April 2017

april 2017 monthly to-do list!

“The sun was warm but the wind was chill. / You know how it is with an April day. / When the sun is out and the wind is still.”  — Robert Frost

I really feel like I should be calling this my moving post. This is my monthly to-do list, but so much of it basically feels like a PCS-ing check-list. It kind of is. But, I do plan on making a *separate* post about moving–one that may involve a to-do list very similar to this one. For now, this will remain my April to-do list, heavily influenced by our impending move (impending as in: I spent the evening packing and have been cooking with anything I can find in the pantry).

  1.  Move. So much easier said, than done.  So. Much. Easier.
  2. Purge my vanity of old or hated items.  Preferably before the move.
  3. Separate likes and dislikes when unpacking–don’t just put stuff away.  Like last time.  🙂
  4. Check back on my pinterest boards and decorate according to vision, not convenience. irl.
  5. Come up with the ultimate bug-prevention plan.  And implement it the same day.
  6. Create a storage room, and use it! Our current apartment IS our home and storage combo.
  7. Mail change-of-address cards. Really excited about these!
  8. Try not to be too sad about moving, but take some memorable pics.  Not gonna be able to handle it.
  9. Give myself a little time for blogging/writing!  It will be tough, but I want to make some time for it.
  10. Celebrate Easter in our new home. Our first holiday there!  <3

There are some unwritten to-do’s that I have circling in my mind (doesn’t everyone?) But I don’t like overloading my to-do list because that is one way to guarantee I won’t get anything done! When I was a kid, I used to write non-negotiables on my to-do list, like waking up or eating lunch, just to give myself things to check off! ha  My tactics haven’t improved much.  But we will see what I get done and hopefully I can do a little better than last time!

What are your plans for April?  And for anyone interested in a lil #tbt, you can read my first-ever monthly post here.  It’s been one year since I started these, and they have become my favorite posts to write!  Thanks for stopping by!!

 

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Round-Up: March 2017

round-up: march 2017

“March shakes her icicled head / exhales Winter’s last gasp / chills clouded moisture / sheds her stinging tears.”  – John G. Lawless

March 2017 didn’t exactly fly by, but I was still sad to see it go!  It was a great month, because it was our first full-month of 2017 that we got to spend together as a family (due to Army training, etc).  It was also our last full-month in our apartment.  Our very first home. <3  But this month we got the notice that it’s time to move and so the adventure has already begun!  It might not come as a shock, but I didn’t exactly complete my monthly to-do list.  I had been doing good at the beginning of the year, but this move has thrown everything off it’s course.  I don’t mind that much.  Onto the list:

  1. Organize my makeup and lotion collection. I have purged a teeny bit, but I wouldn’t say I organized it!
  2. Stop wasting time on IG/random google searches.  My progress fluctuated.
  3. Make it to chapter 5 in my novel.  Was too busy to even open it.  Very sad about that!
  4. Write a guest post on a military wife blog.  I still plan to!
  5. Make macaroons.  We decide they were too invoveled/we were lacking in proper equipment.
  6. Enjoy a week of sister-vacay.  Sisters Fun Week was way too much fun!!!
  7. Find a new piano book to play through.  An old favorite “Music by the Masters” was my springtime jam.
  8. Get a little more done with my Google Analytics account.  Not this time!
  9. Spend one week doing something “in French” every day.  Ugh, too busy.
  10. Finish season 4 of Secret Life of the American Teenager.  But wait, managed to do this one. 🙂

This wasn’t my most productive month, if I’m looking at it strictly on the basis of how much of my to-do list was accomplished.  But as a month itself, and especially a month in 2017, it was busy and full of accomplishments.  Since it was our first time in a while that we had uninterrupted family time, my husband and I enjoyed lots of catching up with our baby.  Getting professional family (and military couple) photos taken was definitely a highlight.  So was crossing off our bucklet-list of things to do before we move.  Making plans for our future home has also been exciting, and simple days at home mean so much after so many months of training and separation.  If I’m being completely honest, March has always been one of my least-favorite months.  But this year, March was possibly the best!

I’m anticipating an equally (if not more) busy month ahead in April.  I hope you’ll stop by to read my overambitious to-do list for next month!  Since my list for March 2017 didn’t really happen, some of those to-do’s may get carried over.  It should be a great month.  Thanks for stopping by!

 

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March 2017

march 2017

“Loveliest of trees, the cherry now / Is hung with bloom along the bough.” – A. E. Houseman

A new month and one that is already teeming with aspirations and plans!  I secretly like that.  Even though I’m definitely someone who enjoys quiet days and peaceful routines, I really welcome business and tend to do better when I’m multitasking.  Anyone else like that?  This post is my to-do list of hopes/dreams/expectations/self-challenges…etc for March 2017.  I do one of these every month, in case you are new here.  (Welcome!)  And so, here it goes:

  1. Organize my makeup and lotion collection.  I have SO much that needs to go.
  2. Stop wasting time on IG/random google searches.  “I keep up with the K’s,” but need more writing time.
  3. Make it to chapter 5 in my novel.  See above.  Last month’s challenge was a bit ambitious.
  4. Write a guest post on a military wife blog.  It’s time to get that done!
  5. Make macaroons.  I have wanted to do this forever.  Strawberry lemon?  Yum.
  6. Enjoy a week of sister-vacay.  I absolutely love spending vacation time with my sisters.
  7. Find a new piano book to play through.  I’m thinking romantic era, or classical.
  8. Get a little more done with my Google Analytics account.  Always struggling with this one!
  9. Spend one week doing something “in French” every day.  I’m planning the 3rd week of this month.
  10. Finish season 4 of Secret Life of the American Teenager.  It has to be done.

This entire month will fall during Lent (I’m Catholic) and so I am also planning to do a Lenten almsgiving activity. Since Lent is 40 days long, I want to donate 40 items, whether it be clothing, shoes, household, etc.  At the end of each week I will set aside 6 items, and then once I’ve collected all 40, I will donate them to our community charity center.  Not only am I hoping to help others with my donation, but I’m hoping to improve myself with this plan.  I tend to be super sentimental and am naturally a “saver” so this will be hard for me.  So I’m hoping this program will help me grow in that aspect!

Also, every month I have been trying to do a “focus” word of the month.  For this month, I want it to be honesty.  I think if I “honestly” assessed each time I get on the internet, I would spend less time scrolling and more time writing.  And if I honestly assess my time management, I will have more time for playing piano and baking…etc.  I think honesty is a great virtue and I hope it plats a big part in my March 2017!

What are your plans for the month?  Once again, thanks for stopping by.  I hope to see you next post, for another Army Basic Training letter-writing topic!

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Round-up: February 2017

“Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.”  – Pietro Aretino

I’m going to break some expectations here and omit beginning this with”Wow, February flew by!”  Instead I’m going to say that this February felt longer than I thought it would.  It was by far my favorite month this year (I know, there’s only been two of them).  But it also ended up being my favorite month in a while.  Not that the other recent months haven’t been great.  But this was particularly great because it was our Army Homecoming month!  In case you noticed a gap of time during which I wasn’t posting, it was because we were doing family traveling, Army school graduation, etc.  Very fun times, and I know this month will remain the highlight of the year!  Amidst all the celebrating, I might or might not have gotten my to-do list accomplished:

  1. Write my baby’s birth story.  I started it, but didn’t finish it.
  2. Take a family trip.  Hello, Columbus GA and Phenix City AL (mostly Columbus.  Mostly Ft. Benning).
  3. Make a bundt cake.  I made a Pumpkin Custard Bundt cake where the custard FLOATS to the top.  Mostly.
  4. Publish twice a week here on my blog.  Was going strong until Homecoming rolled around…oops.
  5. Begin Chapter 7 of my book. Nope, I’m on chapter 3.
  6. Learn how to curl my hair with a flat iron.  Tried it but didn’t work for me.  Hot rollers saved the day!
  7. Take my baby to the park more often.  The field across from us, and the sand pit are even more fun!
  8. Write another guest post.  It’s hard to pull together a guest post when I’m not even doing regular posting here!

At least I got done more than half, but this month’s to-do list wasn’t nearly as successful as last month’s round-up.  Oh well, there’s always March!  Thanks for stopping by, and tune in next time for another Army myth-busting post.

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February 2017

february 2017

“In January a deep freeze. / Small February is a tease.”  — Joyce Johnson

February is usually all about Valentine’s Day for me!  (cliche, I know)  But this month, I’m going to try to break the mold and make February 2017 about more than just hearts and cards.  There will still be plenty of that though. 🙂  My plans thus far:

  1. Write my baby’s birth story.  The month of love would be the perfect time to sit down and write about it!
  2. Take a family trip.  Another trip down South.  We love it down there!
  3. Make a bundt cake.  I have a fleur de lis bundt pan and it’s time to make something in it.  Pumpkin?
  4. Publish twice a week here on my blog.  It was a rough “rule” from the get-go, but I haven’t kept up lately.
  5. Begin Chapter 7 of my book.  I’m trying to do one-a-week.
  6. Learn how to curl my hair with a flat iron.  Sad I don’t know how to do this yet, but I usually roller curl.
  7. Take my baby to the park more often.  She loves getting outside–and fresh air is so good for both of us!
  8. Write another guest post.  Last time I did a beauty post, this time I’m shooting for an Army wife blog.

As I mentioned last month, I’m starting a new addition to these monthly to-do lists.  I’m trying to give myself an emotional to-do item.  This month’s focus keyword (my emotional to-do) is attentiveness.  I want to be present in my everyday life.  I don’t like to embrace a carpe diem for “fear” of losing today, but it is true that I don’t want to miss out on a moment I could enjoy.  So often I look ahead at joyful “plans” I have and get excited about those.  But what I need to start doing is noticing the joy now and in the present “everyday” moments.  A quote really stuck with me this week:

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.  Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.  Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.” – Mary Jean Irion.

 I have always felt like it is perfectly fine to chase a perfect tomorrow, because it keep complacency far away.  But chasing a perfect tomorrow is only good in so far as it doesn’t chase away a perfect present and “normal” day.  So this month, I want to be attentive.  It doesn’t mean I won’t be trying new things.  All it means is that I’ll be attentive every day, on the days when everything is normal, and on the days when we are trying new things and reaching new milestones.  (With a one-year-old, there is almost always a new milestone every week!)

Thanks for being here with me.  Your readership is so appreciated.  I hope your February 2017 is brimming with exciting joys and comforting normality.  Come back soon for a follow-up to my most popular post!

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Round-up: January 2017

                               

      “Again I reply to the triple winds / running chromatic fifths of derision / outside my window: / Play louder.” – William Carlos Williams

This month was one for the books!  In the history of monthly round-ups, this is the very first month that have completed all of the items on my wish list!  So often these to-do lists end up as a monthly suggestion list.  And while I don’t entirely mind suggestions, there is something so rewarding about actually finishing a list from start to finish.  It’s the little things in life. 🙂  This is what I did for January 2017:

  1. Write the first chapter of my new book.  I’m about to start chapter three.
  2. Begin reading a romance novel.  Read “A Family for Christmas” by Dana Corbit and Irene Brand.
  3. Do crafts with my baby.  She made her first watercolor masterpiece.  So adorable!  Must be framed.
  4. Try to find and bake a good table-bread recipe.  Same recipe, better technique.  Not perfect, but better.
  5. Go dress shopping.  Any excuse to go shopping is a good one…
  6. Begin diffusing essential oils.  We primarily used Lavender and Sweet Orange Oil…sometimes together!
  7. Reorganize the pantries and strategize grocery shopping.  Did it.  Wasted less and spent less.
  8. Try out 2 new hairstyles.  I tried the “Pebbles” pony and also basic twin braids.   Not a huge fan of either.
  9. Make an ear warmer for my baby.  Matches mine! Why does it take me so long to do something like this?
  10. Waste less time scrolling through instagram!  It’s an ongoing resolution, but I did it this month, kinda.

If you read my original monthly post for January 2017, you may have seen that I’ve started a new tradition for the year.  I’m taking a focus keyword at the beginning of the month and trying to embrace it for the next 30 days.  It’s kind of like having an emotional theme for every month.  In January, the focus theme was joy.  I chose it because I thought it was a good virtue to combat anxiety and ingratitude.  Looking back, I think joy chose me this month.  More specifically, I think God granted me so many joys this month.

The best part about joy is that it’s not just an experience, it’s also a feeling.  It lasts beyond the experiences that occur in the moment.  While I do love experiences, I think I love feelings even more.  I like things that I can keep forever.  I started doing some new things this month and I really enjoyed them a lot.  We took up cooking with my baby, and loved watching her explore.  Starting the first chapter of a new novel felt like starting a new chapter in my life too.  Writing is really good for me, and I enjoyed it this month.  I day dreamed a lot the past 30 days, and that in itself was a source of joy.  My biggest source of joy is always God and my family.  A hefty dose of that made this month of January 2017 truly great, and truly joyful.

I hope you’ll come back in the next day or two to see my post for what I hope February will hold!  Leave a comment below if you have any January moments to share.  Thanks for visiting!

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January 2017

January 2017

“January is here, with eyes that keenly glow, / A frost-mailed warrior / striding a shadowy steed of snow.”
– Edgar Fawcett

Happy New Year!  And happy new month.  I love the crisp, clean, open feeling of a new month.  And January has the crispest, cleanest, openest (most open?) feeling of all the months!  As usual, I have a list of things I want to accomplish this month–not to be confused with my new resolutions–and hopefully not to compete with those either!  I really want this month’s to-do list to help kickstart my yearly resolutions, and to shape my year by providing a really good beginning.

In light of that fact, I’m starting a new “thing” with these monthlies.  For the next 12 months, I’m going to choose a focus keyword to try to embrace in my everyday life.  I don’t have each keyword planned out yet, but I’m guessing as the month approaches, I will have a an inspiration for what keyword needs to be focused on (much the same way my monthly to-do tasks evolve).  This month’s is joy.  In a more specific sense, I want to let joy replace other less-desirable emotions in situations that arise.  I think joy can be used to combat anxiety, fear, and definitely ingratitude.  I just really want to make it a part of my January 2017, and hopefully a part of this year!  And I hope to make these other things a part of my January 2017:

  1. Write the first chapter of my new book.
  2. Begin reading a romance novel.
  3. Do crafts with my baby.
  4. Try to find and bake a good table-bread recipe.
  5. Go dress shopping.
  6. Begin diffusing essential oils.
  7. Reorganize the pantries and strategize grocery shopping.
  8. Try out 2 new hairstyles.
  9. Make an ear warmer for my baby.
  10. Waste less time scrolling through instagram!

This list is coming out a few days late, but I am happy to say that I have begun working towards at least two of them already!  I don’t know why, but it’s hard for me to completely accomplish a monthly to-do list…it just hasn’t happened yet!  I started doing these back in April of 2016, so not a full year yet.  Maybe this month will be the month!  What are your monthly goals?  Thanks for stopping by!

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Hello, 2017

 

hello 2017

Hello, 2017.  Happy New Year’s to all!

It is just one more day in the beautiful world, and yet it feels like a whole new era for me.  Each year feels so incredibly different from the last.  Is that just because I’m in my twenties, or do new years stay as a novelty throughout life?  If you have been my reader for any length of time, you know there is nothing I like more than posting lists.  Which is too bad, because that’s probably the least “informative” post I could publish.  A list about myself.  So helpful.  But if I skipped over writing lists at crucial moments (like the turn of the year), well then I wouldn’t really be spending my blog time the way I want.  And there is no fun in reading (or writing) a forced blog.

I have finally created a list of 4 “major” resolutions that I plan to weave into the next 12 months.  Maybe these won’t surprise you, based on my monthlies and round-ups.  The 4 resolutions aren’t in any particular order, and they are equally important to each other.

1. Write another novel.
2. Editing. Whether the new novel, or 2015’s novel, I need to REALLY edit.
3. Continue to make music a part of my daily life.
4. Pursue my blogging dreams (see Blogiversary post for details).

I know people like to make jokes about resolutions crashing and burning before they even take flight.  In my experience, that hasn’t always been true.  Yes, if I make extremely narrow resolutions, they might not specifically come true.  But for the most part, every year I really feel like I spent the year the way I wanted to.  The more general the resolution, the more naturally it becomes part of my life.  The above resolutions are ones that have been floating in my heart for some time now.  They just kind of rose to the surface as 2016 came to a close and 2017 blossomed into existence.  I feel really confident that these 4 goals can and will be a part of my new year.  I hope you’ll follow me on the journey as I blog about making them a reality.

There are quite a few personal mini-resolutions flowing in my mind, but you will see those pop up appropriately in my monthly posts for 2017. In fact, tune in for next post, my January 2017 to-do monthly!  Leave a comment below if you have any resolutions to share…either major or mini.  I would love to hear.  Thank you for stopping by!

“A new heart for a New Year, always!” – Charles Dickens

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Goodbye, 2016!

 

 

If you read my last post, then you know I kind of wanted to write a yearly round-up post.  I covered my yearly blog round-up in my blogiversary post, and I covered my monthly round-up in my December post, but as a blogger I couldn’t NOT write a year-in-review-post.  It just didn’t seem right to leave it out.

This year held a lot for me.  I think everybody says that.  Because I thinks it’s true for everyone.  A lot can happen in 365 days.  A lot did happen.  The Army threw a lot of curveballs at us, most of which were really good.  Life threw a lot of curveballs at us.  Some of those were not-so-good.  We got in a huge car wreck and lost both our cars.  A dearly beloved fur baby passed away.  But in the wake of those difficulties were some very beautiful and happy moments.  We built an even stronger bond with our remaining fur baby and grew in our appreciation for enjoying the life’s little moments with him.  We also upgraded to better cars, and my confidence in driving has slowly been increasing.  Very slowly.  Slower than pond water.  But progress is progress!

2016 might have been my favorite year yet.   If you read my final post of 2015, I didn’t believe any year could top it!   But maybe 2016 did.  It’s hard to say, because every year is so different that I really can’t compare them.  I couldn’t trade the year I was married for the year we spent with our baby, or the year my husband and I met for the year we met our daughter.  Every year is incomparable, and completely irreplaceable.  2016 was no exception.  I can’t imagine not having this year as part of my life.  There are so many moments I will never forget, so many steps we took together as a family, so many accomplishments and surprises, just so many memories.

I could go on and on for paragraphs about every single moment, and not even scratch the surface of what happened this year.  So instead I’ll just cloud together a blurry paragraph of the feelings and takeaways from 2016.  I learned that the power of a hug is unmatchable.  When my baby runs to my arms, or when my family hugs after Army separation, my heart literally floats into the clouds.  I experienced there is nothing better than just talking over a cup of coffee– nothing.  I felt the importance of having a fur baby around at all times, and the emptiness of losing one.  I finally realized that there is no point to buying a kitchen item that is normal or convenient if I can have a special or one-of-a-kind one.  I began trusting the skills of a hairdresser, and learned so much more about my own head of hair.  I reevaluated makeup and skincare, and discovered new products that I needed in my life.  I experienced first hand the absolute majestic power of God, and how no prayer ever goes unanswered.  I felt love even more, which I didn’t think was possible, and that was my favorite feeling of the year.

2017, if you are even half of the year that 2016 was, then I can’t wait to meet you.  Even if you aren’t, I’m going to spend every day using what I learned from 2016 to make you the year I am hoping for!  This new year is going to be a special one, I can just tell.  Just as this one really was.

See you next year!

2016 collage

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Round-Up: December 2016

december 2016

“Remember this December, That love weighs more than gold!” – Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon

Happy End-of-December!  This month is my favorite of round-ups, because it’s the round-up of all round-ups.  It almost feels like I need to do a yearly round-up, but that’s basically what I did in my blogiversary post a little while ago.   I guess it didn’t provide a round-up of my life, but it did explain a year-in-review of my blogging journey.  (hint: this has been quite the year of changes for my blog).  But getting back on track, here is my traditional monthly to-do list, which was only half-done!

  1. Make a few ornaments for our tree.  There were 2 “brand” new additions and some fixer-uppers!
  2. Make a Christmas wreath.  Kinda forgot, kinda love my fall wreath too much to take it down.
  3. Visit the local library with my baby.  We found a BABY version of Jabberwocky.  *dies*
  4. Start reading a new book.  Twilight.  Does it count as new?
  5. Begin reading a french blog.  La Revue de Kenza– http://larevuedekenza.fr
  6. Do an act of charity daily until Christmas.  Would like to maybe expand this next year!
  7. Try two new recipes. Mac n’ Cheese (amaze!) and salting pork (not a recipe, but a new technique!)
  8. Rework my Google Ads.  Saving this for January. (read: didn’t get around to it).
  9. Take my blogging course.  See above excuse.
  10. Complete my craft projects for Christmas. I sewed a Mass quiet-time book and cross-stitched a onesie.
  11. Do all my Christmas shopping/mailing!  For the first time ever, I didn’t even feel rushed!
  12. Celebrate Christmas with my family. Truly is the most wonderful time of the year! <3

This December 2016 was really a good one.  It is impossible to not enjoy the holidays–and we definitely enjoyed them!  Decorations were unboxed, stockings were hung, cookies were baked, cards were sent, Christmas music was played, so many pictures were taken, and memories were certainly made.  I even think I saw one single snowflake!  haha  The best part about it all was spending so much time together as a family.   I wrote a post about military Christmas traditions during time of separation, but I didn’t write one about our normal Christmas traditions.  Maybe that will make it on next year’s to-do list?  Leave a comment below about your Christmas traditions!  Thank you for stopping by.

 

 

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