One Thing

One thing I will learn: How to better handle my stress. Sometimes I find things so overwhelming and I just turn into this giant stress ball. Luckily I have a wonderful husband who picks up the pieces, but this is definitely something I need to work on.

One place I will go: No idea. We don’t have any trips planned for the near future because of our gorgeous little girl. We may take a few day trips when Tyler takes his vacation in the summer, but we have nothing definite planned.

One physical habit I will break: Being inactive. About three years ago, I went hard core and lost 30lbs in about 2 months. When we moved, I totally lost my motivation and ended up gaining it all back, PLUS another 30lbs. It was ridiculous how much this move affected me. I will playing baseball again this coming year and I vow to take the dog for more walks with Olivia once the weather turns nice again. I also want to start working out again once I get Miss Olivia onto a more consistent schedule.

One physical habit I will cultivate: Same as above. I need to start getting back into shape.

One mental habit I will break: Over-analyzing EVERYTHING. Sometimes people have no hidden meanings behind their comments and I need to realize this.

One relationship I’ll repair: I don’t have any particular relationship that I think needs to be repaired, but I do vow to strengthen my relationships with my family and friends. I also need to figure out how to make time for some of my friends. Between Olivia and everything else happening in my life, sometimes I feel like I don’t have enough time for some people.

One work habit I will change: Constantly checking my e-mail at home. If someone needs something right away, they will call. I need to learn not to bring my work home with me.

One thing I’ll throw out: All of our extra stuff! I have SO much clothing and I never wear most of it. I’ll donate it instead of throwing it out though!

A second thing I’ll throw out: Paper!! We have so much stuff filed away and we will never need most of it. I need to sort through our files and get rid of it.

One thing I’ll eat more often: Healthy,  home cooked food. It is so much easier to just order take-out, but it is so bad for us!

One thing I’ll eat less: Take-out. I eat way too much of it.

One thing I’ll drink more: Water.

One thing I’ll drink less: Pop. This is a huge vice for me. I don’t drink alcohol, so at least there’s that, but I need to find something else to drink instead of pop.

One resentment I’ll get over: I have a bit of a tumultuous relationship with a certain member of my family and I just want to let the past go and deal with the future. It’s so not worth it.

One person I’ll treat more respectfully: My husband. I find that I get very easily frustrated sometimes and he’s always the one having to pick me up. I don’t tell him enough how much I appreciate everything he does for me.

One thing I’ll spend less money on: Food. I always buy stuff that looks good at the market and then I end up not eating it and we throw it out a week later.

One other change I’ll make in my finances: I want to start saving for our future. We already have our own house and two vehicles, but I want to be more prepared for other stuff that will inevitably come our way and I want to start an RESP for Olivia.

One thing I’ll spend less time doing: Complaining. It’s true that it doesn’t get you anywhere.

And a thing I’ll spend more time doing: Being present in the moment. I need to focus more on what’s right in front of me and less on what’s going on at work, etc.

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Resolutions for 2013

1. GET ORGANIZED – I have 10,000 projects that I want to do around the house. I want to sort through our closets and drawers and cupboards and get rid of all the extra stuff we have. I probably have over 1000 pieces of clothing, but I literally wear the same 20 pieces over and over again. I made a huge list of EVERYTHING I want to get done, but Olivia takes priority for me and I would rather spend the entire day snuggling on the couch with her and get nothing done than not give her the attention that she deserves for a single second.

2. BLOG MORE OFTEN – My blog writing has been severely lacking since I had Olivia. I just haven’t had time to blog. But now that she’s sleeping earlier and getting up later (and not at all during the night!!), I’m going to make a conscious effort to blog at least once a week.

3. BE A BETTER WIFE AND MOTHER – Sometimes I feel like a total failure in these departments. Any wife or mother can attest that these feelings are completely normal, but I want to keep striving to be a better wife and mother.

4. LOSE WEIGHT – I make this resolution every year. Last year’s resolution to do this got completely derailed on January 1st when I found out I was pregnant. I’m already down 21lbs from my weight as of January 1, 2012, but I still have a long way to go (I have a very specific goal in mind, but I’m not comfortable sharing my starting weight at this point). I’m still trying to figure out how to diet and exercise properly while breastfeeding, so anyone with any advice on this subject, please please please chime in and give me any tips you have! It would be greatly appreciated!

New Year’s Resolutions…

I have LOTS of New Year’s Resolutions this year and I’m hoping that posting a public list will make me hold myself more accountable. I’m also going to try to reflect back on this post throughout the year to see how I’m doing with them.

Sarah’s 2011 New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Lose Weight – I know this one is very generic, but I still want to do it. I’m going to try to make a monthly plan today for myself and then set monthly goals with a small reward if I achieve them (i.e., if I lose a specific number of pounds that month or exercise more than 20 times in 4 weeks, etc.). My husband has also taken on this resolution with me and I hope that we can work on it together!
  2. Buy a House – I am getting mighty tired of all of my stuff being packed. I want to be able to get at my books or my clothes and I want to be able to cook (ALL of my kitchen stuff is packed away and it’s driving me bonkers!). I also want to have my own space. We’re really hoping that we can find a house that we love soon or we might consider building one in my hometown. Our only concern with that is that it will take FOUR months after we make the decision to build before we can actually get into the house.
  3. Help Tyler finish his Thesis – Tyler is SO CLOSE to finishing his thesis. He submitted it about a month ago for editing to the grad studies coordinator and she took it upon herself to re-edit the work that his advisor already did. Now she wants him to make some changes and we’re currently working on that together.  We’re aiming for having the whole thing finished by January 31, 2011.
  4. Find a job that I want to stay at for a very long time – Don’t get me wrong, I love my current position, but for now, it’s only a contract position and then I have to return to my other position in Parkhill. I liked what I was doing in Parkhill, but I hate the 45 minute drive (both ways) and I HATE the hours (only evenings and 2 out of 3 weekends). I really want to find something in my field that’s a full-time days position. Once Tyler is working full-time, he will most likely only be working days and it’s going to be REALLY hard for me to only see him when I come home to bed every night. This resolution may be kind of contingent on my next resolution. Come to think of it, my first resolution may be kind of contingent upon the next one too.
  5. Either have a baby or be pregnant – At some point in 2011, I would like to either be pregnant or have a baby. I realize that the window of having a 2011 baby is quickly closing in on me and I’ve pretty much come to the realization that I will not be a mother by the time I’m 25 (which has always been one of my life dreams and goals) as I would have to get pregnant in the next month in order to be due just before my 25th birthday next October. Obviously this one is contingent upon some other resolutions. We can’t even think about trying for a baby until Tyler is done his thesis and I don’t want to have a baby until we find our house or until we at least figure out where we’re going. I would also be more than willing to give up on resolutions 1 and 4 in order for this one to happen. I want to lose weight and I want to find a new permanent job, but I would be willing to stay where I am until I go on maternity leave and then go from there once I have the baby. Who knows, maybe after I have a baby I won’t have to go back to work because Tyler will have some super wazoo programming job. Actually, who am I kidding? I probably won’t last the full maternity leave without going back to work, lol. I can’t stand sitting around at home and I know that having kids is a ton of work and I’ll probably be too busy being a mother to even worry about wanting to go back to work, but I’ve never been one to be able to deal with down time. I get bored very easily and often have to try really hard to find things to do that will keep my interest. I have been working full-time since 2 weeks after I graduated from University and I worked part-time since I was 15 before that. I just can’t sit still. I guess that’s a good thing in an employee. If only I could channel that into a weight loss or fitness program, I’d be set, lol.

Anyways, those are my resolutions for 2011. I really hope that I can achieve them. I’ve been working on the weight loss goal since January 1st and I’m already down 3.2lbs as of this morning! Hopefully I can keep it going, but I know the real reason for the success is that I’ve given up pop and snacking. Hopefully I can avoid those two things.

What are everyone else’s resolutions this year? Anything different from mine? Anything new or unique?

Questions Answered…

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who asked questions! I must admit that I checked my blog more often than usual to see what people were asking!

Starting with Question # 1 from the lovely Leah of fiveblondes.com:  “I would like to know what your career goal is. You seem to have an interesting job and I’m interested to know where you would like to take it. If that’s too lofty of a question, then how about just in the next five years?”

Answer: My career goal… is “if-y” right now. Up until recently, I have always pictured myself continuing with what I’m doing (I currently work at a therapeutic care centre with teenage youth), but lately I’ve been changing my views a little bit. I imagined myself being a program manager or program director of a youth organization or agency someday, but lately I’ve been wondering if this is what I really want. I’ve thought about going back to school, but the main thing that interests me right now is becoming a Psychologist or Psychiatrist, which would mean at least another 5 years in school. My current job has been very stressful lately (1000x more than it needs to be) and I hope that there are some big changes coming. I’ve been applying to some different jobs (within the same stream, but for jobs working with kids, adolescents, adults, the homeless, the elderly, abuse victims, etc. instead of just with youth) and I really hope that I hear something soon. That being said, I don’t know what my current career goal is. Ideally, I’d like to continue helping people and, someday, I’d like to be in a more formal role (think director or manager of a program, agency, etc.). If I somehow manage to find time to go to school again, I could see myself being a Psychologist, Psychiatrist, or maybe even a lawyer. Maybe I should’ve just stuck to the five years aspect of your question, lol. Five years can bring so much change and I really can’t predict where I’ll be in 5 years… either doing exactly what I’m doing now or in a completely different place. Personally, I’m hoping for change.

Question # 2 from Tina: “You talk a lot about family and having kids in your blog. How many kids do you want and what would your ideal family consist of?”

Answer: Ideally, I would like to have 3 children. My husband originally said that he wanted 2, but I think that I’ve almost got him talked into 3, lol. My husband only has one sibling and since they were identical twins, they never really had to experience the whole “little brother, little sister” phenomenon. I personally loved having 2 little sisters growing up. There was always someone to play with and I sometimes wished that I had another sibling who was more like me. So, if I could choose how many kids we’ll have and if I could choose the sex, I would want to have 3 children and I would want one boy, one girl, and whichever one God chose to bless us with next. In the end though, it won’t really matter if I have 3 boys, or 3 girls, or either of the other combinations, I just want them to be healthy and happy.

Question # 3 from Maria Butler: “Your “about” section says that you own over 2000 books (Impressive!). What is your favorite book of all time and what are you reading right now? Have you ever thought about a career in writing?”

Answer: My favourite book of all time… That’s a tough one for me. I spent the vast majority of my childhood reading and can remember pretty much every book I’ve ever read. One of my current favourites is “If I Never Get Back” by Darryl Brock. I will also admit that I love “the classics” and fell completely in love with Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.

I just finished reading “Safe Haven” by Nicholas Sparks. It was fairly good book and if you like romance and mystery books, I would recommend that you read it. You can find my book review on GoodReads.com/SarahDoan along with other books I’ve read and want to read. I’m also just about finished reading the Harry Potter series. I would definitely recommend them! Some of the longer books do take a while, but they’re completely worth it! They’ll make you laugh, cry, and feel every emotion in between.

As for a career in writing, I originally imagined myself becoming a writer. I wrote some poetry in school and seemed to have a knack for making people cry because I wrote about real world things and was even told by an English teacher that I “understood things far beyond my years.” I also briefly tried to write a novel when I was younger, but quickly gave up on it because I  couldn’t figure out where I wanted to take my story. I imagined it to be a mystery novel, but I had trouble with the “villain.” I will admit that I’ve recently been thinking about writing again and am toying with the idea of starting something. This question has definitely got my mind going. Thanks Maria! 🙂

Question # 4 from my friend Teara: “You haven’t posted about your weight loss for a while, so I thought that I would ask how it was going. Have you found any new exercises that you would suggest to another woman trying to lose weight? Thanks!”

Answer: Unfortunately, I must admit that my weight loss has stalled recently. After I got my new jobs in London and Parkhill, my schedule got completely thrown off. When I still lived in Guelph, I worked day hours only, but my new jobs have had me working evenings and weekends. Unfortunately, working 9-10 hour shifts in the evening and 12 hour shifts on weekends hasn’t given me a lot of time to be exercising. It’s very hard to get up early and get yourself going when you don’t get home from work until 1am and then you stay up for 2 hours relaxing. Working those hours makes it very hard to get up at a reasonable time in the morning and by the time I have everything ready for work, I only have an hour or two and I’d rather spend them with my husband. That being said, I am trying very hard to get back into the routine of exercising and eventually, I would like to run some sort of “mini-marathon.” I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to run 26 miles, but I’d like to run a 5km or 10km someday.

Question # 5 from the beautiful Katelyn of fiveblondes.com: ” I’m wondering how your house search is going? Also wondering when you have kids will you find out what gender they are? And will you share the name before your child is born?”

Answer: Our house search is very slow going. Ideally, we’d like to get a home in my hometown and, as I’m sure you know, there aren’t that many options. There are currently 5 homes for sale in town and 4 of them are either too small or too old and the other is too expensive. We’ve been looking into having one built in the new subdivision in town, but we’ve recently experienced a few setbacks that are making the whole house hunt take longer than expected. Our current goal is to have either bought a house or to have one in the process of being built by Christmas. I know it seems a long ways off, but the months have been going by so quickly that it seems like it was June just yesterday.

As for the questions regarding children, I originally thought that I would NOT find out what gender they are when I’m pregnant. Our original idea was to wait for the surprise and see what we had.  Now, however, I can say with about 90% certainty that I will be finding out the sex for two reasons: (1) After learning how frustrating it is to not know the gender (this is coming from my interactions with my sister and her pregnancy and trying to find her gender neutral gifts), I definitely want to know myself. My sister is currently trying to decorate her baby’s room and as she does not know the gender, she doesn’t know how to decorate it. She’s thinking yellow and green and while I’ll probably end up choosing those colours anyways, I’d like to be able to add feminine or masculine touches. (2) I am THE MOST impatient person in the world and there is no way that I’m going to be able to not ask the ultrasound technician the second they start looking at the baby. I will not be able to handle 40 weeks of not knowing.

As for whether or not I’ll share the name before my child is born, I don’t know. I’ve never really thought about that to be honest. I think that I will share the name with my family, but I don’t know if I’ll post it online or tell anyone other than family and close friends. Tyler and I have discussed baby names in the past and we’ve made some minor decisions. If we have a boy, the middle name will be Robert James after my grandfather Robert (who passed away 4 years ago at the age of 63 – Rest in Peace Grandpa) and James for both my Dad and Tyler’s family (James has been included somewhere in my husband’s family lineage for several generations). I have yet to come across any boys names that I absolutely love for a first name though. Tyler and I have thrown a few out there to eachother, but nothing has struck us as THE name. As for girls, we’ve discussed this more (mostly because I will DIE if I don’t have a girl at some point, lol). I originally liked the name “Anna” as a first name, but now I’m not loving it as much. We also discussed the possibility of the middle names being “Josepha Maureen,” but I’m also not so sure about that either. “Josepha” was my great-grandmother’s name and although I love it, my sister has pointed out that my child may not love it and that it may not mean anything to them since she will never meet my great-grandmother. My mother’s name is “Maureen” and she recently told me that giving a child the middle name of Maureen is “cruel and unusual punishment.” She said that she appreciated the sentiment, but that she’d rather my children have names that they actually like. I’ve been toying with the idea of asking her to choose a middle name as a form of tribute instead of giving the child the middle name of Maureen since she seems dead set against it. So, in short, I don’t know if we’ll share our baby names. I think we’ll share it with family and friends, but the name will also be just a possibility. If we have our baby and they don’t look like an “Anna” (for example) to us, then we won’t use that name. I think we’ll probably find a couple name combinations that we like and then go from there.

Anyways, that’s all the questions. I hope all of the answers were up to snuff and I’m sorry that it took me so long to post the responses!

The Future Is Scary…

A lot of things have been changing for me in a relatively short period of time. If you’ve read my last post, you’ll know that I finally got a new job in London. I’ve been applying for a while and then finally got an interview with a great company. There are three major positives about this job: (1) It’s in LONDON – only 35 minutes from my parents’ house and it means that we’ll eventually be moving back to the area; (2) The pay is better than my current job; (3) The company is extremely organized and UNIONIZED – they even have a separate HR office that does hiring. There are three negatives about this job though as well: (1) It’s only part-time – I have my schedule for June and I’m getting between 20 and 30 hours a week; (2) Tyler isn’t quite done his thesis yet and he’s still working at the University, so I have to commute for all my shifts for at least the month of June; (3) This job isn’t really that different from my current one – I’ll be working with 2 young women and 4 men instead of 12 girls, but they all have major developmental delays and disabilities (the good news is that having to restrain is very rare there – none of them are aggressive and one employee said that she’s NEVER had to restrain);

For June, I’m hoping to stay at my old company on my 8-4 shifts as much as possible. I only need to find coverage for 7 shifts for all of June, but I also work 4 extra days that I wouldn’t be working if I was just at my old company. Between both jobs, I’m working 186.5 hours in June and that includes 4 days of vacation that I took from my old company. We’re hoping that Tyler will be done his thesis by July 1st and then our plan is to move in with my parents for a bit. We’re hoping to look at more houses and maybe even have one built. Once Tyler has a job, we’re going to try to find our own place. We’re really fortunate that my parents are willing to let us move back there while we try to get jobs settled. It’s really hard to even go for interviews when you live an hour and a half away and when you already have a job. I had to put off my second interview for my new job because I couldn’t get there when they wanted me there.

All of this being said though, I’m really scared and excited about the future. It’s finally happening for us. I have a job in London! Hopefully this will lead to some more big changes this year. Getting our own house would be absolutely amazing! Hopefully Tyler and I can both get full-time jobs and then we can really start moving on the house front. I’m also starting to get the itch to start a family. I know that Tyler and I have only been married about 8 months, but I want to start a family so badly. I have always wanted to have kids and it just feels like I’m wasting my time waiting. I feel ready to be a mother. I feel like I have so much to give and yet no one to pass it on to. I feel like moving back near my family will be a big step towards this too. I don’t want to have a baby when I live away from my family. I never wanted my kids to not really know their aunts or their grandparents. I figure the next few years will be big years and I want to be close to my family to share them. My sisters are both engaged now and will probably be having kids within the next 3-5 years. My sister Rachel will probably be pregnant within the next year. Her husband-to-be is quite a bit older than her and I think he wants to start a family shortly after they get married. Plus, they’re both already working full-time and he rents a house from his parents. I just don’t want to miss anything.

One part of the future that I am not at all scared of right now involves my lifestyle changes. I have lost 21.2lbs in about two months. I don’t really notice the changes in my appearance, but other people have been lately. I still have a long ways to go though, but I’m excited to keep pushing through it. I’ve been exercising as much as possible and I’ve been watching what I eat.

Anyways, that’s my update. The future is scary AND exciting, but it’s been really hard trying to figure out all of the details. Hopefully I’ll have more information within the next few weeks. Wish me luck!

Update…

Unfortunately, I haven’t had a lot of time lately to be updating my blog. I’ve been trying to keep myself busy and a lot of things have been coming up.

I had an interview last week with a company in London. So far, I haven’t gotten any callbacks for a second interview, but they’re going to continue calling people over the next few days. I would really LOVE to get another job. I just want to be near my family again.

Another major update is that I’ve finally been able to keep a diet going for more than a few days. I’m officially down 12lbs as of yesterday morning and I’ve only been at it seriously for about a month. My body is getting used to my new diet too. I’ve been eating SUPER healthy lately (i.e., while I’m at work, I only get to eat fruits and veggies) and when I did finally reward myself with a cheeseburger one night, I had THE WORST STOMACH ACHE EVER. I guess my body wasn’t used to having to process a large amount of grease and it wanted it out of my stomach. In a way, I suppose it’s a good thing, but I also used to really like food like that, lol. I must admit that watching the Biggest Loser has also been a huge motivator for me. I typically do my workouts (1000 calories daily on a bike) while watching the show. It’s very inspiring for me and it’s also kind of a kick in the ass when I’m slacking (i.e., if someone on the show can keep going and they weigh TWICE what you weigh, what is your lazy butt doing?). I’m really hoping that my success in this area continues. My overall goal is to lose about 70lbs. I know that it seems like a lot, but I’m not giving myself any definite timeline. I’m just going to keep going until I reach it. Being 12lbs down means that I’m 17% done, which isn’t bad for about a month. Wish me luck in this area!

There have also been some family updates lately. We had my sister’s bridal shower on April 17 and it went very well.

Another family update involves that my youngest sister got engaged two weeks ago. It seems that there’s a age 22 marriage thing in my family. I got married last September at 22, my sister Rachel is getting married June 5th at 22, and my youngest sister is looking at dates in August of 2012, when she’ll be 22. A lot of people think it’s weird that we all got engaged and will all be married fairly young, but we’ve watched my parents amazing marriage since we were born and they’ve taught us so much about love. My Dad was never the type to try to overrule anything my mother did and it was always a complete partnership. My Dad was the one who adjusted his schedule at work after we were born because he knew that my Mom really wanted to continue her career. He worked 4-12 every day for more than 7 years, just so that he could get us to school, take us home for lunch everyday, and get us home from school.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that we all know what love looks like and we’ve all always been serial monogamists – even as teenagers, none of us were looking for flings or anything short-term. We all wanted to fall in love and spend our lives with someone. I’ve posted a picture of my sister’s ring below. It’s rose gold which looks really weird on me, but it looks beautiful on my sister since she’s so pale and her hair is so vibrant.

I also feel obliged to mention my wonderful husband now that I’ve been writing about love and marriage. Tyler is still the amazingly wonderful man that I married over 7 months ago now. I love him more than I thought it was ever possible to love another person. He’s working full-time at the University right now and is working to finish up his Masters degree. It’s so nice to have dual-income again! My van had a few hiccups this week and we were able to get everything fixed (for almost $800!) without having to really worry about where the money was going to come from. YAY!

Anyways, enjoy the pictures below. I’ll try to update again at some point this week!

The Phillips Girls with Baby Emma

The Cake

Opening gifts with her nephew and co-worker’s son

My beautiful sisters – Rachel and Kelly

Kelly’s Engagement Ring