Saturday, June 30, 2012

Here's to Halfway

Today was the last day of June. In fact, by the time I finish writing and posting this entry, June will be over and we will be making our way into July. (WOO HOO!) I can't believe that the year is moving so quickly! With 2012 halfway done, I thought that now would be a good time to update y'all on the status of my resolutions list.

-Pay off student loan: It took me four years to earn the degree and eight years to pay for it, but the bank can no longer repo my diploma! (By the way, I am pretty sure I owe my husband a motorcycle with the tax refund of his next deployment.)
-Enter BHG recipe contests: I showed you guys my pie. I even attempted and flopped a burger and cheesecake entry. I have to say, this is the silliest self-challenge I have ever committed myself to. I don't expect to win, mostly because I am still very much mastering my craft. (That, and I don't know how to photograph food, and that's apparently a pretty big deal.) But just weeks ago, my father-in-law sent my husband and I an email saying that I had earned my keep in the kitchen when he was down for a visit over Memorial Day weekend--and that compliment was just as good as any $500 prize!
-Drink more water: Four years in the making and I am finally doing it! Much credit is due to the sporadic decision to simultaneously give up cokes. (By the way, I am using the southern definition of "cokes" here.) It really stunk at first, but I am much happier for it now. My wallet is too.
-Eat less junk: (Nevermind the fact that I went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner tonight!) A lot of healthy choices made in your menus come from a commitment to cook at home. So thanks BHG recipe contests! You are serving double-duty in that respect.

-Learn to play guitar: The childhood dream is still just a dream at this point. I had every intention of taking lessons this summer, but was sidetracked instead by another learning venture that was completely unforseen in January. Right now, I am seeking dual certifications as a nutrition and wellness coach and a pre/postnatal fitness consultant, and those studies are sucking up most of my "extra" downtime. (Or whatever it is you have with two preschool children.) But rest assured, I can play a mean air guitar--no professional training required!
-Sing karaoke: I really need to do this. In fact, I am thinking for sure I will sometime in September. Come out to join me and I will sing for you...and maybe rock out on my air guitar.
-FB less: It's really hard to give up something that is both your filler for much needed adult conversation and your social/civic information network. However, look for an experiment at a later date. (I've got a plan!)
-Run a marathon: I registered for a 5K as a starting point early this month that was cancelled. While I am bummed it didn't pan out, I was happy that I didn't have to do it. For one thing, I would have had the kids, and that would have been hard. But the even bigger issue I had rested in the fact that I have been running long enough that I would not have been satisfied to merely complete 3 miles. I would have wanted to place. It made me realize that I didn't make this resolution as a means to compete with other people, but rather as a means to challenge and better myself. So I am training for a longer race now, with a date still to be determined. (And at a time when I do not have to push my two growing children across the finish line with me...I am a runner, not a freight train!)

-Vacation alone with my husband: The cabin is reserved. The amazing childtakers are confirmed. And I am anxiously awaiting block leave :)
-Blog more: As far as the amount of posts I will make you suffer through this year, I will probably not break my total from last year. But this has been a big year of blogging thus far for me. I have surpassed 100 total posts. I have earned a shiny new button guest blogging for the Military One Source Blog Brigade, and I am accumlating a growing fan base. So while the numbers might not be higher, blogging this year has certainly brought me more joy. It is my cheapest hobby, my creative outlet, my way to make sense of the crazy ramblings inside of my head--and probably even my soul. (Sorry to get mushy on you.)
-Yell less: Define less :)

-Enjoy life more: Going to segway from the rest of the entry for a second here. (What can I say? I'm a crazy woman driver!)
Even as I finalized my list earlier in the year, I hated putting this as one of my resolutions. As far as goal-setting is concerned, this is a pretty weak one. It is a bit vague. There is no sound way or directive to go about acheiving it. There is no standard way to measure its success. But today there was an incident that made me realize that you should enjoy life every day. You only get one life, and you don't get a second chance at it.
I will have you know that all of this "improving" I am doing for myself sometimes leaves me feeling guilty that I might be slacking on my obligations as a mother. I deserve a chance to better myself. I deserve a chance to grow. But my children just as equally deserve a mother who gives them plenty of her love and attention, and I don't know that I always do that. At least, I always feel I can do more.
So in an effort to enjoy life more, I took an opportunity to make an ordinary day really special for my daughter.
For a couple of years, I have been wanting to take my little girl to a Mother's Day tea party they hold on post, and I never get us signed up in time. One afternoon, I figured I wouldn't let a missed reservation stop me from having that experience with my daughter. So while her brother napped and she played on the computer, I secretly set up a tea party for the two of us. Nothing fancy. No extensive planning. Nothing expensive. (I just creatively threw together things I already had in the house.) But the smile on her face was worth 100 times the effort I put into it. During our impromptu afternoon together, I can honestly say that I was enjoying my life.

A tea setup for two :)

A teacup and saucer filled with the last living flowers of a garden container. (Good thing growing things was not one of my resolutions this year!)

My happy girl. She was so surprised!

She LOVED the heart-shaped watermelon slices. Guess how I'm going to have to serve her watermelon from now on...

Yes, I wore I hat too (LOL)

Teaching my daughter some real classy table manners!

Giving her mommy a look of adoration. (Love that kid.)

This day makes me smile :)

I hope these pictures made you smile too--and maybe even motivate you to do something extra-special today for no reason whatsoever.

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