2017 Resolutions Check-In

Some of my resolutions and goals I did publicize on the blog, while others were ones I listed in my bullet journal. They’re all totally doable — none of these are unreasonable, and not all of them are ones I need to think about every day.

  • Post daily to blog
  • Cook 50 new-to-me recipes
  • Offload two items of clothing for each one I purchase
  • Create a budget and stick to it
    • Shop Amazon mostly using gift cards earned through my credit card
    • Only shop ThredUp with trade-in credits
    • If it can be mended, don’t buy a new one
  • Return of Photo Thursday – post a photo to the blog weekly

So, how am I doing? In the style of Wil Wheaton’s Life Reboot, I’ll give myself letter grades for each point.  (more…)

January Weigh-In: Back On Track

It’s going to take continued effort to get back to  pre-Thanksgiving levels of fitness and healthy-eating fortitude, but I’m at least headed in the right direction.

I know that my main weakness right now is evening snacking. It has been for some time. I get tired, my mouth gets “wanty” (as opposed to hungry — my Mom used to use that word on me when I was a kid). Some days, I have the staying power to keep myself busy and out of the cupboard; others (like tonight), it’s a struggle or a losing battle.

This week, I’m down about two pounds from last week… but I have a way to go yet. My low weight in August was still ten pounds above Goal.

Now, I know that my weight is just a number on a scale. I also know that I saw what my arms looked like at kickboxing last week; I could tell I’d lost some muscle definition, and I didn’t like it. I also know that my face is rounder than it was, and my midriff is back to being a jiggly spare tire instead of an extra curve.

I’ve gotten so close. I’m seriously curious about how fit I can get, and what I’ll look like when I get there.

It’s just a continual challenge to break old habits and form new ones. I’ve already broken so many over the years — Chinese buffet lunches, Mountain Dew addiction, eating dinner in front of the TV — so I know I can continue to change and improve.

It all happens moment by moment, decision by decision. I read about the idea of each decision you make as being a vote you cast for who you want to become. I like that idea. It helps eliminate the all-or-nothing mentality, and makes the “bad” decisions sting less but mean more.

I’m on the right track, moving in the right direction. Always moving.

2016 Year In Review

For this year’s retrospective, I’m going to lead off with the most important things:

What Made Me Happy (top 11)

(As recorded every night before bed)

  1. Talking with Aaron
  2. Cooking / Baking
  3. Hugs (mostly from Connor and/or Aaron)
  4. Working out
  5. Writing / Blogging
  6. Eating sushi
  7. Yoga
  8. Gardening
  9. Playing with Connor
  10. Date night/afternoon
  11. Being outside

If I’d consolidated some more specific things, like “working out” and “kickboxing,” the list might look a little different, but not by much.

Other notable one-off things that made me happy:

  • Wearing a sheath dress and feeling good in it
  • Watching Connor eat sushi with his chopsticks and enjoy it
  • Driving everyone (my grandparents, my Mom, and my son) to the Air Force Museum
  • Connor being super sweet about my boo-boos from giving blood
  • Watching the rain with Connor
  • Setting up a WordPress plugin
  • Watching Aaron and Connor play Mario


Harper’s Birthday Card

Connor holding his homemade card

Connor and I had so much fun making a birthday card for his friend Harper on Saturday! We put Pusheen kitty stamps on the front, along with block letters in colors she would like. Then Connor asked for a reference picture for BB8 to draw on the inside, so I Googled one for him. He did the drawing and I did the coloring. Then he found an instant photo of our house and drew on it: him giving a flower to Harper, with a speech bubble saying, “I love you, Harper,” with fireworks in the sky. Signed, “To Harper, From Connor.”

Harper and her parents thought the card was totally awesome. We were glad she also liked her presents: a “talking” BB8, a BB8 marshmallow treat, and a Frozen book with stickers, all in a reusable Star Wars tote bag. Connor searched Toys R Us to find something she’d like, and I think he did a great job.

You know you’re a #datanerd when you’re happy spending your lunch hour aggregating @GetReporter data about where you ate and with whom.

Social Media Relapse

In the aftermath of the inauguration, I’ve found myself checking Facebook more often than just to respond to notifications, and I’ve found myself actually checking Twitter when I’d been away from it for months. I’ve been seeking out information about what crazy shit the president is signing into effect (immigration reform, portions of ACA repeal), which departments have been forbidden to broadcast information on social media (the EPA and the National Parks Service), and what the president is getting his panties in a bunch over today.

It’s like a train wreck; I can’t look away.

Honestly, though, it’s not doing me any good. If I want to make a difference, I know how to do it: research what’s up for a vote in Congress, then contact my elected officials in the House and the Senate and tell their staff how I want them to vote if they truly represent their constituents. Reading social media and getting either more fired up or more depressed doesn’t do shit if it doesn’t propel me to action.

My politically active friends won’t want to hear this, but I’m probably not going to be calling my representatives. I’m probably not going to attend any protests. Hell, I’m probably not even going to volunteer at the local soup kitchen. The most I’m inclined to do right now is find a good cause and throw money at it — and even that is unlikely, since it would behoove me to throw money at my own retirement accounts instead.

Right now, my action is to be kind and tolerant, and to teach my son the same. To interact with people — the more diverse, the better. To speak up and push back where I see hatred and intolerance. To talk to the homeless guy waiting for his ride. To buy a copy of Toledo Streets for $1.

I created a new folder on my iPhone and named it Hiatus. I moved the Facebook app and my Twitter client of choice into it (along with my favorite game, Two Dots), and I’m going to leave it alone for a while. Once I feel like I can respond to comments and notifications again without getting sucked down the rabbit hole, I’ll return and interact with my online friends. Until then, you can reach me by commenting here on the blog or sending me an email or a text.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

Carrots and Other Homegrown Veggies

Connor told me some time ago that he wants to grow carrots in our little vegetable garden this year. A few weeks back, I started the gardener’s winter task/pastime of browsing seed catalogs for next season, and I picked out which company I would buy my carrot seeds from.

I kind of fizzled out after that.

I still need to buy seeds for some decent sandwich tomatoes (not too big, nice and round), sunflowers, skinny eggplant, some more herbs (thyme comes to mind), and a few others. I just haven’t pushed that to the top of my priority list quite yet. I have time… for now.

In another month or so, the first beginnings of seed starting will commence, complete with my datanerd spreadsheet of when to start which seeds.  Come spring, I’ll be ripping up some sod to expand the garden and buying some compost to enrich the soil.

I’m being extra careful not to bite off more veggies than I can chew this year, while still growing enough to make it worth my while. All that careful starting indoors, planting out, protecting from frost, then watering and weeding last year for only a smattering of tomatoes and eggplant and basil? Disappointing.

This year will be a heartier harvest. I hope.

Thirteen Years

This evening, as I was wondering what I’d post on my blog, I got a notification that I’d been tagged in a Facebook photo by Aaron’s cousin Megan, whose wedding we attended back in October.

Extended Family

I immediately got up from the couch and went into the family room to retrieve our wedding album and snap a photo of the posed portrait with all the cousins. I posted it in a comment: “What a difference 13 years makes…”

But then I kept flipping through.