I am so happy…

Several years ago my Twin Sis turned me on to a life visioning practice that I’ve done a few times. Neither of us remember where she heard the idea, but we both like it. Basically all you do is write a wish list for your life with the words “I am so happy now that…” at the beginning of each sentence, as if your life already has everything you desire. (Even though this specific practice doesn’t come from him, I encourage you to check out Mike Dooley‘s newest bestseller, Leveraging the Universe, it’s been just what I need to reflect on my life lately.)


I first wrote such an “happy vision” for my life in fall of 2007 (age 30, our Big Guy was 9 months). Now my life was pretty darn happy at the time, but I had a temporary job that didn’t pay much more than enough to cover child care costs and my student loans. At the time we also wanted to have another child soon, and our tiny house would have been hard pressed to fit a fourth family member. So, while life was very good on many levels, and I certainly didn’t have much to complain about, there were some nagging financial fears on the horizon. But I basically envisioned what my ideal life would be like. 


I consider this to be highly personal, my own version of Living in BlissI really debated about putting it out to the world, but hopefully you will respect what makes me happy…


November 2007

I am so happy now that I am creating an abundant and balanced life. I am so happy now that I am working to create sustainable communities in Portland, and making the world a better place. I am so happy now that I am working with creative and talented people who share my values. I am so happy now that Kieran is thriving in daycare, and enjoying a nurturing learning environment. I am so happy now that we are living in a beautiful and comfortable home in a friendly and vibrant neighborhood. I am so happy now that my yard and garden are gorgeous, and I am able to create joy and abundance in own my backyard. I am so happy now that I am creating a joyful social network of people who care about me, my family, and our values. I am so happy now that I am deeply connected with my extended family, and share with them my joy and enthusiasm for life. I am so happy now that we are traveling, and experiencing beautiful places in our region and around the world  I am so happy now that we can visit friends and family in Denmark. I am so happy now that I am fit, strong and energetic. I am so happy now that I am at peace in my mind, body and soul. I am so happy now that I am continuing to grow and learn as a person. I am so happy now that my college loans are paid off, and I’m saving for my children’s education. I am so happy now that we are driving a car that gets great mileage and is an example of environmental-friendly technology. I am so happy now that I listen to my inner desires, and make them manifest in my life.

February 2008
I am so happy now that I am able to proactively create my instincts in action. I am so happy now that I am living a balanced life, between a joyous family, effective and meaningful career, connected community, and expanded spiritual growth. I am so happy now that my financial priorities reflect my values, and I have enough abundance to create my own sustainable environment and share the joy of living with those in my life.  I am so happy now that I can live in the present, while planning for the future.

Fast forward a few years, and I can see that while my life circumstances have changed, my values are still exactly the same.


October 2011
I am so happy now that my family is living life to the fullest and growing up together. I am so happy now that our kids are in excellent school environments and developing their full potential. I am so happy now that Hubby and I have regular dates nights and occasional getaways. I am so happy now that we can spend more time together as a family and with extended family. I am so happy now that my career is established, and I’m able to use my talents and expand my influence in positive ways. I am so happy now that our home is as sustainable as possible, and our garden is flourishing. I am so happy now that my student loans, and car loan and mortgage is paid off. I am so happy now that we have financial security. I am so happy now that we have a beach house/retreat. I am so happy now that we are able to invest in exciting projects and give to causes we care about. I am so happy now that we volunteer in our community together, and are connected at Grace. I am so happy now that we have a deep social network of friends we love spending time with and celebrate life. I am so happy now that we are able to take family trips to places we are passionate about and discover the world together. I am so happy now that I’m living with grace and ease, while making my dreams come true. 


Now the best part is that I actually feel like I am on the verge of having this entire statement be true! It will naturally be a process, and I don’t expect that any of it will happen overnight. I’ll need to be continually proactive, but with patience and perseverance, I have no doubt it will all be true.  


What makes you happy…how does your sentence end?


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Inside Job



Hubby and I finally had a chance to watch Inside Job, an academy award winning documentary about the implosion of the economy (and how there were plenty of warnings that went unheeded). While infuriating, the film showed how the housing bubble was created by greedy bankers willing to gamble the so-called American dream. Yet, a systematic deregulation of the financial industry was also to blame. Not to mention appointing the fox to guide the hen house (and giving them tax breaks to boot!)


The filmmakers manage to make a complex issue very simple. They also make it engaging, although I wish there were some specific action that I could take. I’ve personally been detached from the Occupy Wall Street movement…with my comfortable job, I’ve been far too been to get involved. Yet, this film really makes me think twice and want reform:

While Occupy Wall Street is a fledgling movement, it should remind all of us that we have a say in what happens in our economy. More than that, we have a responsibility to hold our leaders accountable.











We highly recommend Inside Job (narrated by Matt Damon.) 

What did you think of the film?



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Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Zulily Sales

If you’re in the market for high end kid and mama stuff for sweet prices, Zulily is the place to find great deals. I first started shopping Zulily last fall, and have found some great buys.


I’m mentioning them again now because there are two current deals (until 10/8) for new Mamas that I highly recommend. You can purchase FuzziBunz cloth diapers for over 50% off, which were one of my favorite cloth diaper brands (my cloth diaper tips too!) 


They also have Zooper strollers on sale ($200 instead of $300). While we don’t have the model they have on sale, but they truly make quality products, so I would still vouch for it. And even though $200 may seem like a lot to shell out for a stroller, if you use it for two kids (or sell on CL) this product will last for several generations. We bought ours on CraigsList because the previous owner needed a double stroller, so we managed to get our for about 50% off retail, and it was still totally worth it used. (I’m actually disappointed to see that they don’t have any model comparable to ours, it’s really a hiking stroller…we’ve hiked up to 7-8 miles with it…gone over downed trees, mud, and pretty rough terrain!) 


I find the trick with signing up for Zulily is to have all the emails directed to a special inbox (like other retail stuff), then you won’t be tempted by the latest daily sale. But then when you are looking for something specific (they have great shoe sales!), you can quickly find a bargain. I also shop Zulily for baby shower gifts, because you can look as is you are splurging without spending too much.


What good Zulily scores have you found?


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Student Loans – Income Based Repayment

I’ve lamented before about my college/grad school loans and how I had being hoping that they would be eligible for the recent federal loan forgiveness program


But even though I’m not eligible, I wanted share this quick video about the Income Based Repayment program. It describes the program in simple terms in just a few minutes, if you have/know college age kids, you should definitely share this:





Do you think such a program is fair or just plain socialist?


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

I Love Kiva

I know that I’ve written about Kiva on several occasions already, but after making my 6th loan to a group of Congolese women, I can’t help but share again.


It all started out when I lent $50 ($25 to 2 people) for my Dads on Father’s Day. Then around the holidays I talked about how Kiva loans are the perfect gift for family members who have everything already. I shared a video about the power of investing in  women. In the mean time I relent that same $50 several times over, after the funds had been repaid. 


Just this week I invested in this group of women from Congo who work together to run a store and fund their own micro-enterprise projects in the village. When I contributed they were at 35% funded and now they are 62%. The loan will be repaid in 6 months, and I look forward to finding another community of people to support in places of need.


Each time I also contribute the suggested $3.25 to Kiva to support the administration of all these loans, which seems to be a reasonable rate.


Have you loaned money through Kiva? I bet you’ll get hooked too…

Use this link to lend your first $25 for free!
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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.