Making 2014 Count | February Update

I love February’s — they’re the first even numbered month of each year, host my second favorite holiday, and ends what I consider the holiday season of Halloween through Valentine’s day, which means Springtime can begin. If autumn is the year’s last loveliest smile, then I think February is when it returns.

This month was good to us. Here’s a look at February from the perspective of focusing on growth + making this year more meaningful.

On Reading a Book a Month |

This goal has surprised me the most so far. It’s like my soul was in a two year drought and now never wants to leave a source of water. I haven’t felt consumed by a need to read nonstop by any means, but once I finish a book, I feel ready for a new one, the next minute.

This month I picked up and finished Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, by Mindy Kaling and Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. Both won’t be making any of my favorite books list but they were good. Mindy’s was funny, simple, and lots of short unconnected topics that related to her life. I wish it would’ve read more like a funny chronology of her life. And Mr. Penumbra’s was like the Davinci Code for techies. Not exactly my cup of tea, but I fell for the fun cover in a little bookstore on a rainy day in Nevada City.

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Cooking More |
The first and only meal I’d ever made as a married women was pizza back in Chico, almost two years ago. And then this Monday, cue dramatic drum roll, I made chicken, quinoa + artichokes. Artichokes! I mean really. Does life get better? No, no it does not. I’m tapping into a little sense of accomplishment and ability to create things that has been also been dormant.

On Eliminating All Debt |

Oh my gosh. This has been so important to Landon and I, and at times it felt like we’d never be able to make a dent in what we’d accrued. The few weeks before we left for Alaska last June we had all three credit cards at $0.00, which felt amazing. And then the night before, the National Academy of Sports Medicine had that amazing deal on their Personal Training certification that we jumped on. And just like that we had $1500 of debt again. And when life got difficult this summer and fall, finances were not a priority or even on our radar. So slowly, one sweet treat after another, it crept up.

I am happy to report that this month we were able to cut out two-thirds of our debt! There is such a freedom that comes when you shed the weight of debt. We were fortunate to have never paid more than $3 max on interest at any given time. It’s just no fun to pay current paychecks on past purchases, that you’ve already enjoyed. I am excited to hit our goal for 2014 of eliminating all credit card debt, never having more than $150 on the cards again, and to get going on having $5K saved by December.

Finding Ways to Do More Yoga |

I really made an effort to do yoga more this month overall. First, I went with my mother-in-law to a class early Saturday morning at the beginning of February. The instructor, though new to teaching, already makes my tops five favorite instructors of all time list. Next I attended a candlelight, evening, hot yoga class, which was just as lovely as it sounds. Dimmed lights and hot yoga are a match made in heaven in my book.
“Oh I’m sweating? Couldn’t even tell.” The class had all of my favorite criteria — lavender scented incense, use of Sanskrit, focused on the breath, gentle feedback given, adjustments [so so helpful] and overall nice vibes.

Later on this month I experienced the opposite with a new to me instructor. We all want different things out of our yoga experience, so I’m not going to say she was a bad instructor, she was just the opposite of what I liked about yoga.

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Overall my heart has never been happier than to be back in a yoga studio. The studio is new, and opened by a woman who doesn’t instruct, but loves yoga and wanted to see it more readily available. Such a nice example; we can provide services even when we’re not the expert yet.

Being More Athletic |

I have made a real effort to think about eating like an athlete. See what I did there? No seriously, I feel amazing. I am officially on a streak of twelve days without Diet Coke! Back to being on team water. I haven’t noticed a physical difference, if anything I’ve gained a pound or two because of it. But emotionally I can definitely tell the difference. It feels nice to know what harms my body and to know when to walk away.

I also had a great month lifting weights most mornings, and received nice feedback with working my back. I’ve sat down at the lat pulldown machine a day a week for the past year and have always wondered if I was doing it completely right. I’d try to focus/engage my back as a whole for each set, do 3 sets then move on. A trainer helped walk me through engaging the lats and not relying on the arms and oof — I can feel the difference. So good.

I’m making a few changes in my training routine for March and couldn’t be more excited. Can’t wait to report on how things go!

Loving Paityn More |

This month has been so good I could probably go on for awhile more, but I’ll end with this goal. Landon and I devoted an entire weeks worth of goals for Paityn mid February, which helped focus my priorities a lot that week and moving forward. We had written down little reminders — brushing her teeth twice a day, baths every other day, time with her with our phones down, etc.

I wish I could pinpoint what I need to do to get to the point that I’d like to be as a stay at home mom with Paityn. The only way I can describe it for now it there’s an emotional distance between us that I’d like to break down. It’s obviously on my end, since she’s such a little babe, but I couldn’t tell you why it’s there. Is it because of selfishness and my desire to do what I want during the day? Do I just need more time? Will we be better buddies once she’s talking and a little older? Or are we doing just fine, I just need to cut myself a little slack?

IMG_4122I honestly don’t know, but trust that I’ll figure it out. Here’s where I’m at though — I see mom’s out and about, and how they interact with their little one. I can compare and see, yes, I love Pait just as much as the next mom. But when the other moms go home and spend all day with their babe, I don’t know what normal is. Can you picture this divide?

So this is where I’m at. Trying to picture what life with Paityn is like at our ideal state, and then working to get there. I feel like I’ve definitely made progress with doing the little things to help her, and that helps increase my capacity to love her.

Alright, so that’s been my month of February! Our goals for the year are hung, and we’re making steady progress!

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