Monthly Archives: October 2013

What are you training for?

The next challenge on my bucket list is to run a 10K.  I picked out my race, and I’ve been training for the past two months.  It’s been ROUGH.  I saw this picture on Pinterest, and it describes my training perfectly!when I runI ran a lot in high school, but I stopped somewhere between starting full-time work and getting married.  I didn’t mean to stop, but it just happened.  I’m glad to be back.  Running helps me clear my mind–mostly because I’m too busy focusing on not DYING.

Even though I look like a HOT MESS, the scenery is beautiful.  Here’s the view from the trail I run.

view

All my training got me to thinking about… training.  We’re all training for something, even if we don’t realize it.  We’re training to be spouses, partners, employees, friends, family members.  Essentially, whatever you do is training.  Just like training for a race, sometimes training hurts. A lot.  Sometimes, we slack off and don’t train as hard as we could. Sometimes, we train for the wrong thing.

Like Pink and Rick.  They’re in training to be the worst dogs in America.  This is what they did last weekend.  They trained to be “Captains of Destruction!”

water bowl destroyed

And… they trained on eating a wooden bench.  I asked them, “why did you do this?  Is getting splinters in your mouth fun?”

They just smiled.  I think Rick gave me a wink.

dogs eat wood

Sometimes, our training makes us mad.  My nephew dog is training to be a turkey.  He’s not happy about it.

dog in turkey suit

We’re all training for something.  I think knowing what you’re training for puts your life in prospective.  It’s not easy to be intentional with your time, but sometimes if you lose sight of what you’re training for, you get lost.  By knowing what you want to be, you can make sure your habits and actions line up.  Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.  Yesterday, I got lost in some serious Netflixing– and I didn’t go running.  Today, I’m going to try again.  Here’s a list of what I want to train for.

Here’s what I should be training for: running a 10K, being a supportive wife, family member, and friend.

Here’s what I’m actually training for: driving (a lot), being the best Sons of Anarchy watcher, complaining about being tired.

What are you training for?

 

Driving for (almost) free–part 2

Remember when I told you how I drove for free for the past two years?  Well, I have a huge announcement: my mom drives for (almost) free, too.

My  mom drove this Jeep Grand Cherokee for the last 12 years.

jeep2

It has 234,000 miles on it, and it has lots of quirks, including: no air conditioning, the back hatch won’t stay open, it makes funny rattles and pops, and sometimes the power steering goes out.  Despite all it’s problems, my mom loved her Jeep.  She said after it hit 200,000 miles, it started driving better than it had in years.  I thought driving a car for 12 years was crazy, but apparently my mom is right on trend with this latest financial advice from Suze Orman.

Let’s talk numbers.  In 2001, my parents gave around $4000 for this Jeep (after it had been rolled in a wreck, more about fixing up wrecked cars here).  After my dad got done fixing it up, it cost them around $6,000.  This comes out to about $500 A YEAR– or $41 A MONTH.  DANNNNNNGGGGGG!

Because the Jeep wouldn’t last forever, my mom started looking for a new car.   She wanted a Buick Lacrosse.  She waited for 12 years; she deserves it, right?  Well… almost.   They couldn’t find a Lacrosse with the right kind of damage that my dad could fix, so they widened their search.  They found fully loaded Ford Taurus for a steal, so we’re calling it her, “LaTaurus.”

It was hit in the side…

mom car 2

But, after some of my dad’s handiwork, it’s perfect!

taurus1And loaded with some nice extras, including a DVD player! She so fancy!

mom car 4

If you can’t find me when we go up to my parent’s house for Christmas, I’ll be in the “LaTaurus.”

Let’s talk numbers on this one.  After buying it and getting it fixed up, it cost about $10,000.  If my mom drives it for the next 12 years, she will have paid around $833 A YEAR for it– or $69 A MONTH.  Not bad!

Do you keep cars forever? What’s the most miles you’ve ever seen on a car?

What my cookie told me…

I went on a road trip last weekend.  I got to spend time with a two of my longest friends.   We’ve been friends since we were 12.  They’ve seen me through braces, a broken nose, really bad haircuts, really bad clothes, and of course, an embarrassing addiction to the Lion King soundtrack.

I wanted to make a list of all the funny things that happened, but that would take too much space.  So, here’s a group selfie.  It looks like I have a crazy eye in this picture, but I picked it because my hair looks good.  I’ll sacrifice eyes for hair any day of the week.

friends

On the road trip, I got a fortune cookie from one of my favorite Memphis restaurants.  I love fortune cookies.  They taste like crunchy vanilla cardboard.  And, they can predict the future. What more could you ask for?!?

I slowly cracked open my cookie.  Removing one side then the other.  I was really surprised (and excited) by what it said.

fortune cookie

This isn’t the first time a cookie has spoken to me, but usually it says, “Eat me.”

Or, “Eat all my friends.”

Since I always follow directions from cookies, I’m hope this fortune will come true.  Unfortunately, I still had to pay for my meal.  Clearly my cookie didn’t tell my server about the plan.

What’s the best fortune you’ve ever received?

Free Budget Forms Friday

Hey all,

On Tuesday I promised to give you free budget forms.  Here’s a picture of the first page.

Monthly Budget-1

Here are the rest of the forms:

Monthly Budget

I tried to make them look cute, because studies show people are more likely to use cute budget forms.  It’s scientific.  These are based on our budgeting system of using two categories “weekday money” and “weekend money” in place of categories like restaurants, entertainment, random stuff.  So, check them out!  Let me know what you think.

If you like them and want to customize them for yourself, just leave a comment and I will email you the file.

Also, since this blog is supposed to be about dogs, Pink and Rick have been up to some SHENANIGANS lately.

1.  They ate an entire newspaper.

pink and rick destroy

The strange part is, we’re not sure how they got the newspaper into the backyard.  Our yard is surrounded by a fence, and our neighbors don’t like dogs, so they don’t go back there.  I think Pink and Rick must have snuck it in while I wasn’t watching.

2.  They ate our neighbor kids’ ball.

I asked the kids if they tried to get it back, but they said that Rick kept pawing at it when they tried to lift it over the fence.

3.  They flooded the yard…again.

They love turning the water hose on in the backyard.  Hours later, “surprise!” our yard is flooded.  I thought they were over doing this, but apparently not.  I came home on Tuesday to a yard full of water.

I hope you have the best weekend.

Budget Battles and Bears–Exclusive Pics!

It’s that time again.  The time of year when my husband goes crazy for a male.  A male named Mr. Buck.  I try not to talk about it much, but he’s a pretty avid hunter.  I’m not okay with it– I get flashbacks of Bambi and Free Willy–but, I’m trying to get used to it.

There is one perk to hunting season.  I get to see some pretty cool animal pictures on his game camera (in case you don’t know what a game camera is–it’s a camera hunters tie up in the woods to spy on animals).  Check out this bear he got a picture of.  I love him!  I named him Katy Beary.  Mr. Katy Beary.

bear pic

And…check out these battling bucks.

game camera deer

This picture reminds me of something we’ve been battling over for…ever.  Budgeting.  Budgeting is like these two deer.  You’re constantly pushing and pulling–your responsible side vs. your impulsive side, a surprise expense vs. your budget, or you vs. your partner.

The scary truth is, we’ve been miserable at budgeting for a really long time.  Here’s what would happen.  We would sit down to write a budget.  Then, I would spend a little more buying groceries than budgeted.  Then, Mr. We’ve Had Them Since They Were Tiny would buy more gas station food than budgeted.  Then, I go out to eat lunch more times than budgeted.  Then, he would buy more gas station food.  Then, I would buy shoes.  Then, he would buy more gas station food.  Then, I would buy a new car (just kidding, you know I drive for free!)  Our attempts at budgeting would ALWAYS escalates into a race to drain the bank account.  It wasn’t what we planned.  It wasn’t what either of us wanted.  But, we couldn’t stop.  We locked horns when it came to budgeting.

Until… we came up with a new plan.  It’s kind of a hybrid plan that has been working for the last couple months–which is about 60 days longer than anything ever worked before.  Want the scoop?

First, we sit down and do a budget.  We list all our income for the month.  Then, we list all our monthly bills.  Whatever we have over that we aren’t saving/paying off debt with is our spending money.  This is where we would usually get into a messy swiping spree–because we didn’t know how to budget for restaurants, entertainment, shoes, and… gas station food.  It just got too complicated.  So, we combined all these messy categories into two types of spending.

1.  Weekly spending money.  This is money we both get to spend however we want to during the week.

2.  Weekend spending money.  This is money we use together for the weekend to spend however we want to.

Here’s a real life example: you could agree that both of you gets $30 during the week to spend on whatever, and for the weekend you get $80 to spend together.  Whatever you decide, make sure to take that money out as cash at the beginning of the week, this way the swiping wars don’t start.

This may or may not work for you, but finding a way to get a handle on your budget is beary good for anyone’s…bucks.

Also, on Friday I’m going to post some budgeting forms I made for us so watch out for those, just don’t shoot!

Oh, and a huge shout out to my sister.  It’s her birthday!