Thursday, March 29, 2012

12 in 2012 // Q1

4 breads - 
I got a slow start to baking breads due to my sugar-detox in January and February.  However, these past few weeks I've enjoyed baking and have some awesome recipes lined up!

1 book - "The Help"
We love books - one of the selling points of our house was the lovely built-in bookshelves in the living room.  As I unpacked box after box of books, I realized that there were a number of books on our shelves that I had yet to read {hand-me-downs from family or gifts}.  So far I've only read one.  It's so hard to find time to read.  There's always something that needs done, from dishes and laundry, to sanding and painting.  I tried listening to an audiobook for a while, but was too distracted, I had to keep rewinding to listen again because I'd miss bits and pieces.  I have a stack of magazines and a few books to hopefully read over spring break.

18.25 miles
When I set this goal, I allowed myself flexibility in when these 365 miles were completed.  I hate the gym and knew that most of my miles would be logged in the warmer months.  I tried the gym for the first few weeks in January, but wasn't enjoying it one bit and the goal of 365 miles seemed so daunting.  In February, the weather allowed for a few trips to the park where I was able to walk Mei Mei.  She loved being able to run a bit and I loved the fresh air.  This week, Dan and I dusted off our bikes and went for a lovely bike ride one evening.  I'm far from meeting my goal, but each day I add to my total feels good.

Dan is the king of recycling and repurposing.  He saves everything and isn't afraid to trash pick {we trash picked the chair and boards to create the desk in the picture above}.  He inspires me to think outside the box and get creative with what we have rather than go out and purchase something new.  

A few weeks ago we turned some of the old windows we removed last fall into cold frames for our spring garden and I recently started a new sewing project with 100% recycled material.  There are a few pieces of furniture left by the previous owner {including the chair I'm sitting on right now} that we hope to paint and reupholster soon.  

Well, I started out the year with good intentions.  By the end of January, I was attending a yoga class once a week and even doing a little yoga at home here and here.  However, February brought with it a much busier schedule and cold after cold after cold.  (I'm currently nursing my fourth cold of the year - thank you preschoolers!)  When March rolled around I again had good intentions and attended a few classes before coming down with the flu.  So here I am three months into this goal and my mat is gathering dust.  I will get back to it.  I need to get back to it.  

This is easier said than done.  My to-do list is every changing and constantly growing.  I often have to stop and remind myself to "smell the roses."  Sometimes we're in such a rush to get it all done, that we forget that life is about the journey, not the destination.

Over the past few months I've attempted to remove some clutter from my life.  I love reading blogs and surfing the net, but I have narrowed my daily readings to just a handfull of blogs and websites.  I spend much less time online {aimlessly wondering facebook and pinterest} and feel better for it.  When I am online I have intention, I'm either working on the blog, a project, or researching an upcoming home improvement project or recipe.

I'm striving to take some time for myself each day, and to not fret over an untouched to-do list.  I'm making more time for friends and family, being intentional about fostering these relationships.  

This is one area that I feel I've improved on significantly over the past few months.  While we were traveling, the camera was around our necks every single day.  We took over 3,000 photos while backpacking in Southeast Asia (the photos above are from our travels), but I have yet to take that many in the 17 months we've been home!  I'm trying to be more intentional about bringing the camera along while we're working on the house, or if we head to the farm or park for the afternoon.  I also have a few photo sessions line up for the coming months.  Many of the photos I take are for the blog or documentation and comparison purposes (home improvements), I intend to start taking more pictures of us, just being us!

Open.  Not for business just yet.  I'm kind of stuck and unsure where to begin and deciding what to list.  More on that later. 

This has turned out to be one of my loftiest goals.  While teaching, it's hard to find time to just sit and be creative.  Most of my creative energy either goes into lesson planning or working on our house.  My first project brought with it a number of roadblocks. After a few discouraging weeks, I was able to finish my first crocheted blanket.  I loved the pattern so much that I'm now in the middle of a second one.  I've also begun a completely new project that I hope to share soon.

Since returning to the states, Dan and I have been on a quest to fill our diets with real, unprocessed foods. (read more about that here)  Last summer we joined a local CSA to bring in some additional produce as our garden was quite small (see it here and here).   It was a great way to add fresh and local produce to our diets.  Unfortunately, this particular CSA only operates in the summer and early fall, so in October we headed back to the grocery for our fresh produce.  That was, until we joined Green Bean Delivery in February.  Best. Decision. Ever!  We have loved the quality and variety of the produce.

While none of this has anything to do with growing our own food, it's been a great journey to eating more fresh and local  produce.  We will never be able to grow 100% of what we eat, but it's nice to know that there are options available locally to add additional real food to our diet. 

As for growing our own, we have started our garden, which is more than double the size of last years.  We've started seeds indoors, and even planted a few things outside thanks to the warm weather we've been having.  We currently have spinach and three kinds of lettuce sprouting, along with garlic we planted in the fall.  A few weeks ago we planted some blueberry bushes, and asparagus crowns, although these will not be harvestable until next year.

We're looking forward to a summer full of our own produce and plan to supplement it with produce from our local farmers market at Salomon Farm.  

Dan and I work opposite schedules.  We spend all of about an hour together each day {unless we're lucky and evening schedules allow us an extra hour for dinner together - rare!}.  Most weekends we spend working on the house together - though important, it's not nearly the same as taking time to just be together.

Lately, we've taken time out of our busy schedules for a "date" at least once a week.  Some days it's stopping at Starbucks for a pick-me-up on our way home from one of our many trips to Lowes, or a quick trip to YoYo's for a tasty treat after a hard day of working on the house.  Other days it's simply cuddling up on the couch for a How I Met Your Mother marathon.  Whatever it is, it's always refreshing to hang out with my husband.  To just be together.

{looking forward to a little getaway coming up next week...stay tuned for details}

We started this blog over three years ago to chronicle our adventures and share them with family and friends.  When we started blogging, we knew that there would be some big life changes that would take us far from home and the blog seemed like the best way to keep us connected to home.  Between our move to Taiwan and our backpacking adventures we were never lacking adventures to share.  However, now that we have returned home, it's become harder and harder to find things of interest to share.  

When I started to think about my goals for the coming year, I knew that I wanted to be more intentional about sharing our every day life on the blog.  I love looking back over past posts and reliving a particular time in our lives. 

Over the past three months I've tried to be more intentional about blogging what's on my mind, be it recipes, crafts, or just daily ramblings.  Though some postings may seem uninteresting and possibly even boring, this blog has become a diary of sorts, chronicling our life together as a married couple.  Blogging has become fun again, I enjoy sharing our daily life and especially updating those family and friends who are still so far away.  

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