Five on Friday – Goals Edition

Hello my loyal blog followers, so basically hi Hubby, mama and steph 😉  I know I have said this before but I am just SO excited for 2017.  I have never felt more driven and empowered before.  I am making goals and actually sticking to them.  right?!  crazy talk.  Here are some tips of things I have been doing to help me stay on top of my goals.

{one}

Be intentional.  Make goals about things you are passionate about.  When you have an internal drive towards something in particular it is going to help drive you externally to achieve these goals.  For me I am being more intentional about saying “NO.”  I feel like one of my weaknesses in life is that I am a people pleaser.  I never say no.  I have started guys and guess what.  I am happier AND I am achieving more of my personal goals.  Just because I don’t go on a playdate everyday doesn’t mean I don’t want to see my friends or that my kids are deprived, but the ones we do go have become more intentional and for that I am thankful.  I have tried to apply this concept to all areas of my life and I truly am pursing my passions on the side this year instead of trying to do it all.

{two}

Make lists.  I know, I know.  This belongs in goal making 101. BUT it just holds so much truth.  When you make a simple bullet point list to lay out your day before you, it forces you to become more intentional with your actions to get through that list.  Put EVERYTHING on there that you want to get to done (quiet time, work out, laundry, make dinner, etc) and prioritize it if you can.  Whatever doesn’t get checked off automatically gets floated to the next days list.  I use the weekly part of my planner for my list making.  I use my monthly part so I can see all my big things laid out at once (DR appointments, when I work, plans with friends, etc).  This has been working SO well with me.  The very first thing on my list every day is my quiet time.  If I achieve nothing else on my list other than spending 5 minutes with the Lord then I will call it a successful day.  And guys, this week, I have been surviving.  Both my kiddos have been sick, so I have missed quiet time twice and gotten nothing else done on my list.  But that’s ok, I still made a list everyday and I moved everything onwards to the next day that I wasn’t able to accomplish the day before.

{three}

Set yourself up for success.  If your goal is to work out at 5 am, sleep in your workout clothes.  If your goal is to wake up and have quiet time with a cup of tea, set everything out before you go to bed so you know its waiting on you in the morning.  Be realistic and help yourself the night before as much as you can.  One thing I have been doing to try to help this is to make sure my dishwasher is empty before I go to bed.  Silly but for me waking up and not having a pile of dishes in the sink automatically makes my day better.  I also have been making kids lunches the night before on school days and what a game changer that is.  I am such a nicer mom on school days when I’m not rushing everyone out the door in a mad frenzy.

{four}

Accountability.  Share your goals with someone.  Put it out there on social media.  Call your best friend and tell them.  Write it down for people in your home to see.  Make yourself accountable somehow.  For me, one of my goals (since like forever) has been to finally lose some of this baby weight.  My neighbor had the same goal.  SO what we did we do?  Made it a family affair.  Husband/wife teams.  We set a start date and end date.  We created a group within a workout app so we can see when the others are working out, we weigh in every Monday morning and send our numbers into the spreadsheet.  It works.  We are having fun with it – right ridge runners??? 😉 and it is holding us all accountable.  Who doesn’t like a little friendly competition.

{five}

Give yourself GRACE.  In all that you do, give yourself grace.  God did not create us to be perfect.  He created us to be good.  Good people, Good stewards of our faith, good husbands/wives, good mothers/fathers.  No where in the Bible has God set up the expectation of perfection, so why would we burden ourselves with that expectation?  It is not possible.  We are human flesh, at the end of the day we will not achieve perfection, it is not within our reach.  So, step back and give yourself grace.  Be kind.  Look at people and smile.  Try your hardest to be the best you can be each day.

I hope to be back on my game with Friday link-ups, but if I fall off the wagon again, it’s ok.  God willing I have MANY MANY more Fridays to live.

 

Enjoy your weekend friends!

xo,

j

Stirring in the Soul

We are officially 9 days into the new year and I have never felt such a stir of emotion in my soul and energy as I have this year.  My clean eating and exercise program is going pretty darn well.  I have not missed one day of my daily devotional {that really is a big deal for me}.  We had a crazy productive first weekend of the year that we will fondly remember as demo weekend.  We are starting preparations on our house in order for it to be at its best market ready self when we re-list our home in April.  We took the train down that ran across Corbin’s ceiling in his room (as much as we thought it was super awesome and fun, some people can’t look past that stuff when buying a house).  We took down extra curtain rods and curtains that made rooms appear smaller.  We smoothed down and spread a huge pile of dirt in the backyard.  Let me clarify – when I see WE I really mean Andrew.  He rocked it this weekend.  I was the moral support and cooker.  I also got all of our christmas taken down and put back into the attic.  My project 333 wardrobe is THIS CLOSE to being complete.  We have a garage sale pile the size of Mt. Rainer {and it feels oh SO good}.  I have a feeling this is just the first layer for me as well.  I am learning a lot about myself. I am very emotional and am having a harder time parting with THINGS than I thought.  EEEEP.  How embarrassing.  Does this make me a stage 1 hoarder?!  Maybe.  Whatever it is I am ok with it.  I am making progress and it is helping me to try to really step back and find the THINGS in my life that bring me joy.  We are collectively trying to make 2017 more about friends and family than THINGS.  Regardless,  I am human and I like things.  I am forever a work in progress.  Amongst all these preparations on the home I feel like Andrew and I have had some MAJOR stirrings in our hearts and souls about where exactly is life leading us?  What does God want us to do with out lives?  80% of your life is spent working and that work needs to glorify HIM.  If you aren’t happy with that work than are you really living life to the fullest potential? Are you really glorifying God every day?  Some serious stirring of the souls going on over here.  What I can say is I have a feeling this “journey” that we started envisioning in our heads 8 short months is going to be drastically and radically different from what we had originally planned out.  Kinda scary – heck yea.  Kinda exciting – oh yea.  Keep coming strong 2017 – we are taking you and all your challenges on.  I’ll leave ya’ll with an awesome poem Andrew wrote in about 10 minutes yesterday.  He has such a talent for this and it amazes me with each poem he writes.  Enjoy.

The Grind

I’m not happy with what I’ve become
Connected all the time
Putting in all the effort
For just the daily grind

Working for someone else
Is not at all fulfilling
And the thought of this long term
Is nothing short of chilling

Voicemails, Texts, and Emails
Never putting down the phone
Sometimes I want to shut it off
And leave myself alone

It’s ingrained in us at an early age
What success can truly be
But today I find myself
Wanting more than the corporate family tree

I’m tired of climbing the ladder
I’m needing some simplicity
It may be unconventional
But I think it’s what’s best for me

It’s great to have the raises
And a promotion here and there
But honestly in the grand scheme of things
I’m not sure I really care

I was able to buy the “things”
That sit in the closet collecting dust
It’s what you’re supposed to do with money
It’s like an unwritten law that you must

Am I being selfish?
Thinking only of myself
Or am I turning the page
On my “book” up on the shelf

Change is a scary thing
And taking risk is just the same
But what I’m doing as of now
Will soon drive me insane

I’m not expecting it to be easy
There will be bumps in the road ahead
But I want to say I’ve lived
Long before I’m dead

The American dream is true
But make it all your own
For you it might be the white picket fence
For others that seed is not yet sown

I’m not sure what mine is yet
That path I’ve yet to pave
But after I become successful
I’m sure it will be all the rave

Success is of course objective
It means different things to all
But you must take that chance in life
Even if you trip and fall

I’m not sure what’s next for me
And I’ll need to take my time
To make a fulfilling career
Outside of the corporate daily grind.

-Andrew L. Hooper

What has you stirring in 2017?  What is driving your happiness?  What change do you want to make in your life?  YOUR destiny is in YOUR hands. God has given you tools and talents in life to be successful.  If we each examine our hearts and souls to find these tools I think every one of us can be living the uncommon life.  The riveted life.  The one life you are given.  I challenge you; listen to your heart.  Chase your dreams.  You are never to old.  I am reading (really re-reading) The Cure for the Uncommon Life by Max Lucado.  It is a Christian based book to help you discover your sweet spot in life.  I am a couple of chapters in and enjoying it so far.  Make it a good week friends and listen to the stirrings in your soul.

xo,

j

Hello, 2017

Happy New Years my faithful readers!  I am wrapping up the final 30 minutes of the first day of the New Year reflecting over the last year {where did the time go?!} and setting out some goals for the new year.  2016 was a good year but 2017 is going to be a riveting year.  I have big goals for 2017 and I can’t wait to start achieving them.  I am still in the process of writing out these goals, as I am trying to be very intentional and prayerful about each one of them and what result I am striving for.  Tomorrow, however is the official start date of one of our goals.  We are partaking in a couples weight loss/healthy lifestyle challenge with our best friends and neighbors.  We are the Ridge Runners and plan on ending the competition finishing a race and going on a double date where the losing couple pays for dinner.  I am super excited about this and so hopeful that it really does become a true lifestyle change for me.  I am ready to have the energy of my marathon running days back {and maybe run another marathon or two}.  Of course, another goal that is already firm on our list is to sell our house.  We plan on re-listing early Spring and are setting out an action plan to make that as quick and successful as possible.  Achieving that goal will rapidly lead to the achieving of our other goals, one being moving into our RV full-time.  Some people still think we are crazy, some think we are awesome.  I’m with the awesome crowd.  I have devoted my entire day {on no sleep} to cleaning and organizing the house {starting to} so we can start clearing all the clutter and noise out of our lives.  Andrew and I are both going to do the 333 project with our wardrobes.  I was hoping to go through my side of the closet today, but we will do it together when he gets home from the country with the boys.  I think this challenge will help me with more than simplifying my wardrobe.  I am hoping it trickles down through every other area of my life and I can then go through the rest of the house with a more eager spirit to let go.  I had a harder time than I thought I would as  I went through to boys closets and toys today.  I was able to downsize some, but I plan on re-evaluating again in a few weeks as I know I have more work to do.  It is definitely a learning curve, but I am excited to start. Andrew and I always talk about the simple life.  I’m ready to stop talking and start achieving.  We watched the documentary called Minimalism on Netflix the week before Christmas and were both inspired by it.  I look forward to the LESS is MORE life.  I look forward to living our life by doing things, not having things.  Bring it on 2017 – the Hoopers’ are ready for you!  What are some of your goals this year?!

xo,

j

October goals + September book review

file-oct-06-6-57-43-amOh, October.  You are such a busy (and) fun month.  Here are some of my goals for this fabulous month.

  1.  update my phone.  I HATE updating my phone and have fear that I  will lose all of my photos on it (even though I back them up) silly right?  I have Wyatt’s birth on my phone right now and i panicked just the same when i updated my last phone and Corbin’s birth pictures were on there.
  2. Read one book.  This month is just SO crazy if I finish one book it will be a success.
  3. Plan our December trip to Branson/Nashville.
  4. Finish ALL my christmas shopping.  I’m almost already done!  Ill share my secrets in another post!

My September books didn’t impress me much.  I read the Thornbirds and as it was a good book, it was very long and I would just really be getting into a character or story and then it would switch point of views.  There is a mini series made from this book and I think that would be SO good.  So I plan on binge watching that at some point.  The second book I read (kinda) was The Storyteller by Jodi Piccoult.  I couldn’t finish it my friends.  This was another story that bounced all around and I just couldn’t get into it.  I made it about 3/4 of way through before it was due back to the library and I didn’t have the desire to renew it.  Hopefully October’s book is another good one so I can get back on track!

Here’s to a super busy month!

xo,

j

 

 

September Goals

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Happy Fall Ya’ll 😉  I love September for so many reasons, but I especially enjoy thinking about how cooler temps are in the near future!  September is not only time for pumpkins and PSL, but it is also Childhood Cancer Awareness month.  I was a pedi hem-onc nurse for 6 years, and ya’ll, the kiddos that fight the fight of cancer are heroes.  They.  are.  awesome.  They deserve the world, they deserve a cure.  I encourage you to donate to research efforts of pediatric cancer this month if you have some extra change laying around.  Currently, only 4% of cancer research funds go towards pediatric research and lets be honest our kids deserve more than 4%.

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Okie Dokie I accidentally took like a little sabbatical from blogging.  I’m glad to be back at it!  Here are my September Goals…
-September Spending Freeze.  I think this will be my hubby’s favorite goal.  EVER 😉  Other than groceries, medical expenses, and kids school I plan on going on a September spending freeze.  What does this mean?  no chic-fil-a runs, no starbucks runs before work (sorry PSL, I’ll catch ya in October!), no fun little extras here and there.  Why?  I mean why not?  I always start buying Christmas early in October so it dosen’t hit all in one month so saving extra before the holiday craziness starts just makes sense.  This dosen’t mean I can’t socialize.  We can have friends over for dinner, I can still go out and visit I just don’t need to spend the money ordering, etc, etc.  Now I do have my sisters bridal shower this month that I have to order the cake for/get fresh flowers for so that will be an outside expense.  Other than that I plan on sticking to it!

-Read 2 books.  I flew over my August goal of one book (I will review them in a later post) So this month my goal is two!  I am currently reading Thornbirds and when I finish this I plan on reading The Storyteller.

stoeryteller thornbirds

-Still working on the less phone time.  I am going to start leaving my phone in the kitchen to charge at night instead of on my bed stand.  I did this a few months ago and not quite sure why I stopped.  I am also going to be leaving my phone in the back seat of my car in my purse when driving.  I am guilty of red light phone use and it’s just silly and not needed.

-send out 2 snail mail notes this month.  Lets be honest.  Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong era.  I love me some snail mail and I miss the good ‘ole days of getting a letter in the mail.  #briningitback

-SELL THE HOUSE!  I feel like this is going to be a monthly goal till the end of time at this rate.  We have decided to keep it on the market thru October and if nothing we will take off and re list in the Spring for peak season.  We listed very late this year and it has been SLOW.  It’s been hard because we were/are SO excited to get started on the next chapter, but in God’s time – not ours.  And if we end up staying until the spring and hanging out with our neighbors for longer I won’t complain 🙂

We are off to meet the teacher at MDO this morning.  woohoo!  What are your September goals?!

xo,

j

 

 

 

Weekend recap + August Goals

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It was a good weekend!  Long and busy, but good!  I worked Friday night, yes, I am one of those night shifters.  I work 7p-7a and no I don’t sleep.  I have always had the ability to function of off very little sleep but working night shift the past 2 years has really extended that ability.  For now, it’s awesome, we don’t have to worry about childcare, and I really enjoy the people I work with.  Ultimately I know that not sleeping for 36 hour stretches every couple of days is not good for your health so when my kids get more school age I will probably look for something more ‘normal.’  Andrew took the kids to the country to visit his parents.  (y’all he ROCKS daddy daycare.  all the time.  This road trip involved a hospital visit for his mom, lunch at chilis and a visit to the trampoline park – ALL by himself.  He is much braver than me :)).  His intentions were for me to be able to take a nap.  NO nap nellie over here did not take advantage of that.  Nope.  I came home work and started touching up walls and base boards for our open house and before I knew it I had to get ready for my baby sisters bridal shower (it was lovely).  Sunday was lazy.  We went grabbed some mexican for lunch (yum!) and then headed home for Andrew to do oil changes in the cars and I was on vacuum and detail duty.  I think I vacuumed up AT LEAST a pound of goldfish…no lie.  These kiddos of mine have really stretched my tolerance level on certain things.  I pray this week blesses our family and yours.  Mondays are always rough, but they are a fresh start.  Take advantage and make some goals.  Not only is today a Monday, but it the first of a month (August – what?!?!?!).  I know August brings a whole new level of anxiety as people prep for back to school.  Start the routine early so you are not scrambling at the end.  Today I plan on menu planning, re setting my fitness and weight loss goals, and maybe packing up a box or two (living on the optimistic side of life that our house will sooner than later :)).  Make it a good day guys!

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shower day for Shannyn #newbrinkersontheblock
playing at our favorite mexican food spot
playing at our favorite mexican food spot
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when did he get old enough to drink out of a big boy cup?!
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i got to visit my first baby, Shelby girl 🙂 she lives with my sister now <3
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playing with daddy’s toys from when he was a little boy

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  • I want to actually set aside a quiet time each day and read my daily devotional.  I have had this one and when I do it I LOVE it.  We all need a daily dose of Jesus in our lives and I highly recommend it!

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  • I want to stick to meal planning.  We have been listening to some of Dave Ramsey’s podcasts and I am all about saving money where we can.  #riceandbeansdiet
  • I LOVE reading – like nerd alert love it.  Since having kids it has totally hit the back burner and you can often find me snoozing the minute I open a page to any book.  I just can’t seem to figure out why I am so darn tired all the time 😉 Anybody who knows me knows of my uncanny ability to fall asleep anytime where…pretty sure I have fallen asleep mid sentence before.  So, hold me accountable I want to read two at least one book this month!  This is the book I want to read this month.  I am borrowing it from my mom.
  • 515p3OrN1KL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Health/fitness goals.  I LOVE my fitbit y’all.  I love competing with myself for steps.  I told you I am a nerd.  Anyways, my goal is to make use of my double jogger at least 3 times/week and lose 10 pounds.  I have GOT TO shed this baby weight I have been fondly hanging onto.  My husband totally rocked his weight loss challenge these past 2 months and I plan on keeping meals as healthy as possible.

  • less phone time = more play time.  Easier said than done. I am a total phone addict and my kids are noticing.  I want to play with them more while they think I am still cool.  Yesterday Corbin and I spent the afternoon hunting alligators and it was SO sweet.  I need more alligator hunts in my life 🙂
  • sell our house! 🙂

What are your goals for August?  I’ll hold myself accountable and update you on the last day of each month about how I did.  I might be reaching for the stars this month seeing as how it’s already August 2nd and I clearly wanted this to be posted yesterday AND I had a donut on my way home from work this morning.  I’m obviously winning over August like a champ 😉  With that said, we are all human and I plan on picking up and keeping the rest of my day/month on track!

xo,

j