Friday, September 23, 2016

5 Years: What We've Accomplished

Tomorrow is our five year anniversary and its crazy. The last five years has gone by so fast, and yet we have been through so much together that it feels like life has always been this way. Some people tell us we are crazy for having gotten married so young, but it has made such a influence on our relationship and given us the chance to grow and change together. Here are some highlights:

We started a family with one perfect little girl and a little boy soon to arrive.

We graduated from college. Me with a Bachelor's and him with a Bachelor's and Master's.

We moved to two different states in order to get the right internships and jobs to help Brett land a good career path now.

We lived down the street from family, a full road trip away, and everywhere in between.

We watched hundreds of movies, attended a few concerts, and had a few too many road trip sing-a-longs.

We cultivated new hobbies and loved them together.

We made countless friends.

We endured nights up with worry, tears, or baby cries.

We enjoyed quiet Sunday afternoons full of smiles, laughter, and dessert.

We celebrated our successes, our joys, and each other.

We become "we" more each day. Growing, learning, working, loving, planning, and dreaming together to create the life that we want. The life that we love.

The full and happy life I'm so grateful we get to live every day and for an eternity to come.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

101 in 1001 Update

Does anyone remember a few years ago when everyone was doing their 101 in 1001 lists? For those of you who don't, it was a list of 101 goals to accomplish in 1001 days, or just over 3 years. I loved this idea, so much in fact that I even made a whole page on my blog dedicated to my list of 101 things. Well here I am just a few months away from the end time on my 1001 days and looking at what I have done is a little bit of a mixed bag.

The hardest part about this project for me was not making edits to the goals once I decided on them. I decided not to change them for two reasons. The first is that there are 101 goals on this list and that is such a large number that even if I don't reach them all I should still be proud. Another reason is that while life changes a lot over 3 years and its okay (healthy even) for priorities to change, I also believe that its important to have reminders of these things you wanted to accomplish because you never know what you will be able to do and you may surprise yourself.

That all being said, it was hard to look three years in the future and know what life would dish out to me. For example, nowhere on my list did I include having children, even though I desperately hoped to have a child (or almost 2!) by the end of my 1001 days. Some things in life you can want and work for as much as you can, but you don't always have control over them. Same thing with buying a home, this would depend on what job we got and where in the country it was, and what do you know, we moved somewhere that's really expensive so it was out of reach.

All of this being said, I feel pleasantly surprised with the things on my list I accomplished, and okay about the things I didn't. Going through this list for the first time in a while gave me the perfect amount of motivation to finish out these last few months strong and some things to think about when setting a new batch of goals.

So here it is, and feel free to check back in on the 101 in 1001 page to see updates in the future!


1. Decide 101 things (April 28, 2014)
2. Finish and upload my blog remodel (April 28, 2014)
3. Send 30 handwritten notes/letters
4. Organize my music
5. Get a passport
6. Write in my journal twice a month for a year
7. Put $10 in savings for each completed thing
8. Reach 100 blog followers
9. Read The Book of Mormon
10. Read the Doctrine and Covenants
11. Read the Pearl of Great Price
12. Read the Old Testament
13. Read the New Testament
14. Keep a gratitude journal
15. Blog every day for a month
16. Attend the temple once a month for a year
17. Be featured on another blog
18. Make a blog calendar (done March 1, 2014)
19. Get a job for our Seattle summer move
20. Meet up with an old friend
21. Make a new friend


22. 2014 Lee Family Reunion (April 2014)
23. Take family pictures in Seattle
24. Have Family Home Evening every week for 6 months
25. Go on a date twice a month for six months
26. Celebrate 3 years of marriage
27. Celebrate 4 years of marriage
28. Celebrate 5 years of marriage
29. Create a working list of names, addresses, and birthdays
30. Start a new tradition
31. Take an updated Tingey family picture
32. Spend time with every sister and sister-in-law individually
33. Organize something nice for my parents
34. Organize something nice for my in-laws


35. Move to Seattle for summer internship (May 2014)
36. Move to our first semi-permanent place
37. Make a picture gallery wall
38. Plan and host a dinner party
39. Pick a wedding picture to enlarge
40. Have houseplants
41. Create a home library/office
42. Stick to a weekly cleaning schedule for 3 months
43. Display some of Sierra's pictures


44. Visit Camas
45. Visit Rathdrum
46. Go on a beach vacation with Brett (does it count if we moved to a beach vacation location?)
47. Hike Mt. Timpanogos
48. Visit the Ape Caves at Mt. St. Helens
49. Visit Glacier National Park
50. Go to a Mariners Game
51. Visit Arizona
52. Visit a Museum
53. Go 3 camping trips
54. Go on 10 hikes
55. Fly on an airplane again
56. Go to a farmer's market
57. Hike the "Y" with Brett
58. Go to a rodeo/fair
59. Go into Canada
60. Swim in the ocean
61. Ride a Ferry
62. Watch a meteor shower


63. Make an indoor herb garden
64. Sew a bedspread
65. Crochet a blanket
66. Print photo books up to present
67. Make a Lee Family sign
68. DIY 3 other projects
69. Buy a nice camera
70. Learn how to edit pictures


71. Get cholesterol down to health levels
72. Run a 5k
73. Run a 10k
74. Run a half marathon
75. Try a regular yoga schedule for 3 months
76. Follow low cholesterol diet until Anniversary
77. Re-evaluate cholesterol diet after doctor appointment
78. Finish #1800 minute challenge
79. Wake at 6 every day for two weeks
80. Not drink soda for 6 months
81. Whiten my teeth


82. Buy at least one book from Powell's Books
83. Start Student Teaching
84. Finish Student Teaching
85. Graduate from BYU
86. Start drawing again
87. Read 50 new books
88. Reread 5 favorite books
89. Start a book club--found one to participate in
90. Memorize a poem
91. Read the Lord of the Rings
92. Learn a new skill


93. Make a meal from Pike's Market (Or other farmer's market)
94. Go to 5 Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives restaurants
95. Consolidate and organize recipes
96. Try 20 new recipes
97. Create my own recipe
98. Decorate a cake for someone
99. Cook my way through a book/blog
100. Create a good menu planning system
101. Plan a month's menu and stick to it

Monday, September 19, 2016

Summer Reading Report and Handling Failure

My summer reading was an interesting experience this year. I had all these plans of reading a thousand books and being all awesome with it. Basically I just wanted to be like Janssen over at Everyday Reading (seriously, mom goals). But in reality I had a hard time getting motivated this summer. I was a brand new mom, trying to stay active and yet having a hard time finding the energy. 

Initially I started out strong. I read The Big Short in just a couple days and loved it. I put The Importance of Being Little on hold, checked out the audio book version of Brooklyn, the hard copy of The Goldfinch, and got the Read Aloud Handbook back off the shelf. And that's about where it ended. 

I was really excited about both Brooklyn and The Goldfinch. I had read lots of reviews for The Goldfinch and my book club read Brooklyn the month Corinne was born and people loved it. I tried to read them both, and just could not get into either of them. I can't even tell you what specifically turned me off, but I was just so bored. So bored and discouraged that I took a break from reading in general for a couple months, something I normally hate to do, but this time it was good for me. 

Eventually I read a couple YA books that had been sitting on my shelf for a while. To be honest they were pretty terrible. But they did their job. They were quick, easily accessible, and got me back into the habit of reading. I was able to get that series under my belt and remember how it felt to finish a book even if I didn't particularly like it.

About a week after I got that boost I got the email saying that The Importance of Being Little was ready for me at the library. I picked it up last week and I have to say that it's been great so far. Its great to get reading a book about education and back into a groove with what I love. 

Overall this has been a surprisingly good experience for me and its reminded me of a few things.

One: It is okay to take a break from something. As cheesy as it sounds there is a time and a place. For a few months I was just really not in the place to leisurely read a bunch of books. 

Two: I don't have to love everything. For some reason I decided a long time ago that I was going to try to finish all the books I start. While I am not going to start quitting all the time, I think it’s important to give something a try, but if I really don't like it then I don't have to dread or stress finishing it.

Three: I need variety. I loved learning so much while in school, and a large part of that was all the different nonfiction books that I read. Since graduating I have tried to incorporate nonfiction books into the rotation and it’s worked really well. And beyond that I have tried to make sure they are about different topics as well, which has kept the variety coming and helped me feel like I was learning.

Four: If I truly love something, I will eventually come back to it. Reading is a hobby that I have consistently stayed with throughout my life. Others have had longer breaks, like fitness or my renewed interest in sewing. If something I'm doing isn't bringing me joy, stepping away from it for a while can help me decipher if its the activity that I don't enjoy or if I just need to get myself re-centered before jumping back in.

So who knows what I will read over the next year or so, but I have a renewed excitement for whatever it ends up being. And I’m glad to get my groove back!