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.