Art: I've been thinking about buying some more wall art for my house, and have spent lots of time looking around and I'm fascinated with photos and paintings of Venice, because its so incredible to me that you could walk out your door onto the water. This is my current favorite, Venetian Reflection II by Hazel Soan (courtesy of

Dog: I've thought about getting another dog, though I haven't really done anything about it. Every few days I visit and think about it some more. I couldn't adopt another puppy, even if I wanted to, because I can't take care of her during the day, and I'm really not ready for all the peeing and chewing that comes with a puppy. And I'm just not sure how Dakota would handle another dog in the house - I think she needs a low-energy dog that would let her be dominant.
Jewelry: For the last several months, I've used a mug tree to hold my jewelry, similar to this one from Target:

I like having my jewelry out on display, rather than stored away in jewelry boxes. I've also found that most jewelry boxes don't really fit the jewelry I have - mostly necklaces with and handful of bracelets and earrings. Tonight I finally finished my homemade organizer. I got the idea from my friend Kate's roommate, Erin, and made it out of 1/2-inch mesh and S-hooks I bought from Home Depot (total cost, including ribbon, was less than $15):

Soda and Caffeine: Its been over two weeks since I had any soda, and I'm drinking a lot more water, especially at work. A coworker asked me if I noticed a difference, and I had to think about it for a few minutes, but I really do. Besides it being easier to lose weight without the extra calories, I don't feel like I need the caffeine when I first wake up in the morning. And, I don't notice as many variations in my energy level throughout the day.

Dakota: I took more pictures of Dakota - oh, yes, I love my new camera. I had her lay in the new papasan chair I bought for my bedroom (though she prefers to lay on the bed). She looks adorable, though:

More photos: This time from spending the day at Williamsburg with Heather, Nathan, Kim, and Luke:

View: I think I live in one of the most beautiful places. I took these photos walking by the river in my neighborhood (today, in January, in a tank top):

Camera: Loving the new camera! I'm hoping to walk around tomorrow and take some shots of the river and docks near my house. In the meantime, I initiated the camera with a bunch of pictures of one of my favorite subjects (who, like her mom, is not that photogenic). Here are some of my favorites:

Living Room Corner: I've got a corner in my living room that needs to be filled with something. I had a lamp there previously, but its not substantial enough. I could look for a tall and slender bookcase, but with the entertainment center and a built-in display shelf in that corner as well, I think something so straight and square would be a little overwhelming. My next thought was to place an easel there, with an art piece, but I think we're talking about more money than I'm ready to spend at the moment. I like buying art, but I'd rather buy it when I find something that inspires me. I guess I'll need to wait and see, but now that the Christmas tree is down (it was in that corner), its looking more and more empty.
Camera: After a few years with my low-end HP 2 megapixel camera, I've finally upgraded. Honestly, I was mostly inspired by the beauty that's around here, and by the need for more art, particularly wall-art, in my house. I have these visions of lots of great photos, all different sizes, on my walls - we'll see if my vision can actually become a reality.
First service: Wow, what can I say? Our first service was on Sunday, and there were 50 people there! I worked in the nursery, so I wasn't able to be in the service and see everyone, but when Jenni's Dad came in to tell us how many people were there, I got excited. Then, when Chad came in and asked where we could find more chairs, I got almost giddy. There are churches who struggle to ever move beyond 50 in their service, and that's how many we have before we even do hard-core publicity! I can't wait to see what the next couple months hold.

Soda: I have, kind of accidentally, decided to give up soda, at least for a while. I drink a lot at work, and have been struggling to cut back. Friday I drank only water, and when I realized Saturday night that I hadn't had soda at all in two days, I decided to go ahead and stop completely. I had a killer caffeine headache Saturday night and some of Sunday, but that's gone now.
Goals and Resolutions: I've been thinking about my resolutions some more, and here's what I've decided. First, there is a difference between a goal and a resolution, at least in my mind. A resolution implies more direct action on my part, while a goal is achieved through resolutions. So, while there are many things I would like to accomplish in the next year, here's the most pressing in my mind: to lost 52 pounds by December 31 (yep, jumping on the Bridge Church bandwagon).

As to the resolution, I started tracking what I ate before Christmas, and had already been working out with Heather two days a week. I need to make that three, but my real resolution is to go to bed earlier.

Two great sites (on the off chance that anyone reading this would be interested):
Joe's Goals - lets you track goals (positive and negative) and award points, also lets you create log books
FitDay - lets you track what you eat, what you do, nutritional goals, everything health-related you could think of

First Service: Our first service is this Sunday, and to be honest, I'm looking forward to getting the first few under our belt. I feel like we've planning and preparing, and its time to see how it all will work out. Plus, I'll be in the nursery the first two weeks, so I'm excited to be in the service.
Resolutions: I struggle with resolutions every year, mostly because I have trouble narrowing them down. I can think of a lot of things I could resolve to do - go to bed earlier, lose weight, commit to being on time, have regular morning quiet times, complete house projects, clean out the back room, manage my money better, even less tangible things like practice generosity. The problem is, to do all of these at once is unrealistic - goals and resolutions work better one at a time, two at the most. On the other hand, this time of year is filled with a new energy, a motivation to actually accomplish these things, so I'd like to harnass that. How do you use your motivation wisely without overwhelming yourself?