August 2016 in Review

What I Focused on in August: 

1. Finishing the 15th draft of WLHYL, and beginning to work on my Echoes series again

2. Marathon training (eating healthily, lots of running, and trying to go to sleep at a reasonable hour)
3. Family Time 
4. Getting back into the swing of things at home 


Birthday Challenge and Dream List Update 

4. Go to Wednesday night church 24 times {2}
8. Writer 24 A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words short stories {1}
13. Write a monthly review on my blog within 5 days of the end of the month whenever internet is available {COMPLETED!}
14. Blog my 3 (or more) top goals for each month within 5 days of the beginning of each month whenever internet is available {September still to go}
24. Read out loud for 24 hours {4}

None

Non-Fiction: 4
Fiction: 3
Reviews: 7
Audio Books: 1 

Traveling
Nights gone: 12
New States or Countries: None 
August Goals 
If God wills and I live, in August…
1. I will be able to do a half marathon (13.1 miles) in 3 hours {YES!}
2. I will send the completed 15th draft of WLHYL out for another round of beta reading {YES!}
3. I will read three non-fiction books {YES!}
4. I will begin writing 1,000 words each day for my 24 before 24 challenge {YES!}
5. I will finish memorizing the first 3 chapters of Philippians {Haha…Nope. I did work on it, though.}

,
What I’ve Been Learning
Ah, this month was fantastic, as was August in 2015, which I find mildly amusing. See, for years August has been my least favorite month of the year, it’s hot and stuffy and just plain in the way of glorious September. But then last year and this year, I went into the month determined to fully appreciate it and not dwell on upcoming September too much, and guess what? It works. Mindset really does make a big difference, even with “little” things like embracing whatever month is currently taking center stage. 
I didn’t do a ton of reading this month because I was really focused on editing and then writing, but I still managed to glean a lot from the books I did take in. I learned more about piano and being a musician, read about service dogs (amazing creatures), and about how different people react to motherhood differently. 
Through Intercessory Prayer, a book by Dutch Sheets, I also learned a great deal about what the Bible really has to say about prayer, and how to pray more effectively. Since beginning the book, I have indeed begun changing the way I pray, so that’s a plus. I’ve also been trying to learn about how to study the Bible in a more productive way. 
This month I’ve also enjoyed delving some into American History. I’ve always enjoyed history, but it’s been a while since I’ve sat down and just studied it. Looking at how our nation was founded is always a good reminder of where we came from and put life back into perspective. 

I was reminded over and over again of how I’m surrounded by amazing people. Sometimes I forget about how blessed I am, but then people waltz in and do something that makes me shake my head in wonder. Like my brother calmly saying “It’s totally fine, I’ll fix it” when I make a mistake at work that costs him time and energy. Or my sister making siblings breakfast in bed. Or a friend pulling an all-nighter to finish beta reading WLHYL. Or several people band together so some of my most wonderful friends can come and stay for a week. Or when I talk to another brother on the phone and he prays for God to bless me. Or when my best friend shares her special food with me. Or when other beta readers give me updates and spend so much of their time on the book. Through all this I’m learning to set aside my plans and be willing to help, too, because being like those^ people is a high ideal to reach for. (Being the hands and feet of Christ, y’all!) 

Other

This month started out with editing, and then morphed into writing. I had a lot of fun spending time working on my new series, Echoes, and getting updates on When Life Hands You Lymes. Yesterday was day 19 of writing at least 1,000 words each day, and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the challenge. Writing 1,000 words doesn’t take much time, but it really helps the story progress at steady pace. 
I spent nearly the first two weeks of the month in Florida visiting family. When I wasn’t working on writing or running, I had lots of fun conversations and played a multitude of games. *cue happy sigh* When I got home life was crazy and busy, and amazing. And I mean like, very crazy, and very busy, and very amazing. One of the wonderfully happy parts was being thrilled and excited to have some of my amazing friends who live across the world come and visit me for a week. So yay! (Like, lots of Yay! and lots of late nights, and lots of laughter, and…you get the picture.) (Can you feel the enthusiasm?)             
THE OLYMPICS! Can we just take a moment to breath in deeply and happily and sigh in delight and maybe dance around the room and do a couple of backflips? I’m incredibly thankful and blessed that God worked it out so that we were around TVs during the Olympics. We don’t have TV at home and I literally never wish that we did, but the Olympics? Goodness, do yo have any clue how incredibly inspiring they are? Since we were in Florida during the first half of them, I had such an incredible time watching them. Someday I’m gonna have to write a whole post about them, because wow… (Aka, the USA ladies gymnastics team is just utterly amazing.) *cue happiness and excitement and inspiration*
Eating healthily was a big part of this month, and it turned out really well. Like, why do I ever stop? Who knows. (Actually, I do. It’s because it’s generally more work to find food that’s paleo, and sometimes I crave other stuff, so…) But yeah, being healthy this month was good for me. 
OH! Folks, I have a darling new nephew. I hardly ever talk about my family on this blog, but I wanted to gush about being an aunt for a moment. BEING AN AUNT IS WONDERFUL! Okay. We’re good now. You can go back to your normal lives. 
Woah. I’m not sure when I’ve ever had such a gushy month review. Just to make sure we have a little bit of perspective (cause, I go back through and read these posts at the end of the year), there were some hard moments this month. My health wasn’t as stellar as I was hoping for (which was pretty hard), and there were some misunderstands, and deadlines and goals weren’t always met, but overall? Overall it was really amazing! I’m incredibly thankful for this month and quite excited for next month! (SEPTEMBER, oh glory be!)
* * * 
So, I’d be delighted to hear about y’alls August. How did it go? 

July 2016 in Review

What I Focused on in July: 

1. Hanging out with my adopted parents because my adopted dad had open-heart surgery 

2. Working on the 15th draft of When Life Hands You Lymes 
3. A busy week with my non-writing job

Birthday Challenge and Dream List Update 
Read aloud 24 hours: 4 hours
(Oops… I’m kinda behind now. Oh well.)
None

Reading Update
Fiction: 7
Reviews: 7
Audio Books: 0 
Traveling
Nights gone: 24
New States or Countries: None 
July Goals 
No goals: Accomplished all of them 
,
What I’ve Been Learning
From the looks of things, my life probably isn’t going to slow down any time soon, which means I’m going to have to do a better job of keeping up with every day life even when I’m not in a place where I can have a routine. That means continuing to eat healthily, train for the marathon, get to sleep at a reasonable hour, and move forward with my writing, even when it’s really difficult to get everything smashed into a day. 
Despite my fantastically large imagination, there are times and places when focus is obsolete and boredom is an actual reality. (I hadn’t realized this was possible.) 
Life certainly isn’t predictable, and sometimes the best thing to do is let go of expectations and goals and change your focus. Just because you don’t feel like you’re doing something important doesn’t mean that you aren’t, and sometimes it’s the little things that can be most important in the long run. 
It really stinks to miss church for multiple weeks in a row. Personal devotions are really important, but nothing takes the place of actually being in church and fellowshipping with like-minded people. 
Even when some writing projects feel pretty hopeless, if you just stick at it long enough and work through it and keep going and going and going, eventually it will (most likely) begin coming together. So, don’t quit.
Other
This whole month was a blur. Not like a fast blur, but a long blur. Between June 28th and July 24th, I was only home one night. Then, I was home from July 24th until the 30th, and headed out again. Most of that time was spent not exactly knowing how the next day would play out, and since I thrive on planning, it was a probably really good for me, but also a bit like “aghhhh.” (So descriptive, I know.) 
It was delightful getting to spend most of the month with my adopted parents and I’m incredibly thankful I got to. I did miss my other family a lot during the month though, and now that I’m with my other family, I miss my adopted one. (Which obviously means I’ve been incredibly blessed to have two families to take turns missing.) 
This last week I was able to empty my email inbox. Any of y’all who have emailed me in the past can testify to the fact that I was practically the world’s worst email-replier ever, which is pretty sad. I’ve had a great time this year keeping my inbox close to empty (I put the emails in folders as soon as I reply to them), but to have it totally empty makes me pretty happy. Of course I also like receiving emails, so if any of y’all wanna give me ideas for posts you’d like to see on Noveltea or if you’re interested in doing an author interview, just email me at: aidylewoh@gmail.com. 
This is a rather short monthly review because there isn’t a ton to write about, but overall it was a good month with lots of answered prayers and grace and non-expected happenings. 
I’d be delighted to hear about y’alls July! 

June 2016 in Review

What I Focused on in June: 

1. A couple of (really) big weeks at my non-writing job
2. I was sick for a couple of weeks, so trying to keep up with life while not feeling well
3. Family time

Birthday Challenge and Dream List Update 
Birthday Challenge: (The ones that are bolded are completed, and I’m just continuing to work on them.)
2. Pray the “prayer of Jebez” every day for three months {1}

4. Go to Wednesday night church 24 times {1}
6. Read 12 non-fiction “spiritual” books {2}
7. Read the Proverb of the day every day for six months {1}
10. Make 24 meals from different countries {4}
11. Get up at 6:15 or before 24 days in a row (not counting weekends) {12}
12. Go to bed at 10:30 or before 24 nights (not in a row) {12}
13. Write a monthly review on my blog within 5 days of the end of the month whenever internet is available {Yes}
14. Blog my 3 (or more) top goals for each month within 5 days of the beginning of each month whenever internet is available {Yes}
15. Write 24 book reviews {11}
23. Read 24 non-fiction books {4}
24. Read out loud for 24 hours {2}

Go to North Dakota

Reading Update

Fiction: 7
Non-fiction: 4
Reviews: 11
Audio Books: 3 

Traveling
Nights gone: 7
New States or Countries: North Dakota 
June Goals 

1. Run or Jog at least 10 hours (not at once) – Haha. No
2. Make four meals from other countries – Yes – At least mostly 
3. Finish memorizing the second chapter of Philippians – No
4. Write 5 “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words” short stories No
5. Read and review 4 nonfiction books – Yes
6. Read out loud for 4 hours – Only about 3 hours
7. Get to bed by 10:30 at least 12 times (not in a row) – Yes (I think, I might have only done 11 nights)
8. Get up by 6:30 at least 12 times (not in a row) – Yes
9. Write up a game plan for the next draft of WLHYL – Haha. No
10. Work at least 80 hours on my non-writing job – Technically no, but what I was actually meaning, Yes

What I’ve Been Learning

This was an interesting month for me. One of the biggest things I learned was that plans change and grace is often needed in abundance. Also, I’m not quite as good at getting things done as I thought I was. But, but, but… I can push through when absolutely necessary (and do a passable job, although you probably don’t want to be around). And, well, God’s grace and peace is amazing. I also discovered that my focusing ability is pretty much nil in certain situations, and that sometimes goals have to take a back seat.
I also read several good books this month and learned about finances, log lines (for writing), and how to create open friendships where spiritual conversations are natural. 
Along the lines of studying countries… Poland, Cambodia, and Honduras were pretty interesting to study. I’ve read a lot of historical fiction that takes place at least partly during Poland, so I enjoyed seeing more of what it’s like modern day, compared to back during WW2. 

Other
June was a crazy month, and one I’ll be happy not to repeat. I was sick for about two or three weeks, which made June’s productivity very low and the non-accomplished wannabes rather daunting. Despite that though, I really actually enjoyed the month a lot. It was beautiful, enlightening, and lovely. 
I took a spur-of-the-moment trip to visit my sister and her seven kids. (Lots of reading, imaginative games, yummy, healthy food, and sibling time.) A friend invited me and my best friend to a camp out. During the first part of the month and the (almost) last part, we had some really busy days at my non-writing job which are always fun. 
On Thursday the 23rd, my adopted dad who was out in Montana had a heart attack. He’s been in a hospital in Bismarck, North Dakota ever since. I flew down a week ago to join him and my adopted mom. I’m incredibly thankful to be here, but it’s been a crazy week. I can hardly even recall June actually, so hopefully this post makes sense and I didn’t leave anything huge out.  

May 2016 in Review

What I Focused on in May: 

1. Editing and re-writing When Life Hands You Lymes 
2. Traveling – I was gone for two thirds of the month 
3. Long distance walking 
4. Getting back into the swing of things at home


Birthday Challenge and Dream List Update 


9. Walk 24 miles in two days (in a row) {Completed twice!}
12. Go to bed at 10:30 or before 24 nights (not in a row) {15 nights – Completed}
13. Write a monthly review on my blog within 5 days of the end of the month whenever internet is available {8 months}
14. Blog my 3 (or more) top goals for each month within 5 days of the beginning of each month whenever internet is available {7 months}
15. Write 24 book reviews {10 – Completed}
24. Read out loud for 24 hours {2}



None


Reading Update

Fiction: 7
Non-Fiction: 4
Reviews: 10 
Audio Books: 4? (fiction)


Traveling

Nights Gone: 21
New Countries or States: None 
Spent time in: Mexico and Colorado 


May Goals 

1. Go to bed by 10:30 fifteen times {Yes! Actually, I might have been one day off, but I think I accomplished it.}
2. Get up by 6:30 fifteen times {Yes!}
3. Walk or jog 100 miles {Yes! Around 110 miles in all.}
4. Read & Review four non-fiction books {Yes!}
5. Get WLHYL ready to send to beta readers and send it out {Yes!}
6. Stick to my healthy eating for at least 29 days {Haha, No. This was before I found out I was going to Colorado and then I decided to ditch this goal.}



What I’ve Been Learning

A lot of the times if I set my mind to something, I’ll be able to get it done, even if it’s difficult and takes a lot of time. Therefore, I need to make sure I’m deciding to do the most helpful things in life so I’m not wasting my time and energy on things that aren’t important. I also need to pace myself well and live life with balance. (And that, folks, is one of the most recurring lessons in my life.) 

The countries I “visited” in the Around the World series were DominicaBosnia and Herzegovina, and Montserrat. Although I was focused on WLHYL at the time and so didn’t study the countries as much as I normally do, I still learned a lot. I especially enjoyed researching Bosnia because I have friends who lived there for a few years and have heard lots of stories about their life there. 

Several difficult events happened to people I’m close to this month and pondering the fragility of life and praying for my friends helped bring life and purpose into a more clear focus. I was reminded that when it all boils down, what we do for God is what really counts, and we’ll be held accountable for the time we waste. 

With the books I read this month, I was reminded of how important it is to love people. Life isn’t about impressing or accomplishing or even about changing the course of history. Life is about bringing glory to God and being His hands and feet and sharing His love and truth. That’s hard (especially when I’m not feeling like being around people), but keeping that focus in mind and asking God for His help does wonders. 

As far as writing goes, I’ve been learning to focus on the end result when I’m feeling completely overwhelmed and to not let myself get bogged down with the here and now. It’s also been helpful to look back and think about the reasons why I started writing in the first place. Writing isn’t always easy. It doesn’t always feel glamorous (haha) or special or even needed, but stepping back to get the big picture is important and helps keep me going. 


Other
May! It’s one of the most wonderful months of the year and has always been close to my favorite (coming in after September and October). I’m thrilled to have been able to be home part of this month and spent many hours cutting grass, walking along the road, and working in my office with my windows open, enjoying the delightful cadence of May

Going to Colorado was kinda a last-minute trip for me, but I’m so very thankful I got to go. Where else would I rather spend four days in May? Visiting the top of Pikes Peak and zip lining were two of the highlights of not only the week, but also the month. 

And of course being home. Ah, home is so utterly delightful. I’m incredibly grateful for the amazingly delightful place where I live and all the people I get to share the every-day adventure of life with. 

One of my biggest accomplishments this month was getting to do a ton of walking during the first half of the month. Not only did I walk twenty-four miles in two days, but then a week later I walked over twenty-six miles without stopping. Now that was rewarding. 

And, last but not least of all, I sent When Life Hands You Lymes out to beta readers. That was something I focused on a lot and worked pretty hard on. I’ve gotten some good feedback back from the readers and I’m hoping to hear from the rest of them within the next couple of weeks. 
* * * 
What did y’all do in May? I’d be delighted to hear!

April 2016 in Review

What I Focused on in April: 
1. When Life Hands You Lymes – Lots of editing, chopping, and adding
2. My Mexico trip 
3. Family Time  
4. The A to Z Challenge

Birthday Challenge and Dream List Update 
2. Pray the “prayer of Jebez” every day for three months {Completed in December. +3)
3. Read the whole Bible {Completed}6. Read 12 non-fiction “spiritual” books {1}
7. Read the Proverb of the day every day for six months {6 months – missed one day}
13. Write a monthly review on my blog within 5 days of the end of the month whenever internet is available {6 months}
14. Blog my 3 (or more) top goals for each month within 5 days of the beginning of each month whenever internet is available {5 months}
15. Write 24 book reviews {10}23. Read 24 non-fiction books {4}
None 

Reading Update
Fiction: 6
Non-Fiction: 4
Reviews: 10 
Audio Books: 4 (fiction)
Traveling
Nights Gone: 20
New Countries or States: None 
April Goals 

1. Complete the A to Z Challenge and visit 200 other A to Z Blogs {Completed the challenge – didn’t visit very many other blogs}
2. Finish the first edits on SL (WLHYL #2) {Yes }
3. Prepare and leave for Mexico {Yes}
4. Read and review 4 non-fiction books {Yes}
5. Contact 100 (___________) {Haha, nope: Only like 15.}


What I’ve Been Learning

I read a book about the USS Indianapolis and WW2 and the struggles people went through to bring the horrible war to an end. It was crazy the extremes that people had to suffer through. From Dangerous Love I learned what it’s like to keep going, even when the going gets tough. God’s love can change us and mold us if we allow it to. When Others Shuddered gave me an overview of the lives of eight women who made a big difference in their world and reminded me that I, too, want to be a world-changer. 
During the month I read three historical fiction books that took place during the Civil War. They were very historically accurate, including snippets from people’s letters and journals who lived during that era. It was sobering to think about how our country was once torn and fighting each other. It also made me thankful that our country stayed together and that we can heal and look past our mistakes and differences. And, it also made me realize how very important it is to do just that. 
I also had fun learning about the countries that I “visited” this month during the series I have on Noveltea called Around the World in 52 Weeks. (The countries were Norway, Bhutan, Cayman Islands, and Georgia.) The country I’d want to visit most out of those? Probably Norway. They really like books there and I really like books… So, it sounds delightful. 
It’s much easier for me to keep up with life when I’m keeping up with the small things – like eating healthily. I let myself have about eight or nine days of eating sweets and dairy and breads and all those yummy treats and yikes… I’ve discovered that really and truly nothing tastes as yummy as being healthy feels. I’m happily and confidently back on my healthy lifestyle and although I might take a meal (or day) off now and then, I won’t be doing such a long stretch again for a long time. 
Although I had fun with the A to Z Challenge, I got tired of it near the end of the month. I wanted to be creative and post whatever I wanted, instead of just posting about creativity. That actually surprised me a bit. I think it’s partly to do with the fact that I was out of my normal environment and everything felt “off.” All in all though, the challenge was enjoyable and it stretched me a bit, so that was good. I think my main concern was that Noveltea would seem really redundant to y’all, so hopefully that wasn’t the case and if it was, then I whole-heartedly agree with you. 
I need to make sure the monthly and weekly goals I set are realistic, and if they aren’t or if they aren’t moving me forward in the overall range of my life goals, then I need to learn to let go and reevaluate. 
Re-writing and adding and chopping my WIP can be rewarding and fun, but it can also be really difficult and draining and make me want to take a dozen naps. Pushing through will be worth it in the end and bribing myself with listening to music and taking walks really does help. 
Other
This was a good month. And a very long one. I can barely remember what happened back at the beginning of it because so much has been going on in my life. Thankfully these last two weeks have been slow, easy-going weeks with a lot of reflection time. 
Right before I left for Mexico I had fun answering questions for an interview I did over at this blog. The questions were great and made me really think, so it was fun. The interview went live today so y’all should check it out. 
Family time is amazing. I’ve had wonderful hours spent playing tons of Uno with my youngest brother, swimming in the ocean and pool, cooking, doing dishes, walking, playing multiple games multiple times with multiple people, and just hanging out. 
* * *
It’s that time again where we get to choose where Annie goes for this week in our Friday Series, Around the World in Fifty-Two WeeksAnd the destination is: Dominica! 

(The first two countries I landed on were Pakistan and Central African Republic, but both of them had strong warnings against visiting them at this time because of unrest so I figured Annie wouldn’t have been able to go.)   

March 2016 in Review

What I Focused on in March: 

1. Editing and cutting down the word count in When Life Hands You Lymes 

2. Training for the marathon – Eating healthy, tracking my food, walking/running 121 miles 

3. Working at regaining my creativity 
4. My non-writing job 
Birthday Challenge and Dream List Update 
2. Pray the “prayer of Jebez” every day for three months {Completed in December. +3)
3. Read the whole Bible {Psalm, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi}
4. Go to Wednesday night church 24 times {3}
6. Read 12 non-fiction “spiritual” books {4}
7. Read the Proverb of the day every day for six months {Completed March 31st}
12. Go to bed at 10:30 or before 24 nights (not in a row) {Completed}
13. Write a monthly review on my blog within 5 days of the end of the month whenever internet is available {6 months}
14. Blog my 3 (or more) top goals for each month within 5 days of the beginning of each month whenever internet is available {4 months}
15. Write 24 book reviews {8}
17. Track my food for 24 days in a row, not counting weekends {Completed March 28th}23. Read 24 non-fiction books {7}

None 

Reading Update
Fiction: 8
Non-Fiction: 7
Reviews: 15 
Audio Books: 4 (fiction)
Traveling
Nights Gone: 1
New Countries or States: None 
March Goals 

1. Walk or jog 100 miles – YES (121 miles)
2. Work 80 hours on my non-writing job – YES
3. Work 100 hours on my writing work – YES
4. Read at least an hour each day – YES 
5. Read and review 4 non-fiction books – YES (7)
6. Either re-write or edit each chapter in WLHYL – YES
7. Write at least 300 words on the re-writes every day – YES (although I won’t use most of them, they were more for practice)

What I’ve Been Learning
I spent March filling my brain with a bunch of words and it really helped me in various ways. I learned about goals, finances, technology, creativity, and living the way God wants me to live. 
It also hit me in March that although I’ve spent years being quite creative, creativity isn’t simply a part of my life – I have to cultivate it. The last couple of months were kinda “creativity killers” so I worked at learning how to combat that lifestyle and learn how to once again embrace creativity. Thankfully it was a fun process and really helpful. 
Throughout the month it was interesting to get to study the countries I “visited” in the Around the World in Fifty-Two Weeks series: Italy, South Korea, Reunion Island, Luxembourg, and Denmark. It can be hard at times to find interesting information that I can weave into a short story, so it’s been a good challenge for me.
I’ve also been working at learning how to set realistic monthly and weekly goals that stretch me, but don’t totally overwhelm me. Thankfully I’m getting better in this arena of life.  

Other
This month I celebrated Noveltea’s 4th birthday, stayed home most of the month, and got to cut grass for the first time in 2016. 
I also discovered how to borrow audio books online through the library. *cue celebration music* It’s been really fun to listen to books while doing mindless work and while walking. Hearing the books instead of reading them has actually helped me pay attention better. I skim read a lot and so not being able to skim read has been an eye-opening experience. 
Walking and really training for the marathon I’m, Lord willing, going to run in October was one of the best and most challenging parts of the month. Ramping my health into full gear is well-worth the pain and discipline it takes. 
I reviewed (on Goodreads) every single one of the books I read in March, so that was a new experience for me. It was enjoyable to get to review the books, and really helped me gauge them as I was reading. I’m petty sure that 15 reviews in one month is my record, but I’m not positive. 
* * *
It’s that time again where we get to choose where Annie goes for this week in our Friday Series, Around the World in Fifty-Two WeeksMy blogging buddy, Hosanna, helped choose the country this week. (Thanks!) And the destination is: Bhutan!  

February 2016 in Review

What I Focused on in January: 

1. My non-writing job (we had a big event going on in Florida and that took up the first half of the month)
2. Working through and reconfiguring When Life Hands You Lymes
3. Being at my adopted parent’s cabin and helping with the dinosaur

Birthday Challenge and Dream List Update 

2. Pray the “prayer of Jebez” every day for three months {Completed in December. +2}
3. Read the whole Bible {Ezekiel}
6. Read 12 non-fiction “spiritual” books {3 of the non-fiction books I read this month fit}
7. Read the Proverb of the day every day for six months {5 months}
12. Go to bed at 10:30 or before 24 nights (not in a row) {3 nights which equals 25!!!}13. Write a monthly review on my blog within 5 days of the end of the month whenever internet is available {5 months}
15. Write 24 book reviews {4}
18. Go, see, visit, experience or explore something I’ve never done before 24 times and write it down
20. Track all the money I spend for 24 days {Completed in January, but also did in February}
23. Read 24 non-fiction books {4}
24. Read out loud for 24 hours {1 hour}
None 

Reading Update

Fiction: 1
Non-Fiction: 4
Reviews: 5 

Traveling

Nights Gone: 22
New Countries or States: None 

February Goals 

(Which I sadly never posted on Noveltea)
1. Do 80 hours of my non-writing job – YES, plus more!

2. Do 80 hours on my writing job – YES!
3. Read and review 4 non-fiction books – YES!

What I’ve Been Learning

Of course I learned a lot about the countries in our Around the World in 52 Weeks series: Tibet, the Netherlands, England, and the Falkland Islands. I had fun diving into the history and cool facts about those countries, as well as trying to figure out the best places to visit. 
There was also a learning curve I rode with my non-writing job. It was stressful at times, yet very rewarding and I enjoyed it a lot. 
Music. Specifically the piano and violin. I haven’t been learning to play the instruments, mind you, but more like what it feels like to play them. I’ve spent what felt like endless hours researching, reading books, emailing/messaging people, and soaking it all in. My brain has a much better grasp on the subject now and I’ve been very happy that I chose writing, not music, for my life. 
I’ve also been learning to let my mind change and to be willing to listen to what other people have to say in regards to my writing…Specifically When Life Hands You Lymes. It can be hard when I really don’t want to change. It’s good for me though. 
The books I read were insightful, even when I didn’t especially enjoy reading some of the chapters. I also read a fair amount of book reviews and the first several pages of a bunch of books online. I find this very helpful in figuring out what makes a good book and what readers are looking for. 

Other

One day when I came in from taking a walk one of my good friends was standing there and asked if I wanted to train to run a half marathon with him. Of course I was all in, and so the training began. That was 15 days ago and since then I’ve walked or hiked 35 miles, including one 7 mile day. I’m excited about this new challenge. 
I only had one week home in February, but it was a good week. I was reminded of how very, very much I love our church. I listened to several of the sermons online that I missed by being gone, but it wasn’t the same. I’m so very extremely thankful for our church and church family. 
As you probably know, my latest book that was published a year ago came out in Spanish! I’m still a bit amazed by that. I’m really excited to see where it goes and I pray that it can be used to help lots of people learn about God’s amazing creation. 
February was an amazing month and I’m so excited to see what March has in store for all of us. The next 31 days are stretching ahead of us, ready to be filled and redeemed and explored. Yay!
* * *
What are some things you learned or experienced in February?