2

This is yet again, another post on making goals.  But as it involves those short-term goals, it should be the last of it's kind for at least several weeks if not several months.

After reading a chapter from the Stress and Relaxation Workbook last fall, I set out with a list of my ten top priorities in life:     fragonard-91063_1280

  1. God
  2. My Marriage
  3. My Children
  4. Health & Safety
  5. Homeschooling
  6. Writing
  7. Friends & Family
  8. Comfortable, nice clean home
  9. Financial Security
  10. Fun & Relaxation

The list is not necessarily in order- with the exception of #1 and #2- which are ALWAYS #1 and #2.                    marriage-478318_1280

With these priorities in mind, I developed a list of long-term, medium-term, and short-term goals.  While I've always been one to make a list of goals here and there, I've never thought about making sure they coincided with my top priorities or putting them in as clear of subcategories as long-term, medium term or short-term before.  So I started these lists last fall with this post.   It blew my Resolutions from 2014 out of the water because it was much more organized, concise and showed a definite correlation to all of my priorities and gave me an overall picture of how to go about accomplishing those BIG goals in little steps.

With the New Year approaching, I had a new sense of how to go about making those New Year's Resolutions.  My resolutions aren't really resolutions (a firm decision as to whether to do or not do something) but really GOALS.  They are the short-term goals (goals that can be accomplished within a few weeks up to one year) that will lead to the eventual ability to obtain those medium-term and then long-term goals.

So now- after a week or two of serious thought- here are my SHORT-TERM Goals of 2014- which of course can always be revised or updated as needed so long as they still coincide with that important list of priorities above:

1.   God  (Develop a union and closeness with God)

  • Set aside a minimum of 20 minutes for morning and mid morning or early afternoon prayer time (total)
  • Develop a morning prayer habit with family
  • Develop an evening prayer habit (set a copy of evening prayers inside current book I read at bedtime as a reminder!)
  • Develop a habit of saying Pre-Communion prayers with family on Saturday evenings.
  • Say the Jesus Prayer at various times throughout the day
  • Orthodox Reading - Read a book pertaining to Orthodoxy 1-2x a week other than devotion time
  • Attend Vespers services at least 1 time a month

2.  Marriage (Having a strong lasting relationship with my husband)

  • Establish a habit of a weekly date time (Every Monday and at least one extra activity every other week)
  • Read Love & Respect together and complete Workbook
  • Continue habit of reading together whenever time allows
  • Establish personal goals with my husband

3.  Children (For them to know I love them and to be a good Christian model to them)

  • Establish a habit of a weekly game night (quality, fun time)
  • Read with my oldest son at least 4x weekly
  • Read with my youngest at least 3 books daily in addition to our bedtime stories
  • Call my daughter at school weekly and text several times a week

4.  Health & Safety (REAL food and healthy environment)

  • Find Paleo websites/blogs with easy meal plans
  • Work on a new Monthly Menu Outline plan to make menu planning easier
  • Begin Freezing Meals so there is always at least 3 complete meals within the freezer ready to go!

5.  Homeschooling

  • Continue reading about and researching the Charlotte Mason method
  • Work on course descriptions for my son's transcript records
  • Work on developing a Home Ec course plan (we've decided to form our own)
  • Think over how to incorporate some Charlotte Mason methodology into my older son's coursework
  • Copy the Liturgy Book for my youngest son and highlight sections that he will now be expected to be at attention for and follow along

6.  Writing  (blogging and manuscripts)

  • Post  a minimum of 3 posts per week - with an eventual goal of 4-5.
  • Work on manuscripts at least 2x weekly, at least 3-4 hours (total), increasing in a few months.
  • Do writing exercises found in books and blogs on the craft
  • Read other blogs and comment on 3 per day

7.  Friends & Family

  • Make a list of friends and family I wish to maintain better contact with
  • Call (or text if they or I prefer) a minimum of 2 from the list each week (or have coffee if person is available to do so!)

8.   Comfortable, Clean Home

  • Use organization website to make plan of action to stay on task with minimum stress
  • Maintain morning and evening routine checklists
  • Declutter/Minimalize - read more on being a minimalist and make 1 new goal to work on every other week

9.  Financial Security

  • Create a system for organizing receipts to make my husband's job of maintaining checkbook and budget system easier
  • Add 'record receipts' to my To Do list at least 3 x week

10.  Fun and Relaxation

  • Game nights ( a repeat-  it's great to kill two birds with one stone! Unless of course, it's a real bird....that I wouldn't do)
  • Coffee Dates with Friends - I love to do this but for some reason it's hard for me to initiate....that introvert thing I guess...
  • Work on creating a list of small (short in duration) things to do that will put fun/relaxation into my days!

 

So there it is!  My current short -term goal list.  As you can see, some of them should be very easy to implement-  the goal there is to make it more of a HABIT while others may take many months or even the whole year to actually accomplish.  Either way, I will keep this list posted in my household binder where I'm sure to come upon it weekly to read over and remind myself what I'm to be working on and revise when and if necessary.  That can be to add more, take away any that are successfully obtained, or simply revise the number or frequency, etc.  If you want to see the long-term goals that got this started, go back to the original post last week.  The middle-term goals are here.

Do pray for me that I may stick with the plan and make progress, no matter how imperfectly it may occur!

Do you have any similar goals?

Is there anything in my list you  would like to see written about in a future post?

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

Photo by Pixabay
Photo by Pixabay

Back on October 6th, I published a post on time management and goal setting.  In determining those "New Year Resolutions" everyone's been talking about (including me), I've determined to go back to that goal list.

Back in October,  I had to come up with a list of my ultimate priorities.  They did not consist of the only things I find important in life but they are the most important. While the first 3 are in numerical order, the others could be interchanged. These are the things that I simply could not accept having to live without.  I reviewed that list in the last few days and determined it has not changed:

  1. God
  2. My marriage
  3. Mothering my children
  4. Health & Safety
  5. Homeschooling
  6. Writing
  7. Friends & Other Family (outside my husband and children)
  8.  Comfortable, nice clean home
  9. Financial Security
  10. Fun & Relaxation (Yes, some would be surprised this made the list as it's the one that is overlooked most often - but it really is a priority for me)

Once I determined what my priorities were (that part did not take long but did need great consideration as I think it's the most important step), I needed to develop short-term, medium-term and long-term goals.  I started with LONG TERM- because you need an ultimate goal.  The medium term and short-term goals are what you do to reach the LONG TERM goals- so those need set in place first.  So this morning, I looked over those long-term goals and made a few minor adjustments.  For the most part though, they have not changed since October.

LONG TERM GOALS:

  1. Develop a union and closeness with God - keeping Him ever-present in my mind and heart, allowing Him to control ALL - Choosing to always be on His side.  In Orthodox language - staying on the path of Theosis and climbing the ladder of divine ascent.
  2. Have a strong lasting loving relationship with my husband that will focus on LOVE and RESPECT and one that can serve as a model to others.
  3. To have my children always know - without a shadow of a doubt- that I love them, to be a Christian model to them and someone they can depend on for strength, guidance and yes, even friendship.
  4. To feed myself and my family, REAL food as provided by God and provide a safe healthy environment to maintain all of our health.
  5. To educate my children to the best of my ability throughout their elementary, middle and high school years and prepare them for life, not just academically but especially by way of heart and soul.
  6. To write and publish several children's books and have a blog of several thousand followers (blushing a little here....wondering if I sound vain??).
  7. To engage in pleasant activities and communicate well and often with friends and family and also help them in whatever ways I can.
  8. To maintain a comfortable, orderly, clean and , yes, stress-free environment in our cozy well-maintained home (finding this current cozy little house in the woods is a great start to this goal!).
  9. To live within our means  and not only have a security net but also be able to help others in need.
  10. To enjoy life and remember to have fun and RELAX!  (this is actually the hardest one for me---  but I think my Stress Reduction and path of imperfect progress I have myself on will help achieve this goal!  But I may need a LOT of encouragement here- so please feel free to comment on these posts and offer words of wisdom and encouragement and your own tales of imperfect progress!

 

So that's my LONG TERM Goal list.  Now I need to look over that Medium-Term and Short-Term goal list-  I'll take the rest of this week to look over it.  In short, I need to come up with a list of medium term goals or steps that I need to achieve to accomplish those long-term goals.  It's about making a plan.  I can't establish that close relationship with God if I don't take the steps up the ladder to get there!  So my medium term goals and short-term goals will obviously include prayer and devotion time and other things that I can do to make sure I keep focused on God each day and each moment of my life.

Goal Setting
Photo by Pixabay

Your Medium Term Goals are goals you can most likely achieve within the next 1-5 years while your short-term goals are the steps you'll be working on immediately and accomplish within the next few weeks up to one year. See my previous post on Goal Setting.

Remember- Resolutions don't need to be met 100%.  The idea of Resolutions is to have Goals- to establish a plan and make PROGRESS.   None of us are perfect.  We are human.  But we CAN MAKE PROGRESS!!

 

So what are your priorities?  Have you made a list a long-term goals based on those priorities recently?

 

 

 

 

2

I love sending out Christmas cards.  It's a tradition I've maintained all 22 years of our marriage.  I love writing something personal inside, even if short.  I love receiving them.

2014-12-11 15.33.10

So when I heard mention of Christmas cards on a radio program the other day, I paused to listen.  The radio hosts were speaking about Christmas cards and whether or not a couple should send them 'together' if they weren't married.  Hmmmm..... well that was interesting.  They took in lots of phone calls on this subject.  The woman on the radio was living with her boyfriend and wasn't sure if they should BOTH sign her names on the Christmas cards she was sending out.  She worried that maybe only married couples should sign Christmas cards. Was asking him to sign the cards be appropriate or maybe that was asking too much, she wondered.  And so would signing the card jinx the relationship?

WHAT???

Asking too much to have a boyfriend committed to living with her sign a Christmas card?  Really?  He can commit to living with you but not sign a card??  And signing the card would jinx the relationship??  REALLY???

I was truly appauled by the amount of callers who said NO - don't sign the card - that's too much commitment.  No one mentioned that LIVING TOGETHER is a much much BIGGER COMMITMENT.

What is the world coming to?

Personally-  I think only married couples should be living together.  That's it.  I said it.

But that point aside, if someone truly thinks that signing a card might be the demise of their relationship,  I tend to think the demise is already there.

Photo by Pixabay
Photo by Pixabay

I turned the radio off.  I went home and started filling out my Christmas cards.  Cards that I lovingly sign my husband's name to as well as my children....and as far as I know, those cards have never jinxed our marriage.

 

3

I believe the phone should always be answered.  It's just common courtesy, right? If someone is calling our home, they must need something...so SOMEONE should answer it - it just shouldn't be me.

I DON'T like talking on the phone.  I thought it was just me.... but then my son came along and I realized that he hated talking on the phone possibly more than I did. It was like this PHOBIA with him.  And I thought, 'well, this can't be good' - so we actually instilled it into his 'homeschool objectives' one year that he had to answer the phone 36 times, essentially once per school week.  It was a long year.  He did it.  So I know he has the skills.  He still avoids it like the plague.  I avoid it if at all possible as well.  And you know what?  I found out we're NOT the only ones.

I was reading Facebook or some blogs the other day - sorry, I really don't recall which or what the original article was - but it mentioned INTROVERTS hating the phone.  Whoa?! What?!  It's an introvert thing?   I DIDN'T KNOW THAT!   I stopped in my tracks.  I went to Google.  It turns out there's a LOT of articles and blogs out there that talk about the same thing.  So pardon me, but I'm joining in.... because I'm SURE I'm not the only one out here that didn't know.

I learned a long time ago that I am an introvert and, quite the opposite, my husband is an extrovert.  But I've never delved into that knowledge deeply.  I knew it meant that I prefer quiet and small numbers of people, while he doesn't mind noise and enjoys big parties and social events.  Beyond that, I had no clue.  Until now.  Now I'm intrigued.  Now I want to learn more and perhaps embrace this thing called introversion because it's not really a bad thing-  being surrounded by extroverts most of my life, one would think it was.  It's not.

Extroverts and Introverts just don't really understand where the other is coming from most of the time.  That doesn't mean either of our perspectives is wrong.  That's important to know in relationships, especially marriage by the way!  So I'm doing a bit of research....

The biggest difference between introverts and extroverts is that introverts draw energy from being ALONE!  Social interactions and stimulating environments (lots of people, activity,noise, distractions, etc.) completely drain us.  Extroverts draw their energy through those human interaction and stimulation.

So apparently, when my husband or children wants to go to some activity and my energy is already low and I say, "Oh? Really? You want to go THERE?  Hmmm... mind if I stay home?", I am not being rude or anti-social, I'm recognizing a physical need within myself to stop draining myself and gain some energy.  It's not rude. It's not anti-social. It's not wrong.  It's actually normal and healthy for an introvert to do.

And when it comes to the phone? I do NOT draw energy from speaking on the phone.  It drains me First there's the physical intrusion of this unexpected NOISE when it rings. There's no time to plan what to say to this person that's calling.  Caller ID helps, sure, but - no, not really. I often do not pick up the phone.  It's not that I don't care- I'm just NOT ready.  I'm doing something else.  I'm in my quiet home enjoying the peace or getting things done. Talking on the phone stops me. And trying to focus on the conversation on this inanimate object in my hand with someone I can't even see and might not even know - well, that's just exasperating.  Yeah, I prefer you leave a message, text me or email me.  Really.  I can focus on the response then. 

And wouldn't you know it?  I'm researching this and trying to write this post and I text a cousin of mine - SHE's ALWAYS trying to text and call me. I love her dearly- but I JUST CAN'T talk on the phone that often.  I text her... "Hey, do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?"  And it happens.  UGH. You guessed it.  The phone rings.

Did I answer?

Uh, no.  Does that make me bad? Rude?  Turns out no.  I texted her later and told her what I had been doing.  I'm finally learning I really do need to do these things that give ME energy - time alone, writing, NOT answering calls.... for my own sake.  It makes me a better person, not a rude one.

It seems, according to the Huffington's post article reporting information from PsychologyToday.com, that most introverts do screen their calls - even from their close friends (and in my case, uh, dearly loved cousins).  An introvert physically can't stand talking on the phone because it forces them to lose focus on a current project or thought and place that focus point on something unexpected (hence my 'unlgued' response to my son interrupting my train of thought in the middle of my very introverted activity of writing). The conversation itself will need a huge amount of focus. In addition to this, a phone call typically require 'small talk' -the type of conversation introverts finds stressful. An introvert will, most likely, allow the call to go to the answering machine and return the call (if they do) at a time they are able to prepare for the conversation and have the energy required to do so.

As for making calls?  Uh, NO thank you.  I'll choose texting over the phone.  Or email. Or....um...."Sweetheart?  Can you call and make that appointment for me? Oh, and call and order dinner? Please? Pretty please? Oh, PLEASE have mercy and make the call!"

So this phone thing is an introvert thing WHO KNEW?? I am so relieved it's not just me.

If you are interested in further information, here's a few of my favorite articles I found while reading more about this.

10 Ways Introverts Interact Differently With the World

23 Signs You're Secretly An Introvert (I got 22 by the way)

18 People Talk About What It's Like Being an Introvert

**As a side bit of information here - rarely can anyone be considered 100% introvert or 100% extrovert - each person falls somewhere different on the scale.  We all just have more obvious tendencies to be more on one end of the scale than on the other.  So it's possible that some introverts like parties while some extroverts might not. And some extroverts might not like talking on the phone, while some introverts might be sort of okay with it.

Are YOU an introvert?  Do you hate talking on the phone? What have you done to avoid it?

 

 

 

 

Nothing came UNGLUED in Vegas.

I somehow, once aboard a plane that took me 2349 miles away from home,  became the girl I used to be.  Relaxed, carefree, spontaneous, fun and, most of all, NOT WORRIED and NOT UNGLUED.

Where did she come from?  It was like peeling off layers of heavy wool, weight-bearing, fur covered, winter clothing and standing in a light cotton strapless sundress -  actually I peeled off the sweatshirt at the car, the sweater in the plane and I was left in capris and a flowing sleeveless blouse.....but you get the point.

I wasn't bearing the weight of stress on my shoulders.  I was able to LET GO.

My husband and I held hands, smiled, laughed and enjoyed our time together tremendously.  We were spontaneous and  daring - trying things we normally

My husband fulfilled a dream of mine - seeing Donny and Marie Osmond perform LIVE!!  Their show has actually been voted as #1 in Vegas for 3 years.  I've wanted to see them since age 7 - I attribute watching their show on TV at that age as instilling the love I music in me that I have today.  The picture in enter of my new t-shirt is the same picture that was on one I had around age 9 - the one my mom somehow turned green in the washer!  I wonder if I'll be brave enough to wash this one ;)
My husband fulfilled a dream of mine - seeing Donny and Marie Osmond perform LIVE!! Their show has actually been voted as #1 in Vegas for 3 years. I've wanted to see them since age 7 - I attribute watching their show on TV at that age as instilling the love for music in me that I have today. The picture in the center of my new t-shirt is the same picture that was on one I had around age 9 - the one my mom somehow turned green in the washer! I wonder if I'll be brave enough to wash this one 😉

wouldn't - Extraordinarily expensive meals that had our taste buds dancing, oysters (not necessary to repeat that one), the High Roller ( world's tallest ferris wheel - a certain feat for me with my fear of heights), several shows, and a glass of wine with a little lunchtime gambling IN the swimming pool - just to name some of the highlights!  We just focused on each other and HAD FUN!

It's certainly time our marriage needed.  I have forgotten what it felt like to be THAT GIRL - it makes me reminiscent of a talk given by Heidi St. John at the CHAP convention earlier this year. She spoke often during her talk and in one of her books about That Girl... you know, the girl you were when you fell in love- before the responsibilities of work and marriage and CHILDREN!

Oh, don't get me wrong - I LOVE my children!  But I know full well part of what happened as I boarded that plane is that somehow - knowing I was going over 2,000 miles away helped me shed 'Mommy Mode' - something I am very rarely able to do.  I shed "Mommy" and 'stress mode'!

I am so envious sometimes of my husband - who seems able to do this whenever he wants to.  He's able to sit down in front of a football game and turn off ALL sensibility to the world around him.  He can, at a moments notice, decide to go spend the day hunting, watching sports, or some other leisurely activity and not seem to know that work is piling up and that he may be needed elsewhere!  ***PLEASE NOTE - I'm NOT KNOCKING my husband here - I'm saying I WISH I COULD DO IT TOO!!!!!!

But it's like we women have this knob that gets turned to 'mommy mode' and It Gets Stuck!!

But Can I really avoid that mode?

I already felt it early Wednesday morning.... the day before we got on the plane to come back home.  It was that familiar panic when waking in the morning....  knowing that this was the 'last day' of total relaxation - just doing for me - for US .  It was that tension of remembering all that we'd have to do the next day and preparing for facing reality that life can't be a Vegas trip every day.  I needed to remind myself we still had a day to just ENJOY and that life didn't have to go back to full mode stress just because the trip was going to end.

What Can It Be?

I think this trip has proven that That Girl is still alive and breathing!  In fact, she's kicking to get out of  that mode more often.  But - OBVIOUSLY - I can't board a plane for Vegas every week - so what can I do to balance Mommy Mode with That Girl??

That's a question I don't have an answer for immediately - and I don't think there is a clear-cut answer (though boarding a plane is tempting... it's unrealistic).

However, I do have some ideas that may help me (and you) get started:

First and foremost - I need to remember to put God and my marriage first.  Yes - my marriage has to come before the kids.  That's a hard one for us moms.  But reality is, our strong marriages make our kids strong.  It makes us better Moms (and Dads).

Secondly, I need me time.  I need to NOT feel selfish about spending some time doing things that are important to me (reading and writing).  I don't mean it should consume me and prevent me from doing my motherly duties and providing my children with love and attention.  But if I give myself love and attention, I'll be better able to give of myself to others - and feel like me (you know, That Girl) - instead of 'just a servant' - which, without the 'me time' and the time with God and my husband, is easy to feel .

Third, I'm continuing my quest for ways to reduce stress and stay Unglued. It won't be an easy change - and it won't happen overnight.  But that's okay - because I think I'm finally accepting that gradual change leading to imperfect progress IS OKAY.  And I can forgive myself for those little (sometimes Big) setbacks.  It won't be easy.  But I can do it.

Who's With Me?

 

 

 

 

Who would have thought Vegas would have been so much fun?

A view from atop the High Roller ferris wheel....over 500 feet up...
A view from atop the High Roller Ferris Wheel....over 500 feet up...

Oh, I know....lots of people...but I really didn't.  I knew it would be nice to get away....and be with my husband - which is why I went along with it.  But THIS IS GREAT!

For those that are new and have no idea what I'm speaking of.....  I've gone along on a conference trip with my husband to Las Vegas.  We came out two days before the conference one day for traveling, getting the rental car and getting acquainted with the area, one day for just the two of us to sightsee and relax, three days for the conference (poor husband has to attend lectures which I guess is okay - for HIM - But I get to hang out in the room or by poolside with my books, paper and pencils to read and write to my heart's content ALL DAY LONG without interruption!), three evenings of shows, dinners and time together - ALONE- uninterrupted!!!- and another day for travel....

While I'm busy writing future posts, editing and writing picture book manuscripts, critiquing for friends, and reading all sorts of things - I thought I'd drop a few pictures here to let you see some of what we've been up to!  I hope you enjoy 🙂

There's someone in a parachute here.... really, there is!  We saw a group of about 7 or 8 of them gliding down... it was very hard to get a good picture though.
There's someone in a parachute here.... really, there is! We saw a group of about 7 or 8 of them gliding down... it was very hard to get a good picture though.
We have a thing about taking pictures of signs....  I longed to spot a Bighorn but the signs were all we saw on this trip.
We have a thing about taking pictures of signs.... I longed to spot a Bighorn but the signs were all we saw on this trip.
My sweetheart and I on the way to the Hoover Dam - stopped by Lake Meade- which I learned was created during the building of the dam.
My sweetheart and I on the way to the Hoover Dam - stopped by Lake Mead- which I learned had been created during the building of the dam.

 

The scenery in the desert between Arizona and Nevada.
The scenery in the desert between Arizona and Nevada.
My sweetheart overlooking the dam.... he's a lot braver than I.
My sweetheart overlooking the dam.... he's a lot braver than I.
Overlook from the Dam....and yes, we crossed that bridge!
Overlook from the Dam....and yes, we crossed that bridge!
On the way back, we came upon this sign....  It made us laugh.  I thought there would be more ways to get to Vegas---but apparently there's just this one.  Maybe that's why it's said that the things that happen in Vegas, STAY in Vegas....
On the way back, we came upon this sign.... It made us laugh. I thought there would be more ways to get to Vegas---but apparently there's just this one. Maybe that's why it's said that the things that happen in Vegas, STAY in Vegas....

6

I am .

I'm going to Vegas.

It's not my ideal vision of a grand vacation, but you know what?  I am really excited.  Not because it's Vegas though, but because I'm getting away with my husband!  He is after all, number one in my life after God and we deserve some time together. Needless to say, I'm also wrapped up in guilt at the thought of leaving the kids for several days - but they will be well taken care of by very loving people whom we trust - so I'm trying desperately NOT to let my 'mother brain' take over my 'I gotta get away with you NOW brain'!

We can do/afford Vegas because my husband is attending a conference there.  Now before you go and say, "well what kind of vacation is that if your husband is going to be at a conference half the days?" let me remind you I am a stay-at- home, homeschool mom who wants to be is a writer!!!!  This is a dream! 

Not only am I going to be able to spend the weekend with him uninterrupted, but I get to spend several days curled up in a hotel room by myself with a book, paper and lots of sharpened pencils and my computer to just READ READ READ and WRITE WRITE WRITE !  AND  I get to spend the evenings with the man of my dreams!  It doesn't get better than that.... I'll TAKE IT!  (although a nice sandy beach on a tropical island or a cabin deep in the woods might be a better selection for next time-just a little hint and a wink to that sweet man).

And if that isn't enough - that man of my dreams is fulfilling a childhood dream as well.  He's bought us tickets to go see Donny and Marie Osmond while we are there.  Wow!  I know, some of you may think - "Really?" - But yeah....  I totally fell in love with Donny and Marie Osmond back in 1976.  I was in second grade.  I LOVED that show.  I still remember the pure excitement I had in just receiving a Donny and Marie T-shirt for Christmas one year....and the horrors of it turning green in the wash....  🙁    I actually met Marie Osmond and her brother Jay - in a Pizza Hut of all places in Provo Utah (I actually lived in Heber City Utah for a couple of years as a child).  I was thrilled to get her autograph (Jays too although at the time I had no idea who he was...lol).  I lost the autograph.  🙁   And I never got the chance to see the show live though I lived rather close.  But now I DO get to see them!!!!  I'm so excited.  And so appreciative because I know only my husband would really get that this makes me so happy and love me enough to do it!  (Love you sweetheart!!)

I'm not sure what else we'll do in Vegas.  We're not the gambling type but we may go wild and spend $10 on a slot machine.  LOL

We are considering renting a car and going to see the Hoover Dam .

As I searched Bing and Google for a picture I could share, I noticed the bridge and now I'm thinking, "Do I have to cross THAT thing??"..... yikes.  My older kids, if they know about this, are probably taking bets on whether I'll chicken out or not....  yeah - my kids - they love to remind me how far up we are when I'm going over a bridge - they apparently like the color of snow white on my skin.....   what love.

I'm not sure what else we will do in the Vegas area or where we will eat!  Not only do we need to find Paleo, but remember, we can't do the artificial stuff and I'm nervous that some restaurants may understand Paleo but that doesn't mean they won't add any artificial stuff that would cause reactions....  but it's Vegas, right?  Surely we can at least find a nice steak and a baked potato and plain salad if nothing else, right?  Are their Chipotle's out there?  I know there's a Whole Foods...several in fact, in the city.  So we will find something!  But if any of my Paleo readers have been there and want to give hints, I'm all ears!

Well, it's time to start thinking about what to pack - clothes and also food for the plane.  If I recall - we can do snacks as long as they are wrapped in store-bought wrappers....like RX bars, beef jerky, Lara bars.... because I'm sure we can't eat what's on the plane and it will be a long journey (6 hours plus a layover...somewhere?)

I'll be sure to post all about the trip when it happens!

 

 

4

So while I'm on my quest for imperfect progress, I'm still on my quest for stress management which really coincides well.  I know when I'm stressed, I become unglued more often.

The first chapter I completed in my book on Stress Management was titled Goal Setting and Time Management. I figured it would give the basic time management strategies one usually hears:

  • Make a daily to-do list
  • Block out media distractions
  • Get up earlier
  • Go to bed earlier
  • Be reasonable and don't over plan your day.

You know, basic stuff. The stuff everyone knows we should do but don't always do it.But the chapter really actually spent a lot of time on goal setting which is pretty important.  So I made some goals.

First, I had to come up with a list of my ultimate priorities.  They do not consist of the only things I find important in life but they are the most important. While the first 3 are in numerical order, the others could be interchanged. These are the things that I simply could not accept having to live without:

  1. God
  2. My marriage
  3. Mothering my children
  4. Health & Safety
  5. Homeschooling
  6. Writing
  7. Friends & Family
  8.  Comfortable, nice clean home
  9. Financial Security
  10. Fun & Relaxation (Yes, some would be surprised this made the list as it's the one that is overlooked most often - but it really is a priority for me)

Once I determined what my priorities were (that part did not take long), I needed to develop short-term, medium-term and long-term goals....starting with long-term.

LONG TERM GOALS:

  1. Develop a union and closeness with God - keeping Him ever-present in my mind and heart, allowing Him to control ALL - Choosing to always be on His side.  In Orthodox language - staying on the path of Theosis and climbing the ladder of divine ascent.
  2. Have a strong lasting loving relationship with my husband that will strengthen one another that can serve as a model to others.
  3. To have my children always know - without a shadow of a doubt- that I loved them and to be a Christian model to them and someone they can depend on for strength.
  4. To feed myself and my family, REAL food as provided by God and provide a safe healthy environment to maintain all of our health.
  5. To educate my children to the best of my ability throughout their elementary, middle and high school years and prepare them for life, especially by way of heart and soul.
  6. To write and publish several children's books and have a blog of several thousand followers (blushing a little here....wondering if I sound vain??).
  7. To engage in pleasant activities and communicate well and often with friends and family and also help them in whatever ways I can.
  8. To maintain an orderly clean and , yes, stress-free environment in our cozy well-maintained home (finding this current cozy little house in the woods is a great start to this goal!).
  9. To live within our means and not only have a security net but also be able to help others in need.
  10. To enjoy life and remember to have fun and RELAX!  (this is actually the hardest one for me---  but I think my Stress Reduction and path of imperfect progress I have myself on will help achieve this goal!  But I may need a LOT of encouragement here- so please feel free to comment on these posts and offer words of wisdom and encouragement and your own tales of imperfect progress!

From there, I did establish some 'medium term goals' that I hope to accomplish within the next 1-5 years as well as short-term goals that I hope to accomplish within the next few weeks up to one year.

Obviously for my first goal - forcing myself to get up at 5:30 each morning for my quiet devotional time and reading Unglued and working on my imperfect progress will help me to do that.  I must remember that my goal is not to be perfect and I must forgive myself when I fall.  That's the hardest part I think.  I have this deep inner voice that ridicules myself when I mess up.  It's actually NOT nearly as bad as it used to be... but I must focus more on remembering that God will forgive me - but I must forgive myself also.

I also set goals that were specific to the Unglued Participant's Guide to describe what I would like my 'new normal' to be:

1.  I do not yell or raise my voice when frustrated, angry or confused.

2.  I make it through my days without regretting how I've spoken to someone.

3.  I find ways to acknowledge what I'm feeling without doing either of the above and without stuffing those emotions down to boil over later.

Whew.... that's a lot of goal setting!  Now on with my day and hopefully make some progress!  Are you with me?

 

 

Twenty Two Years Ago.

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                         We invited others to share in our joy and our commitment.

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I married my best friend.

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He is still the one I laugh with, live for, dream with and love.

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Hand in hand, we will venture forth - sharing in the sacrament God led us to and leads us in every day.

I love you Theodore Federoff.  YOU are my one and only.  Forever.

5

Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.

~ Benjamin Franklin

This quote makes me laugh.  BUT it is SOOO True!!!

Before marriage one needs to look at every aspect that we can at the mate that we are slecting to spend the rest of our lives with.  There were so many questions that went through my mind before and during the time of my dating my husband.  Is he Christian and does it show in his actions? Does he have the same morals and values that I do?  Does he have goals and aspirations in life and are they goals and aspirations that I can live with?  Does he support me in my own goals and aspirations?  Does he treat me with kindness and love?  Am I a priority in his life?  Does he treat me with respect?

And then Marriage!!  Keep those eyes half shut so you don't notice the little things you didn't see before:  the dirty clothes on the floor, the piles overflowing on his desk, the brownie he ate that you so desperately looked forward to....   because those little things need to be overlooked.  Too much focus on the little things leads to less focus on the bigger things and less memory of why you fell in love and what makes this person truly the right one for you.  Keep your eyes half closed and forget that little stuff.

Random Thoughts on a Saturday:

  • I've decided to join the  Start The Year OFF Write Challenge!  More about this can be found on Shannon Fimbel Abercrombie's website! You can find it here!
  • I'm also considering doing the 12 x 12.....  a challenge to get 12 picture book manuscripts written in 12 months... not necessarily final copies ready for publishing - but 12 manuscripts complete and ready for revision!
  • I LOVE my husband!!!   🙂
  • I am blessed having a toddler write now..... -  you read that right and I didn't make a typ0 -  I mean that having a toddler in the house sparks lots of great ideas for writing!  What a blessing!
  • Organization is key to .....well- almost everything!  I need to get organized!!!

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