May 2019 In Review

WHAT I FOCUSED ON IN May 
  1. May 7th was my last day (at least for the summer) at the coffee shop, so making sure I finished out my time there was super important.
  2. May 11th I headed to Mexico to join my family for twelve days of vacation.
  3. May 26th I moved to Kentucky for the summer, so a lot of May was spent getting ready to move, then settling in.
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READING UPDATE

Fiction: 10
Nonfiction: 6
Audiobooks: 4
Books for Review: 7

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TRAVELING

I’m not even sure how to compute this anymore? I was in Mexico for twelve days, then I moved to Kentucky at the end of the month.

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GOALS
  1. Finish at the coffee shop – YES
  2. Pack for Kentucky – YES
  3. Pack for Mexico – YES
  4. Mow Grass – YES
  5. Personal – YES
  6. Help with House/Animal Sitting When the Family is Gone – YES
  7. Budget stuff – YES
  8. Personal – YES
  9. Leave with Room Clean – YES
  10. Four Bookstagram Pictures – YES
  11. Children’s Church Party and Write List – YES
  12. Personal – YES
  13. Vacation! – YES
  14. Move to Kentucky – YES
  15. Set Up Camper – YES
  16. Buy All the Little Things Like Soap – YES
  17. Start New Job – YES
So, for my month-long goals, I accomplished 17/17, and for my weekly goals, I accomplished 46/51.
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WHAT I’VE BEEN LEARNING

Um, it’s more like what haven’t I been learning? Because maybe that list is shorter. 😉

  • How to drive ‘long distances’ by myself. Aka, I’ve basically never driven more than two hours at once, and where I now live is nearly four hours away from home, so to make that trek on my own was a wee bit overwhelming to consider. As was picking some friends up at the airport mid-month. Cities and I just don’t generally get along well when I’m behind the wheel, but I’m learning and it’s a lot better than I had thought it would be.
  • Learning to do what I can and then let go was something I had to practice a lot while getting ready to move. I wanted everything to be perfect before I moved to Kentucky for the summer. As in, I wanted everything that has been on my mental to-do list for ages to get checked off. And I did check off a huge amount of things, but in the end, there were times I just had to choose to breathe deeply and move on.
  • How to pack light. Folks, why is this something I’m still working on? I thought I packed lightly for Mexico, I REALLY did. I just took a backpack and canvas bag, and some of the stuff was actually for my family. Still, I had at least four clothing items I could have done without. Hence the hunt for that perfect packing medium continues. (On the bright side, other than some rags, I think I have used everything I packed for my summer in Kentucky.)
  • I read six nonfiction books in May and there was some fantastic information on those. From what forgiveness really looks like, to the lies little girls are being fed by society today, to how to seek God’s will and move forward boldly. I learned about the bravery it takes to homeschool, how to be more engaged in each moment, and that sometimes a couple years really does make a huge difference in the level of someone’s maturity.
  • The learning curve of a new job, and how very far outside my comfort zone I’m sometimes thrust. It’s hard being the new girl at a job, but add that to being a new girl in a community (or rather lack of community) and an overloaded brain, and it’s kinda overwhelming.
  • I’ve been learning a lot about what works for me living on my own and working a more full-time job. I’m actually amazed by how fast I’ve gotten into the groove of always packing my lunch, leaving for work at the same time each day, and doing all my own shopping, cooking, dishes, etc… (Instead of splitting some of those tasks with family members.) Living in the camper is for sure as much fun as I thought it would be, and actually, a lot like I had imagined it would be.
  • To navigate my way around my new surroundings. New stores, new roads, and new rooms at work. I’m very thankful for people who patiently walk me through tasks when I’ve got questions, and are willing to help remedy my mistakes when I make them. I’m also super thankful for a GPS that makes shopping and finding my way around so much easier.
  • How to meet, remember, and make friends with a multitude of humans. I went from working with one co-worker per shift to having dozens, if not more, co-workers all around me. It’s a weird feeling sometimes, folks. Plus, I went from having a lot of “regular” customers to never seeing the same customer more than twice.
  • How to be more assertive/question/pay attention. Y’all. I come from a big family, which means I’m used to having a lot of eyes, ears, and hands around to help me when necessary. So, to now be in a place where I need to figure things out on my own? Well, it’s super different. (And also super good for me to be learning.)

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OTHER 

May was packed full, but with that beautiful balance of vacation in the middle of what has been the beginning of a very unusual season of my life.

As always, reading hit that sweet high place for the year while I was in Mexico. I think I read nine books in ten days which was lovely. I also got to spend a huge amount of time hanging out with my family, playing games, and resting. It was a delightful time and I’m so thankful that I was able to soak in time with my family before I moved to Kentucky.

I was sick for the last few days of vacation, which was no fun at all. I was supposed to move the day after I got home, but because of having the stomach flu, I stayed home one extra day. Resting for a whole day was nice, but I missed a wedding and that was sad.

Work was a lot easier in some ways than I had thought it would be, but oh, so much harder in other ways. I’ve been rather surprised and have learned a lot, including of more of what I need to pray each day. 😉

Living in my cute little camper has been delightful and I’m having fun learning all the little things I need to know to keep life going smoothly here. There’s also a huge yard that makes me feel like I’m smack-dab in the middle of the country and that delights my little country-girl heart.

How was your May?

April in Review {2019}

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What I Focused on in April 
  1. Keeping up with work and home life – this is the busy time for the coffee shop and my other job includes cutting grass, and the grass cutting season just started back up
  2. Getting ready to move for several months – fixing up the camper I’ll be living in, shopping, cleaning, paperwork, etc…
  3. Spending quality time with my people

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READING UPDATE

Fiction: 3
Nonfiction: 2
Audiobooks: 5
Books for Review: 2

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TRAVELING

What does this word even mean? I used to do a lot of it. Nowadays? Well, I’m happy to be home as much as possible. Next month that will change.

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GOALS
  1. Make a list of everything I need to do before moving – YES
  2. Taxes – YES
  3. Go through papers by desk – YES
  4. Go through drawer in coffee table – YES
  5. Go through stuff on back of bed – YES
  6. Clean and return Leo’s overalls from caving – YES
  7. Finish reviewing Moody books and request new ones – YES
  8. Clean camper – YES
  9. Writing Project Thing – YES
  10. Project Thing – YES
  11. Four Bookstagram Pictures – YES
  12. Walk 40 Miles – NO (Haha, wow, Lyds. Obviously you didn’t realize how busy this month would be)
  13. Paleo 18 days – YES
  14. Car tires changed – YES
  15. Home for Whimsy – YES
  16. Shop for clothes and shoes for work – YES
  17. Pay Dad for airline tickets – YES
  18. Goal Thing – YES
  19. Begin mowing – YES
  20. Watch or listen to TCK stuff each week – YES
  21. Curtains for camper – YES
So, for my month-long goals, I accomplished 20/21, and for my weekly goals, I accomplished 53/59. 
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WHAT I’VE BEEN LEARNING
  • Apparently, license plates have to be renewed. Who knew? So, I learned what it’s like to get pulled over. Thankfully, it was a very kind police guy who let me off with just a warning
  • Lots of paperwork and taxes stuff. Not my strongest part of life
  • How to juggle life when it’s extra busy at work, at home, and I’m also planning on moving for the summer soon, so I have all that craziness
  • More about my personality and how it does and doesn’t work and what areas I need to grow in. (Evidently, it’s a thing with Enneagram type 3 people to act like they have it all together, and that their lives are wildly successful? And, as it turns out, that isn’t true…)
  • How amazing it is to listen to audiobooks when life is too busy to get much reading done
  • Hindi. Yeah, I was fairly certain I was the kind of girl who could never learn a new language, but here I am
  • That life is better after you’ve had an affogato
  • Once you’ve had one affogato, you’ll want more

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OTHER 

This month felt like a blur of fast-paced running to keep up with life – without the running part because that’s the only goal from April that I failed sadly on.

April was delightful and full of lovely moments to recall in months to come. Like dropping what we were doing and running outside to sit on hay bales to watch the sunset. Or sitting in the freezing creek at night – because, ya know, things like that are important. Or having random picnics and rolling down hills. (I recommend doing that in reverse order, though.)

April was also full of not quite-so-delightful moments like having paperworkish things move me to tears, running into issues with the camper I’m hoping to move into, and going for about six weeks (not all in April, obviously) not being able to sleep well because my brain was so full of things that needed to be done.

April was gorgeous beyond belief. It was like having a whole extra month of May and I was thrilled nearly every day by how beautiful, lovely, and dreamy the land is where I live.

March 2019 in Review

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WHAT I FOCUSED ON In March 

  1. Some pretty epic things that I’m looking forward to sharing about with y’all soon. 😉
  2. Quality time with a lot of amazing people
  3. Work at the coffee shop and researching about TCKs

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READING UPDATE

Fiction: 6
Nonfiction: 6
Audiobooks: 5
Books for Review: 6

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TRAVELING

I don’t even know anymore… I think I was gone five nights?

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GOALS
  1. Personal Goal – YES
  2. Clean bathroom twice – YES
  3. Clean car – YES
  4. Personal Goal – YES
  5. Start new book/program for Children’s church – YES
  6. Trip to PA (NC instead) – YES
  7. Caving trip – YES
  8. Personal Goal – YES
  9. Paleo 25 days – YES (I cheated some with this, but overall I was happy with the month.)
  10. Personal Goal – YES
  11. 8 Bookstagram pictures – YES
  12. Stephanie’s book release stuff – YES
  13. Review 5 books – YES
  14. Walk 5 miles in one day – YES
  15. Deep clean closet – YES
  16. Track all money – YES
  17. Personal Goal – YES
  18. Write significant amounts on TCK 10 days – NO
  19. Read to page 150 in TCK book – YES (and finished it)
  20. Watch about different cultures/countries/TCKs every week – YES
  21. Look for TCK stuff on Instagram – YES
  22. Look up TCK podcast – YES
  23. Write TCK goals each week – NO ( I did 3 out of 4 weeks, but forgot one time)
So, for my month-long goals, I accomplished 22/24, and for my weekly goals, I accomplished 39/46. 
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WHAT I’VE BEEN LEARNING

Some months it seems like I learn so much I don’t even know where or how to categorize all the new information. (Which is one reason writing the highlights on here is pretty epic.) I’m going to try and be succinct this month and just give bullet points.

  • How much having a good schedule really does help me keep up as life gets busier
  • As I get busier I have to say no to more things, but I need to make sure to chose those things wisely
  • When I’m doing really well with one are of life it’s easy for me to forget to keep up with other areas, too
  • The book about God and Love languages was amazing – one of the most eye-opening parts for me was when he said he’s discovered that a lot of times people who’s Love Langauge is touch are more likely to dance, etc… while worshiping God. (That explains a lot)
  • About having a balanced life – aka, making sure that my inner world is healthy and vibrant
  • About how to write business-type blog posts (no worries, not for on here)
  • All about different countries, TCKs, cultures, and how people all over the world view other people – totally fantastic stuff
  • How to punch lots of holes in my comfort zone
  • To savor moments instead of dreading the end of an era
  • To go with the flow
    …And a lot more. 🙂
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Other 

This month was so busy I barely had time to catch my breath. My world tilted in all kinds of good ways, and I found myself slightly overwhelmed with all I had on my plate. But, enough of the vague, and into the details. 😉

One of my co-workers (who was totally amazing) moved out of state, another co-worker had to take a break for medical reasons, and the third co-worker got another parttime job. Because of that, I spent a lot more time at the coffee shop in March than normal. It was great. And busy.

I went caving. I’ve done this caving trip three times before now, but because of various things I was slightly freaked out about it. And when I say slightly freaked out I mean I had to use a lot of mental control to even go on the spelunking adventure. After I was there though, the beauty reminded me of just why I like doing this type of adventure so much. I’m glad I went, and I want to go again, and hopefully, it will be easier the next time. 😉

My mom and I were supposed to go to PA to visit a doctor about my adrenals. That ended up not panning out, but I didn’t know that until a few days before we were going to leave. So, since I had time off work Mom and I hopped in the car and we drove to NC so I could meet my newest niece. I’m very thankful I got to do that.

There’s a guy who’s lived with our family (actually, next door but he does everything with our family) for the last year and a half, and he’s very much like a brother to us. He’s moving out of state (which was the plan all along), so March was a month of trying to spend as much family time as possible before he leaves. We’ll miss him immensely.

I’m thankful for this March. Thankful for what I learned, was able to expereince, accomplish, and all the memories I made.

And now, for April!

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January In Review {2019}

What I focused on in January

  1. Working on my new book, so eloquently referred to as TCKnovel
  2. Delightful family time as the world outside was wrapped up in snow and ice
  3. Getting into the rhythm of a new year and working on my goals

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Reading Update

Fiction: 7
Nonfiction: 3
Audiobooks: 2
Books for Review: 5

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Traveling

Nights Gone: 2
New Places: 0

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Goals

  1. Decide for sure on my year-long Goals – YES
  2. Write plot and character sketches for TCK – YES
  3. Blog 16 times – YES
  4. Walk 30 miles – YES
  5. Decide about Vlogs – YES
  6. Look into Sunday School curriculum – YES
  7. Track hours/money made – YES
  8. Track all money spent – YES
  9. Print pages or draw graph for yearly goals – YES
  10. Send thank you cards – YES
  11. Clean bathroom – YES
  12. Read two nonfiction books – YES
  13. Talk with Aubrey about goals – YES
  14. Mat or water and quiet time thought every day – YES
  15. To bed by 10:30 ten times – YES
  16. 8 Bookstagram pictures – YES
  17. Plus 3 more personal goals – YES

And I had (all together) 58 weekly goals, and I accomplished 45 of them.

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What I’ve Been Learning

Goodness. My brain feels full from this month.

A friend recommended I read the book Anthropological Insights for Missionaries so I bought it and have been reading it for the last couple weeks. It’s been eye-opening and really interesting. It takes me a while to process everything I’m reading so I’m crawling through it but really enjoying it. It talks about how and why we view the world, and how a lot of the time we don’t even realize how different our culture is from other cultures and so we try and relate to them through our worldview and mindset and there’s a huge disconnect. I’ve learned a lot about other cultures and a ton about myself (and those around me) as I read.

Another book I read was Historical Fiction and it took place in Hawaii. Reading about the culture there while reading about how different people think and why they do what they do was exceedingly interesting.

I began working on a book about TCKs – third culture kids – which goes right along with the above information. Trying to imagine the world through their perspective has been good for me and has shown me how much I try and project my normality on others.

My book has a mystery in it, so I’ve been learning about mysteries this month. I’ve read plot charts, listened to mysteries, gleaned wisdom from blog posts, Pinterest, and Googling. It’s a fun, stretching experience.

This month I learned how to go to a coffee shop and sit down and focus on writing. This sounds silly, but it’s really something I had to work on learning because I’m far too ready to jump from task to task.

Another thing I’ve been working on learning is what to say yes to and what to say no to. I’m far too ready to push myself to accomplish a goal to simply check it off then I should be, so learning to reassess on a regular basis and decide what I really want to and should be focusing on is important. Also, my identity isn’t based on checkmarks. But that’s (so far) a life-long thing I’m working on learning.

Planning ahead and cooking healthy is something I did a lot this month. I’m working at filling my body with healthy things and the best way for me to do that is to have a ready supply of pre-made meals I can just grab. This was good on some levels, and I also learned that not all meals freeze well. (I’m looking at you, Napa cabbage.) Also, the app, Mealime is pretty cool and y’all should check it out.

Money. Folks, I sometimes wonder where all my money goes so I decided to start tracking all of it. I use a nifty little app that’s aptly named Spending and it was eye-opening to not only see how much money I spend but also where it all goes.

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Other 

Snow tires cost a lot, y’all. But being able to actually make it home instead of literally having your car stop in the middle of the road with no traction whatsoever? Well, it’s kinda worth the money. Also, having brothers who will take care of figuring all the details out for you? Priceless.

Speaking of snow tires… Ohio makes my heart happy, and January is one of my favorite months of the year. I will say though, having church be canceled so much can be a huge bummer. A lot of people who go to our church (including us) live very rurally, so if there’s a lot of snow or ice then they sometimes have to cancel, and this month they canceled Sunday morning church twice and Wednesday evening once.

January was filled with words. I got back into the habit of reading for review and read five books for review this month, plus I worked a lot on writing. Goodness did it ever feel great to be surrounded by words again.

For the last half of 2018 I kinda let my health slide which obviously isn’t good, especially for someone who’s still working at getting their body back into a fully healthy condition after dealing with health issues (aka Lyme disease) for a long time. So, I got some things figured out with my thyroid (which included having it go hyper instead of hypo for a week or so which was horrible). And, I started back on Paleo, began tracking how much water I drink, worked on walking more (quite often while blogging), and getting to bed at a more reasonable time. It’s been good.

January was a fantastic month despite the week or so that I wasn’t feeling well, and I’m so thankful for all I was able to learn, do, experience, and focus on.

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What was one of your highlights in January?