I Wish We Had Done This Years Ago

The hot tub we purchased this past Fall has become a major feature in our lives as of late.  And since the mandate of my blog is to “talk about things that are important to me” and “be a source of information and opinion on the adventures of health, fitness, and parenthood”, the hot tub qualifies.  I’ve been trying to think of a way to write about it without coming across like a used-car salesman- but that seems to be the only way:

IMG_1286

Are you a hot tub person?  It seems you either “are” or you “aren’t”, and up until this Fall I was definitely “aren’t”.  But that’s all changed…. and since I’m a ‘convincer‘ by nature, let me tell you why:

  • It gives my husband and I nightly unplugged, distraction-free, catch-up-on-the-day time.  When we were considering this purchase, a friend told me that “many family talks will take place there”; she was right.  With young children, and date nights that are few-and-far-between, this gives us a great chance to “escape” into our backyard.
  • Our kids love it.  We bundle them up in their fuzzy robes and winter boots and make the trek down to the hot tub every weekend.  They like to change the colour of the lights and turn on the waterfall feature….. but mostly they like to snuggle in and enjoy the warmth and the fresh air.  Quality.  Family.  Time.
  • Recovery!  After a tough Crossfit workout or a long run, nothing beats the hot tub for loosening muscles up and helping you sleep.

My husband has been trying to persuade me on a hot tub for years.  I was worried about the maintenance (virtually none), the monthly cost (very affordable, as hot tubs are very energy-efficient now), and the safety (a lockable cover)- all of which are non-issues now.  In fact, I wish we had done this years ago.

So perhaps the message of this post isn’t to sell you on hot tubs, but rather to sell you on quality time.  And doing-it-now.  And going-for-it.  And you-only-live-once.

making memories quote

*** Thanks to our friend Jay Pritchard from Boldt Pools & Spas for all of his hot tub help!


Spending Family Money to Buy Family Time

I’m the financial organizer in our house; the prudent one, the thrifty one, the bill-payer, the budgeter, the saver.  So every few months, I take a look at our numbers and see if we’re on track with the goals and priorities we’ve set for ourselves.  As I was reviewing our finances last week, I noticed that we are spending family money to buy family time.

I’ve been back to work following my maternity leave for a couple of months now, and our life as two-working-parents-with-two-children is exponentially busier than our life as two-working-parents-with-one-child was.  In an effort to maximize family time with our children, our spending priorities have shifted.  We’ve had to modify our budget and our mindset to make this happen….. dinners out are now few and far between, our vacation fund has been derailed, and trips to Starbucks and Mapleview Mall are nearly non-existent.  But it works for us.

Here’s where I spend family money to buy family time:

  • I hired someone to clean my house.  Denise comes every other Thursday morning and cleans our place from top to bottom.  This means that I don’t clean.  I sweep the floor and do the dishes and laundry.  And that’s it.

Time bought: 6 hours/month.

  • I hired a painter to paint two bathrooms.  My friend Tommy did a fantastic job updating our master bathroom and main bathroom- and he did it in a fraction of the time that it would’ve taken me.

Time bought: 10 hours.

  • I go to a wonderful hairstylist.  Whereas I used to need a hair appointment every eight weeks, Telly gives me a great cut/highlights with minimal upkeep- I now go every twelve weeks.

Time bought:  3 hours every other month.

  • I go to a gym that’s got a fast, effective approach to fitness.  Crossfit is all about intensity.  I go and work HARD for an hour- and I’m back home before my kids are even awake.  This is a big change from my long, ineffective workouts at other gyms.

Time bought: 3 hours per week.

  • I got a new iPhone.  This phone can do everything my computer can do and more, all within easy reach.  I’m able to multi-task and complete my electronic to-do list in small chunks throughout the day, rather than a big chunk every evening.

Time bought: 4 hours per week.

The way I see it, I’ve bought myself 45.5 hours this month- nearly two full days and two full nights.  And I’ve spent $16.48/hour for that time.  I think that’s a pretty good buy.