I wish cars would just miraculously not need gas during the winter. Pumping gas in the freezing cold is probably my least favorite pastime. And while I'm on the subject, I hate when you get the pumps that not only pump slow, but don't have the little lever so that you can prop the handle and not have to hold it the entire time. I also hate when I don't realize I need gas until I get off work at 9 p.m. Thankfully Luke had some warm mac 'n cheese waiting for me when I got home.:)
As I mentioned before, I recently switched studios within the Harrison Center. I'm very excited about my new space. It's cheaper and artsier and it's all mine.:) I still have quite a bit of organizing and hanging to do, but I already feel more inspired. Next open studio is the first Friday in March. You should be there!:)
I'm not much of a new year's resolution person, but I have a few goals for the year and I figured maybe if I put them in writing, for all to see I might be more likely to stick to them.:)
1. Put together and stick to a workable budget.
We've already started working on this, but we need to finalize it and the real key is sticking to it. An aspect of this will be working towards getting as debt free as possible as quickly as possible, but also saving some money for future goals. Seems like every time we get close to working all this out, something is missing or something changes etc. Enough of that. This time we're doing it.
2. Menu plan.
Marge and I have started collaborating on this. We figured two heads were better than one and this way we could share ideas, recipes etc. We still have some kinks to work out, but we're both excited about it and feel that it will help our busy lives (not to mention our pocketbooks:). Working full time makes it an extreme challenge to feel like cooking or being creative, so I'm hoping that planning ahead and having groceries in the fridge will spur me on to success in this area. I know everyone does menu planning differently, but our idea is to have 5 or 6 different week menus (complete with recipes, side dish options and a shopping list) that we can cycle through either at random or in order. This way we can plan meals in the same week that might use some of the same vegetables or other similar ingredients that would need used up. Each week will have 5 planned meals, which leaves room for leftovers or spontaneous ideas (or restaurant visits:). If we get bored with the weeks, we can make up some new ones!:)The accomplishment of this goal should go hand in hand with goal number 1.
3.Complete Jillian Michael's 30 day shred in 40 days or less.
Yes, I said 40 days. Unless you are an exercise maniac who loves this stuff, it would be hard to complete this in 30 days. It's quite challenging, not to mention exhausting, and I value a day of complete rest here and there.:) Even though it is an extremely intense workout, I like it because it only takes 30 minutes a day and after working on my feet for hours on end, that's about all I can handle.:) So my plan is to buckle down and complete it, just not in the 30 day time slot. After accomplishing this, i hope to do it a few times a week for maintenance purposes.:)
4.Get to my studio more frequently.
I've had a painting studio at the Harrison Center for a few years now and I love having that available. I have 24 hr. access to my studio, which is great especially since I feel more creative at night. However, I never feel like I'm getting there enough. Between my work schedule and trying to maintain things around the home, I often feel too worn out or don't have enough time to get there as often as I'd like. I've held onto the space as a way of holding on to my dream of being able to pursue art more fully in the future, and I'm very glad that I have even though it's been an added expense. I recently switched studios within the building and I love my new space. It's half the cost of what I was paying, I'm no longer sharing the space (although I loved my former studio mate), and it has a much more creative atmosphere to it. (I'll post pictures of it soon!) I've been feeling much more of an urge to be there, especially since I know I'll be able to work alone and in my own way. So hopefully this goal will accomplish itself with my excitement over my new studio.:)
Stephanie is always putting me to shame in this category.:) My list of books to read is endless, which is not helped by the fact that lately I've been a very slow reader. I especially would like to read some more classics as well as art related books. I've started reading more before bed at night, so maybe that will help me plow through them. I won't set any particular goals in this area (pretty sure those don't work for me), I'll just try to read more frequently. It's good for the mind.:)
6.Start a movie review blog.
I've already mentioned the possibility of doing this and I would really like to get this going sometime this year. We watch a lot of movies and it would be cool to share some of those with others. I love watching, thinking about and discussing film, so a film blog could be a fun extension of that. No promises as to when this will happen, but hopefully before too long.:)
7.Grow in my walk with God.
This is always a goal for me at the outset of each new year. Some years are definitely more successful than others, but I know that God rewards faithfulness and my meager efforts. I know that focusing on this goal will also help and encourage me to accomplish the goals that I have previously mentioned.
Our little beta fish that was part of a centerpiece at Elliot and Ashley's wedding bit the dust today. He lived for about a year and a half, which is longer than I ever expected.:) He survived much harassment from Clio and lived to tell about it. R.I.P Escher!
And let me tell you, I am glad to hear it.:) This past year has been one of the most challenging years of my(our) life. Dealing with Luke's unemployment and underemployment has been a difficult experience and one that is still ongoing. It's safe to say that we both hope this new year proves to be quite different, but given all that we have been through and the things we have learned, we know better than to have too high of expectations. That isn't to say that we don't still have a great deal of hope and faith in God (who has shown himself quite faithful through all of this) that our circumstances will change for the positive in the near future, but we have definitely become more cautious and reserved about our expectations.
I would never say that it has been a bad year. It was just much harder than we had anticipated and we have had to change our lifestyle and to put aside some goals for now. It has been a learning experience and we have been given the opportunity to see God provide for our needs in many very real ways. He has been faithful to us and blessed us, even when we have been discouraged and questioned Him. We've learned things that I'm sure we will carry with us for the rest of our lives. We've grown closer to each other and learned how to encourage each other through the challenges, which has been one of the biggest blessings.
So, needless to say, we'd like to put this year behind us, but not without taking the things we've learned from it. We've appreciated the love and support of our families, friends and church family; that is always a tremendous blessing. We hope 2010 will be a year where we can get a fresh start and begin working towards some of our hopes and dreams, but we also desire to continue being flexible to God's bigger plan and remain positive whatever the circumstances.
I am now the extremely pleased and proud owner of a Mikita miter saw. It may sound slightly odd, but Luke new just what to get me for my birthday.:) After spending many hours framing with me over the years and hearing me often pine for my own miter saw, he found one on craigslist for a good deal. I was quite surprised and am seriously ecstatic to have my own. I really enjoy making my own frames for my paintings and I've appreciated Luke's help and support in that. I am currently admiring the saw from across the room.:)
In other birthday news, I enjoyed lunch with my friend today and then a night out with Luke. We went and saw "the Road" (which was good, but depressing) and then we went to P.F. Chang's for dinner. I love that restaurant. If you haven't tried their shrimp dynamite, you should. Tomorrow.:)
i am an artist. you will find over time that this explains most things about me.:) i work at a used bookstore, which is a pretty sweet job. i'm happily married to and very much in love with my husband Luke. we have a calico cat named Clio who thinks she owns the world and a black cat named Ceasar who is much larger and more mellow than the crazy one.:) we are expecting our first baby in mid-april and are pretty pumped about moving into this new phase. life is pretty great, even though i tend to be somewhat cynical about it. our God is sovereign.