Totes MaGoats: A 30 By 30 Update

With only 21 days until my 30th birthday, it’s been hectic around the Huffman Homestead trying to accomplish things on my 30 By 30 list. Last week, though, I accomplished one I didn’t think would happen:

 

#27: Milk a cow goat.

 

I had been calling dairies and family-owned farms all over the state for the past three months trying to find a place to milk a cow. Most of them didn’t allow it or their cows weren’t dairy cows. But, thanks to a family friend, I WAS able to milk a goat! This goat had recently had triplets so, even though she wasn’t a dairy goat, her owner was confident that, since she was still producing milk, she could be milked.

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So off to the country we went! None of us knew how to milk a goat, so the owners spoke to a family member and taught me how to do it. I was super nervous; I didn’t want to hurt the goat and I also didn’t want to get kicked in the head!

 

She had to be separated from her little ones for two hours before I milked her because she needed to be “full” before she could be milked. Her owners put her in a metal cage-type thing and showed me what to do. She was a little skittish at first, but once I was able to get milk out, she calmed down. It was like she let out an audible sigh of relief and I thought, “I understand ya, sister!”

 

I didn’t want to milk her too much–I know how precious that liquid gold can be!–and take it away from her sweet little babies. But I did get quite a bit:

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It was so cool to experience that! Being a “city girl”, I haven’t had much experience with things like that, so it was interesting to get to experience even a small piece of farm life.

 

Plus it was so sweet to see Huff the Babe laugh and call out to the baby goats!

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Undercover Boss

I’ve been looking for a new show on Netflix to watch/play in the background while I work. A few have held my interest (Frasier, What Not to Wear, My Big American Gypsy Wedding) but one show has been on constant play in my queue: Undercover Boss.

undercover boss

If you’re unfamiliar with the premise, let me break it down for you. They take a high-powered executive (usually a CEO, COO, or President) of a company and they disguise him or her and have them work “on the front lines”; they do all the grunt work that has made them rich.

I’ve actually been very touched by what I’ve seen. So far, all of the execs have not only seen how they need to make changes in their company’s policies and practices, but also them as a person. One executive went as far to join a gym because he was inspired by his workers’ physical stamina!

Watching this show got me thinking: what would my team say about me if I went “undercover”? I hope that they would think I’m a good boss (though I don’t really feel like a boss; I’m not a fat cat in a suit, nor do I have the paycheck to match) but still…what would they say?

So I’ve made some goals for myself:

1. Listen to their concerns. Really listen. 

One of the major complaints from the workers on the show were that they felt like the higher-ups weren’t listening. There was a definite disconnect between those in the trenches and those in the high-rises.

2. Boost morale. 

Another common complaint was that the workers just did not look like they were enjoying themselves. In the episode where the CEO of White Castle worked flipping burgers, one of the managers said to the undercover CEO: “Does it look like they’re happy to be here?”  I want my team to be happy in their current positions. And not only that, but I want them to enjoy the work they do.

3. Recognize their achievements and give them praise.

There was an episode where the CEO of CGI (a distribution company) saw that his trainee (while he was undercover) was incorporating a new way to boost productivity and efficiency. He was blown away by her initiative and attention to detail. Later, when he revealed who he was to the worker and he recognized her great idea, she said: “No one has ever said they were proud of me.” (and cue tears)

I think these goals shouldn’t just be for “bosses”. How great would this world be if we used this same principles toward other areas? Imagine how our marriages, relationship with our kids, and our friends would flourish!

30 by 30 Update

Hey guys!
So, I think I’ve basically resigned myself to the fact that blogs on Mondays are a thing of the past. I may be able to get away with it a few times, but I don’t think its going to be the norm. Mondays are the busiest days in the Huffman Homestead, with me actually going in to the office (parish the thought!) and coming home waaaayyyy too late. But have no fear, I will most definitely be here the rest of the week!

I thought I’d go ahead and post what I was going to post yesterday: an update on my 30 by 30 list!

I have officially signed up for the OKC Memorial Marathon (woot, woot!) and week one of training was last week! It went pretty well! I was able to get all my runs in AND my sister so graciously did not make fun of my running.

phoebe-running-o

I also watched another movie from AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Movies list! It was 12 Angry Men. Ever seen it? I couldn’t find it on Netflix and Hasting’s didn’t have it either! But, good ole YouTube did!

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Henry Fonda was looking good! And to be honest, so was Jack Klugman!

And, because of our noisy/chain smoking neighbors who can’t seem to smoke outside, we are officially on the house hunt! A few months ago, Huff the Hubs was complaining that we had ZERO space and that he hated our apartment. I was all, “Oh honey, this is our first home, blah blah blah, sentimental crap…” But now I’m like, “GET. ME. OUT.” We know it’ll be a while (we want to save up a good down payment) but for the love, we’re so incredibly ready to not share walls with our neighbors!

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And finally, I started re-reading Emma, so I could mark off my “Read all Jane Austen’s novels” off the list. I actually started reading it about two years ago, but then I got sucked into The Hunger Games fandom and all hope was lost. BUT! Now I have renewed determination to get those books read!

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What about you? How are you doing with your goals and resolutions?

New Year’s Resolutions

Last year, I regaled you all with my resolutions goals for 2013. I think I kept many of them (except the whole “stress less” one…its kind of tough to do that when you’re preggo or when you’ve got a newborn in the house). But I do think I did pretty well (even though there are still books on my classics list I have yet to get to).

This past year was a big year for me (and Huff the Hubs). I got promoted, became a mother, traveled to London, and FINALLY got my book 100% finished.

My sister that teaches fourth grade and I were talking about New Year’s Resolutions. She said she doesn’t really make resolutions, but she is going to talk to her students about it when they return to school. She showed me an awesome project she’s going to do with them:

I may color mine.

I may color mine.

For each number, there’s a direction:

For the 2: Name the two best things that happened in 2013.

For the 0: Name something you want to STOP doing in the New Year.

For the 1: Your one wish for 2014.

For the 4: Four goals for 2014.

Two best things that happened in 2013:

1. Hermione.

It was literally one year ago today that I found out I was pregnant. I was shocked, obviously. Mostly because I didn’t think it would happen so fast. It was a whirlwind; scary at times, but its been so worth it.

Don't I make cute babies?

Don’t I make cute babies?

2. Getting out of debt.

Huff the Hubs and I had been aggressively working toward getting out of debt from the moment we got married. We both had student loans we needed to pay off and were very serious about taking the shackles off. And we did! Our reward? London, baby!

Hands down, best Abbey ever.

Hands down, best Abbey ever.

Something you want to stop doing in the New Year:

Worrying.

I feel ya, Dr. Cooper.

I feel ya, Dr. Cooper.

I’m a worrier from way back. And, if at some point I’m not worried about something, I worry because I’m basically waiting “for the other shoe to drop”. I hate living like that. I’m ready for some peace of mind, yo. I have been to counselling and I’ve read some good books (like this one!) and its really helped me A LOT. But I still wake up in the morning terrified of the potential bad the day could hold. I want to wake up in the morning feeling excited about the possibilities, not terrified. So that’s the goal: STOP. FREAKING. WORRYING.

Your one wish for 2014:

Health.

Well said.

Well said.

I don’t just mean physical health. I mean mental health (i.e., the stop worrying thing), emotional health (keeping my mood up), spiritual health (spend time with God each day and not because I feel like I have to), relational health (making sure my marriage, familial relationships, and friendships are nurtured) and environmental health (be more mindful of how my choices affect the planet, its people, and animals).

Four goals for 2014:

 1. Lose the baby weight.

Either way, I'd be happy.

Either way, I’d be happy.

Before I got pregnant, I was working toward maintaining my weight and maybe even dropping a few pounds as my clothes weren’t fitting me as well as they had been (holidays and all), but then I found out I was with child and weight loss went on the backburner (as it should have). Now that Hermione is 4 months old, I’m healed and recovered from childbirth and my milk supply is established, I’m ready to work on losing those last 9 pounds of pregnancy that are sticking around. And, to be honest, I’m not too concerned with the number on the scale. I’m more focused on how I feel and how my clothes are fitting me.

I know a lot of people will say: “You had a baby, be proud of that!” And I am. But I also don’t feel like myself with the extra weight. The holidays with its endless mountains of sweets and the stress on our schedule has made me push my health to the wayside. I want to get refocused on my health. Plus, my clothes are still tight and I’m too cheap to buy new ones—ha!

2. Stop the “fat talk”.

Thanks, Abey.

Thanks, Abey.

Sometimes, without even thinking, the words: “Gah, I’m so fat!” will come pouring out of my mouth. Or, “I can’t wear this, I look fat!” will pop into my head as I look at my reflection after picking something out at a store that looked cute on the rack, but hideous on me. I know it may seem hypocritical to say I want to stop the fat talk in the same blog post describing my desire to lose weight, so let me make myself clear.

I want to stop the negative talk.

I don’t want Hermione to talk to herself the way I talk to myself. I want her to be healthy, to enjoy being active, to eat good foods, and feel confident in who she is. How can she do that if she doesn’t have the proper role model? I want to be an example of being healthy and fit while still loving who I am and being proud of my body.

3. Put down the devices.

Put down the phone!

Put down the phone!

Every night before I fall asleep, I do the same thing: pick up my phone and look at Pinterest or Facebook (or both) for about 45 minutes. Huff the Hubs will say something to me and I’ll grunt in agreement or say, “That’s cool” even though I’m not paying attention.

When I go places with people, a lot of our time is spent with them or me (or both!) on our phones, looking at pointless stuff. I want to get into a habit of putting the phone down, looking people in the eye, and actually listening to what they’re saying (gee, what a novel concept!). I don’t want to be a slave to my phone (HtH already calls my phone “my kidney” because I can’t function if I don’t have it).

4. Finish my 30 by 30 list.

Really, a lot of my goals are on my 30 by 30 list. I am determined to finish that list by the time I’m 30. I know some stuff may be difficult (like going to Italy with my sister) but you better believe I will work my hardest to get those things knocked off that list! I’ve already signed up for the OKC Memorial Marathon!

Sack up, Jess!

Sack up, Jess!

 

Do you have any resolutions? Goals? Reflections on the past year?

I hope you have a safe and happy New Year! (And please drink responsibly!)

My Last Year In My Twenties

Hey guys! Guess what today is?

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Yep, that’s right! Its my birthday! Woot woot! And not only is it my birthday, its my 29th birthday! And, according to my sister, after this it all goes downhill. So I need to live it up!

A few years ago, I made a list of stuff I wanted to accomplish by the time I turned 30. I called it my “30 by 30 List”. Wanna know what’s on it? Good, because I’ve got the list:

  1. Watch all of AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Movies
  2. Get a literary agent
  3. Work on a political campaign
  4. Finish my book (Done! August 2013)
  5. Go to Italy with BB
  6. See Graceland
  7. Meet someone famous (Jay Leno, Orlando Bloom, Cameron Crowe, the cast of Chuck–I got ‘Jeffster’s’ autograph!)
  8. Participate in a protest rally
  9. Sew and wear a dress/skirt
  10. Read every Jane Austen novel
  11. Enjoy a bottle of Cristal (but not by myself)
  12. Take Noah and Ellie (my nephew and niece) to see The Nutcracker (we’re going next Saturday!)
  13. Go camping (Done! Twice!)
  14. Finish my classic novel reading list
  15. Take a pole dancing class (Done! bachelorette party!)
  16. Run a marathon
  17. Get married (Done! 7-23-11)
  18. Buy my parents something BIG
  19. Go to the Red Carpet to see a movie premiere/award show
  20. Go to every state
  21. Get a job I LOVE (Done! August 2011)
  22. Have a baby (Done! September 2013)
  23. Change the oil in my truck
  24. Buy a house
  25. Donate my hair to locks of love (Done! August 2011)
  26. Make a meal from scratch
  27. Milk a cow
  28. Learn the guitar (one song all the way through)
  29. Go skinny dipping
  30. Pay off all school loan debt (Done! February 2013)

Some of these I’ve already accomplished (as you can see), but the others I need to get done SOON (especially #2!). So my goal for the next year is to get these things knocked off this list. I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated about my progress (and ask for some accountability!). Do you have any 30 by 30 goals? Or maybe 35 by 35?

Just Keep Swimming…or Whatever Your Resolution Was

The end of January 2013 is finally here. How many of you are still going strong with your resolutions?

Personally, I’m not doing too hot. One of my resolutions was to start a classic novel from my 35 classics list I made two years ago. Instead, I chose to pick up Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. (Which will be classic one day, so really, I’m just ahead of the curve!)

According to Forbes magazine, 4 out of 5 people who made resolutions will have already stopped trying to meet their goals by today. Which, unfortunately, includes me. But! have no fear! I am here to help!

1. Get your pen out.

What’s your goal? Lose weight? Drink more water? Whatever your goal may be, make a point to write them down. Trust me, it seems trite but it actually works! When I was 40lbs overweight and wanted to get fit, I wrote down all my goals: lose 40 lbs, be able to run a mile without stopping, stay under 1,500 calories Monday-Saturday. It was awesome because I had a visual reminder and I was able to measure each of the goals.

 

2.  Make a plan of attack.

People who make goals are really good at sabotaging themselves. Especially when those goals are weight-loss related: “I’m too busy and tired to cook, I’ll just go to McDonald’s” or “Healthy food is so expensive!” If you know you’re going to get home late from work or school, its not a disaster; you can still have a healthy meal! Hormel® makes these great microwaveable main dishes and Green Giant® makes steamable veggie bags that are ready in minutes! In less than 20 minutes you could have a filling and healthy meal!

 

3. Every little bit helps.

Has anyone else seen the commercials that the state has been showing since the beginning of the year? Its all about “getting in your daily 30”– your daily 30 minutes of activity. Its so easy to get in 30 minutes of physical activity. You can park in the back of the parking lot at Wal-Mart, use the stairs at work instead of the elevator, or just take your dog for a walk around the block!

 

4. Reward yourself.

Keeping up with goals is tough and if you do well, you should reward yourself! Get a pedicure! Go get a massage! Buy that new sweater! Research shows that if you take the time to reward yourself for keeping up with your resolutions, you’ll be more apt to keep them in the future!

 

And, if all else fails, listen to Dory!

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