Monday, May 7, 2018

U2 - St. Louis - May 4, 2018

Whenever U2 comes to town, we always try to get General Admission tickets. The only show we did not have them for was back in 1997 right after my husband and I were married, when the band was here on their POP tour. But they didn't even have GA for that show, and it was just reserved seats on the floor.

After they had to cancel the Joshua Tree show scheduled here last September, I was sure that was it for U2 coming back to St. Louis for awhile if ever. But surprisingly we found out that St. Louis was going to be the second stop on their new tour. We were so happy to get another chance to see them here!

The morning of the concert (May 4, 2018), my husband, son and I arrived down at the venue around 4:30 am to get our General Admission line numbers. We were still pretty high up at 194-196 considering how early we made it down there. It was the earliest we had ever arrived for GA and the highest for numbers ironically. They told us to go home and come back at 7am when they would line us up again for new numbers. If you weren't back at that time you lost your spot and those behind you could move up.

When we came back we were given new numbers and made it to 163-165 for the three of us. Still pretty good though because the stage set up had plenty of room to be close to a rail. Once again they told us we could go home but had to be back by 2pm to get our bracelets. So thankfully we didn't have to hang out in line all day as we've had to in the past. We actually had a few much needed opportunities to go home and rest.

After 2pm we decided to just stay in line and were finally let in sometime between 5:30 and 6pm. We started to go for one of the open side rails next to the long catwalk part of the stage...
but at the last minute we decided to risk it and headed toward the main stage area by where the Edge usually stands. Luckily, there were spots!

And then the hardest part of all. Waiting for them to come onstage. It always seems to take forever!

There is nothing to really describe the feeling when they finally arrive and you realize that they are standing right there in front of you :)
They played The Blackout on the catwalk, but then they came back to the main stage for the next eight songs (Lights of Home, Beautiful Day, I Will Follow, New Year's Day, All Because of You, The Ocean, Iris, and Cedarwood Road) with Bono moving down the catwalk and back for part of Beautiful Day and I think Cedarwood Road.
Sunday Bloody Sunday had the whole band back on the catwalk. And then Adam and Larry returned to the main stage while Edge and Bono stayed on the Catwalk for Until the End of the World. Always a favorite for us.

They had a really cool (to me) Intermission with a cartoon type story on the screen that played along to a recording of Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me from the Batman soundtrack.

After the Intermission, they went down to the little round stage on the opposite end of the catwalk for Elevation, Vertigo, Desire, and Acrobat (which was a song Mike and I, as well as a ton of other U2 fans, have been wanting to hear live for years!) Next they played a stripped down version of You're the Best Thing About Me, and I really hope they record and release it because I loved it!
Edge and Bono stayed down that way doing an acoustic version of Staring at the Sun while Larry and Adam once again came back towards the main stage for a little break.
Then we had Pride, Get Out of Your Own Way, American Soul, and City of Blinding Lights with the whole band back at the main stage.

For their encore we heard One, Love is Bigger Than Anything in it's Way, and 13 (There is a Light). I'll speak more about the what Bono said before they played One in a little bit. But I just have to say, that Love is Bigger was one of my favorites of the night. Bono was on our side a lot during that song and really connecting with the crowd there. And 13 (There is a Light) was the perfect end for me.

It was an amazing show in so many ways, but not without it's flaws. I didn't expect perfection, because it was only the second stop on a new tour for them. There were lyric slip ups (Bono during Acrobat). And Bono even said something like "let's try that again" during one song (I can't remember which one now) that had a little bit of a rough start. There was some sound distortion and a few technical issues at times. But I don't mind that type of stuff. It makes them more human to me :) And really the first few shows of a new tour never go smoothly. That's why we usually wait till later in the tours to go, but there was no way we were going to miss St. Louis.

I could also see though how much more concentration and focus Edge and Adam seemed to need when a show is newer as opposed to how more relaxed and engaging and in tune with the audience they become as a tour progresses and it all becomes second nature.
He had his eyes closed a lot during the concert this time around.

This was 2011 here in St. Louis, but on the third leg of the tour when they had already been in North America once. Then over in Europe, South America and Mexico for the second leg of the tour and back here to North America. So lots of practice. And he was definitely all smiles with eyes wide open a lot back then. But I am NOT complaining. I love being that close to them and watching them play no matter when the concert is taking place!
 And he really does have a lot of guitars. A new one came out for practically every song!

When it comes down to it, I thought it was a great show (mistakes and all). A lot of people were disappointed that they didn't play any songs from the Joshua Tree album. And I totally get why they felt that way. It's the album that put U2 on the map over here and many people have a huge connection to the band through it. But they just finished a whole tour dedicated to the Joshua Tree! And while St. Louis technically lost out seeing it when the show was cancelled, this is a completely different tour and I'm just glad they came back here. Bono definitely mentioned it more than once that they were happy to return and apologized for the wait.
As for politics, Bono definitely had a lot to say. And the message is one I get behind 100%. I neither consider myself Republican or Democrat, but more Independent in my political views. Somewhere right down the middle. Before they played "One", Bono spoke out:

"You can only solve these problems if you reach out to the people who you don't normally want to sit across from. So, forget the White House, left and right. Working together: That's what we learned in the One Campaign. We can work together, whatever it is: budgets, gun violence health care - it won't be solved by half the country that's for sure. And you can disagree on almost everything if the one thing you agree on is important enough. Choose what that is."

This. I'm so tired of left and right and so little compromise or meeting in the middle. People can complain what does it matter to Bono, he doesn't even live here. But it does matter. He has always professed a love for America and the idea of America. That is why Joshua Tree was even made. And right now America is a mess. And it doesn't just affect us, but other countries as well. Anyway, I'll leave it alone for now, but it was a very meaningful moment for me as someone who is just frustrated about how hurtful and selfish so many seem these days. Especially those in power.

I'll leave you with a photo of Adam Clayton because I think he is just about the coolest bass player ever!

And Larry who I have a new appreciation for now that my son plays the drums. The look on Evan's face as he watched Larry play was priceless. So he had me watching and all I could think was so amazing. To think where they came from to where they are now.

Would really love to be able to see them again on this tour - when it's a little more polished and they are a little more relaxed. Not sure it will happen since there aren't many shows left over here, but I've learned to never say never when it comes to U2. I think the next time though we would probably sit in regular seats just to take in everything. I know there is quite a bit we missed when they played at the other end, and that big screen just does not have the same effect when you are so close.

I have to say, their show here back in 2011 for the 360 tour still remains my favorite one ever. As much as I appreciated this concert for what it was, and I will never, ever take for granted any opportunity to see my favorite band up close, it's hard to top that 2011 one for me. Although I think the original Joshua Tree tour that came here is a close second along with when we saw them in Dublin, Ireland in 2009! :)

Have you ever seen U2 live? (Julie, I know you have lucky girl! lol)
What is your favorite all time concert?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

What's On TV

We recently decided to cancel our cable tv because we realized we weren't really watching it very much. I do still like shows such as The Voice and So You Think You Can Dance. And my husband and I would often watch HGTV shows together when he was home. But it seemed as if the tv shows and movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Apple TV were taking over.

In January of 2016, my son talked me into watching
I remember thinking the first episode was kind of cheesy. But then the more I watched it, the more addicted I became! I finally finished watching all 12 seasons that were on Netflix in August of 2017, because my son and I were hoping to actually watch Season 13 together in real time. But this was around the time we cancelled cable and trying to watch it on the CW app was just too painful. You can't skip the commercials and had to watch the episodes within a certain time frame or they expired. So we decided to just wait and watch the new season when it comes on Netflix hopefully in May or June.

After I finished Season 12 of SPN, I was looking for a new show to watch.
And I discovered Kimmy on Netflix. Oh how I love Kimmy! Such a funny show and the characters are all so over the top, but I think they are hilarious. I am not so patiently hoping and waiting for a Season 4 to come out soon.

So while waiting for Season 4 of Kimmy Schmidt, I stumbled across...
also on Netflix. I started watching by myself, but then got my husband hooked on it too! We are always quoting certain parts from it. (what the fork!) And I think Ted Danson and Kristen Bell are simply perfect. This is another show we are not so patiently waiting for the next season to finally be added to Netflix.

Then Mike talked me into watching...
on Amazon Prime. He saw the first two seasons on his own and liked it so much he re watched them with me, so we could watch season three together. It is a little (well the best word I can think of is) raunchy at times, but that doesn't really bother us. It could be a little much for some people though. All I know is that we laughed a lot in some parts and it became another show we quote from quite a bit. Season three ended in a definite cliffhanger, so we are pretty sure there will be another one. Keeping our fingers crossed!

The next one he convinced me to watch was...
and it's another Netflix show that's a little out there. It started off one way, and I remember asking him do I really want to watch this? But then it did kind of a 180 and I became hooked and really liked the kids. It wasn't what I expected at all. Not for the faint of heart though.

One of our absolute favorite shows on Netflix that we watched together was...
which I know is pretty popular. We binge watched this together in a weekend when the second season came out close to Halloween. The only problem at first was that my husband leaves to go out of town on Sunday nights, and we ran out of time when we only had 30 minutes left in the last episode! Crazy bad planning on our part. But we got creative and when he arrived at his destination, we watched it together as we used FaceTime on our iphones! So we did get to finish it together after all.

I decided after all these other shows, I needed a new one to binge watch on my own while we wait for new seasons to come out.
And I am embarrassed to admit, after saying I never ever would, I started watching...
Yes, I did. The entire first season that is available on Netflix. It is so over the top dramatic and unrealistic in a typical CW "teen" type show. Although I have to say, I don't know very many teens who act and dress the way these characters do. Definitely not your typical Archie comic story lines. But I of course got hooked on the mystery in season one, and had to finish it out. I think Jughead is about the only character I actually like, and was totally surprised to find out he played Adam Sandler's son in Big Daddy, and one of the twins on that Disney show "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody". Anyway, I may give season two a chance, just to see where it goes.

And now I am looking for a new show. One for myself and one for the husband and I to watch together.
I tried Mad Men - and while I like the style and design of that era, it makes me glad I don't exist as a woman in that place and time. I don't think I will be keeping that one on my list.

Shows I am considering are: (and facebook friends please give me your opinion in my post over there!)

Under the Dome
The Royals
Santa Clarita Diet
Hemlock Grove
Van Helsing

So what do you think?

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

OLW - Self Care in March

Before moving on to my goal for March, I just have to say that February really and truly went by so fast that it feels as if I didn't have as much time to focus on my Self Care goal as I did for exercise in January! But I still felt that I was successful.

I talked Here about my goal for February and the Vision board assignment we were given in Ali Edward's One Little Word class. I am in the process of working on my "vision board" page which I am going to just place in my album when completed. And I will hopefully have February pages to share soon.

As for my goal of nurturing and building up my relationships, I feel that having this goal definitely helped me be more mindful of how I responded to friends and family that I am close to. I reached out to several people by email and text just to reconnect. I tried to really engage in my family's interests like my husband's biking, son's drumming and my daughter's love for pets. But one of my favorite things was actually following through and creating a Self Care basket for one of my best friends on her birthday!
I mentioned in the post I linked above, that I had seen this idea on Pinterest. And it was so much fun putting this basket together for her. She totally loved it! And I was so happy to be able to focus on her and thank her for being such a great friend. I plan on doing more of these as the year progresses.
And my January goal is still something I strive for. Exercising at least once a day! Favorites are still Body Pump class, Yoga, and...
the Elliptical at the gym. I have been trying to do an hour workout at least twice a week.

As for March, in the OLW class, Ali asked everyone to commit to doing one act every day during the month. My goal for March was originally focused on more clean eating. But I have decided my daily act will be part of that goal, and I will also be keeping a food log every day except Sunday. That is my day off.
I am using the My Fitness Pal app on my phone, so it's pretty easy and convenient. I really want to be more mindful about what I am actually eating this month. I have pretty much eliminated processed sugar and am drinking zero soda or other sugary beverages. I mostly drink plain or fruit infused water and tea. But it's still pretty eye opening to realize that some meals aren't as clean as I thought.

So by the end of March, I hope to have a pretty good idea of what my food patterns are like and what changes still need to be made. I have also been trying out more recipes that are compliant with Whole 30 
Like this one...
Breakfast Salad. My husband and I both liked it quite a bit.
I'm looking forward to trying a few more Whole 30 recipes and have some pinned Here.

It feels pretty good to be taking care of myself! :)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

OLW 2018 - January Completed

I didn't do a lot for my January title page, and in fact I may redo the card at the bottom because I'm not 100% happy with it. I just used some foam dimensional letters and two embellishments. Photo is from when I was wearing a fun pair of exercise pants my husband gave me for Christmas to class. And this was such a great goal for me this month. I really did follow through and only missed two days when I was sick!

I like to have different sized page protectors in my albums, and I don't know if you can tell but the purple water bottle protector is a small 4x6 size holding the 4x4 photo and two small cards at the bottom. You can see another page peeking out behind there.

Here is a closer look at the page on the left. Body Pump class was huge for me in January! In fact, my YMCA membership where I take the class is probably one of the best things I could have done for myself exercise wise. It's one of my favorite places to go these days.
Yoga was also big for me in January! I love yoga all year round, but every January I join in the annual Yoga with Adriene 30 days of yoga challenges. This year it was the 30 Day True Journey.
And here is a closer look at the page on the right. I used a screenshot of one of the workouts and then a self timer photo of myself. Yoga in pj's is now one of my favorite ways to do yoga in the evenings. There were a few nights that it really helped me relax before bed and ended the day just right.
Then I decided to add a monthly reflections page about how my goal went, which I plan on doing each month. As far as exercise, I am still doing pretty well in February. Of course not as many workouts as in January because I was doubling up a lot of days back then just to see if I could. But instead of letting exercise slide if I am too tired, I usually make the choice now to follow through. It has definitely become more of a priority and I really can't seem to let a day pass without some form of exercise. It just doesn't feel right! So I would consider my January goal a huge success!

I'm getting ready to start my pages to document my goal and progress for February, so I will have those to share soon hopefully.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Around Here

Listening  to lots of good music on Spotify and some of my favorite Podcasts

Starting a new to me tv series on Netflix
Only one episode down so the jury is still out. But I am liking it so far.
My husband and I usually watch one or two series together and we are into this one right now...
So weird in so many ways, but it's kind of got us hooked wanting to see what happens next.

Exercising at least six days a week and giving myself the option of one day off if I feel I need the break.
Just finished the Yoga with Adriene...
It was amazing and I made so much progress throughout this series! I highly recommend her yoga channel on YouTube.

lots of Hint water. No affiliate links here. I just like to share what I love, and I really do love this water. It's a little pricey, but so good and natural. It's been a great substitute for soda. You can find it at Target, too a little cheaper and on sale sometimes. But normally I just order directly from their site.

Working a little bit more than usual as a substitute teacher at a more regular position. It's a challenge for sure. I have to say that I am in awe of women who work full time. During the weeks I work 4+ days, I am still trying to find a nice balance of working outside of the home and then actually getting things done around the house. I like to have those two or three days off during the week to clean house, run errands and just stay caught up. But oh how I love being back in a classroom again! And I also love that Pinterest is a huge help with lessons.

Last week we were studying Adverbs and it just wasn't clicking. The book we are working out of isn't that great. And on top of that, it's really not the easiest concept for second graders to grasp. But I found this idea on Pinterest...

and they loved it! Anna Adverb was a great supplement to our lesson. So Pinterest for the win!

Wearing these shoes...
my black Palisades slip on sneakers by Roxy. They are so comfortable and remind me of our trip to London this past summer. Definitely love them!

Thinking I can't be the only person on Instagram with two accounts who forgets to switch over before posting. I can name at least four times in the past week or so when I posted a photo to my public account instead of the private family one. At least I caught my mistake pretty quickly each time, but I need to be more mindful of which account I am on before posting. It's kind of like accidentally sending a text meant for someone else to the last person you were texting with. I do that more frequently than I would like as well. Thankfully, it's never been anything too crazy.

And finally...
Feeling sad and shocked at yet another school shooting, this time in Florida. But also feeling angry at how some people continue to come up with the worst solutions possible to the problem. One I keep reading about is the need to arm teachers and support staff in the schools. Worst idea ever and one that avoids the real issue. This should not be the norm. We should not be turning this into something that is just accepted as reality for this day and age. Something needs to be done to prevent this from happening ever again. And arming people who are not comfortable with weapons is a huge mistake. I'm not going to go into the politics of it all right now. At some point I may get on my soapbox and make a lengthy post on my position. But for now, I am encouraged to see students and young adults finally taking a stand and telling our government, this is NOT ok. And I will be watching closely and paying attention to which of our congressmen and women actually work towards making the changes necessary to move us in the right direction. And I will be very active in contacting my senators and state reps. I promise you that.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Let's Talk Music

I found this quote on Pinterest and it clicked with me so much that I added it to a board I created on there called "My Music".

I have been such a music junkie my whole life. In fact, I can't remember a time when I didn't love to listen to music. I have vivid memories of dancing in the living room of my Nana's house to Abba's Dancing Queen when I was a little girl. It was one of my favorite songs!

These days my taste in music can be pretty eclectic. I could probably find at least one song from every genre that I would like. But I do tend to lean more towards rock, classic rock and alternative. 

Now that we have Spotify premium, just like the quote says, I really do have a playlist for everything. Most of my playlists are pretty upbeat but I do have a "One of Those Days" playlist for when I'm feeling not so great. 
One of my current favorite playlists is called "All in One Place" and has music from three of my favorite bands who all just happened to release new albums around the same time recently. I went through and picked my favorite songs from those albums and now I can just shuffle that playlist and listen to them all in a row.

That playlist got me thinking about my favorite bands right now.
I always joke with my husband, that spots one and two will be forever taken by U2 and Radiohead. That never changes. I will love U2 till the end of time. They are my all time favorite band and I explained why in this post, The Road to U2 Joshua Tree 2017. So much history for me as well as my husband with this band.

My second top pick is Radiohead. In my opinion, they are musical geniuses. I have been following them ever since Pablo Honey came out back in 1993 and continue to love them to this day. Unfortunately, they rarely come close to here for concerts. But I was able to surprise my husband with tickets to see them as a birthday gift many years ago. They weren't the best seats, but we still say it was one of the best concerts ever! 

As for my number three spot, that is always up for grabs. I have rotated quite a few bands through it over the years. Since 2013, it has been The National. My husband is definitely even more of a music junkie than I am and he has introduced me to a lot of amazing bands over the years! The National is one of them. And frankly, though I don't like to share a lot of personal info here, I credit some of the National's music with helping us in a not so easy time in our marriage. We had one year or so that was just awful. I was struggling with depression and he was having to travel so much for work at the same time. It was pretty hard on both of us, and we just weren't talking at all. But The National have a song called "About Today", and the lyrics really caught my attention. 
We both realized we had a lot of talking to do and thankfully in the process, we also both realized we really missed and love each other and that all we wanted was to be happy again. We had just kind of gotten lost for a bit. It's funny what you can learn from lyrics when they are just right. And we learned that successful, happy marriages need lots of good communication! It has really made all the difference! Like I said, I believe talk about my marriage is personal and private. But I am so proud of how we overcame a major obstacle and came together instead of growing apart. We even say as hard as it was, it's something we had to go through to get to where we are now!

So the National have a special place in my heart. And with the release of their new album, "Sleep Well Beast", it doesn't look like they will be leaving third place. I absolutely love them!
But for the first time ever, I am having to let two bands/musicians have the number three position. I can't let go of The National, but I am also totally loving Noel Gallagher!
Can't stand his brother, but I think Noel is brilliant. And when he opened for U2 in Amsterdam and Brussels this summer, I started listening to him again. I absolutely loved almost every song on his album Chasing Yesterday - especially Riverman, The Dying of the Light, and You Know We Can't Go Back.
So as of right now Noel and The National hold that special third spot in my top three favorite bands of all time.

Now I will admit, that my husband is usually the one who finds the good new music. I tend to listen to old favorites. I have playlists for classic rock, the 80's, alternative music from the 90's and soundtracks. But recently I shared a band with him that I've been listening to called...
Highly Suspect. I heard their song "Little One" on a local alternative radio station here and it caught my attention. They are more of a harder post grunge rock, but my husband admitted tonight that he's kind of liking them. Lol.

It's always fun to play songs for each other. We like to talk to each other through music quite a bit.
I even have a playlist of songs he sends me. That one is private though ;)

So what type of music do you like?
Do you have a top three list as well?
I'm thinking now that I typed out this post, that I probably should document my favorites in a layout. :)

Monday, February 5, 2018

One Little Word - February

In my last post I shared photos of my introduction pages for my One Little Word album.
I haven't quite finished my January Self Care goal pages, but since it is now February I did want to at least share the next goal and project I will be creating for February.

In my One Little Word class with Ali Edwards, she is encouraging us to make a vision board to help us connect visually with our word. I have a head start because being the Pinterest junkie I am, I had already started a OLW board there. So I am going to design a collage of some of the pins I want to use and put it in my album.

Here are a few ideas I am thinking of adding to my vision board:
This is so true for me! In the past I have simply run myself into the ground trying to get everything done and care for everyone else! I got smart this time around when I was sick two weeks ago. I took time off work and pretty much rested for two days. As a result, I got better quicker than I ever have before.
I want to include this pin because I truly feel as if 2018 is going to be amazing. I have such great plans for this year, and I feel energized about every single one of them.

I know these two pins are really similar and I will probably just end up picking one for my vision board. But they both resonate with me. It has taken me a while, in fact probably the whole fifteen years I have been a mother, to realize that taking care of myself is not selfish. It's necessary!
 Oh how my anxiety fights me on this one. But I'm learning.
I saw an article yesterday with a quote that basically said, don't compare your own beginning to someone else's middle. And it made me think, we all have to start somewhere, right? For example, by comparing my progress and where I am at in my Body Pump class to that of my teacher would just be crazy. She has been doing this type of workout for years, and I am just a newbie. It wouldn't make sense to feel down on myself because I don't have her abilities yet! But I'm making progress for sure!
This is the secret! I have heard that to really make a change and develop new habits, you need to give it at least 21 days. I am hoping that my monthly self care goal plan will help me do just that. Change one thing in my daily routine each month that will improve my physical, mental and emotional health! And that those changes will stick as I see how much better I feel at the end of each month.
And I love this! Such a positive perspective, which is what 2018 is about for me. Look for the positive and don't dwell on the negatives.

So I know this might sound like the the opposite of Self Care, but in February my goal is Relationships. Namely nurturing my relationships. I am surrounded by so many supportive people, that I feel very lucky. I know by building up my relationships with the people I love and care about, that I am going to be doing something to help myself as well. I want to put more positive energy into the way I interact with my friends, family, co workers and students.

One way I am trying to do this is by practicing active listening. When someone talks to me, I am making an effort to give all of my attention and avoiding distractions. I am really wanting to engage in meaningful conversations to learn more about what matters the most to the people who matter the most. My husband is seriously into cycling right now and I have learned so much about his interest this past year. It feels good to be supportive and gain knowledge about something he is so passionate about!
I am also planning on putting together some Self Care baskets for friends and family throughout the month. Nothing big. Just a little something to say I am thinking of you. I found the idea on Pinterest. Have I mentioned how much I love Pinterest? lol

And even though January is over, I am still planning on exercising six times per week with one rest day. Whether it's yoga, strength training or cardio at home, the YMCA or walking outdoors, I am going to keep that good habit going strong!

Hopefully coming up next post, my completed January goal pages for my album!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

One Little Word Progress

Well being pretty sick for almost a week, didn't leave me much energy for the blog. But I am finally ready to share a scrapbook project I will be working on each month this year
As I talked about in This Post, my One Little Word I chose for 2018 is "Self Care". Since I am participating in Ali Edward's One Little Word class to help keep me more engaged with my word this year, I thought I would share a few of the introduction pages from my album.

I am using This 6x8 album by Simple Stories to document my progress.

I am also using a variety of size and style page protectors made by Simple Stories as well.
For my introductory page I created a 4x4 title card and I filled the two 2x2 spots with patterned paper squares. The first is a piece I had with windows and liked how the 2018 fills each window pane as if it's looking out to the year ahead. The yellow square on the right repeats the phrase "good things are going to happen". Perfect!
In the class example, Ali used a photo of herself in her introduction, so I decided to follow that formula with a recent selfie taken on one of my exercise days. The black and white script is the flip side of the yellow square with the "good things are going to happen." phrase. And the back of the window print paper had a pretty purplish color to match the flowers on the 3x4 card on the facing page. I used a chipboard flower from the same collection as the paper to embellish it and coordinate.

Ali's OLW class has one lesson with a prompt per month. For January, she just wanted us to write about our word, and provided several printable cards to use in our albums to help jump start our writing. I didn't use all of the writing prompts she provided, but just chose a few I felt would be helpful to me. So for page three I used the Reason Why card explaining why I wanted to choose Self Care as my focus this year.

As I said in my last post, I am taking my word even further by choosing monthly self care goals to concentrate on. So I created my own journal block with patterned paper and a washi tape border explaining my plan. My goal in January has been exercise and I am waiting to complete those pages at the end of this month. Hard to believe we are almost there!

On the next page, I chose the Definition and Quotation cards to explore my word further. And as I wrote them down, I realized that I truly had found the perfect word for what I want to accomplish this year. Then I embellished the back of my journal card from the previous page with some encouraging phrases. The Year Ahead question page finishes off my introduction for now.

So this is what I have so far! I am looking forward to working on my pages for my January goal, and then finding out what the February lesson will be in class. I am feeling pretty excited!