Goals and Plans · Life & Family

2019 Goals

I’m doing “19 in 2019” this year. It is *exactly* what it sounds like – I have 19 goals to complete by the end of 2019. I know I already made a post on my 2019 reading resolutions, but to be honest, those are secondary goals. Completing the PopSugar Reading Challenge will not further my plan for world domination, now will it?

Goals and explanations below:

  1. Go minimal.
    • Am I a minimalist at heart? Almost certainly not. Does it seem like a good thing to explore? Sure. I need a good & thorough investigation of all my stuff anyway, despite moving every year for the past 5 years, I own too much stuff.
  2. Reorganize the apartment.
    • This one goes with number 1 up there. There needs to be a better way to organize the stuff we have.
  3. No buying books in 2019. I own 110+ books that I haven’t read. I have so many books {that I have read} that I have to store them in bins in the garage.
    • There are 3 books I *do* want to buy next year, so they don’t count.
    • This is probably the goal I’m most likely to not meet.
  4. Respond to my pen-pal letters within a week {two if there are extenuating circumstances – like a hurricane}.
  5. Lose the 20 pounds I gained in 2018. Preferably I’ll lose more, but those 20 need to get out of town for sure.
  6. Keep the blog up all year.
    • I’ve been enjoying it for the past little while and while I think I’ll be making changes, I don’t particularly want to stop.
  7. Read the entire Bible.
    • I’m a Christian and have never read the Bible front to back so that’s probably something I should remedy.
  8. Complete Couch to 5K….finally.
  9. Revamp my wardrobe.
    • This one has been hanging out on my ‘ get to it eventually’ list & I’d like to cross it off.
  10. Make at least 24 new recipes.
    • We’re going Paleo in January, so I’m pretty sure this one will be doable.
  11. Track our spending all year & develop a budget.
  12. Make real progress on my novel.
    • I’m not sure what this looks like yet, so it’ll most likely be updated along the way.
  13. Go tech-free for a weekend every quarter. From Friday after work through Sunday at bed. No phone, no tv, no internet.
    • Phone calls to moms don’t count.
  14. Make a list of things to do in Myrtle Beach and do them.
  15. Be more deliberate in the things that I decide to do.
    • I think most people could handle working on this from time to time.
  16. Pay off my credit card. Obviously.
  17. This one isn’t for sharing.
  18. Neither is this one, don’t be nosy.
  19. Nerp.

Blogmas · Life & Family

Christmas Recap

I thought I would have a lot more pictures from Christmas, but I didn’t take a lot. We spent Christmas Eve Eve with my parents at their place for a pretty excellent dinner. My brothers weren’t able to be there so it was just the four of us. I also scored some sweet Delft pottery from my parents’ Dutch adventures. I think it was my grandparents’ that they bought on a trip, but I’m not actually sure.

Christmas Eve I woke up at 6 am to help my mother in law (and Shane, to be fair) get ready for the party. I made Bread Pudding with Bourbon sauce, which is apparently my ‘thing’ now. People showed up around 4ish and there were a bunch. Shane’s cousin has 4 kids plus several of my MIL’s siblings and attendant spouses as well as Shane’s brother and his kids. Oh, all 6 kids are very, very girly girls, by the way. Also loud. So loud.

But I had a great time – my oldest niece is a month from 13 and she’s hilarious and genuinely fun to be around. My 9 year old niece is a sweet bundle of love. The other 4 girls are a bunch of energy, too. The youngest is about a year old (but is developmentally younger) and I got to hang out with her a bit. I love a baby…that I can give back.

Good food, good company, and my MIL’s cat letting me pet him a bunch (he’s a bit standoffish) made for an excellent Christmas 2018. The few pictures I took are below – some are from my parents, some from Christmas Eve.

Blogmas · Life & Family

2018 Highlights

2018 was bananas. I don’t just mean the country falling down around us, or Earth continuing its slow decline because we’re killing it, or the general insanity that has come to what feels like the entire world. Though all of those things are also true. It’s just been a crazy year, personally. I won’t remember the insanity in the future {yyaaaayyy bad memory}, so I thought I’d write up a few of the ‘highlights’ of the year. I’m intentionally avoiding the worst things that happened this year, by the way. Keeping it positive, but adding in some things that were just unique. I’ll have a normal end-of-2018 post later on, with stats and such.

  1. I have a nephew! He’s a chubby little ball of love and I can’t handle how cute he is.
  2. Hurricane Florence has to take the {almost} top spot, right? It was our first evacuation.
    • Shane and I took our boys and fled to the mountains of North Carolina. We didn’t spend that long up there, but I really feel like the weekish we spent dealing with the Hurricane put me behind on my to-do list by several weeks. I never recovered, and have been playing catch up since September.
    • Thankfully, my area of MB was fairly unscathed. Our grocery stores weren’t stocked for awhile and the roads were so flooded that we couldn’t leave town for awhile, but that was really it. Other people had it much worse. I still wish I had volunteered to help out, but maybe next hurricane.
  3. Shane got a new job! He had like 3 or 4 interviews for it, then started the week after his last one.
  4. We moved to Myrtle Beach in a grand total of 4 weeks from the day of his last interview. He had his last interview on April 12th and my parents drove the UHaul down on May 12th.
    • I had to pack the old apartment up without a lot of help because Shane had to be here to work. He did help when he could.
    • Tau immediately got a UTI when we got here and has been a different {re: needy} cat ever since.
  5. We celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary by forgetting it, packing all day, then saying ‘Happy Anniversary’ exhaustedly on the couch. Classic us.
  6. We visited Washington, DC in February {I had a conference} and Nashville, TN {I had another conference} in December. Both were cold, rainy, awesome trips.
  7. We discovered Huntington Beach State Park which has quickly become one of our favorite places in MB.
    • Turns out I like taking pictures of birds.
  8. Driving back to spend a day at work means I have to drive up the night before and I have dodged the following:
    • A tornado. A real, touched down a few miles from my car tornado.
    • A thunderstorm complete with hail.
    • Two separate hurricanes.
  9. I gained 20 pounds since we moved here.
  10. Moving here has been a hard transition. We don’t know anyone, we’re in a place neither is very familiar with, and it’s really lonely sometimes. I do like that Shane and I get to spend a ton of time together.
  11. I started this blog and I’ve really enjoyed blogging!
Blogmas · Life & Family

Bullet Journaling

I recently re-discovered Bullet Journaling {thanks YouTube!}. I’m not going to go into details about what Bullet Journaling is – I liked to the main BuJo source above, and there are some YouTube channels linked below if you’re interested. This time around I decided that I didn’t need to immediately jump into the whole situation, I really needed to learn a lot more about the whole thing. So I watched a billion YouTube videos from: AmandaRachLee, Sunshine & Stationery, Plant Based Bride, and so many more.

These ladies are so incredibly talented and I am amazed by them. I kind of wish I had held off on watching them, to be honest, because it’s hard to not feel insecure about my abilities. I cannot draw, letter, do faux calligraphy, draw a straight line even with a ruler, etc. so that’s not really something I can incorporate into my BuJo. I will forever watch their videos though – there’s something soothing about watching people create spreads.

The other downside to watching so many videos is wanting to start big, with all the spreads, trackers, collections, etc etc etc and that’s not sustainable when you’re just starting out. There are so many different custom Collections (which is what the spreads are called) out there, and I want to use all of them. ALL OF THEM. Not feasible, though. I’m not even sure about habit trackers – is it really reasonable to go from tracking literally nothing to tracking 10 habits, plus whatever else I want to keep track of {cleaning, exercise, etc}? I realize you can scale that down to just a few habits, but you get the point.

I started reading a book by the creator {founder?} of bullet journaling – Ryder Carroll – called The Bullet Journal Method {imaginative, eh?}. It’s a really good book if you’re looking into the whole bullet journal thing. He talks a lot about why he created the method and why. I identify with a lot of what he writes. It’s very much like a lot of other ‘how to improve your life’ books in that it’s advertised as a cure all – this method will not just change your life, it will fix your life. It’s different in that he freely admits that you can take or leave whatever you need; the entire method is not necessary for it to fix your life.

I have hopes for the system – I’m scheming and plotting and planning for 2019 and this is going to be a part of all that. I spent a lot of 2018 apologizing for letting things drop, and I’m hoping that this can help me out with that. I’ll talk more about 2019 in a blog post later this month. You can see my bullet journal Pinterest board if you’re interested. It’s mostly cleaning trackers and meal planning spreads, though.

~Sarah~

Blogmas · Life & Family

Nashville Trip Recap!

I had to go to Nashville, TN for a  WordPress conference, and since Shane had some vacation time and the weekend off, he decided to come along. Between the conference, driving the 9 hours from here to there, and the weather being gross, we didn’t really have much of a chance to explore much. We did some, though. 

The gallery down below has pictures from the Nashville Farmer’s Market, the Bicentennial Capitol Mall, a coffee shop, the Sponsor Hall at the conference, and our AirB&B (which was amazing). 

We also really enjoyed visiting The Parthenon and the park it’s in. There’s a train engine, a pond, white ducks, and bee hives! I was so pumped to see bee boxes, more places need them. Save the bees and all that. 

I had a really great time, and I’m pretty sure Shane did too. The conference was also 

Life & Family

See You in December!

I realized that my blogging situation needs help, so I’m going on a bit of a hiatus until December 1st. November is an intense month, y’all.

After I realized I could either post just to be posting or work on December posts and have quality posts that month, I decided to do the latter. It’s best to regroup and come back strong than trundling along in mediocrity, in my opinion.

So I’ll see you in December!

-Sarah-

Life & Family · Monthly Recaps

October Wrap-up

What I Read

  1. I Remember You: A Ghost Story
  2. The Right Hand of Evil
  3. House of Ashes
  4. Christmas With You (will be up on the blog in December)
  5. The Twelve Slays of Christmas (will also be up in December along with the sequel)

What I Watched

  1. I am The Pretty Thing That Lives in The House (pass if you can)
  2. Malevolent
  3. The Conjuring
  4. Some Doctor Blake Murder Mysteries
  5. A full 3 Collections of Forensic Files

What I Cooked/Ate

  1. Chicken Bog – I used a rotisserie chicken instead of boiling mine, but it turned out amazing.
  2. Cheese Fondue
    • I bought a fondue pot for Shane’s birthday even though it’s not until mid-Nov.
  3. Broth Fondue
  4. Roughly 7 dishes to use up the leftover dippers from the fondue. Including a pizza topped with all the leftover cheese and veggies. It was delicious.
  5. Sushi from King Kong Sushi….repeatedly
  6. Sushi from the grocery store by my house because it’s actually incredibly good.
  7. Eggs Bennies from our favorite little diner. We go about once a week since they serve b-fast for me and lunch/dinner for Shane when he gets off in the morning.
  8. An insanely messy meal from Steak ‘n Shake (autocorrect made that Steak ‘n Shame and it’s not wrong).

What I Did

I’m about to be too honest with y’all, but here goes. This month we had a flea invasion (from an untreated puppy). I have spent weeks this month washing clothes then having to wash them again, having a hard time breathing from all the diatomaceous earth we had to put on the carpet, watching Tau to make sure the flea medicine didn’t kill him, washing more clothes/sheets/comforters, and so on and so forth. All while my hands were torn up from flea bites – I have a really bad reaction to them. I literally bandaged my hands and wrists like I had been in a fire so I wouldn’t scratch them. It was a nightmare. It’s been 3 weeks from the first bite and they’re finally fading. BUT there are no fleas in this apartment anymore. If there were, they’d be biting me. I’m a magnet. Tomorrow we get to vacuum up the diatomaceous earth and dust the entire apartment cuz that stuff gets everywhere. Last month was hurricanes, this month was bugs. Next month will be family (I kid, I kid). 10/10 will probably pet the puppy again. After I check that it’s been treated. I helped a twitter friend’s friend fix a WordPress issue at 11 at night while mostly asleep. Posted my favorite post of all time that literally no one looked at, but I’m still super proud of. Picked Laurie up and carried him a good ways from the bedroom to the couch without getting scratched. He’s a hefty boy and he usually struggles to get away from me so hard that I end up bleeding. He’s mellowing. I’m glad October is gone and I’m glad I’m starting November by cleaning up the wreckage and getting a fresh start to the month. ~S~
Life & Family

Fall…kind of

It’s Fall! It’s also exactly as hot as it was before it was Fall. Okay, you can get away with jeans in the morning now, but you’ll still be suffering in the afternoon. I called it Slightly Less Summer on twitter the other day and I stand by that description. It feels like seasons are just slightly off from what they should be, but maybe by December it’ll be too cold to wear shorts.

The heat means nothing though. I still want to curl up under blankets and drink hot chocolate or tea while I watch Hallmark movies or read. Luckily, I’m generally cold when I’m inside. I think it has something to do with the movement of the air and not necessarily the temperature. Either way, I am able to curl up under a blanket, but no hot chocolate yet, it’s not quite cold enough for that. I’ve had some tea the past couple of days and I couldn’t be under the blanket at the same time.

Sometimes you can even smell Fall in the air when you walk outside. It’ll be 90+ degrees and I’m sniffing like I have a sinus infection because Fall is the best smell and I want to take in as much as possible.

When I went to campus a couple weeks ago I turned the AC waaaay down so I could pretend like it was really fall. I plan on doing the same the next several times I’m staying up there. I’m certainly not going to do it at home and add it to my electricity bill.

-Sarah-

PS – I wrote this on Wednesday & today (Friday) actually felt like fall. But I think that’s because Hurricane Michael brought the cooler weather & it won’t stay that way.

Life & Family

A week in Pictures (Sept 24th thru 30th)

Monday, the 24th

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My desk on an early Monday morning.

Tuesday, the 25th

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Best friends. Fish tank tubing in the background.

Wednesday, the 26th

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This cat lost his already ridiculous mind on Wednesday.

Thursday, the 27th

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Hotel life – campus in the morning!

Friday, the 28th

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I didn’t make this pile, but I’d like to hear the story of who did.

Saturday, the 29th

The Atalaya Craft Festival was super fun and those hushpuppies were amazing.

Sunday, the 30th

The new typical Sunday evening – writing posts with the cat.