Spending Less this Summer: 2016

My husband and I are currently working on paying off our combined debt; however, while we are on a budget, we also enjoy our weekend activities. Therefore, we’re always on the lookout for ways to spend time together outside our home, without spending a ton of money.

Since we only got married in May, the past 2 months we’ve just been learning how to live together, so we spend a lot of time grocery shopping together, cooking, or taking care of other household chores. Before we got married we used to eat out a lot, but we have tried to cut back on those expenses, now we try to meal prep and cook more at home. (It’s like playing tetris when we try to put our prepped items in the freezer, lol.)

Speaking of cooking…about a month into our wedding someone at work asked me if I was pregnant, lol. (That’s what happens when you have a husband that enjoys cooking and likes to feed you!) So, that same day I messaged my hubby to let him know I was ready to start working out. He’d been trying (unsuccessfully) to get me to go running with him, previously, so he was happy about my decision to join him. One way we save in this area, is by using the gym in our apartment complex instead of paying for a gym membership. We’re already paying for the amenity with our rent, so we might as well use it. It’s pretty basic–some treadmills, a stationary bike, ellipticals, free-weights, and a few machines. Yet, while it may not have all the fancy equipment found at a bigger gym, Pinterest, as we all know, is full of home workouts that we can ad to our routines. We’ve also walked/run along a 3-mile path that goes around our local city and along the river.

Earlier this summer, we also attended a free, local event along the river called “Rock the River FBXB.” There were local vendors, foods trucks, musicians, a beer garden, boat races, hikes, bike rides, foot races, and plenty of children’s activities. We spent most of our time chatting with friends, but the weather was great, dogs abounded, and the music was loud. We had fun! In our area, there are numerous free or low-cost summer concerts: First Friday concerts in downtown Market Square, Stafford Songfest Sundays at John Lee Pratt Memorial Park, and Celebrate Virginia Afterhours are just a few. We’ve been meaning to check out the concerts at Pratt Memorial Park and take along a picnic basket with us, but we haven’t had the opportunity, yet. Be sure to check your local area for similar events.

Independence Day weekend we went camping with my family in Shenandoah National Park. While we did have to pick up some new camping gear–a tent & sleeping bag, for two–the campsites were decently priced! If you already have the gear, or can find a really good deal on equipment, tenting is always an option for a weekend getaway.IMG_3650

Lastly, one of the activities we’ve been attempting to participate in each month (since January 2016, actually) is what we call our First Friday Karoake Night. Every Friday night, beginning around 9:30-10, our local Applebees hosts a karaoke night. They also have half-priced appitizers afer 9, so that doesn’t hurt, either. ūüėČ We usually text all our friends to join us on the first Friday of each month, but whether it’s just the two of us, or a crowd, we usually enjoy ourselves. Check to see if any of your local restaurants host karaoke nights, if this is something your interested in.

Well, that’s it for this year’s low-budget summer activity list! Let me know below how you’ve been filling up your summer, or what upcoming plans you already have.

Emotional Defeat

I woke up this morning, with the intent to write about hypocrisy. However, it seems that as my day progressed, and my tormentor discovered he was nowhere near breaking me–as he’s been attempting to do these past few weeks–he moved on to the thing that always trips me up…my emotions.

It began at my doctor’s appointment. I’ve been praying, hoping, and waiting for healing, for a few years now (about 7). In fact, I stopped praying¬†for healing not too long ago, because I figured God just doesn’t want to heal me, because if he did, then he would have done it by now. I’ve just accepted that it’s a part of my life and I just have to deal with it. However, recently, I’ve been reminded a few times not to give up and to continue requesting healing, so I sat there¬†praying again, while I waited for the doctor to come in.

Finally, my doctor comes in…Last time I was in her office, she was pregnant, and now, she explains to me, her son is two months. As she’s telling me about the delivery I notice her eyes move toward my left hand and I get the feeling that she wants to ask me if I plan on having any children, but as she realizes I’m not married, she withholds the question.

As she moves forward with the appointment, she apologizes for taking so long, and explains that she had a 16-year old patient that she was talking over things with (did I mention this is an OB/GYN¬†appointment?). I had seen¬†the girl in the waiting room and I wanted so desperately¬†to shake the girl and¬†tell her to wise up! To tell her she didn’t want to¬†be like me!

I headed home after the appointment feeling completely defeated. Feeling unloved, undesired, alone…I see my friends with their families–children and husbands–every day, and I don’t feel like this…but today…*big sigh* I guess my emotions have just gone haywire. I’m sure I’ll feel better in the morning.

Lord, please be with me; I know You love me and have a plan for me and I’m sure it’s much more than what I could ever imagine or accomplish on my own. In times like these, I need your strength and comfort more than anything else; and I want to know that I haven’t been forgotten.

Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6-7)

Thank You for reminding me.