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.
It has been a very bittersweet year for so many people I know and have met this year, and trust me when I say I feel your pain. Actually this week I am going to go to a funeral for the 5th person we have lost this year. We have also lost our dear Koda Bear, the yellow lab many of you have seen in my Instagram stories.
My goal this year was to have the site completely uplifted and ready for launch in mid-July… that did not happen. Between my day job as a digital marketer, the kids, the emotional rollercoaster, and let’s just sum it up to life. I felt very thin, and no matter how hard I tried there just wasn’t enough hours or emotional bandwidth to focus on anything but the kids.
After a few months of therapy and dealing with my depression and anxiety head-on I was ready to take on the site and the remodel and to be honest there is still a lot of work to be done, but I am so happy to be back doing what I love.
And for all, you that are in the trenches with me, remember that there are so many things in your day-to-day life to be grateful for. Don’t give up! There is so much life you still have to live.
What I am reading:
“Brave the Wilderness”: Developing a sense of belonging within our organizations, communities, and cultures may be challenging to many, but this book tests everything we know about it.
“Dare to Lead”: You must dare greatly, rise strong, and brave the wilderness. Following new research with leaders, change-makers, and culture shifters, she now shows us how to apply these ideas so that we can step up and lead.
“Into the Water”: A woman’s body is found at the bottom of the river that flows through the town. The same thing happened to a teenage girl earlier in the summer. Their deaths disturb the river and its history as they uncover secrets that have long been buried. Although they were not the first women lost in these waters, their deaths disturb the river and its history.
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.
“A Million Little Things”: OMG as much as it pains me to say this but I actually like this show more than “This Is Us.” No really! I DO! All the focus is on mental health, the secrets we keep as well as the struggles we face. And I just find it just like life perfectly imperfect.
“Master Chef”: I haven’t watched it in years, but I love watching basic home cooks succeed.
And I have also been in a classic movie kick so we have been watching a bunch of our childhood favorites with the kids, “Mightily Ducks”, “Honey I Shrunk the Kids”, “The Sandlot”… you get the picture. But also a lot of “Fried Green Tomatoes”.
Also, we did watch the new Cruella and it was pretty darn good.
What I am crushing on:
Quick Meats (shredded chicken or beef) that are in the freezer section and a whole lot of Kielbasa sausages. No, I am not joking. Between travel and all things life, lately, when I get in the kitchen it is primarily to make food to photograph for the blog before we eat it. Just being honest folks.
But there is a product I have fallen in love with this year. When I was in the thick of my mood swings and emotional battles I was having a hard time sleeping. And like many moms, we don’t like taking things that knock us out because “what if?” Then one day at Walmart I stumbles across this sleepy time lotion.
Also still crushing on yogi tea, their calming blends.
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: $25,482
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 life.. so there are some recipes that are not in publish 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:
- Acorn Squash
- Brussels Sprouts
- Butternut Squash
- Sweet Potatoes
- Swiss Chard
- Winter Squash
Monthly Bucket List:
- Volunteer at the school
- Host a scary movie night
- Go, Apple Picking
- Go to a pumpkin patch festival
- Go on a Hayride
- Jump in a pile of leaves
- Go to a corn maze
- Decorate/carve a pumpkin
- Enjoy a caramel apple
- Make a pie
- Make chili
- Share old photos of you on Halloween with your kids
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