January Goals

Monday, January 6, 2020

Hey hey! It's our old friend, Monday. This Monday feels extra Monday-ish because it's everyone's first real day back in the game following winter break. The girls headed back to school and Steve headed back to work for only two days at the end of last week, so we didn't really get back into our routine... and here we are now. 

Let's talk resolutions. Everyone's doing it, right? It is the New Year, after all, and what better (and more cliche, but who cares) time to set some new goals. There are twelve blank pages of the 2020 calendar just waiting to be filled with whatever we want to put there. So let's start with January!

This year, I'm thinking of my goals in terms of one-month timeframes, instead of goals for the year. It's easier for me, personally, to do this resolution thing bite-sized instead of trying to eat the whole pie at once. That made no sense, but you get what I mean. And now I want pie. Anyway! I'm sharing my goals for the month below -- won't you share yours, too?

January Goals | Health

-Get moving! Exercise when and how I'm able to. No crazy pressure or weight-loss goals as I begin working out again post-baby. Honestly, I am positive I get enough exercise chasing my kids around and doing 392 squats daily, with a baby in my arms, to count as a workout, but it still feels good to intentionally devote even a 20-minute chunk of time to moving my body and clearing my mind. So far, I've been hopping on the treadmill when I'm able to. 

-Find healthy lunches to eat. Lunch is my toughest meal. I usually snack on a string cheese, some walnuts, some veggie sticks -- you get the idea. Not the worst stuff for you, but I think having a healthy, more filling lunch to look forward to might help cut down on other mindless snacking. Otherwise, food wise, I'm all about trying to enjoy things in moderation, listening to my body as best as I can, and not depriving myself. Life is too short.

January Goals | Financial

-Start back at work. This is the big one! I'm starting back at work after three months of maternity leave, so it'll feel good to earn a paycheck again. 

January Goals | Home

-Organize the basement. My big goal this month is to clean up and organize all of the toys in the basement, as well as organize all of the clothes the girls have outgrown into their storage bins (I tackled the huge project of creating bins for each size of clothing before the baby came -- it's a game changer and makes it so easy to search for clothes in the correct size and to actually use all of the great hand-me-downs we have!).

-Finish the playroom. We currently use our front room/"formal living room" as a playroom and I'd like to add curtains, create a little art center, and hang a couple of things on the walls to make the room feel a little more finished.

January Goals | Creative

-I'm starting small by vowing to jot down an idea for a piece or a blog post when it comes to me, no matter when or where that is. So often I'll think of something and by the time I get to my computer, the idea is gone. Not this year!

-Work on writing one piece to submit to an outlet that might be a good fit for it.

What are you hoping to accomplish as we start off the new year?

Welcome 2020! A Look Back on the Past Decade

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Good morning, friends, from a brand new year...and decade! 

How did 2019 treat you? 

I know and have seen from others' posts that 2019 was a tough year for many. I personally know a few people who endured the loss of very close family members last year, and I know from experience that those losses will forever color the memory of 2019 when they look back. For anyone who was beat up a little (or a lot) last year, I hope turning this page to a new year -- a new decade, even -- provides some sense of newness and hope. It's interesting that, since all we have to truly live in is the present moment, hope is such a crucial aspect of life. We must have it in order to step forward into each and every new day, new challenge. Hope and gratitude make all the difference.

Speaking of gratitude, I have so much of it for the past year. There were many firsts for us in 2019, including big family changes like the start of full day kindergarten and three half days of preschool for my two oldest girls. In the midst of all of that, we welcomed our greatest gift of the year: sweet Isabelle Joy. Anticipating her arrival all year long and then finally meeting her in September was, without a doubt, our family's highlight. We had some challenges in the early part of the year with what seemed like non-stop sickness and, hardest of all, a decline in health for our beloved pup Layla. Truth be told, she hasn't been doing so well again lately and it's hard. But all in all, 2019 will go down in the books as a very happy and memorable year for us.

As far as the past decade goes, it has really shaped my life and who I am today. I went from 22-32, which is really just a whole lot of growing up. Steve and I got married in 2010 (yep, 10 years this May!) and moved to New Jersey at the same time. In 2011 we settled into newlywed life in our little one-bedroom apartment and I commuted hours to my first real full-time, grown up job which taught me a lot about what I do and don't want for my career. It gave me so much perspective as I accepted a new job in 2012, the job I still have today, believe it or not! Steve also graduated from law school in 2012 and began his career. During these years we also took advantage of the fact that we didn't have kids yet and traveled to Mexico, Bermuda, and Jamaica. Those years were (mostly) carefree, but we knew we wanted more.

In 2013 we welcomed our first baby girl, our Carrington, and life changed forever in every way. My grandma also passed away at this time. It's funny how life often hands you something really hard, and something really beautiful at the same time. 2014 was all about navigating new motherhood, and I also really built a community around myself in my newish state during this year. 2015 was hard. We lost my uncle and my grandma's longtime companion, who was like a grandfather to us. We experienced a miscarriage. It was a difficult year.

We got our rainbow after the storm in 2016 when our bundle of love and energy, Hadley, arrived in July just three days before my birthday. We experienced more loss on New Year's Eve 2016 when my aunt passed away after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

In 2017 I turned 30, and between 2017 and 2018 we spent plenty of time making memories as a family of four. Beach trips, amusement parks, new experiences with two kids. It's all honestly a blur, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Which brings us to last year, the year we completed our tiny girl gang, and to this year: who knows what it will hold?

The unknown can be a little scary, but with a heart full of gratitude for what is and a pocketful of hope for what will be, it looks more like an adventure. My wish for you, and for us, is that we experience lots of soul-stretching growth, side-splitting laughter, and wide-eyed wonder in the next decade. In fact, if I were to choose a word I hope to define 2020 (I know choosing a word of the year is a thing!), it would be wonder, which is defined as:

A feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable. 

Let's rise to meet the unexpected, unfamiliar, and inexplicable with wonder and admiration this year, no matter how big or small it may be. Here we go, friends!

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