2011 is ending...it really was a good year.
I thought I'd do a re-cap of what my hopes were for this year and where things are at with those hopes!
Update are in blue:
~I hope to be a better wife, "maschia" to the ducks, daughter, sister, granddaughter, aunt, friend, nurse, etc. Who doesn't want to be better in all their relationships?
Obviously this isn't necessarily something that can be measured or assessed...but I think there's always room for improvement in this area. So while I feel like I'm a pretty good wife, maschia, daughter, sister, grandaughter, aunt, friend, nurse, etc...I know I'm not the best and don't always live up to my full potential in these areas.~I hope to work/focus on our marriage more. I LOVE my husband...after all, he is the BEST HUSBAND EVER. And...I'm a very happily married woman. Having said that, every marriage has to have effort put in by both parties to make it work. I believe that Chris and I have a strong, healthy, wonderful marriage...but who's to say it couldn't be stronger, healthier, more wonderful????? We're starting this by doing an 8 week Love and Marriage class. Our church presented this the last few weeks, and without trying to sound like either of us thought there were problems, we had that awkward..."Ummmmm...what would you think...about...us...ummm...doing that...uh...Love and Marriage class?" conversation. To which we both responded with a resounding "YES!" We've never done any sort of marriage enrichment course/class/work...so we're both excited about this opportunity to learn from each other, and to be better spouses! YAY TEAM Elliott!
Chris and I really enjoyed out Love and Marriage class, and we learned a lot about each other and how to be better spouses to each other. I hope we can continue to remember the lessons we learned and keep the promises we made.
~I hope to communicate better. This may be a surprise to some of you (but I doubt it)...I'm somewhat of a people pleaser. I don't particularly like to rock the boat (unless it's whipping my freshmen into shape). So when I don't agree with something, or I'm not particularly jazzed about something, or my feelings have been hurt (usually in a small way) I have a tendency to not speak up. I realize this is all my fault! My husband is not the overbearing/controlling kind that wouldn't let or want me to speak my mind (on the contrary, he would advocate for me to do so)...but I have trouble sometimes expressing to him how I feel about things. Again...totally my fault, and I think it has to do with the whole "failing" thing again. I don't want to let anyone, specifically him, down. I think that going through this love and marriage course may help me to be a better communicator when it comes to speaking with Chris about how I feel...which will in turn help build up our marriage more (look at that...two hopes taken care of all in one)!
I definitely feel like I've been able to communicate better, especially after our Love and Marriage class. There are times that I don't say things still, because I know it's just my OCD coming out...but I have learned that things don't/won't change if I don't speak up and say if I'm frustrated. And on the flip side of that, things won't stay as I like them if I don't say that either...so I definitely feel like this has been a positive for me.
~I'm hoping to be better about letting things go! I am a non-diagnosed person living with OCD! I don't mean I have to unlock and lock the front door 567 times before I leave the house, or count to "20" 10 times before I can walk into my bedroom...I mean, I like things in their proper place and when someone moves it even 1/8 of an inch, inside my head I FREAK! When something isn't put where it's supposed to go, I become annoyed. I've gotten a smidge (but just a smidge) better about this since college. I still don't understand how when a towel is used to dry hands it can't get nicely and neatly put back on the rack, or why when the cleaning lady at work dusts my office, she doesn't notice that the picture frames aren't equally facing inward at an angle, and she put the boyd nurse bear and rubber duck facing the back of the shelf and not the front! To me...these things seem obvious and irritate me when I have to fix them daily...But they are not life/death issues. So...again, I'm hoping to be better about letting these things go!
Okay...super OCD am I, but I do feel like there have been areas with this that I have gotten better and been able to let things go. Yes, it still irritates me when I nearly trip over a chair walking into my office because for some reason the cleaning lady pulls them out from the wall to sweep behind but doesn't push them back...but, I don't obsess over the picture frams and decorations being moved in my office so much anymore. And as I said above...I'm trying to think about the little things that are part of my OCD and not make them into big things.
~I'm hoping to get more organized! How, you ask, can I not be organized when I have above said OCD tendencies? I am organized...I'm VERY organized. But heavens to Betsy I LOVE organizing things...and there are a few things in my life that I've lost my organizational touch with. Such as, since we moved into this house, I somehow magically stopped being able to send out birthday and anniversary cards! January 11th would come and I'd say to myself (if Chris didn't ask about it and remind me already) "CRAP, I didn't get a card out to my father-in-law for his birthday!" AND...to make matters worse, I became very flippant about it! Because after that initial thought, I'd then say to myself, "Well, Chris will call him tonight, so it's okay! But the next person with a birthday I'll get a card out, and next year I'll make sure to send one to Dan!!!!" But then it just kept happening! So that's one area of need for organization. *Side note: I did get a card out to my father-in-law on time this year...AND I made it with the cricut cartridge my mother-in-law got me for Christmas! I think that should earn bonus points!d
I definitely did better with the birthday/anniversary cards this year...but I'm still not quite up to 100% yet. On another organizational note...now that we've got the man cave set up, I was FINALLY able to organize the tubs and shelves in the basement! YAY!
~I'm hoping to start working on menu plans and use them regularly. Chris and I are in the rut (as so many people are) of making and eating the same things, all the time for dinner. It's just so tiring. I LOVE to eat...and the fat girl inside me needs to be sedated with food on a pretty regular basis, multiple times a day. So the fact that eating the same foods, coinciding with the fact that we HATE going to the grocery (so we put it off as much as possible) make us not in the mood for anything come dinner time...is hard to deal with. I've been slowly going through all of our cookbooks. I'm making a list of the recipes that sound yummy, easy, and don't have 5 million ingredients that we never knew existed. I'm breaking them down by Chicken/Turkey, Beef, Pork, Seafood, Sides, and Other. This way, when I make my weekly menu, I don't end up with 5 beef meals...plus, if I know I have chicken in my fridge/freezer already, I can just look up a chicken recipe, without going through all the cookbooks again. My organizational skills at work ;0) Hopefully this will get us trying new things...and give us more options to put on our staples list!
I did really good at this...in spurts! I think I got about 2 weeks per month, up until October. Once October hit it seems like there was so much going on that I never got to it. I really enjoyed having the menu planned out when I did it. It made preparing for dinner so much easier...it's just so time consuming to actually get it done. I really need to just make sure I devote time to doing it.
~I'm hoping to catch up on some of my scrapbooking! I have a tendency to not scrap in order...which means, when 2009 was done and I was going to a crop night with the girls, the first thing I wanted to scrap was what had happened in January of 2010! Sadly, I succumbed to that pressure, and have put off 2009. However, I tried in 2010 to start at the beginning of the year, and work my way through the calendar, working in order. This seemed to do better for me, and with the exception of a few pages here in there (due to not having pictures printed), I am up to August of 2010, and just moving right along. This might be the first yearly scrapbook I finish in it's entirety, in well...EVER! So, I'm going to try to stay strong and continue working on 2010 until it's completely finished, before I start on 2011! Wish me luck!
This one I am extremely excited to report on...I have finished 2010 in it's entirety. I was on my scrapbook retreat in October and finished 2010 (or so I thought) and I actually made it through February of 2011...then I got home and when going through the calendar to put the pages in the albums I realized I had more to do...and I still had to do our Myrtle Beach vacation album. I thought 2010 was never going to be finished. However, thanks to Christmas vacation and my friend Amy wanting to get some of her own scrapping done, I spent two days and finished up 2010 on December 30th. I really think the scrapping in order has worked well for me, and I plan to continue working on this. I don't think 2011 will be as time consuming and full as 2010 (2010 actually was 4 albums - 3 for the main/whole year, and 1 for our 30th birthday and M.B. vacation), so I hope that once I get 2011 finished I can get going on 2012 and maybe eventually work my way back to previous years. Woo Hoo!
~I'm hoping to do a weekly blog! I realize I've said this before...and I know you're all snickering at me for this one. But, I truly do. There is inspiration all around me...and using the excuse that I have NOTHING to blog about is just a cop out! I have a friend who is blogging daily for one month...now if she can find something to blog about on a daily basis (without it just being that she went to the grocery and had to fill up for $4.00/gal, ya know, the boring daily stuff) then by golly, I can find something to blog about once a week! Who knows, there may be weeks I surprise you and have more than one thing to say...YIPES!!!
Hahahahaha...I'm just going to laugh on this one. You all need no update because as my blog stalkers you know just how well this one went. ;0)
~I'm hoping we can move forward and buy a house. Chris and I are interested in buying the house we are living in (it was my grandparents and we've been renting for a little over a year now). Since Grandma passed away, and the process of closing the estate has been on the horizon for my Dad and Aunt, the idea of what to do about the house has come up. We like living here. We like that we know the house, the people who built it, it has sentimental value, it has character that NO other house has. It's a great location, great school system (should we ever need to look into that), on a state road, but has a field out back that we can have bonfires in! We love it...it suits us, and since we've moved in, we've been so honored to call it home. I think Grandma and Grandpa would have been proud knowing that we've been here taking care of it, and cherishing and honoring what they worked so hard to build.
You all know the answer to this one. In July Chris and I officially bought the house! YIPPEE!
~I'm hoping to be better at encouraging others on a regular basis. Not long ago, when were in a series with our church, and one of the things we were encouraged to do, was to think of 3 people to encourage that week. I got more out of doing this, than probably, those that I encouraged got out of the encouragement. It felt good lifting others up, which makes it sound very selfish to say that I want to do more of this (since I enjoyed it so much). However, I know that the words of love that I spoke to them were things I should have been saying all along, and more regularly. Sometimes God puts people on our hearts for reasons we don't understand...and it's in those moments that our encouraging and loving words or actions are welcomed most abundantly. I want to show others that I love them and that God loves them at all times.
I had a few specific times this past year to encourage others in a specific way...but that wasn't necessarily what I really meant when I wrote this. I was really meaning that I wanted to do more random acts of kindness/encouragement.
~Which leads me to my last hope (well...that I can think of at the moment)...I hope to grow more in my faith this year. Like most other Christ followers, I have my "on" moments and my "off" moments. You know what I mean? The "on" moments when I feel like I'm very in tune to what God is doing in my life and I'm praying without ceasing, and I'm looking to God to carry my yoke. Then there's the "off" moments when I can't put down my cross! It's like I HAVE to carry it to get through the day, week, month. It's so easy to tell someone else to give it to God and let him be in charge of it...but when it's my turn to heed my own advice I fail miserably (Ann you're not allowed to disagree with me on this one). I've become stagnant in my relationship with God...and that's just completely UNACCEPTABLE! I'm starting to work on this by signing up to read through the New Testament over the year. I feel that this is a good building block for continuing to grow in my relationship with Christ. It will get me reading His words, and processing how He's working in my life, and reminding me how much He loves me!
As of today, I have a few days to catch up on...being on Christmas break and out of my normal routine during the week (usually I read my Bible reading when I get to work) I've fallen a smidgen behind. But I plan on getting caught up on this by tomorrow. There were sections of the reading where I had trouble finding a connection between it and things that were going on in my life...and then there were days that I read exactly what I needed to hear at that very moment.
So there you have it. I plan on getting you my 2012 hopes in the next few days.
Happy New Year! See you in 2012!