Sunday, March 22, 2015

this week was good because of...

...some "luck o' the Irish" when a mistake with my drink resulted in two drinks to take.

...a lovely interpretation of a classic story.

...relaxing this weekend after a very full week of work. awesome dinner date with Vintage Blonde and her family.

...a sense of contentment with my much-shorter hairstyle (and gratitude for a hairstylist who can work magic with such a dramatic change).

...enjoying the rhythms of working at home a little bit.

...the opportunity to talk with our first-year students about leadership.

...the opportunity to celebrate our fourth-year students' most recent accomplishments.

...a successful attempt at cauliflower pizza crust.

...finding more effective rhythms for planning dinners during the week.

What made your week good?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

this week was good because of...


...the first day of "no coat needed" weather this season!

... a really nice Tuesday evening watching TV and hanging out with my love.

...a Saturday morning at Eastern Market.

...getting little things cleaned up and taken care of around the apartment.

...this lovely reminder about home decorating (by Debra Wittrup, in an old issue of Vintage Style): "the interiors that inspire us most...didn't come together in a few days, but rather are the result of years of collecting...However you approach it, remember it's a journey and a labor of love, meant to be savored for the pleasure it brings and the cozy and inviting interiors that result."

...a delicious three-course Italian dinner with friends.

...the awesome second-hand store I visited on Saturday afternoon.

...the opportunity to do crafts at work.

...a supervisor who understands that, sometimes, working at home can be more productive.

...earning my Gold card, which amuses me considering that I don't feel like I go allll that often. for my soul to breathe.

...beef satay with rice and edamame.

...challenging yoga that felt awesome.

What made your week good?

Sunday, March 08, 2015

this week was good because of...

(and a little bit from last week)

...the wisdom of knowing when to "be done" at the end of a work day, and the reminder that the habit of "non-finishing" can be a good one.

...small blessings and the kindness of strangers when Wildcat Guy's truck died in the middle of the road yesterday.

...having fun - oh so much fun - staying committed to my goal of making time for creativity.

...a job that "requires" me to go craft-shopping at Michael's.

...this lovely homage to the city of New Orleans.

...a hearty bowl of sausage tortellini soup for dinner tonight.

...the small victory of learning to use the mousepad on a Mac laptop.

...Wildcat Guy's care when I am not feeling well.

...beautiful ice sculptures in unexpected places.

...a really cool documentary about Hagia Sophia (which was even more interesting to watch after recently reading Dan Brown's Inferno).

...spicy turkey lettuce wraps.

...the realization that I am losing my taste for unhealthy food choices (such as bottled sweet tea and packaged snacks).

...the pride of cooking so many more of our meals at home.

What made your week good?

Monday, March 02, 2015

olw: lessons in time

I've been meaning to talk about my One Little Word for 2015. It was something that seeped its way into my thinking slowly...and yet, I can't say finding this word surprised me, either, at least not from a practical perspective. Those who know me know how necessary I consider my daily planner; and for years, I've been a student of priority management and effective work styles.

But as the word "time" became ever clearer as my word of choice for this year, what I also realized was that the life I wanted to live with that word in 2015 was less about scheduling and more about being. It's extremely easy for me to fall into that trap of feeling accomplished because I successfully planned my schedule down to the minute, without feeling fulfilled. This year, I want to focus less on the scheduling and more on the valuing.

So when I saw this quote (on the wall of the local scrapbook store, no less) at the very end of 2014, it was the most lovely way to sum up everything I am striving for in 2015.

Do I have goals that I am working toward? Yes, absolutely. Yet what I am also seeking is to build a more intentional, innate sense of how to use my time well each day, whether at work or at home.

And so, in an effort to talk about my word and what I learned this month, here's what February looked like in regards to time.

One of my goals is to attend a crop at least once a month. That forces me to plan and prepare, and it increases the likelihood that I will actually scrapbook. In February, because of Wildcat Guy's birthday and Valentine's Day and car problems, I ended up not making it to the store...but what I am intensely proud of is that I still scrapbooked at home. Learning that I can be focused and committed without having to leave my home was fantastic...and I have to admit, the furry company was a pleasant perk.

Another of my goals in the creative area is to finish my Project Life 2013 album. Yes, 2013. I had some really awesome periods of time when I did very well at working on this album during the year; and I had some really hectic periods of time (such as moving, and getting married) when I did absolutely nothing in this album.

Each square on the card represents a week that I haven't done. Yes, there are a lot of weeks. But I spent some time this month getting everything a bit better organized, and I managed to get four weeks of layouts completed, as well. That is what I call a winning lesson in determination.

Then there's the goal that combines my desire to spend more time in my creativity and my desire to be wi$er (to revisit a past word) when it comes to cards for holidays and celebrations. I used to be very good at making my own cards from all kinds of fun scraps (and thus, avoiding the need to purchase cards), but I'd gotten admittedly lazy about that since we moved to Michigan last year. This year, I want to return to that good habit; and in February, I did very well in re-learning the importance of thinking ahead and working in batches.

Something else I still haven't shared much about here is the healthy eating challenge I did back in November. I stuck with some of the basic principles in December, and then got totally off track (cough-lazy-cough) in January. February was going to be the month in which I got my sights reestablished...and it sort of worked. At the very least, February felt better than January, diet-wise, and I learned more about finding the balance between being tough on myself and being kind.

I used to bake a lot. Like, a lot. Since we moved to Michigan, though? Not so much. It's easy to blame the really small kitchen, or the lack of students to bake for...but really, it's because I don't make it a priority. My goal in this area was to bake once a month. I didn't accomplish that goal in February, but I'm okay with that. We had some delicious Valentine desserts from a local bakery, and we indulged in some paczki, too. Taking into consideration all the cooking I also do, I learned this month that I'm okay not achieving goals if the bigger purpose (of having delicious sweet treats in my life) is still accomplished.

(And yes, I realize these last two sort of conflict. In my brain, I promise they make sense together.)

Finally, February was also the month in which my desire to reorganize our filing methods took its first little baby steps. For years, I've made do with a couple of small plastic filing bins; but especially with two people's records to keep track of now, that's not going to work any longer. Rather than tackle the problem head-on, though, I just kept piling paperwork in a pretty basket in the closet. Because that makes sense, right?

Wrong. After having to sort through that basket again for a document, I not only weeded out the unimportant and shreddable in the basket, but also started pricing out actual filing cabinets. First, there was this nice one at IKEA, then there were the ones at the office supply store that Wildcat Guy works at. (Yep. My husband works at an office supply store. Doesn't that make this predicament even more ridiculous?!) So now we're just deciding what our budget will accommodate, and I am hoping that, within the next couple of months, I can mark, "clean out and reorganize filing system" as 100% completed on my goals for 2015.

Because I am learning that there are certain things I have no excuse not to do well.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

this week was good because of...

...celebrating Fat Tuesday with delicious pazcki from the local bakery and jambalaya made at home.

...the opening performance at tonight's Oscars.

...solid progress in my 2013 Project Life album.

...the amusement of Gru and a very staticky balloon. good it feels to use my time well in the evenings. good it feels to simultaneously be okay with sleeping in - way in - on a Saturday morning.

...the rewarding challenges of interpreting policy to make decisions. wrappings for our nephew's birthday gift. cards earned through shopping for the stuff I'd normally buy, and by taking easy online surveys.

...the privilege of having two vehicles, so that, when one breaks, we can still carry on.

...homemade chicken tenders. So easy and delicious!

...confirmed resort reservations for our October vacation.

...the word "effulgent." It's so...awesome.

...this quote from Lysa TerKeurst, a much needed reminder today: "Great love isn't two people finding the perfect match in one another. Great love is two people making the choice to be a match."

What made your week good?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

this week was good because of...

...more celebration of Wildcat Guy's birthday. excited he is that his basketball team is still undefeated.

...the effort to make decent choices in the midst of a difficult week, eating-wise.

...a successful presentation about writing CVs for the first-year students.

...Gru's "help" assembling my awesome new cart from Ikea.

...weekend naps on the couch.

...delicious desserts from a local pastry shop for Valentine's Day.

...cutting myself some slack about not being as productive this week as I would have liked.

What made your week good?

Sunday, February 08, 2015

this week was good because of...

...spending a fun day in celebration of Wildcat Guy's upcoming birthday.

...a sobering, but well-crafted movie.

...the lovely, vibrant bouquet of flowers I came home to on Friday.

...commutes that make for good decompressions between work and home.

...introducing Gru to snow. (For the record, he was not a fan.)

...the privilege of a snow day. interesting affirmation of paper planners.

...a Saturday stroll through IKEA that included playing with the hand puppets.

...sticking with the weekly TRX classes.

...successfully "flipping the dog" in Friday's yoga class.

What made your week good?