Category Archives: Blogging

Goals 2016 Check-In

I’m so far behind on checking in with these goals. Here’s a quick recap of where I am right now.
1) Whole 30 (January 1st)

I completed a strict Whole 30 in January. Since then, I have only added back pre-made condiments such as ketchup and bbq sauce in limited quantities. I’ve lost about 9 pounds and around 6 inches overall. I’m finally back below my pre-baby weight and, in fact, weigh less than I ever have in my adult life. However, that’s not exactly the goal. Sure I wanted to reach pre-baby weight, but I also wanted to reset my relationship with food, which I’ve definitely done. At this point, dates and mangoes are plenty sweet for me. Sure I occasionally want a cupcake or some chocolate or ice cream or a donut, but I’m fairly convinced that all but the chocolate will give me a stomachache. At this point I’m aiming for 100 days just to say I did it, but I’m not convinced I’ll last that long as I’m not sure I care. I’m not aiming to lose more weight or anything, and I’m sure my relationship with food has been reset. But I will carry on for a few more days at least. At this point, I most want to go on a date with the Husband for sushi and maybe have some tacos.

2) Bed by 9 on a regular basis (January 1st)

We’ve been pretty good about this. I have not been doing all of the nighttime rituals, but we’ve at least been in the bed relatively close to 9 most nights. I try and stop reading around 9:30, which I’m normally successful at.

3) Bible reading on a regular basis (January 1st)
Things are going much better in this department. I’m concentrating on memorizing Colossians 3 at this point.
4) Dissertation five days a week (January 1st)

I haven’t really been keeping track of this, but I think it’s happening. Even if it isn’t, I’ve been greatly productive since January and feel really good about my progress.
5) Blogging/journaling on a regular basis (January  1st)

Not as consistent as I’d like to be, but there is evidence to suggest there has been great improvement.
6) Water (February 1st)
Ugh. Definitely fail sauce on this. I need to start keeping track. I kind of forgot this was a goal. I will start paying more attention to this tomorrow!
7) Cleaning schedule (February 1st)

Kinks worked out and plan executed. I give myself grace on the regular cleaning the two days a week my kid goes to schools. On days she’s here with me, we spend a good amount of time doing chores around the house. She likes to join sometimes, and it’s adorable.
2016-01-25 10.36.09 HDR
8) Pleasure reading (February 1st)
I didn’t think I could make 20 books in the year, but since I’ve already finished 7, I think I’m going to be ok. Audio books on the new commute to campus helps a lot.
9) Regular exercise (February 1st)

Still not here. It’s better, but still not meeting anyone’s definition of “regular”. I’ll get there.

10) Sending cards (March 1st)

Ooh! I forgot this was a goal. I did sent little cards to the grandparents for Valentine’s Day though. Just need to send a March love note!
11) Memorizing scripture (March 1st)
See #3. Glad I picked this one up.
12) Sewing/lettering/Crafting (March 1st)
This is definitely happening. Working on a brand new quilt!
2016-03-04 21.01.49
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Posted by on March 16, 2016 in Blogging


Goals 2016


I’m not much of a new year’s resolution writer, but I enjoy the freshness of the new year. I like thinking about what habits I want to reinvigorate or what new routines to add to my life. This year is no different, but I have a graduated list. By this, I mean I don’t intend to get all of these up and running on January 1. That’s unrealistic and setting myself up for failure. Instead here is my list and planned time line.
1) Whole 30 (January 1st)

We generally follow a paleo lifestyle, but I’m excited to reset. We haven’t done a full and strict Whole 30 since summer of 2013. I’m part of a couple of Facebook groups this time around, and it’s a very different world from the first time we set out on this journey in 2009. It will be hard, but it will be good. Took my before pictures and measurements tonight, but I’ll go ahead and keep that to myself. lol

2) Bed by 9 on a regular basis (January 1st)

We’ve had several house guests which meant many late nights. My kid is up by 5. I need to prioritize sleep. I’m also going to try and renew my night routine which includes tea with a magnesium supplement, magahol spray on my legs, and orange glasses at least 30 minutes before the preferred bed time. The explanation behind all of that is for another day.

3) Bible reading on a regular basis (January 1st)
I was leading a small group up until Thanksgiving that was keeping me accountable to regular time in the Word. Since then the holidays, moving, and guests have derailed me. I miss my Jesus time. Not sure what this is going to look like quite yet, but I’m excited to be filling the pages of my journal again.
4) Dissertation five days a week (January 1st)

I need to touch this in some capacity each work day. Some days will be more than others, but each day nonetheless.
5) Blogging/journaling on a regular basis (January  1st)

I’ve already started this one. I’m hoping to keep up doing this at least once a week.
6) Water (February 1st)
I’ve been terrible about ensuring I get appropriate amounts of water consumed each day. I’m going to be intentional about this from the beginning, but won’t track it for a while.
7) Cleaning schedule (February 1st)

I have a schedule posted in my kitchen, but I’m not totally committed to it yet. I’ve been working up to the routine. I’m also working out the kinks of the plan I originally set for myself that I’ve already decided needs some tweaking.
8) Pleasure reading (February 1st)
I want to read at least 20 books for pleasure this year. That doesn’t seem like many, but I’m not sure I can make it. I am not the fastest reader and I don’t have a lot of free time for reading. This is less than two per month though, so I feel as though it’s doable. I’m looking forward to blogging my thoughts on at least some of them.
9) Regular exercise (February 1st)

I’m a strong believer in diet and sleep being in line before taking on exercise. When I figure those two out in January, I will start thinking about my plan for exercise in February. Childcare and finances are what’s killing me here. I’ll be doing a relatively easy 30 day challenge in January with a friend just to get my body moving each day, but I won’t be attempting to be a fire breather again until February.

10) Sending cards (March 1st)

I used to be in the habit of sending little cards and notes to people once a month or so and fell out of that practice. I want to bring it back.
11) Memorizing scripture (March 1st)
I want regular reading to be a solid habit before I take this up again. I put a “verse of the week” sign up in my new command center. I want to my use that as a tool to help me memorize more scripture again. That and husband also got me a bunch of post its in my stocking. I will use those to post the scripture in other places around the house as well.
12) Sewing/lettering/Crafting (March 1st)
I would like to get a good amount of time on this kind of stuff at least once a month, but with still trying to figure out routine, I’m not sure it will be a really regular thing for a little while yet.

Posted by on December 31, 2015 in Blogging, Moving, Team Alzen!


Bringing it Back

It’s been quiet around here, and I’m not a big fan of it. I know blogging isn’t as en vogue as it used to be, but I still enjoy it. Let’s see what I come up with that’s worth writing about. Expect posts about my kid/family, food, and perhaps a book review or two.

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Posted by on December 24, 2015 in Blogging


Community and Social Media

I’ve been thinking a lot about authentic community and the part social media plays in all of this. There’s a viral video going around called Look Up. It’s a spoken word piece about looking up instead of at our phones and the destruction technology has caused in missed life opportunities. While I don’t disagree completely with the themes behind the video, I have to say I’m not a big fan.

Let me start off by saying I’m guilty. I have been so engrossed in my phone that I ignored what my husband was saying to me. I have been looking at my phone when I’ve been at a party or out to dinner with friends.I have been engrossed with looking for the end of the Internet on my computer for all sorts of reasons for hours of my time. I have chosen the virtual over the physical time and time again.

I am also a person who has a support network that crosses states and countries. When I lost my first child to miscarriage, the outpouring of love and support I felt through social media and technology in general was incredible. That support is part of what helped me grieve and move forward quickly and fully. Yes, the people in my physical local community were supportive as well. I don’t want to discount that, but I also want to credit the fact that LOTS of people from various places also supported me through technology when they couldn’t be here for me physically. As I have been struggling through understanding things about becoming a parent, moms from my current physical community and former have provided helpful advice. I have met two people off of Twitter who were originally complete strangers, but now I call friends. When I was in my first two years of teaching and struggling with various issues, the network of teachers I had met across the Internet helped me in so many ways. Much of what I was doing well in the classroom I learned from my Twitter teacher friends. I have multiple friendships that have been maintained for years because of Twitter, Facebook, email, gchat, and blogging–not because we physically lived in the same place and were able to see each other all the time. One of my oldest and closest friendships is with a woman who lived in the same city as me for about 18 months. We’ve been friends for 12 years. That would not be true without technology.

The argument could be made that if the Internet and technology as we know it did not exist, it is very likely that I would have put more time and energy into local relationships. There are potentially people in my current physical location whom I have little or no relationship with because I have chosen to put energy into maintaining relationships afar in addition to instead of locally alone. I don’t necessarily think it is wrong to maintain long-distance friendships, but I suppose I can also get this point. However, it does not convince me of the evils of social media and the Internet. It simply convicts me to be intentional in my local as well as virtual relationships.

At this point, I intentionally try to leave my phone out of sight when I am with people. I also try to intentionally use technology to connect with new people and maintain relationships with old. Just this week I emailed and texted a new friend. We got together. We put our phones away for our entire visit and enjoyed one another’s company. When I got home, I texted this new friend to tell her how much I enjoyed our time together. Today, I commented on a Facebook post she made. Our relationship is growing both virtually and locally. I have a handful of friends who I suspect will be loved ones into old age, but I also suspect we will never all live in the same city or even state. I see nothing wrong with maintaining these relationships via the use of technology.

Yes, I am sometimes guilty of sacrificing the present and physical for the removed and virtual.

Yes, I sometimes leverage the power of the Internet and technology to maintain and grow a network of relationships of varying depth and for varying purposes.

The bottom line to me is being intentional in all my relationships through whatever medium best forges that friendship. All of my relationships, whether local or virtual should be relationships in which the Gospel is my first priority, where I strive to bring glory to the Father in one way or another. If maintaining a long-distance friendships keeps me from helping to serve the physical needs of someone in my own neighborhood, I’m losing sight of the point. Similarly, if I completely fall out of someone’s life when they need me simply because our lives no longer physically intersect, I am also falling short.

Technology and advancement is not evil in and of itself. It becomes evil when we allow it to become an idol and when it causes us to lose sight of true purpose.

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Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Blogging, Christ-follower



Historical Figures I Would Like to Meet

C.S. Lewis
Albert Einstein
Steve Jobs
Florence Nightingale
Harriet Tubman
Anne Frank
Mother Teresa

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Posted by on March 30, 2014 in Blogging



List 29: Favorite Local Businesses

They’re all food. 😉

1) Dot’s Diner
2) The Village
3) Walnut Cafe
4) Ozo Coffee
5) Boulder Cafe
6) The Med
7) The Lazy Dog

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Posted by on March 29, 2014 in Blogging



List 28: I Feel My Best When

1) I’ve spent some time with Jesus–reading the Bible, singing, praying, fellowshipping with other believers.
2) I’ve been at the gym regularly
3) I’ve slept 8 hours
4) I don’t drink any alcohol
5) My diet is in line
6) I’ve had quality time with my spouse
7) I’ve been appropriately productive
8) My nails are done
9) I have a sassy outfit on

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Posted by on March 28, 2014 in Blogging



List 27: Go-to Meals for Guests

1) Kabobs and home made ice-cream
2) Pot roast and spinach/strawberry salad
3) BBQ and fruit salad
4) Gluten-free lasagna
5) Breakfast casserole

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Posted by on March 27, 2014 in Blogging



List 26: Make Your Own Holidays

1) Half birthdays. I think they should be a thing.

2) The week between Christmas and New Year’s. Call it what you want, but we should just have a week long holiday in there.

3) Perfect day for being outside. This should just be a wild card you can pull once a year at any time of your discretion when the day outside so perfectly calls to you that there’s nothing better to do than to be out there.

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Posted by on March 26, 2014 in Blogging



List 25: Songs I’ll Record for My Album

My album would be quite eclectic, or I’d need to have a career long enough for multiple styles of albums. In no particular order…

1) Come Thou Fount
2) Oh God
3) Be Thou My Vision
4) It is Well
5) Desert Song
6) 10,000 Reasons

7) Stuck Like Glue
8) Better Dig Two
9) You’re Still the One

10) Head Over Feet
11) Teenage Dream
12) Girl on Fire
13) Stronger
14) Piece of Me
15) Hit Me with your Best Shot

That’s today’s list. Tomorrow might be a dozen different tunes. I’m all over the place with music preferences.

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Posted by on March 25, 2014 in Blogging