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Finding Balance

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My sweet baby girl, The Southern Belle, came for a visit this weekend.  She is running in the Houston Marathon.  This will be her third marathon in a year.

Here she is in Boston this year.  She was already headed back to her room when the devastation occurred. We are thankful. blessed.

Rachel Boston Marathon

I have a lot to learn from that very smart young lady.  She is already working on, and succeeding at, something that I have always had hard time with and does a waaay better job than I do.  She has found ways to balance what is important in her life.   She got married this summer to a great guy.  We love Big Cat and attribute some of the fun factor in her life to his influence.

Rachel and Joe

the southern belle

In addition to being married, she holds a very demanding job and all the obligations that it entails, has an active membership in a service organization, is still active in her local chapter of her college sorority, and has set aside time for her passion, which is running.   She is also the first one to mail a birthday card or post card from her travels, she calls her parents and grandparents regularly, keeps up with her college buddies,

Rachel 4

keeps a clean house, and still has time to socialize with her friends.

rachel 1

She is not afraid to tell someone who calls that now is not a good time ( even her mom!), but she will call them back.  I feel guilty doing this.  She is willing to be the first one up on holidays so that she can go to the gym or for a run before the day gets started, she looks for things to do that are fun but still fulfill her responsibilities or include friends. (We passed out pink ribbons at the Carolina Panthers football game before the game got started on one visit and went to a KIPP academy event on another trip .  She planned a Pinterest party on one visit and we ate out at potential wedding rehearsal sites on a pre wedding visit.) As I thought about all she has going on and how she is able to manage it I thought about the rock analogy.   You have probably heard this story told before but like me,  you may not have seen it.  You may also be like me and just need a reminder.

My word this year is focus.  I need to focus on what makes my heart sing, and put those the big rocks first then let the rest settle in around what is important to me. I need to stop relinquishing control of my agenda to others who may not have the same priorities I do, and I need to focus on my spiritual, physical and emotional health.

This Weekend Country Girl is going to put marriage, family, faith, and health in her jar first. Oh, and laughter.  I need a lot more of that.  Doesn’t this picture of my four kids just make you smile? It sure does make my heart sing.

laughter

2013 In Review

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Wow. When I wrote this last December I had no idea what the year would hold for us: Changes in the New Year

A Yiddish proverb says:

Man makes plans, and God laughs.

Here is what we did from our 2013 goals:

We are limiting eating out to one day a week. We did this.
We are taking our lunches to work. We made great progress on this.
We are keeping fruit and cut up veggies in the house. Much improved, but still a work in progress.

We are both committing to move more. We are parking further away from stores, taking the stairs when possible, and finding activities to do that involve physical activities. Hubby is joining a gym and I am getting up thirty minutes sooner so that I can Wii or treadmill in the mornings. Overall we get a B- on this. We did walk in two 5k’s this year, we have started using the treadmill and elliptical, and are more active, but we still have a way to go.

The hardest change I am making is to limit the amount of artificial sweeteners. I do love a diet Mountain Dew… too much. I know that my cutting caffeine and those fake sweeteners at the same time is not a good idea for those that I work with and love so coffee and a teaspoon of agave will keep me fueled up. I am also going to drink more water. Good ole plain water. Yuck. I get an F here. The change in our world set me back. Waaaay back. I have started drinking coffee with monk fruit sweetener and limiting soda to two cans a day. Most days. I am drinking more water.

This past year we sold a home, bought a home, moved into the lake house, moved out of the lake house, moved in to our new suburban home, started new jobs, attended our daughter and son in law’s wedding, and welcomed our son and daughter in law in our new home while they prepare to go overseas for a year of mission work.

It was a memorable year. We are tired. Exhausted. Hubby and I did manage to get some projects done at the lake house and our new home, but hopefully next year we will get a few more projects at both places complete.

We plan to update the master bedroom, finish the covered porch area, refurbish the deck, and get an outdoor shower in at Star Hill.

We are putting in sliding barn door at the burb home, fixing up the guest bath, and working on the back yard.

My personal word of the year is focus. I need to focus on what is important, focus on finishing projects, focus on my personal life, focus on finances, and focus on my relationships.

I am reading Dave Ramsey right now and plan to post one of these 20 things rich people do weekly so that we can get on track for retirement.

Visit his blog here: Dave Ramsey

The following 20 facts will be posted, one by one, weekly. I will have time to post them all twice during the year and re post the problem areas.

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1. 70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day.

2. 80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this.

3. 76% of wealthy exercise aerobically four days a week. 23% of poor do this.

4. 63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% of poor people.

5. 81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19% of poor.

6. 63% of wealthy parents make their children read two or more non-fiction books a month vs. 3% of poor.

7. 70% of wealthy parents make their children volunteer 10 hours or more a month vs. 3% of poor.

8. 80% of wealthy make Happy Birthday calls vs. 11% of poor.

9. 67% of wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% of poor.

10. 88% of wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs. 2% of poor.

11. 6% of wealthy say what’s on their mind vs. 69% of poor.

12. 79% of wealthy network five hours or more each month vs. 16% of poor.

13. 67% of wealthy watch one hour or less of TV every day vs. 23% of poor.

14. 6% of wealthy watch reality TV vs. 78% of poor.

15. 44% of wealthy wake up three hours before work starts vs. 3% of poor.

16. 74% of wealthy teach good daily success habits to their children vs. 1% of poor.

17. 84% of wealthy believe good habits create opportunity luck vs. 4% of poor.

18. 76% of wealthy believe bad habits create detrimental luck vs. 9% of poor.

19. 86% of wealthy believe in lifelong educational self-improvement vs. 5% of poor.

20. 86% of wealthy love to read vs. 26% of poor.

I also will be posting a Bible verse weekly in the laundry room.

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Man, do I have my work cut out for me here. In one year, I should be able to post them all two weeks and time to focus on the trouble areas an additional week.

I hope you and yours have a blessed new year.

I would love to hear your goals for the new year,

Blessings,

Karen