My 2019 Resolutions

Are you one of those people that pick a “word” for their year? A word to really embody everything that you want to focus on for the rest of 2019? I am DEFINITELY one of those people. I’ve chosen a word to represent my year for the past few years and loved it. When I was starting to think about what I wanted my word for 2019 to be, I really took a good hard look at how 2018 had gone and what I could improve on. And then it came to me immediately. My word for 2019 is: consistency.

I feel like I made so many great plans and goals for 2018 and then followed through with approximately 2 of them. It was bad. So looking into 2019 I wanted to focus on consistency and actually following through with the things I set out to do. So with that word in mind, I started to make my 2019 resolutions. I started with one. Then I added another. Then another. Then I added a LOT more and threw them on a bingo board because it seemed like a lot more fun that way!

I feel like I have a really good mix of practical and goal-oriented resolutions this year! Yes, I did pepper in a lot of things I was going to do anyway, like getting my hair cut and taking a fun trip with a friend… but it’s fun to cross things off of a bingo board so I just left them on there, anyway! I also wanted to make sure I had a good mix of specific resolutions (like reading 25 books) and kind of generic ones (like drinking less alcohol and soda. There’s no real way to measure that except to get to the end of the year and say yup I did that or nope my body is now made of 92% Dr. Pepper).

But back to my word for the year, consistency. Now that I made a lot of resolutions for the year, how on earth was I going to make sure I didn’t abandon them in March like last year? I was talking to a friend on the phone a few weeks ago and he suggested that I keep all of my 2019 resolutions on the desktop of my computer to look at often. And that’s exactly what I’m doing! I have the resolution bingo board as a PDF file on my desktop, and that’s the first thing I look at when I get to work on Monday. I go through all the goals one by one, and see what I can be doing to accomplish them and have the best year ever.

As another way to keep myself accountable and remain consistent this year, I made a 2019 resolutions page for the blog! I’ll update there when I cross something off, so you can follow along with me and make sure I’m actually being consistent! You can find it up in the banner at the top of the page!

And GUESS WHAT? I have a BLANK resolution bingo board just for YOU! So if you have been waiting for the year to get into a good rhythm to decide what you want to accomplish, then print this out and use it to crush all your goals for the year! Or hey – even if you hate resolutions or even if you already made yours in January like a normal person, it’s still fun and you should probably still use it.


You Complete Me, Hot Pink Rug

I’ll be the first person to admit it – I don’t live in the *nicest* of apartments (technically it’s a townhouse, but you get it). And people are so nice when they come over and they say things like “No, it’s great!” and “This is not that bad!” and bless their hearts they are trying to hard to be nice but I know that it just isn’t an amazing place. Which to be honest, is 100% ok with me! It is nice enough that I don’t feel like my entire life is falling apart, but it is crappy enough that it is in my budget for the part of town I wanted to live in. Actually, forget the neighborhood, it was in my budget for all of Dallas. Because all of Dallas is crazy expensive and I just can’t spend $1,300 a month for a 500 square foot studio apartment with no closets. Nope. I’ll take an outdated kitchen at a good price any day. I’m trying to save up money to buy a place, and I can’t do that if ALL of my money is going to rent. #priorities

Because I knew that I wasn’t going to live in this townhouse forever, I didn’t really put in a lot of effort with decorating the place. I hung up a gallery wall over my couch, and I put up some pictures here and there, but I didn’t really feel like spending money on something for one rental that might not go well or fit into another future rental. So my apartment felt kind of sad and empty for a while. But then I got a new TV stand, and that added a cute item to a weird corner of my place. And then I got a headboard, which finally made it seem like I wanted to sleep there on purpose and not just because I had to. One other big item that seemed to be missing – a rug.

Getting a rug, for some reason, felt like the BIGGEST deal, because it is a BIG item! I had put it off for so long, but was finally ready to make that purchase and actually make it seem like I was living in a fun, homey place. I was constantly searching for the perfect piece (my friend Allison can attest to this as she was usually the person I’d send links to with corresponding “is this ugly?” or “why do I love this?” or “is this worth the price?” messages.) But then, I FOUND THE BEST RUG ON THE PLANET! And I BOUGHT IT!

If there was a rug that was custom made just for me, then this would definitely be it. Yes, it is extremely bright and some might find that obnoxious, but I LOVE it! It has brightened up my entire living room and it makes my apartment feel 1,483% cozier. Please excuse these pictures with terrible lighting and my lumpy couch and the fact that part of the rug still rolling up on one side, but I just think it fits so well!

I feel like that was a really long intro to basically say “hey look I bought this pink rug” but I needed you to go on that journey with me. Aren’t you so glad you did? So much fun, I know. I am just so thrilled with this purchase and I can’t wait to enjoy my living room even more now. I refused to sit on my living room floors previously because the “wood” flooring just always seemed dirty no matter how much I used my Swiffer Wet Jet and stick vac, and I’ve been sitting on this rug pretty much NONSTOP since it arrived last week! It’s my new favorite thing, I love the bright and happy colors, and I hope you love it as much as I do!

So tell me, what’s YOUR favorite thing in your living space right now?

There’s Still Time!

Let me echo every other person in your life by saying WHERE HAS THE YEAR GONE?!?!?! I swear, it was March like, 3 days ago. Did June actually happen? Do I even remember August? September lasted approximately 4 years for me… but here we are in October and I just can’t believe it! Since we’re now down to the last quarter of the year, I thought now would be a great time to talk about… our new year’s resolutions.

Yes, those little things that we were so eager and excited to make back in December and January and then promptly forgot about by January 14th. Or at least I did. Was that just me? Please tell me it wasn’t just me! So did I actually accomplish any of the resolutions I set out to? Ummm…. no not really…

When I really think about it, I think I can pinpoint one of the main reasons I haven’t kept with a lot of my resolutions. One thing I have come to know about myself, is that I am great at procrastinating, and I relate this to time A LOT.

“I told myself I would start studying at 7:30, but now it’s 7:36… guess I’ll just wait to start studying till 8:00.”

“I was going to start that jogging schedule on Monday but I skipped a day… guess I’ll just stop and start over next Monday.”

“I was doing the whole30 but I had some birthday cake yesterday… guess I’ll just wait till the 1st of next month and start over.”

“I was going to read the entire bible in one year, but it’s month 3 and I’m already so far behind… guess I’ll just read randomly here and there and start again next January.”

“I was trying to accomplish XYZ but I haven’t started yet… guess I’ll wait till 2019.”

Does this sound familiar? Call it laziness or fear or whatever you want, it’s all too common and it’s so not a great mindset! When you really think about it and type it out, it just doesn’t make any sense! Start studying now!! Go for a jog now!! Do the whole30 now!! Read the bible now!! ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING YOU WANT NOW!! But gosh, it is just so easy to push things off. To say that you’ll totally do it… just not this second. To wait till “later” which in all honestly, will probably not happen. And then you’ll find yourself in the last quarter of the year realizing you haven’t been making your bed every day, you haven’t trained for that 5k like you wanted, you haven’t gotten better at that hobby and opened up an Etsy shop, or you name it. It hasn’t happened.

But. Guess what?


Let’s change our mindset and instead of waiting three months for a new year and a new set of resolutions, let’s pick ours back up and CRUSH THEM for the last 3 months of the year! What do you say?!? It’ll be easy – let’s do it together!

I’ve been thinking about this for a few weeks now, and I’ve come up with a game plan for how we can stop waiting, stop procrastinating, and revive and ACHIEVE our new year’s resolutions.

Step 1: Revisit Your Resolutions

This should be obvious. You can’t plan for success if you don’t know the things you want to succeed at! Go find the list you made at the beginning of the year (or think of and write down some of the resolutions you can remember) and take a good hard look at that list. If you’re like me, you maybe had a LOT of lofty goals for your year (and maybe you’re feeling a little bad/guilty/embarrassed at just how many things you abandoned – but don’t because you’re totally not alone!) so now that it’s crunch time, we need to look over our once-important goals and see which ones we want to focus on for the remainder of 2018.

Step 2: Write Out Your Goals (Again)

Having your list from the beginning of the year really isn’t going to do us any good, right? It’s just going to remind us of the fact that oops we spent 9 months not doing all the things that we hoped and dreamed we would. And I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life! So now that we’ve picked out the goals we want to focus on for the next quarter, it’s time to write them down nice and fresh. You can do this however you’d like – just make sure it’s in a way that will keep you inspired for the next few months!

Step 3: Make A Game Plan

This is the MOST IMPORTANT STEP! By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail, so it’s time to plan out how we’re going to take our goals and resolutions and make them actually attainable and achievable. I think one of the most important things here is to remember to stay realistic and even revise your goal if necessary. If your original goal was to run a 5k without stopping to walk (aka one of the things that was on my resolutions list) but you want to keep that goal as something to focus on, maybe it just needs to be changed a little bit to run a mile without stopping or jog X miles before the end of 2018.

Back to making a plan. Here is when we decide how to keep track of our goals for the next three months. Will that be a daily calendar that you can mark off days for completing a task? Will that be writing out your goal in GIGANTIC LETTERS and putting it someplace you’ll see every day? Will it be setting aside some time each weekend to work toward getting something done? There are so many options!

Step 4: Follow Up With Yourself

It’s one thing to just have a goal and make a plan… but that doesn’t mean that anything will actually happen. I think one of the reasons that I didn’t accomplish my resolutions to the level that I had hoped was that I wasn’t checking back on them regularly. I made my (gigantic) list, got all excited for the awesome new life I was going to live in the new year, and then put that list away and literally never looked at it again. What?!?! This step goes hand-in-hand with the one above. If we’re going to make a plan, we have to follow up on it! There are many ways to do this as well, and it does depend on what kind of goal you want to accomplish, but I’m going to set an alarm on my phone to go off every Sunday so I can “check in” and see how my progress is going. That will also ensure that I’m thinking about my goals and looking at the game plan I made at least once a week!

Step 5: Evaluate

The very last step! This one gets saved for the veeeeeeeeery end, aka when the year is over, aka when hopefully all of our goals have been completed! Evaluating how we did (celebrating victories and not being too hard on ourselves if it didn’t go as well as planned) will be helpful we make resolutions while going into 2019. What worked? What didn’t? Did you stick to your plan? Why or why not?

I’m going back through my 2018 resolutions right now, and I think I’m going to pick out 3 to focus on over the next few months. I’ll be making my game plan tonight and I’m actually really excited to accomplish some of the things I set out to as the new year began! I’m definitely going to keep myself accountable and I’ll be evaluating how I did at the end of the year. So now let’s go and finally crush some resolutions!

I Went to Hogsmeade and It Was My Favorite!

At the end of March, I went on a work trip to Orlando, FL. Since I was already going to be in the area, I decided to stay a few days longer and I went to what people affectionately call “Harry Potter World!” I had a BLAST! I only went for one day and I actually got to go with my friend, Kate! It’s such a small world, because she was already planning on going to Universal Studios when I was going to be there! She was such a great guide (she’s been there multiple times) and helped to make sure I experienced every little thing.

So get ready for a ton of photos, y’all… I’m finally starting to share my time at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando! Oh yeah! I’ve decided to break it up by area, so it will be a little more tolerable. I’ll post about Diagon Alley next, but today let’s start with all things Hogsmeade!

Actually first let’s back up. For anybody who doesn’t know, let me explain the park setup a little bit. So the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is part of Universal Studios in Orlando, and it’s broken up into 2 parks: Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Since they’re *technically* 2 different parks, you need to get the (much more expensive) multi-park pass to get to go to both. (But it’s 100% worth it!) You can walk around a lot of other parks to get from one to the other, OR you can take the Hogwarts Express train (which they count as a little ride) between the two! But the kicker is that you can’t ride the train unless you have the multi-park pass. So again, it’s totally worth the extra money- just do it.

Ok. On to ALL THE PICTURES!!! Here’s what I did and saw and loved while in Hogsmeade!

The village is ADORABLE!

The snow-topped buildings! The streets! I really felt like you’re in a quaint little English town – especially in the afternoon when it got cloudy and grey like it would be in England, the land with no sun.

The first glimpse of Hogwarts!

STUNNING. It literally took my breath away. I seriously felt nostalgic for a place I’ve never actually been, and I loved getting closer and getting to see more details of the castle. I love that you can see Hogwarts from most areas in Hogsmeade – it definitely helped keep the magical feeling alive!

The Hogwarts Express!

I’ll go into more detail about this on the next post, I think, but it was so easy to ride the train between the 2 parks!

Hearing Moaning Myrtle!

This is one of the little “secrets” that really isn’t secret at all – if you go into the women’s bathroom you can hear her talking! I’m sure you can hear her in the men’s bathroom, too, but I didn’t go in to check!

Eating at the Three Broomsticks!

The level of detail in the entire park was so incredible, and that includes the restaurants! I was so excited to go in the Three Broomsticks and I ended up having breakfast there. I got to try pumpkin juice (actually REALLY good!) and loved getting a side view of Hogwarts from the patio out back!

Seeing a little show!

I’m not sure what this little show was called, but it was starting as we walked by, so Kate and I stopped to watch! We got to see little dances from the two other schools participating in the Tri-Wizard Tournament and they did a great job! But it was VERY hot out and I can’t even imagine being up there dancing in those hot uniforms all summer. No thank you.

Riding the Flight of the Hippogriff!

I just need everyone to know that I 100% spelled hippogriff wrong the first time there. Thanks for the assist, Google. This was the only outdoor ride they had, and it was definitely for a younger crowd, but still pretty fun! You got to see Hagrid’s hut close up as you waited in line which was pretty neat! This was the longest line we waited in all day (maybe 45 minutes) which isn’t too bad at all, really!

Riding the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey!

I think this was my favorite ride at the parks! I loved how it spun you around, lifted you up and down and back, made you feel like you were in some real danger (but in a safe way), and let you feel what happened around you. It was honestly just so cool! I don’t really get motion sickness, but I definitely didn’t want to ride this more than once in a row. We went through the single-rider line 4 out of the 5 times we rode it and it was amazing – we waited maybe 5 minutes tops.

Walking through Hogwarts!

Later at the end of the night when the crowds were a little more manageable, we walked through the regular line for the Forbidden Journey ride and got to see all the details inside the castle! I loved getting to see the house points, Dumbledore’s office, a classroom, the talking and moving pictures, and so much more! It definitely made waiting in line seem a little more bearable.

Seeing the Hogwarts light show at the end of the night!

As we were leaving the ride/gift shop (I had to get a Christmas tree ornament!) we got to see the light show!! It was fabulous! So bright and the music was awesome and there were even some fireworks, too!

I mean, how pretty is that castle, tho?!? I’m swooning over here!

I hope you liked seeing all the bits of Hogsmeade I loved! If you’ve been, what was your favorite part of this park? If you haven’t been – what are you waiting for?!??!

Be sure to stay tuned for my photo dump/recap of the Diagon Alley park next time!!

Sparrow Conference 2018

Do you remember last year when I posted about going to a Christian women’s conference? It was so good that I bought my tickets for the next year (aka this year) in advance. Well, the 2018 Sparrow Conference was a few weekends ago and just like last year, it was SO GOOD! I went with two friends and we just had a great time together. The speakers this year (quite a few of them were also speakers last year) were amazing and I filled up my little notebook with so many good little nuggets of biblical truth.

This year it was held at the Music Hall at Fair Park so that more people could attend. The lobby was decorated so well, there were lots of opportunities to purchase books and candles and earrings and things like that, and there was even a super fun photo area!!

All of the (again, incredible!!) speakers led us through the book of 1 John, and I got so many great things out of it- SO MANY- and I wanted to share a few of the things I learned/took away from the weekend! (Just remember that this is all coming from going over 1 John, for context.)

The goal is to experience fellowship with God so we can have fellowship with others.

God made something good. We messed it up. Jesus made it right. One day God will make all things new.

Abiding is a choice. It’s loving Jesus beyond anything else so that is the place we want to be.

If we abide in Christ and not in the world, we will love as God loves. But you can’t abide in both places at the same time- you can’t be bitter, withholding, and unkind AND be nestled in Jesus.

If we abide in Christ, our life patterns will change. We cannot keep in a pattern of sin and also keep in a pattern of loving Christ.

You repeat the actions that matter most to you. God isn’t calling us to be perfect followers of Christ, but to be practicing followers of Christ.

When you’re living a life abiding with God, He will give you the desires of your heart because your desires begin to be His desires for you.

God hears you. He is not a distracted father. He is present and interested and we can have a fellowship with Him.

God’s commands are not burdensome- they are an extension of his good character. Sin IS burdensome, oppressive, and worrisome.