Sunday, January 13, 2013

Keeping Myself Honest 2

A report on my resolutions more for my own benefit than anything else. 

There is a bit of a caveat this week. It's not my story to tell, so I'm not providing details, but a very close family member of mine who lives far away nearly died this week. I spent two full days this week fretting about a situation completely and utterly beyond my control and did pretty much nothing on those days. I mean, I went through the motions. I homeschooled, and taught piano and made dinner and drove kids where they needed to go. But every other minute was spent either worrying or praying or trying to find out what was going on.  My goals and self-betterment, while important, paled mightily in comparison to the life of someone I love. I'm not excusing myself, but giving myself a bit of wiggle room.  Due to the incident, I will be travelling west this week to help care for this person and her family and am trying to prepare everything for my family for while I'm gone. So, other than scripture reading, everything else is going to be catch as catch can.

Spiritual: I accomplished my reading goal everyday, though I found that if I don't get the bulk of the reading done in the morning before Lilyanna wakes up, it mostly gets left until the evening when I'm definitely not absorbing as much.

Physical: Running went great this week! I am following a training schedule for a couch to half marathon, but discovered that I could skip to week 4. This is especially good news, because it means I might actually be ready in time for the big half marathon this spring in Columbus.  We'll see! Belly dancing was super fun, and I totally skipped my hellish boot camp class since it was in the midst of the days of fret.

Financial:  Financial fasting was okay. I spent unexpected money for travel, though the bulk of my plane ticket was given in a most welcome but unexpected offering of frequent flier miles from my father in law.  The whole situation made me reflect on something I read in a book by the Economides family. They mentioned that one of  their standards for an emergency fund is "How much would it cost to fly the entire family to a funeral of a loved one on short notice?" Tickets are absurdly expensive if you don't have the traditional two weeks lead time.  The price for us, right now, would have been so prohibitive that there's no way we all would have been able to go should things have gone as badly as they could have gone. Fortunately, we didn't have to make an awful choice like that, but it makes me all the more determined to make sure that we pad our emergency fund better.

Organizing: I'm still doing a good job at getting rid of things, but the challenge was a bit of a disaster. My counters are improved, but in no way good. Losing two days didn't help, but honestly, I didn't make it enough of a priority at the beginning of the week. I was using a cram mentality, which isn't going to work for me with organizing. It needs to be a more methodical process.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Me: Lilyanna, what would you like to have for your special birthday dinner next week?
Her: CAKE!
Me: We'll certainly have birthday cake for dessert, but what do you want for dinner?
Her: Oh, for dinner! (Thinks for a moment...) Cupcakes!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pinterest Stuff I've Actually Done

Disclaimer: If you don't currently use Pinterest, you will not really understand this post.

Like everything else that is cool and digital, Pinterest can be a giant time suck. So, my rule for myself is that I must do at least one thing that I've previously pinned each week. If I don't do something each week, I'm not allowed to go on Pinterest the following week.

I realize that most other people out there are capable of moderation in things like this, but I'm not one of them. Rules like this keep me from diving headfirst into crazy.

 Here is a list of recipes I've tried and liked so far:

I do more than pin recipes, but this is an easy list to start with and requires no after pictures. ;)  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Keeping myself honest

A report on my resolutions more for my own benefit than anything else.

Spiritual: I did great with scripture reading! And my days flowed better as I made reading scriptures a priority.

Physical: I did my horrific bootcamp class on Thursday, and ran on Friday. I only ran a mile and walked a half mile, but still for day one, not bad. My schedule for running is going to be M/T/F. I would love to do every other day in an ideal world, but schedules do not allow for ideal.

Financial: Financial fasting wasn't so great this week BUT money was spent on the things we knew ahead of time we were going to need. I had to renew my membership at the rec center and sign up for my classes. I also had to order some homeschool books and supplies for my kids, although I had an amazon giftcard that paid for most of that.  We did a great job at meal planning with ingredients we already had on hand. Last night I went to the grocery store and kept myself from picking out anything that I didn't need. (Except there was a great price on GF chicken nuggets, so I did pick up a box of those.)

Organizing: I've been doing a good job at getting rid of things, but the challenge I'm doing doesn't start until tomorrow anyway, so I'm good. ;)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Resolutions 2013: Organizing/Downsizing

 1. My in-laws had to pack up and move from a house that they'd lived in for nearly 30 years. It was hard. I witnessed it. Many years ago, my parents had to do the same thing. Also hard. And I witnessed that one, too.

2. We know without any doubt that we are going to need to move from this house within the next few years as it will no longer meet the physical needs of our family. I don't want that move to be so very painful wading through STUFF as I know there will be plenty other things to worry about at the time. I don't ever want to feel trapped in a house because moving would just be too hard.

3. I have an entire school room (more) worth of books and school supplies that I have had to organize and make room for in a house that is already full of stuff.

With these things in mind I am doing a couple things over the next year. This is a challenge that I'm joining. One project per week for the year. It starts next week. I'm kind of excited.

I also am going to try giving away or selling one thing a day for the next 30 days at least. I read this article a little while ago, and really liked it. Don't get me wrong. I think these guys have taken things to an extreme that I am not comfortable with, especially in family life, but I like the overall concept of living with less. (I like the title of another one of their posts "Organizing is often well planned hoarding".)

In addition to just getting rid of things we aren't really using anyway, and being more thoughtful about those things we do keep in our house, I like the idea that maybe, just maybe, this will make me feel not so constantly overwhelmed by clutter when it comes to the dreaded cleaning of my house. I so loathe cleaning, but I think part of it is that I have to practically excavate before I can even get to the part that I'm supposed to clean.

Here's to a more visibly productive new year!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Resolutions 2013: Fitness

Several years ago, some friends and I walked a half marathon. I don't use the word walk as in a leisurely stroll either. It's entirely possible we walked it faster than I will be able to run it.

But since I haven't been able to take all my favorite spinning/weights/yoga classes this year, I feel like a bump on a log. (I'm still doing a horrific boot camp class, belly dancing class, and a little bit of walking/weights once or twice a week, but without running or spinning I don't feel right.)

Sadly, spinning just doesn't fit into my schedule with the kids' schooling at home/vision therapy/preschool, etc. SO I'm going to sign myself up for a half marathon.

Possibly because I'm a little bit crazy. Also, because I like proving to myself that I can do these things.  I am by nature a lazy person. I have to get myself mixed up in crazy goals to actually motivate me in to doing the things that are good for me.

Anybody want to join me?