Welcome to the New Year.

I do think New Year’s resolutions can’t technically be expected to begin on New Year’s Day, don’t you?  Since, because it’s an extension of New Year’s Eve, smokers are already on a smoking roll and cannot be expected to stop abruptly on the stroke of midnight with so much nicotine in the system.  Also dieting on New Year’s Day isn’t a good idea as you can’t eat rationally but really need to be free to consume whatever is necessary, moment by moment, in order to ease your hangover.  I think it would be much more sensible if resolutions began generally on January the second.  ~Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones’s Diary

I laugh so hard at the quote above from the always hilarious Bridget Jones. Of course, I don’t smoke, nor do I drink anywhere near enough to have a hangover in the morning, but she’s generally right. The partying doesn’t usually stop at midnight! Nor does your regular schedule resume in the morning on January 1st. This isn’t, of course, true for all people. Normally, Nate would probably have had to work yesterday. But with some finagling, his dad gave him the day off, which I thought was incredibly sweet of him. We then spent most of the day out on the snowmobiles. Despite the cold — it was only 5 degrees when we left at 1o am — it was a wonderful day. I ache all over yet again, but one of the awesome things about snowmobiling is that by the time you get home, you’re so wiped out you can’t do much and then you go to sleep early. We were both asleep by 8:30 pm. Nate started work around 5:30, but I lay in bed drifting in and out of sleep until shortly before 8 am.

As far as we both know, he’s going to get most of the weekend off, so we’re hoping to get more time on the trails on Saturday. We went 92 miles (and all within 10 miles of home) yesterday, and we hope that maybe we can get 200 in this weekend! That’s basically an all day ride, but there are plenty of stopping places (gas stations and bars) so we’ll be able to get something to eat and drink when we need it! I’m excited.

In the meantime, it’s snowing again!!!


New Year’s Eve: Goodbye 2012!

Obviously, the world didn’t end before Christmas. I knew it wouldn’t, because God tells us that no one will know the day or the hour that Jesus comes back. So I am quite willing to put my trust in Him and laugh at the end-of-the-world theories.

But now it’s New Year’s Eve! The year ending always feels like such a big event, doesn’t it? I don’t know why, but it does.

At any rate, it’s time now to list some of my goals for 2013. Yesterday I posted my book list, which is something I’ve been doing for a few years. Reading is my biggest passion. Writing is a close second. But I also have a passion for so many other things. My interests are incredibly varied, which always ends up meaning I don’t concentrate on any one thing for very long, which I don’t like at all. It makes me feel that I neglect my interests and passions, which is a terrible feeling. I’m not necessarily good at managing my time (though I have gotten better over the past few years), and then I try to do everything at once, and…well, that doesn’t go all that nicely.

Thus, one of my goals for the coming year is to manage my time better, in all things that I do. This just takes thought and willpower.

Other than that, I have set myself a goal of getting in shape. I don’t say back in shape because I was honestly never all that fit to begin with! I love hiking and camping and being outdoors, but I never really equated that with exercise. Plus, as I said above, reading is my favorite thing to do. So… But my husband is an outdoorsy kind of guy, and I really, really, really want to be able to keep up with him more so than I can already. And I ache all the time, so regular cardio exercise and stuff like yoga will help that! I really like the physical exercise of yoga. It’s more like strengthening than anything else, and that’s always a good thing. Plus it teaches you to listen to your body, and I think everyone would be a lot healthier if they could pay more attention to what their body needs instead of what they think it wants. Big difference right there. That leads me to my secondary goal under getting in shape: eating right. I eat pretty healthy food, as far as my actual intake goes. But the thing that I have a hard time with is that I so rarely eat at regular intervals. Eating breakfast is something I haven’t done regularly in years, and Nate doesn’t eat breakfast much, either. So I guess I should say that not only do I plan on eating better, but I’m going to help Nate to eat better, as well.

I have a few other goals, like sticking with a cleaning schedule instead of trying to do everything in one day, taking up knitting again, teaching myself crochet, playing the piano (and other instruments) more often, taking a walk every day it’s not gross weather outside, and doing more sewing projects.

Together, Nate and I are going to spend more time outside, as well as checking out cool places and museums together. We watch a lot of tv in the evenings, which is fine sometimes (especially if it’s Doctor Who, haha), but when the warmer weather and longer days come around again, we hope to remember more often that the outdoors calls to both of us. 🙂 Of course, we’ve been outside more in the last few days because it’s snowmobile season!! Gahh, I love it so much.

I realize this is an incredibly long post, but sometimes it’s hard to articulate exactly what you want to. Plus, I’m a writer. Oh yeah, that’s my other goal: write something every single day. Blog post, poem, short story, journal entry, fragment of a novel, etc. Just write.


Hopefully you have a fantastic end-of-the-year celebration with lots of champagne and laughter. Happy New Year’s Eve from us (Nate and Beth) and see you next year!

At least we’re getting winter this time.

You know what I wish? That it would snow all winter long. I’m not even kidding. It wouldn’t have to snow 24/7, obviously. But the last week has been awesome. I dearly hope that continues into January. Nate and I went snowmobiling the last two days and it was so much fun. The best word to describe it is exhilarating. It’s also beautiful, especially when we’re riding the trails on the state land through the Kettle Moraine Forest. Yesterday it was snowing while we were out and I couldn’t get over the beauty. If only there were a way to completely block out the sound of the sleds so that I could feel the silence. But I like the sound, too.

It snowed all day yesterday. It’s still snowing now. Not nearly like last week Thursday, but hey, more snow is always nice. A friend and I were going to have a coffee date this morning, but decided staying at our respective houses and reading was a better idea. Besides, then I don’t have to try to get out of the driveway. Or pretend my body isn’t aching ALL OVER. Good aches, though. That’s what snowmobiling does to you.


Anyway. A new year begins in a few days! Are you ready for whatever 2013 may bring? I have a lot of hopes, dreams, and wishes. As do we all, I’m sure. I also have a few goals set for myself, which I will be posting about soon.

‘Twas the day after Christmas…

…and I haven’t gotten anything done. There’s plenty I could be doing. But the last few days were such a whirlwind that today all I really can do is eat leftover goodies and stare into space. Not really stare into space as much as stare at a book. Which translates into something productive, I suppose!

We were hoping to go snowmobiling this afternoon, but since Nate won’t be home until a little after three o’clock and it pretty much gets dark an hour after that, it’s not going to happen today. Not that snowmobiling at night isn’t enjoyable, but the lights on his sled are iffy at best right now and I have trouble seeing at night, so… Tomorrow and Friday look like better choices!

Now that my “Twenty-five Days of Christmas Cheer” challenge is completed, my posting will probably lessen. The posts won’t be everyday, that’s for sure. I have no idea what I’d write every single day at this point. In the next week I will for sure be posting my New Year’s Resolutions, though they aren’t so much resolutions as they are actual, solid goals to work towards. It’s always good to have goals. I’ve always had goals. But they tended to be more long-term than anything. Things like go to college, graduate college, get married, travel the world, buy a Victorian house, etc…have filled my head for years. With the Lord’s help, I’ve accomplished the first three! I suppose that’s a good thing. 🙂

But short-term goals are good too. They prepare you for the long-term, or at least they can.

So, on this day after Christmas, I shall leave you all to your food-gift-and-family-fun-induced comas and hopefully you’ve got your own goals to set for the coming year! Me? I’m going to drink some tea and read a book.

I just joined Ravelry!

For those of you who don’t know, ravelry.com is a social media website for knitters and crocheters. Of which, at this point it would be prudent to say that I am neither. Yes, I have known how to knit for the last 7-8 years, but I honestly never made much. I guess I just felt it wasn’t worth my time. The same goes for crocheting, but this I’ve never done. So, I have been intending to get back into knitting, and try my hand at crochet. My cousin is an avid knitter and she kept telling me to join Ravelry, but I kept putting it off. But now, I finally did it.

My first project, I think (read: hope) will be a few dishcloths. The pattern I found looks exactly like the very first knitting project I ever did, so that pretty much means it must be easy. My goal is to work myself up to a skill level where I can then attempt to make the projects in the Jane Austen Knits magazines that I have bought. Because everyone knows I’m a Jane Austen fanatic.  And hey, I want to make my own socks, because I’m SICK AND TIRED of bad quality footwear. Hmph.

Now, if I can just find my knitting needles….

^^Don’t they look so lovely?? I hope mine turn out as nicely….

Twenty-five Days of Christmas Cheer: December 5th (Holiday Indulgences)

Twenty days til Christmas, everybody!! Woot!!

Seriously though. That’s not much time to do everything I want to do. I gotta start getting up earlier.

Today, I want to write about holiday indulgences. We all have them. There’s nothing wrong with that. During the holiday season we feel more inclined to give gifts to others, but also to ourselves. Some indulgences may be small, like a new eyeshadow color, and others may be big, like that awesome new tablet you scored at the Black Friday sale. (I hate Black Friday, but hey, if it’s your thing, go for it!) I don’t think I have all that many indulgences at this time of the year, though I bake more and thus eat (a lot) more sugar. Here is my list of small things I allow myself to indulge in during the month of December and occasionally into January:

1. Peppermint Mocha creamer. This used to only be available at Christmastime, so I’d beg Mom to buy at least four bottles of it. Now it’s available year-round, but since I generally drink my coffee black, it stays as an indulgence.

2. Frequent trips to Starbucks or other coffee shops. This hasn’t happened yet this December, but when I do my Christmas shopping, I like to buy something to keep my hands and body warm. Granted, it hasn’t really been cold enough yet…

3. A new Christmas outfit, makeup, and jewelry. This is only if I can even find something I like, which doesn’t happen much anymore. (Tangent: Once I lose the weight I’m hoping to lose, I will probably begin sewing more of my clothes. I hate most of what’s out there today and what I do like is either too expensive or just simply not for everyday wear.) And I adore Christmas jewelry.

I guess that’s really all I can think of at the moment. I was going to add that I don’t clean the house as much, but honestly, I feel more like cleaning it at this time of the year than any other! Odd.

Anyway, our tree is up, so I must put on the lights. Provided they work. Oh dear.

“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” ~Henry Beecher, Life Thoughts, 1858

Though I doubt God actually forgot to put souls into flowers, I do firmly believe He gave them to us for our enjoyment. There are not many people that I know that would think a garden ugly. I absolutely adore gardens. Working in them is something I used to fight, though. When I was young and my parents wanted help with the yard work, boy would I kick and scream. Maybe not really kick and scream, but I generally tried to hole myself up in my room with a book and avoid them. Eventually, I began to realize that cultivating growing things is actually a balm for the soul. When I visited England six years ago, one of my favorite sights was that of the English garden. Oh, there were so many! So beautiful. My grandma, aunt, and uncle with whom I went are all gardeners, so I guess at that point I began to get a green thumb.

In my college years, there wasn’t much time for gardening, so I didn’t really try. Now that I am in my own home and not in school, I have more time. Today I wasn’t entirely certain what I was going to do with my time until I took my cup of coffee to the window and looked out. Our yard is small and there isn’t much we can do with it, but there is a small and narrow bed next to our deck that was hopelessly overgrown that I could see from the window. Every day I looked at it and groaned, thinking it could be so much more beautiful. Earlier in the year I had planted a few things in there, but they didn’t grow; this was partly because I forgot about them and partly because we had a severe drought combined with a ridiculous heat spike. Basically, this summer I gave up doing anything in the yard. We didn’t even have to cut our grass for almost three months! (That was actually nice.)

So, today I decided to at least tackle the overgrown bed and clear it out. For what, I wasn’t sure. (I wish I had taken a photo of it — it was crazy!) As I pulled out little weeds and big weeds, I noticed there was an enormous plant that had a stalk the size of my wrist, and it was growing from behind the lattice on the bottom of our deck. Oh dear. I tried using a sickle, a hoe, a shovel, a scissors…none of those worked. The angle was terrible. The only tool for the job was a hedge trimmer. But I don’t happen to have one. (I need to fix that.) By this point, I had figured that I would plant some mums in the bed, since they are in season, so what I did was call over to the local florist shop and ask if they had a hedge trimmer I could borrow! We’re on first name basis, so I knew it would be okay. The owner said she did have one I could use, so I drove over there to pick it up and to purchase some potted mums. I love supporting local businesses!

I came home, cut the stubborn plant down, worked up the soil (who in their right mind puts bed liner only THREE INCHES BELOW THE SOIL?! I certainly didn’t….), and planted the mums. I had four of them, which turned out to not be quite enough. Since I had to return the hedge trimmer, I was going to drive back down there, but our car was acting funky, so I just walked. I must have looked hilarious walking down the side of the state highway while carrying a long hedge trimmer. On the way back, it was probably even more amusing since I was carrying a huge potted mum. Ah well. It was good exercise.

The point of the story is that gardening is good for the body as well as the soul. I really should do more of it.