Monday Catch Up

Wassup!?! Long time, I know. A lot has been happening and I’ve been so hesitant about sharing my personal life on this blog. I’ve written about it before (here,¬†here, and here). In addition to both my father and step-father passing away last fall, my great aunt passed away a few days ago and another great aunt of mine isn’t doing well.

On top of the family stress, my husband is working on his Certified Financial Planner license which requires him to be in class on Friday and Saturday for four weeks with only two weeks off in-between modules. He started the program in January and will be finished in November. This, plus tax season, meant that we’ve been feeling stretched thin.

Really though, I think the main thing holding me back has been my fear of allowing myself to get personal and ultimately the fear of rejection. So, here I am… trying once again to move past the fear.

As I mentioned in my New Year – New Goals post one of the goals was for more healthy living. Y’all know that I’m pretty healthy overall. I make good choices when it comes to my food intake and my exercise but I definitely could do better.

So, here is where I am today… contemplating what I want from my life, what I want from my blog, what I want for the future… where am I headed and do I even want to go there?

How about a goals update?

  1. Focus on Christ – Better but not what it could be. Busy is not an excuse. I really need to get back into the habit of daily reading. I’m working on this. Gotta make time for what’s most important.
  2. Nurture Relationships – I’ve been making this a priority. Craig and I have so little free time right now and I feel silly booking out weeks in advance but I’m making it happen! Gotta make time for my relationships.
  3. Healthy Living – I’ve been off and on with Pure Barre. It’s great but I don’t feel like I get the instruction I need and I find I’m injuring myself. My joints just need extra careful maneuvering and I don’t feel like I’m getting the instruction/ attention I need/ deserve. I’m going to start running on the treadmill again after work and working out at home as often as possible. At least it’s free (Pure Barre is ridiculously expensive). I’m taking prenatals (yay) and not drinking soda (ugh) so at least I’m keeping up with the other stuff.
  4. Better my Budget – Craig and I have really been reigning in the spending. I feel like now that we’ve accomplished the major renovations on the house we can just squirrel away the money until the little one comes.
  5. Personal Development – Well, I definitely did not re-enroll in graduate school (darn that GRE) but I contemplated it once again. I know I really don’t have time but I don’t have time to waste either. I really am thinking about just taking the dang GRE as soon as possible and applying with whatever score I have just to get the ball rolling. I’m so close to my master’s that it just makes sense to try and squeeze it in. I’m still spending way too much time on Facebook and I haven’t picked Fluenz back up but I am trying to do more reading and less surfing the internet. Progress? Hopefully.

Are you up to date? Almost. Next month I get my IUD removed. It’s for real happening. We’re really going to try and get pregnant. As of next month there’s no turning back. I’m both excited and petrified. I have grown so accustomed to doing life my own way that I’m super scared of what it will mean to be responsible for another human being. I can’t even. I’m so close to throwing in the towel and staying childless… but then I see those Publix commercials and my emotional side takes over and I feel super strong about procreating asap.

I’m sure I’m not alone in my fears and excitement and conflicted nature. I’m hoping to share with you more. I’m hoping to move past my fear and to be honest with you. Maybe someone out there has the same concerns? Maybe this little bit of sharing will help someone? Who knows? I do know that I’ll be back in a few days with some more thoughts so stick around! ūüôā

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New Year – New Goals

Hello everyone and I hope that you’ve had a wonderful extended holiday. Craig and I were able to spend some time with our family and were able to start on yet another construction project so I’d say it was a pretty good holiday in my book. I’m back today with a post on, what else, new year goal setting.

January is typically a time of year in which we take a moment to reflect on the past year, the good and the bad, and make new goals for the coming year. I’ve decided to set 5 goals for the year 2015. I feel that by keeping these goals broad I’m better able to make them a reality. I know myself and I know that I routinely fail. Instead of focusing on the challenges negatively I’m going to use them to my advantage. So, here goes:

  1. Focus on Christ – First, and foremost, I plan on really renewing my relationship with Christ. Through daily reading, my small group, and church attendance I hope to make some new habits that have a life long effect. Starting this month I have been daily reading in an app called She Reads Truth. This app makes it super easy to stay in the word on a daily basis and it has a wonderful graphic at the end of each reading to share through social media as a way to hold yourself better accountable and to share God’s goodness and grace. I really enjoy the format and I pray to make this become habit. In addition to She Reads Truth, I’m leading my small group (aka Life Group) in the Beth Moore study of Esther. This is a study I have done before years ago and I’m looking forward to doing again with my group. I pray that God uses me for these women and their hope in Him. Also, I’m still involved in the Disciple study that goes through May this year so I’ve got a lot of ways to really make my relationship with Christ more intentional.
  2. Nurture Relationships – I feel like this goal really goes along well with my number one goal this year. In 2015 I really want to work more on strengthening my relationships with my husband, my family, and even more so, my friends. It is so easy to get caught up in daily life that I let my relationships fall by the wayside. Like I mentioned with my first goal, being more intentional means that I’m really making time for what is important. Last year, the deaths of both of my fathers really brought home the importance of relationships. I’m going to work harder on strengthening my relationship with my husband by daily making time for his needs. Whether it is as simple as being more diligent with my cleaning or making more time for physical affection, I plan on making him a priority. I want to be sure that we are setting ourselves up for success with a long and healthy marriage. In addition, Craig and I have talked at length about focusing on our friendships this year and making time to clear our schedule for our friends. We can get so busy at times that we’ve gone a whole month and haven’t spent time with anyone but ourselves. Well, this year we want to change. I want to make sure to take more time for my mom this year and I want to visit my grandparents more. Hopefully this goal will make a lasting change in our lives.
  3. Healthy Living – This past December I started taking classes at my local Pure Barre and I’ve really enjoyed the workout it gives me. I’m enjoying the classes and their varied but yet consistent nature. In addition to remaining in a workout routine for 2015 I am going to continue my healthy living by really working on my diet. I’ve decided this year that I will no longer be drinking soda (specifically dark soda). I know that if I eliminate Coca Cola Classic completely from my diet I will need something to wean me off it’s deliciousness so if I find myself somewhere (like a drive through) where I feel the need to order a soda I will order a Sprite. If y’all know me it’s how much I love a good Coke. The real thing … no diet! I drink them rarely because we don’t keep soda in the house. We know how bad sodas are for you so we treat them as special occasion drinks. With that being said, this year I plan on eliminating them entirely. Craig and I are going to try and get pregnant this year so my health is even more important now. We already do a pretty good job with our health but I plan on stepping it up with diet and exercise and regularly taking my prenatal vitamins.
  4. Better my Budget – Okay, so this is a tough one. This year I’m really going to work on my saving and spending habits. I like to think that Craig and I are pretty good at this already (at least he is) but I know that with a baby coming we really need to step up our game. I’m one of those people who really HATE to budget. Not that I can’t live with a budget, just that I hate tracking and dealing with all the math! It’s easy for me because Craig and I took a look at expenses and we have put me on a cash diet to keep my spending in check but I still find times that I’m swiping my Amex or not really knowing what I’ve spent my money on that past month. This year I want to be more conscious of the whole process and to be more active in pursuing better spending habits. We want to make sure we’re setting ourselves up financially in the best possible way, especially with a future child in the picture. Seeing as my husband is an accountant this goal is a very real one for us.
  5. Personal Development – Finally, I really want to work on myself both professionally and personally. I don’t have time to re-enroll in graduate school this year but that doesn’t mean I can’t make time to pick up Fluenz again. I want to keep my brain sharp and focus on that passion I have for life-long learning. I hope to make more time this year to really keep my mind active and engaged and less focused on trivial pursuits. I find myself spending an inordinate amount of time on Facebook that could be better used by completing a Spanish lesson or even just reading a good book! Also, I want to make more time for this blog. I find that writing is a good outlet for me and I like to share my life with y’all. It’s not a matter of finding time but of making time. This year I want to really make more time for the things that make me a better person and this is a good place to start.

So, what about y’all. What are your goals for this year? Do you have any do-overs from last year that you’d like another shot at? Are you setting just one big goal or many small goals? I’d love to know what’s in store for you for 2015!

MissCaron

Ballet Barre Workout

So, this month of December I decided to torture myself by joining my local Pure Barre¬†group. Okay, so it’s not really torture but the classes are definitely giving me a workout. The movements are very small and designed to really work all those hidden muscles you don’t know you have but you really need to be strong.

I’ve been going for a few¬†weeks now and every single class has been slightly different. I really like that each time we do similar movements but they mix it up a bit. By the end of class I’m exhausted. The classes don’t really get my heart rate up like other kinds of aerobic exercise would (which means I still have to keep up with running or jumping rope) but I definitely feel the burn!

Each class starts off with some body movement in a standing position designed to warm you up. Then, we work on some arm exercises (with or without weights). Next, we utilize the ballet barre to really work our quads and glutes. After that, we work on our core by doing various abdominal exercises (similar to Pilates). Finally we stretch it out and give one last boost to the glutes before the cool down.

I tell you, this stuff is not cheap but it’s totally worth it. I am, by far, the worst in the class. I can’t do half of what everyone else can do but I’m sticking with it. I like that I pretty much know what to expect but that it’s also varied so I don’t get burn-out. My quads, glutes, lower back, abs, arms…. all feel the burn after every workout.

I’m glad I started in the middle of this crazy holiday season because I know that if I make time for this now I can certainly make time in the new year. My new year goal is to find a program and stick with it. So far, so good. I really feel like this is varied enough that it will keep me engaged and coming back for more. I thought I’d share with you some thoughts about my new workout routine in the hopes that it will encourage you to make some positive changes as part of your new years resolution.

Some tips:

  1. Splurge for the good “sticky socks” (you know, the ones they sell in their store or the more expensive ones online with the full bottom). The cheap ones I found online don’t hold me and I slip and slide all over the place.
  2. Go ahead and buy the exercise tights. You’re going to feel weird wearing tight clothing but it makes a difference. You don’t have to worry about pulling pant legs down, etc. Buy a longer tank-top if you feel you need coverage.
  3. Make sure you register for class online before showing up (if this is an option where you are) because there have been days I’ve come to class and they were only letting in folks who were already on the list as it was that busy.
  4. On that note, show up at least 5-10 minutes early for class. This will allow you to get a prime spot in the room and to relax a bit before the class starts (classes start right at the time scheduled!).
  5. When they say “hold” and “freeze” they’re saying the same thing. Basically it just means that when you lift your leg (or whatever) you’re holding it in place for a few seconds before releasing.
  6. Also, when they say “tuck” they want you to squeeze your abs in and curl your booty forward. It helps if you squeeze your butt muscles in at the same time. It’s awkward but you’ll get it.
  7. Finally, don’t worry about what anyone else is doing! Just focus on yourself and your movements and you’ll do fine. Even if you’re doing half as many as everyone else, concentrate on your precise movements so you’re working the muscles correctly. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

So, go out there and try this workout if you have one in your area. I really feel like this workout, combined with a healthy diet, is a great way to get fit. There are several types of barre workout places: Pure Barre, The Bar Method, etc. Do a bit of searching… there might even be a barre class at your local gym! Good luck and have fun! #newyearnewme

Out With The Old…

In With The New…

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Hope y’all had an enjoyable holiday! Craig and I enjoyed celebrating Christmas with our four families although we can honestly say we do not want to attempt it again next year. Have you ever seen Four Christmases? Basically the couple that normally vacations on Christmas is stuck spending time with all four parents (seeing as both parents are divorced). They have to tackle this in four parts of one day but with us we had to tackle it in four parts over a seven day span. Not quite as bad except for the fact that my father’s family lives five hours south west of here and Craig’s father’s family lives two and a half hours north of here. I’d almost rather have traveled to all in one day if they were within an hour of here. Almost.

We left Friday after work and headed down to stay with my grandparents on my father’s side. We made it down there around 9 pm seeing as we were both able to get off work a bit early that day. The traffic was horrendous because I’m an idiot and decided to travel along I-4. We spent all day on Saturday hanging at the house looking at wedding photos and talking about our plans for the new year. It was the highlight of the extend travel and I do wish we had more time with them. I don’t know exactly how much longer they will be here on earth and we both desire spending as much time as we can while we can. My father and his wife joined us that evening for Christmas dinner and then the following day, Sunday, we all joined once again for breakfast before Craig and I hit the road.

Our next stop was about an hour south of here at my mother’s. We spent the afternoon chatting before Craig and I headed to SW Grill in Daytona for Christmas dinner shared with my mother and step-father and my sister, Lauren, and her husband. We had a lovely Christmas dinner with them and spent time driving around Ormond Beach looking at Christmas lights before heading to their house for the night. We woke up Christmas Eve morning and headed back to our home just in time for a load of laundry, Christmas Eve service at Beach, and a quick dinner at a local sushi house. It was one of the best decisions we made this holiday. I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful it was to wake up Christmas morning with my love in our very own home as a newly married couple.

Christmas morning after a quick breakfast and sharing of our gifts we headed out once again for the journey northward. Craig’s father and brother and his family live in Savannah so we spent the day there with them and enjoyed watching his niece and nephew open the gifts we purchased. Craig’s brother and his wife fixed a nice spread and we brought along Craig’s mom to enjoy the family time together. Late that afternoon we, along with his mom, traveled south a bit to her house to spend the night and enjoy some quality time before heading back south.

I tell ya… on the way home, driving in the pouring rain for two hours, Craig said, “next year we’re going on vacation,” and I could not have agreed more. Don’t get me wrong. It was wonderful to spend time with family and we’re blessed to have them all in our lives. However, it is draining to be driving all over God’s green earth to fit it all into a matter of days. Craig and I spent a lovely New Years Eve at home together where he made delicious porterhouse steaks, scalloped potatoes au gratin, and roasted asparagus. We stayed up to watch the ball drop (barely) and hit the hay shortly thereafter. It was wonderful to spend some quality time just the two of us and not have to worry about driving anywhere. Best New Years Ever!

Craig mentioned to me that he believes it’s important to learn something new every year. I hadn’t really thought about the importance of dedicating time to this pursuit with intention as I always try and learn something new as often as possible but I must say I love the idea of focusing attention on one important goal for the year that is not just breaking bad habits but building new ones. This year we’ve decided to really become fluent in a new language. We both studied Spanish in high school but other than ordering a beer, “Quiero comprar una cerveza fria, por favor,” we really can’t get along well in the language. After much research we’ve decided to pursue the Fluenz study for 2013 with the goal of taking a trip that allows us to fully engage our new found skills.

For those of you that are not familiar with the language learning system, do not worry, for I intend to cover our progress extensively on this site. Along with our financial progress as we attempt to purchase a home together, I will take you along on our journey through the development of a potential mastery of travel Spanish. Craig and I both understand that we won’t ever become entirely fluent unless we are able to truly utilize the language in our daily lives but we both hope that it will help us in our careers and to expand our brain power. We would ultimately like to pursue language learning every other year or so and add to our abilities. We both enjoy travel and hope to get the most out of our experiences. Please follow along.

I hope that y’all had a wonderful celebration this holiday and that you have great plans for the new year! I’d love to hear your stories if you care to share. In addition, I’d love to hear all about your plans for the new year. Do you make resolutions? Is your number one goal to lose weight? Evidently that tops the list for a majority of folks and¬†admittedly¬†Craig is planning on trimming down a bit and I plan on toning a bit so we’re jumping on the bandwagon, so to speak. Today we enjoyed some Hoppin John and tomorrow we’re back to work. Another year ends and a new one begins and I’m looking forward to all the adventure to come.

Here’s to a fabulous 2013!

XOXO