our $14,000 mistake


Living in a huge house, was a huge mistake for us–one that cost us over $14,000 in just two years time.

They say hindsight is 20-20.

I’m sure this is true. Especially when it comes to matters financial.

Now I know it could be much worse (we could have bought the thing!), but a sum that size nearly takes your breath away. Especially when in retrospect you see how easily you let the money slip through your fingers.

The DL on military housing

The way housing works in the military is this.

Either you live on base (rent is free, plus all utilities are covered), OR you live off base & are given a housing stipend (otherwise known as BAH), which is essentially tax-free money that goes towards a rent or mortgage, plus utilities. BAH is based on rank & whether or not you...

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sweet & sour veggies (beyond meat chicken strips recipe)

I discovered said mistake over a recent dinner at one of our family’s favorite restaurants, P.F. Changs.

All seven of the household were out for a celebratory New Years day excursion (we were also treating our kids for last terms slew of excellent grades).

Nothing too fancy — vegetarian wraps, fried green beans, several sides of various seasoned vegetables, & lots of steamed brown & white rice. And about that rice–I couldn’t believe how delicious their rice tasted. Aromatic & flavorful, even when eaten plain.

If I really like the food, I’ll ask the waiter about it. In this case I poked & prodded about the type of rice, how it was cooked, how I could replicate it at home. Basically, I wanted to know their “secret.”

Turns out the secret is steaming the rice with a...

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two houses (& merry christmas)

We’re currently straddling two houses.

We’re mostly moved out of our old house, & mostly moved into our new one.

Our new house is half, HALF the size of our old one.

And we love it.

It feels like home.

Maybe it’s because Joseph & I grew up in small homes ourselves, but we never quite felt comfortable in a huge house. There seemed to be too much space. I often felt like an astronaut, floating around, trying to find my footing, but never seemed to be able to find it.

We’ve spent the last week, moving things, packing things, throwing out things, giving (even more) things away.

I’ve had enough of things.

[Funny, I know, since we're right around the corner of the American glut of things (ie. Christmas).]

There were a few moments recently where I thought, “We are crazy!...

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