Yay- I finished my FOCAL!!

Hi everyone!

I have been in a so-so mood all day because I was procrastinating on finishing my Intel FOCAL (which was already supposed to be turned in last week– oops), but now that I have finished it, I am relieved and can be super happy!

Since I have a million resolutions to catch up on, I decide to buy a “student planner.”  Granted, it has spots for homework assignments each week & started in Aug’12 and only goes til Jun’13…but it was pretty and only 98 cents and helps me keep track of everything I need to do to stay on top of my resolutions!  Thus far it has been really useful.


Now I figured I would go through them one-by-one:

Run 1000 miles: Ehhh…well technically the week doesn’t end until Tuesday (since the 1st was a Tuesday), but I’ve only run 6 miles this week 😦  Oh well!  I just have to get to 1000 by the end!

Lose 10 pounds: I don’t own a scale so I have no idea how I will even measure this, but in regards to eating healthy, I’ve found a new favorite snack– fresh green beans!  They’re crunch & sort of taste like you’re eating grass but after forcing myself to snack on them all week, I’ve actually developed a liking for them.  Give it a try!

Perfectly plan Europe: We have FINALLY mapped out our general plan!   (Okay, okay maybe I shouldn’t have put that in caps since Mom has only know for a month that we’re going.  It’s just that since I’ve been waiting SOOOOO long to tell her, I feel like I’ve been waiting soooooo long to plan the itinerary! Anyways….)   We’re going to start in Paris (I’ve been, but Mom really wants to go), visit Versailles, then move south to the beautiful coast.  We’ll city-hop around there (Nimes, Montpellier, Marseilles, Cannes, etc.) before swooping through Monaco and up to Genoa, Italy.  Then we’ll live up the city life in Milan, before trying to stalk George Clooney at Lake Como. Then we’re off to Switzerland, moving through Lucerne & up to Zurich.  From Zurich, we’ll swing east over to Neuschwanstein, Germany to see the Disney castle!  Then we’ll take a dip south to hit up Innsbruck before scooting way east to Vienna. (I may fit in short trips to Munich and/or Salzburg somewhere in there, since those are my two favorite previously visited places.)  Then, since Mom will be tired of traveling by now :), we will relax on our two longest train rides of the trip, from Vienna to Prague and then on to Berlin, before sleeping the whole plane ride back to the US!  I’m stoked!  After this trip, I’ll only have a few “must-see” places in Europe left, so I think I see a 2014 Eastern Europe tour in my future.  Oh and we’ll be leaving May 9th/10th and returning on the 26th!  (Just in time for May close ha.)  I hope to book the flights very soon.

Grand Canyon trip with Dad: I plan to talk to him about this on Wednesday night because we’re having dinner while he’s in town! 

Weekend trip with Cherie: I’ve started scouting ideas and have a few up my sleeve.

Visit Derek: Nothing is planned so far, but Alix is going to be in Tucson a lot of weekends coming up, so I may plan a trip to Derek when she is down there too.  She also brought up that there is a big gem show down there coming up, so I may just have to go down to that since I spent my childhood splurging on gemstone necklaces from the National Geographic store, lugging around my purple Easer bunny tin with my prized rock collection, holding up my family at every pit stop on the move to Arizona because I had to dig through the cheap polished stones for amethysts, receiving rock tumbler equipment as birthday presents, and once, even stealing a shiny rock piece that had fallen off of an ornament at a Mall of America store during the after-Christmas clearance sales, that I have felt guilt for ever since.  (I still expected to be arrested for that lapse in judgment, but if it is worth anything, I did carry around the rock piece in my coat pocket for more than two years, so I likely did show it more love than it would have gotten on the floor of the mall….sooo…)  Anyways, to this day, two of my most prized possessions are my unpolished amethyst book-ends that Mark & Mom got for me in Sedona so I would definitely enjoy a gem show!!

Reconnect with friends: As I said earlier this week, Sarah and I had dinner.  This upcoming weekend, we’re going to hike Camelback and then possibly go to the Food Truck Festival at Salt River Fields.  We were very excited about and intrigued by this food truck festival, but then Nadia & Alix informed me it basically sucked.  So we will see!  I plan to get lunch or dinner with Fish sometime next week (this week is too buys unfortunately) since she works close to me now.

Hang out with work friends, outside of work: I failed on this one this week 😦 Alix and I were going to go to Orange Theory this morning together, before I had to cancel.  BUT we have plans to work out together this week so woohoo!

Do at least six activities with MeetUp groups to make new friends: I have plans to start reading “East of Eden” next month so that I can attend the “Young Social Professionals PHX” MeetUp book club event!  Sarah Stevenson might go with me too because she loves the book and liked the idea of meeting new people.

Other:  I’m going to lump all of these “Other” ones together because I’m getting sick of typing and instead just talk about the ones I made progress on.

  • Improve my French: I bought a $25 LivingSocial deal for a six-month membership to LiveMocha.  Most reviews say LiveMocha is best as a refresher tool, rather than complete instruction from knowing no language to being fluent.  Since I took French for four years and can still write it, it seemed like a good fit for me!  I am hoping to activate my membership this week.
  • Don’t just take photos– print them!: And put in frames!  On New Year’s Day, I ordered a bunch of pics from my favorite website, Snapfish, and they arrived today.  I refreshed all of my frames (big deal since, for example, the picture on my nightstand was from my high school graduate in 2007), added photos to my fridge (gave my OCD self slight anxiety, but I arranged them symmetrically so now it doesn’t super bother me), and will be updating all of my desk photos tomorrow morning!


  • Make a long-term volunteer commitment to at least three orgs:  Success!  Yesterday morning I had my interview & then orientation to become a Dog Caretaker for RESCUE.  RESCUE rescues dogs from the Maricopa County animal shelter & the Humane Society that have been placed on the list to be euthanized.  RESCUE keeps the dogs in doggie daycare (boarding) or at foster homes until they find a placement.  (And, even cooler, if they find an owner and at some point the owner can no longer take care of the doggie, say they pass away, RESCUE will take the doggie back and find him a new home!  For the rest of his life!)  As a Dog Caretaker, I could now be assigned on any weekend to a certain dog, who I would have for up to 9 hours per day.  They have adoption events at PetClub that you have to bring the doggie too for an hour or so, but then it is up to you how you’d like to spend the day.  I am very excited, and I hope I get to volunteer this weekend!  I am also working on becoming a Head Coach for a organizaton called “Girls on the Run,” but I’ll do an update on that when I, hopefully, am selected!

Then for my “Monthly” goals, I have already finished one book!  I read “Safe Haven” by Nicholas Sparks.  It was a quick (four-hour or so) book that I read this past Friday night.  I selected it after seeing a preview for the upcoming movie, which is being released this Valentine’s Day.  Like all Nicholas Sparks books, this one was all sappy & about love & yadayada but it also dealt with domestic violence, which was the most thought-provoking part of the book for me.  Overall, I would recommend it, but not as one that will challenge you or make you smarter or more aware of things in the world.  Instead, I recommend it as just being pleasurable and if you read it, you’ll be able to go see the movie then!

And now for “Weekly” goals.  I have changed “stretch every morning” to “stretch every day” because I am realizing that I usually forget in the morning.  I have a morning routing all ready so adding in this new step has been challenging.  I am more likely to remember to stretch after work, when I’m feeling tight.  So ignoring the morning part, I’ve stretched every day this week!

Blog about my resolutions– done, duh.

Finally, I called my Grandma Dolores today, in between dropping clothes off at consignment, dropping a big donation off at Goodwill, and finding two pristine Jodi Picoult hardcovers at Bookmann’s.  Unfortunately, we were only able to talk for 15 minutes, but we caught up on our Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.  I also learned my Uncle Tony is having surgery this week, that is similar to one my brother had in high school.  I hope it goes well!!

Well that’s all for now.  I want to start reading my next book– “11/22/63” by James Patterson. 

Love, Paige

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s