January 31, 2013

Thursday Things

This week is kicking my butt, and not in a good way (although I have been spending lots of time at the gym taking out my frustrations... on myself.) Since I don't have a lot of extra space in my brain, I've assembled just a few random-but-lovely bits.

This post is incredible. Alex the parrot nearly did me in, but Christian the lion makes me cry every. single. time. The video about him is worth watching. It's okay, you can tell people:
[stolen from the comment section]
After that, you deserve a good laugh. I'm sure some shameful pooches will do the trick:
Dogshaming.com elaborates: "Our dogs love the fire but Belle thinks it belongs to her alone. She pushes Jingle away if she starts getting too close and will get so close herself that she is in danger of burning herself on the glass. She has to be pushed out of the way to add wood."

"Clutch is still just seven months old, so we’re all hoping he’ll grow out of it. Until then, we say our hellos outside."

In case bad dogs aren't really your thing...
I'm actually shocked that this hasn't happened to Toby yet... he loves the mini blinds. And in case you feel the need to check in on our fur-monsters, here's what they've been up to...
Toby has been very helpful with my NY resolution to read a book a month.
Teddy is working hard on his "high flying pup" circus act...
... and occasionally sneaks in a nap.
They've both gotten pretty good at ignoring one another.
And that's a wrap, folks. This post is now the second in a row to sneakily develop a furry theme, so I do promise you some animal-free writing in the very near future... although really, who can say no to those sweet faces?



January 28, 2013

Monday Motivation

A quiet weekend full of sleeping late, lazy afternoon naps, and lounging on the couch has left me inexplicably exhausted. It was all my little legs could do to make it through a workout this morning, and my brain used up the last ounce of its energy coaxing my body toward the finish line. I'm a little worried about starting off the week so drained... at this rate, Friday Wednesday isn't going to be pretty.
So in case you're like me and need a little extra motivation on this Monday, I've collected a few furry friends to help.

This cat is working hard to keep his New Year's Resolutions...
... and this one isn't afraid to dream big:
These dogs are overachievers...
... but they're not afraid to ask for help when they really need it:
These animals prove that no matter their size, they can still find creative solutions to a challenge:
This otter has mastered the art of avoiding distraction...
... and this dog knows that believing in himself is the first step:
This horse and this cat are always there to help a friend:
But this bird has discovered that sometimes, you just have to know when to accept defeat:
(do pardon his French)
Happy Monday!



January 24, 2013

(Un)Wordless (Un)Wednesday

I do solemnly swear that I was at a complete stop when I took this terrible picture.

Apparently it's actually Thursday... short weeks screw me up. And these are, in fact, words. BUT. We have snow! And crazy people on the roads, making for a long drive to work. And lots of friends on facebook (friends with real, big-kid jobs, mind you) bragging about their "2 hour delay" this morning. A 2-hour delay from their jobs that have nothing to do with a school. I'm not sure whether to be jealous or to snicker a little bit and be proud that I made it in to work on time. 
But anyway... snow! With more forecasted for tomorrow. It's pretty and all, but I think I might be ready for spring now... I haven't actually been warm in several days.



January 22, 2013

The Longer The Better

Long weekends are the best. Somehow that extra 24 hours is all I need to feel like I have time to catch up on sleep and get a few things done, and I feel so much better heading back to work on a Tuesday morning. The tradeoff is that four day weeks are always crazier, but I'd gladly endure more of those if it meant sleeping until 8 every Monday.
This weekend was quiet and just a tiny bit productive, too. I made an impressive effort to break my motivational slump, pushing myself through a couple hard workouts and a short but windy run outside. Apparently the gym could tell I needed an extra spark, because I also picked up a nice little gift card as a reward for hitting 56 visits in the first two months of membership. I am already anticipating the massage that these sore muscles have officially earned! I spent most of yesterday cleaning, pushing bookcases around, and doing some heavy (box) lifting. By the end of the day, I had finally unearthed our office (mostly). I'm so excited to have a nice little spot to study!
Here are a few more highlights from the weekend:
a splurge on Friday after work
surprise Friday night dinner thanks to my handsome live-in chef... delicious!
we saw this trio of movies:
21 Hours at Munich -- I knew precious little about the Munich Olympic massacre before this film, and now I know entirely more than I wanted to. It was hard to believe that this horrifying drama was actually real.
Pitch Perfect -- It took me forever to finally rent this one, but Dan and I both really liked it. The singing was great, even when the plot left a little bit to be desired.
Zero Dark Thirty -- definitely did not disappoint. Without getting into the debate on truth vs. fiction, this was a jarring and disturbing but incredible film. I held my breath for at least half the movie and felt both exhausted and inspired when we left the theater. 
I made chocolate pudding for the first time in forever and topped it with homemade whipped cream
Teddy had another fun romp at the dog park on a beautiful day and did some snuggling at home...
... and Toby gave me a little hint of what my studying hours are going to look like.
Clearly the long weekend was a good excuse for extra chocolate, extra time cuddling with our furballs, and extra laughs with my sweet hubby. Not bad!



January 18, 2013


A few favorites, a few un-favorites, and a few things that are just worth noting on this (finally) sunny Friday. And.... go.

1. I'm a little worried that just two and a half weeks into the new year, I am finding myself severely lacking in the motivation department. Maybe it's all the dark, rainy weather or maybe I'm still recovering from last week's marathon cold, but all week it has been a serious struggle to do much more than just sit and collect dust. It's much harder than normal to get to the gym in the mornings, and once I'm there even just talking myself onto the treadmill is a chore. The elliptical is like a little magnet: it's boring, but I can zone out for a while, break a little sweat, burn a few calories, and call it a workout. I'm not sure if my body is trying to tell me it's tired, or if I'm just being lazy. 
2. The forecast called for 2-10 inches of snow yesterday. Instead, it snowed for an hour and then turned back into rain. Now there's plenty of ice but not even a lingering dusting of white. Bummer.
3. I did muster up the energy to make dinner last night, and I was so glad I did. If you're in need of a simple and relatively quick meal, check out this recipe. I used ribeye instead of chicken and left out the peppers, but the real key is the cooking method (you cook the meat, then wrap the sandwiches and stick them in the oven for a while). It certainly didn't hurt that I also had some leftover cheese sauce that went quite nicely with a few chips...
4. I made another odd little recipe this week that, despite several moments of doubt, turned out pretty well. It was odd because the result wasn't really a biscuit, but it wasn't exactly a cake either. Next time I try it I'm thinking of treating them a bit more like scones. They have a great flavor, though, and were perfect for both breakfast and dessert. So perfect, in fact, that the cat helped himself to the leftovers last night, meaning that I am without breakfast today. Hope that was worth it, little guy.
5. I took my first weekly quiz for my class last night and scored a 19.5 out of 20. It was tough but not ridiculous, definitely on par with most of the classes I took in college. I'd say a 97.5% is a good way to start out the semester!
6. This little game is addicting.
7. Every year I say that I want to watch all the Oscar Best Picture nominees before the awards. Every year I fail miserably. This time around I do have a slight advantage, since we saw (and loved) Lincoln a little while ago. I really want to see Silver Linings Playbook, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, and Django Unchained, but after all the lukewarm reviews, I'm not all that excited about Les Mis anymore. I also really want to catch The Master (nominated in several other categories), after hearing a great interview with Philip Seymour Hoffman. I'm still dying to see This is 40, too. Our brand new movie theater is wonderful but expensive, so I have a feeling most of these will be Redboxed in a few months. So much for having an informed rant all prepared for the academy on Oscar night.
8. Last night I dreamed that Toby ran away (a recurring nightmare, especially strange since typically he is curled up right next to me during these dreams) and that our bathtub/shower had been relocated to the front yard. So strange.
9. Amazon's sample system for Kindle books is wonderful and terrible all at once. I downloaded a bunch at the beginning of the year and have been making my way through them and loving each one, but they always end just as I start to get invested (clearly their marketing strategy is a success, or I'm a sucker, or both). Now I've got a huge list of books I'm just dying to buy. Meanwhile, I'm still slogging my way through All the King's Men, that dense selection that I started on the honeymoon. I'm enjoying it, but boy is it long and exhausting.
10. It's always nice to end with a puppy:
Dan took Teddy to work with him a few nights ago and he did great. Everyone loved him, and he was quiet and calm. His office is very dog-friendly, so this was a trial run and Dan is hoping to take him in more often. I'm wondering if they might find a job for him and send him home with a check? He's clearly quite good at sitting at a desk and looking cute.

Happy weekend, everyone!



January 16, 2013

Back to School

My Coursera class started this week, so like a dutiful student who is a little nervous that she is about two and a half years too rusty for this, I packed up my laptop and headed to Panera after the gym last night. I felt just a dash of that same excitement that always came with the first days of the semester: intriguing syllabi, fresh new textbooks, and sweet old professors... and the first and only day of class that you could show up with absolutely no preparation. There are always a few days that feel oh so promising, before all that reading and writing and sleep-deprivation hit.
I have no idea what to expect from this course in terms of difficulty level or how long I'll need to study. Each week consists of an optional reading assignment, a series of video lectures, and a quiz, so I don't anticipate it being too overwhelming, but I'm taking tons of notes and trying to over-study this week just in case. It was wonderfully familiar to sit down with a big cup of coffee, my laptop, and my notebook, and I kind of enjoyed feeling like a student again. So far the lectures are interesting and straightforward, and the professor is great in that slightly nerdy, brilliant, and super passionate about his work way. I have to say, I really love the online thing: the fact that I can fit the lectures in whenever it works for me each week -- and I can do it all in my pajamas, no less -- is appealing at this point in my life. It's also not a bad excuse to spend more time at Panera.
As I looked around last night, though, I started to wonder about the high school and college kids studying around me. Do I look young enough to pass as an undergrad still? Did they assume I was just one of them, getting started on a new semester that would include 16 credit hours, coffee dates with friends, struggling to stay awake through lectures, cramming for exams, taking advantage of a free gym, midnight trips to get food, and parties on the weekends? Would they have guessed that now, just two and a half short years after I enjoyed that life, I'm a 25 year old with a full-time job, a husband, a house to clean, a gym membership that I pay for, and a college degree already? 
As I watched the rest of them a little last night, I couldn't help but feel a little nostalgic for my own college years, when my best friends lived next door and my calendar was always too full and all-nighters at the library were common but at least there was always someone else staying up, too. I miss learning new things and interacting with intelligent professors and peers and working hard, but playing hard too. I miss setting my own schedule and swiping in for a meal and belonging to a campus that felt just like home. I felt more than a little out of place, among the college students studying exams and writing papers and lab reports, wondering if they would write me off as that weird old person in class who asked too many questions and didn't keep up to date with music or clothes or technology.
And yet, as I packed up my stuff and drove home to my puppy and my cat and my husband who made me dinner last night, I knew that I wouldn't trade it. I did the college thing, I loved it, and now it's over. I'm doing the young married thing now, and it's not half-bad either. Before too long, I'll be doing the exhausted mom thing, and I'm sure I'll look back at today with fond memories. So for now, I'll take advantage of the fact that I can enjoy a taste of college right here in my own home, with better food and a comfortable bed and my pretty awesome roommates. Best of both worlds?



January 14, 2013

Recovery Weekend

It's nice to feel like a real person again, after a whole week of coughing, sniffling, and wincing every time someone close to me emitted anything louder than a whisper. I'm almost happy to be awake so early this morning, because I'm just so darn relieved to be getting back into something that resembles my normal schedule, before holidays and holiday-induced eating and holiday-induced lack of motivation and the-cold-that-was-here-to-stay. Getting to the gym this morning was -- dare I say it? -- refreshing. We'll see how long that lasts.
This weekend was a wonderfully normal one, the kind where you sit back at the end and think, "well, that was... nice." Just boring enough to make you appreciate the exciting weekends even more. Sometimes you need a little mundane and familiar, right?
My weekend actually snuck all the way into Thursday, since that morning I woke up, dragged myself into the shower, took one look at myself in the mirror, and though, "Self, it's just not going to happen today." I called into work and settled in for a blissful 4.5 hour nap. It was the best I had slept all week, but in the end proved ineffective -- I woke up feeling even worse. I laid low for the rest of the day, escaping the house only to take the puppy for a walk before hunkering down on the couch again. I might have eaten pie for dinner and gone to bed over an hour early. Not a bad way to end a sick day.
Friday was a roller-coaster of a day, back and forth between feeling the worst I'd been all week to wondering if I was finally getting better. I woke up feeling a tiny bit improved, and promptly decided to push my luck by going to the gym. I stuck to the low-key neighborhood gym (as opposed to the big one that I love but knew would be full of people) and took it super easy, but even my slow elliptical shuffle was enough to set me wheezing rather quickly. A big, delicious breakfast at work for a coworker's birthday helped for a while, but the morning dragged on and by lunchtime I really wanted to crawl under my desk. I tried to lift the mood by hanging up some wedding pictures, but even that provided only a temporary, adrenaline-fueled respite, followed by a long, terrible afternoon. I felt so awful by the time I got home that I barely acknowledged that my sweet husband had spent the entire day cleaning before crashing into bed. Unfortunately we had to run out that evening, but picking up dinner on the way home and enjoying it from bed seemed to revive me -- I went to sleep that night finally feeling optimistic.
On Saturday morning, the clouds parted. I slept late and woke up feeling so much better that I was actually thrilled to get out of bed. Dan headed into work and I had the whole day, so I took my time and relished the fact that I had no reason to rush. I hit the gym for a long, slow workout, showered, stopped for a bagel and coffee (and a delicious "would you like to add a cookie for 99 cents?" lapse in responsibility), and headed home to read, clean, and cook all afternoon. I whipped up some taco soup in the crockpot, and Dan and I spent the evening on the couch, catching up on the fantastic second season of Downton Abbey (I am determined to watch at least part of season three when it actually airs).
It felt like spring here on Sunday, so we packed up the puppy for his first dog park experience. We made a wonderful discovery about 10 minutes from home -- a huge park with tons of space to run around, lots of trees and sticks to chew, and plenty of canine friends on a warm Sunday afternoon. The best part, though, was the fact that this park's boundaries are three parts fence, one part huge lake. Teddy wasn't so sure about the water at first...

... but dad took care of that pretty quickly. After an extensive game of hide-and-please-don't-come-any-closer with the big dogs, the three of us went for a hike in the hills around the lake. Teddy did so well on and off leash, and we took home one muddy, exhausted little ball of fur. We rounded out the evening with dinner with Dan's brother and his girlfriend, a fro-yo stop, and two more episodes of Downton before an early bedtime.
All in all, a boring, quiet, and wonderfully germ-free weekend. Perfect.



January 9, 2013

What I (H)ate Wednesday

Ah, another Wednesday in the blogging world... I just love scrolling through my reader on these mornings, sinking deeper and deeper into my chair with each picture of greek yogurt, granola, chicken, and quinoa. I, on the other hand, may or may not have had macaroni and cheese for dinner last night. And no, it wasn't even homemade (although I do make pretty good homemade mac & cheese) -- we're talking straight from the box, squeeze the cheese, convince hubby to bring me a bowl because I can't even pull myself off the couch to walk 10 feet to our stove. No, my WIAW would be a sad disappointment amongst all the chia seeds, protein shakes, and sauteed vegetables. This week I do have an excuse though...

... except, here I am at work. What's wrong with this picture?

In an act of supreme talent, I managed to get right up to that too-sick-to-get-out-of-bed line without quite crossing it. And if I'm well enough to get up in the mornings, I figure I'd rather be miserable at work than waste a whole day off being miserable. So here I sit.
The thing that really gets me, though, is that this is not your run-of-the-mill cold. My type-A self takes a lot of comfort in the fact that I always know exactly how my colds are going to go: 
 -- sometime in the evening, usually after dinner when I'm curled up watching TV with Dan, I feel kind of a funny tickle in my throat. I know what it is immediately, but stay in denial for as long as possible. Approximately 2,000 carefully gauged swallows later, it's worse and I've resigned myself to the fact that the next few days are going to suck. I drag myself to bed, hoping for a miracle.
 -- I wake up the next morning with a full blown sore throat, a runny nose, and a headache. I go through several cups of tea, a few boxes of kleenex, and quite a lot of self-pity that first day.
 -- I can't sleep without changing positions every two minutes because I can't breathe. This continues for three or four nights. My husband just loves me.
 -- On the second day, my throat feels better and the faucet in my nose has stopped running, but is now badly clogged. I spend my day shifting in my chair, trying to find the right position to allow just a few breaths before everything closes up again. My coworkers just love me.
 -- On the third or fourth day, the cough starts. It begins as a congested one, the kind your grandmother would have called "productive." Over the next few weeks, it becomes a gentle hack -- still productive in that it might produce a lung if pushed too hard. The day my mom/husband threatens to make me see a doctor, it magically disappears.
So if nothing else, I am cheered by the fact that in my 25 years, I've become an old pro at this. I know what's coming, I know when to stock up on kleenex and tea, and I know that the most miserable part only lasts a couple days. I just keep telling myself that I'll feel much better by the weekend, and I push through it.
But this cold. This one breaks all the rules. This one refuses to follow the pattern. This is the one that may drive me around the bend.
It started after my sleepless Sunday night, when I woke up on Monday feeling like a train had found its way into our bedroom and spent a few hours making tracks over my head. All day, I fought a killer headache and some incredibly sore muscles, and that night I enjoyed several hours of wheezy, itchy, allergy-like fun. I've been coughing ever since, but just a dry, annoying cough. Yesterday the headache continued, as did the shortness of breath. There were a few sneezes thrown in for good measure. 
But last night, just when I was starting to question what on earth this actually was that I had come down with, I felt that familiar twinge. UGH. Sure enough, this morning I have a sore throat, a three-day old headache, and a major bone to pick with the cold that decided to hang out and play for a few days before getting its act together and doing what it's supposed to do: follow a schedule. I'm left with so many questions now -- am I nearing the end or is this only the beginning? Should I just cancel the rest of the week? Does this strange progression of symptoms even count at the one winter cold I get every year? Will my head explode before I get any of these answers?
Just what you wanted to read today, in the midst of what every other blogger and their sister ate yesterday: the anatomy of a cold. You should probably go wash your hands now, because I'd surely hate to pass on any germs. Have a healthy Wednesday!



January 7, 2013


I have always been a hard sleeper. I come by it honestly, the true daughter of a man who could nap through his own sneezes, and I really can't complain, since it allows me to snooze pretty much anywhere (long car trips, loud theaters, the roof of a screaming locomotive, and my own living room couch while my husband watches war movies at life-like decibels). Even in the middle of the day, I rarely find it difficult to fall asleep, and once I'm out it's not an easy task to get me moving again. I like my sleep. And I need my sleep -- lots of it -- to avoid a rather messy transformation into an impatient, whiny terror who is just one misstep away from completely falling apart. I am not a pretty tired person.
My husband, however, could not be more opposite. He functions just fine on a few hours each night and is a much lighter sleeper: I am honestly a bit worried for our future children, because while Dad will surely hear them crying their little lungs out in the middle of the night, it's entirely possible that Mom will dream right through it. 
Since returning from a deployment during which 2am wakeup calls were practically a rule, however, poor hubby has had a tough time getting back to a normal sleep schedule. Most nights he struggles to fall asleep before 2 or 3 in the morning, and even then he often wakes up just a few hours later and can't get back to sleep. It is not rare for me to wake up when he finally comes to bed at night, roll over to look at the clock, and realize that I have to get up in less than an hour. 
I try hard to be supportive and sensitive to his difficulty with this, although my own relationship with sleep makes it hard to understand what he is going through and know how to help most of the time. Yesterday, though, I definitely slipped up and opened my mouth when it would have been much better off shut. 
As a preface: the past few weeks have left me more tired than normal. Lots of stress and going to bed too late coupled with colder weather and darker days have exhausted me, and several times lately I've skipped the gym/cooking dinner/cleaning the house in favor of cuddling up for a nap. Wonderful, but always guilt-inducing... especially when "just 20 minutes" turns into 2 hours, as it often does. So yesterday, when Dan and I were watching TV and happened to see a commercial for some prescription medicine that listed "trouble sleeping" as a side effect, I spoke without thinking, uttering something to the effect of, "I'd kill to have trouble sleeping. I'd get so much more done." Um, insensitive and awful, table for one?
I immediately realized how terrible my comment was, a fact which was hammered home by my husband's growl of "You don't get more done. You lie there and try to sleep for hours. It sucks." Youch. I took my foot out of my mouth long enough to apologize, but felt pretty bad about it for quite a while afterwards. In fact, I was still feeling guilty when I went to bed last night... but apparently, the universe decided that guilt wasn't quite enough.
I hit the pillow around 11 last night -- right on time for a pretty good night's sleep in a hopeful attempt to start the week off well. I fell asleep with no problem, like normal... and then woke up about an hour later. I moved my iPad (aka bedtime reading) over to my bedside table and turned over, expecting to fall back asleep with no trouble... except I didn't. I lay there for what felt like ages, watching the minutes of precious sleep tick away, wasted. Ugh. I only know that I did eventually doze off because the next thing I knew, I was waking up again. I checked my phone: 3:15 am. Ugh. This time I lay there so long without any luck that I actually went back to reading, which eventually did the trick. But the night wasn't over yet -- I woke up again around 5, struggled to sleep for almost an hour, and finally managed to fall into a wonderfully deep sleep just minutes before my alarm started to howl. Ugh.
I feel like I've been run over by a bus today. I am exhausted and irritable and my neck aches like I've been sleeping outside for a week. I am counting the hours until bedtime, but in an extra dose of now-I-really-know-how-tough-this-is-on-my-husband, I'm nervous to even look forward to it, knowing that it could be another night of lying there cursing watching the cat sleeping peacefully.
A warning: Karma bites back, and it bites hard. And no, despite being awake more than I slept last night, I didn't get anything done... unless you count learning a valuable lesson. I think I owe my husband a backrub....


January 2, 2013

Resolute: 2013

Happy 2013!
And now that makes 5 times today that I have typed the date incorrectly and had to go back to change it, even as I am in the process of acknowledging that a new year has begun. It will take me until at least halfway through January to get this figured out. I don't deal well with change, have I mentioned?
We had a nice quiet New Year's Eve, exchanged a champagne-sweet kiss at midnight, and I promptly fell asleep on the couch for several hours before dragging myself up to bed in the wee hours of the morning. Always nice to start the year with a crick in one's neck, yes? I hit the gym yesterday morning for the first 5k of the year (recently my running has been killing me... I would have loved to log a few more miles on 1/1 but this was all I could get through without crying yesterday). Dan made a yummy brunch and then headed off to work, and I spent the rest of the day deep cleaning. I made a lot of progress, but still have so much left to do... I wish I could take a week off just to organize my poor house. We still have stacks of wedding gifts that are now supporting more stacks of Christmas gifts, all patiently waiting for a home. One of these days.
I made two kinds of New Year's Resolutions this year: abstract, lofty, I'm-going-to-be-a-perfect-specimen-of-a-human-being-by-next-December-31, and realistic, specific, I-might-be-a-little-bit-better-but-basically-still-the-same-old-me-just-slightly-more-experienced-by-next-December-31. I hesitated on whether to share them with the world, because although I enjoy making resolutions, I don't so much enjoy looking back throughout the year to congratulate or castigate depending on whether or not I'm actually following them. I decided on a compromise -- here is a list for now, but don't hold your breath for a follow-up post... unless I do a great job at keeping them, in which case I might write about how I'm totally on track to be perfect by December. My blog, my rules.

The Specific Goals
Read a book every month
I have officially become terrible at reading. I was so excited to finally have some time to read over our honeymoon and brought several books that I was excited about, but smart me picked the most dense, slow read I owned to crack open on the first airplane. I did read a ton, and I really liked the book... and returned a week later, less than halfway through the damn thing. I'm still trucking along, but it's likely that this will end up being January's book... if I can finish it in the next month. I am going to try hard to make more time for reading in the evenings, which will mean putting down the phone/iPad, turning off the tv, and finding some way stay awake for more than half a page. Here are a few of the books I'm hoping to get through this year:

Try something new in the world of fitness every month
My gym time is incredibly boring. I run, I spend some time on the elliptical when I need a break, and I run some more. While sometimes sticking to what you know is best, I often feel guilty that I'm not really taking full advantage of the pricy gym membership. My focus will still be on running, but this year I'm hoping to mix it up a bit: take some yoga classes, try spinning, and finally sign up for a pure barre class (at another gym) that I have been dying to try. To get started, this month I made up a "plank challenge" that will involve a daily plank that gets longer each day... still working on the details. It has been months since I did much ab work, so I'm already dying 2 days in... whee!

Watch less bad TV and more decent shows and movies
I often spend hours watching mindless, terrible tv and reruns of shows that I've seen a billion times, while there are a ton of great new shows I've been wanting to watch, and my Netflix queue spilleth over. I am vowing to no longer get sucked into a housewives marathon or a Family Guy episode that I could quote by heart... but let's be real, at 9:00 every Tuesday night, you'll still find me soaking up every awful moment of Dance Moms. Otherwise, though, I'm going to get started/caught up on these:

Cultivate my sense of adventure in the kitchen
I am very out of the box and brave when it comes to baking and desserts, but our dinner rotation (as my poor husband can attest) has stagnated somewhere between "breakfast for dinner!" and "some sort of baked chicken again?" I am hoping to discover some new recipes in the coming year that we both enjoy, and I'm also pledging not to be deterred by scary words like "poach," "chiffonade," and "add mayonnaise" (I kid you not, just typing that word made me shudder. That's probably one thing that won't change in my kitchen this year... if it can't be made with greek yogurt or sour cream instead, it probably won't be made at all.)

Take more pictures for the ol' blog
'Nuf said.

Lofty resolutions:
Reset my inner clock
Remember how last year I resolved to stop running late? Well, it's a year later and here I am finally getting around to it. While there were a few moments of glory in 2012, this was generally a big fail. So we try, try again...

Communicate better
I also resolved last year to get better at staying in touch with friends. I am extending this one as well, because in 2012 I: 1. didn't do well and blamed it on wedding craziness, and 2. did much better as a direct result of the wedding (staying in closer touch with friends becomes sort of essential when they're in your upcoming wedding party and you're trying to find shoes for them to wear). So this year I'm re-resolving, free of any wedding-related influences. 

This is the massive umbrella resolution under which most of my life-changing aspirations fall this year. I want to declutter everything: my house, my desk, my work, my brain, my life. I want to simplify and organize and streamline and cut out the people and things that are weighing me down. I want to sweep out my head and get rid of the things that constantly plague me but are never going to change. I want to be more efficient and get things done faster. I want to stop wasting my time and energy on things that aren't making me a better person (I guess some of that's not exactly decluttering, but go with it). I am determined to come out a much lighter, calmer, happier person on the other side of this year.

Ready, set...




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