Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy 2014!!

2013 was a good year for my little family.  We got settled into our new home, Mark officially took over his new position at work and got comfortable with his new role, I quit teaching and got prepared to be a stay-at-home mom, after much research we began a healthier journey going homemade & all-natural in most aspects of our lives, and we ended the year by welcoming our first child into our family.  I've been very blessed.    It just keeps getting better!

However, with that being said, I was REALLY looking forward to beginning a new year.  It's a perfect time to wipe your slate clean and start fresh.  I was so anxious this year because I was SO TIRED of being in the postpartum phase.  While I don't wish a single moment away with my daughter, I was ready to receive my clean bill of health (hopefully) at my 6-week postpartum doctor appointment and get back to "normal".  Life as I knew it had changed, and I wouldn't want it any other way, but that didn't mean I wasn't ready to feel like myself again.  I would do anything for my daughter, and that starts with taking care of myself.  Losing who I was would only lead to negative feelings, which Stella would eventually pick up on.  I don't feel guilty when daddy or grandma watch Stella while I do something for myself.  I know this is helping me keep my sanity, which makes me a better wife & mother.

The timing was perfect, my doctor appointment was the day before New Years Eve.  I went alone since we can't shake this winter blizzard-y weather.  Much to my relief I checked out perfectly.  My doctor ripped the tape off my incision and gave me the OK to exercise and basically live as I used to.  No more limitations.  This did WONDERS for my mental state.  Speaking of mental state, I was given a depression survey to fill out before my appointment.  It seemed a little late, as those horrible baby blues had already came and gone.  I wish doctors would look into that a little earlier.  Anyways, I left there feeling renewed and anxious to usher in the New Year!

The next day was New Year's Eve.  Keeping with tradition, Mark went bird hunting with some friends in the morning while I watched the baby.  In the afternoon I went to Peoria for some shopping.  It was time to get groceries and start cooking again!  We stayed in that night and had a low-key evening with Stella and Kaiser.  I brought home Panera Bread for dinner and we polished off a bottle of Blueberry Wine while watching the ball drop.  Then we headed to bed.  First New Years we stayed in and it was kinda nice!

Baby's First New Years!
The next day my mom watched Stella while we headed to the local bar to ring in the New Year, again keeping with tradition.  This year we only stayed a couple of hours, usually we close the place down!  They host a bloody mary bar every New Year's Day and it's usually PACKED!!  Although it was our first time leaving Stella, I really enjoyed being social again!!  2014 was off to a great start!

Last weekend I had picked up my house, cleaned it, and moved back into the bedroom.  I'd been sleeping in the living room with Stella for 6 weeks since it hurt to climb into our bed.  I was ready to get my house back, and dang did it feel good when I did!  Grandma Sue watched Stella while I cleaned and Mark and Grandpa Bob worked out in the shop...a great day for everyone!  This weekend I have a spa day scheduled, a perfect start to getting my body back!  Stella is settling into a little routine of her own and growing like a weed!  With all the basics in place, the focus of the past two days has been setting my goals for the upcoming year.  I came up with a nice list of resolutions.  I debated posting them on my blog but decided against it.  Some are personal, some are silly, and some would bore you to death.  So I will summarize them and post on a few as I complete them.  Because I will complete (almost) all of them.  I'm just motivated like that.

***Disclaimer:  When I set goals, I keep an 80/20 balance in mind.  This means I aim to stick to my goal 80% of the time.  This gives me wiggle room 20% of the time for splurges, holidays, lazy days, and everything else unplanned that life throws our way.  This balance keeps me on track while being realistic.

Fitness, Health & Beauty
My focus in this area is to get enough sleep (not an easy job for a new mom!), get down to my goal weight, make fitness fun, stick to pure beauty products, eat clean, keep up with my doctor appointments, and be confident in a bikini by the years' end.  I set smaller goals to make sure I get there!

Personal Growth
This year I am going to polish my budget goals and reach them, set aside time every Sunday for worship, read at least 5 books, and spend some time volunteering again. 

Family & Relationships
In 2014 I look forward to having more time to spend with family and friends.  It's time to visit relatives, have date nights with my husband, and dedicate some time everyday to playing with my dog and daughter.  Because really, isn't that what life is about?  Everything else will fall into place if you first take care of yourself and your family.

For the Home
This spring and summer Mark and I plan to work on landscaping our property, and in the fall we hope to create a playroom downstairs for Stella.

With my time at home I will focus on blogging more (aiming for 3 posts a week), going (almost) completely homemade in the kitchen and around the house, perfecting our garden and preserving its' produce, and documenting life's memories through pictures, videos, scrapbooks and other creative projects.

I have a little list of some fun projects and trips I'd like to do in 2014.  Rather than listing them I'll keep them a surprise and document them after they've been completed :-)

I know there are so many mixed opinions out there about New Year's Resolutions.  If you think they're hokey, then don't make any.  You wouldn't stick them out anyway.  It's a personal preference.  I am choosing to set goals, make a plan, and stay motivated enough to accomplish them.  How are you starting 2014?

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