Thursday, January 31, 2013

Faces

I'm obsessed with this video.

 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Does it make me official?


So, week one of my photo challenge is quite boring...just things around my room. I was originally thinking it would consist of some rock climbing shots, but we had to postpone that trip. In any case, here it goes.
 
1. New yoga mat
I started yoga about a year and a half ago, but then took probably close to a six month break after injuring my back as I was fearful of re-injury. So in total I’ve practiced yoga consistently for about a year. I’ve had a hankering to increase that frequency, in many ways because of the sheer volume of benefits I’d experienced from a mere 1-3x per week practice. Unfortunately, I had already maxed-out on the classes offered at my gym for my style of choice. Also, there has been a mass exodus of instructors at my gym in the past year (a whole other story…), including all of my favorite yoga instructors and the replacements haven't been as good. 

Anyway, before Christmas I learned my favorite teachers all went to a new studio by my house. I did a little research and learned it has a great concept – yoga for all. It’s still growing, but they have yoga for all ages, levels, and I saw yesterday they’re starting one for kids with special needs. Love it. I was hesitant to join since I wasn’t sure if I’d like a studio setting, but after learning about a deeply discounted six months membership for 2013 resolutions, I bit the bullet. I’m glad I did as I’m loving it! It’s funny as even my favorite instructors from my gym have a completely different style in a studio setting since they’re allowed to adjust your postures and such.

So…the mat.

In my year of regular practice in yoga, I’ve burned through three cheap mats. On Friday, I almost fell on my face during down dog. Saturday, I couldn’t balance in crescent lunge as my foot kept slipping. Then yesterday I almost fell in warrior 1. I decided it was time to get a new one or I was going to hurt myself. I was going to mosey on to Target for a new cheapo one, but after doing some research, considering how I’ve increased my practice, and the fact that I’ve already spent the same in cheap yoga mats, I decided to commit to a better made mat. And this one has a lifetime guarantee, so it should last longer!

Enter, Manduka proLite…and it’s purple. Apparently they take a little time to break-in, but tonight will be my first test! So, does this make me an official yogi now?!?
 

2. Current reading
My first 2013 resolution book is The Sun Also Rises. I must say, I'm not a fan. I'm close to finishing it, but I legitimately don't get the point of it. A group of expats partying and getting drunk in Paris and Pamplona? Pointless.
 

3. Playing with persepective
I was playing with perspective here...my current favorite boots.


4. My inability to sit still
Ask my roommate, I have an extreme inability to sit still almost ever, but especially when watching TV. I always find some project to work on or just something to play with. Here, I'm playing with some leftover yarn. Maybe it'll become a scarf. Or maybe it'll become nothing.


5. Working on my bed...because it was freeeeeeezing
Last week one night I had to work really late. I don't stay at my office late anymore as I did that for many years and it's quite creepy after 6:30... Last week I worked late but was so flipping cold in the living room, even with my lovely electric blanket (my hands were cold typing), that I transitioned to my room, which is the warmest in my house. It was super tempting to just crawl into bed and go asleep, but I pushed through. :)

 
So that's week one. Pretty boring. 



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Photo Challenge

I love photography. I love looking at beautiful images and relishing in the interesting perspective of talented photographers. For many years now, I'd lusted over my friends' and family's DLSR cameras. Knowing I had a goal of saying bon voyage pour Paris this summer, I thought what better time to get one than for a trip to the City of Lights. So, with Black Friday deals, I nabbed a good deal on one, including a zoom lens (I think that's what you call it...).

I then got myself a little book how-to, as I figured I'd want to try my hand at figuring things out prior to taking a class (and, I may or may not be able to take a class prior to Paris; trying to decide whether I'd rather do that or take a class to brush-up on my French...).

So, I've had it for a month now, but haven't taken many pictures... Why? Well, I still live in the mindset of film cameras and think I have to "wait for that right shot" before taking one.

Therefore, I'm issuing myself a challenge. One that I think will get me playing around and taking more pictures. Here's the challenge:

For the next six months, prior to Paris, I must take and share at least five pictures a week, preferably on different days.

Weird, I know. But hey, maybe it'll help with getting me out of the "wasting pictures" rut and realize I can delete...after I share. :)

This will be the place I share because, why not.

So there you have it.

Friday, January 11, 2013

C'est Possible?!?

I'm allowing myself to get excited. The full rein of this excitement will not burst through until tickets are booked and it's official (and then will grow exponentially as the day approaches). But it looks like Paris may FINALLY be in my future...as in seven months away. I'm excited, too, as my travel companions have known my 25 year growing love of this country...my parents!

Yes, I've dreamt about France and Paris since I was about six and learned it was the home of ballet. Sometime after that, I had a substitute teacher in elementary school who was French and taught us "head, shoulders, knees, and toes" en francais. I was fascinated, and decided to take French in 8th grade...the rest is history.

Anyway, until it becomes official, official, I'm simply relishing in the thought, and embracing my already deep love of anything French. I'll share some of my inspirations.

La musique francaise!


Je lit un livre a Paris

Paris: An Inspiring Tour of the City’s Creative Heart
Et un belle livre de tourism a Paris!



Je vais manger un croissant pour le petit dejuener a demain!


J'etudie la langue de francaise!


Je recherche des arrondissements a Paris!

Side note: my French is VERY rusty, so there's a high likelihood the above is filled with errors, hence my plan to study French (thankfully I kept all my college books for such a time as this...and because they were my favorite classes). So, if you speak French fluently, or even just well, perhaps look past that. Thanks in advance. :)

Mmm...it could be possible. 2013 could be the year. Get ready for some obnoxious Frenchness to burst out of me. I don't really apologize, it's been bottled-up for 25 years. :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

That Goal Thing

I figured I'd write-out some goals (or fun things I like) for 2013 more just so I can have a list to look back on for myself. But I first wanted to see how I succeeded in 2012... Here's what I said and the blue is how I performed.

Spiritual
1. Follow the Journey in 2012 (reading through the New Testament) Nope. I think I quit pretty early and transitioned to something else. Oops...
2. Practice meditation on God’s truth without analyzing, simply sitting still to “listen” I don't know how to measure this per say, but I'd say I grew in this area for sure
3. Focus on working through things with the Lord first Most definitely grew here. Many things this year were worked through just God et moi
4. Increase practice of Scripture memory hmm...not sure I did this one

Healthy Living
1. Achieve my goal weight!! sad face...nope
2. Successfully proceed through the maintenance phase to achieve lifetime membership of WW (six weeks maintaining +/- two pounds of my goal weight) double sad face...
3. Try new foods that I’ve been afraid to attempt cooking I guess so. I cooked okra this summer!
4. Increase frequency of my yoga practice…added goal: complete all chaturangas without dropping to my knees! And complete wheel (backbend) from the floor as opposed to from three-legged dog SUCCESS! I can officially do wheel from the floor. Along with birds of paradise and crow. Next up: being able to hold all of them longer. Oh and I do most chaturangas without dropping, depending on how fast the teacher is flowing (i.e. I decide based on ensuring I have the space to ensure my abs are fully engaged)
5. Participate in spin classes more frequently on non-zumba days for cardio Nope...decided I just don't like spin very much... Though I'm going to need to figure something out as my favorite (and most beneficial) zumba is no more... sad, sad, sad face
6. Increase weight at Bodypump with the goal of toning (I don’t want to be big and muscular :)) My back injury made this one null and void as I can't do bodypump...too much of it does not promote safe backs

Financial
1. Follow the cash system for food, entertainment, and hobbies Um, probably half-and-half
2. Continue to work to increase savings and pay-off debt Yep.

Personal/Attitude
1. Focus on the positive in myself and my circumstances I'd say yes, I've definitely grown in this.
2. Rest my mind more frequently (tied to Scripture meditation and yoga, too) and this
3. Consider myself as someone valuable, worth getting to know, and interesting and this!

Others-Centered
1. Write to my sponsored child regularly eek...fail.
2. Expand my horizons with friends, reaching-out to people including new possible friends Oh I for sure did with my fun zumba friends! Ugh, miss them...sad about my zumba world :(
3. Continue to get to know my new small group girls (I hope to have new goals related to them as the year progresses, but am still in the process of getting to know them) Yep

For Fun/Artistic
1. Finish knitting my first sweater! I did! Sadly, by the time I finished, I realized it's too big.
2. Machine embroider something for me, which I have yet to do since receiving my machine from my grandmother (everything has been given to others) Still haven't done this one
3. Work on a project I have in mind for my niece :) I have no clue what I was referring to...
4. Drink more hot tea in pretty teacups Sure? Not exactly quantifiable :)
5. Light more candles Definitely. Burned through several!
6. Read more than watching television I'm not sure. Realistically, I don't watch a ton of TV as I'm not home a lot so maybe?

Well, looks like I did pretty well in 2012 if I do say so myself! With that, here's 2013...I'll keep the same categories because, why not.

2013

Spiritual (I added personal in here)
1. Get back into continuous time with the Lord
2. Be more consistent with attending church, even if it means sitting alone
3. Continue to increase Scripture memory practice
4. Continue to grow in working through things with the Lord first
5. Pray and journal more through the thing I prefer to avoid (nothing bad, just don't want to share this publically :))

Healthy Living
1. Achieve the stinkin' goal weight!
2. Only eat at Whole Foods for lunch max, once a week
3. Continue to expand my yoga practice to more days per week
4. Find a cardio replacement for my favorite zumba...

Financial
1. Follow the cash system for food, entertainment, and hobbies
2. Continue to work to increase savings and pay-off debt

Others-Centered
1. Really start writing my sponsored children more regularly...seriously...
2. Continue to expand my horizons with friends, reaching-out to people including new possible friends
3. Pray continually for ways that I can encourage others in whatever way God may have

For Fun
1. Go to Paris!!
2. Read or reread select classics: Sun Also Rises, Farewell to Arms, Pride & Prejudice, Great Gatsby, Emma, Tale of Two Cities
3. Make a quilt
4. Meet my new nephew, Jameson Blair
5. Learn how to use my camera and develop some photography skills

I'm sure there are more I could add, but I'll stop there. Here's hoping I'm successful, whatever that means. :)