Monday, December 9, 2013

Thirteen Events in 2013

While 2012 was the  year of change, 2013 brought along some other changes that were milestones in our lives.  I am using my post from our blog Our Good Life to capture the year for you here.  You can see the post if you continue to scroll down.  Enjoy!

1. #6 on the List-finish dissertation.  Terri graduated from Saint Louis University in May with an Executive Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership.  She continues to work as an elementary principal at Wright City East Elementary School which is a kindergarten/first grade building. This year she is completing her Leadership Academy experience, which Bob did in the early 90s. 

Fun at School!!
Graduation from Saint Louis University!  Dr. Terri Steffes!
2.  Ashley and traveling...Ashley took a group of students to France to study visual merchandising as the French know how to do it.  She saw many beautiful things and wants to take us there, too.  We want to go, so that is a good match-up.  Someday we'll all go together.   She also went to Chicago, New Orleans, and New York.  Very much enjoyed each trip!

3.  New House-Bob and I moved into our new home on October 4, 89 days from start to finish.  We absolutely love it, and are really enjoying living in it.  Our favorite piece is our backyard, which we have yet to finish.  It will have a hot tub, outdoor kitchen, sitting area, eating area, grassy area, flowers, trees, and a fence for our pups to be able to roam around their yard!  You can see much more description on our regular blog:  Our Good Life.

4.  Bob's new job-Bob took over as Director of the St. Louis campus of Columbia College on July 8.  He was not so sure this was a good move for him, but after a week, yes, just one week, he said he was very happy being in charge again, and that it felt good and natural!  His staff is moving into renovated digs in August. He loves working for Columbia College and I love hearing about all the great things CC is doing. 

5. #12 on The List-New City Vacation- We took our 2013 vacation over the Fourth of July to Cincinnati.  It rained on the Fourth and we missed seeing fireworks but we attended a ballgame on the 5th and stayed for their Friday Fireworks.  They were awesome!  We toured museums, the botanical gardens and had a wonderful French meal.  As always, the vacation was much too short.

Enjoying Skyline Chili as our Welcome to Cincinnati treat!!

6.  Four Years Cancer Free!!

7.  Eric's internship-Eric worked for a firm in Indianapolis this summer called IngersollRand.  He was able to commute from home and from what I could gather...really loved his experience.  This summer he will be working in Chicago for Crowe Horwath.  It will be fun for the two of them to live in Chicago for the summer.  I am sure Bob and I will find time to buzz up there and visit.  I love Chicago, especially fond of their pizza!  Eric has been a fabulous addition to our family!  We wouldn't trade him for anyone else.  Well, maybe Yadi?

8. Our mommas- Shirley continues to operate her daycare in her home at the age of 75.  She says she still loves it, that the kids make her laugh.  She attends church when she can safely do so, and goes out with her friends on Friday nights.  She went to the State Championship football game in St. Louis to cheer her Marceline Tigers on... unfortunately they lost but the hometown pride was quite evident!  Irene is settled into her new home at Mark Twain.  She has a large room with everything she needs.  There is a table full of needlework and her walls are covered with photographs of her family.  She celebrated her 80th birthday in September!

9.  #1 on The List-Get rid of 50 things.  This was remarkably easy to do!!  I think I sold, gave away or threw away over 100 items in my closet alone!  This would also help #4 on The List-Wardrobe, but I can tell you I did not make a lot of improvement in this area.  Moving into our new house will make this a for sure thing!

10. #11 on The List-Book Club  I founded a New Town Book Club which I am surprised that I did!  I didn't have many people show up at my house the first time I had a meeting but I continued to work with the folks at New Town who wanted to read and discuss books.  I also joined GoodReads which is a place to record what books you have read.  I am well on my way of reaching my goal of 25 books.  I was thinking I would be lucky to read two a month.  I am reading more and loving it!  I am also in a book club with my PEO sisters which I love, because someone else established it, takes over the conditions and I just read the book and come prepared!  In August, my BBL book club celebrated its 15th birthday!  I traveled to Jefferson City to take part in the meeting and the dinner that Karlene prepared.  It was so wonderful to be around people who love books as much as I do!

11.  Go Tigers!  Bob and I have really enjoyed Missouri joining the SEC.  We traveled to Bloomington to see the Tigers play Indiana University (not an SEC team) and loved going to an away game.  Next year we hope we will be able to travel to a few more games.  We get season tickets and usually have extras so give us a call if you'd like to see a game with us!  So proud of our Tigers this year!

Newsflash!  Bob surprised the four of us with tickets to the Cotton Bowl!  It will be my first bowl game (Bucket List!) and I am over the top excited about it!!

12.  Enjoyed another Cardinals World Series Game!  It is very special to be able to go and cheer on a team you have loved all your life.  Ashley was born in the middle of the I-70 World Series in 1985, which makes the Series even all the more special!

13.  Picnics  I say in my post on January 1, 2013 that I want to have more picnics.  Bob and I love to picnic, and we have had some mighty fine ones in some very special places.  In fact, when Bob proposed, we had a picnic first!   When we built our new house, one of the things we wanted to do was to make sure we had multiple dining areas around the house.  We have an island in the kitchen, the dining room area, the front porch, and there are two areas for dining in the back yard.  I think we got it covered.  Our first eat out was on the front porch, on December 1, 2013, on a beautiful, 60+ degree morning.  We made breakfast and headed outside.  I know we will be doing this a lot more often!

Bob and I wish you the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of New Years.  We want you to know that we value, so very much, your friendship and love.  Come and see us!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

2013 13 Things to do Challenge

I thought I would share this article I wrote for my blog in January, 2013.  This is to start off my Christmas blog and help me share what I accomplished!

My brother-in-law, Gary gave each of us Field Notes booklets for Christmas this year, reminding us of how Jake used to carry a tiny notepad in his shirt pocket to jot down anything and everything he found interesting, or thought would be useful at some time or another.  He had Ashley's skating events marked, with what place she took in that event, what grades she got, graduation dates, how much each of the grandkids weighed at birth... all kinds of stuff.  Writing with pencil to paper has become a lost art, with the invention of a phone that keeps your notes, contacts, email, internet, etc all in one place.  I really became attached to this idea immediately, blurting out at Christmas, "we should bring these back next Christmas and share what we wrote this year..." getting a hardy "YES!" from Gary.

My first entry is this:  13 Things to do in 2013.  I want to keep track of these things I want to do to make 2013 a year to stand out.  Here is my list:

1.  Get rid of 50 things.  You all know how much stuff we sold or gave away when we moved.  I still feel burdened by STUFF.  I am going to find 50 things to remove from my life this year.

2.  Exercise.  Blech.  I wrote it down so I must want to do it deep down somewhere. 

3.  Organize my study.  I see all these great organizational ideas on the ThirtyOne website, or at The Container Store... but I have two desks in this tiny study stuffed with things and papers and junk.  Gotta organize it once and for all.

4.  Rework my wardrobe.  My clothes are just coverings for my body so no one runs screaming from me at school.  I have to apply myself here and try a bit harder.

5.  Rededicate myself to blogging.  (check)


7.  Volunteer.  New Town is full of opportunities to help.  Just gotta jump in.

8.  Take the 21 day Relationship Challenge with The Happiness Project.  Signed up and waiting for the first challenge.

9.  Learn more about my camera.  I fiddle with it all the time but actually knowing what each setting means and does isn't there.  I got a great lens for Christmas.  Gotta learn how to come up with some great photos!

10.  No cell phone at dinner time, except to take pictures of food!

11. Read at least 25 books and find a book club!

12.  Visit a new city.  This one is harder.  Gotta think about my possibilities and how I can get this one in!

13.  Have a picnic.  Used to do this all the time and have not done one for awhile.  With all the beautiful gardens around here, shouldn't have any trouble with this!