Sunday, July 7, 2013

Then and Now

About three years ago, Ryan left for a deployment with 1st battalion 4th marines. At the time, we had only been married about 5 months. I was living in Pittsburgh while going to college, and Ryan had just moved out of the barracks and into a tiny apartment in Oceanside. We had almost no money. In fact, when Ryan left for deployment, all of our belongings fit into his car. We had an air mattress as our bed, card table for our dining table, and collapsible camping chairs for furniture. Looking back on it makes me smile. We were living the "simple life" at it's finest.

During and after the deployment, we saved and saved... and saved. After Ryan returned, we slowly bought furniture piece by piece each paycheck. Several pieces were handed down by family or purchased from a fellow military family. We went to navyfederal and took advantage of their resources to help us manage money. We also went to a financial specialist on base who helped us develop a budget. All of this helped contribute to me graduating totally debt free from college. We bought and paid off two cars over a 2 year period. We started retirement funds, vacation and entertainment allotments, and a house savings fund. Having two incomes and no children has really helped us maintain this lifestyle.

Living Room
Kitchen
Dining area
I was cleaning our apartment this weekend and took a minute to appreciate all that we have. Each piece of furniture has a story, whether it be a homemade afghan from my grandmother or a kitchen table we bought out of a moving truck from a military family literally moving off base. We still have a long way to go as far as decorating and coordinating each room, but right now I am just thankful to all of the people who helped us get to where we are. I had such a wonderful and relaxing weekend, and feel very content in this moment of my life. I prayed and prayed that things would fall into place for Ryan and I after I graduated college, and I couldn't be happier with the outcome. Too often, I worry about the future and ignorantly forget that God has asked us to hand over ANY worries and fears into his hands. He will process and handle any fear we have. How wonderful is that?! I hope y'all had a wonderful weekend and have a prosperous week!!

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