Monday, July 29, 2013

The New List for This Year

I am making a new goal list. It is still only going to be 30 things long because, well, I didn't even do all of those so I don't think adding another one will make a difference.  I have taken some off last year's list even though I didn't do them, just because I have changed my mind a bit about what I want to do.And just as a side note, some of these are things that I have done before but I just want to do within this year as well (yeah, I have seen a play before, no worries). Thanks for reading! Can't wait to get on some of these.

1.    Run another 5k – get a better time than before
2.       Run a 10k
3.   Make some freezer meals and eat more at home
4.       Publish a work of fiction (self-publishing okay)
5.       Do 10,000 steps a day for 100 days in a row
6.     Pay off student and car loans
7.     Take an A&P class
8.   Read more books than I did last year (last year's total was 30)
9.     Watch the American Film Institute’s Entire Top 100 list
10.    Get CPR certified 
11.    Recreate a photo from my childhood
12.    Learn how to play the guitar
13.  Organize my hard drive
14.    Get HCA certified
15.    Go to a concert for someone I haven’t seen yet
16.    Take a yoga class
17.    Keep in better touch with friends – try at least once a month to communicate with everyone
18.    Do a 30 day photo challenge
19.    Paint a self-portrait 
20.    Write and send a letter to a favourite author
21.  Re-do the kitchen where I am living
22.  Do better at blogging - either a 30 challenge or once a week for a certain period of time (undecided)
23.  Finish the family newsletter
24.  Enter some pictures in the local fair (Carmangay fair)
25.  Work on filling my savings account
26.  Paint the rest of the apartment
27.  Re-do the kitchen table and chairs
28. Learn to speak another language (Spanish or French)
29. Donate blood (several times)
30. Go to a play
*31. Meet Paula Abdul (with Rachel Page and Molly Pettis and anyone else cool who wants to/can afford to come distract the security guards for me)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

List Progress

So, it has been over a year since I turned 29 and made the list and posted it here with plans to do all of these things in a year. As you might already know, I didn't get all these things accomplished, but I did get some of them done (yay for small victories). I am going to go through them now and tell you what happened or why I didn't get them done (excuses excuses, I know). And then I am going to take the things I didn't do and add new goals and make a new list.

1.    Run another 5k – get a better time than before
I didn't do this. It turns out that I prefer running outside rather than inside on a treadmill and here in Lethbridge it is hard to do that. The winter is too cold and the summer is so hot and it is almost always windy and I prefer to go at night/evening but I can't because the area I live isn't really safe enough to go out alone at night and I don't know where it would be safe enough. I know, excuses excuses, but that's that. 
2.       Run a 10k
 See above. 
3.      Re-read the BoM
My excuse for this is lame. I started reading it, but I have a long 'to read' list and it just kinda got in my way. I guess the motivation wasn't there. And I kept saying "I have plenty of time" but then I ran out. Silly Mandi.
4.       Re-read the Bible
See above. 
5.       Go somewhere else tropical – a cruise?
I did do this! And I posted all about it on this blog. You can read if you scroll back. Do it. I dare you! 
6.       Go through the temple
I feel like if I couldn't really get through the BoM and the Bible in one year I obviously wasn't working on this at all. That's all I am going to say about this. 
7.       Publish a work of fiction (self-publishing okay if time runs out!)
I didn't spend as much time writing as I would have liked to. I am such a good procrastinator. Ugh.
8.       Be kissed on New Years at midnight
I feel like this was an unfair (to myself) goal to make since I have only some control over this. Didn't happen. Not going on the next list either. 
9.       Be healthier – exercise much more!!
I sorta worked on this, on and off. Sometimes I was good about going to the gym, etc etc, but ever since the birthday trip I haven't gone. It is a hard goal to do and I think I need to be a bit more specific with it. 
10.   Get out of debt (or be well on the way)
Well, this is not completed, but I am working on it. Let me just say that I am doing way better financially than I ever have before in my life and it is liberating. Money has always been such a stress to me and now it isn't. I think it helps that I am making like $5/hour more than I ever have before. Definitely making progress. 
11.   Get into PA school (or well on the way)
So, I have realized that I will be needing to take a couple of classes before I can actually apply to school, so even though I have the hours I need finally, I now need to take a class. I am planning to take it at the college starting in September and then I will be applying NEXT October instead of this coming one. Waiting is hard. *sigh*
12.    NaNoWriMo – finish it again
I worked on it, and I got about 15,000 words into it then I lost steam and got busy. I am not very good at sticking to a schedule that I have set for no reason. Crap. 
13.   Buy an SLR camera and (re)-learn how to use it
I did do this. I even posted about it here 
14.   Watch the American Film Institute’s Entire Top 100 list 
Didn't do this. I made a list and decided which ones I still needed to watch. Mom kept saying "You should start on that" and I said "I have time" and then suddenly I didn't have time and it never happened. 
15.   Get CPR certified
I have no excuses, I just got lazy. 
16.   Learn to crochet
I did teach myself to do this, but I suck at it so hardcore. It is so wavy - I have a hard time counting the stitches and I keep adding extras and then when I realize what I have done I drop some out and it is a giant mess. I will keep working on it. Maybe make something useful.
17.   Recreate a photo from my childhood
I found a couple I would like to recreate but my older brother lives in BC and he doesn't make it here often (and we don't make it there often either) so I haven't been able to. 
18.   Learn how to play the guitar
Turns out to do this you have to have a guitar. I keep thinking I will get one but then I started trip planning and put it on the financial back burner. Still want to do it though. 
19.   Make (start?) a quilt
 I did this! I made a quilt for my Mom for mothers day. It isn't completely finished, but I did almost the whole top part. Now I just have to put the pieces together. Here is a pic of it and of her when I gave it to her. 
20.   Move out of my parents house
Did it very early on. Here is the post about it. 
21.   Get HCA certified
This hasn't happened yet, but some of it was out of my hands, so it isn't for lack of trying. You see, we didn't get our books for the course until like November of 2012. Then I took a bunch of the tests for it only to find out the tests were for the old curriculum and we were doing the new curriculum so they didn't count and now I have to take them all. It is maddening. 
22.   Take a dance class
I did this. I took a hip-hop dance class for ten weeks from the middle of January until the end of March. It was really fun and I learned a ton (I forget most of it - but I did learn lots). Dancing is fun when your class is only 4 people big and no one is watching!
23.   Go to a concert for someone I haven’t seen yet
I didn't do this. The few concerts I did want to go to were not possible because of work and stuff. Also, I didn't want to go alone to a concert but didn't know who would want to go with me. 
24.   Write letters to Grandparents
I was planning on changing this to making a family newsletter, which I started getting letters for, but then my family all sucks (but I still love you guys) and I didn't get all the letters and I was beginning to feel like a pest by emailing them all the time. I am going to try again to finish it, but it still hasn't happened. 
25.   Go on an overnight trip by myself
This I did do ... kinda. I went to a wedding of my friends Jasmine and Mark in Oregon and on the way there and back I ended up having to park my car and stay in a hotel (I parked the car in the hotel parking lot while I was gone - it was very convenient). I had a great time. I watched what I wanted on the tv and enjoyed the comfy beds. It wasn't much different from living alone. Haha. Next time I might go on an overnight trip alone where I actually do something out in public alone too. 
26.   Take a yoga class
I didn't do this. I actually kinda forgot it was on the list. Oops. 
27.   Keep in better touch with friends – try at least once a month to communicate everyone
I didn't really do this to the letter, but I did keep in better touch with some friends. I even was able to visit a bunch I hadn't seen in a while. I went to Oregon in December for that wedding and visited all my buddies there, and then when I went on my birthday trip (which partially happened after my birthday, but I am still going to count it) I got to see several friends I hadn't seen in EVEN LONGER! It was great. 
28.   Do a 30 day photo challenge
I didn't do this. No specific reason, just didn't get around to it. I think it'll be easier to do now that it's summer. 
29.   Paint a self-portrait
Didn't do this either. No good reason (or excuse) but I am still planning on it. 
30.   Write and send a letter to a favourite author
I thought about this a lot of times, but I am so indecisive about what author to write that I just never made up my mind and did it. Darn my indecisiveness. 

So, that's it. A grand total of 10 (if you count the ones that are kinda's - and I did! haha) So, if you are going by percentage, that is not very good. But if you are going by the fact that I did some things I wouldn't have done had I not made the list and if you go by the fact that I made goals and worked towards them (some of them) then it is not a total fail! So I will take it. I am going to make a new list for this next year and post that soon. It if fun and motivating to have something to work towards, even if I don't do too many. 

It's been a great year you guys!  

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Cruise: Day 9 and 10, De-Boarding and The Everglades and Flying Home

So, the ship docked at around 8 in the morning. The boarding and de-boarding process took a long time. That is the main thing, if you ever go on a cruise (and you should, it was really fun) just know that it takes a long time to get on and off. It is worth it though. And they have done it a lot of times so they are generally pretty organized.

The cheapest flights we found for the way home were for the next day though, so we decided that this day we needed to check out the Everglades. We even got to ride on an fanboat, which was super fun.

We even got to see some crocs in their natural habitat. 
Afterwards we got to see a little 'show' by this guy who worked with the animals. I don't remember this guy's name, but the little croc was named Snappy.
 And then I got to hold snappy! Mom had a little trouble with the camera, but you get the idea.
 And we walked around the park afterwards and we got really close to one of them. It made Mom a bit nervous, as you can see.

After Everglades Park the tour guide woman drove us around a few different parts of Miami and showed us some really cool and expensive areas. Then we went back to the hotel. We walked to a nearby place for food, then we just chilled out until we flew home.

The flight was crazy. We had two layovers, one in Orlando and then another one in Denver (I think). The thing is in Orlando we got diverted and went through Arizona. It was a long day of flying, but we made it. Then when we got back we picked up the car - which was all warmed up for us thanks to the place we parked it, and we drove home.

It was a great vacation - Mom and I both agree. If you ever get a chance you should do a cruise. We met lots of fun people and had lots of fun experiences. Who knows what the plan is for the next trip! Thanks for reading all the updates and sorry that I took so long to post it all.

The next few posts are going to be about my progress on my list and about my birthday trip around the US. Stay tuned!

Cruise: Day 8, Sea Day 2

Since this was our last day on the ship before docking back in Miami we decided to just take it easy (something we hadn't been doing the rest of the time, right? haha) and take pics around the ship and really make sure we would remember what the place looked like.

This was on a random deck, but we thought it was cool. 

This random guy on the elevator saw my camera and said "Take my picture" so I did. I don't think he thought I would do it.

This was a cool statue by the casino. 

This was me in the comedy club.

Every night in the dining room if you went at the right time they had a little show where the servers would dance along to a song, but since it was the last night they also did a little number where they all sang a different version of "Leaving on a Jet Plane". It was very sweet.

And here is Mom in the dining room. We ended up sitting with different people in the dining room every night which was a fun way to meet new people.

These are some more friends we made. We met these ladies and their mother's on the first day we were on board and then we kept seeing them everywhere. Whitney and Danielle.
 Our last towel item thing was this fun heart.
Next stop: Getting off the ship and going to the Everglades!

Cruise: Day 7, Grand Turk Island, Turks and Caicos Islands

So, the next day we went to Grand Turk, which was amazing. The section of the island that we went to was a private area so the number of ships there was only 2 as opposed to the 6 or 8 we were with on the other islands. It was so pretty. This is the view from the ship. There was no one on the beach yet and it just looked so calm and peaceful.

Here is a picture of us getting off the ship.
We spent the day just lounging on the beach . Here are pics of us in front of the cruise ship.
 These are our friends Lisa and Linda who took the pics of us singing.
 Then, after we had spent enough time getting crispy (actually, we never got sunburned at all during the whole trip - go us!) we went toMargaritaville and got some food. Yummy nachos. Overall it was a pretty lazy day.
That night we still had to get our last murder mystery clue -did I mention that? They had a really fun murder mystery that started at the beginning and we had to talk to a bunch of random crew members on board to get clues and then we turned in our slips to try to win a prize! Anyway, we met the Cruise Director - Big Sexy (yeah, that's his nickname) Josh Waitzman and he gave us the last clue we needed and he also gave us cool cruise medals.
 The show that night had a water component and we sat in the 'splash zone' so we had to wear ponchos. So fun.

We got to meet the performers afterwards. Here is me with one of the dancers. She was really nice. Seems like it would be a really awesome, fun job. At least for a while.

Our animal that night was a stingray.
Next stop (well, it's not a stop really) Sea Day!

Cruise: Day 6, San Juan, Puerto Rico

So, on the next day of the cruise we went to San Juan, Puerto Rico. We had booked a trip to see the highlights of the city. The first stop on our highlights trip was the El Yunque National Rainforest! We went to a little observation center to learn a few things about the local rainforest, and then we went to a lookout tower called the Yokahu Tower.

This pic is of Mom at the tower site. Below is a pic of the view from the tower. It was so beautiful.

 Mom's knees were too sore for her to climb all 99 steps of the tower, so I climbed to the top and she stayed at the bottom. This was a pic I took from the top of her sitting at the bottom waiting for me to come back down. The picture below is what the tower looked like. It was pretty awesome.

After the lookout tower we went to Cascada La Coca (which in english is La Coca Falls). Here are pics of Mom and I in front of the waterfall. It was really pretty as well.

Our guide for the trip was named Maria and she was really nice. She was smart and had lots of interesting facts about the places we went to. Here she is. :D

After that we went to this old fort that was a National Historic Site. It was pretty cool. This pic on the left is of me at the fort. Turns out that there are several forts in San Juan, but we only went to the one because it was so HOT! Below is a pic of Mom at the fort. So cool.

So that night we saw that they were having karaoke with a live band again, which is something that they had on the first night. I really had wanted to do it then, but I was too chicken, so this time, I did it! I sang "Old Time Rock'n'Roll' originally by Bob Seger. I even convinced Mom to do it too (although she didn't want to go up alone, so I joined her). She sang "Gimme One Reason" by Tracy Chapman. Sadly neither of us brought our cameras to the event, but we made friends with these other two women who were there and they emailed us some pics. Thanks again Lisa and Linda!!

We got these really cool tags that said "artist" on them for singing. Here I am testing to see if mine is real gold (not sure why I would think that, it wasn't even gold colour - so, not surprisingly, it wasn't real gold either) 

Our animal that night was a monkey! Here is the little dude trying on my artist badge. :D
Next post, Grand Turk!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cruise: Day 5, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

So, we weren't supposed to pull into the island dock until 10am this day, so we ended up getting up before we got there and having breakfast. And then the ship was running a bit late so it was even later than that. so we got to watch from our balcony as we pulled in to the dock. Here is a pic as we are pulling in.

 And below are pictures of Mom and I from our balcony with the island in the background after we docked. It was beautiful!

 After we finally docked and got off the ship we wandered around a bit looking for the people who were in charge of our tour for that day. It was a lovely island tour - we went to a few different lookouts up on the hills of the island and then we went to Magen's Bay Beach, which was lovely. The thing is that the tour driver was hard to find so we had to spend a bit of time wandering around at first.

After we did find the guy, our fist stop was at this one viewpoint which was way nice. There were some random parrots there, which were cool.

Also, we saw this random rock with a carving in it. Here is Mom with the rock. Mom is not as big-busted as the carved lady. Haha. 

This guy was our tour driver, I forget his name but I do know it was something French. He was really nice. He told us funny stories about how American's on vacation tend to forget themselves. He told us one story of a guy who's wife fell down and he was so drunk he just walked away from her. He did not approve! It was funny. 
 A view of the cruise ship port as we were driving around the island. Ours is the front ship.

 This is a view of Magen's Bay from up on a viewpoint up high. It was so pretty!


The pic below is of Mom enjoying the scenery as we were driving around the island.
 Then we headed to the beach. We spent a few hours there just relaxing and enjoying the sun. It was lovely.
 After heading back to the drop-off we went and took a little trip up this tram to a place called Paradise Point. Here is a picture of the island as we were ascending the hill.

 And here is Mom at the top. We ended up in a car with this random couple and they seemed super annoyed that we were with them. It was funny.
 Above is another picture from the top. Below are pics of Mom and I in front of the random Paradise Point board with some random lizards on it. I just thought it was a funny thing, so we had to take pics.  

 We could have walked further up the hill to this little thing, but Mom's knees couldn't really handle it, so I just took a picture of it and called it good. After we took the tram back down to the bottom we turned and looked back at it and saw a rainbow (it very slightly spit as we walked back to the port). You can see the white posts from the tram line on the hill. 
 We were supposed to leave the port at 6pm, but since we were the front ship in a line of several (as you saw in an earlier pic) we didn't pull out when we were supposed to. That meant that I got the opportunity to take this pretty picture of St. Thomas at night. 
That night I can't remember what we did specifically. There was always something fun going on, so I am sure we enjoyed ourselves. We might have gone to a show ... I don't know. Also, for some reason we didn't have a towel animal that night. It made us both sad.

Come back tomorrow to learn about Puerto Rico!