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This year I’m working to implement some new daily habits. Making new habits is hard! The minute I get distracted or tired or caught up in something at work, my goals go out the window. Not consciously of course, I just forget about them.

As mentioned yesterday, my public daily goals include:

  • Daily posts according to schedule
  • Daily sketch or art journaling
  • Daily photo
  • Daily routine
  • Daily exercise – note: I did not mention this one yesterday, but I’ll include updates on this when I talk about eats and walks!

My daily routine is a work in progress. Right now I’m trying to implement a few simple changes. If you already do these things, it’s probably almost funny to you that I don’t do them, and am struggling right now to get off my couch and make myself go do them! But here goes:

Morning:

  • Make bed
  • Wipe bathroom counter and toilet
  • Floss
  • Empty dishwasher
  • Start one load laundry

Night:

  • Fill and run dishwasher
  • Shine sink
  • Floss
  • Wash face
  • Read

Of these, I’m having the most trouble with washing my face before bed. The morning routine is going well, but at night, I just wait a little too long, and suddenly my arms are too heavy to even think about dishes. It’s all I can do to brush my teeth and fall into bed! I’m happy with the progress on the morning routine. I’m on day 5 of this month, and I’ve only missed one morning of making the bed. Woohoo!

Each of the items on my other daily goals are going pretty well. I haven’t forgotten that they are my goals, and I have been making some steady progress on them. It takes 28 days to become a habit, so I’m just reminding myself of the goals, planning them into my schedule, working on them diligently, and forgiving myself when I run out of time or don’t acheive them all. Oh well! Life does go on. And tomorrow, I try again! Tonight I am off to brush my teeth and fall onto my pillow, with one sink full of dirty dishes and the dishwasher full of clean ones. I didn’t do so well tonight. But tomorrow I will fix that and shine it up.

Good night!

ps. I forgot to mention the Fly Lady.  For anyone looking for guidance on getting their household under control and organized (or in my case, leaving work to become a full time mom), this site is great for baby steps and getting you started! Hugs to the Fly Lady! xoxo

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Tonight I am tired. It was a busy day. I’d like to keep up with my daily posts, so I’m just going to share a few things I’m thankful for today:

  1. I’m thankful for the calming, refreshing, sleepy rain we had today, that helped me sleep in and get much needed rest.
  2. I’m thankful for the local Elevation Burger that serves grass-fed beef. I needed some good nourishment today, and it was nice to have a warm and healthy lunch on the go. I also happened to have a full punch card, so my lunch was free!
  3. I’m thankful for the kind people who tell me I look great. Being pregnant is hard, and it takes a lot of effort to look pulled together. I’m fighting against the natural tendency to become stretchy pants woman. It feels really great when someone notices and makes it even more worth it. I dress nice for myself and so that I feel good, but it’s the cherry on top when someone else says “looking good!”

Playing with words and symbols for 2011. First attempt at "hearth" is not centered... the last letter ran right off the page.

I’ve seen lots of other bloggers (not just Karenika, even though she did it too!) choose a “Word for the Year.” I like the concept and decided to try it this year. Instead of looking for the right word, I wrote down some general statements of how I want to feel and what I want to have accomplished by the end of the year.  These statements are purposely written as though they already happened, or I already feel that way, following the “act as if” guidelines for achieving goals. 

My focus for 2011:  

  • Our home is a clean, tidy, beautiful place where I love to be, create, read, cook nourishing meals, spend quality time with John, have friends and family over, raise our family, and a place I am proud of. 
  • My life is grounded in a steady and predictable routine that keeps us nourished and provides a foundation to build on with meaningful experiences and memories. 
  • I joyfully care for my home and family, making our home beautiful, caring for my family in seen and unseen ways. 
  • My inner longings are fulfilled as I express my creativity, feel the calmness of organization and preparedness, and experience my slow and unhurried natural rhythm. 
  • I have found health, emotionally and physically, through nourishing food, regular exercise, being outdoors, reducing stress and other toxins, following nature’s cycles and predictable changes, practicing meditation, and feeding my creative spirit through regular practice and expression.
  • The memories and expressions are documented and shared, extending the hearth, and inviting everyone to come sit by it. 

After writing the last line, I knew my word for the year would be HEARTH.  This is a little cheesy, but I love the fact that Hearth includes the words Art, Earth, and Heart within it.

My main word for this year: Hearth
Other words that support my goals:
nourish
create
rhythm
tidy
bloom

Symbols for this year:  Hearth/Fireplace
Other symbols that could represent my goals and sub-words:
green pea; sprouts
{create – couldn’t come up with one, any suggestions?}
circle
squirrel/acorn
flower bud

Knowing and understanding these goals, what is my daily focus going to be?
+ Having a routine that helps achieve these goals, knowing that routine, in itself, is a goal.

How will my blog schedule reflect progress on  these goals?
+ Posts will occur on a predictable, rhythmic schedule
+ Posts will focus on my the projects I’ve chosen to achieve each goal.

Weekly Posts that support my goals:
Monday: Pregnancy Journal and Pregnancy updates
Tuesday: What I’m Eating / Cooking; Exercise/Movement updates
Wednesday: Daily Goals Progress Report
Thursday: Mission Organization; Home progress report “from the hearth” 
Friday: Weekly crafting project, or What I did with Mom this week! (not a scrapbook page)
Saturday: Scrapbooking page for this week (could be from Wedding album in progress, classes I’m taking, calendar page, etc)
Sunday: Book Review

Daily Posts:
One of my goals this year is to post daily. Just by following the schedule above, I will have daily posts. Here are a few additional things I am doing daily, though I have not yet decided if I’m going to post these every day or wait and compile them weekly. It seems like a lot to cover it all in one day, so I’ll revisit this at the end of January. I am currently doing the following things daily:

  • Daily Sketch/Weekly Art Journal – My daily sketches are just ideas and playing around in my sketchbook. Once a week I will do something a little more intensive, using other products and not just my pen and watercolor pencils. 
  • Daily Gratitude – I’m doing this on the left-hand side of my sketchbook, facing the right side page with the sketch on it for that day. I can also jot down notes or thoughts because there is plenty of room. 
  • Daily Photo – I’m also considering signing up for the BPS Manual Mode class with Elisha Snow.  *I accidentally left our camera at my mother-in-law’s house on New Year’s Day. I should be getting it back in a few days and be able to start taking photos again!
  • Daily Routine – I’m following the Fly Lady. If you don’t know who she is, I’ll post more about her on Wednesday. I’m also reading Steady Days, and a lot of the concepts are similar between the two. More updates on this to come!

This post is inspired by Karenika.  After taking her class at Big Picture Scrapbooking last year, titled Reclaiming My Time, I began reading Karen’s blog. I find her approach to life and the body of work she has accomplished over time to be a gentle guide. I hope this is understood to be a huge compliment: I see her as the epitome of Slow and steady wins the race, or How do you eat an Elephant? … one bite at a time. While she does impressive creative work, she doesn’t take herself too seriously. She doesn’t hold herself to unreasonable standards. And while she hasn’t preached this message directly, my personal takeaway from following her this year has been: why not give it a try? If I want to try to post every day in January, but I only post on 15 days, I will not feel that I have failed. I will marvel at 15 posts in a single month … more than I was able to do in 2010.

Karen’s goals for 2010 seemed overhwelming and unrealistic for my life, which has served as a good reminder that I don’t need to compare myself to anyone else. I need to look at my own life, define my own priorities, and set goals that are attainable for me (and maybe just a little out of reach.. why not give it a try?). Karen’s accomplishments this year are impressive. What I at first recognize as jealousy is in actuality a longing within myself to have accomplished similar goals and be able to look back on my year, and life, with a sense of fulfillment and gratitude.

After a year of sharing three things she was thankful for each day, Karen posted a long list of 100 things she’s thankful for. I thought it was a great way to start of the year, so here is my list!

100 Things I’m Thankful For

 1. My hilarious, dear, sweet, loving husband
 2. The privilege of not having to work
 3. A healthy baby growing in my belly
 4. Fresh local milk
 5. Stainless steel cookware
 6. Orchids
 7. Cute paper cocktail napkins
 8. Wooden matches
 9. Great hairdresser
 10. Jeans that make me feel great when I put them on
 11. The fact that I love to run
 12. Being a good swimmer
 13. Mom, Dad, and Kel
 14. Unlimited (nearly) hot water
 15. Baby quilts
 16. Having big teeth and a big smile
 17. Air conditioning
 18. Delivery food
 19. The beach
 20. Warm chocolate chip cookies
 21. Great paper for writing on
 22. Journaling, and my collection of filled journals
 23. Heating pad
 24. Coffee
 25. Sunshine
 26. Snuggling back to sleep after the alarm goes off
 27. My bike (though I won’t be riding again until after the baby comes)
 28. Inspirational bloggers
 29. Martha Stewart paint colors
 30. Living in Austin
 31. B Vitamins
 32. My iPhone
 33. Our bed
 34. Pedicures
 35. Days I get to spend with just my mom
 36. Frozen pizza
 37. Really believing I can do anything
 38. Hilarious childhood memories of our normal days
 39. Getting a massage
 40. Homemade chicken stock
 41. Hugs from people I love
 42. Car stereo system
 43. BabyCenter Community
 44. handwritten letters
 45. Great mother in law who I get along with
 46. Storm sleepmaker app
 47. Evernote
 48. My Laptop
 49. Egyptian cotton sheets
 50. The day the fresh sheets go on the bed
 51. Colorful umbrellas
 52. A whole room for crafting
 53. Binder clips
 54. Russel + Hazel
 55. Cloth napkins
 56. Having a dishwasher
 57. Big, pretty coffee mugs
 58. Unlimited cell phone minutes
 59. SMS
 60. Drive Thru
 61. Being so generally happy and healthy
 62. Sunny days in the middle of winter
 63. Yoga and meditation
 64. Runners high
 65. Being left-handed
 66. Pandora
 67. Brand new journal with blank pages
 68. Fresh flowers
 69. The way my house smells after baking
 70. Laughing with my husband every day
 71. Having a great car that is family-ready
 72. Pre-lit Christmas trees
 73. Big bathtubs
 74. Spending holidays with family
 75. Heart rate monitor
 76. Great sports bras
 77. Cashmere
 78. Fresh, local ruby red grapefruit
 79. Being a creative thinker
 80. Living so close to my parents
 81. My normal (non-pregnant) figure
 82. Living in a safe community
 83. Making and wrapping homemade gifts
 84. Chocolate croissants
 85. GPS
 86. Mobile internet access
 87. Singing in my car
 88. Etta James and Norah Jones and Sarah Bareilles
 89. Good cries
 90. Candlelight
 91. Sunday afternoon two-hour naps
 92. Giant bath towels
 93. Flip-flops
 94. Optimism
 95. Moments when it’s clear how well my husband really knows me
 96. Valentine’s Day
 97. New shoes
 98. Spanx
 99. Insurance
 100. Love! The greatest of these is Love.

New Year's Eve cake with pink champagne icing. I'll post this recipe and source later in the week, but I must confess...John took this photo!

Hello! Welcome to 2011!

This is my year. My life is mine to make something of. I feel like I just landed my dream job and it starts today. A fresh, clean slate for me to write my new life story upon. An unformed lump of clay. This is going to be a very big year for me.  No more metaphors… this is what is really going on!

Most importantly, I’m expecting my first child. I’m 18 1/2  weeks along and we’ll be finding out whether we’re having a boy or a girl at our first ultrasound, in just 9 days!  I’ll be 33 when the baby is born, on or around May 31 this year.  I count my blessings, as pregnancy has been relatively easy for me, with mild nausea and nasal congestion being my biggest complaints, exhaustion and “baby brain” coming in second place. So far the biggest surprise about pregnancy is that I don’t walk around in a constant state of blissful anticipation. Life pretty much goes on as it always has, I’m just a little bigger and a little more out of breath. 

Except, life as I have known if for the past 6 years is about to change dramatically. Yesterday, Dec 31, 2010, was my last day of work. For good. I have “retired”, so to speak. Over the next few months, I will be changing my daily life so significantly, that I’ll wonder how I made it so long as a worker bee. I am determined to do and be the things that are important to me, and to fulfill the ideals I have held close to my heart though far out of practice for a very long time. 

The next few days will include posts with my lists, plans, and resolutions for my new life. I have big plans for myself, and I am setting out to take my new job very seriously. I am the architect of my own life, and I must take responsibility for crafting into the masterpiece it is destined to become!

Inspiration

She designed a life she loved! -Kobi Yamada

What am I doing?

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Inspiration

Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are probably right. -Henry Ford