Time to pop a baby out?

Life is funny. Actually, scratch that. People are funny. And by funny, I mean annoying. I swear if I hear another person say “When will you have kids” I’m gonna punch this puppy in the face….

Seriously people, I’ve been married less than two months. Give me some room to breath. Can I enjoy the married life without feeling obligated to pop out a few baby ninjas? No, I can’t? Fine, I’ll play your silly game and answer your questions.

When do you plan to have kids?

Wife Ninja and I had this discussion during premarital counseling and arbitrarily decided two years sounded like a decent waiting period before we reevaluate our situation. This should give us time to enjoy all the benefits that come with being a DINK (dual income no kids) like having totally flexible schedules.

Seeing that we are new to this whole marriage gig, our primary concern is learning how to love one another better. We have friends that got pregnant three months in to marriage, and others that waited four years. They are both convinced they did what was best for their relationship, and right now Wife Ninja and I have decided two years is what sounds best to us.

How many baby ninjas are we talking here?

That, my friends, depends on who you ask. If you’re asking me the answer is 0.5. No, that’s not a typo. I want half a kid. You know, I’d take him when he was being all cute and cuddly like this baby…

but I could also give him to someone else when he was crying or pooping himself. Wait, what? That’s not how parenting works? Okay fine, give me the whole kid I guess.

Honestly though, I’d be perfectly content with two kids. Wife Ninja, however, has her eyes set on four. Her mom is one of four, she is one of four, so why not keep the trend going. Four babies it is.

Do you think you’ll be ready?

My girl Janell said it best “you will never be ‘financially ready’ for any life-changing event.” Amen, to that. I could always save a little more, or work a little harder, but at some point I’ll realize the sacrifice is worth it. The cost of raising a kid may be incredibly expensive, but I’m convinced there is a reason I have an innate desire to be a dad. And that reason my friends is this: I can make my kids take out the trash 🙂

What are your plans until kids enter the picture?

Carpe Diem baby. Seize the day. The wife and I plan to take full advantage of two incomes and no child related expenses. We have a crazy goal to save a $100,000 for a house. We want to take at least one big vacation each year. We want to continue being involved in our community (volunterring, tutoring, bible studies, being with friends). But most importantly we just want to enjoy being newlyweds.

From now on, when anyone asks me “When are you gonna have kids”, I’m going to punch them in the elbow and then refer them to this post.

Parents: How did you know it was time to have a kid? How did you decide how many kids to have? Would you do anything differently (i.e. waited longer or had them earlier)? Are they worth it?

Non-parents: How long do you think you’ll wait to have kids? How many kids do you want and what lead to that decision? Do any other young married peeps get bombarded by people expecting babies one month after your wedding?

I might be married, but I still wanna date

Don’t tell Wife Ninja, but as fun as this whole marriage thing has been, I’m kinda still interested in dating. Fortunately, I know a girl that might be interested in me. Her name is Wife Ninja. That’s right suckas, I want to date my wife.

I’m guilty of becoming a wee bit stagnant over the last few months and it’s time for a change. Just as I continually seek progression in my personal finances, I want mutual progression in my relationship. And that, mi amigos, sometimes means taking it back to the basics.

If you are anything like me, you use Excel to set budgeting goals. But what about an Excel spreadsheet for sweet dates? Anyone out there have one of those? I just recently created mine…

dating excel spreadsheet

Okay, so it doesn’t have much to it yet, but hey, at least it’s a start, right? Seriously though here are some potential date ideas…

1) Bike ride to nearby park, play frisbee, and have a righteous picnic.

2) Take the ferry over to Coronado and whisper sweet nothings in to Wife Ninja’s ears along the way

3) Eat breakfast at this AMAZINGLY cute breakfast spot in La Jolla that we love, but I never take her to…

4) Go on a hike through Torrey Pines

5) Kayak from Shelter Island to Coronado while telling Wife Ninja how beautiful I think she is

6) Take her to a movie. (I’m soooo cheap I never take her to movies, but she loves going to them. Honestly, I’ve only taken her to one movie in the four years we’ve been together.)

7) Go to Yoga together. Wife Ninja loves to get her Yoga on and has asked me to go with her a handful of times before. I’ve always declined. Not because I think Yoga is girly, but because last time I did it, it kicked my butt and made me feel like a pansy.

That’s all I’ve got so far. You’ll notice all of the above would cost us no more than $40 or so (and many of them are free) so I have absolutely no excuse for not doing a better job at dating Wife Ninja. I need your help coming up with some more date ideas for my epic dating spreadsheet.

What are some of your favorite things to do with your significant other? What are some super cheap, but super fun date ideas? What are some pricier dates that are worth every penny (i.e. wine tasting, etc)? Am I the only lame dude in the room that forgets it’s important to date your spouse?

Hello $40,000 raise. How are you?

As you all know. Wife Ninja was an aspiring teacher, aka a substitute. She spent all last year subbing for a few different school districts in the San Diego area. She was lucky enough to end last school year with a long term sub position, filling in for two months while a teacher was on maternity leave.

We knew that the California economy is pretty much in the crapper, but we were still keeping her fingers crossed she would get a teaching contract. Last Friday, she got pump faked when a principal called her to say that he wanted her to teach at his school, only to find out a few hours later HR had already placed another teacher in that position. It totally bummed Wife Ninja out, which in turn made me bummed.

Tuesday was the first day of the school year and it looked like she was destined to continue on her substituting journey. That was until yesterday afternoon, when she got a phone call from a school she taught at last year, offering her a chance to open a new Kindergarten class.

The details are still fuzzy, and we aren’t clear what exactly the terms of the position are, but there is a good chance it is, at the least a long term subbing position, if not a 1 year contract. Either way, it means consistent work and consistent income for the Ninja household. I am super excited for her because she has wanted nothing more than to have a consistent classroom where she is the TEACHER and not just a SUBSTITUTE.

The upside to the position (as I see them) are:

1) Potential to add nearly $40,000 to our annual income.

2) Wife Ninja finally gets to be a teacher

3) Operation Save For A House will be in full force

4) Lots more $$$ to give

The downsides to the position (again as I see them) are:

1) She has to work everyday

2) She will have to grade papers and work on projects at home

3) I’m pretty sure Kindergartners still poop and pee their pants…ew.

4) She will spend 40% of the work day telling Timmy to stop eating the glue

All in all. I’m pretty excited for her and I can’t wait to hear more about the position after she talks over specifics with the principal. A little boost in income never hurts. Long live the DINKS (dual income no kids)!!!!!

Throw her a little comment love below and let her know you are either A) excited for her B) jealous of her C) impartial because you don’t even know her.

Happy weekend 🙂

The $100 discussion

So, Mrs. Ninja and I merged our bank accounts the other day. What’s mine is hers and whats hers is…hers. Wait that’s not right 😉 Seriously though, for us combining accounts made the most sense. Merging accounts was super easy, what’s a little trickier is figuring out how to set up boundaries.

Something tells me Mrs. Ninja wouldn’t be too stoked about me dropping $300 on a sound system without clearing with her first. And I will bust a cap if she stops at Nordies and walks away with another pair of boots.

This is why we figured a spending amount should be set. We initially decided neither one of us should make a purchase over $100 without first consulting the other. But after a little more thought, decided we should lower the threshold to $50.

What we are yet to figure out is how long that $50 spending limit is good for. Say for example I find a sweet camera accessory for $42. The rules say I can buy it without having to run the purchase by Mrs. Ninja. But what if, the next day, I find a $35 jacket that I want?

This is where I think setting a spending limit falls short. Should the $50 threshold be per day/week/month? Now that I think about it, I’m kinda thinking the spending cap is pretty stupid.

Instead of saying “You can’t buy something over $50 without running it by me first”, we should just set up a budget and say we each get $100/month of  “do whatever the heck you want with it” money. It fosters guilt free spending, but still provides the necessary boundaries. Heck, that money could even roll over for the next month. If I only spent $20 of my $100 in August, I could spend $180 in Sept. without having to ask. Not a bad idea right?

I don’t know, maybe I’m over thinking this spending allotment gig, but it’s definitely something that needs to get fine tuned. How do you peeps work the combined accounts system? I need wisdom!

Wedding of epic epicness

Holy crap. I feel like I blinked and the wedding was over. It seriously went by so fast. Everyone told me to take a deep breath, go slow, and take it all in, but it’s just so hard when the day is as busy, hectic, exciting as it is. There are parts that I remember vividly, i.e. Mrs. Ninja walking down the aisle (yes I teared up) and parts I don’t remember at all, i.e. what song played when we cut the cake.

There are so many things that I could write about in regards to our wedding, but I’ll try and narrow it down to just a few things.

Dollar Dance:

Do you remember the little debate I had a few weeks back, asking whether the $$$ dance was tacky or reasonable? Well, you can call me Tacky Ninja ’cause we totally rocked the dollar dance hardcore. I’m quite glad we did because it gave me dedicated face time with many of our guests, but more importantly we walked away $600 richer at the end of it! Can you believe it?! Six Hundred Bones! Totally legit and I never got the vibe someone was dancing with me out of obligation or pity.

Wedding Cake:

If you recall from Mrs. Ninja’s guest post about our wedding, she shared that we were having a quasi-fake cake. The bottom three layers were all Styrofoam, and the top two layers were actual cake. Our cake ended up only costing $90 (instead of the $500 quotes from the bakery), but we definitely got what we paid for. The fake layer did not match the real layer. They were slightly different colors and the design was off. It wasn’t what we had imagined, but with a little bit of craftiness, Mrs. Ninja’s aunt was able to make it look half-decent. Fortunately, the wedding cake is not really something people remember about weddings.

Vows:

I don’t know if it’s weird to post up my vows to Mrs. Ninja here, but they are obviously a huge piece of the ceremony as it is a commitment of my life to hers. We both customized our own vows, so hers are different than mine. Here’s what I promised to her…

Mrs. Ninja, today in the presence of God, I give my life to you.

To be your husband, and your friend,

and to stand by you as we share our life together.

As Christ is to His church, so I will be to you,

a loving and faithful husband.

I will walk with you daily

and grow with you in mind and spirit,

When you cry, I will comfort you.

When you laugh, I will share your joy.

I promise to lead us towards Christ

and guide you according to His Word.

That through His grace,

we might grow together into His likeness

for as long as we both shall live.

Pictures:

This was the most important thing to me when it came to our wedding. We had seen our photographer shoot a few of our friends’ weddings, and knew we had to have him do ours. We paid a pretty penny for his services, but his pictures aren’t just photographs, they are ART!!!! We will get all the pictures in about 6 weeks, but he gave us a “sneak peek” of 34 pictures. Here are a few of ’em….

So there is just a glimpse of what my epic wedding of epicness looked like. I wish you all could have been there, but then again, I don’t. ‘Cause if you were at my wedding, that would be really weird, and kind of creepy. Maybe I can twist Mrs. Ninja’s arm into giving you a more detailed wedding play-by-play in the future. What went well at your wedding, and what didn’t? Any regrets? Any “must-dos?”

A Ninja Love Story

The story of how Girl Ninja and I came to fall in love is not the typical fairy tale that we all read about. We’ve had our ups and downs, but after four years of dating we are excited to commit our lives to each other. I hope you enjoy our love story.

It was spring of my Freshmen year. I, like most single college guys, was interested in two things. Food and girls. Five months in to my Freshmen year, I received a voicemail from my best friend (let’s call him Blake). He said “Ninja, I just got done hanging out with my girlfriend (let’s call her Ashley) and one of her friends…” He went on to tell me about how Girl Ninja had blonde hair, blue eyes, and was an amazing person. After speaking with Blake, I also learned she was only a junior in high school.  And to make matters worse, she lived in Washington state (I attended college in San Diego). I thanked my friend for looking out for me, but told him I was on a mission to find a girlfriend and wasn’t about to wait two years for Girl Ninja to begin college.

Nine months later (and still single), I flew to Seattle for Christmas break. Blake and Ashley insisted Girl Ninja and I meet, so they planned a double date for us. We baked cookies, played board games, and had an all around good time. Although Girl Ninja and I enjoyed each others company during the date, I don’t think either of us were convinced we were destined to be together. We wished each other well and I headed back to San Diego to finish out the school year.

Fast forward another nine months. I’m frustratingly still single and Girl Ninja starts her Freshmen year at my college (I’m now a Junior). About once a week we would chat online or wave to each other in passing. That was the extent of our friendship.

A few months in to the school year, I learned from Ashley, that Girl Ninja was not adjusting well to college life. She was feeling pretty homesick. I decided to ask Girl Ninja out, on a date, to hopefully brighten her spirits. We went rock climbing, shopping, to dinner, and watched a movie together. It was a lot of fun, but there was still no spark between us.

Immediately after our date, Ashley and Blake, called to see if I fell in love with Girl Ninja. I’m pretty sure I could hear their hearts break, when I told them I wasn’t interested. They finally got the point and realized maybe Girl Ninja and I weren’t supposed to be together.

One night, during spring semester of Junior year, I invited Girl Ninja over to my apartment to watch “24” with me and my roommates. When she came over she sat down on the couch next to my friend Nate. The oddest thing happened, I felt jealous. Why didn’t Girl Ninja want to sit next to me? I didn’t know why I was jealous, it’s not like I had a crush on her. Did I? Turns out, I did.

After a few weeks of trying to convince myself I shouldn’t date Girl Ninja cause it would be too weird, I finally gave in and asked her on another date. We went to the mall, walked around for a bit, and eventually sat down for dinner. Before our meal came, I decided it was time to tell Girl Ninja how I felt. I said, “I know we have hung out a few times before, but today I asked you out for a different reason. Over the last two years I have had Blake and Ashley tell me how wonderful you are, but instead of hear it from them over and over, I’d like to get to know you better myself. I know there is this awkward pressure of us getting married, I’m not interested in that. But to be perfectly honest, I do like you.”

At this point, Girl Ninja turns bright red with embarrassment because she just thought we were going on another casual date. I totally caught her off guard and she didn’t know how to react. Let’s just say she didn’t necessarily respond by confessing her undying love for me. She was, however, open to the idea of getting to know each other more.

This is where things got interesting. I learned, over the next few weeks, that Girl Ninja had actually been seeing another guy. I realized it was time to step up my game and force Girl Ninja to fall in love with me. I wooed the crap out of her, frequently surprising her with flowers, her favorite Starbucks drink, and other little presents.

After four months of intense pursuing on my part, she still had feelings for the other guy. I had fought a long and hard battle, but realized I just couldn’t convince her to be my girlfriend. I decided to write her a loooooong letter (yeah I know, kind of an emo thing to do) telling her I tried my hardest to show her that I respected/appreciated/cared for her, but I had to throw in the towel and move on. I was ending my pursuit.

A week after I sent that letter an awkward thing happened. We had to fly to Seattle together to participate in the wedding of my friend Blake, to her friend Ashley (we were both in the wedding party).  Let’s just say the plane ride home was a little uncomfortable and not much was said. The next day, at our friends rehearsal dinner, I literally ignored her all day, because it was too hard for me to pretend like I wasn’t frustrated with her.

The next day, at the wedding, I pushed the bitterness aside and just enjoyed myself. Turned out this worked to my favor, Girl Ninja loved watching me interact with my friends, and she definitely couldn’t resist my awesome dance moves. That night, I had unknowingly won her heart.

A few weeks after our friends’ wedding, we had the DTR (Define the Relationship) talk when I officially became her first, last, and only boyfriend.

Our relationship has been slow moving from day one. Eighteen months of hearing about each other, but never hanging out. Followed by, five months of friendship. Another five months of winning her heart. Heck, we didn’t even kiss until three months after we became “official” (I’m GN’s first and only kiss). Now after four years of dating, we couldn’t be happier and are super excited to embark on this new part of life together. If it wasn’t for Blake and Ashley’s annoying persistence, Girl Ninja and I would probably never have met, and I’d probably still be single. I freakin’ love the heck out of this girl and can not wait to show her that every morning, day, and night.

Booya for love!

p.s. We were both in Blake and Ashley’s wedding party, and they will now both be in ours 🙂

Super Tacky or Super Smart?

If you didn’t know, this is my last week as a bachelor. Sunday I marry Girl Ninja and I’m pretty freakin’ excited for it. She has been in Seattle for the last two weeks making all the final arrangements before the big day. I, however, have stayed in San Diego so I could play video games and walk around my condo naked work hard and earn a little more coin.

Girl Ninja and I have spent the last few weeks tying up all the loose ends. I made the slideshow, she made the programs. I figured out Rehearsal stuff, she figured out wedding stuff. All the big things are done and we only have a few small decisions left to make.

One of those decisions is should we have a dollar dance?

If you aren’t familiar with the dollar dance, it’s a chance for guests to dance with the Bride and Groom while also contributing a few bucks for them to spend on the honeymoon. The dollar dance, although pretty common, can be a source of controversy. Is it tacky to ask guests to put a couple bucks in a hat for a few seconds on the dance floor? Or is it assumed the people that participate did so because they wanted to make our special day even better? Talk about some potential drama.

I’m sure you can guess my response…. SHOW ME THE MONEY! I’ll bump and grind dance with some women I may not know that well for a couple hundred extra in spending money. Many of our friends have also had dollar dances and they averaged between $300-$700 after the dollar dance. Heck, maybe I’ll have five or six dollar dances throughout the night. Kidding…kind of.

Fortunately, Girl Ninja is down with the dollar dance so it will be part of our ninja-riffic wedding. Some of our guests may think it’s tacky and we are okay with that. Just wait until they see our wedding cake display…

So at your wedding did you (or will you) have a dollar dance? Is it common in your circle of friends? Anyone that thinks it’s super tacky?

p.s. Just think, those of you that are sick of all this wedding chat, only have to put up with it for another week!