Saturday, July 4, 2015

Weekly Reads, Vol. 37

This is really a double edition since it accounts for the last two weeks of my reader.  Get ready for some good posts on this gorgeous day!

There are so many social media platforms out there now. I can barely keep up with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Now there's also Periscope (what is that even?!!?) and Snapchat.  I've been resisting the latter for a long time, but Helene makes a good argument for it's benefits.

This GoGirl Finance post, "Four Things Not to Do When Quitting Your Job" came at the perfect time for me.  As I mentioned, I recently left a job and will start a new one Monday.  I'm certain I followed the rules in the post and I'm leaving on a good note. It's my policy that no matter how you feel about your employer, it's important not to burn bridges.

My writing soul sister, Rena invited some interaction by asking who you would be in a book or movie Naturally, I believe I'd be the quirky best friend who offers comic relief, hugs, and a movie/booze night when the heroine is having a rough time.  I'm definitely more of a sidekick than a starlet.  How about you?

I'm a summer baby, and I love fireworks.  But I understand they can be traumatic for war veterans and animals. Taylor offers some advice for keeping those furbabies calm during the pyrotechnics.

Helene is moving to Nashville!!  And she shares a concern I think most people have when they're moving to a new place --- how do I make friends in my new city?!?  Head over there to offer her your advice.

I've been keeping up with "The Bachelorette" this season and I was a little miffed at the attention being given to the fact that Kaitlyn hooks up with one of the guys on the show.  Bonnie, as usual, sums up exactly why all the chatter bothered me "Pick a lane people!"  Amen, Bonnie.

Rebekah did me a solid and reviewed my book, "Riffs of Regret," on her blog I am so grateful for her feedback and honest words.  I confess there are some typos and editing mistakes in that work.  That's the danger of self-publishing.  My next work will get many more eyes on it so I can avoid that.

Rena makes another appearance with this fantastic post on the struggle between letting people in and the fear of being vulnerable Nailed it, Rena.  And please know I'm always here for you.

Happy 4th everyone!  Have a safe and happy Saturday.

Friday, July 3, 2015

June fitness recap

I know the journey to getting in better shape is a slow and steady one.  And little goals along the way will help me reach my overall goal.  So I have fitness benchmarks I want to reach each month -- the first two are static and the third will be alternating.  I'll also be sharing my progress in terms of pounds/inches lost and one non-scale victory.

Sixteen workouts a month.  Grade = C
June was not a great month for me. I still got about 10 workouts in, but I definitely slacked.

Strength training once a week.  Grade = F
All of my workouts in June were of the cardio nature.   Oops.

Track my food each day on my WW app.  Grade = C
I've was still just OK about tracking.

Pounds lost = -0 lbs. (this month) / -2 lbs. (overall)
I'm holding steady from last month, so I suppose that's better than a gain considering my lack of effort.

Inches lost = I forgot to measure this week. One of these days, I'll remember to measure.

Non-scale victory = I completed 26 miles of a 72-mile bike ride.  I was a little disappointed that I didn't ride further, but I'm still proud of myself.
My bike ride crew ... obviously this is a "before" photo.  Eleven started. Only five finished.


Last week's workouts
Friday: Off
Saturday:  Off.
Sunday: Off.
Monday: Off

Tuesday: FitFusion
Wednesday: 2-miles on the trail
Thursday: Yoga at home

I'm starting a new job next week, so I don't know what my workouts will be. I'm going to try and get back into a better routine.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Stuff & Things 7/2

Click here to check out the link-up

:: Today is my last day at my current job, and it's a little bittersweet.  I've learned so much in my 18 months in this company and met some great people.  But it's time for me to move on.  On Monday, I'll start a new chapter of my professional life.  I'll still be doing the same work -- subrogation of insurance claims -- but the new position is a significant pay raise and offers lots of room to grow and advance.  And I think I'm ready for that. 

::  Some people have asked, so let me just say there's no update on the bold move from two weeks ago.  Sorry.  My mutual friend has not found a convenient moment to find out if the mystery man is single.  And I haven't seen him since then either, but I should see him at some point in the next two weeks or so.  We'll see what happens. By the way, he's just an option.  I have some other prospects in play as well.

:: I'm going to see "Magic Mike XXL" tonight with friends and I'm excited.  I've been looking forward to it for a while, and so far the reviews and notes are only building my anticipation.

::  Despite my flight issues last week, I've been bitten by the travel bug.  I want to go more places!!  Fortunately for my wallet, I don't have a lot of vacation time at my new job, so I'll have to pull in the reins a bit.

:: My birthday month has arrived!!  Bring on the discounts, freebies, and celebrations.

What's up with you this week?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Flight failures, baseball, and beer - a vacation recap

It's been more than a week since my last post, but I swear I have a good excuse.  And that excuse is that I went on vacation.  My first vacation in more than three years!!  I was more than a little excited when last Wednesday rolled around.  I had bought my plane tickets months ago and have been planning everything since then.

The start of my trip was rough.  And that's putting it mildly. 

Wednesday afternoon, I got a notification that my 7:15 p.m. flight would be delayed by 45 minutes. This worried me a little since I would only have an hour layover in Chicago-Midway, and the delay just took a significant chunk of that layover.  But I figured I'd just have to sprint and do my best.  When I got to the airport, the flight was even further delayed (mechanical reasons, we were told).  The plane finally arrived at 8:00 and we were told we'd be boarding in twenty minutes.  I also overheard the gate agents telling others that the connecting flights in Chicago were not going to wait for us. I knew the layover would be really tricky, so I went to the counter to see what my options were if I missed my connecting flight.  They booked me on the first flight out Thursday morning as a back-up in case I didn't make my flight.  We finally boarded the plane around 8:30 p.m., and I had a sliver of hope I'd still make it to my connection on time.  Then ... we were told they could not fuel the aircraft because there was lightning in the area.  They thought it might be twenty minutes.  I knew then I would not make my connection.

We finally took off at 9:15 p.m.  -- fifteen minutes before my connection would be leaving Chicago.  I resigned myself to a night in the Windy City, but when we landed, I wasn't offered a hotel voucher or any form of accommodations.  When I asked what I was supposed to do for seven hours until my flight left, I was told there were cots set up in an area of the airport.  So I went to that area and found a dark, cold (we're talking 65-ish degrees) room with 40 cots and a security guard with a stack of books on his desk.  I chose a cot where I could actually see the guard and settled in to try and get some sleep.  I knew I had a packed day ahead and needed rest.  The cots were not comfortable though.  A bar dug into my back and shoulders.  My hip hurt if I stayed on one side too long.  The blanket was barely warmer than a towel and don't get me started on the pillow.  I dozed on and off all night, apparently sleeping through a moment when a woman loudly declared she needed to go back to rehab and demanded an ambulance.

Thursday morning, I tried to find something to eat before I boarded my plane, but nothing opened until 5 a.m., and my flight boarded at 5:15.  And every place close to my gate had a line 20-deep.  So, I skipped it and settled on coffee for my in-flight beverage. That helped a little.  My morning flight left on time and landed in Dallas around 8 a.m.

Naturally, my bag did not make it.  They had all night to get it on the correct flight, but somehow that didn't happen.  Three other people on my flight suffered the same fate.  I hadn't eaten anything but airport peanuts since noon on Wednesday, so I was hungry.  Add that to my fatigue and the fact that I had been wearing the same clothes for almost 24 hours.  I was in a terrible mood.  And I let the lost baggage lady know it.  She took some pity on me and advised my luggage would probably arrive that afternoon and told me how I could retrieve it.  I was frustrated, but there was nothing more I could do.

Rachel picked me up, and our first stop was Taco Cabana for breakfast.  Those tacos tasted delicious, and I didn't care how bad I looked or smelled in that moment. Then we made a quick stop at a store so I could buy some clothes and toiletries to clean up at Rachel's place.  After a shower and some fresh clothes, I felt much better.  And at 11 a.m., as we were getting ready to leave, we got the call that my bag had arrived.  We decided to swing back to the airport to get my bag so we wouldn't have to worry about it later.  Not only did I get my bag, but the airline reimbursed me for the things I had to purchase that morning and gave me a travel voucher for all my troubles.  It didn't quite make up for my terrible flight experience, but it was nice anyway.

Finally, I felt like my trip could begin.  Rachel and I headed to my favorite place in Texas ...

Ahhhhhhh!!!  My happy place.
That's right ... Rangers Ballpark!! (I don't care what the real name is. This is what I call it.)

My trip was instantly redeemed in this moment.

I got a Texas craft beer (Revolver Blood and Honey, if you're curious), slathered on some sunscreen, and settled in for what I hoped would be a Rangers win.  It was really hot and sunny that day, so we didn't last long in our seats.  Thank goodness there were plenty of shady seats available.

Rachel and I finally got to watch a game together!

The Rangers did not pull out a win, but I got to watch the game with Rachel and meet Jessica, another Rangers fan I know from Twitter.  I'm calling that a win for me.

Rachel, me, and Jessica enjoying the shady seats and a great offensive show from Mitch Moreland.

After the game, Rachel and I headed to Ft. Worth to meet up with another person I know from Twitter for dinner at Back Forty Smokehouse.  Naturally, it was barbecue, and it was delicious.  I'm a terrible blogger, so I didn't take a photo, but trust me ... it was fantastic.  We enjoyed our food and talked for a while and then headed to a nearby sports complex for a friend's son's t-ball game.  It was quite the shift from the afternoon's Major League Baseball action, but still really fun.  And the team we were cheering for won this one!  After the victory, the four of us went out for drinks and more conversation.

Chance, Rachel, me, and Erick enjoying some beverages after the t-ball game.

My time in Dallas was fun and far too short.  I need to go back again soon.

Friday morning, I jetted off for part two of my vacation.  It was my best friend's birthday, and I was excited to spend the whole day and weekend with her.  This flight was much less eventful, and I landed in Austin around 9 a.m.  I immediately met up with Nikki, and we headed south to her parents' home in the Hill Country.  It was beautiful out there, and their new home is gorgeous.

Friday afternoon was lunch at The Leaning Pear, shopping in Wimberley, and a wine tasting.  Friday evening, we went to New Braunfels for dinner at the Gristmill and an Uncle Lucius show at Gruene Hall.

Texas wines --- come to me!

Apparently I pretty much stopped taking photos at this point. Sorry!

Saturday, we slept in (which I desperately needed), got cleaned up, and went to Fredericksburg.  We browsed the shops and stopped into Fredericksburg Brewing Company.  The beers at Fredericksburg were good, but would have been better had they not been served in plastic solo cups.  If that makes me a snob, I don't care. I mean, a few of their beers have won medals a the Great American Beer Festival.  They should take pride in them and put them in glasses.  From there, it was off to Johnson City for a beer tasting and dinner at Pecan Street Brewery.  The food was amazing and paired perfectly with the recommended beers.

Nikki and I relaxed for the rest of the evening, and pretty much took it easy on Sunday as well.  We watched some movies, drank some wine, and just hung out.  It was a nice way to end the trip.

My return trip included an early flight but everything was smooth on the way home. I actually arrived everywhere early.  Go figure.

Despite the rough start, I had a great trip.  It was really good to get away for a few days, watch some baseball, and spend quality time with my best friend.

Do you have a flight horror story like mine?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Music Monday - "Cheers (Drink to That)" - SMASH cast cover

I miss the show "SMASH" so much. It was one of my weekly staples (and I don't have many of those anymore).  I loved the characters and the dramatized peek into the world of Broadway.  Two seasons just wasn't enough.  I realize this song is a Rihanna song, but I think I prefer Megan Hilty and Katherine McPhee on it.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Weekly Reads, Vol. 36

As you're reading this, I am likely out on my bike in the midst of a 70-mile fun ride with co-workers and former co-workers. We're either rolling down the trail or sitting at one of the stops, sipping beer and eating something made with bacon (that's the theme of the ride).  Pray I don't fall off my bike and that I can still walk tomorrow.  Thanks.

I have a really small apartment (one bedroom, approximately 600 square feet), and storage is definitely a concern.  I might have to employ some of the storage ideas suggested by Jess at Chaotic and Collected.

A few days ago, someone on my Facebook feed posted a link to an article shaming people who refer to their pets as their babies. Taylor at The Daily Tay had a wonderful comeback ... and included photos of her adorable furkid.

I follow a lot of bloggers who are moms (not necessarily mommy bloggers), and I love it when they give an honest, if unpopular, glimpse of motherhood. Cait at Fierce, Fabulous, and Fit shared that she didn't have an instant connection with her darling girl, Lily. Too often we're lead to believe maternal instinct and bond kicks in right away at birth. Sometimes it doesn't.  And that's OK.

I adore Taylor Swift, so this post about blogging lessons we can learn from Tay Tay was an easy addition to this list.  So spot on!  Thanks to Nadine at Blog Brighter for giving my Taylor Swift fandom more validation.

"Jurassic World" came out in theaters recently and even though I'm not a big movie-goer, that one was definitely on my list. Bonnie at Life of Bon takes issue with the main female character and Karen at A Peek at Karen's World explains why she thinks the movie's success is a bad thing for Hollywood.  I have great respect for both women and their opinions, but I still enjoyed the movie. And I'm not sorry about that.

Meg at Miles From Ordinary offers up what she says is her last installment of the Chronicles of Dating, but it's a fine finale in which she talks about the surprises of online dating.  There are certainly plenty of negative stories out there, but there's plenty of good as well.  I especially like the point about opposites, probably because I'm a little surprised by the latest guy to catch my eye.

Heads up -- there will not be a round-up next Saturday as I will be out of town for a big portion of the week. I'll do my best to keep up on blogs and bring two weeks wroth of reads on July 4th.  Wow.  Can you believe it's almost here already?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Run to Exile 5K recap

I have been terrible about my workouts lately. As in, I haven't really done them.  Needless to say, I was a little nervous about my 5K last Saturday.  Plus I had a full day after that, so I was also a little worried about squeezing everything in.  But I made it work and even ended up having a decent race.

This was my third consecutive year doing the Run to Exile, a race sponsored by one of our local breweries. The first year was a little rough (bad courses thanks to flooding), and last year it was really humid.  The third year may be the charm.  They moved the race time from 3 p.m. to 11 a.m., which helped combat the heat and humidity.  Although it made parking more interesting thanks to the farmer's market.  They also added a few new fun post-race activities (besides the beer) -- a stein holding contest and teams pushing a Fiat through the course.

All in all, it seemed to run much more smoothly this year, and maybe that enhanced my race.  Either way, I enjoyed myself.  I love running through downtown, and the only time I really get to do it is during races. I wasn't feeling my best that morning, but I ended up doing pretty well for time.
My finish time benchmarks:
Good - 36:00 or above
Great - 34:01-35:59
Awesome - 34:00 or faster

My chip time was 34:35!

I'm getting so close to that "awesome" mark!  Maybe next race?

As a music lover, my running playlists are very thoughtfully made, so after each race, I share the song or songs that really got me moving.

Here was my power song for the day:


Last week's workouts
Friday: Off
Saturday: Run to Exile 5K
Sunday: Off
Monday: Off
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Off

I do not have a good excuse for my lack of workouts, but I'm not happy about it either. I swear I'm going to get on track at some point.  And I've decided projecting my workouts for the next week is not handy at all, so I'm going back to just recapping.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

My music must list

Last week, Kati Rose shared a list of music-related things she wants to accomplish. Since music is also a pretty big deal to me, I decided to make my own list. I've already done a lot in this realm -- attended more than 200 concerts (list here), met some of my favorites, attended a big festival, etc. -- but there are still plenty more dreams in my head.

  • Attend one of the big music festivals. I've been to Austin City Limits Music Festival and Summerfest.  So should I aim for Coachella?  Bonaroo?  Something different?
  • See a show at Red Rocks.
  • Be in a music video. I don't care if it's a live performance or a carefully-plotted video, I want to be in it.
  • Visit Nashville. 
  • Attend one of the major music awards shows.
  • Go on the road with a musician for a short time. I don't think the road lifestyle is for me, but I wouldn't mind seeing what it's like. I'd happily be merch girl for a few days/weeks just to check it out.

What would be on your list?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What I'm Loving Wednesday 6/17

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I'm loving ...

... that I am one week away from my first real vacation in years.  Sure, I've taken days off here and there, but this is the first time I'm going somewhere.  I'm really looking forward to seeing friends, watching some Rangers baseball, and enjoying some time away.

... "The Royal We" by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. I just finished reading it the other night, and I already kind of want to read it again.  The premise sounds like a fairy tale, but it's hardly all rainbows and butterflies. And that's what I like about it.

... all the positive comments on yesterday's blog post. I realize what I did is no big deal to a lot of people, but it was huge for me. If there's ever an update on that guy, I'll let you know.  Obviously, he must be awesome to have inspired me to be that brave.

... the Rixton album. They opened for Ed Sheeran last week, and I regret that I only knew their radio hit before the show. I bought the CD after that day, and I've been listening to it incessantly.  I would definitely go see them live again.

... that I might finally get to go back to FitFusion class next Tuesday.  Life has been crazy lately and my workouts have been suffering, but I am eager to get back to my favorite fitness class next week.

... my breve from a local coffee shop.  Espresso and steamed half and half.  It might be my new favorite coffee drink. 

What are you loving this week?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A bold (for me) move

If you know much about my romantic history or lack thereof, you know I'm the kind of girl who crushes easily.  You might even call me boy crazy.  But I'm also fairly passive about those crushes.  It's true.  My interest is piqued quickly but I rarely act on that interest.  Why?  Well, I've been burned by that in the past.  Pretty badly.  To the point where I have often opted to just kind of hang back and admire from afar.  I've always been fine with this.  It allows me to keep the fantasy that someday they'll notice me and decide to make the first move. Of course that never happens. Not to me at least.  But this strategy is one I've adopted in the name of self-preservation.  If they don't know I'm interested, they can't reject me, and I still win, right?  Right.

Over the weekend, something came over me, and I turned into a girl I haven't known in a while.  Maybe ever.

See ... there's this guy in whom I've recently developed a mild interest.  He kind of snuck up on me, honestly. He's not my type. At least not in an obvious way.  But there's something intriguing about him.  And I didn't even realize I was interested until one day I said his name and noticed I was smiling when I said it. Hmm. I've been thinking about him quite a bit lately, trying to figure out how to get to know him better.  It's not an easy thing to do, though. Our paths only cross sporadically, and I've only spoken to him a few times.

A few days ago, I deliberately went to a place where I knew I'd run into him. Not only that, but I went out of my way to approach him.  I walked out to where he was and said, "I have to get to this other event, but I wanted to be sure and come say 'hi.'"  He smiled at me and we began chatting.  We carried on a conversation for about twenty minutes.  Sure, we'd exchanged pleasantries in passing prior to this, but this was the first substantial conversation. Unfortunately, I truly did have to be somewhere else, so I made an exit.  I returned to the scene later, and he was still there.  He came to ask me about the event I'd attended and then was sure to say "goodbye" before he left.  I decided that was enough groundwork to do some more research.  I approached a mutual friend to ask if he was single.  The mutual friend couldn't confirm at the time but said he would find out.  And he seemed surprised that I was asking about this person, so I don't know what that means. But I don't care.

Obviously, I would be delighted if something came out of this.  Even one date would be a huge victory.  But I'm only going to be mildly disappointed if he's unavailable for whatever reason.

There's a smaller victory here to celebrate. 

This year, for me, is all about being brave.  I am trying to embrace opportunities that require me to step outside my comfort zone to see what doors that opens.

Well, I think this counts.  And maybe it's not such a small victory.

Sure it's not the first time I've made the first move with a guy.  A month or so ago, I approached a guy I knew via social media and expressed interest, to which he dodged my invitation to meet up and catch drinks. (Although it should be noted we're still interacting with each other quite normally.) The guy from this weekend didn't run when I approached him.  In fact, you might say he did the opposite.

Even if nothing happens between us romantically, this experience has given me a little more confidence in approaching the next guy who catches my eye. I'm so proud of myself that even a rejection from this guy isn't likely to erase how I'm feeling.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Music Monday: Tyrone Wells - "Feel Good"

I had a good weekend. A really good weekend. Saturday, I was busy but found myself in a very confident mood.  And I acted on it.  I made a bold move and it felt really good.  Even if nothing comes of it, I am still really proud of what I did on Saturday.  I know that's vague and rude ... and maybe I'll expound soon.  Maybe tomorrow. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, just know that this song really does match how I'm feeling right now.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Weekly reads, vol. 35

I've been a terrible blogger this week. There's just so much going on, and I honestly don't have a lot to say.  And I prefer only to post when I really want to rather than feeling like I have to.  Still, I missed this space, and I'll try to be more active in it next week.

In the meantime, I did keep up with reading blogs.  Here were some of my favorites from the week.

Rena wrote about the power of our words and gestures when we let someone know they've impacted our lives. Good reminder to not only be grateful but to show it.

Kati Rose shared her music must list. I love the items on her list (and have done a few of them).  I'll be making my own list in the near future.

Sarah Hartley has two posts on this week's round-up.  The first is about the emergence of her new magazine, a lifelong dream come true.  It's so inspiring, and I'll likely be a part of it a few times in the future.  The second is about living life as a human being not a human doing. I'm pretty guilty of the latter. Very interesting read.

Taylor waxed poetic about the feelings associated with summer. It's so beautifully written, it was a no-brainer to be included here.

Last week, I had the hugest craving for a root beer float. I didn't give in, but I was thisclose.  And now I just want this adult root beer float shared by Jamie.

Happy Saturday everyone!  I have another busy one ahead, but I'm planning on a lazy Sunday, so that'll be nice.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Curently - June edition

Currently ...

Reading ... "The Royal We" by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan -- I'm only 100 pages in, but I am loving it.  I'm kind of in a royalty, prince, princess mood after reading "The Selection."

Listening to ... Currently, the Elvis Duran morning show.  I will probably listen to Rachel Platten's latest EP at least twice today. In my head, I'm still hearing Ed Sheeran from last night's awesome concert.

Wearing ... Nice clothes for work.  But I'd rather be in comfy pants and my new Tony Lucca shirt because it's so soft.

Watching ... At the moment, nothing, but I plan to catch up on "The Bachelorette" tonight.

Needing ... to pay my water bill. And a few others.

Wanting ... a day off to sleep in and then lay around and read.

Avoiding ... getting a manicure. I want one, but when I work at the brewery, I have my hands in water all night, so it doesn't seem wise to invest in getting my nails done.

Looking forward to ... my vacation. Two weeks.

Feeling ... Hopeful. I'm not going to elaborate, sorry, but I am just feeling very optimistic about some things.

Sipping on ... Coffee.  Mmmm.

What's up with you lately?

Monday, June 8, 2015

Music Monday: Rachel Platten - "Congratulations"

Rachel Platten's single, "Fight Song" is all over the airwaves.  I've been listening to it for months, and I'm still not tired of it.  It still gives me goosebumps and might even bring out a few tears depending on the moment and my mood.

I'm so happy she's finding success.  If you listen to the song and look into the reason she wrote it, you'll be excited for her too.
I wrote “Fight Song” when I was at a crossroad in my life: on the outside there was a lot of hard stuff going on and a lot of reasons to give up on myself… but through writing the song, I made the decision to not listen to that small mean voice that was telling me I wasn’t good enough. I decided to keep believing in myself no matter what. (source)

Her entire latest EP is really fantastic.  This song, in particular, really hits me.  It's a little heartwrenching because it's clearly about someone who's been hurt, but the defiance in Rachel's voice keeps it a triumphant song rather than a sad one.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Choose Your Own Adventure May recap

Life According to Steph

The theme for May was READ

These are my goals:

- Finish five books for the month -- that includes the three categories for my yearly goal and my two book club books. -- SUCCESS!  I actually read seven books, you can check out that recap here.

- Edit one of my writing works-in-progress.  (That involves reading, so it counts, right?) -- SUCCESS! I didn't finish editing it, but I did get a few chapters done.

- Assess the blogs in my reader and determine if there are some I can unfollow. -- SUCCESS.  I unfollowed a few, but my reader is still too long.

I really enjoyed doing this link-up each month. It was a great way to set a few little goals at a time. 

Even though there's no link-up through the summer, I'm going to list a few things I'd like to get done over the next few months:

- Clean out my closets.  I have so many clothes I don't wear anymore. I need to get rid of a lot of them. My living room closet could also use some reorganization.

- Pay off a credit card.  I'm pretty sure I can finish off two by the end of the summer, but I'll set the bar low at one.

-  Finish editing one of my writing projects. 

I'll recap on Labor Day weekend.

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