Monday, December 30, 2019

2020 Goals

It's the penultimate day of the year! Whew, 2019 went fast. The phrase "the days are long but the years are short" has never felt more true! As I wrote up the recap of the past decade, it was pretty mind-boggling to see how much activity and travel I used to pack into a calendar year. That is no longer the case as I have really, really simplified our life since having a child. But we still packed in plenty of memories and laughter - plus some tears - into the past year. It was a good year.

This past year I worked on a 19 in 2019 list, which was fun. For next year, I've decided to simplify things and have just 2 goals:

1. Complete the Modern Mrs. Darcy reading challenge - I haven't done a reading challenge in several years, but the MMD one only has 10 categories, so it feels very doable for a person who reads 80+ books a year (this year I read over 100!). I have a page in my bullet journal to track my progress towards this goal! It's been fun to plan out the books I will potentially read for each category - I still have some blank categories but will figure them out soon so I have a plan!

2. Workout 3 times/week - Since becoming a mom, I have struggled to make time to workout. I'm gone 10 hours/day between working and commuting and am busy with Paul until he goes to bed around 7-7:30. So it feels impossible to fit in a workout. But then I read this post by the time management guru, Laura Vanderkam, and it really resonated with me. Here is an excerpt:

"Three times a week is a habit. Honestly, this mantra can be life-changing. Aiming to do something daily — as in 7 days a week, or even 5 — can make people give up. But for most things, daily isn’t necessary. Things do not have to happen daily — nor do they have to happen at the same time every day — in order to count in our lives. Anything you do three times a week has a regular place in your life. And often aiming for three times a week is quite doable."
It made me realize I was getting hung up on my pre-Paul definition of working out - which was working out 5-6 times/week. That is no longer a reality for me, at least not for the foreseeable future. My goal is to workout on Saturday and Sunday and one additional weeknight after Paul goes to bed. That seems doable! Phil is around on the weekends to help with Paul and now that we have a finished basement with some of Paul's toys, Paul can play with those toys while I fit in a workout if he needs to be close to mama (which seems to always be the case these days).

I made this workout tracker in my bullet journal. I'll cross out the days I worked out. I got a head start on this goal and worked out this past Saturday and Sunday. Both days Paul was content to hang out with dad so that was nice!

And that is it for goals! I'll be tracking both of my goals in my bullet journal. Here's hoping I'm successful!

Have you set any goals for 2020?

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Christmas Highlights

Christmas has come and gone. Am I the only one who is a little bit glad to have the holiday behind us? I do really love Christmas, but the excess (calories, gifts, wrapping paper, etc) gets to be a lot for me as I tend toward the minimalist side. Don't get me wrong, we had a wonderful holiday, but it's kind of nice to get back to normal life again!

Here are some Christmas highlights from the last several days!

Friday:  Phil went to his Christmas party and I had a quiet night at home with Paul as I wasn't feeling well. I was in bed early.
Playing with the felt tree from Nana Joan
Saturday: Paul was up at 5 (yawn!). We had our last swimming lesson of the term. No one else came so Paul had a one-on-one lesson, which wore him out! The weather was mild that day so we went for a family walk. Paul loves seeing the ducks at the creek by our house.

Sunday: Phil went out to his mom's for a good chunk of the day to help with some things around her house. Paul and I had a quiet day at home. The weather was mild again so we went for a long walk.
He loves lining up his little people. No idea what I was watching on tv while he was playing!

Monday: Daycare was closed Monday/Tuesday so I had the days off. Paul was up at 5 again. Yaaawn. We went for an extra long walk to the library and played there for awhile. Nana Joan came in the late afternoon to spend a couple of days with us for Christmas. We ordered pizza for dinner which Paul was excited about as he loves pizza!

Talking on his "hello" while playing with toys. He's learned to multi-task!

Walking along the creek!

The little people are by far his favorite toy these days.

Tuesday:  Phil worked from home since the market was closed mid-day. I worked on some meal prep, including making the GF cinnamon rolls for Christmas Day. I had never made rolls before so I had to call my mom 3 times for advice/reassurance. They were not pretty but GF dough is extremely difficult to work with as it's not stretchy like glutenous dough is! On Christmas Eve, we went to mass with Phil's cousin and his family and then over to their house. We had to get to church 30 min early. Paul did not make it through much of mass as he said "all done" about 5 minutes after mass started. I can't blame him - it's a long time to sit still. We had a really wonderful time with Phil's extended family. Paul got tons of attentions and way too many presents! We stayed until 8:45 so Paul went to bed about 2 hours later than usual. We paid for it a bit the next day but we figure it's ok to go off schedule once in awhile.

Wednesday: Paul "slept in" until 7. I was up at 6, go figure. We got him a train table and some trains off Facebook market place and 4 books for his stocking. He doesn't quite understand how to use the train tracks yet but he'll figure it out eventually. He loved his books! We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast - they looked better once they were baked and frosted and tasted delicious. This was my firs time hosting a holiday and it went pretty well. Everything was pretty much ready at the same time and I made gravy for the first time. Paul napped while we ate (he had an early lunch) and opened presents and then he opened presents when he woke up. Everyone left around 4 so we had the evening to declutter and tidy up. By the end of the night, I felt how Oscar looked in the last picture.

Paul is back at daycare today and I'm back at work - and not mad about it. It was nice to be home with Paul for 5 full days, but I was ready to return to work and normalcy today!

If you celebrate Christmas, how was your holiday? 

Monday, December 23, 2019

The End of a Decade

Stephany recently recapped the decade that is coming to a close on her blog. It was SO fun to read so I thought I'd do something similar. Life can change a lot in a year so it can REALLY change in 10 years! It was a real test of my memory to think back on themes from each year - but here it is!

In 2010 I left a job that was a terrible fit, ran a marathon, and met Amber (who is one my bestest friends) in real life for the first time!

As the decade began, I was working at a new company in a role I secured at the end of my MBA program through on-campus recruiting. The job ended up being a terrible fit and took a severe toll on my self-confidence. I left that job in late March and took a huge step back, career-wise, and returned to a company/role I held years before. In the second half of the year, I trained for and ran my 2nd marathon in Portland, OR. I ran this marathon with Amber! We had been friends through blogging for years so decided to meet up and run a marathon together. I flew into Vancouver, BC and we road tripped down to Portland, spending time in Vancouver and Seattle doing some sight-seeing. We were basically together 24/7 for 5 full days and had the best time. It was the beginning of one of my most treasured friendships! That fall I started dating someone but ended that relationship right before Christmas as I knew we were not the right fit.

Amber and I at the original Starbucks
In 2011 I started a new job, traveled to Paris to celebrate my 30th birthday and moved to downtown Minneapolis.

2010 was a rough year, career-wise, but things turned around in 2011. I changed jobs and worked for someone who would become my mentor and is now my colleague. I turned 30 and was a bit sad that I was welcoming a new decade of life without a husband and child in my life so I went to Paris by myself to celebrate the fact that I could go anywhere I wanted! It was an amazing trip and made me realize I needed to move out of my suburban condo and move downtown so I could have more of a pedestrian lifestyle. I took the level I CFA exam in June and moved into my new home in July. I joined a running club shortly after moving downtown. I met so many great people through that club and became a much faster runner. I also became an aunt for the 6th time but it was my first time having a niece! In October I met up with some blog friends to run a half marathon in Victoria. 2011 was a year of GOOD changes.

In 2012, I saw lots of blog friends, was a bridesmaid twice, ran my 3rd marathon, and met Phil.

I started off 2012 by traveling to Chicago for a blogger meet-up. Then I put my head down and studied for level II of the CFA exam. In July, I traveled to British Columbia for Amber's wedding and got to meet my blog friend Kelly for the first time IRL. I was a bridesmaid in Amber's wedding and had the best time in beautiful BC. That summer/fall I trained for and ran the Des Moines marathon. In October I traveled to St. Louis for Nora's wedding. I was a bridesmaid for that wedding as well and had the best time. Shortly before Nora's wedding, I got set up on a blind date with Phil. There was an instant connnection but little did we know we'd get married about 4.5 years from that first date!

At Phil's holiday party. We were babies!!
2013 was, in a word, rough. 

At the start of 2013, I found out my job was being moved to Charlotte. I had 2 weeks to decide if I would take the job or a (very small) severance package and 2 months to move. I was in the midst of studying for level III of the CFA so I did not have the bandwidth to look for a job and couldn't stomach taking the risk of not finding another job. So I begrudgingly moved to Charlotte. Phil and I broke up that summer. I didn't know how long I'd be in Charlotte and he was focused on helping his mom out while his dad battled Alzheimer's disease so it wasn't the right time to work on a long-distance relationship. His dad passed away in August. I dealt with stress fractures that spring/summer and a lot of weird joint pain and ultimately found out I had rheumatoid arthritis in August. I traveled to Paris over Thanksgiving because I needed something good in my life! I did a lot of traveling that year as I was desperate to see friends/get out of Charlotte. Besides Paris, I went to Asheville, DC, Pittsburgh, and NYC twice. And I traveled a lot for work. I passed level III of the CFA and was so relieved to never have to study for that test again. I survived 2013 and that's about all I can say about that year!

In Brooklyn with the Manhattan skyline behind me

Experiencing the Christmas season in NYC
In 2014, I moved back to Minneapolis and got back together with Phil.

The year started with me becoming an aunt for the 7th time, this time to a 2nd niece. I hosted Kyria in Charlotte in February and had fun showing her Asheville. I did a lot of networking and ended up accepting a job offer in Minneapolis in April. I resigned a week after my 1-year anniversary of moving to Charlotte. I knew the job I was taking was probably not ideal but it got me back home. My mom and I road tripped back to Minnesota in May, just after Mother's Day. Phil and I picked up right where we left off. It was like we were never apart. I helped him settle into the home he bought in February. In the fall, I travel to San Francisco for another running meet-up - this time for a Berkeley trail race. We didn't know it at the time, but it was the last time we'd all run a race together that decade as 4 out of 5 of us now have kids! Our friend Leigh was pregnant on that trip and, unbeknownst to us,  Lauren was newly pregnant but not far enough along to share the news. In December, Phil and I traveled to Jamaica with lots of Phil's college friend for our good friends' wedding.

In 2015, Oscar joined our family, I changed jobs, completed a triathlon and ran my 4th marathon.

Early in 2015, Phil and I went to Santa Barbara and had a blast! That summer we went to a friend's in-laws' farm to pick out a cat. We thought we were getting a boy so named the cat Oscar - only to find out "he" was a girl! In July, I changed jobs and joined my mentor/former boss. I had been in discussions with this firm for almost a year so was thrilled when they were able to hire me. I haven't perused a job site since moving over to this company as I am so happy here! In August, I completed my first triathlon. In September, I visited Amber in Kamloops and had the best time. In October I ran my 4th (and likely final) marathon! Blogger friend John came to do this race with me and I had fun showing him Minneapolis. I didn't break 4 hours like I hoped I would - but that's ok. October was a crazy month. Besides running a marathon, I traveled to Miami with the ladies in my family and went to Boston with Phil to visit friends. In November, we spent some time in Philadelphia before traveling to NJ for my friend Alli's wedding. I got to give a blessing during her Jewish wedding ceremony.

Post-marathon. I should have been excited but I was sad that I didn't break 4 hours.

In 2016, we traveled to Mexico, I moved in with Phil, had surgery on my hip, and we got engaged!!

We started off 2016 with a trip to the Cancun area of Mexico for my birthday. I had nagging hip pain and eventually discovered that I had a labral tear in my hip that required surgery. I moved in with Phil on a Friday and had surgery the following Monday! Talk about trial by fire! Kitty was an excellent nurse while I recovered. She barely left my side. That fall, Phil and I traveled to Bend, Oregon and a great time hiking and seeing the sights. The year ended on a very high note as we got engaged on December 9th!

In 2017 we got married, got pregnant, and went on a babymoon to Asheville.

2017 was a big year. We got married in May, went on a honeymoon to Maui (best vacation ever!), and got pregnant in June! We were expecting it to take a long time to get pregnant so we were both shocked when the pregnancy test I took in July was positive. The pregnancy ended up being very difficult as my RA was very active. My little sister came to visit me in September and we thoroughly enjoyed the one-on-one time together. In October, I felt well enough to go on a babymoon to Asheville, though, and we enjoyed our last kid-free vacation!

In 2018, we became parents to beautiful baby Paul.

2018 was all about adjusting to becoming new parents. I had a 20-week maternity leave and loved being home with our sweet baby. The return to work was rough and I questioned if I was meant to be a working parent. Paul was sick a lot, slept so poorly in the fall, and got tubes at 9 months. Paul and I got the stomach flu around Christmas so our first family Christmas was very quiet.

In 2019, I settled into life as a working mom, we took our first family vacation, and bought a home!

As the calendar turned to 2019, I found my groove as a working mom and knew I was not meant to be a stay at home mom. We celebrated Paul's birthday in March with family. We took our first family vacation to Florida in April and my parents joined us. In the fall, after searching for 2+ years, we finally found a house. We moved in on November 22nd and have spent the last 6 weeks of the year settling in and making it our own. We hosted family for a post-Thanksgiving dinner and will have Christmas at our house with Phil's mom and brother.

Whew - did you make it this far? If so, I'm impressed! Life sure has changed in the last 10 years. The first 8 years of the last decade were full of lots of travel adventures. The last 2 years were very quiet on the travel front but featured other kinds of adventures. Our life is quieter but it is full in a different way. At the start of the last decade, I hoped my future would include a husband and a child. I got my wish and more, and for that, I am incredibly thankful! I can't wait to see how life will unfold in the decade to come.

What memories from the past decade stand out for you? And for those who celebrate, I am wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas!