Thursday, May 19, 2016

Pretending I'm Famous: My Imaginary Interview on The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey Podcast

I had received several recommendations about the podcast, The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey. I decided to download one and listen to it while I was on the elliptical machine at the gym. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's like listening to a couple of your girlfriends talk about life, things they are passionate about right now and what God's doing in their lives. Most of these shows are between forty-five minutes and one hour fifteen minutes. The interviews are with some well-known women and women Jamie knows or has heard of but maybe are not in the public eye as much.

Recently Jamie started some bonus happy hour episodes that are thirty minutes in length and posted every few Fridays. They are often follow up interviews of people she has previously interviewed. She usually asks each person a similar set of questions.

The interviews seem like so much fun. It'd be neat to be a guest on her podcast but I don't really do anything that would warrant me the opportunity - I'm a regular SAHM not doing anything particularly noteworthy or groundbreaking.

But today is my birthday so I thought I'd have a little fun. I wrote down the questions she asked on one of the bonus episodes and thought it'd be fun to answer them like I really was a guest on her show. Here goes...

Pretend Jamie Ivey: Welcome to The Happy Half-Hour with Jamie Ivey! My guest today is Megan Byrd.

Me: I'm so excited to be here with you! I'm a little nervous about a live/recorded event but they seem like so much fun that I thought it would be fun to participate.

PJI: For those who don't know who you are. give us a little snippet of your life.

Me: I am a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) of two kids, a six-year-old and a three-year-old. I've been married to my husband, Adam, for almost ten years and we live in Acworth, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta.

PJI: What is something you've read, watched or heard recently that you cannot stop recommending to other people? Answer one or all three.

Me: Your podcast has been the thing I've been listening to that I think all of my women friends should check out. I get something from every episode, most notably book recommendations. I love reading so it's a great way to add to my to-read list and be confident it will be a worthwhile read!
   Speaking of books, I recently read Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. It is hilarious! It also speaks truthfully about mental illness and provides wisdom and insight for the rest of this. I love books that cause me to laugh, think and learn. I would like to warn that there is some language in the book that others might not care for.
  I also recently read and enjoyed Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. I have read three of her books thus far and this has been my favorite. At the beginning you find out that there is a murder and then the book jumps back six months to introduce you to the characters. I spent most of the book trying to figure out who died and who killed them. I changed my guess several times but ended up being completely wrong. It was great!
  I don't watch a lot of television. My husband and I tend to stick to comedy shows to lighten our week and he usually is the one that introduces me to them. Probably my favorite of the current shows we watch is Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Andy Samberg is one of the main characters and I thought he was funny on Saturday Night Live. I thought it was going to be a dumb buddy-cop show but I watched the first episode and laughed throughout the whole thing. The whole cast is amazing and hilarious. Andre Braugher is amazing as Captain Holt. It's just fun and silly and also heart-warming in moments. I can't wait for the next season!

PJI: How do you recharge? What does that look like for you?

Me: As a SAHM without family around, this has been a struggle for me. I actually recently asked this same question to a new acquaintance of mine, asking her to recall what she did when she was raising her children. She helped me to get a better picture of what recharging looks like for me. Exercising is a big factor in my emotional and physical health. I have made sure my kids have kept an afternoon rest time most days (now that they no longer nap consistently) so that I can have an hour to an hour and a half to do something I enjoy, usually reading, praying and/or writing. Occasionally I'll take a nap if I'm feeling particularly tired. I have sometimes used this time to do chores around the house and I have realized that not using my "free time" wisely hinders my ability to be a patient, considerate, loving mom and wife the remainder of the day.
     I dream of having an entire day to myself where I can focus on being in nature and spending time in quiet solitude praying, writing and reading. It sounds so amazing to me! As an introvert, I need periods of quiet to recharge (hence my kids' Quiet Room Time).

PJI: What's a specific app, gadget or piece of technology that you cannot live without and why?

Me: My kindle. I LOVE to read and I think it's great that I can have a bunch of books in one place and it takes up limited space in my bag or suitcase. I can get books from the library or Amazon without having to leave the house. My kindle case has a book light which makes for easy reading in bed (yes, I have an older, non-backlit one but I use it daily).

PJI: What's a dream that you had when you were young that you've had to let go of?

Me: For awhile growing up I wanted to be an architect, but not just an architect. I already had the traveling bug so I wanted to live in an RV so that I could travel around the country designing buildings. I don't know if that was a very realistic dream, probably because I wasn't really equipped with the skills to be an architect, but it was fun to think about for awhile. I don't know that I ever thought it would actually happen.
      I think I'm very risk-averse so I don't know that I really dream big or pursue things that require a lot of risk. In college, I thought about going to graduate school for counseling but was concerned about having a student loan so I didn't ever finish the application process. I know it would still be possible to acquire a master's but it's not a strong desire of mine at this time. So, sadly to say, I can't really think of big dreams I had when I was younger that were not able to come true.
     I do think that I am growing in my ability to dream. I recently pondered this and realized that I do dream of being a writer who is compensated for her work. It has been a little scary putting that out there because sharing dreams requires vulnerability and there is the risk of failure or it not coming true.

PJI: When you think of your good friends, what are some characteristics of these people that make them so special to you?

Me: The special people in my life ask me questions. Asking me about what's going on let's me know that they are interested in me as a person and have remembered things we've talked about in the past. I am someone who many people see as a good listener and someone they can confide in. Often, people share with me but do not ask me questions and so it feels like a one-sided relationship.
        They also initiate contact with me sometimes so that I am not the only one asking to hang out. Not having family around I have learned that I have to reach out to have community but it gets tiring when it's not reciprocated so I really appreciate those who also seek to spend time with me.
         I think the underlying theme is wanting to feel important and known by others. When I feel these things then it increases my affection for the person contributing to these desires.

PJI: What's some of the best advice you've ever received?

Me: Take time for yourself. Do things that refresh you and help you reconnect to yourself.

       This was really easy to do when I was single and then married without kids. Once I became a mother I kind of lost myself in the change. One of the biggest adjustments of motherhood is becoming less selfish in order to give so much care to a helpless, fully dependent new family member. I was no longer able to spend time wandering around by myself doing whatever on the weekends or spending relaxed, unhurried time reading and writing. I had to schedule small bits of self-care into the day when it was possible (and some days it was not possible) and it was (and still is) a struggle to do that well.
      The biggest struggle for me is feeling guilty for doing something for myself or for wanting to spend some time away from my kids or family. I think most parents struggle with this guilt of wanting to give your family all that you can but knowing that you will become burned out if you don't refresh yourself away from your family responsibilities.
      Parenthood also changes the married relationship a lot. Those first few years of a child's life make yours very tiring and blurry. You can forget to purposefully and meaningfully connect with your spouse, something else that is also very important.
     Self-care and marriage-care are both very important pieces of a thriving family. I am continuing to learn how to do these things better. As we've risen out of the fog of babies and toddlers I see more and more the importance of doing things that I enjoy, doing things that we enjoy as a couple, and doing things away from the kids. It will benefit our kids as they get older and enter marriage and family life if they can see us successfully navigating these areas of life.

PJI: What is one thing you do that is directly tied to your success? Or what does success look like to/for you?

Me: I don't feel like I have achieved a particular success. Perhaps that's why I like the question which asks me to define success. I think at this point in my life, success is having a husband and children who know they are loved, cherished and appreciated. Success is knowing that I am using my gifts and abilities to honor God and serve others (loving and encouraging others with my writing).

PJI: What is something you're really excited about right now?

Me: I am really excited about spending time with family over the next six weeks or so. Living away from family, I really cherish those times we are together and able to connect. We will be spending the next week and a half around various members of my husband's family which will be fun for the kids and allow me little pockets of free time and a change in routine. In a few weeks we'll fly out to my family to spend a few weeks with them. I see my parents about twice per year and extended family usually only when we are visiting my parents in the summer so I really try to soak in that time. I'm excited that this family time is almost here! It also means school will be out (we're in our last week) and I am soooo ready to sleep in and have a looser schedule!

PJI: What is a pet peeve of yours?

Me: I feel annoyed at people who are chronically late. Pre-kids I was nearly always early and it probably bothered me a lot more. Now I have days where we are a few minutes late because it's hard to get everyone wrangled and out the door at the proper time so I have more empathy for other parents. I usually try to build in ten to fifteen minutes to get the kids ready but it isn't always enough. I know firsthand that anything and everything can happen when you're trying to get out of the house with children to an event that has a specific start time.

PJI: Thanks for joining me on this Happy Half-Hour! 

Me: Thank you for letting me participate. It was fun answering the questions!

Has there been a show or podcast that you thought it would be fun to be a guest on? If so, I'd love to hear about it. (When I was a kid I really wanted to be on the Nickelodeon game shows - Legends of the Hidden Temple, Double Dare, Guts.)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Dreaming With an Open Heart

I have been thinking recently about dreams I have for my life, things I would love to do or to happen. I know we sometimes equate dreams with goals or bucket list items, but I believe those are all slightly different.

Goals are things I want to achieve and will take deliberate steps to accomplish. Some dreams could be labeled as goals but, often, dreams require more than just our own efforts to accomplish. Goals are measurable and you can usually determine ahead of time if you have the necessary resources to accomplish them. Yes, work is also required on our part for dreams, but even if we do all that we can, it doesn't mean the dream will be realized.

Bucket lists, to me, are kind of like fun to-do lists. Perhaps some people's bucket lists are lists of dreams but I think mine would most resemble a world map or adventure itinerary.

To me, dreams are heart-driven desires. I am more nervous about sharing my dreams than my bucket list because they are revealing and vulnerable. They tell others a lot about my heart. I have been thinking and praying a lot about it and have decided to share my dreams with you. I believe that bringing them out in the open where others can see them will allow God more room to move in these areas. He reminded me recently that the dreams he has placed in my heart (and, honestly, I don't know for certain which dreams are God-led and which are my own selfish ones), he will water and grow so that they will come to fruition at the proper time.

So, in no particular order, my current dreams:
  • To be a writer (technically I am a writer now, but I am referring to receiving payment/compensation for my work)
  • To write and publish another book (it'd be awesome to have an actual publishing house do it - see above dream)
  • To go on a solo weekend retreat somewhere I can pray, see nature, read, write, be quiet and think (I've heard about monastic retreats which appeal to me)
  • To attend She Speaks Conference, the writer/speaker conference held every July in Concord, NC
  • A vacation with just my husband to a beach/island with great scuba diving
  • A couple/family or several couples/families for true community (we like each other, enjoy each other's company, can share real/hard things and all make efforts to spend time together regularly)
  • My kids to choose Jesus and desire to live for him (they are currently 6 and 3 but this is my number one desire for them)

There you have it. I don't know of any one thing listed that will happen this year. Next year, several have promise. I suppose that's part of why they are dreams. I know they are all possible but some of them I am powerless for them to happen (yes, I may have influence but I can't accomplish them in my own power) and so there is plenty of room for God to work. I am hoping and believing that all of these things will happen.

Are you willing to share some of your heart dreams with me? Are any of the dreams listed also on your heart as well? I'd love to know there is a kindred spirit out there. Together we can pray for God's work and provision for our dreams.

Monday, May 9, 2016

A Letter to My 18-Year-Old Self

Dear Eighteen-Year-Old Me,

Hello there! It's me, your 33-year-old self. It's been nearly sixteen years since you graduated high school and began preparing for college life. I know you are very excited to see what the next chapter of life would hold. I'm sure you are a little nervous venturing out on your own, especially knowing your parents will be 10+ hours away. Of course, you have been somewhat prepared for this having spent the majority of your summers away from your parents visiting relatives. It's just one more new adventure!

I know that you are not sure what you should study but have signed up for the engineering track at the suggestion of your parents. You will end up taking many more math and science classes than you end up needing for graduation when you finally find majors that best suit your wiring, but there will be a big upside to having taken engineering classes (specifically Statistics for Engineers). You don't know it yet, but that class will profoundly and positively impact your life.

If I could truly go back and offer you some advice before you begin your time at N.C. State (which you love, by the way), here is a part of what I would want to say.

Just because someone shows interest in dating you, it doesn't mean that's a relationship you need to pursue. I know you've only really dated one person thus far but not all relationships will be as positive and healthy as that one was. You need to work on deepening your relationship with Jesus and seeking him. God loves you dearly. He has a purpose for you that he will fulfill. Whether or not you end up with a spouse, God's plans will be better than anything you can imagine. If you have the desire for a husband, give it to him in prayer and trust him to provide in his timing. God is faithful and trustworthy.

Marriage is supposed to be a reflection of Christ and his church. Any dating relationship you have should be characterized by respect, love, grace and selflessness (from both of you). Here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself when considering a dating relationship. Does he love God? Does he attend church? Pray and read his Bible regularly? Is he involved in a Christian group, Bible study or other activity to deepen his relationship with Christ? (Experience will tell you that behavior is the best indicator of what someone believes.) Does he treat you with respect? Does he listen to and value your opinion? Does he try to push physical boundaries? Does he desire to see you grow and succeed? Will he encourage you in your relationship with Christ?

It is very important for you to answer the questions asked above about yourself. You are young in your faith and have a lot of growing to do. If you seek to grow closer to God and join activities that will encourage you in this way, you will flourish. Ask God to help you find these things. He will provide some amazing friends, connections and experiences.

I know that I cannot go back and change what you will experience, but I hope that what you learn can help other young women as they prepare for their own college career. To that extent, I wrote a book for college-age women (info below). I hope that they will learn from your experiences and avoid some of your mistakes. I have some sorrow and regret over choices made during college but, praise God, he has brought good from it!

Don't worry, you will have a fabulous time and meet some great people that you will still keep up with when you're my age (mostly thanks to the invention of Facebook that is not yet an idea in Mark Z's head). Your mistakes will not be fatal. You will learn, grow and change. You will become much more confident and self-assured as you age. You will also acquire a lot more responsibility so enjoy your relatively tether-free time in college!

Thirty-three-year-old Me

Between Us Girls: Navigating College Life as a Christian Woman

Will you head off to college soon? Or perhaps you've already started at a university and found the going a little rough? Have you prepared yourself for all that you may experience, both on-campus and off? Do you know how to strengthen your faith and locate resources to help draw you closer to God? Between Us Girls: Navigating College Life as a Christian Woman can help you prepare for campus life. In this book, you'll learn about... 
  • Strengthening your relationship with God
  • The importance of finding a Christian group on campus 
  • The different types of guys you will encounter 
  • What to do if you mess up 
  • Potential stumbling blocks to your faith and your relationships 
  • Straight talk about sex 

Through reading candid, real-life stories and advice from Christian women about their time at college, you'll discover that you're not the only one facing challenges and struggles on campus. Even more importantly, you'll learn about great opportunities for redemption, success, and a rich adventure with God.

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of Between Us Girls: Navigating College Life as a Christian Woman, please email me at  mybyrdlife at Copies are $10 each. Shipping is $3 (free if you're local and we can meet in person). Thanks!

Monday, May 2, 2016

April Book Review

We're now one third of the way through the year. To reach my goal of 50 books this year, I need to have read at least 17 books to stay on track. At the end of March I had finished 20 so I could have laid low and read none, but I love to read so that obviously wasn't happening. I ended up reading eight books in April. You can see my selection below. If you want to catch up on my former reads, check out my posts from January, February and March.

1. Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God by Sheila Walsh

I am one of Jen Hatmaker's email subscribers. One of her emails last month had a digital download of this book by Sheila Walsh. You may recall, I applied to Sheila's launch team for her new book shortly after starting this one. I recommend both this book and the other one (The Longing in Me). Sheila writes with transparency, vulnerability and authenticity. In this book Sheila weaves her story in with those of various women and men in the Bible who chose to trust God in different aspects of their lives. She talks about Abraham, Anna, Paul, Mary and Martha among others. She reminded me of God's faithfulness toward us and love for us. I especially loved the last chapter, Trusting God With Your Journey, where she talks about Abraham trusting God when he tells him to leave his current place without knowledge of where he was headed. That type of trust - moving forward without knowing how it ends - is particularly scary and difficult for me. I fear that I will either be exposed as foolish or make a mistake and make a decision that wasn't in line with God's plans. I was reminded that God is bigger than our mistakes and we cannot thwart God's plans, especially when our heart's desire is to follow his leading. 

2. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson

I was recommended this book by an acquaintance and checked it out at the library. It was HILARIOUS! I laughed out loud many a time. Jenny Lawson blogs at The Bloggess and has written for several years about her life, often about her experience with mental illness. She is very open and honest with her feelings and how mental illness affects her life. She has chosen to embrace her life and is determined to live "furiously happy". I appreciated and enjoyed her candidness as well as her unique and hilarious perspective on life. She is quite a character and someone you feel like would make your life better and more fun if she were part of it. If you want a book that will increase your understanding of mental illness as well as cause you to walk around with a smirk on your face from remembering things she wrote, please check out this book. If you are easily offended by crass words and jokes, you may want to skip this one. 

3. Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women by Sarah Bessey

I have been having a lot of thoughts/questions lately about women, leadership and the church. I asked what books I should read about this topic and this was overwhelmingly recommended. I had read Sarah's newest book, Out of Sorts, and had found it a deep, thought-provoking read. I thought perhaps this would be similarly interesting and informative. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It mentioned a number of the feelings and thoughts I've been having. Instead of being antagonistic and confrontational, it reminded me that all of us should be seeking God and what he desires of us. Even if we are not able to have a leadership role in our church it doesn't mean we cannot still be effective ministers in our communities. It doesn't say that we aren't to question hindrances to women's ministry opportunities, just that our focus should not necessarily be looking for reasons to be offended. It offered a number of additional resources for more in-depth study on this topic. If you have been feeling tension with the church's view of women and leadership, I suggest reading this book.

4. Undeniably Yours: A Novel by Becky Wade

This book is about a woman, Meg Cole, who returns to her family home to run the Cole Oil business after her father unexpectedly dies. She is not interested in running the business but feels obligated to help sustain her father's legacy. However, he also has a thoroughbred horse farm that she does not want to run and gives the farm manager six months before she will close it down. She ends up feeling a connection with the manager but does not want to mix business and personal affairs. It was an engaging read with an emphasis on faith and its workings in peoples' lives which lent encouragement to my own faith experiences. It was a somewhat predictable/formulaic Christian romance novel but I enjoyed the ride and am considering checking out the next story in this five-book series. 

5. Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans

I have heard some about Rachel Held Evans and have read a few of her blog posts. She wrote the Forward to Sarah Bessey's Jesus Feminist. This book talks a lot about her wrestling with different aspects of the evangelical church and walks us through her journey of breaking up with the church over a variety of differences and slowly working her way back. Her journey is not finished and it hasn't been neat and orderly, but it is real. She talks about the barriers churches put up against specific demographics and her unease at this segregation and separation. She reminds us that the church is not perfect, just like we are not perfect, but God loves it and us just the same. I really enjoyed hearing about her journey and her experience with different aspects of the church (the sections are divided into seven "sacraments" of the church: baptism, confession, holy orders, communion, confirmation, annointing the sick and marraige). I would recommend this book for someone who has questions and concerns about the church, generally and specifically.

6. Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough by Jefferson Bethke

My church community group decided to read through this book this spring and discuss it. Apparently Jeff Bethke has a viral video on Youtube of a spoken word poem he created called Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus. This book stems from this work as he attempts to flesh out the lines of his poem. It was an interesting read with some good contrasts of how religion differs from Jesus. Religion is an institution, a system of rules and regulations designed to help you be good. Jesus is a loving Savior who extends grace to all and invites each person into a living relationship with himself. I think it would be a good read for people who are new to Christianity. Those who have grown up in church may not take away as much from the book.

7. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

This is the third book I have read by Liane Moriarty. The first was The Husband's Secret and the second was What Alice Forgot. I thoroughly enjoyed those two books. This may be my overall favorite. I enjoyed this book so much! At the beginning of the book you learn that there was a murder at a school trivia night at the local school. The book then jumps back six months and introduces all of the characters and potential murder victims and suspects. It centers around three women who all have children entering the kindergarten class - Jane, Madeleine and Celeste - and who have broken pasts and/or secrets they are keeping from everyone. I was quickly enthralled and devoured the book trying to figure out who was killed and why. I kept changing my guess when new information was introduced and ended up being completely wrong, which was a wonderful happening. Liane spins a wonderful, captivating story with a dark underbelly. I was thorougly entertained and would highly recommend it. It'd make a great vacation read (as long as you don't have to supervise children as you might be too distracted trying to find out what happens next)!

8. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and and Sheryl WuDunn

I had heard about this book a few years ago and it was one of the resources sited in Jesus Feminist so I thought it would be a beneficial read. It is the research and personal interviews conducted by the co-authors. They visited a number of countries in Asia and Africa, interviewing mostly women about their experiences. They tell of sex-trafficking, brothels and maltreatment of women. They desired to learn how to best help women in developing countries gain a voice and status as a human being. The stories are heart-wrenching about things women and girls are subjected to simply because they are women and especially because they are poor and/or rural. The book also talks about various measures used to help improve the status of women in developing countries, using anecdotes from women they encountered and information from organizations who have had success in raising women's status. Two of the most effective measures have been educating girls and women and helping them to become contributing members to the local economy (such as with microlending programs). 
I learned a lot about the life of women in other parts of the world and ways I can contribute to improving the status of women worldwide. There is a large list of organizations that are successful in their specific areas of work. If you are looking to become more involved in lowering mother and infant mortality, increasing educational and employment opportunities for women or just want to learn more about life in other parts of the world, I suggest reading this book.

Those are my reads for April. Have you read any of them? If so, what did you think? Have any book recommendations for me? I always welcome them!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Fourth Month Goal Review

April has come and gone and it's once again time to check in on my goals for the year. You can read about January, February and March if you'd like. Without further ado, let's get to it.

1. One arts and crafts time with the kids each month

I wasn't sure what the kids and I would do in April. They both had their own ideas so I went with them. My daughter had received a Sofia the First sun catcher to paint in her Easter basket and wanted to work on that.

My son also wanted to paint and used the dot paint set we had to create a picture.

When those projects lost their interest my daughter decided she wanted to get out the art set she had received at her birthday and create a picture. My son had received a Paw Patrol coloring book at Easter and chose to color in that for a bit.

Finished creations
In between assisting them I decided to work a little on my photography, attempting to create images I could use on the blog.

2. Blog at least twice per month

I managed to achieve this goal again this month. I blogged four times. One was a book review for a launch team I was on. The others were just feelings and struggles and thought processes.

3. Grow in gratitude, contentment and generosity

A new friend introduced me to interactive prayer journaling this month. It is an opportunity to more clearly hear God speaking to you. It starts out by sharing your gratitude with God. My journaled gratitude has ranged from family and friends to medicine to the beauty of nature. It has helped me to remember that I have so much to be grateful for and, I think, has given me a more grateful attitude and heart.

I participated in a spring cleaning challenge in April which I thoroughly enjoyed. It helped me to clean out parts of the house I have been meaning to but kept putting off. I was also motivated by our neighborhood's yard sale at the end of the month. I cleaned out a bunch of clothes from my wardrobe, unused toys and too-small clothes from the kids (We decided the kids could keep the money earned from selling old toys and would use it as an opportunity to introduce the "give/save/spend" idea with money. Neither really understands the value of money yet, but perhaps it's at least a helpful start for the six-year-old.), baby things we no longer need and other miscellaneous things from around the house. Anything I couldn't sell in the fall children's consignment sale was dropped off at Goodwill after the yard sale. It felt really good to purge so many things from the house.

I didn't receive any feedback about whether sharing specific instances of giving went against the verse posted so I will once again be vague. We did give in addition to normal giving this month. I probably could benefit from increasing generosity with my time, specifically giving more undistracted time to my children.

Here are my verses for the month:

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. ~Galatians 3:26-28

I only ended up memorizing the above verse but it was technically three verses so I guess it counts. ;-) It was hard for me to get this one firmly in my memory.

So, tell me about your goals this month. What were you trying to do? Did you achieve it? Are you going to try again next month? Try something new? Fill me in!