Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12-12-12

Perfect party.

Perfect day.

Perfect year.

25 is here!

I love all of you.  And I love my life.  This is such a good place to be.

Monday, November 12, 2012

November 12

What happened to this year!?!  I know I start every post with some iteration of "time is flying", but like really, it is almost 2013. 

Life is busy and full..wonder-full and beauti-full.  This past month has been one great experience after another, which I hope will fill me with energy as we move into this crazy holiday season. 

I am starting a new assignment at work on December 1st (it's expected--they give you three new assignments in your first 5 years).  This means no more globe trotting for me.  I have loved visiting all sorts of new places (7 countries on 3 continents), but it is exhausting and poor Kyle doesn't love when I leave for a month at a time.  I do have one more trip to London on Wednesday, but after that I'll be in the States for a long time.  Sounds great to me!

I am also starting a new assignment at church that will take over my life if I let it, but it is already so much fun and I'm learning A TON.  Primary (Sunday School for the niƱos) is really a great place to be.

My goals are going so well.  This month I feel like everything was just fitting into place.  Running, new recipes, letter-writing, weight loss, service, piano, all of it.  Texas is not my favorite place in the world, but lately I feel like we fit here.  Like we have purpose.  (I still cry a lot about a lot of things, but I think that's just going to be a part of my life forever...I'm one of those people).

12/12/12 is now only a month away, and while I have some strings to tie up, I feel strong coming into the finish.  I realize I have not shared a lot about this year on this blog (intentionally) but I do want to "publish" this for the internets: setting realistic, measurable goals is a great way to take your life up a step.  I've been told this all my life, but I guess I'm just really figuring it out at age-almost-25.  What do you all think about goals?  Do they work for you?

I'll be back in a month to wrap up.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September 12

Time seems to pass so quickly.  Even though Texas days drag on, the weeks fly by.  Kyle and I just celebrated our second anniversary, and resigned our apartment lease.  Both major milestones.  I also hit my year mark at work.  The passing of time makes me restless.  I need a change or something new, especially around autumn time.  I need to be taking new classes or meeting new people.  I need milestones to mark the time.  I need pauses in a year that seems to be blurring together.

So I am pausing.  Pausing and thinking.

My grandmother passed away yesterday.  It was not unexpected as she has been in poor health since June.  As we drove home from the airport I read my grandfather's email out loud in my broken voice to Kyle.  By the time I reached the last line the words were a struggle:

"A good lady has finished her work here on this earth and has gone ahead to prepare the place for us.  May the Lord bless her."

I cried because she was so good and so is Grandpa.  And I cried because yesterday was Grandma's oldest child's birthday, my mom's birthday.  And I kept thinking that on that very day, 60 something years ago, Eileen had just become a new mother.  A mother filled with both angst and excitement as she held a newborn daughter in her arms.  A beautiful daughter that would raise eight hardworking, stubborn children.  The strength, resilience, and time (and timing) is overwhelming.  And that is why I am crying.

And pausing.  And thinking.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June 12

Halfway there folks!!  Today I am 24 1/2.  25 is 6 months away!

A few updates on what is going well:

Be Vegetarian (#11):  This is only for 2.5 months (which I am rounding up to 3), but honestly I will probably extend this goal.  I thought I would find it really difficult, but it actually has made meals a lot better.  I started on April 12 (after having a filet mignon at Three Forks for a celebratory work lunch) and a lot has happened since then:  DisneyWorld.  Wedding.  Family Reunion.  There has been a lot of good food at all of these places, but I haven't cheated once!  Not a single time.  This is a major victory for me.  I feel great and have tried a lot of new recipes (#8), including Quinoa burgers, which were delicious.

Take 2500 Pictures (#20): For some this may be a ridiculous number, for others this might be done on a monthly basis.  The idea was that I need to a) take more pictures of my life because I was soooo bad at this our first year of marriage and b) I would like to develop some photography skillz.  I haven't tallied up the numbers, but I have been killin' it.  I am now the girl with the camera at pretty much everything (thanks Kyle for getting me a point-and-shoot for my last b-day).  If you have seen our blog recently, you have seen the evidence of my camera toting.

And updates on what needs improvement:

Make the Bed 250 Times (#7): I know it is ridiculous to associate numbers with each of these goals, but it makes things measurable, and isn't that a trait of a good goal?  Anyway, the bed.  250 times averages out to 5 times a week (which is how I actually track my progress) and while I often hit the 5 times a week, it is only because I make the bed when I get home at the end of the day :D.  I know I can find 97 seconds in my morning to make the bed, I just need to make this more of a priority.

Read 25 Books (#3):  I have been reading, but nothing that fun.  I need suggestions, please!!

Sigh.  I realize that this entire exercise is somewhat ridiculous, but it is only for a year and I can really say that it is working.  I am doing things more consistently.  I am pushing myself to try a little harder in areas I might ignore.  I have found courage where I would not have had any (example: I took an improv class, finally).  Kyle has been very supportive, as have families on both sides.  Thanks to all!

*P.S. I have been blogging up a storm here, but the blog has to be private.  Email me (jrpate7@gmail.com) if you would like access.  

Sunday, February 12, 2012

February 12

Here we are--two months into my twelve month challenge.  Things have been going really well in some areas and not so well in others.  (For those of you just tuning in: I have 25 goals to meet before my 25th birthday on 12-12-12).

A few of the highlights:

No Soda (#12):  My place of employment provides snacks and drinks at basically every meeting.  Hardly a day goes by without a bucket of ice and 20 sodas sitting in the conference room by my office.  On a long afternoon, it is very difficult to say no to an ice-cold drink.  So I have chose to swear it off.  Kyle has been very helpful in making sure I don't break under pressure (i.e. company christmas party when you need to be drinking SOMETHING...I went for cranberry juice after almost choosing my standard ginger ale.)


Pinterest Projects (#19):  I pin a lot of things, but I am not great at trying too many of them.  This year I wanted to change that.  Pinterest (and design sponge) gave me courage to try reupholstery




If you can't tell--this is a wingback recliner that used to be covered in green fabric and I am replacing it with the gray pattern. As many of you have figured out I AM OBSESSED WITH THIS PROJECT.  You are probably sick of the pictures (as they are on instagram, facebook, and in several text messages)  But seriously, it is so much fun.  And frustrating.  But rewarding.  Since college I've been wishing I could get into upholstery and it is finally happening!


2 New Passport Stamps (#1):  This hasn't happened yet, but Kyle and I have been planning and I'm pretty sure I know which ones we are going to get this year.  We'll be booking flights soon.

And to be fair, I must talk about the things that aren't going so well:

New Recipes (#8):  You guys.  I am just SO terrible at making dinner.  I've been trying to do the crock pot thing more, but most of the time it's just plain old spagetti (like today).  The goal is to try 25 new recipes, if you count the freezer jam I mentioned last time, I am at 1 of 25.


Submitting Essays (#4):  I set a goal to send essays to 12 different journals.  It's not even that I have to send out 12 different essays.  I just need to send them to 12 different journals.  I haven't sent one yet.  I need to make this a higher priority.

I hope all of you are feeling good about any goals you have made for 2012.  I am very grateful that I can choose to be better and happier.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bullet Points

Before I begin, for those of you that don't know, Kyle and I post pictures of our life and that sort of thing here.  It's private so if you would like access, you can e-mail me (jrpate7@gmail.com).  I know it's kind of ridiculous that there is that blog AND this blog, but I have this weird thing with identity.  It may or may not go along with me not changing my last name.  I haven't figured that out yet.

Anyway, just wanted to ramble about a few things....

  • Upholstery.  So. Much. Fun.  I returned my Nordstrom boots and bought a pneumatic stapler instead (haha!).  It makes the project i'm working on SO MUCH BETTER, so it was definitely worth it.  I am secretly planning on buying the boots again once they go on sale.
  • Pinterest.  WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG??
  • Spotify.  Same thing as Pinterest.
  • Wedding.  My twin sister that is older, smarter, and wiser is getting married in May!  The wedding will be in D.C.  Kyle has never been so we will probably make a fun long weekend of it.  I realize it will probably be too late for cherry blossoms, but I can hope, right?
  • Politics.  SO ANNOYING.  I think 24 hour news (from both sides) is destroying America.  STOP ANALYZING EVERY TINY THING AND GET A REAL JOB.  Wow.  
  • Freezer Jam.  I thought people were exaggerating when they said how easy freezer jam is.  Turns out everyone is telling the truth.  I've had 3 or 4 pounds of raspberries sitting in my freezer for months because I was too intimidated to try it.  I finally worked up the courage and made jam while Kyle made bread I and it really was so easy and delicious!   
  • Cinnamon Rolls.  From the bread making mentioned above, we had extra dough so we tried to make cinnamon rolls.  They looked nothing like real cinnamon rolls, but they turned out fine (obviously, since 2 of us ate ALL of them).  Even my mom would blush if I told you how much butter was involved.
  • Rodeo.  Coming up soon!
  • Business Trip.  Coming up after the rodeo.  My very first one!
  • Moleskine Notebooks.  Still as obsessed as ever.  Kyle gave me one of the planner kinds for Christmas.  It's perfectly formatted and designed.  But I am biased, of course.  
Ok, that's enough.  The point is, life is good.  Life is changing, but life is good.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 12

It is the twelfth of the month--so of course wonderful things happened today.

  • This bestie called to say that she and this bestie were booking tickets to come down for the rodeo (and marathon relay) in March.  I am ecstatic, and already planning every minute of the visit (Blue Bell factory is on the list, of course).
  • Little sister called to give me an update on her awesome college life, and was so happy and optimistic I couldn't help but smile big as we talked.
  • My new watch Kyle got me for Christmas looked fantastic with my work outfit.  I am loving it more and more every day.  Isn't it lovely?



And there were lots of other wonderful things, but now it's time to snuggle up to a movie.  More updates soon.