Wednesday, January 23, 2019

"Missouri Jill" visit

Last weekend I got away, by myself!, for a quick visit to see my friend "Missouri Jill". Since I already have a friend Jill, this other friend Jill had been referred to by the state she lived in. I met her in Oklahoma ("Oklahoma Jill") some 15 years ago when I was down in Tulsa doing a year-long internship for a missions company and she and I volunteered in the youth group together. Later she moved to Kentucky for seminary school and became "Kentucky Jill". And then 3 years ago she got married and moved to Missouri, I hadn't seen her since her wedding and wanted to take advantage of this small window where August is a little bigger and the new baby hasn't come yet.
So anyway, flew down on Friday. Jill picked me up, we went on a little nature walk in the area and then back to her house. Her husband made this fantastic pot roast with mashed potatoes and green beans. We got MI-3 (or was it 4?) from the redbox and relaxed and talked.
The next day Ryan made us fried eggs and hashbrowns, and we had a nice lazy morning of watching a marathon of a (new to me) show Blacklist on Netflix. The filming I think is weird, but I like the show. It was snowy and icy out so it was a perfect day for laziness. Then Jill and I went out to the Wonders of Wildlife museum and aquarium.
It was a wonderful exhibit, and huge! We spent several hours walking, talking, and looking around. The only bad thing was their penny press was out of order and that is my all-time favorite souvenir. So bummer. That night we got pizza, and Ryan made salad and brownies. We watched some more Blacklist and played some trivia games.
Sunday I joined them for their small group Bible study, church, and then it was time to go already! We had some quick leftovers and stopped at this 'famous' custard place on the way to the airport. Yum.
I did have to take 2 flights, which always stinks, but before I knew it Doug and August were picking me up and time to go home.
It was over too soon, but it was wonderful to see her and catch up.
And August had a nice weekend with daddy too, including a couple play dates Doug set up with a couple of his friends. So that was nice they did just fine without me, (I probably missed August more than he missed me!), and good daddy/son time for the two of them. I'm thankful for good friends and for a husband who lets me see them :)

Thursday, January 10, 2019

New year, new hair

Well actually this happened last month, but I chopped my hair.
This is the only recent picture I could even find of me with it not in a ponytail.
This time I donated to Wigs for Kids, and so they had to take 9 inches off. It seems like they always take more than that though!
So it's a little shorter than I wanted (and definitely than Doug wanted!) But it feels so good to have all those ends off! Fresh start.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

2019 Goals

A new year on the horizon.
I'm feeling a little lackluster with this year's goals. We have a new baby coming in the first half and probably most of the second half of the year will be adjusting to two kiddos, nursing, and trying to sleep! But I can share the ones I've been thinking of:
Lose the baby weight. - I can't tell yet how this one is going to go, so far I've gained 10lbs from my starting weight, but if you count the pounds I lost when I was nauseated and then gained back, I've gained 18lbs so far and 14(+?) weeks more to go. So who knows. Still trying to exercise several times a week and eat moderately. What else can ya do?
Get another rental property. - Doug got our pre-approval letter today and we plan to start looking in February.
Save money. - We had a goal of saving $1200 a month last year, looks like we only saved about 60% of that, but that doesn't include our 401ks, Roths, or HSA accounts. But we still would like to save more.
Read these books:
House Projects. - Since we are likely staying in our house another year or so there are a few more things we'd like to do specifically for us:
This one is more a goal for Doug, to replace the hall carpet with hardwoods. I don't really want to. It won't match the wood in the living room so that is a big deterrent to me, and also I like carpet for little ones crawling and learning to walk. So we'll see what happens.
I do want to replace the rug in the living room. I liked this thick rug originally, but it turns out it is a pain to vacuum and I don't like it anymore. I'd love to have a quality wool rug, but they are so expensive, so I'll settle for another cheapie to tide us over a couple more years.
The big one will be replacing the front deck with composite decking. We did the back deck this last year, and held off on the front, but as you can see it is chipping really badly and it's got to go. I like the composite decking we chose from Menards, but it too harbors some leaf stains and it's not 100% perfect-- but it's got to be better than chipping and peeling paint.
We plan to have the baby in our room for awhile and then have the two kids share the bigger back bedroom, so at some point that room will have to undergo a transformation from it's current treadmill/guest bed/storage/Doug's dresser and bookcase/closet situation. I'm kind of worried about it, but we'll just have to see how it goes. Oh wouldn't it be lovely to have a basement!
And my favorite goal, vacation. - We have a little babymoon planned for February, no where crazy, but a new place for us- Gulf Shores, Alabama. I'm looking forward to warm, sun and sand, and baby-free time! We'd also like to take a fall family trip somewhere. Either our friend is having a destination cruise wedding to Cozumel, or he might not do that anymore and that would free us up to go on our own trip. We'd LOVE to go back to Hawaii, but the flights are always so expensive and kinda worried about the time change with kids. We are also looking into Iceland. We shall see!
I'm done reading through the Bible in One Year, so my spiritual goals for the year are to finish up BSF this spring/summer, start the new class in the fall, and I have a variety of mini devotions to work through on my Bible app: Keep Your Love On: Connection, No More Unglued Mama Mornings, Wait and See, Discover the Jewish Jesus, and 5 Days to Freedom from Angry Parenting- these are all plans I have saved so far. It's nice because each one is 1-2 weeks so I can do several of them over the year. We are in a good place church-wise and also joined a small group this fall so hope to develop those relationships deeper.
God is good, trusting Him to lead us into the future and depend on Him.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Reflection on 2018 Goals

Alright, time to take a look back at 2018 and see if I hit any of my goals. I really should start writing these down, somewhere other than this blog where I forget about them until the next new year, if I really want to be intentional.
Well, let's see how I did...
- Finish my RN to BSN. - I did it! I earned my BSN this spring and have no further education plans on the horizon. That seems weird for me to say as I seem to be a perpetual student, but now with my second Bachelors, one associates, and 2 certificates under my belt- unless I decide to do something else career wise I think I'm in an ok spot for now.
- Do the Bible in one year devotion. - I have 3 days left and then I did it! At times I've thought that I'm putting all this time and effort in and not "feeling" much closer to God, which is a disappointing feeling. But I had a good talk about this with my friend Jill who reminded me that God's word does not return void, and I might be being tempted to listen to the devil's lies about not feeling closer to God and needing to be aware of falling into his trap of pulling me away from truth. I know I have learned more about God and myself from reading His Word this past year, even while my sinful selfishness gets in the way. This year in my Bible Study Fellowship group Bible Study Fellowship we are reading through parts of the Old Testament as we study The People of the Promised Land, so that has been a good study too.
- Make a decision to move or buy another rental property. - It was a busy market! We looked at so many rental properties, others accepted offers before we could even look at them, got out bid on several, and had one accepted offer just to walk away after the inspection due to too many expensive repairs needed. So that was disappointing, but the plan for another rental is in place for 2019! We are pretty sure that we are going to stay in our home for at least another year.
- I'd love to make it through this stack of books - Fail! I did finish "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality" (very good), and "Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts" (also good), but didn't even crack the others, and in fact bought more books to add to that stack...
I shared a feeling of being open to what 2018 had, including hopes for an addition to our family. Thankfully God has heard and answered that prayer and I am 26 weeks along with baby girl and we are very excited for that.
I talked about not seeing any international trips in store for 2018- but in fact we did a cruise to the Bahamas (no passport stamp from a cruise though), and we did a family fall colors trip to Nova Scotia (passport stamp!). We also had a road trip to DC for a friend's wedding and a family reunion to Colorado and enjoyed a couple weekends up North as well.
And also the continued goal of wanting to be more intentional with my relationships. God, Doug, August, family, friends. This one is hard to quantify, but I think I did ok. I have a lot of good memories with Doug and August from over the year, and of course this still needs to be a top priority as somewhere along the line I have moved more towards being a person who puts tasks ahead of people, and I hate that. Quality time is a love language for me, and I used to be so good about giving it as well, so I hope to see that table turn back around.
Overall, 2018 was a good year, and the Lord has been very good to me.