A Joyful July

Yes, I realize that I am just now posting my “July” review as August is almost halfway over. Blogging has been on the back-burner as my new job picked up and I was busy with two back to back trips. So much joy and exciting things have happened and lie ahead. Praise be to God!

Fourth of July: Pool party & cookout with friends

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Moving

Volunteering

Big event work event

Trip to Boston: My boyfriend went to school there so we spent time checking out Harvard, his old hangouts, exploring the harbor area, and tasting yummy food! We even squeezed in a day trip to Salem.

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My Birthday: After arriving back home from Boston SUPER early, I bummed around the house until my J’s family came over for dinner and presents.

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Movies/TV

 Stranger Things

Twin Peaks

Books

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Goodbye Ed, Hello Me (re-read) by Jenni Schaefer

Longbourn by Jo Baker

Was joys did July bring you?!

June Bugs

 

Last month was very busy, but things FINALLY began taking a positive turn last month. Keep reading to see what I mean:

My brother and sister-in-law visited from Georgia. I hadn’t seen them in over 5 months which was much too ling in my book. Plus, it was the first time that they got to meet my boyfriend (Facetime is nice, but not the same).

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Took my dad to a concert for an early Father’s Day gift – A Hard Night’s Day (Beatles cover band)

Started crocheting again

Visited our family friend’s new baby – it had been YEARS since I held a newborn

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Celebrated our family friend’s (the Faulkners) 90th birthday. Bill lives in Minnesota with his wife and his health has been diminishing due to Alzheimer’s Disease in recent years. I make a point to see him and his beautiful family as often as possible

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Started trying out BeachBody on Demand’s 7 day Shaun T workout. Even though I didn’t quite make it through (I’m not great at HIIT workouts), I enjoyed the other video options and was proud of myself for taking the initiative for working out at home.

Presented my Faith Share aka Life Story to my small women’s group – talk about emotionally draining…

Family Reunion in Iowa

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Started my new job!!!

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Celebration Dinner


Movies/TV

New Girl, Season 6
Lion
Wonder Woman 

Books

Food Freedom Forever​ by Melissa Hartwig
The Night Circus By Erin Morgenstern

 

What were the ups/downs of your June?!

Day twenty: more

What do you wish you did more of?

Reading. I used to read ALL of the time, but sadly I have fallen away from that habit lately. I attribute this change to many factors. Starting a new job last week has a lot to do with it. I am a lot more tired when I get home from work and often have less mental resources to read. If I do read, it’s before bed and I fall asleep after only making it through a few pages. I have also been more active in evening/social activities – church groups, spending time with my boyfriend – which lead less time for reading. Once I get more into a new routine, balancing work and my social life, I look forward to being able to read more!

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Onwards & Upwards…

Day nineteen: excite

Now this is a fun questions:

What excites you?

New (or new to me) things – clothes, shoes, etc.

Thinking about the future – with my boyfriend, job, and family

Upcoming trips & Traveling – Boston (July), Seattle (August), and NYC (September)

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Onwards & Upwards…

May Memories

I decided to take a break from my daily personal growth exercise to catch you up on what else has been going on in my life. If you’ve been following along with my blog then you know that I am overdue for a monthly review! Last month was full of many blessings and opportunities for personal growth. I have continued to move forward with hope despite the frustration of being unemployed. I do so by making the most of my time off, doing things that would be harder to do if I had a full-time job. As you will see, I’ve been doing so with family, friends, traveling, and spending more time reading.

Me and my boyfriend J’s 3 month anniversary – he isn’t an OU fan, but was a good sport when I gave him the bag

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Cinco de Mayo

Church women’s retreat – Christ Renews his Parish (CRHP)

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Mom’s surgery

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Mother’s Day. I took my mom for an early mani and pedi since she was out of town recovering from her procedure

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Dallas Arboretum

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Hair cut

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10 year anniversary of when I graduated high school…

Top Golf to celebrate J’s brother’s birthday

Family birthday celebrations – J’s brother and nephew

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I started taking Zumba classes at my local gym

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Chicago/Lake Geneva, WI trip with my boyfriend to visit some of his old roommates for Memorial Day weekend

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More dead-end job interviews…

Brother and sister-in-law visited from GA. I hadn’t seen them since the beginning of January and, as my brother and I are close, I was excited that they could finally meet my boyfriend (P.S. my brother approves!) We all had fun at the Ranger’s game together.

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Movies/TV

Parks & Recreation, Seasons 6​-7

MacFarland

Finding Dory

Grey’s Anatomy, Season 13

Books

The Children by Ann Leary

The Assistants by Camille Perri

The Silver Star by Jeanette Walls​

Food Freedom Forever​ by Melissa Hartwig

The Night Circus By Erin Morgenstern

Day four: meet

Who would you love to meet? What would you ask?

I was having such a difficult time coming up with an answer for this question – noticing a theme here? I keep over-analyzing all of my answers… I sought the insight of family and close friends and here are what they said:

  • My Boyfriend, J – The Pope
  • Mom- Mother Theresa
  • Dad – Jesus
  • Brother – “doesn’t know”
  • Sister-in-Law – Jackie Robinson

Who I would like to meet goes back to the people and eras that I was interested in as a child. I have always been interested in early U.S. history. The first settlers and pioneer days have always fascinated me. I would love to meet one of the early explorers like Captain John Smith or one of my favorite writers, Laura Ingalls Wilder. It would be interesting to hear their side of the story and what life was like back then.

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As far as meeting someone living. I would jump to the other side of the pond to meet Queen Elizabeth II. I became obsessed watching “The Crown” on Netflix earlier this year and then went to London in February. She has been through and seen so much in her life. I can’t imagine becoming a queen at the age of 25!

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Who would you love to meet (living or deceased) and what would you ask them?

Onwards & Upwards…

Day three: who inspires me

Who are you most inspired by? Why?

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I’ve thought about this question a lot before I began this challenge and it has always been difficult for me to answer. I realize that how I answer it today my may seem like a bit of a cop-out.  It’s certainly not because I don’t have wonderful, inspiring people in my life. I do and I am very blessed to have grown up around strong men and women.

While growing up, I relied too heavily on what other people thought of me – always looking for approval, never really questioning my own beliefs, and doing whatever everyone else wanted me to do. Though some of this was in reason and the for the most part the people I were around were good, I feel like I “stunted my growth” a bit. Lately as I have been working on “becoming my own person” I have began to question why I liked X or did/did not do Y.

The first person who popped into my mind on who inspires me was our family friend, Maria. She has lived a life of incredible service as a former nun and continues to care for others after moving back to the US from France. I think part of the reason that I admire her is because my mom aspires to be like her mother – patient, faithful, and kind. Those are all qualities that I admire in a person, but again, I feel like I am just following in my mother’s footsteps.

Like I mentioned, to pick one person who inspires me is a tough. During times of growth, I’ve noticed that who and the types of people/things that inspire me change and can be harder to relate to. I am not a nun, like Maria, and have discerned that I don’t want to be. My former boss inspired me, but there were also things that I didn’t want to turn into (a workaholic). Bloggers inspire me, but I don’t always agree with all of their lifestyle choices. My mom is a selfless person and wonderful woman, but I don’t want to become my mother.

So here’s where my “cop-out” answer comes in. Instead of choosing one person that inspire me I am going to list qualities of and types of people who do inspire me. Because in reality, who is completely perfect?!

I admire:

  • My mother’s selflessness
  • My father’s artistic ability
  • My brother’s drive and persistence
  • The work ethic of my former boss
  • My boyfriend’s big heart
  • Those working on or have overcome addictions
  • Mothers
  • Writers/Authors
  • All runners (especially marathoners)
  • Everyone whole completes a Whole 30
  • Volunteers
  • Counselors
  • Doctors
  • Artists

Who are you most inspired by & why? Has that person changed over the years?

Onwards & Upwards…