Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jumping on the bandwagon and New Year Goals (I know..a little late)

I have not posted anything in forever, and I'm really bad about coming up with things to talk about. I guess I just haven't gotten used to this whole blogging thing...I mean really, who wants to sit and read about my life? haha...but oh well.  I decided to jump on the bandwagon with this 30 Day Blog Journal thing to get things rolling...starting with Day 1 - My favorite song!

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 that I will hold onto forever.  I am one lucky girl :)

(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 goals for the new year! I know, I'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 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 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 10KI 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 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 :)


  1. My dear Lauren, just fyi I am one who loves to sit and read about your life :-d
    I like your new years goals, I wish you luck. But I have a question, how many steps do you have in becoming Dr. Lauren or Dr. Woods anyway?...uh..I like Dr. Lauren...just saying.
    and what is this whole 30 day blog thing? you said there are topics? And good luck with that too :-D

  2. I will totally run a half marathon if you wait a little over a year! :)