Friday, February 27, 2015

Wine and Jesus

Popping my head in for a small update. Sorry to have been MIA folks, but life has been some kind of crazy these days.  As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, circumstances been challenging lately -the kind of tough where you just have to pause, pray, regroup and muddle through. Lots of prayers, a few tears and lots of sweets. But, what has really made life challenging has been the everyday stresses - late nights and early mornings working at the office, challenging deadlines, Jr league projects and duties outside of work, etc, etc. This afternoon, I hit a major project deadline - after a couple late nights this week, missed lunch breaks, project instructions being changed multiple times, etc, etc. Today, I was on the metro before 7 am and worked straight from 7 until 2:30, stopping once to use the restroom and get a bottle of water, goldfish and a pear from the kitchen. When I FINALLY finished, I stopped to catch my breath and thought:

"On crazy weeks like this one, I am so glad I have Jesus and Dave."

Don't be too impressed with me because my very next thought was:

"I am so glad God made wine"

After laughing at my desire for Jesus AND wine, I started thinking: Isn't it great that God gives us little blessings (like wine!) to help us get through hard days, stressful weeks and difficult seasons?  Distractions, encouragements, funny moments, small material things that make our day.  Don't get me wrong: Jesus is enough - even when it does not feel that way, but how kind of Him to sprinkle grace into our lives in the smallest of ways? ESPECIALLY when we need cheering up or relaxation.

I hate seeing my husband stress. If I can't take the stress away then I want to immediately cheer him up with a movie or favorite meal or picking up a beer he likes at the store.  When friends have challenging weeks, I suggest unwinding with a girls night or dinner out. Likewise, I think God knows that sometimes His plans or our circumstances can be hard waters to wade through - and although He may not lift the burden, He holds our hand as we push through and gives us the tools to get through -- scripture, prayer, community. AND, He's kind enough to provide little comforts to provide rest, joy and distraction along life's difficult paths.

So, when life gets stressful, cling to the one who knows the plan and who loves you even when you are messy.  Dive into the word, pour your heart out in prayer.  But, also, soak up the good! Enjoy the flowers and sunshine (you know, if you live somewhere other than DC). Watch a good chick flick. Listen to your favorite song while on the metro.  Get a fountain drink from Sonic.  Call an old friend. Buy a new shirt in your favorite color.  Eat a scoop of ice cream. Get a pedi. Curl up with the comfiest blanket you own and a good book. Take a weekend trip. Go for a run. And drink a glass (or two) of wine.  You may be waiting on big blessings in your life, but there is no reason why you can't enjoy the small ones, however trivial they might seem.

Blessings I am enjoying over the next week: my new pink vest, sleeping in on Saturday, wine, the return of Once Upon a Time to ABC, debating what I want to buy with my 3 Ann Taylor gift cards (yep, 3 whole gift cards!), finishing the 3 good books I am reading on my kindle, seeing The Drop Box at the DC showing, girl scout cookies, sushi for dinner tonight, seeing my two favorite nephews on Friday, trying out my new Jamberry nails, booking the massage Dave bought me for Valentines, hanging up my new Thimblepress pictures, cuddling and Netflix, and returning to the gym (worked through lunch every day this week so I missed my gym time- also I will need gym time as my list includes wine and girl scout cookies!)

So that's where I am at the moment -- dealing with life's struggles, crazy busy with work, Jr League and projects, tired body and weary soul, clinging to my Savior and diving into His word daily, but also enjoying the small stuff: you know, wine, girl scout cookies, pretty nails, cuddling, tv shows and books.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Grown Up Snow Days

This week, we finally had our FIRST snow day of the year.  Last year, we had so many snow days that I started to dread them for a couple different reasons:

  1.  I was still a temporary employee so I didn't get paid for snow days
  2. Once the snow day is over, you have to survive the snow on the ground for the next few days.  Curling up in a warm house on a snow day is fabulous -- BUT walking to the metro or bus stop in slushy snow and ice the next few days is NOT fun.
  3. I enjoy SNOW but I do not like cold.  Having so many snow days meant it was a really cold winter!
However, after a winter of just a little snow and NO snow days, I was so ready for a day off! It's been a rough couple weeks - and a day at home with my sweet guy was such a treat. I wish we knew our neighbors so we could have them over on snow days. We have a few friends in the neighborhood, so maybe if we have another snow day, we can plan for a wine night....or maybe we can sit in our PJs all day (oh the luxury of deciding HOW you want to be lazy....) We don't have kids and although I like to think we are young, we aren't exactly college students, so our snow days are usually a bit grown up: not much sledding, snow man building, etc. --- although if I lived near Dupont Circle, I would definitely participate in the snow ball fights that happen every time there is a big snow.  In a few years, we will have munchkin(s) to bundle out and take out to play, so for now, I enjoy getting to just look at the snow from my window!

We may have another snow day tomorrow (what a waste for a Saturday!) The first rule of good snow days is that they MUST occur on a work day!!  For those of you in non-snowy regions, here is a little primer on how to properly enjoy a snow day! (Could be added: hang out with friends or roomies.  We only have a few friends in walking distance so we are a bit more limited)

Grown Up Snow Days are for......

Cooking a REAL breakfast (aka, not toast, cereal or oatmeal!)

Most week days, breakfast is simple.  We usually save warm, homemade treats for holidays or lazy weekends or brunches with friends.  Since SNOW DAYS are relaxing, I make a hot breakfast every time there is a snow day and even if it is just pancakes from a box mix, it feels special!  We often make Monkey Bread when it snows -- but it is so FATTENING and I am trying to eat healthy foods, so I cooked low fat French Toast instead.  This sounds like a real recipe - but it's not. I just improvised with healthier versions of the ingredients. Essentially, I made french toast out of light bread (2 pieces for 80 calories), egg/egg whites, skim milk, vanilla, and 1-2 TBSP of sugar.  To cook the toast, I used cooking spray and a tiny bit of "fake butter" (aka, butter spread) in the pan and then topped with a tiny bit of powdered sugar! (Dave added some syrup to his)  For using light ingredients, the toast turned out pretty yummy! Definitely a bit more special than the oatmeal I normally eat!

Taking obligatory southern "oh look, it's snow!" pictures

Yankees, forgive us. We didn't grow up with a lot of snow - maybe 1-2 light snows a year and one big snow every few years (and big to us is nothing like what Boston is getting). So, when it snows a lot, we take pictures. We have to document that we have actually experienced winter weather.  Now, I will admit, last year, after the first couple snows, I quit taking pictures (because I was such a local then and snow was no big thing, ha), BUT since this was our first snow day of the year, I definitely had to snap a few!

Coffee and Reading

Dave gets cabin fever.  He almost always wants to walk in the snow to a coffee store to get a "fruity coffee" (ie, flavored special coffee that you can't just brew for yourself at home).  I am not always as eager to get out, but I am usually convinced. Who can resist a little reading and coffee?

Binge Watching on Netflix/Hulu

I think we watched 5 episodes of Brothers and Sisters Tuesday.  I can't help it - with no obligations, it's so easy to just keep going through a season!

Trying a NEW recipe for dinner

I almost always try a new recipe on a snow day! It's often a soup, stew or chili (because it's cold outside, duh!!)  I don't get off work until 6 and by the time I get home, it's usually between 6:30 and 6:45 (and sometimes later if I have to work late on a project) - so our week night suppers are often a rotation of tried and true recipes that we can make quickly or pull out of the freezer.  I always love the excuse to look up a new recipe on a snow day!  This time, we tried Emily Bites' Spaghetti and Meatball Soup -- a fairly healthy easy soup that I will definitely make again! Actually, Skinnytaste also has a recipe so next time I may try that version!

Why I really loved this soup: hearty enough to be a meal, shredded veggies mixed in with noodles so that Dave actually ate the healthy stuff, turkey meatballs (not beef), easy to make, gives you the feeling of a big bowl of spaghetti without all the calories.


Honestly, we did not do too many chores-- tidied the kitchen a bit and folded laundry.  I hung up a few clothes that were lying on the guest bed.  But, when you start to feel too lazy from a netflix binge, it's good to move around and do a little work so you can pat yourself on the back for being productive!


Wine + TV or a good book + a blanket ---while it's snowy and cold outside? This is a no brainer. We had no wine in the house, but Dave had to make a run to the grocery store Tuesday night to pick up snacks for an Architecture meeting the next day-- and he had good enough sense to snatch up a bottle of wine (one more reason to love him!) Wine is always a good snow day addition!

How do you enjoy your adult snow days???

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Lucky and Loved: Snapshots of Valentines

I hope everyone had a happy and warm holiday weekend - full of chocolate, wine, cheesy chic flicks, friends and lots of LOVE.  Oh, and I hope that lots of you were able to extend your 3 day weekend into a 4 day weekend by enjoying a SNOW day at home Tuesday.

We spent the weekend in State College, PA visiting my sister, her husband and the world's cutest little nephews.  Dave studied. I read. We talked and laughed and were climbed all over by my 3.5 year old nephew (Jack). Poor thing -- lots of cold weather days with no opportunity to run around makes you REALLY antsy!  I flipped through Marley's new cookbook and drooled over recipes I want to try. I took a nap and went to bed early and played with puzzles and snuggled a 5 month old.  I made a new recipe (low fat breakfast casserole) and enjoyed Marley's cooking. Sunday, when it was REALLY cold (below zero temps), I took Jackie boy out for ice cream. (The kid could eat "chocat" ice cream with sprinkles ANY time of the year!)

Dave bought me lovely flowers (which I sadly forgot to bring home) and a massage which I can't wait to use!  I bought him a framed print, spring polo (wishful thinking that SPRING will arrive quickly right?!?!?), socks (adults get socks as a Vday gift -- especially when SAID adults whine about not having enough socks weekly).  We enjoyed a Valentines brunch with my sister and brother in law's friends - and dinner out at Happy Valley Brewery.

All in all, it was a relaxing weekend - which I needed and enjoyed. The only stressful moment was braving the grocery store on Monday when we returned -- shopping at the end of a 3 day weekend before a snow storm hits is a bad idea.  But, we literally only bought apples, eggs, milk and bread last week - and girl scout cookies, so shopping was a must.  Fortunately for us, that brief stressful moment was followed by a deliciously lazy snow day (another post for another day). Long live the 4 day weekend!

Here of snapshots of all the love in our lives this weekend:

Valentines Flowers....

My little Valentines...

Valentines Double Date to HAPPY VALLEY BREWERY......

Sunday loving with my "hood-lum"

Ice Cream Trip with Jackie boy -- in negative temps.  This is the best picture you can get of him when you try to distract him from ice cream to take a picture.  Photogenic right??  And this kid can inhale some ice cream......

I hope your lives were filled with love and friendship last weekend too!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

To the one who loves me so well

I've never been a big Valentines lover-- but the reverse is also true: I have never been a Valentines hater.  It's a fun day to enjoy cheesy cards, gorge on way too sweet chocolate and drink a glass or two of wine.  I celebrate with Dave but it's rarely a big deal -- for example, last year we just grabbed burgers at Good Stuff Eatery. When I was single, It was never a hard day for me to endure.  I never felt I was missing out and I never felt unloved. (Just remember, chocolate and wine can be enjoyed with or without a man) Unlike other major holidays including Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, New Years, I've always viewed Valentines as a fun commercial holiday meant mostly for children.  It was a fun excuse to celebrate, but nothing more!

But, this year is different. Never have I been so grateful for my Valentine.  This week, life has thrown a major curve ball our way. (sorry to be cryptic, a different conversation for a different day) The past several days have been some of the hardest of my life. It's been a week full of pain, tears, lots of prayers and holding each other up. And as hard as the past several days have been, I am extremely grateful for my sweet husband. The praise that remains on my heart: "Thank you Jesus that I have Dave. Thank you that I don't have to do life's hard parts alone." Dave is the rock for our family - and having someone to share life's burdens with does indeed make the load a little lighter.

You see, the week before Valentines 2015 has seemed to be the darkest of times, not a time for red balloons, conversation hearts, flowers, love notes and heart shaped boxes of chocolates.  Yet, this Valentines, I have never felt more loved.  I have a dear husband who has loved me so well amid life's trials.  He has taken care of my physical needs, done more than his fair share of chores, held me when I cried, prayed over me, comforted me and tried so very hard to make me laugh.  He has honored the hard part of the vows (for better, FOR WORSE) in ways I never imagined. I know that not everyone is blessed in this way, so I am grateful, truly truly grateful. I am truly fortunate to have a husband that loves me so actively and purposefully, even when he, himself, is hurting.

At the moment, our many blessings seem hidden in brokeness. Some of our future hopes and dreams seem unclear and far away. But one thing I have never been more sure about is the man I married!!  Life may seem uncertain, but I have never felt more certain of who I am doing life with.

So, on a day that I typically view as over-commercialized and a bit coerced, this Valentines, I truly want to celebrate! My life is filled with love - from so many people, but most importantly from a man who lives his vows daily, not just on February 14th. I am blessed to love and be loved by such an amazing godly man.

I pray for 50+ years with this sweet man - and I know there will be as many downs as there are ups. But, I feel prepared for all of life's challenges, so long as I get to face them with Dave by my side.  I am so thankful for my Valentine who loves me just as well on February 15 as he does the day before. He makes me stronger, kinder, more hopeful and a better version of myself.  He reminds me to have faith and he reminds me of our blessings. He loves actively, not just with fluffy words and over the top gestures, but with real sacrifice, service and daily commitment. Most importantly, my husband points me to the One who loves me even better than he ever could.

Oh, and he makes me laugh constantly, still tries to flirt with me and has the prettiest blue eyes. I'm a very lucky girl to be loved by him- and this Valentines, I am aware of this blessing more than every before.

(Seriously, looks at those blue eyes!)

P.S. For you sweet single ladies who are still waiting, this is what I pray for you....Valentines Days (and ordinary days) full of love, commitment and sacrifice. I pray you find husbands that make your happy days even more joyful and your hard days a bit more bearable. (and of course I pray that you bring the same sense of joy, comfort and support to him!) Find a man who will hold you when you cry, pick up soup and crackers on his way home from work when you are sick, rub your back when you are pregnant and uncomfortable, take over the chores when you have an awful week at work, help you bathe the vomit off the sick kids and willingly pick up tampons at the store!  It may not be a scene from your favorite rom-com, but this, dear friends, is where love and life gets good :)

P.S.S. I think I may have said something above along the lines of  "this Valentines will not include a lot of candy, flowers, love notes, etc" That's partly a lie.  There will be chocolate and wine. Always wine.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday's Five: What I am Loving TODAY

Here are Five Random Thoughts for your Friday!  Happy Weekend Y'all!!!

(1) Auburn landed the #1 recruit in the country.

Y'all know I love me some SEC football.  And it all starts with signing day.  Sure, not all of the players pan out. Sometimes guys who are not ranked as 4 or 5 stars end up being the play makers. Sometimes the top ranked players do nothing. But, on a whole, a good recruitment does lend hope for good seasons in years to come.

Auburn had a rough season this year.  Not awful, just mediocre and full of regression.  But, with the recent hire of Will Muschamp as Defensive Coordinator AND a strong class (including #1 recruit Byron Cowart), Auburn fans have a reason to be hopeful that good seasons are in our future.

This is also a big deal because Auburn, although winning SEC championships, a National Championship and having a few recent undefeated seasons, has never (in recent memory) landed the #1 recruit.

(2) Happy Birthday Pres. Reagan

The former President would have been 104 today. 

(3) Homemade King Cake

As you can imagine, King Cake is a rarity here in our nation's capitol.  You can buy authentic King Cake from Bayou Bakery (owned by a Louisiana man) but it is expensive and large, so you are committing to a lot of King Cake. I bought one last year for a party, but D and I can't eat the whole thing! (correction, we shouldn't eat the whole thing....we probably could eat it) So, instead, I tried my hand at my own King Cake. Overall, I think that it was a success. It's not as good as a NOLA bakery's filled treat, but so much better than the cheap ones you can buy at the grocery store - and certainly better than nothing!  I used this recipe and will probably try it again, maybe making my own dough or trying a different filling.  I definitely think it's worth trying! Especially if, like me, you live miles and miles away from the South, but you still want some Mardi Gras goodness!

(4) Outer Banks Get-Away

Currently, the wind chill is in the teens -- so I may be torturing myself by thinking about summer and summer vacations......but I can't help it!  And, I would argue that for every moment that it makes me feel sad about the cold weather, it makes me equally as happy to daydream about the future!

D and I are flying home for a good friend's wedding and since the whole family will be there, we will be making a trip down to Rosemary Beach or one of the other 30A beaches in Florida for a family vacation after the wedding festivities!  But, as I have mentioned before, D and I have made a commitment to take at least one small vacay each year just us (or one day, just us and kids)  Our only requirements for this year's get away was that it had to be:
  1.  nearby (just a short drive, no flights since we are flying to Atlanta in April and Mississippi in June)
  2. a place that we could enjoy in just 3-4 days (since we will be reserving 6 vacation days for the wedding/family trip, we only wanted to make this a long weekend)
  3. fairly inexpensive (I don't want to drop a lot of money on a short trip)

We decided to schedule our yearly trip over Memorial Day weekend since we already have Monday off, so all we have to do is take Friday off to make this a little 4 day trip. Although I was pushing for Charleston or Ashville, both were a pretty hefty drive for such a short time frame - especially on a holiday weekend when the drive will take even longer due to the traffic. So, we decided on the Outer Banks, a beach I have always wanted to visit -- with good restaurants, cute little towns and an Alligator wildlife reserve (guess who's excited about that? I'll give you a clue. His name doesn't start with a K) 

Our hotel is booked. It is official. So I am beach dreaming -- and excited for 3.5 beach days with D plus a whole week in Florida with my family.  The past two years, D and I have taken our trips to cities, so it will be nice to have some down time - a vacation with no obligations or sights to see unless we want to leave the beach.  Tonight, as I walk to the metro in my puffer coat and wool hat, I will be thinking of sunshine, beach reads, drinks with umbrellas, lots of yummy seafood - and of course the cutest travel companion.  Summer 2015 -- hurry up!

(5) Valentines Day with my favorite little boys

We are spending Valentines weekend with my sister and her family.  I bought fun pancake mixes (red velvet and pink with chocolate chips) so we can make heart shaped pancakes -- and I am picking up little happies** for the boys (and some to send to my sweet nieces in Mississippi). Holidays are more fun with kids!  Can't wait to love on those boys in just 7 days!

**for non southerners, a "HAPPY" is a small treat or gift for no real reason, "just because".  If your aunt comes to visit and brings you a new book and some candy, that's a happy. If you parents go on a trip to Napa and bring you back a bottle of wine, that's a HAPPY. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Making our house a HOME: Master Bedroom Daydreaming...........

As I mentioned in my last post, one of my February goals is to tackle the remainder of our bedroom. Fortunately, we have the big items already -- only the fun stuff really needs to be added!

A little description of our bedroom. It is gray, white and yellow with some modern inspiration and a little deer influence (pillow, print, etc)  I will let you guess which of us brought the modern touches and which one loves deer :) We have a gray fabric heading, white bedspread and gray, yellow and white pillows with a mixture of light wood, gray and white furniture.  The floor has a gray and white chevron rug.

Things our bedroom has:

  • furniture (2 dressers, bookcase, wardrobe, bed, desk, night stands)
  • bedding (white, gray, yellow)
  • lamps (2 gay lamps, 1 white)
  • a few accessories ( a grouping of black and white wedding pics, a vase, framed pictures)
  • rug (gray and white chevron)
Things the room still needs: A LITTLE MORE PERSONALITY!! 
  • wall decor  -- some type of racks or ledges, framed prints and pictures, a center piece for above our bed
  • a jewelry rack
  • a desk makeover or possibly a new desk
  • possibly - a couple trinkets/accessories to sit on our dressers/bookcase - but I don't like the too cluttered look and I like when these trinkets come over time, so this may be something I wait on -- mementos from travels, special memories, etc.
  • painting/hanging the antler monogram I already purchased and hanging the white faux deer head
Here are some of the little "touches" I have been daydreaming about.....

(1) A few picture ledges - with photo canvases, framed prints, vases, trinkets, etc

Ikea has great cheap photo ledges - so I may be making a trip to Woodbridge, VA soon (it's our closest IKEA, 30 miles away....and I have been told by an authentic TEXAN that their Walmart sells Bluebell ice cream, so I could really make this a little morning trip, ha!)

(2) A painted antler monogram above our bed

*I have a wooden antler monogram already (ordered it when it was half off) but I have yet to paint it. I am leaning towards all white or maybe white antlers and a gray initial

(3) A hairpin leg desk

We inherited Marley and Bech's dining room table (which seats 6) - so our cheap Craig's list Ikea table has been re purposed as our desk..and I have been itching to give it a makeover. I love the simple look of a hairpin legged desk! We could possibly stain the top of our table and add hairpin legs. Or, for not much more, we could buy a cheap hairpin leg desk from Walmart (both Walmart and Target have cheaper mid century/modern lines now)  Although I would prefer to do the desk makeover, our table is a bit too big to be a desk -- we don't work from home, so our desk doesn't need to be big enough to seat a family of four! For that reason alone, I am leaning towards to Walmart desk (or some other cheap version) in order to save a bit more space in our room.

(4) An antler jewelry rack

I need a jewelry rack for above my dresser- and we might as well stick to the deer theme. Plus, most jewelry racks are boring and this is adorable.

(5) Fun prints/artwork for the walls and picture ledge.

(6) A white deer head

I actually already bought a faux deer head like this half off online.  I thought it was bigger than it was, so my original plan to hang it over our bed was swapped out for the monogram antlers.  However, I like the idea of placing a frame around it or mixing it in with other artwork somewhere else in the bedroom.  A fun modern twist on the traditional mount.

(7) POSSIBLY - a new white duvet cover

This is a big POSSIBLY.  I bought a really cheap duvet cover last year and it seemed to not stay on the comforter very well and we took it off. But, I don't think we gave it a good enough try, so I am going to pull it out of the closet, iron it and place it on our comforter with safety pins on the ends to hold things in place.  Eventually, I will splurge on a nicer one, but I am hoping I can put that off for awhile.  If my salvage project does not work, then I will start looking for a new cover.

Here's hoping this BEDROOM INSPIRATION post lights a fire under my booty to get to work! My goal is to finish about 75 percent of what I have left.  Considering 2 of my 7 goals include items I already have - and 1 goal is just a possibility, I should be able to make a serious dent in my list....that is, if I can quit being so lazy when I get home from work. (D*mn you, Netflix, sweatpants and comfy blankets.....)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Goal Setting

Woaaa.....we are already into FEBRUARY. 2015 seems to be moving quickly - although I have been dragging, so it's time to jump in full force, right?

I didn't make goals for January. I pretty much took the month off.  We spent a lot of time watching movies, going to bed early, reading and occasionally hanging out with friends.  We did not explore or enjoy our city that much. I did not tackle any big projects.  I hardly blogged.  I didn't decorate or organize.

The fall and the holidays were wonderful and fun, full of fellowship, family and travel, but after such a busy season, we needed rest, time together and no obligations! For everything, there is a season, right? And we had a wonderful "down" month. If only this season could continue awhile longer....

But, it's the second day of February and it's time to get back to business. Since it's my first month back in goal mode, I am not aiming too high - just a few small goals!

(1) Get our bed room 75 percent completed.

In the fall, we focused on decorating living spaces and the guest room, since that's the area company enjoys when they stay with us. But, with a lull in visitors over the next few months (NO ONE wants to visit DC during the nasty winter months...can't blame them!), I have decided to finish tackling our bedroom.  I want it to be a comfy space for us - perfect for cuddling and watching a movie, curling up with a good book or enjoying a Sunday nap! Luckily, we already have furniture and a few decorations, but I would love to hang more artwork, add a few framed photos, paint a monogram for above our bed (I have one already but it's been sitting in my living room, unpainted for a few weeks now....) I know I probably can't finish the entire room this month, but shooting for 75 percent completion seems doable -- plus, is anything every truly finished? I could always make a few changes to freshen things up, ha!

Small goals to make this happen:

  • frame existing photos and artwork to hang on walls
  • move NARNIA (what D lovingly named our wardrobe) into our bedroom
  • paint our Antler Monogram for above the bed.
  • Purchase some type of photo ledge to stack pictures and prints on
  • invest in a few more prints, canvases, etc for the walls/photo ledge

(2) Work out 3 times a week. 

I always think it's a bit sad that I have to make working out regularly a goal.  Pre-DC, I worked out daily and even occasionally more than once.  It was a drug of choice during a stressful season and to be fair, the idea of wearing a white dress in front of 400+ people scared me into workout mode, ha! Also, gym time seemed more convenient and I felt comfortable running in my parent's neighborhood at night(which was by my office)

I'd love to one day be a workout daily person again, maybe even run another half marathon, but currently, I am shooting for 3 workouts a week. I was averaging 2-3 gym visits a week during January, so I think that this goal is achievable.

(3) Read at least one book.

Taking time to read (or sometimes on the metro, LISTEN) to books was a priority last year - and one of the only priorities in which I truly succeeded. I love reading, but when life gets busy, sometimes it's quick to go. However, taking time to dive into a good book is perfect me time and it keeps my mind sharp! I finished a couple books last month - and want to keep the reading goal up in 2015!

(4) Take time to make family goals.

In our Sunday School class, we just did a unit on family goals -- short term, mid range and long term goals.  One of the things we learned was to set a list of family core values, so we know what values we won't compromise to achieve our goals (IE, if our goal is to save money, but our value is charity, we shouldn't save a tone at the expense of not giving to others each month)  

The study also talked about making goals in all areas -- financial, spiritual, mental/physical, career, etc.  I really want D and I to sit down and make some goals and determine our family's core values.  We talk goals all the time, BUT having something in writing would be great.  Sure, we won't achieve everything, but it will be good to have guidelines and something to aim for.  Also, the couple teaching the class said that as you accomplish goals, you should add that to the family's accomplished goals list.  When you feel like goals aren't being achieved quickly enough, look at what all has been accomplished.  That was encouraging to me. I think of so many things D and I would love to accomplish but haven't - and then I look at what we did achieve last year and we have come further than I thought.

As our marriage continues and as we start a family, I would love to continue with yearly goal/value setting.  I am hoping to start small this year and learn what works for us  as far as a family plan.  We can readjust in the coming years until we find a goal format that works.

(5) Organize!

Things in our house have gotten sloppy.  Not dirty, per se, just a bit messy and disorganized.  Without so many visitors, our guest bed now hosts a big pile of clothing that I need to hang up.  Our kitchen cabinets are messy, no order at all.  I am not the type of person that needs every thing to be in its perfect place, but a little less mess would be nice.  I think I am going to make a small list of tasks -- like sort through drawers and get rid of items I don't wear or need, clean out cabinets, get rid of toiletries in the bathroom that we no longer use, etc  and each week this month, I can pick a couple tasks to accomplish!

(6) Don't over-commit.

One thing I loved about January was the fact that I had some time to rest and relax -- especially the first few weeks (as the last two weekends have been a lot busier)!  D and I made it a goal to limit our plans last month and it was so good for us -- particularly, so good for me since I am the one who tends to fill my calendar too quickly.  As I aim toward productivity again, I do want to reserve some down time each week!

What about you? Were you able to jump into 2015 - or were you sluggish through January like me?  Do you have any February goals?