Status Update on 2013 Goals!

So, I thought it would be time to see where I’m at!

  1. Be Debt Free (Aiming for the end of this month!)  Completed 1/25/13
  2. Save $12K in our emergency fund: Getting pretty darn close! I’m over 3/4 of the way there, but there’s a little bit of a change I’ll talk about out.
  3. Cook at home more than not: This is a big fat fail.  There have been changes in our lives where 
  4. Exercise a lot more: have a routine and stick with it!: Another fail.  Yikes.  Somewhat due to the same thing…
  5. Read 50 books: 17 out of 50. I’m hoping I’ll knock out a quite of few next month when I go on vacation!
  6. Finish our Food Passport (& Make a Sequel!): Um, yeah, another fail….  But we’re definitely out of the restaurant rut!
  7. Buy a big kid couch/coffee table/living room set Completed 4/26/13
  8. Learn how to use a gun (and feel safe about it)  Completed 5/11/13
  9. Spend time journaling/blogging: I actually feel good about this one.  While I haven’t been “blogging”, I’m tumblring and I’m also doing a daily journal.
  10. Learn to play my guitar — specifically Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing: Ugg, giant fail.  The guitar has been sitting upstairs since April….
  11. Visit Kilmarnock at least 4-6x’s this year: two visits so far.  I’m hoping for another one soon!
  12. Spend at least 1 week and 2 long weekends in OCNJ: Getting a work week (5 days) over labor day weekend, a mom/daughter weekend planned in October, just need to squeeze in one more!!
  13. Man up and get that tattoo(s) you’ve been talking about Completed 3/30/13

More than 10% of Goal #5 done!

Image  I’ve been an avid reader for a long time now, and a member of good reads for a long while.  Last year, I did a challenge to read 50 books through Good Reads and failed.  This year, it’s number 5 on my goals for 13 in 2013, and I plan to accomplish this.

I recently finished my favorite book I’ve read since finishing The Night Circus last June.

The Book Thief was recommended by one of my younger co-workers (which is still weird to say — up until now I’ve been the youngest at work always).  I ended up getting it through the library that day and ate it up quickly.  The narrator of the story is death, and he tells the story of Liesel Meminger in a way that keeps you wanting more, even when he tells you the ending less than halfway through the book.  He also has a way of bringing in what’s going on around the world in WWII Germany.

It took me about a week to finish, but it was such a good story.  And if you’re one who needs finality in an ending, when death is the narrator, you will always get the full picture.

Highly recommend it for your next book!

Need to Pause

I feel like my life has been on fast forward since July.

At that point we were in the process of moving, we moved, I started searching for a new job, changed jobs, got more involved at church, and now have come to the point where I barely have a moment to breathe.

At one point, we had a pretty good routine down. We would have a home cooked meal 3-4 times per week, I would meal plan on either Friday or Saturday, shop on Saturday afternoon (either right before Sean came home or right after he left), prep meals on Sunday night, and we’d usually eat out on the weekends.  Laundry would be done on Sundays and put away by the time we went to bed.  I’d usually have one or two days during the week where Sean would work nights and I could catch up on the DVR and eat the type of food he didn’t want.

It was a pretty good routine and kept us both pretty happy, on a healthier path, and on budget.

But I feel like our obligations have doubled recently.  With the new job I’m going in earlier, but not leaving much earlier.  Two week day nights we have obligations — Bible Study and Choir Practice. Both of which means I’m usually not home until 9:30pm – 10pm.  Sundays after church, we’re generally out for about 2.5-3 hours in the evening .  There’s another service every few weeks just for 20′s-3o’s in the Richmond area that we like to try to attend.  But that means another evening that we’re not home until almost 10pm.

All awesome things. Things I love, but on top of a full work schedule, a little overwhelming.  And extremely difficult to meal plan.

So sometime this week (I’m not sure when), I’ve made a decision that I’m just going to sit down, with a calendar and plan out my life.  Because if I have a plan, it’ll be something I can do.

Sean’s out of town this weekend so I get to be a single lady for a while.  That might help me get my groove back.  Or throw me off.  Cross your fingers it’s the former.  I’m ready to get back to normal….

Thinking about Ink

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Don’t worry, this is a fake tattoo.

For now.

I’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo for a while now.  I always thought about getting a star on my wrist.  There’s something about stars I’ve loved for a very long time.  Then I saw the white ink tattoo trend and I thought that might fit in with the “professional” image I was trying to give off.  Mainly because of how hard it was to see.

But I’ve always been a proponent of I have this art on my body, I want it to be seen.  But small enough that I can cover up if I need to.

And let’s face it, it’s always cold in an office — I don’t know a single girl who didn’t have a sweater she kept at her desk in case it got too cold.

But still, always a star.  Until this fall.  And I saw this piece of art that took my breath away and inspired me in a way for a tattoo more than I’ve ever been struck by the star I’ve been thinking of for the past 5+ years.  See, Ocean City, NJ, my home away from home, has an art project for the city put together by the Community Art Projects.  All those ugly traffic boxes have been decorated by local artists.  They’re all over the island and are beautiful.  But the one on 10th and Boardwalk makes me want to get a whole sleeve.  Seriously.  Take a Look:

So, I’ve been wanting an anchor.  If I was brave, that would be all over my right arm.  But I’m not.  So an anchor on my forearm is what I’m looking at.  And on the fake tattoo, I basically want to add a cut-out of a star at the point.  The anchor is inspired from my home, where I’m anchored to, and it’ll remind me to stay grounded.  The star added to say don’t forget to dream a little.  Plus, I just plain like it!

But.  It’s so permanent.  I broke up with Sean twice before I got it through my head that he was really the one for me.  Seeing this on my wrist everyday, am I going to regret it?

Plus, I have this chunk of change saved up for it.  That could buy a lot of different things.  Like that Fossil tote I’ve been eyeing…  Or a crap ton of clothes at Target or Old Navy.  Or redo my make-up supplies.

So, here I sit with this tattoo on my mind.  Do I have the guts to do it?  We’ll see….

Goal 1 for 2013 Done!

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We did it! Officially Debt free! In total we paid off over $10,000 worth of debt in less than a year. A lot of it is thanks to the sign-on bonus at new job, but a lot of it was scrimping and saving. A big chunk of the $10,000 was the medical debt we weren’t expecting this year, so for the unexpected, I’m pretty happy.

And of course, we’re Dave Ramsey people. Financial Peace University was offered at our church last fall, but really kicked it into high gear after Christmas, and we’re not looking back!

This month we’ll start on to goal #2. By the end of March, we should be more of a third of the way there. And that doesn’t include anything that Uncle Sam might give us.

It feels pretty darn good. I’m glad to be back in the black!

The Flu….

Every year, I get a flu shot.

Being in HR, you kind of do the things that they offer on-site to encourage and influence others that the programs you offer are worth while.  Well, I was getting over a nasty sinus infection when they offered them on-site at my former employer.  So I skipped it.  I found out my new employer offered them on-site, in their clinic, any time.  So I figured I would go over there one day and get one.

Well, I’ve pretty much been on warp speed since I landed at my new job.  Going to the clinic really wasn’t in the time tables.  And how could I bring myself to pay for something I could get for free?

I paid for it (and am still paying for it) by getting a mild case last week.

On the 10th we decided to take advantage of the slightly nicer weather, use our grill and fire pit and enjoyed some time outside.

I woke up the next morning smelling like smoke from a fire and with a tickle in my throat.  I coughed it up (excuse the pun…) to the smoke that blew my way.  It persisted, but didn’t have any side effects until Sunday other than a little bit of a cough and a slightly sore throat.  Sunday, my nose started running and my soprano was a little rough, but my alto super sultry in One Accord practice. 

I went to the clinic at work on Tuesday after the doctor left and wouldn’t be on-site with the doctor until Thursday. My nose was running and I went through a whole pack of Halls.  Other than feeling congested, I was fine.  But apparently I had a fever (over 100) and other than the muscle ache and headaches, they told me I had a mild case of the flu and to go home and stay home until I didn’t have a fever.

The three day weekend helped me just rest.  I didn’t do anything really other than run to Walgreens for different drugs to see what could give me my tastebuds and hearing back.  The Neti Pot has been the winner so far.  I’m trying no more than twice a day (and only using a half pack each time).  But it’s helping me hear and my taste has come back (which has made eating more enjoyable).

I’m hoping I’ll be back at the gym, choir, and life by the end of the week.

Just say a little prayer that it’s done by Sunday — I’m hopping on a plane and I don’t want to deal with the pressure in my ears….

Me & The Gym: The Worst Relationship I’ve Ever Had

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For years I’ve been fighting a losing battle with going to the gym.  I joined my first gym with my first job.  It was about three months before my wedding and I had a feeling that dress might be a little tight.  I signed up and it was about $20 a month taken right out of my paycheck.  I went a couple times.  I would manage about 20-30 minutes of the elliptical in the women’s only section maybe once a week if I’m lucky.

I didn’t enjoy it.  It was a necessary evil.  And when I joined Weight Watchers shortly after we were first married and I stuck with the gym.  The slow and steady 20-30 minutes on the elliptical every few days.  But then someone convinced me to try the free yoga at my employer two days a week and the gym membership dwindled down to maybe 1 times a week and I got my workout there.

When we first moved to Virginia, we didn’t really know a whole lot about what was there, and moved to an area where the gyms weren’t great no matter where we went.  We ended up at the Y.  It was in a shopping center.  I think I went twice because I didn’t like the thought of my butt jiggling in the window as you drive to Peebles and Tuesday Morning.

We eventually joined AmFamFit because I thought it would be nice to watch whatever I wanted on TV while I worked out.

That worked for… like… a day.  Maybe two.

We had our ups and downs, going all the time to months without stepping foot in the gym.  So, we ended up, after three years, canceling.  We said — we can use my work gym!  You’ll just have to meet me after work!  We’ll totally do that!  Or!  We’ll run around our apartment complex!  It’s about a mile if we do this crazy pattern!  This will totally work!  I think I went to my work gym twice and ran around our complex no more than five days.

Now, to be fair.  I was super into the gym in the beginning of 2011.  Seriously.  I ran more than walked a 10K, a ran more than walked a 5K.  I set goals and I had wanted to achieve them.  And I kind actually liked running.  But by the end of April 2011, I was done.  Mainly because work took over my life.  If I wanted to do everything I needed to do for work, go to to the gym, and eat healthy, I was eating my chicken breast around 10pm at night and would have to be up around 7am at the latest the next day to start all over.  It was exhausting and I wasn’t a fun person to be around.  Something had to give.  And it ended up being the gym.

We’re now in a place both physically, mentally, and financially where it’s time to rejoin the gym.

On our anniversary, we spent an hour touring the AmFamFit by our new house and signing up.  Rejoining members actually get a better price than new members — and we’ve gone more days than not since.

And I think I’ve finally found the secret to really enjoying the gym.

You see, I’ll do mostly cardio and just a little bit of weights.  But in a lot of ways, I feel like I’m wasting precious time when I’m not at work or spending time with my husband doing something I really don’t want to do, but know I have to do.  So I’ve found that on my iPad, I can make my Kindle app big enough to read my book.  I’m doing something I want to do — read — while doing something I don’t want to do — jogging on the treadmill.  Why I didn’t think of it earlier, I’m not sure.  But now.  I’m looking forward to it.  It’s 40 minutes of uninterrupted reading time.

And I’ll take it.

13 Goals for 2013

  1. Be Debt Free (Aiming for the end of this month!)  Completed 1/25/13
  2. Save $12K in our emergency fund
  3. Cook at home more than not
  4. Exercise a lot more: have a routine and stick with it!
  5. Read 50 books
  6. Finish our Food Passport (& Make a Sequel!)
  7. Buy a big kid couch/coffee table/living room set Completed 4/26/13
  8. Learn how to use a gun (and feel safe about it)  Completed 5/11/13
  9. Spend time journaling/blogging
  10. Learn to play my guitar — specifically Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
  11. Visit Kilmarnock at least 4-6x’s this year
  12. Spend at least 1 week and 2 long weekends in OCNJ
  13. Man up and get that tattoo(s) you’ve been talking about Completed 3/30/13

A New Year, A Fresh Start

Somehow, many moons ago, I managed to snag emily kathryn as a username before those other darn emily kathryn’s grabbed it.

I wanted a fresh page to start a new blog.

For 2013, I made 13 goals.  Of those thirteen goals, one of them is to blog or journal more.

Over the years of moving and unpacking, I’ve got to re-live some of the more memorable moments of my life going through old journals or scrapbooks.  I’ve been really bad about keeping track of what’s happened.  So I want to remember, because as I’m getting older, it’s harder to remember everything.

So here’s to a fresh start.  If you’ve been here before, welcome back!  If you’re new, just welcome!  Here’s my life.