Dailies... How we spent our time, money, energy and what we ate. An accountability process.

Ok, so this is the first post of our 'Dailies' feature... I didn't get a chance to do it last night because I wasn't sure how it was all going to shake out and Kyle was running out the door for game night at One Up, so I didn't get a chance to sit and interview him about his first day on our new plan. What I gathered and what I can contribute from my own experience is this:

We spent about $30 dollars between the two of us on groceries/meals (I bought a coffee and low fat cheese sticks for breakfast yesterday and he bought two slices of Pizza for supper... the rest was spent at the grocery store) This only happened because a) I haven't been shopping in a while and b) we were both on the run... I woke up late and didn't have time to grab anything, anyway and he didn't have time to stay home long enough for me to make something. I think we can remedy these occurrences when he starts getting regular paychecks again. I have big plans for going back to shopping at the farmer's market and cooking more often/pre-preparing meals for the week. Anyway, I usually spend a lot more on snacks and drinks while I'm at work... mostly because I get so bored that I end up emotionally eating, just to keep from going crazy. Thinking about having to share all that with you guys pushed me to abstain. It's embarrassing how I have spent my days here and I am happy that I can be open and honest about my relationship with this job and what's become of me being here. It feels good to talk about it, to address it and hopefully definitely kick its ass! More importantly, kick my own ass. Sorry for the language, I just need to get super intense right now about all of this. I digress.

Now I have to share about how I ate. It's not going to be pretty... The day started off ok. I ate one and a half low fat cheese sticks, two packs of instant oatmeal, coffee with french vanilla creamer and sugar (its all toxic, I'm aware, but its a step up from where I've been, trust me) I then just drank water for the rest of the day because I didn't bring lunch with me and I didn't want to spend any more money out... But I didn't really feel hungry, so I let it go. By the time I got around to 5 o'clock, I still wasn't hungry but I was so stressed out from being supremely bored, anxious, tired and feeling trapped at my desk in addition to my excruciating commute home in the dark that I got out of control when I went home. I had sushi AND mac & cheese plus a piece of pumpkin cheesecake and chips. I then felt too tired to do anything that I wanted to accomplish and I promptly laid down with Ellie and watched cheesy Christmas movies until 1:30 am. Kyle did a little better, I think. Oatmeal for breakfast, eggs for lunch and pizza for supper with chips as a snack. Not the healthiest but he didn't eat a bunch of snacks like we are used to. I still need to research the two diets we are thinking about switching to. We really do have a desire to eat better and more healthfully, we are just trying to cut back on the junk and get a better grip on how to feed ourselves well. More specifically for me, get over my addiction and stop eating when I can't handle my life.

As far as the other things I want to try to start doing on the daily, I didn't read or pray, budget my time or do any chores. I don't know that Kyle did either. But he IS already up to season 6 of Doctor Who, so he will be ready for the Christmas Day regen... haha. I'm joking, but still. It's all a work in progress and so far, it has already inspired us to be a little more intentional. That's all I wanted. I pray that we will continue to think and grow in this way and talk to each other more and more.

I'm not going to be able to post the link to any of my social media until later tonight, because, guess what!! Our phones got shut off yesterday!! Haha. I'm not upset. Just another obstacle to overcome. And we WILL overcome.

Thank you all for the continued support and encouragement. XO!

Currently listening to: Desert Soul by Rend Collective Experiment


Budget & Debt Snowball

As promised, I want to update the details of our budget meeting and debt snowball. Probably, our debt snowball will be on pause for a little bit while we get ourselves together, but I will keep everything update as neccessary.

Budget 12/1/13:
Phone bill for November $400 (putting my cashed out sick days onto this immediately, $170)
Car for November $180 (paying this week with my last Nov. paycheck)
Water for November $60 ($30 today, $30 with next bill)
Electric for November $299 ($75 today, $225 with Kyle's first paycheck)

Tires for Kyle $300 (Kyle's first paycheck)
Spark plugs, brakes, oil change for me $100 (Kyle's first paycheck)

Regular expenses:

Electric 70
Water 70
Gas 180
Sewer 20
Auto/Home ins 125
Fuel 200
Life insurance 37
Alarm 37
Internet 75
Hulu 8
Car 180
Gym 25
Host Gator 10
Pets 75
House Supplies 50
Phfa 54
Food 300
Phone 400

We have decided to stop paying the credit cards for now because there's a lot more important things on our plate at the moment... like eating and keeping the lights on. Also, as soon as we are caught up with the phone bill, I'm going to see what I can do about making it cheaper. I may be going back to an inexpensive phone for the moment. You'll notice that our mortgage isn't included in this budget and that is because we are in the process of a short sale. I don't have the energy to talk much more about the house; it has already sucked more life and energy from me than I'd like to admit. You can use google if you are curious about all that a short sale entails. As soon as Kyle gets his first paycheck, we are going to catch up our utilities, take care of some neccessities, (such that I have on my list: new tires for my car, house repairs, get all of our pets to the vet) and then as much as we can is going to go into saving up 3-6 months of rent for our new place in Philly.

Also, here is our debt snowball... We are going to begin working through this, smallest to largest (because we all need wins to keep us going... at the point that we get intense, interest rates don't matter...)

Medical bills:
$2, 623.19

Lindsay $281
HSBC $387
Capitol One $348.70
Belden $469.55
Kyle Best Buy $579.31
Express $590.32
Usaa $600
Capitol One $610
Alana Best Buy $789
Boscov's $798
Lowes $959
Chase $988
Citizens $1900
$9, 299.88

Car $2600
PHFA $3672.25
$6, 272.25

Racc $789
BTI $2755
School $45,000.00
$48, 544.00

All Together: $66, 739.32
Paid: $24, 480.07

More to come later with our daily update. Thanks for tuning in!



The Fadigans Move Forward...

This is my first post from the mobile app. Hopefully, it turns ok. You'll have to let me know, because I probably won't see this post from a desktop until tomorrow morning. 

Anyway, Kyle and I had our first budget meeting in a very long time. Although, a little frustrating trying to stretch every dollar, it felt really good to be working on the problem together. I was very grateful that he was so understanding and thoughtful about his input. No fighting this time. I will post the details of our meeting tomorrow, as my notes are away already and I'm in the bath. I really just want to give you a run down of the new features that I will be running on Girl Forward that highlight mine and Kyle's journey as we restart our debt free goals and spiritual/mental/physical strengthening. 

Kyle and I decided that we are much more likely to follow through with our goals and plans if we had an audience and readers to be accountable to. With that in mind, I'm going to be faithful to record our progress here. This is tentatively what the blog schedule for posts featuring Kyle and me will look like: 

First of the month: monthly budget and debt snowball progress. 

Weekly ( I haven't decided which days yet) : Mine and Kyle's health numbers, body fat, weight, inches etc. We have made a committment to ourselves and each other to get into better physical shape. Not only are we going to work out but I'm going to research between two plant based diets and see which one works best for us. Also, weekly, I'm going to include progress of house projects as we attempt to fix up the house for resale. Sundays, I'll update each of our take away from the morning's service. 

Daily: We figured if we had to be honest about what we were spending our money on, what we were eating and doing with our time, we'd be more intentional about all of it. So daily, I'll post mini updates of all of those things. 

We have lived a prodigal life for the last five years; our unrealized motto being 'Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die' .... I have no desire to live a frivolous and wasted life any longer. Neither of us do. Kyle says we had to learn things the hard way so that we'll never do it again. His words are true and I am interested in righting our ship to the proper course. Desperately, as apparently is needed. 

Please stay with us as we sort through our mess and learn to live well. 


I think a good way to start my clean slate is to finish up my list of things I'm thankful for from my participation in November's facebook tradition. My fb app isn't showing my entire wall, so I forgot where I stopped but I think I need to finish up with like ten things. Here goes:

*I'm going to say it, even if I don't always feel it and I complain about it pretty often because it gives me anxiety and panic attacks, I AM grateful to have a job and getting a paycheck, particularly at this time in Kyle & my's life. The problem I have, is that I am often thinking about the next step of my journey. I know that I am not meant to be a rate surveyor for the rest of my life. I get resentful when people start telling me to be grateful and that being hopeful or wanting to dream is stupid and that 'nothing is out there'... I've had that argument more than I can wrap my head around and so my attitude has soured, and it's mostly because of people forcing their ideas down my throat. I don't care about this economy being weak... that has nothing to do with my ability to get my dream gig... there's people getting jobs and being successful because they persistently made hilarious vines or ridiculous songs... The creative spirit is alive and well and I still choose to believe in that and that it will get me out of here someday. When I am grieving over the job I have, it's because I know where I am going and I'm getting a little impatient. I'm a caged bird and that's all there is to it. That being said, yes, having money to pay bills is great, that doesn't mean it doesn't feel like a burden sometimes. I have been homeless, I have had so little, I have eaten meals in cars because there was no place to go... that has never dampened my happiness or broken my spirit. Money isn't the most important thing in the world to me. We've had enough money to pay the bills and buy a house, but that didn't make our marriage better or our dreams come true. I think what is happening is that I have a different view of the world but I allowed myself to go down a road that wasn't fitting to me. I realize it now and what seems like ungratefulness is my unwillingness to be satisfied in a costume that doesn't fit. I'd give up everything to be fulfilled and have honest and real relationships. So maybe this job is more than a paycheck, it's making me realize what I don't want. That being said, we made the choices we made and now we have to clean up our mess. I will cherish this job as best as I can insofar as it helps us pay off our debt and dig ourselves out of this house and the needless consumption that comes along with it. Sorry for that small rant, I have just been struggling with people forcing the idea on me that 'this is the best I'll ever get'... I'm seeking excellence for myself... There's no shame in that.

*I'm grateful for my husband. There's so much of my heart that I want to pour out over this sentence but I know it'll never be a complete thought because we are always growing and changing. God is teaching me a lot through my marriage and I can't wait to see how He uses the both of us together. I've never loved anybody like I love Kyle. Being with him has made me understand what real love is. I'm going to be admittedly cheesy and say that Pat Benetar's famous 80s song, Love Is A Battlefield comes to my mind and is fairly accurate. I used to get mad that Kyle wasn't more romantic in the traditional sense. I wanted more flowers and poetry. What I found in the last five years is that I fall more in love with him when he takes the trash out so I don't have to; when he helps me figure out how to navigate through a problem, when he gets up early and comes to church with me, when he holds me and lets me cry when things get unbearable- even if he doesn't know what to say. I fall more in love with him when I feel unlovable and he stays. I was raised with the idea of conditional love. Kyle has been a living example of sticking it out when the love and marriage is messy. I love when he admits when he's messed up instead of turning it around on me like others have done. I love how he is quick to forgive me when I mess up. He may have been my lover in the beginning, but he truly has become my best friend.

*I'm grateful for my relationship with Jesus Christ. It's the only thing that has saved my life. Some people don't understand why I'd put my hope in someone I can't see but the truth is, I CAN see Him. I see how He's changed me and is still changing me. The days that I am the most hopeful, positive, fulfilled and uplifted are the days I have spent praying and reading The Word. The days when I am struggling, complaining and hard-hearted are when I haven't been seeking His face. You become like the people you spend time with. I love the person I become when I spend time with God. That's not to say that things get easier, everything just becomes dim compared to the glory and peace I find in His refuge. I have a lot of goals but the only thing I truly care about, at the heart of my life, is living a life seeking God and becoming more of the person He intended me to be.

*I am grateful for the relationships that I have that are genuine and edifying. I have realized that nothing in this life is more important than our relationships. If everything was stripped away, that is all we'd have. I give honest thanks for the people who have cared to connect with me and stick around even when I couldn't always be the person I should have or could have been.

*I'm grateful that someday, I will be the person I want to be. I'm grateful that I still have hope in my bones, even when they get tired. I'm grateful that I still have the desire to be a healthy, happy and whole person, however long it may be taking me to get there. There journey is making me stronger.

*A little shallow, comparatively, but I am really grateful for music. It has been my catalyst sometimes where words alone fail. It has helped me survive this job when my mind is weak and bored. It has helped me get up and move when my body was tired. It has helped me mend from break ups and inspired my creativity. It has helped me say things I didn't know how to say. It helped me fall in love with my husband when he made me mixes of things he didn't know how to say either. It has inspired connection and community with other people, as well.

*I'm grateful for the opportunity to share my words. I guess that means I'm grateful for blogs and social media, which seems lame when I say it out loud but for me, it has been an invaluable tool to express myself in the way that is most potent to me; writing. I think it will be vital to jump-starting my career.

*I'm grateful for derby. And every other physical activity that has captivated my attention for a time. I have been estranged for a bit but I'm grateful for the things that are more interesting than simply going to the gym. They have pulled me out of my funk more times than I can count and I hope to get back to them soon.

*I'm grateful for the curious heart I have. That I have a never satiated desire to learn, to read, to grow, to explore, to travel. I believe that once I break out of these self inflicted chains, I will be unstoppable.

*I'm grateful to be a misfit. Normal sucks and no one gets remembered for being bland. I may be kind of mess but I bet it keeps people talking. I'm rocking what I got.

I have another blog entry coming tonight after Kyle and I have our first budget meeting of our 'Clean Slate'... Thanks for tuning into this candid entry.


Currently listening to: Rock What You Got by Superchick


New Features and blog schedule coming!!! I'm like, almost going to be a real blog!

TWO posts in one day, that has to be a record!

Well, I've been learning a lot about intentionality, lately and I realize that being intentional has a lot to do with how much progress a person makes in their goals and pursuits. Ok, those two things are almost directly related. I have tried again and again to achieve things that are really important to me, but a lot of things happen in between me making my initial goal and when it fizzles out like a crappy cherry bomb. Fear of success and commitment, depression, daylight savings aka when-it-gets-too-dark-out-to-see-and-i-come-home-and-dont-feel-like-doing-anything-after-work, not writing down my plans and deadlines, being sloppy and unintentional.... Now, with the impending move and some of the things Kyle and I have been talking about lately, I don't really have a choice but to succeed. We no longer have the option of being financially cavalier, not well managed or unhealthy. It is absolutely, positively time to be grown ups. And I plan to share all the hairy details, right here on Girl Forward. I am going to build up the community around this blog and be faithful to post consistently and stick to a features schedule. Accountability is the only thing that is going to work with us and the flip side of that coin, is that I pray that we can be an encouragement to people who are facing the same kinds of issues. Girl Forward will not only feature my growth experiences as a young, Christian woman, but also the things Kyle and I face as an out-of-our-depth-but-desperately-trying-to-succeed young, married couple. We have lived normal... now we are going to get weird and change our lives.
Please come with us on our journey and cheer us on as we get gazelle intense and intentional.

I'll be working on changing the features and coming up with a schedule for when you can expect new posts (look I'm already starting my new intentional life!!!! Can I get an AMEN!)


Being intentional about life, purpose, career and plans. What we are doing over the next weeks and year.

I've got a couple of things on my mind this morning.

I keep writing more than I mean to about something I've been encountering lately. I don't want to speak too much negativity, I think I did enough of that yesterday. All I want to say is that I made a conscious decision to be an open book for people. I made that choice to be relate-able and encouraging. There isn't much I edit, purely for the sake of being genuine. To that point, I am on a journey and where my thoughts are poor sometimes, there is usually a subsequent pattern of growth. I'm not going to go into why I'm explaining this but if you didn't understand my vision for this blog and my life, I hope you do now. That is all I have to say about that.

Secondly, and more exciting... I listened to a book called Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work That Matters. JON ACUFF has written more than one book on the topic of finding fulfilling work, so in case you were wondering where I got this 'grande idea' of loving your work, I'll point you in the direction of someone who's done it, even in 'this crazy economy where no one can find jobs!!!!!' While you're at it, check out DAVE RAMSEY, too. They'll rock your ideas about money, careers, purpose, family and financial planning.  I digress. Jon Acuff shared an in depth audit that I am going to do about putting an action plan in place to pursue my dreams. The problem I've always had is a) committing to a career and b) figuring out where to start. Now that I got married to writing as a career, I was sort of at a loss about what step to take next. I'm going to be spending the next couple of weeks making a plan. I can't wait to get started.

Thirdly,  Kyle and I are moving. Yes. Moving. Back to Philadelphia, hopefully around the spring/summer time. We still have some things to work out but the house is on the market and we are actively working on packing and down-sizing. If you haven't heard it from us yet, this is the official announcement! We are more than excited to be going back to our old community, friends, church and neighborhood. That's not to say I'm not crushed about leaving behind my mom and dad, sister, brother-in-law and niece plus all of the amazing friends I have made here over the last ten years. My comfort, in that respect, is that now instead of making weekend trips to Philly, we will be packing up the car and heading to good ol' Berks county for friendly visits! We just feel that going back to the city will offer some better opportunities for us and a chance to heal and lick our wounds from the last five years. If you've been following along, we've been through some tough stuff. However, we are not giving up, we are re-grouping and moving forward. We are excited, passionate and purposeful about our future.

That is all for now!! XO.


How Long by Bradley Hathaway

 How Long

 My first experience with Bradley Hathaway was at Purple Door festival a million hours ago. I was intrigued by the large banner in front of his table that read, "I will windmill kick you in the face..." I only later got to listen to the spoken word poetry that this one line zinger was written for. It was a comment on hardcore kids acting like tools and how its really a guise for genuine insecurity. I loved it. You can read it HERE. This picture spent a long time as my lock screen on my phone:

Anyway, when I found the love of my life and got engaged, my mom handed me the album, The Thing That Poets Write About The Thing That Singers Sing About. I skipped through it and in my all-things-tulle-and-glitter psychosis, I became obsessed with one song in particular. After the wedding, I put together a video of all the photos and featured Like Socrates Loved the Truth (So Do I Love You) in the background. (I gave credit at the end, I swear!) It's a super cute song and I felt like Mr Hathaway had sat down and asked me how I felt about my fiance and then wrote a song about it.

When all the wedding hubbub died down and we were left with the realness of what being married means...and I suddenly felt a little short of proverbial breath...I found good ol' Bradley again. This time, a piece titled, A Conversation, that was almost a half an hour long and it was a couple talking about what it really means to be married. It was comforting, raw and honest. It has helped me push through when things have been difficult in my marriage. 

Coming to love Bradley Hathaway's work has been like getting to know someone who turns out to be a really good friend. You can always trust that they'll have some good insights into life and be there when you need them. His poems and songs are always pregnant with truth and ideas that make you think about life beyond what you actually see in the daily grind.

Alas, this is not a review of his career or character or my experience with his work, this is a review for his new album, How Long. I just wanted to get you excited. So here we go! 

I downloaded the album a week or two ago and I have been listening to it end to end. Besides the usual epicness of thought and prose that goes into a B.H. album, the folky melodies and rythyms are gorgeous and haunting. That alone could be enough to accompany a long country drive with only you and your thoughts. But does he stop with just a symphony of sound that quietly echoes that of Johnny Cash, some folk and a little bluegrass? No. The words and lyrics are eloquent and poetic, as always. 

Bradley explores themes like lost love, broken families, searching for the meaning of love, the legacy we leave behind, brokenness, and redemption.

He is very honest, as I said, in his song writing. A couple of times, while listening to How Long, he used some phrases that shocked me at first because I didn't expect it, but then I was glad that he said them. He doesn't sugar coat his thoughts. Even though he is a poet and is entitled to flowery phrases, he directly says the thing we are all dancing around. He is a subscriber to my own sensibilities of being forthright and honest, even if the truth is ugly. Maybe that is why I like him so much.

This record, decidedly, is a broken heart. When I listen through, I get the feeling of every good moment I ever had, frozen in time. I remember the things that I had that were lovely but I lost them or I couldn't hold onto them. The things that I find myself reflecting on once in a while that stay impressed upon my heart like flowers in a book. 

This album makes me feel what it feels like after I've been broken and the healing begins. The pain is there, but not so fresh. The overlap of letting go, finally and moving forward. It is every bit nostalgic, bittersweet, thoughtful, intense, full of growth and yearning to begin again; to be new.

There are a couple of snappy tunes in the mix, seemingly weightless with happy piano notes, flowy female vocals and peppy step inducing wind instruments but they are still reflective and heavier than they appear.

My favorite song so far, is track number 9, called.... So Far. It is about the things that different people struggle with and break their hearts over and how Jesus is always there when each person is faced with themselves. I also really like how he illustrates that sometimes, coming home to Jesus isn't always like falling on your face and wanting to be new again right away. Sometimes, you just don't know what to say or even how to pick up the pieces, so you sit quiet. The second verse of the song goes:

She wakes up in a strangers bed
Used condoms on the floor
She quickly covers up and puts on her dress
She's sore
She drives back alone to her apartment
Jesus is waiting up for her
She is not forgotten
Tears on her cheek as warm as the night
 Jesus holds her hands
and he squeezes them tight

This particularly resonated with me because among drugs, alcohol, relationships and food, I have also used sex to fill in the empty places of my heart. When those things inevitably fail, it is my Jesus who picks up the pieces and makes me new again. 

In the event that you missed everything I said before this, I really loved the album! I completely and wholeheartedly  recommend it for it's truth, beauty and insight into that very real part of life that no one really likes to talk about; the broken and bittersweetness... the low lows. The good news is, it's not depressing. It is not an album about sorrow, just to be clear. It is about recognizing that no one is above being broken. But there is always hope. 

This album drops on November 5th. Go buy it. 

You can find it at