News In Brief

I first saw this blog update format over at the amazing Charlotte’s Web and knew I’d have to copy it at some point; more recently Ms. Make Tea completed her own (very entertaining) version. Since Grace’s two-year molars are coming through and she is determined to share her misery with Ian, me and the dog, I’m a little more tired than usual so I’m going to update with my own News In Brief.

on fitness
Despite suffering a cold for nearly two weeks in January, I’ve been quite pleased with my fitness routine and how it’s developing. I’ve been to yoga enough that I have lost track of how many times I’ve practiced, and I can now do that thing where you are in plank and bring one knee up to your elbow multiple times…you know, that thing? I’ve been challenging myself with cardio as well and I feel really great. I’ve also lost five pounds since Thanksgiving. I feel awesome and inspired to continue. My fitness mantra: Health Above All Else. I remind myself of this when I don’t feel like exercising, or feel like choosing white/sugar/junk carbs instead of food that will help my immune system. Health above All Else!

on work
If I get enough sleep I am able to manage my job well, even with the thought that the recent move I’ve made may not be the right one for me. When I don’t get enough sleep it doesn’t take much for me to nearly dissolve into tears – it’s something I desperately need to control. As Ian keeps reminding me, it is highly unlikely I’ll be in this exact situation come the end of the year so I just need to remain steadfast. I also received my retirment statement last week and felt really happy I’ve contributed so much to our future – we have a nice chunk of change set away already – I really do find tremendous pride from that.

on home renovation Last year we managed quite a lot of progress on our home – most of it forced due to emergency circumstances, but still. Our first floor is completely repainted in glorious shades of coral and blue and white and we had custom blinds installed. We also had central air conditioning put in as well as many, many pipes replaced. While my interests don’t naturally lend themselves to home design I’m enjoying parts of it, especially combining expensive projects with kid-friendly decorating choices. I will share some pictures in the first half of this year, certainly. I am not yet sure what we have on tap for this coming year but I do hope our decisions are dictated by more free will and fewer collapsing plaster ceilings.

on tv I started a list of television shows I watch – albeit intermittently – on my sidebar. Television is something I do enjoy in limited doses – an hour here or there – right now I am highly anticipating the return of Smash (tomorrow) and hoping I can get to all the seasons of The Wire and Downton Abbey I have on hand but haven’t had time to watch. I am particularly absorbed in Hart of Dixie, which just goes to show I’ve never really grown up beyond Dawson’s Creek. I’d like to write, Frank Bruni style, more on television later.

on music I finally downloaded Brandi Carlile’s new album “Bear Creek” and I’m enjoying it quite a bit. Her voice is tremendously powerful and I do think I prefer her faster paced or playful songs to her slower work but overall I’m glad I purchased the album. We have loads of c.d.s around the house right now that we barely listen to so we are hoping to rectify that in 2013 as we are not so terribly worried about waking a sleeping baby anymore and Grace loves a good dance party.

on travels At first I considered not making any travel plans this year since I would really, really like to get pregnant and with my last pregnancy I was so sick for fourteen weeks that any sort of travel was impossible, but I have quickly realized I cannot be the person who sits around month after month waiting to find out if she is pregnant or not – in fact, Ian and I are barely in town at the same time for the first half of this year for a pregnancy to even be very likely, and so this weekend we are heading to Buffalo, NY (I know, I know, but it is halfway between our place and G’s paternal grandparents) to celebrate Grace’s second birthday, and in a few weeks G and I are taking a girls weekend to visit my best friend and her son. A two short weeks after that I’ll return to Michigan alone to visit a dear college friend who is pregnant with twin girls, and in April I will be visiting my parents in Florida for my father’s 70th birthday. I’m not entirely sure how much summer traveling I will do – it will depend on how much time off I have in combination with the demands of our families, but I would really like to visit some family I have in Houston and some friends in Chicago if time permits.

on cooking Ever since having Grace, Ian and I have cooked regularly and basically ceased going out to eat unless we are on a date or individually out with friends, which means we have been forced into the kitchen with a regularity we never possessed previously. Admittedly, Ian has taken to this much more creatively than I have – even mastering homemade pizza crusts and quiches. I like to cook once in a while and the rest of the time could happily subsist from food I’ve gathered at trader joe’s, but even I have been inspired. A couple of months ago I tackled chicken and avocado enchiladas that were truly a delight to eat, and tonight I’m making seared tuna steak sandwiches. Begrudgingly, I will admit cooking can occasionally be fun, but I am grateful Ian handles the majority of it!

on fiscal responsibility January could have been better, and it could have been worse. Due to unforseen circumstances I was not able to meet our savings goal, but I also didn’t have to charge any emergency related nonsense to a credit card. For February I am hoping the lack of charging emergency related nonsense can continue, and I hope to meet my savings goal. On a much smaller scale, I’ve seriously cut down the amount of coffee I buy out, purchasing one maybe once a week and making the rest at home – a baby step but a fully satisfying one!