things that made me happy in 2015

  

  • Dan, my amazing husband
  • Madison, Frieda, and Harriet, our wonderful pets
  • My fantastic family, my parents, siblings, in-laws, and extended relatives – they’re all extraordinary
  • My excellent friends
  • A challenging and rewarding job
  • Buying our incredible house!! : )
  • Getting to travel for through my job – to places I’ve never been, like San Francisco, and to places I’ve been to but got to discover new parts of, like Washington, D.C., and New York City
  • Podcasts
  • Books  (I met my reading challenge of reading 30 books this year! I’m setting the same goal for next year)
  • Lots of coffee
  • Rehabbing my knee
  • Trips to Columbus, Madison, OH, and Bowling Green
  • Hosting family and friends on trips to Cleveland
  • Indians, Cavs, and Columbus Crew games

  

  • Being diagnosed with celiac disease and starting to feel better
  • Fun nights playing Mario 3D World and Mario Kart
  • Meeting Matthew Dellavedova
  • Easter dinner at my grandma’s house
  • Many walks in the park
  • Trips to the movies with Dan and my dad
  • Getting new glasses and a new haircut
  • Attending showers for friends’ babies and weddings, and celebrating those terrific life changes with them
  • Learning to like running
  • Sitting on our deck
  • Visiting the Cleveland Zoo
  • Board game parties at my sister-in-law Cate’s apartment
  • Suppers at my parents’ house
  • Biking all over
  • Finally getting to visit the National Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH, with Dan
  • Cooking in our new kitchen
  • Watching football games and English soccer games
  • Decorating our house for the holidays
  • Back to the Future themed Halloween costumes with Back to the Future movie marathon leading up to it
  • Hosting Thanksgiving dinner for our families in our new home
  • A wonderful Christmas weekend with our families and time together approaching the new year : )

  

And of course, hundreds of little moments that bring a smile to your face every day – blaring Adele in the car and singing at the top of my lungs, naps under the electric blanket with my cat laying on my side, laughing with my husband over something silly, brunch after church, playing with my dog. My main focus in 2016 is to flourish – to focus on becoming healthier, growing in my faith, spending time with my family, and just plain enjoying and celebrating life.

What were your favorite moments of 2015? Any goals or hopes for 2016?

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weekly gems (a bit late) 

  

 July 20th marks Dan and I’s second anniversary! Photo by Taryn Leach Photography. 

 

weekly gems

IMG_0550-0.JPGOh hey, Frieda.

 

The 24 Best Things That Happened While I Was 24

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1. Dan and I got married.
2. We had a great minimoon!
3. And a fantastic picnic reception.
4. We also moved into our first home together.
5. I had a wonderful time getting ready for the wedding with an awesome kick ass bachelorette party planned by my sister and best friends.
6. I had a ton of fun attending others’ weddings, including a best friend’s.

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7. I was hired to be a tutor full-time at my alma mater.
8. I survived a difficult season of coaching and got to see four of my swimmers compete at Districts, not to mention watch so many others improve so much.
9. Helped quite a few students keep focused, pass classes, and graduate.
10. Finally attended my first BGSU homecoming weekend as an alumni.
11. Dan and I went to many Indians games.
12. And we did Dinner on the Diamond.

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13. We went to a Cavs and a Bluejackets game, too.
14. We hosted Thanksgiving for my family and his family together.
15. So many long walks with Madison in the park.
16. Joining and going to a near-by gym, as well as joining Tone It Up!
17. Buying and using my road bike.
18. Fun parties at my sister-in-law’s apartment…including Halloween when Dan & I were beekeepers and Madison was a bee!

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19. I made a new close friend in my co-teacher at work.
20. Hosting friends and family for weekends in Cleveland.
21. Going to An Evening With Scott Hamilton and Friends with my parents and spending Memorial Day weekend with Dan’s family.
22. Celebrating my grandma’s 90th birthday.
23. Celebrating the end of the school year with an early summer weekend in BG.
24. And sooooo much more! Reading as much as possible, morning coffee and relaxation, cooking dinners with Dan, hilarious times with my students and swimmers, my parents adopting another dog, visits to Columbus, holiday celebrations, basically any time spent with family and friends!

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It’s been a great 24th year, and I can’t wait for what the next year holds! Here’s to 25!

 

101 Things in 1,001 Days

With it being New Year’s Day, I, like a lot of society, am excited for a new year and fresh start. I’ve written New Year’s resolutions pretty much every year for as long as I can remember. Recently, in the years 2011, 2012, and 2013, I created and followed what I called the New Year’s All Year Challenge. It went okay for me in 2011, and pretty well for me in 2012, but I did not keep up with in 2013. A lot of changes occurred in my life this past year (like moving out of my parents’ house, getting married, a new job, etc.), and trying to stay focused on multiple goals every month on top of those changes started to feel very overwhelming for me. I eventually let go of them because I tend to be a perfectionist and my lack of progress on them (due to focusing on all the other big events and adjustments going on) was unnecessarily stressing me out. While my 2014 isn’t currently shaping up to have the type of life-changing events 2013, I have decided to forgo doing a 2014 New Year’s All Year Challenge for the similar reasons. I want to achieve my goals in life, but I want to make sure I am doing so in a balanced way that doesn’t put unneeded pressure on myself.  I want to enjoy the journey and make sure I am having fun and spending time with those I love.

I am a longtime fan of Mackenzie Horan of Design Darling, and I recently realized her 101 Things in 1,001 Days project is perfect way for me to approach the next year. Well, really, the next 2.75 years. As she described it, it’s a “happy medium between writing a to do list and keeping a bucket list. It’s a way to dream big and make regular progress toward meeting those longer term goals.” So, I have crafted my own list and will begin my journey today! I look forward to sharing my progress and experiences with everyone. Happy New Year!!! : )

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Start: January 1, 2014

Wellness

  1. Compete in a masters swim meet.
  2. Complete a triathlon.
  3. Meet my goal weight.
  4. Do yoga every day for a month.
  5. Stop biting my nails.
  6. Complete a Bible study.
  7. Try every fitness class offered at my gym.
  8. Take a self-defense class.
  9. Give up swearing for Lent (and see if it lasts after that!).
  10. Complete a plank challenge.
  11. Floss every other day for a month (and see if I can finally maintain the habit).
  12. Go to the eye doctor.
  13. Eat as a vegetarian for a month.
  14. Complete a squat challenge.
  15. Try 20 different workouts from what I have saved from magazines over the years.
  16. Practice meditation/mindfulness every day for a month.

Outings/Travel

  1. Attend a musical I’ve never seen before.
  2. Revisit the major museums in Cleveland (4).
  3. Go to a Blue Jackets game.
  4. Go apple or berry picking.
  5. Attend a live comedy show.
  6. Ride the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.
  7. Eat at five new-to-me restaurants in the Cleveland or Columbus area.
  8. Go on a tour of a brewery.
  9. Attend a professional orchestra concert.
  10. Visit the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.
  11. Go camping.
  12. Visit the Underground Railroad museum in Cincinnati.
  13. Obtain a passport and use it, even if only to travel to Canada (the only other country I have ever been in besides the U.S.).
  14. Visit the National Museum of the Air Force in Dayton.
  15. Take Madison to the dog beach.
  16. Visit Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  17. Attend Dinner on the Diamond again.
  18. See a major league baseball game in a stadium I have never been to before.
  19. Go to a BGSU home football game.

Family/Friends

  1. Send Christmas cards to all of our family and friends before the holiday.
  2. Host a book club meeting.
  3. Prepare a meal for my family using an outdoor grill.
  4. Do something extra special for each member of my family.
  5. Host a fancy brunch for my friends.
  6. Mail my closest friends and family cards for each birthday during these 1,001 days.
  7. Throw a party for my parents’ 35th wedding anniversary.

Service/Philanthropy

  1. Donate to PAWS in Madison’s name.
  2. Donate toys to kids in need.
  3. Donate to BGSU.
  4. Complete 25 random acts of kindness.
  5. Donate blankets or coats to those in need.
  6. “Pay it forward” at a coffee shop or at a tollbooth.
  7. Donate books to an organization that distributes them to those who need them or volunteer with a literacy organization.
  8. Complete 40 service hours.
  9. Sponsor an athlete at PSH or donate to scholarships offered through PCSD.

Hobbies

  1. Read 75 books I have never read before.
  2. Bake a pie from scratch.
  3. Make a pizza (dough and sauce) from scratch.
  4. Complete compiling and order a full wedding album.
  5. See a classic movie in a movie theater.
  6. Knit a scarf.
  7. Make 15 recipes out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
  8. Be inspired by Pinterest 10 times to either create/bake/cook something or utilize a cleaning/organization tip.
  9. Back up all my photos.
  10. Make a T-shirt quilt.
  11. Watch 10 Best Picture winning films I haven’t see before.
  12. Back up all my music.
  13. Create Snapfish or Shutterfly albums for each year since high school.
  14. Bake 12 different recipes of cookies and cut each recipe into an unique shape using our Year Of Cookies cookie cutters we were gifted for our wedding.
  15. Spend at least two months blogging consistently (five days a week).
  16. Watch Gone With the Wind again.
  17. Organize all my workout and recipe clippings from magazines into navigable binders/digital files.

Career

  1. Start a history podcast and publish at least three episodes.
  2. Organize all my previously written swim practices and planning into navigable binders/digital files.
  3. Obtain a full-time classroom position and/or begin earning my masters degree.
  4. Learn all of the world’s capital cities and the names and locations of major rivers, mountains, etc.
  5. Develop my Honors Project (from college) into a full book.
  6. Organize all my lesson plans and resources into navigable binders/digital files.
  7. Find a way to combine my loves of social media and the field of education into something that serves a resource and/or community for either teachers or students.
  8. Truly study (not just skim/index through) all the swimming books I own and organize my notes on them into navigable binders/digital files.

Things That Scare Me

  1. Sing karaoke
  2. Buy a bikini and wear it in public.
  3. Get another tattoo.

Finances

  1. Pay off the Honda Civic Dan and I purchased in March 2013 ahead of schedule.
  2. Save at least $5,000.
  3. Create a solid budget and begin cultivating spending/saving tracking habits by following it successfully for at least two months.
  4. Finish changing name on all accounts/relevant records.
  5. Write a will and a living will.

Home

  1. Buy big plastic bins and use them to organize the storage space/seasonal decorations.
  2. Set up a home office.
  3. Create and implement a rotating cleaning schedule and follow it for at least two months straight.
  4. Do an intake of my belongings, donate or toss what I don’t need, and organize what I am keeping.
  5. Find a more effective system for receiving mail, disposing of it/filing it, and responding to it.
  6. Style our bedroom.
  7. Style our living room.
  8. Buy an actual address book and use it.
  9. Clean my car and keep it tidy for at least two months.

Fashion/Beauty

  1. Find a skincare regimen that works for me and follow it for at least 30 days.
  2. Buy a grown up watch, and wear it regularly.
  3. Learn 5 new ways to style my hair.
  4. Get a pedicure.
  5. Find the perfect little black dress.
  6. Get grown-up luggage and use it (instead of using my backpack from high school!).
  7. Find my “signature scent.”
  8. Purchase a monogrammed bracelet or necklace.

 End date: September 27, 2016    

 

Image source

happy halloween!

This past weekend Dan and I went to a Halloween party at his sister’s house. It was so much fun! We dressed up, ate a lot of food, shared stories, played Catchphrase and The Game of Things, and laughed until we cried. Overall, it was a fantastic evening. Thanks Cate!

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I LOVED our costume! We bought Madison’s bee costume at Petsmart. We bought paint coveralls and gardening gloves at Home Depot, bee scrapbooking stickers and black tulle at JoAnn Fabrics, and on sale camping hats at Meijer. Many scissor cuts staples, and safety pins later, we were beekeepers!

photo 3 Madison loved her costume. I know a lot of dogs don’t enjoy dressing up, but Madison does! Lucky thing since she looks so darn cute! ; )

Beekeepers

Honey – I mean, Happy Halloween!

Love, the Dailys

 

new year’s, all year: 2012 reflections

All year long, you have read posts from the New Year’s, All Year series. Every month, I created new goals in categories that I (at the beginning of 2012) had recognized as the current major areas of my life: health, finances, relationships, career, wedding planning, and self-enrichment. These goals were made to be stepping stones for the “endpoint” goals I had set for each of these areas – basically, how I wanted to end the year in regards to each area. I set “stepping stone” goals in order to to take into account any new obstacles and then set realistic, measurable objectives. That way, I didn’t make a ton of super specific goals in a year-long format and then have to scale them back throughout the year due to unexpected challenges.

I like this revised, 2012 format of the New Year’s, All Year Challenge much more than the original one from 2011. It made me really assess my desires and actions every month and be more mindful and reflective in my habits.

Source: pinreach.com via Kelly on Pinterest

 

So, what were my endpoint goals for 2012? Here they are:

  • Health: live an overall healthier lifestyle
  • Finances: be more organized, balanced, and responsible
  • Relationships: maintain mutually supportive relationships that are in balance with one another
  • Wedding: have location and date set and all major vendors booked
  • Career: aggressively pursue full-time teaching position; develop my coaching skills and knowledge while also developing the school’s swimming program further
  • Self-enrichment: allow “me” time without overindulging; actively participate in passions, hobbies, interests, etc. further

And what type of progress did I make? 

  • Health: I did improve my lifestyle, though I still have a long way to go. I lost some weight, which I needed to do, I learned more about how to eat best for my needs and lifestyle by seeing a nutritionist, I joined a gym, I tried new classes and two 5Ks, and I returned to counseling to manage new challenges in stemming from my issues with anxiety. I have more progress to make, but, overall, I think I’m leaving 2012 healthier than I entered it, and I consider that a success.
  • Finances: I am definitely more responsible and organized, though I do think I can still be more balanced and more attentive/pro-active.
  • Relationships: While I am only one person in each of my relationships, so I can’t speak definitively, I would say my relationships with my family, fiance, and friends are pretty solid and mutually supportive. I hope to do whatever I can to help them get stronger and be even better of a daughter, sister, fiancee/wife, friend, etc.
  • Wedding: locations are set, date is set, caterers and baker are set, music is set, photography is set…but there is still so much to do!!!
  • Career: I did aggressively pursue a full-time teaching position, and struggled with that challenge quite a bit. While I did not obtain one this school year, I did have an opportunity that was amazing for me and has opened up more doors and support. Also, the swim program has grown in strength and size.
  • Self-enrichment: I think I still need to find a balance between work and play and how much time to devote to each without being self-depriving or over-indulgent, but I think  I did a good job this year of letting myself enjoy life and not worry as much as I used to.

 

I am grateful for this year. It was hard, at times, for various reasons: self-confidence, career success, finances, family’s health, concern for others, changing negative habits, balance of relationships, wedding planning, loss, etc. But it was also a good year, for many, many reasons: learning how to better stay positive and grateful, career opportunities, grace and kindness of others, health problems having manageable solutions, progress in goals and plans, cherishing memories, and the power of love, laughter, and the little things in life that brighten a day. Some of my favorite moments of the year: celebrating Dan and I’s three year anniversary, the success of my first swim season as head coach, setting a wedding date, Bowling Green visits, seeing The Beach Boys, Indians games, another summer as a lifeguard, having my own classroom, seeing my sister in plays, being hired as a district substituteand countless “little things”: Netflix nights and dinners with my family or Dan, trivia nights with friends, going to the Starbucks drive thru with Madison and Sasha in the back seat, babysitting and housesitting, listening to podcasts on drives to and from Columbus, visits with my grandma or godchildren, lunch with my colleagues at school, naps on my parents’ porch, coffee every morning, and so, so much more.

I am greatly looking forward to what 2013 holds. Even if it brings some hard times, it will be okay. Life is hard, but I’m going to enjoy it anyway.

 

bucket list: summer 2012

All right, so I’ve got summer on my mind (and I think that’s okay; it’s May 10th already!). Every year I usually make a “summer fun list” of things I want to do that summer, though I never shared them through this blog before. After seeing Emily’s post, though, I realized it was silly that I never thought to (especially because I have this series here on Beagle & Bear!). In any case, here’s my Summer 2012 Bucket List!

 

 

  1. Go to as many baseball games as possible.
  2. Visit a Cleveland museum.
  3. Go to dinner at Great Lakes Brewery Company.
  4. Complete a 5K.
  5. See some of these movies.
  6. Visit the Columbus zoo (I haven’t been there since before the Polar Frontier opened!)
  7. Try every group fitness class at the gym I recently joined.
  8. Go to Melt Bar & Grilled, but JUST for drinks and dessert.
  9. Go to a concert and/or camping….whatever happens to work out best!
  10. Bike a total of at least 50 miles on the towpath trail.

Basically, I just want to make my summer full of all things Ohio (including the two cities I spend the most time in, Cleveland and Columbus) while including plenty of entertaining experiences and opportunities for fitness. I can’t wait to start knocking items of this list!

Do you have a summer bucket list? What are you most excited about?

 

my life: happy birthday daniel

Today is my fiance Dan‘s birthday! I am so lucky, blessed, and grateful that I not only have him in my life, but that I get to marry him! : ) Dan is from Columbus, OH, and we met in college as members of the same teaching program. We worked together as peer facilitators for that program, shared a group of mutual friends, and took the same classes due to having the same major (social studies education). Over time, we became close friends, then best friends, then boyfriend and girlfriend. This past fall, we got engaged and have since began planning a summer 2013 wedding. I am so proud of all Dan does and who he is, and hope he has the best year yet! In celebration of his day and our shared love of history, here’s a list of other great things that happened on March 1st. Happy Birthday, Daniel! I love you! : )


  • 1692: The Salem Witch Hunt began
  • 1781: Articles of Confederation were ratified
  • 1790: Congress authorized the first U.S. Census
  • 1803: Ohio became the 17th U.S. state (History of Ohio was the first class Dan and I took together!)
  • 1845: U.S. President Tyler signed the congressional resolution to annex the Republic of Texas
  • 1867: Nebraska became the 37th U.S. state
  • 1869: Postage stamps with scenes were issued for the first time
  • 1872: Yellowstone National Park was established and became the world’s first national park
  • 1917: The Zimmerman Note was published in the U.S. (WWI is Dan’s favorite topic to research and teach about!)
  • 1928: Paul Whitman and his orchestra recorded “Ol’ Man River”
  • 1936: Hoover Dam completed and turned over to U.S. government
  • 1941: FM radio began in Nashville, TN
  • 1949: Joe Louis retired
  • 1961: Kennedy established the Peach Corps
  • 1966: Soviet probe crashed into Venus, becoming the first unmanned spacecraft to land on another planet (Dan loves to learn more about space and the world’s space programs!)
  • 1968: Johnny Cash and June Carter were married; Elton John’s first single was released in England
  • 1969: Mickey Mantle retired (Dan proposed to me by writing “Will You Marry Me?” on a baseball we played catch with!)
  • 1974: Queen began their first headlining tour in England
  • 1987: The Boston Celtics defeated the Detroit Pistons for the 2,235th win (Dan is a big basketball fan!)
  • 1995: Yahoo! was incorporated
  • 2002: Announced there is a possibility of water on the planet Mars
  • 2005: Honda unveiled its new Civic (which is the type of car Dan drives!)
  • 2008: The naming of the U.S.S. New York occurred
Some famous birthdays on this day: Glenn Miller, bandleader (1904); “Deke” Donald Slayton, astronaut (1924); Robert Clary, actor known for Hogan’s Heroes – a show Dan & I love to quote! (1926); Robert Daltry, musician in The Who (1944); Alan Thicke, actor known for Growing Pains (1947); Bryan Winters, basketball player (1952); Ron Howard, producer and actor known for Happy Days (1954); Javier Bardem, actor (1969)
Sources for information: 1, 2, 3
Photo above of Dan & Madison, summer 2011