Archives for the month of: December, 2013

I am sure everyone is beginning to think of their New Year’s resolutions, myself included, which will be coming next week. But, I have never really taken the time to reflect on the year that we are completing, the good the bad and the ugly. What a year it has been and thankfully, I can say that it was a good year, with a few rough parts thrown in.

  • The single best thing that happened this year – That is hard, but if I had to pick just one, it would be our birthday trip to New York. Hubby and I needed to get away, just the two of us. This long weekend let us reconnect and spend quality time together that had seemed to evade us for the past year.
  • The single most challenging thing that happened this year – Going back to work 8 weeks after our daughter was born and  working through my post-partum depression. The first year after I give birth is always very difficult. Once my babies turn 1, I can start to see past the depression and see the end in sight. My baby just turned 1 and I am finally starting to really enjoy her.
  • An unexpected joy this past year – I was offered a position at a new company. This new position is bringing me another step closer to getting my nursing degree.
  • An unexpected obstacle – thankfully, we really didn’t have any. Now, that doesn’t mean I want any next year.
  • Pick three words to describe this year –growing, stressful, fun
  • Three words my spouse would use to describe my year – growing, busy, SuperMom
  • The best books I read this year – the very sad reality, I only read one non-school book, but it was an amazing book that did me wonders. It is called Free Fall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons. It is my hope to read more books next year, but with school, I find it difficult to find time to read.
  • My most valuable relationships – God, my mom and Amanda. My mom and Amanda helped me through the deepest part of my post-partum and I am glad to say that I am finally starting to feel myself again.
  • Biggest personal challenge of the year – staying focused on me and all the positive things that go along with that. I am good at dwelling on the negative things about me, or even creating them. I need to kick the negative thoughts out and only leave room for the positive thoughts that will build me up and not tear me down.
  • In what ways did I grow emotionally – I have come out of the post-partum depression. I am so grateful for the friends and family that supported me through this time.
  • In what ways did I grow spiritually – Most days, I felt as though I was just holding on, hoping to make it to the next day. It is so easy for me to get caught up in the everyday that I forget to focus on God. Thankfully, our 6 year old is changing that. I envy his thirst to memorize the bible. He is always asking to read different bible stories. Faith like a child.
  • In what ways did I grow physically – I have lost about 15 pounds so far on my journey and I started going back to the gym, why isn’t only helping physically, but also emotionally (more on that later!) I have also started running again, after taking a year off. Granted, it is only a minute at a time, but I am still running and preparing for a 5K
  • In what ways did I grow my relationships with others – I feel as though my relationships with others have dwindled and that makes me very sad. I love being with my friends. I struggle with the fact that I am busy with family, work and school. I want to have time for my friends as well, but unfortunately, I am not making that a priority.
  • What was the most enjoyable part of my work – my co-workers. There are just 4 of us, but we have a good time.
  • What was the most challenging part of my work – Finding my place in the new position. It has been quite the learning curve with learning different personalities.
  • What was my single biggest time waster of the year – the stupid internet, namely social media and Pinterest. I let that distract me from my school work and quality time with my husband. Not only is a time waster, but I let it become a thief. My desire is to spend less time mindlessly on the internet.
  • What was the best way I used my time – I let my 6 year old do household tasks with me. That way, I still did what I had to do, but I could spend time with him.
  • What was the biggest thing I learned – If I put my mind to it, I can get it done. There are many days I want to give up because I am so busy with family, work and school, but I know that it is a means to an end and also that I am setting an example for my children.
  • Create a phrase or statement that describes this past year:

All in all, 2013 was a good year. I am excited to see what is in store for us next year. How about you, how was your year?

Merry-Christmas-2012-300x240

 

 

Last Saturday, I took my great friend out for her birthday. We went to Naked Plates to express some of our artistic abilities. If you know me, I am far from artistic. We each painted a coffee mug, a bowl and a plate. I was thinking it would take us a couple of hours. I was wrong; we got there at 10:00am and left at 3:30. Apparently, you need to paint each color three times. It is easy to forget that fact when you are trying to create a masterpiece.  Needless to say, they are going to look amazing when I pick them up on Saturday!  It was so good to catch up and just hang out with our kids vying for our attention.  Later that night, I was telling Buster about the cookie plate I made so he could put cookies out for Santa. He immediately informed me that Santa needed a healthy snack and we should put out carrots and hummus! That kid cracks me up. I guess I need to make sure that I have carrots and hummus out for Santa and his reindeer.

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I had such great plans of everything I wanted to get done now that my class is over.  Unfortunately, my list is getting longer instead of shorter. If only there was a way to stop time, but I could keep going everything would fall into place. I still have 3 weeks before my next class starts. I am going to make a dent in that list! Speaking of class being over, I am happy to say that I actually did really well in the class. It was my first time taking an online class and I was a little nervous about it, but I ended up with an A-. I also signed up for my next class, American Government, which will also be online. I have to stay focused in this class because I am not looking forward to taking it. Too bad it isn’t an election year, to make it a little more exciting.

I find it funny, Christmas is supposed to be a time of family and friends and joy, but we have turned it into a time of stress, expectations, and drudgery.  In 2011, Yahoo came up with a list of the American’s Top Holiday Dreads and do you know what was #2, gaining weight.  At work, we are doing a hold it for the holidays. My goal is to actually lose 5 pounds before January 15. I am well on my way to making that goal. With all the upcoming parties, I need to make sure that I am finding time to get to the gym and making smart food choices.

What is your number one holiday indulgence?!

I can’t believe that Christmas is only about 15 days away. Between family, school and work I feel as though the days are getting away from me. Last year at this time, we were in the midst of the new baby fog. I am so happy we are past that.

Now that school is done, I can spend more time getting ready for Christmas. I  have a couple of cookie exchanges to prepare for and one of them I am going to be making my all-time favorite traditional Christmas goodie, Peanut Butter Balls, or as my sister-in-law calls them, Buckeyes! This past weekend, we went over to my parents and made a bunch of peanut butter balls. I am thinking I might have to make some more before the season is over.

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Peanut Butter center:

3 cups Rice Krispies, measure and then crush

1 pound Powdered Sugar (3 1/2 cups)

2 cups smooth Peanut Butter

1 stick of Butter melted (1/2 cup)

chocolate coating:

1 bag Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (2 cups)

1/2 package White Candi Quik

 -Measure 3 cups of Rice Krispie cereal and crush with a rolling pin. Add crushed Rice Krispies, powdered sugar, and peanut butter to mixer. Begin to mix on medium speed, slowly drizzle melted butter in, continue to mix until filling is completely incorporated, about 2 minutes. Using a melon baller, scoop out filling and roll in to balls in the palm of your hand, set them on a baking sheet. Chill peanut butter balls in refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

Chocolate Coating: Melt 2 cups of semi sweet chocolate chips with 1/2 package  white candi quik in a glass bowl in your microwave at 30 second intervals. Do not microwave longer than 90 seconds all together, chocolate will continue to melt even after done microwaving. Stir with spatula until smooth.

-Lay parchment or waxed paper on counter.

-Dip fork in chocolate coating, set peanut butter ball on fork, spoon chocolate coating over peanut butter ball.

-Tap fork on side of bowl to knock off excess chocolate.

-Scoot chocolate covered ball on to parchment paper and repeat

-Allow 1 hour for chocolate to set up well.

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