10:41 PM | Author: Misty
I've had a good week.

I mentiod in my last post that I had a few areas that I wanted to work on, specifically budgeting, getting more organized in general and doing Weight Watchers.

All three have been going ... pretty well. I won't say I am doing perfectly well, but I am absolutely making progress.

Well, like I said, I worked out a budget based on what I normally get paid. I had some extra money in my paycheck this time, so the budgeting may change up a little once I don't have that excess, but things are looking good for now. I was really careful to split up my money into cash, savings and checking the way my budget said. I put $400 in savings; that will help cover upcoming bills (half), adds $25 that I intended to add to my savings and then also adds an extra $100 to savings that I intend to either put toward a Canon Digital Rebel (camera) or a MacBook Pro. I'm trying to decide which of these goals I want to work toward first. I could definitely get the camera sooner, but I also know that it will take so long to save up for the laptop that I should probably start now. So for now, I'm just saving. I will try to decide soon where the money will go! I'm also a little anxious to see if I will stick to my limited amount of cash. I already feel like I may have budgeted a little low for eating out, but I'm going to do my best to stick with what I've got. For anyone else who is struggling with budget/financial stuff, seriously, check out the book Generation Debt. It's very good, and I've learned stuff from reading it that I feel like will benefit me for a long, long time. Oh, and I also talked through all this with a financial advisor person (who actually was not exactly the right person to talk to, but who made me feel good nonetheless) at Wachovia, and she seemed to think my budget looks pretty good - as long as I stick to it, of course.

Well, first off, I bought myself (with money I had budgeted) a new, cool calendar that has color-coded sticky tabs so I can be a lot more organized about where my time is going. I'm pretty excited about that. I guess I will have to see over the next few weeks how my time is getting split up. This week I have focused on getting some errands done and setting aside a little bit of time for myself and for time with Kettle. This has been tough, but I did go shopping by myself (killing two birds with one stone since I was able to pick up some birthday presents), and Kettle and I were able to have lunch and dinner together once this week. I also took some time tonight to get my room straightened up and a bit more organized. I am hoping that I'll be able to clean my car up a bit tomorrow, because it REALLY needs it. I think, for the timebeing, if I can focus on getting all my ducks in a row, then I can turn my attention to dividing up my time even better in the following weeks. I also have to buckle down at work and get some stuff done for Profile, which is our annual progress publication. I can earn some bonuses by having stuff done by certain deadlines, and that would definitely be a good thing.

Weight Watchers
Well, of course, this is a struggle, but I am definitely trying. I did OK with what I ate this week, especially with eating lots of fruits and veggies. I struggled with what I ate for dinner (I had Sonic one night, and I had Chinese food tonight), and I also had a hard time making it to the gym (I only went on Wednesday). So those are some things for me to work on this week. My weigh-in day is going to be Wednesday, so I'll try to remember to update about whether I lose/gain/stay the same. I'm looking forward to being in better shape, but I just have to convince myself that all the hard work is going to be totally worth the end result.

So, yeah, as for this weekend, I am dog-sitting, which is a lot of fun. I picked up Ranger from Kettle's house tonight. He's asked several times if I could take the dog for a weekend, and I told him before I didn't think my parents would let me. But I finally asked and they (grudgingly) agreed to let me keep the dog here for a couple of days. He's having fun exploring around my parents house, and I'm sure he'll have a blast running around in the yard tomorrow when it's daylight.

Kettle and I are invited to a Halloween party tomorrow night, but he has to work sort of late, and I have been feeling kind of icky, so I'm not sure if we're going to make it. I'm going to try to spend some time working on some Christmas presents tomorrow, too.

My nephew's birthday party is Sunday, so we'll be going to that, then we are planning to have some us time, which we haven't had nearly enough of lately. I'd say it's definitely tough on both of us to have such crazy work hours. We see each other all the time, but seeing each other at work is much different from cooking dinner together or watching TV or playing tennis or whatever. So, yeah, I'm excited about that!

Ooooh, and I finally asked at the local coffee shop about whether they would be interested in displaying some of my photography. The owner wasn't there, but the barista said she would try to remember to ask him about it. That would be a cool project for me. Another cool project that I'm going to be working on is a story that I'm planning to pitch to Relevant or Radiant Magazine. My friend Alaina, who is the coolest ever, has a really awesome life story, and I think it's something other folks should get to hear about, because she's had a chance to make an impact on an international level. So, yeah, I need to e-mail her to get info for the pitch. I'll hopefully get around to that this weekend, too, but the first thing I have to work on (before I do any of this other stuff) is writing two stories for work (one on a development project in Troy and the other on Barack Obama's rural agenda).

So, anyway, hope everyone has a great weekend, and I will try to keep this thing updated with what's going on and how I'm doing with everything!
I guess blogging can be a bit of a chore for me since I write (mostly) for a living. But seeing as how I don't get to write in first person there (or tell what I really think, which is probably a good thing in some cases), I feel a need to continue writing here, even if it is only occasionally.

Kettle and I went to Tuscaloosa over the weekend, and it was really good. He didn't punch anyone. Nobody punched him. I feel like some things were smoothed over somewhat. It was so good to lead worship again after such a long break. I guess I didn't realize quite how much I missed it. And it was good worship, too. I love it when I get up on stage and then God moves, mostly in spite of me and my thinking I'm all that. Jon talked on creating margins, specifically with the way time is spent. That's a tough one for me because of the craziness of the hours at my job, but I am really making an effort to create some boundaries even in my work schedule (like taking off the time I'm supposed to be taking off, doing an excellent job while I am there but not feeling obligated to stay and help other people do their jobs, etc.). Anyway, it was great (as always) to get to see everybody. We spent the night with Ashley and Benji, and a whole bunch of us had lunch at Swen on Sunday. Spending the night was definitely a good idea, and I think we will be doing that from now on.

So, speaking of my job, I am still loving the actual work that I do. Some interesting situations come up sometimes in the work place and with coworkers, but I'll leave it at that, since this is a public blog. I will say that sometimes I don't have enough time to do as much as I want with some of my articles, but I'm starting to figure out that this is just the way it goes sometimes. I'm just going to keep doing my best work, turning it in at the end of the day and not worrying too much about it.

I'm also in the process of trying to be a bit more disciplined in a couple of areas. I am definitely starting Weight Watchers again after a weekend of eating whatever I wanted in Tuscaloosa. It's a challenge, but I did it before, so I know I can do it. I've been really good with my lunches, and I'm working on eating better meals at night. I also went to the gym today and plan to go again tomorrow. Another area where I'm getting disciplined is with my budget. I'm reading a book called Debt Generation, and it's really good so far. One of the chapters I have read detailed how to put together a good budget, so I did that this morning, and I think it looks pretty good. I'm going to test it out with my paycheck tomorrow so I can find out how it works.

Anyway, this has turned into a decent update. I think I'll leave it here. Good night, world! :)
So YOU think you can dance?
9:25 PM | Author: Misty
Wow, so I'm chillin' at home ... on a Friday night ... watching re-runs of So You Think You Can Dance ... and enjoying it.

I'm OK with that. :)

I have to work tomorrow for the second Saturday in a row. I get to watch a parade in the morning. Hopefully that'll be it! No traipsing for marijuana. No Haggard. There probably will be some page layout, but not the whole paper like last week! And after work, Kettle and I are headed to Tuscaloosa. I'm excited.

This week's been pretty good. Lots of work. I went to the gym once. I had yesterday off, and it was a thing of beauty!

Anyway, that's about all. Just figured I would update, since I don't really have anything better to do!
My day yesterday - in a nutshell
12:02 PM | Author: Misty
Traipsed through the woods looking for marijuana, check
Attended a really rowdy pep rally for Jesus, check
Got hit on by a fake Davy Crockett, check
Met Merle Haggard's son, check
Worked 15 hours so the Troy Messenger would look awesome today, check
Wrote every single story in the A-section of the paper today, check

Yeah, it was a crazy Saturday. :)
10:22 PM | Author: Misty
Let me start by saying I am feeling better about life.

I still miss Tuscaloosa (and all the people there) like crazy, but things are getting better here.

For starters, last Friday night I went out with a friend from work (Stephanie), and we had fun. That made two weekends in a row where I got girl time, which is much-needed for me. We went to Montgomery and had dinner, and she successfully convinced me that I don't really want a tattoo. :)

I pretty much wasted the day Saturday by sitting at work and stealing the Internet.

This week has been just about as crazily busy at work as any other week has been since I started my job, but it is actually getting more manageable. On Wednesday I didn't have to come into work until 1:30 because it was my first night laying out the paper, so I was actually able to get a workout in before work.

I worked out again tonight after work with Stephanie, who has been going with me to the gym about once a week the past few weeks, and her roommate (Ashley, I think?). I'm really working on losing some weight and getting in (MUCH) better shape, because I've been wanting to do that for a while.

Kettle and I are planning to do something fun on Saturday, which I think will be good, because we haven't been getting to spend a lot of time together during the week. I think we're going to take Ranger out to the park in Eprise, maybe take a picnic lunch, some books and magazines. I'll definitely take my camera, too. I think we might also dedicate part of the afternoon to a picture-taking excursion, something else I've been wanting to do. I haven't gotten to take a whole lot of pictures recently (aside from pictures I take for work, which is fun, too), so I'm sort of excited about that.

I'm also considering asking if I can sell some of my photos at the local coffee shop. It might be a nice way to make a little extra money, although I would have to invest to begin with to get them printed and framed. I don't know. I'm not necessarily sure that my stuff is good enough for people to actually want to buy, but I think it would be worth a shot. I'm sure if they don't sell, I could give them to people as gifts.

The coffee shop also has a sort of open-mic night where musicians can sign up to perform on Fridays and Saturdays. I'm considering it. I haven't played anywhere in a while, so it would probably be fun, but I don't know. I would be more comfortable if I had someone else to sing or play with me, I think. I might try to talk Brittany (the girl friend I went shopping with the other weekend) into performing with me sometime soon.

Oh, yeah, and I almost forgot. Kettle and I visited the Dothan Vineyard Sunday. It wasn't spectacular, but it was OK, and I think we will go back for a second visit. The people were really friendly, and they have a lot of stuff going on with outreach, ministry and missions, so those were both pluses. The negatives were that the worship wasn't very good and the message was only OK. Still, worth checking out again. I don't think we will go back this Sunday, because Meemaw's birthday party is Sunday afternoon, but we will probably go back there soon.

I'm also starting to look at apartments in Troy. Living with my parents saves me money, it's true, but I think living in Troy would benefit me in a lot of other ways - I would be less tired at the end of the day if I didn't have to commute so far, I would save gas money (tons of it), I could go home for lunch during the day, I could actually cook dinner for myself, and it would be easier to have an actual social life. So I'm seriously considering renting if something decent pops up. I don't know. Kettle wants to move to Troy, too, so I'm not really sure how it's going to work for us. I guess if it comes down to it, I will give him first preference since I do have a free place to stay and it's not doing me any serious harm to stay here.

The other thing that I think I would like about living in Troy is that I feel like it might give me the chance to actually get involved in something. I am really wanting to serve in some way. I feel like these past few months have been a lot about me, and I think I am ready to move away from that. So, yeah ... hopefully something will come up!

Well, anyway, that's the random update of all the random things that popped into my head while I was typing this. Hope everyone (all three of you that read this) is doing fantastic. If you have read this far, let me know how you are doing and what's happening in your life!