Goal Three

You guys remember my New Year's goals? {How could you forget? I bring them up at least once a week, I think.} My third goal was to re-do our living room and kitchen, and I've been meaning to talk a little bit more about my plans.

About our house: I love this house we're living in. It's such a blessing to our family. I wanted to buy it the moment I saw the listing when I was casually browsing for houses, four months before we started seriously house shopping. I knew it was the perfect home for us when I first set foot in the living room. It was as though could feel the emotions {the love} that we would experience in that room echoing back and resonating in my heart. {Sappy? Maybe. But I'm unapologetic about that this year. Deal with the sappiness, guys.}

I love this house, but also I love what this house could become. I am constantly making plans for how I could improve our home, even though I know that we don't have the time, energy or money to make most of those plans a reality. Add a garage! Increase the counter space! Move this wall! Tear down the shed! Replace all major appliances!

You may think I'm kidding, but no. I have shouted all of those orders at imaginary work crews. I am the kind of person who likes to dream big in her head before facing practicalities. HOWEVER, I have trimmed my ideal down to a few goals that I think are actually accomplishable. After all, I just want to re-do the living room and kitchen this year, not our entire property inside and out.

I took the opportunity on Thursday to snap a few pictures of our living room {in its natural state; don't mind how everything is a disaster}, since it's the room I want to tackle during the first half of the year. I've made a few notes on what I'd like to change as a kind of to-do list for myself.

It's a little overwhelming at times, how much I want to change. I'm trying to take it one step at a time. First, we need to take down that popcorn ceiling {gross}.

Have you done any house updates lately? I'd love to hear about your projects.


A Picture An Hour

8 am

9 am

10 am

11 am

12 pm

1 pm

2 pm


4 pm

5 pm

6 pm



Here is our day, in a nutshell. Lots of playing, reading, snacking, napping, and of course, getting so excited when Daddy comes home. I'll admit, these pictures make us look a lot less frustrated {me} and whiny {them, for the most part} than we are in reality. The sun looks brighter, our mess looks charming instead of chaotic, and no one is watching TV. Sadly, I also don't have pictures of the kisses my children give me, or when Lucy is hungry and tries to burrow through my shirt, or Christian laughing at Downton Abbey. Needless to say, this is only one side of the life we're living together.

Idea for this post taken from this lovely series.


Important Thoughts 28.0

28.1: I love Tina Fey. {But who doesn't?? I mean, other than my mother. My mother does NOT love Tina Fey, or even like Tina Fey, and in fact she dislikes Tina Fey so much that she also automatically dislikes everything Tina Fey has ever been in. Including Megamind.} I love Tina Fey, but I love Amy Poehler more. I think Amy Poehler is some kind of hilarious genius and I want to be her best friend in real life. When I picture me hanging out with Tina Fey, I imagine us having lunch and she's giving me all kinds of advice that I'll never actually have the courage to take. With Amy Poehler, I imagine us going to the movies and throwing popcorn at the screen and laughing like crazy people.

28.2: I sometimes fantasize about what I would tweet if no one knew who I was. If I had a completely anonymous Twitter account and I could say whatever I wanted about whatever was going on in my life. And then I think, "probably I spend too much time on social media if this is what I fantasize about." And, "I have a lot of pent-up anger." And, "that's never going to happen because my dad is on Twitter." My dad, you guys.

28.3: I've had this thing with Rice Krispies Treats lately. As in, I've made two pans in the past week, and each time I wanted to eat all of them right away. {Instead I settled for eating hand-sized squares whenever Christian wasn't looking. And sometimes when he was; you may have seen his tweets about it.} I kind of think I'm not going to get this craving out of my system until I eat my fill, regardless of judgmental comments from my husband. Anyone... want to do it with me? Eat as many Rice Krispies Treats as we can until we never want to eat one again? Yes?

28.4: If you've ever wondered, here are all the shows that I'm currently watching: The Good Wife, Downton Abbey, How I Met Your Mother, Happy Endings, New Girl, Ben & Kate, Modern Family, Up All Night, 30 Rock, The Office, Community, Parks & Rec, Elementary, Fringe, Saturday Night Live, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Portlandia, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. I'm also catching up on episodes of Parenthood {I'm right at the end of Season 2}. Possibly this is too much TV for any one person to watch, but I think I'm okay with that.

28.5: Christian just turned to me and said, "You never published the second half of my books post." To which I answered, "You never sent it to me." And then HE said, "It was all part of the same document, dipstick." I checked. He was right. Whoops. So, coming soon to the blog...

28.6: Speaking of books, I'm still on page 46 of Life of Pi. I really need to get on that, but I have a hard time finding an opportunity to read. {Maybe it's all the TV I watch?} Do you have any tips? When do you read?


Goal One

{ print by Emily McDowell on Etsy }

Last week I made five goals for myself in 2013. The first was to read one new book each month. It's a modest goal as far as reading goes {at least for someone who still likes to brag about the fact that she first read Gone With the Wind when she was 12}, but I'm taking a slow-but-steady approach to my goals this year.

I've always considered myself a reader {I am one who reads}, and then about two years ago I read an amazing book and afterward kind of just stopped cold. I can't explain it, it's inexplicable. But just because I can't put a name to a problem doesn't mean the problem can't be fixed. Reading is important to me, so in 2013 I will start trying to read again.

I've decided I'm going to start out the year by finishing Life of Pi in January. {If you're thinking, I thought everyone had read that book already, then I'm pretty sure you're right. Everyone else has, just not me.} I started it for the second time several months ago, and so far I absolutely love it, but I'm still only 46 pages in. Yikes.

Subsequently, I've planned: The Corrections {February}, The Kite Runner {March}, A Thousand Splendid Suns {April}, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time {May}, Mystic River {June}, The Architecture of Happiness {July}, A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy {August}, The Right Stuff {September}, On The Road {October}, One Hundred Years of Solitude {November}, and A Visit from the Goon Squad {December}.

I'm marking my progress and I'll be posting my reviews on Goodreads, if you'd like to follow along.

Have you read any of the books on my list for this year? {I'd love to hear your thoughts! Just no spoilers, please.} And do you have any recommendations for me, should I finish my list early and find myself with extra reading time?


What I Am Is an Optimist

{ image by StefanyAlves }

I've been sitting here tonight, browsing Pinterest for an image that accurately reflects my general mood and writing this post in my head {much better than how it will actually turn out, I'm sure}, trying to find the right words so that this doesn't come across as entirely cheesy and cliche and opportunistic. Because I find myself, for the first time that I can remember, deeply and sincerely in love with the opportunity that the changing of the calendar year brings. I'm excited to set new goals for myself; my heart feels thirsty for achievement.

And maybe that's overly dramatic, but maybe this year I'll stop apologizing for being overly dramatic. Maybe this year, my wildest dreams will come true. It's possible, right? Certainly it's more possible if I believe it's possible, and other similar pseudo-paradoxical motivational sayings.

Am I rambling? I feel like I'm rambling, but maybe this is the year that I stop apologizing for rambling. Maybe this is the year that I stop apologizing for the person that I am, and I just become more of myself. I think that's my overarching goal for 2013: less of doing nothing, being nothing, trying to be other people, and much more of becoming a bigger, better, more ME version of me.

I've also set some smaller, more tangible, more check-off-my-list-y kind of goals. To give me direction and boost my morale. Here they are, both those that I've been thinking about for weeks and those that I'm making up right this very minute:

1. Read a new book each month.
2. Take this course.
3. Re-do our living room and kitchen.
4. Read my scriptures every day.
5. Blog at least three times a week, and {for better or worse} start accepting sponsors by July.

Honestly, I'm a little bit afraid right now. I'm afraid of setting goals, I'm afraid of failing {and with an audience}. Last time I was excited about setting goals for myself, this happened, and I started 2010 feeling more confused and lost from myself than possibly I ever had before. It was terrible, but I know that not trying is worse.

And I'm interested: what goals have you set for yourself this year? Do any of them involve books? {I'm going to write more about my first goal in another post -- there's a lot I want to say.}

P.S. I'd like to thank these two sweethearts for helping me find the courage to write this post.