Friday, January 16, 2015

2015 Goals

16 days into the New Year! How many resolutions have been broken by now? For me... none. I've stopped setting them a long time ago. I am dead serious in that I never made it past January 2nd. They just don't work for me. For some reason, they just seem so easy to break, and once broken, so pointless to go back to trying. It's already been broken so what's the point?

Goals, on the other hand, are my preferred method of motivation. And, I have been setting those for the last few years. Last year, they fit into four categories. Work, running, weight and books. I shared my running goals with the world. I may or may not have shared my book goal - I can't remember. Work goals we shared with our team and weight goals I kept quiet.

Did I meet them all? Nope. I was very close on many accounts and did a lot better than if I had just said in 2014 I would "run more," "word harder," "read more," and "eat better."


2014 - I got in all 4 of my half or better runs. The last two weren't pretty although still better than I would have thought I could do just two years ago. I did NOT get under 1:50. Pretty darned close though at 1:50:51!

2015 - 5 Half or better races for me this year! I have the first three on my calendar already - 3M Half (Austin), San Diego Mermaid Half and the Indy Mini. I'd like to do the other two in the fall. Tom mentioned last night that he would go longer than 13.1 for a belt buckle. I may have to do some searching and make that happen as a fall get away for us. The Bird-In-Hand Half in Amish Country is also on my list - running with the Amish and a real horseshoe as a medal sounds like a really unique experience! I'll still be working toward under 1:50 but I'm pretty sure it won't come in my first two races of the year. I'm just not feeling it but I'm gunning for the Mini and another PR. That just seems to be a good race for it although I think many (many!) would disagree.


2014 - We hit 2014 with some high expectations for our home building business. We ended 2014 overwhelmed with how far we had come in just one year! Along with having all of the homes at Timber Run under contract in December (we're back to a few available, but figured that would happen too!), we had about 50% more custom home deposits than we had set as a goal. Additionally, we purchased lots in a new subdivision and that wasn't really even on our radar for the year.

2015 - If 2014 brought high expectations, 2015's goals are mountainous! By the end the year, we are expecting great things!


2014 - Read 24 books. Didn't get there. There's always another year. :)

2015 - Goal: Read 24 books. That was easy.


2014 - Lose weight - don't worry - I was specific in this department - just not with the Interweb. I lost about half the pounds I had set as a goal. The goal is pre-kid weight. Why is that just so hard to achieve?! (Maybe because I'm almost 10 years older? How did that time go so fast?!)

2015 - Lose the other half. I've started out the year by significantly reducing my sugar intake and cutting out Diet Coke (again). It seems like everything I've been reading lately led me to these two things. I'm amazed at how much sugar is in EVERYTHING! I'm still doing fruits and grains but just nothing (OK - very little) with "sugar" as an ingredient (or corn syrup, HFCS, cane syrup, etc.). After a few days, I really haven't missed it. And, when I really get a craving, I have a cup of sugar-free hot chocolate. (I realize this probably has aspartame, but so much less than a 44 oz. Diet Coke!)

So, there you have it. That's what I'll be working toward this year. I think they all meet the S.M.A.R.T. qualities and I've added another A for "Accountability" in there by putting it out to the world. 2015 looks to be a great year!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Break is Over! Christmas Recap 2014!

You know it's been a good break when you could use one more day, but still feel refreshed and ready to go back! It must have been the perfect amount of time off. This was the first time that I can remember (maybe even from when Jack was born) when I was out of the office for two weeks straight. I still handled emails and was in the office for one late afternoon/evening, but for the most part, I was home. It was a great feeling. I seriously could have used another week probably but it still felt pretty good to be heading into the office this morning!

We had a busy break. Travel, visitors, neighbors, presents, lots of playing and organizing! The girls' favorite gift were their Razor scooters. They've been riding them non-stop in the basement! Jack's Christmas was one of Lego's and Transformers. He is turning into a kid a little too fast for my taste!

Here are some photos to capture the times. (I've decided I don't do short posts. This ones a doozy. Can't bear to leave anything out!)

Nana, Papa and Grammy stopped by on their way to Colorado for a little Christmas fun. First the Smell Book!

Then presents!

Some TV was watched but a little less than most years. There is heat vent under the TV hence Trigger's spot.

Lousie, our exchange student from Denmark, made her traditional Christmas dish - Risengrod - yum!

We taught the kids "Chase the Ace" to pass the time after church on Christmas Eve. Tessa worked hard on her poker face.

When in the world did they get so old?!

Our Christmas cookies for Santa were a major fail. 

However, Tom managed one cool cookie in Santa's likeness. Josie was adamant that Santa needed a RedBull for his big night. 

I love our family room at Christmas. So peaceful!

We set up the surveillance camera and caught the Big Guy in action.

The kids weren't allowed out of their rooms until 8 and then only to gather in Jack's room. This is how I found them at 8:05.

As the Joyner family tradition, we read the Christmas Story from the Bible. Josie did the honors this year!

I think Louise fits in just fine!

Dork Diaries were some favorite gifts.

Well, not for Jack. He loved the Transformers.

The girls were so good with Jack. They acted so happy about each of his gifts.

In my family, we did stockings first. Tom did them last. We've been doing them last. 

Those of us over the age of 16 managed to sneak in a nap too!

The day after Christmas, we went to Ohio for DeLawder/Harkness Christmas. Jack was pretty enamored with Aunt Sarah.

Well, and Uncle Matt. Let the Lego extravaganza begin!

I had a nice little 9 mile run through my hometown. Things haven't changed a whole lot to be honest.

The Harkness Pizza Cookoff tradition continued. And, this year, Louise played along!

While home, Tom got another deer. Louise stuck around to watch him butcher it. Life experiences right? Well, it's one I tend to skip. Every time.

And then, more cards. And popcorn. But no shirt for Jack.

When we got home, before even unpacking, I cleaned out the pantry, the fridge and organized the laundry room. We couldn't put one more thing in those places! It always gets worse before it gets better! Wow.

New Year's Eve rolled around and we hung close to home as we were all more than a bit worn out. We played cards, Life (1st time for me and most of the family), and had a dance party. 

Then, we jumped off the couches into the New Year Danish style while watching the ball drop! New Year's Day was spent at the neighbors with food and friends and football. Such a great way to ring in the New Year!

A few more relaxing days for the kids and organizing for me - the basement and Christmas decorations this time. And, then, here we are on Monday and back to school day. It was a long day but so good to be back in our routine. And, it would continue except that it is currently snowing to beat the band and it's looking likely for at least a 2 hour delay tomorrow and maybe even cancellation. We'll get back to it one of these days! 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Book List 2014

Another year gone by! This year brought more books than I've read in quite some time, but still didn't manage to hit my goal of 24 books in a year. To be honest, I fell into a reading funk and just can't quite get out. I stopped reading just before my trip to Uganda and didn't read anything while there or since. If I had finished every book I've started though, I'd have been well over 24. (I should share that list too - maybe someday.) There's always next year!

Just in case you're interested, here's my 2013 list and my 2012 list.

No time to properly review each book, but I added comments here and there.

1. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? - Mindy Kaling - Highly recommend for a quick, and funny read. I think I read this one in a day on Winter Break. It's always interesting to me to learn about how people became famous.

2. Happy Happy Happy - Phil Robertson - Honestly, I don't remember a whole lot about this one other than it was good and a fast read. I would recommend it as it kept my attention and I do remember it was interesting.

3. Savannah Blues - Mary Kay Andrews - This was one of the few Book Club books that I managed to read this year. We read this in preparation for our Savannah trip. It was a great book and it's the first in a series.

4. Savannah Breeze - Mary Kay Andrews - 2nd in this series. As I find with most series, it was good but the first was better. However, I do like her writing and they are quick reads. I need to add her to my list for 2015!

5. The Arraignment - Steve Martini - I don't remember a thing about this one. I usually like Steve Martini though and I'm sure this one was fine.

6. Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club - Wanda Brunstetter - Another Book Club book! This one didn't get rave reviews from the other girls, but I didn't think it was all bad. Although, it was pretty cheesy and predictable. Not one of the better Amish books I've read.

7. Five Star Families - Carol Kuykendall - This is a book recommended highly by my friend, Marj. It's been on my list for quite some time. And, I'm so glad I read it! It has a good road map for families and I highly recommend it for parents.

8. Long Lost - Harlen Coben - Much like The Arraignment, I don't remember anything. I find Harlen Coben another good author for exciting (and usually dependably good) reads.

9. Astronaut's Wives Club - Lily Koppen - Book Club! (OK - I guess I did better than I originally thought!) I liked this one although I didn't find it extremely well written. It follows the wives of the early astronauts. I didn't really know how much "space hysteria" was going on at that time and the celebrity status! I did start to get a little lost after the first few teams were followed.

10. David & Goliath - Malcolm Gladwell - I love Malcolm Gladwell and I was happy to have this one to read this year. Highly recommend!

11. The Happiness Project - Gretchen Rubin - Oh, another good one! This one should be on your reading list! It really makes you take a second look at a lot of your habits and thought processes. For instance, I realized that although I'm not really "happy" when I'm running, the fact that I run makes me happy in the long term. Same goes for organizing closets, or cleaning the house, etc.

12. Doc - Mary Doria Russell - Tom had to convince me to read this. I loved it! I'm a big historical fiction fan and this one was great. It follows the early(ish) life of Doc Holliday - mainly before the OK Corral.

13. Hissy Fit - Mary Kay Andrews - This one was just OK for me. Nothing remarkable. I think this book was the start of my "off" streak.

14. Twisted Sister - Jen Lancaster - This one was a little bizarro. It was OK until suddenly in the middle of the book, there was magic and spells and other odd, sci-fi/weird things going on. Can't recommend this one.

15. Midnight Crossroads - Charlaine Harris - Oh boy. I really have no idea what made me pick this one off the library shelf. I realized half-way through that it was marked as Sci-Fi/Fantasy. Not my thing at all.

16. The Racketeer - John Grisham - After those two, I needed a book that I knew would be good. John Grisham always fits that bill!

17. The Litigators - John Grisham - See #16.

18. Barefoot - Elin Hildebrand - This one was pretty good and I read it in the summer so it fit the season.

19. Heaven is for Real - Todd Burpo - I read this one because it's been on my nightstand forever and everyone and their brother has read it. It was a quick read, but I don't remember being crazy about it. Interesting, but not one of my favorites.

20. The Wife, The Maid & The Mistress - Ariel Lawhorn - I liked this one but I like historical fiction. Plus, I like mysteries so this was a good fit.

21. The 19th Wife - David Ebershoff - Again, with the historical fiction! This book was really two different books in one and it goes back and forth between both. The first part was about the 19th wife of Brigham Young and her experience with early Mormonism. The second part was current day and it was about a murder in a polygamist community. I liked this one. It was long and probably could have been cut a little short, but overall it was good.

22. The Matchmaker - Elin Hildebrand - I liked this one more than Barefoot by the same author. I'm still not sure I'm a huge fan of her writing though. Maybe I just picked two that were slightly on the depressing side.

And, that's it. Again, better than I've ever done, but after the end of September, I hit a book wall. There's nothing like a book that keeps you up until 3AM! I need a few good recommendations to kick off 2015! I'd love to hear yours!