Best of 2011

This year was great! I enjoy being able to reflect upon the year that was through my blog. I blogged a lot in the Spring and Summer, but the Fall got a little crazy. I wish I’d done more blogging here these last few months, (I’ve shifted some of my blogging energy to my classroom blog). Being able to look through all my posts for a year reminds me how much I love recording and journaling it all. It has become a bit of a tradition (2008, 2009, and 2010). Below is my highlight list of 2011.

  • I ran a 10k! I’m actually still surprised I did this.
  • Tranee and I took a girl trip to Fredericksburg.
  • JMO and I took a cooking class, which he gave me for Christmas.
  • I went to visit Mike in Orlando for Spring Break.
  • I was named rookie teacher of the year for my school district.
  • My family and I spent a week at the beach in Florida visiting with my relatives.
  • I travelled to Honduras for my first mission trip.
  • I enjoyed karaoke with my pal.
  • JMO and I have been dating for five years!
  • My cousin got married in New Orleans, not only did I get a mini vacation, but I got lots of family time!
  • I completed a year long Happiness Project

Next year….

In 2012 I have a few broad plans. I’d like to save more money. At my age, I feel like I should have a little more in the bank. That means only buying things I truly want and having a plan. I quit my gym this week. The monthly amount I paid for my gym fee will now automatically go into savings. I’ve really enjoyed doing bootcamps, zumba classes, and whatever else I find a Groupon for. Indpendent studios are more motivating to me. I’m doing the Rodeo Run again in February, so that will motivate me to get outside and run a little more. Next year I want to continue to spend time with people and make sure they know what they mean to me. Life has been good to me, and I hope it continues to be!

2011 Recap of Happiness Project

2011 was a pretty great year for me. I decided to do a Happiness Project after reading the book. I tracked A LOT of things about myself, from work outs, to sleep, journaling, mini adventures, friend nights, and what I ate. The biggest thing I learned about pursuing happiness is that to be happy you need to be yourself. And, it turns out that to be yourself, you have to know yourself. This year I spent a lot of time getting to know me. I did monthly reviews and created another page on my site (Happiness Project 2011). I made a list a year ago of my plan, and looking back, I feel really accomplished. Because I tracked a lot of my goals on my blog, I am able reflect upon all that has taken place in the last year. The elements that added the most to happiness were…

  • Spending time with loved ones. I love people, and those that are my closest friends and family mean the world to me. I made it a monthly goal to have a “friend night.” On this night, I would have to make plans to hang out with my college gals. My family and I some great visits, I spent a great deal of time with JMO, and I strengthened friendships with some new work pals.
  • Mini-adventures. There is a lot to do in the Houston area, in Texas, and in general. On the weekends I am tired, and don’t often push myself. I made it a priority to get out of the house and go to a museum, go out of town for a weekend, or just do something. Activities rock and I did them with people (who I love) so of course this contributed to my happiness.
  • Sleep. My mood varies greatly depending on how well I rested. Getting sleep is important!
  • Positivity. It is a struggle for me to remain positive. One month I recorded one positive thing from everyday. The negative things come up quicker, but they are best forgotten. Being positive had such an impact on my great year.
  • Creating goals and sticking to them. A sense of accomplishment goes a long way. I was really proud of myself for working out more, praying more, being more positive, getting more sleep, and spending quality time with people. Although I never managed to do it at the same time, I did do all of those things!

Tracking behavior was such a great learning tool for me. I know that pursuing happiness never truly ends, and I look forward to making that journey. Next year I probably won’t make a goal for every month, but I’d like to make goals in months where I notice something slipping. I don’t have to wait till New Years to start fresh, I can start on the first of the month or any Monday. Change can happen and I’ve grown A LOT this year trying to get happier!



The year that was 2010.

Compared to the last few years, this year was pretty mellow. I feel more settled, and things all seem to be working a little more like they should be. So, in no particular order, here are the highlights of 2010.

  • Christine got married. There was the lovely bridal shower, the bachelorette party, and of course the wedding itself. Christine’s road to marriage, was an amazing experience to be part of. She has grown up A LOT, and I feel privileged to have been part of her journey.
  • We moved. I have always heard that moving in with someone is very hard the first few months, and I was very pleased to see that we didn’t have those problems. I get to see my best friend everyday, and it really doesn’t get much better than that.
  • I visited my grandparents in Florida and JMO met them for the first time. We went to the beach and went on an attic hunt. My grandparents really liked him, so I will probably keep him.
  • I held two jobs for most of the year, it lead to the full time job I wanted and I saved money for my car.
  • I finally purchased a new car. I emailed different dealerships and collected my prices. I knew that I wanted a Honda CR-V, so I got my ducks in a row, and did it on my own. I’m quite proud of myself.
  • I became a fourth grade teacher. It has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done, and I love it. I love the children, my coworkers, and the feel of challenge in my work. Being a fourth grade teacher is kind of like being a small business owner. All my hours put in, are for the good of my classroom. I lucked out with a phenomenal partner, a marvelous mentor, and a terrific team. These people have supported me so much during my first trying months. I feel truly blessed that things worked out as they did.
  • This year I was lucky to spend lots of time with friends and family. It is a fabulous plus in every year. I am very lucky to have such wonderful people that I want to spend time with.

It has been a great year, life is treating me well. In fact, the last few years have been pretty wonderful (2009 Recap and 2008 Recap). So here is to 2011! I have big plans and monthly goals planned! I’m still working on that post…..


2009, The year a few things happened

Holy Moly. What happened to 2009? I just breezed through the last year on my blog and tried to scoop out the highlights, I have that problem where everything is a highlight, narrowing down doesn’t work so well for me. Overall, it was a great year. JMO moved back from New York. I quit my job working in an office to work on my teaching certification and picked up quite a few interesting adventures. Here is the best of my year – in no particular order.

1. Great trip to NYC before JMO left.

2. My family went on a trip to NYC over Thanksgiving.

3. Sandra had Christian. I got a new godson!

4. Mike and I went on road trip from Orlando to San Antonio. He names it Southeast Shuffle. Great week. My brother is fascinating.

5. I quit. Wow. Still can’t believe it.

6. Vegas. 9 girls. Leah got salmonella.

7. I got a job in an elementary school.

8. I turned 25. JMO and friends threw me a surprise party. Awesome.

9. Did this list in September when I explained the best of being 24 years old.

10. Most importantly, I got to spend a lot of time with people I love. Mom, Dad, Mike, Emily, JMO, The Oswalt Family, ALL the Pickerts, Tranee’s family, Sandra’s family, Leah, Christine, Michelle, my students, Sylvia, Sarah, Lesley and youth group kiddos and many other lovely folks. I am truly blessed to have such fabulous people in my life. Cheesy as it is – PEOPLE ARE THE BEST OF 2009.

Miss Independent 2008.

After reflecting back on this past year, more happened than I initially thought. I realized that out of all my favorite things about 2008, the theme appeared to be independence. I have realized that I don’t need to measure happiness in people but in my ability to make my own path. Let the recap begin…

  • Spent a week in Vegas with JMO. I learned to gamble, I played on my own. The shows were great, the company was great, and I took pictures of random things.
  • Tranee had a baby and I am Grey’s godmother.
  • I went to my grandparents house for 4 days in July. I finally felt like an adult in a house I’ve always felt like a child in.
  • I went to NY twice. Once paid for by work and the other as a birthday gift from JMO.
  • My cousin Drew got married in Myrtle Beach. He is the first of my cousins to get married and I enjoyed a beach I’d never been to. My flight back got cancelled and I got stuck at a hotel with strangers. I ate dinner and enjoyed drinks with people I had never met or will ever see again.
  • I moved from a one bedroom into a 2 bedroom with my good friend Leah. The location is far superior to Westheimer (busiest street in Houston).
  • The move made me finally start buying furniture and decorating, I am very pleased with the space I’ve created for myself.
  • Emily started liking girlier things.
  • Michael travelled, and I lived vicariously through him.
  • I lost and found my Aggie ring. I overcame feeling irresponsible.
  • I grew out of the “year of transition” that was 2007. I am a legit grown up now.