Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Time for More Books

About half way into January I finally started reading new books. I'd had a few sitting around waiting to be read, but had filled my time in other ways. Today, near the end of the month, I decided that my modest goal of twenty (new) books for the year was absurdly low. This realization came about from actively trying to read books and finishing seven regular length books and seven novellas as of today. Clearly, I can read more than twenty books in a twelve month period of time.

So, my new adjusted reading goal for the year is to read 120 books (approximately ten books a month). I haven't determined how to count the novellas in the total, so for now they'll be included in the total, but I'll be trying for ten non-novella books each month. I'm thinking that perhaps I'll lump the novellas into the whole books that they're sometimes published in. We'll see. :)

One of the most beneficial realizations as far as reading is concerned, is that my drives to and from work are SO much better if I am listening to a book. Even though I enjoy the radio station that I used to listen to (Radio from Hell in the morning and music in the evening), I feel so much calmer and patient when I'm listening to a book. There's less of a rush to get to work and to get home, as extra minutes in the car just mean I'll be farther along in the story of the book that I'm listening to.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Another publication!

Our photographer from our Alabama celebration (Abraham Rowe Photography) put me in contact a few months ago with someone from a local magazine he wanted to get our wedding published in. I answered their questions and didn't think much of it until this week.

On Monday, our wedding coordinator (Kathleen Bernal) tagged us in some cover images for the upcoming January publication of this magazine - and I was on the front cover! Crazy!

So, if you're interested in looking at/reading it, you should be able to find it here some time in the near future. The magazine is called No'Ala Huntsville (and in case it isn't obvious, No'Ala stands for North Alabama).

It's a little weird to have something like our little celebration made public - even simply in a local magazine. But it's also kind of cool. We had so many fantastic people helping to make that day beautiful - and it's nice to see their hard work appreciated!

In unrelated news, I somehow managed to sprain my jaw in the past month. I'd felt my left jaw joint popping for a little while, but it wasn't until about New Years Day that it really started to hurt badly. I went to the dentist on Monday (to make sure that it wasn't something related to my teeth) and he said that the problem was just that the muscles around my left jaw joint had just tightened to the point where I could barely move them - essentially a sprain.

So, I've been eating mostly liquids (smoothies, soups), and taking a muscle relaxer at night (makes you drowsy), and it already feels much better (no longer hurts to swallow). Solid food will have to wait a few more days, but there's definitely been progress.

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 Resolutions!

Happy New Year! 2016!

Quick recap of the 2015 resolutions:

1.) We got married! Definitely the biggest and best thing that we have to celebrate from the year. :)
2.) Daily exercise - meh - this didn't really happen. But it started off well and I've generally been active through the year.
3.) No tootsie rolls or licorice were purchased expressly for my consumption! Done and done. I did consume both of these items, but never at my own expense, and thus much much less. I made up for it with Dove chocolate. ;)
4.) We hiked more than one new mountain during 2015, but the one that is most coming to mind is Mount Olympus.
5.) I got a new job!
6.) Now, while I'm sure that I did read at least 25 books during 2015 (not a particularly lofty goal), I'm not sure I read 25 new books. It is so easy for me to want to go back and re-read books I love. 
7.) 5+ sewing projects. This was my most over-the-top-completed goal of 2015. I not only made three unique new dresses, but also made a ton of corn bags as Christmas gifts.
8.) We did the Spartan and I ran the Snow Canyon Half in November. I trained more than I ever have for a half as well, so that's good. 
9.) And I did work on my Portuguese! I did it every day for at least half the year, but things dwindled in the second half. :/

For this year - 2016:

1.) Go to the gym a minimum of two times per week (this should not be hard).
2.) Cook at home at least one time per week (to the extent that there are leftovers). This probably sounds odd, but it is difficult to get home between 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM and want to make anything big after being gone all day long. It's much easier to default to single servings meals, but we need leftovers in order to contribute to the next goal. I'd like to be more savvy about food buying as well. 
3.) Try to eat out (for lunch) no more than once a week. I think 2016 will be the year of salads for me. I feel like I've discovered how amazing they are this year, and I want to be better at creating them on my own. 
4.) Do yoga as many times a week as we can manage. We need to work on our flexibility. We're not getting any younger! 
5.) 30 push ups. Every day. 
6.) Write more in my journal. Doesn't have to be daily, but it should happen.
7.) Go dancing at least once a month. We've missed dancing and need a little motivation to get out and go!
8.) Maybe two half marathons this year? Or at least two 13.1 mile runs. 
9.) A new mountain. :) 
10.) Visit a slot canyon. We're thinking Orderville Gulch. 
11.) 20 new books read. I keep reducing this number, but as long as I still have it as a goal, I think it will help to motivate me. There are at least two new books for Brandon Sanderson coming out this year! (Three actually, though I'm less interested in the Alcatraz books.)
12.) Perhaps a garden in the spring/summer/fall. We have the space to put it in, we'll just have to find the drive.

We also have some other goals for the two of us, but those hit most of the big ones!