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january challenge – COMPLETE

30 Jan

if you haven’t been keeping up with my blog this month, here is a simple little synopsis to catch you up:

2012 = 12 months = 12 month-long challenges. if you want the detailed version, check this post.

in january i set out to stop watching mindless television. and i’m happy to report that this challenge was way easier than i had earlier anticipated. if i was getting graded, i would have probably earned an A+, and that, my friends, is about as good as it gets.

january had me taking more photos, knitting, cooking, baking, spending more time with family and housemates, better sleeps………(the list goes on…)

my husband just asked me if i plan to accumulate each month’s challenge into one new habit at a time. as i said in my last post, i really don’t see myself selling my t.v. anytime soon. this challenge has been good in that it has been, well, challenging. that being said, i really miss watching the food network. it is my go to channel. it is inspiring. i learn from watching it. i honestly feel like i have gone to cooking school because i have watched the food network for what, ten years now?

all that being said, i feel like i have found a bit of peace in just doing other things. i am no longer wandering around the house desperately trying to find something to entertain me or occupy my time. i feel like that is such a huge accomplishment for me. the t.v. will no longer be my babysitter. i am able to find something else to do.


for the past week i have been trying to figure what to do for my february challenge. i don’t mind doing random challenges, but i’m actually thinking that it might be nice to have each challenge somehow flow into the next. and now that i’m not watching so much t.v., there are so many possibilities!

i will leave it at that. i will be announcing my february challenge on wednesday, february 1st. will you join me?


like a wave of anxiousness…

2 Jan

i didn’t set my alarm last night thinking that i would wake up naturally around 9 or 10. i am a little embarrassed about it, but i REALLY slept in. i won’t even tell you what time i woke up. is it horrible that the first thought that crossed my mind was “oh fewf! less time i need to try to fill today!”?

[as a side note, i work as a success coach and work out of two schools and so i have had the last week off and have this week off from work. my husband, however, doesn’t. he had today off but for the rest of the week, i will be home – alone – with no t.v.]

i have realized that watching t.v. allows me to pass the time without having to think too much. honestly, the television is my friend – and we are really, really good friends. actually – i think it would be more accurate to say that the television is my babysitter. unfortunately, my dear friend and companion has just died. i think i’m mourning.

i was feeling anxiety ridden today as i walked around the house trying to figure out what to do. should i read? should i bake? should i work out? should i…..

then i was kindly reminded by my husband that we needed groceries. ok – something to do. grocery shopping – check. a couple more hours of time filler.

i was also reminded that we had a dinner date with some artsy friends. an evening of company [ with real life people! ], delicious food, good conversation and working on our art projects.

the rest of this week will be quite the exercise in trying to figure out how to be content with spending some good quality time with me.

i also want to thank everyone for your support and kind words to my last blog! there are a few handfuls of people who will be journeying along with me and i can honestly say that it makes me feel so awesome that i’m not the only person who is going to struggle, grow, and learn to appreciate life in the coming year! feel free to post your progress/struggles/milestones in the comments!

12 of ’12

1 Jan

for the past 4 1/2 years i have been so busy trying to keep up with my husband that i think i’ve been lost somewhere in the shuffle. i am tired, unmotivated, lazy….i would much rather spend 12 hours straight sitting in front of the t.v. than actually doing things, making things or, to be blunt, enjoying life. what it all comes down to, i have found, is that I am lacking balance. i am in DIRE need of finding balance in my life.

in 2012, i am endeavoring upon a year long journey to try and make the most of my life. at this point, most people try to make one major goal that they want to stick with for the whole year, but lets face it, WE NEVER STICK TO THESE GOALS! so why would i set myself up for failure? if anything, i really need to set myself up for success. so, how DO i do that?

in the past few months i have been inspired to take a look at goal setting in a new way. i am an avid ted talks fan ( and i stumbled upon this talk by Matt Cutts. in essence, he argues that you can do anything for 30 days.

my other inspiration for goal setting could be rather long-winded, so instead of boring you to death, here are the cliffs notes: the intentional community i was a part of for 4 years ended. a lot of conversation was had around “what went wrong” and it was decided that it would be beneficial to have a start and end date in mind when gathering large groups of people together on a regular basis. the insight i took from that experience was that a start and end date sets a very specific boundary around whatever you are doing. i need boundaries.

and so – “12 in ’12” was born. the premise: me, 2012, and twelve one-month-long challenges to help me grow, learn, and dig a bit deeper to find joy and meaning in my life.

there are two prerequisites in place to help me choose each months challenge: first, i have to make it achievable.  goals don’t have to be earth shattering to be worthwhile (keep it simple, right? if it’s too lofty, you won’t do it. period). secondly, i have to set specific parameters.

so here we are, january 1st, 2012, and i have been trying to wrap my brain around the challenge i have chosen for myself for this month.

JANUARY 1-31 2012:

ACHIEVABLE CHALLENGE: i will not watch t.v mindlessly

SPECIFICS: i can still watch movies with my husband/friends, i can watch t.v IF and ONLY IF i am doing something productive at the same time.

in order to help me in this month-long challenge, i have made myself a reminder: on my t.v. i made a sign that says “find something else to do” – and that will really be the challenge this month. what else can i do to unwind, relax, shut my brain off, re-energize, be productive…….?

each months goal must be a priority. the goals i am trying to achieve in these challenges have to trump other things that would usually make me steer off track.

seems easy enough, right?

well, it would be easier if you joined me (i am all about community!). if you want to challenge yourself in 2012 (or even just for a month here and there), LET ME KNOW! together, we can make 2012 a year of change for ourselves where we are stretched to grow in unimaginable ways!

here are some photos from this morning with my family out skating! what a great time we had!

a little of everything

9 Oct

hello blog, it has been a while, hasn’t it?

this entry, as of right now, has no direction. however i feel the need to say a little of everything.

i am in my final year of university and in less than 7 months, i will have a degree in sociology. this is when, as far as i’m concerned,   _real_ life starts. i feel very organized this semester, however, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly and easily an overwhelming sense of disorder can creep up on me. that feeling crept up on me tonight. and it makes my stomach feel like its in knots and like i’m not in control of anything. i have control issues.

my clean eating journey is going along quite well. i am not going to pretend like i am perfect – being in school and ensuring i eat every 2-3 hours can be difficult! sometimes my mind is so preoccupied that i forget to eat. this is a very bad thing when it comes to days that i work. i work in the evening two days a week at an inner-city organization called the mustard seed. the worst part about my job and clean eating is that the coffee bar is ALWAYS full of delicious pastries and cookies and chocolate. more often than not, i go to work and get hungry at some point and that is where my ability to see all the positive things about eating clean goes out the window.

one aspect of clean eating that i have been able to successfully keep up with during school is meal planning and ensuring that all of our dinners are clean. for me, that is a huge success. i have been really enjoying meal planning. it keeps dinner time very easy. and i have to admit that my clean eating cookbook collection has become more than awesome!!!

last week jared and i had two really awesome dinners: clean chicken parmesan and chicken cheese steak sandwhiches. i will eventually get the recipes up here! they are both worth a try!

also this last week, jared and i have had TWO computers crash on us. our laptop is not salvageable and we haven’t gotten any word yet on his desktop. we are praying that everything isn’t lost because this is the second time it has crashed!

i had the chance to take a few photos of baby judah this week. jared and i bought our house with his parents, wes and rachel and he is the official baby roomie. i will get those photos up once we get our computer stuff sorted out.

i think that is all i have for now. thanks for the ear, blog.


13 May

i think my husband and i are nuts.

we went to the gym this week and saw a sign that read: “subway cornation triathlon”. we joked around and said that one day we would do something like that. after a few minutes of daydreaming, conversation took a turn. one of us suggested we do it, and all hyped up the other agreed. “not this one” i said, “but next year. we can’t train for this one, its probably coming up really quickly!” we decided i would run and jared would bike. and we would convince our friend dan that he was an integral part to our triathlon team and would be needed to do the swimming portion. we left feeling excited that we would work towards being able to do this triathlon next year.

the next day, we were at our friend omar’s office, and he told us HE was doing the very same triathlon this year, and encouraged us that we could totally do it, even if our goal was just to finish. at this point, jared and i are stoked, but know we are going to have alot of work ahead of us, especially because the triathlon is in LESS than three weeks. i need shoes and running gear, jared needs a bike and a helmet, and of course, we still have to talk to dan. then jared’s phone rang. it was dan and he was at our house waiting for jared (who is now late) for their workout. we rush out of omar’s office and talk the whole way home about how stoked we are to convince dan he needs to be on our triathalon team.

when we got home, we immediately ran downstairs and bombarded dan with obscure questions and comments like “JUST SAY YES!” and “we have a plan and we need you!” dan was both intruiged and perplexed. when we spilled the beans, he was defiant. “how am i supposed to train in three weeks?” we encouraged him and said we just needed to finish and ignore how bad our time was. dan finally said yes. it felt like a whirlwind had traipsed through our living room, leaving us all confused yet excited, knowing that we had all signed up for something that we, now, can’t back out of. what have we just gotten ourselves into? the only thing that will help us get through this is knowing that we can’t let the others down.

at 6am this morning, dan and jared were at the gym. dan did his laps and jared did 20km on the stationary bike. i bought new shoes and am ready to break them in.

i hereby declare this a TRYathlon, knowing that finishing this will be a feat in and of itself.