Getting back into the swing of life

The night before the first work day in the new year is typically full of anxiety and angst. I stayed up well past my bedtime as did the kids. Quinten’s naptime was pushed backed 30-60 minutes daily. Lunches pushed back an hour. Consequently, our wake ups were L-A-ZY. I only got up before 8 am twice in 17 days. Whoa. I was on vacation for 17 days. That includes weekends {I don’t work weekends}, but that’s a lot of days. Whoa. No wonder the days just kind of blended together. 

We didn’t have a lot of commitments outside of the holidays. It was a glorious way to spend a break. It was just enough productivity and lazy for me. Plus, I drank a lot of lattes. 🙂 {I know the rest of the adult world has been drinking coffee forever, hang with me on this new obsession.} I kind of wish I had worked out more and had less migraines, but no regrets. 

If I had to pinpoint what made this year easier to go back I’d say it was how our Sunday looked. I spent the morning organizing all.the.toys in the house. I did this before Christmas and purged a bunch, but the organization was in need of more help. I’m always fighting a battle of keeping some toys out of the living room. After I did some closet magic, I was able to better utilize spaces in each of their rooms. 

  
We’ve had a constant back-and-forth about using closets for clothes. Each boy has just enough dresser space to have everything in a dresser but that is basically only if I’m the only one to ever use the drawers. {STOP UNFOLDING ALL THE CLOTHES!} That’s not realistic so it was time to rearrange. Long-sleeves and sweatshirts now reside in closets. And board games are off of Maximus’ bookshelf. Meaning, Quinten can’t pull them out and lose all the pieces or break the boards. 

  Quinten’s closet isn’t as useful. Boxes of clothes that are too small and a box of next-in-line clothes are always in there. Baby swing and bouncer that was recently returned to us is taking up valuable space because our basement is in a remodel state. I still made some changes that helped though and it’s better than it was. 

A hot and sweaty hour on the volleyball court reenergized me and I was ready to tackle the night. Bryan took the boys out in the snow while I made dinner. {After a week of snow, it was time they finally made it out there! Whoops.} One-pot chicken showed up on our Facebook timelines after we ate and I’ll tell you it’s pretty delicious! And super easy. 

  
After supper we rocked out to some Polar Express music while we surprised the boys with hot chocolates. I grocery shopped alone {AMEN!} this weekend so no one knew we had any. And of course Bryan blew their minds by playing music from the movie. It was AWESOME! But most of all, it was great to have some happy family moments. After two weeks of constant togetherness, we all needed some fun. 

Meal prepping for the week helped me feel even better about my healthy choices and general feeling of life. It feels good to start the new work week and month on the right foot. My house won’t always be picked up and organized and my fridge won’t always be full of prepared heathy foods, but I’m going to try to hold on to this feeling as a motivator. 

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Creating a Will and Power of Attorney

For some unknown reason {life being crazy}, I wrote this post in the beginning of 2014 and never posted it. I suppose it’s fitting since we talking about doing it for two years and it took me a year to post it…

After two years of talking about it, we finally signed our Will and Power of Attorney. We went to our lawyer to do our Will and Power of Attorney documents. We decided to go to him even though there are plenty of forms online. It’s an uncomfortable conversation and thing to do, so we decided to work with a professional to ensure we did everything the right way and we thought everything through.

Steps in getting your Will done:
First, we had a face-to-face meeting to have our lawyer go over the standard Will and Power of Attorney. We answered his questions and made decisions so he could draft up the documents.

    • Who will have custody of the children? Who has financial responsibility (if it’s not the same person)? What happens to the money – does it go into a trust? At what age do children get their share of money? How do you split up shares of money between children?
  1. Before he drafted the documents, we each had conversations with individuals who we wanted to be on the Will or Power of Attorney. (We each have our own Power of Attorney that falls back onto our respective parents if the spouse is not able to act as Power of Attorney.)
  2. Review the documents for questions or changes.
  3. Go into the office and sign them in front of a witness.
  4. Purchase a safety deposit box.
  5. Put the Will in the safety deposit box.
  6. Put the Power of Attorney documents in our Legacy notebook. (Step 6b. Create a Legacy notebook.)*

We’re still working on items five and six. We may need to set a goal for ourselves given our history between steps three and four. 🙂

*What’s a Legacy notebook? It’s a central location for all the important stuff. For example, we have legacy folders for each of our children. This includes doctor phone numbers, medical records, etc. What we haven’t done yet is create a legacy folder for our family. Essentially, this is all the information that someone will need if something were to happen to the spouse who handles all of the finances and mortgage, etc., or if something happens to both of us. These folders should help others run our house and family. Something we didn’t know before, the Power of Attorney document goes in our home, where someone can access it quickly and easily. In a critical situation, you don’t want someone to wait for bank hours to get into a safety deposit box.

What’s next?

After we put all of our documents in their designated safe places, we need to update our electronic records. We need to update our human resource files to reflect the secondary beneficiary. We will update it to be the trust name. So, the primary is our spouse and secondary is our trust. Because we have the trust set up, it will ensure that money is handled in the manner we decided. We also need to update our life insurance policy for a secondary beneficiary and also our IRA profiles. Essentially, we need to update everything to reflect the trust as a secondary beneficiary so everything points to the Will as the dictating piece. Instead of each system reflecting something different. I assume this information can be found online, but this has proven to be one of the biggest reasons why choosing a professional was the right thing for us. We’re in unknown waters now and don’t know how everything works for (or against) each other.

It was hard reading that first draft of our Will and Power of Attorney. No one wants to think about the unexpected turns life can take, but I feel a huge sense of relief knowing that there’s a plan. If the unexpected does happen, I can live every day until then knowing what will happen with my children and family. It’s not a fun thing to consider, but it is so very important.

My final note: I am in no way an expert (and obviously not a professional!) on this matter. This is my experience as I understand it based on our situation. If anything, hopefully it brings up some questions about how or what you need to consider. And gives you enough information to seek out a professional. I know it’s easy to do things with the Internet, but it’s not always the best way to handle legal matters. Pay a professional to know their job and to take care of you!

Week one of purging and organizing

We’re doing a lot of purging around here in the new year. Maybe 2015 will be the year of simplifying on Leger Lane! In my opinion, only good things happen when you and your husband both come up with the same idea independently of each other.

I saw a post on Twitter about the Subtraction Project and I decided to join. With two messy boys, my house can always use a little purging and organizing. {Some day they’ll put things back where I want them, right? RIGHT!} Luckily, Bryan wanted to purge our closest before the new year. {Hello, tax deduction.} I had already started a section in my closet for items I was ready to part with. It was the deadline I needed. I also used the opportunity to pull out all of Quinten’s 18 month clothes that were way too small. I got rid of things that I didn’t like or items that were ruined. One garbage bag of things went from Quinten’s 12-24 month clothes. That felt GOOD! Heck, it feels good to pull out the things that are too small or refold everything in the drawers.

Other things we’ve done to purge…

  • Maximus’ has a new bedroom! Same room, different pieces.
  • Used part of a Bed Bath and Beyond gift card to buy organizers for our tooth brush drawer. In the process I threw out two perfectly good deodorants that Bryan was currently using. Opps! BUT! That drawer is now organized and again, everything has a place. I went through the container with all of our travel sized items and extra items. Rearranged some of the containers to make things more accessible. We seem to be using gauze and wraps more, so now there’s a specific container. One container for bandaids, so everything else doesn’t come out when little hands dig into the bandaids. Our bathroom also got a fresh coat of paint to match our comforter! It’s a mustard yellow and hard to photograph with a phone.
  • Reorganized our kitchen counters. I have a lot of counter space that ends up collecting a lot of things. Every time I clear it I realize that my brain is much happier when my counters are clear. Our back counter is used for food prep so it’s easy for that spot to be a catch all and to put things there that need to be returned. Not what I’d like our kitchen to look like. There are also a lot of preschool things. We’re definitely in that school paper stage. I need to get my organization in check real fast! Now I have an island full of items that need to find their home…
  • Cleaned up and organized our command center. It’s another place that collects things. Receipts, schedules, papers, phones, wallets, bills to be filed, iPad, and pictures. I threw away all of our Christmas receipts, filed recipes, rearranged our organizers, and pulled out all the birthday cards and pictures to be filed. I feel so much lighter and more at peace when I walk through my kitchen. I can see the counter and everything has a place.  #subtractionproject {pens and papers}
  • We bought an Apple Time Capsule to backup our computer. The peace of mind that comes with knowing that your computer is replicated somewhere else, priceless. An added bonus is that it increased our internet connection speed. Our router is pretty old so it was an unexpected boost! Next, I backed up pictures and videos from my phone to my computer. My iCloud hasn’t been able to back up because I had too much on my phone. Now my videos and pictures are on my computer (and backed up) and everything else on my phone is also backed up to my iCloud. #subtractionproject {phone pictures and videos}
  • Deleted apps off my phone that I didn’t use. Reorganized my app folders for ease-of-use. Looked up some podcasts that I want to listen to. I hate to admit that Bryan and I haven’t used our podcast app and haven’t ever listened to a podcast. We stream Dave Ramsey from Spotify and listen to a lot of talk radio, but we’ve never looked around on the podcast app. I think I’ll really like it.
  • Cleared the cabinets of glassware that we don’t use. We don’t have a coffee maker so we don’t need all those Fiestaware small coffee cups that we got for our wedding. We also don’t own a margarita maker, so why do we have glasses? GONE! #subtractionproject

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It’s been a pretty successful week at our house! Lots of cleaning, purging, and organizing. I feel like I’ve got the energy to put in a few more days on our house, but tomorrow it’s back to work, school, and daycare. I’ve got quite a few goals for 2015, but essentially I’d like to keep the motivation and energy going to devote to my family, house, and self. As exhausted as I am come 8 pm, I want to keep going. This week I’ve learned that a lot can be done towards purging and organizing in an hour.