Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goals for 2014

Farewell, 2013! It's been real and it's been fun.

Goals for 2013 {original post hereSeptember's update here}:
  1. Blog twice a week, one funny and one not necessarily = CHECK! For the vast majority of 2013, I blogged at least twice a week, and I think Funny Friday is officially a thing.
  2. Blog different experiences = a wee bit vague, but I do think I hit a variety of topics and experiences and stories. I'm gonna call this one CHECK.
  3. IRL goal: Made to Crave = check-ish. I definitely feel healthier, but I need to jump back into a routine. Good news: zumba classes start in January! :)
  4. Fun goal: Prince Edward Island - definite check! In case I haven't posted about it enough, you can read my travel journal here.
  5. From September, get fully settled into the condo = CHECK! My wall has more pictures than it knows what to do with, I've changed approximately 4 billion light bulbs {not really but almost}, and Samara and I both have new fans in our bathrooms. Like a boss.
  6. Finish my Goodreads goal of 45 books. Well, folks, being behind in September must have lit a fire under my tail, because I had to adjust my goal to 50 books...and I've finished 54. Audio books for the win!
  7. Finish the TARDIS purse = checkity check CHECK! Please admire it here.
So now 2014 goals... gulp. 2013 has challenged me to expand the horizon on my perspectives, meaning that while my default personality type is ESTJ and black-and-white and task-oriented, I have come to recognize the value in different "letters" and shades of color and person/being-oriented. It's been challenging and I'm still learning to value both all viewpoints, so to really stretch myself, I'm going to try and make one of my goals more abstract and less measurable. The business major in me is cringing, but here goes.
  1. Invest time in new friendships. 2013 has introduced some wonderful people, and I want to grow these relationships in 2014. The concrete-sequential part of me will probably have to come back and add more detail to this goal, but for abstractness, I'm happy.
  2. Get into a real exercise routine. As noted above, zumba starts in January and I'm really excited! I'm also jumping back on the bandwagon of decreasing my sugar intake and increasing the water intake.
  3. Continue to blog at least twice a week. Since Funny Friday is a thing, count on that at least two times a month, and then look for some 7 Quick Takes. Usually the link-up is on Fridays, but I may do it a day or two early just to spread the love. Also, as a sub-goal, I will be joining with Rachel and focusing on blogging quality, not just quantity.
  4. Try one new recipe monthly bi-monthly. Let's not jump in over our heads; these are my limited cooking skills we're talking about.
  5. Goodreads: I'm gonna shoot for a solid 40 books in 2014. We'll see if that needs adjusting either way; hopefully the library can keep up! Specifically, I want to finish Team of Rivals this year.
Since 5 is the number of grace, I'm gonna stop there. :) I'd love to {but am not committing to!} do a monthly or quarterly check-up on these goals, instead of just in September... but we'll see. 

What are your goals for 2014?

Friday, December 27, 2013

Funny Friday: "First Lines" Edition

Samara via her friend Simon introduced me to the tradition of "First Lines," where you post the first line of your first post for each month. I thought that this could double as a Funny Friday post, because lezbihonest: this has great potential for hysterics. And go!

January: Scene: Dinner is over and Grammie is doing the dishes.

February: So I meant to post a sweet something on Saturday, thereby rocking the alliteration club, but alas.

March: Been working from home for about 9 business days now {thankfully back in the office this week - got a little too stir crazy last week!} and I had lots of time to think.

April: So, sorry for dropping off the grid there, folks. I ride two airplanes and suddenly can't put my thoughts in order. Sheesh.

May: Well, here goes. It feels like I've been thinking I should blog about that for too long, so I'm going to try and get a few thoughts out. Brace yourselves.

June: You know it's a Monday when...you go to type "brain blip" as your title and type "brian" instead...yep.

July: Ok folks, I had one goal for this weekend: buy a bookshelf.

August: Today is one of those days where: ...the alarm is set for as late as I can handle, and still the snooze button manages to get hit.

September: Ah, Sunday. A day of rest, a day of worship, a day of...not finding one church and ending up at another. Oh well.

October: My two earliest memories both involve hospitals. Perhaps that is why I am so traumatized by them now.

November: Ok, guys, I know that I basically counted every single day of October via 31 Days of Writing, but still... I can't believe it's November already!?!?!? Because you know what happens in November? Christmas music. Which leads to Christmas, which leads to a new year...meaning November 2014 is in like 2 weeks, basically.

December: Wow. Sorry for dropping off the planet there for a while. Life just got crazy, ya know?

So there you have it! First lines of each month... I think this shows that my posting frequency decreases dramatically at the end of the month, since so many of my first posts start with "sorry for not posting..." Guess we'll work on that habit, eh?

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happiest Season of All

I read this post recently and the whole thing really spoke to me {I was going to name a specific paragraph, but then I reread the post and decided it was all really wonderful}. I love that Advent is not waiting meaning sitting on your hands, but it's really about preparing and making ready and fully embracing the season in which God has placed you.

This season, and maybe even the whole of 2014, I think God is focusing on how He pursues me. I was reminded of a story in this book and how much God has both given to and given up for me. Yes, gifts are a bit cliche this time of year, but this Sunday my pastor shared some really lovely and practical gifts that God has given to His bride, like the fruit of the Spirit. God has given us gentleness, patience, self-control, etc. I love considering how richly God has blessed and equipped believers for our daily lives.

God has also blessed my family with togetherness! Christmas is my favorite time of the year because ALL the sisters are home! So far we have never been apart over Christmas, and I hope that this tradition can continue forever :)

Praying God's abundant blessings over you and your family this Christmas!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Too Personal

As I mentioned on Monday, I kinda fell off the blogging bandwagon for a bit. Part of it really was due to the class and the long hours and sheer exhaustion...and part of it was due to some "IRL" stuff that I'm processing. Ashley said it well a few weeks ago, that some things are better processed in journals than on blogs.

So I'm journal-ing my fingers to the bone - ha! It's funny how you have to learn to type until eventually you type faster than write, and suddenly you want your fingers to go back and remember how to write with speed...yeah, not really happening.

I'm sorry for neglecting you, little blog and dear readers. It seems that all I can think of is this deeply personal situation; life is filtered through this lens, and it's hard to think of something to share here. Feeling hypocritical now, because I've talked with several friends about the matter and ended up reading from my journal in the course of the conversation, but still it seems too personal to post, to publish for all eternity and any curious eye to see. Again, I apologize, and I hope to process my way through this stage of life soon.

In the meantime, here are some things that make me smile. I don't think it's possible to smile too much, do you? Even when life is hard, smiling makes things better.

Have a lovely Thursday!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Dropping Off the Face of the Blogging World: A Tutorial

Do you blog faithfully? Are you ready to shake things up a bit? Keep reading for a how-to guide of dropping off the face of the blogging world!

Step One: go back to your parents' house for a few days without your blogging device. This also helps if you go home while your sisters are working on finals and therefore cannot lend you their technological devices.

Step Two: take a week-long class and leave the house every day at approximately 5:15 AM every day.

Step Three: sit in aforementioned class with five gentlemen and listen to them talk about cars...ALL...DAY. That way, when you finally get home, your brain has completely stopped functioning in complete sentences.

Pretty simple, right? Go forth - I have faith in you!

Yes, this is a facetious apology for my big fat fail last week. The whole thing took me by surprise, and I was so exhausted I didn't even think of blogging until Thursday. So yeah. But it's a new week and it's almost Christmas and the temperature is above 30* and so let the heavens rejoice!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Time in the City

It's December. I can share Christmas-related items now {just ignore the fact that I've been listening to Christmas music since November 20th or so}.

Samara and I got a tree!!! Isn't it cute!?

We went to a tree farm nearby and cut it down ourselves, and then we tied it onto Samara's car by ourselves, too. This part.... well, you know how there are some things you say "I'll laugh at this later" so you don't cry in the moment? Well, Samara and I just skip to the laughter part because we are nuts. 

All around us, people are winding their string through their car windows and over the tree, securing the bundle of holiday joy onto the roofs of their vehicles. We got this, we think. And so we begin. One window in Samara's car doesn't roll down, so I open that door and we improvise. 

Over, under, over, under. The string goes around and around the tree and car and then is secured with knots. Samara and I survey our accomplishment with pride, and then it hits us. If the string is through the windows, then we can't open the doors to get in the car. We burst out laughing and determine how to get into the vehicle without undoing our work.

Thankfully, we both managed to utilize our ballet training and enter {and later exit} the car without disturbing Charlie. Oh, that's what we named the tree. We were going for a Charlie Brown tree, but we could also call it Rudy or Frosty. Votes can be made in the comment section ;)

Well, I'm in the holiday spirit now, aren't you? :) Happy December!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Doctor Who {Fangirl Post}

Wow. Sorry for dropping off the planet there for a while. Life just got crazy, ya know? So here is the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Celebrations' Post. Let the fangirling commence.

Sunday night: Samara and I joined Ashley and Kayla. Here are the four of us in our costumes...Here is our little shrine...here is the super yummy food Ash and Kay made. Such fun.

On Monday night, Samara and I went to the theater to watch the 50th Anniversary in costume with hundreds of other fans. I dressed up as Rose Tyler from "The Idiot's Lantern" {Season 2, Episode 7} - here is my inspiration...

...and here is the finished product! It was actually fun to have dinner at Johnny Rocket's and sit in the 50's theme :)

Samara dressed up as the 11th Doctor; here we are together geeking out before the show.

And then a friend of Samara's met us after the show...people, he has Ten's suit!!!! 

And we made friends with a little boy dressed as Ten and his mom dressed as Amy. Here is Rose with her two Tens.

All in all, it was wonderful. I love costumes and Doctor Who and cute kids, and this evening had all three! The opening sequence for the theater version was quite awesome: it featured various characters telling movie-goers to not disturb others and talking about how painful it is for the popcorn to be eaten and warning us about the hazards of 3-D glasses. Twas wonderful.

I'm really glad I watched the 50th the way that I did: solo {Saturday}, with a few friends at home {Sunday}, and then in the theaters {Monday}. I loved not missing things because the crowd responded over some lines; I loved watching it with just friends to really freak out and not worry about disturbing others; I loved watching it live with literally millions of other fans all over the world. It's Doctor Who - what's not to love?!

Alright, end fangirling...for now ;)