Last year, instead of New Year's Resolutions, I made a list of 11 things I wanted to do in 2011. (And called it my 11:11, of course.)

Before I set any goals for 2012, I figured I should check in and see how I did with last years:

1. Complete my masters

CHECK. It is kind of hard to believe that last year at this time I still had a semester to go. It seems like forever ago. I didn't just meet this goal, I knocked it out of the park - and I have to admit that it feels good!

2. Do some sort of community ed type class once I finish my masters - I'm leaning towards upholstery but would consider Spanish, flower arranging or calligraphy (of course, if I choose to continue with a second masters this will become void)

FAIL. Unfortunately nobody has a class called "Wasting time on Pinterest" so I have not met this goal yet. I did search for an upholstery class, but the only community college that offers it does not know when they will offer it again. I did find a cute shop that gives one day lessons, so maybe that will have to be a means to an end for now. I needed the reminder on Spanish, floral design and calligraphy though.

3. Send a birthday card to every immediate family member for their birthday (my nephew Vincent's will be late, as his birthday was yesterday... sorry Vin)

FAIL. I'm pretty sure this one is going to be a work in progress. My idea for this year is to go ahead and buy every single card and address the envelopes and put them in order. We'll see.

4. Get the MWG a phone that allows text messages

CHECK. He joined the 21st century early in 2011 and is getting quite good at his new phone. We are still working on the whole "When I send you a text message, please reply and acknowledge" it thing.

5. Take my stupid daily vitamins

FAIL. I did really well at this for about 6 months, but need to jump back on the wagon.

6. Learn how to work the lawnmower

FAIL. I'll probably cross this one of. Larry is really particular about how/when the lawn gets mowed and seems to like doing it. I'll stick to potting flowers.

7. Get rid of at least 25 pieces of clothing from my closet

CHECK. I didn't actually count, but I cleaned out my closet at least 5 times. I have given quite a few items away and have a pile waiting to be taken out, so I'm pretty confident that there are at least 25 items gone.

8. Get rid of at least 5 pairs of shoes (purging is a process....)

CHECK. This was easier than I thought. I have so many shoes I don't ever wear. I got rid of 7 pairs easily. (I may or may not have bought a pair or two to replace them in the meantime, but that is just details, right?)

9. Make the strawberry margarita jello shots

FAIL. I've made orange and lime jello shots in the fruit rinds, but haven't gotten around to the strawberry margarita ones. I'm not worried. I'm quite sure this one will be accomplished this summer.

10. Put away a good chunk of money into savings every month and continue tithing

FAIL. Again - I was doing really well for about 6 months and then things just start coming up. This one will go to the top of my list for 2012.

11. Use my new crockpot at least 11 times

CHECK. I love that thing. I don't know how many times I used it, but I know it was AT LEAST 11. If you aren't sure what to do for dinner tonight, dump some frozen chicken in with a bottle of BBQ sauce and grab some buns. Shredded BBQ chicken sandwiches with zero effort.

So - looks like I accomplished 5 out of 11 goals. That is a pretty weak performance. Hopefully I'll get to at least 50% in 2012!


fly honeys

My friend Lana's dad is a fishing guide, and he bravely agreed to take us on a fly-fishing trip earlier this month. (We decided he should start a whole new business out of it - taking girls on trips and call the venture "Fly Honeys.") Between the 3 of us, we managed to fill up an entire SUV full of stuff. (granted, this included several coolers full of food for the weekend, it wasn't ALL suitcases.)

We got to our sleepy little town in Oklahoma and needed some lunch, so we stopped at a place. (can't remember the name - but there are only about 3 places to choose from and it wasn't the diner or the pizza place.) When we walked in (still wearing our "city" clothes), it was like we were in an episode of the Twilight Zone. Every single person in the small dining area turned to look at us and watched us walk to a table. They were all wearing some version of camouflage or neon orange. We stopped at a table and sat down. At that point we saw that there was a manila folder with something written on at at my seat. It said "Joe's seat." As in, nobody else can sit there if Joe comes in. When the waitress came over, we asked if we needed to move, and she said "No, Joe came in for breakfast, so you're fine."

Then we went to set up our cabin. It was a nice, 2-story, 3 bed/2 bath cabin fully equipped with all furniture, kitchen tools, towels, etc. Lindsey brought along some delicious tortilla soup and brownies to add to the cookies, fruit, pasta, chicken, shrimp dip, and other miscellaneous snacks. (we didn't go hungry, that's for sure!) I don't have any pictures of the cabin, but you can see it here: Southern Spirit cabin

After that, we promptly went to get our fishing license, waders and boots. Here I am with my license.
The guy who runs the shop, is a smart fella. I think he has it saved in the computer that all females weigh 120 pounds. What's that you say? You want to see it up close?
(note to readers - I do *not* weigh 120 pounds)

Lana's dad had a cold and wasn't feeling that well, so we wanted him to get some rest. He and Lana's mom went back to the cabin while Lindsey, Lana and I went for a hike. I forced Lindsey to stop for a photo with me on a bridge:
Lindsey was our fearless leader and navigated the forest. (until the trail seemed to stop - - - we turned around and went back at that point so that we didn't get lost!)

We also stopped to take some pictures in front of the pretty views. We gathered together and I held the camera out as far as I could and......
the camera was on zoom. You can tell Lindsey uses the Clarisonic, can't you? She has pretty skin. We fixed the camera and tried again:

Much better.

When we were done with our "hike," we went to a little shop called "Girls Gone Wine" that sells wine and other cute girly things. Considering it is the only shop besides the tackle shop, it is really quite a treasure. We had a glass of wine and sat under the heat lamps on the patio before heading back to the cabin for tortilla soup. We wanted an early start, so we all went to bed early. As in - about 9pm. I was the wild one and stayed up until about 10pm reading a book.

The next morning, Lana's mom made us a warm breakfast and we practiced our casting:

We added a few more layers of clothing because the wind was pretty cold, then we were off!

We got our waders and boots on and headed into the water.

As you can see, we had some luck finding things to take pictures of, but no luck with the fish. We took a lunch break and went to the pizza place before switching locations, learning new casting techniques and using new "flies." That was all it took..... I was standing knee deep in the water, listening to the nothingness and enjoying how peaceful it all was, when suddenly I felt a tug on my pole....
I screamed and promptly interrupted the quiet, peaceful surroundings. Steve was trying to tell me what to do, and I had no idea. I was supposed to be doing something with the line and I was pulling the fishing pole.

And finally - there it was! The first (and only!) fish of the weekend! It was actually really exciting - who knew?!?!
The good thing about going fishing with a fishing guide is that you never actually have to touch the fish. He flopped out of the net (we would have had to let him go anyway) and kept fishing a while longer - until it started raining really hard. I was *thisclose* to saying I had seen lightning, but it wasn't necessary. We packed up and headed out.

We got so lucky with the weather - it really should have been freezing, and it wasn't. With enough layers, it was really nice. Besides that, it was just a perfectly relaxing weekend. You know how sometimes you go on vacation and you're exhausted when you get home? This was not one of those trips. We got plenty of sleep, plenty of visiting, and just the right amount of outdoorsy adventure. We'll see if Steve is brave enough to take us again one day!!!


rotten shrimp

Recently, there have been several times that I've thought of something I wanted to blog about. Obviously, I wasn't near a computer and quickly forgot what the topic was. Not sure where the blogspiration has gone, but I'm confident it will return. If nothing else, I'll at least be providing a picture heavy post that recaps my recent fly-fishing adventure. I had an Oklahoma fishing license, waders, boots, and furry little flies - the whole shebang. (And yes.... I caught a fish!)

In the meantime:

- Note to everybody - get off Tim Tebow already. (And if you never saw the video from when he was at Florida and took that girl with the brain tumor to an awards show, you should. If you still want to hate on him after that, go for it, but there is probably something wrong with you.)

- We almost switched to an artificial Christmas tree this year since the real ones give us such bad allergies. We aren't quite ready to make that commitment and will be heavy on the Zyrtec and kleenex again this year.

- My dog's breath is excruciatingly bad. I shouldn't admit that, but it is. I need to remind myself to take her to the vet to get that teeth-cleaning procedure done over the Christmas break.

I will leave you with the mental image of rotten shrimp - since that is what Blossom's breath smells like. You're welcome.