Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking Back

New Year's Eve always seems like a good time to reflect, and since J is in Nashville visiting friends (I stayed behind to work this weekend), I decided to look back at the goals we set last January and see how we did.

So, without further ado:

In 2010, J and I will--
•Run 300 miles. Um...well, we ran about 100 miles each. I finished a 3K in March, a 5K in March, April, May, and June, a 10K in July (that one with J) and then pretty much fell off the wagon. I did finish a 5K in October, but that was the last one for the year. And strangely, I kind of miss it...

•Lose weight. Yes, we did lose weight. No, we didn't hit our individual goes for the year. I made it down another 15 before grinding to a halt. I actually gained about ten back at some point, but have maintained at the point for about three months. J has lost about twenty pounds and maintained that, as well. Still work to do, but we're celebrating the sucesses.

•Complete the following home improvement projects--
Library built-ins--No. Not even close.

Deck--No. The winter was not kind to the changes we made last year, so we just gave up and started saving for composite lumber--see 2011 goals.

Main Bathroom--Yes, but still in progress. Add new marble tile to the list, as well as new lighting, new mirror, new drywall in some areas...

Master Bedroom--Yes, mostly. Painted, wardrobes installed, new chest of drawers, new roller shade (replaced mini-blinds). Still need to hang curtains over the wardrobes and install crown moulding.

•Restructure our spending so that we can live comfortably on 70% of our current combined take-home salary. Accomplished. And then I left my job and we found ourselves bringing home about 1/3 less for the last quarter of the year. Luckily, we had managed to pay off most of a car and to build up a good emergency fund to keep the balance.

•Internalize and live our 2010 phrase--Be Gentle with yourself and others. This one is kind of funny. When we adopted it, I thought that J would be working on being gentle with himself, while I needed to work on being gentle with others. As it turned out, I got the biggest lesson in being gentle with myself, when I learned to give myself permission to step off my career path in August/September. It's hard for a perfectionist to admit that her plan might not be in her best interest, and with J's help, I did. What a wonderful September-December we enjoyed! Even with the roadblocks and new challenges we've faced since I left my job, neither J nor I have questioned for a moment if it was the right choice.

So there you have it--in the record books, it looks like a mixed year. We knocked some goals out of the park; others still need work. We didn't travel as much as we have in past years, but the MP is certainly looking and feeling more like the picture of home in my head! Most importantly, we celebrated three years of marriage and ended the year healthier than we started it.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Happy Boxing Day!

J and I are on our way back to the Melton Point after a quick trip to visit our families this Christmas. (J is driving; I'm playing of my iPhone to pass the time.). This year's Christmas adventure started Friday morning--Christmas Eve! We opened our gifts, the most exciting of which was the gift we already knew about. We jointly gave ourselves a kitchenaid stand mixer. I'm looking forward to making tons of frosting, and J is looking forward to grinding and making his own sausage. I think that the Melton Point kitchen will be turning out some pretty amazing food in 2011! Feel free to come by and help me eat some of it!!

After opening our own gifts, I set off to Williams-Sonoma for one last day of manic gift wrapping while J stayed home to try out the new mixer. After finishing my shift, we dropped off J's appetizers at church for those folks attending the Christmas Eve services. Then, we pointed Irene west and set out for J's dad's house. About an hour and a half into the drive, we hit some light snow which quickly became heavy snow. It took much longer than the usual 3.5 hours to reach their house, and I was so grateful to finally pull into their driveway! We had a great visit with that side of the family (but were sorry to miss one of J's sisters and her family, as the snow held us up until after bedtime for the little ones). Christmas morning, we woke up to a beautiful white Christmas and, even more blessedly, mostly clear roads! We traveled to J's mom's house for a great visit and then on to my folks for Christmas dinner and a night of movie watching! For the first time, we actually spent time with all of our parents on Christmas Day. While it made for a long weekend with lots of driving (and white knuckles for J!), we feel so blessed to have shared this special time with them!

Today, we are sort of celebrating the opposite of Boxing Day--rather than traveling to visit friends and family, we are focused simply on getting to our own home. We look forward to visiting with you all in the New Year instead!