Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Why foster?

We announced last week that we're officially in the process to adopt a child from the foster care system. I shared this photo on instagram yesterday:

After spending many weeks praying and gathering documents, Wesley and I went to the post office to mail our documents to our agency. We are beyond excited. 

We have received a lot of congratulations and prayers. We appreciate those. People have said some silly things... "You'll get pregnant now!" But no one has asked why we are adopting from the foster care system. No one has asked US, but I imagine some folks are wondering.

I've known that I'd adopt for as long as I've known about adoption. I've always been fascinated with adoption and it's been on my heart for decades. I didn't know if I'd ever be pregnant, but I knew that I would adopt. For many years I said that I didn't know how, but I knew that God would bring a baby to me. I made sure that Jarrod was on board with that before we even started seriously dating. Adoption is a huge deal to me. 

About this time last year, Jarrod and I decided we were going to take the year to research, pray, and plan how we would expand our family. We looked into agencies, locations, international and domestic. We spoken with agencies and requested information from dozens of them. It literally took us most of the year to process all of the information we gathered. 

In September, we attended an orientation at a local foster agency. We knew immediately that this was the avenue for us. We were looking for a ministry - a way to share God's love and grace with others. Inviting a child or children into our home to love them and their family sounded perfect for us. Being able to provide some stability for children in our community really appeals to us. We understand that Wesley isn't really our child, but lent to us by God to love and raise. We know that any other children that come into our home will also be God's. We know that losing a child back into the foster system will be heartbreaking. But we still feel like this is the way for us.

Adopting through the foster system is invasive. Until an adoption is final, people will be in and out of our home with the freedom to go through our things, ensure that our outlets are covered and our medicines are locked. We will have no privacy. We've always worked in the church - we've never had privacy. And honestly, we're pretty boring and don't have anything to hide. 

We really don't know what things are going to look like, but we trust that this is the right path for us. We don't know if we will foster several children before finding the one that was meant for us. We don't know if we'll adopt the first child placed in our home and that's the only kid we'll ever bring home. We don't know if we'll be perpetual foster parents. We're open to God's plan. 
On New Years Day I began to doubt whether or not this is what we needed to be doing. I didn't vocalize this to Jarrod, but my heart was down. I didn't think we were good parents, had a strong enough marriage, and just had general doubts about life. We took Wesley to the zoo that afternoon and it was PACKED. We happened to be walking through a door with a gorgeous little black baby girl and her white caregiver. I cooed at the baby and told Wesley to say hello. The woman told us her name and we continued to talk. The woman told us that she was being adopted at the end of the month. Jarrod and I beamed! She corrected us - not by her - she was her foster mama! Tears.in.my.eyes. This woman was in her 60s and had fostered 63 babies - mostly girls and mostly crack babies. We gushed that we had just started the process to adopt through the foster system and she said she'd pray for us. She was delightful and I'm confident that God put us in the exact same place at the exact same time to make sure I knew that this was God's plan. I do not believe this kind of reassurance happens every time I need it (most times it does not!) but I am so thankful that God used that time to touch my heart. 
I promise I'll write about other things soon. There are lots of other things happening in our world, this just happens to be the most exciting. Thanks for sharing in our joy.
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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Foster Update

We are beginning the process of adoption through the foster care system. We have chosen an agency and are at the very beginning stages of this journey. This is just an update on where we are in the process. 
Yesterday I was planning to send everything off to our agency. This is officially the second step in the process, although it feels like we've been doing this forever. We went to the orientation meeting in September, that was step 1. It took us a while to figure out which agency we wanted to use, but once we decided, we requested the information we would need. Over the Christmas break, we worked on all that material. We made copies of our marriage license, birth certificates, drivers licenses, social security cards, car insurance, renters insurance, diplomas, background check form, prepared an in depth application, filled out questionnaires for both of us including essays and health formation forms for all three of us, health insurance, vaccinations for all 3 animals, created a floorplan of our home with exits, and our first born child. :-)

One thing that was supposed to be included in the packet is a copy of our CPR and first aid training. We had scheduled to do that yesterday, but it was cancelled and we had to reschedule for next Tuesday. As soon as we do that, I will copy it, include it in the (large!) envelope and mail it off! We have already had our fingerprints done (I had mine twice because the first set was rejected!) and the adventure of taking all three animals to the vet to have their vaccinations updated. It was an adventure! Through it all, we have been reminded of God's call on our lives to do this.

We are currently preparing for our fire and health inspections. We have purchased but need to install two additional smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher. We have gathered all of the medication in our home, discarded expired pills properly, and secured all medications. Eventually they will need to be double locked, but today they are just in a box. All the outlets in the home are covered - this step wasn't too hard because most of them were done because of Wesley!

This week I plan to make the appointments for the health and fire inspections. This is a little bit scary, but hopefully will be okay. Our foster counselor is out of town until February, so I hope to get some things done before she gets back and then we can just knock into it when she returns.

Once we have our inspections complete, we will begin training. These are a combination of online and in person trainings. Once we are trained, we will have our home study. I feel a little bit like we're just starting and almost done all at the same time. Obviously there will be ongoing things to maintain our license and just because we are certified, doesn't mean a child will be placed with us.

Any questions? Anyone out there adopted through the foster system have resources or advice for us? We're excited and terrified!
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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wesley's Birthday Pictures

I shared yesterday Wesley's birthday details but for those who really want to see more pictures of my child, this blog post is for you!

I took this photo before the party. Wesley saw a truck and got so excited. This is his surprised face.

After Wesley's party, we went to the park and my fabulous and wonderful sister took pictures of our family. I am so excited about how great they turned out!

I adore the photo above. And LOVE the photo below that was captured just a hot second prior...

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Wesley's Second Birthday Party {Orange and Navy birthday party, 2nd birthday}

Wesley turned 2 on Saturday and we had a little party to celebrate! Wesley LOVES balls but rather than have a sports-themed party, I opted to have a polkadot themed party. His room is navy and orange, so I chose those colors for the theme. The woman at the fabric store was confused about my color choices, but I think they look great!
We opted to keep things really simple. Balloons, orange and navy fabric, and simple snacks. As people arrived at our house they were greeted with these cute pennants on the fence.
You can't read the sign, but it's this:
in a blue picture frame we already had. I tied it to a light with twine. The balloons were also tied to the light. Everyone knew for sure this was the place to party!

I wanted to display the party favors in a creative way. Jarrod didn't like this, but I tied them up in the entry way so you couldn't miss them when you arrived.
Every child (and some adults!) left with a mini beach ball! It was a reminder that they had a ball at Wesley's party!
Duck under those beach balls and turn to the left. There's the simple decorations in the kitchen. The pennants are just like the ones outside, but these are sewn to a ribbon. The ones outside were simple threaded onto twine. Not as stable, but I will likely need to throw them out. The inside ones can be used again!
The high chair is the same one we used for his party last year. The simple snacks were all on the table in the kitchen. I made the table cloth - the pennants were made from the scraps, so the decorations were very reasonably priced!
 Wesley was gaming for a little pre-party snack. We had cheddar stars, goldfish, pretzel goldfish, a fruit plate, chex mix, the cake, Reese's pieces, and homemade cupcakes.
I bought three jars from Hobby Lobby for some snacks. I created the labels and just glued them to popsicle sticks and put them in the jars.
Typically when we entertain we make a lot of food. We have dips, sandwiches, chips, and lots of snacks. I am so thankful that we went the simple route this year. There was minimal clean-up and almost no prep at all. It was perfect!
We had a church friend make Wesley's cake. It was not only delicious, but perfect! It was exactly what I was hoping for. Simple, polka dot, and orange and navy! Perfect!

Of course eating the cake was my favorite part of the party. Wesley couldn't wait to get the cake on his tray!

The cake was delicious, but the icing was Wesley's favorite part!! 

After cake, the weather was so gorgeous that we sent everyone outside! I got great pictures of kiddos and adults running, tossing balls, and playing. I plan to take all of those photos and creating a book for Wesley. He LOVES reading "Wesley books" and I think it will be a great way to remember his 2nd birthday. There are so many people that adore him and I want him to remember how loved he is.
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Sunday, January 12, 2014

There's Time.

When I first had Wesley I felt rushed all the time. I remember thinking, "Moms read to their kids. I need to read to him." He was 6 days old. I was getting the hang of breast feeding and attempting to sleep. My world was completely rocked and I was concerned with making sure I read with Wesley. I tried to read to him, but he never seemed very interested. ;-)

I am a very intentional person by nature. I do not procrastinate and like to get things done. I understand the importance of making habits. Waiting until you feel like something is too late. I believe that being in good shape means waking up early to exercise everyday. I believe that making a healthy eater out of my kid means making him try new things, eat healthy foods, and give him good things to choose from each day. If I don't start now, he'll never learn to eat vegetables. I can't wait until he's 7.

This is how I attack life. I don't put off for tomorrow what needs to be done today. I am especially diligent in parenting. I do not let Wesley get away with things because I see the 17 year old version of him doing the same things. I work with teenagers and I know who has parents that allow them to do whatever they want. I see the patterns and know I want to do things differently with my kid.

However, as Wesley is getting older, I'm realizing that there is time for everything. I never thought I'd get into the habit of reading with Wesley. When he was 6 weeks old I just couldn't find the time in the midst of sleeping, schedules, and nursing. Now that he's 2 years old we need to limit the number of books we read to him each night. My limit is 3. That means he gets at least 3 books from us each day. He LOVES books. If you had told me that when he was 6 weeks old, I could have relaxed a little bit. I could have offered myself some grace.

Yes, setting habits early is important. I cannot expect Wesley to value praying, going to church, reading, or eating his vegetables if I do not model that for him from a very early age. However, we have a lifetime ahead of us and there is time for everything.

If you're trying to cram way too much into your day, let this be a reminder. There will be more time tomorrow!
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Friday, January 10, 2014

2014 Goals

I wrote last week about how my word for the year was obedient. Jarrod chose the word open and I decided to use that as the backdrop for our 2014 goals. We're being intentionally general  for some of these on this image. We have this hanging in a prominent place in our kitchen so it is a constant reminder throughout the year.

#1 - Complete the foster process. We will likely have this done within the first several months of 2014. We are almost done with our application and then will move on to training and homestudies. We're not setting a date goal on this because things outside of our control could slow us down. But it will likely be done before June or so.

#2 - Meet with an ELP. By March we will have our emergency fund in place and be ready to start saving 15% of our income for retirement and for Wesley's college fund. This is very important. It will also hold us accountable for completing our emergency fund!

#3 - Intentional fun. I realized that the last semester was really tough because we raced around everywhere. We didn't do anything for fun with intentionality. We are going to schedule 3 hours of fun for Jarrod & I and 3 hours of fun for all of us together each week. On Sunday afternoons we have a family meeting to go over the budget, menu, and calendar. At this meeting I will be sure to insert fun whenever I can into our life.

#4 - Weekly meeting. This is the meeting I referenced above. Some weeks we won't have much to discuss and other weeks we will have a lot to talk about. But each week we will have designated space to talk about our life.

Jarrod's goals - Jarrod is currently only taking 2 classes. In order to graduate in a reasonable amount of time, he needs to take 3 classes. This is really a goal I have for him. The straight As is all him!

Leanne's goals - My goals again are centered around the 3-day. I have committed to walking most days, just like last year. I also plan to have my fundraising ($2,300) done by September. If you want to make a donation, you can do so here! I've also set the goal to figure out my next adventure. I don't know what this looks like right now, but I am working on obedience and figuring things out!

What are your goals for the year? How do you stay motivated?
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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Aw man!, Amen, and Ah riiight!

A few months ago, Wesley started saying "Aw man!" appropriately. It's about as funny as when he first started saying "uh oh!" when he dropped stuff. Nothing cuter than that. He'd trip, drop something, or splash himself with water and say, "Aw man!" We laugh every time.

Every night we pray with Wesley after we put him in his bed. We started this before he was born and there isn't a night that we don't pray over him, with him, and for him and others. We always end our prayer time with the Lord's Prayer.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Wesley doesn't join in with us on the prayer, but he does proclaim, "AMEN!" when we are done. It's awesome and makes my heart sing. He will do it when we pray at other times too, but he consistently does it to end his day.

Another fun new phrase as been "Ah riiight!" This is one of Wesley's standard responses when we ask him if he wants to do something. As in, "Wesley, would you like to go to the park?" "Ah riiight!!" It's adorable and appropriate.

Sometimes Wesley gets a little slap happy when we are putting him to bed. The other night we finished praying and I said, "Amen." Wesley's response was, "AH-MEN! Aw man! Ah riiight!!" I think it was the first time that he discovered that all those sounds are very similar.

It made me wonder how we approach our prayer time and our life. Sometimes I look at my life and think, "Aw man!" out of discouragement. Sometimes I look at my life and think, "Ah riiight!!" when things are going exceptionally awesome. But I hope I always look at my life and say, "Amen."

With God's help.

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2014 Word of the Year

Last year at the start of the new year I saw a lot of words popping up on instagram - a new word for the year. Bloggers were blogging about the new word they had chosen for the year. A few friends posted asking if anyone was choosing a word this year. I was thinking about it.

Words that came to mind:

These were not words I was willing to claim for my year. I continued to mull over the word and when reading scripture something hit me...

I was reading Philippians 2:5-11: 

5 Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus:
6 Though he was in the form of God, he did not consider being equal with God something to exploit. 7 But he emptied himself by taking the form of a slave and by becoming like human beings. When he found himself in the form of a human, 8 he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore, God highly honored him and gave him a name above all names, 10 so that at the name of Jesus everyone in heaven, on earth, and under the earth might bow 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Of course I am not insinuating that I want to be obedient to death on a cross, but it began to resonate in me. I am not obedient by nature. I am bossy, independent, and always right by nature. This causes challenges for my husband, friends, and colleagues. And God too.

I began to think what I needed to be obedient to in my life:
God calling me to scary things.

I thought about how Wesley is learning obedience (or I'm praying someday he might learn obedience!) and I need to model that for him. I thought about how I argue with Jarrod and do everything I can to be right. It is hard to even see in black and white, but I know that I need to be more obedient to him and the call that God has placed on our family. (Do not assume this means submitting!)

So my word for this year is obedient. I think about it when I wake up in the morning and when I go to sleep at night. I have included it on our goals sheet for 2014 that is posted in our kitchen as a constant reminder to be obedient.

Now you are all out there to hold me accountable to be obedient!
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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese {healthy mac and cheese}

We are part of one of the best CSAs on the planet. It's a co-op of organic produce that is delivered every 2 weeks. We pick it up from a very convenient location and have a whole box full of awesome produce. Urban Acres even sends us an email the day before the pick-up with what will be in the box, information on each item, and even suggested recipes.

One thing we love best about our CSA is that we get to try new things! We are just discovering a love for squash - we had a TON of summer squash (that lead to roasted yellow squash and LOTS of zucchini bread!). As the weather turned colder, we gained an appreciation for acorn and butternut squash. We love it roasted with some quinoa, but decided to try something new this fall.

After discovering this recipe from Bethenny, we decided to give it a try!

12 ounces whole wheat pasta - because of Jarrod's gluten intolerance, we use half a box of whole wheat and half a box of GF pasta
1 cup milk - use what you have
1 cup shredded Parmesan
1 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 butternut squash, roasted and pureed - you can either roast it whole and puree it or you can peel and cube it to roast it
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons reduced fat Monterey jack cheese, shredded


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta until al dente. In a saucepan, combine milk, Parmesan, cheddar, and butternut squash over medium heat until melted and combined. Remove from heat.

Add salt, mustard, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Drain the pasta. In a bowl (or separate bowls if using different kinds of pasta) toss the pasta in the sauce until coated.

Spray a shallow baking pan - I used a loaf pan - with cooking spray and add the pasta. Sprinkle with Monterey jack cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot

Jarrod, the man who only eats meat, loved it. He said, "Is this supposed to be healthy?!?" Yes, yes it is. But it's so delicious, he didn't even notice!! The next time I make this (we've already made it twice!) I'll probably add more veggies. It's a great way to get Wesley to eat more vegetables to add them into something like this. Broccoli, peas, edamame, or carrots would be delicious.
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Sunday, January 5, 2014

When will Wesley have a brother or sister?

If you've been around here for any length of time, you know that we are planning to adopt. Because I've been asked many (many, many, many!) times when Wesley will have a brother or a sister, I decided it might be time for me to give an update.
First, let me say that I'm thankful that I have a fairly concise response to this incredibly awkward question. I am mindful that many do not have an easy answer. Occasionally the question is asked in a loving way, but there are many times where it is covert, random, and uncomfortable. Let this serve as a reminder to be cautious when asking a family about their expansion plans! 
We have chosen to pursue adoption through the foster case system. We have chosen our agency and have almost completed the first step - the application. In this case, the application is less like signing up for a new e-mail address and more like applying for security clearance. I adore applications and love check-lists, so the process is only slightly daunting. Over the holiday break I gathered documents like my high school diploma, car insurance, rental insurance, and medical records. I also prepared essays, found recommendations, and created a floor plan for our house.

The next steps in our application include taking the animals to have their shots updated, getting our fingerprints taken, and completing the essays. We hope to have these things checked off the list and the entire application turned in later this month. From there, we will likely have a few loose ends to tend to before beginning the training and home study.

We do not have a timetable or real concept of what this will look like. We have ideas and preferences, but are relying on God's guidance as we enter this process. At this point, our preference is to foster to adopt 1 or 2 children, potentially a sibling group. We are open to children 4 and under, and would like at least one child younger than Wesley, preferably a baby.

When will Wesley have a brother or a sister? We're not sure, but hopefully before the end of the year! He and/or she will likely not look like is, which is fine because we already have one that looks just like us! Wesley might suddenly become a middle child. It's not traditional and it will likely be messy. But we are excited about expanding our family and the opportunity to share love and grace with children in our community.
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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Christmas with the Johnstons {Christmas in pictures!}

This was a very unique Christmas for us. The entire time Jarrod and I have been engaged and married, he has had to manage the music for several (many) worship services on Christmas eve. We have had a few Christmas eves that included being done with church by about 9:30pm, but that is the earliest. And we've never had Christmas eve together as a family. This year was different and it was fabulous!!

We spent Christmas eve morning and early afternoon eating lunch and doing some random acts of kindness around town. Jarrod preached at the 4pm service at our church. Wesley and I attended and had a serene worship experience.
The above statement is only true if serene means cheerios everywhere, screaming, and literally flying over people to get Wesley out while Jarrod was preaching about our birth story. Needless to say I sweat a lot. :-) 
After church, we came home and took this family photo selfie in front of the Christmas tree. Wesley is always more interested in the camera than smiling... After dinner, we put Wesley to bed and got to putting his Christmas presents together!
These are my two favorite gifts we got Wesley - his activity table and his new dino slippers. The activity table is amazing and we adore it. We worked together to design it, bought all the wood, Jarrod built it and I painted it. A true labor of love. We set it up in his room before we went to bed so it was there when he woke up. We even built some towers on it our of his new legos! 

When we finally tore him away from the activity table, this is what he found under the tree! We opted to put all of his presents from us in his stocking or unwrapped under the tree. The other wrapped gifts are from family. 
I love that he thinks plates are a good gift... They are pretty awesome - free of all the bad stuff, plastic, thick, and made of recycled material! (Want to buy some? They are: Re-Play Divided Plates and bowls
I love this shot because Wesley's excited about his new bowl while holding his old bowl and dumping cheerios on the floor. Lucy the dog is very happy! 

We had a lazy morning (mostly because our kid woke up at 6am!). Once presents were opened, we had a delicious breakfast of pancakes and played with our toys. I went for a long walk and we packed up to go to see the rest of our family.
First stop was Johnston family Christmas! Wesley loved it, got lots of presents, and followed his sweet cousins around. 

After as much fun as humanly possible, we left the Johnstons and drove to Oklahoma City to see my sister and her family. It was a very short trip, but it was great to see her on Christmas. Wesley was a champion in the car. It was chaotic, but great. 

All in all, a perfect Christmas! 

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Jarrod's Birthday Celebration

It's been nearly a month since we celebrated Jarrod's birthday, but I'm just getting around to blogging about it... If you're looking for the best restaurants in Fort Worth, look no further!!

Last year I took Jarrod on a restaurant tour in Dallas. We visited some of the best restaurants in Dallas. It was awesome and a really fabulous idea for us. We tried restaurants we'd always wanted to try. I decided to do it again this year, but rather than do Dallas again, we went west and tried a variety of places in the Fort Worth area! We live very close to Fort Worth but haven't managed to try many restaurants in that area. This was a perfect excuse!

Our first stop was the Magnolia Cheese Company. They treated us like royalty. We got wine, beer, and a charcuterie plank with meats and cheeses. We were pacing ourselves, knowing that we had a long evening of food ahead, but we tried some of the greatest cheeses ever. We loved chatting with the manager and waitstaff. It was quiet, quaint, and comfortable. We brag about it to everyone we meet and have plans to go back soon. It would be the perfect place for a quiet lunch, afternoon meeting, or casual date night. They have real food, appetizers, drinks, and dessert. And it's all local and homemade!

We left Magnolia and drove to Tim Love's casual restaurant, The Woodshed Smokehouse. Jarrod had been wanting to try a Tim Love restaurant and I thought the casual environment was the way to go. The wait for a table was insane (45-60 minutes at 8pm!) but the bar was open. We only wanted appetizers anyway, so we took our seats at the bar. There was some confusion and we only got a shortened menu which didn't have what we wanted on it, but that just means we have to go back. We wanted to try the crispy smoked brussels sprouts, but ended up getting the smoked whitefish dip. It was delicious and the atmosphere was awesome. It seemed like a good place to grab drinks after work - if you're into that kind of thing.

Completely stuffed, I couldn't imagine eating anything else, but the best is yet to come! I was super excited about our final restaurant and couldn't wait to share it with Jarrod! I'd heard great things about Chef Point and even had their food truck once, but had never made it to their gas station restaurant. It was amazing and did not disappoint! I ordered the salmon with roasted veggies and Jarrod got the lamb. I got a bread pudding to go and it was one of the best I've ever had. It's surprising how amazing the environment can be as a fancy restaurant in a gas station. Our waitress was hands-down the best we've ever had. She was joking with us, making suggestions, and being generally wonderful.
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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

December 2013 Goals Update

I am thankful this year is over. The last few months have been incredibly challenging for me. Jarrod's been in school, which means more of the housework and kid-work has fallen on me. Meanwhile, I've been trying to craft more, be a more engaged mom, and am still working crazy full-time with lots of traveling.

One of our unwritten goals for this year was to choose our adoption method. We have done this and are actively filling out our paperwork. I'll write more about this later, but suffice to say, we have accomplished this goal too, even though none of you were aware of it!

Here are our written goals for December:

  1. Jarrod reads one non-fiction & Leanne reads one book 
  2. Something special for Jarrod's birthday 
  3. Try a new recipe 
  4. Have one family activity 
  5. Finish first semester of seminary with straight As 
  6. Leanne walk 75% of days
And here's how we did...

1. I'm counting this as completed for both of us. Jarrod did for school and I read a good part of 3 books. I'm almost done with Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint by Nadia Bolz-Weber and am LOVING it. I'm also really enjoying Out of the Spin Cycle: Devotions to Lighten Your Mother Load by my friend Jen Hatmaker and Barefoot Church: Serving the Least in a Consumer Culture by her funny husband. All are awesome.

2. We had an awesome time. More on that soon!

3. Definitely did! For New Year's Eve I made a delicious baked brie with orange cranberry preserves and puff pastry. It was less of a recipe and more of putting things together, but it was AWESOME!

4. We took the day off and went to see Santa! We went with some awesome friends and had a great time. Wesley loved playing with his little girlfriend. And by the time we got to Santa (after waiting in 3 lines!) he was pretty much done with Jarrod and I... so he went to Santa without any tears!

5. I'm so proud that Jarrod accomplished this goal. He's never been an incredibly dedicated student so I didn't put too much pressure on him to accomplish this goal. Working full time, going to school, and being a good daddy and husband were high priorities. If he got As, that's just gravy. But he did! I am very proud. He's set this goal again and I'm confident he can do it again. I don't know if he'll get nothing but As over the next 60 hours, but I hope we can continue to find balance in life.

6. Done and done! I probably walked closer to 90% of days in December. It's hard, especially when it's so cold, but because I set this kind of goal and not a mileage goal, it's much easier to attain. Mileage goals make me feel stressed out. Just walking every day is awesome because it forces me to go at least 2 miles - completely manageable!

And that's 2013! 
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