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Intentionally May

4 Jun

Happy June everyone! May was a pretty good month for A and I; I feel like I’m getting back into the swing of the spirit of my one little word for 2012: intentional, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

If you want to see how 2012 is going so far, January’s wrap-up is hereFebruary, March, and April.

Pursuing the Lord’s heart like I did when I first loved Him.

I think I’m happiest with my progress on this one this month. The more work on my relationship with God, the more I realize hom unquantifiable this goal is. With other intentional goals I san say, “Yes, I had three friends over for dinner, two friends without food dates, four…” You can’t really do that with something as intangible as growing close to the Lord. All I know is that I feel closer to Him, I’m more actively aware of His presence in my life, and I’m feeling the quiet security that comes from being in the word more often. Thank God that He is always there when we decide we want to come back to Him.

Moving into a season of greater spiritual and emotional intimacy with my husband.

We’ve done a devotional almost every night for the last month and a half. This obviously helps our spiritual intimacy, but it’s also slowly but surely building our emotional intimacy. We’ve been using Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott’s Just the Two of Us, a small book that my mom bought us for an engagement present (I think). It’s sweet. A little cheesy at times, which is par for the corse for the Parrotts, but great stories that make us think and are eminently applicable for our marriage.

We also celebrated our six-year anniversary on the 28th. Yay, us!

Making the most of the relationships I have, and taking time to nurture them.

I’ve had some great girlfriend time this month. Lunch dates with my bff, champagne evenings with a purpose, lunch dates with former high school students, grabbing Jamba Juice after a Saturday morning workout with the girls. It’s been a great month for relationships.

Tackling some of the harder things on The List, especially the ones that scare me.

I don’t know about scaring me, but accomplishing #16, planting my container garden, has definitely been a process. Now that they’re in the ground I’m scared…scared that all my plants are going to die without producing. Especially since some of my tomatoes are getting white spots on their leaves. :( A tomato-savvy friend told me yesterday to let my tomatoes dry out a bit and not over-water, and it’s raining today! What are the odds? Rain in June in northern California. Arrrrgggghhhh!

Having more people over for dinner, and not letting time/stress/money get in the way of my love of being a hostess.

My buddy Kedrick finally made it back over for dinner, and we had a couple over that we’ve grown to know and love as individuals and have decided we need to hang out more as couples. Considering that this month has been crazy for me, I think two hostess days is pretty good.

Buying locally as much as possible.

So much good produce out right now! It’s super easy to eat locally at this time of year in California. Done and done.

Reading challenging, empowering, quality books instead of solely feeding my brain a mental fast food diet of chick-lit.

I’ve read so many gardening books this month it’s not even funny. All of them are from You Grow Girl, and are wonderful.

Putting my health first and making the time to exercise

No problem. Even being crazy busy I made time for exercise. The only weeks I had trouble was when I was having another terrible bout of insomnia, and I had zero energy for two weeks. I still worked out, but not as much, and definitely not at my full potential.

After several months of trying I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t like step class. I’ve given it the old college try, and the only thing I really like about it is doing it with my girlfriends. All in all I’ve decided that I’d really rather spend the hour running. Speaking of which, this month I’m going to be trying to get back into running. I’ve worked on strength training for months, and have been LOVING it, but I miss running. And my stamina isn’t there anymore for running, so I’d like to see that come back up.

If you had a resolution or a word for 2012, how’s it going? I’d love to hear! Leave a comment or link to a blog post you’ve written on this below.

Intentionally April

10 May

image from liferearranged.com

Wow! May just snuck in there, and before I know it I’ll be celebrating my anniversary! All that to say, I’m waaaaaay overdue for how my one little word went for April. March’s update on  is a bit overdue. If you want to see how 2012 is going so far, January’s wrap-up is hereFebruary is here, March is right here. How did April go? Let’s see, shall we?

Pursuing the Lord’s heart like I did when I first loved Him.

Better. I’m reading His word more, praying more, and as I mentioned yesterday, relying on the hope He has promised exclusively.

Moving into a season of greater spiritual and emotional intimacy with my husband.

We’re finally working on the spiritual intimacy part. We’ve started a nightly devotional, and A is the one taking the lead in making sure we do it every night. It’s been a nice change, reading together and praying together more. I’m hoping it sticks.

Making the most of the relationships I have, and taking time to nurture them.

I’ve had to make some hard choices this month. Volunteering versus time with A, girls’ night out versus date night. For the most part, I’ve been pretty selfish in my choices. I’ve been having a rough time this month, so I’ve been choosing to have time with friends who fill me up, who have my back, who see me and love me. I like to think it’s not all one way, I’ve had a better emotional connection with some of my friends than I’ve had in months. So I’m happy with this one.

Tackling some of the harder things on The List, especially the ones that scare me.

Well, sunscreen is crossed off. Yay! Only 23 more to go.

Having more people over for dinner, and not letting time/stress/money get in the way of my love of being a hostess.

We had a couple of old friends over, so I got my hostess in, while being able to feel very homey. Comfort with entertaining; love it.

Buying locally as much as possible.

Easier than ever now that California is producing asparagus, and peppers, and tomatoes, and avocados, and broccoli, and oranges, and limes, and lemons, and beans, and peas, and corn. Oh my gosh, the corn!!! I was allergic, and now I’m not, and I am making up for more than nine years of being off of the cob and polenta and chips and salsa…it is a time of veggie plenty, my friends, and I intend to live it up.

Finding fun, creative ways to get together with friends that don’t revolve around food.

Working out, going for a six-mile walk with girlfriends and lots and lots of dogs in Monterey, catch-up dates with former high school students…it’s been a full, blessed month.

Reading challenging, empowering, quality books instead of solely feeding my brain a mental fast food diet of chick-lit.

I started re-reading Animal Vagetible Miracle for the fourth time, bought and read the whole You Grow Girl book series in prep for planting my own veggie container garden, and am working my way through Local Flavors by Deborah Madison. Lots of non fiction, foodie goodness going on right now!

Putting my health first and making the time to exercise.

Still averaging 3.4 times at the gym per week (according to my handy-dandy Club One tracker) and I’m doing Tone It Up workouts on my non-gym days. Still haven’t lost an ounce, but I have high hopes that when A and I get through this rough season that will change.

If you had a resolution or a word for 2012, how’s it going? I’d love to hear! Leave a comment or link to a blog post you’ve written on this below.

Intentionally March

9 Apr

Happy Monday everyone! Little announcement before we get to the post: I’ll be taking a break from blogging for the next two weeks. A is in his last week of tax season, which is always a stressful time for our family, and the week after I’ll be too busy enjoying my newly free husband to write. I’m not taking a break from life, so I’ll still be around online, just a brief break from the daily content. I’ll see you back here on Monday, March 23rd. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in two weeks!

image courtesy of intentional life on tumblr.

March’s update on the year of living intentionally is a bit overdue. If you want to see how 2012 is going so far, January’s wrap-up is hereFebruary’s here. So, on to March!

Pursuing the Lord’s heart like I did when I first loved Him.

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to get on this one, but I feel like I’ve taken a step in the right direction. I can’t say how exactly. Maybe it’s because I’ve been praying more when things are going right. Maybe it’s because I’m praying just to tell God how I love Him. Maybe it’s because I actually picked up my Bible recently because I wanted to re-read a passage I’d forgotten, and found that I really missed it. I hope to have more to report on this one next month.

Moving into a season of greater spiritual and emotional intimacy with my husband.

March was actually fairly rough for A and I. He’s been busy, and has had to spend quite a bit of time in the doctor’s office, and we’ve had more than our usual share of arguments. All this isn’t a great recipe for building intimacy. And yet….
Sometimes you find out things about yourself and your spouse that you never would have known if it weren’t for disagreements. You wouldn’t know how much the other person is in it with you, for better or worse, if it weren’t for adversity. I love A, and he loves me. And the fact that we can say that, choose it, live it, after the month we’ve had is a win. Any tough time where we come out closer together rather than further apart, I’ll take. And I’ll give thanks to God for.

Making the most of the relationships I have, and taking time to nurture them.

I got to go to my ‘nephew’s’ baseball game this month, and he pitched for the first time. And he was awesome. The kid has a natural talent, and I’m super proud of him. I got to cuddle my ‘niece’ on the stands, braid her hair, and heat Lik-a-maids. I got to chat with my bff between her boy being at bat. All in all a great day.
A and I spent time with his work bff and his wife. We ran a 10k together, which was huge for us and gave us confidence in all the other races we have planned for this month. I had more than a few swirl dates with girlfriends, so it’s been a good month for relationships.

Tackling some of the harder things on The List, especially the ones that scare me.

Well, I crossed one off. That’s 1/15 for this year. A slow start, but I’ll take it!

Finding ways beyond words to show people that I love them.

I left love notes for A. On our mirror, around our dog’s necks. They had written words, but went beyond just saying nice things. Cheesy, but effective.

Finding fun, creative ways to get together with friends that don’t revolve around food.

A slow Friends Without Food month, but I did get a day with bestie Molly. We met after I got a pedicure and walked around Santana Row. We window shopped, tried in vain to find a Nike store, and ended up at the Irish pub for happy hour. Yes, it ended up involving food, but food wasn’t the point so it counts. So there. And it was one of the funnest days I’ve had in awhile.

Reading challenging, empowering, quality books instead of solely feeding my brain a mental fast food diet of chick-lit.

This month has been really weird, reading-wise. I’ve started several books, but none have really stuck. Sometimes I get like this, when I’ve read several amazing books in a row, if the next ones I read aren’t comparable I’m just not interested. If you have any good recommendations, let me know!

Putting my health first and making the time to exercise.

Well, I spent the last week MIA from the gym due to a tenacious cold, but my average visits per week for March was still 3.1. Yes, my gym lets you track these things. Since the average person at my gym goes 1.3 days per week, and pre-Club One Christy averaged, oh, zero, I’m loving 3.1 average visits per week. Next month I’m shooting for 3.5!

If you had a resolution or a word for 2012, how’s it going? I’d love to hear! Leave a comment or link to a blog post you’ve written on this below.

Intentionally February

5 Mar

image from thresca on tumblr

We’re two months into the year of living intentionally. January went well, and now it’s time to see how it went in February. I don’t want to bore you with the whole list of ways I want to be intentional this year, so let’s just talk about where things went right.

Moving into a season of greater spiritual and emotional intimacy with my husband.

This one is still going well, though I think this month that’s more due to effort on A’s part than mine. He’s been really on top of keeping boundaries up during tax season, and making the most of the time we have together at home. We’ve had more dates this month and more time out with friends than I can remember us ever having during a tax season February. February is usually the time in tax season where the end is still so far that there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, but A and his co-workers have been going at it for so long that they’re burned out. February usually brings significant stress and tiredness on A’s part, stress and loneliness on mine, and an epic fight at some point during the month. Not this month! This month we’re comparatively doing well. I’m going to chalk it up to us both being more focused on keeping the intimacy going  during the lean times. Dreaming of our post-tax season vacation helps too.

Moving forward with the ministry God’s put in front of me.

I’ve made decisions this month about my time over the next year, and keeping out time sucks so I can focus in the upcoming months. So I’m calling this one a win.

Making the most of the relationships I have, and taking time to nurture them.

This month has seen many spontaneous lunches and get-togethers with girlfriends. I’ve baby-sat for good friends, and started working out with girlfriends, which helps with my next intentional goal:

Finding fun, creative ways to get together with friends that don’t revolve around food.

I joined a gym that three of my girlfriends belong to. Within the first week of joining, my unofficial life coach Dianne called me four times to see if I was going to class. Way to motivate, Deed!

Tackling some of the harder things on The List, especially the ones that scare me.

You know how I said I joined the gym? Yeah, the biggest reason was to take yoga. Twice a week. And I’m doing it. Yay!
Also, I’ve got A on board with my vision to redecorate the bedroom, and he’s even starting to set aside a little bit to help me do it. Double yay!

Having more people over for dinner, and not letting time/stress/money get in the way of my love of being a hostess.

Two dinners this month, one quite a random mix of people, both successful. This recipe is fab, by the way. Easy, tasty, and the leftovers were great thinly sliced over salad with the aoli as dressing the next night.

Finding ways beyond words to show people that I love them.

I’ve sent out several offers of help to friends who are hurting this month. As one who has been loved on in this way when I’ve been down, I know how much it means.

Buying locally as much as possible.

I just bought the first strawberries of the season, from California. I’ve been resisting the blueberries and raspberries and blackberries that have been popping up in the store because they were from Chile or Mexico. But last week, three baskets of California strawberries were $6. Um, done. Plus, did you know that Clover milk is native to Nor Cal? It is, so Clover eggs and butter is all that’s on our table.

Reading challenging, empowering, quality books instead of solely feeding my brain a mental fast food diet of chick-lit.

Unbroken
The Paris Wife
Working on The Time In Between at Katie’s suggestion.
Plus I opened a Goodreads account! Loving the bookish camaraderie.

Putting my health first and making the time to exercise.

Hey, did I mention I joined a gym? With friends? I did? Oh, sorry. Well, joining is only half the battle. Am I making the time to go? Let’s just say I have a standing date for Monday and Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings for the foreseeable future.

If you had a resolution or a word for 2012, how’s it going? I’d love to hear! Leave a comment or link to a blog post you’ve written on this below.

Intentionally January

1 Feb

image from chasing vivid dreams

Let’s see, one month ago I was waxing poetic about all the things I wanted to do to make 2012 the year of living intentionally. I thought today, on this first day of February 2012, would be a good time to look back on the month before through the lens of being intentional. Let’s see how we did, shall we?

Pursuing the Lord’s heart like I did when I first loved Him.

I did ok on this one. Instead of just skimming over my daily verse and thinking “oh, that’s nice,” I started saying a prayer about that verse. Usually that God help me to apply it to my day, or let me understand Him better through His word. Not a bad start, but I could have done better.

Moving into a season of greater spiritual and emotional intimacy with my husband.

This one went well, I feel. (Will have to check with A. and see what he thinks.) A is neck-deep into tax season, and traditionally this time of year we are never at our best, intimacy-wise. But remember my idea for building intimacy through wine and cheese? We’ve kept it going, every night A is home for dinner and we don’t have to rush out the door, which usually means 2-4 nights a week. On Sunday we were doing our big grocery run for the week, and I started tallying up what portion of our food budget we spent on wine and cheese. It wasn’t obscene, but definitely more than we’d usually spend just to have a little luxury. I said as much to A on our drive home, to which he replied, “yeah, but you know? I see it as an investment it us. It’s not really spending money on food, we’re spending money to bring us closer together, which we really need right now. Plus, it’s cheaper than going out to dinner.” True dat, my love, true dat.

Moving forward with the ministry God’s put in front of me.

Yeah, this one I haven’t paid much attention to this month, except to worry about how much I’m not doing, and time is slipping away. This month will be better.

Making the most of the relationships I have, and taking time to nurture them.

I haven’t done much with this one either, though now that I think about it, how would I measure this? I did well with A, as noted above, but I don’t know about my other relationships. Do my dogs count? Truth be told, one of the hardest things to deal with as I work through S.A.D. is feeling distinctly anti-social. It’s hard, because I’m a very social person. I’ve really appreciated how a lot of my girlfriends and sister have made a point of reaching out to me, and I’ve loved going out when they suggest it, but it has sometimes been hard for me to make that phone call. So I haven’t been proactive about making active time to nurture my relationships outside of A.
Wait! I’ve got a success! (Little stream of consciousness here.) My friends all seem to have a lot going on in their lives right now, and in January I’ve felt more of a burden to pray for all of them than I have in a long time. They might not know about it, or be able to see it, but right now when my time and emotional resources are limited, I’ve been praying. And truth be told, I feel like I love them and appreciate them more now for doing it.

Tackling some of the harder things on The List, especially the ones that scare me.

As I’ve said, January didn’t see me cross anything off my list. I am working on learning the guitar, and have started a teeny-tiny dream fund, but no actual crossings yet. I’m hopeful for February.

Having more people over for dinner, and not letting time/stress/money get in the way of my love of being a hostess.

Done! We had A’s bff from work and his wife over for dinner. They brought wine, she baked my favorite cookies ever, my chicken was dry (per usual), but we had a great time. It was the first time I’ve felt a little hangover in awhile, let me tell you. Accountants, man, they be crazy! There was a time in the not-too-distant past that having one couple over for dinner in a month would have been a step down for us. But looking back on 2011 (which will forever be known as The Year Suck) we really didn’t have people over. So one this month is a step in the right direction. Yay, Team Aylesworth!

Finding ways beyond words to show people that I love them.

I’m going to defer to my note on praying for people on this one. And my successful implementation of wine and cheese nights with A. Oh, and yesterday I picked up a bag of gummy bears for A while I was at the store. (They’re his favorite, and I’ve never seen them carried at Trader Joes. All of a sudden, there they were! Get while the gettin’s good, I say.)

Buying locally as much as possible.

This has been a mixed bag. I just put a temporary hold on our CSA order, as I’m not cooking as often or as much as I have been, and it was starting to be a waste. But I continue to seek out local veggies at the store (again, SO BLESSED to live in California!), buy from local dairy farmers, and I just found an egg supplier who is local as well for year-round egg buying. Score! (Come summertime I buy eggs from my friend Danielle, our church’s very own urban farmer, if she has enough. You don’t get much more local than that!)

Finding fun, creative ways to get together with friends that don’t revolve around food.

I had two FWF dates this month. BOO-yah!

Reading challenging, empowering, quality books instead of solely feeding my brain a mental fast food diet of chick-lit.

Hmm, let’s see. What have I been reading this month? Not a whole lot, unfortunately, the newest issues of Relevant and Runners World aside. I finally picked up The Man Who Ate Everything. Loved The Night Circus. Finished Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) and The Handmaid’s Tale. There were two chick-lit books thrown into the mix as well that I don’t really remember (mental fast food indeed), so three chick-lit, three non? I’ll call that a win.

Putting my health first and making the time to exercise.

I went out four times, which is better than my previous month’s score of zero. Still working on shaking of my sense of inertia courtesy of S.A.D, and I hurt my foot somehow. It’s really quite the mystery. I have a doctor’s appointment on Friday if it doesn’t feel better by them. For now I’m walking on my toes on my left foot.

All in all, I’m going to say not bad. This year isn’t about doing everything all the time. No one can do that, especially me. I’d exhaust myself trying, and drive myself crazy thinking about all I’m not accomplishing instead of focusing on my successes. No, I can’t do everything, no matter how much I’d like to. But I want to do something, and cataloging my journey towards being intentional is part of my being intentional; I know myself, and if I didn’t purposefully take a look at how I’m doing I’d get nothing done. So now I know what I’ve done and what I want to work on next. Less of a check list, more of a status check on my journey thus far.

If you had a resolution or a word for 2012, how’s it going? I’d love to hear! Leave a comment or link to a blog post you’ve written on this below.

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