101 in 1001

The Day Zero project was designed to aid people in breaking down bucket list dreams into measurable goals to be completed within a certain time frame [1001 days]. I took my best crack at establishing quantifiable goals that are realistic yet challenging geared toward making me a better person and just enjoying life. It took everything in my peasant body not to include meeting Kate Middleton, but I figured she might be a little busy for the next few years with that baby arriving any day and all. Picking some arbitrary day in July seemed better than waiting to make it a New Year’s resolution. So, I am starting it today. It just so happens that it will wrap up on my 30th birthday. I shudder at that thought, but bring it on April 8th, 2016!

I divided it into different categories based on particular things I want to improve or accomplish. There are some simple goals [like making sangria or trying new recipes] and others that are just a tad loftier [like completing an Ironman or writing a novel]. It’s nice to have big dreams and hopefully thrusting them onto the interwebs will help motivate me to do all the work necessary to accomplish them. Plus, I figured that it would give me something to write about here while my ENFP self tries to define what this space should include.

To keep myself organized I created a little page here. Feel free to follow along and I’ll pop in from time to time to give you updates and hopefully share some fun adventures with you!

family and friends

1. start a tradition

2. make a close friend out of an acquaintance

3. create an important dates calendar and send cards on time

4. go on a date with the mister each month [0/33]

5. send a card or letter “just because” each month [0/33]

6. find a running buddy

7. send Christmas cards each year [0/3]

8. complete project 365 for the first year of little miss’s life

9. throw a surprise party

10. reconnect with an old friend

exploration and adventure

11. visit 3 states I have never been to [0/3]

12. see the Pacific Ocean

13. see the Rockefeller Christmas tree

14. take a road trip with no pre-determined destination

15. explore 10 new places in Columbus [0/10]

16. find a really good picnic spot

17. run a “new to me” trail

18. find some good antique/thrift stores in Central Ohio

19. visit Frankenmuth, Michigan

20. take a family vacation each year

health and fitness

21. complete an Ironman

22. run 2 marathons [0/2]

23. obtain my spinning certification

24. take 60 yoga classes [0/60]

25. lose the remainder of that pesky baby weight [0/20]

26. try paddleboarding

27. qualify for the Boston Marathon

28. be able to complete 20 pull-ups

29. run 1001 miles [0/1001]

30. get a new bike

service with a smile

31. volunteer 101 hours [0/101]

32. donate blood 5 times [0/5]

33. go on a mission trip

34. write 3 letters of thanks to companies for exceptional service or product [0/3]

35. send a care package to someone I don’t know

36. help make someone’s dream come true

37. complete 10 simple acts of kindness [0/10]

38. write thank you notes in a timely manner

39. set up and use a recycling system in our home

40. volunteer at a race

bon appétit

41. try 20 new restaurants [0/20]

42. create a recipe book/box

43. make homemade sangria

44. try 10 “new to me” foods [0/10]

45. host a cookie exchange

46. try 1 new recipe a month [0/33]

47. find a new use for sprinkles

48. make homemade cannoli

49. use cookie cutters on 5 non-cookie foods [0/5]

50. bake something using a handpicked fruit

create.craft.build.

51. write a novel

52. learn how to use my DSLR

53. complete 10 diy projects [0/10]

54. refinish a piece of furniture

55. start an etsy shop

56. learn how to knit or crochet

57. make and wear an article of clothing

58. give 10 handmade gifts [0/10]

59. build a cat tree

60. blog at least 1 time a week [0/143]

growth and learning

61. read 50 books [0/50]

62. say “yes” when i would rather say “no” 5 times [0/5]

63. answer the 50 questions that will free your mind [0/50]

64. go an entire month without complaining

65. take a class

66. write in my gratitude journal each day [0/1001]

67. learn how to do 10 things from 75 things every woman should master [0/10]

68. be able to identify all bones/muscles in my body

69. read the bible in chronological order

70. learn basic bicycle maintenance and repairs

home love

71. establish and execute an ongoing and thorough cleaning schedule

72. plant flowers/landscape

73. finish furnishing our house

74. hang artwork in every room

75. change all hardware from gold to silver or oil rubbed bronze

76. create a “gym” space in the basement

77. paint trim

78. replace kitchen faucet

79. turn front room into a playroom

80. build some type of deck or patio

just for fun

81. subscribe to a magazine

82. see a movie alone

83. send a postcard to Postsecret

84. celebrate 3 holidays I have never heard of [0/3]

85. tell a good great joke in public

86. build a timeless/classic wardrobe

87. earn $1.00 from change picked up off the ground

88. finish my “best of…” playlist/cd collection

89. host a regatta

90. use only reusable bags at the grocery store at least 1 time per month [0/33]

loose ends and random things

91. teach mike how to ski

92. learn how to write left handed

93. save $500 using coupons [$0/$500]

94. finish Christmas shopping each year before December [0/3]

95. print and organize pictures at least 2x a year [0/6]

96. teach mars 5 new tricks [0/5]

97. add a piece to our Christmas village each year [0/3]

98. enter a contest

99. get riding boots

100. make and finish a “to-do” list each month

one to grow on

101. get started on baby a 2.0

XO from Cowtown,

Lisa

The Neighbor Chronicles, Volume II

What really prompted the last post was the subject of this one. Interestingly enough, the sermon our pastor gave at church this past weekend was on loving your neighbor [literal and otherwise]. I try really hard to be a good, loving, and helpful neighbor. My inability to speak Mandarin has proven to limit me these days.

We went 5 days with only getting our mail one time. No, the USPS is not on strike. And no, they were not taking care of their own overgrown lawn. There was just a car blocking our mailbox. With California plates. A guest of our delightful neighbors. For whatever reason, most of the people in our neighborhood don’t utilize their two car garages and feel the need to overflow from their driveways and park on the street. It’s particularly bad when they have guests [or own an obviously unsuccessful lawn care business]. Apparently, if there is a car blocking your mailbox the mailman will not deliver mail. I don’t blame him one bit. I am sure that it takes a whole lot of extra energy to drive on the wrong side of the vehicle but stay on the right side of the road. Unbeknownst to me, my husband put a nice note on the car asking them to move it. What I saw that I was motivated to be proactive too. So, when I was coming home from the gym, I stalked tracked down the mailman. I explained the situation and he kindly offered to swing back by our house and drop off the mail [apparently, he couldn't just hand it to me]. 

The first piece of mail on the giant stack he handed me was this gem.

Blocked Mail

The next morning, the car had been moved [have I told you that they keep crazy weird hours]. It was now parked in front of their mailbox. The beauty of it all was that they were outside when the mail was being delivered and looked absolutely dumbfounded when the mailman drove past their house without stopping. Needless to say, they figured it out and the car is now being parked across the street. I’m guessing that their lawnmower is now taking up one half of their garage and that is why they continue to choose to park both cars outside of their otherwise vacant garage. Here’s to hoping that the black car is always shinier on the other side of the street.

XO from Cowtown,
Lisa

The Neighbor Chronicles, Volume I

Despite having a home that is safe, beautiful, and comfortable my husband is desperate to move after only two years of living here. When we bought the house it was in an area of town that wasn’t our first choice, but we loved the neighborhood and were able to buy a house we liked through a short sale for an incredible price. I truly love our home. Of course, there are many things that still need to be done or features I wish it had [oh, to have a tub in the master bath]. My husband is not into projects [or me doing them], so I usually have to stun him with a blitzkrieg renovation while he’s out of town. And although the town itself is riddled with decisions that make his blood boil, he is generally happy here.

That is… until our new neighbors moved in last August. For starters, they decided not to mow their grass. Like at all. I wish I had taken pictures because it was actually pretty impressive. The grass in the backyard was almost three feet in some spots. I know because I measured. The front yard was mostly weeds save for two or three patches of really green grass that Mars has kept well watered for them over the last few months. They planted a tree last fall, which was a nice touch. However, they left the 8 inch “flowering” description tag on it until it finally blew away during a winter storm. They left their sprinkler and hose in the middle of the yard all winter as well as a string of Christmas lights that only went across half their porch. A few weeks ago, I was bringing groceries in and the man was outside putting potting soil on the tree he planted and another tree in their front yard. I rarely see the lady, but the man and his sons seem very friendly. However, he does not speak a lick of English. Even to say a neighborly “hello” has proven to be a challenge. I asked him a few weeks ago if they needed any help with their yard or if he wanted to borrow a lawnmower, weed whacker, mass amounts of round up, manual labor. You know anything that would speed the process along and keep me from feeling like I was at a home on the range [pretty sure I spotted a deer and an antelope playing]. He had absolutely NO idea what I was talking about.

At that point, I couldn’t decide what I was more tired of: listening to my husband complain or being afraid that a rabid antelope would emerge from the grass anytime I took the dog out. So I looked into what the city code was and how it is enforced [our homeowner's association is powerless]. Eventually, I figured out that any grass over 12 inches is a code violation and that it is subject to some pretty hefty fines. I thought that might light a fire if I submitted a code violation. So, I was that weird person in my neighbor’s yard measuring their grass with a tape measure at 11 o’clock in the morning because I wanted to be sure I had my bases covered. Then, I found out that I was not the first person to report it. It still kind of made me feel like a jerk. But seriously, it had been 9 months since they moved in. I could have had a baby in that time [if i hadn't already been growing one].

Less than two weeks later, I saw him again. He was in his garage surrounded by about 15 pieces of a brand new lawnmower. I’m pretty sure it was not in that many pieces when he pulled it out of the box. Miraculously, he was able to get it put together and was out mowing his lawn later that night. Help was offered by my husband, but he declined didn’t understand. Several hours and a handful of mower stall outs later. His grass and weeds were mostly one length. And guess what? There was a secret rose bush he had planted in the middle of his front yard hidden in all of that mess. The next weekend a bird feeder popped up. Hopefully, they will continue to work on their lawn fung shui.

XO from Cowtown,

Lisa

Early Retirement.

So, I did it. I finally pulled the trigger and let my employer know that I would not be returning to work after maternity leave [don't worry, I wasn't getting paid]. I am not entirely sure what took me so long to pull the trigger, after all being a mom is the one thing I have wanted to be my whole life. Perhaps it is due to the fact that I am fiercely independent and the thought of losing control over some of our family income makes me nervous to the core. I have always hoped to be fortunate enough to be a stay at home mom, at least when my kids are young, so in a way my greatest dream really is coming true. And I am so, so lucky to have a husband that is supportive of whatever decision I wanted to make. Let’s face it, waking up to this face is like Christmas everyday.

Image

All that to say, I will now have more time to hone my domestic skills, turn our house into a home we love to be in, bake lots of delicious things, and spend many hours loving on our little one. I am certainly excited to start this new chapter in my life and can’t wait to share the journey with you!

XO from Cowtown,

Lisa

A Rookie Writes.

Well, hello there. And welcome to my little slice of the interwebs. It has been my New Year’s resolution for the past few years to actually get this baby out of my frontal lobe and into cyberspace. Several futile attempts later, I find myself in the middle of another year without actually accomplishing it. I can feel it in my bones [or perhaps in that extra baby weight sticking around] that 2013 will be the year for success!

The idea is to use this space as a place for friends and family to stay up to date as we continue to eat up every moment with our little one that arrived in February.  I hope that by documenting this sweet and precious life I have been blessed with it will help me to capture all those moments that deserve a special place in our memories. Prepare to hear stories about our dog that takes Prozac, my Ironman pipe dream, and see way too many pictures of a girl that has already mastered the pout.

Even if no one reads this silly thing, there is something cathartic about writing out goals and plans, successes and failures. I do hope you’ll join me though because, really, everything is better together!

XO from Cowtown,

Lisa