Friday, April 13, 2012

Determination: April Update

Happy Friday the 13th!!!

I know I say this a lot, but I really cannot believe that it is April 13.  Here's why:
-- April is 43.3% over (Yes, I am a nerd.  Thanks!),
-- I have been living in this apartment (and on my own) for over 11 months (May 10, 2011)
-- I have been married for over 9 months (July 2, 2011),
-- It has been Spring for almost a month (March 20, 2012),
-- This semester will be over in less than a month (May 11, 2012), and
-- Summer officially begins in a little over two months (June 20, 2012)!!!

All of this together totally blows my mind.  I just keep thinking "It's can't be the middle of April YET."  I blame our two trips to the frigid North (PA) for my disbelief, but the calendar does not lie.

Here are some things I have accomplished so far:
1. Reading.  Goal:  100 books per year (=33 books by the end of April).  I am currently reading The Hobbit as magic book #30, but somehow I doubt I will make it through the LOTR Trilogy by the end of April to reach my 33 book goal; still, I am reading quite a few books for my Evangelism class, so I might surpass all expectations.  So far only 13/30 (43.3% -- crazy coincidence?  I think not!) have been new books, but I am excited to get my hands on some new books this summer and Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus Series #3) this Fall.
Note:  I know that reading the Hunger Games Trilogy again might seem like cheating since I read it in January, but as a newlywed full-time student working for a scholarship, I can't buy new books as fast as I read them.  So, yeah, I'm going to end up repeating books I have already read.  That is the whole purpose behind the "50 new books" goal -- to make sure I am reading new material.

2. Cooking.  Goal:  Try more new recipes (especially Crock-Pot and MYOTO -- Make Your Own Take Out).  I say accomplished!  I have only posted 8 new recipes, but it is because 1) I found those online and 2) I like to make up my own as I go.  Case in point:  Easter Dinner.  I liked the idea of Stuffed Pork Tenderloin so I made stuffing, butterflied the pork, added my own seasonings, and looked up an adequate temp and time for cooking. Result: Yummy Easter Dinner.  FTW.

3. Health/Weight. Yea Spring and Summer!  Every year, I lose 10-15 between April and July.  I don't know if it is the abundance of fresh produce, being outside more, or just being happier due to the warm weather and sunshine, but Spring and Summer lightens me up!  One thing I have been really excited about is getting back to the park near our house (for walking/jogging) and to try out a trail that I haven't been on before that is near our house.  Hopefully I can drag Doug with me next week; every time I have wanted to go we have been traveling or it has been too cold/rainy.  Praying for sunny skies next Tuesday!!!

4. 12 in 2012.  Goal: Accomplish one "resolution" per month.  This has been both good and also rough.  since January, we have switched churches, lost two grandparents, made 3 unscheduled trips, fought winter sickness at the same time, and had a few unplanned guests all during the normal chaos of work, school, and daily life.  We have still accomplished quite a bit each month.  As far as April goes, the house has undergone a "quick clean,"  but I still have a bit of a kitchen makeover to complete, Spring Closet Cleaning to finish up, and Doug and I have to find some time to rearrange the Living Room!  My parents and sister-in-law are coming in to visit in less than a week, so I'm hoping to get the Living Room and Kitchen finalized before their visit.  Then, I'll have a week to sort through my clothes -- and hopefully an excuse to buy new clothes!

The biggest thing I am learning is to be flexible.  Most of what Doug and I have accomplished this year (or even since we got married) has not been what has been planned, but what has been necessary, what has been beneficial, and what has been enjoyable.  We can't hold so tightly to a plan or a schedule but rather enjoy what we have been given and use is wisely.

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