Tuesday, January 06, 2009


(this picture is totally from the year behind...but it makes me think of anticipation, of looking forward, of that sort of wistful "what's out there?" feeling)

The Year Ahead

Looking forward to...


1. Serving at a weekend-long spiritual retreat in February. I'll be part of the team leading the retreat and will be speaking to a group of women. I am incredibly stoked about this, and just in awe of how God allows me to do things for Him. (If you're interested in what it's all about...the Emmaus Walk).

2. Team-teaching a writing class at the University of Alabama this Spring. I love to teach...and some extra coolness about the class is that my book is the textbook.

3. That's about as far ahead as I've planned...but I just know there will be all sorts of wonderful-ness to pop up as the year goes along. Things like our annual anniversary trip (where we will go? what adventures will we have?), our family summer vacation (not sure if it will involve softball or not, but either way, it's always an adventure when it involves the Five of Us and a plane or car!), and who knows what else. That's what makes Life so great, don't you think? That you never know what smiles are around the corner?

(And, well..."Lost" is coming back very, very soon and the 6th Harry Potter movie will be out this Summer. How could I forget those? Life's not all about grand adventures...it's also about the joy of seeing How in the Heck The Island got Moved, and reliving the Potter stories with the aid of very buttery movie popcorn.)

Resolving to...

1. Cook more homemade meals for the family. I love to cook and bake and I'm resolving to do a lot more of it in 2009. And, even though making cakes and cupcakes are some of my greatest joys, items with frosting don't count entirely. I'm thinking more pastas and casseroles and vegetables. (I started off well tonight with chicken spaghetti from Pioneer Woman's blog. Oh yeah, it was goooood.)

2. Teach McKenna how to maneuver around a kitchen.
She told someone the other day that she couldn't cook anything--that she even burned water--and I sadly realized that I have not instructed her as well as I should have (although I do think exaggeration was part of her conversation with her friend). She (aargh!) will be going away to college in about a year and a half, so she needs to know how to make stuff like chicken spaghetti and cupcakes too.

3. Do my best to keep up with my read-the-Bible-through-in-a-year-plan. Our church's youth minister has my girls motivated to do this, and I want to keep up with them. Although I know pretty assuredly that Lamentations will probably be the death of me, I'm gonna do my best to plug on through. (I resolve to read my Bible more every year and I pray that God understands my honorable intentions. Perhaps this will be the year that my actual reading keeps up with my intentions).

4. Read more in general. Gary and I both read more in 2008 than we have in a long time, and I want to keep the trend going. One of my favorite goals last year was to read three classics that were "new to me" (they were On the Road, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Crime and Punishment) and I want to read more such books this next year (along with the page-turning cozy mysteries that are sorta like cupcakes for my mind!).

5. Take my canvas bag/s with me every time I go to the grocery store, Walmart, etc
. I'm getting better about remembering, but I still feel like an anti-earth slob when I leave the store with ten plastic bags in my buggy. I'll be better this year.

6. Drink more water and juice
(and a little less sweet tea and Diet Dr. Pepper, although it pains me to even write that sentence).

7. Collect and write family stories. One of the things I was most proud of doing over Christmas was "interviewing" Gary's grandmother and putting together a little book of her remembrances for family members on that side of the family. It reiterated what I already know...that stories won't be remembered unless someone writes them down...and I want to do the same thing this year with my own grandmothers and parents.

8. Find more time to scrap.
I love to scrapbook, but I'm already falling behind this year; I need to get more books organized from last year and then find some creative, easy ways to collect my memories for the year to come.

9. Have more date nights with Gary. Have more girls-nights-out with my girlfriends. Have more in-the-moment moments with my girls.

10. Be as good as I can be,
although I will invariably want to be impatient, or snippy, or un-good.

11. Smile. Act Silly. Laugh. Enjoy. Repeat.


January is always one of my favorite times of year, because of the freshness and anticipation and promise that is inherent in its days. It's a good month. And I, for one, can't wait to experience everything it--and the rest of the year--has to offer.

23 comments:

Auburn Kat said...

How did I not know you had a book?

Great lists Professor Cheryl!

Laura said...

I saw that picture and I thought, they are NOT at the beach!!! Ha, ha! January is my favorite month because it's my birthday month. And a professor....at UA?!?! OMG!! Who could ask for more? You go, Girl!

Michelle said...

You will do........and you will do it FABULOUSLY!

Thanks for stopping by and your thoughts.....

It is amazing, how prayer works. Isn't it?

I promise swear, I will be a more faithful poster......even if it isn't tragic :)

One of those speeches that you have to give, please share Tay's story........the amazing power of prayer was so strong, I could feel it......almost touch it.

It erased doubt.

Cheryl Wray said...

Kat--LOL Now I may be known as Prof. :-)

Laura--Ahh, if ONLY we were at the beach. I wish!!!! That would be wonderful right now (especially since it is raining like crazy right now. Ugh!). Actually, I'm just being like an Adjunct Instructor, teaching one class a week. Still, I'm really excited about it!

Michelle--I am SO glad that I stopped by your blog and saw your posts about Taylor. Prayer does indeed work!

hippo chick said...

As usual, I love this post. I haven't looked very far into this year yet. I'm busy getting ready to go to the Southwest. Some of my resolves are the same as yours; bible reading, prayer, growing closer to the Lord. I, too, want to write more.

You seem to accomplish so much. What is your secret?

~hippo hugs~

Adrienne said...

You have some great goals!!
McK and college can't go in the same sentence togehter!!!!!

Jeff said...

Prof Cheryl! I like that. I hope you'll post a lot about how the class goes and what it's like to teach at U of A.

You've got good goals for the year. Charge forward and be successful!

Cheryl Wray said...

Pam--We do have similar goals, don't we? Sometimes I think we're two peas in a pod...just separated by many miles! :-) Not sure what my secret is...probably that I am not a perfectionist, so I'm able to get things done pretty quickly.

Adrienne--I know!! Lord, I'm getting old!!

Jeff--I will definitely have to give updates on the class. I'm sure I'll have major flashbacks of BEING in the same classrooms as a student! :-)

Monogram Queen said...

Ah that sweet pic of Sydney took away a bit of my mean-ness today!
I love your resolutions and am totally with you on #'s 9,10 & 11!

Also, I may post a pic of "friars fringe" if I remember! hehe...

camport said...

I have so much I want to comment about this post!

#1: sweet tea IS water...mostly. :)

#2: HA! I'm NOT the only one that says "buggy." My friend chuckled over that the other day and I had to wonder if it was just me.

#3: that beach pic makes me want to hop in the car and go to Myrtle Beach, right! now!

#4: I do wish I had heeded my moms cooking instructions more. She tried. I was a teenager and could've cared less. I have no idea how to use a pressure cooker and I still detest a pot roast. If I had embraced how to use/cook those things, maybe I'd be a different person. :)

#5: Seans trying to read the Bible in a year, too. I told him the lineages would do me in and I'd give up pretty early in the O.T.

#6: I have GOT to add that Pioneer woman to my bloglines. She always has such amazing recipes on her blog. I still say "Hello, Lover" everytime I pull out a stick of butter, but I never remember to visit her blog.

#7: How awesome that you get to teach a class at a REAL University! You rock, Professor!

There's more to say, but this comment is already long enough! Love this post!

CINNIBONBON said...

Hey girl..fabulous post..
OH I'm so with you on number six!!!

I'm dying to have a sip of Dr. Pepper and it's only been 2 days. I'm trying to cut back too...it pains me as well to say that outloud...even if it's not a resolution...see I can not commit!!! LOL

Cheryl Wray said...

Queen--So glad the picture took away some of your meanness.Sounds like you've had a bad day. :-(

Camport--"Buggy" must be a Southern term. That's what I've always called a shopping cart. LOL

Cinni--I just LOVE Diet DP; it's sorta like an addiction (although I have it even worse for sweet tea!).

Mississippi Songbird said...

Those are great resolutions..

I've started my "Read the bible thru" and have got the canvas bags in the car..Yes, It's hard to remember to tote them in to the store. I got one from Taret that folds up and fits in your purse.. I keep it with me..
Sounds like you have an exciting year... I hope it brings lots of joys and happiness...

Corey said...

That picture SO makes me want to run off to the beach! It's been so cold and dreary here. I'm very much looking forward to warmer days!
Great resolutions you have..it's funny 2 years ago I resolved to drink LESS Dr. Pepper and MORE sweet tea! For me it's got to be one or the other, not both! ha ha!
Happy New Year Cheryl!

Lynilu said...

Several of those made me cringe. Things I have thought of myself, but didn't put words to them (that makes them just too real!!) There is always room for improvement, isn't there? Sighhh. Just when I think I am nearly perfect, I read your blog. shucks.

:D

Gin said...

These are some awesome resolutions, Cheryl. Good luck with them! And i'm with everyone else on the beach picture. It makes me want to go there.

Cheryl Wray said...

Songbird--That foldup canvas bag sounds really good.

Corey--LOL I LOVE DDP and sweet tea, but if I had to choose I'd go for sweet tea. And I'm not giving them up...just cutting back. (I'm not crazy!)

Lynilu--:-) We can always improve, can't we?...And I have SO much I can learn from you!

Gin--Yeah, I wish I was on a beach right now!

Linda said...

Oh I just love this post cheryl. Beautiful.. That picture is just priceless too. There is so much to look forward to this year. Everyday. Come see my blog.

Cheryl Wray said...

Linda--Thanks! I'll come check you out. :-)

Becky Welch said...

Have you tried the Chronological Bible - it is great! It mixes up all those hard to read books of the Bible and allows you to read the Bible in order of the actual events!!! I am doing it too, so we can hold each other accountable! Good luck!

Cheryl Wray said...

Becky--My husband, Gary, started using the Chronological Bible back in the Fall and he absolutely LOVES it!! I may have to get a copy for myself.

Maria said...

I love your list! I could very well apply all of those things to my own list...well, maybe except the ones that include a kitchen, LOL. Have a WONDERFUL new year my friend!

Jenster said...

WOW!!! That's some exciting stuff you've got coming up!! (And I adore that picture!)

Great list, too. I could steal just about every one of them.