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baking: in my circle of friends it seems that I often get put on dessert duty, which I’m 100% happy about. My recent faves are brownies (with ice cream), my Nana’s banana bread muffins, and trifles (which I guess aren’t technically baked).

listening: to some amazing podcasts. I’ve been trying to be more intentional about single-tasking lately, but I love to get a podcast in while I’m walking Chloe or hanging out at the house. My current favorites are The Scrap Gals, Young House Love Has A Podcast, Better Cast Saul, Tell ’em Steve Dave, and Pocket Talk. Yes, this is me pairing down…

loving: my new camera. There is just something about having new gear that brings out all the creativity and ideas. Also, doing Week in the Life got me carrying it around and encouraged me to start really digging into the new features. I have a lot more to learn as far as the technology goes (my previous camera is 8 years old!) but learning is part of the fun.

planting: nothing yet. The weather in Missouri has been quite ridiculous the past week so I haven’t been able to get outside much. I’m really glad I didn’t do any planting prior to this rain because the seedlings would all be drowned or severely displaced in the pond, I mean garden. Keep an eye out though because I’ll be posting more about our garden soon enough.

remembering: that this time a year ago we were moving into our house! It’s hard to believe that we’ve been here this long. I was a bit worried when we bought the house that I’d get bored of the layout/decor like I had with previous apartments, but this is definitely not the case and I’m so happy about it.

Today I’m joining Anne, at In Residence, for a ‘Currently’ linkup that she hosts on the first Wednesday of every month. Be sure to pop over and see what everyone else is up to!


DOCUMENTING: About a month ago, I thought I had lost over 50,000 photos from my hard drive ranging from the beginning of college (2010) until now. Since then, I have been making sure to keep my pictures printed and my albums up to date. I try to be realistic about what I actually document. For project life, I do about a layout a month unless there are special events that I need to include. Aside from that, I make a mini book for each vacation and I also have a garden journal that I’m working on.

ACCOMPLISHING: The last couple of weeks, I’ve been setting priorities for the week before it starts in order to feel like I’m running the week as opposed to having the week run me. I’m keeping this list to just a couple things which is leaving me with much more time to be flexible in the moment. This is one of the things I envisioned for my word of the year, thrive, at the beginning of 2017 and I finally feel like I’m making progress on that!

ENJOYING: I’m participating in Camp Reset, a online retreat style workshop hosted by Cori Spieker (aka The Reset Girl). The purpose of the retreat is to work on self care, especially in the areas of making habits, healthy eating, exercise and being creative. I’ve been a part of Cori’s community for quite some time, so I’m excited to keep this up throughout July.

READING: Funny you should ask… I have four books in the works right now, three for book clubs going on at work and then a personal one. To be honest, I really dislike reading more than one book at a time but here we are. The current reads are Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing (so far, I don’t recommend), Love Lives Here by Maria Goff (this is an easy read and while I am liking it, I don’t necessarily relate to it very well), How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (not far enough into this yet to give you my opinion), and Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God by Timothy Keller (so far, I’m really loving it). If you want to keep up with me in real time, add me as a friend on GoodReads.

SPENDING: Kevin and I went to Kansas City this weekend and spent a few dollars and over five hours in IKEA. We’ve been wanting to go for a while, so we had quite the list prepared. We’ve been looking for a rug for our bedroom since we moved in to our house over a year ago, so I have to say that this was my favorite find.

Today I’m joining Anne, at In Residence, for a ‘Currently’ linkup that she hosts on the first Wednesday of every month. Be sure to pop over and see what everyone else is up to!
Thrive | July 2017 Goals

Thrive | July 2017 Goals

There’s really nothing like skipping an entire month of goals. I wish I could say that I took a month off but in reality, I just didn’t take the time to post them. I’ve been thinking a lot about priorities and while I sometimes go back and do “make up” posts, I just don’t think that aligns with what makes sense in my life. If I’m not jazzed at the beginning of the month (like I normally am), why force myself to post them later? It didn’t help that it took me longer than normal to complete my Powersheets this month since it included a goal refresh. This means that I went back over the goals I set in January and revamped them for the remainder of the year. I could have completely ditched the old goals, but the ones I have yet to complete still made sense for this year and my life, so I only made a few changes.  As I wrote them out, I made to sure include my “why” for each reason so that when I create new goals each month, I can use that to put baby steps for each goal into practice. Here’s a look at what I’m making a priority for the rest of the year:

  • Health – I’m a typical Type A kind of gal and recently I’ve let my to-do list and stress level get the best of me. In the coming months, I would like to focus on my health by tracking my food intake, using oils, and spending time at the gym. My doctor recently suggested a new diet called “low FODMAP” to help with the heartburn symptoms that I’ve been struggling with and that has really changed my intake and the amount of time it takes to plan out and prepare each meal. I’ve been feeling a lot better, but I hope to continue this process so that I can determine which foods will need to be eliminated from my diet permanently and what can be phased back in.
  • Faith – This is one of the areas in my life where I just consistently have to work hard to include quiet time on a consistent basis. It’s sad, because quiet time is so treasured to me, but I find that if I allow it, it will typically be the first thing that goes when I have too much on my plate. I don’t have specific goals here other than finding my community and places where I fit in so that I can make the biggest impact.
  • Social Media – Honestly, I kind of hate social media but for some reason I can’t help but scroll. I have tried a lot of tips and techniques, but when it comes right down to it, I just need to plain quit. I think connecting online has caused me to see in person community differently and I really want to make sure that I’m prioritizing the right thing. I haven’t figured out yet what this looks like, but if you have any suggestions, I’m all ears!
  • Blogging – I’ve considered giving up on my blog more than once, but I always come back to it because I just love this space so much. To be honest, I think I would keep doing it even if I knew that not a single soul could or would see it. My goal at the beginning of June was really to update my blog design (which is already done at this point…THANK YOU SARAH) and start creating time in my calendar to sit down and write. I want to include more personal posts but those tend to take a bit longer to write and I just haven’t been allowing myself that time.
  • Work – One of the biggest goals I have for my job this year is to take my real estate exam. I’m excited and nervous because test taking scares the crap out of me (thank goodness college is over, amirite?) but I know it will have a positive impact on my job when this one is checked off. Also, I have a feeling there will be a lot of studying on my part, so making time for that will be really important.

New Goals for July:

  • Monthly Goals:
    • Project Life and One Little Word (as usual)
    • [Faith] Ask someone to be my mentor – I’ve been wanting to do this for so long but I’ve been turned down more than once. When you do this, you’re really asking someone to spend their time investing in you and that can be hard regardless of their answer. Hopefully making this public will make me more likely to complete it? We’ll see.
    • [Faith] Keep working on my faith binder (I mean look at this, need I say more?)
    • [Health/Faith] Complete Camp Reset – Cori over at The Reset Girl has created an online “camp” for July where a whole community of awesome people are spending the month considering how self care fits into their lives. Cori has created a ton of amazing resources and I’m so excited to follow along. If you’re interested you should check out the information here. (PS: It’s totally free)
  • Weekly Goals:
    • Do something creative for myself – This is one of those that I can’t commit to every single day, but I really want to make a priority on a weekly basis. I don’t want to limit myself to specific tasks or projects, but I do want a good couple hours of time where I’m just able to dig in.
  • Daily Goals:
    • [Heath] Food journal – As I mentioned above, I’m keeping track of my diet so that I can determine what foods are my triggers, so while I’m at it, I might as well keep a calorie count and see how that plays out. I’ve gained a few pounds in the past year, so I’m definitely interested in making some lifestyles changes along with this one.
    • [Health] Work Out – Part of Cori’s camp includes exercising for 20 minutes a day. Of course this isn’t mandatory, but I’d love to get outside or find workout videos that I can easily fit in to my schedule.
    • [Blogging] Instagram Post – It’s a lofty goal, but I’d like to share my blog posts more often on social media. Since I haven’t decided what I want to do about Faecbook, I’m planning on sharing these more on Instagram. If you don’t follow me, you should.
    • [Faith] Quiet time – I really just need consistency here.
    • [Health] – Oils – Two months ago, I purchased a starter kit from Doterra and I am absolutely loving them! There are a few that I use on a regular basis but I really want to get in the habit of trying more of them out and finding different blends of oils that I can use in our diffuser. If anyone has any suggestions, please share!!

Thanks so much for following along!

Thrive | April 2017 Goals

March was particularly great and while I feel like I killed it, I also felt more relaxed than usual. I’m wondering if I can attribute that to the severely decreased screen time and buzz of news or more time in the gym, but either way it felt like a breath of fresh air. As I began making my goals for April, I couldn’t believe how quick the year is flying. Speaking of, this month we will celebrate one whole year in our Highridge Ranch.

Here were my goals for March:

  • Continue working through Psalms Day by Day. I have to admit that I fell off the band wagon on this one. I wasn’t feeling particularly creative and didn’t want to force myself to create when I wasn’t feeling it. Some entries got done, but not enough to mark this completed.
  • Social Media Free Lent. This was the biggest goal for me in March, so I’m glad I was able to complete it! You’ll see a post after Easter about my thoughts and feelings of staying away from online community for 40 days.
  • Cover others in prayer.
  • Just keep budgeting. Kevin and I have officially been budgeting strictly for a year this month. We are really killing it in the budgeting game.
  • Celebrate two years of marriage. We had a great night hanging out, reminiscing about our wedding day, and eating dinner at a new restaurant in town.
  • Shoot my first wedding. Kevin’s mom got married in March and they asked me to be their photographer. It was my first wedding and I had such a blast.
  • Complete Project Life and One Little Word for March. Done and Done!
  • Read three books. Read four this month – The Silkworm, Career of Evil, Essentialism, The Nesting Place

Goals for April:

  • Complete Project Life and One Little Word for April – On my list as usual! This is the time of year when I start feeling that I’ve left my word in the dust, so I’m particularly looking forward to digging in.
  • Finish Lent Strong with No Social Media – I’ve officially made it one month without social media, but I still have 16 days left until Easter, so I’m hoping to finish strong.
  • Edit Wedding Photos – I snapped over 400 photos at the wedding and I’ve already started making progress on the editing process. My goal is to get these done in April.
  • Workout – I’ve been getting back in the gym these past few weeks but I’m trying to make a monthly goal of getting there twelve times (or about 3x per week).
  • Continue Covering Others in Prayer – I’ve chosen someone new to cover in prayer for this month. Hoping to continue being super intentional in that area of my life.
  • Gardening – I’ve been waiting for a warm weekend to start planting, so hopefully I’ll find a good one this month. I still haven’t decided if I want to go with flowers or veggies, but I’m happy to let that be a last minute decision.

What are your goals for April?

Our Second Anniversary

I wrote this around Thanksgiving but never got around to posting it. With today being our second anniversary, I figured that there is no better time. Two whole years of marriage seems to have flown by, but has simultaneously felt like forever – I hope it always feels that way.

Kevin – I have a million reasons to be thankful for you, but for the sake of brevity and the front page of my blog, here are 50.

  1. I’m thankful for the way you love me.
  2. I am thankful for your social knowledge and the way you lead in conversations.
  3. I’m thankful for the ways that you invest in our marriage.
  4. I am thankful for your surprises.
  5. I am thankful for your patience with me.
  6. I am thankful for your silliness – making up dances, songs, and measuring the floor at Michael’s.
  7. I am thankful for your leadership.
  8. I am thankful for your love of hosting friends and making sure we always have snacks/drinks/dessert for everyone.
  9. I’m thankful you will try anything I cook – even vegan tacos full of beans.
  10. I am thankful for the way you love on and take care of Chloe.
  11. I am thankful that you make me feel beautiful.
  12. I am thankful for your hardworking attitude and the way you provides for us.
  13. I am thankful for the way you serve me and your friends.
  14. I am thankful for your pursuit of God.
  15. I am thankful that you hold me accountable and challenge me.
  16. I am thankful for your knowledge about computers, blogs, and marketing.
  17. I am thankful for your humor and the way you smile.
  18. I am thankful that you expect and allow me to take tons of photos.
  19. I am thankful for the way you make me laugh.
  20. I am thankful for your dreams.
  21. I am thankful for your optimistic spirit
  22. I am thankful that you encourage me not to let things ruin my day.
  23. I am thankful for the way you pray for me.
  24. I am thankful for your love of fountain Diet Coke (especially before a road trip).
  25. I am thankful for your strength and protection.
  26. I am thankful that you supports my dreams and will do anything to help me achieve them.
  27. I am thankful for weekends and sticking together.
  28. I am thankful for inside jokes.
  29. I’m thankful that you are my best friend.
  30. I am thankful that family is so important to you.
  31. I am thankful for your family and how they love on both me and my family.
  32. I am thankful that you are a learner and are always interested in exploring bookstores and libraries with me.
  33. I am thankful that you enjoy seeing movies by yourself.
  34. I am thankful that you are self-motivated and creative.
  35. I am thankful for your ability to design beautiful websites.
  36. I am thankful that my memory-keeping is important to you and that you are always interested in seeing my latest project.
  37. I am thankful that you take out the trash and do the chores I don’t care for.
  38. I am thankful that you choose me everyday and always show me that I’m important.
  39. I am thankful for your friendships.
  40. I am thankful that you are our financial guru and budget master.
  41. I am thankful that you converted me into a wrist watch person.
  42. I am thankful that you always see the best in people
  43. I am thankful that you encourage me to be a better person and wife.
  44. I am thankful that you set your clock five minutes fast and believe in the phrase “if you’re on time, you’re late”.
  45. I am thankful for your ability to plan and be prepared. One of my favorite pictures from college was your cereal and spoon on the desk that you set out the night before.
  46. I am thankful that God intertwined our stories and uses it to encourage others for His Glory.
  47. I am thankful that we’ve been friends since fifth grade.
  48. I’m thankful to get to do life with you.
  49. I’m thankful that this list could be much, much longer.
  50. I am thankful that you are my husband.

Our Second Year:

Restaurants we loved: CC’s City Broiler, Medici, Addisons, Flat Branch, Chick-fil-a

Meals we made: Tacos with corn tortillas, Hamburger Casserole, Blackened Tilapia Bowls, Meatloaf, Breakfast, and Salisbury Steak

Shows we watched: House of Cards, The Young Pope, This is Us, Veep, Fixer Upper

Movies We Saw: The Nice Guys, Finding Dory, Neighbors 2, Sausage Party (I can’t believe I’m admitting to this…), It Had to Be You

Places we went: Sikeston, MO, The Lake, and lots of trips to St. Louis.

Things We Did: bought a house, celebrated a promotion, hosted plenty of dinners, changed churches, made friendships and deepened others, hosted overnight guests, purchased a computer, spent lots of Saturday mornings at the dog park.

Thanks so much for reading! You can read about our first anniversary here.


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