Managing our Finances: Part 1

For years Nick and I have been struggling with managing our finances. We didn’t think it was that bad until it got to a point where we both had enough. I started Pinterst-ing a few ideas on what to do and came across this awesome post:

It’s a must-read, but basically it talks about how most people have two bank accounts, one for savings and one for checking (that was us). In this post, it recommends having 7 bank accounts (YES 7!) to help you organize where your money is going. Nick and I sat down and discussed this and decided to start first with opening a new bank account at a different bank that was going to be our “every day expense” account. So at one bank we have our savings and a checking, but our checking we wouldn’t use other than for auto bills and all expected expenses spent every month (mortgage payment, utilities, phone bill, etc.) Most of our paychecks go into this account as well. For the new account, we figured out how much we spend a month on food and extras for ourselves and direct deposit from each paycheck into this account. We set a goal for ourselves that this is only what we get for each month and when its gone, its gone and we cannot dabble from the other account.

So far we only have 3 accounts (technically 4 accounts with the HSA account). We are currently working towards setting up the Husband’s Checking and Wife’s Checking as well as the Emergency Savings. I think its so important to keep these organized so you know exactly how much is going into each and there are no more guessing games as to where your money is going.

Please keep in mind, this is a learning process and it wont be perfect right away. Try it out at first and make adjustments as needed. We have now been doing this for 6 months straight and its constantly changing, but we are much better at recognizing where exactly we want our money to go. We talk about it and think it through. We also set up monthly money meetings to get together and talk about it, so we are always on the same page.

Along with the advice of organizing our bank accounts, Nick started listening to Dave Ramsey podcasts and this really jump-started our focus on money management. Along with his book “The Total Money Makeover“, Dave Ramsey has shaped our image of money and the step-by-step process to becoming debt-free. Nick and I never realized how much debt was a burden until now and we are doing everything possible to get rid of it.

I know money can be a sore subject, or something most people don’t like to talk about (just like me). But rather than ignoring the money issue, take action and learn how to manage your finances!

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Our House: Before & After

Two and a half years ago, we bought this house with the intentions of making it ours and thats exactly what we did. With a lot of hard working hours put into this beauty, it has come out exactly the way we wanted! Take a tour through our diamond in the rough with the before (when we bought this house) photos and the after photos.

The Front: (please ignore the fact that the before photo was taken in the summertime and the after was taken in the dead of winter)



When you walk in the front door:



The Living/Family Room:



The Dining Room:



The Kitchen:



The Kitchen:



The Kitchen:



The Bedroom/Office:



The Bedroom/Nursery:



The Master Bedroom:



The Guest Bedroom:



The Bathroom:



The Backyard: (please ignore the fact that the before photo was taken in the summertime and the after was taken in the dead of winter)



The Patio: (please ignore the fact that the before photo was taken in the summertime and the after was taken in the dead of winter)



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Watch Me As I Grow: 18 Months

I wish I could keep up with the monthly posts just to see how much Everett grows and changes from month to month, unfortunately thats just not possible. But every 6 months I might be able to do!




We couldn’t be more proud of our little 18 month old, he is amazing! He’s talking now and can say words like excuse me is “zshuzshe”, thank you is “tankoo”, “up”, “mama”, “dada”, “Zsa-Zsa”, Grandpa is “Granpa”, banana is “babana”, “truck”, “tractor”, Harley (our dog) is “arly”, horse is “orssss” and “go boncos” for Go Broncos… just to name a few. Then the other day he learned his name, “Ebret” and he points to himself. Its awesome!

Everett’s favorites:

  • Color is “orange”
  • Food is raisins
  • Animal is monkey and he starts making noises “eee ooh ooh”
  • Cartoon is Curious George
  • Toy is the iPad and yes, he knows how to use it… he finds his own apps and movies.
  • Person is mama (he melts my heart being a mama’s boy) and Grandpa of course!

He’s 25 lbs and in the 75% for his height. He has 14 teeth, still needs his bottom canines and his 2 year old molars.

He eats with a fork and a spoon, and actually gets food in his mouth about 80% of the time. He can also drink from a regular cup which they teach really well at school.

My goodness he is growing up fast and my heart couldn’t be more full of love for this little man of mine.

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Everett’s 1st Birthday

He’s 1 year old! Wow how that year flew by and I couldn’t be more excited for and proud of my little one year old! Of course, I wanted to have a HUGE part-ay to celebrate my little guy, but the more I thought about it, the more stressed out I got. So, we decided to keep it small with family and our closest friends.

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Watch Me As I Grow: 11 Months

Woohoo! We made it to 11 months! Now we are in the home stretch to being a year old! Here’s what this little man is doing:

  • Eats everything! Favorites are pastas, guacamole and cheese puffs
  • Walks around while holding on to things, climbs stairs, pulls up and can sit back down on his own.
  • Favorite toy is boxes.
  • Has 7 teeth!
  • First word is going to be “Book” (he says “ook”) and “Dada”
  • He can turn pages to a book
  • Can point to things and slide the pages on the iPhone


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Watch Me As I Grow: 10 Months

Our little baby boy is growing TOO fast and is 10 months old! WHOA! Here’s what he’s been doing:

  • He’s CRAWLING! AH!
  • He can pull up on his knees
  • Says “DADA” and mimics sounds.
  • Loves spaghetti and guacamole
  • LOVES food… he just can’t get enough of it
  • Very observant – he has to know what, where and who! He takes in the whole room and can’t miss a thing!
  • Started sitting up in his crib, so we had to lower it… Again!
  • Had his first fall, thanks to mommy (don’t ask!) which gave him a nice bump on his head.
  • He’s already impatient (like his dad) and likes to go go go!
  • I swear he remembers which shows he’s already watched because when a repeat comes on he’s only interested for about 5 minutes and wants me to change it. Crazy!
  • He discovered is “Peep” and plays with his belly button.
  • Started swimming
  • Has #7 and #8 teeth coming in.
  • His teachers say he’s the “class clown” and loves to laugh and be social!
  • Yes, his hair is coming in quite Red and is due for his first haircut very soon!


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Watch Me As I Grow: 9 Months

9 months? Where has the time gone? See what this little guy has been up to:

  • 19 lbs. 4 oz. (27%) and 28.75 in long (72%)
  • In 12-18 mo clothes
  • Loves food – favorite food is avocados or guacamole
  • Wants to be on the ground to move around
  • Get up on his knees and rocks, but not crawling yet…
  • Loves to be in the stroller looking around



(more photos to come)

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Watch Me As I Grow: 8 Months

This little 8 month old has been busy! See what he’s been up to:

  • Socks are his favorite food
  • He can make bubble noises with his lips
  • Sucks and chews on his thumb
  • Favorite toys are stackable cups, wooden spoons and a little monkey that plays peek-a-boo
  • Ticklish under his armpits, thighs and the bottom of his feet
  • Favorite book is Zoom
  • His head is on a swivel when we walk into any room
  • He can locate any and all technical devices, especially TVs
  • Pushes backwards on his belly
  • Rolling from front to back and back to front
  • Scoots on his bottom
  • Loves to chew on zippers
  • Puts just about everything in his mouth!
  • Loves it when I whistle, sing, blow kisses and clap
  • Definitely showing attachment to mommy


Here’s a look at the month:

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Great Grandma came to visit us for a week and we had a GREAT time!:

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We went out to celebrate our love on Valentine’s Day:


Great Grandma got to celebrate with us too!:


We went to Great Grammy and Great Papa’s house and got to hang out with cousin Wyatt:


All dressed for School:


Rett loves Daddy reading to him before bedtime:

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We had a blizzard!:

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We spent a lot of time snuggling on the couch that week:

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They fell asleep watching NASCAR:

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Poor little guy scratched his nose:

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More snow:

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We are learning to crawl:

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Dad’s his best friend:

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“I can scoot on my butt and turn in a complete circle”:

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“I love playing with wooden spoons and watching dad cook”:

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Three Generations of Stewarts together again. Grandpa & Zsa Zsa moved back to Colorado!:

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Watch Me As I Grow: 7 Months

Our little guy is 7 months already, we can hardly believe it! Here is what he’s doin now:

  • Has 2 bottom teeth
  • Rolling over
  • Scoots and turns 360 degrees on his belly
  • Scoots on his bum in a circle
  • Stands with help
  • Shows affection and knows who we are
  • Can feel and tell between textures
  • Sleeping on his side and belly
  • Favorite foods are mum mums (crackers) and peaches
  • Helps me turn the pages to his books



Helping mommy get ready for work in the morning:

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These are Everett’s saddest faces EVER!:

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My little man all dressed up!

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Showing off the beautiful quilt made by Aunt Sue. She made it out of Great Grandma Harvey’s fabrics and we LOVE it!:

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This quilt was made by Great Grandma Petersen and we LOVE it too!:

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Everett’s girlfriend Eden came to visit from California:

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Jeremiah & Eden. Eden is all bundled up and ready for the cold:

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We all went to the Cherry Cricket for lunch:

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Loving Bath Time!:

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This is when we discovered his first tooth!:

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Crazy hair!:

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We got our new sofa! WOOHOO!

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Just chillin with my friends Harley and Sophie:

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Mommy’s little buddy:

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So cute when he sleeps:

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Hanging out in my big boy chair:

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My first stroll in the big boy stroller:

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First time on the swings & enjoying this 70 degree weather in February!

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