I love January. Cheers to a fresh start!
First, let's talked about 2016.
I was on a major learning curve year. 4 kids, 2 in school with homework, 2 at home with me all the time. Feeding all these people, finding time to rest, not losing it - all these things I struggled and wrestled with and had to learn about this last year. There was much trial, error, failing and figuring out what did not work. But I like to think we are all the better for it.
My "word of the year" last year was self-control. One major win I had for this word was kicking my terrible, sleep destroying habit of drinking afternoon coffee.
It was my downfall. Afternoon coffee gave me a major boost to conquer the homework and dinner hour(s), but then left me wired and kept me from falling asleep at night. So the next day I would be tired, especially when I got to the afternoon, and of course the only solution was....afternoon coffee. Rinse and repeat.
I switched to tea, mostly decaf and herbal. It took months to transition. But my sleep - so much better!
Occasionally, I will socially have coffee in the afternoon...but only on holidays and weekends.
On a regular ol Tuesday, I choose tea.
I choose tea in 2017.
What worked in 2016 -
1. Afternoon tea instead of coffee.
2. Keeping a bag of frozen spinach and kale to add to soups and other dishes. We ate so many more greens and my family hardly noticed.
3. Exercising when the baby naps - non negotiable. Baby naps, I get on my yoga mat. It's the only realistic time for me to consistently exercise.
4. My capsule wardrobe. I'm still totally into capsules.
5. Pack n' play time. This kept me sane. Caroline probably spends a cumulative 30 minutes a day in her pack n' play. Just enough time for me to get dressed or make dinner or fix my tea.
6. Audiobooks... for me and for the kids.
7. Hiring help with cleaning. Because I can't do it! I couldn't. I can't. If I had the time...I didn't have the energy. Plus, I like it clean and that's okay. It's okay to like a clean house.
This time last year, we hired a regular cleaning lady and have not looked back. It has energized me so much to have help!
8. Online shopping. If I could avoid an errand, I did. I ordered toiletries and diapers and dog food.
9. The Dollar Tree. It is my one stop shop for children's birthday party gifts, wrapping paper, party supplies, and other odds and ends you would literally spend a fortune on at Target.
10. Measuring my wine. I decided that 6 oz. of wine per night is a good amount for me. More than that and I feel it in the negative.
6 oz. seems beneficial, a treat a the end of a long day.
Of course, there are exceptions like if I'm out for a nice dinner or a party or Friday night ;)
Yesteryear, in photos....
Onward to 2017
This year, I have so many plans, resolutions, and words. I like to think of these things as my guides, not hard and fast rules that I'm destined to break.
Let's start with the resolutions-
1. Meal plan and shop on a two week schedule. This means I write down meals for two weeks, make a thorough list, and do my big shopping every two weeks. Of course I will have to make a quick grocery run for milk and produce. But I'm determined to be a better planner and be more efficient with my time an energy in the kitchen.
Also, I want to continue to cook once, eat twice. I did this with grits this morning, made extra so I can reheat and serve tomorrow morning.
2. Read one chapter of the Bible a day, in the morning - on my phone. I've been the absolute worst about Bible reading this past year.
I have this dream of waking up before my kids, in a quiet house with my coffee and highlighter, reading scripture for half an hour. This dream is not realistic. But! I can totally read one chapter a day on my phone. I'm stacking the habit with my morning coffee ritual. Also, if my kids are up...I will just read the chapter out loud to them.
Inspired by this article.
3. Begin the conversation and start teaching my kids about sex. Of course, age appropriately.
I bought this book that has come highly recommended by many people I respect who have read it to their own kids.
My children are going to find out about sex, so it might as well be me telling them about God's good design and purpose for it. If I don't tell them, they will most likely get their information from the world and it will be all wrong.
My WORDS of the year
I used to love music and got so much out of it. But since I've had kids my love for music has gone by the wayside, which is such a shame! Stephen bought us an awesome speaker for Christmas last year, and I plan to put it to better use.
I need my friends. I love my friends. I want to be a better friend. I want to go visit my college friends this year. After so many years dominated by having babies and nursing babies, I'm feeling a little more freedom to pursue and invest in my friendships.
This word came to me yesterday, and I feel like it complements the other words, music and friends.
I'm planning to rein in my social media usage.
I randomly delete Instagram off my phone and sign out and make a too-difficult-for-me-to-remember password on my Facebook account. Oh the time-suck that is social media. I love it, but I hate it.
I'm hoping to spend a great deal of time off-line and off social media this year. And the time that I do spend, making it better quality. I want to be where I am with the people in the room with me. I want to improve my attention span and focus. I want to model to my children a healthy relationship with my phone and screens.
Theme verses for the year....
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.
Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.
Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.
Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.
I feel an intense need to FOCUS this year, on the things I value the very most, my relationships - with God, my husband, my children. I feel the need to stop talking and wishing about what's best and start doing what's best for me...and for my family.
I choose tea in 2017.
What about you? What are your plans and goals?