Sunday, January 17, 2016

Marathon Sunday

HAPPY MARATHON SUNDAY! Holy moly it has come, and it has gone. And I promise I'll be back with a full marathon recap - because we all know that I had plenty of time to formulate about 20 blog posts - but for now, let's get a dosage of our regularly scheduled Survey Sunday.

Last year's goal
And it makes total sense that this is a running survey, right?

1. Would you rather run along a beach path or on a mountain trail?
I would love to say a mountain trail, simply because the temperature and the view make a mountain trail a runner’s dream, but when I was in Colorado a couple of summers ago and I tried to run one morning, I made it all of five minutes before having to stop, walk, and catch my breath. The altitude is so different, and made running nearly impossible. And there’s something to be said about running along the beach at sunrise or sunset.

2. If you could choose the flavor of Gatorade at your next race's aid stations, what would it be?
I can only tolerate drinking Gatorade during a run, and I’m always really thankful that it is typically of the lemon-lime variety, because that’s the only flavor I can stomach.

3. If I gave you a $100 gift card to a running store, what would be the first thing that you would purchase with it?
Definitely new shoes. There is no greater joy to be found than the joy that comes from buying a new pair of running shoes. Breaking them in isn’t always fun, but a new pair of running shoes can instantly brighten my mood.
And if you ever have a bad day, new running shoes always fixes it
4. Do you prefer to follow a training plan, or wake up and decide how far and fast you want to run?
I have to follow a training plan, or at least attempt to follow a training plan, because if I wake up and decide how far I want to run, I won’t be running anything longer than eight or nine miles. So, when the training plan I’m following calls for a 14-mile run, I suck it up and do it, or else I’ll be paying for it later.

5. Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end on the downhill, or start with the downhill and end on the uphill?
Oh, definitely start with the uphill and end on the downhill. I’ve actually had experience with the other (Enfield hill, I'm talking to you), and it’s the worst. All you can do is laugh about it when you’re already 12 miles in and you’re having to tackle this giant hill before you can cross the finish line.
From the top of the hill
6. When you can't run, what type of cross training do you choose to do?
Swimming! I’m going to be doing a whole lot of that these next couple of weeks. I love swimming because not only is it a great total-body workout, but it’s extremely low-impact, and after months and months of pounding the pavement, that’s exactly what I need. It’s relaxing, yet challenging, and I just might invest in a waterproof iPod so that I can listen to music while I crank out the laps.

7. What's your preference – out and back or point to point loop runs?
These are both equally bad in my opinion. Out and back is usually terribly boring, especially in Houston, and having recently completed a couple of three-loop courses, there is nothing more demoralizing than running yet another loop of the exact same course. There’s not even any new scenery to look at, so I’m going to have to go with neither.
Three loops of Memorial Drive later
8. If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner it would be a ... ?
A really good pair of shoes. You might have to spend a little more on them (I always have to buy the more expensive shoes because I need the extra support), but I promise you'll thank yourself later. I'd also recommend a foam roller. It hurts so good.

9. Do you ever see any wild animals while out on your runs?
The wildest animal I will ever see on any of my runs is a raccoon. I’ve seen a couple of them over the past six or seven months, and they always inspire a sudden burst of speed.

10. Ever gotten lost while out on a run?
I have definitely gotten lost while out on a run. Maybe not in Houston, but when I was in Austin, running around Town Lake for the first time, I will admit that I got a little lost. How, I’m not entirely sure, as it is a loop, but you have to remember that I am directionally challenged. And I actually love getting lost in a new city on a run, because sometimes that’s when you discover some of the most hidden gems.
New York City runs
11. If you could have one meal ready and waiting for your each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days, what would that be?
Oh man, what a question! Lately, after a run, all I’ve wanted is a bowl of Chobani yogurt with my homemade granola and chocolate chunk mix-ins. Not a sandwich, not vegetables, not fruit, but yogurt and chocolate. Just the thought of it puts a little extra pep in my step!

12. Capris or shorts ... what do you run in most often?
Living in Texas, I typically run in shorts, even in the wintertime. It rarely gets cold enough to really bundle up, and it doesn’t take me long to really start sweating, even if the temperatures are in the 30’s, and especially if the sun is out.

13. At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go?
Probably after three miles is when I really get into my groove. The first couple of miles are always tough, but once I hit the three mile mark, I’m usually good to go. That’s not always the case, but for the most part, three miles is when I know whether it's going to be a good run, or a tougher run.
This was one of those tougher runs
14. What do you do with your key when you run?
Typically the shorts I wear have a zipper pocket where I can safely zip up my key. If I’m wearing the one pair of shorts that does not have a zipper pocket, I stick it on a shoelace before lacing up my shoes. However, check back this week for a product review related to this very issue!

15. If you could relive any race you have done in the past, which one would it be?
Probably the San Francisco half marathon. I loved every single thing about that weekend, and I will use any excuse that gets me back to that beautiful city.

16. What type of run is your least favorite type of run?
S P R I N T I N G. So anything less than a 10K is not something I necessarily look forward to. 5K’s are really hard for me because I want to average a faster pace than I do for the longer distances, but it’s hard to maintain a faster speed for three miles. I always end up starting them way too fast, and I have to slow it way down.

17. What has been your biggest motivation lately to get out the door to get your run on?
The Chevron Houston Marathon! Because if I didn’t put in those training miles, I’d be hurting a whole lot more than I am right now.

18. When you go for a run, do you leave right from your front door or do you drive somewhere to start?
Most of the time, I just leave right from my door, but if I’m running anything greater than 10 miles, I typically drive out to Hermann Park to complete my run. I never get bored when I’m running over there, and the scenery is a whole lot prettier than it is in my neighborhood.

19. When running in daylight, are sunglasses a must, or an annoyance?
I actually never wear sunglasses when I run, and I would much rather wear a hat. Sunglasses are just one more thing for me to worry about, and because I’m usually a headband wearer, sunglasses don’t always work.
National Running Day 2015
20. When you get tired, what keeps you from quitting?
When my legs get tired, I run with my heart. Does that sound cheesy? Actually, if I’m really getting tired on a run in my neighborhood, I have been known to plop down in a neighbor’s yard and collect myself for a few moments before finishing up my run. But if I’m running a race, my competitiveness and determination is what drives me. I feed off the spectators, and I think about that million dollar smile I can flash while holding up my medal. 

And that's all I've got. Like I said, I'll be back with a full race recap, but for now, I'm closing down the computer and taking a nap. I'm absolutely beat. But in the very best way.

Monday, January 11, 2016

10 Rounds Workout

Happy Monday! I don't know about you, but it's C O L D down here in Houston. We're talking nearly freezing temps here, and for us Houstonians, that's mighty chilly. I'm not complaining, though, as the colder it is on marathon day, the better. Which, by the way, we are currently sitting at the SIX DAY mark for. Not that I'm freaking out or anything.

But, I digress. I'm just checking in briefly to share a workout with you - one that I can't take all the credit for. Julie - yes, my favorite blogger over at Peanut Butter Fingers - posted a very similar workout to Instagram over the Christmas holidays. The other day I found myself with just enough time to sneak in a half hour workout before meeting Sarah for dinner. Well, that's not entirely true. I had more time than that, but the rain coming down in thick sheets shut down my original idea of running the hill at Hermann Park. So, to the gym it was!

At first, I thought this workout wasn't going to be tough enough for me. But five rounds in, I wasn't entirely sure that I wanted to power through the next five. Well, of course I finished the workout, and by the end of it, I was a sweaty mess. All of the exercises are fairly well-known, except for the first and the last. Bosu ball burpees look like this - 

except for when lifting the bosu ball over my head, I did it more from a squat position. Criss cross with half tuck jump is simply where you criss cross your feet - right behind left and left behind right, and then do a half tuck jump. Which means you only bring your knees up to about your hips, as opposed to all the way to your chest. Be sure and land softly - you don't want unnecessary pressure on your knees!

If you're in the market for a great workout but you're pressed for time, give this one a try. I promise it will work you harder than you think it will. Enjoy the rest of your Monday!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

20 Questions

Happy Sunday! Whew, we have officially made it through the first week of the new year. And that deserves a pat on the back. I don't know about you, but getting through that first week back after two weeks off is always a little bit tough. Especially when your building has no heat and partial power. But hey, no complaints from this girl. Actually, I complained about the cold a little bit, but my room quickly warmed up when 37 freshmen got settled in my room. That's right. 37. Every single desk in my room is filled, but I actually love having a full class. Though ask me if I still feel that way when I've got 60+ essays left to grade.

Moving on. Can you guys believe that we are ONE WEEK out from the 2016 Houston Marathon? I can't, and I was a little hesitant to even look forward to it after experiencing some pretty horrible foot pain this past week. My foot is still tender, but I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to be in pain on Sunday no matter what happens, so I have decided to run through it. If something really drastic happens between now and then, I'll re-evaluate, but my 8-mile run last night wasn't painful enough for me to even think about throwing in the towel on these past 26 weeks of training.

But now, as usual, here's a little survey for your Sunday reading enjoyment.

What is your road trip essential snack?
Cuties are my go-to road trip snack. I typically find myself as the driver of such road trips, and cuties are easy to eat while driving. I also love snacking on my No Bake Energy Bites. Those things can be dangerous!

You’ve been handed two free round-trip tickets. Who are you taking and where are you going?
Man oh man. There are so many places I want to go. I would probably take Cheyney with me to the Maldives because we made a promise to one another that we would one day dive there. Though there are about 100 different places (and this is not even an exaggeration) that I would like to visit.

What was your high school jam?
Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus. 
This brings back so many senior year memories.
It's fine; judge me.

Would you rather have a perfect butt, or a flawless face?
Flawless face.

What shows are you ashamed to admit are on your DVR?
I don’t have DVR, but last night I watched The Middle for about three straight hours. It was glorious.

What’s your ringtone?
Just one of the default iPhone ringtones. When I had a flip phone (blast from the past), I used to love updating my ringtone to my favorite song of the moment.

What was your first car, and did you name it?
A 1992 Lexus. Yes, this means the car was born the same year I was. And I personally didn’t name it, but my friend Laura named it Doug. Doug and I made a pretty good pair, if I do say so myself.

Do you have any siblings, and if so, where are you in the birth order?
One younger brother.

What would you request for your last supper?
WHAT, this is so hard! Honestly, probably something from Hungry’s. Because old habits die hard.

Have you ever been hospitalized, and if so, what for?
I haven’t! And I hope it stays that way for a while.

How tall are you? Do you wish you were taller, shorter…or are you just right?
5’5”, and while I wished I was taller throughout my volleyball days, I remain pretty content with my height. It’s definitely an average height, though I do find that I am shorter than many of my students.

Do you prefer to DIY or hire it out?
I wish I could DIY better than I actually can, but it typically turns out to be more trouble than it’s worth. At least for me, anyway. And is it just me, or is it more often than not more expensive to do-it-yourself?

What do you eat for breakfast?
Scrambled egg whites with spinach, mushrooms, and salsa. Followed up with Chobani Coconut Yogurt, homemade granola, and chocolate chunk mix-ins, of course.

What would you do for a living if you didn’t need money?
Honestly, I really love my job. And here’s some more honesty for you – it’s not like I’m in it for the money. I would probably continue to teach as long as I still loved waking up in the morning to go to school, and then I would step down and do something with writing.

Finish this sentence: Every room needs…
a blanket.

How frequently do you wash your hair? Do you have any hair secrets or tricks?
I feel like every time I open the Internet, I see yet another article that advises me against washing my hair every day. But if I don’t wash my hair for 36+ hours, my hair gets unreasonably greasy. So much so that I can’t stand to look at it, and I haven’t quite mastered the art of dry shampoo. So, long story short, every night.

Will you leave the house without makeup?
Absolutely. I will probably throw on a little powder, but I 100% guaranteed will not put on makeup if I am just out and about running errands.

Last book you read?
Wild by Cheryl Strayed. 5/5 recommend this book. I absolutely devoured it, and it’s one of the best books I’ve read this year. Okay, that was lame, but it’s definitely one of my new favorites.
What are you listening to?
FOOTBALL. And even though my Texans got absolutely manhandled yesterday, there is not a whole lot that I love more than sitting down and watching football on the weekend.

Last Movie you watched?
Ugh, is it bad that I don’t even know this? I actually want to watch the movie Wild (who doesn’t love Reese Witherspoon?), but I sadly couldn’t tell you the last movie I watched. Remedying this ASAP.

Where did you go on your last holiday?
New York City! Read about my experience here.

And I'm off to enjoy a relaxing swim. I love post-long run days, because it means I get to take it easy on my body. Adios!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Healthy Banana Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread

This bread is technically vegan, but I am the least vegan person out there, so I decided to keep that one out of the post title. Anyway, happy Tuesday! It's the first day back at school for many, and I'm really looking forward to a great semester. The spring semester is always a bit longer than the fall, and it definitely feels a lot longer because we go ten weeks without any real break. And these ten weeks are going to be pedal to the medal, because one week after spring break we have the dreaded anticipated STAAR test. Not ideal, but you gotta do what you gotta do. It also feels a lot more calm, because I don't have the daily demands of volleyball (though I did get suckered into coaching club volleyball, more on that to come), so I have a little bit more free time. Just a little bit. But I'll take any extra time with the pup that I can get.

Speaking of, I had my first real "mom moment" the other day. Mack is a 19-week old puppy, and he's also a beagle (duh). Beagles are the absolute best, but they're also absolute lunatics. Mack's nose gets him into more trouble, and he doesn't always come when we call him. It was time for him to attend puppy classes, but with my crazy school and coaching schedule, there was no way for me to consistently attend puppy classes with him. The most viable option was sending him to a board-and-train obedience school for a couple of weeks, but my heart absolutely broke while saying goodbye to him. It didn't help that just about an hour after he'd left, I got a call from the trainer saying he had a very swollen nose and face. My thoughts are that he got bitten by ants when we was sticking his nose in the grass just minutes before he was picked up, but it made me want to drive down and take him right back home. However, I know it will be good for him (and me), and I also have no doubt that Mack wanted all of the attention to be on him. I miss him more than I can even put into words, but these next couple of weeks will fly by. I just know it.

Mack and me
And now onto the reason for today's post: healthy banana bread! I don't know many people who don't enjoy a warm piece of banana bread, but it can often be loaded with calories. This one is low on the calories and sugar, but high on taste and health points. You're even sneaking in some veggies so, bam! Take that New Year's resolutions.

I actually based this recipe off of this recipe from Vegan Heaven, though I changed a couple of ingredients here and there. 

Healthy Banana Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or agave, if you want to be totally vegan)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup zucchini, grated (about 1 medium zucchini)
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (plus a little more, because I'm me)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup almond milk

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees 
2. Prepare your quinoa according to the directions on the box
3. Combine the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl and stir together
4. Once ready, stir in the quinoa
5. Liberally grease a bread pan and pour in the batter
6. Cook for 60 minutes, and allow to cool before removing from the pan
7. Enjoy!

Breakfast? Dessert? Snack? I'll let you be the judge. But with only 12 days until the Chevron Houston Marathon, I'm making every effort to incorporate a few more carbohydrates into my daily diet. And thankfully, it's both a healthy and a delicious one!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

First Sunday

And suddenly, it's the last official day of Christmas break. While the kids don't go back to school until Tuesday, teachers have a day of inservice tomorrow, which, to be honest, I'm very thankful for. I'm glad we get a day to collect ourselves before the chaos of a new semester (and a STAAR semester, at that) begins. I have a few things to take up to my classroom, a few copies to make, and I am sure my PLC will meet for at least a little bit, but other than that, I'm not anticipating a stressful day tomorrow. It's funny because this time last year I was absolutely dreading returning to school. I mean, I felt so much anxiety over it. But this year, while I wish our break was just a little bit longer, I by no means feel any anxiety. And I know once I'm there, I'll be glad to be there. It's just ... getting there that's 90% of the battle.

But let's focus on today. It started out bright and early with a morning swim, followed by a trip to FedEx so that I could print and copy a couple of things, and then made my way inward to meet a dear friend for brunch at Adair Kitchen.

I played club volleyball with Kate during our freshman years of high school, and we quickly grew close. She's easily one of the strongest, most inspiring people I know, and she's one of those people where time doesn't make a difference. No matter how long it's been since you have seen one another in person, it's so easy to pick right back up where you left off. We enjoyed a belated birthday celebration over vegetable omelettes, and spent almost two hours catching up on all things life. A most wonderful way to spend my first Sunday of the year.

And now? A survey, of course!

1. What’s your favorite pick-me-up movie? (if you aren’t a movie person, what’s your cheer-up routine?)
She’s the Man is one of those movies that will never get old, and one of those movies that will always make me laugh, no matter how bad a day I’ve had. And did you know it’s based off of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night? See, educational.

2. What achievement of yours are you most proud of?
Man. I hope I don’t sound like I’m bragging, but I feel like I have a lot to be proud of! I’m proud of the eight half marathons I’ve completed, I’m proud of my degree from the University of Texas, I’m proud of my job, and the success I’ve found in it. I’ve certainly got a lot to be thankful for.

3. If you could travel anywhere for a month-long vacation, where would you go?
Southeast Asia, Argentina, Australia – the list goes on and on and on.

Patagonia (Source)
4. What’s one of your favorite quotes?
I  L O V E quotes, so picking just one will be hard to do. But I’ll go with this one –

“And above all watch with glittering eyes the world around you. Because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl

5. Do you sleep in the dark or do you like to have a light on?
Total darkness. I have to turn my clock on its face because the light coming from the numbers bothers me. Sad but true.

6. Do you collect anything?
I don’t really collect anything, except for maybe quotes. I used to be really good about printing, cutting, and pasting my favorite quotes into a quote journal, but I’ve neglected that over the years. I actually had a 365-day Lovely Thoughts Pad, in which there was a quote at the bottom of each page. For the quotes that I really liked, I cut them off at the bottom, and they are currently in their own little pile on my dresser. Baby steps, people.

7. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I’ve received a lot of great advice over the years, but I think one of my most recent favorites is a quote I heard at church just the other day: “Set big goals, and take small steps.” Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point was referenced (a book that I own, but have yet to read) by the pastor, and he specifically mentioned a chapter on the Broken Window Theory. He states that when you visit low-income, poverty-ridden, crime-infested neighborhoods, you see a lot of broken windows. And by consistently fixing just one broken window at a time, the crime rate will lower. And that seems crazy, right? But the theory makes sense. You’re not going to change the world overnight. You’re just not. But by doing one thing at a time – by consistently fixing one window at a time – and doing it consistently, over time, you’re sure to make a big difference.

8. If could time travel, which decade would you choose to live in?
Probably the 1950’s. First of all, the 50’s fashion was on fleek, and I feel as though people were genuinely happier than are people today. Or maybe I just love the movie Grease. You tell me.

9. What is your favorite type of cuisine?
I really love Mediterranean food. It’s light, yet filling, and oh so delicious! I tend to forget about it when choosing a place to eat, so here’s to keeping Mediterranean food at the forefront of my mind this year.

Niko Niko's
10.  What is a fitness goal you have (can be long or short-term)?
To focus more on strength training. I am a cardio queen, but I often push the weights to the side. They are such an important part of everyone’s fitness regimen, though, so I want to make them more of a focus during my upcoming workouts.

11. If you could compete at the Olympics, which sport would you choose?
This question is so hard for me because I freakin’ love the Olympics. I’m not kidding when I say that I plan my entire schedule around the big-time Olympic events, and then I spend any spare time that I have watching every other event. So, I’m going to let you in on my top three: gymnastics, swimming, and beach volleyball.

And that's all I've got for you guys today. I'm off to get myself fully prepared for the week, and then maybe settle down with a book and a warm blanket. Back to reality!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

Hello, hello! And HAPPY 2016! I read a tweet today that said we are the same amount of time away from 2024 than we are from 2008, and I won't lie and say that it didn't stop me in my tracks for a second. In 2008, I was a junior in high school. And in 2024, I'm going to be on the edge of my 32nd year. So, there's that. But we won't get too ahead of ourselves, and we'll simply focus on the year ahead of us, shall we?

So, I'm not too big on New Year's Resolutions. Because you work really hard on them for all of two weeks, and then you get busy with other things, leave them in the dust, and come the end of the year, you're left feeling bad about all of the things you didn't do. Did I attend at least one yoga class a month? Nope. I sure didn't. But you know what? That's okay. It doesn't mean I'm a failure, rather, it means that I can always continue to improve. Which is why I'm going to present to you my list of 2016 goals. I am a very goal-oriented person (as I am sure you guys have figured out by now), and I like that goals are something I can continue to work on until I actually achieve them. Some of these are tangible goals, while others of these are more big picture items. And they can be achieved via many different means.

So, without further ado, I present to you guys my 2016 goals, with a short blurb about each:
  • Keep my room organized
    • I work so much better in a clean space.
  • Make my bed each day
    • Shout out to Admiral William McRaven for this one.
  • Run 1,000 miles
    • Thanks, Mr. Avis for never letting me rest on my running laurels. I'm never one to back down from a challenge. And on that note, be my friend on Daily Mile!
  • Visit a new-to-me place
    • This one's already starting to come together, and it's coming to the blog sooner rather than later. Let me just say that it's a good one!
  • Cook a new-to-me dish
    • All I have to check Pinterest for this one. Maybe I'll get creative and shy away from my usual meat and vegetables dish.
  • Try a new-to-me exercise class
    • The possibilities are literally endless for this one. I would love to take some sort of dance class, because I have taken exactly one dance class in my 23 years of life, but hey, we'll see what materializes. 
  • Make stretching a priority
    • Okay, so maybe I won't be a regular at Black Swan Yoga, but I can certainly be more conscious of how often I stretch and foam roll.
  • Read 25 books
    • I'm not sure exactly how many books I read this year - probably between 20 and 25 - but I want to make reading during the school year more of a priority.
  • Write two letters a month
    • It is no secret that I love handwritten notes and letters. Absolutely love them. So, I am going to make it a goal to put at least two letters per month in the mailbox. Because I know it will make that person's day.
  • Keep a 2016 memory jar
    • This is something I pinned YEARS ago. And this year, I'm actually going to do it. At the end of each day, I will take one slip of paper and write down one thing I want to remember about that day. And maybe some days it will be the fact that I made it to work. But I already can't wait to open up that jar on the eve of 2017.
  • Learn how to and establish a budget
    • I am not entirely sure how to begin with this one, but it's definitely something that needs to happen. Because impulse Anthropologie trips can't last forever. Here's to adulting.
  • Choose joy
    • This is probably my biggest goal. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Every day may not be great, but there is something great to be found in every day. And I want to harp on the good rather than the bad.
  • Try 10 new Houston restaurants
    • Instead of going to Hungry's every time my stomach growls, I'm going to make an attempt to go to at LEAST 10 new-to-me restaurants. Houston's restaurant scene is HOPPIN', and this foodie just can't be on the outside.
Mod Pizza
The Dunlavy
  • Be less judgmental
    • While I am not consciously judgmental of others, I most definitely am. Just because someone is different than I am, doesn't make that person wrong. At all. I really realized that this past year, and I'm continuing to realize it.
  • Spend less time on social media
    • Yeah, yeah. The usual. Much easier said than done. But if I added up how many hours I wasted on social media (58 weeks deep, anyone?), I would be ashamed of myself.
  • Be grateful
    • Too much of my time is spent complaining. And yes, there is a time and a place for letting off steam, but instead of complaining about how hot my classroom is, shouldn't I be grateful to even have a classroom? Yes. Yes I should.
  • Do something I've never done before
    • The possibilities are literally endless with this one, and hopefully I cross this one off more than once!
  • Study Spanish
    • Could this one possibly be related to "visit a new-to-me place"? Stay tuned!
  • Get out of my comfort zone
    • This introvert is perfectly happy sitting at home on her couch with a book, a blanket, and a beagle. And some nights, that's all I can handle. But then there are times when getting out of my comfort zone is a very good thing. This happened today, in fact. So, here's to learning to love the uncomfortable. Besides, isn't that where the growth happens?
  • See 10 movies in theaters
    • I'm horrible at seeing movies in theaters. HORRIBLE. I probably saw four movies in theaters this past year, and there were definitely more than four movies that I wanted to see. Sometimes, it's okay to treat yourself. And this year I'm going to do just that.
  • Play more volleyball
    • I'm excited about this one. And while I'm not entirely sure what this one will look like, I look so forward to playing more of my favorite sport.
  • Live in the moment
    • I'm pretty bad at this. And I often regret that. My Type A personality is to blame. So, instead of looking ahead to the next item on my list, I am going to focus on enjoying the exact moment I'm in.
  • Join a small group
    • One of the things I miss most about college is the community. And I've finally found a church that I really like here in Houston, so it's time to take that next step and get plugged in.
The Austin YoungLife community is something special
  • Volunteer
    • I've actually already taken the first steps to volunteer with an organization that is very near and dear to my heart. Let's hope I can get it off the ground within these next couple of weeks!
  • Be kind
    • This is another one of those big picture goals. I found myself with my foot in my mouth a few too many times this last year, so this year, I'm going to focus on being the "Kind Kelli" I always introduced myself as on the first day of school.
And you know I'll be documenting (as much as I can!) every step of the way. And with that, I'm off to walk the pup. It's been a cold, rainy start to the new year, but despite the actual weather outside, the new year is looking bright. Cheers!