[ 4 simple goals ] +one

The concept: create 4 (plus one) simple, personal goals for myself. The basic rules: choose simple goals that are action-oriented, set a reward for accomplishing the goals, and blog about my progress. This challenge-thingy goes through the end of this year, but for me, they are things I can/should/want to continue throughout my life. I like this idea because it's easier for me to have short-term goals rather than long-term ones. Here goes something.

1. Read scriptures daily. reward: spiritual upliftment, spirit in home, better life, etc.

2. Create weekly. Try a new recipe, paint a picture, take a photograph, or mix-n-match for a cute "new" outfit. reward: develop talents, feel good about self.

3. Clean and organize apartment weekly. Complete clean-up once weekly (no more than one hour), and keep things tidy daily (twenty minutes). reward: sanity.

4. Plan and go on a date a week with my husband. (This requires your participation and help, my Troy James.) Keep them fun, creative, cheap, and meaningful. Document with pictures! reward: grow our love, learn more about each other, improve relationship.

+one. Stay on top of school work (aka bye-bye procrastination). reward: sanity, time, stress reduction, happiness, etc.

Since all of the rewards I listed are intrinsic for the most part, a good ol' bribe for myself is in order. If I feel that I have accomplished these goals to the best of my ability by the end of the semester, then I will treat myself to a new album on iTunes (because music makes me happy). I'll blog about my progress every once in a while, to keep myself accountable. There, I've written them down, now I have to do them.

Idea sources: here and here.

thanks to the froyo.

One year ago today, I met Troy James for the first time.

I was nervous, and excited. Did you know the first time we met, I was wearing only mascara? That's a big deal for me, since I think I look about 14 without eyeliner and shadow.

(I wanted to test him. Why would I want to test a guy I'd never met before??)

We'd arranged to meet at TCBY (The Country's Best Yogurt....it's website boasts the best of the treat since before the froyo fad). We did indeed meet there. I was unusually outgoing and loud. I was glad I'd finished my cone before he arrived, since my cone had a hole in the bottom and I had to eat it less than gracefully.

He walked through the door, and I watched him (since he didn't know which of the beautiful young ladies was me), noting his forwardness towards those around him, yet still unsure of himself amongst so many new people.

I must've liked what I saw, right? (Kidding, of course I did.)

After the frozen treats were consumed, we headed back to my apartment to play a game. Curses. Anyone who has played "Curses" knows that it is a most humiliating and hilarious game. Pretty much awesome for a first impression. He sat a person away from me in the circle. I tried not to look his way too often, only to be informed later that he watched me the whole night.

Who'd've thought that Waffle Cone Wednesdays and a rousing round of Curses would wind up bringing two people together forever? Gosh, it's really been a whole year.

to be creative.

I took this quiz.

Here are my results:

Creativity is a release.

For you, creativity is first and foremost a form of expression: it creates a special link between the internal and external worlds [....] In fact, the most important thing for you is to be able to release your emotions. You need to be able to touch them or look at them in concrete form, and to do that you have to find a way to make them come alive.... if you turn your creative urges on everyday life — making a picnic, singing to the baby, choosing what to wear — you can express yourself [....] Creativity is principally cathartic. It relieves a deep need, an almost primal, archaic impulse. For you, being creative is about having the power to give form to something you feel [...] For these reasons you are usually attracted to art that demands physicality, that allows you to express what’s inside, and that unites spontaneity, strength, freedom, power and movement.

While these results are somewhat deep and not entirely true, in my opinion, I think they have some merit. I believe there is a need and desire to create within each of us. This can be expressed in many ways....be it through painting, singing, dancing, having children, sculpting, crafting, sewing, writing....you name it!

A couple of weeks ago, I decided I wanted to paint. I've never really painted before in my life. I took art in 7th grade, but we did pastels and sand paintings and tissue paper collages. I've always loved drawing, and have a couple of sketchbooks.

I told TJ about my desire, and he told me to go for it. So off to Michael's I went, purchasing the cheapest supplies I could. And the next day I started my first painting. I finished it last night.

Please take the time to watch this video.

3 months ago.

I went through the temple for the first time. It was one of the most incredibly spiritual experiences of my life. I didn't want to leave. I was so at peace....and I knew myself better than I have ever known before.

three of us.

At my bridal shower in April. This is probably the last picture taken of the three of us before the wedding. And now baby sister is in high school.

P & Q [day 6]

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."
-Dr. Seuss-

P & Q [day 5]

image by Joseph Blech Photography, b&w by me.

"For love is heaven, and heaven is love."
-Sir Walter Scott-

P & Q [day 4]

"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island and at the bottom of the Spanish Main... and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life."
-Walt Disney-

what would it be like....

...to have a dishwasher?

...to have a full-sized oven?

...to have non-brick walls to decorate?

...to have a house?

...to have a husband who's home when I go to bed at night?

...to eat dinner with said husband on a week night?

I'll know someday.

With all that I "lack," I am so unbelievably blessed.

( just a note )

I'm really excited about this challenge that I'm doing. I think it'll give me a way to stretch myself, test my skills. Just so you readers know, all of the images I post in this series will be mine unless otherwise noted.

I do have a confession. I cheated on yesterday's post. It was Sunday, I was lazy, so I used a picture I had taken a couple of weeks ago. On the road. In the car. Between Flagstaff and Mesa.

In other news, we got a new couch! While I'm grateful for the free one my parents found for us, it was simply too large and too beat-up. Not to mention, it was like sitting on bars if you weren't centered on a cushion. Moment of silence for Blue Couch Covered With Tan Sheets.

We found this comfy little loveseat on Craigslist for $50. It's less than a year old and makes such a difference in our living room. Meet Cute Little Comfy Brown Loveseat:

P & Q [day 3]

"Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing."
-William Butler Yeats-

P & Q [day 2]

"My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith. I declare that God lives and that He hears and answers our prayers. His Son, Jesus Christ, is our Savior and Redeemer. Heaven's blessings await us."
-Thomas S. Monson-