Archive for July, 2009

The Story Behind the Picture

Morgan asked if a picture from a previous post was of me getting a tattoo. The short answer is yes ;). The long answer is below for those who’d like to hear the back story.

Through my job I became friends with a funny and pretty great guy (and I mean JUST FRIENDS). Anyway, we started hanging out outside of the office and he introduced me to one of his roommates, who at first meeting seemed a little bitchy to be frank. I was not a fan of Nicole, nor was she a fan of me. You see, she had a thing for the guy I was newly friends with and assumed that I was around for some other reason.

Needless to say Nikki and Flannigan ended up becoming a couple (shortly after the birth of her adorable daughter) and I ended up finally getting to know her (and him) for who she really was. Once they became a couple Nikki and I started scheduling double dates and dinners at each other’s houses (with the boys in tow) and the majority of my communication with Flannigan was through her. Flannigan quit working for the company I work for and I no longer saw him daily. Everything was great with the four of us, until Flannagin and Nicole started having problems and eventually ended their relationship.

I had become so close to Nikki that my original “friendship” with Flannagin was no longer in tact. I tried not to take sides, but only one of the two of them was talking to me anymore and soon Flannagin and I (through a shitty email) were no longer “friends”. Whether we were ever truly friends to begin with is up for debate, but I walked away with one of the best people in my life to this day.

Nikki rocks my socks. She’s a hardass, but a girly girl at heart and one of my best friends. We have had some great moments together and been on the receiving end of some tear filled phone calls for one another. I can tell her anything and everything and she appreciates my “I’m not sugar coating this” attitude like no one else.

When she decided to get a tattoo last summer, I offered to take her. I’d gotten one done at a local place and the guy was super cool and did great work. The more we talked about it the more I decided I wanted to get one more done too. It took a few months of talking about it before she picked something she wanted, but when she showed me and told me why, I knew the wait was worth it.

We had printed out our designs, met up with each other and off we went to the Tattoo Parlor. I was nervous and excited, what a great first to share with one of your best friends! I could tell she was nervous, but I kept promising it would be worth it. We made our way into the shop and offered up our print outs of our desired tattoos.  Nikki went first and did awesome – she giggled most of the time, probably nervous laughter, but it helped ease the pain. After seeing Nikki’s done, I changed my mind (such the girl thing to do, huh) on what I wanted. When I hopped up on the chair, I told Tony (that’s the Tattoo artist) I wanted one just like hers. At the end of our little adventure we walked out with matching tattoos symbolizingTwins “victory”.

It’s not to be misconstrued that I will conquer life, but that I will be victorious in my decisions. That I will not fail myself. I don’t believe that because I have this tattoo I will never make another mistake or feel deflated, but I will do my best and in that I will have a sense of victory. It represents the struggles I’ve overcome so far in my life and offers hope for the ones that are yet to come.

Every time I look down at my leg I think of Nikki and everytime I feel like I’m defeated, I have my own personal reality check. After all the very definition of victory is the opposite of defeat.

Impossible Things

AliceI have to give credit to @CanonicalBabble for this little project. She did one herself and I was inspired. Credit is also due to @NikolSpencer, who pushes me to always go above what I believe is possible. Inspired as I’ve also been by my wonderful LookingGlassLane family – yes you girls are like family to me – the strongest support system I never knew I’d need :).

As I’ve made this list (it’s taken me over a month) I’ve been told it’s not realistic, that half of it is dependent on someone else, that my goals will not happen with my current living/financial situation. I tried my hardest not to let this statement break me, not to let it make me feel like it was true. I am sticking to my list and will just have to push myself even harder and break further out of my shell to prove that this can be done.

Here’s to believing that impossible things are, in fact, very, very possible…

101 Goals in 1001 Days:

My Body:
1. Use my Wii Fit daily – I promised to use it when I got it and haven’t followed through very well. This will change
2. Take the dog for a walk on nice days – I’d say every day, but lets be real here, Thunderstorms/Snow storms and dog walking don’t mix well
3. Eat more fruit/veggies – this should be a no brainer for me, I love both of them, however my husband would rather keep Oreos and Cheetos on hand. I am not him and do not metabolize things the same.
4. Get at least 6 hours of sleep each night – Again this should be a no brainer, but I am very much a night owl and when I have to get up at a certain time to get to work, I should really be getting to bed earlier
5. Cook Healthier meals – while I love the convenience of most foods, they are simply not “good” enough for me and my hubby. That means less frozen pizza and more homemade, less mac n’ cheese and more grilled chicken
6. Lose as much of the 70lbs I need to as I can – I fully realize that it may take me longer than 1001 days to lose all of the weight, but if I can put a significant dent into I’ll be a happy, happy girl. At least 30lbs
7. Maintain what I lose – this is going to mean some form of exercise daily from me, which is a big lifestyle change, but I CAN DO IT.
8. Fit into my dress from H.S. – I have 1 item of clothing that I refused to get rid of from High School. It kind of holds a special place in the hubby’s heart. I will wear it again and it will fit. I was 70lbs lighter then, but I think if I lose a portion of that it might still fit
9. Limit my pop intake to 2 per week – I’ve already cut down a LOT, but I can and will do better. I don’t need the caffeine/sugar
10. Eat oatmeal for breakfast at least 3 times a week – I already have high cholesterol and this helps it, why wouldn’t I eat oatmeal instead of taking a pill??? Rather, why haven’t I been eating oatmeal???
11. Do more than 10 pushups – I don’t even know how many I can do right now, but I want to be able to do 10, that seems fair (thx H for this one!)
12. Run a mile – I’ve never been a huge fan of running, but I did my best mile in High School at 8:31 – it’s no world record, but it was well under the 12 minutes I was supposed to do and I’d love to be able to even finish a mile now.
13. Go on 5 bike rides – My hubby fixed my bike up for me 2 years ago and I never got on it – this needs to be fixed. Hopefully I can convince him to come along with me 😉
14. Think before I eat – I have a problem with just shoving food into my mouth without thinking about it. If I’m hungry I eat and when I’m stressed I eat WAY more than I should – it’s called portion control for a reason!
15. Walk through my town – I’ve driven through the tiny town every day since November, but I still can’t tell you where the Post Office is – nonsense!

My Mind:
1. Try to keep a positive attitude – this is much tougher than it sounds, but I’ve felt like I’ve become a lot less upbeat lately and it’s icky.
2. Laugh at least 1 time per day – My husband always tells me I don’t laugh enough – lets remedy this!
3. Breathe – I tend to forget this when I get upset or angry, I need to just relax and take deep breaths
4. Set aside 15 minutes everyday for myself – I think this is something I can manage and need to unwind after my days
5. Watch no more than 2hrs of t.v in a day – right now we spend a lot of time in front of the t.v when there are other things we should/could/need to be doing.
6. Take a class – I’ve been threatening to do this, but haven’t done it yet. I’m game for cooking/crafting/gen. education/exercise, just about anything.
7. Research going back to school – This is something I would love to do, I didn’t make it to college and want to go back badly, but I’m just not sure if it’s possible/where to start, etc.
8. Start writing poetry again – I used to do this very frequently in High School, then I let it fall away, I miss it
9. Do my Vision Board – Morgan has been a huge inspiration to me and I think it’s a good idea to SEE where I want to be
10. Make a Vlog – I’m not a big fan of showing my face, one of my left over self-esteem issues, but I love my support system online and should be able to fully put myself out there for them
11. Let my husband buy me/pick out an outfit – I always wear the things I feel comfortable in, but I think for one night I could dress in something that makes his heart melt to see me in too :)
12. Learn to take a compliment – I’m a self-conscienous gal, it’s embedded in my brain from long ago, I’d like to become more comfortable with myself and carry myself better
13. Believe every day that the impossible is possible if you put your mind to – I will need to repeat this several times I’m sure.
14. Take more pictures – there’s (very novice) photographer inside of me and I want to let her play
15. Finish my art projects – I have lists of things I want to get done and need to make them happen
16. Share more on my blog – It’s come to my attention that I still shelter myself a fair bit and I think I’m ready to let go of some of it
17. Kiss my husband goodnight – every night
18. Always say I love you when we part – This is something I’m already in the habit of doing, but I need to remind myself that even if we’re unhappy with one another, I will ALWAYS love him
19. Share some of my poetry – I’ve got notebooks full of it, it’s probably time to dust it off and get it out there

1. Read 12 books – I’ve recently started reading again and I LOVE it. Now to just find some things that really interest me…I may have to hit the Library!

  • Mommywood – Currently reading this one

2. Get a Library Card – This will aid me in the above

  • Done!

3. Go on 3 camping trips – we have one planned for the end of the month, but I won’t count it until it actually happens. This makes it 1 time per year that we need to go out and use all of our camping gear. This should not be difficult

  • Family Camping 2009 – Savanna, IL

4. Go to Cedar Point – I’ve wanted to go for years, it’s not that far away and should be something feasible in the next 1001 days
5. Meet 1 of my “Twitter Friends” in real life – I’d love to meet you all and I will if it’s possible, but 1 is a good goal to have, right? (Here’s looking at you @modernsinglemom, @RiaSharon, @Zenmommy, @MissIve, @misscriss0830, @fleurdeleigh, etc.)
6. Create my own website for my blog/photos – This is on it’s way! I’ve got my domain registered, now I just have to set up the site – minor details…UPDATE: Site is up w/blog! Just need to make it “pretty” now
7. Maintain my site – This is the part that I normally have trouble with, but I’m pretty passionate about this, so I’m hoping that helps me stick with it
8. Watch 1 new movie a month – there’s a ton of movies I want to see, now I just have to make it happen

  • Shop Girl
  • He’s Just Not That Into You
  • Lars and the Real Girl (8/1)

9. Take a road trip – no where specific, but I’ve wanted to just get in a car and go somewhere.
10. Take a vacation with my Brother/Sister(to be) – I’ve wanted to go somewhere on vacation with them forever, maybe we can make this happen in the next 2.75 years? Assuming of course, that they want to go too
11. Host 3 game nights – we enjoy having people over and we like games – makes logical sense

  • August 15th – Successful game night!

12. Spend time with my ‘girlfriends” at least every other month – our calendars always seem to fill so quickly, I need to make more time for these things
13. Start saving for a trip to Seattle – if we can get there on our budget even better
14. Spend a long weekend in Michigan – revisiting our honeymoon spots – Sleeping Bear Dunes are just beautiful
15. Plan a trip to Canada – I hear it’s gorgeous and I’ve never been. I’ll need a passport though
16. Get our Passports – I don’t have one and who knows when we’ll decide to fly off somewhere out of the country, lol
17. Visit the Art Museum in Chicago – I’ve lived in the suburbs my entire life and have NEVER been – what is wrong with me?
18. Visit the Shedd Aquarium – again 27 years and I’ve never been there
19. See a play – not sure which one, but it’s something I enjoy doing
20. See a Cubs game – it’s an expensive thing to do and a long day, but there’s nothing like a day at Wrigley Field, especially when they win!
21. See a football game – the only “big” professional sport I haven’t actually been to a game of (NFL that is)
22. Attend our local town festival – we live in a small country town, but I’d like to check it out at least once

1. Visit my grandpa/aunt in FL at least once – I don’t see them often at all and I need to make an effort to. My grandma passed away and it had been years since I had seen her.
2. Visit my grandparents in IL at least 4 times – they live 30 minutes away and though I see them at most family functions, I should make more of an effort to visit them and maybe even have them over for dinner.
3. Visit grammy at least 3 times – this is Brian’s grammy and though she lives close, outside of Christmas/Thanksgiving and any other family get togethers, we don’t see her often. (thanks again H!)

  • Grammy’s Birthday party!

4. Visit Bob and Pam at least 3 times – again they are close and there is no reason not to visit Brian’s parents (same as above)
5. Visit Mom and Bob at least 3 times – same sentiment – they are Brian’s parents and are close (man H, you should have just written mine, lol!)
6. Start our family – I do not have complete control over this for various reasons, but Ideally I would like to have our first child. If for some reason or another that is not possible I’d like to at least be actively trying (through whatever process is necessary) to have our first child
7. Take more pictures together – Brian and I take pictures, but usually of other people. I’d like to have a picture of the two of us for all the events we attend together (and remember the camera for)
8. Spend at least 1 night/day with Doug & Heater a month – maybe this will seem like a lot to some people, but they live 10 minutes away, we have fun when we’re together and we’re family.
9. Spend time with Chris at least once a month – we live 45 minutes away from each other, but that is really not a reason to not see each other.

1. Finish at least 2 more scrapbooks – I’d love to get my Honeymoon book done and the one for the wedding. There are several more I want to do, but these are highest on the list right now.
2. Get my paper filing organized – right now I have papers in a million different places in our house, it’s crazy when I need to find something and must be put away better
3. Continue to go through my closet/house and donate what we are not using – we’ve been good about this so far, but there are a lot more boxes of “stuff” that we just don’t need
4. Try 10 new foods – I’m not nearly as picky as my hubby, so this shouldn’t be too hard for me, but we’ll see how it goes

  • Chocolate Bacon – yep pieces of bacon in a chocolate bar (I do not recommend, btw). We went a friends BBQ that was “bacon themed”
  • Stuffed Mushrooms – I used to like mushrooms, but went through about a ten year phase where I didn’t and now I do again! (7/31)
  • Grilled plums – yummy!

5. Use the fresh herbs I’m growing – I’ve got them planted and they are growing, now lets see if I can manage to cook with them
6. Get Brian to try 3 new foods – He’s pickier than picky, but I think I can manage 3.

  • “Dessert Bacon” – Yep, bacon seasoned w/brown sugar and some other spices (much better than the chocolate) – he tried it, he gets credit!
  • Polenta – He ate it and said “eh, it’s not bad” – lol, baby steps people!

7. Own a kitten/cat – I grew up with cats and I LOVE them, hubby is a dog lover. We have a dog, but I want a kitten/cat and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to have one (sooner the better)

  • DONE

8. Go on at least 1 date a month with my husband – it doesn’t have to be fancy, it can be dinner in and rented movie, but we need to dedicate some time to one another. We’re on opposite schedules most times and it’s too easy to become disconnected.

  • We had a date night in – dinner and movie (7/31)
  • Dinner out just the two of us ( 8/17)

9. Try a new recipe a month – I have cookbooks that haven’t been opened, I’d like to start using them, who knows what wonderful things I’ll come up with!

  • Brand new Chili recipe 8/25/09 (and it was good!)

1. Paint the remainder of the rooms in the house – painting is the easy part, I have to figure out colors first

  • Master Bedroom
  • Dining/Living Room
  • Office (7/31)
  • Guest Bathroom (8/1)
  • Family Room/Kitchen (8/7-8/9)

2. Install blinds on the remaining windows – we’ve done the (important) bathroom, but the rest of the windows either have curtains only or temporary “paper” blinds right now
3. Complete a “built-in” desk in the office for 2 – my husband and I both use the office all the time, we currently have a “hodge-podge” of furniture in there, but we’d like to do a full wall built in desk that we can both use and still maintain separate working space
4. Install our own fence – sure we could pay someone to do it, but I’m all about being self-sufficient and I think with the help of a few friends we can manage to put it up ourselves
5. Get paver brick patio installed – we’ve figured out size, picked the bricks now we just need the money to get it done
6. Grow veggies and eat them – I’ve started tomatoes and red peppers, I’m not sure if they’ll actually produce anything, but so far so good!
7. Purchase a flat screen t.v. – we have an old (HEAVY) t.v. that works just fine, but we are also currently using a 19 inch t.v in our bedroom. It would be nice to cuddle with my hubby during some of that 2hr t.v. limit
8. Visit a farmer’s market – I’m sure there one that’s local, we live in the middle of fields for pete’s sake, but I’ve never been and would like to go

  • Went to Sycamore Farmer’s Market – great little place! (8/2)

9. Create a chore routine – we have a lot of little things that need to be done, but we haven’t quite gotten a schedule worked out. I end up with 10 loads of laundry to do on a Sunday and it’s not working – I can fix this.

  • Created! – Now I just have to stick to it!

10. Plant flowers in my flower beds – the builder was nice enough to include flower beds for us, but they are bare and need to be taken care of

  • One of the beds has flowers in it – only 3 more to go!

11. Meet my neighbors – our subdivision is still being built, but there’s house that will be done in a few months on one side of us and I’d like to know who I’m going to be living next to.
12. Hang icicle lights on the gutters – may be trivial to some, but I LOVE to decorate for Christmas and our roof is pretty high up, I want to get (i.e. convince) my hubby that this is a good idea
13. Convince Hubby that an outdoor fireplace IS a good idea and then make it happen
14. Get a new patio furniture set – ours is old and ugly and was hand-me down, I’d like something slightly bigger

1. Have enough money in the savings account to “live” for 6 months – we saved and saved, then bought the house & appliances, saved again and had to pay for the dogs surgery, saved and paid for paint. It’s time we saved to save, so that if something were to happen we wouldn’t be in a really bad situation
2. Have enough money to take a vacation – like a week long vacation somewhere – maybe that trip to Seattle
3. Start our child’s college fund – this is important to me for many reasons – mainly I’d like to limit the amount that they’ll have to repay over 20 years like my husband
4. Payoff all of our credit card debt – we’re working pretty heavily on this one right now, so it’d be nice to have it all go away
5. Remind myself if I don’t have the cash for it I don’t need it – we’ve been in the habit of just buying things and I’d like to try and live without credit (or payoff the credit every month)
6. Start a retirement fund – Hubby has one, but my paycheck is much smaller than his and I have been using every cent to pay bills. It’s time I put some aside for my older self
7. Payoff Brian’s car – we’re adding to the payment monthly and he really wants a new(different) car, so it’d be nice to be able to do that for him
8. Payoff My car – I’d really love to have a car with all wheel drive for the lovely winters we have here in IL
9. Set a monthly budget for groceries/entertainment/clothes and STICK TO IT
10. Cut coupons and USE them – this is something that should be fairly easy to do
11. Sell the rest of my “collectables” on either ebay or craigslist – they are taking up space and we don’t need them
12. Find a way to either increase our income or decrease some of our spending – air drying clothes instead of using the dryer saves on gas and is easy to accomplish – turning the ac up and the heat down is another easy step to saving a little on the bills and we can hope for raises this year, right?
13. Research ways to work from home once we start our family – I want to be able to spend time with our kids and working 9-5 45 minutes away is not going to help me accomplish this

Well that’s it, my list of things to do, a text version of a vision statement I suppose. I’ll be updating as I accomplish items on it. I know this is a lengthy post and I apologize if you were looking for something more, but this will probably give you some good insight to my world. Welcome and don’t forget to wipe your feet.
UPDATE: My end date for this project is April 11, 2012. The website if you want to check it out is DayZeroProject.

8/4 UPDATE: Checked a few things off my list :)

8/25 UPDATE: Checked a few more things off my list :)