My Big 31: Creepin’ Along!

Does anyone else realize it is May????

I’m not sure where the months have gone, but I absolutely cannot believe that the swimming pool is open, I can now enjoy my coffee on my patio, and that I am reunited with one of the loves of my live:my flip flops. It seems like just yesterday when I was sitting down to pen my blog about the Big 31 of 2013. Don’t get me wrong…I am very, very glad that summer is finally creeping into my life. This is my favorite time of year…the flowers are in bloom, thoughts of summer fun are always lingering, and regardless of how terrible a day can be, feeling the sun beat down on my face always makes me smile. Thank you, summer, for showing up. I was really over your skank sister, Winter.

I’ve really enjoyed the goals I have met so far toward my big 31. It really is a good feeling knowing I am accomplishing little tasks that I feel are making me a better person. To some people, they may find it silly, but who cares. Maybe those people should take a little looksie into a mirror and bask in their perfection. I think it really hit me today that this year is nearly halfway over, which I cannot believe.

Five months into 2013, this is where I stand.

An update on My Big 31

-Run 31 Races: I’ve completed four races so far, three of those being 5Ks and one being the Nashville Half Marathon. A slow start, however, race season has officially started, which means I will be running a lot every weekend from this point on. This is my favorite time of year! I have been so pleased with my running . While I am still slower than I would like, I am definitely getting stronger every single day. My times are faster and my endurance is greatly improving. Above all, running has truly been my saving grace with all of the difficult challenges 2013 has dealt me. My favorite sign from the Nashville Marathon summed it up perfectly: “Running is cheaper than therapy.” Amen to that.

My most recent race, Kelly's Grief 5K, with my running pals Andrea and Sharon!

My most recent race, Kelly’s Grief 5K, with my running pals Andrea and Sharon!

– Cook 31 New Recipes: I started off strong with this goal, but the last month and a half have kind of gotten away from me. I have absolutely neglected my kitchen. Other than smoothies, I really haven’t made much as far as new recipes go. So far the recipes I have made include banana oat breakfast cookies, stuffed crab rolls, sugar cinnamon monkey bread, turkey taco bake, black bean and spinach enchiladas, pink chocolate chip cookies, and homemade granola bars. I need to get it together….otherwise I will keep getting texts from my KitchenAid mixer telling me how much she misses me.

-Complete 31 Acts of Kindness:  I’m still not doing as much good as I would like, though I know that I will never feel as if I am doing enough.  I have mailed letters to troops for A Million Thanks and paid for a woman’s meal at McDonalds.  I have donated clothing and a few winter coats that were older and ill fitting to a local shelter, participated in National Random Acts of Kindness Week…where I did something nice for someone each of the five business days, and I donated two old pairs of eyeglasses that were outdated prescriptions to an organization that shares with those who need help with their vision. My most recent act of kindness is one that is ongoing and is so important to me: planning a huge fundraiser for my dear friend, Andy Buehl, who was injured terribly in a severe car accident December 21st. The fundraiser will take place on August 3rd, and for those interested in donating, sponsoring a hole, volunteering, or golfing, please let me know. You can also follow Andy by going onto , typing in Andy’s name, and then entering the password “notredamefootball.” If nothing else, please just continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

I can't wait for my friend to laugh with all of us again!

I can’t wait for my friend to laugh with all of us again!

Read 31 Books: I’ve been on a reading rampage lately….so far I have read three books, but I am presently rotating between five, and I am close to finishing all of them. I do the majority of my reading at the pool in the summer, and since my pool just opened this week, I anticipate an increase in completed books here very soon! You can view my updated bookshelf virtually here on Shelfari!

-Complete 31 Photo Shoots: I’m still loving photography, and I am so thrilled that I no longer have to feature barren trees and nasty wintery backgrounds in my images. Bring on the flowers and sun! Last month I shared my awesome logo thanks to my favorite graphic artist and pal, Mandy. I love it! Remember, if you have an animal you want some images of, let me know. I am trying to build my portfolio, so I am all about taking pictures that will do just that.


– Share 31 Stories of Awesome Friendship: Oh, my friends. They are my heart and soul. While I haven’t shared too many stories on my blog (yet), I can truly say I have seen how fortunate I am to have the friends I have.

-Make 31 Crafts: My inner Martha Stewart needs revived. I still have twenty nine crafts to complete here!!!!

-Buy 31 New Pairs of Shoes: I can honestly say this is the only goal of mine that I am over halfway to meeting. Ridiculous? Absolutely. However, to be fair, I have donated a substantial (substantial to me, at least) amount of shoes over the past few months. My feet have been very happy.

To help motivate myself (and others who may be struggling with their goals and resolutions), I share one of my favorite movie motivational moments with you….and a little alliteration, too. The English major in me is also very happy with that : )

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