Thursday, January 31, 2013

Happy Thursday!

I found this video last night just before I went to bed...I think it is worth sharing because it totally made my day!!! I hope it has the same effect on you! Enjoy!!!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

1. I am back one week later to inform you that my first week as a gym-going person went GREAT!!! I had my doubts, but I am really getting accustomed to this weekday workout notion, much thanks to my awesome cousin Liz!!! For those of you who don't know, I am famously horrible at willingly waking up before at least 8 or 9:00, depending on the morning. I am proud to say that I have been able to wake up and be out the door and on the road by 5:35 every morning, even with coffee in tow! Not only have I made that happen, I've been able to come back, shower, and get ready all by 8:00! If that isn't miraculous, then I don't know what is! I am super excited about the progress I will hopefully make! Wish me luck! :)

2. I am making some headway on my natural running transition, largely thanks to my gym time. It is becoming more second nature and I have to think about it less and less...now just to start building up my mileage! I have set a goal for myself that if I consistently work out until my birthday, which happens to fall during spring break (surprise, surprise), I am treating myself to a new pair of running shoes! I have my eye on some Altra 4mm drop shoes at the running store...they will be mine! :)

3. I am in love with the weather that we've been having lately! Highs in the 70s with occasional rain showers...perfection! This makes me very wistful for springtime. Fun fact: This morning we were under a tornado watch...in January...what?! The weather forecasters were eating it up, I think mostly because they've been bored since there hasn't been a "snowstorm of the century" yet this year, and it really hasn't rained much either. That, and this morning's storm really actually did have the potential to turn into some nasty weather, that's how humid it is outside. However, nothing lasts forever...back to the colder weather tomorrow :(

4. This weekend was Wyatt's birthday, and we celebrated for most of the weekend. Saturday evening was the whole family bowling excursion that included ten children ten and under, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and the like. Everyone had a blast, and it was great to get to spend some fun time together. Sunday (Wyatt's actual birthday) was punctuated by cake, ice cream, and everyone who lives close by (except my dad who wasn't feeling well, and stayed home as a precautionary measure). Wyatt loved all of his presents which included a Mario Bros. chess set, some Skylanders, a Lego set, some clothes, Cheez-Its (his favorite), a puzzle, M&Ms, and an Iron Man mask (that was from me). I would have included pictures, but I forgot my camera at home and neglected to upload them before I left. Wyatt's cupcakes/cakes this weekend were extra awesome thanks to Gina's newly learned cake decorating skills! He had Ninjago cupcakes on Saturday, and a revamped Ninjago cake on Sunday...I really need the pictures to do that statement justice, but I'm sure you can halfway imagine them! Wyatt had an even bigger day yesterday, because he got to serve in the Boy Scout honor guard at the Harlem Globetrotters game that was in town last night!!! He received the honor by being named the top popcorn salesman for the troop, I think. I'm not sure how it went, but I'm still proud of him for that special recognition!

5. Speaking of birthdays, Tonisha's went well. Tonisha, Mary, and I all spent a leisurely evening at her house eating pizza & cookie cake and watching "Pitch Perfect". Tonisha got a gift card to her favorite restaurant from Mary, and I got her a Thunder t-shirt, since she is such a big fan and still didn't have a shirt! It was the first time that the three of us had spent an evening together in quite some time, and it was a great reunion! I am cherishing these spontaneous celebrations, because I know that they will begin to be fewer and further in between as we all grow up. Also, they won't happen as often after this summer when Tonisha moves in with her sister in Wichita, and I move to Stillwater. We won't be that far apart, and merely a jaunt down the I-35 corridor, but it will be absolutely nothing like what we're used to now. I used to be afraid of the day that this would happen, but now that I have experienced a couple of years out of high school and have a slightly better perspective on things, I am confident that our friendship will withstand the distance. Besides that, I believe that it is due time for us to go out into the world and see who/what else it has to offer us. It is bittersweet to think about, but it'll all be just fine!

6. I am quickly approaching the one-month mark in this semester, which means that it is almost time for the first round of tests! I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this, but that is irrelevant, since they will come whether I like it or not! No noteworthy news from any of my classes, besides the fact that I am having a much better experience in my Differential Equations class than I did in Calc II! I love the challenge that class provides, although sometimes it makes me question my sanity for choosing a math-based profession! I am at the point in my math classes where there are more regular/Greek letters than numbers in most cases. This is only the tip of the iceberg, I'm sure, but still. I am starting to become quite the expert at identifying almost any Greek letter, which I suppose could be useful in identifying the various swarms of frat guys & sorority girls at OSU? Either way, it puts a new twist on the saying "It's all Greek to me", because most of my homework literally is! Good times!!!

7. I am slowly, but surely getting more and more mail from OSU, informing me of everything that I need to know as a transfer student. At some point, I will have to head down there to participate in an enrollment day, which I'm sure will be quite the experience! I also have a cool picture of something I received from them, but you'll have to wait...see #4. It seems surreal to imagine that in less than one year I will be living there, going to school there, and having my entire life revolve around my schooling there. I'm a little bit nervous, but I'm going to do my best to keep those fears at bay. Besides, everyone who attends OSU loves it, right? (Or so I've heard??) Change can be a good thing!

8. I have known my cousin Liz for literally my entire life (she is ten-ish months older than me), and we have been through various phases in our relationship. When we were little, she and her brothers were my playmates at family functions. There was a short time when we were slightly at odds, I think we were 4th graders, maybe? I don't even remember why, so obviously it wasn't that important. When we were 6th graders, we had an epic bonding moment at Mimi's house on Easter, when we reconnected and became like best friends. We were super-duper close for about three years, until our schedules pulled us apart, and we both became busy with extracurricular activities; band, track, & quiz bowl for me, volleyball, track, & chorus for her. We graduated from high school the same year, and we both ended up staying at NOC these past two years. Last year, we would get to see each other more often, but it was still sporadic because of our schedules; PLC for me, volleyball coaching for her. Praise the Lord, we have finally reconnected in the past few weeks, and I am sooo grateful for that! Not only is she an awesome cousin, she is also an amazing friend, workout buddy, Statistics partner-in-crime, and person to talk to. She has really helped me through the break-up, from start to finish, and I feel like we're back to being as close as we used to be as little 6th graders! Of course, I love her brothers, Jake & Evan, to pieces, but she's also the only girl cousin I have who's even remotely close to my age, and that is something that makes our bond that much more special. I am so very blessed!

9. I have unintentionally gotten sentimental in this post, so I need some random tidbits to round out this list! Let's talk about food for a moment! My newest breakfast obsession is oatmeal with dark chocolate chips & craisins. Okay, so it isn't that groundbreaking/noteworthy/exciting, but I have really fallen in love with it! On another food note, I made some ham & cheese crescent roll-ups for supper the other night, and they rocked! Quick, easy, and delicious...I couldn't ask for more! :) (Here is the recipe in case I've piqued your interest!) I am thinking about having an epic freezer meal preparation weekend sometime soon, because I never have time to go to the cafeteria for lunch, and I need something more filling and more exciting than sandwiches every day. I've pinned some freezer recipes, so now I just need to procure supplies and make the time! I'm excited!

10. Fun fact about me: I love curly hair on myself, and really most anyone, for that matter. Another fun fact: My hair, in no way, shape, or form curls naturally. Sadly, I've tried to disprove this fact multiple times and have failed miserably. Hot rollers only hold a curl temporarily, and I always burn my fingers in the process. Curling irons just frustrate me, and never seem to work as well as they should. The only way I have ever been able to make my hair curly where it will stay that way for at least one day is to sleep on curlers of some sort, be it foam rollers or perm rods. There is an even more tedious option of having my beloved mom take a 1/4-inch curling iron to literally every strand of my hair, which is a good two hour process, on a good day, under ideal conditions. As you can imagine, both ways are very time-consuming, painful, and, quite frankly, annoying. I should also add that I am unwilling to get a perm, because I still can't stand the thought of chemically treating my hair, and I have a lingering doubt that it wouldn't turn out the way I have it envisioned at all. Needless to say, I have finally found a solution to this predicament! I have always heard of people using flat irons to curl their hair, which confounded me, because it seems just the opposite of its intended purpose...and I failed miserably when I first tried it. (Think large folds in my hair, as opposed to bouncy, wavy curls.) I had totally given up on the notion until I found a video explaining how to do it. I was still dubious about the matter, but couldn't let it go until I tried...again. So I tried, and guess what?! IT WORKED!!!!!!! I couldn't believe it! I have finally found a way to curl my hair without going to drastic measures! For the record, no I won't be curling my much more often, but, by George, when I'm ready, I'll have a head full of curly hair in no time! Ha-ha!!! :)

11. I am getting very emotionally involved in the finale season of "The Office". I usually don't care too much about TV shows, but this time it's different. I'm not sure where they're going with it, but I sure hope that the writers tread carefully...last week's episode with the Jim/Pam debacle almost sent me over the edge, and I'm slightly scared to see what else will happen!

Okay, I've rambled long enough and it is past my bedtime, so I'll end it there! Have a great week, everyone!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Ten on Monday

Tomorrow is going to be crazy busy, so I'm going to stay ahead of the game and post today!! :)

1. I mentioned my t-shirt quilting class last week, and I am back to tell you that I am finished with the top side of it! It came together easily, and I am ecstatic about how well it turned out!!! All I have left on it is to take it back to my cousin at some point and have her quilt it for me! The class itself was great, because I was the only student who showed up, so I had a whole day of one-on-one instruction. My cousin did a great job of helping me through, and I even got an instruction sheet, so that I can refresh my memory later if I want to make another t-shirt quilt...chances are that I will!


2. Since I had a sewing machine out, I decided, somewhat on a whim, to complete another crafty project I've been wanting to do for a while. A few weeks ago on Pinterest, I found a tutorial on how to make a pencil pouch out of a TOMS flag. Thanks to my mom, who had a zipper laying around that happened to coordinate with the flag. About thirty minutes later, I became the proud owner of a TOMS pouch! Isn't it awesome?! 

3. So, I haven't made much progress on the workout front yet, but I'm about to change that. I said that I needed accountability, and I meant it. So, I took the next step, and did something that I never thought that I would do...I joined a gym! Here's the cooler part about it: I'm joining with two of my cousins, who I plan on working out with in the mornings, so if that isn't accountability, then I don't know what is! I've always been too cheap to purchase a gym membership, but my cousin found a local place where you can purchase a four-month membership, and isn't among the high-volume gyms in town, and it really isn't that expensive, so here goes back on the fitness wagon!

4. Yesterday was quite the day, it began by me finding out that I was going to have to step in and teach a Sunday school class for Emily. I didn't mind at all, since I was already going to be at church and my parents already stay during the entire time anyway. She told me to start on a chapter in their books about the First Commandment. I should begin by saying that the kids hate doing anything from the book, as most kids do. When we began, I thought that we were going to fly through the chapter, because it was fairly short, but it ended up taking most of the hour to discuss it, due to some interesting questions from them. We discussed various aspects of how God should be the first priority in our lives, and how sometimes other things take His place. One of the boys asked me if it was wrong for people to idolize political leaders like presidents, royalty, etc. One girl asked if it was a bad thing if people who didn't know about God didn't have him as a priority in their lives. The other boy asked if it was bad that his dad (who is a CPA) worked all the time during tax season. The girl also asked me if it was okay that her best friend is a Methodist, and what was the difference between Methodism (I think that's the word?) and Catholicism. They all asked if going to church was the only way to show that God was a priority. Talk about some deep questions from younger ones...talk about even more difficult answers for me to respond with. Through what I'm certain was divine intervention, I was able to answer their questions as best as possible, although I'm sure some people in the church wouldn't have liked my response to the Methodist or church-going questions, but such is life. 

5. I also had a nice afternoon yesterday with my extended family. My cousin happened to be in a play at our local theater, and his parents had a pre-show meal at their house. Mimi and one of my aunts were also there, so it really was a great time. He was a part of the production, "The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood" as the townsman/narrator. It was a hoot and a half, and enjoyable as always!!! Bravo!!!!

6. Tomorrow is also a huge day for me. Lots and lots and lots of things going on, but that is merely par for the course these days! The biggest event of the day is the PLC-sponsored blood drive. I have to work the sign-in table for a while, and would like to find time at some point in the day to donate, but we'll have to see how everything goes! Hopefully, we'll still have a great turn-out, even if it's somewhat inopportune timing and in the midst of sickness season. We shall see!

7. Another highlight of tomorrow is the fact that I will get to supervise a class for a teacher. Yes, it's only a Freshman Orientation class, and my only real job is to take roll, collect homework, and show a video, but I'm still just a little bit excited! 

8. Okay, so the biggest thing about tomorrow is that it's Tonisha's birthday!!! Of course, I am the overenthusiastic best friend who loves to go all out for anything of the sort, so we have evening plans to have a movie & pizza night with one of our other friends, hopefully. It will be great! :) Happy early birthday, Tonisha!!!

9. I like days when both of my parents are able to be at home with me in the morning. Today, my parents got up extra early to haul in some cattle to the vet, so I was instructed to make some kind of breakfast for us to eat when they returned. It was a fair trade-off, and I didn't mind cooking for us, so we ended up having french toast, bacon, and eggs. I like getting to eat breakfast as a family, since it's so rare for the three of us to ever be together in the morning for long enough to eat a substantial breakfast. It's the little things in life...

10. Right now, I know of at least four women who have just had or are about to have a baby. The first, my cousin's wife, had her little girl, Kaullins last week, I think on Wednesday. The second, a family friend who I babysit for, had her little girl on Friday, although she remained nameless until either yesterday or today. Thanks to a text from Gina, I learned that she named her baby Lakely Elizabeth. **Sidenote: Her new baby shares a middle name with my mom, and her oldest daughter shares a middle name with me...she must really be our adopted family! :) **  As far as I know, there is still a lady from my church who is on the verge of popping, and my friend, Audra, who is about to have her little boy....Wow! Lots of love and prayers to all of these families as their little ones begin their journeys into life!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

1. My first week of classes was punctuated by an unwelcome case of strep throat. Wouldn't you know that on my first day back to school, I would feel absolutely miserable. It was by far the worst case I have had in recent memory, to the extent that I could hardly eat or sleep due to throat pain, which inevitably led to a not-so-pleasant attitude in my first classes on Monday morning. (I tend to get crabby when I'm very tired or hungry, as I think most people do.) Praise the Lord, I was able to get into my doctor Monday afternoon and get started on antibiotics. By Tuesday night, I was able to eat an actual meal instead of the soup/Jello/Gatorade diet I had been on for the two days prior. So, a not-so great start to the semester, but thankfully, I am on the mend!

2. My classes all went well last week...I started with Ancient Arts & Cultures on Monday morning. This class is pretty easy, if only for the fact that it isn't too stressful on the workload front. If you remember from way back when, my professor for this class is the same professor I had for my Early American History class that I took back during my senior year. Back then, I thought she was, shall we say, eccentric? But I also had a limited experience with professors at that point in life, so I didn't know if that was merely par for the course. Turns out, the lady is still "eccentric" and that it is not normal at all...awesome. I think I can deal with this for a semester, so I'll get over it...and sit in the back of class. Differential Equations is a nice change of pace. My professor is awesome. She is actually an engineer by trade, so she has a wealth of knowledge about real-world applications and WHY we need to learn differentiation and integration, etc. It has already been a much more pleasant experience than my Calc II class last semester! Even better, it isn't five days a week, so I can really get used to this!

3. As for my TR classes, I have Statistics and Psychology. My Stats class is taught by one of my PLC sponsors, and she does a great job of keeping it interesting. Even better, my cousin Liz is in the class with me, so it's a win-win-win experience so far! It is refreshing to have a math class that doesn't involve any form of algebra or calculus, and just straight numbers. Ahh!! Psychology is somewhat in the same vein as my arts & cultures class, mostly because it is an elective. Granted, it is a more interesting/relevant elective, but still, it isn't that time-intensive. My professor for that class is the husband of my Stats professor, so I'm doubling up on them! So far, the worst part of that class is the guy in the back of the class who insists on commenting on any and everything possible, to an irritating extent. His enthusiasm is nice, but a bit much for my taste. Such is life. Otherwise, the teacher keeps it moving and interesting, so I can't rag on the class too much.

4. So far, I haven't done much any running since my last post about it. Strep really has a way of zapping your energy, and I've been more concerned with getting back into good health rather than getting into good shape. Good shape ultimately hinges on good health, so I'm pretty sure that my priorities are in the right place! In due time...

5. My t-shirt quilting class is on Saturday morning, and I am very excited about that! I will have to give you an update about how that goes...I'm sure it will be a great day!

6. Since November, my boss has tasked me with the job of tabulating surveys regarding student opinion of the tutoring lab. I really hadn't made significant progress on the matter last semester, but I am happy to say that, after five hours at home of doing some intensive work, I am done with them!!!!!!!! I counted a total of about 550 surveys, and it is fair to say that I don't wish to pursue a career in data analysis. Ever. I am over it! I did enjoy getting to figure percentages after counting all of the surveys, but when it came to tallying the data, no way. Thankfully, the data was a positive reflection of our role on campus, and there very few negative remarks, so our jobs in the tutoring lab are very secure! Good news all around!

7. I had a nice sister's day on Saturday with Gina & Emily. Cole tagged along also, so I guess it wasn't totally a girls' day, but he was a welcome addition! A good family friend had a baby shower in OKC, so we spent the better part of the day down there. It was great to catch up with my sisters and spend some fun time together. I am very grateful for days like those!

8. I am not built for cold weather. At all. I am ready for spring already, when I don't have to bundle up just to run outside to get something from my vehicle. I am ready to not have to worry about hats and gloves and scarves and coats and other things like that. I just want to be able to wear a light jacket with jeans, is that too much to ask? I know, complaining does no good, but still...

9. This is only the second week back at school, and I am already packed down with obligations. It really doesn't help matters that it is Homecoming week, but I have to buck up and move on. One of the events from today entailed a luncheon with the "higher-ups" from the college...i.e. the president, regents, etc. The last time we met with them, I ended up hitting it off really well with one of the regents. I was lucky enough to get to sit at her table again today, and have a good conversation with her. I greatly admire her for rising to the top of her profession as a woman, and consider her to be a mentor. I was happy to know that she actually remembered me, and, even better, was willing to give me her contact information to use in the event that I need a letter of recommendation, etc. I am very, very, very blessed indeed!!!

10. As far as I can tell, I have been admitted to OSU, although I really wasn't concerned about that. I'm still more concerned about getting good scholarships, but that is yet to be seen. I don't think that they even start awarding anything until after February, so I just have to wait and see. I hate waiting. I do believe that tomorrow (hopefully) I will be able to get in contact with a lady from the College of Education and have her answer some of my questions. I am excited about making this next step, although I am incredibly nervous to make the transition! I guess that I'll keep plugging on, and hopefully much good will come of it!

Have a great week!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Today's Run: 1/3/13

As promised, I'll talk some about today's run...

After some hemming and hawing on the matter, I knew that I wouldn't achieve any of my goals without getting out of the house and just doing it. I used to get myself in the mental trap of not wanting to run unless it was at least 50 degrees outside, but that has been part of my change in mentality: There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes. Thankfully I found this awesome guide that has tremendously helped me figure out how to dress in cooler weather!

I followed the guide, and I set out to work on my Natural Running transition plan. (The link actually goes to the Amazon page, but if you scroll down a bit, it gives the full plan in one of the reviews...that was the only place I could actually find it online.) Today's workout included some form drills and 10 minutes of 100m walk/run repeats, which isn't bad at all.

The form drills were fine, although I find them to be terribly tedious, as usual. (I hate doing reps of anything, don't know why, I just do.) After the drills, with my Garmin watch in tow, I set out to do my run. I'm not sure if any of you have been through the transitional phase from heel-striking to natural running form, but if you haven't, let me shed some light on the matter: thinking about doing it, and actually doing it are two very different things. It is frustrating, and it is a time-intensive process. It isn't something that you can successfully knock out in a week or two. You have to actively work on it to see some real progress. All of these things are what I struggle with, because I like just getting out the door and catching a couple of miles like it's nothing.

Today was one of those days that I had to do a lot of start/stop work to keep myself in proper form, but towards the end, I was starting to get in a groove. It's going to be a long process, but I am going to see it through...I'm ready for the day that I can say that I didn't have to keep pausing, and I ran straight through. I can do it!

Notes:
-About 30 min. pre-run, I had a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. I flavored it up a little bit with some honey, semi-sweet chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and chopped pecans. I think it gave me enough fuel to feel full without being too heavy on my stomach.

I probably won't blog about every run I go on, but this is a step in my accountability program...enjoy!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wednesday 10

The thing about extended holiday breaks is that I have a tendency to forget what day it is, and I honestly thought that today is Tuesday...oops! Life goes on...

1. I am oh-so in love with this extended break. I go back on Monday, though, so all good things must come to an end. Part of me is excited to go back, see friends, and be in a routine, but there is always the part of me that just enjoys having no agenda and taking life as it comes. I would definitely be more excited about going back if I knew that it wouldn't be an all-out sprint from the get-go, because there will be lots of PLC projects to work as soon as we get back, much to my displeasure. Only sixteen more weeks until summer! :) 

2. One reason I am excited about going back is the new round of classes I get to experience. This semester consists of lots of electives and a three-hour math class, so I really do have high hopes! I have Ancient Arts & Cultures, Differential Equations, Statistics, Psychology, and Cardio Circuit Fitness, which is an 8-week class that starts in March. Truth be told, my schedule is much more open this semester because I don't have any labs and I'm drastically cutting back on my tutoring hours. Instead of tutoring every day like I did last semester, I'm only tutoring two days per week, which will give me much more time to keep up with my studies or take a nap! Yes, my math class is still ITV, but I have already met my professor, and she has already promised us that she will make it a priority to come to our campus and offer some office hours in case we need help or just want to chat with her! (This is already 100% better than last semester!) I'll give you more info after I actually go to all of my classes.

3. I actually accomplished the biggest item on my to-do list last night...I finished my OSU application! All I have left to do is send my transcript and application fee to them, and I'm good to go on that front! I feel so much better now that I have that worry off of my shoulders, although I'm terribly nervous to find out how much scholarship money I will be eligible for. That really, truly is my biggest worry. I did some number crunching the other day, and I think that things might work out alright, but I'll just wait and see for sure. I also might have made some progress on living arrangements, if only for the fact that I might have found a prospective roommate. I honestly have high hopes, but I'll wait to say for sure until I get a few more things nailed down. (Am I being cryptic enough today?)

4. I never got the chance to go see the Kingfisher lights with my cousins :( Our schedules just never synced up enough for it to pan out, and when they could have gone, the weather was being uncooperative. It isn't the end of the world, but it still bums me out. 

5. We did go to our Mannheim Steamroller concert on Saturday, though! We all had a wonderful time! I don't think that Scotty and Jeremy were necessarily too excited about it initially, but ended up loving it immensely! I wish that I could say more about it, but it was literally something that you had to be there to fully experience. None of my words could possibly do it justice. The music was as beautiful as always, and it still amazes me to watch it live, because it seems impossible that the sounds you hear really are being produced by the people on stage. That was one of the biggest perks about being at the Civic Center, because the acoustics are absolutely wonderful! We attended the matinee concert, so we had plenty of time to go eat afterwards. It was nice that we were able to go at that time, because there was also a home Thunder game that I'm certain would have made it impossible to find parking, navigate, or get seats at a restaurant. Thankfully, when we went to Abuelo's, we only had a five-minute wait for our party of eleven! Even better, we had excellent service and delicious food, so we were all quite happy! On our way home, we drove through downtown, and admired the Christmas decorations in front of the Devon Tower, and the awesome light display at the Chesapeake Campus. It was one of the best evenings that I have had in recent memory! I am grateful to my parents for making the evening happen!

I love this picture of my sisters and I in front of the huge Christmas tree!

 Great group shot of everyone!
From Left to Right: Tracy, Scott (Joe & Vickie's friends), Joe (my cousin), Scotty, Vickie (Joe's wife), Emily, my parents, me, Gina, and Jeremy...what a crew we had there! :)

Chesapeake Trees!

6. Sadly, because of the concert, us girls were unable to attend the Christmas Tea. My mom and I really thought that we could swing both events, but were unable to due to some logistical snags. From what I have seen, it looked like a great time. Next year, perhaps!

7. I had a very low-key celebration for New Year's Eve, but I still had a nice evening, nonetheless. As usual, we all went over to Gina's house. There was delicious food galore, including puppy chow and seven-layer dip (actually, it had four layers this time). My dad ended up shooting off some leftover fireworks at midnight, which livened everything up quite a bit. Yesterday was mostly spent watching reruns of Bewitched and the last Christmas movies of the season. My parents also made our traditional pot of black-eyed peas, which I begrudgingly ate. (I was a little hesitant after last year's black-eyed pea fiasco, but so far, so good.) They actually ended up tasting good, so I had to retract all of my prior notions. Here's hoping for a good 2013!

8. I'm not much of a New Year's Resolution person, because I never really follow through on them, and I believe that if you want to make a life change, that you don't have to wait until the new year to start on it. Even so, I did take a little bit of time and write down the goals that I am currently working towards, and I did end up throwing in some new plans, so I ended up being a little hypocritical. The highlights of my list include making significant progress on my transition to natural running, running a 5K under 30 minutes, maybe working up to a 10K, hopefully coming out of NOC with a 4.0 GPA, going on at least one date with someone new (not quite yet, though), and getting a professional manicure, at least once. That has got to be the most random New Year's list ever, especially the manicure bit! Oh well, it works! :)

9. I have to resettle back in my dorm on Sunday. Last year, they let us start bringing stuff back on Friday, which was much nicer. I don't really want to go back to my nomadic life, if only for the fact that I've finally got stuff settled in here at home, but it's all part of the package, so I'll live. I also think that I'm going to have to buy notebooks for the first time in about four years, because all of my notebooks bit the dust after last semester. Well, by that, I mean that I finally used up all of the paper in notebooks that I originally used in high school, which is quite the milestone for me! Really though, if you know me, you know how I hate buying new things when I still have something that can tide me over for the meantime. I think I might also need new binders, because all of my existing binders are filled with things that would greatly benefit me to keep (i.e. Physics/Calculus materials). I also have to get my books, and I'm hoping that it won't be as stressful as it was last semester! Hmm...I think I should probably make myself a list!

10. I think that I will start attending a women's running group sponsored by the local running store. I have read multiple articles citing the effectiveness of running in group settings, and it should actually work out for me time-wise. Hopefully, this will help me to be more accountable with my goals, so that I can see real progress! Speaking of accountability, I do believe that I will start tracking some of my progress on here, to help myself be more mindful of my goals. It's worth a shot! :)

Here's hoping that the first week of 2013 will be a great one!