Showing posts with label Resolutions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Resolutions. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Health // New Year's Resolutions Update

Happy April everyone!

Today, we're officially three months in to 2014, and so I thought that it would be a perfect time to do a brief check-in on my New Year's resolutions for the year. My overall goal for this year was (and still is) to focus on my health and work on taking better care of myself. Since January, it seems like life has been really busy. It's easy to focus on the day to day and lose sight of what you're trying to work on. You can read the original post here, but here's my list to give you an idea:

Physical Health
Get back to eating (mostly) Paleo.
Eat lunch and drink more water during the day, EVERY DAY.
Get into an exercise routine again.
Don't neglect appointments.
Take better care of my skin.
Get more sleep.

Mental Health
Make a concerted effort to stop procrastinating.
Create better work/life/blog balance.
Get off the computer and get outside EVERY DAY.
Read more. 
Stop trying to turn everything into a blog post/Instagram photo.

Spiritual Health
Find a church here in Portland.
Join a small group or Bible study.
Be intentional with actually taking quiet time each day to read the Bible/do a devotion everyday.
Ask God how can I use my time and talents to help others here in my community.
Pray more, worry less. 

I'm not going to go into detail on how I'm doing with each resolution, but let's just say it's a work in progress. However, even just publicly re-posting this list is a really great personal reminder that I need to be better at holding myself accountable to do the things that I know are important for my physical, mental, and spiritual health. This new month has me feeling extra motivated to be more disciplined about focusing on my goals, so yay for spring!!

What about you? I'd love to hear about if you're still holding strong on your resolutions from January...or maybe setting some new goals for the spring/summer months!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Life, Lately

Afternoon sunshine on the Portland State campus last Friday - the weather this whole weekend was gorgeous!

Happy Monday Tuesday everyone! 

 So I did not intend to take a week off from blogging, but somehow, that's what happened! Unfortunately, blogging seems to have taken somewhat of a back seat to other things for me lately. I'm not going to sit here and complain about how I'm so busy because honestly, I'm not that busy and there are people who have way more on their plate than I do. I also recognize that if I constantly feel like I don't have enough time in my day, then that's my own doing and I may need to re-evaluate some of the ways I'm currently spending my time. I'm also not going to (ever) apologize for not blogging because 1.) it's one of my biggest pet peeves when bloggers do that and 2.) this blog is something I do for me and it's something I do for fun and it's never something I want to feel guilty about it. At the same time, not having as much time to blog as I'd like STINKS big time, especially right now because there are SO many things I want to talk about! I still have so many photos from our Thailand trip to share, I've recently tried some new restaurants here in Portland (shocking I know) I want to review, and there are a bunch other things like beauty products and recipes and lots of other topics swirling around in my head for post ideas. So hopefully I will get to all of it over the next few weeks!

But in the meantime, I thought I would just give a quick run down, list style, to get y'all up to speed on what's been happening in my life as of late!

1. I had the day off work yesterday for MLK Day and I seriously love three-day weekends. I had a good friend from high school visiting me this weekend as well and so I pretty much just ate my way through Portland for the last 72 hours. I'll be sharing some photos later this week, but in the meantime, check out my Instagram for an obnoxious amount of food photos!

2. I posted a few weeks ago about how I wanted to focus on health this year - how am I doing so far? The good: We tried a new church earlier this month, I signed up for spin classes at a studio here in Portland that I am LOVING, I've been taking vitamins daily, drinking more water (although still not enough!), eating salads for lunch/more fruits and veggies throughout the day (well not counting this weekend!), and I have an eye dr. and dentist appointment scheduled for this week. The not so good: I'm still not good about getting enough sleep. Whomp whomp.

3. Cameron and I have officially started house hunting! Our lease for our apartment isn't up until this summer, but the Portland real estate market seems to really be hopping right now so we want to start putting some feelers out. At this point, are still up in air on what part of the city/what neighborhood we want to be in, so we really want to start checking out more houses to figure that out. We are still not planning to move until this summer, but I am excited that we are starting to look!

4. I love having a vacation to look forward to and I'm really happy because I've got two long weekend trips planned for next month. In the beginning of February, I'm heading to NYC for a few days to celebrate my sister's birthday and I'm super pumped for that since I haven't been to NYC in over a year. And then at the end of February, Cameron and I are traveling to Park City, UT for a ski weekend - I haven't done any skiing this year, so I'm excited for that as well!

5. Blogger delays have really been getting on my nerves, so I wanted to see if anyone else has had similar problems? When I publish a post, there is a really significant and unpredictable lag time between when the post goes up and when it shows up on the Blogger Dashboard/on friends' blog rolls. I'll publish a post and while my blog looks fine, the post won't show up in those places until 12+  hours later - what can I do to fix this?! Any suggestions would be appreciated!

6. I have always been really into beauty products, but lately I've just been obsessed with beauty/skincare products! Since we don't have cable, I feel like I end up watching so many makeup artists on YouTube instead and it always inspires me to try out new products. I am planning on putting together a beauty product post for next month to share some of my favorites, so let me know if there is anything you really want to see!

7. I really want to finish posting about Thailand while the details are still fresh in my mind; my goal is to get all my Thailand photos posted by the end of January, so be on the lookout for those!

Finally, I want to wish a very happy (belated) birthday to my mom! Her birthday was this weekend and I wish I could have been there to celebrate with her! Hope everyone is having a great week so far!

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Year of Health


Coming back from Thailand has left me pretty jet lagged and I am SO ready for the weekend!
But I with all the posts I've been seeing lately about new year's resolutions and 2014 goals, I just couldn't let the week go by without joining in on the party! ;)

(In case you missed it earlier this week, be sure to check out my 2013 recap!)

There's something I find so exciting about starting a new year.
A clean slate.
An opportunity to start fresh.
365 days filled with possibilities.
(Well 363 now, but who's counting)

I know that some big things could potentially be in store for us this year.
Possibly buying a house.
Hopefully starting a family.
And no, I'm not currently preggo for those of you wondering...
(Although I do seem to have somewhat of a perpetual food baby thanks to living in Portland/the holidays...ha!)
Hopefully Definitely more travel.
Exciting stuff for sure!

But when it comes down to it,
I recognize that a lot of things that may (or may not) happen this year
Are really (completely) out of my control. And that's ok.

That being said, I realize that there are many things that I do have control over.
And a big one is how well I take care of myself.
Because I want to be the best possible version of "me" that I can be.
And I want to be as ready as possible for whatever life throws my way.
Plus, starting to seriously consider the possibility of taking care of another human being has made me really think long and hard about how well I'm doing taking care of myself.
And I know there is definitely room for improvement.

I know that a lot of people like to set particular resolutions/goals each year.
While other people like to choose a word or phrase as their focus for the year.
Well I like both of those ideas, so I decided to combine them for this post ;)

So my word for 2014?

Real original, I know.
Yes, I realize that everyone and their dog says they're going to be healthier this time of year.
But hear me out.

When I say health, I do not mean (just) numbers on a scale.
It's really about looking at my overall well-being and identifying areas for improvement.
And not just for my physical health either, but for my mental and spiritual health as well.
Lately I feel like I've been pretty lazy in doing some of the things I know I should.
Because that's really what health often boils down to when you think about it.

Not being lazy.

Having the discipline to make the right choices and not just the easy or convenient ones.
Putting in the time and effort to do the things that are good for you in the long run.
Sticking with habits that put a foundation in place so you can be your best.
And most of all, being consistent with those habits.
Because that's the real challenge.
Sticking with it.

So when I think about 2014, here are the things that I want to do better when it comes to my health...

Physical Health

Get back to Paleo.
But not just for the sake of being "Paleo." I'm not concerned with a label or doing any sort of stringent Paleo challenge. I just want to eat real food that makes me feel good, and I want to do it often enough to reap the benefits. And in my experience thus far, the principles of the Paleo diet and the foods that I choose to eat when I follow it more closely do just that. I know I'm not going to do Paleo 100%...I'm probably not even going to do it 80% honestly...but I just want to get back to a place where I'm eating less junk and more good stuff.

Eat lunch and drink more water during the day, EVERY DAY.
When we lived in Tahoe, I used to make myself a big salad full of veggies for lunch each day and would drink tons of water. Since moving to Portland, I've been really terrible about these two things and often find myself skipping lunch and not drinking water only to be starving/dehydrated by the end of the day, which is dumb. I need to get out of these bad habit and get back on track with the salad/water train.

Get into an exercise routine again.
One of the things I love about living downtown is that I get to walk a lot, however, I miss doing more high-intensity workouts. I want to start weight training again and just making exercise a bigger part of my life in general because I feel so much better when I'm active!

Don't neglect appointments.
I'm thankful that Cam and I have good health insurance, so I'm really going to try to be better about staying on top of personal maintenance. Aka not waiting until I have one pair of contacts left before making an eye doctor appointment (which I am going to make today, promise!). And this not only goes for things like making dentist and doctor's appointments, but even just little things like not waiting eight months between getting my hair trimmed. Not that I've ever done that...oh wait...

Take better care of my skin.
My skin has always been somewhat problematic/acne-prone. And I've tried many different things that haven't worked. Yet, I also haven't been as consistent as I should be in sticking to something. So this year, I'm not going to be discouraged by past failures and I'm going to try to really figure out what works for me and then stick with it.

Get more sleep.
I've talked about this before, but it's a problem. I am a night owl by nature, but I can't keep using that as an excuse. I know that not getting enough sleep is terrible for your health and enough is enough.

Mental Health

Make a concerted effort to stop procrastinating.
This one is huge for me this year. It's always been my personality to procrastinate because I am the type of person that works well under pressure and somehow always manage to get things done. Yet I know that this is probably one of the things that has the most negative effect on my life and my relationships. Yet it's not an easy thing to just change. I feel like this post explains it so perfectly. Basically that's me in a nutshell. So this year, I want to do more of this.

Create better work/life/blog balance.
I don't know exactly what this looks like yet, but I know that what I did last year is not it.

Get off the computer and get outside EVERY DAY.
There's no excuse for not doing this, yet often I don't. But it's a new year and that's going to change.
I am going to get off the computer and go outside and walk at least once each day during the week.
And on the weekends, I want to spend more time doing things like hiking, skiing, and taking mini roadtrips and stop wasting so much of my life staring at a computer screen.

Read more. 
During our trip to Thailand, I was able to finish two books and it felt so nice to just have time to read! It's so relaxing, plus I feel a lot more accomplished when I finish a book vs. when I watch a bunch of makeup tutorials on YouTube or some dumb show on Netflix. Ha.

Stop trying to turn everything into a blog post/Instagram photo.
It's no secret that I love social media and I'm not planning on stopping this year. Because I do get enjoyment out of sharing/seeing photos on Instagram and I love having this blog to preserve memories and look back on things we've done. However, I want to try and rid myself of some of the constant anxiety my generation (and bloggers in particular) seems to have that if something good/cool/fun/cute happens, everyone needs to know about. They don't. I don't want to feel pressure to try and document every experience this year because that's exhausting and really not healthy. Instead, I want to just really try and enjoy things as they happen. I still plan to take photos, blog, and use Instagram plenty this year, but I want to do it because I want to, not because I feel like I have to all the time.

Yes, I'm putting it on here twice because it's that important.
I know that getting more sleep would not only improve my physical health, but my mental health as well and that I just need to stop making excuses.

Spiritual Health

This is probably the most important area for me this year as I know that big life changes can really test your faith. I think in your twenties, it's really easy to be complacent in this area and put your spiritual growth at the bottom of the priority list. But I know that just like any other area of health, you need to be disciplined and actually put in the time to see the benefits. And I know that those benefits are far greater than anything else on this list! Here are some of the things I want to do this year...

Find a church here in Portland.
Join a small group or Bible study.
Be intentional with actually taking quiet time each day to read the Bible/do a devotion everyday.
Ask God how can I use my time and talents to help others here in my community.
Pray more, worry less. 

When I look at this list, nothing on here is really that hard.
They're all relatively small things by themselves, and most don't take up much time at all.
But it just boils down to actually making the stuff on this list a priority this year and doing it.
Because I know that if I'm consistent over the next twelve months,
these "small" things will (hopefully) have a big impact.

And I'm going to.

So cheers to a happy and healthy 2014!

PS: I'm linking up with Casey Leigh (and a bunch of other great bloggers!) for today's post!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My One Resolution for 2013

Happy New Year everyone! 

We are finally home from our 2+ weeks of cross-country Christmas travel. This morning I woke up and was actually really confused as to where I was, it took me a second to realize I was in my own bed--ha! It was so nice to spend time with family and friends in both Michigan and Oregon, and it was the perfect way to end what's been an amazing year! And as fun as the last few weeks have been, I'm actually really happy to be back in Tahoe and for life to go back to normal a little bit.

Anyway, now that the new year is officially upon us, everyone seems to be talking about their resolutions. I am a huge list maker and I love setting goals all the time of things I'd like to get accomplished. I have lots of things, both big and small, that I'd like to see happen in 2013. However, I plan on not just setting goals here in January, but rather doing it consistently throughout the year. In the coming weeks, I'll be sharing more about some of my for goals January, so stay tuned!

However, as far as resolutions go for 2013, I'm only making one this year. 

Be more mindful with my time

That's it. 

#time #character #quote

I feel like I'm constantly complaining how time goes by so fast, and so this year I'm not going to sit around and play the victim and act like there is nothing I can do about it. Each day we're given is a gift, but I'm realizing that often I don't treat my time that way and spend way too much of it on things that are unimportant. That's why my goal for 2013 is to really be mindful of how I'm spending my precious time, and stop wasting it on stupid things. All too often I wish I had more time for certain things, but in reality, how I spend my time is a choice and if I want to get something done, I need to make it a priority.

Time Flies, you're the pilot, quote

For me, my top three priorities are this: 

My faith 
My marriage
My health
(And when I say my health, it's not in a vain way--I just mean that making sure I'm eating healthy food, have enough time to get up move/get fresh air each day, and get enough sleep is important to me)

However, if someone took a snapshot of how I currently spend my time, I know that those three things would not be reflected in how I'm actually living. So that's why this year I want to be more aware of how I'm spending my time and really making sure that I'm being mindful that it lines up with these three priorities

This means consistently asking myself, would it be a better use of my time to...

Stay up late and watch this episode of Friends that I've seen 5 times?
Get in bed so I get a good night's sleep and feel rested for the next day?

Talk to friends on gchat during the day, causing me to be less productive with work?
Pick up the phone and call a friend to catch up?

Checking Weekly during the day for a little break?
 Just staying focused on my work so I can spend time with Cam when he gets home?

Constantly checking Facebook/Instagram on my phone throughout the day?
Using that time to read my Bible or a good book that I'll enjoy?

Losing my temper and holding a grudge with people I love?
 Letting go of my pride, forgiving people, and moving on?

I want to constantly ask myself questions like these this year and really be more aware of just how much time I'm spending on certain things. Our time can get sucked away in such sneaky ways that often we don't even realize it's happening. 

"There's no time like the present and no present like time." #typography #poster #quote #inspirational

I'll admit that I'm guilty of constantly checking up on celebrity gossip and that's something I want to put a stop to this year. During the day, I'll want to take a little break from work so I'll check People or US Weekly, and it's just dumb. So dumb. I don't need all this useless information taking up space in my brain, so I'm really going to work on not spending my time on that and going outside or doing something else if I need a break during the work day. I'm not saying I'll never read another one of those magazines again; for instance, if we're travelling or I'm getting my hair done or something and I happen to read People, totally fine. I just don't need to keep up with celebrity gossip on a daily basis, and there are much more valuable things I could be spending my time on.

Also, I know I'm not alone here but social media is something that I want to be much more diligent about setting limits with. "Oh I'll just go on Facebook for 5 minutes" or "I'm just going to look something up on Pinterest really quick" (ha, sick joke) often turns into a much larger investment of time. And it's tough when all this stuff is constantly accessible on my phone, because it makes it so easy to do. What I don't realize is even if I do just check something on my phone for 5 or 10 minutes, those small chunks of time throughout the day really add up. And I'm not trying to say social media is bad, because I don't think that it is. I love Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook and I don't plan to stop using them. However, it's just so easy to let them suck away more precious time than I'd like so I am really going to try to be better about guarding my time this year. 

time quote - Thomas Edison

As far as blogging goes, it's time-consuming and is not a top priority for me in terms of my life. However, it is also something that I really enjoy and just because it's not a top priority, doesn't mean it's not a priority at all and I have no intention of giving it up. I just need to figure out a balance to where it fits in my life in a way that works. I love having time to sit down and write, share a little slice of my life, and connect with other bloggers. However, I'll often stay up way past my bed time blogging, as that's the time that's most convenient for me...but that's not healthy. I can't choose blogging over sleep, and if that means less posts per week, than that's what it means. At the same time, I do enjoy my blog and want to make sure I'm allocating enough time for it each week. It's a work in progress! 

And finally, beyond just not letting my time get sucked away by these things this year, I want to make sure that I am not wasting time on negative emotions. I'll admit, I can be fairly hot-tempered and reactive. I tend to get angry over insignificant things, and then struggle with letting go of that anger sometimes. I am stubborn and not always the best at saying I'm sorry. If I get upset, I'm not good at just resolving the situation and moving on, instead I like to stay mad for far too long.

And that's such a waste.

I am so blessed with a loving husband, a wonderful family, and great friends. But no one is perfect. People are going to upset me from time to time and I'm going to upset them, that's life. But if someone does something to make me mad, I need to forgive them and move on instead of holding grudges and staying mad. I am so blessed to have people in my life who have show me so much grace all the time, this year I want to focus on doing that to others. It's a shame to look back and recall times times where I stayed in a bad mood for far too long instead of just snapping out of it, and I don't want to do that this year. Especially in light of what happened in Newtown last month, it seems especially silly to waste a single second this year being angry unnecessarily over anything. 

If 2012 has taught me anything, it's that time is precious and life is unpredictable.   I don't know how much time I will have here on Earth. But I do know that when God calls us, it is our time, without mistake. Because His timing is more perfect that ours could ever be. <3

So whether it's a barista at Starbucks that messes up my order or my husband who forgets to pick up something up on his way home from work, I am going to work on letting it go. To not sweat the small stuff and let little things ruin my day. To show people kindness and forgiveness. And to just be happy even when everything is not perfect. Because I'm certainly not perfect, so I shouldn't expect other people around me to be either.


And finally, I just want to be fully engaged in my own life. Not miss things because I'm looking down at my phone, too busy paying attention to what other people are doing. My time is precious and I want to invest it in things that matter, not things that are insignificant. And although it's easier said than done, I'm hoping that awareness is the first step to positive changes. 

If you're still reading this post, I'm impressed :) It ended up being much longer than I intended, but it feels great to write these things in my heart out and see them in black and white. Also, all images used in this post can be found here.

What about you? Did you make any resolutions for 2013? I'd love to hear about them! Xoxo

PS: In case you missed it, here's my review of 2012 :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My 12 Resolutions for 2012

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope that you all had a wonderful time ringing in 2012! Last night, we had a great time celebrating with some good friends, and I'll have pictures to come soon! Right now, however, Cam and I are en route from Michigan back to Oregon (love on-board wi-fi!) to pick up our car, our stuff we left at Cam's parents' house, along with this little goofball, and then later today we'll begin our drive down to our new home in Lake Tahoe. Quite the way to start off the year! 


I actually love that we're moving in January because it's such a perfect time for clean slates and fresh starts. I think it's very healthy to annually step back, re-evaluate things in your life, and set new goals for the coming year. Most people aim to make some sort of positive resolution going forward from January 1st, but the overachiever/compulsive list maker in me says why stop at one resolution when you can make twelve?!

You know, for 2012...duh.
Also, I'm pretty sure that many of us bloggers must think alike because I've seen lots of these posts over the past few days...great minds 
So here is my list of resolutions for the year to come...

1. Get more sleep
 I swear I make this resolution every year, but 2012 I'm really going to get serious about it. I'm a night owl by nature, so I have a tendency to stay up way later than I should most nights and get by on far less sleep than is healthy. Studies constantly show how terrible being sleep-deprived is for your health, and I know I'd probably be skinnier and my skin would be clearer if I just got more shut-eye. I'm not in school, so I can't use studying as an excuse, I don't have a newborn keeping me up at night, so there is honestly no reason why I can't get a full 8 hours of sleep every single night. I know that down the road when I do have kids I'll look back and regret not sleeping when I could, so I'm really going to make a concerted effort this year to get in bed at a reasonable hour instead of going on the computer at night and wasting time.

2. Read more
 This is another resolution I whole-heartedly make every year, but then always seem to fall off the wagon. I love to read, and I have a huge list of books that all sound so interesting, I'm just not great at being disciplined to actually read them. I was doing better at the beginning of last year, but with the holidays my reading sort of fell by the wayside. I'm really looking forward to (hopefully) unplugging a bit when we get to Tahoe, curling up under blanket with a cup of tea, and just reading. Again, I'd have a lot more time to read if I were better at limiting my Facebook/blogging/online time, so I'm really going to try to do that and hopefully read some excellent books in the next twelve months! (Any recommendations are welcome!)

3. Become a good skier
 Between my birthday and Christmas, I amassed quite the collection of ski gear and now I'm ready to hit the slopes once we get to Tahoe. Cam and I have season passes to Heavenly/North Star ski resorts, and I'm really looking forward to getting out there and improving my skills. Chances are we'll remain living in the West, so I really want to become at least a decent enough skier that I can go out and enjoy myself and take advantage of all the beautiful mountains in this part of the country! 

4. Kick the sugar habit & eat cleaner
While I don't plan on giving up my beloved hobby of baking in the year to come, I really need to work on making sugar a much smaller part of my diet. I have such a sweet tooth, and while I know it's alright to indulge sometimes, I realize that consuming as much refined sugar as I do is really detrimental to my health and not giving my body the fuel it needs. I want to be satisfied eating one or two homemade cookies or splitting a really good dessert with Cam at a nice restaurant, and stop consuming excess sugar in other less satisfying ways, like getting a giant box of candy at the movies just to get something or always getting a cookie at Jimmy John's even though they're terrible. I really just want to cut the crap out of my diet in the coming year and eat real food, and then really enjoy a good treat every once and awhile. It's not like I need to do a complete 180 from the past year because I felt like for the most part I ate pretty healthy when we lived in Colorado, but, as always, the holidays tend to throw a wrench in things. I want to get back on track eating a diet that's filled with lots of fresh fruits and veggies, healthy meats and other proteins, and whole grains, because that's when I feel my best.

5. Take an international vacation (or two)
 2011 was a busy year filled with getting to know the South and Colorado, and all that domestic exploring didn't leave much time to take any other sort of vacation. And while I'm so excited to take lots of little weekend trips around Tahoe, I'm also really itching to start planning a trip to a more exotic destination. Cam and I both love to travel, and we have so many different countries around the world that we'd like to visit. Working at the travel store in Boulder the past few months and hearing about all these amazing trips that customers would take has made me even more eager to get out and see the world, so I'm really hoping that we can plan some sort of international vacation in the coming year. Eventually we want to have a baby and get a house and all that jazz, and while I know it's not like we can't travel after that stuff happens, I hear that kids and houses are kind of money pits so I'd like to get in a few more exotic vacations before we reach that next step in our life.
6.  Learn something new
 The first new skill I'd like to tackle for 2012 is learning how to use the manual settings on our DSLR camera. We bought the camera right before we moved to Colorado, and I'll admit, 99% of the time I use one of the camera's automatic settings. This year, I'd really like learn how to utilize our camera's features and (hopefully) start taking better photos! Also, I feel like I'm constantly browsing Pinterest and seeing all these awesome things that people create, and so one of my goals this year is to stop just passively looking at things other people make and starting doing things myself! I'd love to learn how to sew, knit, crochet, paint or just learn some new creative skill in the year to come.
7. Be a better blogger
And by better, I don't necessarily mean blog more. When I started this blog almost two years ago (wow, I can't believe it's been that long!), it was a way to keep in touch with family and friends. And while it definitely still serves that purpose, over the past year, it's also evolved into a hobby that I enjoy more than I ever thought possible. I love writing, photography, and sharing my experiences and thoughts. I also love reading all of your blogs and being a part of this amazingly vibrant community of interesting and creative people. However, as much as I love blogging, I want to make sure it's in the correct spot on my priority list, and that's definitely not at the top. I don't ever want it to be a negative force where I'm comparing my life to other bloggers or missing out on events in my own life because I'm so busy taking photos to put up. I love that my blog is sort of this constantly evolving scrapbook of my life, however, I don't ever want to live to blog. I want to be present in moments that happen in my life and not be thinking about how I'm going to turn them into a post for others to read. I want to be a good wife, daughter, sister, and friend and don't ever want this blog to infringe on time with the important people in my life. Don't get me wrong, I definitely plan to continue blogging because it's something that I enjoy immensely and I want to create a blog I'm proud of. I just want to make sure there are some limits on the time I spend on it so it's not taking time away from actually living my life. I don't want to ever post just to post, but I'd rather talk about things that are really important to me on a less frequent basis instead of feeling obligated to stick to some set schedule. This year I want to be better at giving myself designated time to blog, doing what I can do, and then turning off the computer and going to bed (see resolution #1). Also, I'll admit that sometimes I see other bloggers who have sponsors and lots of followers and I start to question what they're doing that I'm not, and I realize that's an unhealthy path to head down. If my blog grows in the coming year and that's a direction that I choose to take, fine, but if not that's fine too. I just want my blog to be what it will be, and whatever happens happens. That being said, I do want to keep improving this blog in the coming year, and I so greatly appreciate everyone who takes the time to read it. Your sweet comments really do make my day, and even if I'm terrible at responding, I do read every single one!

8. Be wise with our finances
While I'm extremely thankful that my husband is great at handling our finances, this year I would like to try to be a little more involved. As much as I love our "he makes it, I spend it" situation, I really want to try to be more on board with our financial goals and think about our long-term plans over short-term indulgences. I have the terrible habit of spending $100 on random things every time I go to Target (some how a nail polish or two always seems to find it's way into my cart!), and when you have a SuperTarget three minutes from your house like we did in Colorado, that's a dangerous combination. Before we moved, we gave away all this extra clutter and clothing taking up space in our closets, so my goal this year is really just to try not to buy unnecessary crap in the first place. We would really like to buy our first home in the next few years, and I really want to start being more diligent in focusing on that goal rather than just blowing money on stuff that doesn't matter. I also want to try to be better about spending less so we can give more. One thing that Cam and I have talked a lot about over the past few months is how we both want to be better at using our income to bless others, but sometimes it can be difficult change your habits. This year, we really want to make sure that we're giving first, saving second, and spending on ourselves third, rather than waiting until the end of the month and just giving whatever is leftover. All the money and material blessings we have in our life are gifts from God, and we can't take them with us after our life is over, but rather we really want to use them as tools to help bless others.

9. Try out a new dinner each week
Baking is my passion, while cooking is more something that I do because we have to eat. This year, I really want to try to get more excited about cooking and put some new weeknight meals into our rotation. Cam and I love to cook together, and my goal for the coming year is to try out at least one new dinner each week. I've got a lot of different recipes I've pinned over the past few months but haven't tried, and I also would love to experiment with different cuisines and techniques from around the world. I want to cook meals that are healthy (see #4), delicious, and different in 2012!

10. Be more green
 Another part of my reasoning behind starting this blog was to chronicle my attempts to live a more eco-friendly life. Welllll that hasn't quite happened, but it's something I really want to work on for this year. I want to make sure that the products I'm using and the things I'm doing are going to make the Earth a better place versus harming it. I don't want to just buy stuff for the sake of being green, but rather I want to consume less and waste less too. This is definitely not always the easiest thing for me to do, but I definitely want to try in the coming year. I'm really hoping to make this a more frequent post topic as well, so if you have any suggestions or questions or ideas for this area I'd love to hear them!

11. Run a half marathon
Two common resolutions that I purposely left off of my list are "lose weight" and "exercise more". And while I'm not saying that I don't need to do both of those things in the coming months (after all, I did make like 20 dozen Christmas cookies!), I'm not after a particular number on a scale. Sure, I'd love to be thinner, but at the same time, I'm at a healthy weight for my height, I have a husband who loves me no matter what, I like to work out because it makes me feel happy and strong, and I also enjoy baking and eating good food. I want to enjoy my life and be healthy, which is why I'm not stressing out about a few extra holiday pounds or trying to fit in to a particular size. However, I do enjoy trying different things when it comes to fitness, and setting goals for myself definitely helps to keep me motivated. Running a half marathon has been something I've been contemplating for awhile, and I think that this is the year I'd finally like to give it a try. I probably won't do one until the fall because I plan on skiing over the next few months of winter, and then do my training over the spring/summer. I have no idea which half I want to do yet, in large part because I'm not entirely positive where we'll be living in the fall, but it's definitely a goal I'd like to accomplish before this time next year.

12. Take my faith more seriously
This is probably my most important resolution for the year to come. One thing I'm starting to realize as I go through my twenties is that no one can "do" your faith for you. Just because you come from a Christian home or went to a Bible study in college doesn't mean you're set. Your relationship with the Lord is a personal thing and it's something that requires daily time to grow and mature. I'll admit, sometimes it's all too easy to hit snooze on Sunday morning or to not read your Bible when you don't have someone telling you to do it, but that's not what I want for my life or my marriage.
So there you have it, my resolutions for the coming year! Above all, I really just want to really be present every minute of the coming year and enjoy each moment. I feel like time goes by quicker each year and I really can't believe it's already 2012. This year, I don't want to constantly be thinking about what's coming next but rather just savor what's happening now. 

My posts will probably be somewhat sporadic over the next week or so as we make this transition into our new home, but I look forward to giving you an update from Tahoe as soon as I can! In the meantime, I hope you have a fantastic New Year's Day and I send you all my best wishes for a fabulous year to come! Xoxo



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