Monday, December 29, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 12/29

I hope I do this correctly. In an attempt to diversify our diets and try new cooking this year I am going to join Org Junkie's "Menu Planning Monday" group and post a weekly link to my menu for the week. They say it's good for the budget and the kitchen so I look forward to finding out if that's true for us!

Monday- Pork pot roast and sauerkraut (very tasty from the crockpot)
Tuesday- Grilled cheese sandwiches and pumpkin soup (using stonewall kitchen pumpkin butter I received as a Christmas present)
Wednesday- Making chicken and vegetable soup from scratch for the first time!
Thursday- Pork pot roast and sauerkraut leftovers (I hope I'm not the only one reheating leftovers for dinner a few nights/week...)
Friday- Turkey and cheese panninis and lentil soup (from some soup mixes we received over the holidays- LOVE THESE GIFTS OF FOOD!)
Saturday- Chicken stirfry with leftover chicken from the soup making Wed night and mixed vegetables I found for 30 cents/can this week which is so uncommon in our grocery stores
Sunday- Chicken alfredo from a box (we found one on sale for 50 cents at the store last week or I would NEVER buy/eat this!) with large salad on the side

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Looking back on 2008

I'm a firm believer in goal setting.

Each year I make a lengthy list of resolutions; sometimes the list tops nearly 20. And each year I choose to abandon a few of the resolutions midway through the year for various reasons. If you've changed as a person and recognize that the goal no longer fits your current values and priorities, I think you have permission to let it go.

Diet Dilemmas

For example, one of my goals last year was to lose the 15 lbs I'd acquired early on in our marriage and to drop another 10 for good measure to get down to my college weight. I imagined myself in my size 2 skinny jeans. Plenty of other women had done it as I looked over the internet finding various role models, diets, and even imagining some cute outfits I'd squeeze into when I had my 19 year old body back. About 15 lbs into the weight loss I was able to fight for another 5 bringing the grand total to nearly 20 lbs. But the minute my lips tasted something sugary I'd plunk 2 lbs back on. My body seems comfortable about 15 lbs heavier than my college weight now. The truth is that the number on the scale required no effort on my part when I was 19. I ate what I wanted, exercised on several sports teams after classes each day, and danced until the wee hours of the morning on weekends. My body felt comfortable there. With a few more curves and a lot more responsibility I have different needs now than I did then. Midway through the year I abandoned the "skinny jeans goal" and accepted my body at its new weight.

Along the way I did learn some new dietary habits (eliminating daily desserts, enriched rice and pasta for the most part) and I have incorporated far more vegetables and healthy proteins into my diet. I also have several exercise options available indoors to help through the cold, winter months. The goal was more amended than abandoned.

On a positive note I did achieve many wonderful things in 2008. My husband and I travelled throughout New England, visited Charleston S.C., enjoyed my first visit to D.C., explored Baltimore, and took a long adventure to the Panama Canal, South America and the Caribbean. We also saved a large chunk of money towards a downpayment on our future home and put money into our retirement accounts (which have sunk 40% this year, ouch). We decorated our apartment (with many hand me downs and sale items!) and made it more homey. We celebrated our first year of marriage with a picnic and began some lovely traditions as a newlywed couple. We also started back to school to finish advanced degrees in our fields and improve our future job opportunities.

It's been a busy year and we've grown closer to one another and hope that our future continues to provide blessings and opportunities far beyond the goals we conceive in January of any given year.

2009 is fast approaching... Do you have a list of goals in mind?

Recommended resources for goal setting:

Ideas for goals:

Friday, December 26, 2008

Making my mark on the blogosphere

Good morning.

It's early morning and I'm awake and preparing a blogging adventure. Throughout the fall I've been increasingly humbled by the wonderful and inspirational women I've read about here on the internet. When people are asked to name an inspirational woman they may come up with a famous figure such as "Eleanor Roosevelt" or "Helen Keller". Don't get me wrong- we enjoy the Miracle Worker as much as the next guy everytime we pull it out from our movie collection. But presently, I'm inspired by the many women who find time to serve so many people in their lives with what appears to be very little recognition on a day-to-day basis. Amidst the chaos they keep their faith and spread this hope to others through this phenomenon of online blogging. As I embark on this adventure, I don't know exactly what my mark will be but an initial goal is to be able to communicate with and support some of these inspirational bloggers in a public forum.

Wishing you a happy holiday weekend!