2015 was a year full of great changes for my family. We moved to a bigger house in a better, more family-friendly neighborhood. That in itself changed our lives dramatically and for the positive. With the move, we also had to tighten our purse strings as our cost of living increased. My mom, and for a short time my grandmother, moved to be close to us; so, for the first time in over a decade, I finally had family living in the same
town state part of the country as me. I spent over two-thirds of the year pregnant and had to give up teaching Sh’bam, for now at least. Ellis gave up some activities and started new ones (swimming and preschool). We also found a new church that we’ve been going to regularly, took a Dave Ramsey course over the summer, and started attending marriage classes.
With all the wonderful things that happened in 2015, I’m looking forward to what this new year has in store for us. Obviously the biggest change will be a new baby, and he is sure to rock our world. We’ve gotten into a rhythm; things have been easy for the most part, and in a few short weeks that’s all going to change. Hopefully we will have a better handle on things and more realistic expectations on what bringing home a newborn entails. My first goal is to chill (to the best of my capabilities). I read all the books and listened to all the advice, and I was a ball of stress for at least the first six months of my daughter’s life. This time, I plan to TRY to be more easy-going (especially about sleep – I’m just going to assume this one is never going to sleep either. That way, I’ll be pleasantly surprised when he does.) Though there will still be things that I will be a stickler about (wash your friggin hands before holding the baby – better yet, just don’t touch him until he’s had his first set of vaccs).
My second goal is to stress less. I know. Basically the same thing as chilling. Stress is obviously a huge problem in my life right now (and for the longest time). I tend to lose my sh*t when things don’t go as planned. I make a list of to-dos and things I want to accomplish every day, and nine out of ten times I can barely make a dent in my plans. Lately, I focus on what I’ve been able to accomplish for the day instead of what I wasn’t able to get done, and I feel more satisfied with myself. So instead of focusing on the fact that, for the fifth day in a row, I’ve still not been able to make it to the bank, I look at what I was able to do even if it was just I took a shower and fed my kid today; yay, me!
One thing that stresses me out more than anything is being disorganized, so my third goal is to get organized. I’ve had this problem long before having a baby. It was one of the hardest things about teaching because if I wasn’t organized, I couldn’t do my job well. I am one of those people who takes in so many ideas and wants to do it all that I just over-complicate things that should be very simple. I do that in my own home and personal life, too. I blame Pinterest for a lot of it these days. I waste so much time on trying to perfect a system that I forget the point of the system in the first place – to make life easier and become more efficient with daily tasks. I feel like I can’t get anything accomplished until my house is completely functional. I am slowly attacking every area of our house, simplifying, decluttering, and organizing little by little.
Stick to our budget. Since completing the Dave Ramsey course last July, we’ve been struggling to stick to the budget we set for ourselves every month. Old habits die hard I guess. I’ve been trying different methods from tracking our spending and receipts both manually and using budgeting apps, to using cash only, and everything in between, but we haven’t found a system that works for us yet. It’s a work in progress, but we’re at least talking about our spending and are more conscious of it. So my goal is to find a system that really works for us and helps us stay on track to pinch those pennies without feeling oppressed.
I want to become more of a positive force in my family. I feel like I’m doing a good job as a mom, but I have room for improvement. I want to say yes more often (like 99% of the time) when Ellis asks if I’ll play with her. As a wife, I need to really raise my game. I want to be more conscious of showing my husband love and appreciation using his love language. We spent last fall discussing Andy Stanley’s iMarriage in our marriage class, and I am working on doing more for Trav and looking at him as the gift that he is to my life as opposed to taking him for granted. I always want to find joy in the small things of every day and not treat my responsibilities as a burden. I have a pretty good life, but sometimes I act like my problems are so huge when really I’m the problem.
Finally, I want to get chairs for our kitchen table. About two years ago, we bought a new kitchen table. It’s a high top, and we bought two chairs to go with it. When Ellis came along, she scooted up in her high chair. Now we have a larger kitchen, and the two bar chairs are cozied up to the kitchen island. Our kitchen table has been reduced to a dump for all our clutter. When we have meals, we eat at the island, and someone is left standing because Ellis hasn’t used her high chair in almost a year. Once in a while we sit together at the dining table, but that’s usually reserved for when we have guests.
And that’s that. My goals for 2016. Of course, once baby gets here, I’m going to scratch all this, and my new goal will be: survive.