Monday, January 28, 2013

March for Babies 2013

If you were following me last year, you know that our family walked in the March for Babies in memory of the nephew of our good friend Liz.  This year, I am at it again, walking once more for the Devoted to Dylan team.

Last night I played charity trivia for our team, and we won!  I was able to kick off my efforts with a $350 donation, which is 75% more than I raised in total last year.

If you have the means, we would love a donation to our walk team.  My goal this year is $500, so I only have $150 more to go.

The March of Dimes works to fight pre-term births and to help work for healthy moms and babies.  Our own Elliott spent a few days in the NICU with a minor infection and low blood sugar.  While we were in the hospital, we saw first hand what NICU moms and dads go through and how the March of Dimes supports those families.  The organization started as a group to help fight polio, otherwise known as infantile paralysis, in 1938 by President Roosevelt, who himself suffered from the disease.  Once the disease was eliminated from the US in the late 1950s, the organization rebranded itself to help with infant health.

- M.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Winter Winds.

In our last post, I noted how beautiful the weather was and how energized it made me feel.

Elliott is a little stir crazy...

Forget iced and snowed this week, and my energy is sapped.

I tried to overcome it somewhat with my new camera and some neat-o pictures.  However, the weather also made driving super scary.  I wish I could hibernate until March, when life warms up again.

Our front door is ready for Valentine's Day.

I'm looking forward to 40 Bags, 40 Days, and I hope others will join me.  It will help make winter go by a little faster.  Winter is also needlework weather, so that brings a silver lining to this snowy cloud.

Adorable yarn!  Bonbons from Lion Brand.

- M.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunny Days!

Oh my goodness, we have been surprised with a warm and sunny weekend!

Here in the mid-Atlantic or Northeast region of the country, depending on how you classify PA, we enjoy stereotypical seasons.  Winter is snowy, flowers bloom in the spring, summer is HOT, and fall is colorful with changing leaves.

Today and yesterday, it was 50 degrees out.  What?!  Nice weather, for whatever reason, inspires me to clean.  I'm already preparing for spring cleaning.  I love it.  So, I did a little needed cleaning this weekend, but the best part was having the windows open.  Yesterday it was the upstairs windows, and today it's the downstairs.

Is it weird that the bathroom is my favorite room, decoration wise?

Barney enjoying the odd opened window.

Our family room window.  It's a small seat.

- M.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Starting with a Bang

I'm a crazy woman.

I have four classes this semester, which I took on because of financial reasons, and I knew the workload would be challenging, but not impossible.  Without really thinking about it, I also volunteered to be the first presenter in our class on a second text.  In this particular course, our professor asked that everyone pair up and read one extra book, presenting it to the class so we are exposed to even more books than we could possibly discuss as a whole class.  I like going first and getting things over with, but it definitely makes the semester seem more difficult from this perspective.

Otherwise, I really like my new schedule.  MWF's are full of time at school to get homework and graduate assistant work done, as well as schedule PRODUCTIVE meetings (I had a weekly meeting last semester that was frequently a waste of our time).  Tuesdays and Thursdays allow me to have free time with Elliott, dinner with my sister, and two really interesting classes at night.  Wednesday this week was long (8:30am to 9pm), but once my graduate assistant assignments get going, I'll have plenty to do.

I've stuck with some of my goals pretty well for this first week of class, although exercising has suffered.  I try to take the stairs a lot.

This weekend will be full of reading for class, working on projects, and FINALLY cleaning up from Christmas.  I got all of the ornaments and decorations packed away, but I need to take down the tree and put up Valentine's / winter decor.

Not the most exciting update, but happily, there isn't much to report.

- M.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

So Fresh and So Clean Clean

I love beginnings.  I have a passion for starting projects I don't always finish.  I love the first day of the semester, the first day of a season, the first day of the year.  It's permission on a cyclical basis from the universe to begin again.  Yes, one can re-start anytime, but I usually need a breath of a break to reset and re-charge.

I spent the last hour or so getting my new planner ready (yay!), prepping for my class, and creating some resolutions and goals for the new year.

2013 Resolutions and Goals:
1. Know my limits: I tend to bite off far more than I can chew, as it were.  My research always needs more focus, my craft projects are quite ambitious, and I get frustrated when I realize it.  2013 will be the year of doing great things, but I will know what I should and can take on.  If you don't understand what I mean, look at my 2012 resolutions (oh boy).

2. Get back into "fighting form": I said this last year too, and I did lose a couple of pounds.  That said, I want to be healthy, which I am not.  I want to include cleaner eating, more water, and more exercise into my life.  I think a healthy body will beget a healthy mind and happy life.  I will do my best to embody that this year.

3. Finish What I Start: Along with #1, I will begin ambitious projects, or even small projects, and never finish them.  I have a drawer or two filled with unfinished crochet projects.  My Goodreads account has a bookshelf called "on-hold."  The best of my intentions are often shouted down by my lazier demons.  I hope to have 2013 end with only new projects that did not exist in 2012.

4. Less internet, more real life: I'm constantly tempted by the internet.  I'm "online" far more than my blog updates would suggest.  I want to be more deliberate with my internet use (get on with a purpose, and get back off), while also engaging far more in real life.  Less looking at Pinterest and more living it.  Little adventures will be had.

5. Get organized and stay organized: My readers know I love to organize.  Do I stay organized?  No.  I always feel better when things are organized, so it seems prudent to follow through.

6. Be more interactive with Elliott: I spend a lot of time just one-on-one with E.  However, aside from certain activities, I feel like I could have more of a dialogue with him during his activities.  We could go to the park more.  Take more walks (hello, #2).  I may even sign him up for a local kids gym so he can get some real energy out during the winter.

7. Keep as tidy a home as possible: I actually enjoy cleaning, but I place it low on my list of priorities.  This break proved to me that I can get more done than I think, even with Elliott under foot.  Certain chores will still go un-done, but I want to keep on top of a few basic tasks.

8. Be smarter with money: I don't splurge or buy a lot of clothing or buy almost anything full price.  However, I spend a little here, a little there, and it adds up!  A lot of my money goes to food at school (which is really overpriced), so by packing lunches and dinners at home (for #2), I'll save money.  I want to clip more coupons and shop smarter.  I already started doing this with my school books.  I price compared across a few different platforms, and I'm going to save probably $200. ***Update: I ended up saving between 400 and 500 dollars by comparing prices.  Someone should have a website that is just book prices compared.***

8 resolutions might seem ambitious, but these are actually just general mindset adjustments that I've needed to make for a while.  I have realistic plans to achieve each one, and many of them will help with others.  I've read and heard that to make resolutions stick, you have to make yourself accountable, and that's what I'm doing here.

I'll add and update throughout the year, but you can find the short list on the shortcut bar above.

- M.