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.