I have to say that this was one of my best Januarys ever. And I think a big part of it was participating in this Counting by 12's challenge. It was so fun to go down this list and do each thing. And I feel like it made me more productive in other areas of my life too! I highly recommend doing something like this even if you didn't start already.
Check. Did it today. What can I say - I do better under pressure sometimes! I started a new "chapter" today and probably wrote about a page. Not super-impressive, but it's something! Also, this makes me glad that I made it one of m y 12 things - otherwise my (first!) book might NEVER get written. In my defense, I did start doing some things to "get going" again a week or so ago. I printed out everything I wrote over the summer and read through it all. I even edited a little. It also got me excited about it again - I actually have a good start! And I'm getting pretty close to a title. Yee haw!
To fulfill this goal for January we bought a sweet potato and put it in a glass near a window. (We're starting small here.) I didn't do this until late January so we don't have a lot of growth yet, but there are some roots sprouting. I like this because it is fun for Marisol to see too. I'm not sure what we're going to try this month.
I called my Grandpa on New Year's Day. I used to be able to talk to him whenever I called home to my parents when he lived with him. Now he's in his own place again and I want to make sure to keep in touch. Also Marisol and I made our thank you cards for Christmas this year which took a while but they came out really well. So #3 is taken care of!
My first idea for a painting actually turned out to be a drawing. But then I painted too. So check and extra credit for #4.
Crock pot oatmeal (sooo yummy! And I was even adventurous and added a few things not in the recipe - crazy I know!)
Chocolate chip banana bread (very similar to making zucchini bread, but this was still a first I believe)
Black beans and rice (Thanks to a friends crock pot recipe for the beans)
Kale chips (had made these one other time, but with different seasoning)
Also Mike would like you all to know that he made us homemade chicken noodle soup twice now. It is awesome. I love him even more now. The second time he made it was on Martin Luther King day after I had to pull an all-nighter staying up with my wild partying son. It was delicious and I'm sure part of the reason I didn't get sick after major sleep deprivation.
I knew this one was going to be one of the hardest and it was. I noticed all month when I got some time to myself - and I thought I was going to have to "cheat" and call one of those my "date" but I managed to actually get some planned time alone with "me, myself, and I" this past weekend. I walked to Whole Foods to get some groceries all by my lonesome. Now I know this doesn't sound like the glamorous, romantic get-away that you were imagining, but believe me it was very nice. I put my ear-buds in listened to music, took my time wandering the aisles and made some impulse purchases. Plus I ran into a friend on the way there and was able to chat without anyone telling me to stop talking. So it was quite heavenly.
On the walk there I also thought about how I might be able to make time for myself a more regular occurrence. The truth is, with our current set-up it's not easy. Mike works during the normal work week and when I'm teaching that takes up a whole day on the weekend.
So I'm taking steps to find a teen to come to our house about once a week to play with the kiddos. Those of you that know me, know that this is a big deal! I'm excited about it, I'll keep you updated to how it works out.
I was really glad that I waited on this one. Towards the end of the month a friend on Facebook posted about a friend in need and I felt moved to give to the to help them in a really hard time. Here is her post:
Hey, facetribe ♥ Do you remember my friend who just last week lost her baby at 8 months pregnant? Her little family is having some financial difficulties, and i was wondering if any of you feel called toward contributing to cushion life a bit for them while they are grieving and healing. Every dollar helps. If you have paypal, you can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don't have paypal, contact me for other options. Loving comments to this post heal, too, as I am sure she will read it. And feel free to share and spread the word. I know there are people out there who would love to help this beautiful family in their healing. I will be posting this throughout the day to reach as many beautiful souls as possible ♥
I'm sure that they still need and would very much appreciate any donations if anyone feels called to.
Did this early and only one time. I wrote about a Bedtime Conversation with Marisol. I'm debating whether I want to keep two blogs going, but for now, I think I do. Hopefully I will get better about putting some "everyday" type updates over there. We'll see! As for next month - I think it's time for a little Gerry update!
So I've modified this one a bit. That's another thing I love about this "list" - it's mine and I can change it as I see fit. Instead of a journal I've been doing two other things. I've been posting my gratitudes regularly on my TW FB (that's Together Walking Facebook) page. For example today's:
Today I'm grateful for:
The other thing we started was a jar - this idea was thrown around a lot on the internet. We called ours the "Awesome Jar" and we are writing anything awesome that happens or we do this year on a slip of paper and putting it in. Then on New Year's eve this year we can open it up and read all the awesomeness from the whole year! Yay, AWESOME!
Marisol and I are enjoying this so far. I feel pretty good about us keeping it up.
This month I worked on cleaning up and organizing (again) our craft area. I got it done. It wasn't perfect but it was a lot better. This is what it looked like after I was done:
Not too shabby, right? This is what it looks like now (like, right now as I type... except Katie's not eating anymore):
This is why I don't take organizing too seriously. Looks like I can organize the craft area again in February. Although I do have my sights set on my dresser - both purging some clothes and cleaning off and organizing the top. We'll see.
Not the best picture, but I'm running out of steam here!
Mike has also made "organizing" one of his main aims for this year. He started with the dining area (which doubles as our computer desk area) and it looks great. He found a new-to-us round dining room table with four chairs, and a bookshelf - both on craigslist. We also bought some rug squares. Without Mike, our house would be doomed.
I took a multifaceted approach to this one too. And I know those of you who are my "friends" are probably thinking, ah - here is the one that she didn't do!
But I did! Promise. A couple of times I took the facebook app off my phone which was great. One time I did it for several days and another just during the day. The other break I took was for a day. So it doesn't really appear like I took much of a break if you look on my pages, but I found even short, set times helpful.
Whew! There you have it - January's Counting by 12's update. I think my #13 thing may be to work on this post as the month goes. It was a lot to write and update this all at once!
I was going to add some miscellaneous things that made January awesome (new hula hoops and a visit from Aunt Laura for example) but I'm beat and it's almost midnight. I guess those will make some good updates for that "other" blog I pretend to keep up with. And it looks like I'm ringing in the new month now!
Here's to February and doing it all again!
Wife, mom, information and peace seeker.