Happy Debt Free Day, Haston Family!

Five years ago, we made our last payment on debt ever….

As of 11/16/2015, we NO longer had any monthly payments. (Except rent!)

It took the two of us working 5 jobs for 3 years and we did it. We paid off 36,945.91 in 3 years.

Our debt-free “scale”- We love music!

Cars, School loans, and many a regret later, a 401K loan. (Boy howdy, do I regret that one!) but it was done! In fact, that was our first debt we paid back to my parents. Told you it was a regret.

Five years later, we are still debt-free. We had a LOT of people tell us that with a kid on the way, this is her—

Vivienne et Mama – 11/16/2020

we would not, could not stay that way, and we have.

Spend less than you make, don’r borrow money, and save for big purchases and emergencies. It’s not rocket surgery!

Take that, doubters and haters!!

We are DEBT FREE !

It’s not always easy, because the intentional and continual decision to STAY debt-free comes with sacrificing vacations, and newer cars, and our first house seems very, very, very far off into the future, AND we will get there, because we are a team and getting out of debt together made us a super strong couple.

He is always my Prince Charming!

We have weathered some storms, for sure, and things have tried to break us and those things continue to fail.

We have help, and we ask for and receive advice from couples who have been together a lot longer than we have. You know who you are….

All this to say, marriage is hard and having a goal you tackle together, like finances or parenting… make you stronger.

Grateful to be debt-free, and to have a wonderful partner by my side to do ALL of life with as we continue in our journey, debt free and beyond….

What big goals are you tackling? Who can you partner with to help encourage you along the way?

Think About It.

Do It For Dorothy!

Dear Readers,

Today I find myself deeply saddened at the passing of someone who I have never met, yet they touched and inspired me as well as 4,199 other people.

This blog post is in honor of Dorothy Carlson, a beautiful soul who is part of a Facebook group that encourages each other in our goals.

The goals vary from losing weight, gaining weight, practicing piano, sleeping with no phone, and many others. No goal is too big or too small and Jon Acuff who started the group set the tone from Day 1- Be awesome, there are many other places on the internet to be hateful and mean, this isn’t one of them. So keep the awesomeacracy sacred.

I’m paraphrasing, but you get the gist.

She was always encouraging other people and working through her own goals. She asked for our advice and took it to heart.

Dorothy D Carlson

She made a tremendous impact, which I am not sure she or her family knows about. It got me to thinking, how much all of us might not know the impact, the import of what we bring to the table daily, and how often do we doubt that we matter.

I don’t know you personally, but I can tell you without question, YOU DO MATTER. You matter to someone, Count on it.

We created a hashtag in her memory- #DoIt4Dorothy

So whatever you are thinking about doing and aren’t doing, take a deep breath, and step out and be bold and, Do It For Dorothy….

Think About It.

Rest In Peace, Dorothy-

How about no more “to do” lists?

Dear Readers,

I love making lists. Well, that’s not exactly true, what I really love is crossing things off of a list. I find it so satisfying that sometimes I have been known to make a list, just so I can cross off items. I know, I didn’t say it made sense, just that I did it.

But I digress, the other day in a social media group I am part of that is all about goal setting and reaching, a very wise woman named, Rebecca Burgener was moving from “to do” to “did do” and I thought, what a great notion.

I could focus on what I had to do today that did NOT get done or I could focus, like she did, on “did do”

I don’t know about you but my “did do” list is a lot longer than my “to do” list. I think it’s because so much of what you do you aren’t always thinking to add to a list. So without further ado, here’s a sample of my “did do” list. I bet you have one very similar to mine.


Laundry for child and self

Made breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Helped child with puzzle and naming items in category “Name three types of tools”

Magnatiles are amazing, no matter your age!

Did French drills

Read a little of my book

Wrote my blog post (well, almost)

You get my point, if you took the time to write down all the things you DID do instead of focusing on your “to do” you are likely to be very impressed with yourself and what you did do. Go ahead, give it a go.

Think About It.

“You are just the right size”

“You are just the right size”

This is a phrase I say to my four year old daughter. I happened upon it while we were cleaning out her closet full of clothes that she had outgrown. I watched her put on a nightgown that barely grazed her stomach. I said, “That shirt is too small” and thinking about all the articles I have read about mothers and daughters and how her relationship to her body starts with mine.. etc and added, “You are just the right size” because three years ago, people kept calling her chubby and chunky and it made me crazy and in some cases, it even made me cry.

Vivienne and me- 10 months old

I posted about it here and begged people to stop making comments to parents and their babies about weight. Full stop. Over or under— what do you know? How are you qualified to judge if a baby is too big or too small? You never know who had a weight problem growing up (hello, I did!) and what you might be triggering.

My love affair with my body started in 2014. Ironically enough, I planned to lose 75 pounds (actually wound up losing 50) and I planned a fabulous photo shoot to celebrate as my “reward” The photo shoot changed the way I look at my body, I felt glamorous and sexy, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, and Jessica Rabbit wrapped up in one package. Thank you, Lone Star Pinup!

Lone Star Pinup- Erin Shepherd-

The love affair grew with a show I did 3 years later called “My Big Fat Bahookie” a play all about loving your body EXACTLY as it is.

Note- This does NOT preclude the desire or action to change your current weight or look, as long as it’s because YOU desire a change, not because some bozo fat shames you on social media.

Madeline Reynolds- No More Diets Protester- Photo Credit Errich Peterson

But back to my daughter and this phrase, “You are just the right size”

Me and Vivienne- She’s 4!!!

It’s easy for me to tell her this because I believe wholeheartedly she is just the right size.

It’s a little harder for me to apply that phrase to myself, despite the aforementioned body love journey. It’s so hard when something you think you have conquered sneaks up on you and you are still affected by it, you know?

I have recently started dancing in my living room and finding it satisfying (thanks Lizzo!!) but there has not been the intention of weight loss added to it. It would be easy to freak out and go hard on myself and take things way too far.

That slapped me right in the face when I stepped on the scale at the doctor two weeks ago and found out that I have gained 26 pounds since my last time on a scale which was 6 months ago. It’s not hard to suss out why… um, can you say “global pandemic”? which led to gyms being closed, which means no child care for me while I swam in the pool which means I stopped going regularly in April, which was six months ago. There you go, Easy math for all.

In the past, I might have beat myself up, and planned out a diet which would be no carbs, no sugar, no chocolate, get this weight DOWN, but because “the body is not an apology” per Sonya Renee Taylor, I am taking it easy on myself, and simply paying a little more attention to what I eat, which is sometimes chocolate and sometimes apples. Neither is “bad” or “good” they are food.

I implore you, start saying this phrase to yourself, “I am just the right size” and if you have people in your life who are bemoaning their weight, up or down, join me, won’t you? Let’s turn the tide on fat-shaming and body dysmorphia that plagues people of all genders. At the very least, say it to yourself, and say it loud, say it proud, “I am just the right size”


Think About It.

Now, go ahead and post your “just the right size” photo and share this!