Sunday, January 23, 2011

Resolution Update

So - how am I doing on the resolutions? Not great. Let's be honest, getting engaged and moving up to practically full time teaching combined take a lot of time. Number of recipes I've cooked in the last month (not counting Fresh and Easy microwave meals): 2. The first was banana bread for Missional Community, and the second was flatbread pizza for Jon and I one night before MC. (A missional community is basically a group of people who live close to each other who live life together. It's through our church, Redemption. We get together on a regular basis, eat delicious snacks, and study the Bible together.) However, I will not be deterred from my cooking resolution. No matter how tired I am or how little time I think I have, I will find a way to crack open the cookbooks I already own.

And the stress resolution? Umm, I'm doing a pretty good job I'd say. Considering that the number of things demanding my time has increased drastically and I'm still smiling and laughing and loving life, then I'd say that I'm dealing with stress pretty well. I have decided not to attend certain events in order to avoid causing myself more stress. So I think if nothing else, resolving to stress less is going to cause me to be more intentional about how I do choose to spend my time.

And the blogging resolution? Great! This is my fourth blog in January, so I've met and exceeded my goal! Considering that in all, I've blogged 7 times now this month (Jon and I have a wedding website which includes a blog,, I'm feeling pretty good about this resolution.

January has been a productive way to start 2011! Let's keep this productivity train rollin' on in to February and beyond!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Little did I know I picked the perfect time to blog about New Year's Resolutions and specifically about not being stressed. Well, I sorta had some idea that I might need to declare my intentions to not be stressed sometime in the future...but here's the story!

Every month, Jon is allowed to plan one surprise date. It was our compromise between his love of planning surprises and my completely type A, have-to-know personality. I've come to really look forward to these surprise dates, and I know Jon has great fun planning them. I'll take you back a few months...November, Jon and I went to a Straight No Chaser concert. They are an A Capella group that started at Indiana University (Jon's alma mater). Great fun! December, Jon hinted that while November's surprise date may have been my favorite so far, he was planning something that just might top it. We went to the Nutcracker! It was wonderful and lots of fun! January rolls around and Jon claims his surprise date day early...January 8th! Jon tells me it will be an early morning, probably around 7:00 (later became 6:15) and we will be back around 3ish, and that we will be outside.

Jon and I have been very intentional about our relationship, and we made it clear that our intentions were to get married. Jon worked very hard to keep the timeline of his proposal a secret and to keep me guessing. It worked! (but still I kept wondering...)

Saturday morning, Jon picked me up at 6:15am and we headed north! We got to the Deer Valley airport, and I sort of had a feeling we were going on a hot air balloon ride! We were! And it was wonderful! It was a great view, great weather, and a great time to just relax and enjoy hanging out with Jon!

After the hot air balloon ride, we decided to go to a park and just hang out before deciding what we would do for lunch. On the 101 as we were about to Broadway, I said, "Oh, we passed Tempe Town Lake, the park there." Jon said, "Yeah, I just thought we'd go to Kiwanis." I obliviously go along with it. When we get to Kiwanis, we start walking around the lake. I noticed that Jon was holding my hand a little tighter and his breathing was a little nervous. But I instantly dismissed any thoughts he might be planning to propose since he had basically dismissed all notions of the possibility himself (a week before he said, there are numerous steps that still need to happen, which at that point, there were). On our way around the lake, I noticed a girl sitting on a blanket and reading. I almost pointed her out and said I really liked that idea and thought that Jon and I should do that sometime. But I kept my mouth shut...she comes back into the story shortly!

After almost rounding the lake, Jon suggested turning around and going back. I wondered aloud why we didn't just go around. Jon said he just wanted to walk back the same way. I said, we could sit in the sun for a little bit, so we sat down. Right after we sat down, Jon told me that he loved me and that he wanted to walk again, not sit down. So we stood up, but we didn't start walking right away. He again told me he loved me and that he always would. I responded, "That's good! I'll always love you too!" To which Jon said, "with that (gets down on one knee) will you marry me?" I reached for the ring while saying yes and mentally pinching myself!

After a couple minutes of celebration, I turned to notice our friend, and wonderful photographer, Stacy (here's her website) was snapping pictures! Stacy had been the girl hiding behind the tree, reading! Jon had truly thought of everything as Stacy approached me and handed me a couple gifts from my future husband: a Bible with my future name engraved, a journal with my future name engraved, and a tote bag embroidered with my future initials.

It has been a busy couple of days as we've shared the exciting news with family and friends, but I could not feel more blessed to be engaged to such a wonderful man! I think this shot perfectly captures how I feel: giddy. My best friend used that word to describe me in this picture, and I thought that is exactly it!

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Year's (Resolutions?)

I am a list person. I am a goal person. It makes sense that I would be a resolution person. And I guess I am. While I'm not sure I like the label of "resolutions," I do like looking at the year past and setting some goals for myself for the year to come. So as this new year is barely a week old, I've done some thinking and decided to share my resolutions.

First, I want to blog more. Once a week seems a little daunting, and every other week seems too lackadaisical. So I'm going to aim for 3 times a month. 36 times in the year 2011, I'm going to write and publish a blog. I find that blogging has been a great way to document my first year of teaching, craft projects I complete and other life happenings. I enjoy it, and it's a good way to express myself. Therefore, I'm going to do it more.

Second, I'm going to stress less. I can't say I'm going to have fewer potentially stressful situations in 2011, but I'm going to make a conscious decision to confront potentially stressful situations with a deep breath and an attitude of patience. I'm starting to realize I don't accomplish anything by getting stressed except for maybe lashing out at the people closest to me.

Third, I'm going to make a meal from a cookbook I own at least once a week. I have some amazing cookbooks, and some great vintage ones especially. (I feel a blog tour of my cookbook collection coming on, stay tuned!) Therefore at least once a week, I'm going to get more acquainted with my collection of fabulous cookbooks.

Done. Yes, just three. I don't plan on overwhelming myself (see resolution #2) with my resolutions, but I do enjoy the process of reflection and dreaming that making resolutions involves. Here we go, 2011!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Goodbye 2010, It's been great!

I can safely say 2010 has been one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) years of my life. I feel incredibly blessed to be where I am in my life and am loving every moment of this adventure!

In May, I graduated college. what an accomplishment! Four years, countless papers, many books (I can't even calculate the costs, it would be too disheartening), and lots of hard work. But I did it! I can't even describe the feelings I felt knowing that somehow I'd made it through and still had my mind, despite my advisor's warnings. I look back now and wonder how in the world I handled so much at one time. My last semester, I had a total of 22 credit hours, 18 at ASU and 4 at Rio Salado. Nuts?! Absolutely! My advisor warned me she had a previous student who had gone insane and totally stopped speaking after trying to take on too much. Insane, schminsane is what I said. I knew I had to finish by May since my scholarship was over in 4 years, and I definitely did not want any more loans than I absolutely had to take. But I did it. With lots of support and encouragement, I walked across those 3 stages (in 2 days) with the greatest sense of accomplishment I've known. I feel blessed to have such a great work ethic that propelled me forward even when I wanted to give up. I feel blessed that I have a desire to learn and constantly know more.

In July, I started dating Jon. My mom and I had gone to dinner on June 23rd (don't worry, I don't have this memorized, I just checked Facebook) to Burrito Company. After which, I updated my Facebook status to: "Mmmm...burrito company! Best tortillas ever!" Jon texted me somewhat out of the blue challenging me on my love of Burrito Co. tortillas and informing me he thought Panchero's tortillas were superior. So we decided we needed to do a taste test. The first Thursday of July we went to Burrito Co. The next week (I think it was Tuesday) we went to Panchero's. Neither of us has thrown in the towel yet and we are both still convinced our place is better, but that was how it all started! I was amazed how easily conversation came with Jon. Jon has a great sense of humor (even if we do disagree on movies), kind (he left flowers on my car after church the first week we were dating), encouraging (he leaves me notes telling me why he likes me), and many other qualities I absolutely adore!

In August, I started teaching (you can read the whole story here). I feel so blessed with how the whole situation worked out, and I absolutely love what I do and the people I work with. I have such a great supportive and encouraging staff to work with and my students are wonderful. I look forward to teaching for many, many years.

In October, I got to go with Jon back to Indiana to meet his family and some of his friends. It was a great trip and I loved it! The weather was gorgeous, the trees were changing, it was definitely fall!

2010 has been good to me. On Thanksgiving this year, surrounded by my family (including Jon), I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for where I am in my life. Sure, 2010 has had struggles as well, but when I look back, I feel so thankful for everything that has happened and brought me to where I am today. I can't wait to see 2011 unfold and all of the wonderful things in store!

Happy New Year!