Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 Goals

Last year I set out to fulfill 14 goals in 2014 if you take a little peak at the tab above you will see my achievements. Out of 14 goals I was able to complete or partially complete 10 of them. For some of them things changed and I was not able to complete them. For others I forgot about them. And then money became an issue as well. 

All of that considered, I was still pretty proud of how well I did. And I loved having goals to check in with each month. It kept me focused and gave me things to work on. The other best part? My blog best, Rissa, and I would video chat each month and talk about our goals. We would discuss how well we did that month and then set new goals to work on. 

For this year I am changing up my goals a touch. Instead of setting goals the first of the year and working on those all year long, I am going to set only a couple each month to work on. I feel that if I do this I will be better able to achieve the goals I want to achieve. 

Another change that Rissa and I have decided to make is to also add a little happiness project to our goals. We have not exactly figured out what this means or what we are going to do, but we want to not just reach physical goals but life goodness goals as well. 

I am so excited to set out on this new goals adventure! Later this month will be an update on what the goals will be for January and my talk with Risaa about how this is going to work. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 In Review

Oh 2014.  You have been a year.  Good or bad?  I am not too sure.  But if I had to decide I would say good.  So many happy memories and times had.  Lots of stress and hard work too.  There is not much of you I would change even if I could.  2015 though, I am REALLY looking forward to you!

January started off with a bang with my sister attempting to set me up with a telling him lies!  

Throwing our girls trip to Charleston and Savannah and it was a marvelous month!

This month was a crazy kind of month for me.  I was working multiple jobs, trying to find an internship site, taking way too many hard classes and needless to say I was STRESSED!

I have always been a fan of visiting my friends and go as often as possible!  A road trip it was to see some of those awesome people in Tennessee!

The biggest part of this month was that I quit one of my many jobs.  I remember being so stressed and needing to cut back somewhere, so the gym job went out the door!

I also finally got an internship site and shared a little about what I do and where I am working!

After being in my apartment for about 7 months I came to realize how much I love my little space!

For Easter my best friend Ashlee came down to Florida for a visit! I loved having her here and she was able to see my little apartment in real life.  We have decided to make Easter a tradition, which I love!

I also celebrated another birthday this month! 23 years old and loving every minute of it!

May is the big start of beach season around here.  I found myself paddle boarding up and down the canal and spending time out on the boat with my favorites!

I also added some new decorations to my apartment.  Not my first choice, but Brutus was more than thrilled to have a cat tree!

Mattie and I signed up for four 5k races this summer and started them off with a bang! I loved running with her and how we both needed each other to get to the finish line.  Too bad she broke her foot and cannot run anymore...

If my mom didn't already know she had the best kids ever, then this month she learned.  My sister being the big mastermind behind it all, helped fly in my moms best friend from college.  They had not seen each other in 15 years.  Best.  Surprise.  Ever. 

After quitting that one job back in March, it took me till July to burn out again.  This time with school .  I had had no break from classes since January and had none coming till December.  Fortunately I got through that one!

The first part of August was probably one of my favorite times of the year.  It had been 8 months since I had seen my best friend, I was burned out on school, and I just needed a break with her.  So I flew to New Hampshire and had the best time ever with Lauren!

September came and with it came me opening up about parts of me I had hidden on here before.

I also contemplated online dating.  And then bit the bullet and did it.  And now I am quitting it.

The first weekend of October is another weekend I will not soon be forgetting.  My blog bestie, Rissa, came and visited!  We did the whole Harry Potter World thing and quickly became real life besties.  Cant wait to make it out to Arizona soon!

Two weekends later and I found myself in Georgia going to a Boyce Avenue concert with a best friend and my sister!  

November was a quiet month for me around these parts.  But I did post about how I have become a crazy cat mom.  

Other than that it was filled with work and school and getting ready for a much needed Christmas break!

Another quiet month for me around here.  I have been on break and totally enjoying it.  

We celebrated Christmas and had a wonderful time making new traditions!

It was a wonderful filling exciting year for me! Hear is to hoping yours was just as great and 2915 will be even better!!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Christmas Recap

Every family has their own traditions for the holidays. As ours has grown up, many traditions have stayed and some new ones have been brought on. We are a traditions welcoming kind of family. And this year brought many many new traditions to our family. 

Christmas Eve held much newness for our house. In the past it has just been our family together. Maybe add a boy friend or girl friend some years or some aunts, uncles, and cousins. But typically just family. This year we invited my brothers girl friend and her family as well as my sisters boy friend and his family. Lots of new people on the house!

We served our traditional Christmas Eve meal, lasagna. But seating was a bit tricky for us this year. With 15 people we needed two tables. But try as we might, we could not come up with a good solution of where to seat people. And I don't know about you, but it is always nice when you go to dinner at someone's home to already have assigned seats.

Knowing we would be drawing numbers for white elephant gifts later (another new tradition), we had everyone pick their numbers early before dinner and then they had to find their number at one of the tables. They were all mixed up and you didn't know where you would end up. It added such a fun aspect to dinner! Most of the couples got separated and the tables were very varied amongst the three families!

After dinner we did white elephant gifts. We set a limit of $10 and everyone had to bring a gift. For those of you who have played white elephant, then you know how much fun it is!! Lots of laughs were shared and stealing done!

While Christmas Eve held the biggest hanged, Christmas Day was kind new to us too! For the first time EVER someone that is not part of the family spent Christmas morning with us. If I am being completely honest(which I always am) I was not looking forward to this. I pitched a major fit. But in the end it was nice to have my sisters boyfriend there and he made it a very nice morning. 

We woke up and started present opening by 8am. Both of my brothers had somewhere to be by 10 so we had to start early. This was something else new to us. Having siblings gone to be with other families most of the day. 

We all sat down for lunch at 1 and next things I knew it was 2 and it was just my parents and myself left in the house! I was he only child home most of Christmas Day. I'm not really complaining about that, but it made me notice two things: 1. I have no life 2. We are all growing up. Not too sure how I feel about either of those things!

Over all it was an awesome and amazing Christmas Day! It was spent with all five of my favorite people and I loved every minute of it! We not only got to celebrate our time with each other and open gifts, but we celebrated the best gift of all, the birth of Jesus Christ. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Things I Forgot About Long Hair

It has been almost two years since I have had my hair this long.  And while I greatly missed the length when it was short, there are many other parts of having long hair I did not miss.  Two years is a long time to grow out your hair and in the mean time you forget what it is like to have long hairs on your head.  But now I remember.

I forgot... about all of the knots and tangles.  I have curly hair.  I do not brush my curly hair (I comb through it in the shower).  So the longer it gets the more tangles and knots I get.  Rats nests worst than a 6 year old who hasn't brushed her hair in a week.  And I hate it.

I forgot... how hot and sticky long hair can be.  My short hair was well short and did not stick to my neck when it was hot.  Plus the more hair I have the hotter I get.  

I forgot...that hair always in my face drives me nuts.  My hair is not just long, it is thick.  Really thick.  So by the end of the day it surrounds me and I end up pulling it up to get it out of the way.  But then it gets a crease in it and I have to wear it up for another day or two before I wash it again.

I forgot...the more hair you have the more product you use.  I am a lucky girl that all I have to do is wash my hair add product, and let it air dry in order to get some pretty awesome curls.  The only reason I use product is to contain the frizz. When it was short all I needed was one little dollop and could go almost two months without buying new product.  Long hair calls for multiple dollops and new product every 2-3 weeks. And it ain't cheap stuff!

I forgot...that the more hair I have the more I can do with it.  With it longer I have now been able to add some new hair styles to use.  I love more options.

I very much so have a love/hate relationship with my hair.  When it is short I want it long.  When it is long I want it short.  And right about now I am DYING to cut it all off.  But I made a promise to myself I would wait till after graduation to cut it.  So waiting I will do.  6 more months.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The End of The Semester

It is Monday morning and instead of going back through and refining the paper I spent over 10 hours writing yesterday, I find myself turning on my Christmas tree for the first time in days, lighting my Christmas tree candle, and opening up a blank blog page.  I have been ignoring this space for the past month or so, but now is the time I am feeling the call to come back.

The end of the semester is here and when it comes I seem to get a little silent around here.  I of course procrastinated all my work to the last minute (tomorrow) and now have to cram it all in.  But knowing tomorrow I will be done till January 5?  I can't wait.

So what else have been up to besides school?  Lots and lots of work.  Things are taking off for me in my internship even more than I could have believed.  The other day I had my first paying client!!! Nothing like a little money to make me feel official!

Hopefully after tomorrow I will be around this place a little more.  Nothing like Christmas time to give me some awesome things to share!  For now please grant me a little grace as I finish up my second to last semester of Grad School!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Online Dating: Being Single Is Good

I have decided Brutus is the only guy I need in my life!

Back in September I signed up for online dating.  You can read about some of my adventures here, here, and here.  I have not blogged about it in almost two months for a couple reasons.

1. I had nothing to update
2. When I finally had an update I wanted to wait

Well now that I have waited I can share my update.  About a month ago I started talking to someone I met online.  Everything I saw on his profile was great and when we started talking we didn't stop.  It was so nice to have someone to talk to.  But as time went on things changed.

He was nothing but a gentleman to me.  We had so much in common.  We had plans to meet this past weekend (due to Thanksgiving we had been waiting to meet).  And then I had a change of heart and called things off.

So what happened to make me have such a drastic change of heart before even meeting him?  A lot actually.  And it was not a decision I came to over night, easily, or without a lot of stress on my heart and on my mind.

One of my constant and biggest prayers is that God will lead me down the path He has for me.  That I will follow His plan in everything that I do. When I started online dating it was incorporated into this prayer.  That I would follow the Lord's path for me and that if I was meant to find someone I would.  And I would because that was His plan for me, not my own plan.

When I started talking to this guy I continued to pray about whether or not he was the person I would have any kind of future with.  And if I was not to have a future with him then I would know it before I got hurt in the process.

After almost a month of talking (via text only) and with plans set for meeting, I was not at peace with any of it.  I had no butterfly feelings (really I had never had any while talking to him), I was sick to my stomach, and I could not sleep at all.  I would dread the idea that he would text me and I did not want to talk to him.  Nothing felt right.

All I could think about was if this was someone I would possibly have some kind of future with then why do I feel so negatively about it??  Why do I not want to talk to him at all?  Why do I get annoyed with things he says?  Why do I feel so stressed about it all?

I finally came to the realization that this was not meant to be for me.  When I brought it up to friends and loved ones they all asked the same question, "Are you sure this isn't nerves?".  Hands down I knew it was not nerves and I was not scared.  I may not know how to talk about my feelings, but I do know them and I know myself.  Things were not right.

Add in the fact that we live two hours apart and would have to each drive a ways to meet, I had to put and end to things.  And with the help of a wonderful friend I did.  I felt so completely awful to do this to him.  I knew it was going to come out of the blue, and I really hate hurting people.  He was so sweet and understanding which was so nice to hear.

The moment I told him my feelings and made the decision to not meet with him I was immediately at peace.  I was freed from my stress and worry.  I know I made the right choice and I do not regret it at all.  

Through this whole process I came to realize something pretty important.  I pushed for me to meet someone.  I told myself I needed someone in order to be happy.  I wanted to be in a relationship and I pushed for it to happen.  I followed my own path and prayed the Lord would follow.

I needed to follow my own path in order to learn that for the first time in my life, I am happy being single.  Being single is a good thing.  Through this time of being single I will better be able to bless others and myself.  I want to focus on my career and being the best counselor I can be.  

I feel as though this is the path God has for me.  And as long as I allow him to be in control of my life, I know that I will be doing what is right for me.  I know I will succeed and be happy, even if it is just me and Brutus.  For now I will enjoy this time of my life.  And when it is time for me to be in a relationship I will.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Operation Read Your Shelves: A Love Undone

One of my favorite things about reading is that I get to learn about different cultures and people.  One of my favorite cultures that I have grown up reading about in fictional books is the Amish culture.  I have been reading books about the Amish for as long as I can remember and it has probably been the one my favorite topics ever.

So when I came across A Love Undone by Cindy Woodsmall, I knew I would devour the book.  And that I did.  This is the first book I have read by Cindy Woodsmall and she took a different take on the Amish culture than I had read before.  I loved her writing style and that I was able to learn about a different part of the culture presented.

In this novel you explore love, loss, and God's unfailing grace.  Throughout the whole book you are rooting for the main characters, but have no idea how they will make their love work.  I loved the trust they had in the Lord, even through the many tragedies they faced.  It was a great encouragement to me to see even through fictional characters how trust in the Lord always turns out better than trust in ourselves or others. 

If you love reading about different cultures, especially the Amish, then this is a great book to read.  It will warm your heart and make you cry all at the same time!

Last month through this link-up I discovered Blogging for Books.  Bringing together my two most favorite hobbies?? Hello this is a must for me!  I received this book for free in exchange for a review.  All opinions here are my own.  
34 Magnolia Street

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bedroom Makeover

I moved into my apartment September of 2013.  By October of 2013 I basically stopped decorating my apartment.  I had done a lot, got burned out, and ran out of money.  What I had decorated was great, but I have always wanted to do more.

Fast forward to a year later and while I had decorated and changed up my living room, I had yet to decorate my bedroom.  Honestly no one but me goes in there, clothes are always all over the place, and what I have wanted to do was going to cost money.  But I finally bit the bullet and got my bedroom least a little bit!

The Before: Sorry for the unmade bed:)

I liked my cream colored curtains because they made the room light.  But they were terrible about blocking out light.  And the apartment complex decided a couple weeks ago to replace our street light bulbs with the brightest ones they could find.  There just so happens to be a street light right outside my apartment.  So darker curtains were needed.

That little space with the printer?  I have wanted to add a table and decorate the wall for all my jewelry.  I shopped around and found the table below from Walmart.  Assemble was weird, but it works.  And it was cost efficient.

I feel like I still need to add to the wall behind my bed.  But I am not sure what else I want to put with my monogram.  Suggestions anyone?  I am open to just about anything!

Please excuse the chair full of clothes.  At least I made the bed?  Also still looking/saving for a real desk chair.  The current one is from my dining room.

One of my friends from college, Becky, made the earring holder.  I love it!  I have found that when I display all of my jewelry, the more likely I am to wear it.  Also I had forgotten how many earrings I have.  It had all been hidden away for the last year because I did not have a place for my jewelry.

The table was the perfect addition I needed.  I love the color and height and that my printer can fit underneath it.  I wish the printer was more hidden, but hey it's a give and take when you are decorating on a budget!

I am in love with my new additions!  Plus I am pretty proud of myself for finally getting around to decorating my room.  Also sorry for the crappy iphone pictures.  It was quicker and easier than pulling out the big camera!