Archive for the ‘goals’ Category

Words cannot express how thankful I am to be able to do the things I love and get paid for it. Not to mention most recently–Continue to do them from home.

20131112_Playing-outside_0252-copy news desk at workI was a little girl when I decided I wanted to be a news reporter and some day… an anchor. My parents pushed me to go for it and never give up on my dream. And so I did. Then, when I turned in my notice a few months ago to spend more time with my kids, I worried my career could be over, but the opposite has proved true. Lately I feel like I’ve “been there done that” and I’m excited as my career is evolving.

It’s been a long and crazy ride with several ups and downs, but I’m so thankful for my job(s) and for the opportunity I have to pursue my dreams with my kids along side me.

kids at work


When I was in middle school I remember seeing posted signs around the halls for a civic oration competition. I had an interest in public speaking, and a will to participate in almost every activity advertized around school, so I signed up.

We were given a set of rules, and a topic to write a speech about. I recall practicing mine over and over, but have no idea what the topic was. I did a practice run in front of a small audience and thought I was going to get crushed by a guy named Amir. He was also in the 8th grade, and his speech had everyone, including myself laughing along the way.

I spruced up my speech a little bit after our run through, trying to make it less dry, but in the end I pretty much stuck to my script. I hoped to get second or third place at best and was stunned when I won.

That was my first taste of presenting in front of a big crowd. Well… Aside from my fifth grade acting stint, but I sucked at that.

Since then I’ve presented at other events through the years. I spoke at my college graduation, I’ve emceed beauty pageants and nonprofit events. My level of suck has varied at each event. Fluctuating depending on the topic, but mostly my confidence.

Giving the main speech is something I was reluctant to put on my 30 by 30 list, because I was trying to be realistic, but what the heck, I jotted it down anyway. So imagine my surprise when I got an email asking to give the keynote speech at the Austin Birth Awards.

I thought it was a mistake at first. I’m not a birth junky… I prefer to call myself a birth fan. And I love having babies. So I guess that qualified me for such a task. Still, I gladly accepted and started Googling how to give one!

That along with the fact that my husband and babysitter were both working, and I’d have to bring the kids left me feeling very intimidated. But I decided I was going to do it, and do my best.

keynote speech program

I recruited a helpful hand to hold my baby before going on stage, and I tried to prepare my daughter as best as I could well before the event.

“Mommy’s going to give a speech on stage and you have to stay with your brother and listen ok?”

She agreed. I handed her my iPhone and some goldfish as a last-ditch bribe.

I wasn’t so worried about my son, but my daughter, who might start yelling for me or worse… Follow me up to the podium.

All was well when I left them in their seats and started my presentation. I had rehearsed a few times that day, with my kids as the audience. I felt slightly nervous but mostly calm and confidant. I knew my material.

I mentioned the birth of my children and glanced down at them in the seats below, sitting amongst their friendly helpers. My son was starting straight at me, smiling the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. My daughter was inching her way closer to the stage. In that moment I was so proud. Glad they I could bring them with me to be a part of my dreams. It was like my two paths–Life dreams, and professional goals had merged right there in front of me.

If you’ve known me for any period of time you know how I’m constantly changing my mind about big plans, and pretty much have an epiphany of some sort on a weekly basis. This weeks realization… I want my kids to be a part of my professional success. Whatever it is.

Three quarters through my speech my daughter completed her trek to my side, and she tugged on my pants whispering: “Mommy? Mommy!”

I leaned over and asked her to go sit back down while mommy finished.

“But… But I want to say something!” She told me.

I picked her up and put her in front of the microphone and she grinned a big grin. I asked the crowd to say hi her her and they obliged, which just tickled her to death. Then I set her down to finish my bit. Lil’ J wasn’t ready to go back to her seat so she did a little tap dance protest behind me.


I finished my speech in a bit of a hurry, then carried her offstage. A few minutes later I was presented a “breastfeeding hero” award after doing a parenting segment about normalizing breastfeeding, while nursing my son on the news. I was definitely surprised, and honored, and Lil’ J loved my her shiny new “crystal.”

After all the awards were doled out, and people cleared out of the auditorium, she still wanted to have a turn at the microphone. I took a few photos on my phone, knowing this is definitely one of those stories childhood I’m going to be embarrassing her with her entire life.

And as for her future in performing… Well, I think that’s obvious.

I did it. I ran my first 5k! Alright I confess, I walked most of the way. Well, walked and climbed, dove, jumped, swam, balanced, and slid that is. It was as ridiculous as I expected, but more fun than I imagined!

I recruited my friend Brittani more than a month ago to do this crazy obstacle course race with me. She’s awesome and can run for days (she’s training for a half-marathon!) but promised not to leave me in the dust during the run. Thankfully she didn’t cause my legs were already shaking after running through the first obstacle.
As I’ve mentioned before, I hate running. I prefer to reserve that kind of exertion for life or death situations. But I’ve sorta taken it up as a challenge, and a way to get some time to myself.

5ks don’t typically excite me but when I saw this one gave me the chance to pretend I’m a ninja warrior on Wipe Out, I signed up.

It’s funny how before the event, I imagined myself nailing each obstacle like a champ. Then the outcome just didn’t quite… Yea, it didn’t happen.

roc raceMy favorite obstacle was probably the wrecking ball, and yes, it knocked me in. But I did make it about halfway across, maybe a little more.

I went face first down the world’s largest inflatable water slide. After climbing to the top the guy at the top said “on your stomach!” I thought he was joking and asked him if he was serious. He was.

“Do a lot of people go down on their stomach?”


“What percentage of people?”

“About 80 percent!”

Good enough for me to quickly evaluate the odds of me dying going face first were low. If he was telling the truth that is.

20130909-040437.jpgIt was the time of my life! Can’t wait to do it again next year. Maybe I’ll run a little more. And as for crossing of the first item on my 30 by 30 list… Done and done. Just 29 more to go!


My 2013 Goals

Now that the realization has set in that a year has gone by, and it’s actually 2013, I’ve decided I’d better vocalize a few goals for the year.

I had to think long and hard about this because I’m never good at following through with my grandiose plans. I knew I needed to take a different approach this time. And so here are my 2013 goals:

1. Do whatever the eff I want. By this I mean not focus on just trying to get organized, or working out, or cooking more, whatever. If I feel like cooking something new or getting organized, I’m gonna do it. If I want to take a month and make a bunch of cute clothes for my kiddos, I’ll work on that. If I feel like sitting down and watching Desperate Housewives for a few hours (or a whole day), I’m gonna do that. This is the year for doing whatever the freak I want and not feeling guilty about needing to do more of something else.

2. Put and end to working weekends. I’ve been working weekends the last five years and I’m over it. I’ve been talks about moving my schedule to a weekday thing and that would be like a dream come true. Especially if I can do it before the baby is born. I’m going to keep bugging The Man until we make this happen.

3. Go back to church. Working weekends has made it really hard, if not impossible to go to church on a regular basis. Something is most definitely missing from my life. While I still feel like a decent, nice person, I secretly long for that enrichment that I’ve sorta been jaded out of. Back in the day I felt out-of-place at church, either because I was “new” or because we didn’t have kids, or because I worked while other moms stayed at home. But now I don’t care about any of that. No sense assuming people are judging you. We can all learn from each other, and I feel good about where life has led me so far.

So there you have it. My three simple-ish goals. I would also like to add something about returning comments more and visiting my reader’s blogs, but I’m going to lump that into my “do whatever the eff I want” goal because some days I am in the mood, less busy, and more and motivated to do that more than others.

Peace up, A-town down. Bring it 2013. You’re gonna be my biotch. (I’m gonna stop talking like this once I get back in church).


Domestic goals

You’ll have to excuse my boring no-pretty-photo posts for a couple weeks. I’m still laptop-less and camera-phone-less. Luckily I still have my iPad *knock on wood* so I can at least write SOMETHING.

One thing on my mind lately is my feeling of inadequacy.

I know, just a few weeks ago I was feeling on top of the world with work and motherhood but the last week or so I’ve fallen behind and noticing more and more of my shortfalls.

Nobody’s perfect. And I’m not striving for perfection because if I do I’ll go insane. But I am trying to improve.

A reader suggested I try to knock out some of my pre #2 list while I’m waiting for #2 to come along and I think that’s just what I’ll do. Starting with adding a few more things like: learning to cook and liking it. And writing a book. Or at least a draft. I have a non-fiction concept in mind and I’m working on my outline. Hopefully I’ll be done before #2 comes along.

Back to the cooking thing. Sorta… I’ve wanted to get into the whole “live a healthier lifestyle” thing for a while. You know, working out and stuff. Recently I got my first ever gym membership. And I’ve been going! We joined the YMCA and I take Lil’ J with me. I’ll go do a class like Zumba or spin or strength training, and she’ll play with the kids. Then after we all go swimming. We all go as a family too the days our schedules aline.

My husband loves working out and he loves when I work out and get all dressed up in my sexy workout clothes (ok so maybe that’s what motivated me to start going). But he’s not as pumped about my cooking. He says it’s because of the mess it creates and “all the work it takes.” He’d prefer to go out, order a salad or sandwich and make Lil’ J something small at home. Problem is we spend a fortune eating out every month, plus shopping for random snacks and small meals. We HAVE to stop.

Even though I can’t imagine adding weekly trips to the grocery store and meal planning/making to my everyday to-dos I know it’s something that has to be done. And maybe. Just maybe, this time I’ll actually start to like it and pick up the intuition all of my other friends seem to have with what taste good with what.

One thing that gets me pumped about cooking is thinking of it as something I can do WITH Lil’ J. She’s only two but we can still learn together. Whenever I put something on the stove or in the oven, she wants to be right there mixing, seasoning, watching. It’s daunting thinking of the time it’ll take but if it’s time spent with her, maybe it won’t be as painful.

It’s sad but I’m 26 and probably can’t make 3 recipes from memory. Let’s count: spaghetti, French toast… I think that’s it.

But I’ve got resources on my side: EMealz. A service I signed up for, for about 6 months. I got the weekly meal plans in my inbox I just need to print and go. Also Shelf Reliance. They specialize in food storage (systems and the food) and recipes on how to use it. I have a bunch of their food and a Shelf Reliance cook book. Time to use that shiz.

My short term goal is to make at least one meal a week. And maybe even (ok, hopefully) post about it. I’m not a food photographer though so no laughs aloud.

Another goal is to keep my house clean, but I’ve gotta take baby steps with all this domestic stuff. I was doing so good but I’ve been too lazy to do much of anything lately (aside from exterminate fleas and vacuum 5xs a day). We’re still totally game for a maid, its just not as easy finding the right one as I thought it would be.

On a similar note, I’m still not unpacked and I’m too scared to go into the garage alone cause I’m worried I’ll see a spider. Now I’m dependent on my husband to help which means we may still be packed next year when we’re ready to move again. I’d prefer to be able to use our garage for a car before then.

Lately, witnessing my mom friends who have it all together with the running, clean homes, perfectly fed kids and all that jazz make me want to jump off a cliff. Other than that, I’m awesome. How are you?

I’ve always thought it was a good idea to write down my goals, and constantly remind myself what they were. Several years ago I heard of the concept of a dream board, and thought I should make one. Let me clarify that this doesn’t replace prayer. It just helps to keep a visual on some of my goals.

My husband and I made it together but these days it’s mostly a collage of my worldly wants like an iPad, new camera lenses, vacation spots, stuff like that. But in the beginning, also put things on there like a college diploma, paying off debt, and having babies.

Specifically, I have a photo of a twin stroller, half blue and half pink… The fraternal twins I hoped I’d have. Well, that hasn’t happened yet, but that’s ok.

I was cleaning up our room and I pulled out our dream board and noticed we have achieved a lot of our goals. But the thing that stood out the most to me was the picture of the little girl I stuck on the board. I looked at the photo, at my daughter, and back at the photo and I can totally see the resemblance they look like they could be sisters. Perhaps in another year or so they could look almost identical.

Who knew by sending images of the little girl I wanted some day she’d come out just the way I had pictured it?

By that same token, I guess my son, who was also glued on the board a few inches over, right above my sleep number bed, will look something like this:

So I’m trying to keep up with my random act of kindness goal that I made at the beginning of the year and so far I think I’m doing OK, but I want to do bigger things.

I mean I’ve been paying people compliments, sharing treats I normally would hoard, taking photos for friends, spotting people money when they’re short… Things like that.

Well, I did something different this week when I experimented with Freecycle. Freecycle is an organization that connects people so they can get rid of stuff they no longer want, and find things they’re looking for for free.

I have been getting local Freecycle emails daily for over a year now but I’ve never done a “transaction” if you will. But since I’m trying to organize things around my house I thought I’d give it a shot and see if anyone had a few things I was looking for:

Mason jars, and empty oatmeal cans (to make hair bow organizers for Lil’ J’s growing collection).

Well that same day I posted that request I got offers for both. A woman left a box of mason jars on her porch and I picked them up while I was out, and that night we grabbed a lady’s oat meal cans that were about to hit the recycling bin.

My husband complained on the way to get the oatmeal cans because he was convinced it would have cost less to just buy oatmeal, and would have wasted less emissions. Whatever dude!

I wanted to pay it forward and give away something I had laying around forever… My dog collar supplies.

Photos by Katie Harris

Before having Lil’ J I made my dog all sorts of collars and matching leashes. I was convinced I’d start a business and make tons of money selling themed collars and leashes. Well, that only lasted a hot second. Yea, I sold some sets but I quickly became sidetracked with a new hobby–blogging, and my dog collar webbing and hardware was collecting dust in a pretty little wicker basket that could now be used to hold supplies for my new hobby–sewing.

I was thinking I could donate some of the supplies to Goodwill but I worried no one would find use out of it and it would go to waste. Freecycle was a much better idea–I hoped.

I listed the dog collar supplies and wondered how many days it would take someone to notice it.

Not an hour later I received an email from a woman who works with animal rescue groups and she says they’d love the supplies. How totally awesome is that?!

I was elated that my dormant stash could be put to good use.

She said she’d come and pick it up the next day, so I spent the night organizing the crafts and even threw in some old bandannas I had that don’t fit Snoop anymore, along with some cute doggy print and Longhorn ribbon and things.

I’ll admit, I did keep a couple of leash snaps and a snippet of webbing so I can make Snoop another nice leash when I’m taking a break from making clothes.
The next day she came by and grabbed it and she seemed very grateful.

So, one (wo)man’s seriously lack of commitment/hobby ADD became another person’s dog’s treasure.

My acts of kindness so far haven’t exactly been “random” rather more thought out, but they’re helping random people, so I think that counts… Right?

Have you ever tried Freecycle? You should, it rocks!

PS: Yes, my dog was a dog model. I guess all of my children will be models.

Another one of my goals this year is to get organized. I think it’s got to be the number two resolution of all time after getting fit. I don’t care about my health. But I do care about dying in a house that’s decked out with cute homemade crafts.


I didn’t used to be this way… Homes that are super clean and organized remind me of Stepford wives and I don’t have time for that crap. Problem is, that was the number one thing my husband and I would argue about… Keeping our place clean.

I’ll admit, he does more than his fair share of cleaning. All of the dishes, the laundry, the bathrooms, the vacuuming, the sweeping and mopping… Heck, writing that all out made me realize he does a lot. Ok, so maybe he has a reason to complain about having my crap everywhere.

Lil’ J doesn’t help either. Any progress I make with cleaning quickly gets destroyed by her tornado path. And after a long day of work, picking her up from school, then feeding, bathing, making lunches and organizing clothes for the next day, I’m beat and the last thing I feel like doing is clean. I want to sit on my butt and blog. Or edit photos. Or read a book. Or watch Teen Mom… Heck, anything but clean!

When I was pregnant and read the “nesting” chapter of my pregnancy book to my husband he laughed and said “you’ll never do that!” Well, I proved him wrong. But that was pretty much the last time I wanted to clean. …Until now.


I joined Pinterest last year and spent the first while re-pinning clothes I liked, and clothes I found for Lil’ J. Photos I liked, hair styles… Stuff like that. I quickly scrolled past the home decor pins I saw in my feed because “those aren’t me” I thought.

Then I began to craft more, sew more, and my crafting area quickly turned into a swamp mess. Disorder everywhere. I tried to shove things in the corner of the living room/ my craft area and warned my husband to stay away.

I blamed my disorder on our small living quarters. Two bedrooms just isn’t enough for our family.

Then, one day while browsing Pinterest for sewing inspiration I can across a fabric organizer pin. It was genius. A glorious sight.

I read the tutorial and decided I needed to do this with my fabrics. I’m just getting started and have lots to go but this is already looking better than my heap of fabric stuffed in a picnic basket. I donated books from my bookshelf and created space for this!

But why stop there? If I’m organizing my fabric I might as well organize my ribbon, and my tulle, and why not my whole living room while I’m at it?

I was hungry for more suggestions for organization. I found pins for decorative mail holders you can hang in your kitchen, and keep your mail organized but hidden.


I created a board I decided to call “Order in the court!” because order is what my house needs, and my house is… like a court? … I don’t know. But it seemed cool at the time.

Anyway, it’s my new favorite board in progress. I’m constantly looking for ways to organize my daughter’s toys, old clothes, books, tutus, bows. Plus my crafts, kitchen items, clothes, EVERYTHING! Here’s what I did for my patters… This idea I didn’t even find on Pinterest, I should pin it actually!


I spent all day Monday sorting through toys and areas of our living room we haven’t touched in dare I say it… A year? Ok, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but I will say that my fireplace mantle had random crap on it for longer than I can remember. I mean, I can’t remember seeing it clean. But it’s clean now!

I sorted through Lil’ J’s downstairs toys and donated a heap of them. Then I went to her upstairs toybox, which was full of only tutus, pettipants, pettiskirts and things like that. I took those out and put them in an old comforter bag I found when I was cleaning out the hall closet. I made a label for it “Dress up time!” and squished it under our bed. Now her toybox has a few toys in it but it’s nice and neat! And all of the random tutus we had strung around the house have a neat place to call home.
Ah! It feels good to be getting organized. I never thought I’d enjoy it but Pinterest has seriously made it fun.

What does my husband think? Well at first he was like “uh huh, sure, I’ve heard this before…” as I told him about my goal to clean and get organized. I tried to give him a Pinterest tutorial and show him my organizational board but he was just like “Huh? is this like Twitter?” So I gave up and have just been showing him the ideas I stole as I accomplish them.

He’s very impressed with my progress so far. He even complimented me on his favorite new addition… The basket I set aside for our TV remote controls, since we’re constantly losing them.

“I used to think that mom stuff was kind of lame, but it’s really cool” he told me. I wasn’t sure what he meant by “mom stuff” so I asked him to clarify.

“Like the craft stuff. Like that mail holder thing you want to make, that’s really cool.” Ah, I get it. The organizational craft things. Not sure why he chose to classify that as a “mom thing” but I let it go. He’s just excited to me married to a real life Martha Stewart, I would be too.

I’ll document the little things I find and attempt throughout the year to hopefully keep me motivated and accountable. I also have some before/after pictures to show you but I’ll wait until the “after” is where I want it to be. You can follow me on Pinterest to see what ideas and inspiration I have up my sleeve.

Has Pinterest changed you life too?  
PS: If you’re not on it, let me know your email addy and I’ll send you an invite to join!

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget


I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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