Archive for Goals

August into September

I have no idea where the time is heading! How are we already going into September?!

Travel:

  • Anniversary weekend away - We are going to Jamaica!

Reading:

  • Read 30 books. (22/30)
  • Read 2 “self-help” books or books about fostering creativity. (1/2)

Writing:

  • Daily Q&A – Still keeping up with this!
  • Post in my blog at least 5 times a month or 60 blog posts. (40/60)
  • Work through the Right to Write. (43 chapters) (31/43)
  • 500 Writing Prompts – 3 writing prompts a month (36 total) (24/36)
  • Work through Writing Better Lyrics. (2 chapters per month, 24 total) (16/24)

Spiritual:

  • Practice and complete a daily devotional. I have been able to keep up so far!

 Music:

  • Learn at least 3 new Classical pieces on the piano. (0/3)
  • Work on learning at least 3 of the modes. (1/3)
  • Listen to 10 classical music pieces. I have a new book about listening to Beethoven’s piano music that I intend to use for this purpose. (2/10)
  • Earn at least 20 CMTE’s (continuing education). (12/20) - I will be going to a national conference in November, which will get me 5 more CMTE’s. I am also supervising two more students this semester.

Home and Organization:

  • Fix the other part of the deck and stain it. – The deck is finished, and we have the paint we need for it. We plan to paint this fall once the pool is closed.
  • Wash windows and glass doors in the house.

Family:

  • CMOE
  • Make a home video with the kids.
  • Paint with the kids.

Service:

  • Provide at least 3 meals at the Ronald McDonald house. (2/3)
  • Volunteer at the soup kitchen at least once.

Physical/Health:

  • Drink at least 64 ounces of water on most days. - I’m not sure if I should give up on this or not…
  • Do something active at least 3 times a week. – This has been working out well.

Miscellaneous:

  • Eat at 8 new restaurants on our list of places to try. (6/8)
  • I plan to cook at least 10 international meals this year. (4/10)
  • Take at least one day to “retreat” and work on my writing, music, etc. - I am hoping to do this sometime in October if I can work it in.
  • Do something nice for myself at least 20 times. (5/20)

This month was another busy one. We made another meal at the Ronald McDonald House.

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Both kids started school.

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Eclipse 2

 

 

 

We got to see the eclipse in totality.

 

 

 

 

And we camped for one night in a treehouse at Camp Ondessonk.IMG_20170826_172104744 IMG_20170826_150810781

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m sure September will be just as busy!

2017: January into February

It is really hard to believe that January has already come to a close…what was typically my most difficult month of the year actually turned out to be mostly ok this time around…

Travel:

  • January Wellness Weekend – This is amazing and happens at exactly the right time. Since I’ve been going to this in January, I have felt so much better this month.
  • Weekend away with the kids
  • Anniversary weekend away
  • Family vacation - Right now we are thinking about going to Greece!

Reading:

  • Read 30 books. (4/30)
  • Read 2 “self-help” books or books about fostering creativity. (1/2)

Writing:

  • Daily Q&A – Still keeping up with this!
  • Post in my blog at least 5 times a month or 60 blog posts. (5/60)
  • Work through the Right to Write. (43 chapters) (4/43)
  • 500 Writing Prompts – 3 writing prompts a month (36 total) (3/36)
  • Work through Writing Better Lyrics. (2 chapters per month, 24 total) (2/24)wpid-wp-1483131403684.jpg

Spiritual:

  • Practice and complete a daily devotional. I have been able to keep up so far!

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Music:

  • Create one new Singalong packet for my Singalongs (for work). (0/1)
  • Learn at least 3 new Classical pieces on the piano. (0/3)
  • Work on learning at least 3 of the modes. (0/3)
  • Listen to 10 classical music pieces. I have a new book about listening to Beethoven’s piano music that I intend to use for this purpose. (0/10) - I started reading this book and I am starting to listen to some of Beethoven’s first concertos.
  • Earn at least 20 CMTE’s (continuing education). (0/20) - I am working on a CMTE course right now.

Home and Organization:

  • Complete Bonus Room Transformation.
  • Fix the other part of the deck and stain it.
  • Wash windows and glass doors in the house.
  • Go through and re-organize the pantry. I did this on a whim this past weekend and I LOVE how much more organized it is.
  • Go through refrigerator. I am adding this to my list.
  • Go through freezers. I am adding this to my list.

Family:

  • Inflatable Fun Factory - We attended a birthday part here and the kids had fun.
  • CMoe
  • Game Night
  • Movie Night
  • Gatti Town or Chuck E. Cheese
  • Make a home video with the kids.
  • Paint with the kids.

Service:

  • Provide at least 3 meals at the Ronald McDonald house. (1/3) - We made a meal this past weekend and had a great time doing it. We need to schedule our next visit.
  • Volunteer at the soup kitchen at least once.

Physical/Health:

  • Run the 10-mile River Race in May. - I have been running short runs on my treadmill and working more on speed training, but I will need to start really training for this in a few weeks.
  • Complete at least 5 fitness challenges. Doing these kinds of challenges helps me to keep carving out time to do something physical and it gives me a chance to focus on some areas that I feel like I need to work on. (1/5) - I finished my first fitness challenge. I need to choose my next one. 
  • Drink at least 64 ounces of water on most days. - I may not be drinking exactly 64 ounces every day but I am drinking a lot more and I can tell that I feel better.
  • Do something active at least 3 times a week. - I have been able to get something in 3 times a week, even if it’s just a short ride on the stationary bike we have.

Miscellaneous:

  • Eat at 8 new restaurants on our list of places to try. (0/8)
  • I plan to cook at least 10 international meals this year. (0/10)
  • Take at least one day to “retreat” and work on my writing, music, etc.
  • Do something nice for myself at least 20 times. This could mean taking a bath, spending time playing the piano just for fun, buying a piece of clothing that I want, reading a book by the fire even when I still have work to do, or anything that contributes to the idea of doing something nice for myself. (0/20)

Travel has picked up quite a bit so some of these things are not as far along as I’d hoped they would be. That being said, I’m sure time will even out and I will have more time for them at a later date.

How is your year going so far?

 


2017 Intentions

It’s so hard to believe that another year has literally just flown by. 2016 has been a difficult transition year, so I really hope that 2017 is better. This is what I have planned for the year:

Travel:

  • January Wellness Weekend
  • Weekend away with the kids
  • Anniversary weekend away
  • Family vacation (We don’t really know where this will be yet, thought we’ve tossed out several ideas that include Florida, Myrtle beach, northeastern states, Niagara Falls, somewhere in Canada, some European destination, etc.)

Reading:

  • Read 30 books. (0/30)
  • Read 2 “self-help” books or books about fostering creativity. (0/2)

Writing:

  • Daily Q&A – This is a book I have that has a question each day that I have to answer.
  • Post in my blog at least 5 times a month or 60 blog posts. I have neglected my blog for quite a bit of time and I would like to get into posting a little more regularly. (0/60)
  • Work through the Right to Write. (43 chapters) (0/43)
  • 500 Writing Prompts – 3 writing prompts a month (36 total) (0/36)
  • Work through Writing Better Lyrics. (2 chapters per month, 24 total) (0/24)wpid-wp-1483131403684.jpg

I have several other books I am looking forward to reading/writing with, but I am really trying to make this list of goals realistic and possible, so I will re-evaluate in a month or two and see if I can possibly add something.

Spiritual:

  • Practice and complete a daily devotional. I received Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul by Melody Beattie, so I will be using this one. In fact, I have already started it.

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Music:

  • Create one new Singalong packet for my Singalongs (for work). (0/1)
  • Learn at least 3 new Classical pieces on the piano. (0/3)
  • Work on learning at least 3 of the modes. (0/3)
  • Listen to 10 classical music pieces. I have a new book about listening to Beethoven’s piano music that I intend to use for this purpose. (0/10)
  • Earn at least 20 CMTE’s (continuing education). (0/20)

Home and Organization:

  • Complete Bonus Room Transformation.
  • Fix the other part of the deck and stain it.
  • Wash windows and glass doors in the house.
  • Go through and re-organize the pantry.

Family:

  • Inflatable Fun Factory
  • CMoe
  • Game Night
  • Movie Night
  • Gatti Town or Chuck E. Cheese
  • Make a home video with the kids.
  • Paint with the kids.

Service:

  • Provide at least 3 meals at the Ronald McDonald house. (0/3)
  • Volunteer at the soup kitchen at least once.

Physical/Health:

  • Run the 10-mile River Race in May.
  • Complete at least 5 fitness challenges. Doing these kinds of challenges helps me to keep carving out time to do something physical and it gives me a chance to focus on some areas that I feel like I need to work on. (0/5)
  • Drink at least 64 ounces of water on most days. I need to get back into the habit of drinking more water.
  • Do something active at least 3 times a week. This can be running, riding the exercise bike, walking, or strength training, or whatever.

Miscellaneous:

  • Eat at 8 new restaurants on our list of places to try. (0/8)
  • I plan to cook at least 10 international meals this year. I typically like to focus on one country a month, but based on my experience last year, I think it might be a good idea to recognize the fact that some months might be busier than others. (0/10)
  • Take at least one day to “retreat” and work on my writing, music, etc.
  • Do something nice for myself at least 20 times. This could mean taking a bath, spending time playing the piano just for fun, buying a piece of clothing that I want, reading a book by the fire even when I still have work to do, or anything that contributes to the idea of doing something nice for myself. (0/20)

 

Last year, I made it a goal to also recognize when something became too much or was no longer meeting the need a goal was intended to meet and allow myself to cross it off the list, so I plan to keep going with that idea in 2017. I am slowly getting better about not freaking out every time I don’t finish something completely. On the other hand, I could always add something, too!

Another big area that I think I desperately need to work on in 2017 is continuing to surround myself with positive people who make me feel good about myself. I have realized recently how important it is to have appropriate support in order to be the best you can be, and this is an area of my life that kind of needs an overhaul. I can feel myself already beginning to set boundaries with the people in my life who don’t do this for me. It’s really nothing personal; it’s just that I want a more fulfilling and satisfying life and I deserve that; we all do. I’m hoping that making this kind of change will continue to help me to increase confidence in myself and help me to be more comfortable with who I am.

Along with surrounding myself with people who are supportive and encouraging, I also need to spend more time in environments that are positive for me and doing things that foster creativity and make me feel fulfilled. This is all part of a larger plan to take better care of myself.


2016

Here is the obligatory end-of-the-year quiz I do every year…

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before? Visited Punta Cana, traveled to San Francisco, started to let others hear my original music
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I actually did a lot of my resolutions and have more intentions for 2017.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes - I have two cousins who had babies, as well as most of the people who had miscarriages within the same time frame as I did last year. It was actually really difficult for me.
4. Did anyone close to you die? No
5. What countries did you visit? Dominican Republic
6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016? More confidence in myself, contentment, to feel appreciated

7. What date(s) from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? I don’t have exact dates for all of these, but these were important events this year:

  • Winter Wellness Weekend in January
  • Finishing travel school in March
  • Becoming a home-based travel agent in April
  • Mumford and Sons concert in April
  • Camping in Brown County in May
  • The 10-mile River Run in May
  • May 17 – when I ran into an acquaintance who would later become a really good friend and music partner
  • May 19 – what would have been our due date
  • August 26 – We bought a minivan.
  • Labor Day weekend spent camping in Lincoln City – this was also the weekend we found out we were pregnant last year
  • Lumineers concert in September
  • October 1 – Ran the Evansville Half Marathon
  • Week of the fall festival – the anniversary of our ultrasound, doctor’s appointment, etc.
  • October 8/9 – the anniversary of my miscarriage
  • First weekend in November – My journal retreat in Ferdinand
  • October 19 – October 26 – a week spent in Punta Cana

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Recording my songs
9. What was your biggest failure? I don’t think I really had a failure this year, but there were lots of disappointments.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing too serious…Just overwhelming sadness at times
11. What was the best thing you bought? The mini-van

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My close friends who have been supportive during the difficult times, the women in my journal circle

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? The people close to me who are supposed to be my support but aren’t because they can’t see past what they want long enough to notice what I might need.
14. Where did most of your money go? San Francisco trip and our dog’s heat stroke fiasco
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Working on music and recording my original songs
16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2016? The original songs I recorded (Wanted, Strangers, Don’t Walk Away), Thompkins Square Park
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? The same, though I was hoping I would feel better
ii. thinner or fatter? The same

iii. richer or poorer? Probably poorer
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Feeling good about myself
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Worrying about what other people think
20. How did you spend Christmas? We spent Christmas Eve with my family and my mom’s family. We spent Christmas Day as a family and then with my husband’s family later that evening.
21. What was your favorite TV program? The Walking Dead, Modern Family, This Is Us
22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? No 

23. What was the best book you read? Come Away With Me by Karma Brown, The Lemongrass Hope by Amy Impellizzeri, Lies and Other Acts of Love by Kristy Woodson Harvey
24. What was your greatest musical discovery? Mumford and Sons
25. What did you want and get? A trip out of the country
26. What did you want and not get? A healthy pregnancy, a trip to Europe
27. What was your favorite film of this year? I saw very few movies, but Bad Moms was funny.
28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 35. We celebrated the weekend before by going to Escape Room and then to Stockwell’s with some friends. That day, I had lunch with a friend and then we went out to dinner at Biaggi’s.
29.How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015? Comfortable and I have finally given into leggings. 

30. What kept you sane? My Starbucks nights, Book club, Journal circle, working on music
31.Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Marcus Mumford

32. What political issue stirred you the most? Abortion, intactivism

33. Who did you miss? The baby I won’t get to meet.
34Who was the best new person you met? He isn’t new, but I have gotten to know Franc better.

35Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016: I need to put myself first and stop letting other people dictate how I live my life, even if it sometimes means that me doing what I need results in them not getting what they want.

September into October

I don’t know if it’s even possible but I feel like September went even faster than August.

Travel:

  • Weekend away with the kids – We went camping Labor Day weekend and had a great time. We had planned to only do 2 nights but ended up staying for the third.
  • Anniversary weekend away – We are going to Punta Cana for a week in October to celebrate.
  • Family vacationI have posted trip reports from several of the days we spent there but I’m still working on finishing this project.

Reading:

  • Read 24 books – I have read 23 books so far.
  • Read 2 music books - I have read 1 book and just started reading another one a couple of months ago.

Writing: 

  • Daily Q&A – I am still doing this.
  • Writer’s Book of Days – I did 7 out of 7 planned prompts.
  • 500 Writing Prompts – I did 3 out of 3 planned prompts.

Music:

  • Learn at least 6 new popular songs on the guitar or piano. – (5/6)
  • Learn at least 3 new Classical pieces on the piano (0/3).
  • Start recording my songs. I am still working on recording the music that I have so far.
  • Find at least 5 new songs to use in music therapy sessions - (3/5)
  • Work through Songwriting Without Boundaries - I started the third “course” and I’m still working through it. 
  • Listen to 10 classical music pieces.

Home and Organization:

  • Complete Bonus Room Transformation – We have moved most of the stuff out of the room, so the next step will be to move things up to the room.
  • Go through Gmail account – I need to start working on this again.
  • Go through and organize computer files.

Family:

  • Inflatable Fun Factory
  • CMoe - We visited CMoe on their 10th birthday.
  • Game Night

Financial: I want to continue to save money and to keep our spending in check.

  • Save a specific amount in Travel and Savings Accounts combined – We did not get to save any in September, unfortunately.
  • Keep track of “extras” earned from apps, credit cards, rewards, etc. – So far so good.
  • Keep up with a budget as best we can – I am getting a little better about doing this but still need to get back into the habit completely.

Service: 

  • Do at least 6 service projects that may include volunteering, providing a meal at the local Ronald McDonald house, donating items, etc. (1/6)

Miscellaneous:

  • Write a new 101 in 1,001 list.
  • I have started a running list of restaurants I want to try, and I want to eat at 12 of them this year - (7/12)
  • I plan to cook 12 international meals this year or one international meal a month – We had a Spanish meal in September and it turned out well.

September has flown by, just like the rest of the year. We began the month by camping over Labor Day weekend. Both kids are playing soccer, though I’m not sure you can call Felix’s participation soccer, but he can at least wear the t-shirt. Anya and I attended a mother/daughter painting party. We attended a music festival in town as a family and then Eric and I saw the Lumineers in Louisville.

The transition into October will be a difficult one, though I know it was always one of my favorite months of the year, so I’m hoping I can find some joy in it as we move forward.

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How was your September?

August into September

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August came and went so quickly, I’m not sure where it went!

Travel:

  • Weekend away with the kids – We are planning to go camping this coming weekend, so we are hoping for decent weather and kids that aren’t fussy!
  • Anniversary weekend away - This is actually turning into a 7-night trip to Punta Cana!
  • Family vacation Stay tuned for more updates about trip; I’m still working on writing!

Reading:

  • Read 24 books – I have read 23 books so far.
  • Read 2 music books - I have read 1 book and just started reading another one a couple of months ago.

Writing: 

  • Daily Q&A – I am all caught up with this.
  • Writer’s Book of Days – I did 7 out of 7 planned prompts.
  • 500 Writing Prompts – I did 3 out of 3 planned prompts.

Music:

  • Learn at least 6 new popular songs on the guitar or piano. – (4/6)
  • Learn at least 3 new Classical pieces on the piano (0/3).
  • Start recording my songs. I have been working a ton on writing my original songs and working on putting them together with my guitarist. I think I have maybe 6 original songs and 2 covers that I’m focusing on right now.
  • Find at least 5 new songs to use in music therapy sessions - (3/5)
  • Work through Songwriting Without Boundaries - I started the third “course” and I’m still working through it. 
  • Listen to 10 classical music pieces.

Home and Organization:

  • Complete Bonus Room Transformation – We have moved most of the stuff out of the room, so the next step will be to move things up to the room.
  • Go through Gmail account – I need to start working on this again.
  • Go through and organize computer files.

Family:

  • Inflatable Fun Factory
  • CMoe
  • Game Night

Financial: I want to continue to save money and to keep our spending in check.

  • Save a specific amount in Travel and Savings Accounts combined – We did not get to save any in August, unfortunately.
  • Keep track of “extras” earned from apps, credit cards, rewards, etc. – So far so good.
  • Keep up with a budget as best we can – I am getting a little better about doing this but still need to get back into the habit completely.

Service: 

  • Do at least 6 service projects that may include volunteering, providing a meal at the local Ronald McDonald house, donating items, etc. (1/6)

Miscellaneous:

  • Write a new 101 in 1,001 list.
  • I have started a running list of restaurants I want to try, and I want to eat at 12 of them this year – We tried a new carryout pizza place called Fat Boy’s Pizza. It wasn’t the best so we probably won’t be back. (7/12)
  • I plan to cook 12 international meals this year or one international meal a month – I had planned to have a Spanish meal in August, but things kept getting scheduled for days that we planned to make the meal. I plan to do this in early September, if possible.

Other things that happened in August include us purchasing a new-to-us mini-van. I have finally joined that club and I have to say that I’m loving it so far. I feel like there could be a party in the back and I would never even know it…there’s so much room!

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Also, our poor dog suffered heat stroke at the end of the month after running a race with my husband (who placed 2nd in his age group!). He runs all the time and has never had issues but for whatever reason, this time, he did. He spent several days with the vet and is home now and slowly, but surely, improving.

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The kids also started school. Anya is in 1st grade and Felix goes to preschool 2 days a week now…they are growing up so fast!

How was your August?

June into July

June was a complete blur that included Anya’s 6th birthday and our 2-week California trip. I didn’t get much done this month, but here’s what my list looks like…

Travel:

  • Weekend away with the kids
  • Anniversary weekend away
  • Family vacation Stay tuned for more updates about trip!

Reading:

  • Read 24 books – I have read 19 books so far, but only finished 1 book this month.
  • Read 2 music books - I have read 1 book and just started reading another one.

Writing: 

  • Daily Q&A – I have some catching up to do since I didn’t bring the book with me on vacation.
  • Writer’s Book of Days – I did 7 out of 7 planned prompts.
  • 500 Writing Prompts – I did 3 out of 3 planned prompts.

Spiritual:

  • Do a daily devotional written for Catholic moms – Still keeping up.

Music:

  • Learn at least 6 new popular songs on the guitar or piano. – (4/6)
  • Learn at least 3 new Classical pieces on the piano (0/3).
  • Start recording my songs. I am working on this diligently on this. I am currently working with a lead guitarist to collaborate with on some of my songs.
  • Find at least 5 new songs to use in music therapy sessions - (3/5)
  • Work through Songwriting Without Boundaries - I started the second “course” in April and I’m still working through it. I didn’t get as much done with this as in other months because we were on vacation, but I know I will catch up at some point.
  • Listen to 10 classical music pieces.

Home and Organization:

  • Complete Bonus Room Transformation – We still need to get more things moved out of the room, but it is getting closer.
  • Go through Gmail account – I need to start working on this again.
  • Go through and organize computer files.

Family:

  • Inflatable Fun Factory
  • CMoe
  • Game Night

Financial: I want to continue to save money and to keep our spending in check.

  • Save a specific amount in Travel and Savings Accounts combined – We got to save some in June. 
  • Keep track of “extras” earned from apps, credit cards, rewards, etc. – So far so good.
  • Keep up with a budget as best we can – I didn’t do as well with this in June because we were on vacation for half the month.

Service: 

  • Do at least 6 service projects that may include volunteering, providing a meal at the local Ronald McDonald house, donating items, etc. (1/6)

Miscellaneous:

  • Write a new 101 in 1,001 list.
  • I have started a running list of restaurants I want to try, and I want to eat at 12 of them this year – We didn’t try anything new this month but we are kind of ahead already anyway. (6/12)
  • I plan to cook 12 international meals this year or one international meal a month – We didn’t get to this in June because of vacation, so we will start up again in July with food from Italy.

In June, we celebrated Anya’s birthday and went on a trip to California where we spent 7 nights in San Francisco, 3 nights in Yosemite, and 4 nights in Santa Cruz.

Stay tuned for more information about what we did!

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May into June

I can’t believe we are almost halfway through the year already. I have deleted the things that I’ve already done in previous months so that the list is a little shorter. Here’s what we did this month and what is still left on the list:

Travel:

  • Weekend away with the kids
  • Anniversary weekend away
  • Family vacation –We are going to San Francisco in June.

Reading:

  • Read 24 books – I have read 18 books so far.
  • Read 2 music books - I have read 1 book and just started reading another one.

Writing: 

  • Daily Q&A – I am still keeping up with this.
  • Writer’s Book of Days – I did 7 out of 7 planned prompts.
  • 500 Writing Prompts – I did 3 out of 3 planned prompts.

Spiritual:

  • Do a daily devotional written for Catholic moms – Still keeping up.

Music:

  • Learn at least 6 new popular songs on the guitar or piano. – (3/6)
  • Learn at least 3 new Classical pieces on the piano (0/3).
  • Start recording my songs. I am working on this. I’ve finished one recording and working on finishing up another. 
  • Find at least 5 new songs to use in music therapy sessions - (3/5)
  • Work through Songwriting Without Boundaries - I started the second “course” in April and I’m still working through it. 
  • Listen to 10 classical music pieces.

Home and Organization:

  • Complete Bonus Room Transformation – We still need to get more things moved out of the room, but it is getting closer.
  • Go through Gmail account – I need to start working on this again.
  • Go through and organize computer files.

Family:

  • Inflatable Fun Factory
  • CMoe
  • Game Night

Financial: I want to continue to save money and to keep our spending in check.

  • Save a specific amount in Travel and Savings Accounts combined – We got to save some in May. 
  • Keep track of “extras” earned from apps, credit cards, rewards, etc. – So far, so good.
  • Keep up with a budget as best we can – We are still doing well with this, but something got screwed up with some of the items so I know they’re not as accurate as they were, but I plan to keep tracking things the best I can.

Service: 

  • Do at least 6 service projects that may include volunteering, providing a meal at the local Ronald McDonald house, donating items, etc. (1/6)

Miscellaneous:

  • Write a new 101 in 1,001 list. The current one expires in May. - I finished this and started working on it.
  • I have started a running list of restaurants I want to try, and I want to eat at 12 of them this year – We didn’t try anything new this month but we are kind of ahead already anyway. (6/12)
  • I plan to cook 12 international meals this year or one international meal a month – We made a Czech meal this month. 

May was incredibly busy:

  • We celebrated Mother’s Day and spent part of the day painting at Fired Up. I had never been there before, but it was really fun.
  • Eric ran a 50k in the middle of May and the kids and I met him in Brown County after Anya’s soccer game, so we could camp. Unfortunately, it also happened to be ridiculously cold that weekend. We slept in hats and sat around the campfire in our winter coats. It was fun, but I was disappointed that it was so cold. We hope to go camping again at a later date. The following day we visited a big cat rescue center and it was really amazing. If you are ever near Bloomington, IN, you should check it out!

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I broke down and registered for the 10-mile River Run about a week before the race. I wrote about my rambling thoughts here.

Rachel - River Run

  • Anya finished up her spring soccer season and school is out for the summer now. She also played on a violin recital this month.
  • We picked strawberries toward the end of the month and were able to freeze some for the rest of the year.

 

  • I have been writing more and more, including writing song lyrics. It has been so long since I’ve felt this creative, so I’m hoping this feeling lasts!

How was May for you?

101 in 1,001 Days

This is the list that I started working on back in August of 2013. I didn’t get to all of it but I do feel pretty good about how much I did get around to doing. If anything, it gave me ideas when I needed something new to work on. Here’s my final update…

Starting Date: August 5, 2013

Ending Date: May 2, 2016

If it’s crossed out, it’s done!

Music (7)

  1. Write 3 songs (2/3). I started a third song but just didn’t finish it.
  2. Learn to play and sing 10 songs on my ukulele (5/10).
  3. Learn to play and sing 10 new songs on the guitar (10/10).
  4. Play through Suzuki Book 1 on the violin. I can play most of the pieces!
  5. Practice and learn 3 new classical piano pieces of moderate difficulty (3/3).
  6. Listen mindfully to 15 recorded classical pieces of my choice and learn about them (1/15).
  7. Improvise in all 7 modes (0/7).

Self-Care (12)

  1. Answer 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind. (16/50) Well, I tried! 
  2. Make a list of 100 things that make me happy (100/100).
  3. Have coffee at a coffeeshop alone or with a friend 10 times (10/10).
  4. Take an online class.
  5. Make a list of 20 things I like about myself.
  6. Get 2 full body massages (2/2).
  7. Buy 3 dresses for myself (3/3).
  8. Participate in 3 girls’ nights out (or in) (3/3 – Drinks at Hacienda 08/12/13, DCP Christmas Exchange 12/15/13; birthday party).
  9. Meditate or practice music and imagery 5 times (0/5).
  10. Take 5 bubble baths by myself (5/5).
  11. Get up earlier than everyone else and enjoy my coffee alone 10 times (0/10). I have started staying up way too late to get up early, but this has given me more time to myself, so I guess I did meet the goal of this one in that way.
  12. Visit Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

Music Therapy (8)

  1. Create 2 new singalong packets for my groups (2/2).
  2. Finish reading 3 (nonfiction) books about music and/or music therapy (2/3).
  3. Buy new instruments for my music therapy groups.
  4. Get website up to date.
  5. Download and use 8 new songs for lyric analysis (8/8).
  6. Come up with and use 4 new songwriting interventions (3/4).
  7. Get my business accounting set up with software.
  8. Participate in a music therapy research project. This was supposed to happen but just never did.

Writing (7)

  1. Publish an e-book.
  2. Get 250 likes on Facebook (A Life in Tune) (213/250).
  3. Get 100 followers on my blog (can be email subscribers, Bloglovin’, or another feed).
  4. Write and publish 350 blog posts (350/350).
  5. Make $75 on Textbroker ($20/$75). I stopped doing this because I just didn’t have the time for it.
  6. Make $50 on my blog.
  7. Write a guest post on another blog.

In the Kitchen (6)

  1. Can green beans.
  2. Try at least 20 new recipes (20/20). (Fried Eggplant Sticks, Salsa Verde Chicken Tostadas, Turkey Stuffed Peppers, Sautéed Apples and Onions w/ Sausage, Baked Spaghetti Squash with Cheese, Sweet Potato Fries, Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Squash Quesadillas, Sweet Potato Irish Nachos, Potato Pancakes, Sweet Potato Chili, Turkey Mini Meatloaf, Chicken with Peppers and Onions, Pork Chops with Apples and Onions, Homemade Granola Bars, Light Pasta with Mushrooms and Onions, Paella, Salmorejo, Tenderloin with Peppers, Zucchini and Mozarella Fritatta)
  3. Make homemade sangria.
  4. Make homemade pesto.
  5. Grow basil.
  6. Make homemade apple pie using the apples from our apple tree.

Entertainment (15)

  1. Order a Friday takeout dinner from Vecchio’s or eat at one of Vecchio’s Thursday night dinners. This place actually closed several months ago.
  2. Catch up with the True Blood series.
  3. Catch up with the Walking Dead series.
  4. Watch the Wizard of Oz while listening to Pink Floyd album.
  5. See 3 plays (1/3).
  6. Attend a concert (popular music).
  7. Attend 3 orchestra/band concerts (0/3).
  8. Eat at 5 restaurants on my list of places to eat (1. Madeline’s, 2. Eclipse, 3. an Indian restaurant, 4. Ben and Penny’s, and 5. one of the nice Japanese restaurants in town) (5/5).
  9. See 5 movies in the theater (5/5).
  10. Watch 15 movies I have never seen before (15/15) (Life of Pi, Catching Fire, Grave Encounters, The Conjuring, Mom’s Night Out, Divergent, The Other Woman, The Giver, This Is Where I Leave You, Cinderella, Aloha, Mazerunner, Babadook, Mockingjay, Part 1, Mockingjay, Part 2).
  11. Host a cookout/pool party.
  12. Have a bonfire party.
  13. Have people over for dinner 5 times (3/5). I didn’t include potlucks where we had people over and everyone contributed. I only counted times that we had people over and provided the entire meal.

Healthy Living (4)

  1. Get back to my pre-Felix weight.
  2. Attend a belly-dancing class.
  3. Attend 25 yoga classes (20/25).
  4. Walk/run 500 miles (500/500). Updated 07/23/15

Family (11)

  1. Take the kids to the drive-in.
  2. Finish Felix’s baby book.
  3. Breastfeed Felix for at least 12 months.
  4. Have 4 Mommy/Ani days (4/4).
  5. Have a slumber party in the living room with the kids.
  6. Take funny photos in a photo booth with the kids.
  7. Paint with Anya 4 times (4/4).
  8. Take Anya to Holiday World.
  9. Take the kids to a park 10 times (10/10).
  10. Play in the rain with the kids.
  11. Camp out in the backyard.

Relationship (4)

  1. Watch our wedding video.
  2. Complete a marriage workshop or workbook.
  3. Go on 12 dates (12/12).
  4. Go on a weekend trip without the kids.

Travel (4)

  1. Visit another country.
  2. Take the kids to the beach.
  3. Take the kids to the St. Louis Zoo.
  4. Go on 3 weekend trips (3/3).

Giving Back (6)

  1. Donate 100 coupons to someone in the military (100+/100).
  2. Buy someone’s order in the drive thru.
  3. Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
  4. Give $550 to charities (not church-related) ($615/$550). (United Way, St. Jude’s Trike-a-Thon)
  5. Volunteer 20 hours (12/20).
  6. Perform 5 random acts of kindness (3/5).

Green Living (3)

  1. Use my reusable grocery bags 15 times (13/15).
  2. Switch 3 cleaning products to all-natural cleaners (3/3) (bathroom cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, window/mirror cleaner).
  3. Take recyclables to be recycled 5 times (0/5).

Literary (11) - I apparently got really crazy with the e-books. I think I had just started reading things on my Kindle and was excited about all the free books I was finding and just couldn’t keep up!

  1. Read the entire (Catholic) Bible.
  2. Read 2 books about cleaning and/or home organization (0/2).
  3. Read 1 e-book about healthy living.
  4. Read 2 e-books about making money (0/2).
  5. Read 2 e-books about saving money (0/2).
  6. Read 3 self-improvement e-books (0/3).
  7. Read 3 e-books about time management (0/3).
  8. Read 1 e-book about parenting.
  9. Complete 2 devotional books (0/2).
  10. Read 25 novels (25/25).
  11. Attend a book discussion or book club meeting.

Just to Say I Did (5)

  • Participate in a flash mob.
  • Save $1,000 on groceries and toiletries using coupons ($455.38/$1,000). I had to stop doing this because the app I was using didn’t save my information when my phone died. I’m pretty sure I was much closer to $1,000 than this. 
  • Establish more of a presence on Twitter.
  • Figure out Pinterest.
  • Make another 101 in 1,001 list.

It actually took me quite awhile to come up with a new list, just because I was more mindful of what I really thought I would be able to do in the next 1,001 days. To see what I decided to focus on this time around, check out this page.

April Into May

Wow. April was a really crazy month. Here’s how it all went down:

Travel:

  • Winter Wellness weekend in January
  • Train ride in French Lick in February or March
  • Mumford and Sons concert in April – The show was absolutely amazing!
  • Weekend away with the kids
  • Anniversary weekend away
  • Family vacation –We are still finishing up plans for our trip and bought tickets to Alcatraz this past week.

Reading:

  • Read 24 books – I have read 15 books so far.
  • Read 2 music books - I finally finished reading Rhythmic Medicine by Janalea Hoffman, so I will be starting another music book very soon.

Writing: I have actually done pretty well with keeping up with all my writing goals this month. Hopefully I can continue.

  • Daily Q&A – I am still keeping up with this.
  • Writer’s Book of Days – I did 7 out of 7 planned prompts.
  • 500 Writing Prompts – I did 3 out of 3 planned prompts.

Spiritual:

  • Do a daily devotional written for Catholic moms – I don’t always do everything in the devotional but I am at least reading it every day and praying the prayer written for each day.

Music:

  • Create one new Singalong packet for my Singalongs (for work)I will be using this new packet for a group this week.
  • Learn at least 6 new popular songs on the guitar or piano. – (3/6) I learned a new song on the guitar this month.
  • Learn at least 3 new Classical pieces on the piano (0/1).
  • Start transcribing my original songs on notation software.
  • Find at least 5 new songs to use in music therapy sessions - (3/5)
  • Work through Songwriting Without Boundaries - I started the second “course” in April and I’m still working through it. 
  • Listen to 10 classical music pieces.

Home and Organization:

  • Complete Bonus Room Transformation – We still need to get more things moved out of the room. Things have just been so busy.
  • Go through Gmail account – I have dropped the ball on this one in April but plan to start up again soon.
  • Go through and organize computer files.

Family:

  • Inflatable Fun Factory
  • CMoe
  • Putt Putt
  • Game Night
  • Movie Night
  • Gatti Town or Chuck E. Cheese

Financial: I want to continue to save money and to keep our spending in check.

  • Save a specific amount in Travel and Savings Accounts combined – We got to save some in April. 
  • Keep track of “extras” earned from apps, credit cards, rewards, etc. – So far, so good.
  • Keep up with a budget as best we can – We are still doing well with this.

Service: 

  • Do at least 6 service projects that may include volunteering, providing a meal at the local Ronald McDonald house, donating items, etc. (1/6)

Miscellaneous:

  • Write a new 101 in 1,001 list. The current one expires in May. - I am putting the finishing touches on this.
  • I have started a running list of restaurants I want to try, and I want to eat at 12 of them this year – We tried 3 new places this month! (5/12)
  • I plan to cook 12 international meals this year or one international meal a month – We made Jamaican food this month. Next month we will be focusing on Czech cuisine. 
  • Finish travel school – I have finished the program and officially signed a contract to be a home-based agent with a local travel agency a couple weeks ago. I will be posting more information about this, so stay tuned!

So lots of things going on this past month, what with starting a new business venture and going to an amazing concert. In addition to all of that, we also:

1. Attended a common burial for Quinn. It was a beautiful ceremony but also very sad. My due date would have been 2 and a half weeks from now and I’m struggling a little with that.

2. Celebrated Anya graduating from her Twinkles. This is a Suzuki violin thing, but she has been working on her Twinkle Variations for a long time. She played the piece on a recital in early April, so now she is officially in Book 1.

3. Celebrated Felix’s 3rd birthday with a Mickey/Nemo/Choo Choo party. He just couldn’t decide which he wanted more.

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How did your month turn out?

 

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