Monday, December 31, 2012


2012 did not start out ideally (with me in the hospital) nor end ideally (with Dakota and I in Afghanistan), but it was a year full of so many awesome things. I completed several more courses in school, I began my vegan journey and my health has improved so much along with my waistline, Our yard was finally finished, it turns out that I CAN grow things even though I had to leave before I could harvest it all, I got engaged to the most awesome man in the world, I've learned so much more about my job and have been able to make a difference in doing it, and I have been lucky enough to spend more time than I thought I would with the love of my life. Everything happens for a reason and I am so thankful for all of it. 2012 was a really great year, but I just know that 2013 is going to be the best year yet! Happy New Year everyone, and be safe tonight!

Friday, December 28, 2012

So, 2012 has come to a close. Another year is spent. I'd like to take a look at my goals that I set for this past year and reflect on them a bit:

lemon water in the mornings
Well, although I did do this for a while, I ended up stopping. I didn't stop because I wanted to, but rather because I had to. Getting lemons over in Afghanistan isn't exactly possible!
turmeric  tea
 I must admit that I never did make any turmeric tea. when I was back in the states I did incorporate turmeric into my cooking though and I loved it! I don't have any here though.
write one hand written snail mail letter at least once per month
 I made great headway with this one up until June. I was pretty proud of myself for this one!
send flowers to someone for no reason
 In the early spring I attempted this one. For some reason though the flower shop ended up canceling the order. I never thought much about it again until just recently. Today though, a beautiful flowering plant was delivered to my grandmother. It's a living plant that she can replant into her garden. I hope she loves it!
back up all of my digital files to an external hard drive and keep it all organized
 I backed up all of my digital files onto an external hard drive before I left. Since I've been here, I have not updated everything, but I at least have all of my photos backed up! Go me!
complete 12 exciting just for fun projects that I have on my fun projects to try list
Yup, I totally failed at this one!
read 12books for personal enjoyment
I'm finishing up books 11 and 12 right now! Go me!
Plant Hydrangeas
 So, I planted them. I also killed them! At least I tried!
make an amazing blanket for our bed
 Dang it, another one that I did not complete.
complete 3 canvas paintings
 And another one!
try a new recipe each month
I tried so many new recipes I can't even count. I did not do one each month because I've been here since the end of July, but I think the recipes that I tried throughout the first 6 months completely overrides it all.
make 6 loaves of bread
 I made two loaves of bread. Dang it all! The were both raw though!
keep a what I did today 3X5 journal
 I kept an electronic what I did today journal on my computer. I managed to keep it up all year! Now, I just need to copy it all down into a 3X5 journal.
host an awesome dinner party
 I hosted two parties this year. One was a baby reveal shower and the other was an adults only RAW dinner party. Both parties were successful!
host a wine party
No wine party, but I do plan to host one once I get back to the states.
strive for only 23 1/2 hours of sedentary activity each day
 I think I did a pretty decent job of completing this one. Some days were busier than others, but I was active for at least 30 minutes each day.
blog at least one per week
 This one was super tough. I had so many things going on and have reasons for taking some breaks from blogging.
achieve a 3.5 in school
In the three terms that I went to school, I got a 3.8 or higher each term!  Go me!!
get engaged 
 I'm not really sure if this should have been an actual goal to set, but the good news is that it happened! We are planning an August 31, 2013 wedding.
feel great in a size 10 pair of jeans
Since I am over here I have no idea what size I can wear. I do know that I have had to get smaller and smaller sizes and the current jeans that I have are a size 12 but they are too big. I bet I could fit in a size 10! I originally made this goal because I did not want to set a number for my weightloss. Weightloss can be tricky when you are building muscle. I am proud to say though that I have lost over 70 pounds this year! Yeah, that's a small kid!
plant herbs
 Oh, I planted the heck out of some herbs! I even had the chance to eat a lot of my basil before I left. the rest of them are probably dead though.
create a birthday planner calender and stock up on cards to send out for special occasions
So, the planner went by the wayside. However, I did stock up on a ton of cards and did pretty well with making sure I got them out on time!
learn one "ballroom" type of dance
 Total fail. I did get a kinect though and have a dancing tutorial on it, but then I left.
go one full week without my cellphone
 Well, I have managed to go for over 5 months without my cell phone. I'd say I'm doing pretty good!
research getting my business license and follow through with a plan
 I picked up several books on the subject to include specific books for the state of Utah. I also researched what I need to do in order to get a license.
do one commissioned project
I did not manage to accomplish this one. Dang it!
organize my office and set it up for productive activities
Woohoo! When my mother came down to visit just before I left, we made a couple trips to IKEA and got some very lovely furniture. We spent two days going through everything, organizing, and making it all pretty. I can't wait to go home and make use of it!
paint my fingernails and toenails at least once per month
Haha. I'm beginning to see a growing trend. I blame all of my failed goals on being in Afghanistan. Again, I did not do this one because painting my nails is not the greatest idea over here. I would look pretty silly.
go on a picnic
 Although we did not go on a real picnic, Kaye and I went down by the pond to watch pelicans and took pictures of them while I ate some food.
go to a concert
 No concert. So sad!
make valentine cards and send them
Nope. Failed this one too!
Take more pictures
This one worked while I was home, but once I left home, I have hardly taken any pictures. I really need to though!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I'm Back!!!

Well, hello there, friends! It's been a very long while and I have lots of reasons for that, but I must say that I am quite excited to be back to blogging again. In the past seven months I've gone through a lot of personal changes - a lot! I've had time to reflect on so many aspects of my life. I've given thought to what matters and what does not, and the weight that I carry on my shoulders has gotten lighter. So, you may be wondering what I've been up to. Boy oh boy, are you ready to hear all this? Haha. I'll give you an abbreviated version:

Mr. Fantastic left for Afghanistan which of course was a huge struggle for me. He is my rock, my strength, my support, and my drive to keep going. Without him next to my side, and never knowing for sure that at any given moment he was safe, was very difficult for me. I had gone through a year of him being deployed before and that was really tough, but I think this time was even more difficult.

I started my garden. I am pretty sure I planted just about everything I possibly could. I was so excited to be able to eat my own produce. Later in the year I would find out that I would not get the chance to do this, but more on that later. I did however have the chance to et fresh basil from the garden and enjoy the radishes. They were so so yummy!

My mother came to visit at the beginning of July for a week. We had such a great time. She helped me to organize a lot of our house that had still been in shambles due to the move last summer. She also helped me set up my studio/office and it looks amazing although it is still not quite finished. I think the most awesome thing that we did though was start planning the wedding! What a dream come true this process has been.

Alright, are you ready for this next part? This could very well be the biggest part of the entire year. My boss asked me to deploy for three months. I told him no course, but then discovered that it would be to the same location as Mr. Fantastic and I couldn't help but say yes! A chance to be with him for three months would be amazing no matter where we were. I left at the end of July. The kicker of the whole thing is that I did not tell him I was coming. When I got there, I found some of his co-workers because he was off shift and sleeping, and they took me to him. I think they were jsut as excited to me! When I knocked on his door, the reunion was the best part of my entire year! After about a month and adapting to the way things go in Afghanistan, I decided to extend my stay here for an additional 3 months. Unfortunatly things always seem to work out strangly for us and right after that, an issue came up with the contract he was working under and he had to return home without me. Strugggle!!!!!! Two months later though, he was back here with me and things were right again.

I also started a new semester of school in September. I studied Sacred Geometry for Design and once again Adobe Suite. I'm pretty sure I sont ever want to take that one again seeing as how I have taken it three times at three different schools. The good news is that although I often got very stressed out with having to work here in Afghanistan 12 hours per day and 7 days each week on top of going to school, I still managed to finish this past week with straight A's! Wowza! It was tough for sure, but I made it.

In between all of these events and on top of everything I am already having to deal with, I'm planning a wedding, dealing with a selfish family (my dad's side) that believes they are more important than anything and are making our wedding plans very difficult, and trying to be supportive of my loved ones who are falling apart. I'm trying to make the best of our relationship here while we both have separate quarters and while the people we are working with over here can't get their heads out of their butts. The manager here has tried to get me fired on several occasions through the telling of lies about me, and I am still trying to figure out why he hates me. We have been without heat in below freezing conditions up until last week when we finally rigged up some heat, but it's not very good. And lastly, I am still trying to maintain my health through eating good foods. This part has been impossible because the Army does not believe in vegetarianism, vegan-ism, lactose intolerant issues, gluten allergies, or anything else that might prohibit somebody from eating sausage links, scrambled eggs loaded with cheese, doughnuts, and every other kind of junk possible.

However, despite it all, I am ready to try to blog again. I may not be blogging as often as I used to, but I will be doing my best. I have just under a month left here, and then I will be back home to a somewhat normal lifestyle. So, bear with me if I'm not constantly making updates, but I kind of have a lot going on.  In the next couple of weeks though, you can expect to see pictures from my garden up until I left it behind in July, you can expect to see some of my school projects, some wedding updates, maybe a few pictures of how I'm looking now that I have lost about 70 pounds, a review of my goals for the year, and new goals for next year.  I'll do my best, because that is the best I can do!  Have a Merry Christmas!