Monday, January 20, 2014

One Year In...

This past Saturday marked one year of being in our current home.  It's crazy to think that by this time in our last house, we already knew we were moving and had it on the market to sell.  Thankfully, we are not in that same position this time around.  Andy is still plugging away in his position at the hospital as I am in my position at my school.  No plans to move anywhere just yet!

Here are a few pictures to show the difference that a year can make in a home (the notes in parentheses are to list updates made since the photo was taken)...

Dining Room Before
Dining Room Progress (chairs have been changed up, as well as table decor)
Living Room Before
Living Room Progress (minus new curtains, new kitchen lighting, and lamp change-up)
Master Bedroom Before
Master Bedroom Progress (minus curtains, new nightstands, and a new end-of-the-bed storage bench)
Basement Before
Basement Progress (minus Fathead on wall)
Master Bathroom Before
Master Bathroom Progress (minus new framed photo, towel bar removal, and curtains)
Screened Porch Before
Screened Porch Progress (minus new color scheme and removal of bamboo shade)
Half Bath Before
Half Bath Progress
TV Room Basement Before
TV Room Basement Progress
"Starry" Guest Bedroom Before

"Starry" Guest Bedroom Progress

Guest Bedroom Before

Guest Bedroom Progress

Open Upstairs Room Before

Open Upstairs Room Progress

Foyer Before

Foyer Progress

I labeled all of the "afters" as "progress" because many of these rooms/areas have already been tweaked, and the truth is, I never really feel like a space is finished.  After looking through the photos for this post I realized just how much I have never blogged about.  The new lighting in the kitchen, the new curtains in the living room (and a non-iPhone pic of the master bedroom curtains), the new nightstands in the master bedroom, the new additions in furniture to the living room, and a bit of new artwork around the house.  I guess when you post as sporadically as I do, you are bound to miss a few things!  Hopefully I will get around to those soon...

Friday, January 3, 2014

Thoughts for the New Year...

I've decided not to use the word resolution in regards to the new year anymore.  Resolutions never seem to work well for me, and it often implies a large undertaking/life change of some sort.  I decided to come up with a few things I want to work on in the new year.  Keep it simple--things I actually think I can do.

1.  Eat better.
To be honest, I don't eat that terribly overall, but there is definitely room for improvement.  I've given up caffeine and sweets for the most part here lately.  The removal of caffeine was a slow weaning-off process--definitely not a cold turkey situation.  The weird thing about sweets is that I have sort of lost my sweet tooth over the years.  I used to always crave sweets at the end of a meal, but my salty tooth has really taken the lead recently.  I tend to crave jalepeno kettle chips much more often than a bowl of ice cream.  So it wasn't really a conscious decision to stray away from excessive sweets, I just sort of evolved.  That being said, I now have a salty food issue.  I need to cut out the afternoon snack habit of crackers, chips, or whatever else might be around the house and start substituting for veggies/fruits.  For me, half the battle is just not keeping things in the house that are tempting, and even bigger than that, not allowing myself to get too hungry.  Other than this, I need to continue making good cooking choices with decently healthy options and add in more fruits and veggies throughout the day.

2.  Be more active.
As Andy can attest, I have really slacked off on the exercising.  I'm so darn tired at the end of a long work day and I fail to do anything active.  I make myself feel better by saying that I am on my feet most of the work day, but I think we all know that is not enough.  I need to be better about fitting in a short workout video or a walk with the dog.  Something reasonable to fit into my daily schedule.  

3.  Travel.
Andy and I are already planning a trip to NYC this year, but any other small-ish trips we can fit in would be great!

4.  Less technology.
Andy and I have gotten REALLY bad about always having to be connected to the internet in some way.  We are really missing out on decent time together because we are always "plugged in."  We are making plans to set better parameters at home for technology (maybe checking our phones in at a certain time each evening?), but it will be a work in progress.  This article really hits the nail on the head.

5.  Read more.
I really love reading, but I can't always manage to make myself read.  Honestly, that's where the technology rears its ugly head again.  It often keeps me from reading.  I am in the process of reading Between Shades of Gray about a girl and her family trying to survive after they are sent to Siberia by the Soviet police.  Believe me, it was fun checking out at Barnes and Noble with this one when the girl behind the counter clearly thought I was reading the Fifty Shades of Grey series.  There are others on my list that I would like to read, I just need to get to it.

6.  Be a better person.
Generic, right?  But I have so much work to do as far as being a better wife, friend, daughter, sister, teacher, Christian, etc.  I need to work on compassion, patience, kindness, thoughtfulness, and so much more.  I am easily overwhelmed by life in general, and often fail to show the ones that I love most that I love them.  I am a constant work in progress, I tell you.

7.  Find more creative outlets.
I have a need to be creative.  When I find myself feeling yucky and uninspired, painting a canvas, scrapbooking, and making new plans for decorating spaces in our home really seems to help.  I need to make room for more opportunities to be creative in my life.

8.  Grow.
No, not in height (although it would be nice).  I'd like for this year to be a year of growth and change for me as a person.  I want to look back at 2014 and say I came out of it different than I went in.  I want to take new roads and try new things.  What will that look like?  No clue.  But I'm up for the adventure.

Looks like I've got my work cut out for me!!!

***All images from Google***

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Year in Rewind: 2013

2013 has come to a close.  When I quickly reflect back over the year, nothing really stands out as life-changing, earth-shattering, or of monumental importance.  We likely won't look back at 2013 and say, "That was the year when..."  However, it was another good year full of God's blessings to love and spend time with family and friends, to celebrate milestones, to witness Duncan the dog do "bad dog" things in completely new ways, to purchase a home and new toys for the new home, and to travel a bit.  Here is a bit of our year in pictures...

Happy 2014 to you!  Here's to hoping for a great year full of God's continued blessings!