These were my 2011 "goals to be better." Not resolutions. Ahem. The original post is here.
1. Equal amounts of input and output, input being everything I take in
and output being everything I give back. I'm still not perfect at this, but I got an awful lot better. Here's to more improvement in 2012.
2. Catch up at my own pace. Yep. This made my life so much easier.
3. Love Austin. Done a million times over.
4. Don't buy unnecessary things. Maybe? A little? I made a conscious effort, but I don't know if it helped.
5. Watch more Doctor Who. Totally. I still need to watch the David Tennant seasons, which should give me something to do while I wait for the series to come back next fall.
6. Take more photos. Done. Having an iPhone has been great for this, but I'd still like to learn how to better use my DSLR.
7. Take an interior design class. This didn't pan out. I did get lots of real-life experience with my apartment. Someday!
8. OR take a sewing class. Nope. Chuck Testa.
9. Have fun with Goodreads. I had so much fun with goodreads. My usual goal is to read 50 books a year. By the end of 2011, I should hit 45 or maybe 46. Good enough for me.
10. Spend more energy focused on building relationships. I'd like to think I accomplished this. I've made some incredible friends here in Texas. They have shaped my experience here in so many wonderful ways.
11. Make a conscious, daily effort to be grateful. Yes, but this doesn't end with 2011. Onward and upward!
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
It's amazing that I didn't end up with some serious misconceptions about Santa Claus thanks to this photo.
My parents get in town today for five days worth of a Texan Christmas Adventure. When we were ironing out details, my dad reminded me of something that my mom did when Phil and I were younger. At the beginning of December, we'd sit down and make a list of our "Christmas Expectations." Ranked in order of importance, we would say what we wanted to happen during the month. There was some room for dreaming large (ride the Polar Express!) as well as learning to curb our impulses. (Make gingersnaps AND lemon bars AND mincemeat pie? Pick two out of three.)
From my mom's standpoint, it must have been a godsend to know how to make your kids happy at Christmastime, when stress runs high and oustide temperatures run low. My expectations usually included "going to see the lights," "visiting Santa at the mall," and "setting up the Nativity." Phillip would want to watch Home Alone, a movie that inspired a notebook filled with ideas on how to infiltrate my room. When I found the notebook in the summer, I was so charmed that I couldn't possibly begin to be mad at him.
When Dad asked me this year, I laughed at the memory of our planning sessions, the result of which we'd leave taped up as a to-do list. My wishes have mellowed out a little. This year I'm hoping to watch The Adventures of Tintin at the Drafthouse and see the Nutcracker with my mom. But as I grow up, my Christmas Expectations lie more in the small festive moments. I've listened to Judy Garland's "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" more times than I can count. I sang in the church choir. I've punctured the skin of clementine oranges with my thumb, giving way to sweet segments of fruit. I haven't seen a single snowflake and I'm perfectly okay with that. I've thought about the Savior and his birth and sacrifice. So all in all, I'd say that my Christmas Expectations have been met and wildly exceeded.
Six-month-old Gretchen could hardly handle the excitement of Christmas.
A very happy Christmas to you and yours!
Monday, December 5, 2011
"Its other name is Manhattan." -Michael Scott
Well, I think while most people would agree that I wasn't a perfect NaBloPoMo poster (I mean, who forgets to blog on the LAST DAY?), I hope you'd also agree that this was a fun little project. Enjoy a random sampling of some other pictures that didn't get posted.
Dear New York City,
I think you're simply grand. Until we meet again?
Hugs and kisses,