to keep me busy

before arriving in oklahoma, i had developed several lists.  i’m a huge list person.  lists are my way of remembering, organizing my thoughts, being productive… surviving, really.  if i don’t write it down, there’s a very good chance it won’t happen or be remembered.

zach had really encouraged me to take this time and just enjoy the freedom.  treat it like a mini vacation.  we will most likely never have this season again.  so i began running lists of books to read, fun things to cook, projects to work on, as well as some overarching goals.  so if you’re interested…

– to slow down.

     for the last ten or so years i have kept a pretty fast-paced lifestyle, living life by the minute, always acutely aware of what time it is.  when working full time, i had to get creative (and busy) to squeeze in everything else i had or wanted to do outside of work.  and when i got married, that didn’t necessarily change a whole lot.  it was a challenging season, and a good one, but i’m glad it’s over.  plus, that fast of a lifestyle isn’t one that zach and i want to characterize our family.  so i’m planning to grow in creating a more laidback atmosphere in our home both now and as a foundation for the future. 

– to work out more consistently. 
     actually, that should probably just read, “to work out.”  haha!  i haven’t set foot in a gym in over 2 years.  yikes!  and i have definitely felt it.  and i have definitely not liked it.  zach and i both want to be more healthy in our lifestyle and that includes being more physically active.  here in OKC, there is a HUGE baptist church right across the street with a FREE fitness center open to the public! one of the benefits of living in “the Bible belt,” perhaps?  either way, i’ll take it as a gift from God. 

–  to prioritize my morning devotions more.
     zach and i have both been desiring to grow in this area.  so far, the new schedule has helped a lot.  i’m grateful to not have the pressure to be out the door by 8am every morning.  not that that’s any excuse, but it’s nice to not have that as a factor.  πŸ™‚  the last couple of days have felt blissful – sitting side by side on the couch, sipping coffee and eating cinnamon toast while we meet with God in the quiet of the morning. 

books to read:
– the Harry Potter series!  i’ve never ready them!  my plan is to read one of the books each week and then watch the corresponding movie afterwards (don’t worry, i don’t expect them to be as good.  i’m watching them just for the sake of curious comparison and the entertainment of seeing the world in the books visualized).

(book 1 is already finished – waiting for the movie to arrive via Netflix on friday!)

– [finish] A Praying Life by Paul Miller (i started it in my devotions a number of months ago and have been chipping away at it.. it’s outstanding!)

– Helper by Design by Elyse Fitzpatrick – i’ve heard nothing but great things about this book.  seems a fitting one to ready since i’m now a “full time wife”!  πŸ™‚

– 30 Days of Heaven by Randy Alcorn – i need to long for Heaven more.  and our church’s recent series through the book of Revelation has also piqued my curiosity about Heaven.

some things i’d like to cook/bake:
– brown bread from Outback Steakhouse (found a copycat recipe online!)
– cinnamon rolls – i actually made some tonight but they didn’t turn out so well.

the dough didn’t rise properly, so they are a bit dense and bready.  but still edible!  but i mean, with enough cream cheese frosting smeared on it, most anything that turns out subpar can be made edible, haha.  i’m going to try again next week.  this recipe is looking promising!
– sweet potato fries
– stuffed potato bites
– peanut butter chocolate pretzel tart
– buffalo chicken tacos
– eggs florentine
(those last 5 were all ones i found in a rachael ray magazine)
– muffins!  pumpkin-apple-streusel and bran.  2 of my favorites. 

Projects to Work On
– a christmas quilt!  over christmas, i purchased a number of fabrics to make a christmas quilt.  and for my birthday my moms gave me a rotary cutter and ruler for the project.  with the help of a michaels’ gift card from a friend, i also purchased a cutting mat.  i’m ready to get started!
here’s the pattern:
(lots of straight lines – yes please!)  but i will be using these colors (duh, it’s for Christmas silly!) :

(and no, those two near the top are not yellow.  they are beige-ish tan (“i’d say brownish gold!”).  i’m going for reds and greens with brown/gold accents. 

– greeting cards!
in jr high and high school i was really into stamping and making my own cards, scrapbook-style, using cute papers and accents.  i haven’t had much time to enjoy it in the last several years, so i’m looking forward to getting back into it.  plus, i’d like to make a habit of sending people encouragement notes more often.  i’m hoping this will help with that.    i mean, don’t you just love getting something fun in the mail?  especially in this age of internet, email, blogs, texts and facebook.  besides, the number of friends i have in other states just increased dramatically, so i definitely won’t lack for people to mail a card to! 

– file our taxes.  i can actually check this one off my list already.  i’ve never made enough money to itemize so filing my taxes every year takes all of 20 minutes.  and i always get money back – yay!  so that was motivation to do them quickly and early. 

– zach and i would like to look into apartment managing in pasadena.  now see, in pasadena, apartment complexes are not like they are in arizona.  in arizona, you drive by an apartment complex and there are several hundred units, right?  not so in Pas.  there, apartment complexes are comprised of like, 10-20 units.  and they are often managed by an individual who lives in the complex and handles any issues that come up for the owners.  in return, the property manager gets free rent.  and with rent running at $1200-$1700/month, free rent is quite appealing.  so i need to research this and find out what needs to be done for zach and me (mostly me) to get in on this gig. 

so i’d say i’ve got enough to keep me busy for 7 weeks, eh?

i’ll keep you apprised of my progress as i go! 


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