life of faith

taking baby steps & leaps & everything in between

The State of Our Union.

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There are so many great things about being married. SO many. For instance, on Monday night I attempted to write a blog describing how thankful I was that I could just sit on the floor and file paperwork while Dayne codes on his laptop on the couch and we both listen to, half-watch, and comment on Dancing with the Stars. Then I stopped because that was all I really had to say and Dancing with the Stars is really not that great. The thing is that there are often random, mundane moments when I love being married for really stupid reasons. It’s kind of like what Dayne’s parents say about going to the hardware store together on a Friday night and how it’s so great. Then there are also moments that are big, significant, and rather awesome when I love being married, but I never think to blog about them?

One of the things I love and hope that we will grow to love more is house-hunting together. So far, we have gone with our realtor (Kay) to look at two real-life, grown-up houses. We’re such adults now!

The first house we looked at is a story that you’d have to hear in person (and I would love to tell you!). I will never do it justice on this blog and I’m frankly scared of the consequences if I publish any details about it. Really.

The second house was totally beautiful, but kind of disjointed for what we’re looking for. What seemed like the master bathroom (double sinks & bathtub) was on the first floor, one of the bedrooms was on the first floor, and the laundry was in the unfinished basement. I always think about raising kids in our first house, and for me those were things that were going to make life a bit difficult with young children. And the location was realistically too far from Dayne’s work.

We’re going to see at least two more houses this weekend – two townhouses and at least two single family homes. I’m really excited about what we’re finding in this area and the possibility that we won’t have to move far, because we both really like where we live right now.

Another thing I’ve been excited about is meeting with a financial advisor, which we did last night. Believe me, I hate budgeting and saving and all kinds of money management scrutiny (on the other hand, Dayne loves it; he could do commercials for mint.com). But we’re working through all that stuff and doing a pretty good job, I think. And as we’re on the cusp of buying our first home, we both wanted to sit down with someone objective and develop a general financial plan going forward.

It’s borderline overwhelming all the things you have to think about when you become an adult, and it hits very suddenly — retirement, emergency savings, interest rates, the DOW, money markets, savings accounts, investments, rent vs. buy, bills, utilities, future children, benefits, insurance, etc.  We dove into almost all of that last night. I have three pages of notes.

After the meeting, I felt great and Dayne felt horrible. Weird, huh?

We talked through it a bit and went to bed with these questions rattling around in our heads: can we afford a house? How does anyone afford a house? Will we be able to start having kids before I turn 35? Should I get a full-time job? Should I get another part-time job? Can we ever go out to dinner? Where can we afford to go for our first anniversary trip (please, please, Hawaii)? Should our price range for houses decrease or should we stretch a bit towards the price range we’re looking at now? Do we need to cut our savings?

Apparently I think in my sleep because I woke up with much more clarity than either of us had last night after our meeting. We’re going to look for cheaper houses and see if we can find one in a good neighborhood (because I won’t sacrifice neighborhood or school district for price). I’m going to look for more employment so that we don’t have to budget SO much, and we can save more. We rely too much on Dayne’s income right now and it would be nice to help out with more than 20 hours/week of pay while I still can (before we have kids).

So I’m job-hunting! Dayne is doing an incredible job in his career and I admire him for that. He is and will continue to be a wonderful provider. I, on the other hand, don’t really have a career and would love to get into a second job or a full-time job that I enjoy and really utilizes my talent and skills.

As a blessing to us, we were offered access to Dayne’s grandparents’ timeshare in the Poconos for almost nothing, and we’re going to get away for a few days in October. I have the travel bug, and I have a really hard time not going anywhere for long periods of time, being stuck in routine. With all the budgeting we’re going through and with money being so tight, there was no way we were going to go anywhere until next summer, so I am incredibly grateful for the gift of this timeshare retreat in the mountains.

With everything – the difficulties and the financial struggles and the house hunting and the mundane fun moments and the big exciting moments – I am just so happy to be going through life with Dayne. It may not be fantastic and easy all the time, but that’s life, and everyday I have a greater appreciation for Dayne as a person and for our marriage. I have to have faith in the person I will become, the person Dayne will become, and how our marriage will grow. So far, so good!

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Author: lisadanielle

I love Jesus, I have a lot of flaws, and I'm seeking a life of abundant joy. That sums it up pretty nicely, actually.

2 thoughts on “The State of Our Union.

  1. Hey Lisa, We looked at homes for 1 year before we found ours, and it’s honestly perfect for us. We were looking in a high price range and kept getting our offers rejected by the home owners and the one that was finally accepted was well below our price range, and we don’t have to worry about how we’re going to pay the mortgage each month. I can tell you from experience, you want this feeling versus, how will we pay the bills if one of us loses our job or if we run into a financial emergency. My suggestion, even though you didn’t ask for it, is to buy a home based on ONE salary, that way you can stay home with kiddos if needed, and the mortgage should only be about 30-40% of one salary’s take home pay. Take your time to find the right house in your budget…it doesnt have to be your dream home, just your “right now” home 🙂 thats’ my two cents.

    • Thank you, Melinda! That is EXTREMELY helpful. That’s kind of what I woke up feeling — that I’d rather have a home that we’re financially comfortable in with some money to spare for expenses or savings than one where we’d stress about the bills each month and have to save/spend less. It would only get worse! I don’t think the strain would be worth it as long as we can find the right house (for “right now”) in a lower price range! Sounds like God really guided you; I’m hoping the same for us. 🙂

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