Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Well, Hello 2014!!


My intent after ringing in the new year, last night, was to get a family photo.  A picture of all of us together.  The last picture of 2013.  But, I quickly realized that it's impossible to get three children, a man that hates pictures, and me all together for a photo when there isn't anyone left to actually take the photo.  So, I did the next best thing and took selfies with each of my kiddos and Hubby.

All of these pictures were taken right before the ball close enough to New Year.

We had such a fun time last night.  Just the five of us, at home, enjoying each other's company.  We played games, we laughed, we ate, we drank, and it was a fantastic way to start our new year together.  As a family.  I realized I don't need loud music, tipsy people, and partying to have a good time.  I had a fantastic time with what was taking place in my living room.  And I'm a firm believer in starting the year as I mean to go on... so I started out with having a good time with the people I love.

I've really been going back and forth with whether or not to make resolutions this year.  I mean, I wrote my not-as-funny-as-they-were-supposed-to-be-but-completely-realistic resolutions a few days ago, and when I wrote them I had every intention of writing some deeper resolutions.  

I think it would feel kinda weird for me not to write some resolutions... because it's a part of my tradition.  Even though I know that 90% (if not more) of them will fall to the wayside at some point or another throughout the year.  

The way I look at it, though, is writing out my resolutions is a way of starting the year off with good intentions.  No, I might not keep to those good intentions, but I don't ever recall a new year where I look back at resolutions I made the year before and feel like my whole world has fallen apart because I didn't do everything I had intended.  In fact, I realize that I still had a pretty darned good year and would have made some of the awesome stuff that happened a part of my resolutions...had I known that stuff would happen.

In fact, if I look at last year's resolutions... 

On December 31st, 2012 I wrote the following resolutions:

Lose Weight
Make the most of my time
Become more financially responsible
Create more memories and traditions
Be happy!

There were specific bullet points added to each resolution, that didn't necessarily get checked off the list... but, if I look at the main resolutions....

In 2013, I did lose weight.  And then gained some back.  And then lost a bunch.  Then gained some of that back.  Then lost a few pounds more.  But...there was definitely weight lost throughout the year.

I made the most of my time.  I spent a good deal of time enjoying myself, spending time with the kids, having family get-togethers, going to sporting events, etc.  I'm still the worst when it comes to procrastination, but everything that needed taking care of was taken care of, and I was never in a situation where I had wasted time and not done what I needed to do.

I definitely became more financially responsible in 2013...kinda had to when we bought OUR NEW HOUSE!!  Not sure why that wasn't a resolution, but it fits nicely with this one.  Buying a house is a very grown up thing to do, and has a tight hold on the budget.  So, in order to make it work, we really had to be more financially responsible.  Still have to be, really.

I can definitely say I created more memories and traditions.  We started some new traditions during the summer when the pool was all cleaned out and ready to go.  I have a feeling that we'll do the same thing this summer.  I made some great memories with the kids going to their games...Peanut with volleyball and Butter with football.  Butter even had his first major sporting injury.  Jelly and I went to the theater and saw our first live production together.  Peanut and I went to see a college team play volleyball.  I took Peanut and Butter to homecoming.  Lots of great memories, and a few new traditions?  Check!

And I can definitely, without a doubt say that I was truly happy last year.  WAY more than I wasn't.  In fact, I would say more happy than I've been years prior.  We accomplished so much this past year that has truly made us all happy.  The house was a big motivator for that, but also with work and school and family...there has been a ton of happiness.

So, looking at that, I actually accomplished ALL of my resolutions.  I guess making them to be broken isn't always the way it plays out.  Huh?

I guess it's time I now move on to the 2014 resolutions.  What do I want to focus on this year?  

1.  Well, it just wouldn't be right if I didn't start out with lose weight.  

For as many years as I can remember, this has been my number one resolution.  It probably will be for the rest of my life.  I am convinced that one year, I will actually succeed in losing the weight I want to lose... but each year after that will have to include keeping it off.  In terms of MAJOR accomplishments, I think this might be the year where my weight might get some limelight.  I mean, a few years ago, stress from college was the reason I couldn't lose weight.  The year after, stress from not being able to find a job.  The year after, stress from getting a new job and wanting to buy a new house.  This past year, I got the new house, but that was pretty stressful.  This year, thinking forward, I think the only stress I should be enduring is the stress of losing the freakin' weight and making it stay off!  No life altering plans for this upcoming year, so what will my excuse be if I don't succeed... or do a lot freakin' better this year?

2. Exercise, exercise, exercise.

I know one of the main reasons I don't lose enough weight is because of my lack of exercise.  I'm one of those people that gets all excited about something, and the novelty soon wears off.  A few years ago, I got all crazy excited about a boot camp I did.  That lead to a love for running.  Before I knew it, I was participating in 5K races.  And wouldn't you know, that year I lost 80lbs!!  I tend to enjoy exercising when I'm actually doing it, but it's the getting to the part where I'm actually doing it that's the problem. I would really like to do the Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure again this year, but there's one race I REALLY want to do.  That would be the Cancer Challenge 5K that comes around in September. I did it one year, but that was it.  This year, I want to do it because I have a very good reason to:  My Mom.  She is going to be my motivator this year to participate in cancer related races.  And, as crazy as it sounds, I'd kinda like to try a Mud Run this year.  No definite plans, but something to think about.

3.  Reduce Some Debt

Up until 2012, I had awful credit.  And I mean bad.  I couldn't even buy a car from a used car lot without a co-signer.  If I applied for some form of credit card, I could just hear the chuckles and stifled laughs come through the phone line as the person helping me tried to contain themselves after looking at my credit score.  I was so relieved when I could start doing that stuff online, to save myself the embarrassment.  But, after a lot of hard work, I started to repair my credit in 2012.  By the time 2012 was over, I had my first small credit line credit card and even purchased a brand new car (with a co-signer).  Thanks to the credit that the new car provided, I was approved in 2013 for a home loan.  All by myself. Without the need for a co-signer, but Hubby and I bought our house together because it increased the amount we could borrow.  I was approved to finance the new furniture that we bought for our house.  I also got not one, but two more credit cards.  It seemed like the more credit I was given, the more I could get.  

I was pretty financially responsible in 2013, however, and just because I had the credit didn't mean I maxed it all out and used it willy nilly.  But, thanks to a pretty awesome Christmas... I did a little more spending than I probably should have.  This year, I want to reduce some of the crazy amount of debt we have.  That starts with paying off one of our vehicles and zeroing out all of the credit cards.  That will be done at tax time.  No lavish spending sprees...using the money we get back wisely to decrease some of our debt.  Then, I'm going to start working on using some of the money I usually spend on paying that car payment and credit card payments to apply a little more to the other car payment to help that one be paid off faster.  By this time next year, I'd like to have a lot less debt...but, without going all crazy, silly.

Which leads me to...

4.  Not stress about money.

I know with number three, this is kind of negating what I just said.  But, I truly believe I can eliminate some debt without going all crazy about it.  Be more financially responsible with paying off some bills and getting rid of a car payment is a great way to reduce debt, but I still want to be able to afford a little fun.  Nothing extravagant, but if we want to eat dinner out occasionally, or catch a movie, or take a day trip somewhere.. I want to do that.  

I'm pretty sure we're going to need some money before the summer to do some work on the pool.  We noticed a few cracks and missing tiles that need to be replaced.  We need to do that.  We had a leak in our bathroom and a couple of floor tiles got damaged.  We need to take care of fixing them.  We really need a new shower in our bathroom, and we might need to take care of that too... but, this year, I'm not going to stress too much about money.  Be sensible, yes.  Be stingy and tight?  No.

5.  Be more organized.

I'm a procrastinator.  I load way too much stuff on my plate that leaves me running around like a headless chicken.  I enjoy a fast paced lifestyle, but often blow off what I consider to be less important, or forget stuff that needs to be taken care of because I'm so busy all the time.  I want to do something about being better organized.  Rather than just relying on to-do lists and charts and planners, I want to get myself more in a routine of taking care of stuff that needs to be taken care of.  Doing stuff like taking care of what I need for the next day at work before I leave each evening, grading papers throughout the week so it's not all piled up to do over the weekend, writing lesson plans daily rather than doing it all on Sunday evening, get in to a routine with housework so that the same things are done each and every week on the same day... so there's no trying to fit it in when I can.  All stuff that would help me be more organized.  I really envy those people who live in the fast lane, but always seem to be so put-together, calm, and have an immaculate house to boot.  How do they do it?  Well, maybe this year I'll find out.

6.  Spend more time with family.

In 2013, I can definitely say I spent a lot of time with my kids.  Doing stuff together, going places, enjoying quality family time.  But, in 2014, I want to make more time for my extended family.  Not going an entire week without calling my mom to see how she's doing, not going a month before we see each other, not letting weeks and months pass before I see P-Momma.  Apart of my organization resolution will be including time to spend visiting and hosting family.  Whether it be inviting them over for dinner, or going over to visit them a few times a month, or planning a day where we can all go out and do stuff together... I don't want to feel like I need to "fit them in" at some point.  Just a natural, normal flow of time spent together... and more of it.  

7.  Date night!!

I don't remember the last time Hubby and I went out and did something romantic or fun with just the two of us.  Well, actually I do.. last year between my birthday and his.  We always seem to get one date night between February and April to celebrate both of our birthdays.  That usually includes the kids spending the night at my parents' or P-Mommas while Hubby and I go eat dinner at Red Lobster and then go home and enjoy some quiet time alone.  This year, I don't want to just get our one birthday dinner.  I want more time for us to spend some quality alone time together.  Peanut is old enough to babysit, now, and so I don't see any reason why Hubby and I can't go out for dinner now and then, maybe go out and watch a movie, or go out with some friends for an evening.  I devote a lot of my time keeping my kids amused and running them here and there for events and stuff they want to do.. I think it's high time Hubby and I get to cash in some of the chips I've been adding up to do some stuff alone.  


This one should be easy.  I just want to enjoy the year.  Another year of life.  Making the moments count, laughing, trying new things, enjoying old things.  Not being too serious, and just have fun.  Before I know it, my kids will be all grown with lives and families of their own.  I just want to make each and every moment count while I still have them under my roof.  Peanut will be heading off to high school this year, Butter will be heading in to 8th grade, little Jelly is going to be moving in to 1st grade.  They grow up so darned fast!!  I just want to create more memories, live life to the fullest, and end this year with another round of "had a fantastic year!"

OK, I think that pretty much does it for me.  I really need to get to getting with cleaning up the house after all the fun we had last night.  I didn't get to take the tree down, yesterday, because I was out and about with Butter and Jelly for most of the day... so that's the first thing on my agenda.  

Hope everyone had a great time last night, and I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year!!


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