Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My Thoughts on Lance

I used to follow Lance Armstrong on twitter back when he was preparing for his last Tour de France. I would get so frustrated for him when the anti-doping officials would come knocking on his door on a daily basis.  I felt like he had proven himself time and time again that he wasn't doping.  And maybe at that time he wasn't.  But apparently my faith in him was misplaced.  I told Chris on numerous occasions that I didn't believe the stories to be true. You can imagine my disappointment when I heard that he was going to confess.

Now I don't know much about the cycling world.  I still don't understand the time trials and how you can win without being in the lead or the first one to cross the finish line.  I don't get it.  But I knew a little of Lance's story from his years in the spotlight and it was neat to me that he lived in the Austin area.  I also had a lot of respect for the Livestrong Foundation and what it was working for.  I felt like Lance was someone you wanted to get behind and support because of all the good he was trying to do.

I think what bothers me most about this is not that Lance doped but that he lied about it, covered it up, and denied it for so long that you no longer can respect anything he has done.  And I defended him.  Not that my opinion matters to anyone but it is upsetting when you trust someone or something and you get let down.  I feel this is something that happens a lot with celebrities.  We put them on a pedestal for something they have done only to have that ideal shattered when you learn the truth about them.  It makes you not want to put your faith in someone who is in the spotlight.

Truth is I am a nobody...just a middle class suburban mom.  But that is why this matters.  I want my child to have role models that he can look up to and aspire to be.  I want him to be able to dream big and I pray that he will succeed.  So that begs the question, Who can those role models be?   Who should he look up to and how should we handle it when those people fail him?  I don't know the answer but I do know I will caution him when he turns his attention to a celebrity because they can disappoint.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

What About Me?

I had an epiphany last week while talking to Chris about all of the upcoming events for our various family members. Sean had his first tae kwon do belt testing on Saturday. Chris tests for his black belt this weekend. Jackson and I are at Little Gym every weekend while Chris and Sean are at tae kwon do three times a week. It was during this conversation that I realized there was nothing I do just for me. I don't have an activity and that bothers me. I danced a lot growing up. I was in youth choir and band. But now I don't have time. Not for me. I have time to make sure the kids get where they need to go but not to set aside for myself. I realize that is part of being a mother. It is their turn now. I had my chance to be active and involved. But it makes me sad. I miss dancing. I miss having something I do that gives me an outlet away from work. I need that but I really have no idea how to make it work in our already crazy schedule. Maybe one day that will change but for now all I can ask is what about me?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 To Do List

Instead of resolutions this year, I decided to make a list of things I would like to accomplish this year.  I figure this is a more tangible way to be able to see how well I've done this year.
  1. Actually attend The Blathering this year.
  2. Take Jackson to his first football game
  3. Buy a new rug for the living room.
  4. Read The Great Gatsby before seeing the movie.
  5. Get another tattoo as a tribute to Jackson.
  6. Take a trip that doesn't include visiting my parents.
  7. Pay off another credit card. (Maybe even two!)
  8. Go on at least 1 date a month with Chris.
  9. Spend more time outdoors with the boys.
  10. Make more time for myself.
  11. Replace the fence.
  12. Repair the driveway.
  13. Get the exterior of the house painted.
  14. Increase our charitable giving.
  15. Read 24 books.
  16. Blog at least once a week.
  17. Spend an entire weekend kid free.
  18. See Alabama play in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
  19. Run a 5k.
  20. Visit Chris's Grandmother.
  21. Visit my brother's family in Houston.
  22. Setup Savings Accounts for the boys.
  23. Keep money in our savings account all year.
  24. Go to the gun range with Chris.
  25. Clear out the excess stuff in our storage unit.
  26. Update mortgage, house, and bills to married name.
  27. Participate in NaBloPoMo.
  28. Complete the 52 Week Money Challenge.
It is a small list to start off with and I hope to add more to it as the year progresses.  However, I think it is a good start.  Also, I apologize to all my fellow bloggers who I borrowed (stole?) ideas from.  You guys helped point me in the right direction.  Thanks!

How did I do in 2012?

Back in January I created a list of goals for the year. I kind of forgot about them till all the "it's the end of the year" posts started showing up in my Google reader.  So I decided January 1st was a great time to take a look back and see where I stand on the goals I set for myself at the beginning of last year.

  1. Money:  It took the better portion of the year but I think I finally have a handle on our money situation that doesn't leave me sweating bullets between paychecks.  This was hard and took a major commitment on our part and some drastic measures.  We are loosely following the Dave Ramsey plan.  I don't agree with all of Dave's suggestions but he has some good ideas and I am making them work for us.  The best thing we have done is switch to using cash instead of our debit cards for daily purchases outside of our recurring bills.  This has really changed how we view our money because we can see where it is going and how much we have left.  We got away from this in December when we doing Christmas shopping and it hurt so we are definitely going back to this for 2013.  We were able to payoff one credit card and Chris's student loans this year.  These two things were a small dent in our debt but it is a start.
  2. Weight: I can't say I really did anything to help my weight this year (as I sit here and shove Chex Mix in my pie hole).  We did cut out a lot of our eating out, both as a family and individually at work.  While I didn't lose any weight, I didn't really gain any other so I think that is at least a plus.
  3. Read: Well, I failed miserably at this one.  My goal for the year was 24 books. I think I underestimated how busy and tired I would be so my normal reading before bed time just didn't happen.  I'd start a book and get maybe 100 pages in and then wouldn't pick it up again for months.  So I only read 11 books.  Oh well.
  4. Blog:  This is another area that took a hit.  I did blog more in 2012 than I did in 2011 but not as much as I would have liked.  I had a lot more to say but never had the time sit down and get it on paper so to speak.  I blame the awarding of a major contract to my company that I am primarily responsible for as the cause for a lot of this.
  5. Enjoy:  I did work towards this a little bit by trying to get my family out more.  We found events in the community to participate in and that was a good way to enjoy life a bit.  I also have enjoyed watching my boy grow and learn this year.  That has probably been the best part of the year.
  6. Home:  We definitely didn't make the strides toward a new home that I wanted to make this year.  Our money situation and the crappy housing market have a lot to do with this.  That is really what we will be focusing on this year as we work to pay off more bills and prepare our house to put it on the market.
2012 had its ups and downs.  There are definitely aspects of this year I don't want to repeat but I will say it was a good year overall.  We finally got a grasp on our money situation.  I learned how to menu plan.  My boys are happy and healthy.  All in all we are doing OK.