Friday, December 31, 2010

A Year End MeMe

I saw this meme on a blog that I enjoy very much called Playgroups Are No Place for Children and thought I would take a stab at it. As if I haven't already spouted enough about my thoughts on this year and next. Let's go!

1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
I went to a chiropractor (against my better judgment) and, not surprisingly, had a horrible experience. I'll stick with M.D.'s from now on.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I successfully marked some things off the "to do" list for the year, but am not making a concrete list for 2011 aside from my 101 Goals list that is ongoing.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My younger brother & his wife had a baby boy in November and I am so excited about meeting him next month! They live 10 hours away, which is a major bummer.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
I didn't leave the good ole USA this year.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
More financial stability and dedication.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
June 29 because that's when we closed on our new home that I plan to retire in!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Buying & moving into our new home.

9. What was your biggest failure?
A lapse in judgment in my personal life that was nearly catastrophic.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I ended up with a bulging disc in my lower back that caused serious pain for almost 8 weeks. I am SO glad that's better!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our new house.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Both of my daughters teachers who never cease to amaze me in their dedication to making the learning environment as comfortable and warm as I could ever hope for them.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
A parent in one of my daughters classes who used private information to try and advance his personal agenda with the school system. That was the first time in a LONG time that I had to exercise extreme amounts of self-control to avoid going postal on someone.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Bills, bills, bills and eating out way too much.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going to see the Kings of Leon in concert for the 2nd time in a year and going celebrity stalking with my girlfriends when Robert Pattinson was in town shooting "Water for Elephants".

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
"Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a)happier or sadder; b)thinner or fatter; c)richer or poorer?
I am happier, fatter and poorer.

18. What do you wish you had done more of?
Exercise, by far.

19. What do you wish you had done less of?
Fussing at my kids.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
I was at home with hubby & the kids enjoying our new home and the first White Christmas in 40+ years in my town!

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
If you can count falling in love with a house as something, then yes, 100%.

22. What was your favorite tv program?
I love GLEE and Grey's Anatomy equally.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
There are people I strongly dislike, but I don't hate anyone. And nobody new for sure.

24. What was the best book you read?
"My Fair Lazy" by Jen Lancaster.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Florence & the Machine. She's absolutely fabulous!

26. What did you want and get?
Our new house.

27. What did you want and not get?
A minivan.

28. What was your favorite film of 2010?
I really enjoyed the 3rd Twilight film, Eclipse. I know...HUGE surprise.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Nothing very memorable for turning 35. I've officially given up hope of ever having another bday party besides the one when I turned 8.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Being able to sell our house and use the money for new home improvements. But on the other hand I'm seriously thankful that we found a great renter for our old house.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2010?
Frumpy. Comfy but frumpy.

32. What kept you sane?
Music. Thank heavens for my iPod.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?
I keep my political ire pretty close to the vest, but this year, the debate over universal health care really got under my skin. And I'm not going to say which side I'm on.

34. Who did you miss?
I really missed my friend Jess who moved away a couple of years ago. Thank god for Facebook.

35. Who was the best new person you met?
I can't narrow it down to 1 because I was excited to meet all of my new Kindermusik students. I feel so lucky to have them and their parents in my life!

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
Most of the time, it's better to leave the past in the past and just look towards the future. The past is in the rear view for a reason.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"Happiness hit her like a train on a track" - "Dog Days Are Over" by Florence and the Machine

Happy New Year everyone!!

2011: Looking at the year ahead

I've been giving a lot of thought to making a new "to do" list for 2011. As much as I would love to do this, I think 2011 needs to have a different focus. As I mentioned in my 2010 wrap up, I think that my focus for the new year is going to be U.F.O.'s.

Otherwise known as "Un-Finished Objects".

I've reserved this term in the past to refer to craft projects that have been started with a bang and then left to languish in Rubbermaid containers and closet shelves until I come across them on a whim, 3 years later. And while I have several of those that I want to give attention to, I also have UFO's in my personal life that need to be dealt with. My weight loss journey and our family financial planning being the major ones.

So, without naming specific goals, I'm going to focus my energy in 2011 in cleaning up the UFO's in my life and trying not to create new ones. As I work on these tasks, I have a feeling that several items on my 101 Goals List will be marked off.

What are your hopes for the new year? Do you make resolutions?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

101 Goals in 1,001 Days: Update #4

Back in April, I came up with a list of 101 things that I want to accomplish in 1,001 days. It sounded like a pretty attainable goal back then, so I want to take a look and see how much progress I made on the list this year. This is more for me than anyone else because I've already done a couple of update posts this year, but I need to be able to see it all in 1 place. It's my OCD.

Home Improvement Goals
1. Decorate my house
2. Clean desk
3. Keep desk organized for 3 months
4. Finish remodeling the kids bathroom
5. Change the living room paint colors and window treatments - Completed in June 2010 at old house
6. Get a window treatment for the kitchen window
7. Create a manageable house cleaning schedule
8. Have fresh flowers on the kitchen table every week for a month - Completed December 2010 and plan to keep this up because I loved having flowers on the table
9. Decorate inside & out for Christmas - Completed December 2010 and loved every minute of it

Hobby Goals
10. Enter a photography contest
11. Make a quilt
12. Read 100 books - Since last update, read "One Day", "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell" and a Dave Barry compilation of his Year in Review lists (Read 8 books in 2010)
13. Go to a book signing
14. Read all of the Harry Potter books
15. Join a book club
16. Learn to knit or crochet
17. Knit or crochet a blanket
18. Craft with friends at least once a month - Got together with friends on several occasions to craft but not with consistency each month
19. Finish my Wreck This Journal
20. Learn how to use my sewing machine
21. Sew a dress for each of my children
22. Learn a new language
23. Finish the cross stitch piece I started for my wedding
24. Enroll in a pottery class
25. Print my blog in book form
26. Enroll in a cake decorating class
27. Take a photography class & learn how to use my camera
28. Blog twice a week
29. Cross stitch the Rainbow Bridge poem
30. Finish a heritage scrapbook for my mom
31. Finish a heritage scrapbook for my dad

Health & Exercise Goals
32. Get a massage - Completed August 2010
33. Stop biting my fingernails - Completed August 2010
34. Take a cooking class
35. Start a skincare routine - Completed August 2010 (but need to do a better job of keeping up with it regularly)
36. Exercise 5 days a week for a month
37. Run a 5k
38. Treat myself to a massage after losing 30lbs total
39. Treat myself to a massage after losing 60lbs total
40. Enjoy a new wardrobe after meeting my weight loss goal
41. Donate all of my old clothes after meeting my weight loss goal
42. Get down to 120lbs
43. Maintain my goal weight of 120lbs for at least 3 months
44. Go on a horseback ride that involves galloping
45. Take my dog to the dog park once a week
46. Take my dog on a walk twice a week
47. Play in a disc golf tournament
48. Go 7 days without eating junk food snacks - Completed September 2010
49. Eat 5 things that I've never tried before

Outdoors Goals
50. Go camping
51. Grow an herb garden - Bought an herb garden and managed not to kill it for a month which is progress. Plan to actually plant an herb garden this year at the new house.
52. Start a compost pile in the backyard
53. Landscape my front yard - Completed in June 2010 at old house
54. Build a flower box & plant flowers in it

Personal Goals
55. Get a tattoo
56. Get a professional bra fitting
57. Get my passport
58. Volunteer at an animal shelter
59. Become a published author
60. Throw a dinner party - Completed November 2010 when we hosted Thanksgiving here for some wonderful friends who are like family
61. Watch Gone with the Wind
62. See Josh Groban in concert
63. Start a review blog - Completed in April 2010
64. Take singing lessons
65. Move to a bigger house - Completed in July 2010
66. Finish my will
67. Inspire someone else to make their own list - Completed in April 2010
68. Learn to drive a stick shift
69. Go whale watching
70. Ride in a limo
71. Go to see 2 concerts - Went to see Kings of Leon (again) with my BFF Shannon in November 2010
72. Volunteer in my community
73. Stay organized for 3 months
74. Watch a movie at a drive-in theater
75. Buy a pair of boots
76. Learn to wear/walk in heels
77. But a watch & actually wear it
78. Go to Disney World with my hubby & kids
79. Get the interview with my grandparents converted to DVD
80. Book a trip to London
81. Assist in growing our Kindermusik program by 100%
82. Apply to be on the Amazing Race
83. Play my own lottery numbers - Completed in May 2010
84. But a ticket for a dream home giveaway
85. Sing karaoke at a bar/club
86. Use my bread maker
87. Send my grandma a card once a week
88. Be debt free (except for the house)
89. Apply for membership with the DAR
90. Own a minivan
91. Dye a blue streak in my hair
92. Go 3 days without getting online - Completed in July 2010
93. Go an entire day without watching tv - Completed in July 2010
94. Have a professional photo shoot done of just me
95. Buy myself a Dooney & Bourke purse
96. Go on a horse drawn carriage ride with my family
97. Play miniature golf - Completed in November 2010 when hubby & I played the new "Glow Golf" course in town and had a blast
98. Take dinner to a friend - Completed in May 2010
99. Give a compliment to a complete stranger
100. Save all of my coin change for 3 months & deposit it into my kids savings accounts
101. Write a new list of 101 things in 1,001 days at the end of this project

So, I've completed 17 of 101 tasks in 8 months and made progress on another 4 tasks. I need to kick it into high gear in 2011 and make some serious progress, which I know I can do! My biggest triumph though is moving into our new house this year which is a HUGE accomplishment and something that I didn't expect to achieve until the end of this project. Yay!!

The 2010 Year in Review

Wow, I can't believe we almost have another year in the books! I was stunned to realize that it's been almost 3 months since I've posted anything. Yikes. That's pretty much a testament to how busy life has been this year. There have some really big highs and some really big lows, but no matter what, I've pressed ahead and tried to get some things accomplished.

As I've mentioned (ad nauseum), I'm an obsessive list maker. It's a gene that was passed down from both my parents families, so my girls are doomed to follow in my footsteps. This year I published a couple of lists that I'm trying to make some progress on. I'll talk about the first one in this post and the other list in a post later today. So, let's recap the progress from my "to do" list of 2010.

Family Finances
1. Construct a budget and post it on the computer cabinet monthly - I had some great moments of triumph with this one. Consistency will be the key in the new year.
2. Get debt snowball plan created and posted - I created it and posted it and then promptly deviated from it. Perhaps for the new year, I should add "sticking to it" to the list.
3. Get emergency fund completed - We did complete the emergency fund and thanks to the expense of purchasing a new home, it was depleted. Guess what's showing up on the 2011 list?
4. Get plan together for next year's Christmas - I did this and it was immensely helpful. This was the first low stress Christmas that we've had in a LONG time.

1. Finish the Patten Chapel cross stitch - This has almost become a running joke amongst my friends. Our 15th wedding anniversary is next November. Guess who has a new target completion date?!
2. Finish the Bambi cross stitch - Epic fail on this one. However, I'm optimistic that we'll turn this around in the new year.
3. Finish the 2008 Disney Album - WIN! I did it and am so glad that it's done! Now we have to go back so I can put another album on the "to do" list.
4. Keep family album up to date - This wasn't a good year for this. I took far fewer pics this year than I have in years past which curtailed my desire to scrapbook. I made up for this in the last month which means I need to put the next 3 weeks off from work to some good use.
5. Try to read a book each month - While I didn't read a book a month, I did read a lot more this year than in years past. And by the looks of the HUGE pile of books on my "to be read" shelf, I would say that the new year is going to be great for reading.

1. Get my review blog up & running - I did this and had a lot of fun with it until I got completely side-tracked with the new home purchase. I'm hoping to get back on track in the new year.
2. Save up to redo my primary blog - I had a change of heart on this because I want to get back into blogging full time before I redo the layout.
3. Post at least 4 times per week - Yeah, maybe this should've been 4 times per quarter.
4. Be a better commenter on others blogs - I've fallen down on this one too. I'm narrowing down my google reader list and trying to focus on blogs that I can consistently and meaningfully comment on.

Personal Goals
1. Get in 3 workouts per week - Nope. And my health issues this year reflected it.
2. Do weekly meal planning - I didn't do this consistently but will vastly improve on this in the new year.
3. Shoot for a size 6 jeans by December 1st - Not even close. Bummer.
4. Spend more time outdoors with the kids - While I did improve on this, I definitely want to spend even more time with the kids outdoors in the new year.

So there were some definite triumphs that I'm proud of and I can see all kinds of room for improvement in 2011. The new year is definitely going to have a theme to it. And that theme is U.F.O.

More on that later...

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