December 2018 Goals

And Ryder gets to be a real snow dog

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It’s not too often we get a bunch of snow, so when this big storm came through I knew I had to dress Ryder up as a proper snow dog! He was originally going to be an elf for these December pics, but a combination of his elf costume that I ordered being too big by an order of magnitude and this recent snow means a holiday-styled snow dog, yay! But first we’ll look back at November’s goals.

November 2018 Goals

“I’m a lumberjack…”

Last month I had more than a few people of a certain age comment to me on how surprised they were that I knew the Monty Python lumberjack song. To that I say - Nobody expects a Millenial to know a clever pop culture reference!

Okay, fine, let’s focus on the goals then.


Post three times a month. This did not happen. At all. I posted once in November. I’m sorry, I’m sorry.I knew I was going to be busy with work and photography, and I managed the photography workload better this year than last year (my busiest time is always the end of year - just in time for photos for holiday cards!). But still. It’s a lot of work, and I’m currently in the worst of that workload. NO! SLEEP! TILL CHRISTMAS!!!

NaNoWriMo? This was a huge maybe. I knew I didn’t have time to commit to a major project, and sure enough, there was just no time to be had for this. It’s disappointing that NaNoWriMo always coincides with busy time at work. I mean, why can’t we have NaNoWriMo in like, June or something when nothing’s going on? Or February! Nothing happens in February except Valentine’s Day and cold weather. February would be perfect for NaNoWriMo. I’m going to pencil in February as my own NaNoWriMo - maybe LizNoWriMo (Liz’s Novel Writing Month instead of National Novel Writing Month). Except “LizNoWriMo” makes it sound like I’m never writing again. Hmm…I’ll get back to you on the name, but I think I’ll go ahead and pencil in that month for writing.

Compile my e-book. Lol you’re so funny. This didn’t happen. Duh.


Play with some fall lighting/colors. I didn’t have any times where I specifically went out and explored with landscape shots, but I did have fun incorporating fall colors during some of my portrait sessions!

Have fun with some fall family portrait sessions! Yayayayay! It’s one of my busiest times of year with tons of holiday mini sessions, and I’ve loved all the sessions so far!


Run 100 miles! Bahahahahaha nope. I ran 56.26 miles this month - a far cry from 100 miles! In my defense, I considered this a “recovery” month. I had Marine Corps Marathon at the very end of October, so then I took off the first week of November. Then I had Run RDC in the middle of November, so I rested before and then recovered afterwards. And then I had Race Across Durham on December 2, so of course I had to rest leading up to that. Buuuuuut I might have rested and recovered a little too much this November. That Thanksgiving dinner isn’t sitting too pretty with me right now and I might be feeling the aftermath of undertraining for a race. So. Whoops.

Race Run RDC! I did this! It was great! It was just two weeks after I did Marine Corps Marathon, so nobody (including myself) expected me to do very well. “Two marathons in two weeks! You’re crazy!” “Are you going to be rested enough?” At the very least, these were things I kept saying to myself, so I was super surprised by how great I felt on race day - but you’ll have to wait for the full race report for that!

Run 2 trail long runs! Haha weellllll about that. So the weekend after Run RDC Jill and I got together and ran the trails at Brumley. She wanted 6-8 miles, and I only wanted 5-6 miles, so we agreed we’d aim for 6 and she’d run some other trails the next day. Except…well…I might have misjudged some of the distances of the loops. So we ended up with 9 miles. Without food. Or water. (Thank goodness Jill likes me because I could tell she was fighting her hanger - sorry Jill!!) It turned out fine though - I felt great at least, and it was so cold we didn’t lose much water via sweat so the 9 miles sans water was just about the limit of our comfort that day. So that was one decent trail long run in November. Then on Thanksgiving I headed out to some trails around RTP while McCrae did some mountain biking. The goal was to get several miles in, but I brought Ryder and he spent the whole time cramping up. So Thanksgiving turned into an attempted long run, instead of a long run. So for this goal I’ll say A for effort, C- for execution.


Go on at least two "Sunday Stroll" hikes. Do trail runs count?? No?? Dang. My dad and I had conflicting calendars this month so we didn’t squeeze in any Sunday Stroll hikes in November.

Plan my next backpacking trip. Haaaa I would be a lot more prepared to plan a backpacking trip if I hadn’t busted all my sleeping pads. Well, okay, technically I still have the foam pad, but it’s indestructible. And it’s very uncomfortable. That said, I’ve done some prerequisite planning: I have a good idea of what my running calendar looks like for the spring, so now I can start slotting in some backpacking weekends. It’s been way too long!


Climb at least once a week. I climbed 5 times in November, which averages out to once a week, but I front loaded it with twice a week at the start of the month and missed climbing the week of Thanksgiving.

Keep working 5.9 routes. I did this. I’ve been climbing 5.9 routes at least twice a month recently. I can’t say I’m climbing them perfectly, but I’m doing better.

Keep sending V1s and working V2s. I haven’t been working V2s very much but I’m trying to fit in a bit of bouldering regularly.

Other Fitness

Try out a new yoga studio. Didn't do it yet. This will stay on the list though until I get it done!

Get 7 hours of sleep each night. Haha nope. I had a huge range from 4 hours of sleep to 11 hours of sleep, but it was definitely varied.

Get ready for indoor soccer. Haha yup this happened! Indoor soccer started and we’ve been doing well so far this season.


Start planning a trip to France! This is definitely happening! I’ve got plane tickets and a place to stay for one of the weeks, though I can’t exactly take credit for that - we have family joining us for the trip, so they’ve done the planning so far.


Read two books! I read two books in November! The first was Crazy Rich Asians* which I "read” via audiobook. It was a good book for audio - interesting enough to keep you engaged, but still a pretty easy read. I also finished reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle* by Haruki Murakami. I’ve been reading this book since July and it’s quite a hefty read - 607 pages and the content and themes were just as dense. I very much enjoyed the book, though there were several times when I wanted to read a novel but couldn’t really work myself up to read something this heavy, which is part of the reason why it took me so long to finish reading this book.

Fix the roof. Meh, I made progress but didn’t love any of the roofers we’ve looked at so far, so there’s plenty more work to be done.

Look at grad school options. I didn’t make much progress with this.

Keep tracking expenses and how I spend money. Money things aren’t my favorite things to focus on, but they’re essential. So yeah, I kept track.

Survive and thrive at work. Surviving, yes. We’ll see if I’m thriving though at the end of December.

Okay! So what's in store for December?!

December 2018 Goals

We don’t get a whole lot of snow in these parts, so when it snowed recently of course I had to put together a snowy holiday pic of Ryder!

We don’t get a whole lot of snow in these parts, so when it snowed recently of course I had to put together a snowy holiday pic of Ryder!


Post three times a month. Busy busy busy times here! Which means not a lot of time for posts, but hopefully I can cram three in this month.

Compile my e-book. Ha, maybe I’ll do this in time for the holidays.


Wrap up photo editing from this fall’s sessions. So many photos to finish up!

Plan some interesting winter photos. I can’t claim that winter in NC is particularly pretty - it’s just brown, brown, brown, with the exception of today’s snow. But even so, this snow is wet and icy, not beautiful and powdery, so I need to get creative on how to plan some pretty winter photos this year. I think it would be a fun challenge to work on some images that pop in a season that’s kinda drab.


Run 60 miles! I’ve been horribly slack about running recently, which isn’t good since I’ve got a mountain marathon race coming up in January and lots of fun races planned this spring, so I need to get back to it!

Do a mountain trail training run. I was thinking about how it’s not super exciting to run in cold snow, but then I remembered the Fleet Feet expedition outing to Hanging Rock last year in the snow and what a blast I had running in snow, so I take it back: mountain running in the cold will be tons of fun!

Put together my spring training plan. Well, really it’s my training plan from now until June, but “spring training plan” sounds like less work.


Go on at least two "Sunday Stroll" hikes. Now is a good time for some local outings around the holiday!

Plan my next backpacking trip. As part of my spring training plan I want to make sure I’ve got plenty of weekends earmarked specifically for backpacking trips!


Climb at least once a week. It will be interesting how well I plan for this around the holidays.

Keep working 5.9 routes. I’ve definitely noticed that as long as I stay focused and keep working 5.9s then these routes are starting to feel easier. I just need to keep focused!

Keep working V1s and V2s. Gotta push myself. Try hard!

Other Fitness

Try out a new yoga studio. This will stay on the list though until I get it done!

Get 7 hours of sleep each night. I’m really not great at making sure I sleep, so it’s something I want to focus on.


Come up with my wish list of things to see in France! And for that wish list, I’m not allowed to say “spend 3 days straight in the Louvre.” (McCrae has said 2 days is acceptable though, ha!)


Read three books! I’m already done with one book in December, and I usually have extra time around the holidays to read, so I’m looking forward to that!

Fix the roof. Or at least get additional quotes since I didn’t love the one roofer we looked at.

Come up with a wish list of grad schools. I want to at least have a long list of grad school options by the end of this month.

Keep tracking expenses and how I spend money. I’ve been doing pretty well tracking expenses these last few months, so I’m going to keep at that.

Survive and thrive at work. Gotta keep my sanity through the end of this year.



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