This year I want to try something new and share monthly recaps. I will post a recap of the month which includes updates on various topics like feats, fitness, food, faith, finds, favorites, and the feels! Here is my January monthly recap!
MONTHLY RECAP JANUARY 2019
Hi and Happy End-Of-January!
I hope you are having a wonderful week! I’m writing to you from a bitterly cold and snowy Kirksville, Missouri. This year I want to try something new and share monthly recaps. My goal is that at the end of each month, I will post a recap of the month which includes updates on various topics like feats, fitness, food, faith, finds, favorites, and the feels! (I’m an alliteration gal, through and through.) Basically, this is something I want to try to keep up all year long to reflect about the highs, lows, and everything in between for each month.
[Monthly achievements, victories, and accomplishments]
- Started another semester of graduate school
- I committed to yet another semester of graduate school. (It’s a big deal!) I started my 5th semester, and at the beginning of each new course I always go through this phase of questioning. “Am I sure I want to do this? Why am I doing this? How am I going to do this?” and other dramatic questions that I ultimately answer with something like: “I am doing this because it will be worth it for the opportunities that could come.” So, here we are, committing to another semester, and one step closer to becoming Master Smith.
- Ran the longest I’ve ever run
- Since this is the first time I have ever trained for a marathon, there’s this really cool thing that’s been happening where I go on a long run and run the furthest distance I have ever gone. This month, I peaked at 19 miles I felt like a crazy/psycho/real endurance athlete because my running ladies and I conquered the mileage in freezing temperatures. I felt good and strong, a testament to the training program actually working!
[Monthly reflection on the head & heart]
- A slower pace
- This month started at a slower pace and I absolutely loved it. The very beginning of this month started without any classes so I only had to work, which left nighttime to read, write, and spend time with Alan.
- Dreamed about the year
- In honor of the new year, I spent some time thinking about the upcoming year. Instead of making a million plans (I do have some in mind), I realized I know SO LITTLE about what this year will hold. I don’t know much about what I will do, where I will go, or anything else, and that is okay. I hope for growth, adventures, opportunities, and joy.
- Thoughts on “being healthy”
- With the start of the new year, a lot of people make the resolution to “be healthy.” I think “being healthy” has a different meaning for each person but it’s way more than just eating nutritious foods and working out — it’s about emotional, mental, and spiritual wellness too. It’s taking care of your insides first because that impacts everything else.
- Marathon update
- Marathon training has been in full swing! I train most mornings, usually running with a couple of days off cross training. Running has been great, but I also really enjoy cross training (like swimming) and REST. There are about 9 more weeks until the big race!
- Triathlon update
- In November I registered for my first triathlon! I’m really excited for it and training has been really fun. I am obviously running (hence the previously mentioned marathon update) and have started swimming, but I haven’t started biking AT ALL. I haven’t even been on a real bike ride ever. The weather is too cold for that now, but as soon as the weather is nicer I will start biking around!
- New faces at the gym
- With the start of the new year, I have seen so many new faces at the gym and I think it is amazing. It’s so awesome to see people striving to incorporate movement into their days. Personally, exercise has been a great way for me to boost my overall health (physically, mentally, and emotionally) and it’s encouraging to see others be changed in that way as well. If you’re someone new at the gym, I hope you are encouraged and motivated, even if you don’t always feel confident!
[Monthly eats, recipes, & culinary experiences]
- Tried some new recipes
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup With Kale: Y’all know I am all about the slow cooker recipes! I decided to try out this GF/DF soup recipe when my good friends Sami & Jake stopped through town earlier this month, and it hit the spot! The four of us almost ate the whole thing — it was tasty.
- Sweet Potato Chickpea Cakes: I had a few extra sweet potatoes one week and wanted to use the remaining to make something to snack on during the week. I’m always looking for nutritious snack ideas and these cakes were simple (don’t need a ton of obscure ingredients), easy (you only use one bowl), and delicious!
- Chia Pudding: I tried making chia pudding for the first time and it was way better than I thought it would be! I added a ton of toppings to mine, like nut butter, fruit, and coconut.
[Monthly points of joy]
- Annual ladies weekend
- Every year, a group of my college friends and I get together for a reunion weekend. We rent a random house and spend the entire weekend catching up, laughing, cooking, eating, watching movies, and lounging around together. It’s the absolute best to spend time with people who know and love me well.
[Monthly reflections on God]
- Getting started again
- If I’m being honest, I have recently felt far from the Lord. Logically, I know I need to spend time in prayer and scripture, but my heart has not kept up with the motivation. I recently kickstarted my time with the Lord and have been making baby steps to put action into my daily walk with the Lord.
- What I’ve prayed
- This month I have prayed for the Lord to “lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139) and to “walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5). A recurring prayer I have said is, “Lord, teach me to walk in step with your spirit and lead me in the way everlasting, today and everyday. Help me to humbly serve and love you and others, always. Amen.”
- A sermon I listened to
- One sermon I listened to this month was titled, “Genesis: Rest and the Seventh Day,” given by Reed Dent. In this sermon, Reed talked about the holy rest woven into the fabric of creation and what it says about us. Check it out below!
FAM & FRIENDS
[Monthly relationship endeavors]
- Visits to friends
- It’s important for friends to take turns visiting each other. It’s amazing when people come to visit you, but you can’t always expect that. On New Years this year, a group of people came to celebrate Kirksville, which was so amazing because people don’t visit this small town much anymore! Then later that week, Alan and I went to visit our dear friends Meagan and Paul, who live a little under two hours away. With both groups of people, we have taken turns visiting each other, and I just think that is so important in a friendship.
- Investment in lifelong friendships
- A group of my gals and I have an annual friends weekend to celebrate our friendship. I wrote about this before, but I am so blessed to have relationships and a community of people that know me well and that feel like “home.” I’ve learned that through distance, time, and trials, there’s an investment that must go into relationships to keep them strong.
[Monthly new music, reads, shows, and goods]
- WINTERY MIX PLAYLIST
- I made a new playlist this month to match my feels for the month and I’ve been listening to it on repeat. The beginning of this month was super chill without school and just work (lol at the idea of JUST going to work being chill) but it was so nice to be able to go to bed early, actually rest on the weekends, etc. To match the chill vibes this month’s playlist had a lot of Sleeping at Last, Ben Howard, Alexi Murdoch, Gregory Alan Isakov, and James Vincent McMurrow. I listened to this music while doing things like researching trips for the summer, writing a blog post, or working on projects in my office.
- To Shake the Sleeping Self by Jedidah Jenkins
- This book really inspired me for a big journey! So all of you adventure seekers, read this book with caution…. but honestly, read it because I loved it! Also, I technically finished this at the end of 2018 (mentioned in my Best of 2018 blog post) but wanted to mention it in case you missed it!
- Marathon by Hal Higdon
- I wanted to read this book because I’m following one of Hal’s plans for my marathon training. However, I honestly thought this book was pretty boring. It also made me feel intimated and nervous rather than inspired and motivated. I will say I did learn a few new things but I probably won’t read it again.
- Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
- This book wasn’t really my style. I think it was a bit too over-the-top for me. I think there’s truth to what the author writes, but I think it was said in a style that just isn’t really up my alley.
- Note: I realize I am not great at explaining or reviewing books, so that is something I will try hard to improve throughout the year! I want to say more than “loved it” or “didn’t like it” and actually explain my reasons and opinions, but I need to learn how to do that better.
- American Vandal
- Alan and I binge-watched both seasons of this show in four days. Basically, this is an American mockumentary web television series on Netflix. The series is a parody of true crime documentaries such as Making a Murderer and Serial. We thought it was hilarious and it’s sooooo extra and dramatic which I loved.
- GapFit Ribbed Joggers
- I ordered a black pair of these joggers online for 50% off Gap’s website and love them! They are so comfy, lightweight, and I feel like I could wear them around forever. I’m still trying to figure out a way I can wear them to work…
- New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam Cruz v2 Knit
- I ordered a pair of these shoes in white! Instead of wearing my old running shoes around (which is what I usually do), I wanted to have a pair of tennis shoes I could wear that weren’t so grungy. These are very comfy and make me feel like I’m walking on clouds!
I’m still in shock with how fast January came and went. It was a great month and I’m looking forward to February! Also, I’m interested in any feedback you might have about this post, so please reach out and share.
Until next month,