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Welcome to my little haven of creative writing, passionate ranting, and thoughtful learning.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Reporting, Qualifying & Screening [April Learning]

Every month I end with a post of what I've learned and my goals progress for the year, so here's how April went!

1.) The World Happiness Report

It exists, which I did not know, and apparently has decided that to improve overall happiness these are the areas that should be focused on:
Nutrition 

Mindfulness 
Community 
Environment
Movement 
Financial 


2.) We meet all the qualifications to be foster parents. 

Two years ago, after the second miscarriage, I couldn't imagine being a foster parent. The only thing I could think was, "No more loss." Now, I wonder if it's something we should consider, and my high level research showed that we would be approved to do so if it's something we decide to pursue. 

3.) Kindergarten Screening

The last time I had to think about kindergarten screening, I was 5. Needless to say, I remember nothing about it. But the tiny human is starting kindergarten this fall and needs to undergo a screening (next week!) and I wanted to know what it entailed. Apparently, it's as simple as proving he knows his letters, numbers, and basic self-care like going to the bathroom and washing his hands. 


2017 Goals Update:

I laid out goals for myself this year, and what better time to check in with them then my monthly learning post? Here's where things stand currently.

1.) Read 50 books!

Current Status:

2.) Achieve and maintain goal weight.

Current Status: The last two weeks of the month I finally started tracking my calories again and hitting my step goal more often. I lost only a pound, but it's a loss not a gain.

3.) Meditate daily

Current Status: On average, I think I meditated 3x a week during the month of April, which is the best I've done so far this year!

4.) Maintain Blog

Current Status: Another month with four posts, this goal is being consistently exceeded.

5.) Write!

Current Status: I didn't submit any more pieces this month :(

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Decorating A New Home!

When we moved out of our townhouse in Kentucky, a lot of our furniture was mismatched. We moved in as college kids, and I didn't have the confidence yet to take on projects like redoing furniture, and even if I had, where would I have done it?

Moving into our new home *happy dance* meant gaining a garage and backyard. And at 27, having a home that looks put together and like a real home matters more to me. But on a budget. Because no matter how adorable that dining room set is, I am not about to drop the cash to bring it home. Oh no, I will be proudly over here hunting through Craigslist, finding deals on clearance, and using Pinterest (aka the best invention since the internet itself) to put together my house.

The first room I wanted to tackle was the living room. I wanted it to look like a coherent room, which meant needing a color scheme. I found a secondhand couch in grey/black, and so decided on a scheme of grey, black, white and turquoise/teal for a pop of color. I hunted down curtains for three days online before finding a sale with additional clearance and getting all the curtains for about $40. I already had some black and white pictures and furniture, and even blankets.

Before:



After:





Then came the dining room. Which was blue. We got permission to repaint, which took two coats of heavy duty primer and almost a week of effort to accomplish, but ended up being completely worth it.

Before:


After:



The kitchen really just needed moved into and a little personalizing.

Before:



After:




The upstairs will be next, I have a handful of projects in mind, including painting the master bedroom before I deem it fully decorated!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Listening and Purpose

In the busy-ness of the last month, I've been sitting on a story, one that I didn't want to try to share until I had adequate time to write it out.

I mentioned in a February post that I learned what Lectio Divino was at church. It's basically a way to read the Bible and respond. There are five steps:

Silence
Silent preparation for the reading.

Read
Read the scripture.

Meditate
Reflect on words, phrases or sentences that speak to you. 

Pray
Respond to the words that God stirred in you.

Contemplate
Rest in the presence of God, allowing the words to root, and write what God is saying to you. 

This was February 12, 2017, as a church we read Matthew 14:22-33. The words and phrases that resonated with me were "Take Courage!" and "Come."

Because I am a writer, I scribbled down quite a paragraph for my prayer.

"I'm afraid. I'm afraid none of my interviews will result in a job. I'm afraid to want to grow my family and afraid for my marriage to go wrong again. I'm afraid to make new relationships and friendships. I am living in fear, and I know that's why the words "Take courage!" and "Come" were what stuck out. I hope that it means to take courage in movement. I hope these words mean impending change."

As I contemplated, this is what I wrote:


Because I doubt myself, I wondered if I heard wrong, so I didn't share this with anyone. But I held on to it, keeping it in the notebook that I carry everywhere with my day to day lists and tasks.

Two weeks later, on February 26th, we toured the home we're now living in. February 27th I received my offer letter for my current position.

It's clear that I did not hear wrong, and now I'm settled into these new roles and contentedly waiting to see what that purpose may be.




Saturday, April 15, 2017

Thing I'm Loving {April '17}

I'm basically just loving the whole month right now. It has been rather joy filled and happy! But here are the specific things that I'm loving.

1.) My new job.

As a T&E specialist I'm spending my days doing specific tasks like checking reports that are pending exceptions for approval, ordering office supplies, and editing the website. Things that, once I complete them, get checked off the list and so I get that feeling of pride that comes with accomplishing something. Also, my new manager gave me the go ahead to redesign and work to update the travel and expense website. It's basically like working on this blog for me: creative, fun, and something I'm actually good at!



2.) DIY Furniture Projects

I keep working little by little to turn our new house into our home. But on a budget, because hey, real life. So when I wanted to TV Stand/Entertainment Center, I was not interested in spending a couple hundred dollars. I ended up finding a twin bedroom set (dresser, nightstand and bed frame) for $50 that really just needed a new coat of paint. And I turned the dresser into my TV stand with the help of Pinterest. There are some little paint touchups and details to still be done on it, but overall, I'm really happy with it!



3.) Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack

My favorite Disney princess has always been Belle, so I know no one is shocked by the fact that I've been listening to the soundtrack daily over the past couple weeks.

Gaston: My future wife, the most beautiful girl in town. That makes her the best.
LeFou: But she's so well-read, and you're so... athletically inclined. 


What are you loving this April? If you're a blogger please link up below and share!