Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Resolutions 2014

Now, if you are new around here, you will need to know that I try to live like every day is a new day. That means every day is New Year's Day.  Forgive. Love. Believe. Live. Laugh.

This also means that I set goals for myself throughout the year and I re-evaluate goals as the year goes on as well. I have to write them down, otherwise how could I remember what to re-evaluate? I keep a little note in a journal-type composition book. I can look over old goals and see how far I've come. Neat, huh?

I write goals in different areas, like: children, marriage, health, travel, financial, and career.

I don't always have time to plan out my goals in steps or stages. Often, writing them down keeps them at the forefront of my mind and therefore, by actively thinking of them, I do them, or I find ways to accomplish them.

For example, last year I pledged to myself, "No more fast food." By keeping that in mind, I was able to repeat to my husband, a.k.a. partner in crime, and hold myself accountable. I would put up a fight, so to speak, if we needed to eat and he suggested a fast food establishment. "I don't want fast food, I promised myself! It's yucky!" You get the picture.

Did it work?


Did I stick to it 100%?

No. He brought home Long John Silver's and Burger King a couple times. I went to Chick Fil A with my sister once.

However, eating it a couple times was A LOT less than the year before.

This year I want to increase my health. My husband and I both had blood drawn in 2013 and it came back within normal range. We are not unhealthy already. But there are things we are not doing that can improve our health.

1. Drink more water.
Order water when eating out at restaurants all the time. I usually go for a clear soda like Sprite or Sierra Mist, lemonade, or raspberry sweet tea. Do you actually look at the prices of drinks these days?? Most places do not charge for water. So not only will I save calories, but I will save money.

2. Exercise more.

I began consciously moving my body more this summer. The weather was nice, I wanted to be outside, and there were things to do. Then in late fall/winter I start to get lazy. I work, which includes movement, but also includes stress. I come home exhausted mentally, do my college coursework, and veg out at night. What my body needs is to MOVE. I noticed positive results to my psyche, attitude, and energy levels when I was walking the dog in the evenings in contrast to the evenings when it has been too cold to be outside for long. We just bought an elliptical, so the 'move more' goal is ready to go.

3. Save money.
I'm not even sure how much or what for. I thought maybe for Christmas next year, have a nice little nest egg.. or a road trip maybe even further down the line.. or maybe just to buy myself a new wardrobe when I get skinny and can't fit in my pants. :)  I was able to save up a nice little 'rainy day' fund last year and I spent it on back-to-school time because I had a classroom to get ready, two sons to get ready, and the money had run out from that contract by August. I have a different contract this year, so if I could do it last year, I can do it again.

I'll spend some time reviewing my personal goals and those for my relationships and my family. No rush. Since every day is a new day, any day can be a new start.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Fitter Me: Baby Steps

Yesterday I did two 6-minute workouts on the elliptical. I felt the burn in my legs both times. I was proud of myself, though.

Today I decided to stick to my plan of starting a 5 day challenge by Daily Hiit. I adjusted the workout because I am not at the level in the video. I got a free Hiit timer on my cell phone and wrote the routine down on a small paper. These were my only workout companions.

Here's what I did.

50 seconds on, 10 seconds rest

1. Burpees

2. Push-ups with knee touches (cross to elbow) as a rest between push-ups

3. Mountain Climbers as fast as I could go

4. Crab touches (crab position, reach opposite hand to raised leg/toes across body, keep bottom off floor, abs tight)

These are my favorite.

I got through one round. My arms felt like jello and my breath was fast. I am not very good at push ups to begin with. All of Daily Hiit routines are supposed to be 3 rounds. :(
I may take a break for a while and go back and do it again for a second round. Or I may do a dance or yoga on the Wii which sound a lot more fun. :)   Baby Steps.

I got started. For this, I am proud of myself. I don't know how it will work out when I go back to work, but I think this small vacation is a good time to focus and begin.

2013 Year In Review In Pictures

January must have been pretty boring because all I have pictured is my then 5 year old dressed up as a gangster with a Nerf gun. 

This is the month my oldest turned 10. He took so long to decide on his birthday party, as in 2 days before, so when we texted family, they were all busy. We told him he had a choice between having a party or getting to do whatever he wanted, like go with the family to a movie, or go play at Bogey's Fun Center or Bouncin' Barn or Bowling.. He didn't decide.


I emptied my computer hutch and moved it into the bedroom for some peace and quiet when I was doing homework for class.

We emptied the game cabinet out and moved it where my hutch was, sorted the games, got rid of a few, and re-filled it. We have a LOT of games!


Easter Egg Hunting! I had my nieces overnight and took all 4 kids to 2 Easter Egg hunts with family. It was windy and cold. We also hosted a nephew overnight. It was a month of family sleepovers.

Then we celebrated my youngest's birthday and my Dad's.

The youngest learned from his brother's mistake and had a bowling and bouncing party. All the kids had a blast, and my nephew won the big ticket prize at the arcade. 


We went the Indy Children's Science and Technology Museum where I got to see Geckos and the boys climbed a rock wall.

Then we visited Nashville, IN for their "Taste of Nashville" event where all the food vendors supply little samples of their wares and you buy tickets. Each sample costs so many tickets to try. Here the boys sample ice cream. They also had gellatto, panini's, steak soup, strawberry shortcake, oils/vinigrettes and bread, chocolate covered strawberries, fudge, and many many more. You can vote for your favorites and the vendor wins a plaque or something.

We built 2 raised bed gardens. 


The boys made stepping stones for my new pond.

There were 6 fish in here at one time..

 I harvested some radishes. They were a little hot. Some of them were good.

 I painted this picture. After my college class and work was over for the summer, my creative juices were flowing.

Hubby surprised us with a trip to our first indoor water park in Ohio. 

Our newly planted cherry tree had a cherry on it!


I started growing HUGE cucumbers.

The littlest learned to ride his bike without training wheels!

 We took a road trip north for my cousin's wedding and passed huge wind farms..

And visited a Railroad Museum.

 My cousin had a beautiful wedding.

I grew some beautiful gladiolas.

 We found the very fat raccoon that raided my compost bin every night!

 My youngest tried out a pogo stick.

 The boys enjoyed the pond. Probably because a frog decided to move in!!

We went to the fair.

I harvested some carrots.


 I harvested A LOT of veggies! And MORE veggies!

 We went fishing. This reel is being held by the 4th generation!

We caught some fishies.

We had a family reunion. This is supposedly the last one. All the people who started this reunion are getting too old to come out.


 I took my sister to a concert. Pictured here are Hawk Nelson, The Afters, and Building 429.

 The boys dressed up as Transformers for Halloween.

They carved their pumpkins with a little help.


 I painted this for class. I like the quote.

Then we started giving the oldest his own room. Both boys helped paint.


We made a Christmas mess. The boys got a few nice gifts.

We celebrated with family. The season is about togetherness. Cherish the moments you have!

And the biggest gift of all was his own room.

My goal for 2013 was to try new things. 
  • I was a successful gardener. 
  • The pond was something new and took some learning. I lost all the fish by the end of the year, but two of them grew rather large and I had a frog living in it! I call that pretty successful if wildlife moved in. 
  • I tried a new food. 
  • We went to new places, like the museums and water park, and the boys got to see their first wedding and spend their first nights in a hotel. 
  • The youngest leaned to ride a bike without training wheels and use a pogo stick. 
  • We took our annual trip to Holiday World and the youngest was tall enough to ride the big rides! We discovered the new water slide area and though we got sunburned, we had a blast. 
  • We went to an indoor waterpark.
  • I became a Godmother.
  • I took my sister to a concert. We began to bond.
  • The boys got juggling sticks for Christmas and we've tried them out.
I guess trying new things was a pretty feasible resolution. In hindsight, it was going to happen. The point was to learn to be open to new opportunities, look for them and go for it!