Friday, August 16, 2019

TGIF | August 16, 2019

*with thanks to Brene Brown for this meme.

Trusting that I will continue losing weight on the Bright Line Eating Plan.  I've hit the 10 pound mark from my highest weight and the loss has slowed significantly - as it does every single time I diet.  So I'm trusting that this plan will work and I'll continue releasing excess weight - even if it is slowly!

Grateful to be have a quick getaway with Jay last weekend to celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary.  Can't believe we've been together that long!
At Chincoteague Island VA on our anniversary.  We saw the wild ponies plus bald eagles, dolphins, egrets, deer.  Great boat tour!

Inspired by Jessica Swift - just started her new course Create A New Story - looking forward to the transformation it may bring!

Work can occasionally be Fun!  There was a lot of energy around this month's trip (this week) to Rockville and it was good seeing all the colleagues I don't get to interact with on a regular basis.  It's also really nice to be back home!

Friday, August 2, 2019

TGIF | August 2, 2019

*with thanks to Brene Brown for this meme.

Trusting that I will develop a morning routine that works for me.  Still a work in progress.

Grateful to be slowly ticking some very old items off my only-exists-in-my-head to do list!  Finally got to Vision Works this morning to order new glasses.  My eye doctor visit was in February.  Yes, it took me that long!  Also, finally took a picture of an award I won in high school, removed the engraved plate and donated the award.  That's been on my to do list for (LITERALLY) years!  And the whole process took about 15 minutes.  Glad to have that niggling thought out of my brain!

Inspired by Bella Grace Magazine.  I am seriously enamored with how beautiful it is!

I had Fun with my girls visiting our first bridal shop on Saturday and watching Becca try on gowns.  She didn't say "yes" to any dress.  But we have more shops to visit later this month.

Friday, July 26, 2019

TGIF | July 26, 2019

*with thanks to Brene Brown for this meme.

Trusting that I'll be able to stick with my Bright Line Eating challenge and drop some excess weight.

Grateful  that my massage therapist was able to squeeze me in for a 1/2 hour appointment when my neck and shoulder were screaming at me and that my PT was able to relieve some of my sciatica pain today.  Working through it all.

Inspired by the vast availability of online classes and the chance to enhance my creative knowledge.  Just signed up for a digital art journaling class with Jessica Sprague - which truly takes me back to my roots - I learned to use Photoshop Elements with Jessica Sprague classes back in 2009!

I had Fun with the family on Sunday when we all met at Buckeye Tavern for a lunch to celebrate Becca passing her Boards.  She's just completed her first full week of working. As a family we are all breathing a huge sigh of relief that she is done with school, exams, and the associated stress and can truly begin her adult life!

Our daylilies are in full bloom - that's always how you know it's really Summer here!

Friday, July 19, 2019


*with thanks to Brene Brown for this meme.

Trusting that my physical therapist will get to the bottom of what is causing my current knee and tailbone pains and figure out a way to address it.

Grateful  for air conditioning during our current heat wave!

Inspired attending a wedding expo with Becca and Sarah last night. Booked an appointment with the florist that was #1 on our list.

I had Fun hanging with Krystal and playing with a couple of Lifebook lessons in the past week.   

My very first attempt at Zentangle

Monday, July 8, 2019

Mid Year Check In

I find myself suddenly well into the second half of 2019 and needing to take stock.  Make plans.  Assess and pivot.

The first half of 2019 was ROUGH.

We went through the loss of my mother and Sarah's good friend Brianna, the stress of Becca completing her PTA program, another skin cancer surgery for Rachel.  We closed our booth at the antique store.  I said a very reluctant goodbye to my boss of 13 years. I personally struggled with plantar fasciitis and now IT band syndrome.  I spent a lot of time feeling depressed. And despite efforts at diet and exercise, as of July 1, I was UP 4 pounds from the start of the year.

On the plus side, I passed my CMLX1 certification and my Advanced Conga Certification exam. I treated myself to a metalsmithing class and a mixed media class with Seth Apter at Creative Inkling.  I continued with the TRX class I started last December.  In March I progressed from planking off a bench to completing a 30 second plank from the floor.  In April I planked for a full minute! I'm definitely getting stronger!  We had a fantastic family vacation at Disney/Universal. We attended my nephew Bobby's wedding and caught up with my brother Jerry who I hadn't seen in several years.

 Jay & I at the wedding venue - a horse farm!

We decluttered 311 items from our home (I have a LONG way to go to get to the 2019 items goal I set for the year!)  How do you count paper?  I just pulled 20 file folders worth of paper out of our filing cabinet. 10 pounds of paper.  If I counted each sheet individually, I'd be a lot closer to goal, but that seems like cheating...

We finally checked getting kitchen back splash installed off our "to do" list - 12 years after the kitchen remodel!

I've already completed 25 out of the 26 books I committed to for the Reading Challenge this year.  Audible has certainly made a huge difference in my ability to consume fiction! It is a great companion for all the drives down to Rockville Maryland.

But by far the most exciting and happy thing that has happened in the first half of 2019 - a mere three days after graduating from her PTA program and less than 10 minutes after entering Magic Kingdom was this:

Becca and Kyle got engaged in front of Cinderella's castle! It was so much fun to be a part of it all and to see the surprise on Becca's face.  She had NO idea it was happening there.  And yes, we are now knee deep in wedding planning.

So as I'm taking stock, what do I want the second half of 2019 to look like? What do I still hope to accomplish?  I pray that it will hold a lot more happy and a lot less sadness than the first six months.

I'm stealing a page from Lee Currie and declaring my goals for the second half of 2019.  Maybe declaring them will help me be more accountable???

Professional Goals:

Get My CMLX2 Certification. Attend CMLX2 classes in July, pass the exams, and write my white paper by August 31st so I can earn my CMLX2 certification.  I don't expect the classes or exams to be all that tough.  But the white paper???? Yikes!

Get In House Counsel Certification. I'm registered for a week long class in early November sponsored by the Association of Corporate Counsel.  If I pass the exam at the end I'll be a "certified" In House Counsel.  I don't need the certification but I'm hoping to learn a lot!

Finish the Bright Guide. Ever have one of those projects that you just keep putting off?  Yes, this one. AKA the Employee Handbook. It's boring and tedious but I want it finished!!!

Personal Goals:

Touch My Toes.  It isn't a sexy goal, but it has a lot to do with my physical well being. Getting enough flexibility to reach my toes will mean I've managed (after years and years) to loosen up hamstrings and hip flexors to a point of being able to regain function I've lost.  It also appears to be key to helping resolve my current IT Band Syndrome.

Resolve IT Band Syndrome. The primary symptom is my inability to kneel or put any weight on my left knee.  Do you have any idea how many daily activities require you to kneel or squat??? Not to mention yoga... I want that functionality back!

Lose Some Weight. If I haven't figured out how to move the scale by the end of Summer, I'll make an appointment to discuss weight loss with my doctor.  She's quick to offer pills (which I don't want) so I'm going to try a couple different diet/nutrition options and see if one of them can help. I want to be healthy.  Looking good would be a nice side benefit. Getting the weight off would definitely help with all the problems I've been experiencing with my knees, ankles, and feet!

Make Some Art. My creative time has been sorely lacking and I'd love to spend more time getting messy.  I don't have any specific project in mind, so let's just say digging into some of my Lifebook 2019 lessons that have (so far) gone untouched this year. I'd like to complete at least one lesson per month - so 6 by the end of the year.

Solidify My Morning Routine. I've been working on this for awhile now. I want to incorporate stretching, meditation, Lumosity (online brain games), and a little reading and journaling into my morning before I start my work day. I haven't come up with the right flow yet to make it work well enough to turn it into a habit. Continue working and tweaking until I have a flow that works!

Project Goals:

Repaint the Main Floor. Right now more of the house needs painting than not. But the mustard yellow walls and the red accent wall in the sun room MUST GO. I'm so over mustard yellow. I'm wanting a nice neutral grey throughout the downstairs with a dark grey accent wall in the sun room and a blue grey accent color on the fireplace wall in the family room.  We need to get this project started soon because we will want to do it when we can keep windows open.

Fill Out Life Organizer: The Life Organizer is a 3 ring binder I purchased that gives you one place to store copies of all the important stuff - birth and marriage certificates, deeds, mortgage info, banking info, 401K info, life insurance, etc. with notations as to where the originals are stored.... So that in the event something happens to you, your loved ones don't have to dig through file drawers and boxes to take care of business.  Jay's been asking for quite awhile for me to compile all this info.  I have the tool.  I just need to start filling it in.

Continue Decluttering: While Jay is on board we have so many more areas where STUFF is stored that just needs to leave.  So I'm still going for that goal of removing 2019 items from my home by the end of 2019. Yes, it is seriously ambitious. But I have little doubt that there is that much that could leave if we got ruthless about it.

Thank you Lee for inspiring this list! I feel so much more ready to dive into the second half of this year and I have renewed hope and enthusiasm around reaching my goals.

How do you plan to finish out 2019?

Friday, May 17, 2019

A LOT Can Change in a Month

Since the last time I stopped by here:

My mother passed in the early morning hours of Easter Sunday.  She donated her body to a research university in Texas for the study of her very rare form of cancer.  I'll be traveling to Texas to attend her Celebration of Life service on June 1st.
The day after Easter I embarked on a whirlwind tour for work - April 22-25 at the Conga Connect conference in New York City, April 28-May 1 at the ACC Xchange conference in Minneapolis, May 6-8 in Rockville MD for meetings. My time at home was mostly spent unpacking and re-packing for the next trip!

I've actually been home this week, but not sitting still by any means!

On Wednesday evening, our daughter Becca graduated... her 2nd degree... a little bit backwards...

Becca graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Exercise Science.  A brief stint in nursing school and back to the drawing board. She got a job in a Physical Therapy office and that changed everything. A year after graduating college, she was back at Lehigh Carbon Community College in their Physical Therapy Assistant Program. The program is competitive - she had to convince them to even interview her for a spot and she's worked her tail off the past two years to stay in the program and finish.  They only accept 36 students a year.  Of that 36, only 24 graduated.  She struggled through some of the courses (Kinesiology AGAIN) but she stuck with it.  And here we are! She now has an Associates Degree in Applied Sciences from the Physical Therapy Assistant program.  She's more proud of this degree than her BS and rightfully so - she's never worked so hard for anything in her life!  I'm so proud of her accomplishment! Now for the Boards...

Next up?  We're off to visit a famous mouse, a castle, a school for witches and wizards...  I'm almost too tired to begin this next journey but it is upon us, so here I go!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Creative Team Share

Since I haven't been blogging much of late, I realize it has been seemingly forever since I've shared anything that I've done for a Creative Team.  Time to remedy that!  Most of these were created in March, so I'm not soooo far behind.  Although there are a couple from January (yikes!) and the last two layouts are actually from April!  Here we go...

Created with Manu Design Studio Remnants of The Past kit.  The photos are me and my sister Deanna in the mid 1960's.

Created with Tami Miller Designs Come The Spring Collection.  These photos are actually from last Spring.  We aren't quite that far along here yet.  But soon!

Created with Tami Miller Designs Create Happiness Collection and Photo Sketch service.

Created with Tami Miller Designs Words to Live By: Kindness Collection.   I pulled photos from my 2014 Year of Kindness blog entries for this one.

Created with Tami Miller Designs Words to Live By: Remember Collection.  As I create this post, my Mother is still with us, although not doing well at all right now, so when this kit came out, I preemptively made this layout.  I know that day will live in her heart forever, just as she will in mine.

The next two were created with Tami Miller Designs Romantic Blush Collection.  The first is Sarah getting ready for her Junior Prom... twelve years ago...

and Becca on board a ship headed for the Bahamas... even longer ago...

These last two are from Tami Miller Designs recently re-released kit Selfie.  The first is me holding my new grandpuppy Millie.  She's Rachel's dog, a rescue, about 3 or 4 months old. Retriever/Shepherd mix. I've never been too keen on dogs (I'm a cat person), but Millie is special.  So sweet and smart.  And she doesn't jump on you or bark unnecessarily - two very good traits in a dog!

And last but not least - a true selfie of me at the beginning of this year with my word "healthy" in mind.

My Creative Team digiscrapping has been about the extent of my creativity this year. I just don't seem to have it in me right now. I know my mojo will eventually return so for now I'm happy with getting this much done. What have you created lately???