20 December 2009


I'm trying out a new laundry system.  First of all, I separate my clothes by color:

1.  Red, Orange, Purple
2.  Blue, Green
3.  Black, Gray
4.  White, off-white

I haven't figured out where yellow should go, but we don't wear much yellow, so it hasn't been a problem yet.  I do it this way so that I can wash everything in cold water, which saves on electricity.  I also try to run as many loads back-to-back as possible so that the drier stays warm between loads.  This also saves on electricity.  I do need to get one of those long lint brushes to stick through the lint vent.  I think there may be a back-up because it't taking more than one cycle to dry a load of clothes right now.  My long-term goal is to dry my clothes outside most of the year, but that will have to wait until we buy a house.  It's against our current lease to dry clothes outside.  Even though I see other people do it, I don't want to take my chances.

In an endeavor to use more environmentally-friendly cleaning products, I just made my first batch of homemade laundry detergent!  The first load using this recipe is in the washer now, so I'll have to give you my review later.  I was going to take pictures, but my husband is taking a nap and I can't take a picture of myself...

Homemade Laundry Detergent:
1/2 cup powdered Borax
1/2 cup powedered washing soda
1 cup grated Fels-Naptha soap

I was able to find all three of these ingredients at a combination of my local grocery stores.  Fels-Naptha was the hardest to find.  I recently found out that the local General Store also carries it, and it can also be ordered online.  I used the smallest grain on my box grater to grate the Fels-Naptha by hand.  One cup is approximately 1/2 a bar.  I use 1 tbsp. of this powdered detergent per load.  You can increase this to 2 tbsp. if you have an especially dirty load.

I've almost finished using up all of the liquid fabric softener I bought quite a while back.  I switched to liquid softener because I thought it was such a waste to use the drier sheets and throw them away.  I could never figure out another use for them.  After the liquid softener is gone, I plan to switch to plain old white vinegar in its place.

Have you tried any homemade laundry detergents?

10 December 2009

Random Thoughts

I find myself thinking all the time about things I want to blog about, usually when I'm driving in the car. But when I get back to my computer, I've completely forgotten it all! So right now, I'm going to try and do a brain dump. Hopefully I'll be able to elaborate in future posts.

  • I'm making progress in physical therapy. I even got to run in place on a trampoline yesterday!
  • Christmas decorations: we bought our first Christmas tree, I made an advent wreath, and I'm trying to knit our Christmas stockings.
  • I'm confused about what direction I should be going with my life.
  • I restarted my part-time job.
  • I think I need to do some reading on time management, but not until I study and take my geology final tomorrow night!
  • I "quit" one of my challenges.

I have quite a bunch of pictures ready and waiting on my camera. Hopefully I can add them and update recipes as well.

I'm not going to promise to elaborate on these thoughts later, but I'll do my best!

30 November 2009

The start of a new week

I can feel it. This is the week that I get back on track, the week I start adding parts of my "old" life to my "new" life. How do I know?

A. I'm still awake and it's almost midnight. As an undergrad, this was not unusual. As a matter of fact, midnight was early! Now, 10:30pm is late for me...


B. I went to the gym at 10pm. I've noticed a pattern over the last few weeks. If I don't make it to the gym on Monday, I'm unlikely to make it any other day of the week.

I found a site, Beginner Triathlete, that has a three month beginner cycling program. Today was my first day on the program, so I was supposed to warm up for 10 minutes, do 10x30 seconds at 100rpm with 1 minute recoveries, and cool down for 5 minutes. I'm not sure how the bike at the gym measures speed, but it's certainly not in rpm, because my warm up was around a 10.0. So I did my 10x30 seconds at approximately a 15.0 on whatever scale the bike uses. It felt good to be on a bike, but I still need to figure out the right level to provide enough of a challenge for me. This first day of the program didn't get me anywhere near sweaty, though I was a bit tired at the end. After the bike, I did a little weight lifting, but didn't really feel that into it, so came home. Hey, at least I made it there and did something, right?

Food Journal:
Breakfast: Oatmeal
Lunch: leftover chicken noodle soup and multigrain crackers
Snack: 30g pistachios in the shell
Dinner: homemade pizza with mushrooms and olives, diet pepsi
Other: less than 1/4 cup of ice cream, 2 hershey's kisses

I'm not sure I made it on the whole drinking 80 oz. of water front. I'm finding that to be much more of a challenge now that it's starting to get colder.

26 November 2009

I've lost track

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope that if you are/were traveling you arrived or will arrive safely to your destination. My husband and I spent all day yesterday driving to his parent's house. In a few minutes we will be off to see my family for the morning. I am so excited!

Before I get to my journal entry, here's a little background on my ankle: While I was working this summer, I noticed that my left ankle would swell up pretty badly. It eventually got to the point where I went to an urgent care facility, but they could do nothing for me. Since it wasn't hurting me, I decided not to pursue it any further until I returned to school. Fast forward to the end of October, when my ankle really started to hurt. The health clinic on campus took x-rays, found no broken bones, and referred me to a physician with a health medicine background. This new doctor prescribed an anti-inflammatory for a few weeks, which didn't help at all, so I was sent for an MRI, which I have to say was a cool experience for someone with my background. The MRI revealed a bone bruise above my ankle (sorry, I don't remember all the technical terms) and fluid build-up (edema?) around my ankle bone. So now I've started 6 weeks of physical therapy, which I really hope gets me back into running!

Anyways, here's my journal entry from Nov. 24:

Breakfast: oatmeal
Lunch: chicken noodle soup
Dinner: Mexican restaurant: chips and salsa, diet coke, cheese quesadilla, chicken enchilada, chicken burrito (or something like that)
Other: oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, nerds, pumpkin seeds, yoplait delights, graham cracker

Over the past week, I've really fallen off the weight-loss train. I was flat out lazy and stopped keeping track of my eating, which has not been all that wonderful. I've particularly had problems with snacking now that my husband has started his new job.

I've also been slacking on the gym time. After talking to my husband, I'm going to have to start going to the gym without him in order to get enough exercise time in. I also need a training goal to work towards. I'm not allowed to run or do any other weight-bearing activity because of my ankle, but the physical therapist has approved bicycling and the elliptical. I tried the elliptical yesterday and was really paying for it today, so I don't think I'll be trying that again until after my next PT appointment. So that leaves the bicycle. I've been unsuccessful so far in finding a training regimen for it. Can anyone point me to some book websites for bicycling that would have training plans on it?

11 November 2009

Food Journal Week 2, Day 3

Breakfast: 1 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch and a splash of milk
Lunch: the last of the BBQ (~1/4 cup) and 2 slices sourdough bread
Dinner: BBQ sandwich with cole slaw and potato chips, sweet tea

Sorry these haven't been very interesting posts lately. Too many things to do and not enough time!

10 November 2009

Food Journal Week 2, Day 2

Breakfast: Cheerios and raisins with a splash of milk
Lunch: none
Dinner: 2 slices of mediterranean pizza and a diet coke

I think I fell off the bandwagon today, but tomorrow's a new day! My husband promised me we'd go to the gym tomorrow morning.

09 November 2009

Food Journal Week 2, Day 1

When I did my weigh in this morning, I was pleasantly surprised--I've lost 3 pounds! Hopefully this trend will continue!

Holiday Health Nut Challenge:
Breakfast: 2 graham cracker sheets with peanut butter
Lunch: leftover vegetable couscous
Dinner: Lentil-Tofu Soup and sourdough toast with margarine
Other: Apple Pie, 1/2 apple during making of said pie

I'm still doing poorly at getting my 5 fruits and vegetables a day. Somehow I need to make them more accessible when I'm constantly on the run. I also didn't make it to the gym as I had hoped and I don't forsee getting even a workout DVD in because it's so late--way past my bed time!

HFN Holiday Challenge:
  • drink enough water--5 points
  • 30 min incidental activity--5 points
  • eat 3x per day--5 points
  • 6-9 hours of sleep--5 points
  • no junk food--5 points
  • compliment yourself--5 points
  • wear sunscreen--5 points
  • take inventory--5 points
  • eat breakfast from home--10 points
  • eat lunch from home--10 points
  • eat dinner from home--10 points
  • avoid alcohol--10 points
  • drink only water--10 points
  • eat vegetarian for the whole day--15 points

Pictures are coming soon, I promise! I also want to figure out how to post a graph of my pedometer output.

06 November 2009

Food Journal Day 5

Breakfast: 2 graham crackers with peanut butter (<2tbsp)
Lunch: Spinach and mushroom quiche
Dinner: at least 1 cup of white rice, chicken curry (sortof)
Other: mini skittles and mini snickers, several toasted pumpkin seeds

So to explain the whole dinner thing, my husband and I made a chicken curry dish and it was way more spicy than I expected. So I'm not sure how much of mine I ate; I wound up eating plain rice to cool down my mouth. I also definitely reached my 80oz of water! The rest of what was on my plate got packaged up and will be a weekday lunch for my husband.

Wow, am I really sore from that body sculting class I went to yesterday. I am definitely aware that my butt is a muscle and I'm sure I waddle a little when I walk. Hopefully I will be much less sore tomorrow, as I will be standing for most of the day parking cars for the football game (yay). Despite my soreness, I managed to make it to the beginner step class at the gym this morning and I even survived the whole hour, though I was definitely more tired than the last time I took the class.

I remembered to take a picture of the quiche today at lunch, so I will try and post that sometime this weekend. Off to bed I go, considering I have to leave at 5am tomorrow to park cars.

On a totally random note, I say 'definitely' a lot; I should find another word...

05 November 2009

Food Journal Day 4

Holiday Health Nut Challenge:
Breakfast: 1 cup cheerios with 1/4 cup raisins
Lunch: 1 slice spinach and mushroom quiche and 1 serving carrots
Dinner: Chicken-broccoli-tortollini soup and 2 corn bread squares
Dessert: Coffee with 2 tbsp french vanilla creamer and 1 slice pumpkin pound cake
Other: ~1 handful total of toasted pumpkin seeds

Since my class was cancelled this morning, I decided to attend a body sculpt class at the gym. I felt really good about myself afterwards because I was able to do most of the moves with only a few modifications and I didn't really wimp out on any of the moves until the end of the class. I also learned that I have really horrible balance, especially when doing lunges. Maybe this is because of my injured foot? I wasn't too sore after the class, but now I'm starting to get stiff. I did my best to stretch, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to be hurting tomorrow, which is unfortunate because I can't take any more pain killers! Since I don't have to work tomorrow morning, I think I'm going to try the beginner's step class again. I'm kinda bored with the bike machine, but need to get cardio in there somehow!

HFN Holiday Challenge Points:
  • Drink enough water--5 points
  • Perform 30 minutes of incidental activity--5 points
  • Eat at least 3 times a day--5 points
  • Get 6-9 hours of sleep--5 points
  • Look in the mirror and compliment yourself--5 points
  • Wear sunscreen--5 points
  • Take inventory--5 points
  • 30 minutes of dedicated exersize--10 points
  • Eat breakfast prepared at home--10 points
  • Eat lunch prepared at home--10 points
  • Eat dinner prepared at home--10 points
  • Stretch before bed--10 points
  • Avoid alcohol--10 points
  • Work out with someone else--15 points
  • Go to a new group exercise class--20 points

Today's total: 130 points

That's the highest number of points I've reached in one day since I started this challenge! One thing I'm finding it hard to earn points on is eating 5 servings of fruits/vegetables a day. I came close today with 4 servings, but I will have to work harder on this point. I've also picked out a book to read for the challenge, which will earn me 30 points when I finish it--Life At These Speeds by Jeremy Jackson. I also picked up The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner, by Alan Sillitoe, but it's really short, so I figured I wouldn't count that one. It's certainly an interesting read, though!

04 November 2009

Recipe: Weeknight Cheese Quiche

Last post of the night, I promise!

Here is the recipe I used for the spinach and mushroom quiche, which was quite delicious.

Source: Kraft foods
Makes: 6 servings

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
4 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 frozen pie crust (9 inch), thawed
1/4 cup bacon bits
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook mushrooms and onions in a large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from heat and stir in spinach.
  3. Beat eggs, milk, and mayonnaise in a medium bowl with a whisk until well blended. Add spinach mixture and cheese and pour into crust. Top with bacon bits.
  4. Bake for 50 minutes or until center is set and top is golden brown.

Food Journal Day 3

Breakfast: 1 cup cheerios, 1/4 cup raisins, dash of 1% milk
Lunch: leftover meatloaf and mashed potatoes
Snack: 2 small chocolate chip cookies
Dinner: 3/4 cup chicken pot pie, 1 cup fruit salad, 2 small rolls, lemonade
Dessert: 1 small slice of snickers pie and 1/2 small slice of peanut butter pie

So obviously sweets were my weakness today. I also failed to make it to the gym...again. However, I did do a stability ball workout DVD, so I did get some exercise in. I'm planning on attending at least one gym class tomorrow, maybe two. Maybe I'll be able to avoid the sweets since I'll be away from home most of the day and should make it home at a relatively decent time. It just occurred to me that if I put the Halloween candy away in a cabinet, maybe I'll eat less of it.

You know what's most frustrating about trying to lose weight? Every Monday is the Monday. The start of the week where you're finally going to do it all right. But that week never pans out the way it's supposed to, at least for me. One day I'll have my Monday.

Handwritten Journal Entry

So last night I was way too tired to face another computer screen, so I wrote my update in a real journal. Remember those? Here's what I wrote:

November 3, 2009
So I've started these two challenges and I'm starting to wonder why. I guess I was hoping they would provide motivation to eat healthily and go tot he gym, but it doesn't seem to be working. I guess it did get me to do my stability ball strength training last night, but if that's what I'm going to do, then why am I paying for a gym membership, especially when [my husband] still doesn't have a job? I think the eating front would be easier if we didn't have Halloween candy in the house. When I'm starving and waiting for [my husband] to go out and get the one dinner ingredient I've forgotten (two nights in a row!), they're just too tempting.

One thing I don't like about one of the challenges is the awarding of points for drinking only water. I drink my 80oz. of water and then I want a different flavor! And if I ever start this co-op...then I'm definitely going to need some coffee when I get up a 5am!

What I ate today:
Breakfast: cheerios with raisins and 1% milk
Lunch: leftover meatloaf and mashed potatoes
Dinner: 2 slices spinach and mushroom quiche
Other: a pinch of mozzarella cheese; Reese's peanut butter cup; mini laffy taffy; mini skittles

While I didn't make it to the gym because I was exhausted and my ankle was really hurting (I know, excuses, excuses), I logged 11336 steps on my pedometer! 3154 of those were considered aerobic steps. Therefore, I burned 236 calories by walking 2.14 miles. So I definitely get my points for incidental exercise.

02 November 2009

New Motivation

I'm not able to run due to possible shin splints, so I've been slacking off in the exercise department. However, I hope I've found some new motivation--two fitness challenges. The first is HFN Holiday Challenge from The Nest, which runs from November 1 until December 31 and has a point basis. The second challenge is the Holiday Health Nut Challenge, which is being run by Destination: Athlete from November 2 until December 28. For me, this is a weight loss challenge, similar to The Biggest Loser (my favorite show!). I am attempting to lose 12 pounds by the end of the challenge, drink 80 oz. of water a day, and keep a food journal. I'm hoping that these two challenges will help keep me accountable for the food I put in my mouth and provide motivation for going to the gym, or at least to do a workout video here in the apartment!

So, here are my check-ins for each challenge:

HFN Holiday Challenge:
  • drink enough water - 5pts
  • 30 minutes of incidental activity - 5pts
  • 3 meals a day - 5pts
  • wear sunscreen - 5pts
  • blog about how you feel - 5pts
  • get 6-9 hours of sleep - 5pts
  • eat home-made breakfast - 10pts
  • eat home-made dinner - 10pts
  • avoid alcohol - 10pts
  • drink only water for the day - 10pts

I need to find a Health & Fitness related book to read. Any suggestions? I'll need to make a stop at the public library or the school library.

Holiday Health Nut Challenge:

My beginning weight for this challenge is 142 pounds. I hope to make it to 130 by December 28, with a long-term goal of 120 pounds. Surprisingly enough, I actually did drink 80 oz. of water today. That sounds like so much water to me, that I didn't think I really accomplished it, but I did! For the food journal, here's what I ate today:

  • 2 graham cracker sheets spread with peanut butter (~1 tbps)
  • canned fruit (~1/2 cup)
  • 6 inch turkey sub on 9-grain honey oat with spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and pickles
  • small box of Milk Duds
  • canned fruit (~1/4 cup)
  • mini snickers bar
  • 2.5 cornbread squares
  • 1/2 cup pork BBQ
  • a little more than 1/4 cup baked beans

My biggest problem was that I was starving when I got home from school, or else I wouldn't have eaten the extra canned fruit or the mini snickers bar. This actually sounded a lot worse in my head, but doesn't seem so bad written down, which may be due to crappy estimating (note to self: measure food from now on). If I can find a calorie estimator online, I'll post the tally later on.

The big thing I haven't done yet today is make it to the gym for a dedicated workout. I know these are crappy reasons, but my foot was really hurting, I have a rebound headache from the anti-inflammatory medicine the doctor has me on, and I'm tired. Maybe I'll play Wii for a little while. Does that count as a dedicated workout? Something tells me no.

12 October 2009

Goal #1 Update

On my very first blog, I established a set of goals I set for myself, the first one being:

1. Return to my pre-wedding clothes size.
a. Work my way back into a running program.
b. Portion control
c. Prepare meals from scratch with organic/local/environmentally friendly ingredients
d. Drink eight 8oz. glasses of water a day
e. Take a multivitamin and calcium chew every day

So how am I doing with the very first goal I set myself? Well, I've started a new running routine and am supposed to run a 5k on halloween. However, last week my knee and ankle started hurting when I tried to increase my mileage. Since I have a tendency to get injured, I'm going to back of the mileage for a little while. It may wind up that I have to walk a lot of that 5k, but at least I'll finish it!

My husband and I somehow managed to fit a gym membership into our tight budget, and until last week we had been really good about using it almost every day. I think last week we both lost motivation. For my part, I am frustrated because I've been doing all this working out and I'm not seeing the scale budge or much of a change in my body shape. I also get bored really easily, so I think I need to try out some different weight lifting machines.

Portion control is still an issue for me. I've even tried using a small dessert plate, but that doesn't help if I keep going back for seconds (or thirds). I think my lack of self control is at its worst when I'm eating dinner at church. I'm not sure how to remedy this--eat slower, drink more water?

My husband and I have been doing fairly well with cooking from scratch, although I haven't taken any pictures of our yummy creations recently. I did find some pictures of the feast we prepared for Cinco de Mayo, though, that I never posted!

Honestly, I haven't been keeping track of how much water I've been drinking, but I'm certain it's not anywhere near enough. I also left all my vitamins at my parents house when I moved back here and I haven't bought a new stash. Vitamins are expensive!

31 August 2009


A lot has happened in the past month. I finished my internship and have moved back to be with my husband. In addition, school started two weeks ago and all my activities are back into full swing. I have to admit, I'm finding it a little difficult to adjust back to this life and I'm lacking some serious focus and motivation.

While most of our things are unpacked and we're essentially moved into the new apartment, there are a few lingering boxes and a serious lack of decoration. While I would love to be able to go to any store and buy what I want to make this feel like a home for us, I know I can't do that right now. My husband still has not found a new job and while we have started to receive unemployment benefits, our budget is still very tight. Nonetheless, we've been finding ways to entertain ourselves without spending too much money. Just yesterday we drove up to one of the "local" state parks for a short 2 mile hike. My husband also took pictures and collected information to use in his hiking/backpacking blog (http://www.examiner.com/x-11420-Columbia-Backpacking-Examiner).

On top of my "normal" obligations, I've added several new commitments to my already busy schedule. I know what you're probably thinking--why would I try to cram more things into less time? For me, at least in my younger years, it was easier to keep motivated and productive when I had a multitude of activities and responsibilities. I didn't have time to procrastinate, so everything got finished on time or even early. I'm still hoping to get back to that old me.

Over the next few posts, I'll revisit some of the goals I set for myself when I first started this blog so that I can evaluate any progress I've made. But for now, I think I'll start by writing some to do lists.

05 August 2009

Left Behind

I've been feeling like life has been passing me by lately. I started to feel this way when I realized I'm the only one in my group of friends who is working towards a Ph.D. While everyone else is moving on with their life (jobs, marriage, buying a house, having babies), I feel like I'm standing still. I feel like I'm being restricted by the choices I've made in addition to holding my husband back from his own career aspirations. There are just no job opportunities in his field where we live.

Will it be worth it in the end?
What am I really gaining by earning a Ph.D.?
Why can't I just be happy with the path I've chosen and be proud of all my accomplishments?


14 July 2009

I Love Running

I love running, but I forgot.

I went for a walk this evening all by myself. I'm working on achieving 10,000 steps a day, which is harder than it sounds. At least I think it's harder than it sounds. Anyways, before I knew it, I was walking faster and faster until I broke into a jog. Without anyone with me and without any music or other distractions, I was able to focus on how good it made me feel to run again. I miss running.

I still felt some twinges of pain in my legs, but I suspect that may have been partly due to me not wearing my running shoes. The real test will be tomorrow. We'll see if I can walk normally or not.

And in case you're wondering, I didn't reach my 10,000 step goal. I'm just shy with 9,405, but you know what? I'm ok with that.


11 July 2009

Bragging Rights

I have to admit that I'm proud of myself. Yesterday was a good eating day and instead of driving up to the drug store at the end of our street when I need to replenish my toiletries, mom and I walked up there. That means I did a good thing for the environment and I got some exercise (by walking more than 11,000 steps!). Hopefully this trend will continue...

08 July 2009

Picking Myself Back Up

I am really disappointed with myself. I've gained almost 20 pounds over the last year, most in the last few months. The worst part is, I'm finding it nearly impossible to pick myself back up and get back with the program.

I eat compulsively, and a lot of the times, I really am hungry. Waking up at 5 to go to work has really messed with my eating schedule. I eat breakfast at about 5:30am before I leave and then am starving again by 10am. I struggle to make it till at least 11:30am to eat lunch, but then am starving again on my drive home before dinner. I can barely make it to 5pm. *sigh* I don't know how to fix this!

14 June 2009

Unrealistic Expectations

Why can't I do everything? Why can't I work a full-time job, keep up an exercise routine, cook meals, and keep the house clean?

How do I make my expectations more realistic?


28 May 2009

An Avalanche of Receipts

My husband and I have a drawer that we put all of our credit card receipts in when we come in the house so that they are all in one place when it's time to pay the bills. The problem is that neither of us had actually been going through them when it was bill time. Don't follow our example! This is what the drawer wound up looking like after months of piling up:

This drawer was so full that we had quit opening it an were just shoving the receipts through the cracks. So lazy! I eventually got fed up with it, so I organized all of the receipts by month and put each month's receipts in a separate envelope. The envelopes go into a shoebox sorted by year that we keep in the closet. Look--only one receipt left!

Hopefully we can keep this habit up. Do you keep your credit card receipts? If so, how do you organize them? I'm always looking for better ideas!

18 May 2009

Adventures in Running

Almost a year after I stopped running seriously and six months since I stopped running, I have started a new program. On Saturday, I went on a run with my ROTC brother, who effectively became my personal trainer. Unfortunately, I didn't run as far as he had hoped, but at least I got back into it. We covered a total of 2 miles. I ran a maximum of 1 mile, but probably less; I'm bad at guessing my running mileage. I am a very stubborn person and therefore was resistant to my brother's encouragement to keep running. I have suffered far too many running injuries and would like to avoid that situation again. Sorry bro, but I'm going to listen to my body before I listen to you.

Yesterday and today my legs hurt so bad I could barely walk. Stairs were pretty much out of the question. I've learned from previous running conquests that running again will help ease the pain, so against my body's wishes, I went for another run this evening. I have absolutely no idea how much ground I covered or even how long I was gone. I had no watch on and forgot to put on my pedometer. Additionally, I decided to run a different course last-minute than I had on Saturday, so I can't even compare the two days. That's fine with me.

I've decided for not to focus more on proper running style than time or distance. As my body gets stronger and realizes I'm not giving up this time (I hope), my running time and distance will increase. My goal is to be able to run 30 minutes straight by the end of the summer. Wish me luck!

14 May 2009

New Work

So I've started my new job, and not even 24 hours into it, I get sick. I still went in, though. I know, I'm a horrible person, but summer hires don't get any sick or vacation days! Luckily, I'm starting to feel much better and hopefully I'll be more or less back to normal tomorrow.

Now that I'm working a full-time job, I'm finding it much harder to get things done. I get up at 5am so that I can be at work by 6:45am, and it's usually 5:30pm before I get home. After eating dinner, I've been pretty much vegging out since I've been sick. I don't understand how working moms everywhere do it. How do they find time to work a full shift, cook dinner, clean, work out and do everything else that comes with taking care of a family? They must be sleep deprived.

So obviously I have not made very much progress on my goals. I have not worked out hardly at all. Until I got sick, I was pretty good about reading at least one bible chapter before I went to bed. I have been pretty good about taking my vitamins and drinking water. I make so many trips to the women's restroom during the day! Hopefully once I'm over this sickness for good I can find time to run in the evenings. If not, I have a 45 minute lunch break and may consider bringing sneakers to the office so I can walk around the block a few times. I'm not sure how well that will work once it starts getting really hot, though. Looks like I'll just have to get used to running in the dark.

As always, suggestions and comments are always welcome!

10 May 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Today my brother and I joined my mom at church, where she sang a fabulous solo. Go mom! After grabbing a quick lunch at home, we headed on a road-trip to my new office tomorrow, just to make sure I knew where I was going. After returning home, we watched "The Dutchess", headed to a yummy dinner at TGI Fridays and banana splits at Friendly's :)

What did you do for mother's day?

06 May 2009

Study Skills

For now, I'm off the hook for this goal. Unlike the typical graduate student, I'm not taking any classes this summer. I'm not even going to be doing research at my home institution. I'm heading off to the Washington, DC area to work for three months at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

However, I do have ideas as to how to improve my study skills when the new semester arrives. I fully admit that my note-taking skills are horrible. I can either listen to what my professor is saying or write down what he/she is writing down on the board, not both at the same time. For my birthday this year, my parents gave me a digital voice recorder. I used it for a few classes at the end of the semester and was surprised at how much I was missing when I listened to one of them. The only problem now is finding an extra hour per class in my busy day to re-listen to the class and fill in my notes.

I also need to work on my time management. It's not that I don't have the time to do things, it's that I don't make the time to do things. This goes back to the laziness issue. When I get home from work/school, I want to veg out in front of the TV, even if it means watching a show I've already seen. This needs to stop.

I will be doing a little bit of studying this summer in preparation for my qualifying exams this fall. Although there are not lectures to attend, just my old class notes and textbook, hopefully I won't slack off and will really put some hard studying in so that I pass my qualifying exam with ease.

If you have any study suggestions that work well for you, I'd love to hear about them!

05 May 2009


I hate cleaning, and yet I yearn to be "good" at it. Why can't I be one of those people whose homes are seemingly immaculate at all moments in time? There are moments in my life when I get really excited about cleaning (weird, I know), but I usually burn out after cleaning the kitchen. You should have seen this apartment during the last two weeks of the semester. It was a wreck. Books, binders, and miscellaneous papers strewn the entire 360 degrees around my workspace.

I've tried several cleaning schedules that others have laid out for themselves. Most consist of a list of daily cleaning chores as well as a set of weekly cleaning chores that are spread throughout the week. I have yet to be able to stick to any of these schedules, mostly because I'm lazy and addicted to crappy reality TV shows...

Recently, I have had a breakthrough. I bought myself an organic cleaning book and am very excited about implementing many of the ideas when we move to our new apartment in July. I know, why wait till then? Because a) it will be like starting from scratch and b) I'm moving 650+ miles away for a temporary summer position. Maybe I'll employ my new-found techniques while living with my parents this summer. Look for updates!

04 May 2009

My Spiritual Journey

As the Peer Minister at our local Episcopal church, I am in charge of planning and coordinating weekly meetings and events for the Canterbury college ministry. I try to be as open as possible about my spiritual journey. Sometimes I'm just as confused and unsure as everyone else and I don't feel comfortable telling other people what they should believe. Everyone has their own spiritual journey.

For awhile, I was diligent about reading my bible every night and I'm not really sure why I stopped. I think it's because I started bringing other books into bed with me at night. So my first goal is to get back into this habit. I have never read the entire bible cover to cover, but that is something I would like to accomplish.

I also struggle a lot with prayer. Most times, I am unable to turn off my brain and just listen. This is something I need to work on. One week at Canterbury, we learned about centering prayer. Maybe I should look into this practice a little more in detail.

Eventually, I would like to enroll in the Education For Ministry (EFM) courses offered through the University of the South. These courses use a group setting to delve deeper into bible passages and their meanings. They also cover topics such as church history and theology. But like I said, this is a ways down the road for me; I don't need any more courses at the moment!

Feel free to leave a comment about your own spiritual goals. God Bless!

03 May 2009

Twenty Pounds

That's how much weight I've gained since I was married on July 12, 2008. It's possible the number may be a little higher; I've been afraid to step on the scale. But to me, it's not really about the weight. I am more concerned with fitting back into my clothes and feeling sexy again. So how am I going to go about losing this weight?

1. Work my way back into a running program. I've been injured since January and really hope that I can start getting into some more high-impact activities. I will be following the First Steps program laid out by Runners World, which is a 10 week training plan.

2. Portion control, especially with respects to my weakness--dessert!

3. Avoid prepared foods by making meals from scratch with as many organic/local/environmentally conscious ingredients as we can afford.

4. Drink eight 8-oz. glasses of water a day, and remember to take a daily multivitamin and calcium chew.

Please feel free to comment with any suggestions or encouraging words!

02 May 2009

A New Start

Over the last couple of months, I've been contemplating the direction my life has gone, and lamented on the person I've become. Why can't I be the girl I was in undergrad--involved, studious, religious, and (mostly) healthy? I've become very lazy and it's starting to affect my graduate studies and overall health and happiness; not a good thing!

So here are my general goals. I'll be posting specifics over the next few days.

1. Return to my pre-wedding clothing size.
2. Refocus my spiritual life.
3. Develop a reasonable regular cleaning schedule.
4. Improve study skills.
5. Improve cooking skills.
6. Be less critical and more understanding.