Another Change

Well, as of two days ago, I have had to make a "significant" change to the introduction of my blog. (I am actually making the change today.)

"I am keeping this blog as a collection of thoughts for my children (but others are welcome to enjoy too).... Someday I hope they have they chance to read this. My work, and our single income household keeps me very busy. I hate to admit this but sometimes so busy that I don't spend as much time with my kids and family as I want to, or as I should.... Although I am not always with them - they are ALWAYS with me...."

I need to change
"My work, and our single income household keeps me very busy"
to
"My work and our hectic family lifestyle keeps me very busy".

Yup, after a three year hiatus from the working world, my wife has now returned to work. We are no longer have a "single family income"! My wife went on maternity leave when Melissa was born, her employer lost their lease, and therefore went out of business. We made the decision at that time to have Michele stay home, and raise Melissa - living off of just my income. I gotta tell you, it has not been easy. We have "made due" and "done without" a lot of things. But, on the other hand we have been able to do some things, and have "done with" the things we have needed too!

One of the biggest "hurdles" during this time is when our mini-van died and had to replace it (going from no car-payments to having a car payment again). It was not easy but we are nearly a year and a half into the loan. The problem is that my car (a 1994 Ford Escort with 190,000 miles on it) is beginning to fail (I cross my fingers ever time I start it, and give it a pat on the dashboard wispering "good little car" every time I reach my destination. Don't get me wrong. This is a great little car, and has been "trouble free", and gets (on average) just under 35 mpg. It makes a GREAT commuter car, but has reached the point that the costs assoicated with repair are not worth putting into it. It will not be long before I will have no choice but to replace it. I will still keep this car, and drive it till it "drives-me-no-more". In the mean time, I am going to start socking some $$ away for a down payment on a new car, and start searching around. One of the front runners for a replacement is HERE. But I hope to have the summer months to spend with my little Escort, while I check into it's replacment... That's not what this post is about, so enough on that (for now).

Back to the new burst of income... This is great news, but (at least for a while) does not change a whole lot of things. When Michele went on maternity leave, we had all credit cards paid off. Over the past three years, we have had (at times) to get a little bit of help from those cards. We are not "maxed out", and I have always paid more than the mininum payments (frequently double), but then I charge almost that same ammount back on, so it's sort of a "trade off". We have decided that priority #1 is to get back to where we were 3 years ago. Without too much difficulty we should have that done in less than a year. It will feel good to clear that all up again, and then move on to having that extra disposable income!

There are a couple of down sides to all this. Firstly, it has been nice to have my wife home as much as she has been. It allows me flexibility to work overtime, and work what ever shift I want. That is going to change a bit. I will be back to working evenings. Secondly, we will be working "tag-team" or opposite shifts - like two ships passing in the night... That is one of the hardest parts of this... I have come accostmed to spending time with her, and will miss not having time together like we have...

Well, we are going to give this a try, and see how it all goes... If nothing else, we can get most of our bills paid off before we are going to find out it does not...
.

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