Winter Goals

Like I mentioned in a previous post (right here), I love setting seasonal goals. I find that it helps me enjoy the season and it stretches me a bit, too. I've found that this is especially important for me in the winter, where if left to my own devices, I would just hide under a blanket and watch Gilmore Girls all day. So, what do I want to try and accomplish this winter?

Try 5 New Recipes:   
    Appetizer:  winter fruit salad
    Soup: sweet potato quinoa soup
    Main Course: maple glazed pork chops
    Dessert:  snickerdoodles
    Drinks: chai spiced coconut milk

5 New Books to Read: 
    The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
    Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote 
    Girl in the Woods by Aspen Matis 
    Bird by Bird  by Anne Lamott
    Savage Beauty by Nancy Milford 

5 Projects to Do: 
    Start planning my garden
    Finish one blanket 
    Hang new curtains in the living room 
    Reorganize kitchen pantry 
    Complete 30 Days of Yoga 
5 New Adventures:   
    Go to a writing conference  
    Finish my Masterclass 
    Send out a script for consideration
    Enjoy a snow day

    Celebrate the holidays  

First day of winter: December 21, 2017
Last day of winter: March 19, 2018

Hygge, Vol. 1

It was a dark and stormy night. Well, it is, not was, since it’s still today. And it’s not exactly stormy. It’s overcast, and although it’s been raining off and on, all is quiet now. But it is dark. Because it’s almost 6pm in January. It’s so strange how during the summer 6 feels early, like I still have half a day. But during the winter, it’s like, well, just about bedtime. 

I should be editing. Someone tell me to get to editing.  

Our Holiday Break

You know how they say that as you get older, time starts to go faster? Well boy if that ain't true. I didn't even put up my tree this year! I mean, I was totally, definitely going to (cough cough), I just ran out of time. 

Perfect sunset gradient in Montana 

And do you know what happens when you're short on time? I do. You get really bad at remembering to take pictures of your beloved family while on vacation. Sorry family. But here are a few pics from our trip to Canada for Christmas and Idaho for New Years. 

Hand-hewn tree from the Rockies

 Strange rainbow almost-halo driving to the border. This doesn't really do it justice.

Sharing this solely for that snoot. Meet Ruby the Snuggler.

 The most recent photo of us! Idaho, January 2018

Happy New Year, friends! 

Taking Stock: October

Hello friends!  I'm coming back here after weeks of personal bad news on top of national tragedies. And it's hard to know what to say or do in the aftermath of so many awful things. So I worked my way through this list from a new fave,  Meet Me at Mike's  to try and focus on the good and interesting things in my life.  If you end up taking stock, share or send me your list. I'd love to see what's going on with you. 

Making : too many fall goals. 
Cooking : from scratch! We signed up for a meal delivery service and now I actually make dinner.
Drinking : tea! It's finally cool enough to enjoy a nice warm mug in the evenings. 
Reading: I'm just about to start Brain on Fire , courtesy of my SIL. 

Trawling: the Yankee Candle website, waiting for a sale.
Wanting: to go for a hike up in the mountains.
Looking: at all my family pictures. 
Deciding: whether it's cold enough to swap out my summer scarves for my fall/winter stash. 
Wishing: I lived a little closer to home. 
Enjoying: the slow transition into fall. I love seeing the leaves change and having cooler nights.
Waiting: to hear back about a job interview. 
Wondering: what I can do to bring a little more light into the world.
Loving: my volunteer job at the library. Being in the children's department is so fun!
Pondering: on whether or not I do too much online shopping...
Listening: to Kesha's new album, Rainbow. It is so powerful, and I cry listening to it every time.  
Considering: starting a book club?????
Buying: embroidered jeans. Finally a trend I can pull off! 
Watching: Grey's Anatomy. Fictional drama is much better than real-life drama.
Hoping: to finish a sewing project and start another this month. 
Marvelling: at a serendipitous meeting at church last week. 
Cringing: at the load of damp laundry I left overnight in the washing machine. 
Needing: to start crossing items off my to-do list! 
Questioning: if I should make some cookies, even though I still have half a pie in the fridge.
Smelling: burning soap. I tried to clean a pan. It's a whole big thing. 
Wearing: my yoga pants. It's almost 5, and I still haven't actually done any yoga...
Noticing: that maybe I do a little too much online shopping.
Knowing: that it's just about time to reorganize the laundry room again.
Trouble-shooting: the hard water stains in my tub and sink. I bought these sponges to try and combat them. 
Thinking: of trying out a new yoga class sometime this month. 
Admiring: the women who've gone before me, who made it possible to even imaging working in the writing/film industry. 
Getting: excited over the new Lush Christmas releases.
Bookmarking: tulip bulbs on Amazon. 
Opening: all my windows, because it's suddenly summer again here in Utah. 
Closing: the Angry Birds app on my phone so I'll actually get some work done! 
Feeling: a bit like butter, scraped over too much bread. 

Dreaming: of repainting my whole house. 
Hearing: peace and quiet today, from both neighbors (who have been doing construction for months)
Celebrating: nothing in particular, but I'm still having pie for lunch.
Pretending: that scrolling through Pinterest is "research". 
Embracing: myself, flaws and all. 

Taken in Lethbridge, Alberta during my visit last week

My Summer Goals

For the past few years, I've been setting seasonal goals for myself. Just little things to help me enjoy the season and focus on the now. I don't usually accomplish them all, or even half, but it's fun to try and stretch myself a little. 

Since we're right in the height {or heat, rather} of summer, I figured I'd share. Here's what I'm hoping to accomplish.  

Try 5 Summer Recipes 

       Appetizer: BLT lettuce wraps {with homegrown tomatoes!} 
       Salad: my mom's potato salad 
       Main Dish: homemade Cafe Rio pork and rice 
       Dessert: homemade ice cream {maybe this one? or this?}
       Drink hibiscus mint herbal tea {found here}

Read 5 Books
  1. How to Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell
  2. Just Kids by Patti Smith
  3. The Handmaid's Tail by Margaret Atwood 
  4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
  5. The Opposite of Lonliness by Marina Keegan 
Complete 5 Projects 
  1. Finish up my 50 States Club quilt 
  2. Donate a craft for a local refugee fundraiser 
  3. Fill a photo album with old photos 
  4. Do a fitness challenge
  5. Start on a crazy cross stitch {maybe this one?}
Go on 5 Adventures 
  1. See the solar eclipse 
  2. Go to 3 lakes  {Utah Lake, Bear Lake}
  3. Eat outside 3 times 
  4. See an outdoor movie
  5. Go camping 

Start: June 21                   End: September 4 

What Even Is My Life?!

I feel like I've been vague-posting on Facebook, and I wanted to let you know what I've been up to. There's a lot to cover, so hang on and here we go!

But before we get too far in, I just want to say thank you.  If you're reading this, thank you so much for your support! Whether it's in-person encouragement or an online boost, it means so much to me to have you in my corner. 

So, what's been going on? Long story short, I'm finally {finally!} pursuing my writing dreams. I was laid off from my office job back in February. After floundering a little bit and applying to a bunch of jobs without getting any interviews, I decided that I was going to go for it and put my college education to good use. Since then I've been writing like crazy, building up my portfolio and looking for opportunities. 

Most recently I entered a short script hosted by NYC Midnight. The draw is that you're given 3 story guidelines - a genre, a subject, and a character - and a week to turn in a 12 page script. It was tricky, and I was writing way out my comfort zone {fairy tales are hard, yo!} but I feel good about the story I submitted. If you're interested in reading it, let me know and I can send you the file. I'd love to share it and get your feedback. 

I'm still trying to figure out my next move, but I've set some lofty goals, and I'm excited to work towards them. 

Again, I want to thank you for sticking with me. And if/when I have news to share, you best believe I will be sharing it everywhere. 

Christmas Check-in

It's been a really busy season. I started the month thinking that I'd have so much time to get my shopping done, presents wrapped, maybe even make some Christmas candy and homemade presents. 

This is not to be the case. 

But I've put up a tree, burned some Christmas candles, played some carols, and spent a lot of time thinking about "the reason for the season". It's no secret that this year has been a struggle for me, especially the last few weeks. A few weeks ago I came to a breaking point, and I needed to make a decision about something big. I knew what I wanted to do, but I wasn't brave enough to do it. So I finally prayed about it. And got the opposite answer. But I knew that I'd have to change my plan. So I did. 

Since then, things have been getting better. Not a complete 180, but we're coming up on maybe a 75 degree turnaround. Things still aren't where I want them, and the handmade gifts might not get finished until March, but I keep remembering where my inspiration came from, and I feel better about it all. 

Luke and I went to see the Christmas show at Temple Square tonight. Getting there was stressful, and I almost wanted to just turn around and head back home. But we made it, and it was just what I needed. I feel less concerned with the busyness of the holiday, much more in tune for the reason for the celebrating. 

So what if I don't end up making 5 different kinds of homemade chocolates? Its really okay that I didn't get everyone on my list three perfect presents and wrapped them in co-ordinating paper with hand-tied bows. I'll be spending my holidays with family and giving thanks to Him as often and as best as I can. 

August Recap

I think that August has been the craziest month we've had in a long, long time. It started out simply enough - we were settling back into a routine after traveling in July, no real plans, just hanging out and enjoying the summer. 

Then we got a call. From our landlord. He wants to see the condo we've been living in for the last year and a half. Upsetting, but not the worst possible thing that could happen. We tell him we need 3o days to move from the time it sells. Long story short, it sold in about two weeks. I thought we'd have a couple months. So we had to figure out something fast. 

After browsing for hours, trying to find something in our area and price range, I still wasn't having any luck. So one Sunday afternoon I decide to drag Luke around the neighbourhood so we can scope out For Rent signs. We found nothing. As we're walking the last block before home, we find a house, but it's for sale. We think about it, we call, and we set up a showing for the next day. 

Long story short, we bought a house. And we closed on it in less than a month. And we moved with days to spare. 

Our house!!

We moved on the 18th, which meant that we spent our anniversary unpacking. Months ago, I had been thinking we could go on a weekend getaway. Instead, we stayed home and unpacked, and celebrated with a giant ice cream cake. 

Right now, the only pictures of the inside of the house that I have are ones I took with the previous tenants stuff. Once we get more settled and set up here, I'll have lots of pictures to share. 

Not everything in August was moving-related. I celebrating my birthday {cupcakes at work!}, I filed more paperwork with the gov't for my Green Card, and kept up with things at work, mostly. 

As a bonus, my grandpa was in town, and I got to have dinner with him!

And to end on a funny note, here is a picture of Lukas climbing into our attic so he could rewire the house with internet. 

July Recap

Almost caught up! July was the busiest month of the year. 

We spent the first week visiting my family in Canada. We even made it in time for Canada Day fireworks! It's been years since I've been home for that. 

Look, it's a maple leaf! Sort of.

Turns out iPhones can handle fireworks pretty well

I woke up to this sweet face every morning

Took this awesome photo with my faves


After a week in Canada we set off to Idaho. Luke went backpacking with his family, while I hung out at home with his mom. We worked on crafts and tried new recipes. He had a good time, even though they came back early because it rained the whole time. 

Two days after getting back from our adventures, we headed off again, this time for a work trip. We rented a cabin up by Park City. Turns out a lot easier to talk about timelines and project management when you look out the window and see this: 

So, story time! The work trip wraps up, and finally, we're back and settled into our routine again. Then we get a call from our landlord. They want to sell the condo we've been living in for a year and half. So we figure it'll be a couple of months. False. It look a week. So we had to find a new place. And we think we found one we really like! Further updates in the next post. 

June Recap

Still playing catchup over here... June was low on pictures so this will be a quick one. 

Early in the month we had a work BBQ. Lots of planning and stress on my part, but it came together well. 

Luke's family had a little reunion down near Manti. We went camping and hiking, and I slept in a tent. I also didn't take any pictures. Rats. But we had a really good time!

For the past year, I've been working on an embroidered quilt. I finally finished sewing up the night before we left for Canada. I still have to add the back, but the hard part is over! 

Yes, I mentioned Canada. We planned a week at home for a family reunion, then Luke's hiking with his family in Wyoming. But I'll get to that in the next update.

And, here's my favourite pin from the month. Rather fitting, I think.


May Recap

I'm so far behind, but I'm working on catching up! With 4 months of recaps, plus random thoughts to write about, plus some fall goals, I have a lot to say. So I'm just going to dive in. 

May was the first month all year that I didn't get to see someone in my immediate family. There was a wedding lull, I guess. But we did make it up to Bear Lake to see Luke's side of the family and celebrate his birthday! 

Luke and his birthday/graduation blanket 

Probably his favourite present ever. The clock parts came from his grandpa's "junk pile", and his dad helped him make the shelf from marine wood

And here's Rufus the lap dog, just for fun

We also celebrated with all-you-can-eat sushi from a place down the street. Luke loved it, but I'm not convinced that fish is ever a good idea. They have fantastic fried rice and potstickers, though. This was my fortune from the end of the night. 

Happy birthday, Lukas!

Work was super busy for me this month, so I made a little reminder. I'm not sure if it helped, but it did make me smile. 

I also had my first spa facial in May! I live just a few blocks from the Aveda school, and figured that I try out a reduced cost treatment. It was the best thing ever. Super relaxing, and very affordable. 

Work's been crazy - we're shipping, which takes up most of my work day - and so I haven't had a ton of time for reading or doing other fun things. I worked on my quilt for a little while, and I'm pretty much caught up now. And that's May!