Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wrapping it up, a pass/fail look back at 2013

O, young, naive, and stupid Allison, 365 days ago young one you were so ambitious. You had this long list of things that you wanted to do and accomplish.  Here you are, a year older and wiser (???). Lets see how you did with your resolutions.

2013 Goals and Resolutions

Running and Exercise:
1. Run a 5K in under 24 minutes.  Fail. With my foot drama this year, it did not happen. But, my foot is healed--so its time to rebuild. 

2. Lift heavy things. Pass..ish. I wanted to lift 3x a week, and that didn't happen. But I have really tried to lift 2x a week and its going well.

3. Take a walk every day. Fail. Just didn't do this. 

1.Earn extra income online. Fail. Didn't earn a single cent. 

2. Systematically invest in our retirement accounts. Pass! P and I have started sending money to retirement every month on the 15th! 

3. Save at least 2,000 in coupon savings this year. Fail. This year I saved 1,603.97 in coupons. Not to shabby me thinks! 

1.P and I are doing an eating cleans starting January 2nd. I will give myself a pass on this one. I ate well probably 80% of the time. 

1.Do an in depth study of 2 books of the bible. Fail. I didn't do 2 in-depth studies like I wanted, but I did make time to get in the word. 
2. Write 1 hand written letter once a week. Fail. I have been doing this every other week. 
3. Don't watch t.v. at least once per week. Major fail. So many days I just plopped down on the couch after work and watched t.v. 
4. Read at least 35 books this year. Fail. I read 27 books. 
5. Take fewer baths and more showers. I want to only allow myself to take baths on the weekends. Pass! 
6. Learn to take better pictures. I have a fancy camera, but I need to learn how to use it. Fail. Still don't know much about my camera. 

Yea, lots of fails on the resolution side this year. But, I was close on a lot of them. 2013 was a year of major changes at work. I got a big time promotion and I am currently up for an award for all the work I have done this year. Its also been a year of fun, growth, a little travel, and lots of self reflection.
This year, I have felt myself grow and change, and I like the person I am becoming.

Hats off to you 2013, you were a good year, and brought some huge projects, some major challenges, some changes, and some tears. But you also gave me lots of laughs, smiles, and another wonderful year with my husband. You brought me closer to family, you drew close friends away, and you taught me a lot about opening up and being vulnerable. This year, I learned that I am a lot tougher than I think, and that just because something is hard, does not mean it will break me.
I learned a big lesson about Divine intervention and provision. I learned that just when I think I got it, life will throw me a curve ball, and send me spinning.
I learned that quality is better than quantity in any and all things.
This year, I have learned to step out of my comfort zone, and even though its intimidating and scary, the rewards on the other side and sweet and fulfilling.

Tonight, I bid you goodbye with one of my favorite traditions, my mimosa. I have some champs chilling in the fridge, along with a bottle of OJ calling my name. While many of you are out raging and partying till the wee hours, I will be happily snuggled up on my couch with my drink, my man, my dogs, and some college football.

See ya in 2014....lots of good things coming this year, I can feel it!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday confessions

Here are my weekly confessions.

1. P has called me double fister all week. I have been eating M&MS out of both hands all week. Every time I walk by the jar of candy, I grab a big handful and shove as many in my trough as I can.

2. I literally wanted to beat my dog. I went running with him and let him off the leash in a park. A car drove by and he darted to the back tires of the car and nearly got himself killed. I was so scared and mad.

3. I was at the gym working out early in the morning. I let out a huge burp. The guy who walked up to grab a towel at the dispenser that was next to my machine gave me a look of disgust.

4. I have eaten so much at so many meals that I have gone to bed sick nearly every night.


Fess up folks!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Confessions

Good morning Friends!
It is time for our Friday Confessions!

1.I wore the exact same outfit to work 3 days in a row. Same pants, shoes, socks, sweater, and bra. The only thing that changed was my shirt. Its been a heck of a week, and I have put in early morning and late nights, and just didn't care.

2. My house is in a state of disaster. There is currently a very old apple core just laying on my coffee table, where I left it, 3 days ago.

3. I am obsessed with a new t.v. show. House of Cards on Netflix is AMAZING. I come home each night and change into my p.j.'s and watch this show. Its a series made my Netflix. P and I are so into it. We agreed to only watch with each other, but its currently 4:05 AM and I am considering turning it on.

4. Because of above referenced t.v. show and work schedule, we have eaten out every single meal this week. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner have been purchased this week. I have a very lovely and very expensive pound of organic bison sitting in my fridge to cook, yet I have not touched it.

Fess up y'all!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Confessions

Hello hello. How are we doing today? Good? Happy Friday friends. Without further delay---lets do this.

Here are my weekly confessions.

1.I drove down a one way street in downtown Dallas.  I got lots of middle fingers thrown at me, lots of dirty looks, and many people throwing their hands in the air yelling. I am sure they were complimenting me on my great driving skills and for being such a good person, and were really passionate about it.
This photo was snapped the 2nd time around. Also, I should confess I was lost while driving downtown. 

2.We were invited to a party and when I was in the restroom, I totally looked through their cabinets. Please know that if you ever invite me to your home, I will probably do this at your house, and I fully expect you will do this when you come to mine. 

3. I went to the store during lunch one day and slipped on ice getting out of my car, and I let out 16 swear words in about 8 seconds. The guys who were leaving the store saw me and laughed, I turned around, stared them down with the evil eye after I gained my composure. 

4.I went to the gym to cross train. I managed to do the rowing machine for 3 minutes before I got bored. 

Fess up friends!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Desperate Times Call for Acts of Stupidity

We have had some wicked and wild weather down here in Texas these past few days. Its been so cold. There has been lots of ice and sleet on the road, something that none of us are used to down here. This storm has literally shut down Dallas. Everyone left work early on Thursday, no one worked on Friday, and about 1/2 of the city went back to work on Monday. You Northerners may call this "a light dusting" but to us Southerners, its been ARCTIC BLAST 2013.

Now that you know the scene, lets talk about the crime, and what my dumb butt self did.
I normally park my car in the driveway rather than the garage because the garage is detached and behind the house. It is a tight fit to get the car through the gate, and so I rarely park back there. Thursday, because of the weather, I backed my car up the driveway and into the garage. It took me nearly 15 minutes. (I am not the worlds best driver, and I fear hitting the house or the garage with the car).

Because I am the cheapest person alive, my goal was to keep the heater off as long as I could. I took a hot shower, was dressed in about 6 layers and shivering. I looked at the thermostat and the house was down to 54 degrees inside.

I started craving hot chocolate in a bad way. We didn't have any, but the gas station about 1/2 a mile down the road has really good hot chocolate. In my mind, I had 2 options--go to the gas station or don't. The problem was, it was already dark, P was at his work Christmas party, and I was not going to take my car out of the garage as it was already sleeting, ice was forming quickly on the streets, and it was pitch black. Frustrated, I piddled around the house but literally could not stop thinking about hot chocolate. Suddenly, the insane portion of my brain formulated a plan--I said to myself "self, you can ride your bike to the gas station, and that way you don't have to take the car out of the garage." I really tried to tap into my uncrazy side, but the need for ho cho won.

So I tucked my pajama bottoms into my socks, slipped on my sperrys, grabbed by bike and hit the very slick, and newly iced roads. Don't be jealous of my sexyness.

Sleet was coming down, and hail was hitting me in the eye, but I was determined to get my ho cho. I rode as fast as I could through the Buddhist Temple parking lot, past the Indywood Grocery and CD Store, across from Pashmina Imports, and in front of Karishan's Sari Shoppe (Have I mentioned that we live in an ethnically diverse area?) and arrived at the gas station. I didn't want to leave my very expensive bike outside in the dark, so I just wheeled her into the station and grabbed the 1st cup I could find and filled it to the brim with that dark, hot, and delicious liquid gold.

I should probably mention at this point that in a rush to leave I neglected to wear gloves and nothing on my body was dry fit, so I was pretty much soaked to the bone.

I also kind of forgot about riding home.
In the sleet.
Holding hot chocolate.
With one hand.

By the time I got home, my ho cho was only luke warm. But, I didn't care. I rushed inside turned on hot water and held my hands under the faucet to un-numb them. I drank my 1/2 drink in about 2 gulps, turned toward the bike and actually thought about going back.

Fortunately, my uncrazy side kicked in and I didn't, but I sure thought about it.

Would you have ridden to the store? Please tell me yes.
Whats the weather like where you are? Are you experiencing this arctic blast?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A World That Is Unrecognizable

As you may or may not have heard, we are having some pretty severe weather down here in Texas. We have gone from 70's and sunny to 20's with ice and sleet falling for 3 days. 
Its been a bit treacherous around here. 

Yesterday, I was driving home, the had pretty much cleared and things have been returning back to normal. I was stuck behind an old Lincoln town car that was  had its blinker on for 3 blocks, and was straddling two lanes, on a busy street, and I was getting more and more annoyed. For some reason, driving brings out the worst in me, and I was about to lay on the horn and throw my hands up. But, the car finally turned and as I drove by, I saw that it was an elderly woman and she looked terrified. 

Insert feelings of guilt and shame here. 

As I continued to drive home, I thought about her and what life must be like for her now. Is she a widow? Has she moved into a retirement home? Does she still live in her house but does not have the strength to do any projects anymore?

Honestly, I don't know. Chances are she could also have been a real jerk too. But, I started to wonder---does she live in a world that she even recognizes anymore?
Judging by the 3 seconds it took me to pass her, she had to be slightly younger than my grandmother, so I would put her in her 70's or 80's. 

80 years ago, there were no home computers or cell phones. No one listened to rap while grinding on the dance floor. There were no t.v.'s in the homes, and life was certainly slower than it is today.
The mass consumption and culture of excess did not exist, and she probably rarely if ever traveled more than 20-30 miles from home. 

Today, we can literally buy a ticket in the morning, and be in the air flying half way around the world by this afternoon. We can "friend" thousands of people, and a rumor can spread through Twitter and Facebook in a matter for moments. 

Maybe she looked scared because everyone is flying by at 90 mph, while she is only comfortable going 30. Maybe she looked around this morning and wondered what happened to the world she knew. The world that was slower, quieter, and smaller. 

I was fortunate to be born just around the time of the digital revolution, so I am what they call a digital native. I grew up always having a computer in my home and a phone in my car. I can pick up most any new device and figure out how to use it. Juxtapose that with my mother who "still has not found time to  sit down and figure out her iPhone" that she got last Christmas. I am not slamming her, just recognizing  that she and others from her generation are digital immigrants. 

Sometimes, it scares me a little to think about the future. Where will life be in 50 years? Things are changing so rapidly that I don't think any of us know what to expect in the next year or 5 years.

So, lady in the car with the blinker on going really slowly--I am sorry for being a massive tool yesterday.  I am sorry for my anger and that I was tailgating you, you don't deserve that kind of treatment from a stranger. 

What changes have you seen over your life?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Confessions

Hello to all of you across the fancy land of the internet. How are we doing this fine Friday morning? Another week has come to a close and now its time to get our confession on.

Lets do this. 

Here are my weekly confessions:

1.I talked about one of my bloggy friends like I know her in real life. Blogging has been so beneficial, and through it I have made some good friends. One of my oldest and dearest bloggy friends Denise and I go wayyyyyy back. Anywho…the other day someone was talking about how they like to sew, and I responded with "Well my friend Denise is an excellent seamstress and she can sew anything. She is really good." All that is true, Denise is super creative and great at sewing. The only problem, Denise and I have never met in person. We have emailed, blogged, Instagramed, and sent cards to one another, but we have never physically met. One day we will though. 

2. I just typed the word any who rather than anyways. I am now officially my mother. Next thing you know I will be walking on the treadmill while reading a book and listening to AM radio. 

3. I stared at the cashier at the grocery store for about 30 seconds without blinking with a look of disgust on my face. I was checking out and this cashier clearly had a combination of the ebola virus mixed in with a little bubonic plague because right before she handed me my changed, she sneezed the nastiest, most moist sneeze into her hand that held my money. When tried to hand it back to me I just started at her in disbelief. When I finally came to I said "O my Lord" and took the change. I proceeded to rush home and shower then rubbed myself down with antibacterial.

4. I was really nervous about eating Thanksgiving dinner that I only ate store bought salad, turkey, and bread. We had Thanksgiving dinner with P's family and there are a lot of food allergies. There is dairy free, grain free, gluten free, food die free, and a few other "free" allergies mixed in. In the past few years, I have put some heinous tasting food in my mouth, and those experiences have stayed with. So this year, I played it safe and stuck to what I knew would not taste like grass with the texture of sand. 

5. I lied to my sister in laws face about her food, then P sold me out.  See number #4 for background info. She made some muffins that she was really excited about and forced me to eat one. I like bananas, I eat them all the time, but I hate cooked bananas. I don't eat banana bread, bananas foster, or banana candy, it makes me sick. I took a few bites of these muffins with a very strong banana taste. I looked at her and said "Wow, those are so good, I would eat them all the time. Give me the recipe." Not 30 seconds later, P walks into the kitchen grabs on and likes them. Then looks at his sister and said "Sorry, Alli won't eat these, she hates baked good with bananas in them."

Thats it. Fess up.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The reason we can't have a Christmas tree or any other live plants

So many of you are posting photos of your beautifully decorated tree's. You have purchased them, set them up, bought decorations, and have posted photos all over the internet of your beautifully decorated homes.
I have seen your trees all lit up at night in the window, twinkling with lights and a star a top.
That must be nice.

Unfortunately, we don't have that luxury. It has nothing to do with money, time, or principal.

It has to do with him.

We have 2 border collies, and these are some of the smartest dogs in the world. They are the perfect dogs for us. They are active, and fit our lifestyle. I take them running, we take them hiking, or to the lake.  In addition to intelligence, they are incredibly well behaved. It took less than a week to house train them, and I can count on one hand how many times they have torn something up or messed in the house. 

But this one, our youngest dog, Bear has one major flaw. He will urinate on any living plant. He has killed many a bush outside, and all of our pots that we plant flowers in are discolored because he will urinate on them so often. It is the one habit we cannot break him of. P calls it his acid piss, because this stuff is deadly.

We are scared to bring a tree into our home because he know that while we are gone, he will destroy that tree, and spend all day urinating on. 

What about you? Do you have a tree up, or are your pets keeping you from bringing a tree home too?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My Most Embarrassing Moment

Its Tuesday, after a holiday. We are all depressed that we have to go back to work. We are all feeling fat from too much food. We are all looking at our calendars towards Christmas when we get yet another short week. We are all pretty much using the work day as a recovery time from our feasting and partying.

So, I thought I would share with all you fine folks one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.

Picture it, the early 2000's. I am in my senior year of college, and I have finally settled on a major. In 4 years of college, I had 5 declared majors, one of which I left, and then came back to. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life at that point, so I did what any "smart" college kid does, I decided to major in the liberal arts. There don't seem to be many ads in the paper for history majors or philosophy majors yet, I still decided to major in history. I didn't want to major in something so pedestrian like accounting. A major that taught you skills so that you could one day..you know…get paid.

It is the spring semester of my senior year, and I am in the 2nd semester of my senior year thesis class. After months of research and hard work, I am so close to finishing my undergraduate thesis. At this time, I was also taking a feminist history course, and in a wave of feminist fervor, I decided to declare my disgust with modern and historical men, and study the suffrage movement in America. Unfortunately for me, no one in the hiring process cares how much one may know about Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her Declaration of Sentiments. They care more about your ability to cut costs, do an in-depth cost analysis, and make decisions without having to think or write about your feelings.

In a wave of triumph, I turned in my obsessively researched and overtly pompous paper to my professor and breathed a sigh of relief. She would read it, review it, and allow us to make revisions before handing it out to the class for debate and discussion. {On a side note, if I know that one of my papers is going to be read by my peers and the merits of my argument are going to be dissected in front of me, I will have more research and back up than a lawyer arguing before the supreme court. When arguing about historical insignificant events that have little to do with today, I play to win.}

I remember it clearly….it was a Friday afternoon, and I was scheduled to pick up my paper at 3:00. It was a cold and rainy day, and like any good college student, I skipped class because the weather was bad, and stayed in bed playing on my computer and watching Dawson's Creek reruns. I left my apartment at 2:50 still in my pajamas, with my unwashed hair, unbrushed teeth, in a long sleeve t-shirt that had microwaved lasagna stains, slippers, soffe shorts, and no bra. I thought campus would be empty and that I would pick up my paper quickly and return to the comfort of my bed.

I parked illegally, ran into the building, and low and behold, a faculty meeting had just let out, and there stood all my professors chatting, while I, bra-less, smelly, and unkempt stood in the door way of the department office frozen in place. My jaw dropped and my face flooded with color. I felt nothing but embarrassed for how I looked. My professor, the department chair mind you, saw me, and ushered me into her office, where she insisted that I put on her trench coat while we reviewed my paper. 2 hours later, I walked out of her office, in deep deep shame.

Moral of the story, if you are a women, every time you leave the house, have a bra on.

By the way…the braless wonder got an A on that paper and in the class. Boom.

Happy post Thanksgiving friends.

You are up. Please tell me your most embarrassing moment.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Intentional Living

This year has flown by. I cannot believe that it is December, and that Thanksgiving has already come and gone.
This year has been one of the busiest of my life. I was promoted, and given quite a bit more to do at work. We have been making more and more social commitments, and have had a lot of family obligations. Everything has been fun, but its made my days long, and I found that I am often booked from the moment I wake up at 4:20 to when I crash into bed at 9:30....lately, its actually been around 8:30.
It seems that these days, every moment is planned down the the minute. Often, when I am at work, I am doing one task, while mentally working on something else. Or, I am in the kitchen cooking 3 things, folding the laundry, and cleaning all at the same time. I also find that when P and I are talking, I rarely just sit and talk. I am always talking and doing something else. When I get ready in the morning, I am drying my hair, brushing my teeth, stretching, and attempting to read all at the same time.
Yesterday flew by, and I honestly can hardly remember it. I do know that I worked out, cleaned, and watched football, but other than that, the details are a bit fuzzy.
From now, until the end of the year, I really need to make a concerted effort to be more present, to be in the moment right now, not the next moment. I need to stop trying to pencil in down time to watch t.v., or just hang out. Because, I know I can't keep going at this speed, I will eventually burn out. I also know that I need to let go of things. Our house does not need to be spotless all the time. The laundry does not all have to be folded and put away right away. If the bed doesn't get made, who is going to get hurt? If I miss a work out, its not the end of the world. If I don't get to shop and miss out on redeeming some coupons, its not worth stressing out.

This is also a time of year that we all start spending a lot of money. I know how easily it is to swipe the debit card multiple times, all of which are unplanned, and those can be major budget busters. 
Every day, I have multiple to do lists, and they are never all completed. I need to relax more, focus on people rather than lists, and enjoy the season. I don't need to give THE PERFECT GIFT to everyone in my life. And I sure as heck don't need to GET THE PERFECT GIFT from family and friends, because I know their feelings towards do not correlate directly to how much money they spent on me. 
I will be more present, I will take time to look at the sky, I will take time out to relax, have fun, and live intentionally.