2016 Goals and December Recap

As some of you may have noticed, I went ahead and changed this blog over to Born and Read in Chicago, instead of maintaining two separate spaces.  It just seemed the logical thing  to do.  Rather than letting all the content here collect dust (I'm too sentimental about it!), I brought all the book posts here with the rename.  So, there will be slightly different content going forward.  As I said in my updated About Me page, more book focused, but I will still occasionally talk running and other stuff (just as I occasionally/monthly talked books since 2012).

In keeping with simplifying things, I'm going back to a yearly/to-do list for 2016.  I really had fun thinking big picture back in 2013/2014, and think it'll be simpler (and less boring) than talking monthly stuff.  But first, I've gotta check in on my last goals of 2015:  

December Goals

Finish gift shopping.
I felt ahead of the game on things this year and was done with all the gifts at least 2 weeks before Christmas.  Although, with the way shipping was backed up this year, that meant one or two things still squeaked in juuuuust under the wire. 

Purchase and assemble teacher gifts.  
Holiday bark  with the Target cards went over so well, that I got a recipe request from one of the teachers.  I make a note of the ingredients in case of allergies, but DUH.  Next year I will be including the recipe, maybe on nice card stock... 

Baking, so much baking.
Mmmmm.  Always a fun to-do item.  

Holiday Cards. 
Sigh.  The pictures and ordering were accomplished by the first week of December and, alas, I tried another coupon with a different company than last year and the same thing happened: not making good on promised timetables.  Thankfully, since I did order them so early, I was able to get them out the Sunday before Christmas.

Come up with some 2016 goals.  
Voila!  Those are below!

Put together a race recap on the Turkey Trot.

Stay well, and pray to the weather gods that I get a whole calendar year of streaking done in 2015.
I am knocking on wood as I type this, but we have been really healthy this year.  I haven't been sacked with a fever or cough since last winter!  By November of every year, I'm usually struck with some horrible virus the kids have picked up.  Maybe because they're getting older/less handsy in elementary school?  Nevertheless, I have that and the weather to thank for making the whole run streak thing possible.  Which brings me to my first goal for 2016, not exactly what you might be thinking...

2016 Goals
  • End the run streak when the time is right/obvious.  Having completed a year in May, then a calendar year in 2015, I don't know how much more I need to do with the streak.  I will for sure keep going, as I said on Instagram, it's my daily meditation.  However, if I'm running a fever or feel like I'm dying?  DONE.  If we ever get a few inches of snow and a snow day? (Can I call one in?  I miss them.)  DONE.  So, my goal is to not be obsessive and give myself permission to stop.
  • Read 55 books. My goal this year was to read at least one more book than I did the year before (47 books in 2014), and I HANDILY succeeded by reading 54.  So yeah, one more book than last year.
  • Do the Book Riot read harder challenge.  I'm excited to do a separate challenge from the annual Goodreads and I'm going to outline the books to read soon.
  • Run 5 races, including one trail race.  In 2015 I ran a LOT, but I cut my race schedule down by half.  Again, simplifying is a lovely thing.    
  • Aim for one PR.  This is something that I've been able to accomplish every year since I really started running in 2011, so I'm hopeful I can continue the trend.  Speaking of trends, it seems that my PRs are always a surprise/not planned for, unlike ones I train for - so I'm going to kind of 'let it go' in the dogged mentality of getting that damn sub 25 5K or sub 2 half.
  • Plan a girls trip with my high school buddies.   We haven't gotten together in so long and since I'm probably not doing Bird Camp this year, I have the time and funds to make something happen with these ladies.  It's just getting the stars our schedules to align.
  • Plan another summer family road trip. This will be the first summer in two years that we don't have a weeks old puppy in the house, so we might be able to squeak in something fun like we did back in 2012 and 2013.
  • More picture taking and maybe a small weekly or monthly roundup.  I really enjoyed doing a roundup in past years and now that I've signed up for Chatbooks, it has inspired me to take more pics.  It might be easier to do weekly (maybe along with menu day) than to make a roundup at the end of the month.
  • Get at least 5 new meals into regular rotation.  I think this is a little more attainable than holding myself to trying a minimum number of new recipes a month.  
  • Try new restaurants with the hubs. I dunno, we'll see!  We love our usual haunts SO MUCH, that it's hard to gamble with something new when you get a date night out.  So, maybe more date nights out then?  Birthdays will always be at Daniels.  That's non-negotiable.
  • Have more fun with makeup and find the right routine, colors, etc. for me. For Christmas I got a subscription to Birchbox (from my list!), as well as some new brushes, so I'm on the right track.  But I still feel pretty clueless about stuff (I didn't realize, until recently, that I could apply my BB cream with a brush. Brushes are a BIG DEAL, apparently.), so I'm going to try to learn more.  Plus maybe find a new perfume!  Fun, right?  I've had the same two scents (Issey Miyake, L'Eau D'issey and Fresh, Memoirs of a Geisha) for nearly a decade.
December Birchbox!

Okay!  I'm excited!  Maybe I'll do a little quarterly check-in.  Maybe not.  Keepin' it easy breezy.


  1. I didn't realize that you're a streaker, Andrea - woo hoo! That is amazing! My husband started one around Christmas; he's currently on day 24. We have lots of other running friends who are streakers, so I know that it's a HUGE commitment; I commend you for your efforts and applaud your decision not to put too much pressure on yourself to continue. A girls' trip will be so much fun; I'm planning to attend the USATF Track & Field Olympic Trials in Eugene to meet up with some Oiselle gals that I've "known" since we all started together. Excited to follow along in your journey this year!

    1. Yep, closing in on day 600 soon, I think!
      So, you'll be going to Birdcamp,then? I might try to swing down there for just a day - so maybe I'll see you :))