Monday, March 5, 2012

Everyday Moments: February 2012

1 - Coming to a major realization about why I struggle with my weight

2 - Chick-Fil-A. Nuggets and fries, oh my!

3 - Ending an anxiety-free week of work, Outback for dinner

4 - Surviving boot camp, getting my hair colored & cut, and a fun night with my brother and nephew

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5 - Getting a letter in the mail, saying one of my credit cards had been paid in full (!), the Superbowl

6 - Catching up on the season premiere of The Voice

7 - An incredible night at Bible study and learning more and more about my faith

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8 - Chick-Fil-A for breakfast.

9 - Feeling in control for the first time in a few weeks

10 - Fantastic dinner at B.J.’s, which included a delicious, juicy burger

11 - A successful shopping trip, a yummy froyo date, and a long nap

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12 - Another fun day of shopping

13 - Deciding to take the leap and go on TWO cruises this summer

14 - Heart-shaped Reese’s

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15 - Lunch at Panera, chocolate chip cookies

16 - My first great run in a really long time

17 - Ending a quick and easy work week, reconnecting with friends on Facebook

18 - Spending my entire Saturday reading a book and writing

19 - Movie date with my brother

20 - Managing the media department on a hectic day and being able to control all chaos

21 - My Girl Scouts cookies order came in!

22 - Bringing Tootsie, the office dog, home for a short stay while my boss attends a car show in Detroit

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23 - Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies, cuddle time with Dutch

24 - 8 hours of sleep, a quiet night at home

25 - Killer boot cap, a productive Saturday, time spent with my brother and nephew

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26 - Sleeping in, finding cute shirts at Target

27 - Starting my move to Wordpress, my mom being ok after a bad fall

28 - Staying on plan, even when I wanted to eat all of my emotions after a very bad day

29 - A quiet night, alone, finishing up a fun book and cleaning

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fill-in-the-Blank Friday (3)

So, today my “Everyday Moments” post for February was supposed to publish but when I got to work, I noticed it hadn’t. And since I do all my blog writing in Windows Live Writer, I can’t retrieve it from work. So, instead, you’re getting a fun little meme: Fill-in-the-Blank Friday!

1. The highlight of my week was starting my switch over to self-hosted Wordpress! I’ve been working with Doniree this week on getting all my “stuff” moved over to the new hosting site and with Ashley on a new header design. I’ll hopefully roll out the new site very soon! It’s all so exciting for me!

2. If I had to classify my interior design aesthetic it would be Um, comfortable? I don’t really have one. I just like comfort and homey rooms, nothing too modern or funky.

3. My first vehicle was a forest green Pontiac Grand-Am. That was the car I learned to drive in, but since I technically have never had a “first” car, that’s the first one I ever drove.

4. An item I need to have in my day in order to function is chocolate. It’s funny because I need it for the afternoon at work, not so much in the evening. I think there’s something about that 3.5 hour stretch of time after lunch that has me craving chocolate like a madwoman.

5. My favorite way to waste time is reading blogs and keeping up with Twitter. If you knew how many hours were wasted on these two hobbies...

6. Right now, I could really go for a sudden windfall of money. Between paying for two cruises and being a bridesmaid in my brother’s wedding, money will be very, very tight for the next three months. I mean, I can pay all my bills and save up, but not much will be left over. What I’m trying to say is that I shouldn’t even think about stepping a foot in Target until July.

7. This weekend, I will be dress and shoe shopping! My mom needs to find a dress for my brother’s wedding so we’ll be hitting up the mall this weekend and hopefully we’ll have good luck. And I need to find shoes for myself for the wedding. I’m not planning on spending more than $30 on a pair so Payless? Please have what I need!

What was the highlight of your week? Any fun plans for the weekend?

Fill-in-the-Blank Friday is a series hosted by Lauren of The Little Things We Do.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Intentions, the 3.12 edition

photo (2)February Goals, Recapped:

  • Track my food daily. I would say I tracked my food about 50% this month. Definitely not where I wanted to be and I’m still not in the habit of tracking every day, even those ugly days where I go over my allotted points by a lot. It’s something I still need to work on.
  • Continue limiting soda. I am very pleased to say this goal is going amazing. I have finally put my foot down and told myself I cannot have any soda Monday - Saturday. Sunday is my cheat day so I’m being lenient on this day, but still want to limit my intake. In any event, I am doing so well at this goal, it makes me giddy. Since I’ve been slowly cutting it out of my life for a while now, I haven’t experienced any withdrawal symptoms, only some extreme cravings for carbonation. This one gets a big fat check mark and it may be the first time I’ve ever been able to do so.
  • Start making to-do lists. Utter fail. I’m terrific at doing them at my job, not so much at home.
  • Budget! I’ll mark this one as complete. I’ve been doing much better at budgeting. This month was a windfall of money with my tax refund and a surprise bonus from work so I was able to pay off my cruise deposit and book our excursions, as well as give an initial deposit for my second cruise in June. I’ve started using Jenny Blake’s Four-Step Budget Template, which works so well for my needs.

March Change: Track my food

Yes, this was my goal for February’s “12 Changes in 12 Months” but I decided it doesn’t make all that much sense to go forward with a new goal when this one is the cornerstone to what I need to work on. To lose weight, to learn to eat healthier, you must track what you eat. I’m not at the point in my journey when I can eat intuitively and since I’m carrying around an extra 30-odd pounds, this is a change I need to hammer into my skull.

Three Small Goals:

  • Write for 20 minutes every day. I have fallen off any sort of writing routine these past few months. (Aside from my blog, of course!) For someone who wants to someday be a published novelist, leaving the words in my head isn’t helping matters. I need to force myself to create a routine and put my novel back on the forefront of my goals.
  • Get my eyes examined and order new contacts! I’m a little overdue for my eye exam (and I love the eye doctor so this is one doctor appointment I am looking forward to!) and I’m ready to take the plunge back into the world of contacts. I wore them constantly all through high school and most of college, until I got too poor to afford them. :) And then I just enjoyed wearing glasses. But I’m getting to the point where I want to wear contacts again so this is one goal I’m looking forward to achieving!
  • Make a weekly to-do list for home. Lauren had a great post about beating your Sunday night blues (SNAS? It’s a real thing.) One of her tips was to make out a to-do list for the week, things that aren’t pressing to complete, but will give you that little nudge of satisfaction for getting them done during a busy week, as well as setting one intention for the week. I love this idea. I need something to keep me motivated to not turn into a sloth once 5:00 hits every night and this might be the perfect prescription for it!

Monday, February 27, 2012



For those of you who follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you noticed I had a little visitor this past weekend. Tootsie is my boss’s dog and she comes to work with him almost every day. She is adorable, sweet, and not very ladylike (what with her snoring and grunting and all that!). My boss was going out of town Wednesday night - Saturday night and I had mentioned in passing once I would totally watch Tootsie if he ever needed me to. So he took me up on it and I was glad to oblige.

At first, I was a bit worried how Dutch would do with the new intruder. He’s very possessive of me, but he’s also very calm when he’s around other dogs. For the most part, he’s a loner and doesn’t get all crazy when he sees other dogs.

Tootsie came home with me on Wednesday night and she was a bit panicky at first. The drive home from work was a little tense. She stayed in the backseat but cried a lot. She didn’t seem to know what to make of our house or Dutch. Our first night, I made the huge mistake of letting her stay in my room and when she started crying and trying to jump onto my bed (Dutch always sleeps with me on my bed), I let her come up.

I think I slept about four hours that night. If that. You see, Tootsie snores. Loudly. And she never stops snoring. Awake, asleep, on a walk. She snores. And since I need complete silence to get to sleep, it took me a long time to finally fall asleep but when I did, I kept waking up to Tootsie.

Thursday was a very hard day to get through at work. I’m not sure I can do the whole newborn thing anymore. I need my sleep! Sleep deprivation is not for wimps and I bow down to all you mothers. I don’t know how you do it.

The next two nights, Tootsie slept in the living room and I got over 8 blessed hours of sleep both nights. Ahhhh. Rejuvenating!

In any event, aside from the snoring, Tootsie was a delightful houseguest. Her favorite place to sleep in the house was a) on the arm of our loveseat or couch and b) in one of Dutch’s beds (even though she had one of her own.) (And yes, Dutch has two beds. Along with a handful of blankets. No. He is not spoiled.) Case in point, the cutest photo I think I have ever seen in my life:

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It was interesting to see her and Dutch interact. Dutch is about 8 months older than her (he’ll be 10 next week) but his energy level compared to hers is completely different. I can take Dutch on a 3-mile walk and he’s fine. He may be a little slow-moving the rest of the day but he has no issues with the walk. Tootsie? I just took her to the mailbox and back (not even half a mile round-trip) and she acted like she was dying! Girlfriend needs some exercise. :) He seems more like a puppy than she does, but people are always astonished when they find out how old Dutch is because he doesn’t act like it. I hope this means he will live to be 20 years old.

They weren’t exactly best buds, but they tolerated each other. We left them alone for about twenty minutes on Friday night and then for a good four-and-a-half hours on Saturday and they didn’t kill each other. So that’s good! And it was the cutest to see them together whenever someone walked by. It leads Dutch to bark ferociously and Tootsie would get up and stand next to him and just look at him, like, “Wait. What are we doing? Am I supposed to bark? What am I barking at?” And then she would attempt her bark. Which might be the cutest bark in the world:

It was a fun four days with them and I’m very glad I decided to do this. (Job security, anyone? Ha.) Tootsie was delightful! And so cute, it was hard to give her back on Saturday night. Alas, it helped me decide whether or not I’m truly ready to have another dog. I think I am but as cute as Tootsie was, I think I am a dachshund mom for life. But right now? I’m happy with just my little man.

And I will leave you with this. Tootsie snoring. You *know* I had to capture this on video! (Turn your volume up on this to hear it. Sound isn’t great for some reason.)

Are you a dog person? What’s your favorite breed?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

On Being in a Funk



I’ve been in a funk for a long time now. Longer than I think I’ve acknowledged it. There is so much I want to say, but every time I try, my words feel so jumbled. I can’t seem to even grasp what’s really going on. I feel like God is working on my heart. I’ve been stubbornly resisting all His advances for so long, keeping my faith small. I feel like I’m the brink of something, but I’ve let stubbornness get in the way of change before. I don’t want to let it get in the way right now. I’m so ready to get past this funk.

On a lighter note, it’s time to announce my giveaway winner! Kyria, you won yourself a brand spankin’ new pre-made template from Yellow & Savvy Design! Please e-mail me so I can get you in touch with Steph Anne.

Monday, February 20, 2012

This Weekend, I...


  • Reactivated my Facebook account. I’ve been on a four-month hiatus and while it was good to be away, it’s also very good to be back.
  • Reconnected with one of my best friends and have already made plans for a movie date. I have felt so lost without her in my life that I feel a little more centered.
  • Attended my third boot camp. It doesn’t seem to be getting any easier but I’m finding myself able to make it through the exercises without wanting to rip out my lungs. I consider this major progress.
  • Felt completely devoid of any creative energy. I had planned on getting a few scheduled posts out on Saturday but a huge writing assignment on Friday seemed to zap all my creativity.
  • Bought my first bag of Robin’s Eggs of this Easter season... that supposedly starts in February now?
  • Saw my nephew, recovering from his surgery on Friday. He’s still feeling punky, but doing well. (Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers!)
  • Came to a lot of decisions on what I want my word for 2012 to truly embody. And while I feel so far away from the word health lately, it’s only February. And taking a step back, acknowledging my mistakes, and deciding to grow from it is all I can do right now.
  • Finished my 14th book of this year.
  • Designed a little cleaning chart for my mom and I to use. I’ve grown incredibly lax on cleaning and the chart is more for me, to make sure I’m holding up my end of the chores.
  • Went on a movie date with my brother. Our last one was in 2006 so we were very overdue. I’m so glad I have such a close relationship with him and that he’s one of my closest friends.
  • Announced the March #twookclub book: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close! It wasn’t my pick, but what I love most about book clubs is the opportunity to read a book you wouldn’t otherwise pick up. I can’t wait to dig in!

Just a quick note! My giveaway ends tonight! I’m giving away one pre-made design from Yellow & Savvy Design’s Etsy shop. Your choice! I’ll announce the winner tomorrow.

Have you ever deactivated your Facebook account? If not, would you ever do it?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Seven Quick Takes Friday (v.10)

1 – I’m bring back and oldie (but an goody!) with Seven Quick Takes Friday. The last time I did a “Quick Takes” post was April of 2010! Whoa. Oh, and do I remember that time of my life so well. That was when I was in the midst of my craziest semester ever. I am so glad that season of my life is over. And to keep things interesting, some of my Project 365 photos will be sprinkled throughout!

2 – I have readers email me infrequently to talk to me about my Letters to My Future Husband series. And it’s always fun to respond back, because it’s the #1 way people find my blog through searches. I had a girl email me this past week with a simple, “I came to your page after I started doing my journal entries. I wanted to make sure I wasn't the only one! Thanks for letting my heart rest easy.” Sigh. I love that. I emailed back and in the process, we have spent the past week emailing back and forth, telling each other our stories and finding peace in the fact that God somehow put us together, at a time when my heart was in turmoil. I just imagine He’s smiling down at his handiwork with each email we send.


3 – It’s been a crazy week here in my life. On Friday, my mom texted me and told me her work was sending her on a cruise in June. She was allowed to bring a guest, so I had a lot of thinking to do. For one, we are going on a cruise the third week of May and I’ll be taking an entire week off work for that. The June cruise would be a 4-day one, so I would only need to take a half-day on a Thursday, and a full day off on a Friday. But still. Asking time off five weeks after being off for a week? I cringed. But I asked and my boss was completely, 100% OK with it. That was my biggest obstacle and I thought to myself, When am I going to have the chance to go on TWO cruises in one summer? So I’m going. On two cruises. This summer. How crazy does that sound? Let the excursion planning begin! (And the saving. Oh, the saving!)

4 – My entire weekend was spent spending, spending, spending. I had the money to do so and had fantastic luck at the mall and Marshall’s. (Side note: I used to detest that store, but now it is my *favorite* place to shop for clothes. So cheap! So cute!) I picked up two cute dresses, a new pair of jeans, and several shirts, including two new undershirts from Old Navy.


5 – I’ve been really disappointed in myself for how I’m doing with Weight Watchers. I’ve tried a few different times writing about it but the words just aren’t coming. Suffice it to say, I wanted my word for 2012 to be health but I can’t seem to break the cycle of unhealthy living. Every day, I set out with great intentions but I keep slipping up. And while I know the steps I need to take to break the cycle, sometimes it’s very hard to put it into action.

6 – Today, my nephew is having surgery to get his tonsils removed. Ironically, it is the same surgery I had when I was four. His surgery is happening this morning and I'm going to be a nervous wreck until it is over and done with. Say a few prayers for him, please?

On that same note, my grandma has her last CyberKnife treatment today. She had to go in four times for this where she has to lie completely still (they strap her down, even her head!) for about an hour while lasers shoot all around her. She can't do anything but lie there. I. Would. Go. Crazy. But knowing my grandma, she's lying there reciting Bible verses and praying during that time.


7 – Sunday night, the March book for #twookclub is announced! Have you voted yet? The votes for all five books are so tight that I’m not sure at all which book will win! Go here to vote.

And one last thing! I’m giving away a pre-made template from Yellow and Savvy Design’s Etsy shop. Giveaway ends on Monday night and you have THREE ways to enter.

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