I saved up my mPerks rewards and scored $60 off this $160, 9-person + screen room tent. We managed to set it up in our backyard with minimal cussing, which was a plus.
My parents had some awesome camping gear left over from my childhood, like a 3-burner Coleman propane stove. A 2-burner is over $100. It's in amazing condition. I'm both super excited and super nervous for our first excursion, planned for June.
I then started saving up my mPerks rewards for a few strands of patio lights for our little screen room - I've gotten three for free so far. I need one more, which I'm not sure I'll be able to get for free. But I'll keep trying! At worst, I'll pay $3 for it. It's getting pretty cozy out there with our free little futon and free strands of patio lights, the plushy fleece picnic blanket my mom made (Abigail and Theodore prefer the floor to chairs), and the $15 Sam's Club kids camping chairs.
Last year I used to drag the kids' chairs from inside out to the screen room and back every day. We made due and patiently bided our time because a screen is an awesome blessing, but patio furniture is not worth going into debt for.
Sometimes when people find out Matt is a lawyer and that I stay home with the kids, they think we are rich. We are by no means rich, but we are hugely blessed and we make sure not to squander what we have by living frugally in our daily lives. I am really blessed to have married a man who feels strongly about staying in a strict budget and he's really taught me a lot of discipline.
There is a song out right now called Dear Younger Me by Mercy Me and the narrator is offering advice to his younger self. It really got me thinking about what I would tell a younger me. There are lots of things that didn't go as planned but weren't all bad or that I just needed to experience. I mean, no amount of telling younger me not to worry about Abigail's heart was going to stop me from worrying during open heart surgery. But two pieces of advice I would give myself? Pray more. And spend less. I'm working on it. I'm making slow progress, but slow progress over the course of a lifetime is a whole lot of progress.