Wednesday, December 23, 2009

i'm not as mad, but I still hate you...

so, I'm still a little pissed about the credit card company lowering my limit. I also saw that Obama extended the first time home buyer tax credit, so I wanted to see if despite this I could qualify for a home loan. I aimed rather high with how much I wanted to be approved (because let's face it, why not?). I wanted to get approved alone because Mr. Soup is in grad school and his income is not steady. The loan officer was very helpful and said that if I pay off that credit card and if Mr. Soup is making at least $15,000, I would qualify. I qualified for a smaller loan, but I decided to hold off. Even though it seemed like a deterrent, it really wasn't. It gave me a good idea of what we need to do. Hopefully we can buy by May 2011, so in the next year in a half, I plan to:
1. raise my credit score. my credit score is good. really good. it improved quite a bit since the last time I checked, but I really want to get it to excellent or near excellent.
2. pay off that credit card and pay down all other debts. Mr. Soup will start working a real full time job in January 2011, so we'll be able to do that pretty effortlessly, but before that, I want to pay down as much as I can on my own. Since he'll be making well over $15,000 a year then, maybe we can see if we could qualify for a larger loan or just be able to pay more on the existing one!
3. enter a down-payment assistance program/first time homebuyer's class
I'm so excited because all of the things seem to be falling in place.
1. Mr. Soup graduated and improved his GPA
2. He got his first choice for internship
3. We are setting the wheels in motion to start our little family!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One Crazy Weekend

So, Mr. Soup graduated with his 2nd bachelor's degree this weekend. We had tons of friends and family in town and it was great. First, Tanisha, a reader from our wedding, came in on Friday. Mr. Soup's dad and stepmom came in as well. On Saturday we traveled to UNT for the graduation ceremony and then came back to our apartment to celebrate with yummy goodies. I will have to say I was a little nervous since I catered the event, but everything turned out yummy! I also got a great cake for his graduation as well. I'm so proud of my husband. This has been a difficult journey for him, but he was determined to get this degree and he did it! He also ended his last semester with a 4.0! I could tell how excited and overwhelmed he was. He kept saying he didn't want the day to end! His parents were so proud as well!

Well the weather in NJ didn't quite agree with the airports, so Mr. Soup's parents' flight ended up being Canceled. Yep. That's right. They didn't fly out until today (Tuesday) morning. So, decided to use the extra days to entertain them and really show them around Dallas. On Sunday we had brunch with Abby's Kansas grandparents and Mr. Soup's parents at The Original Pancake House. We also took Tanisha to the airport so she could return to Kansas. On Monday, Mr. Soup took us to the site where he interned (update: he just found out today that he will be able to intern there for graduate study!). We (father-in-law, brother-in-law, Abby and me) got the grand tour and we got to meet all the wonderful people with whom my husband works. They all had wonderful things to say about him (as expected) and we really think this place is a good match for him! Monday afternoon, Abby, Mr. Soup and the in-laws ate a wonderful lunch outside at Eatzi's. If you haven't eaten at Eatzi's you really should! It's delicious! On Monday night, the in-laws joined us at CiCi's Pizza for Abby's 8th birthday party. I think they really enjoyed being there to see their granddaughter celebrate her birthday! While, I am exhausted and fighting off a cold, it was such a great unexpected surprise. We rarely get to see Mr. Soup's family and it was such a treat to be able to share this long weekend with them. So, while the extended trip, flight cancellation, extra hotel fees, etc may have been annoying, it was well worth spending the extra quality time with family.

Last night after CiCi's Abby had a sleepover with some of her Dallas friends. It was interesting to say the least, but Mr. Soup and I survived. One girl ended up going home in the middle of the night (I promise, we're not evil people. she just had never made it through an entire sleepover before...she gave it her all though!)

Today, has been kind of a busy day with doctor's appointments and running errands, but tomorrow, I'm looking forward to sleeping in late, cleaning and doing laundry!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

i hate you...

credit card company. I am so close to paying off my credit card. only a little left...which is awesome right? well, I made a huge payment last month and plan to do so next month and be done. I just got a letter in the mail and the credit card company lowered my limit to just above the balance left. So now, it appears to the credit bureau that I have 60% debt rather than 5%. Freakin' awesome! NOT. Ughh...
Mr. Soup and I have been so adamant about not using our credit cards and paying them off. We've gotten one paid, two store cards paid and one almost paid off. I want to close this account, but I also want to keep it open because I've had it since I was in college. I've always paid it on time and way more than the minimum payment, but they reward me by upping the interest rate and lowering my limit. Two years ago they increased my credit limit and now when I'm close to paying it off they lower it? doesn't make sense.

okay. that's my vent!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

cruise with me baby

so, i *think.* we have decided to do the cruise for our one year anniversary trip/honeymoon. while we did have our hearts set on DR, it's not financially smart or savvy to invest that much in a trip right now. Our savings took a big hit this summer with Mr. Soup unexpectedly going to NJ and vet bills, but we're slowly making our way back up. So, we'd rather keep that money in savings just in case we have emergencies creep back up. After we decided that, we were thinking of Port Aransas, but our hearts really weren't in it. The idea of a cruise frightened me, but after talking to several of my claustophobic friends who went on cruises, I decided I could handle it. The cruise will cost us a little more (not much) than going to Port Aransas, but it will be a lot less than DR. Plus, I get to have my beach time and looking at some of the excursion opportunities, we'll get to experience some fun stuff!
that means, we really need to get on the ball with planning it out. we're waiting until Mr. Soup gets his grad school class schedule to determine when exactly we leave (if we leave slightly before spring break, we can save almost $400) and we also need to get passports. I need to update mine with my new name and Mr. Soup's expired a year or two ago. So, if no major financial changes occur in the next month (keeping fingers crossed), we should be able to book our trip in January. get excited! I know I am! I know this sounds cheesy, but I'm just excited to experience this with my husband. I love traveling with him because we have so much fun together. When we go on roadtrips, we play stupid games like the Alphabet sign game or I read famous biographies off of Wikipedia in my announcer voice. We love driving through the midwest with our dogs in the backseat. I love flying with him because I have someone to lay my head on when I get tired and because he has good movies and TV shows saved on his phone that I can watch. I love navigating through New Jersey with him. The cold weather, the Philly cheesesteaks, the sports, I love it all! Now, I'll get to experience my first cruise with him and spend time on the beach with him. I love it!


After making all the announcements and paper goods for our wedding, I've really taken a liking to creating announcements. I'm hoping to take a design class soon and get some new software, so I can take it to another level.

I also made Mr. Soup's graduation announcements and I just designed Abby's birthday party invitations. Here's a sneak peak!

Our Thanksgiving

I forgot to post pictures of our trip to New Jersey for Thanksgiving! So, Murad's cousin Akilah and I have a tradition of taking pictures of the other person taking pictures. Not sure why we think it's so funny, but we do. Here's Akilah taking a picture of Mrs. Soup taking a picture of Akilah 2009. Murad and I went to a Sixers game on Friday night with his stepbrother, Colin and his girlfriend Lele. Murad is eagerly clapping the noise sticks in that picture. It was my first NBA game. I'm not going to lie. It didn't compare to a KU game! However, it was a fun experience. I enjoy being anywhere that I get to watch basketball and this was no exception! On Saturday, I got to experience my first Eid. I learned so much from going to this. My father-in-law gave me some literature to read prior to the Eid, so I was well versed. However, I was still nervous that I would mess up the greetings (Eid Mubarack, Eid Kareem). Everyone was really friendly though. I always try to focus on similarities between cultures and when attending the service I felt very welcomed and comfortable as I would at my own church. The rituals were slightly different, but the fellowship and friendship were the same. Also on Saturday we went to Murad's high school reunion. On the way back, I thought I'd take a picture of Wawa. It is the best convenient store in the nation! No seriously, they put all others to shame, even Subway restaurant can't compare to the Wawa goodness and cheap price! On Sunday afternoon, Murad, my father-in-law and I went to the Eagles game (sidenote: they played the Redskins which is the favorite team of my brother-in-law) I didn't become a football fan until marrying Murad. last year was my first NFL game and I loved it! Such an awesome experience. This year was great too. Eagles fans are one of a kind too. I loved being there and breathing in that fresh fall air while cheering on the Eagles among a packed house. I got to watch the few Redskins fans get heckled by the ever-loyal Eagles fans. Finally, I include a picture of sweet Daniel, Murad's cousin. He's such a cute and happy little boy! Our Thanksgiving was so great! I think the best part was spending all day and everyday with my husband. Our lives are so busy here, that it was nice just to be together for days.
Happy Belated Thanksgiving from the Soups!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I'm so excited....I'm so scared

I'm getting really excited to become a mother, especially as more of my friends are embracing this role. One of my best friends from home just told me that she is pregnant. And while I know this is not the time for us to have children, I love being able to share in their joy. She and I met in middle school and proceeded to attend the same high school and college. I was there when she met her husband (who attended a neighboring high school) and we were there when they got married in spring 2008. I can't wait for them to welcome their little bundle of joy in June.

So yeah, babies are definitely on Mr. Soup and I's mind. Names have been picked and nurseries have been designed (I like to do the fun stuff first). We hope to start trying in the spring/summer 2011. However, I do get a little nervous about bringing a child into this world. I know there were dangers when we were children, but I feel like they weren't this prevalent. I can remember my mom worrying about us getting kidnapped. She made sure we were extra cautious and careful. And we were. I am proud to say I was a lot more socially aware and cautious than most of my friends. I was always aware of my surroundings. My mom's paranoia became deep-set in me and now that I skirt the edge of motherhood, it is resurfacing.

Over the last few weeks, I've watched a number of movies. First, the movie Precious. I read the novel (Push) when I was student-teaching. I only read it because all my students were obsessed with it. And while I was moved by it, my 23 year old (free of marriage, thoughts of babies, and years of teaching experience), could not fully fathom the effect sexual abuse, poverty, and illiteracy could have on one's life.

Last night my brother-in-law and I watched the movie Taken. Um...I never want my children to travel to Europe. Okay, no I don't mean that, but damn. What if my child lacks common sense and ends up the victim of a sex-slave trade.

Other events in the media that have had an effect on me:
The murder of Shaniya Davis---again child abuse and human trafficking
The Amanda Knox trial---not sure if she did it, but this added to the list of reasons why my children should not travel to Europe. There was no physical evidence linking her to it!

I didn't write this to help ease my fears, but just to get some of my thoughts off my chest. I want to protect my children from so much. I pray Abby never meets a fate. I pray that we can lessen the number of children who are exploited each day.