2017 Goals: Where Am I At?


Summer went out with a bang! August was hot, busy, and wild, but also slow and painful during the times our family came down with summer colds. It’s still hot, but the days are shortening. Fall is around the corner, I pray sooner rather than later.

The hubby was doing so well with his internship, and then it suddenly went belly-up on the very last day. So it’s looking like his career won’t be with that company, unfortunately, and we’re back to the drawing board concerning a job for him. Still don’t know where we’ll end up or what we’ll be doing a year from now. I trust the experience was not a waste and the Lord will provide what we need even though none of it makes sense. The hubby’s back in school — has been for a couple weeks now. It’s the beginning of his last year!

I didn’t get to work much in August because our daughter kept getting sick, just one virus after the other. Praise God that I could work at least on the hubby’s days off once a week, and each of those jobs turned out to be good ones that will make up for what I lost. These are hard days, y’all. Even if things turned around overnight and life was comfortable/”stable,” the future would still not be certain. So I guess it’s better to be in a place where we more readily depend on the Lord. We still have a lot to be thankful for about the last five years.

I don’t know if it’s me, the age, or something else, but parenting our four-year-old has been super tough. By mid morning every day I’m already drained. (I might also be drained because of a newly discovered thyroid problem, but there’s a lot of research yet to do.) There are no shortcuts with parenting when you love your child, and I know someday all of this will be just a memory. So I try not to idolize “me” time too much (blaming all my problems on the lack of it) or dwell on the negative and the constant inconveniences. As time goes on I find myself more and more frequently in a place where I am wholly inadequate for handling, let alone redeeming, another sinful soul. Thank goodness Jesus has done that already.

Last week we did a little out-of-state traveling to somewhere cool and green, and then the highlight of my year: backpacking! It had been ten whole years since my last trip, and I loved every hard minute. My pack needs to be lightened and I need to be in better shape for next time (Lord willing there’s a next time), but it was so much fun and so beautiful and peaceful and just what my soul needed. The trip was tightly bookended by major stressors, so I’ve taken off an entire week from work and socialization just to rest, catch up on transcripts, and nurse my sunburn and sore calves. I’m on fire, though, for next summer already, whether it’s slow comfort-camping or rugged backcountry hiking. It’s absolutely my niche; I don’t love any other hobby as much.

Contentment. Agh, it’s been such a struggle. Contentment as its own topic hasn’t really crossed my mind at all. I figure I just need to keep running after Jesus and I will find it. Now I’m starting to think about next year and what things I should work towards in 2018. There will be a lot more focus on the heart.

Obtain Texas CSR license and RPR Certification; get familiar with my realtime software; proactively incorporate more briefs. I am slowly incorporating more briefs while on jobs, but not sitting down at home and practicing intentionally. Ain’t nobody got time for that. RPR? The only really good reason left to take it is the licensing reciprocity it allows me in many other states… something I WILL need by next summer if the hubby finds a job in another non-Texas state. 

Pay off credit cards and at least one car. We were so close to paying off the big card, but we weren’t able to after all. We actually ended up adding some charges to other cards, which loads me down with guilt and frustration. But my paychecks this month were good, and I am pretty confident I can cover at least my own remaining balance right away. It was that pesky backpacking trip and (blissful) shopping at REI. At least we have almost everything we need now!

Make music. I didn’t make any music, but I did buy some! Found another rare song I like enough to spend money on and listen to over and over until I’m sick of it. 

Act on the home project urges. Still working on Phase 2 of the Beauty and the Beast canvas. Can’t wait till it’s finished! When I start Phase 3, I’ll have to make another trip to Hobby Lobby (what a chore!). Now that it’s September — the first month of FALL! — my creative juices are pumping and I need outlets, so that might be kind of dangerous.


2017 Goals: Where Am I At?


It’s been a HOT summer. The over-100-degree days usually come in brief waves where I live, but it seems like it’s been the opposite — mostly over 100 with only brief waves of mid to high 90s.

It’s also been a busy summer, so it’s passing by quickly. I keep telling myself to make the most of it by enjoying cold sparkling drinks and making ice cream. We have the cold drinks down (still not addicted to iced coffee but it’s a struggle); the ice cream has yet to happen, the main reason being that I am avoiding dairy right now. Coconut milk ice cream is gross, and the other non-dairy options either seem like too much work or too weird and, well, also gross. My hormones have been wacky lately, though, so I might cave soon and just make my favorite ice cream, full-fat dairy and all: mint chocolate chip made only with fresh mint leaves (inspired by this ice cream genius). Something to savor between these tired days of work and parenting and life.

Speaking of which, I am very grateful for all the steady work I’ve had — or rather steady babysitting that allows me to work. The hubby started his paid internship at the end of June and has four weeks left. We are praying he is offered a job at the end. Praying for any good job opportunity, really. I am thankful that we had a Plan B, because it definitely became our Plan A for three years and counting, and we really could keep going this way if we had to. But we both hope it will change, at least for a little while so we can focus on growing and raising the family.

Either way, I know the Lord is watching our hearts, watching to see whether we trust Him and are satisfied in Him no matter the ebbs and flows of our lives, or if we keep grasping for the wind by pursuing earthly and selfish comforts.

Contentment. A friend of mine recently shared a blog post on parenting that knocked me to the ground. It had to do with idolatry more than contentment specifically, although I don’t believe the two are unrelated. Maybe I will link to it and write some thoughts later. My pride and my will to overcome evil with good have been challenged quite a bit — are being challenged as I type. 

Obtain Texas CSR license and RPR Certification; get familiar with my realtime software; proactively incorporate more briefs. I keep getting emails regarding RPR certification. Maybe it’s (still) time! Ugh! I am so not motivated!

Pay off credit cards and at least one car. Once the hubby’s next paycheck arrives, we will have paid off the biggest — and last — credit card! Unfortunately, we racked up a few hundred again on a card we recently paid off, but after that, we’ll have nothing on the credit cards, period. Hopefully never again for longer than a few days. Haven’t gotten around to the car, but minimum payments are better than nothing.

Make music. Nope, nothing again.

Act on the home project urges. I’ve completely forgotten about those cockroaches! Goes to show how thoroughly they disappeared. Wonderful! If only I could guarantee no spiders too. I’m happy to report, though, that I did do the thing and finally visit Hobby Lobby for the first time EVER… AND go home with supplies for a new project! My friends weren’t kidding about that store; it is straight-up dangerous. Almost as dangerous as creamy iced coffee. Anyway, I started sketching on some canvas for a painting I’m doing for my daughter’s room, the first in hopefully a series of canvases that we’ll decorate a wall with. Why did I wait this long for a creative release?

2017 Goals: Where Am I At?


Another busy month come and gone. When we’re not working, studying, or parenting, there’s something else going on that needs attention (such as hubby breaking his phone or a sudden cockroach infestation). Never a dull moment around here!

But at least we were able to sneak in a weekend of beach camping between my transcripts and his classes. The weather was perfect. I didn’t want to come home. Now I’m dying to go mountain camping for at least a full week. This early summer weather gives me the itch to be outdoors and play instead of work. And what an itch it is. One more year, I tell myself, until neither the hubs nor I will be in school for the first time since before we married. Our life is going to change, which excites us, but I hope part of that change is more freedom for outdoor adventures.

I’ll be keeping it quick today because I have a lot of work pending.

Contentment. I lost focus on contentment this month but learned some other things. Like the gospel. My understanding of the gospel is deepening. And we have a couple of LDS missionaries coming back to visit a second time tonight, which I hope will be a fruitful opportunity to share the real gospel with them.

Obtain Texas CSR license and RPR Certification; get familiar with my realtime software; proactively incorporate more briefs. I keep getting emails regarding RPR certification. Maybe it’s time!

Pay off credit cards and at least one car. Only one card left to pay off, and I think we can do it this month! 

Make music. Nope, nothing again.

Act on the home project urges. The cockroaches are just about gone thanks to boric acid. It will be nice to have my kitchen counters back. Hopefully I’ll have more opportunities to be creative this month.

2017 Goals: Where Am I At?


April was such a busy month! The hubby’s semester has been wrapping up and he’s been very busy with his studies and assignments. And he is doing so well — such a blessing. Right after finals week is his summer class, and then he starts his internship a few weeks later. After ten weeks of that, he gets one week off until the fall semester starts right back up again. No summer vacation for us!

The demand for my line of work skyrocketed too. Every day multiple schedulers would call, desperate to cover jobs. And they gave me some good ones, too, for which I am thankful. But I can’t work outside the home every single day, not while I have a little one to look after.

We celebrated our 8th anniversary and our daughter’s 4th birthday this month by going on a day trip to some touristy towns in our region and cheating on our diets. Then I got mild food poisoning by eating one of my healthy packed lunches that went too long without refrigeration. Maybe that means something…

Nah, it doesn’t. I like eating healthy, but I also like indulging every once in a while. Speaking of which, after having my tooth pulled a month ago, I am finally feeling ready — nay, anxious — to exercise regularly again. So I’m making a mini-goal for this month, to get moving every day and build a little strength.

Contentment. I failed to be content in Christ this month (a lot), but he did bring it to my attention and pressured my heart a little bit (on multiple occasions) to step outside the difficult situation and think objectively about the big picture. What is the big picture? This isn’t forever. God is working in these people’s lives just like He is in mine, maybe in different ways. What matters is how He sees my soul in this moment. In this moment, my sin is covered by Christ. Christ is enough. There are many things I must go without, but my soul does not need them.

Obtain Texas CSR license and RPR Certification; get familiar with my realtime software; proactively incorporate more briefs. I have continued, when possible, the self-training I started with my software. What I’ve learned is so helpful; now it’s a matter of starting new habits and incorporating new ideas, which also takes time!

Pay off credit cards and at least one car. Still have two cards to pay off. But we were blessed just today with the news that a major issue we were having with the hubby’s school and tuition payments was finally resolved… during finals week!

Make music. Nope, nothing again.

Act on the home project urges. My two most urgent home “projects”? Fly paper and cockroach bait! Yup, our apartment officially has not one but two pest problems. The flies aren’t new; that happens every summer. But the cockroaches in the kitchen — that’s new and super unpleasant. Planning to get these together soon. Then maybe I can do a fun project, such as assembling the magnetic spice rack I’ve wanted for years! And more paintings for my daughter’s room.