Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015 Goals: Year-End Reflection

At the beginning of each year, I like to set goals for myself.  I did just that in 2015 and reflected on those goals after each quarter of the year.
Quarter Year Check-in
Mid-year Check-in
Three-Quarter Year Check-in

It was tough to set those goals, not knowing what life would be like once Baby Fish joined us.  I tried to set goals that I thought would be attainable, so let's take a look and see how I did overall!
1. Memorize 24 verses of Scripture through the Siesta Scripture Memory Team.
Grade: F
I only selected 4 verses and memorized 3 of them.  Once I slipped up on the 4th verse, it just all went downhill from there.  After reflecting on my goals each quarter, I planned to get back on this and just never did.

I have no reasoning for why this didn't happen.  It just didn't because I stopped making it a priority.  I hate that I did that, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it.  The Living Proof Ministries community does this each odd year, so maybe I'll try it again in 2017.

2. Be the mother God would have me to be.
Grade: A for effort
This one is hard to grade.  I guess I'd need God to give me a report card on this one!  However, I am putting being a mother first and am prayerful about it.  So, I'm going to give myself an A for the effort.  I hope that effort translates into being the mother God would have me to be!
I do know that I am thoroughly enjoying being a mother.  I never imagined all of the things that come with being a mother, but it is truly a great feeling watching Baby Fish grow each day.  She's so cool!

3. Run the Richmond Marathon in November (or PR in a fall half marathon if not).
Grade: D+
I did not run the Richmond Marathon, nor did I run a fall half marathon.  However, I'm giving myself a D+ because I was flexible with this goal, as I wanted to be.  Baby Fish was my priority, and I needed to spend the fall focusing on adjusting to life as a mom over committing to training for a race.  So, I'm giving myself some credit for adjusting this goal, even though I did not meet either part of it.

I did race 2 10Ks this year, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  I'm hoping to commit to training more in 2016 so that I can possibly meet the goal of the Richmond Marathon this November!

4. Take care of daily chores first.
Grade: B-
I did not do this at the beginning of the year (third trimester laziness hit me hard!), but I did start doing it after Baby Fish arrived.  I have done a much better job of taking care of things before I get sucked in to relaxing each day, and it has made me happier overall.  I plan to continue focusing on this in 2016!

5. Meal plan to ensure healthy eating and save money.
Grade: C
Again, this didn't happen at the beginning of the year, but I did much better with this during the second half of the year.  I'm giving myself a C because we didn't always stick with the meal plan, meaning that sometimes we wasted some produce I planned on using.  I really don't like wasting food, so moving into 2016, I want to actually stick with the meal plan so that doesn't happen.

Looking at my grades on my goals, it seems that I "failed" at meeting my goals overall.  However, I did make progress toward each of them (except my first goal), especially in the second half of the year.  Once I adjusted to my "new normal", I really did do a better job working toward (most of) these goals, so I won't count these a failure.

I do hope that I will be much more successful overall with my 2016 goals, though!

Question for you: Did you set 2015 goals?  If so, how did you do with them?

Friday, January 1, 2016

Highlights from 2015

Happy New Year!  I hope that 2016 is off to a great start for you and your family.

Before I completely shift my focus on to the new year, I wanted to take a moment to look back on 2015.  It was quite a big year in our lives!  Let's look back at some of the highlights of 2015:

Baby showers!
In preparation for Baby Fish's arrival, several groups of co-workers, friends, and family showered us with love!  I am so appreciative for their love and support.  It meant (and still means!) so much to me to have such great people in my life.

Joe's graduation from chiropractic school!
He did it!  Joe finished school and became a doctor on March 27th.  I originally wasn't sure I was going to be able to make it to the graduation (my due date was March 29th), but thankfully I was there to celebrate this huge accomplishment wit him!  I'm so proud of him for finishing school, finding a job so quickly, and transitioning into the "real world" with ease and success so far!

Baby Fish's birth on April 7th!
After waiting about 9 days past her due date, Baby Fish finally joined us!  It was so exciting to finally know that she's a girl, and she is such a blessing in our lives!

Moving back to Georgia!
It was just 11 days after Baby Fish's birth, but we packed up our life in Florida and moved to south Georgia for Joe's job.  I'm happy to be back in Georgia, and we are adjusting well to our new area.

Running the Peachtree Road Race
This July 4th tradition in Atlanta is a race that holds a special place in my heart.  I'm so happy that I was able to run it just 2 months postpartum!  It rained the whole time, but I was so excited to cross that finish line.

Starting a new job back in the classroom teaching high school math.
I've really enjoyed being back in the classroom!  I missed teaching and having my own group of students, so I've had a lot of fun this semester.  It was a little bit of a rocky start, but I'm ready to have an even better second semester!

Lots of visitors...
...and a few trips!
Between people coming to help with Baby Fish and traveling for some fun events (a few days at the springs, Richmond, Atlanta, and the beach), we've seen a lot of our favorite people!  It's been fun introducing Baby Fish to everyone, as well as having people come see our new home in southern Georgia.  We love it!

But, most importantly, we've had so much fun learning to be parents and watching Baby Fish grow!
She really is the biggest highlight of 2015!  Her arrival in our lives in April certainly changed our lives in the best way possible.  She is such a fun little baby, and we are enjoying watching her grow, change, and learn each and every day.  What a blessing she is!

Wow, quite a year!  With everything that happened in 2015, I'm really excited to see what 2016 has in store for us.  It's sure to be a good one!

Tomorrow, I'll share a reflection of my 2015 goals, and next week I'll be sharing my 2016 goals!  Have a great New Year's Day!

Question for you: What's a highlight of 2015 for you?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas 2015: Baby Fish's first Christmas!

Hey, everyone!  I've been living up winter break from school to the fullest--getting things done around the house, traveling for Christmas, and enjoying time with my family!!  Now that things have settled after a great Christmas holiday, let's recap what we did!

First, I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!  We wish you a Happy New Year, as well.
Our Christmas card photo
I spent last Monday through Wednesday getting my last-minute shopping done, as well as hanging out with this little girl.
I dropped her off at day care for a few hours each day, which made shopping and errand-running A LOT easier.  I missed being with her all day, though!

On Christmas Eve, we woke up and got ready to head to the airport to fly up to Virginia for Christmas at my grandparents' house.  My mom called as they were leaving the house, saying that our flight was delayed about two hours.  

We hung around the house and continued to check the flight status as our plane got further and further delayed before Delta ultimately cancelled it.  Certainly not ideal!  When I called to try and change our flight, we weren't able to get anything until Christmas day, since the issue was bad weather in Atlanta.  Needless to say, we were frustrated and disappointed, but the customer service agents I spoke with were very helpful in getting us booked to leave as soon as possible.  Thank you, Delta customer service!

Our change in travel plans meant that we spent Christmas Eve day watching Christmas movies on TV. In the evening, I cooked a beef tenderloin roast (yum!) and we attended Christmas Eve service at our church.
Christmas Eve dinner
She loved the candle holder!
When we got home from church, we opened our stockings.  Baby Fish loved looking into the stocking to see if there was anything else!
Her first stocking
By the way, Baby Fish's name is Meredith (in case you couldn't tell from her stocking and her shirt in the first picture)!  I'll keep calling her Baby Fish on the blog though ;)

Pablo the cat even got a present, and he loved it!
Sitting in his little cube
Christmas Day was spent driving to Jacksonville for our flight, flying to Atlanta, and getting delayed for about 3 hours in Atlanta before we finally made it to my grandparents' house!  I don't think I've ever been so happy to arrive somewhere!
That evening, we ate dinner together with my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, my aunt and uncle, and my grandparents.
So tired after a long day of travel
Then, we opened presents!  Baby Fish wasn't much for tearing the wrapping paper, but she did enjoy playing with everything BUT her gifts.  Silly girl!
Paper, galore!
The next day, we went over to my dad's mom's house and had our Christmas celebration over there.  It was great to see my grandmother, aunt, uncle, and cousins play with our little girl.  I was enjoying the time so much, I forgot to take pictures!

We went back over to my mom's parents' house and spent the evening watching the Virginia Tech bowl game.  It was our head coach Frank Beamer's last game, so it was quite emotional to watch!  Luckily, the Hokies pulled out a victory and everyone was happy.
Go Hokies!
Fun fact: I was born the year that Frank Beamer started coaching at VT, and Baby Fish was born before his last year.  I love that when my mom took the picture above,  Frank Beamer just happened to be on the screen!

On the 27th, we flew back to Jacksonville before driving to Joe's grandparents' house to spend some time with his family.  It was so fun to watch all of the little ones together!
Playing with her cousin
We enjoyed catching up with his aunts, uncles, cousins, and brother that we haven't seen in a while!

Since then, Baby Fish and I have been hanging out at home during the day while Joe goes to work.  It's kind of nice to be home for the week with very little to do!

I hope you had a great Christmas with your family.  I'll be back tomorrow with a reflection of the year 2015, as well as check-in with my goals for the year!

Question for you: How did you spend Christmas this year?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Turkey Trot 10K Race Recap

Since I started running and blogging back in September of 2012 (has it really been that long?!), I've recapped each race I've run (well, almost all of them).  I haven't run that many races in 2015 thanks to having a baby, but I did complete one race recently that I have yet to recap!

On Thanksgiving morning, I ran my first Turkey Trot race!  I love that these races have popped up all over the country to encourage people to get moving first thing on a day dedicated to eating lots of delicious food.
The sign welcoming runners on race morning
We were in Gainesville with Joe's family for Thanksgiving this year, so I signed up for their Turkey Trot 10K.  The race is run on the campus of Tacachale, a residential facility for mentally handicapped people, and the proceeds of the race went to support their work.  Exercise for a good cause?  Sounds good to me!

The course was a mixture of trails, grass, and roads, which made things a bit challenging.  I am not much of a trail runner, so navigating the tree roots and soft ground slowed me down a little bit.
Entering one of the trail sections
One thing's for sure, though, such a course kept me from getting bored!  I was constantly on my toes and wasn't paying too much attention to my distance or time.  It made the race seem to go by faster!

I ran/walked the race, since it was my longest run since the Peachtree Road Race in July.  I felt pretty strong throughout the whole race and seemed to be making good time.  I had splits around 10:30-11:00 pace at first, but I wound up slowing down in the last two miles.

Because the course wound through some trails, there were not that many water stops.  I wish they had them a little closer together or provided that information beforehand so that I could have brought my handheld water bottle along.

Overall, though, I was able to finish strong!  For a lack of training for this distance, I was pretty pleased with how I did during this race.
Finish Line Selfie
My time, according to my RunKeeper app was:
My RunKeepr stats
Just a few seconds slower than my Peachtree time.  Considering the terrain I was navigating, I'm pretty pleased with this time.  I thought to myself that if it was a complete road race, I could have easily shaved off 2-3 minutes, which would have been really good for me!

This race has me excited to keep training for the Glass Slipper Challenge in February!  Based on these results with little training, I think that I can continue to push myself to increase my speed at the 10K distance (and beyond!).

(Check out yesterday's post for a review of MealEnders and enter my giveaway to win yourself 4 packages!)

Question for you: Did you run a Turkey Trot race this year?  What are your thoughts on running on trails?