Friday, May 27, 2011

30 Before 30 Progress . . .

Clearly, I'm not keeping up with informing the public about my progress as well as I should be.  Alas, life is busy.  But I'm here now with a few moments to log some more progress, so here goes:

3.  Pay off 2 credit cards - 2 have been paid off and we are getting closer and closer to paying off a third.  My American Express card should be paid off in less than a year (but I'm hoping we can do it way quicker than that)!  I'm thinking we'll be able to do it sooner.

4.  Lose weight (no real plan on how to accomplish this one yet, but I'll figure it out, and yes, I do have a number in mind) - At my weigh-in this week I lost 3 pounds!!!  Total weight loss since Valentine's Day: about 15 pounds.  Definitely more to go, but feeling successful so far!

5.  Visit someplace new - making plans to go to Maine in September for a wedding

9.  Andrew (he should be on this list, and I can't have a baby without him!)

15. Read at least one new book a month (love reading, so this shouldn't be too hard...) - I finished Mini Shopaholic (very cute) and am now reading This Side of Heaven.  I LOVE Karen Kingsbury books and have read almost all of them.  Generally speaking, they all make me cry (in a good way), but this one is quite the tear jerker.  But, tears and all, it's a really good book and I expect to finish it pretty soon.

20. Have friends over for dinner once a month - Yay!  Finally, we were able to do this!  We had friends over a few weekends ago and made burgers and fries and then went out for ice cream.  It was a really enjoyable evening and we look forward to doing it again.  Already planning a fondue night for June . . .

21. Cut my Dr. Pepper consumption by half (gasp!) - done!  (I'm not sure if I should be proud of myself, or hang my head in shame . . .!)

22. Do 1 outdoor activity a day in the Spring, Summer, and Fall (sorry Winter, but you're just too cold) - not doing great at this one, but not doing horribly either.  However, in my defense, it's been rainy and chilly here for the last 2 weeks.  But, we did have a few sunny days here and there and I've walked puppy, had coffee outside one day, and some other random things I can't quite remember right now.

24. Clean out my clothes and get rid of ones that don't fit/haven't been worn in over a year - I've cleaned out the clothes I have access to for now.  Summer clothes will have to wait until we get them out of storage . . . hmmmm, maybe we should plan to do that this weekend!  YAY SUMMER!

26. Do 100 sit ups/crunches a day - yep.  I'm close to calling this one a habit now.  I do them every night either at the gym (if we go) or at home before going to bed. 

28. Resolve my gallbladder issues

29. Start running (ugh) - nope, not yet.  But, I've been thinking about it, which is more than I could have said a few months ago.  Especially since the weather is nice now and we have a paved "trail" very close to our apartment . . . we'll see what happens.

30. Have a t-shirt quilt made out of my Baylor tees - I've picked the tees, just need to pick a place and have money to pay them!

Making progress . . . =)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Love Words!

Something you probably didn't know about me . . . I collect quotes.  I first got this idea when I was watching A Walk to Remember and she is in the hospital and showing him a book that contains all of her favorite sayings/verses/etc.  I loved the idea so much, I decided I needed to do the same.  So, I have a notebook that I write down things that I hear or read that just stick with me - or that I want to make sure I don't forget!  And, if I don't have my notebook (which is frequently) then I jot it down in the notes section of my iphone.  I have a "quotes" note, just ready to be added to.  I love words.  They can be so powerful.  And, the best part (or maybe the worst?) is, things you say today can stick around for hundreds of years.  Think about it.  We still quote Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, the Bible . . . Words are lasting, powerful things and I, for one, am grateful!  Here are some of the quotes I love:

* "Maybe God has something bigger planned for me than I have planned for myself."
                                                  - A Walk to Remember

* "To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wildflower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in a n hour."
                            - William Blake

* "Oh, God, it's not the way I had things planned.  But then, what of real, lasting value ever is?"
                                                                      - Redeeming Love

* "To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it."
                                                                            - Confucius

* "I'd rather fight with you than make love with anyone else."
                                                               - The Wedding Date

* "Find something you love to do and you'll never work a day in your life."
                                                                             - Clifton Murray

* "You have to let go of whatever you were and allow yourself to become who you are."
                                                                              - Stacy London

* "Marry me Margaret, because I'd like to date you."
                                                - The Proposal

* "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
                                                                           - Jim Elliott

* "My best successes come when I am at my absolute weakest.  When I am weak, my God can be strong.  And it's the battles He fights for me that end up being my greatest victories of all."
                                                                            - On Every Side

* "Lots of people never do anything because they can't figure out how to do everything."
                                                                       - Jill Briscoe

* "I refuse to let my weight determine whether I like myself, because myself is more than my thighs."
                                                                                      - Oprah

* "When we know better, we do better."
                              - Maya Angelou

* "In the end we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
                                                         - Martin Luther King, Jr.

* "God created one race - the human race.  We created racism."
                                                                         - Jane Elliot

* "A gold medal is a wonderful thing, but if you're not enough without it, you'll never be enough with it."
                                      - Cool Runnings

* "Everybody is God's somebody."
              - Motto of The Love Kitchen

* "It's when you're on top of the pedestal that you can fall off.  When you're at the bottom is when you can grow."
                        - Princess Diana

* "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
                   - Dr. Seuss

* "Either write things worth reading or do things worth the writing."
                                                                          - Ben Franklin

* "Sin always isolates you and it always makes you stupid."
                                                               - Rob Dunlop

* "Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders."
                                          - Deuteronomy 33:12

* "I asked for strength that I might achieve; I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.  I asked for health that I might do greater things; I was given infirmity that I might do better things.  I asked for riches that I might be happy; I was given poverty that I might be wise.  I asked for power that I might have the praise of men; I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.  I asked for all things that I might enjoy life; I was given life that I might enjoy all things; I got nothing that I had asked for, but everything that I had hoped for.  Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered; I am, among all men, most richly blessed."
                                                      - An Unknown Confederate Soldier

I know I said *some*, but believe me, there are A LOT more I could have added!

Daffodil Festival

Every year in April/May there is a Daffodil Festival in Meriden.  Andrew and I found out about it this year and decided to try it out.  It was April 30/May 1.  I had to work on the 30th, so we couldn't go then (the morning was when all of the fun stuff was happening - like the parade!) so we went that night and watched the fireworks and then went on Sunday afternoon after church.  We had a really nice afternoon just walking around and eating "fair food."  And, it was perfect weather for it too!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Just Something To Ponder . . .

I wanted to share a poem with you.  I have no idea who wrote it.  I found it at my best friend's garage sale back in my 3rd or 4th grade summer for a quarter.  I bought it and have loved it ever since.  I hope you enjoy it too!

What God Hath Promised

God hath not promised
skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways
all our lives through.
God hath not promised
sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow,
peace without pain.

But God hath promised
strength for the day,
Rest for the laborer,
light on the way;
Grace for the trial,
help from above,
Unfailing sympathy,
Undying love.

~ Unknown (by me, anyway)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Quit Complaining!

Recently Andrew told me that I complain too much.  I was a little hurt to hear those words come out of my hubby's mouth.  But, I thought about it and he's right.  Since we've been in Connecticut I have done (probably more than) my fair share of complaining.  I complain about the weather, our small apartment, not having a full-time teaching position, being so far from home, the lack of "good" (tex-mex) restaurants, having to pay for parking, lack of parking . . . the list just goes on and on - from actual worthy-of-being-complained-about things right on down to menial things that typically (at least, typically before Connecticut) I wouldn't complain about.  All of this complaining is - surprise surprise - not helping my situation or mood at all.  I've been complaining to let others know how I feel in hopes that they'll agree with me and I'll know someone feels the same way I do.  However, more often than not, it just ruins the mood, and then I feel worse that I'm the ONLY ONE who feels this way.  So, while Connecticut may not be on the top of my list of places I'd like to live, I DO live here and I may as well get used to it.  While we won't be here forever (phew) we will still be here for another year or two.  Why complain and have a bad attitude for that long, when I can choose to change.  (Not that it'll be easy! Don't expect to see me with a big smile plastered on my face daily because I'm SO HAPPY to be here in this state . . . but I'll try my best!)  So, with that said, I am choosing to stop complaining (so much) and to rejoice in the truth that God has placed us here for a reason and it was not just so he could turn this Texan into a popsicle while pointing down and laughing at her from Heaven.  God is good and He is using this opportunity to teach me things and I just need to stop complaining and start listening to what He's saying.  With that said, I thought I'd make a list of 10 things I LIKE about Connecticut.  So . . . here goes:

1.  we are close to NYC and Boston
2.  summer is relatively mild
3.  we don't get tornados
4.  tons of flowering trees in the Spring (when it finally gets here) are beautiful
5.  CT is a largely Democratic state
6.  Ray and Mike's, Nica's Market, Cafe Romeo - yummy restaurants I will miss when we leave
7.  Fall - gorgeous colors!
8.  beach is only minutes away
9.  several fun festivals to go to

and last, but not least, and certainly most important:

10. all of the wonderful people we have met and are now good "refrigerator friends" with

Okay . . . that was harder than I thought it would be . .  . I had a lot of trouble coming up with 8 and 9.  In fact, as I'm typing this I have yet to fill in number 9.  But, I'm sure it'll be filled in before I post this.  At least . . . I hope it will be.  Hmmmmm . . . I need to think some more.  Hopefully, as time goes on and I am more positive, my list will grow.  In fact, I'll toss in one more now that the juices are flowing:

11.  awesome healthcare through Andrew's job

"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life -- in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing."  Philippians 2:14-16 NIV (emphasis mine)