Dec 1, 2015

Goodbye November // Goals

November was good to us! We tried to be pretty intentional with our goals, but also allowed plenty of relaxing and enjoying each other as well as time with friends and Texas family. It our first Thanksgiving together and we felt extremely thankful for a year full of God's provision, His abundant love over us, and His faithfulness in every way. 

November was also a month that I allowed myself to dream BIG, especially regarding Beautiful Hope Blog and a project that has been on my mind and heart for some time now. I'll explain more in the weeks ahead, but for now, I am just stoked to be working on something I have so much passion for. And I have felt so grateful for the ways that Greg has encouraged me and cheered me on as I made small steps for this project. I love that he takes my writing seriously rather than putting it off as something silly or wasting time. I cannot explain the jolt of energy and courage he gives me when he tells me he believes in me and in my abilities to write and to use my writing to encourage others. I have been praying for the direction of the blog and it's been so great to dream alongside Greg about my writing as well as other things.

Here is a recap of November's goals and how I did. I split up my goals and our goals as a couple. 

Elena's goals

1. Do a word study on selah. Along with studying selah, I also want to practice selah by finding moments to rest and dwell on God's goodness.
Yes! I finally did a word study on selah and loved it!! I used for the bulk of my study, plus some blog posts (such as Rachel A Dawson's poetic and psalm-like post on selah that I loved). I also took time to selah, to pause and praise God for who He is and what He's been doing in my life.

2. Read & review 2 books (currently reading 7 Women and You and Me Forever 
Yes! I reviewed 7 Women for the #Collaboreads link-up and also read 3 other books!

3. Get a library card. 
Does anyone remember the episode on Arthur where there's a music video about the library? "Having fun, it's not hard, when you've got a library card". This was stuck in my head for a week after I got my card. #NoShameInMyNerdGame

4. Fitness goals: less eating out, more home-cooked meals (2 new recipes this month?) and workout 2x/week 
Yes! I got back to the gym, which felt awesome. And, thanks to Pinterest, tried a few new recipes (which are all amaziiiing!) … Greek Turkey Burgers, Cilantro Lime Honey Garlic Salmon, Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies, Kielbasa Pepper Onion and Sweet Potato Hash, and  Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon and Honey. YUM!!!! 

5. Continue working on switching my RN and ARNP licenses from Washington to Texas 

6. Blog goals: Post another Journal of a Miss to Mrs post, post about July's Yellowstone family trip, co-host The Circle with Kiki from In Its Time with a November theme 
Yes! Here's the latest Journal of a Miss to Mrs on being an introvert in love, here is my t-h-a-n-k-f-u-l acrostic poem for The Circle, and here are two posts about Yellowstone (Mammoth Hot Springs on day 1 and hiking to see geysers on day 2) 

7. Look into process to legally change my last name. 
Working on the first few steps… Goodness, it's a long process!

8. Follow along with She Reads Truth's studies this month: Open Your Bible and Psalms of Gratitude
Soo good!

Team Wiggins Goals

1. Have a continual convo throughout the month answering this questions: How are we using our time/money/talents to make disciples of Jesus and love others?
We honestly did not do this :( 

2. Study, meditate, and memorize a verse together 

3. Write to each of our  Compassion International children

4. Read 1-2 chapters of You and Me Forever and discuss the questions at the end of each chapter.

5. Challenge ourselves to daily think of 3-4 things we are thankful for each day in November.
Yes! This was such a great exercise in November! It reminded us of God's goodness and faithfulness. Check out the posts where I shared some of the gifts we journaled: week 1, week 2, week 3

6.  Brainstorm and decide on a way to reach out to our neighbors in our apartment complex 
We didn't focus on our neighbors this month, but we each did projects of our own. Greg co-led a group of teen guys for a youth retreat and I started helping with babysitting a few kids while they're moms (refugees from Burma) learn English. 

7. Start working on Christmas cards that we'll also use to thank our guests for coming to our wedding
Getting close to the finish line. So. Many. Cards. 

8. Financial goals: Decrease eating out; start working on budgeting as a couple; look into different loan repayment options & switch if better than what I am currently doing. 
We decreased eating out, but still need to do the rest. 


I will be posting our December goals later this week since this blog is a bit lengthy as is (plus, we're still working on our goals). For now, here are some happy memories from November

- Studying She Reads Truth's "Open Your Bible" with some English tea
- We put up curtains and decorated our apartment a bit!
- We set up our Ikea bookcases and I organized our books #NerdAlert
- Reading 7 Women (here's my review)  
- Exploring San Antonio's Farmer's Market in the Pearl.
- Receiving an envelope from the clinic I worked at & finding post-it notes with sweet messages
- Going on a women's retreat with ladies from the church we attend.
- Celebrating our one month of marriage (Greg bought those pretty flowers)
- Making gluten-free meals for us to enjoy once Greg gets home from work & chatting about our days.
- Greg helped me set up "office" in our dining room so that I am at eye-level of my screen (I was having neck and back pain from hunching over).
- Spending Thanksgiving weekend with Greg's family in Houston
- Setting up our little tree and buying some fun decor and crafts from Dollar Tree. 


  1. Hope you guys enjoyed "You and Me Forever" -- it really is one of my favorites! And I have enjoyed reading all of your thankful posts throughout November... love that you and your husband did it together.

    Also, if you guys are looking for a good online/secure budgeting tool, has really helped me out, especially as I've been aggressively working to pay off my student loans :)

    1. Thanks Gennean! We are loving it so far! We like to read it out loud and all at one time (vs in small chunks) so we can understand the context of each part of the chapter… so we've found the best times have been during our trips from San Antonio to Houston to visit his family (a 3hr drive). It is also a great opportunity while we are driving to discuss the questions. We have another two Houston trips this month, so we are hoping to get more reading done then!

      I remember you mentioning EveryDollar! I want to look into it more! We received great advice during our premarital counseling and are always looking for more good tips, so EveryDollar could be a great resource! I've been trying to pay off my grad school loans, so we are looking into options other than what I am doing now (Ramsey's snowball), though I think I wanna stick with that.


I love to hear your thoughts!

Elle Alice