52 things in 52 weeks – The 2014 Edition – Update 2 (Week 6)

This is my second update…my real life has become so comical, that I think I should really just right a book or sell the rights and live off royalties.  I’m hoping to write another post to cover everything that has happened since the Ice Storm, life permitting.

52 Things in 52 Weeks

Colour Code:
In process
Complete

1.  Take the next step in my career path. 

  • Update 1 (February 1, 2014): I have meetings set up in the next couple of weeks, after which I’ll have a better sense of where things are heading.
  • Update 2 (February 11, 2014): My meetings are all done…now, it’s wait and see.  Can I tell you…I.hate.waiting! (*mental note* – work on patience)

2. Communicate with three people from my network a week (4/52).

  • Update 1 (February 1, 2014): I have not been very good at this – mental note to be better.

3. Complete the 52 Week Money Challenge (6/52).

  • Update 1 (February 1, 2014): I have been very good at this.  In fact, Husband and Liger are also participating (well, I’m contributing to Liger’s portion).
52 Week Money Challenge

52 Week Money Challenge

4. Make a donation to three charities (0/3).

5. Complete the 52 Weeks to an Organized Home Challenge (1/52). 

  • Update 1 (February 1, 2014): I have not been good at this and it may be this might be one left on the back burner.  Stay tuned.

6. Prepare one new recipe a month (1/12).

  • Update 1 (February 1, 2014): As I have said before, I cannot cook.  So, anything I make that is edible is a feat unto itself and, an even bigger feat if Liger (who is a super picky eater) eats it.  This month, I made not just one, but TWO, dishes: (i) spaghetti and meatballs layered with fresh mozzarella; and (ii) egg fried rice.  I’m going to try something a bit more challenging for February.

7. Make, bring and eat a lunch from home at least once a week (6/52).

8. Eat one vegetarian only/fish meal a week (6/52).

9. Eat one piece of fruit a day (10/365).

  • Update 1 (February 1, 2014): So.not.good.with.this.one.  I realize that 31 days have already passed.  Will.need.to.do.better.

10. Drink a glass of water with each meal.

  • Update 1 (February 1, 2014): Am.so-so.with.this.one – I’ve lost count.  Will need to do better.
  • Update 2 (February 11, 2014): Doing much better with this – I have reduced my consumption of Diet Pepsi (hooray!).

11. Take the stairs where available/possible.

  • Update 1 (February 1, 2014): Am.also.so-so.with.this.one – certainly better than the fruit challenge.  Will need to do better.

12. Start a “learn-to-run” program by April 15.

13. Thoroughly clean the house for Chinese New Year.

  • Update 1 (February 1, 2014): COMPLETED!!  Chinese New Year was on January 31 this year – strict timeline and really, I didn’t want to f*ck around with my luck this year. 

14. Participate in a fast or giving-up of a luxury for Lent.

15. Take a family photo shoot.

16. Write a love letter to Husband.

17. Write a love letter to Liger.

18. Have a date night at least once a month with Husband (0/12).

  • Update 1 (February 1, 2014): Fail for January – life got away from us.  No excuse!

19. Go on a movie-night-out with Husband.

20. Go see a baseball game with Husband and Liger.

21. Visit Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada with Husband and Liger.

22. Visit Centreville and/or Canada’s Wonderland with Husband and Liger.

23. Take Liger swimming.

24. Take Liger sledding.

25. Take Liger skating.

26. Build a snowman with Liger.

27. Make snowangels with Liger.

  • Update 2 (February 11, 2014): COMPLETE! After a huge snow dump, Liger and I went for a walk and, like a typical kid, he had to climb every snow bank and make footprints in the fresh snow.  Part of our snow adventure included this:
Liger making a snow angel

Liger making a snow angel

I had just as much fun watching him as he was making the snow angel!

28. Do a new arts and craft activity with Liger at least once a month (2/12).

  • Update 2 (February 11, 2014): Last month, we painted pictures (he has painted at preschool but this is new for us).  This month, we took it one step further and created bugs!
Our bug family

Our bug family

29. Host a playdate for Liger.

30. Pack away Liger’s baby toys.

31. Visit family in Montreal.

32. Visit family in Ottawa.

33. Visit family in New Jersey.

34. Get-together with girlfriends once a month (0/12).

35. Read one new book a month (1/12).

  • Update 1 (February 1, 2014): I’ve actually finished two books this month.  The Second Empress by Michelle Moran and Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot.  Yes, they are pretty fluffy.  I am now reading Catherine the Great by Robert Massie – he is my favourite historical writer.  Massie writes about history in the form of a story which makes it easy to read and become engrossed.  I have a wish list and a hold list for a multitude of books from the library.

36. Complete a jigsaw puzzle.

37. Watch the Planet Earth series.

38. Catch up on The Good Wife series.

39. Visit The Forbidden City Exhibit at the ROM.

40. Purge home files.

  • Update 1 (February 2014): COMPLETE!!!  I did this in conjunction with my cleaning for Chinese New Year.

41. Digitalize all of Liger’s artwork.

42. Organize music on iTunes.

43. Organize photos on iPhoto.

44. Learn how to use Photoshop.

45. Frame and hang artwork from the Art Institute.

46. Host one holiday event.

47. Send out Christmas cards.

48. Watch a Christmas movie picked out by Husband.

49. Write “12 Days of Gratitude – 2014 Edition”.

50. Update my blog format.

51. Post a weekly update of my progress on my blog (2/52).

52. Make a list of 52 things in 52 weeks for 2015.

Summary

4 out of 42 complete and 14 out of 52 in progress – 1 new complete since the last update!

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52 things in 52 weeks – The 2014 Edition – Update 1 (Week 4)

So, a couple of weeks ago, I completed and posted my list of 52 things in 52 weeks.  Number 51 was to post a weekly update on my progress, which I’ve only begun now.  January 2014 was a brutal month (more to follow) and I’ve been very distracted by Real Life.  Here is my first update.

52 Things in 52 Weeks

Colour Code:
In process
Complete

1.  Take the next step in my career path. 

  • Update 1 (February 1, 2014): I have meetings set up in the next couple of weeks, after which I’ll have a better sense of where things are heading.

2. Communicate with three people from my network a week (2/52).

  • Update 1 (February 1, 2014): I have not been very good at this – mental note to be better.

3. Complete the 52 Week Money Challenge (4/52).

  • Update 1 (February 1, 2014): I have been very good at this.  In fact, Husband and Liger are also participating (well, I’m contributing to Liger’s portion).

4. Make a donation to three charities (0/3).

5. Complete the 52 Weeks to an Organized Home Challenge (1/52).

  • Update 1 (February 1, 2014): I have not been good at this and it may be this might be one left on the back burner.  Stay tuned.

6. Prepare one new recipe a month (1/12).

  • Update 1 (February 1, 2014): As I have said before, I cannot cook.  So, anything I make that is edible is a feat unto itself and, an even bigger feat if Liger (who is a super picky eater) eats it.  This month, I made not just one, but TWO, dishes: (i) spaghetti and meatballs layered with fresh mozzarella; and (ii) egg fried rice.  I’m going to try something a bit more challenging for February.

7. Make, bring and eat a lunch from home at least once a week (4/52).

8. Eat one vegetarian only/fish meal a week (4/52).

9. Eat one piece of fruit a day (5/365).

  • Update 1 (February 1, 2014): So.not.good.with.this.one.  I realize that 31 days have already passed.  Will.need.to.do.better.

10. Drink a glass of water with each meal.

  • Update 1 (February 1, 2014): Am.so-so.with.this.one – I’ve lost count.  Will need to do better.

11. Take the stairs where available/possible.

  • Update 1 (February 1, 2014): Am.also.so-so.with.this.one – certainly better than the fruit challenge.  Will need to do better.

12. Start a “learn-to-run” program by April 15.

13. Thoroughly clean the house for Chinese New Year.

  • Update 1 (February 1, 2014): COMPLETED!!  Chinese New Year was on January 31 this year – strict timeline and really, I didn’t want to f*ck around with my luck this year. 

14. Participate in a fast or giving-up of a luxury for Lent.

15. Take a family photo shoot.

16. Write a love letter to Husband.

17. Write a love letter to Liger.

18. Have a date night at least once a month with Husband (0/12).

  • Update 1 (February 1, 2014): Fail for January – life got away from us.  No excuse!

19. Go on a movie-night-out with Husband.

20. Go see a baseball game with Husband and Liger.

21. Visit Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada with Husband and Liger.

22. Visit Centreville and/or Canada’s Wonderland with Husband and Liger.

23. Take Liger swimming.

24. Take Liger sledding.

25. Take Liger skating.

26. Build a snowman with Liger.

27. Make snowangels with Liger.

28. Do a new arts and craft activity with Liger at least once a month (1/12).

29. Host a playdate for Liger.

30. Pack away Liger’s baby toys.

31. Visit family in Montreal.

32. Visit family in Ottawa.

33. Visit family in New Jersey.

34. Get-together with girlfriends once a month.

35. Read one new book a month (1/12).

  • Update 1 (February 1, 2014): I’ve actually finished two books this month.  The Second Empress by Michelle Moran and Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot.  Yes, they are pretty fluffy.  I am now reading Catherine the Great by Robert Massie – he is my favourite historical writer.  Massie writes about history in the form of a story which makes it easy to read and become engrossed.  I have a wish list and a hold list for a multitude of books from the library.

36. Complete a jigsaw puzzle.

37. Watch the Planet Earth series.

38. Catch up on The Good Wife series.

39. Visit The Forbidden City Exhibit at the ROM.

40. Purge home files.

  • Update 1 (February 2014): COMPLETE!!!  I did this in conjunction with my cleaning for Chinese New Year.

41. Digitalize all of Liger’s artwork.

42. Organize music on iTunes.

43. Organize photos on iPhoto.

44. Learn how to use Photoshop.

45. Frame and hang artwork from the Art Institute.

46. Host one holiday event.

47. Send out Christmas cards.

48. Watch a Christmas movie picked out by Husband.

49. Write “12 Days of Gratitude – 2014 Edition”.

50. Update my blog format.

51. Post a weekly update of my progress on my blog (1/52).

52. Make a list of 52 things in 52 weeks for 2015.

 

Summary

3 out of 52 complete and 14 out of 52 in progress!!  Some of my challenges have been better met than others.  So far, this has been a very useful exercise.  With a combination of my challenges in writing and trying to make myself accountable with weekly regular updates, it makes it easier not to stay focused and accountable.

52 things in 52 weeks – The 2014 Edition

Clipboard with Check Mark

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

New Year…New Better You!

It’s that time of year…resolutions, resolutions, resolutions.  I have such a challenging time keeping my resolutions – when I hear “Don’t”, I end up “Do”-ing.  Resolutions and I don’t get along.  I much prefer checklists/to do lists.  Inspired by Kincavel Korner, I’m listing my 52 things to accomplish in 52 weeks.

Since we are well into Week 2 of 2014, my list will be somewhat annotated to provide an update as to where things are.

Colour Code:
In process
Complete

  1. Take the next step in my career path.
  2. Communicate with three people from my network a week (1/52).
  3. Complete the 52 Week Money Challenge (2/52).
  4. Make a donation to three charities (0/3).
  5. Complete the 52 Weeks to an Organized Home Challenge (1/52).
  6. Prepare one new recipe a month.
  7. Make, bring and eat a lunch from home at least once a week (2/52).
  8. Eat one vegetarian only/fish meal a week (1/52).
  9. Eat one piece of fruit a day (5/365). [I haven’t been very good with this one.]
  10. Drink a glass of water with each meal. [Or this one.]
  11. Take the stairs where available/possible.
  12. Start a “learn-to-run” program by April 15.
  13. Thoroughly clean the house for Chinese New Year.
  14. Participate in a fast or giving-up of a luxury for Lent.
  15. Take a family photo shoot.
  16. Write a love letter to Husband.
  17. Write a love letter to Kid.
  18. Have a date night at least once a month with Husband.
  19. Go on a movie-night-out with Husband.
  20. Go see a baseball game with Husband and Kid.
  21. Visit Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada with Husband and Kid.
  22. Visit Centreville and/or Canada’s Wonderland with Husband and Kid.
  23. Take Kid swimming.
  24. Take Kid sledding.
  25. Take Kid skating.
  26. Build a snowman with Kid.
  27. Make snowangels with Kid.
  28. Do a new arts and craft activity with Kid at least once a month (1/12).
  29. Host a playdate for Kid.
  30. Pack away Kid’s baby toys.
  31. Visit family in Montreal.
  32. Visit family in Ottawa.
  33. Visit family in New Jersey.
  34. Get-together with girlfriends once a month.
  35. Read one new book a month (1/12). [I’ve actually finished two this month]
  36. Complete a jigsaw puzzle.
  37. Watch the Planet Earth series.
  38. Catch up on The Good Wife series.
  39. Visit The Forbidden City Exhibit at the ROM.
  40. Purge home files.
  41. Digitalize all of Kid’s artwork.
  42. Organize music on iTunes.
  43. Organize photos on iPhoto.
  44. Learn how to use Photoshop.
  45. Frame and hang artwork from the Art Institute.
  46. Host one holiday event.
  47. Send out Christmas cards.
  48. Watch a Christmas movie picked out by Husband.
  49. Write “12 Days of Gratitude – 2014 Edition”.
  50. Update my blog format.
  51. Post a weekly update of my progress on my blog.
  52. Make a list of 52 things in 52 weeks for 2015.

What about you? Resolutions? Challenges?

12 Days of Gratitude – Day 1

2012 was not a great year…a lot of sh!t went down that negatively affected me and my family.  Friends and family that were “privileged” to witness all the happenings and the aftermath knew that I/we couldn’t wait to get to 2013.  Now, here we are…coming to the end of 2013 and it hasn’t gotten any better.  In fact, 2013 bestowed on us additional hardships and challenges.  Sure, we have had some highs but it’s been a lot of serious lows.

My birthday was a few days ago…it was a low-key affair.  Sure, I’m busting almost 40 but it was more than an age thing, I just did not feel like celebrating.  Yeah, I’m at THAT point – “What’s there to celebrate?” – It’s a “poor.me.pity.party”.  After flitting in-and-out-of-wallowing (no guarantees that it won’t re-appear here and there) and with the Christmas season upon us, I’m challenging myself to take my attitude into my own hands and write about my 12 days of Christmas gratitude.

Day 1…My Husband.

This is my Husband:

10635_264876505267_7272225_n

(Photo Credit: Jonathan Ponce)

How do I even begin to put down in words how amazing is this man?

Husband is many things: husband, father, son, brother, friend and he balances all his different roles with a sense of humour and humility.  He is also my rock and my best friend.

Over the course of our relationship from dating to marriage to parenthood, Husband has put up with a lot – I am not the easiest person to love (or sometimes even like) but yet he goes on loving me anyway.

Husband is a caring and strong man who selflessly puts both me and our son ahead of himself.  He is smart (yeah, he kicked my ass at Trivia Pursuit), insightful and principled – he is not afraid to call me on my sh!t.  His easy-going and extroverted nature draws people to him – he can walk into a party by himself and easily walk out with 5 new friends.  His sense of humour is like his dad’s – witty and sometimes just plain stupid but it’s that sense of humour that has made me laugh every day.  He makes this crazy thing called life easier.

We have had such a wonderful adventure so far and have created many great memories.  He has shared with me in the not so great memories but as a team, we will persevere.  He remind’s me that it is really us “against” the world and that’s what I mean when I say he is my rock.

It really is quite difficult to describe all the wonderful things that make up Husband – after all, he is so multi-dimensional.

Don’t get me wrong…he has little annoyances too and as with any relationship, we’ve had a lot of ups and downs and he has pissed me off as much as I have pissed him off.  But that’s just what humanizes him and makes him all the more endearing.

I don’t know or want to imagine what my life would be like if he had never touched it.  I don’t think I could be half the person I am without his constant love and support.

So, thank you Husband for asking and thank you for you.

By the way, did I mention that he is a mean-ass-chef?