The One Who Never Gave Up

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My husband talked me into starting this blog around April of 2012.  We were on vacation in Florida and brainstorming all kinds of money-making ventures.  Eventually the conversation turned to blogging since we both enjoy writing and he was reading a lot of frugality blogs at the time.  His thought process was that if other people could do it then we certainly could too.  And it made sense.  Greg had a certain amount of technical skills and experience building websites and we were both willing and able to write on a regular basis.

I won’t bore you will all the ridiculous site ideas we came up with while on that vacation, but suffice it to say that some of them were awful and terribly dumb.  We really dodged a bullet with a few website ideas we almost did.  Yikes.  Anyway, we ultimately came up with our site name- Club Thrifty- because we thought it was cheesy and fun.  And so it began….

The Next Twelve Months of Blogging

At first, blogging was mostly a fun and carefree experience.  We didn’t have time to try out all of our ideas, and I was *so excited* whenever anyone other than my mom commented on our site.  Then the blog began to grow, as did my other online endeavors.  We both worked full-time (or more) so I was constantly using breaks at work to respond to comments or comment on other sites.

After six months, our lives started to suck.  We were both working at least 40-50 hours at our jobs and putting in another 15-20 hours online doing everything that needed to be done to keep this thing afloat.  I wanted to quit so many times, and I actually did. 

But, you know what?  Greg never quit.

Each time I took a hiatus from blogging, he would just pick up where I left off, continuing to do both of our jobs while I got myself together.  And each time I came back, he said he was proud of me for not giving up.  He told me that, if we kept trying, I would one day be able to quit my job and work from home full-time.  It all sounded too good to be true, but I had no choice but to believe what he was saying.  What other choice did I have?

A Life of Chronic Pain

A lot of people don’t know this, but I had two serious spinal fusions when I was in my early 20’s.  They worked for a while but my chronic back pain resumed once I had kids.  After trying different kinds of medicine and physical therapy to no avail, I had no choice but to just live with the chronic pain that relentlessly followed no matter where I went.  And it was awful during the work week for a few reasons.  First, I had to wear uncomfortable dress clothes and do a lot of repetitive motions.  And second, I was completely stressed out which seemed to exacerbate my pain.

As we continued to work 50-70 hours online and at our jobs, the stress and my back pain only got worse.  I felt like I was constantly in a state of panic, with various deadlines constantly piling up all the time.  And I no longer felt like a good parent either.  How could I?  I was a stressed-out ball of nerves half the time, and I had no social life.  All we did was work…and work….and work……

The Hard Work Pays Off

At a certain point, our online income became consistent and I started to wonder whether it was time to quit my job.  “Just keep going,” Greg would say.  He was always so positive and supportive, and refused to give up on the prospect of saving me from the chronic pain that was ruining my life.

I waited a few months to see whether our online earnings were just a fluke, then finally quit my job in May of 2013.  It was such a relief to walk out that door for the very last time and know that I no longer had to live that way.  I also hoped that my back pain would go away for good.

It’s crazy to say this, but I haven’t had any back pain in over a year now.  I’m still stressed out from time to time, but working at home is just……different.  First, I’m not constantly reaching for the phone or bending over to get something out of the same filing cabinet all day long.  Second, I’m able to sit anywhere I’m comfortable- whether it’s on the couch, in my office, or in bed.  And third, the fact that I no longer work with the public means that I am much more relaxed and laid-back.  The bottom line: I no longer live in pain.  I can play with my kids, exercise, and do day-to-day activities without having to sit down or starting to cry.

The One Who Never Gave Up

My life is now better than I ever thought possible, and I owe it all to my husband.  He’s the one who never gave up- the one who always encouraged me to keep going even when I was frustrated, tired, and ready to throw in the towel.  I can’t imagine what my life would be without his support, his compassion, and his ability to always believe in me and what I’m doing.

And now he’s at it again.  He’s started a new website- Travel Blue Book– and has an entire business model built around it.  He gets up at 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. to work on it every day before heading out to his 9-5 job, and he works on it nearly every night after the kids get home.  I am in awe of how hard he worked to create a job where I could work without pain, and continue to be amazed at how hard he works for our family.

I realize that this is off-topic for today, but I just wanted to share how proud I am of my husband and all that he does to make our lives better.

I love you, Greg.

Just keep going…….

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  1. Wow, what a great story Holly! I actually don’t think it’s off-topic at all. So many of us strive to be making enough from our side hustles so that we can quit the 9 to 5 for whatever reason. And you made it happen through a LOT of hard work and persistence. So happy you were able to do it!

  2. Nice story…very nice. In a country where 50% of marriages end in divorce, it great to hear such a heartwarming story. Keep going…I’m almost at 30 yr wedding anniversary and would do it all over again…with the same person too! 🙂

    1. Me too! Ha! We’ve been together for ten years this summer and it’s been the best decade of my life by far.

  3. Aww…that made me tear up!! It is so important to find the right “teammate” in life and the perfect person to go through life with is the one who will never give up, especially on you. I love that you no longer live in pain and you are doing what you love. You and Greg are a great team and I appreciate that you shared this story! Happy Father’s Day to Greg!!

  4. AWESOME post, Holly, and so excited, for your whole family, that you have conquered that back pain. I went through something similar after our oldest was born, and it is such an awesome feeling to be able to live your life without chronic pain. So happy for you guys! Way to go. 🙂

    1. Thanks. I almost forget that I went through that sometimes. It seems like it was so long ago.

  5. This is such a sweet story and a nice ode to your husband. I really wish I could get my fiance on the blogging train, even just so that he could be part of the community. He has never been interested at all in joining me.

    1. #$&%(#

      Thank you so much for letting me know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  6. That is really sweet Holly. It sounds like you two are a great a team and are achieving wonderful things together. Have a great weekend!

  7. Aww, what a lovely story. Husbands/boyfriends are useful sometimes 😉

    Thats great about not having to live with back pain. I watched my dad have chronic back pain when I was younger and it stopped him in his tracks when it flared up. After loads of treatment with various people, he ended up going to an osteopath and (touch wood) has had no trouble since.

  8. I didn’t know you guys were the ones behind that site. Well I suspected but wasn’t sure. Congrats! I’m so glad your back pain has subsided too. You and Greg make a great team!

  9. What a wonderful story! I’m glad to hear your back pain has subsided, sounds brutal.
    For the record, I LOVE the name Club Thrifty!

  10. What a sweet story! Wow Greg gets up at 4-5am! I need to get on the ball. I think I am like Greg but I’m hoping to be more like Greg! I need to start hustling hard =)

  11. What an awesome post Holly! Like others have said, it’s not off topic at all! I can relate to that feeling of walking out of that door and it’s awesome to know you’re never going to have to live that way again…not to mention that your back pain has seriously subsided. 🙂

  12. Wow, such an sweet and inspiring story, Holly. Thank you so much for having the courage to share your experiences. It’s nice to hear how “pushing through” really paid off for your family. Enjoy the weekend!

  13. Connie @ Savvy With Saving says:

    AWWW so sweet! Congrats to you and Greg on all your success and happiness!

  14. That’s awesome that Greg stuck it out with the blog. Imagine how different your lives would be if you both quit and this blog didn’t exist? I had no idea you had chronic back pain and it makes so much sense why you are so happy working from home now! I also have to say that Travel Blue Book looks incredible. Very well-done and excited to see where it goes.

  15. Aaawwwwwhh! This is so sweet! I don’t think it’s off topic at all. Amazing how much stress can affect your physical well being. I wish you guys continued success!!!!

  16. Hey Holly, I absolutely love this post. I had no idea you dealt with chronic back pain as well…well used to deal with it. I have a ruptured disc that’s causing all kinds of problems. When it happened, they offered a surgery that at this point I forget the name of where they pretty much scrape the excess of the disc and mold it to sit right. The only problem was, I’d have to have that surgery again and again, each time increasing chances of issues. Later on down the road as the injury itself and pain progressed, the options just started to get worse. The doctors all seemed to want to pump me with enough narcotic pain killers to live in the clouds without a care of what was going on down here on earth.

    When I worked, I was lucky enough to work on a computer, but even sitting in a chair for an extended period of time just seemed to make things worse. Not to mention, stress did the same…it’s amazing how stress makes pain worse, I never really thought about it, but now that I look back, you’re right!

    Anyway, our stories are pretty similar. I ended up quitting my job on the first of this year! The work really paid off, and I owe it all to Ana for keeping me going. Every time I read something you’ve written about your hubby or something he’s written about you, it shows how trusting, loving, caring, supportive, and overall, Amazing you guys and your relationship are! Thanks for sharing, see you soon!

  17. Ben @ The Wealth Gospel says:

    My wife’s had chronic back pain for the last 3 years of our marriage. It’s been killing our budget, but luckily my online income is enough now that she doesn’t have to be on her feet all day as a teacher.

    That’s a pretty sweet looking site Greg’s got going on! If he ever needs writers who are wet-themselves passionate about traveling, let me know! 🙂

  18. That’s awesome to have support. Sometimes all it takes is someone else to believe you’re not crazy. I know when I told Jim I wanted to sell the practice and work part time that seemed nuts, and it took a couple of years to pull it all together. I think I would have quit too if I had been on my own. I’m really glad you don’t have pain anymore, physically and otherwise.

  19. What wonderful tribute to Greg. While I always knew he was a good guy from the blog, it’s clear he’s an amazing husband and father too! I’m so glad Greg is there to support you and that neither of you gave up on your great blog. Even better, I’m glad it afforded you the chance to work from home, pain-free. Happy Father’s Day to Greg!

  20. Yankeegal says:

    What a lovely tribute to your husband. Sounds as if you are a match made in heaven!

  21. It’s amazing what we can accomplish especially when we have the support of our spouse. Starting your own business and walking away from a job is no small deal. You are both very lucky but put in lots of hours and hard work. I look forward to checking out his new site!! Mr.CBB

  22. This is what happens when you are in a successful partnership with your spouse! You both have put in a load of hours to be where you are today and it’s great that you still have fuel in the tank to keep on striving for more. Loved this post!

  23. I’m happy that you’ve managed to run a successful blog and have a supportive other half to give you that push to do it. Thank goodness he talked you into it, otherwise we wouldn’t have this fab blog to read.

  24. What an amazing story! It’s always uplifting to read those stories about how never giving up and putting in the work pays off in the end. Also so glad that your back pain is doing better. Very inspirational Holly and Greg, I’m glad I found your site!

  25. What a sweet tribute to your husband! It’s so great that you never gave up. Your online success as a couple is inspirational!

  26. Success is never giving up! Determination gets through the failures, mistakes and detractors! It helps if you enjoy what you are doing too. Good luck to Greg and you.

  27. Back pain is the worst and you’re right that sitting at a desk for too long can worsen it. I make it a point to walk around and I definitely cannot sit for an extended period of time after exercising or gardening or it will seize up. Great to hear a bit more of your background, Holly!

  28. Aw, you two are adorable and make such a fantastic team! I’m so happy he pushed for you to be able to work from home, and so glad your pain is gone now. That’s amazing. Hard work paid off in a big way for both of you, and it’s awesome Greg is still going with the new site!

  29. What a wonderful and inspirational story! I’m sorry to hear you have to endure such serious back pain, but its great that you have such great support. Its really valuable to have people there to help you keep going.

  30. I always love reading about another person or couple that have busted out of the shackles of corporate slavery, especially after overcoming adversity to do so … kudos to both of you!

  31. You guys kick serious ass 🙂 glad your pain is gone too, huge relief. I’m excited to follow Greg’s new venture, though I don’t write about it, really at all, I’m pretty much obsessed with travel and travelling cheap! I’ve done some pretty amazing trips for cheap!

  32. It’s pretty cool how supportive and appreciative you are of each other. I can really hear it in your writing.

  33. Leana from Milesforfamily says:

    Holly, congrats on your success! This was an incredibly touching post. I’m so happy that you you are no longer dealing with pain, hope that it continues that way. Taking care of kids is hard enough! All the best to you and your husband on this journey.

  34. Oh you guys. I hope we will be as strong as you two in 10 years! I had no idea you have such back problems, and it’s awesome your new work situation has helped.

  35. “I am of my husband and all that he does to make our lives better. I love you, Greg.” – Get a room you two!! 🙂

    Way to go Greg, very inspiring!

    Take care and all the best.


  36. I agree…never give up and be stubborn to the end.

  37. Wonderful post – I think it’s great that you work so well as a team and that Greg has been so willing and able to support you through the rough times.

    I must admit that I have had rough patches where I felt like throwing in the towel, but I still have a lot of fun with it all and so I continue with it.

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