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It has been 9 days of Christmas/New Years Vacation. Hard to believe how fast time flies when you are baking/cooking, spending time with the family, playing with the furry babies, traveling, playing in the snow and just enjoying life. The husband and I started our vacation by traveling to our hometown in Michigan where both of our families live. We packed up our full plates of Christmas cookies, furry babies, piles of presents, and clothes for a lovely vacation away from our home base.

2011 was full of surprises, both good and bad but to our delightful Mother Nature still had one more present to give us, no snow on Christmas. Hooray!!! I’ve always lived in the Northern region of North America or Japan (minus one winter of Fukuoka, Japan which is sub-tropical). One would think I’d love or at least be used to snow but each and every year I complain of its’ arrival. This year we were thankful to spend Christmas Eve out on the countryside driving a rover to visit our neighbors’ horse farm and watching the deer romp around in the forest. My parents have a no hunting rule so they tend to hide in the forest every year. Then on Christmas Day we had a wonderful day with the family, including my two young nieces whom I adore. We even snuck in a long walk in the sunshine, the furry baby was thrilled. Finally on the day after Christmas it snowed less than an inch. This didn’t stop us though; we got on our warm clothes, with a few borrowed items, and got to sledding and again visiting the horse farm. We actually went sledding for about three hours! So much fun and ended with a happy note with a warm cup of tea and a homemade vegan cookie. Yum!

Finally, the last few days of 2011 the darling man and I decided it was time to trek back to Ohio and have three days of hibernation in our own house. It’s nice to visit with family but there is nothing better than sitting in your own warm house while reading a book and snuggling with the furry babies. We brought in the new year with my amazing Aussie family in Sydney, Australia and then again in Ohio the next day. It’s such a pleasure to have an adopted family that we care about as much as our own blood family.

Now on to 2012! It’s a new year so of course I have the starting measurements and my goals for the year of the dragon. I plan to make many changes physically, mentally and career wise. As my Chinese horoscope suggests, it is a big change for my career and living situation, all for the better! So bring it on 2012! I’m ready for the fun ride.

2012 Measurements- The Start
Weight: 118.8 (Remember I’m only 4’10” tall so this is on the top range of healthy)
Waist: 28 inches
Hips: 35
Neck: 12
Thigh: 21
Upper Arm: 11
Waist to Hip Ratio: .83
Body Fat %: 25.56
Chest: 34

New Year’s Resolution
1. Life: Be a better wife to the amazing man in my life.
2. Career: Even though I love working from my home office, I dream about working outside the house. There is nothing like human communication in person compared to sitting at home all day long. True, I love having work and keeping busy but it would be nice to have the comforts of a 401k and to have colleagues that aren’t as furry as the ones I have now. Additionally, I want to better the world in my own way which is hard to do from my home office. It’s perfect for some people but I would really like to become more extraverted.
3. Food: Eat Slower. Each meal should be at least 20 minutes. Admittedly I am usually I a rush to get things done and that includes meals. It’s not good on the stomach so I intend on slowing things down a bit.
4. Veganism: It’s always a goal to stay vegan and eat healthy foods.
5. Living Situation: Hopefully there is a move to a warmer place in our nearest future.
6. Running: This year I want to run another half-marathon. It would be nice to run one with the husband and have us both finish without being too tired and fatigued. I plan on running at least 20 miles a week.
7. Exercise: I want to exercise at least 5 days a week but I am going to try for 6-7 a week. Each workout needs to be at least 30 minutes in length. Additionally I want to lift more weights, work on my stomach muscles and get an all-around good workout instead of just running.
8. Blog Daily: Near the end of 2011 I got a little lazy with blog entries and didn’t get the chance to write the quality that I am used to writing. In 2012 I plan on writing more about nutrition, health and how to lose weight the healthy way. More research is going to go into my blog entries this year.
9. Monthly Goal Reports: I’ve seen this done on many sites and I just love seeing the results each and every month. It takes dedication to write each month about the good and bad so I have to really schedule things right to assure I remember to fit in these updated blogs for you all to enjoy.
10. Pamper Myself: Once I started working from home instead of a production studio, I turned into a hermit. This type of lifestyle isn’t what I intend for myself. I work hard for the body that I have so I want to make sure that I take care of myself and that includes pampering myself every once in a while. I have to learn it’s okay to buy makeup, bath salts and etc just for a little presents every once and a while.
11. Work on New Career: My Chinese horoscope was shocking this year, it included all my goals in a positive note. I want to work on getting a new career going and leave behind my house office work. The work I do now is engaging and passes the time but I didn’t go to university for four years to do the stuff I’m doing now. I want something more and this year I am going to push myself into a new career. Sometimes we have to push ourselves into something uncomfortable to make the changes we want in our life. This goes for my husband too, he’s going to be making some changes too.
12. Mentally Challenge Myself: Just because I have two university degrees under my education belt doesn’t mean I can sit back and lay my feet on my office desk. Nope, I plan on getting more acquainted with a few different areas of study including religion (I’m Episcopalian), Photography, Nutrition, Japanese (I’m a translator), and so on.

Good Things Also Come in Small Goals
1. Walk/Run at least 20 miles per week
2. Make 1 Healthy Bento a week for the husband and me
3. At least 10 minutes of yoga/stretches each day
4. Reduce Mindless snacking in the evening
5. Get up without the snooze button on weekdays

Large Goals Push Us Further than Expected
1. Lose 10-18 pounds before going to Australia in March.
2. Grow stomach muscles through pressing workouts. I want to see defined stomach muscles by the end of 2012.
3. Be able to run ½ a marathon without collapsing.
4. Reduce body fat % to be under 21%.
5. Be able to look at photos of myself and be happy.

What are you goals for 2012?