When I started this little blog it was a way to stay in touch with family and friends and share recipes. This year when I decided to redesign the blog the one family and personal thing I wanted to keep is the Monthly Scoop. A monthly post that helps us all stay connected. Here is a glimpse of what the Giberson-Ashley’s have been up to.
This past month has been a blessed and busy one. I am happy 2021 is drawing to an end however I know just because the year ends doesn’t mean our lives rest.
In November, we had to come up with a new plan for Jane at school. Things this year have been rough and her anxiety and depression have gotten the best of her. For the first time in her short life she has decided she does not like school and that breaks my heart.
I took a week and a half off from my marketing jobs to spend time with the kids and be present with my family. It was great to wake up and not feel the rush of day-to-day life, but now I am back to reality.
What I am reading:
“The Giver of Stars: A historical fiction, that is based on a true story rooted in American’s past taking place in small-town Kentucky. It is a captivating tale of love, friendship, and self-actualization.
“Pax”: A story for both the young and the old. A heartwarming and heartbreaking tale of friendship the journey of finding one’s true self despite all the challenges.
What I am binge-watching:
Okay, full disclosure I broke down and got the Disney+ bundles with Hulu and ESPN + just so I could watch the packers play on Sundays and the kids could be entertained. However, now Hulu is my new favorite thing.
“20/20”: I don’t know why this has become my new bedtime favorite.
“Little Fires”: I read the book so I had to watch the series, and honestly the book was much better.
We also have been watching a lot of the classic movies on Disney+ such as “Petes Dragon”, the classic “Freaky Friday”, “Polyanna”, “Annie”, and the “Newsies”
What I am crushing on:
Anything in I don’t have to go to the store for. I don’t know if it is my old age or the new virus variant, but I am such a scrooge lately.
So even our meals have been things I already have in my freezer.
Debt Free Journey Status:
This used to be a section on the site but decided to be more food-focused but If you have any questions feel free to contact me
Back story: We moved to Texas in 2014 we bought a beautiful brick house with a huge yard. After all, we worked nearly a decade and both had successful careers, a nice savings account… life was great. We even got a second mortgage to get brand new windows for our beautiful house.
In 2016 right after I had Eli I just got clearance from my Dr to go back to work. I found out they filled my position while I was on maternity leave. That was the same week we got Jane’s Autism diagnosis.
I tried to find work but it was hard to find employment as a mom with a kid that had 3 therapy appointments a week, some of which I had to participate in. So, Greg and I decided I would stay home and give Jane the tools she needs to thrive and succeed in her life.
Then in April 2017, Greg got laid off after his company got bought out. That was when we learned how fast one can lose everything they have worked so hard for. BUT! Despite the struggles, it was a blessing. You live and you learn and let me tell you life is simpler with less.
- Started Debt: $218,000 (start date Oct 2019)
- Begining of 2021 Debt: $75,846
- Current Debt: $23,243
Most of the debt was our last house and the second mortgage we had on it, so selling that paying it off, and downsizing eliminated $148,000.
That left us with our debt consolidation loan, 2 car loans, a personal loan, a student loan, and 5 credit cards with about $70,000 in debt.
Since then we have paid off our debt consolidation loan, both care payments, the student load, and 2 of the credit cards. We also found more affordable auto insurance through Progressive and negotiated more manageable payments for our other debts.
What’s to come:
The site is still being updated as it is live.. so there are some recipes that are not published yet, but if you need one feel free to message me and I would be happy to e-mail it to you.
Also, for the site, there will be a store coming as well as a book club with a list of all the books I am reading, plus a kids and teen section.
For life, I am just taking it day by day and living for the moment not the dollar because if this year has taught me anything it is money can always be earned while time can only be lost.
Monthly Produce List:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Sweet Potatoes
- Brussels Sprouts
- Sweet Potatoes
Monthly Bucket List:
- Create a new holiday tradition
- Do 25 days of books
- Have a Holiday Movie Marathon
- Make Homemade Hot Cocoa
- Spend a day Volunteering together
- Host a Cookie Exchange
- Do a light tour
- Enjoy a sleigh ride
- Go sledding
- String some popcorn and cranberries
- Make a decorate Cookies
- Make a homemade family tree ordainments
Let’s Get Social
Looking For More Recipes
Be sure to head over to The Messy Cutting Boards Recipe Box where you will find family-friendly meals no matter what the season.