But that was almost a solid year ago, and winter has come to our doorstep once again (though I write this as the temperature is hovering between 55 and 60 degrees). I'm sure we'll get some more winter weather before it's all over, but right now I'm ecstatic over the sunshine and clear skies. It's like God peering through the clouds and whispering hello in the beams of sunshine filtering through the window. I love it.
But I digress. 2011 brought many wonderful, and challenging things my way. This past year, I have:
- started a new job
- attended quite a few weddings and celebrated with the couples as they began life together
- celebrated one year of marriage to a man whom I absolutely adore
- went on several road trips (Chicago, Michigan, Houston, Indiana...)
- attended The Gospel Coalition conference
- suffered some personal setbacks
- made wonderful new friends
- kept up with old friends
- celebrated the birth of a friend's beautiful baby boy
- grieved at the loss of my grandmother
- trained for and ran my first 5k
- grew a year older
There are a lot of memories built in to 2011, and as I reflect on what it's brought my way, I've also been considering my goals for next year. Here they are, in very particular order (as in, the order I thought of them):
|My favorite hobby: reading |
on the couch with my husband.
- The entire Hunger Games series. Thanks to John, I now own them all and can read at my leisure! But I definitely want to have them all read by the time the first movie comes out. I wasn't a big Twilight or Harry Potter fan, so this may be my first midnight movie premiere :)
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I've heard so many good things about this book, and the accompanying movie. Thanks to my mom I have the book and plan to start on it soon.
- Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung and Joshua Harris. John got this for Christmas and it looks really interesting. From what I've gathered, it's about how we, as Christians, spend too much time waiting for signs and supernatural words from God. Instead, we should just do something.
- How to Cook Everything/How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman. Ok, I know reading a cookbook sounds lame, but I love the way Bittman writes. It's casual and comforting, and makes me feel capable of actually cooking food that's healthy and tasty.
- The Bible. I'd really like to spend more time reading this. I know a lot of people feel like they're obligated to say they want to read the Bible, but I really mean it. My husband has set an amazing example of dedication when it comes to reading the word of God, and I would like to follow in his footsteps this year.
|Tomato Soup with Spaghetti Squash|
2. Cook more. I love cooking, especially when the food I make turns out well. John and I are both eating much healthier than we were last year, and I want to make sure our meals don't become monotonous. Thanks to the numerous cookbooks and cooking appliances I received for my birthday and Christmas, I should never be at a loss for meal ideas. I'm leaning toward more vegetarian/vegan meals to cook at home, leaving the meat-based dishes for community groups and special outings. And I guess eventually I'll have to deal with things like tofu, tempeh, seitan, and vital wheat gluten, but for right now I'll be ok with trying new vegetables and warm winter soups.
For instance, I made these coasters from ceramic tiles, mustache stickers, and lots of Mod Podge. I gave them to my brother-in-law for Christmas. It was cheap (shhh...) and really easy to make. I did a couple more sets out of scrapbook paper and they looked really cute, too!
|deconstructed trail mix|
I made this from a Pinterest find as well. I called it "Deconstructed Trail Mix" because it's in layers, making it look all professional and artsy. It was easy and fun to put them together, but it was even more fun to give them as gifts! I made a few other things, like coffee warmers, scarves, salt dough ornaments, and a few random things that never made it into a gift box, too. With Pinterest I think I'm going to have to organize my time better, making sure to try out more crafts and see where my skill set lies. Who knows, I could actually be really good at quilling...
|One pretty happy lady.|
4. Train for my next 5k... and possibly a half-marathon.
Honestly, I feel silly telling people I ran a 5k. For anyone who actually runs, that's not a lot. And I certainly didn't beat any records that day (let's not discuss my pace, ok?). But I'm amazed that I did it, that I followed through and went out, in 21-degree weather, and ran 3.1 miles. I even got a medal :)
So this coming year, I want to at least run another 5k, likely at the end of March (John is already training with me!). And, if all goes well, I can see myself picking up the pace and trying for a 10k or half-marathon at the end of the year. Running is not something I ever thought I was capable of, so I have no idea where I can go with it. I'm just enjoying the feeling I get when I finish a day's run.
|Taking in the moment...|
5. Learn the art of contentment. Even now as I'm typing, I have this sense of guilt running through my mind, whispering that I should be doing something else - laundry, dishes, reading, working, running, cooking, etc. I always have the feeling that I'm not doing enough, that I'm not pushing or trying hard enough. I have an almost tangible inability to sit still (ask my husband). And when I do actually take a moment to rest, I feel bad for it.
This year, I want to learn how to sit still. I want to be "ok" if our apartment isn't spotless, the laundry isn't completely folded, or dinner isn't the most delicious meal I've ever prepared. I want to be content in the moment, whatever that moment may be. Because if I keep struggling with discontentment, I'm going to miss out on the moments that matter most.
So that's it. I wish everyone a happy and blessed 2012. Please feel free to share some of your goals with me, or give me some tips/advice on how I can achieve my 2012 goals.
May 2012 be your best year ever. :)