At the end of 2008 I was at my parents house for Christmas. It was the first time in awhile that my whole family was together for a holiday.
Clif and I were thinking about another baby and were also determined to get out of debt within the next two years. We had a budget and a plan and we were excited about the coming year. I even said "2009's going to be a really good year."
2009 was not a good year. Within weeks of me saying those silly words, my parents would split up, Clif would lose his job and I would be pregnant. A month or so later, I would miscarry. It would be 5 months before I was pregnant again. So 2009 would not be the year of financial freedom or the year of a sibling for Ainsley. It ended up being one of the hardest years of my life. And I know, if that's as bad as it gets, I'm lucky. But that one year, set us back...way back. Financially - our debt tripled. Emotionally - we would worry more, argue more, cry more. Physically - I gained about 20 pounds.
In 2010, after 18 months of unemployment Clif found a job. A job that would move us away from our beloved Richmond. A job that would take us back to Northern Virgina, a place I really never wanted to return to...but a job. Also in 2010, Freddie was born. Definitely one of the best days of my life. So 2010 was a good year. It was still hard. We were still living paycheck to paycheck, but at least we were on the right path.
2011 started with me joining Clif in Northern Virginia...in his parent's house. Those first few months were very hard. I don't struggle with depression or anxiety...but those first few months are the closest I've ever come. I could not see past my anger, pain, and humiliation. I cried daily. I pulled away from everyone. I couldn't face the world. I went through the motions.
So now here were are, 2012. We've got tenants in both our properties. We've managed to save some money and pay off all of our medical bills. Granted that was a small portion of our debt, but it's something. We've got two beautiful children, growing up way too fast. I've lost 12 pounds...it's taken forever, but it's happening. And now, we are moving out of Kip and Denise's house. We signed a lease Wednesday night. We'll be in by the end of the month.
I'm excited and nervous and worried...all those things you go through when you're going out on your own...only this time, I know all the pitfalls. So, I can try to plan for them, but also it scares me more.
Mostly it feels good. It feels like we're finally making a fresh start, that our life in limbo land is coming to an end and we can finally start taking a few steps forward. Financially, it's still going to be a struggle. We've already cut way back on spending...we started that 3 years ago. But we won't be able to save as much, we won't be able to pay things off as quickly. Our 2 year plan from 2008 looks more like a 4 year plan now. But now I'm thinking...so what. It would be great to have my debt erased and my savings account padded. It would be awesome to have a nice little nest egg for each of my kids. I would LOVE a vacation. But right now, none of that is in the cards...but I know it will be. We just have to be patient and let the next few years happen.
However, I wouldn't say I'm the most patient person...