Tuesday, December 31, 2013

13 Things To Ask Myself Before the End of 2013

I discovered this awesome link up at The Lady Okie's blog last week, and knew immediately I wanted to participate. These questions allowed me room to really reflect on this past year, and got me really excited for the new fresh start of 2014. I may be too late for the link up party, but sometimes I am late to things okay? I am the Beyonce of this blog and I do what I want. Please still let me sit with you guys, Lady Okie


1. What am I most proud of this year?

Thinking about what I am most proud of-not what makes me the happiest or fills me with the most joy-would have to be running again after being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Getting back into it has been hard. The months of figuring out medicine was hard, the days I couldn't wash my own hair not to mention think about running were hard, the countless times I laced up my shoes and tried running and my knees just wouldn't have it were hard. But I kept trying. I kept trying, and I even ran a 5k and a 10k this year. I was discouraged, overwhelmed and defeated at times, but each time I fell, I picked myself back up and here I am, running again. I am proud of that.




2. How can I become a better ________?


I am sure I could learn to be a better a lot of things, like friend, employee, youth leader, but I know without a doubt where I should spend my time, energy, and heart is on becoming a better wife. I think I'm pretty great, but I am sure there are times Ronnie doesn't think I am so great. I am excited for 2014 because I am actually starting off the New Year focused on this goal: becoming a better wife. To me, that starts with ME working on my heart, spending time with Jesus, reading my bible, praying for my husband and marriage, repenting when I am being selfish or speak unkindly to my husband, and having other wives hold me accountable. I am actually starting a bible study with a huge group of women online, Wife After God and I encourage you to check it out if you are married!


3. Where do I need to allow myself grace?
I definitely have moments where I feel like I am not wearing all the hats I wear well. That I am constantly carrying about 5 bajillion plates and they're constantly crashing to the ground. I have times I beat myself up for not having my house perfectly cleaned, organized and decorated. Times where I work late and am so tired afterwards the last thing I want to do. I get down on myself when I skip a run because I am just plain tired. I am really bad at resting, especially when there are things to be done in my home.

I need to be disciplined enough to use my time wisely, to manage my responsibilities well, but also to allow myself to rest when I get overwhelmed.

4. Am I passionate about my career?

At the beginning of 2013, I was working the worst.job.ever. I was miserable and prayed daily for God to provide me with a new job. I even made a goal for 2013 to land a job as a Recruiter, because it was the next step in my career I wanted to make. For the first six months, it seemed like a long shot, and I almost deleted it off my list of goals for the year. I thought I'd never get there, but here I am, working a great job doing what I want to be doing! I really do love my job and am excited to see where my career takes me in the next five years!

5. What did my finances look like?

One of my biggest accomplishments since we got married was that we paid off all of our debt besides our mortgage. While we were aggressively paying down debt we didn't put as much in savings as I would've liked, but now that we are debt free, we have a plan to put 20% of our income in a savings account. We have a lot of travel plans in 2014, and are going to need to be quite frugal in order to pay for those and still have a significant savings account at the end of the year. I am actually really excited about this. I love saving money, I love paying off bills, I love having a plan and a goal and meeting it! Nerd alert!

6. How did I spend my free time?

I spent my free time planning our wedding, and trying to make our house our home. I also was in school for most of 2013, and for the second half of the year, I did a lot of running and blogging!

7. What projects have I completed?

Well, we bought our house, and I've worked on getting it organized and homey room by room. We redid our flooring a few weeks before the wedding, and I've started organizing the guest bedrooms and bonus room. I've turned one of the bedrooms into my office, and we've made the bonus room Ronnie's music room. I'd love to tackle more of this organizing and nesting type of projects, and make my office a space I just LOVE!



8. In what ways can I restructure my time?

I think the best way for me to restructure my time is to do more planning. To spend a little more time planning meals, prepping lunches and healthy snacks, getting into a routine with exercise and home maintenance, etc so I don't feel like I am constantly scrambling to get things done. 

9. When have I felt the most alive?

Definitely running. Running is my thing. The clear-headedness I experience after a run is unlike anything else. I definitely need to remember this when I let busyness, tiredness, tasks, and commitments try to take away from the time I devote to running. 


10. How can I improve my relationships?

I want to spend more time with the friends I have here, to spend time praying for them, and to invest in friendships that are long distance as well. I want to remember birthdays, anniversaries, send thinking of you cards, and little just because gifts to friends and family, near and far. As far as my relationship with my husband, I want to be more intentional with our time, with our marriage and how we serve each other. We have something special that deserves the best kind of attention so it can grow and thrive!

11. What lessons have I learned in 2013?


God is good. He is who He says He is. He really is faithful.
Love is more than just a feeling. Its about laying my selfishness aside day by day, moment by moment and choosing to serve and love my husband selflessly.
Sometimes you just need a jammie day, even if your to-do list is one mile long.
Meal planning is the key to a successful week for me.
I need to run. Everyone enjoys me more if I am running consistently.
Sometimes, I just want to cry, even if I don't know why I am crying. And thats okay. 

12. What old habits would I like to release?

I'd like to stop forgetting I have clothes in the washer, and then rewashing them once, twice, three more times because they start to smell.
I'd also like to detach from my iPhone. I kid you not having a dead battery just about gives me an anxiety attack. Embarrassing.
I'd also like to lay off the dang carbs and sugarary treats. I need to save these for special occasions. Being kind of tired and grumpy at work and finding someone brought a box of donuts in does not qualify as a special occasion.

13. What new habits would I like to cultivate?

Consistent time reading the bible and praying. This was a goal for 2013 and I did okay, but there's definitely room for improvement. I set up a little corner in my office with a big comfy chair and a little side table/book case. I never had my "spot" and now I do and I am ready to take this on!
Finding a balance between running and strength training.
Starting a good cleaning schedule so I am not scrambling every Sunday to get it all done. 
Consistently saving 20% of our income!


Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 In Review: Part Two

Christmas has come and gone, and 2013 is on its way out the door. Here is Part Two of 2013 In Review! I for one am excited for the New Year. I've always loved a fresh start, a clean slate, and new beginnings!

July

In July, we had the absolute BEST time at our Engagement Pictures Session! It was such a fun, exciting time and made me so impatient for our wedding day! Our photographer was an absolute precious treasure that we couldn't have been happier with. We took a trip to the mountains about an hour out of town and enjoyed the quiet beauty all around us.



July was also the month of our first gathering in our new house! We had some friends over, including one of my besties Karissa and BBQ'd and lit fireworks. Karissa and I bought houses about two miles away from each other, not on purpose, but kind of yes, on purpose so it was so fun to have our first summer gathering together as neighbors!


I also started my new job. A job I had been praying for for months. A job that was worth the wait, as I accepted a position working as a Recruiter for the State of Idaho! I love my job so much and am so thankful for how God provided for me and our family in this way! 

August

August was the month of Stacey's wedding! Being in each other's wedding made this year a non-stop wedding planning party, and finally it was Stacey's turn! 







September

In September, Karissa and our mom's threw me the most beautiful Bridal Shower Brunch! It was complete with a mimosa bar and beautiful burlap and lace decor that is right up my alley. I had the BEST time with some amazing women and remember feeling so loved and so very blessed by the women God placed in my life!


October

What happened in October??? 

OH YEAH. I GOT MARRIED! 

First though, two of my besties Lea and Sarah flew to Idaho to be bridesmaids in my wedding, and I had the most fun night out with them + Stacey and a bunch of other girl friends for my bachelorette party.



Our wedding was a dream, and just the start of this beautiful story God is writing. I couldn't have been happier to be surrounded by so many of our dear family and friends when I married my best friend.


We also went on our DREAM honeymoon, to Cancun, Mexico!


November

We hosted our first Thanksgiving Dinner as a married couple, and I also ran the Turkey Day 5k. 


We also had a mini photo shoot for our Christmas Card which has been one of my favorite things about being married! I am already planning next year's pictures and Christmas Cards haha!


December
In December we celebrated Christmas. We put lights on our home, bought a real tree, and decorated the house. We carried on old traditions of Christmas Eve Jammies and started new ones with cinnamon rolls and egg casserole in the morning. We even hosted Christmas dinner at our house and made gingerbread houses with my niece. 



I am so blessed. This year has been amazing, and I look back and see how God can make beauty from a battle. The process of healing that has taken place in my life has been so incredible, and I think back to the prayers I prayed for my health, for my relationship, for my family, and our careers and I see time and time again how God proved himself to be faithful.

Thank you Jesus for holding 2013 in your hands. I can rest easy going into 2014 knowing you have already gone before me, and you have great things planned ahead.

One more thing friends before we say See Ya to 2013-I e-mailed those who mentioned they might be interested in a Group Bible Study, but if you didn't get an email, and might be interested, the books I am considering for this study are: 

Please take a quick look at these books and then fill out this Google Form if you are interested in participating! I would love to have all the responses in by Friday, and then I will pick the book the majority of you are interested in reading, and send out more detailed instructions on how exactly the study will work and when it will start! 

Friday, December 27, 2013

1st Rasmussen Christmas

Christmas has come and went, the decorations are down, the gingerbread house icing is cleaned up off the floor, the family has gone home, and I am so thankful for another wonderful year. I am so thankful for the greatest gift God gave to the world, His son who was born to save us, to save sinners like me. So so grateful for the gift of grace that He displayed for us on the cross!


Christmas Eve Ronnie and I attended service at the campus we were married in. It was such a sweet sweet time of reflection and celebration. I remembered walking down that same aisle, singing worship songs with my husband and all our friends and family, and asking God to be the center of our lives. And I celebrated the birth of Jesus who has been holding my life in His hands, and blessing me beyond imagination.

After Church, we came home and I got started cooking. I made egg casserole to cook in the crockpot, and also made cinnamon rolls for Christmas Morning. I am hoping this is just one of our traditions we can carry on together as we wake up together every Christmas morning, and share with our future babies! We also carried on an old tradition from when I was a kid and opened one Christmas present: Our Christmas Jammies. Maybe next year we will get Jak and Ollie Christmas jammies too.


Christmas Day this year was so wonderful. We had some of my family that lives here in town over, plus a few friends who do not have family in town. Dinner didn't go as smooth as Thanksgiving, I didn't quite have the entire timing thing down with all the things that needed to cook in the oven, but that was okay. Dinner was still served, the wine flowed, the food was delicious and the conversation was great.








Yesterday I ran a few errands with my mom and Ronnie took down the majority of the Christmas decorations. I sure love the lights and tree and the decorations, but after a month of being in our living room, the tree was barely hanging on. We both were ready to not have pine needles everywhere and get our house back together. After putting the house back together, I parked myself in my PJ's and slippers and curled up on the couch. It was heavenly.

Lucky for me, I still have three more days of my weekend before I have to go back to normal life.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Always Ashten

Merry Christmas Eve!! <3 I can't believe Christmas is here. Today I am stuck in my cubicle, one of the three humans in this entire office, and feeling pretty bad for myself. After work I am going to our church's Christmas Eve Service, and then straight home to get in my Christmas Jammies and drink Hot Cider with Fireball Whiskey and wait for Santa Claus to come. HO HO HO!

Today one of my most favorite gal pals in blog land is taking over the blog, and she is seriously adorable, funny, wise, and has the sweetest heart. And her dog is SO CUTE! Friends, meet my friend Ashten from Always Ashten!



Tell us some things you just love?

COFFEE, which is tied with my dog Warner for #1 favorite things ever of all time. I also love USC Trojan football, the beach in my hometown, Harry Potter, In N Out, champagne, making people laugh and mac and cheese.

 What are your most proud of yourself for?
I packed up and moved to Atlanta in 2 weeks, leaving behind everything familiar and starting a new chapter in my life. I knew 3 people in Atlanta when I moved, I didn't have a car and I had no idea what I was doing. I'm still here today: with a good job, a cute dog and a car. I made it. And I'm proud of that.


 What is your favorite way to spend a day off?

Lately, it's been catching up on my DVR and laying on the couch. My weeks are packed and being able to relax has become an act of luxury for me in the last year. I'm also turning 30 next year, so I'm too old to go out and do all those fun, young people things like day drink.


 What is something you wish someone would've told you in high school?

I had my high school reunion this year and was probably one of the few people who actually wished they could do high school over. I was so insecure, childish and immature in high school, as I'm sure we all are. I wish someone would have told me to be myself. I desperately wanted to fit in and be accepted by everyone that I did whatever any one told me. I wish I would have been myself and let my true personality shine through, because when I went back for my reunion I learned that all along, I wasn't really that bad.

 If we go out to coffee, what is your drink?

Grande, sugar free, soy vanilla latte. Or almond milk if you have it. And please make sure you give me a sleeve. Fun fact: I worked at Starbucks all through high school and for part of college.



 If we go out for drinks, what is your drink of choice?

Champagne or a mojito. Maybe a margarita. I'm pretty girly when it comes to cocktails. I'm also a lightweight so after 2 you're probably driving me home.

 Are you a morning or a night person?

Neither! I'm up at 5:15am to go to the gym during the week, and am in bed by 10:00pm every night. I'm a mid-afternoon/evening person. The coffee helps.

 We all have times we feel like we are in a rut, in a funk. How do you pull yourself out of one?

I write. Writing is my therapy, which is perfect because it's cheaper than going to a therapist. I started my blog to give myself a creative outlet and allow myself to explore some of the random thoughts that pop into my head. I've always been a writer, too. I kept diaries and I even wrote a screenplay when I was 13. Clearly that screenplay never amounted to much.

Tell us more about the Young & Brave Foundation you are so passionate about? How can someone get involved?

Oh my guys. Matt and Nathaniel are amazing and what they are doing is incredible. They help raise money to pay the medical bills and other expenses for children, teens and young adults who are battling cancer. They inspire me to be a better person. Writing about them, their organization and all the amazing things they do would take up an entire blog post. Luckily, I wrote one and you can find it here.

Tell us about your worst first date ever.

I can honestly say I haven't been on a good date in years. THAT'S RIGHT, I SAID YEARS. If I had to pick one, I would say the guy who took me shopping at Ikea and tried to make me help him pick a sofa. He didn't bring measurements,and hoped they had "a solid return policy" in case it didn't work out. I'm not making this up, and I can prove it.

 What is on your Christmas list?

Leonardo DiCaprio. I'll never let go.
---------------------------------------------------

Go say check out her blog, tell her and her pup Merry Christmas and get to know her! Her blog is one of my favorite reads!!




Monday, December 23, 2013

2013 In Review-Part One

2013 was a BIG year for me! This past year was full of life-changing moments and memories I will always, always treasure.

January-
In January of this year, I distinctly remember being in serious pain most of the time with my RA. I was working at my old job in the factory long hours, and struggling through the process of finding the right medicine to treat my RA. What I remember most about this time is how selfless and loving Ronnie was to me. We were dating, and this was definitely one of those really challenging seasons that I still am in awe of how steady Ronnie was. We started dating in August of 2012, and by the end of October, I was very sick and it took until March or April until I was feeling well again. We had some long months of me being in pain, of me being angry at God, for questioning "Why?" and doubting His ability to heal me. But my now-husband never stopped pursuing me, loving me, and serving me.

We rang in the new year with a few friends, quietly and in my apartment. We didn't even kiss at midnight because at that point, we still hadn't shared our first kiss yet!


I also spent time with two of my sweet friends who were so encouraging and loving to me when I didn't feel well. They encouraged me to ask for help when I needed it, and to rest when I was tired. I treasure the time I spent with my girlfriends during this season!


February

I can't recall much about February, and I don't think we did too much because my RA was still really bothering me. On Valentines Day, Ronnie showed up at my office with coffee and took me out to dinner. He also built and hung up some awesome pallet shelves in my apartment, that turned out to be a real pain to take down when I moved out. 


March 

In March, we celebrated Ronnie's birthday. I remember this month finally feeling on my way back to normal. I had significantly less pain, and even started trying to run again!





I also accepted a job that seemed really great on the surface, but then when I found out a little more about the company, their policies and practices, and their insurance coverage, I ended up changing my mind last minute and staying with the company I was at. I was super bummed about it, because the job I was working was very hard and extremely draining, but it was a better fit for me then jumping headfirst into what seemed like a very shady company. Luckily, God had better plans for me because just a few months later, I actually landed a job as a Recruiter for the State of Idaho.

April

April was such a fun month! A group of us girlfriends were able to help Stacey's now husband propose! We went out for pedicures and told Stacey we were going to a paint your own pottery place to paint and drink wine, but instead we dropped her off near a little lake where Jakob was waiting for her! It was so special to get to be a part of her proposal!


May

May was a sweet month for us as I finally conistenly had the weekends off, and Ronnie and I spent many Saturday mornings on our treasured breakfast dates. In the earliest days of dating, we actually had breakfast together every Monday because I was actually working graveyard shifts a few times a week, and even though in May I was working normal hours, we still treasured our breakfasts together. One of our favorite places was Big City Coffee House in Boise, and now I am just craving a morning spent there with a good book and my sweet husband!



June

June was a HUGE MONTH because well…I GOT ENGAGED FRIENDS!! You can read our Engagement Story here, but Ronnie had such a sweet thoughtful proposal all planned out and it ended with a surprise engagement party with some of our very best friends.



We also started the process of looking for our first home and after two offers, we finally landed this beauty. We seriously feel so blessed every day that God has provided such a wonderful first home for us. I lived in our house during our engagement and Ronnie moved in when we got married, and we've already started creating so many sweet "firsts" in this house.





Karissa, one of my very best friends and Ronnie and I also ran the Color Me Rad 5k. This race was so special to me because it was the first race I was able to run after being diagnosed with RA. I seriously felt so blessed to be running again after only being diagnosed with such a debilitating disease only eight months prior.

Part Two will be up sometime before 2014-This post was getting to be longer than anyone wanted to read, so I thought I'd leave you hanging. October was a pretty big month for us, so stay tuned for that ;)
Writing this post is amazing. I can't believe how much work God has done in my life over the past year. Physically, Emotionally, Spiritually, and in relationships with my family and friends. God is GOOD you guys. He has blessed me and my family more than I can comprehend. So thankful for 2013 and for the fresh start of a New Year!

Don't forget: I am offering 30% off all ad spaces from now til New Years Eve! Use the code: Pretty! Merry Christmas loves!!