Sunday, January 1, 2017

New year - 8 things!

Happy happy 2017 - hope everyone had a great time celebrating last night.  We went to an old friend's wedding and it was literally the most beautiful wedding and by far one of the most meaningful ceremony's that I have EVER been to.  It was a such a great night catching up with old friends and celebrating those two and their new family.

With a new year, there is lots of reflection too!  I found this article on pop sugar and loved it.  This morning, Jimmy and I went out to breakfast sans kids after a NYE wedding and night in a hotel downtown (so fun!) and were talking about goals.  Goals for 2017.  He said he's not a big goal guy - but I challenged him to think about where he wanted to be this time next year - welcoming in 2018.  Where did he want our family to be?  What did things could we feel better about in 2017 than we did in 2016?

I LOVE conversations like that.  I'm a weirdo - I know.   But I feel like sometimes you can just get SO wrapped up in the day to day and then that turns into the week that went by and then the month.  For me, having that conversation with someone means so much.  And I'm so thankful we got to start the new year off like that!!  Talking about our individual and family goals.  Personal and professional.  Sharing our prayers and fears for 2017 as well.

In addition to personal stuff, I'm always looking for ways to simplify my personal and our family I'm sharing 8 ways that this article mentions (you can read it there) and add a few of my own comments.

  1. Keeping a well stock pantry (I'm also going to add FREEZER to this one because you know my love of freezer meals).  But I totally agree with this one and what a better time to keep this up with our new pantry that we (meaning my dad!!) made in 2016.  While I feel like you need to be aware of your pantry and freezer inventory - meaning you're not stocking up on the same thing over and over again at the store - it's so nice when I meal plan that most of the meals I already either have the stuff in my pantry or it's a full meal already prepped and ready to go in our freezer.  (Check out some freezer meals ideas here and here that are healthy on my heath and fitness blog!)  Helps relieve so much of the stress on a weekly and daily basis and we never have to ask the question "what's for dinner?"
  2. Commit to a Regularly scheduled toy purge.  Oh BOY.  We need to do this ASAP from all the Christmas toys - but this is a MUST on our quarterly to do list for 2017.  Plus when we involve the kiddos and give back to kids that don't have toys - we teach our kiddos about giving and I love that.
  3. Do a better job of budgeting.  YES.  YES.  YES.  This was on top of my list of things that I feel like Jimmy and I didn't do a good job of this year.  Do we manage our money?  Yes.  Put money into savings?  Yes.  Did we just pay off our minivan and are finally car payment FREE?  YES (seriously I'm so excited about this!).  But what I don't like is not having the visibility and feeling of knowing at any time throughout the month where our money has gone, planning to go and how we are doing towards our plan.  I have a plan in action that I talked through with Jimmy and we are SET on this one.  I just hope we can keep it up!
  4. Take the easy way out (sometimes).  Totally love this one.  We have a lot going on in our family.  I have a lot going on personally.  I don't like taking the "easy" way out, but sometimes it's just necessary.  Make my kids halloween costumes?  Not my thing - so just buy!  School parties?  Don't feel guilty about signing up to bring plates.  This means continuing to be conscious that there is not all the time in the world and sometimes it's needed to say no, keep your PJs on and just be with my family.
  5. Only make time for the people who matter.  This one is hard for me and always will be.  I have friends from forever and all stages of my life - I love them all so much.  What I learned in 2016 was something that wasn't easy. Friendships change and evolve.  People that you thought were going to be your best friend forever - might not be.  And that's OK.  It was hurting me too much to keep holding on and it took lots of reflection and conversations with people smarter than me that had been through it before to realize that is really is OK.  I'm not a bad person and those people aren't bad people - but we just aren't the same as we were and the relationship isn't benefiting either of us.  Not a fun lesson to learn - one that was filled with sadness, anxiety, tears, etc.  But I'm thankful that I went through it in 2017 and know that with the limited amount of time, it's important to focus on those that you value the relationship with AND (the key) that they value the relationship with you as well.  Easier said than done, but I know I will continue to reflect on this in the upcoming year.  On the super positive side?  As folks funnel out of your life, some amazing people come into it.  I'm so thankful for all the friendships that have grown in 2016 - those with old friends and those with people that I just met this year.  It's quite an interesting circle (friendship is), but I'm thankful for my old, dear friends and all the new ones as well.
  6. Make sure you can manage your extracurricular commitments.  Three kids.  Two old enough for activities.  Here's what I'm NOT doing in 2017.  Over scheduling.  Making our kids do things that they don't want to do.  I learned that in 2016 the hard way when I tried to be all strategic with doing indoor soccer for Charlie and Maddie in the fall.  Our Saturday mornings turned out to be WAY too stressful and just made for a horrible start to the weekend.  I'm nervous because I do have them signed up for gymnastics at 9AM (Maddie) and then basketball at 10AM (Charlie) on Saturday's - so I might already be off to a bad start on this one, but I learned that if it's too much - we can adjust and change and even quit as needed.  In addition to the activities for kids - being conscious of my involvement in things.  I manage a HyVee freezer meal group.  I like have regular girl's night.  I want to be a bible study.  I love my personal blog.  I am a health & fitness coach.  We are involved with a small group at church.  That's quite a lot.  Yes, I like busy.  I thrive on busy. But I also need time with my family to do nothing.  And be with Jimmy.  And my extended family.  I know this will just continue to get harder, but keeping this on the top of my mind is important to me!
  7. Get your schedules in sync.  I'm hoping Google Home will help with this one :)  Ha.  But in all reality, we are pretty good with this one between Jimmy and I.  We use google calendars and then I also have a planner that I write stuff in - because I like that aspect of it.    
  8. Consolidate your errands.  If only I could JUST go to Aldi, I would be one happy lady.  Haha.  I have professed my love of Aldi for grocery shopping and now that they have baby food, it is pretty much the guaranteed place you can find me on a weekly basis.  Most everything else we do subscribe and save via Amazon.  But the things I feel overwhelmed with are when I forget something for the kid's school, a birthday present, body wash (other personal items) - and I'm not able to get it off of Amazon prime.  #firstworldproblems right?  But seriously, I am trying to be mindful of sitting down each Sunday to plan this out and order from Amazon as needed and then stick to my weekly Aldi trips - because Aldi is the BOMB.

Other things I'd like to focus on in 2017:
  1. Sticking with my morning workouts - I loved getting into this routine in 2016 and plan on keeping up with that in 2017.  While the 4:45 alarm is early - the energy and endorphins I get when I kick off my day with a quick sweat session is amazing and it's my time to myself that I'm investing back in me
  2. Spiritual/reflection time - this is something I always TRY to keep up with and is one of the most important things, but I am going to be honest here - I seem to always have a reason why I can't take like 10 minutes in reflection everyday to pray, be thankful and just be with God.  It's only TEN minutes right?  I'd like to start there - maybe push my alarm 10 minutes early and reflect then?  I just need to find a time (and spot in my house - I think I have a good journal and this 3 minute devotion) and commit.
  3. My marriage - this man that I married almost 7 years ago (in April).  He is the best.  Seriously.  Even when I want to hate him, I can't.  He was gushing to me last night how much he loves me and I almost started crying.  I'm so lucky to have him and I don't want him to forget how much I love him!  

OK - whew for lots of reflection.  What are things you are looking to do in 2017?  I'm ready to crush these goals and have an amazing year!!


  1. I had to giggle because I brought up goals to Rick too and he was like I don't do goals hahaha. I love all your goals and I totally hear ya on the friendships - that is a tough one for sure but I think everyone goes through that at some point.

    Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

  2. I love your list! I have similar goals, too. You're "take the easy way out" totally made me laugh. I am so with you!

  3. Those are all great goals to have and I wish you all the best with them. Budgeting is definitely something I need to work on. You're right about #5. I learned that all too well in 2016.