Monday, September 28, 2009

Just when I needed it...

I'm in some crazy weird place this week, and I've been considering blogging about my current state which is a bizarre intersection of complete stress over finding a job when I graduate, freaking out over my final project, and in the middle of it all questioning both what on earth I was thinking when I decided to go back to school in order to totally change careers and if I can actually do what I'm hoping to.

Then I read this post over at my friend Sara's blog, and I think it was just what the doctor ordered. So instead of trying not to throw up over my current worries, I'm going to try a little more believing in myself and the One who I'm convinced sent me on this journey. Thanks, Sara, you rock.

Originally posted at:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I am a 5K runner... kind of

Last year, I worked like crazy for several months to run a 5K, which I did in October. It was great! Since then... well, I've not been as diligent in my exercising, and I definitely would only be able to run 5K right now because I would force myself... but it would not be pretty.

So the annual 5K I participate in is coming up in 5 weeks, and I'd love to run it again. So, I'm forcing myself to get to the gym 3 times a week between now and then so I can at least say I've given it my best shot. I want to be able to say "I am a 5K runner" not just "I ran a 5K once."

I have a friend who is training for a 10K right now, and another friend who is training for a marathon. A marathon! Part of me - OK, nearly all of me - cringes at the thought. Seriously, this 5K (3 mile) thing is hard for me, I'd have to be completely nuts to try 26.2 miles. (YOU, marathon friend, YOU are NOT nuts. You are amazing and inspiring. Sanity judgments are reserved for me only.)

But a little part of me, this voice in the back of my head, wonders if I could do it too. This is the same voice that watched the finish of the women's triathalon during the last summer Olympics and wished I was a brilliant enough athlete to win something that amazing. Probably not, but it's fun to dream a little. Sometimes a crazy dream is the thing that gets me through the last 5 minutes of my puny training run at the gym.

Originally posted at:

Monday, September 14, 2009

"I hate you!"

I don't hear these words very often. But I do hear them. Usually in the winter. Usually when I'm talking to a friend who lives somewhere that it snows. Usually when they ask me about the whether where I live. Well, I live in San Diego, so unless it's one of those infrequent days where it's pouring rain or on fire around here, or if it's extremely hot (100+,) the weather is probably just about perfect.

Today was a perfect day. I'm sitting here looking out a window that faces west. The sun went down a while ago, and the sky is still a yellow color at the horizon and fades into a whitish pink farther up. The hills I can usually see are being overtaken by a gigantic coastal fog bank. The air is still crystal clear here, but in a little while the fog will arrive here, too. When I wake up tomorrow morning, I will probably not be able to see as far as the neighbor's house, let alone the hills in the distance.

I left the windows open all day today, as temps rose only to about 75 or 80. Tonight's cool fog means tomorrow will probably be similarly wonderful. Today, I worked and studied at home, so I could enjoy this view and the great weather all day. Tomorrow will be a busy day, working in a windowless office followed by school in the evening. But right now, for this moment, I'm just enjoying this amazing, beautiful place I am blessed to call home.

Originally posted at:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Volunteer Needed

** Thanks everyone for reading this and for those who have considered it! A couple of you volunteered and those profiles are being reviewed by the professor for suitability... then on to the real work! Thanks again! **

Blog readers, this is not the kind of thing I normally post, but I need a volunteer for a project I'm doing for school and thought this would be a great way to get the word out. As many of you know, I'm working on a degree in Financial Planning, and this is my last semester (Yippee!!!) During this semester, I will be completing a final project that involves writing a Financial Plan for a real person or family. Only I need to find that volunteer first!

So here's what I'm looking for. I need someone who would like help with at least 2-3 of the following financial goals/assessments:
- Retirement savings
- Education/College savings for you or your child(ren), grandchild(ren), or someone else (niece, nephew, etc.)
- Saving for one or more financial goals of any size: vehicle purchase (car, minivan, boat, RV, etc.,) big vacation, first home, vacation home, private island, lear jet, etc. (If you can dream it, I will be happy to help you plan for it!)
- Insurance analysis & planning: auto/home/life/health/long-term care, etc.
- Analysis of current financial position and cash flow

Other requirements:
- Must live within or near the San Diego area (sorry, I know a couple of my out-of-town readers were already hoping they'd be picked!)
- Must not be a family member (sorry, Mom!)
- Will need to be available to meet with me a few times over the course of the semester

One further note: Sharing your financial information is something you should rightfully be cautious about, and I promise you and your information will be treated with utmost confidentiality, including the fact that no information about the identity of you or your family or information about your situation will be discussed in a public forum of any kind including this blog. However, since this is an educational project, it will be reviewed by faculty at SDSU (because you want me to graduate, right?)

If you are interested in considering this opportunity, please e-mail me at RJLRebo at gmail dot com . If you know of someone else who may be interested, please feel free to pass on this link!
If possible, please contact me by Wednesday September 16. I will update this post (at the top) when a volunteer is selected.

Thanks so much for taking time to read my request!
Originally posted at:

Friday, September 11, 2009

Book: My Sister's Keeper

I'd been wanting to read a Jodi Picoult book for a long time, so when I saw this one on the store shelf during my vacation, I bought it immediately. I've seen this particular title on the favorites list of many friends as well, so it comes recommended.

This story is heartbreaking. Although a work of fiction, the characters and their life choices and decisions quickly enter your heart and mind: how would I handle this? How could I begin to make these choices? The lines between legal and moral and ethical are blurred, and the costs to one family member are for the benefit of another... but at how great a cost? And how does one make a decision in terms of costs and benefits when life is on the line... life itself as well as quality of life, and length of life?

Heartbreaking choices every one. And a story very well told. Although the themes and subject matter are difficult, the book is well-written and what I would call a page-turner. I will be looking for more Picoult books to read, with one title she has convinced me to be a fan. Not to mention that I just realized the movie is now showing at my local discount theater, so a screening may be in my near future.

My Sister's Keeper
by Jodi Picoult

(A sidenote: my last post was about a book that helps you make decisions. The decisions in this book are not the kind that could be made easily, quickly or without great consideration. I wouldn't normally make this kind of sidebar comment, but the subject matter of these two books is kind of oddly placed side-by-side because I happened to read these books right after one another.)

Originally posted at:

Book: Just Do Something

When I first heard about this book, it sounded so good, I recommended it to a friend... before I'd even read it. My recommendation turned out to be a good one... my friend called me halfway through to tell me how great it was.

Naturally it took my procrastinating self a couple months to acquire my own copy, but I'm so glad I did. I think it was the alternate title of the book that really grabbed me initially: "How to make a decision without dreams, visions, fleeces, impressions, open doors, random Bible verses, casting lots, liver shivers, writing in the sky..." And, the subtitle is not an oversell: it was liberating.

The idea of God's will can seem elusive. How to know if you're doing the right thing? But this book encourages a bold approach: if your decision is not a moral one or specifically addressed in the Bible and you are striving to walk in faith and seeking wisdom, then go ahead, make a decision. Make it confidently.

The author does briefly discuss the alternate forms of decision-making on the cover, as well as reasons why good decision making doesn't have to be a burdensome task. He doesn't discount that some decisions certainly do require great consideration and he discusses some strategies to help with those bigger decisions. At the same time, he firmly points out that choosing eggs or pancakes for breakfast, as well as many other life decisions, don't require a sign from God.

This book a short, informative read, only 128 pages, and I wish I'd read it a long time ago, probably late high school or college. The advice is still relevant today for any life, I would think, so it gets my recommendation.

Just Do Something
by Kevin DeYoung

Originally posted at:

Friday, September 4, 2009

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

Penny wise, pound foolish is one of my pet peeves. Drives me crazy when other people do it. This week, I drove myself crazy with this folly.

Last week while on vacation, my cell phone sustained some damage. Let's just say it's very, very clean. Because it went through the clothes washer. And dryer. That's how I learned it had gone through the washer, actually, when my friends and I determined that "funny noise" coming from the dryer was actually my cell phone. You can imagine the exclamation that went through my head at this point.

Sadly, my first thought was that I was never, ever going to live this down, since this is actually the second time I've drowned a phone on vacation. Last time it was snorkeling in Hawaii. Seriously, as I was leaving for vacation, one of my friends reminded me to check my pockets before going swimming. Remarkably, although salt water completely fried the last phone, this laundered phone was actually working the next morning.

After another day or two, it became clear that the phone was going to be just fine but the battery was toast. Well, that's livable, right? Sure it is. As long as it's convenient to always be within 5 feet of an outlet when you want to talk on the phone. Or if you want to spend more on a replacement battery than you did on the phone to start with.

Here's where I got crabby. My phone was free, but prices to replace the battery started at $40 from the cell phone company. Online, I could find a relative bargain price of $6-13, plus shipping. The highest price was $50, and that salesperson recommended I contact my provider to see if I was eligible for upgrade. So I stopped by the nearest giant electronics store and found a $20 battery.

Here's the foolish part: I didn't buy it on the spot. I agonized over parting with $20. Big time. I failed to see that the cost of not spending $20 was significant inconvenience. I was irritated by the crazy pricing and marketing in our culture that means this is not the only situation where it's cheap to make an initial purchase but any small necessities later are astronomically priced to make up for it.

Sheepishly, I returned to the store the next day and bought the $20 battery. I wrestled open the package with my car key and installed the battery into my phone. Much better.

Our family is about to upgrade to new phones, so I hated to spend $20 to keep mine functioning for another week or two, but since it does function... at least I have a backup phone for the next time - heaven forbid - something happens to my phone.

Originally posted at:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thankful Thursday: Free!!

Just got word late yesterday that I was selected to receive a scholarship (all expenses paid!) to attend a conference in October that is presented by the Financial Planning Association. From the conference website:

NexGen is a unique community for up-and-coming professionals who represent the future of financial planning.

As a community with distinctive goals and objectives, FPA NexGen 2009 has been designed to give the next generation of financial planners the tools and knowledge needed to be successful in today's ever-changing profession.

With specialized educational sessions and effective networking opportunities, FPA NexGen 2009 is the perfect place to find inspiration, support and encouragement.

I had been hoping to attend this conference all year... it was originally scheduled for July in Colorado but was rescheduled to October in Anaheim, CA. (One of my friends has pointed out already that the Anaheim Convention Center is a mere 1 block from D*sneyland, so this will be a double-bonus kind of event!)

I am so excited!!

Originally posted at:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Today is the first day of classes for me. Only a year ago I went to my very first class, and today is the first day of my last semester. This seems like it's gone by really fast. Because it has. One of the reasons that I decided a year ago to attend classes full-time was because there were rumors of a notable fee increase for graduate business students. I figured I may as well get as many units as possible completed before the increase became effective, because it was going to be big.

How big? 97%

Almost double what it cost for the same semester last year. Yikes.

One small note is that I don't expect to spend nearly as much on books as I did a year ago. Of course I'm saying that without knowing how much books are going to be, but that's what I expect. Thank goodness for that!

Originally posted at: