Finishing the Year 2013

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The end of the year comes so fast! It’s fun to reflect back on what happened in a year, so here we go (until it’s time to get ready for the NYE party I’m headed to later). Here’s last year’s post about 2012. (Side note NYE prep: I didn’t buy an outfit so I’m going to have to put something together from my closet. I hope I don’t forget to paint my fingernails. I’m going for closed-toe shoes just so I don’t have to paint my toes.)

So here goes some happenings in 2013 and then a recap of the resolutions’ endings. The flipagrams people are making look cool, but I bought a Mac this year and haven’t yet transferred all my files, so I don’t have a lot to work with in photos.

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  • Mac…don’t love. I wish I did. I feel like I am working at 80% of its functionality because there are still things I don’t know.
  • Killed another basil plant. Routine.
  • New DSLR camera. I bought a Canon 60D. I need to practice more and buy another lens, but I’m glad to have a good camera.
  • Living Room redo. I got hardwood floors put in, board and batten on one wall, new door casings, and new furniture. I still need some chairs and to hang things on the walls. I’m so slow at accomplishing things.
  • Traveled to 2 new big cities. I went to a college health conference in Boston in May and got to see some highlights. Then I went to New York City with Ashley and Allison G. in December. The northeast was great! I definitely want to visit again. I thought the cannolis were better in Boston.
  • Other travels: Natchez Trace to Jackson, MS; Charleston, SC; Panama City Beach, FL; Cincinnati, OH.
  • My brother got engaged! I will have a sister next year…quite exciting for our family.
  • I didn’t blog. Ha. WordPress sent an email today about my blogging year, and that was a little sad. I only wrote 6 posts before today.
  • Took on a new role at work. I ventured into the teaching realm this fall by being a clinical nursing instructor. It was a great learning and fulfilling experience, but it was a lot more work than I can handle again. I worked 6 1/2 days a week essentially.
  • Dancing. I took ballroom dance lessons in the summer after really wishing I knew how to dance the summer before at Dancing in the Park (at Centennial Park in Nashville). Now I know the basics of 5 dances and enjoyed it so much. It grew my self-confidence too.
  • My best friend had her 3rd baby girl, Cameron. She’s incredibly cute and just the sweetest little blessing.
  • TV shows: I really stuck with some shows this year. The Voice, Downton Abbey, Nashville. I’m also on Season 3 of Friday Night Lights. How to people watch so much TV (and do other things)?
  • Cooked more. Marginally. I started trying to plan a little better and make actual meals for myself, rather than just do pasta, salad, sandwiches, or cereal for dinner.
  • Best CAKE ever! I made Martha Stewart’s Salted-Caramel Six-Layer Chocolate Cake for my friend Ashley’s 30th birthday. It was unashamedly amazing but definitely a special-occasion dessert.
  • Read more…hoping to finish at least one more book tonight, so I might blog about the year of books in another post.
  • Stopped the crazy of December. Every year I have to tell myself that I need to do less and enjoy Christmas preparation more, but I still end up so BUSY. This year, the trip to NYC helped by being the weekend when all the things were going on in Nashville. I got a lot of gifts bought early on (Black Friday, I mean) and went to zero parties. I had zero parties at my house, decreased the decorating, and got a regular amount of sleep. I’m pleased at my progress.
  • Worked on a Habitat for Humanity house for the first time. Power tools, check.
  • Put one of my cats down, mentioned in the Hodgepodge post.

More happened that’s included below in my discussion about the resolutions I made for 2013 and my progress.

As a recap, my motto for 2013 was “Cleaner House, Messier Life.”

Cleaner House. I didn’t think about it as often as I should or work towards it consistently, but I did clean out several closets and cabinets. I even took pictures to blog about it, but alas that didn’t happen. I have major work to do during the rest of this week cleaning and organizing the rooms upstairs…it’s been quite disastrous. So I would stay I’m still working on this.

Messier Life. Since I didn’t have specifics in mind other than more surrender and listening to the Holy Spirit, it’s hard to say whether this is true. I was more conscientous about daily surrender to God, and I think that helped my heart be softer and more pliable for some changes. I had a really sweet conversation about surrender with my hairstylist…one of those things I think I’ll always remember. I had hoped to go on a mission trip to a new place, but I didn’t get things planned for that to happen. I think the extra job role did help me have a messier life.

I’m not judging myself about succeeding or failing at what I set out to do in specific areas, but it was good to have a few specific goals.

1. Get to my goal weight. This might be one of the things I’m most proud of and a little surprised at attaining. Because weight is such a sensitive subject, I don’t want to dwell on it, but it feels great to be where I have wanted to be. It really took a long time for the amount of weight I lost, but I reached my goal weight at Weight Watchers on my birthday and recently became a Lifetime Member (you get to go for free by maintaining your weight goal). I started seriously working on weight loss 5 years ago, and it’s taken 4 attempts, all with Weight Watchers to get there. This time was different because I just stayed with it, even when I gained weight or didn’t lose as fast as I thought I should. Here’s to maintaining!

2. Read the Bible in a year. This is the one I thought would be the easy to finish one, but I got behind often. I am about 2/3 of the way done.

3. Learn a new craft skill. Technically, I succeeded because a friend taught me to knit, but I haven’t really practiced or made anything, so I need to work on this more.

Did you have a moment in 2013 of which you are most proud?

Lessons from NYC

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I had been wanting to visit NYC for many years. Thankfully I mentioned it to two of my good friends who also wanted to go, so off we went for some Christmas magic. After spending almost 4 days in NYC, here’s what I learned:

  1. I can’t handle cold weather. I really tried. I wore a lot of clothes, and I still thought I might get hypothermia.
  2. Lattes aren’t my thing in NYC…not sweet enough.
  3. People talk about how great Southern men are, but I think it’s time to start talking about ITALIAN men. 
  4. NY subways and suitcases=torture.
  5. Lindsey Davis always goes out of her way to help people. 
  6. Wafels and Dinges (food cart with waffles)=surprise happiness.
  7. Ashley and Allison are kind, patient, and enduring friends. 
  8. Get recommendations on where to eat.
  9. Tech gloves would be a good purchase to use your phone and keep your hands covered.
  10. Dunkin’ Donuts is probably better than any fancy doughnut place.
  11. The Today Show is worth making a sign for next time.
  12. More women do cat-eyes than what I’m used to seeing.
  13. The bigness is unbelievable.

Weekend Wishes…5/24/13

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Here’s to long weekends, road trips, weddings, and time with friends of the 10+ year kind. Let’s fix our hair, put on dresses, laugh, drink, and dance. And then our feet will probably hurt, but oh, these days are delightful. I hope you celebrate whatever comes your way, for those who look for the blessings will know the joy that is now.

Aside

It starts with clouds, country music, and cereal…

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Whatever I said I would be writing about at one point isn’t what I’m going to write about. (I think we can have that as a disclaimer, yes?)

I can’t think of when I’ve been so motivated to write a blog post! Maybe I was in the car too long today coupled with minimal human interaction during the day, but I have a million thoughts running around in my head. I realized I wanted to tweet about how much I want to talk about/love clouds, country music, and Honey Bunches of Oats. (But who really wants to converse about those things? If you do, call me, I’m ready.) So it’s going to appease me to no end to blog about my thoughts of the day. Without further adieu, I’m basically going to vomit out my thoughts of the day (bye to those who are stopping now):

1. Clouds–I love clouds…I don’t know if I’ve ever publicly acknowledged this or talked about it. Especially I love cumulus clouds. The evening sky felt so peaceful, white fluff against a background of baby blue. I tend to notice clouds more when I’m traveling. When I was younger, I did a good share of cloud gazing in our front yard. There was a dip in the yard to the metal water line cover so I sat there and dreamed of what the cloud shapes could be.

2. Country music. Just a few weeks ago, I was thinking how we really need some good new songs out, and what do you know, it’s happened. Country music makes me happy. I don’t like it all, but seriously there is some songwriting going on.

If you don’t happen to listen to country music, let me introduce you to some prime stuff:

  • “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line…this song is a little much for me, but dang it’s so catchy and PERFECT summer music.
  • “Wagon Wheel” by Darius Rucker…love. This is an Old Crow Medicine Show song, but so glad it’s country radio.
  • “Boys ‘Round Here” by Blake Shelton with the Pistol Annies. Okay, I don’t really like the song (it’s rough), but this is PURE country. You’ve got to listen to it to hear the “chew tobacco/chew tobacco/chew tobacco spit” line.
  • “Mama’s Broken Heart” by Miranda Lambert. Again, I don’t like Miranda’s voice, but this song is such a SONG! I don’t change the station.
  • “I Drive Your Truck” by Lee Brice. For awhile I assumed another this was about truck drivers. It’s not. Tissue needed.
  • Another Lee Brice song “Hard to Love.” I may need to buy that album. This line “You’re like a Sunday morning, full of grace and full of Jesus.”
  • “Hey Pretty Girl” by Kip Moore. What can I say, I’m a girl. It got me.

That was a lot. I’m not apologizing.

3. Honey Bunches of Oats wins at cereal-making. I’m almost eating it exclusively. I don’t get too exclusive with much. Tide White Lilac detergent and Coffee Mate creamer are exceptions.

4. Blue Bell came out with ITALIAN CREME CAKE ICE CREAM. I saw a commercial yesterday then heard one of the radio today, and put my hand over my mouth as they described it. And then I imagined eating a whole carton in one sitting. My favorite cake + ice cream!?! I can’t even wait to get it.

5. Last night I instagrammed a picture of a grocery store find: Blue Diamond’s Toasted Coconut Almonds. So good. I think I eat almonds most days of the week.

6. ALSO, Edy’s has a Slow Churned (1/2 the fat) version of Caramel Cookie (aka Samoa) ice cream. I bought it last night as well. Great. But still, #4!!

7. I think about food a lot. Sometimes when I eat Craisins, I feel like I need to confess how great my love is for them. I think I feel guilty because I buy them in bulk.

8. Hydrogen peroxide is not good to continue using on wounds. I feel like a lot of people enjoy cleaning wounds with it, but it actually impedes wound healing. Use it initially if you enjoy the fizzy burn, but after that, soap, water, and triple antibiotic ointment is all you need. (On my mind today).

9. My balance is off with home improvement stores. I’m either at Lowe’s or Home Depot too much or not enough.

10. This post about men wearing sleeveless shirts by BooMama (one of my favorite bloggers) tickled me: http://boomama.net/2013/05/19/its-time-to-talk-about-it/ I don’t feel as strong as she does, but I also have men who I adore who wear tank tops. It’s a price we have to pay living in Nashville.

Ten seems like a good place to quit. I’m taking questions. What else do you want to know about me, about health, grocery shopping, Nashville? I’m all ears. Love you friends!

P.S. I read over this and it looks I’m manic, but I promise, I’m calm as a lamb.

 

A Little Hodgepodge

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**I started this post several days but got stopped in midst of the cat tragedy (see below). Now I’m back from a 4-day road trip with my friend Allison.There’s much to say about that, but I’ll save those details and THOUGHTS for another day.**

Hey there friends. So much for blogging this year (what is it about sitting down to write?). I will say I am doing well with my New Year’s resolutions…I’m not so sure I’m doing that much according to my motto. Or maybe it just doesn’t look like I think it should. Anyways, here’s a little update.

  • I quit Facebook and Twitter for Lent. I miss it and I don’t. I do think it’s helped me focus more on areas in my life that I need to work on. Also I’ve noticed how many times I’ve wanted to complain (usually Twitter) and haven’t. But I do feel like I’m missing out on knowing what’s going on in a lot of people’s lives.
  • Honey Bunches of Oats came out with new flavors “Fruit Blends.” Don’t worry, I’ve tried all 3 of them, and they are yum!  Banana Blueberry, Peach Raspberry, and Mango Coconut. Also, I’ve finally become a bigger fan of oatmeal because it actually fills me up now. Oatmeal out of the big cylinder gives you lots more than the instant packs but takes the same amount of time (90 seconds) to cook in the microwave. And it’s healthier!
  • I think I’m over cheap nail polish…unless someone tells me of one that is actually good. I’m painting my toenails right now with cheap stuff. I don’t like the consistency.
  • Today while in Philanthropy in downtown Franklin, the song “Captivate Us” by the Christian group Watermark came on, and I forgot how much I love it so. So  A Grateful People album may be on repeat in my house for the next day or more. (I’m not sure how to link to Spotify or I would.) It’s funny how an album that is 7 years old and one I’ve probably never listened to in its entirety before is so what I needed right now.
  • Cat tragedy: A week and a half ago I decided to take Fatty to the vet because he was drinking a lot of water and peeing a lot more than usual (and outside the litter box at times). So I took him before I went to work, the vet and I talked about how hard it was to get cats to lose weight–he had topped the scales at 19 pounds, and they decided to keep him to get a urinalysis and figure out the problem. Well it was a bad day for an extra thing in my schedule because I had volunteered to teach a class for adoptive/foster parents on medication administration that night. I rushed from work to pick him up and although I knew the medical possibilities which would cause his symptoms, I wasn’t prepared to hear Fatty had diabetes. All I could think was, “I’ve got to get out of here!” So I told the vet I knew about diabetes, gave him his first insulin shot, bought the diabetic food, and left with a prescription for insulin shots to be given twice a day.

Fast forward a week. After much debating, denial, and guilt, I decided to put him down because I couldn’t take care of him properly. The cost of the insulin ($150/vial) and my somewhat busy schedule and frequent enough travel made me decide. So then there were goodbyes with Sarah because Fatty was her cat first and goodbyes at the vet with my friend Wendy there. The decisions were stressful, but now that it’s done, I’m at much peace.

He loved crouching into containers.

He loved crouching into containers.

sweet lover

sweet lover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • During this ordeal, I realized that I have trouble making decisions without guilt or fear. <sigh>
  • I am beginning to redo my living room. I originally wanted to post home decor and crafty stuff on this blog…so I guess it’s times I did something to a room. :)
  • Do you know last Friday (the one before Spring Break) had been my goal for several weeks? Yes, it marked the end of the busy season of cold and flu and the beginning of my week of vacation. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to Friday.
  • Online dating is happening again. Or something.
  • I am having problems with insomnia! In the past year or so I’ve had problems randomly with waking up and not being able to go back to sleep. Within the last week, I attributed it to anxiety (although I think I handle stress relatively well) trying to make decisions on Fatty and emailing guys. But I have really zero stress in my life and am still waking up at 2 a.m. give or take. My nose was stuffy in December, and I attributed my spell to that, but I can breathe just fine. I feel like I should be able to figure myself out but so far, I’m a mystery. I’m trying to work out a doable dosage of Ibuprofen PM–I need it strong enough to keep me asleep but not enough where I’m groggy for hours. Is that possible? I don’t know, but it’s catching up with me.
  • I should probably go to sleep now and take some Ibuprofen PM.
  • Spring clothes. Amen.
  • I have 3 magazines to read and at least one book I want to finish on vacation #2 of the week.
  • Tonight I found a pair of gold earrings in my car that I probably haven’t worn in a year. One was in my front dash pocket (?) and one was in the backseat holder. Weird, because I’ve definitely cleaned out my car several times in the past few months.
  • I have one earring stuck in my car in a tight spot. I need to remember to come up with a contraption to get it out.

Thanks for listening to the rambling friends. Happy Spring!!

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