Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tax Time

It's January 31st, and you know what that means!  Today was the official deadline to have all W-2's, and other tax documents postmarked and mailed out.  We've gotten all of our paperwork in from employers and such, and I have been busy compiling a list of our deductions (or hopefully so) for last year.  Normally I file our taxes myself.  This year, we've decided that for peace of mind, we're hiring a tax pro to do our taxes.  A friend of my husband's recommended his tax guy who is based in Texas, but who has extensive experience with couples and individuals in our circumstance (hubby works overseas).  I have to admit, I'm very apprehensive about what the end result is going to be.  I'm terrified that we're going to owe tens of thousands of dollars to the IRS this year.  We've had to pay every year except one, and the year we actually got a refund, it ended up going to pay off the taxes that we owed from the prior year.   Since we don't own a house, that hurts us a bit too.

I'm looking for some sort of software that will allow me to input my expenses for the year, as I incur them so that I'm not sitting here again next year at this time inputting all the items that I can manage to find when scouring through our bank statements.  I typically will just drop my receipts as I get them into a file folder, and then when it's tax time, I will enter them all into an Excel spreadsheet and categorize the expenses and which taxpayer (me or hubby) incurred them, the date, the amount, etc.  The poor tax man...at least they're somewhat organized!  If anybody out there reading this has any suggestions on a better way to do this, please comment!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hiatus Interrupted

I've been on a writing hiatus for quite some time now. Life happened. My husband came home from overseas for a break, we enjoyed the holidays with our families, and I just haven't gotten back into my writing groove. I'm working on it though. I'm excited about a new project I'm starting, which I promise to tell you all about as soon as it's a done deal. I'm just waiting on the final details!

On another note, I'm also really excited about a few upcoming events. Next month, I've secured a ticket to see John Edward speak. Some of you might ask, "Who is John Edward?" He's a world-renowned medium. The "I see dead people" kind of medium. I used to watch his show, Crossing Over years ago, and I remember talking to my mom about the show back then (before my grandmother had passed) and about how cool it would be to sit in and watch him work. Of course, I had forgotten all about that until last night. I was watching a DVR'd episode of the Kardashian sisters in New York, and he made an appearance on their show to read Kim. I was moved by his message hitting home with both her and her sister Kourtney (ok, I know some of you are already scoffing at the facts that 1) I watch the Kardashians, and 2)that I buy into the "medium" stuff). As I usually do, I started surfing the net on my phone, found his website, and saw that he has tour dates scheduled for 2012/2013. One of them just happens to be near me, in Melbourne. It also just happens to be two weeks from yesterday. It also happened to NOT be sold out (yet). Surely this is a sign of some sort. I figured if the stars would all align, then it was meant for me to be there. It's seeming to be a happy accident of sorts, so far. Today, I was able to get my sitter lined up for that evening. I purchased the ticket. For those of you that TRULY know me, you KNOW that I am SO NOT the type of person to go to ANY EVENT alone. However, I am making a HUGE exception for this event. I feel drawn to go, and while I realize that the odds of me being read are slim to none, I am super excited to hear him read others in the audience. I'm taking my tissues with me because it's sure to be one heck of an emotional night! I'll let you all know how it went...

The next thing that I'm really excited about is Valentine's Day. Yes, I realize that my honey won't be with me on V-Day. However, I've got a surprise in the works for him and I can't wait! I've started the ball rolling, and I will share some of that surprise with you all on Valentine's Day as well.

Lastly, my hubby will be home in just over 5 weeks. We're planning a monumental trip to Whistler, BC so I can lose my skiing and snowboarding virginity. The only part I'm NOT looking forward to is the long day of travel there and back, especially with our 16 month old in tow! It will be well worth it once we're playing in the winter wonderland! I'll be out of touch for about 3 weeks while he's "home" next time. We'll see how this 3 week vacation turns out.

I hope you've all had a great start to your new year so far.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Back into an old (or new) routine

It's been quite some time since I last posted on this blog.  My husband was home for most of the month of December, and I made a vow to not spend any time on the computer while he was home, unless I absolutely had to.  Now that he's gone again, and I've had a couple of days to get settled back in at home after our holiday travels, I'm working my way back into it.

With the start of the new year, I tend to feel a need to clear out the clutter.  Usually just putting away the Christmas tree and decorations aren't enough.  All the fake pine needles have to be vacuumed up, and the glitter needs to be wiped away.  During that process, I'm usually pulling out furniture to vacuum and dust behind.  It's a snowball effect.  Once I pull out the furniture, I find piles of dust bunnies (translate: cat and dog hair that has migrated under and behind all the furniture in this house) that need to be cleaned up.  Once that's done, I look at where the furniture is placed and usually end up rearranging something.  Today was no different!  It's a workout pushing furniture around the house!  Lucky for me, I had a big helper today.  He (yes, I said HE!) loves to vacuum.  He is pretty entertaining when he does it too!  Check it out and see for yourself!