Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Changing Traditions

This year was full of changed traditions, with a sophomore in college  and a sophomore in high school, family members ill, changing jobs... But I felt the changes most acutely during the Christmas season. All my blog friends with adult children can sympathize, I'm sure. Some traditions remained the same, as well.

  1. First, I didn't do our thankful feathers this year-I just was too busy to write up the letter, cut up the feathers, address the envelopes and send them out. My oldest daughter was sad.
  2. We cut our Christmas tree with all my husband's family, which is our tradition, but we went to a completely different tree farm. We've been to the old one for many years. At least 15, anyway.
  3. We put up our Christmas village, but it was my youngest daughter and I who put everything up and took everything down. Was another mix of kept and changed traditions.
  4. We did go up to visit my family, but we changed things up by just visiting for the day to fit it into our schedules.
  5. Our New Year's will be different as our oldest will be visiting her boyfriend and his family. Strange to have her not here, but not off at school. A whole different set of worries.
  6. I didn't watch either of my two favorite movies-It's a Wonderful Life and White Christmas-normally I watch them at least once. We did watch several Hallmark Channel Christmas movies which was nice and romantic. ;) 
  7. Our oldest daughter had to work, so our Christmas Eve meal was different-it was just three of us and my in laws. Usually the 6 of us eat and then attend church. This year our oldest wasn't out of work until after my in laws had headed home. So, just the four of us headed to church much later than normal.
  8. My mother in law continued her themed Christmas dinner, this year was Sesame Street Christmas, and we continued a new tradition we started last year of the adults drawing names, excluding my in laws.
  9. Since I was working at the office a lot, I wasn't home to bake (too many) cookies with my girls. They worked together and baked a few kinds without me. 
  10. I don't think I'm doing a one little word this year. I have done it at least the last 6 years. I am just not feeling it right now... Never say never, I still have a little time, right? ;)
I think there were a few more, but this was what I remembered. How about you? Changes or keepers in traditions this year? Kids growing older makes things different, for better and worse, doesn't it? Growth and change...

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2015 Goals and "Resolutions"

I know "they" say don't make resolutions for the new year. You're bound to fail and be depressed-I did look at last year's list with a bit of disdain this weekend. :) But I like a goal for the future. Even if they aren't always reached. I also like to look upon the new year as a fresh, clean slate open for me to write upon. :) I normally pick a "One Little Word", as well, but I haven't done so this year... Not sure whether I will or not.

So, without further ado, my goals for 2015:

  1. Reach my weight goal by my birthday, 4/24-my 40th-and sustain it through 12/31.
  2. Run a half marathon under 1:45:00.
  3. Run a full marathon under 4 hours, if I can work through injuries and losing weight helps them.
  4. Run 900-1000 miles this year-to reach the yet unattainable 900 mile mark.
  5. Read the entire Bible. I've only tried to do this once and had a lot on my plate at the time.
  6. Complete a Bible study-either on my own, with my husband who said he would like to try to do so, or with a class at church.
  7. Read 24 books-I read 19 this year and am looking forward to reaching this goal-I enjoy reading and I'm happy to be working towards a goal to give myself permission to read for fun.
  8. Take our puppy to another obedience class-this time a "Canine Good Citizen Class" which is a step up from her last puppy obedience class.
  9. Purge our home and prepare for our move.
  10. Learn/try 3 new things. Possibly: skiing, a new language, a spinning class...
Get house ready for move
Working on my marketing job full bore to be successful
Continue using MyFitnessPal, which I have started again this week to keep track of calories
Continue working on funeral for church when they come up.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Resolutions Revisited

2014 Resolutions Revisited:

  1. Run 900 miles-this was my goal-and I have 26 miles and 2 days left to run this year... I won't make it, but again I will be close.
  2. Fall half marathon under 1:45:00-I ran a good half for how I felt, averaging 8:30 per mile, but not under my goal. 
  3. No new running injuries-I didn't have new ones, but I didn't fully heal the old, either...
  4. Read 24 books-I finished 19 and am in the midst of 20.
  5. Reach my goal weight-I continued the tradition of getting down to a better weight over the summer and then rising again. My goal is to be at said goal weight by April since I will be 40 then. 
  6. Make 1 craft from Pinterest per month-Not even close.
  7. Finish my 2013 Project Life-I did accomplish this and got about 6 months into 2014 before I took another break again.
  8. Mini albums-I made one of a fun trip in the summer... 
  9. Finish a rag quilt-I did finish the one I had started with my mother, although it isn't pretty-looks more like a bar graph than a tidy lined quilt.
  10. Send 1 card or note-I did send several, but I did them in spurts, and did about 110 Christmas cards... ;)
  11. Daily Devotionals-Again, spurts...
  12. Clean/organize one room or full item of furniture per month-I did make wonderful progress on and off this year! Donated 6 tubs of books to the library this week to cap off a nice purge. Also, cleaned out a tub of Christmas decorations and organized a few pieces of furniture.
  13. "This is an open goal. It is something I want to leave unknown and revisit later. It might be writing a book, entering a new profession, taking a sewing or knitting class, taking a college class, mentoring or volunteering, skiing... I don't know. I learned in 2013 that a year is a long time and anything can happen. I never thought I'd change my goals and dreams away from teaching but I did. I never thought I'd be content just... waiting... but I am. I am praying on it and I hope God will guide me." *This was interesting... I am in the midst of building a new home (well, a company is building it for us) and we will be moving in the next year. I completely gave up teaching and am a marketing/sales person in my husband's company... These are very big endeavors I would never have guessed I'd be headed towards at the end of 2013. 
A year is really a long time and many things can change... How did your plans/resolutions go?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Concord Grapes and Veteran's Day

I saw this post on the Food Network's Healthy Eats blog about Concord Grape Smoothies and it made me think of my grandpa. I've spoken about my small, spunky Grandma Polly. Her deceased husband, my Grandpa Red (yes, Red and Polly, adorable, hm? :)) once grew concord grapes in their backyard. They had a nice, big wooden arbor and grew the dark purple grapes in the summers. They would turn them into delicious, fresh juice. My brother and I stayed with them in the summers for many years while my parents were at work and we were out of school. I remember walking into their home and smelling coffee, hearing news radio and I still find those smells and sounds comforting. If I close my eyes, I can picture their home and feel that same feeling. They haven't lived in that house for 20+ years, but I can still picture it like I was there yesterday. I am not overly fond of grape juice, but sometimes, in the summer, it sounds so good, refreshing. I'm sure it is because of those summer days I had fresh juice at Grandpa's.

I've talked about Grandma before, but not as much about Grandpa. He's been gone since our youngest daughter was a baby. His name was Kenneth, but he was called "Red" because of his hair. He had the typical "red-head temper". Firey-was road rage before it had a name. I remember slumping down in the back seat as he gestured for drivers to pull over a time or two! He was a carpenter by trade, an excellent one. Could make things just by looking at them. I have a hope chest and a bread box he made. Both wonderful works of wood. He made toys, wall cabinets in lawyers' offices, tray tables-he had quite a gift. He had just finished a baby doll cradle for my youngest daughter the day before he died. He would challenge me to debates and switch sides halfway through... say things like, "just think." He liked to get me going on emotion and then cause me to think halfway through. I take pride in that he didn't do that with very many of his grandkids.

He was in WWII. He was in the Navy, the SeaBees. They were a construction battalion that would go in and get things set for the navy to come in behind them.  His stories were amazing and frightening. He went into the military before he was of legal age to, lying about his age. He told us stories of hiding under tankers as Japanese fighter planes flew over, shooting at them. I think of him even more acutely on Veteran's day.

He, like Gram Polly, had such a spunk, a fight in them. He wasn't a saint, he was ornery, thought boys could do things better than girls and wow, was his temper short, but he loved us and we knew it. He loved to play cards and the marble game aggravation. He and Gram were quite the pair.

Did you know your grandparents, Readers? I know many people who didn't get to. I was lucky enough to know all four of mine very well.

Friday, November 07, 2014

"What's on Your Home Screen", via TNW

I saw this interesting article on TNW (The Next Web) about "What's on Your Home Screen?" It caused me to think about my homescreen with several folders, each with several items inside them. I am trying something new, only having 15 items, no folders, on the home screen. I have:

  1. The App Store
  2. Calendar
  3. Settings
  4. The Weather Channel
  5. Clock
  6. Google Maps
  7. Music
  8. Podcasts
  9. Photos
  10. Pinterest
  11. Chrome
  12. Reminders
  13. Twitter
  14. Instagram
  15. LinkedIn
With Phone, Email, Messages and Camera down along the bottom. 
I have moved folders to the second screen.

What does your home screen look like, Reader? Any things you can't live without? What is the first item you open when you pick up your phone?