Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lots and lots of updates!

Oh my word, I have so much to talk about! The holidays have been a bit nutso around here, so I haven't had much time to update blogs. I suppose I should tell you all that C and I had a lovely Christmas, and both of us got everything we wished for, along with some things we didn't even know we wanted. :) C painted me the most amazing watercolor...it's hippo Harry Potter, and yes, I squealed a little when I saw it. It's so awesome! Just in case you didn't know, hippos are my favorite, and so is Harry Potter, so just take a moment to imagine the two combined into one incredible work of art.

I sent C on a scavenger hunt around the house for the pieces of his present. Once assembled, he was pretty thrilled to see the ominous-looking robot/cyborg Lego thingy I got him. :) Both of us put together art projects for his parents. He painted a watercolor of the Northern Lights, and I assembled my best photography and put the ten photos in a frame for them. Everyone was pretty pleased with the day.

In terms of my list, I've actually accomplished a lot in the last few weeks. I think it would be easiest to discuss them in the order they appear on the list, and I'll try to supplement with photos when I can. So...here it goes.

#30: Buy a Rubik's cube and solve it. This one is in progress at the moment. I purchased a Rubik's cube a few weeks ago and mixed it all up. Here's what it looked like right before I started working on it.
Pretty, right? I've been working on it for about thirty minutes at a time on days when I think about it. Needless to say I'm not putting a ton of effort into it right now, but it'll be finished before this list is! I didn't realize it would be so hard...

#36: Bake Christmas cookies for family and friends. I did this with the little boy I take care as well as with C and his family. The ones I made at work were given to my bosses and their family members. The cookies we baked here at home were eaten with gusto, although we did manage to put together plates for every house on the block (18 total!). Our cookie supply is pretty low now, but boy, were they delicious! Definitely worth the work we put into them. :)

#45: Spend a weekend unplugged in Sedona. This one was just completed this past weekend. C and I spent the weekend in Sedona with his parents for Christmas. I left my laptop at home and turned my cell off as soon as we left the driveway. I even managed to convince everyone else to do the same! It was exciting and nerve-wracking all at once. I've been an avid cell phone user for over seven years now, so to have my phone completely off was odd for me, but well worth it. We trekked up to Flagstaff and enjoyed a day of playing in the snow, and took in the Tlaquepaque light show in Sedona. I didn't worry about texts or calls or e-mails the entire time. I got a lot of photography in and had a really relaxing weekend with my fiance and future in-laws. I think I may even do it again sometime. :P Here are some photos from the trip.

#57: Increase my number of Disney DVDs by at least 15. We added two more to our collection, courtesy of Santa Claus. Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 are now part of our extensive library of movies, both of which I love. I'd been craving music from The Nutcracker, so Fantasia arrived just in time. :)

#99: Do something special for my brothers. I'll post more about this once I reveal it to them, just in case they read this. Just know that it's done, and it's awesome. :D

In other news, our puppy celebrated her first birthday last Thursday. She's a big girl now! We got her a bunch of new toys, and Grandma and Grandpa C sprung for a new pillow bed for the living room. She's a very lucky pup. Check out the happiness on her face!

I should probably stop for now...hopefully I didn't lose anyone!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Another Oscar winner :)

C and I watched Driving Miss Daisy last night, which was the 1989 Best Picture winner. It was our reward after a very long day of packing and hauling stuff to the in-laws' house. We moved in with C's parents to cut costs and save some money while we plan our wedding.

I actually really enjoyed Driving Miss Daisy. I love Jessica Tandy anyway, and she was pretty hysterical as the incredibly bitter Miss Daisy. Morgan Freeman was equally as incredible as Hoke, her chauffer. Even though very little actually happened in the movie, it still kept me entertained the entire time. I was quite pleasantly surprised. :) For those of you who haven't seen this one, you should definitely check it out! I won't give a plot rundown here, just in case it would spoil it for some people.

I'm trying to talk C into watching Rain Man next, since it was the 1988 winner, but he keeps saying no since both of us have seen it. One of these days I'll get him to cave... :P


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Still alive!

Good grief, it's been a while since I've updated! It's not like I've really been doing a whole lot to move myself forward with my list, ashamed as I am to say it. We've been so busy with planning for our move and celebrating the holidays that I haven't even had much time to look at my list, much less complete anything on it. However, I did make a teeny bit of progress.

C and I started watching The Last Emperor, which was the Best Picture winner from 1987. We didn't finish it. Let me tell you something about this movie. It's a history based on actual events, and it's two hours and forty-five minutes long. We made it about an hour and a half before I started dozing off. :P C said that he actually found it interesting, and I won't lie. I thought that the story of China's last emperor would be really interesting too. However, they use flash back and forth between his childhood and his "present" situation (which was 1950), and it was really hard to follow at times. I'm sure it would have all made sense had we actually gotten to the end, but I have no desire to see the rest of that movie.

I'm giving myself a break on that one, since it's so stinking long, and counting it as watched. I watched half, which was enough to know that the second half would be equally as difficult to get through. Who knows? C may even succeed in convincing me to watch the other half. I'm still crossing it off my list. ;)

Also, I took some Christmas photos! Enjoy! :)


Monday, November 15, 2010

A difficult decision and a test drive

So there have been a few developments that I feel I should share. I've been feeling kinda bad about them, so maybe if I get things off my chest, I'll feel better.
Regarding NaNo: I started this endeavor with every intention of finishing it. I was so pumped about the idea of cranking out 50,000 words in a month, the idea that even though I'd be stressed, I'd create something worthwhile in that time. Unfortunately, things have changed a little bit.

It's not that I don't want to finish. I hate quitting things I've started, and this was the most difficult decision I've made in a while. I've discovered that this time constraint, while a good motivator, isn't really helpful for my writing process. I like to have ample time to brainstorm if I get hung up on the plot, and I felt really rushed and restricted within the parameters of NaNo.

I work a demanding job. I don't get to spend a lot of time with C, so when he's home, I don't write much. Recently we determined that we can't really afford living on our own, so we're moving in with C's parents...in a month. We have a lot of transitioning to do for that, and his parents will need a lot of help in the next few weeks in order to get everything ready for our arrival. I know that it's easy to find excuses, and that's not what I'm setting out to do. But in light of everything going on in my life right now, I'm far too distracted to write.

I'm not giving up entirely though. A friend of mine who was also participating in NaNo has agreed to hold a mini NaNo with me next spring, when we're not so busy. There aren't any prizes for winning NaNo, and there's nothing that says we have to live by their rules. We're both ok with our decision, and while I still feel a little like a quitter, I'm feeling better about my choice every day. The other things demanding my attention keep piling on, so it makes it a bit easier to live with.

To give you some happier news, C and I took my new camera for a test drive yesterday. It takes awesome photos, and we had lots of fun pretending to be professionals for the day. :P Here are some samples...

C took this next one, and he loves it so much that I thought I'd share it with all of you. :)



Sunday, November 7, 2010

Disney movies me me happy :)

We added 2 new Disney movies to our collection yesterday. We paid $5 for Toy Story 2 and 3! C's parents are upgrading to Blu-ray, so they're giving us a lot of their old DVDs once they buy the replacement for it. It's pretty convenient, since I don't know of any place you could pay $5 and get a new release DVD. :P

13 more to go!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

#20: Get a new camera...

is complete! C bought me a gently used Nikon d60 on Wednesday. I have yet to play with it, as NaNo is still causing a frenzy in my life right now, but I'm really excited to start using it. :)

Speaking of NaNo, here's a little update. My computer crashed on Thursday, which caused a minor panic attack for me. Luckily, C's parents helped my parents get me a new computer, which I am typing on at this very moment. It was truly a lifesaver, because I had a few NaNo obligations that required a computer of my own (they had to do with music, so it would have been tricky with someone else's computer). I'm very blessed to have the family I have. :)

Also, I went to another write-in today, and wrote over 2100 words. I even won a word war for the first time! I'm feeling pretty good about being able to catch up on my word count this weekend. I'm hovering around 6800 right now (I have a little more than that), and I need to have 11,668 by tomorrow night. If I write 1500 more words today, I'm pretty sure I can make the goal for tomorrow no problem.

Wish me luck!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010


NaNo is officially underway, and I've found that I don't have time to update my blog as much as I'd like to. I'm throwing a bunch of Caterfly updates in this post to tide you over, since I really have no idea when I'll be able to update it again.

#39: Attempt NaNoWriMo at least once. This is officially in progress! I've started my novel, and I'm sitting at 2500 words at the moment. I'm a little below the goal that NaNo sets for writers, but I'm not too worried. It's day 3, and I have Saturdays all to myself, so I'll have plenty of time to play catch-up if I fall behind during the week. Things got off to a bit of a rocky start, but I'm going in a really great direction now. :)

#20: Get a new camera. I found a woman who is selling a Nikon d60 in mint condition, along with a bunch of other gear for it, for $350. It's a steal, and even though I feel like a sell-out even considering a Nikon, I really have to consider what's best for my potential career. C and I are going to go check it out today, and if it's in working order, I may be able to cross this off my list soon!

#47: Make a new friend. I've been on a bit of a friendship roll this last week. I'm hesitant to cross this one off just yet, because I consider a friend someone that you hang out with outside of work. It's not just someone that you only see at work or school, but never trade phone numbers with or do recreational things with. However, I have two potential friends. One of them, S, is the leader of my region for NaNo. She's taken me under her wing and is helping me stay motivated during this very daunting process, and she's really fun. We'll get to meet in person on Saturday, and we'll see how things go from there. The other, D, is someone I just met yesterday. She's a nanny too, and she takes her charge to the same play place that I take mine. We started talking, and found we have a lot in common. We traded numbers today, so we'll see if it leads to a new friendship. I'm excited! :)

#51: Listen to my entire iTunes library and get rid of songs I don't like. I made it through the As and I'm on to the Bs. I got rid of 30 or 40 songs in the As, which is small peanuts considering I have well over 5000. We'll see how much my library shrinks over time though. :)

That's all you get for now!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Meet Seren!

This is Seren, the female lead in the novel I'm writing for NaNo in just two days! C sketched her for me, so it's not an exact representation of the girl I see in my head, but she's pretty darn close.

I can't believe it's finally almost here! I signed up three weeks ago, and now it's nearly time to put my money where my mouth is and crank out a novel in 30 days. To be honest, I'm excited and a little bit nervous. I've been outlining and profiling for weeks, so at this point the story is practically bursting out of me, but it's a little daunting to think that I have this amazing story and only 30 days to tell it. I hope I'll be able to finish it, and at the same time do it justice. It's a very complex world I've woven in my head, and I want to make sure I tell it right, in a way that other people (who don't live in my head) will understand.

I'm a very character-driven writer. I let them speak to me and have a say in where their story goes. I'm hoping that Seren and Silas, the male lead, will be cooperative and tell me their story. :P

Keep watching here for more updates...and maybe an excerpt or two!


Monday, October 18, 2010


I have a couple of writing buddies for NaNo now. :) It's exciting, because the whole experience is a big deal, and I get to share it with some pretty awesome ladies. I'll have two people who understand exactly what I'm going through, and will be able to keep me on track during the month. Have I mentioned that I can't wait for it to start?!

In other news, I've sort of started #51. It's going to take me a freakishly long time to get through all the songs in my iTunes, as I have over 5500 songs in there. I could listen for two weeks straight, with no sleeping, and still not hear it all! Needless to say I'm not in a big rush to finish this one. :P I'm going to do it though...I'm listening to Acceptance right now, and they're in the first position. Here we go!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

I registered!

I registered for NaNoWriMo today! :D I have never been more excited for anything in my entire life...except for my wedding of course. I spent a little while browsing the forums and looking up community events in my area, and I get happier and happier the more I look.

Words simply cannot express how big a deal this is for me. I'm notorious for editing my work instantly, over and over again, until I feel like it's good enough to be on the page. I have NEVER written anything the way NaNo asks you to, and I'm interested to see how I do in November. The idea is to create, not produce polished work, and my inner critic doesn't do well with that. It will definitely be an adventure, that's for sure!

I need to get back to outlining...more later!


Friday, October 15, 2010

A few updates...

The last week has been pretty chaotic with work and C's schedule, so I haven't had much time to do all the things I've wanted to. There are a few things that I've accomplished though.

I put ten bucks in my piggy bank for completing one task. I'm on my way to $1000, and couldn't be more excited! It seems like a long way off, but I'm so happy to be doing the tasks on my list that it doesn't even bother me much. The adventure is more exciting than the money I'll save, which is the way it should be (in my opinion).

I've started outlining my characters and basic plot for my NaNoWriMo project. I'm not disclosing anything here (yet), so don't look too hard for it at this point. I haven't had as much time as I would have liked to work on it, but I'm hoping that's going to change when I have the day to myself tomorrow. :) More on that later!

I've also started researching cameras for my upgrade. I've been seriously considering becoming a professional photographer lately, and it's a task that I put on my list. The only problem is this: the camera I currently have isn't really designed for professional photography. It's a glorified point and shoot, and has really lost a lot of battery-saving power over the years that I've had it. It's definitely time for an upgrade, and I'm really looking forward to it. I just want to make sure I'm getting the most for my money, so I've been doing some research. Luckily, C is willing to split the cost of a new camera with me, as an "investment" he says, so I don't have to come up with all the money on my own. I'm so lucky. :D

I don't really have much else to report...hopefully I can get back on track in the coming week.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Now what?

The next item I'm going to cross off the list is (probably) going to be #39: Attempt NaNoWriMo at least once. For those of you who have no idea what this means, which is probably the majority of you (:P), let me explain.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It takes place every November, and it's set up like a contest with no prizes. Basically, you have from 1 November until midnight on 30 November to write a novel of 50,000 words or more. There are no judges and no prizes...it's really just a way to get your creative juices flowing and write with abandon. You aren't supposed to edit for the entire month, and the only person who actually reads it is you. The manuscript is scrambled for protection and robots count the number of words to make sure you have enough. The whole thing is based on the honor system, but in my opinion, truly dedicated writers are proud of their craft and would take the challenge very seriously.

I have three Novembers over the course of my 1001 days. Most of you already know that next November is out for me, what with everything else that will be going on at that time. :) I want to make sure that I actually get to complete a novel at least one of the times that I try it, so I'm going to do it this November. It can count as a test run if I fail, and at least I'll be able to cross #39 off my list, but I'm pretty confident that I can crank something awesome out in a month. I've found lately that my creativity has been a little stifled, and I desperately need to get back to self-expression. It's a huge stress reliever for me, and I miss it.

The next three weeks will be spent brainstorming and outlining in an effort to get ready for NaNoWriMo. I've had an idea in my head for a long time, and I wrote the basic outline in a notebook after dreaming about it. I just haven't really done anything else with it. The rules of NaNoWriMo say that you can't use any prose or poetry you've already written...everything has to be original, but outlines are ok. You can bet that I'm going to have a spectacular outline ready by the time 1 November rolls around so that all I have to do is sit down and go to it! :D

Wish me luck!


Monday, October 11, 2010

#49 Make a wedding countdown

Well, there's certainly no time like the present. :) Since my start date is also exactly 13 months out from our wedding, I thought it would be appropriate to start a wedding countdown right away. Rather than do a lame paper countdown or some sort of calendar on the wall, I got a little creative.

Every day from now until the wedding, I get to eat one jellybean and C gets to eat one M&M. The green and blue are close to our actual wedding colors, and the purple really is the third color. I used my sample ribbon to make the bows. :) I'll take a photo on the 11th of each month so everyone can see how much the amount goes down.

One down, one hundred to go... :D


And so it begins...

I've been in a bit of a rut lately. Since moving away from home, things have settled into a bland routine of work, home, dinner, spend what little time I can with C, bed, repeat. Don't get me wrong, we still do fun things and enjoy ourselves. I just feel like I'm not challenging myself enough anymore, and I'm missing out on a lot of experiences in life.

Recently I came across a friend's blog. She also has a list like mine, with numerous activities and goals that she wants to accomplish over the course of 1001 days. I decided that I wanted one, and sat down to make my own. I got about halfway through before running out of ideas, and turned to the one place that holds whatever information I need: Google. I found an entire website of people with lists like mine, and along with it, a whole host of creative and challenging goals. I borrowed some, and reworked them so that they fit me and my lifestyle, and the result is a list I'm proud of and excited to complete.

It's called the Caterfly List. C and I came up with the name together, after I told him that I wanted to transform into a more courageous and adventurous person at the end of this process. The list is the transformation stage, the path between stuck-in-routine-caterpillar and free-spirited-adventurous-butterfly. And so the Caterfly List was born.

The list is to the left for those of you who want to see it. I'll cross things off there as I finish them. My plan is to update this blog frequently, to keep myself motivated and others up to date on my progress. It starts today, 13 months exactly from the day that I will become Mrs. C, and ends on 7 July 2013, almost 4 years after C and I began dating. I hope you all enjoy this journey as much as I will. :)