August 01, 2012


(I normally don't post blogs both places, but I know some of my followers here haven't made the leap to the new blog yet.  I feel like this topic warrants a double post.)

A couple of weeks ago, I scheduled a doctor's appointment but felt uneasy about it. I've been having issues for the past few months, but wasn't confident that my doctor (who I love and think is fabulous) could really help. That particular Monday was an especially bad day, leading me to finally break down and call the doctor.

My appointment was scheduled for 8:30 the next day. I don't know how it works with your doctor, but appointments are never obtained that quickly with mine unless there is bodily fluid oozing out of an orifice.

In the waiting room, I was the first patient to be called back - despite the fact that others were there before me. The normal nurse was out for the day, and the fill-in chatted me up, helping take the edge off my nerves.

Then it was my turn with the doctor. I told her my WebMD diagnosis and waited for her to agree with me. Instead she asked my symptoms. I twisted my hands as I explained my problems have been more intense the past few months, but I suppose they’ve been around for a while now.

Family history was then discussed. I always knew it was a problem most of my family had, but I had never considered it to be significant enough to mention to the doctor. After only providing 3 examples, she interrupted. 
Please continue reading at the original posting site...

July 17, 2012

New Diggs

Just wanted to let you know that I've got the new place up and running!  Come check it out:  Please add it to your reader if you want to follow me.  I will NOT be redirecting the followers from this blog to the new one.

I've changed so much as a person since starting Smart + Strong = Sexy and want my blog home to reflect that.  Instead of trying to redesign this one to "fit" me, I thought I'd just start clean.  Please let me know what you think! 

I'm still in need of good "about me" material for my short blogger profile.  I'm also a bit concerned that the back ground is too busy and makes the words difficult to read (although I really like the picture itself).

July 13, 2012

Rain is a Good Thing

I'm thankful for all the rain we've been getting this week.  Its really cooled things down and helped out my dad's garden.  His plants might make something after all!

I've got some changes in the works, but I'm a little low on creative energy so bear with me please.  In the mean time, check out my latest race report if you haven't already.  Also, I'd love to read your thoughts to any changes I might be making.

Hope you have a great weekend!!

July 12, 2012

Fireball Classic 5K - Race Report

Sorry I'm a bit late on this race report!  As a result, I'm sure I will accidentally leave out important snippets along the way.  Between my mom and me, however, we got some pretty good pictures, so hopefully they will make up for the lack of fine detail.

My parents decided to tag along - as always they made the racing experience all the more fun.  I snapped a few pre-race pictures, then took off on a warm up.  I ran into these guys along the way and just had to get a picture.  Being the heroes that they are, they couldn't say no to a photo op!

(from left to right Thor, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America)

After another warm-up pass, it was time to line up.  I'm claustrophobic, and not a huge fan of crowds, so lining up was a bit difficult on me.  I like getting towards the front so I don't have to fight my way around people to pass, but I also enjoy NOT panicking/hyperventilating pre-race.  I settled on a mid-pack spot and waited for the gun.

Race time temps were supposed to be in the high 80s, but one of the ladies I was lined up next to said it was mid 70s.  If that was the case the humidity had to be at a billion percent because it felt HOT!  Thankfully the race start time was 9 PM, so we at least didn't have the sun to contend with.

I tried to start off fast, but had to spend the majority of the first mile passing other runners.  Given the weather conditions, I wasn't hoping for a PR but I wanted to race my best.  This race is ran on the same road as my current PR and I very much enjoy it.

Mile 1 - 9:15

During the 2nd mile I expected traffic to ease up, but it really didn't.  I was still passing people as I made it to the turn around spot and headed back.  After a brief up hill spurt, the cluster broke up a bit by that point the exhaustion (from passing?  from the humidity?) had kicked in and I couldn't will myself to go any faster.

Mile 2 - 9:36

The next mile was more of the same.  The fire department had a truck along the course spraying us with water, but since I'd brought my iPod along I skirted the outside of the spray.  Bummer too, because I'm sure it felt great for all who ran through it.

Mile 3 - 9:36

I had told my parents to look for me between the 25 minute (a girl can dream, right?) and 30 minute mark.  No matter what I wanted this race to be sub 30, but beyond that I really didn't have a goal.  As I neared the finish line I saw my dad with a cowbell.  He immediately started ringing it and looking towards the finish line.

My mom wasn't with him, and I quickly figured out this was the system they had set up for him to signal her to get the camera ready.  Apparently they didn't do a great job of spacing themselves, because she ended up getting a picture of my back.  The picture looks horrid and makes me look much larger than I am, so I will not be sharing it.  I do, however, applauded their attempt.

(this isn't the above-mentioned picture)

After crossing the finish line, racers were given a bottle of water and a cold, wet towel.  Add to that the Rita's Italian Ice in the snack line and I'd have to say this race had the best after party I've seen at a shorter distance.

How'd I do?

Gun Time: 30:26  
Chip Time: 29:38

Not a PR, but before this year sub 30 was a big goal of mine.  If I can go out and do that on any given race, I consider that a win!

July 10, 2012

You ask me; I ask you

I've been struggling to blog since the other site died.  I didn't back it up properly and I feel as if a year's worth of work was lost.  I suppose I feel that way because it was.  I guess I didn't realize just how much my blogging meant to me.

I enjoy working through heavy topics with input from my readers.  The support and encouragement I get from race reports pushes me on to my next fitness goal.  My daily thanks posts help keep perspective in my life.

What I can't decide, however, is where to continue this blog.  Hopefully you've found me since the blog went kaput.  (If not then I suppose you're not reading this blog and it doesn't apply to you.)  I've made a blog with the Frugal Trophy Wife name (only its a blogspot domain/blog) but can't decide if that's me or not.  If I'm honest, this blog doesn't feel like a good fit either though. 

My questions for you:
  • What factors does a blog name/domain play in your reading? 
  • How do you feel (as a commenter) about blogger versus wordpress?
  • What are you favorite parts of my blogging (either here or at FTW)?
  • How did you decide upon your own domain (assuming you have a blog)?
  • What pages/tabs do you like to see on blogs?
  • What kind of information do you like in an "about me" section? Mine for blogger is terribly outdated.

Your questions for me:

  • Do you have anything you want to know about me?  I tend to spill my guts about anything and everything, so its doubtful any questions are off limits.  Bari has a 20 questions page on her blog to supplement her "about me" and I love that idea!  Hit me up in the comments, via email, or on twitter if you have a question which would help readers get to know me.
  • I don't really have a 2nd bullet point, but I don't think you can have one without the compliment so I'm really just typing words now...

July 06, 2012

Fashion Friday: Repeat Boutique - Summer 2012

Biyearly Knoxville's Repeat Boutique holds a clearance sale spanning the months of January and June.  Items begin to be sold at a 40% discount, followed by a 50% the next week, and finally 70% the final week of the sale.

The sale is a traditional for my family as well as others - each year we run into familiar faces.  The boutique has plenty of "repeat" customers (sorry, I couldn't resist!)

This year, I didn't manage to snag as many finds as normal.  I usually budget between $50-100 for each trip, and at 70% off consignment prices that's a big haul o'loot!

This isn't a commercial for them - promise!

I wanted to share with you a few of the goodies I snagged this year.  And yes, I was disappointed that I didn't get more.  For a grand total of $14.09 (9.5% TN sales tax included) I purchased the following:

A gold undershirt/tank.  
I'm of the opinion a girl can never have too many of these!  I'm not sure what I'll wear with this color, but for $2 it doesn't hurt to have it on hand.

American Eagle tank
This one has a drawstring right at the chest - my smallest part.  I love it because it makes me look skinny while also hiding some of my pudges.

Gap tank
Once again, fitted at my smallest part - flowy everywhere else.  I'm probably wearing this one today, visiting a friend in South Carolina. (I'm traveling and this was scheduled so forgive me if I don't comment on your blog until next week!)

Gap brown tank
Nothing special about this one, but I have plenty of dresses/shirts that it will look great under.  These days I feel self conscious if I don't wear an undershirt.

J. Crew Sweater
This was the most expensive purchase - double the $2 average price-per-piece.  The sweater didn't hardly look worn, and will be great for this summer in my over air-conditioned office.

Maybe I've read too much Jen Hatmaker or am too concerned about the lack of closet space in the new cabin.  Either way I saved some serious coin this time around only picking a few items.

What's the best deal you've ever gotten on a piece of clothing?  What's your shopping routine - do you shop for the fun of it, or out of necessity?  

Happy Weekend!!

July 04, 2012

I hope you are spending this Independence Day with someone you love.  I'm taking the day off, but wanted to celebrate with you by sharing these videos.

The first is one I took after a Tennessee Smokies baseball game.  They are the Chicago Cubs AA affiliate and shoot off fire works every Friday night home game.  Here is just a brief clip:

The other is from one of my all-time favorite movies Independence Day.  As a side note, I loved Major Mitchell (aka Adam Baldwin) before I ever saw him on Chuck or Firefly.

Sadly (or am I awesome) I had this entire speech memorized.

Happy 4th!!!

July 02, 2012

The Shorts Post

I hate my legs - not a huge secret around these parts.  More specifically I hate the way my legs look.  I know I should be grateful for them - they've carried me through 2 marathons, 2 triathlons, and countless other races.  I even went as far as writing them a letter, outlining a truce.  

Through thick and thin less thick, I convinced myself that shorts just weren't for me.  Jay's old basketball shorts are my exercise shorts of choice, and I have a couple of pair Bermuda shorts and a couple trusty pair of capris when the weather calls for my legs to be exposed.

I accepted this as a result of growing into the over 30 set.  Until one day a friend of my mother's gave me a couple pair of mid length shorts.  Said friend is in her 50s, and frequently lets us go through her cast-offs before donating them.  I love her style and she buys expensive brands so its always fun to see what she has.

Those shorts got me to thinking - how can a woman with children older than me pull of the shorts if I can't?  She's in great shape, but has 2 decades on me.  (And yes, she does pull them off quite nicely.)  I began wondering if my ideas about shorts were just silly notions I got in my head that needed purged.

So...I did what anyone would do - took a twitter poll.  The results were overwhelmingly in the "wear whatever you feel comfortable in/rock those shorts."  

So...I took the conversation to Facebook.  There were a few comments in the "thunder thighs should be covered" camp (for the record, they weren't talking about me but rather large thighs in general) but there were a good portion who said that short lengths depended on too many factors to define.  

Finally I took the plunge and wore the shorts...and like a good blogger photo documented.

This pair I wore to the Repeat Boutique 70% off sale.  My mother even told me this was a good length short for me.

The night before I wore these to our town's first ghost walk.  It was a hot evening and I didn't think I'd survive in a pair of jean capris!

There are several morals to this story, but they all boil down to this: Get over yourself already!  Mostly likely the only person obsessed with what you are wearing is you.  

Apparently I need frequent reminders of a truth CS Lewis stated long ago: "Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less."

Do you have a seemingly simple life-lesson you have trouble grasping?  Or if you're not in a deep kinda mood, what length shorts do you prefer?

June 29, 2012

Financial Friday - The $15 question

This month, in a rare turn of events, Jay is almost over budget in his personal spending line-item and I am significantly under budget!  $40 to be exact.  I did, however, go over budget last month by $25, so I'm going to average those out and say I have $15 left for the month.

Given tomorrow is month-end, I've got some shopping to do!  The only problem?  I'm not quite sure what I want to spend it on.  Were I being responsible, I'd say to myself "Self, you've just bought a new house and are carrying 2 mortgages for the time being.  You should just let the extra sit in your account."

However, when I'm feeling fat I eat.  Likewise - when I feel scared about money I like to spend it.  The $15 question is "on what?"

I like the running music idea, but would need suggestions for some good new songs.  I've got plenty of books, so unless its a must read I think I'll pass.  What ideas do you have for me??

June 28, 2012

Daily Thanks - the Heat Wave Edition

I'm not feeling very thankful today, and of course I did a horrible job of keeping up with these daily (kinda the whole point).  However I find a grateful heart is most needed on days I have trouble counting my blessings.

Friday - Shorts!

A friend of my mom's gave me a pair of shorts, but until Friday I hadn't had the nerve to wear them.  Turns out {spoiler alert} they are far more flattering than the bermudas I had been wearing to cover up my legs.

Saturday - Shopping with family

With an emphasis on family.  My mother, aunt X 2, grandmother, cousin and I met up to shop the Repeat Boutique 70% off sale.  I walked out with 5 items totaling $14.09.  A disappointing result for my usual, but I  like the pieces I got.  Yet another camera/blog project to look forward to next week.

Sunday - A nap

I'm pretty sure I used this one last week too, but nothing beats a Sunday afternoon nap.  Nothing.

Monday - Community Pool

Jay and my dad worked at the new cabin on Monday afternoon, so my mom and I took them supper.  We also took a dip in the community pool that is within walking distance to the cabin.

Tuesday - Netflix Recommendations

Terri recommended the movie If a Man Answers and it finally made its way up in our queue.  Jay's not typically a fan of older movies (this one is from the 60s) but we enjoyed this one.  As always hit me up in the comments with any recommendations you have!

Wednesday - Cleaning

While I don't enjoy cleaning (okay sometimes I'll admit that I do get a weird high from it, but that's probably just the chemicals talking), I do enjoy the benefits of cleaning.  Clean toilets are their own reward.

Thursday - Chill bumps

On any given day, I'll be overheard in my office complaining about the way the HVAC is ran.  Today's forecast is putting temperatures up to 100*.  I just had to make 2 laps around the building to warm up.  While I wish I had more control over the thermostat in my office, I'm very thankful that none of my family has to work out in this heat.  

Looking back over the week, for what are you most thankful?

June 27, 2012

First World Problems

  • I've forgotten every day this week to bring my camera to work.  
  • Said camera has pictures of me in shorts.  
  • I want to do "A 30 Something's Guide to Wearing Shorts" blog post but can't without the pictures.
  • Currently, I am drinking a cup of hot chocolate.  The outside temperature is 86*; the temperature in my office is -55*.
  • My Garmin charger is fried.
  • I had to borrow a friend's Garmin at lunch, and it isn't set up to "auto lap" on the mile marker.
  • My husband has been crazy-busy getting the house ready to put up for sale, and I've been having to stay up past my bedtime to see/spend time with him.
  • The first mile of the 4 I ran at lunch today was 10:03.  So much for all my splits being under a 10 m/m pace.
  • My 3rd mile was slower than my 2nd.  So much for negative splits.
  • The restaurant my dad picked for his father's day dinner is one of the few for which Jay and I don't have gift cards.
  • I went to the community pool on Monday and I didn't meet any of my neighbors.

You know you are having a first world problem if you can spot at least once blessing in each of your gripes.  Don't worry, tomorrow's Thankful Thursday and I promise to balance all of these out.

What first world problem are you dealing with today?

June 26, 2012


I feel a little displaced at the moment.  Reading the farmhouse for the market makes me feel like its not our home anymore.  Sure I need to keep it clean, nice, but I can't pack up everything yet. Need to keep it looking "lived in" but spotless.  Yeah, right!

We're in transition, but its not time to shift yet.  Yesterday afternoon/evening Jay and my dad worked at the cabin on the landscaping.  My mom and I took them supper, then headed over to the pool.  I had hoped to meet some of my neighbors (something I vowed to do in this community that I failed to do in our last), yet I struck out swinging.

While the subdivision is made up of a mix of permanent residence, vacation homes, and overnight rentals - the only families at the pool were overnight rentals.  Instead of making friends with the neighbors, I felt like I should have had a stack of Jay's business cards.  They asked about the cost of living in the area, how much we gave for our cabin (yeah, they went there) and questions about the real estate market in general.

Likewise, I feel like I'm in a transition in my spiritual life.  I know God has big plans for me (ala Jeremiah 29:11) but we're just not there yet.  I feel like I don't belong in a typical southern church, yet the hip-and-trendy churches aren't a good fit either.

Looking at the church calendar, I get stressed about the ministry I'm involved in (funny change from this time last year huh?) yet somehow I feel like I'm not doing enough.  Not in that ministry, just over all.  I suppose my feelings betray my thoughts on my current ministry - making sure the preacher's microphone is turned off/on at the appropriate times does little to nothing to advance the kingdom.

I write my thoughts knowing they aren't true, so I suppose I need a reminder of that.

  • The audio ministry does make a difference, every time a home-bound church member receives a copy of the previous Sunday's service.
  • "Love your neighbor" doesn't just extend to the person next door who bakes you a cake on your birthday but also to the transient just passing through.
  • Love and serve God.  The place is of little consequence.  Follow Him and the rest will follow.

How are you growing in the body of Christ right now?  In what areas of your life could you use your bloggy neighbors praying with you?

In the non-spiritual side of things, what's the last nice thing you did for your flesh-and-blood neighbor?  Or they did for you?

June 22, 2012

Financial Friday - Tightening the Belt

We closed on the cabin Monday and, in theory at least, should be tightening our belts in the frugal family household.  We've seen a lot of "out go" for fixing up the farm house to get it ready to put on the market as well as already written a check or 2 for work done on the cabin.  Add (or subtract rather) to that the diminished savings for the down payment and our savings account looks pretty sad.

In the interest of full disclosure (interest *sniffle* I remember what getting interest on money was like...), we haven't planned our June budget yet.  Sad huh?  Jay's been working his hiney off and instead of money talks we've been kicking back after a long, hard day's work with our feet propped up and a cold beer in our hands.  Well, sometimes my gets lukewarm.  I drink slowly.


We've really been slack this month with our spending - on a month it should have been MORE important to pinch those pennies:

Eating out - $116.49

This includes a $40 birthday dinner, but beyond we've eaten away at it (see what I did there?) a little at a time.  I hope to end the month under $150.

Groceries - $178.78

This includes adult beverages.  I suppose I should have separated those out and put them under "entertainment" or "pissed down the toilet" but I was too lazy.  I'm sensing a theme this month...

Jay's Personal Spending - $92.93

He bought a hat to replace one that didn't survive the washing machine.  The price of dip has gone up (his favorite store changed ownership), and he found a restaurant beside his office he likes.

Brooke's Personal Spending - $68.58

I'm doing better than him for a change!  This includes one race registration, some work on my bike, and a couple of fast food visits.  I'm hitting Repeat Boutique this weekend so I need all the $$$ I can get!!

How are you doing this month on financial goals?  Have you found what truly motivates you to work toward them (or any goal)?

June 21, 2012

Daily Thanks - The On-the-Move Edition

Friday - Uno Mas!

Now that we're neck deep into it, Jay and I love watching How I Met Your Mother.  Its fun just kicking back at the end of the day, watching stupid mindless TV and saying "Uno Mas!"  when its time to click through to the next episode.  We're currently in season 5 (of 6 available for streaming) and are taking applications for the position of new favorite show.  Suggestions?

Saturday - 7 Islands

I had a beautiful trail run on Saturday at the 7 Islands Wildlife refuge.  Kinda made me sad that I haven't used this resource (only a couple minutes away from my house) more.

Sunday - Daddy & Papaw

I'm so thankful to have a wonderful father and grandfather in my life.  I'd link you to the lovely tribute I did for them, but well...(see Tuesday)

Monday - Our new home!

We've still got some work to do on it before moving in, but we closed on Monday.  EEEEEEEEEE!  and EEEEEEEEEEEK!  all at the same time.  Now to sell our current home...

Tuesday - Backup Plans

Someone *coughJaycough* forgot to renew the Frugal Trophy Wife domain, so they shut the lights off.  I'm very thankful to have this ole blog to fall back on while we get everything back up and running over there.

Wednesday - MIB3

My parents took me to the movies and dinner for a belated birthday celebration.  Great movie, great family, and cheesecake.  What more can a girl ask for?

Thursday - Total Body weights class

Sad to dump my Iron Sisters, but the workouts just weren't meshing with my current training plan (and training buddies).  We've decided to try the class again.  I'm a little skeerd though, because I'm still sore from Tuesday's class.

June 19, 2012

Judgie McJudgerson

I’m stalling again.

I get this way when I feel like I need to blog about something that won’t fall in line.  I like being accepted.  I like being liked.  I like getting lots of “spot on” comments.

I don’t like the feeling I get of stepping out into the great unknow.  I feel uncomfortable challenging the popular.  I like bandwagons.  I want you to save me a seat beside you on it.  For Pete’s sake I like the New York Yankees!  The only thing bigger than their bandwagon is the “I hate the Yankees” band wagon.

See?  Even as I type this, I’m getting off topic.  Today we’re discussing the first two chapters of Evolving in Monkey Town by Rachel Held Evans.  As an east Tennessee gal who started attending church 9 months before I was born, I can undoubtedly identify with the author’s experience.

Marla even gave us a handy (and really difficult) set of questions to aid in discussion:
1. What does it take to be saved?2. How should our faith affect our politics?3. What does Jesus think about someone like June? Is professing to believe Jesus enough to excuse a life of hatred?
I wish I could fall in line.  Talk about how I feel about politics, how I think both sides are wrong.  How I think both sides suck and my latest political strategy is to pray for Jesus to come back.  Sure, Jay’s not a Christian and would be up crap creek if Jesus came back today.  But I mean, really, he’s had his shot – no one’s fault but his own for not taking it sooner.

{Yes, I really do feel this way.  Not sure why I thought I’d be a good candidate for North American Missions when I mostly feel like everyone in North America knows about Jesus – or at least our distorted American Jesus.  I also know that this attitude is piss-poor and totally not one with which Jesus agrees.}

Stop getting distracted from the point Brooke!  Out with it!!!

4. What else in these 2 chapters do you want to talk about?

 The “something else” I want to talk about isn’t the content of chapter 2, but rather my attitude toward chapter 2.  As I was reading it, something didn’t feel right.  While I could easily agree with Rachel’s assessment of June-the-horrible-no-good-is-she-really-a-Christian-lady, something just didn’t fit right.

I couldn’t put my finger on it until this morning.  We’re judging the judgmental lady woman.  Worse than that – we’re judging a caricature someone else has painted of her.  We’re point our finger at how awful and horrible and vile she is, yet aren’t we also awful and horrible and vile?   Don’t we need the blood of Jesus to cover our offenses just as much as June?  Just as much as the people June is judging?

Being judgmental is something with which I struggle on a consistent basis.  Don’t believe me?  Travel upward in the blog to the point where I judge everyone not saved at age 8 like me.  I don’t know the solution, beyond begging for grace and mercy in my  life and trying my hardest not to get cranky when God provides the same grace and mercy to someone of whom I don’t approve.