Why it’s going to be better than great.

I already told you that I couldn’t be happier to slam the book shut on 2012 and clamber to open the cover on 2013. I just have this overwhelming sense that this year has some great things in store. Looking forward to the months ahead we have the birth of my nephew, a trip to Dallas for Blissdom, a trip the the mountains with my family and so much more.

But, this year is also the year that I’ve set some goals for myself. Not in the resolution sense, but in the here’s how I want to feel this year, here are some things I want to accomplish and here’s the steps that will get me there. Starting off the year this way is a little intimidating because — what if I fail? Not something I look forward to doing publicly… This is where I just have to be kind to myself and accept that things change, paths shift and that sometimes I can’t do it all. So, what exactly am I going to do this year?

1. My health. When Charlie got sick I didn’t know what to do. Handling stressful, traumatic situations isn’t exactly my strong point. So, to fill the void and allow me to spend as much time snuggling my sweet boy as possible, I ate pizza, mac ‘n cheese and other junk to get me through. Then we went on vacation — which was just as fun as it was delicious. Then it was November, and with Thanksgiving (then Christmas) quickly rounding the corner I knew that there was no way I was going to start any sort of health regimen (unless it involved mashed potatoes or whipped cream). Those two months were filled with yum worthy food, but I could tell I was packing on the pounds each and every day. Couple that with some digestive issues I spent most of 2012 trying to figure out and I was a hot mess when New Years rolled around.

I know, deep inside me, that I’m not at a healthy weight, I’m not happy without physical activity and that my stomach issues must come to an end (they are ruling my life). In 2013, I want to lose the weight — not get super model skinny, but happy and comfortable with my body, I want to push myself physically (up my miles, get strong, and make yoga a part of my routine) and I want to figure out — once and for all — what is making me sick. Phew, that is one tall and tough order.

Let's get healthy - and take on the mountain.

2.) Pursue things I love. The past couple years have been whirlwinds of moving, traveling, commuting, marrying etc. and I’ve had to put some of the things I love and things I want to do on the back burner to make room. In 2013, I want to make a commitment to writing/blogging and getting some of those thoughts out of my head and off of lists and actually onto the blog, I want to learn my camera and how to edit the photos I take, I want to give myself the time and space to cook and write recipes. Essentially I want to take just a little time for moi.

There are so many little things to think about, tasks to conquer and daily moments to be present for that I’m only taking on these two major challenges for the first quarter. After a couple months, I’ll re-evaluate to see if I’m ready to take on more or if I’m happy trucking along right where I am.

It’s going to be a good year – what are you conquering these first few months?

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Life Listin’ – Update.

I was meandering through my life list recently – after the launch of Go Mighty – when I realized that I’ve checked a few of those bad boys off over the past year. Here’s an update:

#24: Explore a shipwreck: In Turks and Caicos, for our honeymoon we went on a snorkel tour and ended up at a ship wreck. It was by no means the Titanic, but cool to see, nonetheless. Weathered boards jutting up from the sand, schools with millions of fish wandering in spirals and a barracuda leering from the underside of the deck. I’d say that pretty much covers the “explore a shipwreck” goal. Since, I’m currently thinking that scuba would be a poor decision for me (stuck under a bazillion gallons of water with only a little air tank? No thanks)… that’s about as good as it’s going to get.

#26: Attend at least 1 Canvas and Cocktails: Painting and cocktail classes are popping up everywhere these days and I so very badly wanted to do one. Last winter my friend Jacqui and our Mom’s did a girls day with lunch, cocktails and paintings. Then, this summer, I went again for my sister’s bachelorette party. Can’t say I’m an excellent artist, my OCD need to have it look exactly like the sample left me a little disappointed with my effort. Fun nonetheless!

#30: Go on a cruise: Last February, Christian and I… and his sister and her family and his parents (whew all 8 of us) took a 10 day cruise through the Caribbean. The weather wasn’t the best, but the Lobster was amazing. The rash I got all over my body itched real bad, but the beaches were beautiful. The stomach (death) flu I had on one of our only real beach days sucked something awful, but spending that vacation with family was worth it. To say it was an up and down trip would probably do it justice. We had so much fun, but there were some rough patches — including a moment of insanity when I felt like I’d been trapped indoors for days due to the crazy rocking of the boat and inability to even walk the decks. Ahem, where was I going with this? Oh yes. I checked it off — it was fun — I would do it again – maybe not in February.

#36: Try Yoga, both normal and Bikram: You can see the post I wrote on trying yoga out (both kinds) for the first time, here. I loved it and can’t figure out what took me so long!

#43: Get married and have a family: Well I’m half way there… I got married on October 8, 2011. The post I wrote for that day is brief, but here. It’s on my proverbial “to-do” list to get the rest of the wedding details up, but I haven’t had the energy to sort through approximately a million photos. I’ll get there someday, I promise! As far as a family… not there yet!

#54: Live Alone: I only did this for a short six months… but I loved it. If I had known how wonderful it was, I might have even done it sooner. But, then again, living with all my roommates over the years warranted some ridiculous stories that I wouldn’t give up for anything. If I had stayed single/un-married for longer I would live alone all the way. Trust me, it was amazeballs.

Hopefully 2013 holds even more excitement and even more check marks. I love check marks and doing cool things.

2012.

Every year December approaches with loads of anticipation, joy and hope for the holidays. And, each year the holidays come and go, followed shortly by New Year’s Eve. A night that’s legendary for exciting parties, magical happenings and romantic stolen kisses at midnight.

After Christmas passes I find myself disappointed and feeling a bit down. New Year’s with all its magical expectations leads to dashed hopes and a closet full of sparkly, now, slightly used dresses. The next morning you wake up… waiting for that fresh new year feeling when all that surrounds you feels exactly like the day before. The same laundry basket full of dirty socks, the same toothbrush in need of replacing and the same set of obligations needing to be fulfilled.

Instead of feeling ready for all that’s about to happen I feel a little like the excitement has passed and I’m just desperate to get it back. Despite my less than enthusiastic perspective on starting 2012, I’m ready to rock the heck out of this new year. I’d say I have some resolutions, but whenever you use the word resolution in front of some sort of a goal it seems that it is forever bound to fail. So in 2012 I don’t have any resolutions, but some overall ideas that I hope to make a reality.

Marriage. It’s only year one and I couldn’t be happier about that, learning to live together and enjoying every moment of it. Even if it does mean I’m living with a boy.

Health. At the end of the day being healthy isn’t about willpower, it’s about acting you age and doing what’s right. We’ll see if I can put down the bag of Oreo’s I’ve been eating during my Harry Potter marathon and start snacking on kale chips after long runs. Yeah? You feeling it?

Travel. I love to travel here, there and just about everywhere. We’ve already got an 11 day cruise booked for the Southern Caribbean during early March, but where else this year will lead is a total mystery. I’m hoping for somewhere great!

Home. We’ve got our house but I have to say it’s anything but a home. Ripping down all the warm, cozy Christmas decorations hurt my heart for the simple fact that my house is so empty and bare. Guess I’ll have to make a few trips to IKEA and get things in order. By this time next year let’s hope it really will be home sweet home.

Job. The end of 2011 was truly the end of an era for me. Leaving my past four years of employment behind… but with a whole new year ahead of me I’m looking forward to finding a position that excites me just as much as it challenges me. I’m ready to make a difference and work hard each day.

And, per usual this blog is on there and what awaits it in the coming year I’m not sure, maybe a re-design? For sure, more posting. Here’s to a great holiday season and the start of a year full of promise.

*Photo Credit: Juliana

25 before I’m 25 – Fail.

So, I’m 25. The whole birthday thing happened last week and I’ve put off going through my 25 before I’m 25 list because, well, I didn’t do them all. 5 years ago all I would have wanted for my birthday was to go out, party, and have a night to remember with my friends. Now, all I wanted was a night, at home, doing nothing but relaxing. Maybe that’s the wedding planning/house buying craziness talking, but maybe it’s not. We had hamburgers and strawberry shortcake. It was the perfect in every way.

I originally posted about my 25 before I’m 25 list in 2010 and gave ‘er a little update in February 2011. Below is the final summary of what got done, and, um, what didn’t. About half made it to fruition and the other half of the list was a major fail. Everything on this list is still something I want to do, it just wasn’t in the cards for the year before I turned 25.

  1. Spend a week on a beach. Any beach. Unplugged. – Ok, I didn’t do this… but I’m going to be heading to a beach on my honeymoon. That counts right?
  2. Re-work the design of this site. – Done.
  3. Read 12 books, one per month. – Done. I think I read maybe 50 books this year, and totally underestimated my reading abilities.
  4. Post 100 times… 30 will, hopefully, be cranked out in November. – Well, I quit Nablopomo… and fell of the wagon when things got hectic this spring. Fail.
  5. Be healthy. Get back to working out and eating well. – Done. I think I’ve done this. I’ve been working out, trying to eat better and trying to slim down for the wedding.
  6. Try yoga. – Fail.
  7. Take cooking classes. – Fail.
  8. Schedule time for myself each week. – I would say I did this about 50% of the time. While I crave alone time, I’m too much of a do-er and end up finding things to do in place of “me time”.
  9. Find a classy purse that suits me. And buy it. – I bought a lovely gray purse off Etsy! Double done.
  10. Be able to do 10 push ups. – I can’t do 10, but I can see myself getting stronger and dipping lower and lower. Score!
  11. Attend Canvas and Cocktails. – I have a gift card but haven’t used it, yet. I’m halfway there.
  12. Smile more often — especially at strangers. – Some days this is a go, other days this is a fail. Check Denver traffic to see which day we’re on.
  13. Fix Charles. Surgery and all. – Done and done.
  14. Be happy. So much of it is in my control. – Done.
  15. Pick a cookbook and make all the recipes – except the ones with mushrooms or other inedible objects. – I’ve got cookbook commitment issues. Sue Me. Fail.
  16. Tell everyone I love, why I love them. – An everyday goal… and one that will always be in progress. Done.
  17. Send more mail. Cards, packages, random gifts. – I sent and gave lots of gifts, card and random little mementos this year. Done.
  18. Stay up late drinking wine and talking, even though I have to work the next day. – Done, done, done… too many times to count.
  19. Buy a pair of *perfect* boots for winter. – I bought a pair… but my calves rebelled and wouldn’t allow the zipper up. So technically, done?
  20. Spend a weekend in the mountains with friends. – Done.
  21. Buy something from Etsy for someone and for my house. – Done. I bought magnets at Christmas for friends (and a necklace)… and a purse for me!
  22. Develop my favorite pictures and hang them up. – Fail.
  23. Be a positive impact. Be aware of what I do, what I listen to and how I behave. You never know who you’re impacting. – Always a work in progress.
  24. Eat locally and naturally. Try to buy local and eat out at local restaurants. – Doing better at this. I love me some local food, and have tried to spend my money where it counts.
  25. Stop to smell the flowers. This year flew by and I was constantly caught up in the day-to-day. I want to remember to take it one step at a time and pause to enjoy it! – Well, I’m planning a wedding and buying a house. I haven’t had much time to stop and smell the flowers. Have to mark this one as a work in progress.

Maybe the next list should be a 30 before I’m 30. That way I have five years. Meaning I’ll either have plenty of time to get all 30 things done OR I’ll totally forget about it until the last day that I’m 20. There’s probably and equally good chance it could go either way!

*Image by Jonty Wareing

It’s been six months – update!

Today is my half birthday, and in honor of such an exciting occasion I thought I’d give and update on where we are with my 25 before I’m 25 list. Here we go:

  1. Spend a week on a beach. Any beach. Unplugged. (No such plans yet. Sad.)
  2. Re-work the design of this site. (Went to polka dots, that counts right?)
  3. Read 12 books, one per month. (On my way, so far we have Leota’s Garden, Devlin Diary, The dive from Claussen’s Pier, The Friday Night Knitting Club, The Shack… and many more to come)
  4. Post 100 times… 30 will, hopefully, be cranked out in November. (I’ve got a way to go on this — especially since I am a Nablopomo drop out)
  5. Be healthy. Get back to working out and eating well. (I’m re-starting the eating well,  and working out is next on the list)
  6. Try yoga. (Still need to do this)
  7. Take cooking classes. (Still need to do this)
  8. Schedule time for myself each week. (Still need to do this)
  9. Find a classy purse that suits me. And buy it. (Still need to do this)
  10. Be able to do 10 push ups. (Back to the working out, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed on this one)
  11. Attend Canvas and Cocktails. (They’re opening a new one by my house and I got a gift certificate for Christmas – BONUS!)
  12. Smile more often — especially at strangers. (Well under way)
  13. Fix Charles. Surgery and all. (Done and done. He has his last blood test this month)
  14. Be happy. So much of it is in my control. (Working on this, but I’m one happy camper lately)
  15. Pick a cookbook and make all the recipes – except the ones with mushrooms or other inedible objects. (I’m a total flop here. I just can’t commit to one cookbook. I’m a cookbook and recipe slut, ok?)
  16. Tell everyone I love, why I love them. (Still working on this)
  17. Send more mail. Cards, packages, random gifts. (Sent a few)
  18. Stay up late drinking wine and talking, even though I have to work the next day. (Done with Jacqui, Liz, Lindsey, Kaitlyn, Marcy… and the list goes on)
  19. Buy a pair of *perfect* boots for winter. (Hmmm, any suggestions??)
  20. Spend a weekend in the mountains with friends. (Went to Vail in October and going again in March with Kaitlyn and her new fiancé Griffin – so excited)
  21. Buy something from Etsy for someone and for my house. (Bought a purse, now something for my house… ideas welcome)
  22. Develop my favorite pictures and hang them up. (Once I’m all moved in I’ll get on this)
  23. Be a positive impact. Be aware of what I do, what I listen to and how I behave. You never know who you’re impacting. (This would be a work in progress)
  24. Eat locally and naturally. Try to buy local and eat out at local restaurants. (Doing a little better, but those Red Robin french fries get me every time)
  25. Stop to smell the flowers. This year flew by and I was constantly caught up in the day-to-day. I want to remember to take it one step at a time and pause to enjoy it! (Now that I’m moved down South again I think this will be much easier — I’ll keep you posted)

Hopefully I’ll have individual posts on more of these soon…
*Image by Libertinus