanted to do that day (coincidentally occurring right at bedtime).  I suggested that in the morning he write out a list for the day to make sure he accomplished everything he wanted to that day, while secretly and guiltily I was loving the fact that perhaps he has inherited my love of The List.  Today I found this:

I'm not sure what I love more: that moisturizing is of such high priority for the day, the reminder that we all need a little Lord of the Dance sometimes, or the uncertainty of whether your mother is going to feed you today like she's done several times a day every other day of your existence?  (Of course, his mother also needs to be reminded to shower, so...)


No, REALLLY.  Not sure you heard. 
FOR REALZ.  Eleven years later and we are now FREEEE!!!  And when my husband told me that he put in the money for that last online payment, I totally had to clean the house and make sure I was ready to hit that submit button because it was such a momentous occasion.

Do you know how amazing that is?  Do you know how hard we have worked to do that?  Do you know that my husband worked his bottom off (not literally...weird) this past year and got a bonus that let us pay off the last HUUUUUGE chunk in one fell swoop?  Do you know that when we graduated we had a combined total of over seventy THOUSAND dollars in debt?  Do you know that we were paying about $500 a month towards those loans (without adding in all the extra principal put in)?  Not sure if we'll now go to work on that hefty mortgage, start saving for that little thing called retirement, or whether we'll start stocking our provisions for the Barakalypse.   Possibly a combination of all three.  I love that Colleen and Mary are both going to be doing the same thing soon!   Woohoo!!!!!  FREEEEDOM!!  
Now give me some great ideas on how to celebrate, people!

I give it a maximum of three weeks before the president starts foolish talk about student loan forgiveness and all the recent grads start whining along and then I will have to start my own Occupy something movement and sounding like an old lady using words like responsibility and integrity and honor and other such old fashioned words.  (See? I'm already getting warmed up.)

Linking on up with the Jen.


    Don't get me started on student loan forgiveness, I ACTUALLY can't handle the amount of people my age that REALLY think someone else should pay for decisions they made (like studying African American Studies and not being able to find a job to pay off the hundreds of thousand dollars you took out to attend the ivy-league brainwashing school to give you said degree, which is really just bs) I mean really don't get me started). I mean. this stuff keeps me up at night!

    In other news, please go to new york city. PLEASE. bring luke with you. Please. I'll find you a sitter so you can go to the fancy dinner for a couple of hours- and then, even though he'll share the fancy hotel with'd still, you know, be in nyc. Please.

    Also, I am so so so happy for you paying off your loans. What an amazing accomplishement. I cannot wait until ours are done. My FUS loans are done at the start of April, I cannot wait. There is an amazing freedom in not owing people thousands of dollars. You rock!

  2. Congrats on the student loan payoff! I cannot WAIT until we get to do that. What an amazing feeling. As far as the fancy party....what if you brought the nursling but left him at the hotel with a babysitter/nanny?

  3. I agree with Mary . . . . GO TO NYC. If you do not know anyone there that can babysit for a few hours, we can help you find someone!

    Congrats on paying off your loans!!! That is awesome. We are trying to pay off our monster mortgage now and I cannot WAIT until we are really debt free!

    Yeah, I have the same issue with people who want the govt to forgive their loans and mortgages . . .it REALLY bothers me! Whatever happened to personal responsibility????

  4. Congrats on the loan payoff! I remember how good that felt (it was just a couple years ago). To celebrate...hmmm....GO TO NY city!!!!!!!! You have 5 sisters and grandparents who would watch him - and they are all local. Whenever we want a fancy night out we have to consider flying grandparents in (which is why it's only happened once!)

    Seriously...I know you don't want to wean him for a trip, but when I (reluctantly) weaned Kay at 15 months, she started sleeping through the night. Really.

    I keep my paper bills for 1 year. Never needed them, though. So once a year I go through and shred them all up. I think I could skip this annual chore by just getting rid of them to begin with.

  5. Congratulations on the loan payoff. I can hardly wait for the day that I do that!

  6. Oh My Gosh! I'm SO happy for you about paying off your student loans! We are slowly doing the whole snowball payment to get rid of our debts. Tax refund meant we own the van, which lets us spend a little more at the grocery store and the rest is going to paying down bills. We're hoping to move by this coming Fall and if our house sells for what we'd like we should be debt free in just a few years. I cannot wait.

  7. Two things:

    1. you always make me laugh and I love that about you.
    2. Go to New York!!!!! Ship the baby to me!!! Do whatever it takes. Seriously. I would.

  8. 1. Yay you - we're on track to get ours paid off by the 11 year mark too - glad to know that's realistic! We snowballed all of our consumer debt in 2 years before kids arrived and it felt so amazing to know that we owned everything in our home and garage. Currently we only owe on the SL's and our mortgage and it's such a good feeling.

    2. I could hook you up with quite a few quality babysitters in the NYC area too or is there a grandma or Aunt, neice, best friend who you could bring with you (spare room of course) who could do some dinner and maybe a little post-dinner babysitting?

    3. I'm also one of those "old ladies" and every time a FB friends wants me to support student loan forgiveness I can't help but think the same as you! No one will learn there lessons about borrowing money with a get out of jail free card!

  9. Barakalypse - hahaha - love it :)

  10. Congrats on the loans....HUGE accomplishment!!! HUGE!!!!!
    Love the list maker's list, like really....just melts my heart!!!

  11. I picture you breaking into dance several times a day as the fact that your student loans are paid off comes to mind. Congrats !!! That is such a great accomplishment. Definitely make payments into a retirement account. Believe me it comes quicker than you can imagine.
    Congrats to Brian on the award!!! WooHoo!!!!
    Celebrate both by taking advantage of this very fun and wonderful night. I could be the grandma in the other room with the wonderful Luke. Seriously take up one of the offers to make this happen.
    John Paul can help ut make lists it comes from both sides. Just a side thought - if you can't remind when you showered or brushed your teeth are you really sure that you fed them? only kidding.

    What ever you decide dance , sing and celebrate because these are big events!
    Grandma & Grumpy

  12. Congratulations to Brian on the award and to you both for paying off the loans! I'm only a leeeetle bit jealous - my husband and I graduated law school with over $200K in debt and oh, the end is nowhere near in sight. So painful. And the trip to NY sounds amazing - I've been to fancy events at that hotel and it's so gorgeous, a real experience. I hope you can figure out a way to go!

  13. Another volunteer to take care of that baby! What an opportunity that trip would be!!!!! Okay, I know. I don't want to make you feel worse or anything. It's just so huge.

    Speaking of huge: $70K???????????????? I am so impressed! Wow. I think house + Barakalypse would be a good combo ;)

  14. OH MY GOSH CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Let's have a party together or go on a vacation or something. You just have to wait until August when our are done :)

  15. Just got home from your fabulous Lego birthday party for Michael- fantastic job on all the decorations & cake, Mary. I love all the little details you add to make it all so special. Oh, and I love that adorable 6 year old too!
    Mary, I didn't know about Brian's award - how awesome!! You KNOW that I'm available to watch the boys for you or go with you to NYC to watch Mr. Luke so you can party in the big city. I agree with everyone - do it! do it! These chances don't come along every day. When is it?

  16. Foze
    I think e Lord has spoken through your blogging friends. You must go to NYC.


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