Today I Wanted To…

…lay in bed and read all day, which I did a sufficient amount of with other productive things mixed in.

This kid is way smarter than me. He can read in SPANISH!

…wear my Steelers gear everywhere I went. 

…have a last-minute game night.  But, my friend is last-minute celebrating her birthday at a casino, which will also be lots of fun.

…run, even though I was supposed to be breaking from it, so I snuck in 4.5 easy miles.

…apply to live in the Big Brother house next summer.  So I did.

…daydream about living abroad.  So I looked for jobs.

…NOT have forced awkward conversation with a stranger.  But, I signed up for online dating, so I suffered through one more.

…take a nap.  I was exhausted, but for the life of me I couldn’t.

These babies didn't even help!

…figure out how to escalate from “friend of a friend” to “romantic interest” with a cute guy.  Step one – Facebook friending.  Check.  Step two – no idea.

Saving (My Sanity)

My budget spreadsheet got a makeover this year.  Specifically, it’s actually acting as a budget, whereas up until last December it was basically just where I tracked what I spent and prayed that my end-of-the-month number was smaller than my income.

Now I’m creating a monthly budget and am still trying to figure out the whole following it thing.  Baby steps, right?

Basically, I simplified my budget spreadsheet, but the thing I’m most excited about is the addition I made.  Hello goals tab.  

I’ve always been good at saving money, in fact, my sister used to tease me for it, but there was never real organization to it until now.

Now, in lovely 2011, I’m tracking my savings goals – bridesmaid fund, e-fund and retirement contributions – and my goals for paying off my student loans ahead of schedule.  I made a column for my planned and actual contribution to each fund and I set up the equations to show me what percentage of my goals I’ve reached.  It makes it a lot easier to follow my budget because all the money I save goes to one of the funds.  And now I know which one. 

And when I pay for wedding-related things, I’ll know I’m spending the wedding money.  And instead of pretending all of my money in my bank accounts in my e-fund, I will see when I actually meet my eight-month goal and be able to pad the fun part of my budget. 

The uber-organization of the color-coded charts made my heart flutter a bit.  Until I realized those funds suck.

Yes, I’m excited about being in two weddings and the time I get to spend with family and good friends during all the related festivities, the idea of fully-funded emergency and retirement accounts keeps me sleeping as snug as a bug in a rug and I’m planning a 24-hour happy dance-a-thon for when I finally pay off my student loans. 

BUT…a girl’s gotta live, am I right?

So, I added one last goal.  A wanderlust fund.  It gets the least amount of attention money, but the point is that it gets some.  All work and no play makes MJ a sad girl.  I love knowing that I’m putting aside money specifically to get on a plane and stay in a hotel and experience something totally new and wonderful.  Even if I’m only at 1% of my total goal at this point.  Again, baby steps.

The What-What

Update: My non-boyfriend Facebook boyfriend let the request hang for about 24 hours before figuring it out and changing his status back.  I feel bad for him, but seriously, dude, tread lightly when it comes to Facebook relationships. 

I’ve got a lot of reading to do this weekend if I want to get off to a good start with my resolution of one fiction and one non-fiction book per month (it WAS the first one on the list after all).  I’m 3/4 of the way through Racing Weight and about 30 pages into Jodi Picoult’s Handle With Care. How about we just call it 12 of each for the year?

People with children have no boundaries.  My boss did not think twice about giving me the detailed play-by-play of how his two boys handled having the flu all week.  And someday I will likely do the same to my poor, unsuspecting coworkers.

I’m wanderlusting big time.  Belize is on the top of my list.  Well, was, and then this week, I saw this.  Maybe Europe.  And although I’m bummed that it probably won’t be 2011, that doesn’t mean it can’t be January 2012!

This weekend is the first bridesmaids dress shopping adventure with Bridezilla my sister.  Direct quote from an email I JUST got from her: “My dress is HERE! There will be many more times I will need to go in for fittings [ed. note: lies…she measured a perfect size 2 and I imagine it will fit like a dream] so this is to try it on just because I CAN!” I’m sorry, I get that she’s excited (and that I will likely be just as obnoxious when it’s MY turn), but is it October yet?  In other wedding news, my other October bride is a dream, but I think two of the bridesmaids are going to throw down before the big day.

My first half-marathon is tomorrow!  My long run a few weeks ago took me over the distance of the race, so I should be fine, but it also left me with a knee injury and I haven’t been training as much as I’d have liked in the past two weeks.  The doubting voices in my head have a few other things to say as well, but in 21 hours I’m going to shut them up and hit the pavement.

That will probably be the last mention of wellness and running here because I’m posting on that over at my new wellness blog!  The one I kinda skimmed over here.  It is my second attempt at a public blog (my last one bombed because it didn’t have a focus).  I’m struggling with keeping one anon and one public blog and building readership of both.  If anyone has tips, I’d love to hear them!  And if anyone would like to continue to read about my fitness adventures and kitchen mishaps, email me at emjaye [at] ymail [dot] com and I will be glad to send you the link!

I’m staying at my parents’ house over the weekend because they are closer to the race and to the dress shop and civilization in general.  And because they’re out of town.  And I’m totally having a party.  Well, not really.  I’m on the fence about asking my ArtWalk guy over to make dinner (date #2 was not as great as that first one) or inviting some friends over for a game night.  Yeah, I’m 26, but it still feels like I’m breaking the rules!

Oh yeah, and I need advice about ArtWalk guy.  When do you call an attempted relationship off?  There are no red flags, just a lackluster date, but the first was good!  Do we try again in a different environment?

Riding Giants

Reverb 10, Day 13 Action.  When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas.  It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?

REALLY BIG ideas are scary because they are just so exciting.  It’s easy to fill life with the little guys to distract myself from my life’s beacons, my giants, the REALLY BIG ideas that have been calling to me in one way or another for a very long time.  2011 seems like a great year to take these on.

Writing.  2011 just feels like it’s going to be a writing year.  But feeling it isn’t doing it. My first step is to carve out time to spend with my ideas and words.  And get a computer that isn’t going to crash and take my words down with it.

Love.  If I think love is going to walk up to me at Starbucks or Barnes & Noble, I suppose I should go to these places.  If my bitch vibe gets in the way, I’ll also make sure to maintain my active social life, courtesy of online dating.   

Wellness.  Post-half, I’m going to come up with a new training schedule and follow it just as passionately.  I’m going to fill my kitchen with whole, healthy foods and take time to prepare healthy meals.

Travel.  I feel stuck on this one for 2011.  I have wanderlust screaming through my veins, but I already know my resources (time AND money) will be limited for the next 12 months, but I also know the power of wanting something and making it happen.  My first step for this is to start a wanderlust fund, so when the time is right, I’ll be financially ready too.