Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Goal Recap!

With the beginning of this blog, came the start of me consciously setting goals for myself for the year and attempting to actually follow through with them. You see, I've always set New Years my head anyways, but by the time February or March rolls around, I'm one of those people who loses all motivation and lets the resolutions fall by the wayside.

So I dedicated a whole blog post to the goals I would like to accomplish for an AMAZING 2011. And let me tell you, I think that laying out these specific goals for myself (as well as another set of goals for work) and putting the intention of accomplishing them out into the Universe helped me to accomplish almost all of them!

Here's a recap of how I did!

1.) Hire a Personal Trainer - ACCOMPLISHED!!
I cheated a bit with this one, as The Hubs helped me out by getting me 8 sessions last Christmas.  I really loved personal training. I totally got my butt kicked and found that my trainer worked me out WAY harder than I would have done by myself.  I became frienemies with the foam roller and kettle bell workouts.  But at the end of my 8 sessions, I ended up opting to not spend the significant amount of money that was required to keep up with it. At the time we were just starting our TTC journey and I didn't want heavy workouts to influence anything (little did I know we'd still be on that journey a year later...). Maybe some day I'll hire a trainer again, but for now I'm going to save the money and continue workouts on my own.

2.) Take a Trip - ACCOMPLISHED!!
So proud of myself for actually following through with this one. It was my intention to take a trip and my BIG idea was to go to Seattle (obviously as I used a picture of the Space Needle to highlight this goal!).  I overcame my fear of flying and actually traveled to Seattle where The Hubs and I had an amazing time and were able to take ACTUAL pictures of the Space Needle! 

3.) Find 3 Mentors - A bit of a miss...
This was the one goal that I didn't accomplish as much as I would have liked to.  I had good intentions of contacting a former coworker to discuss work/life balance, but didn't really make the effort even though it would have been pretty easy, what with being Facebook friends and everything. I found a few blogs online where I connected with other female engineers including Tessa at Diary of a Working Mother who've I really enjoyed following and connecting with online (she's a fellow SWEster too which makes it even better!). I think this is a goal that I need to carry  into 2012 and really really try to follow through with!

4.)  Take a Class - ACCOMPLISHED
Right at the beginning of the year, I took a meditation class which was TOTALLY out of my comfort zone, but SO worth it.  I then began to explore the mindfulness/body connection by taking yoga classes more regularly, including a Yoga for Fertility workshop.  I've really fallen in love with Yoga and think that it has been the one thing that really helped bring about somewhat more calm in my life.

5.) Buy Stuff - ACCOMPLISHED
I'm really proud of myself for this one. The one big thing I wanted to buy this year was a new TV console (again evidence of the picture in my original goal post!) and buy a new media stand we did! The Hubs and I absolutely LOVE it!

We bought a new shower head, which was a long time coming, and something The Hubs and I are enjoying immensely! (Can I say twice a day showers when there is time?? Not exactly environmentally friendly, but oh so relaxing!)

I bought a new glider for the front porch.

And we started the process of making new curtains... Key word is started... That is a project we NEED to finish in 2012!

Whew... I accomplished a lot in 2011 (which is why it was my "word" of 2011!)  and I have SO much to show for it! It makes me SO proud of myself! 

I can't wait to see what next year holds!

Did you set goals for 2011? 
How'd you do in accomplishing them??

Friday, December 30, 2011

#Weverb11 - Day 30 - Meditate & Day 31: Foresee

Day 30:  Meditate

Were you happy with who you were in 2011? Who do you want to be in 2012 and beyond? 

Contributed by Kimberly Michelle []

For the first time in a long time, I can actually say that I was happy with who I was in 2011. Just the other night, I was watching TV with The Hubs and sort of spaced out and thought to myself "Life is pretty good." 

It's not like I have a perfect life or have everything that I could possible want or need, but in 2011 I felt fulfilled. Both at work (which hasn't happened in a LONG time) and at home. 

In 2012, I want to continue to be happy. I want to accept the things that I can't control and choose to behave in positive ways in every situation. I want to be nicer and do more good for others. 

Day 31:  Foresee

Where do you hope to be on January 1, 2013

Contributed by Kaileen Elise []

On January 1, 2013, I hope to be more well traveled, calmer/less anxious, and hopefully... hopefully on the road to parenthood. I know that that last thing is not something that I can control particularly, but I hope that I am able to accept whatever situation we are in and take whatever steps The Hubs and I feel comfortable with making in 2012 in order to make that dream come true.

**Stay tuned for tomorrow, when I hope to share what I've accomplished in 2011 and Sunday for a new set of goals for 2012!**

#Weverb11 Participants! If you've been participating in #Weverb11 and have enjoyed it as much as I have, please consider donating to the cause so we can have a #Weverb12 and beyond! 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

#Weverb11 - Day 28 - Pay it Forward & Day 29 - Gush

Day 28:  Pay it Forward

Describe a random act of kindness you benefited from in 2011. How will you pay it forward in 2012?

Contributed by Bella []

Is it sorta sad that I can't think of a specific random act of kindness...

I mean people have done plenty of nice things for me, but nothing totally random (like Bebe having water left out for her at a random house along her running route!).

So instead here are a few things people have done that I can think of...
  • Having Starbucks randomly brought to me at work by my bestie.
  • Having someone complement me on my writing and training at work.
  • Whenever The Hubs cleaned something up or did something that he knew I would really appreciate without me having to ask.
Next year, I would like to perform more random acts of kindness. Perhaps pay the toll on the bridge for the car behind me or get the coffee for the person behind me. 

Day 29:  Gush

Begin to create a plan for "My friends day out 2012" - tell us what you envision.

Contributed by Julie Jordan Scott []

I love my friends and would love to have a Girl's Day Out in 2012! Except for the fact that most of my friends will be very pregnant or with little ones for 2012...

But if I could do anything for a girl's day out, we would start out by hitting up Starbucks and getting a nice warm delicious coffee and pastry. Next we would head to the spa -preferably the Claremont Hotel and Spa in Berkeley. I had a Girl's Day Out in 2008 with a friend from grad school where we both ditched work and headed to the Claremont. 

Image Source: Critical Thinking Community

It was AHH-mazing! The Claremont is beautiful and makes you feel really rich just being there. I got an hour long massage and an hour long oxygenated facial - both which were heavenly! Then we got to hang out in the spa all day and sit in the deluge (which makes your hair smell heavenly!). 

After hanging out at the spa for most of the day, we'd go to my favorite sushi restaurant, Amakara, for a delicious early dinner. Their sushi rolls, especially the one they call Klondike Express is to DIE for!

The day would end at a wine bar, perhaps Residual Sugar  or any other wine bar for that matter! It would be the opportunity to sit with a glass of wine and chat about our lives in lounge-like comfort.

Just writing about this wonderful day, is making me long for it! :-)

#Weverb11 Participants! If you've been participating in #Weverb11 and have enjoyed it as much as I have, please consider donating to the cause so we can have a #Weverb12 and beyond! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

#Weverb11 - Day 27: Spend

Day 27:  Spend

Where did your money go this year? Where do you want it to go in 2012?

Contributed by Kimberly Michelle []

Both The Hubs and I are pretty good about saving money. We don't go on extravagant vacations or buy extravagant things. I think that a lot of our money goes to eating out or groceries, since we aren't very good about meal planning.

Our biggest purchases of the 2011 included our trip to Seattle and buying tickets for our trip to Vegas in 2012. The Vegas trip was especially expensive since the Garth Brooks tickets are $250 a pop! I'm sure it will be well worth it though!

We also purchased our TV console, which wasn't expensive, but still something we considered a "major" purchase.

Next year, I hope to spend money on one other vacation (I'm thinking maybe Chicago or Hawaii...).  And if a bun finally inhabits my oven, I would like to invest in a new car, one where The Pup can be kept in the way back away from all passengers. My current crush is on the Toyota Highlander...

Image Source: Toyota

Are you participating in #WEverb11? If not, go here for more info! It's an awesome way to reflect on last year and you'll meet tons of new people in the process! :-)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

#Weverb11 - Day 26: Revive

Day 26:  Revive
Share a favorite photo from the past year. What was happening behind the scenes? What were you thinking or feeling? What could you smell, taste, see, hear at that moment?

Contributed by Tara []

This is one of my favorite pictures of the year. I call it "Sparkling Seattle". 

The Hubs and I were on a tour of the city as viewed from Elliott Bay/Puget Sound. It was an amazing way to experience this beautiful city that both The Hubs and I had been wanting to visit for over three years. 

The air was crisp and smelled like vacation. (Vacation to me smells like fresh pine trees and although I don't specifically recall smelling that while on the cruise, I do recall smelling it as we drove through the outskirts of Seattle. That's something you don't get in California unless you head to Lake Tahoe or up north to Mendocino or Humboldt County, well outside the city limits!)

I was feeling exciting and energized. I had just flown the furthest from home I had ever been. I was experiencing a new city with The Hubs. There's something wonderful about experiencing something for the first time with your spouse. 

I could taste freedom. 

The whole trip made me realize how limiting I was making my life by allowing fear to get the best of me. Fear of flying, fear of the unknown, fear of spending too much money...

All I have to do is look at this picture and know that I want to experience more new things with The Hubs. Hopefully 2012 will bring many more new adventures!


Are you participating in #WEverb11? If not, go here for more info! It's an awesome way to reflect on last year and you'll meet tons of new people in the process! :-)

Monday, December 26, 2011

#Weverb11 - Day 24: Control & Day 25: Celebrate

Day 24:  Control
What did you finally let go of in 2011? What will you let go of in 2012?

Contributed by Julie Jordan Scott []

This year I finally let go of the work fiasco that happened last year and really feel like I was able to establish myself in my new position. It was one of the goals I had for 2011 and I think that I pretty much accomplished it. 

Next year, I'm going to try to let go of constantly worrying about what the future will hold and to focus on the present and acceptance. I can only control my actions and attitudes to situations that arise. As far as I know, I am not psychic and can't predict the future, so why continue worrying. This is going to be especially difficult for me, but it's a work in process!

Day 25:  Celebrate
What did you celebrate in 2011? Are you looking forward to any celebrations in 2012?

Contributed by Kaileen Elise []

My favorite celebrations of 2011 were mostly of birthday milestones:

My Grandpa's 90th Birthday

My Sister's 21st Birthday

The Hubs's 30th Birthday

Rowan's First Birthday

Next year, I'm looking forward to celebrating my two best friends having babies. And I'm trying to look forward to my 30th birthday, although right now it just makes me feel old!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Hope you all have a fabulous holiday weekend! We'll be spending Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas Day with The Hubs's family, which is each families tradition. (Works out great for splitting time!)

I'll be around next week with some catch up #Weverb11 posts and maybe a few other things. Most bloggers are taking next week off, but I'm hoping to use the week to do MORE blogging! hehe :-) Plus I know some of you will be like me and by dying with all your favorite bloggers taking a hiatus!

See you next week! :-)

Friday, December 23, 2011

#Weverb11 - Day 22: Accomplish & Day 23: Grasp

Day 22:  Accomplish

What is one thing you want to do before you bid adieu to 2011? How will you make it happen?

Contributed by Bella []

In this last week of 2011 that I thankfully have off from work, the one thing I want to accomplish is to finish watching the Oprah's Life Classes that I have saved on the DVR. I watched the first couple of weeks when they first came out and actively watched the show including taking notes! I'm all about learning and the life lessons Oprah is teaching ar every important to remember.  I hope to then wrote blog posts like the one I wrote on Ego so that I can come fully circle and teach what I learned. It will be a great collection of thoughts and ideas that I will easily be able to go back to.

To make this happen, I plan on using the four days I will be home by myself to take some quiet time to watch and then reflect. It is going to be GLORIOUS! :-)

Day 23:  Grasp

Describe something you actively engaged in learning this year.

Contributed by Katie []

This year, I actively engaged in learning more about yoga and meditation. Early in the year, I stepped out of my comfort zone and took a meditation class where I explored what I might want to do in my career in the future. Then I began taking yoga classes more often, including the Yoga for Fertility class. I had done a ton of research regarding yoga previously, but it wasn't until this year where I really actively began learning and practicing.

#Weverb11 - Day 21: Ripple

Day 21:  Ripple
The butterfly effect posits that a small change can ripple across whole ecosystems. Who do you credit for the small action that made all the difference in your life this year?

Contributed by Zak []

I think that having one of my best friends start working at my company really made all of the difference in my mood and attitude this year, both at work and at home. I'm no longer miserable at work, which translates into me being less moody at home. 

Having someone to vent with, bounce ideas off of, get advice from has been so helpful. I think it has made me realize that I really wasn't alone in all the things I was feeling on the job and made me more confident in the decisions I make while at work. I was this.close. to finding something else, but now I seem to find more value in what I do and even though there are bad days, the lows aren't quite as low.

It's amazing what a friend can do!


Are you participating in #WEverb11? If not, go here for more info! It's an awesome way to reflect on last year and you'll meet tons of new people in the process! :-)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thankful Thursday - FINALLY Finished Gratitude Photo Challenge!

I know this is a bit late in coming, but I really wanted to finish the Gratitude Photo Challenge I started in November. I got a bit sidetracked with all the Weverb11 posts, so this project took a back seat.

But without further ado...

Day 25: Artwork


Saw these at Crate and Barrel and really liked them. I'm not much into abstract art, but I really like these different patterns. Wish they were smaller so I could put them in the bathroom. Guess I could always try to DIY it!

Day 26: Transportation

I had to use The Hubs car for the last two weeks while mine was in the shop. While I was very grateful to have it, I'm happy that today I finally got to pick my car up!

Day 27: Daily Routine

My daily morning routine once consists of catching up on blogs from the day before with a bowl of dry cereal and either tea or coffee. Probably one of my favorite parts of the day.

Days 28 & 29: Nighttime and Light

I combined these two because I really wanted to share a picture of how cute our house looks at night with all of the holiday lights on it! The Hubs did an awesome job of decorating the outside! Love him

Day 30: Self Portrait

I'm cheating here.... This isn't really self portrait, but it was a spontaenous picture that The Hubs took of me at a friend's 30th birthday at Campo di Bocce. I was quite surprise with how good it came out and it has some artistic flare! :-)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

#Weverb11 - Day 19: Laugh & Day 20: Plug/Unplug

Day 19:  Laugh
Tell us about your biggest belly laugh in 2011?
Contributed by Julie Jordan Scott []

Although I can't think of a specific big belly laugh of 2011, there have been plenty of times filled with laughter in our house.

Some of my favorites are times when The Hubs and I are being silly, often time just before we go to bed at night. My husband is a pretty funny guy!

Or times when The Pup insists on taking MY spot on the bed. It is hilarious when I tell him to get off, he goes in his crate, I turn off the light about ready to hop into bed and there he is again in my spot! He thinks he is so sly! Guess that's what we get for snuggling up with him when he was an 8lb puppy!

Day 20:  Plug/Unplug
How has technology affected your life (positively or negatively) in 2011? Do you want this to continue for 2012?
Contributed by Nodakademic []

Technology has both positively and negatively affect my life in 2011.  Late last year is when I really got into blog and decided to start blogging myself. Finding time to blog is not easy, but I love the sense of accomplishment I feel when I hit Publish on a post I'm especially proud of. Between the blog and getting more involved with Twitter, I have found a lot of online friends who I can relate to and enjoy "spending my day" with.

I got my first Smartphone in May and since then I have been more connected then ever. I love being able to have an infinite amount of information at my finger tips and have the ability to talk to almost anyone I want at any time.

The negative of all this technology is that it is definitely becoming an addiciton. I can't go too long without checking Twitter or my Google Reader and there is a certain sunshiny feeling I get when I have a new mention or comment. The problem with this is that I find myself scanning my phone while trying to have a conversation with The Hubs, which annoys him (and rightfully so!).

I think for 2012, even though I want to continue to stay connected, I have to figure out when are the best times to plug in and tweet, blog, connect AND times to unplug and leave the phone in my purse untouched!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Favorite Holiday Ornaments

I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite holiday ornaments that adorn our tree.

The Hubs was very methodical in the ornaments he chose to put on the tree this year. He wanted the majority of them to have some meaning to us and our nuclear family. This meant as few hand me down ornaments as possible.

Here are a few of my favorites that made the cut!

Our Wedding Favor Ornaments

The Hubs made over a hundred of these ornaments in the weeks before our wedding so that we could hand them out at as favors. They turned out soooo cute and were a real hit with our guests. It is so fun to go to friends' and families' house and see our ornament on their tree. Every Christmas, they remember us while they are decorating! It was an awesome idea! :-) And two years later, they still look great!

Favorite Childhood Ornament

I LOVED this ornament when I was a kid. Not sure why. It was just one my parents got for me, but I always remember it being one of the most special. I think it may have been because it was sparkly, but who knows.

As The Hubs was putting the ornaments on the tree, he noticed that we both had bear ornaments from 1988. He decided to put them together on the tree! Aren't they cute!

Favorite Vacation Spot Ornament

We have a tradition of buying at least one ornament while we are traveling to remember the various vacation spots we have gone on. We have quite a few from Monterey, since we go there on vacation quite a bit, but this sparkly sand dollar one is my favorite! When it catches the light, it is sooo pretty!

Favorite Nostalgic Ornament 

I bought this Cal Poly Alumni ornament when I graduated from Cal Poly in 2004. It became even more special when I reconnected with The Hubs, who also graduated from Cal Poly. Now it reminds us both of our college days and the place where in the end we found each other again!

What are your favorite holiday ornaments? Do you only put ornaments on your tree that are especially meaningful?

Monday, December 19, 2011

#Weverb11 - Day 17 - Discover & Day 18 - Teach

Image Source: We Heart It

Day 17:  Discover
What did you discover (big or small) in 2011?
Contributed by Kaileen Elise []

I discovered that having a friend at work every single day makes going to work so much more enjoyable. Penelope Trunk said this was the case, but now I know for sure.

It is so nice to have someone to commiserate with, complain with, eat lunch with, work out with, gossip with. It is awesome. Previously I used to only go out with a friend once a week and I would look forward to that day every week. Now I can look forward to every day! Well at least until she goes on maternity leave in May! I'll continue to enjoy it while I can!

Day 18:  Teach
What lesson or advice were you able to pass on to others this year? Why was it important to share this information? (Or… what lesson would you like to pass on to others that read this?)
Contributed by Christy []
The lesson I would like to pass on to others that read this is that if you aren't fulfilled in your current line of work that is no excuse to not TRY and find what you are passionate about. It is something I've read on many a personal development blog, but never truly put into practice.

In the beginning of this year, I was not happy with my current position at work. I didn't feel a sense of accomplishment or love of what I do. I was about ready to quit. So in order to have something to look forward to, I volunteered for events at the local high schools and community college where I spoke to students about the very job that I hated. It was AMAZING how excited I could get about something that on a daily basis made me annoyed, frustrated, and angry. I was passionate about talking to these students and helping them navigate the crazy world that is deciding what they want to actually be when they grow up. Telling them about my college experiences and all the things they have to look forward to.

So I took to heart all of what I was telling these students about the cool things I was doing and the things I was accomplishing and realized that what I'm doing isn't so bad. I am actually making a difference that I notice (even if no one else does.)

I will be continuing to mentor students in 2012 and already have a bunch of Outreach events planned for the beginning of the year that I am SUPER excited about. 

Finding my passion outside of work, helped my find my passion at work. Everyone should find their passion! :-)

The Randomizer!

It's no secret I loved Weddingbee when I was planning my wedding and since I wasn't blogging while I was planning, I thought it would be fun to revisit it and share our special day with my new blog friends on our second anniversary.

Instead, of traditional recap posts, I decided to participate in Weddingbee's new Photo Randomizer Series. Basically, you pick 10 random numbers and associate them with 10 wedding photos, ones I may never have thought of sharing before. Then share a bit about what's shown in the photo.

Prior to our wedding, I spent a lot of time scrapbooking "The History of Us". I was really proud of the results so I wanted to display it at our wedding, so our guests could share in the fun. I also included the first picture of the two of us, back in 1999 and another of us during our engagement shoot in 2009, almost exactly 10 years later!

I can't even remember when I bought this "Sexy Little Bride" jacket from Victoria Secret. I may have even bought it before I was engaged so my friend Sarah could use it, but all the while secretly wanted to use it whenever it was my turn to get married. It was a fun addition to the day!

This is me putting on my super cute purple shoes that I had to have. My mom really didn't understand why I wanted to wear colored shoes on my wedding day. She thought traditional champagne colored would have been much more acceptable. She was not in the know of the new trends, which luckily I learned all about from Weddingbee!

Me and my Dad, taken in my parents' backyard!

Me and My Girls! :-)

This is one of The Hubs's mom putting on his boutonniere.

Here's us during our ceremony. If you look close enough you can see the result of a prank my dear husband's family played on him. Take a look at his shoes... they have "Send Help" written on them. Apparently, my husband's father had this happen to him, so it was somewhat of a tradition.... It was the cause of some snickering in the church and I must admit I was a bit annoyed about it, but in the end it became just another fun story to tell!

This is US with my sister, Kristina (Maid of Honor),best friend Sarah (Matron of Honor) and The Hubs's bro (Best Man).

One of the more interesting poses our photographers put us in...

Us listening to the Best Man's speech. It was pretty funny. Let's just say that he said we were meant for each other not because of our history, but because we both are not so good with cars. We both have an extensive history involving car accidents! hehe :-)

This was such a fun series to participate in! I kinda want to do it again!! Maybe next year! :-)

I think that you all should participate too. Find all the instructions here. Oh and post a comment if you do participate so that I can see your Wedding Randomized! :-)

Friday, December 16, 2011

#Weverb11 Day 16: Persevere

Day 16: Persevere
Describe something that disappointed you this year and how you perservered.

I think I was most disappointed about not getting pregnant this year. I mean, I knew it might be difficult, but didn't realize it would be so stressful (on both me and The Hubs). It's been especially disappointing when I'm surrounded by the cutest little ones or pregnant friends. Some times I have a good cry about it, but other times I persevere by telling myself my time will come. 
It's sorta of reminding me of how I felt when it seemed like I was one of the last ones of my friends to get engaged or married. I never thought it would be my turn, but soon enough it was. I'm hoping it is the same way with a baby. 
There was something my yoga teacher said during my last Yoga for Fertility practice. She said that there is a baby out there waiting for the perfect time to come to us. To use this time in my life to make parts of it better and ready for another to become part of our lives. I've been using this to persevere through every cycle of disappointment. To enjoy the life we have now.


Are you participating in #WEverb11? If not, go here for more info! It's an awesome way to reflect on last year and you'll meet tons of new people in the process! :-)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

#Weverb11 - Day 13: Read and Day 15: Surprise

Day 13: Read
What article or book changed outlook on an issue or life in 2011?

Contributed by Melinda []
I've read a ton of blogs this year, but I think those who talked about their struggles with infertility helped me most this year. At some point I'll compile a list I can share... Knowing that I wasn't alone in the struggle is very comforting. I also relished in every infertility blog that turned into a baby blog because it gave me hope...

Day 15: Surprise
What event in 2011 affected you in an unexpected way?

Contributed by Kimberly Michelle []
I think what surprised me most this year was my resolve to spontaneously (as much as I could possible do..which about a month is as spontaneous as it gets) planning vacations for The Hubs and I, even if it requires us flying somewhere. We obviously went to Seattle in September and just yesterday I made all the final plan for us to fly to Vegas in January. And if you know me, buying flights is one of my LEAST favorite things to do. Just pushing the submit button to purchase the flights makes my anxiety soar! Crazy town, I know!

Are you participating in #WEverb11? If not, go here for more info! It's an awesome way to reflect on last year and you'll meet tons of new people in the process! :-)