A Month in Review: January 2018

A Month in Review: January 2018

“Bare branches of each tree / on this chilly January morn / look so cold so forlorn.  / Gray skies dip ever so low / left from yesterday’s dusting of snow.”  – Nelda Hartmann

This is a new-type of post for me.  If you’ve been here before (thank you), you might have read one of my round-ups at the end of the month.  I like doing round-ups, because it’s my chance to review my to-do list and catch up with you.  And I really enjoyed making those lists.  Which is why at the beginning of every month I would post a to-do list and share my expectations of what the month would bring.  Just a way to keep myself accountable–and to share in general.

But, this year I’ve decided to make some changes to my blog.  I’m trying to streamline my content to reflect the direction I want my blog to take in the next year.  And posting twice a month about my to-do lists is a little too much. That’s 24 “off-topic” posts per year.  And I just don’t think my blog can afford that.  haha.  So for the sake of clarity, simplification, and staying on track, I’m cutting back my rants to one per month.

Hence, my new series.  Months in Review.  No particular theme, just a central purpose: summarizing my month and affording me the opportunity to announce/discuss things that might otherwise be considered “off-topic” for my corner of the internet.  Essentially, this is my series for automatic writing.  <-favorite style hehe

Without further adieu:  January 2018

This month was FULL of surprises.  There is no other way to put it.  Deadlines moved up significantly, training calendars changed…everything changed.  But for some reason, I was able to find peace in the chaos.  Thank you, to Jesus. Because I wasn’t ready for my head to fall off this early in the year!

Book of the month: “The Little Book of Letting Go” by Hugh Prather and let me tell you–it’s amazing.  I’m not above saying that I love a good self-help book. ha!  And this one is excellent.  It has a spiritual aspect to it, which I like.  But it’s not a purely theological book.  It’s definitely a book that teaches your mind to become stronger.  I like books like that because I do believe that the mind is a muscle of sorts.  It needs to be exercised in order for change to happen.  Sometimes reading a book that convinces you to be happy, or tells you that you should let go, is motivating but insubstantial.  I like this book because it goes beyond advising happiness or freedom.  It shows you how to obtain them.

Worst Movie of the Month: Christmas Belle.  I don’t think I can rant enough about this one.  HAVE you watched it?  I rarely call things cringe-worthy.  I think its a fairly disrespectful term for anything artistic.  Also, it sounds a little bit pompous to call something cringe-worthy.  And it doesn’t really describe or explain the issues with something.  You guys, Christmas Belle is cringe-worthy.  That’s what I get for watching a Christmas movie in late January.  But really, I think even if I had watched this Christmas Day I still wouldn’t have gotten the feels.  It is that bad.  I feel like if the plot arch doesn’t happen until the last 12 minutes of the movie, it should be gutted all-together.  If the movie survived that long without anything substantial happening in the plot, why ruin it at the end with a moving storyline?  Only kind of kidding.

Music of the Month: I’m happy for Bruno Mars that his 24K won like, everything.  He totally deserved it–as did his boys.  They are great artists and true entertainers.  But my music of the month is Taylor Swift’s Reputation album.  I’m not trying to pull a Kanye, but Taylor’ Swift has one of the best albums of all time.

Blog notes:  My blog has spiked recently.  I’m not sure as to why this is, except that January is an extremely busy training month.  I’m really grateful for the attention and don’t plan to squander it.  If you came here looking for Army lifestyle information, thank you!  Please leave a comment below letting me know what you were specifically looking for.  I like writing in general, but I really enjoy writing for others.  So I’m here to write for you!  Let me know what I can do!

Announcements: I’ve been working on catching up with 2 ipsy unboxings that I never published.  I’m planning to release those next month, under the “appropriate” date that they ought to have.  So if you get a flurry of ipsy-related notifications, I promise it’s not a new obsession of mine.  It’s just my way of making up for my winter slacking.  Sorry about all that.

Goals to take into next month:  This month, I developed a plan to get more done.  So original for January…haha.  But really, it’s a plan to help foster creativity and to eliminate time-draining apps (Instagram, I’m looking at you).  Hopefully, my blog will come across as more productive in February, as a result of this plan.  We shall see. 🙂

That’s all I’ve got for now.  If you’ve made it this far–wow.  You’re really nice.  I hope this post didn’t scare you away and that you’ll come back soon for some of the posts I’ve been planning.  And by the way, how was your January 2018? Thanks for stopping by!

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2018–My Goals

 

I love new years.  It’s such a great time for making resolutions, accepting change, and working on making the future even brighter.  Plus, if you’re sentimental like me, it’s a good chance to look back over the last year with gratitude and nostalgia.

Like I wrote in my 2017 finale post, there was a lot of change for us in 2017.  But one of my favorite changes was our development of quality time.  We transformed our quality time into a quality of life.   It was a change in perspective and a change in our ways.  I don’t waste time the way I used to, and I value time so, so much more.  I spend it differently, and I spend it well.  If there was something I could add to that, it would be this:

Don’t wait for tomorrow to do what you can do today.

And I definitely don’t mean paying the bills the day they come in. haha  I mean, don’t save a new recipe for next week– why not make dinner tonight special?  Don’t save my perfume for the weekend– go put some on right now.  If I miss my sister, pick up the phone and call her.  If I take a cute picture of my babies, send it to my husband at work right now.  Life is too special and too precious to think that the future is somehow going to be a better time to make memories.  Right now is perfect.  Right now is all I have.

I’m hoping this will help me in three ways:

1) I forget everything.  And I mean EVERYTHING.  If I “save my perfume for the weekend,” chances are I won’t remember I wanted to wear perfume on Saturday!  If I save a recipe for the next week, I definitely won’t remember to buy the ingredients the next time I’m at the store. haha Just being honest here!

2) I have always struggled with making decisions.  I’m a really, really indecisive person.  I’m hoping that by “living in the moment” I will stop hesitating on everything.  I will just learn to DO things.

3) I need to learn to let go a little bit more.  Something I definitely struggle with is second-guessing myself on a lot of things.  Its part of being indecisive.  And I’m hoping that by living in the moment, I will become more easy going, and be so busy living in my current moment, that I have less time for fearing about the future or my past efforts.

So that’s the plan.  Obviously I have more resolutions for this year…but I’m planning to break them up into smaller posts– my monthly posts to be specific.  In fact, my next post will be my monthly January post.  Stay tuned!  Thanks for stopping by.  What are your 2018 goals?

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Round-Up: December 2017

Round-Up: December 2017

“Landscape sketched from memory, heavens and land entwine / Rapidly the scene is set, exquisitely divine. / Pine trees reaching tall and proud, like statues standing still. / There is no wind to speak of, more an icy winter chill.”  

— Suzanne Bates

I began this blog post as a summary of the month, like I usually do.  But three or four sentences in, my post was quickly spiraling into an assessment of my blog.  And then a fond look back on my year of blogging.  Then I found myself revisiting how blogging went for all of 2016.  Then I realized I was completely off-topic. And so now here we are.

I feel like that happened a lot this month.  I’d have something on my mind, and it would float away from me.  Words wouldn’t be spoken, or I would remember what I wanted to say two or three hours later.  I’d have intentions to do something, and somehow that thing would never materialize.  I would mentally create a list, and completely forget about those things for days.  It was kind of frustrating.  It was kind of fun.  It was pretty much December 2017 for me.

Maybe this year wore me out?  I don’t think so.  But I do think that my mommy-brain has gone into hyper-drive.  My focus is kind of all over the place, but my heart feels really settled.  It feels completely focused.  Mostly on my life.  Especially on my family.  This month was one of my favorites.

This is how I basically spent my month:

  1. Celebrate my baby’s baptism.  She was baptized at the beginning of this month.  SO happy for her. <3
  2. Make 4 new recipes.  Rigatoni, crab pot pie, and Instant Pot salmon and tilapia.  (<-Christmas gift!!!)
  3. Continue to toddler-proof the house.  TOUGHER than it sounds…she keeps finding things I need to hide.
  4. Play some Christmas music on the piano.  “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” was my favorite.
  5. Read “A Christmas Carol” by Dickens.   I looked at a Dickens-inspired statue.  Does that count?
  6. Bake Christmas cookies.  We baked and decorated sugar cookies…one of my favorite Christmas traditions!
  7. Finish my two knitting projects.  I finished the stocking but not the turban.  Still working on it…
  8. Mail out Christmas cards! The photo was a Christmas miracle, but we got them all sent out. haha
  9. Wrap presents.  I might have had to wrap a few on Christmas Eve.  But we did it!
  10. Spend my very favorite holiday with my very favorite people.  Some of my favorite 2017 memories!

But I can’t really cheer myself on for doing 9/10 of my to-do list items.  Like I mentioned earlier, I specifically gave myself the easiest, lightest to-do list in the history of to-do lists.  I don’t think I should have even called this a to-do list.  Although, maybe it’s good that I thought of it that way.  Because it’s so easy to think everything we have to do is all the unfun things, and we forget how truly necessary the fun ones really are.  At least I struggle with that.  Anyway, this month, I’m thrilled that I did almost my entire list, because they were fun things that I really wanted to do.  And January will come with more adulting than the last four months combined, so I was blest with the chance to take time off and smell the snow.  flowers.  the spanish moss.  the Christmas tree?  Moving on…

I don’t feel like I’m ready to say goodbye to 2017, or even just December 2017.  So I will save that for my end-of-the-year post.  But I guess for now I will just enjoy my last few days of December 2017, and will see you in my yearly round-up.  Thanks for stopping by!

 

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December 2017

December 2017

 

“On cold December fragrant chaplets blow, / And heavy harvests nod beneath the snow.”  — Alexander Pope

Hello, December!

I’m so glad it is December.

This is absolutely one of my very favorite months ever.  And the fact that this is my baby’s first Christmas…well, this month is more than welcome around here!  As I said in my last post, I like writing to-do lists.  But I like writing realistic ones.  Or at least ones that give me a breather some months.  Last month, my to-do list was pretty soft.  But I knew I had a baby on the way and didn’t want to overcommit.  (<–Or let’s be real…I wouldn’t have gotten anything done anyway, but I would have had guilt along with it!)  Anyway, I’m looking at another soft month ahead, and I’m totally excited about that!  Here we go, December 2017:

  1. Celebrate my baby’s baptism.  I’m about halfway done with her gown.  I can’t wait for her special day!!
  2. Make 4 new recipes.  Currently thinking:  rigatoni, crab pot pie, and sloppy joe’s…I still need one more.
  3. Continue to toddler-proof the house.  It’s part of my grand plan for a cleaner house with less cleaning. ha!
  4. Play some Christmas music on the piano.  “Sleigh Ride” is a real favorite of mine.
  5. Read “A Christmas Carol” by Dickens.  Because it’s Christmastime.
  6. Bake Christmas cookies.  See above.
  7. Finish my two knitting projects.  I’m making a turban and a stocking for my baby!  Shhh…it’s a surprise!
  8. Mail out Christmas cards! Because stationary and photos are so much fun.  And I kind of need to.
  9. Wrap presents.  And there are a lot of them.  Good thing I love wrapping paper parties!
  10. Spend my very favorite holiday with my very favorite people.  I LOVE Christmas!

And that’s pretty much it!  So, not a lot of hardcore “t0-doing.”  But that’s because I know myself too well. haha  Because when it comes down to it, all I really want to be doing in December is spending time at home: cooking, knitting, crafting, drinking coffee (and shopping online).  So here’s to a restful December 2017!  What are your plans?

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Round-Up: November 2017

Round-Up: November 2017

 

I was going to say that this November 2017 was my most eventful month of the year.  But then I thought through the  rest of the year and realized a lot happened in 2017: Army OCS graduation in February, moving in April, finding out in July we are moving again, another graduation in August, my daughter turning two in September, and then of course this month.  Those were all big and fairly life-effecting events.  But November 2017 still takes the cake.  Because my baby arrived healthy and safe and perfect.  And that’s a life-changing event!  And my favorite kind of event.

But, in keeping with the tradition of these round-ups, let me review my to-do list to see how much I actually got done from it:

  1. Develop a fixed blogging schedule.  hahhahahahhaha.  This month doesn’t count for having one. Next month.
  2. Knit a Christmas stocking for my baby. I’m at least halfway there!
  3. Write a bit in my novel.  This one kinda makes me sad. I wish I had gotten some done.  Even just a bit!!
  4. Nest. I full-throttled nested!  And still am.
  5. Get back into pilates. It’s still modified as I have to heal my diastasis recti, but it’s going great.
  6. Take a ton of photos. I’m not even done.  But yes I took lots of photos.
  7. Celebrate Thanksgiving. Baby’s First Thanksgiving!
  8. Black Friday. With “black friday deals week” I didn’t actually have to shop on ACTUAL black friday.

Quite a few of those were softball assignments, but I did that on purpose.  I like having a breathable to-do list when I have something big and life-changing and emotionally impactful coming up– in my case, having a baby.  And just as a warning for next post, I’m pretty sure my December to-do list will be even MORE softball.  But I don’t mind ending my year quietly–it only makes for an even bigger January!

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you’ll come back soon.  Not just for my December to-do list, but for a few posts I have in the works– specifically a gift-giving guide for your soldier, as well as my November ipsy unboxing, to name a few.  Thanks as always for your support; I really enjoy writing for you, and I really hope you enjoy reading!

Bye-bye, November 2017!!  You were good to me.  In fact, you were my favorite month this year.

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