October Goals

Today is the last day of September, which means I should probably look back and evaluate my progress and figure out what I need to focus on in October.  Here are my September goals, and how well, or not so well, I accomplished them:
1. Lose 8 pounds – Well, this was half accomplished, but to me that’s pretty good.  I lost 4 pounds, but definitely wish I would have lost 8.
2. Sing more often – So I really have only continued to sing in the car, and have failed to do the research to find a choir…but it’s still something I want to do!
3. Skype more – I can check this one off my list!  I have definitely skyped more, and hope to continue to do so.
4. Start training for RAGBRAI – TOTALLY! But again, not as hard as I wanted to.  But I love my bike and I love riding it, but we need to hang out together a little more often J
5. Make the most of every day – Yes and no.  Some days are great, and some days are still not so great.  But I am definitely trying.  And I am totally appreciating every moment and friend and family member I have been blessed with.

So here we go, October goals:
1. Join the Y, and use it at least 3 times a week
2. Lose 4-8 pounds – just being realistic!
3. Write more letters/cards
4. Weekly girls night – this is SO needed
5. Ride bike twice a week, one long ride, and at least one shorter (1 hour) ride.
6. Be able to run two miles by the end of the month – not necessarily 2 miles straight, I can walk in between, but I ran 1 mile the other day, broken up with a little walking, and now I want to work up to 2 miles.

As you can see, a lot of these are driven by trying to be healthier.  Any encouragement or suggestions you can give, I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you so much and Happy October!!


Sunday Special - My Husband

Not that these posts are necessarily in order of importance, but it's probably about time I give a shout out to the best man on this earth!  Ryan and I started dating when we were 18, right after graduating high school, and I almost immediately knew I had met my soul mate.  I know that sounds cheesy, and we were young, and it was too soon, but I think our marriage after 6 years together is proof that sometimes you do just know who you are meant to be with.  

Ryan has been my biggest supporter and encourager in everything I do.  He helps me make important decisions without letting me lose myself and my ultimate goals.  He is also the best listener, but I'm sure he would retort that I am a "good" talker...meaning I talk A LOT. =)  He always wants the best for me, and for us.  I am always a priority in his life, and he makes me feel like I am his world.  I love Ryan more than I could possible describe in the this blog post, maybe more than I could ever really describe in words...but I think that says it all.  I am the luckiest person in the whole world and I can't imagine a single day without Ryan in my life.

I love you baby!
Freshman Year of College
Halloween Freshman year
Sophomore year
Junior Year
Junior year Halloween
Andy and Ryan at the Rehearsal Dinner
Sooo happy! :)
On our honeymoon...my favorite picture of us!


Day 30- Your favorite song

Oh wow...I have way too many favorite songs!  I love music, always ALWAYS have.  But here are 5 of my favorite songs, some have personal meaning, and some I just love:

1. Silent All These Years - Tori Amos (I have oddly loved this song since like 4th grade)
2. Do What You Have to Do - Sarah McLachlan (My childhood friend Lindsey and I used to listen to this song after she had to move...it reminded us of each other.  Though I think it might be about lost love.  But after she died, it always reminded me of how I felt after she moved and I all I wanted was for her to come back)
3. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol (Not only did one of my English professors use this song in the classroom in comparison to some others and exclaimed that this is the greatest love song of all time, but this was our first dance at our wedding, and I will always remember how I felt on my wedding day when I hear this song)
4. Get Me Bodied - Beyonce (no special meaning, but my FAVORITE song to dance and workout to!)
5. In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel (come on, John Cusack with a boom-box above his head with this wonderful music pouring out...yep, best movie moment ever)


Day 29- In this past month, what have you learned

Hmm, I don't know if I've learned all that much in the last month.  Mostly little things, but I'll just go with this post, since I'm almost done with my 30 days!

1. I am not a horrible golfer, actually pretty decent for a beginner!
2. Fantasy Football has made it much easier to watch a full day of NFL on Sunday
3. It's truly frustrating when you ARE putting the effort in to lose weight and nothing happens!
4. I think I like helping plan other peoples' weddings than I liked planning my own :) (Though I did love planning mine too)
5. My coworkers are great people who care about me and my future, they have become true friends.


Day 28- A picture of you from last year and now, how have you changed since then?

At the Iowa State Fair, Summer 2009
At Wrigley Field, Summer 2010
Well, one thing that hasn't changed is that I totally love to give thumbs up!  

A lot has changed in the last year, but then again, not so much.  I got married, which is definitely the biggest change that happened in my life!  But that has also not been so different since my husband and I have now been together for almost 6 1/2 years.  At this time last year, I was a teller at a crappy bank, and now I'm a personal banker/lending assistant at an awesome bank!  I am probably about 5 pounds heavier :( But I'm working on it!  Things in my life have changed, good and bad, and they have changed me.  In a sense though, I don't know if they've changed me or just brought out some pent up emotions.  

Losing a friend has been the most significant change in my life and that has changed how I feel when I wake up in the morning and go to bed at night.  It changed what I dream about when I'm sleeping and what I strive for when I'm awake.  But I think I'm still the same Sarah, just with a new perspective.  It's becoming a positive change, which sounds horrible and weird to say. But it has helped me realize the importance of letting the people you love KNOW that you love them.  I've realized I need to put passion into the things I choose to do, make them worth while.  I'm determined to enjoy each day in case it's my last.  Most of all, it's important to remember people I've lost with a smile.  It's OK to have tears, but they should be accompanied by happy memories.  That has changed me the most this year, but it's also just brought my true emotions and feelings to the surface.


Sunday Special - Allison H

Today's special focuses on a friend I have had since high school and she luckily has been one of my greatest friends ever since.  Alli has always been a person that truly knows who I am and has loved me for all of my characteristics.  I feel the very same way about her; I know who she is, I know some of her secrets, many times, I know exactly how she feels.  She has been a fantastic shoulder to lean on and a supporter of all I do.  And I couldn't be prouder of her with all she has done!  Alli followed her heart and became a nurse and she now works at the UW hospital in Madison, basically a dream job for her.  I am so happy and so proud that she could accomplish these things and she did them with such independence and grace.

Now, after having achieved many personal goals on her own, Alli has met her soul mate!  Alli and Paul will be married on May 14, 2011, less than 8 months away :)  Everything is happening so quickly, but I think God has blessed these two with confidence and undying love.  They know they are 100% right for each other and that their lives are meant to be spent together!  I know how it feels, I knew I loved Ryan and wanted to spend my life with him after only 4 months.  But we were only 18 and that felt so soon...but we're married now, so I can truly say that when you find the right person, you know it and you can't wait for that wedding day to come!

Alli, I wish a world of happiness and love for you and Paul throughout your wedding preparation and lifetime of marriage.  You are an amazing light in my life and I am excited for us to be a part of each others' lives as we begin our own families.  I love you Baaba!!
Me, Steph, Alli
Iowa City Junior Year
Iowa City Junior Year
Ames Summer 2007
Madison 2009
At my rehearsal
ENGAGED! Paul & Alli

Day 27- Why are you doing this 30 day challenge

I'm new to this whole blogging thing, but I want to be committed...so while browsing other blogs, I stumbled upon this challenge and thought it would be a good idea for me.  It truly has been a great outlet for me to be able to share some of my life...even though I think only like 2 people actually read this!  Haha...but that's OK.  This is more set up as a prep for when something exciting does happen.  Already did the wedding thing, but I wanted to have this blog in case we moved or started a family so that our friends and family can keep up with our lives and see pictures of what we are doing.  I decided to do this challenge so I would get used to blogging often.  After it's over, I probably won't post everyday, but at least I'll think about my blog and remember to post often.  
If you are thinking about starting a blog, just do it.  The best part is that I in a few years, I can go back and read about it and when facebook goes south and I delete it (I'm just assuming that'll happen), I have my blog full of pictures and memories and comments from friends.


Day 26- Introduce your family

I'm a post behind, so I am doing two this morning!  Let's meet the wonderful people that have put up with me for 24 years and counting:

My mom
Meet Beth, my mommy!  My mom has been fantastic throughout my life.  There are many things I could not have gotten through without a little push or inspiration from my mom.  Throughout high school, my mom attended every concert, every play, and even my pitiful tennis matches!  My mom and I have gotten even closer as I've gotten older, and I can't wait to see where it goes from here.  I love you mom!

My dad
Meet Paul, my daddy!  My dad has always been involved in my life, and as I've met people and gotten older, I've learned to really appreciate that.  When I was younger, he would coach my basketball and softball teams.  And like my mom, he attended all of my events as I got older.  My Dad has always been someone I can look up to spiritually because he is very involved at Church and I truly enjoyed singing in the Church choir with him.  I am definitely daddy's little girl, I love you dad!
My sister
Meet Emily, my 21-year-old sister.  Emily is getting her degree in nursing with the intention of working in a psychiatric hospital...boy is she brave!!  Emily is the best sister in the whole world and my best friend.  Like I mentioned in my Sunday Special post about her,I look up to her in many ways.  I love you sister!
My brother
Meet Alex, my little brother.  Alex just turned 10 last week and he is in fourth grade!  He has occasional been the bane of my existence, but usually he is the light of my life. :)  I could not have asked for a sweeter or more caring little brother.  He has had his moments where he makes me want to pull my hair out, but more often than not, he makes me laugh and smile.  I love you Alex!

Day 25- What I would find in your bag

Well, I just spent a significant amount of time yesterday complaining about my purse and how I can never find anything in it because it's too big and it accumulates stuff.  So I think some purse shopping is in order to find a smaller, or at least more organized purse so it doesn't take me 5 minutes to find my car keys!  But here's what you would currently find in my bag:
1. Two wallets, one I use often and one that has other cards and the checkbook which I hardly ever use.
2. Receipts and coupons scattered at the bottom (I need to clean it more often!)
3. Chapstick
4. Mirror
5. Keys
6. Camera (I ALWAYS have it with me)
7. Flip Digital Video Recorder (I almost always have this with me too!)
8. Female necessities
9. Mints
10. Cell phone
11. iPod
12. Medications
13. Often times, a book, in case the mood strikes me to read :)
14. A to-do list or shopping list or both are ALWAYS in my purse
15. Pens


Day 24- Another picture of your friends

OK, these are pics of my engaged friends!  Had to pick a theme this time...had way too many pictures on my last friend post...lol.  Here's a little shout out to Alli, Stephanie, Emily, and Ashley!! Can't wait to see who's next!! =)

Summer 2007 - Alli
Summer 2010 - Stephanie
Winter 2010 - Ashley
Summer 2007 - Emily
Fall 2008 - Jessi


Day 23- Something you crave for a lot

This seems like a silly post, but I don't have a lot of time to write right now, so I'll just go with it.  I suppose there are a few things I crave often:

1. Friend time, I absolutely love when I have time to chat, and especially have time to hang out with my friends.
2. Professional back-rubs...and I've only ever had a 10 minute one.  But I hint to Ryan all the time that his wife could really use a good rub-down from a professional. I have yet to receive that gift. LoL
3. Taking pictures...many would say I take too many.  I don't believe there is such a thing as taking too many pictures.
4. CEREAL.  My all-time favorite food!  I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and you can bet I have before.  But I definitely try not to!
5. Sailor Jerry & Diet Coke.  OK, before you think I'm a lush, I only crave it when it's time to party...but nothing satisfies my taste buds like a good Sailor Jerry & Diet Coke.

Well that was a pretty random list...oh, lists, that's totally another thing I crave! My day is not complete unless I have made at least one list and checked things off of it.  It's comforting OK!  =)


Day 22- Who is the last person that you met

Meet Jackson!

Ryan and I went over to Emily and JB's house on Sunday.  Emily helped me create my resume for jobs on the Arsenal, which was a pain in the you-know-what.  But we had a great time hanging out with the Ruiz family and I especially loved hanging out with Jackson, their son!

Jackson is a very happy baby and he was very excited to have visitors.  He jumped up and down and greeted us with some lovely sounds.

He loves to make faces so you laugh and smile.  Emily said "The sun rises and sets on Jackson."  I believe it, you can't help but love this little child!

Jackson loves to play peek-a-boo, but I didn't want him to cover up his smile!

As you can tell, he loves to get his picture taken.  He is such a ham and is going to be a total heart-breaker.  I had so much fun playing with Jackson.  I got to feed him and he fell asleep in my arms.

By the end of the day, he was pooped!  But I had a great time meeting him and hanging out with the family.  I can't wait to hang out with them all again!


Day 21- A picture of something that makes you happy

Snail mail! Enough said...

Sunday Special - Ashley Morrison

This Sunday Special kinda fell into my lap because on Saturday, I got a phone call from Ashley in the afternoon telling me that her and Andy were engaged!!  You should have heard the squeal that erupted from my throat!  I am so excited and happy for them. =D

Ashley has been the best friend I could have ever asked for.  She has been there for me through some of the hardest times...but also for the little things when I just need to hear her voice.  Ashley is the type of person you strive to be, and the type of person you want your kids to grow up to be like.  She is amazingly crafty, caring, selfless, and full of love.  She is so great at reminding her friends (and her fiancĂ©!) how much she loves them and misses them.  Ashley and I send emails to each other during the work day, and when I get one, even three sentences long, I smile and my day gets a little brighter.

Ashley, thank you for everything you have done for me and all of the love and support you have showered me with!  You are the greatest.  And as you begin your wedding planning process, I hope I can return the favor and be there for you as much as you were there for me.  I love you!

The very first night I met Ashley...we hit it off right away!
Showing Ash some love
ISU Tailgating
Sing Star
Name That Tune!
First Day of RAGBRAI
Night out in Ames (<3 this pic)
Climbing down to Nick & Em's creepy basement
Playing shuffle board
Winning shuffle board
Ashley and Andy at our rehearsal dinner
Wedding day!
Ashley and Greg
The now engaged!!!


Day 20- Someone you see yourself marrying or being with in the future

Hmm...this is tough one.  LoL.  I am already happily married to my wonderful husband!  I guess this won't be a long post, but here some pictures!  :)

Our first picture together
My favorite picture of us from the early years
One of our engagement pictures <3
Marrying the man of my dreams
At the cubs game last weekend!