Sunday, March 31, 2013

Document: March

After March came swooping in, disrupting life here with flat tires, snow storms, and big projects, it is finally leaving "like a lamb" with Spring finally here!  Even though March was pretty jam-packed, I'm a little sad to see it end; it marks the end of my 2013 Winter Goals, allowing me to evaluate the last three months and prepare for 2013 Spring!!!

2013 Winter Goals
Back in January, I set out goals for myself which encompassed four area of my life that I wanted to improve upon this year, the first being to take care of myself and be healthy; this centered on eating habits, exercise, sleep habits, and personal time.

I started out slowly in January, made progress in February, and had a handle on my "daily priorities" in March.  While there is definite progress, this is still an area where I am constantly struggling!  Sometimes it seems selfish to take intentional time for yourself, but it is necessary in order to live a balanced and fruitful life.  If I can do it, so can you!

Here are some differences I have made in the last three months:
-- I am eating breakfast regularly; in fact, I often wake up hungry!
-- I am eating more "whole foods" and more produce than processed or packaged snacks
-- I am drinking water instead of soda, juice, and sports drinks
-- I am taking time to exercise and be active daily (well, nearly daily)
-- I have successfully adjusted my sleep times, which is really difficult!
-- I have personal time each day, and I am taking a "Sabbath" each week

Other Goals
While I am a bit behind on my reading goals, I am working through Great Expectations and ready to read Emily Dickinson's poems.  My movie-watching has been less successful; Dial M for Murder seems to have a permanent home in its Netflix case.  Hopefully I can remedy that soon.  One of the best things I did this month was to read a Proverb a Day.

Our trip to PA was great even though it was pretty busy.  It had been nearly a year since our last visit, so it was definitely time for us to see friends and family!  Though that trip took up half of Spring Break, I was still able to have ample down time and relaxation during our time off school ;)

Moving Forward
For the next three months (Spring 2013) I will be working on my relationships, specifically working for quality and ways to strengthen and sustain my friendships and family relationships.  April is full of celebrations, including a baby shower and a wedding!  Doug and I are taking some extra time off for the wedding to enjoy Baltimore's Inner Harbor and the DC Zoo ;)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Delicious: Weekly Meal Plan (Mar 25-31)


Another week, another Meal Plan!  This week I decided to try "grouping" planning; instead of picking one meal per day, I chose enough meals to cover the entire menu (7 breakfasts, 9 main meals, 5 small meals, snacks, and desserts) listed by the appropriate group.

Pros of Grouping
-- I can easily plan for variety.  By listing my meals together, I was able to make sure we were eating more Fish and Lean Meat (White Meat) rather than Red Meat.  I also tried to include one vegetarian meal per week (but don't tell Doug!).

-- I'm not "locked-in" to a certain meal each day.  This has been my biggest problem while meal planning because Doug and I live very hectic lives, especially as students.  When projects or papers are taking more time than we thought (or we're more tired than we thought!), I can pick an "easier" option from the list rather than heading straight for the Take-Out Menus or Fast Food Coupons.

-- It helps to fill in nutritional gaps.  I often only thought about snacks for Doug to take to work, but now I have enough snacks and desserts listed for both of us for the week.  I only thought about my own breakfasts; now I have food planned for both of us each morning.  Likewise, it is easier to mix and match daily meals based on the food groups or nutrients missing for the day (example:  matching a protein-filled breakfast with a vegetarian lunch).

Cons of Grouping
-- It requires more day-to-day thought.  For someone who freezes most of her meat and veggies, this type of meal plan means I have to plan each day for the next day.  Being a little proactive can help; make sure there are at least two "quick" meals on the list that don't require a lot of forethought (like Tuna Melts).

-- At the end of the week, you're "stuck" with the meal that is left.  Once again, a little forethought can help with this problem.  Since I plan two weeks at a time, I have some extra meals I can swap during the first week, and most weeks we have leftovers or unused meals to provide more options.

Anyways!  Here are my "Main Meals" for this week:

Broiled Salmon w/ Creamy Broccoli Pasta
Broiled Catfish w/ Herbed Pasta and Steamed Veggies
Baked Pork Chops w/ White Cheddar Shells and Spinach
Chicken Enchiladas w/ Spanish Rice and Corn
Roast Turkey Breast w/ Stuffing and Roasted Squash (EASTER!)
Beef Rib Hoagies w/ Chips and Fruit
Veggie-Loaded Pasta

Design: Weekly Goals (Mar 25-31)


The first week of a new class always seems crazier and busier than other weeks somehow.  A flat tire at 1 AM and a touch of the flu made it seem even worse!  My weekly goals from last week helped to keep me on track during an otherwise hectic week.


March Goals
1.  Fulfill daily priorities
2.  Read a Proverb a Day

School/Homework
3.  Greek Adjectival and Perfect Participles
4.  Psalms Reading (~100 pages) and Quiz

Housework/Errands
5.  Begin Spring Cleaning! -- the 4-6 inches of snow outside say "no Spring for you!"
6.  Menu Plan (and blog!)

Personal
7.  Watch Dial M for Murder -- The movie still alludes me
8.  Begin reading Great Expectations

This week officially ends March (oh my!) and hopefully all of its madness will end as well, leaving us with a stress-free Spring!  Here's what I'm hoping to accomplish:

March Goals
1.  Fulfill daily priorities
2.  Read a Proverb a Day

School/Homework
3.  Greek Exam (Friday)
4.  Psalms Reading (50-70 pgs) and Essay (925-1500 words total)

Housework/Errands
5.  Grocery Shopping and Menu Plan (and blog!)
6.  Set up Spring Cleaning Plan

Personal
7.  Watch Dial M for Murder (!!!)
8.  Read Great Expectations

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Dedicated: A Tribute to my Grandpa

A year ago today, my grandfather passed away.  At the time, there was too much going on to really deal with our grief as a family alongside our joy of the end of his sickness and pain, as well as the fact that he would be in heaven for Easter (his absolute favorite time of year).  And though I promised I would talk about this all a year ago, I couldn't do it.  It was still too fresh and too deep.  Today, it is still too fresh and too deep, but there is too much to say in tribute to my Pap, John Finnigan.

I was so blessed to grow up only a few miles from my grandparents; they baby-sat me when I was small and watched me during summers while my parents worked.  They taught me letters.  They taught me numbers.  They read to me and colored with me.  I learned to cook.  I learned to play games and share and take turns.  They taught me the fifty states and the state capitals.  They taught me the Pledge of Allegiance.  They taught me how to care of pets and how to make dozens of different crafts.  They taught me songs and how to play the piano and encouraged me to sing.

Most importantly, they taught me about the Bible.  They told me Bible Stories (the real stories, not the kids' Bible versions).  They taught me the books of the Bible.  They repeated verses to me until I memorized them.  They told me about God and His love.  They taught me about Jesus.

I can remember spending hours with my grandpa as he showed me archaeology magazines and articles of Biblical findings.  He showed me pictures of Israel and Jerusalem, drawings of Solomon's Temple and the post-exilic Temple, and maps of the world of the Bible.  While both of my parents taught me so much about the Bible, and while I learned a lot at my Christian School, it was in these moments with my grandpa that the Bible became real and relative to me.

Now, mere weeks from graduating with an M.Div focused on the Old Testament and Hebrew, while struggling through a Greek class, while studying the Bible in-depth on my own, I can't help but remember those times with my grandpa and how, without them, I probably would not be where I am today.  Not just academically, but also as a person.

He taught me that all this knowledge and research and study about the Bible was only good for one thing:  serving God with my life and inviting others to do the same.  I honestly believe that the life lesson he taught me wasn't how important it was to learn, but how valuable that knowledge could be if shared with others.

It was never something he said or taught me, but rather something I saw throughout his life.  He spent hours studying and writing books and learning, but he spent just as much time talking to people and praying for them and teaching them about the Bible.  He made friends everywhere he went, and I can't remember a time where he did not ask to pray for them, or ask if they knew about Jesus, or if they were still making it to church.

So many times, I have seen friends and colleagues become hardened by researching and disillusioned by theories and study.  I have seen books and papers take the place of fellowship and community.  Often I have wondered why I am still so burdened and tender-hearted, much more than my cohorts.  For a long time, I thought maybe it was more about gender than personality or values, but over the last year of remembering my grandpa I have realized that it probably has to do more with attitude and upbringing.  I had a great example in him of how to balance the head and the heart, an example that was passed on to my parents and the rest of our family, and an example I hope to continue to pass on to my family.

So, this post is dedicated to my grandpa, along with my degree, my future career, and my ministry.  I hope I can continue to make him proud and be the example he was in our community, our church, our family and in my life.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Delicious: Weekly Meal Plan


It is Spring Time!  I am working on emptying out our fridge, freezer, and pantry to make room for the fresh foods of Spring and Summer ;)

Tuesday -- Chicken Enchiladas, Rice, and Corn
Wednesday -- Pork Stir Fry and Rice
Thursday -- Scallops, Herbed Pasta, and Salad
Friday -- Beef Rib Hoagies and Salad
Saturday -- Baked Pork Chops and White Cheddar Spinach Shells
Sunday -- Baked Fish and Creamy Broccoli Pasta
Monday -- Grilled Turkey and Cheese Sandwiches

Design: Weekly Goals (Mar 18-24)



Even though last week was a "short" week, I got a few things done ;)  Doug and I spent half of our Thursday helping his sister's family move, so I made sure to get some rest and relaxation over the weekend since it was Spring Break!


March Goals
1.  Fulfill my daily priorities
2.  Read a Proverb a Day

School/Homework
3.  Review Greek Adjectival Participles
4.  Prepare (and work ahead) in my new class, Psalms -- Decided to rest ;)

Housework/Errands
5.  Laundry from PA trip
6.  Begin Spring Cleaning -- Still working on getting organized to clean!

Personal
7.  Book a Massage ;)
8.  Watch Dial M for Murder -- Alas, I keep forgetting I have this movie to watch


This week not only marks the second half of this semester of Greek, but also begins my new (and FINAL) class, Psalms.  Not to mention the fact that Spring is on its way, bringing sunshine and warm weather!!!

March Goals
1.  Fulfill daily priorities
2.  Read a Proverb a Day

School/Homework
3.  Greek Adjectival and Perfect Participles
4.  Psalms Reading (~100 pages) and Quiz

Housework/Errands
5.  Begin Spring Cleaning!
6.  Menu Plan (and blog!)

Personal
7.  Watch Dial M for Murder
8.  Begin reading Great Expectations

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Design: Weekly Goals (Mar 14-17)


So, four days isn't exactly a week, but since I accomplished my March Goals of resting during Spring Break and enjoying our trip to see my family in PA earlier his week, I feel accomplished enough to just skip those days!!!

Anyways, here's last week's results:
March Goals
1.  Fulfill my "Daily Priorities" (eating Breakfast, earlier sleep, exercise)
2.  Read a Proverb a Day

School/Homework
3.  Greek Aorist/Undefined Participles
4.  Finish DSMN class

Housework/Errands
5.  Menu Plan, Grocery Shopping, and blog!
6.  Catch up Laundry/Packing for PA

Personal
7.  Book a Massage ;) -- Called, but had to leave a message; hoping to book for next week!
8.  Have some Personal Time Daily

And my goals for this week:
March Goals
1.  Fulfill my daily priorities
2.  Read a Proverb a Day

School/Homework
3.  Review Greek Adjectival Participles
4.  Prepare (and work ahead) in my new class, Psalms

Housework/Errands
5.  Laundry from PA trip
6.  Begin Spring Cleaning

Personal
7.  Book a Massage ;)
8.  Watch Dial M for Murder

Monday, March 4, 2013

Delicious: Weekly Meal Plan

This week, my wonderful husband made our meal plan!

Tuesday -- Grilled Chicken w/Angel Hair Herbed Pasta
                  Broiled Salmon w/ Creamy Broccoli Pasta
Wednesday -- Pork Ribs w/ Baked Potatoes
                       Dinner Out ;)
Thursday -- Chicken Enchiladas w/ Spanish Rice
Friday -- Grilled Steak w/ Alfredo Pasta
Saturday -- Pork Stir Fry w/ Rice

Sun-Wed -- Travelling/in PA

Design: Weekly Goals (Mar 4-10)


After taking some time off due to sickness, I am back and ready to set some weekly goals!

March Goals
1.  Fulfill my "Daily Priorities" (eating Breakfast, earlier sleep, exercise)
2.  Read a Proverb a Day

School/Homework
3.  Greek Aorist/Undefined Participles
4.  Finish DSMN class

Housework/Errands
5.  Menu Plan, Grocery Shopping, and blog!
6.  Catch up Laundry/Packing for PA

Personal
7.  Book a Massage ;)
8.  Have some Personal Time Daily

Friday, March 1, 2013

Design: March

March comes in like a lion!  In my case, that means abruptly!  Still, I am really hoping to make the most of this month ;)

2013 Winter Goals
1.  Eat Breakfast 5 days per week
2.  Continue stretching each morning, adding yoga moves/poses each week
3.  Make exercise a priority by having 45-60 minutes of activity per day
4.  To encourage an earlier bed time, institute a technology "black-out" each night at 11 PM
5.  Drink at least 8 cups of water per day

Other Goals
6.  Read Great Expectations and the Poems of Emily Dickinson
7.  Watch Dial M for Murder and It Happened One Night
8.  Enjoy our trip to PA
9.  Take advantage of Spring Break (i.e. Rest!)
10.  Read through Proverbs (one a day)