Carrie’s Unusual Start to 2012: From Laryngitis to the Heat Going Out

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At the start of each year I have some things I like to do. I like to set goals, personal and professional, for the upcoming year. I publicly share goals for the Pocket Your Dollars community and website. I also look back on the year we finished and see how we did against last year’s goals. We are 30 days into the new year and I haven’t done any of that.

In fact, maybe you have noticed (or maybe not?) that things have been unusually quiet around here for the last few weeks. They have been and with good reason. I’ve had a handful of major things happening the past 5 weeks, besides the typical Christmas/New Year holiday stuff we all have. As a result I’ve been almost 100% distracted from Pocket Your Dollars.

Now that things are settling down a bit and I’m back in front of the computer, I figured I should let you know some of the major things that have been going on with me.

  1. My family and I moved right after Christmas. Our new house is 3 miles from our old one, but we still had to pack everything up and get it all unpacked and settled. (In full disclosure: we did take out a mortgage for our new house, although we had talked for years about staying where we were until it was paid off, then paying cash for our next place. One day I should write out the story about why we changed our minds when we were set like flint not to borrow again ever after we got out of all non-mortgage debt in 2009.)
  2. Our new house has had some unforeseen issues. The heating system in our new house has not been working correctly. Within the first 2 weeks the heat had gone out 3 separate times. The upstairs of our rambler is heated now, but the basement is not. We have had a steady stream of contractors and technicians parading in and out to help us diagnose the problem and figure out how much it’ll cost to fix it.
  3. We are doing some repairs/updating to our old house before we get it on the market. From painting to carpet, counters, appliances, light fixtures and toilet seats we are replacing and updating many things in our old house. It all takes time to coordinate and get done. Plus, when my husband is there working, then I am at the new house taking care of our kids.
  4. I had bronchitis. What started as a cold right after Christmas, then turned to laryngitis right around the New Year has become a prolonged battle with bronchitis. For some time I was fatigued from being sick, but also not sleeping very well due to the coughing, coughing, coughing I was doing. I had to cancel some TV and public speaking appearances in recent weeks because of the cough. I am finally starting to feel close to human again.
  5. I signed a book contract. Last March I started a conversation with Bethany House Publishers about writing a book. In December/January we were in the thick of a contract negotiation. I finally signed a contract about 2 weeks ago. The manuscript (aka rough draft) is due June 4 and the book will come out in January 2013. The working title is Pocket Your Dollars: 6 Attitude Changes That Will Help You Pay Down Debt, Avoid Financial Stress, and Keep More of What You Make. My husband and I are working out an arrangement where I should be able to get away from home 2 days/1 night each week to focus on writing.

To sum up my last 5 weeks I’d say it was like one of those days where you just don’t hit your stride and feel like you don’t get quite as much as accomplished as you had hoped. But, instead of being one day it was a string of 5 weeks worth of those days back-to-back. Glad to be through it.

Normalcy is in my future. Well, as much as one could expect me to ever be normal :)

How have things been with all of you?


  1. Marne says

    I love books from Bethany House and I know I will love, love, love reading your book Carrie!

    So sorry to hear about all the life stresses you have been facing recently.

    Congrats on the new house.

    Sounds like things are on the up swing in most of those areas. Glad to have an update, PYD just isn't the same without you!

  2. Marie says


    Sorry for you rough start to the year!! I'm excited for your book. I used to attend Bethany College of Missions and I worked in the publishing house. I still have lots of great friends there! I wish you well with the book.

    Crystal Paine from just released her new book, with all the proceeds going to Compassion.

  3. Kid says

    Thanks for always keeping your website REAL life. I love that we can relate in one way or other. Glad you are feeling better. Can't wait to hear more about the mortgage decision.. I have a feeling since reading the post that it may be due to you selling the other one and waiting on proceeds. Time will tell. Good luck on the book!

    • says

      Good thought, but it isn't. We are, in fact, upside down in our old house. We will have to bring money to closing. We were paying ahead on our mortgage, but couldn't keep up. We felt like we were chasing it downhill. Plus, being a townhouse it isn't going to rebound in value any time in the next decade. So, we opted to cut our losses and get a mortgage at under 4% with no points (aka no fees). We couldn't even rent our old house b/c it wouldn't cash flow. So, in short, we're investing cash to get out of it, but now have a house we l-o-v-e and that fits us for the long-term. We'll pay ahead on this mortgage – afetr we are done with 2 house payments – and will be totally debt free soon enough.

  4. Sarah Sonnier says

    Not sure if you still have the cough but I've never had better success (especially with the dry hacking couch) as I've had with Fisherman's Friend lozenges. I know several people who regularly are publicly speaking outdoors in bad weather and swear by them. They are cheap and I think WAG has a coupon for them in this months booklet. They are VERY stong, but work great! :-) Hope you'll be back to 100% soon.

  5. Angie W says

    I have been in the same place the last five weeks as well. It's hard playing catch up for so long. Hoping both of us can get back to normal soon.

    I also used to attend Bethany College of Missions and am waiting in anticipation for your book. Congrats! :)

  6. Anjanette says

    Oh no, Carrie, these last five weeks sound like they have been really challenging and tiring! I don't know if I would have survived all of those things at once myself. I'm glad you're coming out the other end now, though.

  7. sally says

    I was a Realtor for over 35 years (now retired). I always told my clients that the highest stress points in your life are , a death in the family, a serious illness or buying or selling your home. Add to that the stress of getting your old home ready to sell ( at a loss) and no wonder you've been sick. The real stress is the unknown ie; not knowing how big the check will be at the closing of the Townhome. I would get the Townhome on the market asap. Good luck and take care of yourself. I also am looking forward to your book.

  8. says

    Carrie, I feel your pain – literally. I just happen to have that annoying cough with laryngitis right now plus dry socket from a tooth I had pulled the same day my back went out. I also just moved at the tail end of October and am still trying to work out some heating and water heater kinks. I'm glad things are getting better for you! I always try to keep my head up when things are trying to get me down. Whenever the road gets tough, I like to tell people to remember, "this too shall pass". And it always does.

  9. Teresa says

    Carrie, thanks for the update! Congratulations on the new home and good luck with all of the challenges you are facing, but it sounds like you have lots of blessing too! Thanks for everything you do for us Pocketeers! I can't wait to hear more about your 2012 adventures.

  10. Lisa says

    I currently own a townhome with my best friend. She is getting married in a few months and we are going to have to sell it this year or re-finance with it just in my name. I don't think I'll be able to afford it on my own (I know I won't, actually, with the whole association fee, other bills, car payment, etc). I've been stressing about it lately, but reading your post makes me feel better. I know we're going to lose money on it since the housing market is bad for sellers, but you helped give me hope that I will find a house that will fit my needs and make me happy. Congratulations on your new house and book deal! I am excited for you and your family and all the good things to come for you!

  11. Mandy says

    Wishing you happy days ahead keep smiling! Thanks for all you do! My husband told me he can tell the couponing thing is working for us cause he normal struggles this time of year catching up on the credit card after the holidays and pays the minimum then catches up after taxes he said they are all payed off and our savings is getting bigger thank you Carrie I told him he says who is Carrie I said the lady from pocket your dollars. So proud!

  12. ang says

    this too shall pass has also been my motto for the this year. i have a friend who is losing her battle with cancer, have been sick, (migraines, pulled shoulder, dislocated knee, and threw my back out YIKES!) and a single mom to two kids starting to work more. i am sending you tons of positive energy, and hope your 2012 gets better soon. love love all that you do and am so grateful with how "real" your are. thank you for sharing with us about what has been going on. best wishes, Ang

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