Tis the season!

Wrapping up one year and looking forward to the next. What an interesting process. I remember many years where I couldn’t wait for the fresh start that a new year would bring. Funny how optimistic I always am at this time of year considering I live in Wisconsin and the new year just means 4 more months of cold weather. 

This year however I am just truly thankful and blessed to have experienced all the days in this year so far. I’ve experienced so much growth in so many areas. 

This year marked 5 years of togetherness with my husband and 2 years of marriage. It has seriously flown by.  I’m so thankful for us and hope we continue to share many more trips around the sun together. 

I attended a life and business coaching group for 9 months out of the year that totally changed my perspective on many areas of my life. It’s helped me declutter, repriorotize, rediscover and challenge my thoughts and beliefs. 

I enjoyed my 2nd full year of consulting on my own. It’s been such a rewarding experience and opportunity to work on different projects with different people. Definitely a different kind of education. I’ve really started to appreciate and acknowledge what I can add to a team and project. Being my own cheerleader has been such a blessing. 

My step-son turned 14 and watching him grow and discover himself is something I’m thankful to be a part of every day. He’s such a blessing and gives me perspective and many learning experiences. 

We spent the year focusing on our finances and now find ourselves debt free (except for our home). This is such a freeing accomplishment and it takes so much pressure of our career choices and really allows us to enjoy our 9-5’s more since we don’t feel trapped by them. 

I was diagnosed with Ménière’s disease in August. An inner ear disorder that causes ear ringing, vertigo and nausea. By cutting out caffeine and sodium I’ve managed to control the symptoms (and my anxiety around the sparadic nature of the episodes). So, yay. 

I traveled to Napa (CA), Orlando (FL), Mexico, Lake Placid (NY), Door County (WI), Rockville (MD) and of course Cleveland and Cincinnati for work. I enjoyed every trip and was lucky enough to spend time with great people and make wonderful memories at each location. Not to mention some good food too. 

We took down a wall (thanks HGTV for the words “open concept”, repainted most of the main level, filled a dumpster of crap to declutter the house, and put in new vinyl wood planks instead of the old carpet. 

I started and cancelled a wine club. I started and cancelled a fitness subscription. I gave up giving up Nutella. 

And so many other wonderful things… with wonderful people. 

With only two weeks left in this year, I have nothing but gratitude and love for 2016 and can only imagine what 2017 will bring… and I look forward to finding out. 

February Follies

Month two of 2016.  Today went pretty well as far as Mondays go!  Had a good work day, got laundry and dishes done early in the morning, got my workout(s) in, ate healthy all day, booked more stuff for my birthday trip to Napa Valley and also booked stuff for an awesome trip in March to celebrate awesome ladies supporting each other, networking, healing, learning, growing <– need I go on?  And… it’s in Orlando.  PS, that’s a helluva lot warmer than Wisconsin in March.

I have had so much on my mind lately.  The days are flying by and the nights are filled with weird stress dreams.  I have discovered a few things about myself lately…

  1. I do not like booking my own travel arrangements for vacations.  There are SO many options, prices, experiences, adventures… man oh man.  I’d much rather go on a structured/planned trip that someone else planned.  I have spent more hours thinking about and pondering what to do on my birthday trip to Napa, than I will actually spend in Napa!!  How crazy is that??  Lesson learned – just find a travel agent or friend that really digs that shit and just give them money or wine to do it for me.
  2. I am on a constant journey to better myself.  I am always open to ways to change, evolve, reflect, grow, enhance both myself and my life.  I hope this never changes, I enjoy flexing the muscles of my life to see where I can go and what I can do.
  3. I have a gum problem.  I chew like 8,371 pieces in a day when I’m stressed.  Is there support groups for this?
  4. I am so much more accepting of my body than I was even 6 months ago.  Focusing on eating clean and working out has given me such a different perspective and appreciation for my body and the things that it can do.  I take time every day to love all the bits!

Life has its ups and downs, and lately for me life has had many more ups than downs.  I’ve been really trying to find ways to fully appreciate and acknowledge this phenomenon since I know that might not always be the case :)  Appreciating the small things and each other.

Also – trying to be the biggest, best, badassiest version of myself that this universe will allow!  Which, is a pretty damn cool thing to think about every day.

fitspiration-b16

The 1 year nesting itch

with our one year anniversary less than a week away, I’ve been in major nesting mode. We’ve taken on a few projects to update the house. We have started with the outside/backyard patio. 

   
   

After the patio, the deck around the pool, then inside the house… Then the world!!! :)

   
   

Post Holiday Wish List

New cordless keyboard.  – Now that I’ve been working from home more, I’ve really started to value a nice keyboard.  One that is quiet.  The keyboard I have now makes me feel like a monkey that is just slapping away at the keys.  Even when I try to be quiet.  My husband and stepson picked me up a new cordless mouse for Christmas.  It puts my old keyboard to shame!

North Face Agave Shirt.  – I saw this shirt/sweater a couple months ago, and it has not left my radar. That is the sign of something that should eventually find its way into my closet.  I’m promising it to myself in January when I get paid.

Hoping Zumba puts out some new DVD’s soon.  They have some new stepper DVD’s, but I’d be a happy camper with a whole new Zumba suite of DVD’s.  Maybe Zumbalicious 2015 or something!  Fingers crossed.

Pinterest.  All of it.  It is basically the devil and gives me more outfits to drool over, visions of kitchens and bathrooms dancing in my head, and the misguided notion that I can cook some of those things on there!

I haven’t decided if I’ll actually have any resolutions in 2015.  I find that I am constantly evaluating where I am in this journey and making adjustments on the fly.  Resolutions are made with the assumption that life won’t throw you a couple curve balls over the next 12 months that won’t make your original resolutions seem more like bad prequels to the real life events unfolding.

However, I’m not against making an effort to try and figure out what is important to me right now.  As a married woman (6 months and 2 days in) for the first time in my life my long term plans aren’t exclusive to me.  They include a man, a boy, 2 huskies, and a small village of fish.

Our future is bright (yup, sometimes we even have to wear shades)!

Life is not sucky.

Holidaze 2014

What’s more interesting than getting married, going to a foreign country for a honeymoon, quitting your regular job, starting your own business and beginning consulting and trying to maintain my sanity?  Well, not a whole heck of a lot.

I’m 8 weeks into my new career being a software consultant.  It’s been very challenging, rewarding, exhausting and exciting.  I enjoy traveling (which I’ve been doing more often than not).  I’ve been traveling to Cleveland… not necessarily the center of excitement but not bad either.

Married life has been a lot of fun!  Pretty much like non-married life, except I can call and make decisions for my husband, just because he is my wife.  I’m sure I can put this to good use, I’m just not sure how yet.  Plus I have an extra shiny ring, who complains about that?  No one.  My husband also happened to make me fajitas tonight, which is one of my favorites.  He knows just how to butter a girl up.

I finally got around the time/energy to set up the Christmas tree.  For a moment I contemplating not even putting up a tree, then decided to get with the Christmas spirit and bought some new xmas tree décor and went to town with twinkly merriment.

I have found that traveling, holidays and married life is pretty much the perfect storm for your waist line.  So it’s been a challenge to get on/keep on track throughout all these new adventures.  Hopefully I will find more time to blog again once I get more settled into this new “lifestyle”.  It isn’t just a career change, but a whole different way of living life.  We are totally up to the challenge :)

There are Five Love Languages – What’s Yours?

Whether you’re in a relationship, or not… I found this quiz to be really enlightening to who I am as a person and the kind of love that I need.  I have to credit our Pre-Marital Counselor, Pastor Rom, in pointing us to this book.  He stressed the importance of learning eachother’s love languages and it has really been a fun adventure to figure out together.

From the love languages website (where you can take this quiz for FREE online <– Read: There is no reason not to do it):

Love Language Personal Profile

Interpreting Your Profile Score

The highest score indicates your primary love language (the highest score is 12). It’s not uncommon to have two high scores, although one language does have a slight edge for most people. That just means two languages are important to you.

The lower scores indicate those languages you seldom use to communicate love and which probably don’t affect you very much on an emotional level. Learn more about your primary love language and how to put it to use next to the corresponding badge below.

Important to Remember

You may have scored more highly on certain love languages than others, but do not dismiss those other languages as insignificant. Your partner may express love in those ways, and it will be helpful to you to understand this about him/her.

In the same way, it will benefit your partner to know your primary love language in order to best express affection for you in ways that you interpret as love. Every time you or your partner speak each other’s language, you score emotional points with one another. Of course, this isn’t a game with a scorecard! The payoff of speaking each other’s love language is a greater sense of connection. This translates into better communication, increased understanding, and, ultimately, improved romance.

If your partner has not already done so, encourage him/her to take The Love Languages Profile. Discuss your respective love languages, and use this insight to improve your relationship

My score:

9 Acts of Service
9 Quality Time
8 Physical Touch
3 Words of Affirmation
1 Receiving Gifts

Acts of Service

Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter. Finding ways to serve speaks volumes to the recipient of these acts.

Quality Time

In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there – with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby – makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Quality Time also means sharing quality conversation and quality activities.
What’s your score?  Your Partners?
Yes, Jason took this as well and it was very fun and interesting to go over the results together.  It has been a nice point of reference.  Jason’s top two were Physical Touch and Words of Affirmation.  This has helped me to remember that when things are tense I should make an extra effort to focus on those two areas that are important to him.  This has definitely not made me a “perfect” spouse (as if there is such a thing) but I do feel like it has given me some insight into how I can do the best that I can on my end of the relationship!