Friday, January 23, 2009

101 Accomplishments in 1001 Days

Ok so here is "THE LIST" and to be totally honest with you I'm really freaking out about it. You know at first I was like "101 things isn't much... no prob." until you try to think of 101 things and see the 4 page list on paper and then it hits you. Holy Cow this is intense! And then the fear of failing royally set in... but I said I was going to do this so here it is. My 1001 days starts NOW!

  1. Tithe once a month.
  2. Eat at 5 new restaurants I've never eaten at.
  3. Try 5 new foods.
  4. Get my Handgun Carry Permit.
  5. Complete a 1-year daily devotional book.
  6. Have professional portraits done of Brock & I.
  7. Create a website for my photography.
  8. Read 1 book every month.
  9. Listen to 2 books on cd every month.
  10. Go to church every Sunday for 1 month.
  11. Go to church every Sunday for 1 month.
  12. Go to church every Sunday for 1 month.
  13. Pay off my car.
  14. Play the piano for 1 hour every week.
  15. Pray at least once a day.


16. Design & make a personal wardrobe for 1 full season.
17. Design & build a new bed.
18. Design & build a new dresser.
19. Design & build two bedside tables.
20. Make a piece of pottery out of clay on a potter's wheel.
21. Finger paint a large canvas with Brock.
22. Make Brock's halloween costume.
23. Make 1 piece of clothing for Brock every month.
24. Complete 2 canvas paintings.
25. Visit the Frist Center to view 3 different art exhibits.


26. Take a swing dancing class.
27. Take a salsa dancing class.
28. Take a cooking class.
29. Take a cake decorating class.
30. Finish my Bachelor's degree.
31. Learn how to read music.
32. Take a draping class.
33. Take an online course on how to use all the features on my Nikon D80 camera.
34. Take a class on photoshop.


35. Donate Blood.
36. Donate Clothes/ Toys to Goodwill.
37. Take and Angel off the Angel Tree.


38. Go to Zanies Comedy Club.
39. Go to see the Nashville Ballet.
40. Go to a play at TPAC.
41. Ride on the General Jackson.
42. See a show at The Ryman.


43. Join a gym.
44. Run a half marathon.
45. Run a full marathon.
46. Take a spin class.
47. Do yoga everyday for 1 month.
48. Exercise 3 days a week for 1 month.
49. Exercise 3 days a week for 1 month.
50. Exercise 3 days a week for 1 month.
51. Exercise 3 days a week for 1 month.
52. Get a massage.
53. Drink only water for 1 month.
54. Go 1 month with no chocolate.
55. Go 1 month with no carbonated drinks.


56. Host a family get together.
57. Take Brock to the Nashville Zoo.
58. Take Brock to the Adventure Science Museum.
59. Take Brock to the Chattanooga Aquarium.
60. Take Brock to a Live Disney Play.
61. Spend 1 full day with Braden, my brother.
62. Spend 1 full day with Jean, my mother.
63. Go on 1 Father-Daughter date.
64. Have 10 Mother-Son dates with Brock.


65. Send a friend flowers just because.
66. Mail 30 Random cards to friends.
67. Get a pedicure with 4 friends.
68. Visit Sarah in St.Louis to celebrate our 25th Birthdays!
69. Find out ALL of my friends birthdays and send them a card.


70. Go to Cedar Pointe Theme Park and ride ALL the rides.
71. Take a vacation to the beach.
72. Go snowboarding.


73. Do the "Wild" cave tour at Mammoth Cave.
74. Go indoor climbing.
75. Go camping.
76. Ride a 4-wheeler.
77. Go hiking in the Smokies.
78. Go to a Sounds game.
79. Go to a Predators game.
80. Go to a Titans game.
81. Go play disc golf/ frisbee golf/ folf (whatever you want to call it)
82. Visit a winery.
83. Go on a picnic.
84. Go fishing.
85. Go to a fair.
86. Host a "Girls Night Out" Slumber Party.


87. Buy a gun.
88. Purchase a bodice form for draping.
89. Buy a "real" Coach purse.
90. Buy a new lens for my Nikon D80.


91. Sell those 2 paintings I complete.
92. Go to dinner & a movie alone.
93. Go parasailing.
94. Go on a hot air balloon ride.
95. Go to a Karaoke bar & sing.
96. Play the piano for an audience of strangers.
97. Play the piano for my peers/ friends.


98. Blog about list progress.
99. Encourage 3 people to start their own 101 in 1001 list.
100. Celebrate accomplishments on 1001st day!
101. Make another list.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Strengths Finder

Several months ago the VP of Operations, Chris, at the company I work for presented some of us with the opportunity to read a book called Strengths Finder by Tom Rath. (Click on the blog title for a link to the website). The book gives you a code that you use to log into the online questionaire. Each book has a different code and you can only take the questionaire once with that code. It is also a timed quiz. I think you get 20-30 seconds to read each question and answer. The point is to get you to respond with your initial answer without second guessing yourself. At the end of the questionaire it generates your top 5 strengths out of the 34 discussed in the book. Here are mine:

1. Strategic

  • People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
  • Driven by your talents, you are innovative, inventive, original, and resourceful. Your mind allows you to venture beyond the commonplace, the familiar, or the obvious. You entertain ideas about the best ways to reach a goal, increase productivity, or solve a problem. First, you think of alternatives. Then you choose the best option. By nature, you might acknowledge your ability to detect specific configurations in events, data, or people's behavior. Perhaps you identify trends or potential problems before anyone else notices them. Sometimes you help people examine the consequences of taking action or failing to take action. Chances are good that you may have acquired expertise in specific areas. Occasionally you spend time considering several courses of action before choosing one. Perhaps you invent original or innovative techniques for dealing with expected or unexpected challenges. Maybe you use the same approach to take advantage of promising opportunities. It’s very likely that you might recognize recurring sequences in data, events, information, or people's comments. These insights might enable you to form links between things that others cannot. Instinctively, you select the right combination of words to convey your ideas or feelings. In the middle of discussions, your vocabulary provides you with precise phrases and terminology. You probably express yourself with ease and grace.

2. Includer

  • People who are especially talented in the Includer theme are accepting of others. They show awareness of those who feel left out, and make an effort to include them.
  • Because of your strengths, you can live peacefully with different types of people. You attempt to cooperate with them. Perhaps you welcome newcomers into your life. You sometimes help them fit into the group. Some may permit you to draw them into casual chitchat or serious discussions. Now and then, talking with strangers energizes you. Chances are good that you move in and out of thought-provoking conversations with grace. You delve deeply into topics and explore the frontiers of ideas. The animated give-and-take you most enjoy often occurs in the company of thinkers. You tend to be happier when you meet people who share your need to talk about theories and concepts. You tend to be less engaged with those who are overly concerned with gossip or purely practical matters. It’s very likely that you may perform at an optimal level -- physically or mentally -- later in the day. Perhaps you have figured out the exact hours during the late afternoon or evening when your concentration and your capacity to work hard are strongest. Driven by your talents, you might find a reason to feel affection for almost every person you meet. Instinctively, you sometimes enjoy surrounding yourself with companions rather than being alone.

3. Futuristic

  • People who are especially talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.
  • Driven by your talents, you take charge of your future. You are determined to shape it as you wish. You probably spend a lot of time thinking about your goals. You are driven to create the experiences you desire. You tend to agree with the notion "If you can think it, you can make it happen." By nature, you have a capacity for envisioning what the coming months, years, or decades could, should, or will be like. Frequently you are prompted to transform your ideas into things you can touch, taste, see, smell, or hear. Chances are good that you are a visionary thinker. Your vivid mental images of the coming months, years, or decades often impel you to move into action. It’s very likely that you envision what you can accomplish tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, or in the coming decades. Your goals and aspirations motivate you to keep moving forward. The tension you feel when a deadline is fast approaching forces you to concentrate on the right activities, discard irrelevant information, and not waste time on intriguing distractions. Your one aim is to reach your objectives. Instinctively, you sometimes envision mental pictures of what you want your world or yourself to look like weeks, months, years, or decades from now.

4. Communication

  • People who are especially talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.
  • It’s very likely that you may be quite comfortable telling stories or describing your experiences. People might look forward to hearing what you have to say. By nature, you may feel the absence of your friends more deeply than some people do. Perhaps you long for the emotional support these individuals provide when miles separate you or circumstances make communication impossible. Driven by your talents, you may be able to engage in verbal give-and-take. Perhaps you keep discussions or dialogues alive by asking specific questions or introducing new topics. Because of your strengths, you sometimes enjoy verbalizing your thoughts. You may want certain individuals to acknowledge your ideas and honor your feelings. Perhaps gaining and maintaining specific people's attention pleases you. Instinctively, you sometimes welcome opportunities to speak about topics directly related to your particular areas of mastery. Depending on your other talents, you might feel comfortable discussing ideas with one or two other specialists. On the other hand, you might look forward to addressing a larger audience of experts.

5. Focus

  • People who are especially talented in the Focus theme can take a direction, follow through, and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act.
  • By nature, you set definite goals for yourself. These performance objectives allow you to exercise control over the events in your life. They also influence many of the choices you make. It’s very likely that you might be comfortable conversing with individuals who know a few things they want to accomplish personally and/or professionally. Perhaps you can bond with certain people when they are open and honest about their goals. Typically you derive much satisfaction from helping others design performance objectives for themselves. Because of your strengths, you might offer assistance to people when the predicament in which they find themselves fascinates you. Maybe you come to the aid of others when they ask you to study an intriguing problem, unanswered question, or unfamiliar subject. Occasionally you are delighted to report back to them your discoveries and conclusions. Instinctively, you may sometimes feel a particular need to reach goals, make money, have power, or become famous. To achieve these successes, you might easily state what you want, expect, demand, or need. From time to time, you use sophisticated words or complicated terminology to capture and keep the attention of certain people. Maybe your vocabulary sets you apart. What you say and how you say it might threaten or intimidate selected listeners, if that is your intent. Chances are good that you are typically exasperated by people who cannot set a clear direction for themselves. You can become annoyed by their inability to ignore distractions that prevent them from reaching their goals, meeting their deadlines, or following their plans.
Ok so that's a very discriptive explanation of my top 5 strengths. The book goes into a lot more detail on each. After we completed our quizes and reading the book, those of us who participated sat down together to discuss what we got out of it. We also discussed a lot of the different strengths people have and how we can use this new knowledge of our co-workers in our day to day tasks. It gives you insight into those who can handle certain tasks or assignments over others. It has helped me learn how to approach certain people who are not the best at communicating in order to get the job done or how to keep someone focused on the task at hand. But this questionaire/quiz did not just help me in my work environment. It helped me learn how to successfully approach different types of obstacles or circumstances in my every day life. It has helped me hone in on why I am the way I am and how to use my strengths to better my life and the life of those around me. The Strengths Finder website keeps all of your information in a private online profile so you can always refer back to it. It also has printable materials on your specific strengths. I have my list printed and posted in my office to remind me daily that I am strong enough to overcome all things.

I wanted to share this information with everyone in hopes that it will not only encourage you to embrace and use your own very special strengths but also know who I truly am. I could not have described myself any better then the above 5 strengths did.

I strongly encourage everyone to get this book and take the quiz. It has really opened my eyes to the person I always new I could be.... now I just know how to get there!


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Daycare/ School

Ok this is a call out for HELP to all the mothers out there!

As you know I have a sweet, loving, adorable little boy, Brock. He's 2 1/2 and doing very well considering it's the "terrible two's" phase. So with that in mind... he's a very strong-willed and stubborn little boy (I wonder where he gets that from.. haha) who always wants his way about every little thing. Something he has always struggled with is when I drop him off at daycare. I call it school... Brock calls it "Debbie's House" (That's one of his teachers). So upon dropping him off he will NOT walk into the school holding my hand. He demands to be carried while I'm also juggling his bag, lunch, sheet and blanket, and any toy he has to take with him. There are days when I try to force him to walk next to me but he just sits on my foot and I end up dragging him. Needless to say, it usually makes a scene.

So then we go inside where I sign him in, put up his bag and lunch, and take him to the big gym where all the "early birds" stay until all the teachers arrive. They have a little kids table set up for them to sit down and eat their breakfast and then they are free to play with the bikes and other riding toys he loves. Now, there are usually two teachers there in the early morning... Becky and some other lady I can't remember her name...for the sake of this story we'll call her "The Grinch".

Ok so Becky is this lovely older lady who just has the sweetest voice and lovely smile all the time (even at 6:45am!). She gets down on Brock's level and comforts him when he doesn't want me to leave. This makes him feel more comfortable and the fussing usually stops and settles down quickly with her. We LOVE Ms.Becky.

Ok so "The Grinch" is this other older lady who never smiles, has a harsh/ frustrated tone in her voice, and usually ignores Brock when he fusses. Whenever "The Grinch" is the only teacher in the gym in the morning it's like pulling teeth to get Brock off of me and stop fussing so I can leave. He usually ends up on the gym floor kicking and screaming and it embarrasses me so bad in front of the other parents. "The Grinch" just stands there and gives me dirty looks like I'm a bad mother who can't control her own child. I hate the way she makes me feel!

So after seeing this pattern continue for months and months I've come to the conclusion that when it's Becky or any other teacher in the morning, Brock does great! No seperation anxiety or screaming. But when "The Grinch" is there, even if Becky or another teacher is there as well, Brock screams and throws a horrible fit.

With all that being said... what do I do? I obviously know what the problem is but I just don't know what I can do about it. Should I say something to the Director? One thing I have done is verbally praise and thank Becky and the other teachers in front of "The Grinch" thanking them for being so loving and patient with Brock and always making him feel comfortable when he's away from me.

Any suggestions or encouragement will be greatly appreciated! Please pray that whatever Brock is scared of goes away. It breaks my heart every morning that he cries when I leave. I'm strong until I get in my car and then it's all I can do to not burst out in tears. I hate seeing him with that scared look on his face. I want to be there for him and it's at those moments I know I can't be.

This is really tearing me up inside...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


A New Year's resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or the reforming of a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous. The name comes from the fact that these commitments normally go into effect on New Year's Day and remain until fulfilled or abandoned.

So as some of you may know, my life has taken a turn and I'm starting a new chapter in my life. For me I usually do not bother with New Year's Resolutions but this year it just seems fitting. I have a desire to change a lot about me and my life this year and setting goals (resolutions) is the best way for me to achieve those goals. The reason for the new blog is to help me visually see my progress throughout the year and have those closest to me hold me accountable. I have big dreams and goals for 09 and I have this fire under me to get them all accomplished and go above and beyond my own expectations.

Ok... my resolutions... some are very cliche but some are very original and others will be extremely difficult for me but might seem easy to others. All-in-all... I'm wanting to improve 2 things in my life: Self Discipline and Self Esteem. I'm hoping to replace bad habits with new positive habits that help me to grow into a beautiful person from the inside out. Here's the list as of today but I will probably add to it as time goes on.
  1. Diet and Exercise: Ok seems pretty simple and the most likely one to fail miserably; however, I have more incentive to do this then most. My health issues with my migraines has really scared me a lot here recently and I'm still working on getting answers about them but my eyes have really opened up to the reality of how I'm living my life. The foods I'm eating, the lack of exercise, the inability to sleep... which all leads to no energy. So no more of the following: fast food, fried food, sodas, coffee, etc. From now on it's all healthy food and water and juice only. I'm not going on a strick diet to lose weight but more to get the most out of my workouts. I'm joining a gym as soon as I find one I like and will work out a lot. I truly love working out and running. I want to get my "pre-baby body" back and better then it was before.
  2. Television: No more more reality shows, greys, private practice, extreme home makeover, desperate housewives, brothers & sisters, heros, one tree hill, the hills, the city, smallville, omg... it keeps going...see my point! Well of course there are exceptions to this rule like football and movies. However, the point I'm trying to make is how I've come to realize just how much time I waste planted on the couch in front of the tube not doing anything productive and wasting time away that I'll never get back. That could have been time used to do something much more productive which leads me to my 3rd resolution...
  3. Reading: For those who truly know me won't believe me when I say this but I LOVE reading. I just hated it growing up because we were forced to read things that did not interest me at all. Now I have decided to take all of that tv wasting time and turn it into a new habit. I'm starting this goal out small and hopefully it will grow. I want to read one book each month for the next year. I'm hoping to do more then one a month but as life changes and having a toddler... I figured one book a month would be a reasonable goal to start with.
  4. Four Letter Words: No more... no more swearing... I don't know why I do it. Maybe it's because I hear it so much at work, around friends, in movies and on tv that it just becomes a habit. I know it's not a good habit so now is a great time to kick it. Plus I have a toddler who repeats everything he hears... even more incentive to watch my tongue.
  5. 101 in 1001: So my friend Jessica introduced me to a list called 101 in 1001. Basically you create a list of 101 things you want to accomplish and you have 1001 days to complete everything on your list. That's just shy of 3 years to complete 101 things... seems reasonable and that's why I'm going to start a list. I'm working on it and might post it later. I'm doing this mainly because the world is such a busy place and we can easily get swept into a routine of doing the same old same old all the time that we finally stop and look up and years have gone by and things we always wanted to do never happened. This is my way of making sure I stay grounded and never lose site of the things I enjoy most about life.
  6. Budget: Get on a budget and stay on a budget... I have a lot of things I want Brock and I to do this year so being on a budget will help me plan for those things and insure they happen.
  7. School: I want to sign up for school and get on the ball with finishing my degree. I am so eager to get back to school. I hate that I had to stop school before Brock was born and that it has taken me 2 years to get back into but I'm very ready now and looking forward to it. As of right now I want to finish my degree in Secondary Education so I can be a high school teacher.
  8. Devotional: I am wanting to grow my relationship with Christ this year. It has been pushed to the side for several years now and I know it needs to be a top priority. This one really should be at the top of my list because without Christ in my life I will not be able to accomplish all my goals I have. But because I don't want to copy, paste, and move everything... we'll just pretend it's at the top of the list... It really is my top priority. If anyone has any suggestions for a great daily devotional that would be extremely helpful. Also, I'm looking for a new church for Brock and I to call home on Sundays.

Ok so that's my goals/ resolutions for 2009. Seems like a lot but most are just replacing old habits with new. Please pray for me as I get to work on these this month. This is going to be a hard month but I know I can do this because I have the drive and desire to do this.

Ok so that is it for now.