Intentional – My Word for 2014

As I sat Tuesday night reflecting on the amazing year that 2013 was for my family and me, I also had to think about the things I wish I had done differently. Sure, I could have changed things at any point throughout the year, but as I thought about all the good and bad of last year, I knew I had to make some changes this year. When I wrote out my goals, I noticed a common theme – being intentional.
I’ve decided I’m done just floating through my days, feeling frustrated at my lack of accomplishment or just being in the room with someone, but not really being WITH them. So, my goals for this year are to be more intentional about the ways I spend my time.

I want to be INTENTIONAL about spending quality time with my husband. Not just sitting next to him on the couch while we both play on our phones or watch a movie together…but talking to him, loving him the way he deserves…being the wife God designed me to be (and yes, I’m sure that means submitting more).

I want to be INTENTIONAL about the time I spend with my children. I spend so many precious moments with them, sitting in the same room, but not really doing anything WITH them. I want to show them how much they mean to me by playing with them, reading to them, teaching them.

I want to be INTENTIONAL about growing my relationship with God. Spending time in prayer and reading the Bible. Studying His word – on my own and with others. Diving deeper in my commitment and surrender to His will.

I want to be INTENTIONAL about reading. I once set a goal to read 2 books every month – 1 fiction and 1 nonfiction. I think I made it 2 months before I gave up. This year, I just want to finish every book that I start. I haven’t set a certain number of books because I know that life with little ones sometimes gets in the way…but I love to read and I want to get back into the habit of readin often.

I want to be INTENTIONAL about making my house a home. I HATE to clean…actually, hate may not even be a strong enough word. I’ve never understood people who say that cleaning their house is a stress relieving activity. However, having a dirty, messy, cluttered house is definitely NOT stress relieving! No…I don’t want my house to be spotless, model-home clean. But I do want it to be clean enough that I am not embarrassed to invite people over. I want to keep up with the dishes in the sink, to spend a little time each day picking up the messes.

I’m going to pick 1-2 of these goals to really focus on each month this year. I’m going to make living my life – participating, not just watching – a priority this year.

What are you being intentional about this year? What is your word for the 2014?


Mommies with migraines and energetic toddlers don’t mix well. That’s probably not a huge shocker to you, but it’s where I’ve been most of this week. I keep repeating my words of affirmation to myself in an attempt to lift my mood, but this dang headache will just not go away! My hope is that today will be different. I’m hoping that being able to take some Excedrin this morning and a nap this afternoon might finally knock it out for good (or at least until the next migraine hits in a few weeks or months). Today is the perfect day to nap away a migraine. It is dark and rainy…which makes for perfect sleeping weather! With that said, it’s naptime! Good night!

South Beach Diet, Round 2

I’m no stranger to trying to find my healthy weight.  I’ve struggled with weight and body image for as long as I can remember.  I was a super-shy high school girl, overweight, with absolutely no self confidence.  I continued to struggle with those issues through college, and even into the early years of my teaching career.  When I was asked to be in a friend’s wedding in 2003, I decided it was time to actually do something about my weight.  I joined Weight Watchers and had immediate and amazing results!  I found that actually paying attention to what I was eating made a HUGE difference, and in the 4-6 months that I stuck with the program, I lost 30 pounds.  I was within 10 pounds of my goal weight!  But then, the money ran out.  I could no longer afford to go to the weekly meetings.  I stuck with the plan for a while, but eventually just started eating whatever and whenever I wanted.

Fast forward a few years to 2011.  I decide that one of my New Years Resolutions would be to get healthy and be a better example to my daughter.  I joined myfitnesspal and started tracking my calorie intake and my exercise.  I started doing Wii Fit, and EA Active on a regular basis.  By Easter, I had lost 10 pounds…not terrible, but not great considering that Easter was at the end of March.  The week of Easter, I started reading The South Beach Dietand by the middle of the following week, I was ready to begin.  I loved how this book actually gave me a PLAN to follow…including sample meal plans, a list of foods that I could eat and enjoy, as well as foods that I should be avoiding.  My doctor had recommended this diet to me for several years…and after reading the book I finally understood why.

As a sufferer of PCOS, I am already insulin resistant.  As a typical American, I am a self-proclaimed carb-addict.  Anyone can see those two things don’t really go together very well.  South Beach helped me get rid of my carb cravings, and then slowly reincorporate healthy carbs back into my diet.  Over the next couple of months, I lost an additional 15 pounds, and was feeling really good about myself and my size!  Then…VACATION.

Yep…we went on vacation, and I completely trashed my diet.  I gained 10 pounds in 1 week.  Did I come home and say “It’s OK, Kristal, you can just pick up where you left off.  You’ll get to your goal, but it will now take you a little longer than planned.”?  Sadly, no, I did not.  I came home and continued eating whatever I wanted.  Slowly, I let my weight creep back up.

Now, here we are in March.  For a lot of reasons that I may go into in a later post, I didn’t get to start South Beach back up at the beginning of the year.  I started just over 2 weeks ago.  I cheated a little during the first week and continued to allow myself to have a few small things that aren’t really on the diet (sugar in my coffee, creamy ranch salad dressing…), but then at the beginning of week 2, I decided that I was going to do this right.  So far, I’ve only lost about 4 pounds, but I know that I am eating better!  I am trying new recipes (I may even post a few of those here), and exposing my family to new foods that they may not have ever tried before!  I am committed to doing this, and making the South Beach Diet a lifestyle for myself.  I will be posting periodic updates letting you know how I’m doing, and I am hopeful that doing so will keep me accountable too.  So if it’s been a while and you haven’t heard an update from me, please hit the “Email me” button on the side and tell me!