Hula Hooping Through 2016: An Update on My New Year’s Goals


I remembered today that I had written New Year’s Resolutions. Oops.  I’ve done many great things this year, but it’s just not been the stuff I set out to do. Here’s my update on my 2016 New Year’s Goals. Let’s see how I’m doing on them.

1.Do a 10 minute mediation/deep breathing exercise every day

In January, I did my mediation/deep breathing exercise 16/31 days. In February, I did my mediation  10/28 days. I then held my breath from March until August. No deep breathing and mediation for me. I’ve started up again though.  I’m happy to say that I’ve done my 10 minute routine for 2 days this week. It’s a new start and I know I can always start again. That’s what is great about life and goals.  You can always start again.

2. Exercise five days a week for at least  30 minutes

I exercise more than I used to, but I honestly forgot to track my exercising after the month of January.

3. Find something funny every day

This one is easy, because there are lots of funny things that happen all the time. In fact, I had something funny happen yesterday while I was bowling with my league.  They had a drawing with raffle tickets last. No one in our team won. I took all those losing raffle tickets and made a little tower out of them. I carefully stacked the tickets on top of each other into an intricate little design.  I was very proud of my raffle ticket tower and announced to my friend Sara that I had made a masterpiece. Sara said, “Your house is made of cards, Amee”.  Then she blew down the tower.  The tickets flew all over the table. I laughed and laughed. I laughed until I started crying which of course made Sara laugh. It was funny. Then we laughed some more, because we were both laughing. Then Sara said that we both most be tired and that made us laugh even harder. It was true. We were both so exhausted that flying raffle tickets was the best thing that happened all week.  It was kind of funny.

4. Eat a fruit or vegetable with every meal

I’ve done a great job with this one. I’ve been eating a fruit or vegetable at every meal. I’ve been tracking it to on my little food diary. Go me!

5. Do something social with friends once a week.

Check. I’m doing this one.

6. Write down all of my negative thoughts and try to re-frame them in a little cognition journal.

Back in February, I said that I had forgotten about this goal. Guess What? I forgot about it again.  I royally flopped and failed on that goal.  I wonder if I can re-frame that last sentence. “Even though I just lived with all my negative thoughts for  nine months of 2016, I still deeply love and respect myself. I didn’t fail on this goal, I failed forward on this goal.”  Ha Ha Ha.  I re-framed it. Bingo. I can mark the goal complete now.

7. Leave work by 4:30 p.m. every day. I won’t be able to do all of these happy brain/happy body things if I work all the time.

I’m doing better at leaving work by 4:30 every day, but my brain still forgets sometimes to stop teaching at night.  For example, two weeks ago I had one of those teacher dreams where I was teaching lessons all night long. It’s really hard to go to work the next day after you’ve been working all night.

Wow!  I’m impressed with myself. Even though I forgot my New Year’s Resolutions, I’m still mostly on track. I should forget my New Year’s Goals more often.

How are your New Year’s Goals going?


“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier. “–Mother Teresa



Last Place Ribbon

When I was in 3rd grade, my teacher told us a story about a man who came in last place in a race.  The entire crowd stayed and cheered for him. He won even though he lost. I have sad news for everyone. In real life, the race organizers start cleaning up the track behind you when you are the last one. I know that because I was literally the last person to finish a 4th of July 5K race this month. I could see the workers in their clean up van taking down cones behind me. They offered me a ride back to the finish line several times.  I told them no several times.

I  took a wrong turn at one point, because those overzealous race organizers took down the directional signs  before they realized I was still on the course. It’s really easy to get lost when you are far away from home and running in a city you’ve never been to before.  I had to ask a friendly neighbor how to get back to the course. Lucky, he knew the way and I  managed to make it to the end before they took down the big “FINISH” sign.


I may not have come in first place,but I’m happy to say that I finished the race. My sweet Mom and kind sister were there waiting for me and they cheered when I came in. Everybody else had gone home.  The clean up van followed soon after me.

It makes a great story and some day when I come in 2nd to the last place I will stay and cheer for the person who comes in last.




New Years Goals


2014 was hard. Hard in a lot of ways that I can’t write about on a public blog.

At 4:29 a.m. this morning, I woke up with a desire to do my morning devotional. I went to bed pretty late so at first I wasn’t very happy to be woken up at such an early hour. It was such an odd time to wake up though. I lay there trying to go back to sleep and trying to fight the thought that I needed to do my morning devotional. I figured I wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep until I did it so I got out of my bed. The routine is pretty basic. I say a prayer, read a few scriptures and then I do five minutes of a deep breathing meditation.  I’ve been told that meditation heals you and makes all your cells happy. I like happy and healed cells. Sometimes, I end my little routine with a song. I went along with the usual routine and then I did something different. I pretended it was December 31, 2015. I had met all of my 2015 New Years Resolutions. All of them. Even the ones I’m too afraid to speak out loud. I imagined myself on December 31, 2015 standing on a small mountain looking out to the ocean. It was a beautiful ocean that was framed by a rising sun. I looked beautiful next to that ocean. When I picture myself in the future, I always have perfect hair that never gets fuzzy and no acne. It’s amazing what your imagination can do for you. It was kind of cool, because in that moment it felt like I had already accomplished every single one of my goals for 2015.

With my morning devotional done, I promptly went back to sleep for three more delicious hours.

What are your goals for 2015?


This month I gave myself a gratitude challenge. Each morning before I went to work, I wrote down one thing I was grateful for on that day. The rule was that I couldn’t repeat things. At first, it was easy. I like food and I can be grateful for that. My family is awesome. My faith in God is important to me. Butterflies are pretty.  Then it got harder and the days kept coming. By November 15th, I felt like I had found every known blessing on planet Earth.  I was done saying all the typical things I normally recognize as a small blessings. I had to start looking harder. Guess what I discovered? Green arrows that let you turn left at busy intersections are really a blessing. When you hear your favorite song twice in one day, you can write that down on your gratitude list for the next day.

Today is November 30th. It’s the last day of my gratitude challenge. When I woke up this morning, I had a funny thought. I was grateful that this was the last day that I had to find something to be grateful for.  I laughed pretty hard about my little thought, and then I decided that I was grateful for toilet paper. Life would be really miserable without toilet paper.



My Dad has more friends than me


I like to talk to my Dad. We have very interesting conversations as he has read more books than any one else I know. Today we discussed progress on our respected New Year’s Resolutions. In addition to the typical goals of getting healthier and growing his accounting firm, Dad set a goal to have 1,000 Facebook friends. He is currently at 918. I thought I had a lot of  friends at 168. I didn’t need Facebook to tell me my Dad knows many people. About once a week, I meet someone who knows him.

Just for fun, I checked my mother’s Facebook friends. She has 381. I guess Mom has more friends than me too.


Little Girls

Girl on Bike picture

When I was 11, I believed I could fly airplanes

Bake cakes, interview world leaders, write poetry

Wear lipstick and hiking boots for fun

Put boys in their place when they misbehave

I was Joan of Arc, Marie Cure and Mother Teresa

All rolled up into one awesome girl. Me.

Then I turned 12.

Oh, to reclaim 11.

How old were you?  I was 12. I was at my grandma’s house. Heather had come over to play. We were sister mermaids who had the magical ability to transform into humans. During the day, we had jobs as a doctor and a TV reporter. In the evening, we went on dates with our handsome boyfriends. After our dates, the mermaid sisters would swim in the ocean. The large grapefruit tree was the ocean and the ground was the human world. We had played mermaid sisters many times, but on that day we couldn’t get the game to work. We gave up and went inside. I remember standing at the glass sliding door that separated the outside yard from the inside house. I don’t know what Heather was thinking, but I was overcome by the moment.  I looked at the grapefruit tree and whispered. “It is only a tree now. What happened?”

What I Learned from my 2nd Challenge

For the last 13 days,  I have been climbing stairs.   I’ve learned a few things.

1. Take one flight at a time

It is pretty easy to get discouraged when standing  at the bottom of 13 flights of stairs. The trick is to get started and only focus on one small step at a time. The first few days of climbing stairs were really hard. I wanted to quit after flight four. This leads me to the second thing I’ve learned.

2. It easier to do something hard with another person.

I was lucky, because my hubby came with me. He also did the 13 day challenge and  climbed 13 flights of stairs each day beside me.  When I got tired, he would tell me to keep going.

3. Some people are going to laugh at you. It happens.

Some folks will look at you funny when you are trying to improve yourself. The trick is to ignore them. We had more than one person tell us where the elevator was while climbing up and down the stairs at the hotel.

My new challenge starts tomorrow. It will be another 13 days to a better me. I’m excited.

Climb the Stairs

Quote of the Day

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.
– Albert Einstein