- All the kinds of flavored coffee Dan & I got for Christmas
- Staying safe & warm during this terrible weather, and the fact that my friends and family are, too
- The perfect planner for a new year
- New leggings to wear while rocking workouts at the gym
- Speaking of workouts…I’m loving prepping for my first masters meet and participating in Tone It Up’s Love Your Body series!
- Working ahead to finish the second half of swim season strong
- Cuddling up with Madison, a good book, & a cup of tea
- Sending and receiving hilarious texts with friends
- Marathons of favorite TV shows
- A good night’s sleep
- Only 36 days until pitchers and catchers report!
What is making you happy as of late?
With it being New Year’s Day, I, like a lot of society, am excited for a new year and fresh start. I’ve written New Year’s resolutions pretty much every year for as long as I can remember. Recently, in the years 2011, 2012, and 2013, I created and followed what I called the New Year’s All Year Challenge. It went okay for me in 2011, and pretty well for me in 2012, but I did not keep up with in 2013. A lot of changes occurred in my life this past year (like moving out of my parents’ house, getting married, a new job, etc.), and trying to stay focused on multiple goals every month on top of those changes started to feel very overwhelming for me. I eventually let go of them because I tend to be a perfectionist and my lack of progress on them (due to focusing on all the other big events and adjustments going on) was unnecessarily stressing me out. While my 2014 isn’t currently shaping up to have the type of life-changing events 2013, I have decided to forgo doing a 2014 New Year’s All Year Challenge for the similar reasons. I want to achieve my goals in life, but I want to make sure I am doing so in a balanced way that doesn’t put unneeded pressure on myself. I want to enjoy the journey and make sure I am having fun and spending time with those I love.
I am a longtime fan of Mackenzie Horan of Design Darling, and I recently realized her 101 Things in 1,001 Days project is perfect way for me to approach the next year. Well, really, the next 2.75 years. As she described it, it’s a “happy medium between writing a to do list and keeping a bucket list. It’s a way to dream big and make regular progress toward meeting those longer term goals.” So, I have crafted my own list and will begin my journey today! I look forward to sharing my progress and experiences with everyone. Happy New Year!!! : )
Start: January 1, 2014
- Compete in a masters swim meet.
- Complete a triathlon.
- Meet my goal weight.
- Do yoga every day for a month.
- Stop biting my nails.
- Complete a Bible study.
- Try every fitness class offered at my gym.
- Take a self-defense class.
- Give up swearing for Lent (and see if it lasts after that!).
- Complete a plank challenge.
- Floss every other day for a month (and see if I can finally maintain the habit).
- Go to the eye doctor.
- Eat as a vegetarian for a month.
- Complete a squat challenge.
- Try 20 different workouts from what I have saved from magazines over the years.
- Practice meditation/mindfulness every day for a month.
- Attend a musical I’ve never seen before.
- Revisit the major museums in Cleveland (4).
- Go to a Blue Jackets game.
- Go apple or berry picking.
- Attend a live comedy show.
- Ride the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.
- Eat at five new-to-me restaurants in the Cleveland or Columbus area.
- Go on a tour of a brewery.
- Attend a professional orchestra concert.
- Visit the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.
- Go camping.
- Visit the Underground Railroad museum in Cincinnati.
- Obtain a passport and use it, even if only to travel to Canada (the only other country I have ever been in besides the U.S.).
- Visit the National Museum of the Air Force in Dayton.
- Take Madison to the dog beach.
- Visit Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame.
- Attend Dinner on the Diamond again.
- See a major league baseball game in a stadium I have never been to before.
- Go to a BGSU home football game.
- Send Christmas cards to all of our family and friends before the holiday.
- Host a book club meeting.
- Prepare a meal for my family using an outdoor grill.
- Do something extra special for each member of my family.
- Host a fancy brunch for my friends.
- Mail my closest friends and family cards for each birthday during these 1,001 days.
- Throw a party for my parents’ 35th wedding anniversary.
- Donate to PAWS in Madison’s name.
- Donate toys to kids in need.
- Donate to BGSU.
- Complete 25 random acts of kindness.
- Donate blankets or coats to those in need.
- “Pay it forward” at a coffee shop or at a tollbooth.
- Donate books to an organization that distributes them to those who need them or volunteer with a literacy organization.
- Complete 40 service hours.
- Sponsor an athlete at PSH or donate to scholarships offered through PCSD.
- Read 75 books I have never read before.
- Bake a pie from scratch.
- Make a pizza (dough and sauce) from scratch.
- Complete compiling and order a full wedding album.
- See a classic movie in a movie theater.
- Knit a scarf.
- Make 15 recipes out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
- Be inspired by Pinterest 10 times to either create/bake/cook something or utilize a cleaning/organization tip.
- Back up all my photos.
- Make a T-shirt quilt.
- Watch 10 Best Picture winning films I haven’t see before.
- Back up all my music.
- Create Snapfish or Shutterfly albums for each year since high school.
- Bake 12 different recipes of cookies and cut each recipe into an unique shape using our Year Of Cookies cookie cutters we were gifted for our wedding.
- Spend at least two months blogging consistently (five days a week).
- Watch Gone With the Wind again.
- Organize all my workout and recipe clippings from magazines into navigable binders/digital files.
- Start a history podcast and publish at least three episodes.
- Organize all my previously written swim practices and planning into navigable binders/digital files.
- Obtain a full-time classroom position and/or begin earning my masters degree.
- Learn all of the world’s capital cities and the names and locations of major rivers, mountains, etc.
- Develop my Honors Project (from college) into a full book.
- Organize all my lesson plans and resources into navigable binders/digital files.
- Find a way to combine my loves of social media and the field of education into something that serves a resource and/or community for either teachers or students.
- Truly study (not just skim/index through) all the swimming books I own and organize my notes on them into navigable binders/digital files.
Things That Scare Me
- Sing karaoke
- Buy a bikini and wear it in public.
- Get another tattoo.
- Pay off the Honda Civic Dan and I purchased in March 2013 ahead of schedule.
- Save at least $5,000.
- Create a solid budget and begin cultivating spending/saving tracking habits by following it successfully for at least two months.
- Finish changing name on all accounts/relevant records.
- Write a will and a living will.
- Buy big plastic bins and use them to organize the storage space/seasonal decorations.
- Set up a home office.
- Create and implement a rotating cleaning schedule and follow it for at least two months straight.
- Do an intake of my belongings, donate or toss what I don’t need, and organize what I am keeping.
- Find a more effective system for receiving mail, disposing of it/filing it, and responding to it.
- Style our bedroom.
- Style our living room.
- Buy an actual address book and use it.
- Clean my car and keep it tidy for at least two months.
- Find a skincare regimen that works for me and follow it for at least 30 days.
- Buy a grown up watch, and wear it regularly.
- Learn 5 new ways to style my hair.
- Get a pedicure.
- Find the perfect little black dress.
- Get grown-up luggage and use it (instead of using my backpack from high school!).
- Find my “signature scent.”
- Purchase a monogrammed bracelet or necklace.
End date: September 27, 2016
You were the best year yet. Here’s to 2014!
You were pretty rad.
Video made via Flipagram.
I’m not sorry.
I’m not sorry I love learning so much that I listen to history podcasts and share facts from them at weddings. I’m not sorry I think education is a misunderstood career and I know what I’m talking about when I discuss it. I’m not sorry I am obsessed with the Cleveland Indians and get passionate when I talk about them. I’m not sorry I choose to look on the bright side and approach challenges in life from a positive perspective. I’m not sorry I’d rather be proven wrong than be proven right. I’m not sorry I like beer and that drink my coffee black. I’m not sorry that my dog is my best friend or that I take and share lots of photos of her. I’m not sorry about my values and beliefs. I’m not sorry I enjoy cheesy books, Top 40 music, or Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I’m not sorry I forgive too easily. I’m not sorry I love my hometown and college. I’m not sorry that most the time I’d rather spend a night in rather than out. I’m not sorry I act honestly when I have the option to do otherwise. I’m not sorry I prioritize safety, spending time with my husband, or doing right by my students. I’m not sorry I’ve never done drugs and I’m not sorry my wedding was untraditional. I’m not sorry for my tattoos, my student loans, or my anxiety. I’m not sorry about my early bedtime, my sense of humor, or my singing voice.
I’m not sorry about being me.
- The photo above, which is my church’s weekly bulletin, because it shows the church’s weekly schedule for this week includes Dan and I’s wedding!!!!
- A good book
- Funfetti cake
- Singing loudly while driving my car
- Early Sunday Starbucks treat
- Visits with and calls from great friends
- Finding a hilarious new favorite TV show
- Sunshine and cool breezes
- A clean house
- A happy Madison
What is making you happy as of late?
For the month of March, I am participating in Fabulous Finds by Tiffany’s 31 Day Blog Challenge. Today’s prompt: Daily routine.
My days do not always work out as planned/ideally, just like everyone else, but this is what an average, “good” weekday is in my book:
- Hit snooze over and over.
- Drag myself downstairs. Drink coffee and sit with Madison on the recliner while dozing/watching local news/playing on my phone.
- Frantically get ready for work. Sometimes while this is occurring I get a call from work reassigning me to a different school/teacher for the day.
- Go to whatever school I am subbing at that day.
- Follow the plans left for me by the teacher for whom I am subbing.
- During swim season or swimming intramurals, I head to the high school, coach/supervise while a caffeinated diet soda and drinking lots of water, then go home. When those activities aren’t in season, I stop for a coffee and then go home, or just go home (to make more coffee).
- Once home, I change into workout clothes, watch an episode of a TV show on Netflix, have a snack, and pet the dogs.
- Walk the dogs.
- Relax/do chores/take care of tasks for work or other things.
- Eat dinner and then workout OR workout then eat dinner.
- Some nights I may go out to play free bar trivia with my friends. If not, I will Skype with Dan, relax/do chores/take care of work stuff, or have a phone chat with a long distance friend.
- Bed! : )
What is your routine like on a “good” weekday?
In January, I introduced the 2013 challenge, in which I made broad “endpoint” goals for the year and explained that each month I would make specific small goals that are stepping stones to my endpoint aims. Each month I will also reflect on the previous month’s goals and efforts.
- Health: work out at least 150 min per week, stay hydrated, & do better with meal planning
- Finances: budget and stick to it; research housing options; do taxes before the end of February!
- Relationships: check in with everyone regularly
- Wedding: Knock as many things off my to-do list as possible!
- Career: Give 110% every day and be a flexible and positive presence in the buildings in which I work; wrap up swim season well and begin planning off-season
- Self-enrichment: try at least one new recipe; observe Random Acts of Kindness Week
- Health: I increased my exercise time logged even more than what I did in January, and was a lot more conscious of staying hydrated.
- Finances: Again, like in January, I did a good job of actively monitoring my in and out flow of money, though I still did not write out a formal budget. Dan and I researched housing options, found some very strong choices, and moved forward on them. I did not get my taxes done by the end of February, but I did complete LearnVest’s Ace Your Taxes Bootcamp!
- Relationships: I think I did okay with keeping up with friends and family, but honestly think I could have done better.
- Wedding: I reorganized the rest of the things that we need to complete into a series of several mini to do lists with deadlines. Feels SO MUCH BETTER.
- Career: Teaching went really well – I did a great job subbing for a math teacher for a week and a half, even though math is not my favorite; coaching wrapped up pretty well with my swimmers doing great at the end of the season and reflecting and planning for the off-season
- Self-enrichment: I kinda sucked at self-enrichment this month. I did cook and bake more than I have been recently, but no new recipes. And I unfortunately did not practice Random Acts of Kindness week. I have no good excuse, I basically was so busy with the very end of swim season I forgot that the week was even occurring. So I plan on granting myself a personal re-do week in March.
- Health: log food daily; schedule nutritionist appointment; improve my aerobic/cardio endurance and work on strength training
- Finances: Complete my taxes; make and stick to my budget; read 2 personal finance articles a week (I have much more time in March than in January – I can for sure do this!)
- Relationships: give everyone a “proof of love” (something I’ve been reading about in the fantastic book The Happiness Project)
- Wedding: Complete tasks that are on the to-do list for March on time; have an open mind and enjoy the retreat for pre cana counseling
- Career: prepare well and timely for awards night; map out a plan for swimming intra-murals; be a positive and flexible presences in the buildings in which I substitute
- Self-enrichment: complete some readings on anxiety; fully “log off” for one hour a week; redo Random Acts of Kindness Week
Hey, everyone! How are you? I hope your week is off to a fabulous start. I’m feeling well myself! I’m enjoying participating in the 31 Day Blog Challenge. Today’s prompt: Best childhood memory.
I don’t know about you, but to me childhood means elementary school years. When I thought back on them, even though I had amazing teachers at a wonderful schools that I have great memories of, unsurprisingly, most of my favorite childhood memories involve summer!
- Moments with my siblings: going to the public pool and library with our mom, listening to the cassettes of The Phantom of the Opera and acting it out with Beanie Babies, playing Zelda and Diddy Kong Racing on N64, walking our dog Charlie and going to Zero Zest, laughing while my mom played piano beautifully and Charlie howled along, family traditions on holidays, etc.
- Family reunions in Port Clinton (photo above) where my cousins and I would get super tan, swim all day, eat ice cream, play crazy games, make random friends, watch my dad build elaborate sandcastles, prank call our aunt and uncles, go tubing, get kicked out of Wendy’s, go bowling, and so much more.
- Fun times with my friends: creating memory boxes and hiding them under the porch, pretending to train and take care of Santa’s reindeer at recess, Brownies meetings and activities, playing Barbies and singing along to *NSYNC, inventing variations of baseball that we could play in the driveway, actually playing baseball on summer rec teams, going for bike rides, and lots more.
What are some of your favorite childhood memories?