Friday, August 5, 2011

Reflecting Pool


Lauren, you've inspired me to look back over my 30th year too.  Granted I'm well into my 31st (almost half way), but part of the power of making goals is reflection.  So here's my progress:





1. Start a blog
Started, yes.  My followthrough needs some work though... 


2. Be a mentor
I certainly was, with or without the blogging evidence.  I had the privilege of working with a student teaching for six weeks in the spring.  She was wonderful and made mentoring truly a joy.  It was inspiring to watch someone learn and grow and bloom as a teacher.  Helping her also made me reconsider how I teach, and why I do what I do, which is always insightful.  Hopefully she got as much from the experience as I did.


3. Buy a house
Yeah, I did!  It's like a sanctuary and an art project and freedom all rolled into one super sweet house-shaped package.  And haven't regretted it once.  Not even when I was in jeopardy of losing my job earlier this summer.  Not even when I have to mow the lawn in the 100+ heat.  Best decision yet!


4.  Get a dog
Uhhhhh...I looked at a dog.  She even came over for a visit.  But in the end I decided I wasn't finished living completely alone yet.


5.  Throw a party
Actually I've thrown several!  A housewarming party in August, Pie Night in November and a July 4th bash.  And those are just the ones I remember.


6.  Bake a cake from scratch
The last thing I baked in my oven was clay.  A small step towards overcoming my fear of the hot beast.  Surely cake baking will be next!


7.  Dress with style
I don't know.  Do you consider this shirt stylish, because I really want it!


8.  Have an artwork displayed
In my house - totally!  In public - not so much.  I really should be more specific with my intentions.


9.  Ask someone out
Is that a chicken I hear?  Oh, no, it's just me.  I do have someone in mind.  But does he have me in mind too?  I guess I'll never know until I suck it up and ask.


10.  Meditate regularly
Worst - Meditator - Ever.  It's on a plaque on my mantle.  I know meditation is not about judgement and all things take practice and patience and time.  But life is so darn distracting!  I know it's important, so I'll keep trying.


11.  Visit the Grand Canyon
Checkedy check!  Did it!  Loved it!


12.  Learned to dance
I faithfully watched "So You Think You Can Dance" and danced along.  That counts, right?


13.  Keep a gratitude journal
I'm actually pretty good at this one.  Journaling about all the little, wonderful things that make up your days puts life back into perspective.


14. Karaoke
Nope, but I would still like to.  I do sing songs out loud randomly in public places.  So I've got that!


15.  Rock Climb
Not yet.  I did look into places to take lessons.


16.  Sell something I make
Not that I can think of off hand.  I did make plenty of things and give them away.  I know, not the same.


17.  Read more books
More than what?  I did read quite a bit this past year.  I'd say more that usual, but not intentionally.


18.  Snowboard
No - when can we go!  Now?  I'd love to escape this oppressive heat!


19.  Help a stranger
Sure.  Do I remember a specific time?  Not off hand.  But I'm always looking for opportunities to help!


20.  Do an Urban Challenge
My aunt and uncle were in town.  But I still want to.  Probably as much as I want to ask that boy out.  Maybe I should combine the two goals in to one, big SUPER goal!  Brilliant!


21.  Meet new people
Absolutely.  All the time.   Not necessarily on purpose though.


22.  Write the "perfect" curriculum
It's on my to do list for next week.


23.  Keep my cool
Much, much better at this!  I can now stop and assess a situation before I go into freak out mode.  Usually.


24.  Make my house beautiful
yes, Yes, YES!  It may be one of my favorite things to do.  My house is like one big collage I keep adding to and rearranging and playing with.  I love it!


25.  Go on a canoe trip
Indeed, I did.  And I felt like I was floating for quite awhile after I had left the canoe.  It was wonderful!  I heard about a canoe trip down the Colorado to the Grand Canyon.  Sounds like a new resolution to me.


26.  Sit in the front row of a concert
Well, I wasn't technically sitting, but I definitely could have touched the stage if I really wanted to.  We saw this band on St. Patrick's Day, and afterward made a pact to never go out on St. Patty's Day again.  At least not to lower Greenville.  Those people CRAZY!  The band rocked though!


27.  Design my own Converse
Even better - I bought art for my walls instead.


28.  Go to all 50 states
I made it to Nevada.  That's a new one!  I've got 23 so far.


29.  Learn a song on the guitar
No, but I learned half of one on the piano.


30.  Go to Vegas
And I spent my gambling money on shoes!


I fulfilled 9 completely.  7 mostly.  And the rest had fabulous excuses!  I didn't feel regretful about any of the missing resolutions except 1 or 2 (you can guess which ones).   It was interesting to go back and see what I had wanted to do, and what I had forgotten.  And what I remembered about the year in general.  Overall, I'll keep year 30 - It was good to me and I was kind in return.


Next time I go a-bloggin' I think I'll post my goals somewhere I can see them on a regular basis.  Lauren, even though I wasn't the best blogging buddy, I sure did have fun working on this project with you, and seeing all the awesome changes that happened in your life as well as mine.

















Thursday, August 4, 2011

Time for reckoning...

So my 31st birthday is just around the corner, so it's time to take account. I have been terrible about posting, but, you know, life with a baby gets kind of busy! So here's how I've done over the past year:

Done. Note that this doesn't say anything about keeping up with said blog.

2. Get a grown-up skin care regime
Done, sort of. I still wash with Cetaphil, which works better for me than anything else I've tried. I've also started using Olay under-eye cream at night and at least making an effort to use a daily moisturizer with SPF. I've also discovered that leftover lanolin from the early days of nursing makes a great overnight lip treatment.

3. Reconnect with my brother
Not done. I had good intentions, but it just didn't happen. I tried to set something up to see him the last two times I was in town, but the first time he didn't show (not sure why), and now he is in a residential treatment center. I'd rather not get too much into it, but suffice it to say that it's a good thing and I hope it helps him. There will be plenty of time later on.

Does being a mom count as a career? Because if so, this one can be checked off! I am still working on a "real" career, but for now, I think it's enough that I managed to leave my old (frankly poisonous) one behind. I am very happy where I am. As a good friend reminded me, there are seasons of life, and for me, this one is for family.

5. Get a good everyday makeup routine
So, as a new mom, I literally didn't put any makeup on for about 3 months. But I've got a bit better routine going on now. Some days I just keep it natural, but if I'm meeting someone out, I'll swipe on some neutral eye shadow, curl my eyelashes, apply some mascara and use a lightly linted lip balm. Done.

6. Keep in better touch with my friends
Now that I've ditched the soul-sucking job, I'm much better about this! There's nothing like having a career-ending breakdown to show you who really matters in your life. I'm still not as good as I'd like to be, but I call and email with people much more regularly than I used to, and I feel great about that!

7. Build a better relationship with my dad
Eh, not so much. I tried. I'm still trying. But there's still a big wedge between us stemming from the divorce. I don't know if we'll ever be quite the same again.

Done! I am quite confident in my culinary skills these days, even with a crawling baby to chase after. I try to plan all of our meals by the week, based on what we get in our CSA box, and I think we eat pretty darn well! Of course, I have the occasional off day, when the baby is teething and I just can't face it and we end up defrosting something or getting takeout, but that's just life.

9. Stop ignoring all things finances
I'm better about this, but I still don't pay the attention I should. I pay attention to budgeting now (which is good, now that we're living on one income), but I still can't bring myself to care about investments. Ugh.

I'm still trying to do this as much as I can. I think it's a process! But he's such an amazing husband and father, and I just try to show him every day how much I appreciate him and everything he does.

11. Make a new friend
Done, several times over! I've made a couple of great new friends through my informal book club, and several new mom friends through my Bradley class. I've also just joined a moms group, and I'm sure I'll make some friends through it, too. I also made a couple of new friendships through work (or rather, through leaving work and keeping in touch). I may not quite be a social butterfly, but I am definitely more "out there" than I have been since we moved here, and I'm so much happier for it!

12. Write an article
Didn't do it. Wish I had. Of course, there's still time!

13. Volunteer my time
I tried. I failed. it is unbelievable how hard it is to get a volunteer gig around here! The local public library actually had a waiting list for volunteers. I did get on the volunteer list at a local community farm, but by the time they called me, I was 8 months pregnant and dealing with gestational diabetes, so not exactly inclined to tend to gardens. Now, with a baby for whom I provide primary care, it's even harder. Once she's in preschool, though, I plan to volunteer at a co-op, so hopefully that will work out.

14. Write something creative
Um... I took a creative writing class, and the longest thing I could convince myself to write was a haiku about my cats sharing a sunbeam. So, done, I guess? I'm not proud of it.

So done. I did it last year, and this year spring cleaning waited until summer, but there's nothing like a mobile baby to make sure you get your house in order and your floors clean!

16. Learn how to let go and take time for myself
This is a lesson I had to totally re-learn as a new mom. I'm still working on it. But I do go to yoga every Saturday, and that's my "me" time. I'm pretty darn good about letting go and focusing on me for that time.

17. Get properly fitted for a bra
Done. Although, that was when I was newly pregnant, so who knows now. Almost 8 months of breastfeeding so far means the girls' size is somewhat variable. I'll have to revisit this one after we wean!

Done and done. It may be a while before I go on any new adventures, but that's okay with me. Parenting is itself a pretty big adventure!

19. Ride the Waves to Wine
Didn't do it. I was too pregnant to ride a bike. Oh well -- I got an awesome baby out of the deal!

20. Get a PR in a race
Done, as long as you count my 5K victory as a pregnant lady. I'll get a "real" PR again sometime soon, but for the time being, running throughout my pregnancy was accomplishment enough!

21. Take a class
I didn't do this in quite the sense I intended, but I did take an online creative writing class (total bust) and a Bradley birthing class, which was so intriguing. It even made me think about getting trained as a Bradley instructor myself one of these days.

In progress. We just rebuilt the garden boxes in the backyard, and although we are only growing tomatoes and herbs right now, we have great plans for cold weather crops this fall, to be planted soon. I'll be starting seeds this weekend.

23. Learn the science behind baking
I bought a book, but that was about it. I should read it one of these days...

24. Help someone else
Done. I haven't been keeping track, but I have managed to do this a lot in the past year, so yay! My latest good deed is giving a hand-me-down stash of cloth diapers to a friend of a friend who is adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. Much better than selling them off, if you ask me!

25. Get good at networking
Done, although it was by no means a conscious effort. When I just settle down and focus on building relationships because I like people, the networking thing happens effortlessly.

26. Try barefoot running
Done, although I had to stop soon after I started because my balance was getting weird (due to my expanding belly). I plan to start again soon.

27. Get better at accepting criticism
Uh... not done. Ask my husband. Still need to work on this one.

28. Learn about a new area of law
I went to a CLE workshop on estate planning, if that counts. I'm counting it.

29. Start my own pro bono project
I did not do this. I wish I had. I'd still like to start a project that helps community farms with routine corporate matters, donations, contracts, etc., but I have had neither the time nor the energy lately. Hopefully some time soon!

Done. I am mad organized these days.

So, by my count, that's 19 out of 30 goals accomplished, and 3 sort of accomplished. Not too bad. I wish I had done better, but I'm pretty darn proud of that for the whirlwind of a year we've had. I'll save the rest for New Year's Resolutions, I suppose!

-Lauren

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Long time, no see

I got a gentle nudge to actually come post in here, so I must oblige, of course! Life has been pretty busy lately, with getting ready for the baby (next month -- yikes!), but that's no real excuse. So I will try to be better about keeping this thing updated.

I have knocked out a couple of my more minor goals, and just never posted about them, so I may as well do that now. First up:

2. Get a grown-up skin care regime.

Turns out, I already had one. I had some idea that I should be using wrinkle cream or something to smooth out the lines that have started to appear around my eyes, but really, I don't think I need all that. I use Cetaphil as a gentle cleanser for my skin, since I found that, after much experimentation, it's what works best for my sensitive skin. I also use Clinique's Dramatically Different moisturizing gel, and it keeps my skin soft and moist without overloading it. That's it. Simple. Funny how sometimes the thing that works best is the thing that's right in front of you!

I also knocked out another one in similar fashion:

5. Get a good everyday makeup routine.

Here it is: Eyelash curler (amazing what a difference it makes), Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined mascara, Bobbi Brown eyeshadow in Woodrose and Bone, and, believe it or not, Burt's Bees pomegranate lip balm. Easy peasy. I'll add some lipstick or a more dramatic eyeshadow if I'm going out for the evening, but this works great for everyday. Of course, that doesn't mean there aren't days I skip makeup altogether! I think I'm just a minimalist at heart.

-Lauren

Friday, September 24, 2010

We'll call it a PR

I ran the Stride for Susie 5K last weekend. Despite a few mishaps (a half-mile "detour" at the beginning among them), it was a good race, and definitely for a good cause. Susie was my husband's boss and mentor who died of lung cancer earlier this year. Nope, you don't have to be a smoker to get it, and it's called the "silent killer" for a reason. Susie's cancer was already in her spine once it was diagnosed, and although she was one of the strongest people I know and had excellent medical care, she only lived for a few months after the diagnosis. I feel good about the money we were able to raise for research.

Although I'm a distance runner at heart, I've been sticking to shorter distances (2-4 miles) since I got pregnant. I've definitely gotten slower, but I suppose that just comes with the package. In any case, believe it or not, this was my first 5K! I've raced pretty much every distance up to and including a marathon, but I skipped right over the 5K. So, technically, any time for this race would have been a PR for me. I hate to admit that my time was 42 minutes (keep in mind the half-mile I unintentionally added!), but I will say that, according to my Garmin, my time at the 3.1-mile mark was 36:00, which I'm cool with. So check this one off my list:

20. Get a PR in a race.

I have to admit, that's one goal I thought I wasn't going to knock out this year after getting knocked up!

Speaking of which... the Waves to Wine is this weekend. Pat is riding it; I'm not. I had planned on it, and it's one of my goals, but it's just not safe, especially at this stage in pregnancy, for me to be on a bike (hello new center of gravity!) or to ride such a strenuous race. So, chalk it up to life getting in the way of best-laid plans. Flexibility is an important lesson to learn, especially for a soon-to-be parent, so I'll happily replace riding the Waves to Wine with growing a healthy baby as one of my goals for this year.

-Lauren

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cooking, cooking and more cooking!


I've been making some serious progress toward becoming a great vegetarian cook. In fact, I'm just about ready to declare that goal accomplished. I have almost completely taken over cooking in our house, which is quite a feat since Pat used to cook all the meals! Recent favorites have been a Spanish tortilla (pictured, served with mache salad with blood orange vinaigrette), capellini with cauliflower and heirloom tomato tart.

In an effort to get away from too many repetitions of old standbys, I have recently made a rule that at least one meal a week must be a new recipe. I'm leaning heavily on Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, which is an awesome all-around vegetarian cookbook, and incorporating some recipes from other sources, including The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, which I recently picked up. Tonight I'll be making whole-wheat spaghetti with tomatoes (from the garden, finally!), olives and capers from the former, and I might make a batch of carrot bran muffins from the latter this weekend.

For good measure, here's the tortilla recipe:

Tortilla de Patatas
From Two Small Farms, with my modifications
Serves 2-4

1 large potato or 3-4 smaller potatoes, cut into small cubes
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 scallions, chopped, or ½ red onion chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and finely diced
1 roasted red, orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion tops or parsley
½ teaspoon sea or kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

Preheat the broiler.

Steam the potato pieces until just soft enough to eat. Test with a fork, starting after about 4 minutes.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and cook onion and jalapeño, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the potato and roasted pepper and cook, stirring to combine, for another 2 minutes.

Whisk the eggs together in a bowl with the green onion tops, salt and pepper. Pour the eggs over the vegetables in the skillet, cover, and cook gently over low heat for 8 minutes. Remove the lid and place under the preheated broiler to cook for 1 minute or until the top is set. Cut into wedges and serve. This can easily be served at room temperature or cold.

Enjoy!

-Lauren

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Reflections on a milestone

My birthday was last week, and I turned the big three-oh. It actually kind of snuck up on me this year, with everything else I've had going on, but it's still a milestone, so I've been doing a lot of thinking about where I am in my life, and where I want to be in the next year.

I started law school when I was barely 21, so I basically gave a decade of my life to a career that I've finally admitted is not a good fit for me. I moved across the country, worked crazy hours, sacrificed many weekends and neglected my friends and family for something I just am not that into, in the end. That's kind of hard to take.

But, on the flip side, a lot of good things happened in my 20s. Even if my career didn't turn out the way I had hoped, I still built a good reputation and made lots of good contacts (and friends, too) in the industry. I know I *can* do it -- but now I know I don't want to. I married a wonderful man and built a great relationship with him. I moved to a new place and made new friends (and kept the old ones!).

So, all in all, my 20s weren't bad. But I'm thinking my 30s are going to be where I really hit my stride.

I also have a confession to make: I had a super-secret ninja goal for this year that I didn't put on the list. That goal was to have a baby, and I am now halfway there! I'm 20 weeks pregnant and thrilled. I can't wait for this new adventure to start! I truly have no idea what my life is going to look like this time next year, but I'm okay with that. I think it will be pretty darn good, no matter what particular shape it takes.

-Lauren

Friday, July 30, 2010

Down Under


Whew! Well, one reason I've been MIA for a bit is that we've been traveling what seems like non-stop for the past month. The big trip was to Sydney -- another place I've never been before! It was a great trip, but as it is winter there, it rained. A lot. No matter, though. We had fun anyway!

We spent a lot of time getting to know the city, its history, and especially its restaurants, since we're basically foodie travelers. We went to a show at the Sydney Opera House, which was awesome, and Pat did the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb, which he says was the best part of the trip. We also took a couple of day trips, one to the Hunter Valley region for wine tasting, and the other to the Blue Mountains for sightseeing. It was a great trip, but totally whirlwind, since we only spent a week there. Even though we were able to fly direct from SFO, that's a long flight for such a short time. But it was worth it!

-Lauren

Lauren's List

2. Get a grown-up skin care regime
3. Reconnect with my brother
5. Get a good everyday makeup routine
6. Keep in better touch with my friends
7. Build a better relationship with my dad
9. Stop ignoring all things finances
11. Make a new friend
12. Write an article
13. Volunteer my time
14. Write something creative
16. Learn how to let go and take time for myself
17. Get properly fitted for a bra
19. Ride the Waves to Wine
20. Get a PR in a race
21. Take a class
23. Learn the science behind baking
24. Help someone else
25. Get good at networking
26. Try barefoot running
27. Get better at accepting criticism
28. Learn about a new area of law
29. Start my own pro bono project


 

2 at 30 | Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial License | Dandy Dandilion Designed by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates