Thanks to this person for making this little button, and thanks to this person that I actually stole it from... :)
So...if you know me at all, you know that music is something I LOVE...definitely a passion. So let's face it, me picking just one song...yeah, right. So I picked 2 and I'll give you a brief reason why I love them :)
The first one is (drum roll please)...When You Got a Good Thing by Lady Antebellum
If I had to actually just pick one...which I don't...because it's my blog ;)...this would be the one. My favorite songs change so frequently, but this one has stuck around for a while. Not to be super cliche, but every time I hear just about every word of this song (except for the whole blue eyes thing... ;) I can't help but think about my amazing soldier and how blessed I am to have him. I have never in my life known a human love so true and so real. My favorite line is...."There's gonna be some ups and downs, but with you to wrap my arms around, I'm fine." I know things won't always be perfect...he's going to let me down once in a while, and Lord knows I'm going to fail him at times, but we really do have a good thing...one that I will hold onto forever. I am one lucky girl :)
And for the second....Free to be Me by Francesca Battisteli
(this one wouldn't let me embed the video, so just check out the link!)
This one has also stuck for a while now...I honestly haven't heard a thing by her I DON'T like, but I guess I just feel like I can especially relate to this one. She actually wrote this song after she backed into some lady's car...haha...and if you know me, that's funny. But I love to serve a God that doesn't expect me to be some cookie cutter of a believer, but a God that loves me exactly for who I am because that's who he created me to be. I think He's pretty fantastic.
So there you have it! Day 1 of my 30 Day Blog Journal. I can't promise I'll post them on schedule every day, so it might take me more than 30 days...but I really am going to try to do each of the topics eventually!
Now onto the second part of my blog title...my goals for the new year! I know, I know...it's dang near February, it's a little late for that. But I thought I'd share them anyways. I've never been big on New Year's Resolutions anyhow, simply because I feel like if I have something I'd like to accomplish, I feel as though I am quite capable of setting a goal and achieving it without having to wait til the start of a new year...so who knows, there's a good possibility I will probably add to these throughout the year :)
1) Support my soldier with everything I have. In case you haven't heard, my boyfriend is getting deployed to Iraq sometime around the end of April. He left January 3rd to start training with the Arkansas National Guard. I have had the honor of getting to see him a few times since he's been in training, but those visits are about to get fewer and fewer. He leaves for Ft. Hood, Texas on February 20th, and I will not see him again after that until the day he actually deploys to Iraq, where he is expected to be for 7-8 months. If we're lucky, he'll get to come home in time for Christmas this year! But I am just so proud of him. I want to be as strong as I can for him and send him letters, and care packages, and talk to him on Skype as often as I possibly can. I cannot wait for the day when he gets off that airplane back on American soil and I get to jump into his arms!
2) Stick to a detailed budget, be completely debt free, and start saving/investing. In my last post (yes, in November), I talked about the FPU class I took over the last few months. It ended in December, but I am really working hard to stick to the principles I've learned. I create an itemized budget at the start of every pay period (I get paid once a month, so this is a monthly budget as well)...some months go better than others as far as how well I stick to it, but I really want to get to where I stick to my budget goals! I also have a few minor debts I'd like to get paid off...nothing major, but still enough that I need to have a good plan in effect to wipe those clean over the next few months. I have already started putting money away for an Emergency Fund, and I have my first goal amount accomplished...now I'd like to work towards my second goal, which is Dave Ramsey's Baby Step 3, and get 3-6 months of living expenses set aside. I still have a long ways to go, and I'm not sure I'll get that accomplished by the end of the year, but I'm certainly going to head that direction. Eventually, once that 3-6 months is funded, I'd really like to start learning more about investing and long term financial planning!
3) Defend by PhD proposal. I am actually hoping to get this accomplished by March, but it is certainly on the list. I have to write a minimum of 15 pages over my research to propose to my committee to become an "official" PhD candidate. I will also have to defend that proposal and give a presentation to my committee and they will have to approve me to go to the next step toward accomplishing my doctorate. I have started it, but it is coming along slowly at the moment...hopefully I'll get rid of this writer's block soon and get crackin'!
4) Lose 5-10 lbs and run at least a 10K. I listed these two together because running makes me lose weight! I have actually lost approximately 40 lbs since the beginning of last year, and I'm very happy with that and feel so much healthier now. For a big portion of last year, I was running 3-5 miles a day 5-6 days per week. I got into running 5Ks and loved it...wasn't doing it as a competitive thing, because I can assure you, I run SLOOOOWWWWWLLYY, just doing it because I enjoyed it, and it was fun to be a little competitive with myself to see if I could beat my previous times. Anyhow...I'd like to lose about 5-10 more lbs and would like to particularly get my abs in better shape. Also, I plan on running at LEAST a 10K (a little over 6 miles). I know this is a goal that I can reach if I put my mind to it. If I get really disciplined, I'd love to be able to run a half marathon (13 miles) at some point during the year...as much as I'd love to say marathon, I think 26 miles might just kill me. I've got quite a ways to go before any of that...I ran only 2 miles today and it was a bit rough...I am so ready for it to get warm outside! :)
and last but not least...
5) Keep better track of tax related stuff. I have always done my own taxes with the help of TaxSlayer, which I recommend if you get W-2 forms, but this year they have gotten more complicated with the way my fellowship is set up for school. I started working on my 2010 tax returns today and realized I was in way over my head. There are deductions I could take that I didn't even know about. So I'm going to actually take them to my friend Rob who happens to be an accountant and have him help me this year! That being said...since I didn't keep the best track of everything I could for last year, I'd like to start keeping detailed records of anything that might affect my 2011 tax return!
Wow this is long...and I doubt anybody would ever read the whole thing, but if anything, it was nice to have something to randomly express my thoughts if even for my own good :)