Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

Posts tagged “new years resolutions

Happy New Year 2017

happy-2017

So it’s that time of year again; when everyone posts their resolutions and goals for the new year. I’m not immune to the appeal of ‘starting fresh’ and making a grand effort to improve myself and my life – the changing of the calendar from one year to the next is a natural transition, and it feels good and productive to have goals. Last year, rather than making ‘resolutions’ for 2016, I went with an overall theme for the year. It was trendy a few years back, but I really liked that idea, and it worked better for me than having ultra-specific resolutions.

My theme for 2016, so you don’t have to go back and find that post, was ‘mindfulness’, which is basically the practice of living in the present moment (hard to do when anxiety disorder is part of your life, which is why it felt like something I needed to work on). That’s still one of my favorite words, and I find that it will continually be on my list of ‘things to work on’. It wasn’t a total success, but, as my music teacher is often saying, ‘progress, not perfection!”. In that light, I do think that having an overall theme was easier to maintain than a list of ‘rules’ to have to follow.

Here’s a re-cap of my goals in that theme from last year:

meditation – I practice on my own, but I really would like to make it part of my week to go to the group sit at St. Mark’s. They meet twice a week; I want to make at least one of them.

simplify – KonMari! I want to clear out things that don’t make me happy, from possessions to wardrobe to household goods

health – movement and community – walking with playgroup; with the kids; family health; focus on cleaner eating

relationships – tend those I care about and cut loose those I don’t

I didn’t actually make it to St. Marks for meditation with the group, well … ever. The timing wasn’t something I could ever work into my schedule. After giving it some thought, and making my personal meditation practice a priority, I didn’t feel the need to practice with a group as much. Now, I’m content to continue my personal practice in private. As for simplifying… well, that didn’t work out either; at least not in the KonMari way. I did do some downsizing and re-organizing, but nothing that could be categorized as a clean sweep in the KonMari way. We finally got our storage building moved into our backyard, so that alleviated a lot of the clutter inside the house, but there’s more (always) to be done. It’s a process, so while I didn’t exactly meet my original goal, I don’t feel like that was a total failure, either. Health/Nutrition/Fitness are always going to be a focus – more so in the coming year with the decline in my parents’ health, but that’s a long story best told over coffee. I went walking with the group once, and tried to go with another group, but that didn’t work out according to the original plan, either. I did purchase a new bicycle a few months ago, so that’s what I’ve been doing, because I enjoy biking more than walking. The kids have their bikes, too and we ride together – another bonus. This year, I want to get a bike rack so we can take our bikes to local biking trails and ride (or maybe we can just work on increasing our distance and ride to a park that’s not too awful far away). As for relationships, I feel like I’ve been stretched too thin to effectively be a friend to some of the people I actually do care about. There are definitely a few friends who have become long-distance friends that I need to make more of an effort to connect with.

This year, I am going to go with the same one-word theme, but more action-oriented. Mindfulness can be an action word, but it feels more passive to me. Now, at the end of the year, I’m feeling antsy – like I need to move and ‘do’. To satisfy that need, I’ve chosen ‘create’ as my theme. Here are some things I want to create this year:

  • space – both in a physical and metaphysical sense. In the real world, I want to create peaceful, relaxing spaces in my home. This means taking charge of clutter and possessions that no longer serve me or my family, or our purpose. I have really been drawn to the idea of minimalism over the past couple of years, and while I won’t say I am ready to go all in just yet, I feel the need to free up space in my home and my head, and I feel like downsizing all the things might be a step in the right direction. This aspect also includes clearing away obligations and activities that no longer fit my needs or bring me joy or relaxation, or free up time so that I can spend more of it with my kids and Loverly Husband. A relatively inflexible rule I’ve established over the last couple of months has been to say no to things I don’t truly, deeply enjoy or that put money in my family’s budget. I’m spread very thin, and I need to take back some of that time.
  • memories – this is something that is so very important to me; that my children have a rich childhood filled with memorable experiences and traditions to carry with them throughout their lives and one day pass on to their own kids. We’ve made an effort to have game nights and do things as a family that do just that: create a memory. We only have a few years of ‘childhood’ left; I want to make the most of them. I’d like 2017 to have an emphasis on ‘creating memories’  – simple things like rock painting, cooking together, game nights, traveling and other fun (inexpensive, low-key) stuff.
  • art – creating art is something I always come back to. This takes many forms: art journaling, writing, painting, crafting… I like them all. Some of the time I take from other things needs to be focused on creating more of the thing my soul craves.
  • music – I started playing cello this past year, and began piano lessons earlier in December. I used to play flute and clarinet in school, but dropped it after I graduated. I’d forgotten how much I loved it; playing music occupies my entire body – mind, hands, attention, eyes – it’s a full-body experience. For someone who struggles with depression and anxiety, having something that’s so all-consuming to drown in has been an amazing relief. Since my kids are also taking music lessons (both on violin), it’s also something we can do together, which I love.
  • change – activism has been a part of my life for years now, in small ways. As my kids get older and demand less of my time, I feel the need to get involved with larger efforts to affect positive change. I’m not sure exactly what route this path will lead me on just yet, but it’s something I am motivated to accomplish.

 

create

So… that’s my word for this year. What’s yours?
Happy New Year!
Warmly,
~h


New Years Resolutions 2016

OCP-new-years-resolution-3Happy New Year!

I was scrolling back through my blog to find last year’s resolutions and realized that somehow, I completely flaked and didn’t make a NYR post. It’s disappointed in myself; I’ve been blogging my NYRs since 2009 . I hate that I messed up my streak! Oh well; too late to cry over it now.

I was all set to write a new list and it occurred to me that there’s nothing that I want to accomplish this year that is different from what I wanted to accomplish in 2014. It’s a lot or ‘more of the same’. I don’t think that’s a bad thing; I like the goals I set for myself. Even last year, those were the same goals I was working on. Maybe that’s why I didn’t make a new list last year?

A couple of years ago, there was a trend towards coming up with a theme for the year. In 2014, mine was ‘onward and upward’. It fit, and I think I managed to meet that theme. I think that instead of writing NYRs this year, I’ll go with a theme for 2016.

I really like the term ‘mindfulness’. It’s one of my favorite words, and has been for a long time, especially when it comes to parenting or dealing with my kids. It’s something I am always struggling with. The HuffPo article has this to say on mindfulness as a theme:

Theme: Mindfulness. Many of us live in a constant state of distraction, due to our busy lives. But this relentless multitasking can take a toll on our health, as well as our overall quality of life. Research has linked mindfulness with many beneficial outcomes, such as being able to curb overeating, experiencing less stress and anxiety, and even helping with chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Mindfulness simply means paying attention to the present moment. We can practice this in many ways — taking time to notice the taste of our food when we eat, pausing to focus entirely on a child during conversation, or purposefully enjoying the feeling while taking a brisk walk are all acts of mindfulness.

I definitely live ‘in a constant state of distraction’… maybe that’s not exactly accurate – more like hyper-focused on whatever I am doing; often to the exclusion of things going on around me. Mindfulness in this context would mean setting aside time for each task, and not letting my focus exceed the time frame I designate and eat into time set aside for other things. I am also very guilty of doing one thing, but thinking about what comes next. Days will sometimes go by when I am constantly focused on what’s coming up, rather than enjoying what I am in the middle of.

That said, I can think of a few things I want to accomplish in this vein:

  • meditation – I practice on my own, but I really would like to make it part of my week to go to the group sit at St. Mark’s. They meet twice a week; I want to make at least one of them.
  • simplify – KonMari! I want to clear out things that don’t make me happy, from possessions to wardrobe to household goods
  • health – movement and community – walking with playgroup; with the kids; family health; focus on cleaner eating
  • relationships – tend those I care about and cut loose those I don’t

I think that’s a good plan.

*****

At the end of my NYR post, I usually copy and re-cap the previous year. Since I didn’t do one for 2015, we’ll pretend that they just carried over.

2014 NYR Re-cap

1.) Food – Join the local produce co-op; cook with more fresh (and unusual) foods. Be more open to trying new recipes, including gluten free, vegan, vegetarian and other diverse styles. We’ve been in a rut food-wise and I am ready to get out of it! Also – freezer meals. I’m feeling freezer meals in 2014. – DONE! I am still part of the co-op, and have been using Pinterest to find and make new recipes. We’ve had a few mishaps, but overall, it’s been good!

2.) Home Improvement – this is an on-going thing. We’re planning for a new roof in the spring, and hopefully the kids’ rooms will be finished this year (again). DONE! (mostly) – New roof was done, and PeaGreen’s room was totally gutted and re-done. In the Spring, we’re planning to repaint LBB’s room and possibly put in central air and heat.

3.) Health & Fitness – Rather than put pressure on myself again for a specific belt goal, I am going to plan on karate 2x per week, and biking or walking/running 2 miles per week. I also want to do two 5k’s this year. More would be great, but at least those two. I said one last year, and didn’t do it, so TWO this year! (Maybe even 3!) Yeah… this is going to have to carry over to 2016. I do plan on going back to karate at some point, hopefully this year.

4.) Kids – They’re really growing up now! I’d love for a family vacation to be on the menu this year (even if it’s a camping trip or weekend in Houston, Galveston or San Antonio). I really want to start bigger art projects with them. They’re always interested in my art, so I want to get them set up in collaborative projects with me, and with others. – Unfortunately, I have a bunch of homebodies… so travel is still on the menu, but we’ve spent lots of family time hanging out at home. We’ve been trying to do game nights and movie nights together, which is fun.

5.) Husband – Date Nights are always in the plan! I’d like to put into use some of the things I’ve Pinned on my board for dates or sweet things to do for him. Mini-break would be just heavenly!! DONE – maybe not every month, but more often this year for sure. Now that the kids are older, we can go out without having to worry about finding a babysitter, especially for just dinner or something. There are definitely perks to having older kids! We took a mini-break away from the kids for a weekend away – we went to the Texas Renaissance Festival for Pirate Weekend. That was a lot of fun and I want to plan on doing it again this year! 

6.) Myself – Art Classes; Journalistas, Mom’s Night Outs… all of this and more on a regular basis! Writing workshop – if I can find one, go to it! Write, write, WRITE. Also, wanting to get back into painting this year. Even if it’s Painting with a Twist! DONE!!  I did a month long index card art challenge, made affirmation cards for myself (as part of that), have been journaling and painting and joined my local NaNoWriMo group. Even though the event is over the group still meets every week. I’ve been making and meeting most of my specific writing goals, which is very satisfying!

7.) Extended Family – Visit my parents more, continue working on family history/genealogy research. Maybe plan a big family reunion. DONE! No family reunion, but my siblings and I have been doing family dinners about every 6 weeks or so. I also started working on family history again and my sister and I have plans to work together on it this coming year.

8.) Community – We’re Spiral Scouting this year, in addition to our regular community service work that we do through school. That will lend the kids even more opportunities to help out on a larger basis. We’re already signed up for a river clean-up and plan to pitch in on a creek clean up as well. Done, but not through Spiral Scouts. We let our charter lapse due to a lack of community support, so we found other ways to fulfill this.

9.) Work – Finish my BFUSA cert., start looking into pre-req.s for school (for me!). Done and done! 

 

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself! Let’s hope my re-cap for this year looks as good or better!

go me

 

Warmly,
~h

 

 

 

 

 

 


NYR’s 2014 – Better Late than Never!

New Year’s resolutions tend to be a joke among the general population. Not that I don’t get a good laugh at all the unrealistic, radical lifestyle changes that people plan to put into action like flipping a switch, but I find it somewhat insulting that the plan to make changes has become so cliche’. Most of my friends make resolutions, and actually do work towards them. Either their resolutions are more realistic, or they’re more motivated than the average Joe; but I’m lucky to be around people who are inspiring me to continue working towards my goals well into the month.
I’ve flip-flopped back and forth about whether to do resolutions this year, and about how to do them. There’s a trend right now about choosing a single word or phrase that sums up your goals and making that your theme for the year. I like that idea, but don’t know exactly if it will work for me… but who knows. Once I getall of this out of my head and onto the screen, I may find a theme when proofreading!

So, I am going to do my traditional 9, and update my last year’s resoloutions as well (as usual). Here’s last year’s post; I’m late this year – it’s Jan. 14th already.

2014 NYRs:

1.) Food – Join the local produce co-op; cook with more fresh (and unusual) foods. Be more open to trying new recipes, including gluten free, vegan, vegetarian and other diverse styles. We’ve been in a rut food-wise and I am ready to get out of it! Also – freezer meals. I’m feeling freezer meals in 2014.

2.) Home Improvement – this is an on-going thing. We’re planning for a new roof in the spring, and hopefully the kids’ rooms will be finished this year (again).

3.) Health & Fitness – Rather than put pressure on myself again for a specific belt goal, I am going to plan on karate 2x per week, and biking or walking/running 2 miles per week. I also want to do two 5k’s this year. More would be great, but at least those two. I said one last year, and didn’t do it, so TWO this year! (Maybe even 3!)

4.) Kids – They’re really growing up now! I’d love for a family vacation to be on the menu this year (even if it’s a camping trip or weekend in Houston, Galveston or San Antonio). I really want to start bigger art projects with them. They’re always interested in my art, so I want to get them set up in collaborative projects with me, and with others.

5.) Husband – Date Nights are always in the plan! I’d like to put into use some of the things I’ve Pinned on my board for dates or sweet things to do for him. Mini-break would be just heavenly!!

6.) Myself – Art Classes; Journalistas, Mom’s Night Outs… all of this and more on a regular basis! Writing workshop – if I can find one, go to it! Write, write, WRITE. Also, wanting to get back into painting this year. Even if it’s Painting with a Twist 😉

7.) Extended Family – Visit my parents more, continue working on family history/genealogy research. Maybe plan a big family reunion.

8.) Community – We’re Spiral Scouting this year, in addition to our regular community service work that we do thought school. That will lend the kids even more opportunities to help out on a larger basis. We’re already signed up for a river clean-up and plan to pitch in on a creek clean up as well.

9.) Work – Finish my BFUSA cert., start looking into pre-req.s for school (for me!).

So there…. those are my plans for this year. Maybe my theme could be ‘Onward and Upward’…

2013 recap:

  1. Complete ‘Wreck this Journal’, and keep up with the Art Journalistas group on Facebook. (It’s a secret group; one for my IRL friends and I to post pictures and progress and meet up to browse each others’ books. We’re starting in January.) 2014: DONE!! I’m working on my second journal in this series as we speak (or as I type). 
  2. repaint living room & kids’ rooms (also includes new beds in their rooms, decor and the like) 2014: FAIL (klaxon) I painted about 2/5 of the living room and hate the color. Haven’t even started on the kids rooms. Why is this is HARD to accomplish??
  3. spend more time with Grandmama & Mom & Dad (My mom had a stroke this past year, and it really pointed out how little time we spend together. Plus, my grandmother’s sister died a few weeks ago – her younger sister – which really brought home how much time she may have left. Making more time to visit with my family needs to be a priority this year.) 2014: DONE (and continue to do. I could spend MORE time with them, but who can’t say that? Keeping them in my plans for this year as well.
  4. Harry Potter Marathon. I’ve talked about it many times… now is the time. ALL of the movies – one weekend. 2014: Meh… The kids and I have started working through the HP series as part of their literature and reading assignments. They’re enjoying the book, so when we finish a book, the plan is to watch the movie, then do a comparison diagram.
  5. Karate: keep on keepin’ on. I’d like to be a green belt (or maybe even blue!) by the end of the year… though I am  not the one who has the final say in whether or not I get to test; still, I plan on working hard, and I think that green is doable over the next 12 months. I also want to learn the Dojo Kun in Japanese. Also included in this res is going to be general health/fitness goals. More HAES, less sighing over a flat stomach. 2014: I took a break form karate from July-December. 3x a week was stressing me out with all the other stuff that’s always on my plate. I just burnt out of it. So I’ve started again this year, and am only committing myself to 2x per week (Tues & Thurs) so my weekend is free. Other health/fitness goals have suffered for the last 5 months or so, but I am back on track.
  6. Submit at least one writing project for publication (AnnA – gonna need your help on this). I also want to work on establishing and maintaining a regular writing schedule this year, and collaborate more with AnnA (my amazing writing partner – click her name above and read her blog!). Also, check out the local writer’s guild group again. I tried it a while back and it wasn’t my cuppa; it’s been a while though, so maybe fresh meat? 2014: FAIL  on everything but collab. with AnnA. She’s back in town though, so I foresee more collabs in the future.
  7. Date Night with Loverly Husband at least 1x each month. we did really well on this a while back, but have gotten away from it and it shows, so back onto the list it goes. Up this week: Django Unchained. At some point this coming year, I also want to take a mini-break, just the two of us. San Antonio or Dallas, maybe. 2014: Once a month was maybe pushing it – we resolve, but we have a life. The good thing about it is that even if we don’t get to go out alone together, we still enjoy one another’s company when hanging out at home, or with the kids. But a mini-break does sound heavenly.
  8. Family Vacation – we so very much need to do this. We’re in better financial shape that ever before, so maybe this is doable this year. 2014: Back on the list for this year!
  9. Run a 5K… or walk a 5K. I really want to do a Color Run and/or a Tough Mudder…. or aZombie Walk… or a Flash Mob. Something along those lines. We have friends who are into 5Ks as a family and it looks like fun. I’d love to get the kids involved in something like that. 2014: FAIL – but I’m not giving up! The color run is coming up, and we have a Zombie Response Team in the area now, so maybe a Zombie Walk is forthcoming 😉

So… that’s that. I’m not updating the past years’ goals like I have in the past. Some of that is irrelevant; much of it is still on the list.

I thought that while I was on the subject of goals, I’d make a few homeschool goals for this year as well:

1.) Stick to our schedule a bit better. We did well through October, but November and December were difficult to keep on-track. January has been barely holding on; we need to do better.

2.) Math manipulatives – get better use out of them! We have a ton, and they just sit in the cabinet for the most part.

3.) Make use of Pinterest in a more productive manner. There are so many cool things there – that’s why I pinned them!! Now, the trick is to use them!

 

In any case, I think I will stick with Upward and Onward as my theme for this year. How about you – themes for the year, or traditional resolutions? Share yours!

Warmly,
~h


New Years’ Resolutions: 2013

If you’ve been fluttering around in my world over the last few years, then you’ll be thrilled to know that my annual tradition of writing NYR’s, and re-capping previous year’s resolutions is still in effect.

If you’re new here, then consider that your crash course in how I do NYRs.

Before I get started, I’d like to say that writing NYRs is a tradition that I am quite fond of. I don’t necessarily write them to break bad habits; I view the practice as more of a goal-setting session for the coming year.

The religion that I was raised in forbade the making of NYRs, based on some such nonsense that I can’t even remember anymore… suffice it to say that whatever the history of the practice, the reason that *I* make them is because the beginning of a new year feels like a natural time to set goals. The marking of a years’ time is a good way to mark progress… and it’s fun. I didn’t get to do the ritual growing up, which is probably one of the reasons I enjoy it so much now.

Moving on then…

2013 Resulutions:

  1. Complete ‘Wreck this Journal’, and keep up with the Art Journalistas group on Facebook. (It’s a secret group; one for my IRL friends and I to post pictures and progress and meet up to browse each others’ books. We’re starting in January.)
  2. repaint living room & kids’ rooms (also includes new beds in their rooms, decor and the like)
  3. spend more time with Grandmama & Mom & Dad (My mom had a stroke this past year, and it really pointed out how little time we spend together. Plus, my grandmother’s sister died a few weeks ago – her younger sister – which really brought home how much time she may have left. Making more time to visit with my family needs to be a priority this year.)
  4. Harry Potter Marathon. I’ve talked about it many times… now is the time. ALL of the movies – one weekend.
  5. Karate: keep on keepin’ on. I’d like to be a green belt (or maybe even blue!) by the end of the year… though I am  not the one who has the final say in whether or not I get to test; still, I plan on working hard, and I think that green is doable over the next 12 months. I also want to learn the Dojo Kun in Japanese. Also included in this res is going to be general health/fitness goals. More HAES, less sighing over a flat stomach.
  6. Submit at least one writing project for publication (AnnA – gonna need your help on this). I also want to work on establishing and maintaining a regular writing schedule this year, and collaborate more with AnnA (my amazing writing partner – click her name above and read her blog!). Also, check out the local writer’s guild group again. I tried it a while back and it wasn’t my cuppa; it’s been a while though, so maybe fresh meat?
  7. Date Night with Loverly Husband at least 1x each month. we did really well on this a while back, but have gotten away from it and it shows, so back onto the list it goes. Up this week: Django Unchained. At some point this coming year, I also want to take a mini-break, just the two of us. San Antonio or Dallas, maybe.
  8. Family Vacation – we so very much need to do this. We’re in better financial shape that ever before, so maybe this is doable this year.
  9. Run a 5K… or walk a 5K. I really want to do a Color Run and/or a Tough Mudder…. or a Zombie Walk… or a Flash Mob. Something along those lines. We have friends who are into 5Ks as a family and it looks like fun. I’d love to get the kids involved in something like that.

Here endeth the Resolutions. As always, nine only (not ten, or eight or five or three – NINE. Because that’s the way how I roll {which is not a typo; that’s how my kids used to say it and I am posting it here so that I don’t forget it}).

And now for the updates!!

2012’s NYRs (posted December 28, 2011)

1. Home Blessing – this has been my first resolution for a couple of years now. It’s an on-going thing and I am wondering now how long it needs to be an actual resolution since it doesn’t seem like it’s completely accomplishable. There is always something else to do that falls under this category… in any case, this encompasses all de-cluttering and home improvement type activities from resolutions past. This year’s actual targets are the master bath and kids’ rooms: painting and decor.

UPDATE: I left off the ‘major’ home blessing resolution for 2013 because we’ve made a lot of progress in 2012, and now need to be more specific. Over the past year, we moved our bedroom to the spare room, opened up the second bathroom, moved the boys into their own rooms, repainted and re-applianced the kitchen (new table, new fridge, new dishwasher, new microwave, and the all-important new coffeepot). I’m looking forward to working on the living room and kids’ rooms this year!

2. Medication: get them filled, on time; stay on them. I seem to go through phases where I feel good and stop taking them, then need them again, but fight the need and so things deteriorate until it’s apparent that I am truly effed up and require them. So… keeping them filled and myself stable will circumvent this whole scenario. FYI, I have been diagnosed with clinical depression and last month was prescribed an anti-anxiety medication as well. It’s helping. I also take thyroid medication, asthma, and allergy medications daily.

UPDATE: This is an ever-lasting battle. Right now, I am only taking asthma and allergy meds, because breathing is important. I am taking a break from the anxiety meds, and I actually seem to have less anxiety overall… but depression is still an issue. So, it’s back to the doctor, I go. 

3. Plan and take a family vacation. As the kids get older and wrapped up in their own interests, Loverly Husband and I actually get quite a bit of time to ourselves these days. That trend will only continue as the kids age, and I think that the focus needs to shift to keeping them focused on the family. A family vacation before they get too old and too ‘cool’ to enjoy it would be nice.

UPDATE: Negative, Ghost Rider. We didn’t do a big vacation this year; we never have, really.  It’s back on the list for this year.

4. Get back to kid-friendly exercise. We slacked a lot on this in 2011. I want to get back to being outdoorsy even if it means just me and the kids by ourselves. Hiking, biking, swimming, beach – all that and more are on the books for 2012.

UPDATE: Yes! We hit the beach a ton this summer, and though we didn’t hike as much as I would have liked, we did FINALLY make it out to the swim area at Village Creek – more than once. Also, karate 3x a week for basically this entire year *totally* counts*! I am calling this one successfully met, and look forward to continuing in this vein in 2013.

5. Forage/Raw Foods Week: Loverly Husband’s idea is to take a couple of weeks and instead of doing our normal grocery-shopping routine, buy only foods that can be prepared or consumed without cooking. I’m open to it, and doing something like this with him on board will be much easier than trying to do it with him kicking and screaming. Since it’s his idea, it’s going on the list for this year.

UPDATE: Done! We did raw foods and 90% vegetarian for about 3 weeks in 2012. A friend of mine (the lovely Miss Mamie) has been doing raw foods for a couple of months now and is absolutely inspirational. I’m considering trying for a month in 2013.

6. Fashionista: this is going to encompass my hair/nails and wardrobe. I need to keep up with my hair, I want to get my nails done (and keep them done) and update my wardrobe in the coming year. Hopefully the ‘kid-friendly exercise’ resolution up there will help necessitate the actual need for new clothing… one can hope, right? 

UPDATE: Meh… I am considering this one half-way met. My nails are done, and have been done since October, and my hair has been in various stages of color since then as well. Currently, nails are black-tipped French manicured and hair is purple in the front (well, faded to blue and is in desperate need of a root job). New clothes? Not so much… I hate clothes shopping, and I love black… so anything new I buy just adds to the already exhaustive selection of black clothing I already possess. I need new jeans though.

7. Figure out Container Gardening: This year will be our third attempt at a garden. I want to do an herb garden indoors and a veggie garden outside. I’d also like to do a couple of fruit trees (a cherry tree??). I need to read up on them and decide where and when to start them. It’s part of our homeschool science class, so the kids can help, too. 

UPDATE: Another half-met goal. We did container gardening (and my rosemary is STILL ALIVE! Muah-ha-ha-ha)… I learned that next year’s garden needs to go off my front porch or in bigger containers. We have no roof over our porch, so the shallow containers we were using basically took the heat of the sun and the heat form the concrete of the porch and fried my plants… so lesson learned. Next year’s garden will be the best yet! Maybe straw-bales?

8. Post my art journals to DeviantART. I have an account and pictures of my journals, I need to either put them in a video or post the pictures. 

UPDATE: Ha! I posted ONE picture of ONE page… that is all. I need to do this.

9. Complete at least one writing project. Any of them. At least one.

UPDATE: Aaaaaannnd again with the no.

Normally, this is the space where I would post resolutions from previous years and update them as well… and after a little thought, I decided that I like that tradition, because it puts all of my goals (past and present) in one place. It makes for a hella long post, but since it’s my party, I can post if I want to {wink}. Feel free to move on!

2011′s Resolutions (originally posted December 29, 2010) & updates:

1: Home Blessing – this has been on the books for a while, and will finally see real progress this year. This resolution encompasses all the de-cluttering/cleaning goals from years past and includes anything related to making our home a nicer place to live in. We’re planning a major re-decorating/face-lift to our house in the spring, including painting inside and out, switching our bedroom into the master bedroom (which is currently doing time as a storage/library/craft room) and putting the boys in their own bedrooms. We’ll also do some appliance upgrades and redecorate. I’m excited!! – update: We completed repainting the outside of the house, and our bedroom is moved and decorated. That took a lot more money than we’d planned on, so the rest of the renovations will be carried over to this year. I’m not displeased with our progress – it’s part of home ownership, which I am grateful for. 2013: see #2 above.

2: Teach the boys to cook. SFK was bragging about her 9-year-old dd making a four-course meal; I’m jealous and so shall attempt to teach the boys more about the culinary arts this year. The goal is to have them make at least one full meal each by… December 1st. That should give me plenty of time.update: meh. Cooking, yes. Full meal, no. They have gotten pretty good at making simple things – following recipes and using the stove. That’s more from efforts of their own than me actively teaching them, but I am not displeased with that, either. I find that as much as I dislike cooking, I dislike for the children to be underfoot while I am cooking even more. Based on this year’s progress, I can surmise that their continued experimentation and learning in the kitchen will continue with or without my help. 2013: Last year’s presumption is correct; the children have continued to experiment on their own. They can use the stove and oven, and though I still haven’t turned them loose in the kitchen with the task of making dinner, I anticipate that they’re ready for that sort of assignment and plan to make that happen sometime this year. We may even plan out a dinner for them to make on their own (but that’s a little ambitious, so don’t count on it).

3: Attend a Writer’s Conference/Workshop (or a homeschooling one). Both would be ideal, but attendance at one or the other will fulfill this one. This is a re-hash of a previous resolution; before it was ‘attend monthly group meetings’. I think that the monthly group would be good to do, too, but I really want to try for a conference or workshop that is more in my field (so romance or sci-fi/fantasy or para-normal romance. And no, you can’t read them…yet). update: nope; I didn’t do either. I DID, however, work on a couple of my stories and stared a new writing project with one of my BFF’s, AnnA of TheEverydayAlchemist. We have weekly Skype dates to collaborate and toss some encouragement for our individual projects around… and just because we’re more awesome when we’re together and need to be reminded of that often. 2013: I’d seriously LOVE to make a conference happen at some point this year, but in lieu of that, AnnA and I have tentatively planned a weekend retreat in NOLA at some point mid-year to write, write, write. I sincerely hope that the stars align appropriately to make that happen, because I want it SO BAD.

4: Try veganism on for a week. I’ve tried vegetarianism on (it doesn’t fit), but never veganism. It’ll be a challenge. update: HA! I say. I didn’t do this at all. In fact, I did the polar opposite of this – going all meat for a few weeks. I tried the Atkins diet for about three weeks – it sucks; I don’t recommend it. Maybe in 2012? Loverly Husband has mentioned trying a meal plan that consists of keeping only raw foods in the house and ‘foraging’ so maybe something like that would be more attainable since I’d have his support. 2013: This year, I met the lovely vegan/Greyhound-loving Sabrina, and have had more of an inside look at veganism. Since her son is my son’s BFF, that means that my boys are exposed to vegan meals, and even have taken it upon themselves to learn about what is and is not vegan so that when thier friend comes to our house, we can feed him appropriately (though S makes it super easy by sending food)… but still… knowing them and seeing vegan in-action, so to speak, makes giving it a more serious try this year an attainable goal.

5: Personal Growth. This is the one that I am lumping the rest of my writing goals and all of my health/weight loss goals into, as well as parenting goals (such as putting into practice/deeper study of NVC). I always have a couple of these listed, and I think it’s kinda cheating to have 4 of the same, on-going goals… so. I’m also putting things like: continue meeting meditation and spiritual goals, making time for ‘me’, blogging/writing something daily, etc. Some friends and I are re-committing to SparkPeople.com for this year (so if you wanna join me, come on!). I have many goals in that particular department, but I blog there too, so that’s where most of that goes. update: Meh… I’m giving this a 75%. Some of this has been met and surpassed, other parts of it have been seen to but not quite as well as I’d like. See this year’s NYR’s for an updated and possibly more specific list of goals. I have posted parts 1-6 of 13 from the NVC book here on my blog with plans to continue this year. 2013: We had to give up on NVC. I am a sarcastic bitch and NVC can be used as a weapon just as much as other words… more so, even, because it can be uber-manipulative. Maybe I just don’t care enough and/or am a horrible person, but I hate people prying into my feelings almost as much as I hate delving into other people’s feelings… so that got shelved. We have, however, worked on other aspects of communication that are effective for my (and my kids’) personalities. Even Loverly Husband has gotten on-board, and with all of us working together, it’s much easier. I also have to say that proper medication plays a role here, for me, at least. As much as my mother hates for me to say it, I have a mental disorder that I will forever need to take medication to effectively manage. Managing my illness makes me better able to manage other areas of my life. As far as health/weight is concerned, I ahve long been under the impression that the two go hand in hand, and they may, to some extent. However, I am/ have been getting regular exercise for the better part of the last year, and have been building stamina and muscle. I’m damn proud of that, even if my pants size has stayed the same.

6:  Date Night with Loverly Husband at least 1x per month. We used to do this at least that often, but this year, it seems like that’s taken a backseat. Between homeschooling and him working more, it’s been harder to find time to go out. It’s not a ‘problem’, but I’d rather focus on this now, before it becomes a problem. One the plus side, we did get a mini-break in 2010, with plans for another in a couple of months. Yay!! update: We didn’t stick to this plan… nor did we get to have a mini-break without the kiddos. We spent our money on house stuff, which was good, and as the kids are getting older and more wrapped up in their own interests, we do get more time together. I think this year’s more family-focused goal is more necessary as the kids get older. 2013: We actually did get a mini-break this year; Loverly Husband and I went with my brother and SIL to the Texas Renaissance Festival for the weekend. I was sick the whole time though, so it might not count {wink}. I put monthly date nights back on the agenda for this year, but I agree with more family-fun as well. LH and I have a plan to sit down and plan some togetherness activities for this year – soon, before the calendar gets too full.

7: Dye my hairNote to self: For the love of all that is salon, please visit the beauty supply shop and DO SOMETHING about your hair!!!! It’s been months – MONTHS – since you’ve put color in it. You have 6 inches of natural hair color. WTF?? That’s simply unacceptable. One cannot remain worthy of the moniker ‘Rainbow Brite’ with one’s natural hair color slapping people in the face. Before the month of January is out, you must fix this! And keep it fixed. All year. update: for the most part, yes. I haven’t had roots beyond an inch or so and have kept dye on-hand most of the year. Go me! 2013: Again, yes… (even though I need color at the ‘mo). Next week, scout’s honor!

8: Plan for lunch out better. When the kids were little, I had food for them on me all. the. time. I breastfed them for 3 years each, and I believe that had an effect on how they eat now. They’ve always eaten frequent small meals throughout the day; with no big meals and no set times, that meant that as an in-tune mama I needed to keep food in the bag so that I could meet their needs. When they started school, they had to adjust to a more common eating schedule and I got out of the habit of keeping food with us. Since we started homeschooling, they’ve fallen back into their normal eating patterns but I have not. So my goal for this year is to plan for food better – packing a cooler with appropriate small meals and snacks when we go out. This will help me with #5 as well. update: pretty much met for the first part of the year, then sort of slacked off as the year wound down. We did Bento lunches for months, then were home a lot and I slacked off on making them. I do prefer Bentos and so do the kids, so we’re going to work on getting back to that on a regular basis again. 2013: We had a really good stretch where we didn’t do fast food at all, then it gradually started creeping back in. I need to work on eliminating fast food again. Bentos are still the lunch of choice, I just need to get back to planning for them better.

9: Do something about my wardrobe. I am putting this one separate from the ‘home blessing’ because it’s not really about making space or de-cluttering (though that does play a part). I have a bunch of clothes that don’t fit (both too small and too large) and that are out-dated that I’ve held on to. It’s time to let go! I don’t necessarily need new clothes (though if certain portions of #5 are carried out, I may), but I would like for the clothes that are taking up my space to be ones that I like and wear.update: I did declutter my clothing! I am in need of some new pieces though (but don’t expect a rainbow of colors or anything; I am still *me*). I also did the kids’ clothing and Loverly Husband’s, so yay! 2013: I think this is under ‘Fashionista’ above… I do desperately need to go through the boys’ clothing again… drat them for growing up so fast!

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2010′s Resolutions and Progress Report: NYE’s Written on Jan. 2, 2010

ONE: Continue making progress on the home front.
I’m going to include all the things that are in reference to “home blessing” from previous years, such as redecorating, de-cluttering and the like. It’s still in the plan, but it’s something that can be chipped away at slowly. There are a couple of specifics that I want to focus on like:
-my office (switching our bedroom to the office and the office to our bedroom) and the redecorating that goes along with that.
-the hallway bathroom (I’d really like to work on that this year)
-decluttering and organizing (all over)
**Semi-Accomplished** We actually lost the office when we started homeschooling. I do have to say that I’ve rocked the decluttering thing this year though. About twice a month, I take at least one bag of stuff to Goodwill and still have more to go. The switching didn’t happen, but will this year, and the bathroom also did not get attention (though I did paint in there). Everything will get a face-lift this year though… so yay!
2012: ongoing – I think we’ll forever be decluttering and simplifying.
2013: ongoing… but progress is definitely visible!
 
TWO: Take a mini-break with Loverly Husband without the kids.
I want to go somewhere, just the two of us, with no kids, for a whole weekend. It’s been over 8 years since we’ve gone away for some time alone, so I think we’re due.
**ACCOMPLISHED** We went with my brother and SIL to Galveston for a long weekend, and have plans to go to San Antonio this year. Yay!
2012: we didn’t get to do this in 2011. I did get to go to Ren Faire for the weekend with The Girls though. Not the same thing.

2013: TX Ren Faire with Loverly Husband (as mentioned above)… but I was sick the whole time, so dosen’t count.

THREE: Attend the Writer’s Workshop every(ish) month.

I really want to work on my stories/books/series this year. It’s once a month, on a Tuesday, and I think I need to make that a priority.
**Semi-Accomplished** I went to a couple, then got lazy. The main problem is that half of the writers didn’t say much, and the other half were SO not in my field. I am going to try again for this year though. Writing is fun for me, and I owe it to myself to hone my craft, even if it is only a hobby. For now. This has been updated for 2011′s list.
2012: That’s good advice, self. You should pay attention. 
2013: Ditto above, self. Look into the writer’s workshops again this year. It’s been a while; maybe there’s fresh meat?
 
FOUR: Get more kid-friendly exercise.
Now that the boys are older and more active, it’s a little easier to plan excursions with fitness as a focus. We all have kids and I have a bike rack for the car, so I think that’s going to be something we do more of this year. The boys are also into skating, so we’re going to get back into that habit again, too.
**ACCOMPLISHED** We’ve been hiking, biking, skating, swimming and Wii Fitted… and we’re continuing in this vein this year! Go me!!
2012: suckage for 2011.  It was insanely cold, then ridiculously hot and I’m being whiney and lazy. Better goals for this year!
2013: Karate, baby! And the beach! And more of the same for this year!!
 
FIVE: Go TV-FREE for one week per month and for one month during the summer.
I have no idea how this will work since Loverly Husband is completely opposed to the idea, but I would like to try it. We already don’t have much TV time when school is in session (no TV in the mornings, and no TV until homework is done) so it’s not like we watch a ton of TV as it is, but I do know that my kids are much more imaginative when the TV is not there to influence them and I want to see more of that.
**FAIL** Well, kinda. We actually don’t watch all that much TV. The boys are not allowed to watch TV or play video games on school days, so that’s the bulk of the week. The time they do have is squished between when ‘chores are done’ and ‘dinner’ so free-tv time is rare. Video games, however… they’re all about them and will spend as much time as allowed on them. We’ll be curtailing this come January 3rd.
2012: We’ve actually enforced this a couple of times. The kids have been playing more video games, but they’ve had less ‘free’ days… so I think it evens out. We’re going to cut them back this year again though. More outside time!
2013: I think we’re going to add this back to the list. With my mom’s hospitalization and recovery, the kids spent a lot of time being ‘out of the way’, which usually meant ‘in front of the tv/game’. I’m thinking that a strict ban on screen time might be a good thing, at least until a little more balance can be found.
SIX: Work on getting Mom’s old pictures into digital format

Mom has TONS of pictures that I want and since she won’t part with them I need to make an effort this year to get them in digital format, both for preservation purposes and just to have.
**FAIL** Yeah… not so much. I did get a fantastic external hard drive this year, so now I actually have space to put all those pictures. Maybe in 2011…
2012: Because I don’t have enough of my own pictures to put on discs, I had to take on someone else’s photo-library?? What was I thinking?? I am retroactively striking this from the list.
2013: YES!! That’s insane! It’s still a monumental task and I am annoyed with myself for having suggested that I should do this. Maybe I will get HER a scanner and external hard drive and show her how to do it.
 
SEVEN: Savings & Retirement plans
We’re doing pretty well in this regard, so it’s not a major thing to have to ‘resolve’ to do, but I like having it on my list because it IS something we need to focus on. SO the plan is to continue adding money to our savings accounts, to the kids’ savings accounts (and college funds), and into our retirement. We’ve been talking about getting a new car this year, and about painting the outside of the house and landscaping a bit, and it would be nice to follow through with those plans.
** ACCOMPLISHED** We bought a new (to us) Honda Odyssey in April 2010, also bought our house in June. Loverly Husband took care of all the retirement plan financial stuff, so we’re doing well! The landscaping and painting are in the plans for the next couple of months.
2012: Yep – Loverly Husband is still on top of this. Landscaping and home improvements are all still on the list as money becomes available.
2013: More of the same… handing money makes me physically ill – more even now than in the past, so he handles all of that business. Landscaping will be on the menu once the inside is finished.
 
EIGHT: Be more crafty
I really have missed arts and crafts. I’ve cut back on my “work and volunteering” schedule, so I am going to use the ‘extra’ time to do the things I enjoy. I want to do a glass project for the living room window, batik the curtains in the living room, make blackout curtains for our bedroom and the boys’ room, re-cover the couch… among other things. Plus, I need to work on scrapbooking and having pictures from recent years printed. I also would like to work on drawing and painting.
**ACCOMPLISHED** With multiple craft-days under my belt this year, and many crafty-projects with the kids, this is well done! Not these exact things, maybe; I made new curtains for the living room, decided not to cover the couch at all and blacked out my bedroom windows with foil and tape. Not as classy, maybe, but it’s hella-freaking-dark even at mid-day in there, so that’s done. The kids don’t want it to be that dark in their room…
2012: Two words: ART JOURNALS. Love them and have been having SO much fun with them! Eventually, I’ll have them all loaded to my DeviantART account, but that hasn’t happened yet. I’ve also made several crafts projects for friends, so I’m definitely still feeling the craftstravaganza vibe and hope it continues.
2013: I’ve actually added to my ‘work and volunteering’ schedule again this year, but I am determined not to let those commitments detract from my crafty time. My goal for this year is to work through Wreck this Journal, and I am doing it in a group… among other projects. DeviantART – yes… gotta do that.
 
NINE: Learn more about homeopathy
I have a fairly decent foundation (not that I’m an expert or anything), but I’d like to learn more and utilize this more in day-to-day life.
**ACCOMPLISHED** I’m not an expert by any means, but we’ve relied much less this past year on western medicine than we have in years past, and I know more about treating the underlying cause of something than simply masking symptoms, so I’d call this well done as well. I plan to continue educating myself, and am thankful to have several friends who are willing to share the knowledge!
2012: Actually, it’s not ‘homeopathy’, it’s naturo-pathy that I like/use/meant. And yes; still into it.
2013: Ditto… more-so even than last year. I’m all about it, baby!
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Here’s an update on 2009′s resolutions: 
Numero uno: Stop obsessing about things.

2010: Ummm… yeah. So I have an obsessive-compulsive personality. “Stop obsessing” is like saying I’m planning on not breathing this year. FAIL.
2011: no change.
2012: added an anti-anxiety med to my anti-depressant meds… it’s nice so far; need to up the dose, I think, but I am definitely less stressed over minor nothings.
2013: All hail anxiety medications! Best thing I ever did for myself. Even though I am currently in need to a visit to the Man in the Lab Coat, I recognize that many, many of my issues with ‘things’ have to do with my illness. Accepting that, admitting that, and working within that context has helped me so much.

 

Numero dos: Help the kids to listen to their bodies more and learn to understand the feeling of, and be able to voice “I’m hungry” or “I’m tired” instead of falling apart at inopportune moments.
2010: I’d say that this one is accomplished. Not in the sense that this is something that is ever “done” with, but I think it was something we worked on, not just for the kids, but for myself as well.
2011: This is an ongoing exercise for us. Food affects me and the kids so much, and it’s a struggle to respect its power without obsessing or over-focusing on it.
2012: ditto.
2013: more of the same

 

Numero tres: Stick to SP goals.
2010: Well… this one got pushed aside this year. Between being pregnant for the first part of the year, and then grieving throughout the last half of the year, I am just glad I haven’t gained 20lbs. 5 is acceptable and easier to get rid of.
2011: I’m back on the wagon, with some friends to help motivate and keep me accountable. We’ve already started, and are doing well!
2012: meh. I’m working on it.
2013: Suck it, skinny bitches. I am working on ‘health at any size’, and trying not to focus on weight.
Numero quatro: Finish DONA cert.

2010: Eh… I didn’t do this, but it’s still the same ole thing I have been debating about since the beginning. Certification is nice to have, but not necessary and may be too limiting. BFF and I are planning goals for WMC on Monday, so we’ll re-hash this again and decide what we want to do about it.
2011: I can pretty much cross this off my list. I’m not interested in being a doula anymore. I’ve also retired from LLL Leadership this year, so my attention is focused in other areas.
2012: Same; I am happy volunteering with the Beaumont Breastfeeding Coalition when I can and/or the mood strikes with no further obligation. 
2013: Same; I’ve taken on a larger role for 2013 with the BBC; and plan to pursue formal lactation counselor certification this year.

 

Numero cinqo: Continue de-cluttering house and down-sizing possessions. Get rid of things I don’t love, use or need, including shoes, baby clothes and extra furniture.
2010: This is a mixture of yes and no… yes b/c I have definitely been downsizing, esp over the last couple of months, but the baby clothes and stuff I have kept and will keep as there may be a need for them at some point. We’re still kinda unclear on that point, too.
2011: Ongoing… forever?
2012: ditto…
2013: ditto…
Nombre six (… switching to French now, because 5 is as high as I can spell en espanol without looking it up. It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care.): {edited on 12/31/2010 to add that since ‘cuatro’ is how you spell four in Spanish, it would appear that I can only spell to three…lol. Funny that it took 2 years to realize that.} (2013: Also, wprdpress wants to autocorrect ‘cuatro’ to ‘coatroom’. I find that funny.)

Home Improvements: Repaint and redecorate my bedroom and re-finish the kitchen cabinets. Design and complete the mural for the boy’s room, and re-do their decor. Rugs for various rooms, extra storage bins and cabinets, etc…
2010:… not so much. On any of that, actually.
2011:Eh.. some of that got done, some didn’t in 2010. The mural is ever incomplete, but we’re painting everything in a couple of months, so it’s fine.
2012: ongoing… home decor is much more expensive than I previously realized, but we have a plan. My bedroom is done; kids are up next.
2013: Kids’ rooms and living room still on the menu, but now a reachable goal since the kitchen is done (except for the cabinets).

 

Nombre sept: Work on kids’ scrapbooks and get big pictures into frames. Lapbook the boy’s previous years’ school work. Better organize craft supplies and find the damn high-temp hot glue gun! Get a label maker. Try really hard not to label every single conceivable thing in my house. Figure out where the holiday boxes will live when not in season.
2010: …ditto.
2011: Yeah… not so much. That last part is a big one since we’re losing our storage room in a couple of months!
2012: Still working on some of this; not so much the scrapbooking thing – I’ve been art journaling, not srcapbooking. One day the mood will strike again and I will love it. Until then, it remains in storage. Plans to get the school room storage situation under control this year are underway.
2013: Jesus, the frakkin holiday boxes are still a problem. I have a plan for them, but need Loverly Husband to install shelving over the washer and dryer… then the boxes can live there. Found the glue gun! It was in a box of craft stuff that I had packed to make personalized clothespin ornaments for a fundraiser for the kids’ school a few years ago. I actually found it last year, I think… it was packed up for a LONG time, lol. Scrapbooking… meh. I’m kinda over it. Art journals have taken up my time, and blogging documents the kids, so I don;t ‘need’ to scrapbook, really. Maybe one day when they’re older….
 Nombre huit: 

Either buy gumballs for the gumball machine or get rid of it.

2010: DONE! We bought more gumballs. There are still some in the machine, too! 

2011: Why aren’t all of my resolutions so simple and easy to accomplish?? I think I’ll start adding at least one challenge to my resolutions list. This year: be vegan for a week!

2012: this is a throw-away resolution. I am including at least one every year, I think. 

2013: We got rid of the gumball machine, LOL Yay for de-cluttering!

 
Nombre neuf: 

… That’s all I can think of for now. I need to print this list out for myself so I can keep track of sticking with them. Now, I need to go back and see how I did for last year.
{Edited to add:  found a number nine!} Create outlines for all the story concepts I have written.
2010: Yes and no – I did outlines for some of them and have started an outline for most of them.
2011: I’ve really slacked on my fiction this year. I’ve blogged pretty faithfully though.. does that count?
2012: While not exactly kicking ass, I have been slowly plodding away at my stories. Progress=progress, yes?
2013: Added a few thousand words  spread out across several stories just yesterday, after a coffee date with AnnA… with plans to continue this year.
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As for 2008′s resolutions, Ha! I didn’t write them till the 6th last year, so I’m ahead of the game this year. To recap: 
1) It’s called a budget! I need to make one and stick to it. More importantly, I should probably let my loverly husband in on the what’s what so he isn’t surprised by the complete lack of money that we have going.

2009: Yeah… we actually have been doing much better in the cash-flow department this year. I’m fairly proud of that, so I think I can call this one “accomplished” and we’ll say maintain this instead of making it a new resolution.
2010: We did VERY well this year in this regard. I can say that we’re progressing nicely on this front. We eliminated credit cards a couple of years ago, so that’s a big hassle that we don’t have to mess with anymore. This year, we’re funneling more money into savings and retirement. I’m proud of that!
2011: Loverly Husband took over all the budgeting of funds early in 2010, so… yay! He’s better at it than I am. We’re definitely in a better place financially now that we were back in 2007/8. It’s nice to be able to look back and see progress happening.
2012: Loverly Husband is still Mr. Finance. I have less and less to do with money and I like it that way.
2013: I am hands-free on the money department, and couldn’t be happier about it. Thanks to Loverly Husband’s awesome fiduciary skillz, we’re insured, we’re saving, we’re planning for retirement and the kids have savings accounts… it’s been a long road, and he’s been working hard to make our family’s finances are in order, and I am eternally grateful that I don’t have to worry with it.
2) Complete my Childbirth Doula Certification and Trustbirth Facilitator Application

2009: This is kind of a done deal (DONA) – but I’m making it an actual resolution so that when it’s done I can cross it off the list. Actually, I’m not doing TrustBirth at all – after thinking more about it, I decided it wasn’t for me. It’s not that I disagree with them, exactly, just that I am a little more open-minded about things. As for the birth doula cert, I am still working on it, and am actually doing DONA now instead of CBI, which was what I was looking at then. DONA is different, and either way, I need certain criteria to certify and I haven’t been as on top of it as I had planned. Can I blame part of this on Hurricanes Gustav and Ike?
2010: see above.
2011: Let me explain… I had all of my certification stuff done – all I needed to do was send it in and pay for it. I was waiting on BFF to get her breastfeeding education requirement done so we could submit our applications together, and got pregnant, then miscarried… Since then, I’ve decided that I don’t want to be a doula, and therefore see no reason to pay for the certification. So. That’s the what’s what on this.
2012: ditto…
2013: no change…

 3) Keep my prescriptions filled and faithfully take my medicines daily … so that I don’t end up needing my rescue inhaler multiple times daily and end up on the nebulizer like I did 2 weeks ago.

2009: I suck at doing this. I HATE taking meds EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s a huge hassle (and could it be any clearer that I am barely taking anything at all right now, which is why I am defensive about it?) I have kept up with asthma and allergy meds though, which is a good thing… so this is a “halfway” for me.
2010: I STILL suck at this. Something about this time of year. I have not been keeping my Rx filled and have been using the neb for the last couple of weeks. Ugh.
2011: Better this year… I’m off of some of them and need to refill others. This is going to be one of those on-going things for me, I think.
2012: ongoing… new meds this year; anti-depressant & anti-anxiety. It’s helping. Now to stick with them.
2013…. see above notes on medications and illness….
4) Stick with SparkPeople I slacked off in about August, so I’m starting over with that, kinda. So far, a week in and I’m doing well, so go me!

2009: Since I’m basically starting over again, and it’s on this year’s list, I guess  didn’t keep this one either.
2010: See above.
2011: Ditto this year… I lost 80lbs the first go-round with SP, then my weight-loss plateaued and I got discouraged. I managed to keep it off for a while, then have, over the course of 3 or 4 years, have put back on about 30lbs. That sucks. So, along with a couple of friends, I’m re-committing myself. It’s in 2011′s #5.
2012: *expletive deleted*
2013: Skinny bitches can still suck it.

 

5) Wear hats more often because I like them.

2009: Ha! I SO did :) I bought, like 4 new hats and have worn them all. And they look awesome, if I do say so myself. Go me!
2010: I’m still keeping this one faithfully :) That makes me happy.
2011: ditto :) My hat collection is ever-growing and still awesome.
2012: chapeaux + NicCuinn = even more awesome as time goes by. This remains one of my favorite NYR’s.
2013: Hats… yes and double yes. My favorite is a black fedora, but I also have a black newsboy style cap that I just love (but currently cannot find). I think I need a few more hats this year.
6) WRITE!! I have no less than 7 stories outlined, and 5 more concepts written that I need to work on if they are ever to become actual reading material. So my goal is to devote a little time each week to write something, even if I don’t like it and end up deleting it.

2009: Fleshing out already-written storylines? No. Adding all the newly thought-of concepts into word.docs? Yes! So another half-assed accomplishment on my part. I’m going to add “making an outline for all story concepts” above.
2010: I have been feeling more creative lately and have started a couple of new concepts that need to be fleshed out. As long as I keep doing that, I am happy with this level of progress.
2011:Yeah… homeschooling leaves very little time for writing fiction. That’s a total cop-out, but that’s my excuse for doing absolutely NO writing this year, fiction-wise. I did come up with a new non-fiction concept for a children’s book series, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten with it. I’m making notes on it now (like right this minute …. okay – I have an overview of the series written now) – so that’s something, at least, lol.
2012: And Skying/collaborating with AnnA. Lots of it. 
2013: As previously explained, writing = yes, with AnnA.

 

7) Maintain the clutter-clearage that’s been going on. because I don’t want to end up like one of those people with an un-livable home due to all the unusable crap stored in it, I’m going to continue whittling down my collectibles (not that there’s that many that aren’t in printed format) and other assorted crap so that it at least looks like we have space in our house.
2009: I guess I’m kind-of on the same page as last year with this. I got rid of a TON of crap over the past year, so this is another “maintaining” for me. I’ll leave it as above though, because I have more specific goals in mind for this year.
2010: see above
2011: ditto
2012: ditto
2013: ditto
8). Make more time for me. As a wife and mom, I have a full plate – add starting a new business to that and you can see how much time I don’t have. So my goal is to take a few hours sans anyone else and concentrate on me once a week (if I can swing that, but once a month is probably more realistic).

2009: This has been a lot easier since both boys have been in school. So I guess I’ll mark that as an “accomplished” too.
2010: I have been keeping this one.
2011: Oh, I just thought I was busy before…homeschooling is possibly the biggest challenge I’ve undertaken yet. It requires almost constant thought and attention on my part. On the plus side, my Loverly Husband is incredibly supportive and has both encouraged and made it easy for me to go exercise with my sister or grab coffee with a friend in the evenings. My resolution for this year is to stop feeling guilty about it!
2012: Yes – homeschooling time commitment is eternal. Coffee out and a weekend trip to Ren Faire with the girls this past year was amazing. Definitely on the list of traditions to continue. Also, meeting more personal spiritual nourishment goals has helped. Planning to continue in this vein.
2013: 2012 was an AMAZING year for me, overall (barring a few unexpected happenings). Our school year went exceptionally well, I found a sport that I love (that also qualifies as ‘family time’), a spiritual study group that has become more like family, and a group of friends that is so full that I am starting to feel guilty about not having time to spend with any of them. I am truly blessed.
9) Whole Mothering Center I don’t know how much we will be able accomplish this year due to external factors, but I want us to accomplish all that we three are able to.

2009: The “three” isn’t the same three as it was when this was written, and I think that we’ve done pretty well. We’re well into our 2nd year, and with the Ike evacs and BFF’s birth, the last few months have been slow, but we’re gearing up for an eventful year with WMC. So this is another thing I think I can say “accomplished” on.
2010: 2009 was rough on many fronts. I am hoping that 2010 will be a better year for WMC.
2011: I’ve pretty much phased myself out of WMC. BFF is continuing with her own plans, including starting midwifery school in Jan 2011, and I will be involved as much as I can, but it’s pretty much her show now. My attention and focus is elsewhere these days, and though I miss being in the place in my life where WMC was my dream, I’m excited about what the future now holds, both for my BFF and WMC and for myself.
2012: I miss being involved, but am so glad to see BFF continue meeting her goals. Also very glad to see WMC and the BBC flourish, if not quite in the ways we’d first envisioned. I am still proud to be part of the community of support for natural mothering in our area. My attention is still focused elsewhere, but my future goals are leaning in a similar direction – I’d like to go to school and work in counseling with new mothers and families once my kids are grown.
2013: I have found it easier over the past year to start working myself back into the goings-on in the new mother community again. It was really hard for a long time, but it’s much better now. I actually enjoy talking to new moms again, and even holding the occasional babe (though I am quick to give them back when they start crying). I still plan to get into counseling, but that’s several years off yet; gotta get the boys into college first!

 

10) (because ten is a nice, round, reasonable number) I can’t think of anything else, but I’m going to format this like there is an actual resolution here anyway. because it looks better and because I can. So there.
LOL – I think it’s funny that I can only ever think of nine. I did the same thing this year. But it’s edited to add the writing one update ;)
2012: nine has become the tradition. I see no reason to alter that now!
2013: Nine is an awesome number 😉
Thanks for playing along, kids!
May your 2013 be full of joy and happiness, goals met and accomplishments celebrated. May your families be healthy and whole; may your every day be full of thankfulness and love.
Happy New Year!
Warmly,
~h

 


NYR: The 2012 Version

So this will be my second NYE post on this blog, since abandoning my MySpace blog a couple of years ago. For most of you, this info will be irrelevant, but since it’s become tradition for me, I am posting it anyway.

My usual format is to post this year’s resolutions, and then do a re-cap of previous year’s with progress reports as needed. It’s a long post (so feel free to skip most of it. I’m blogging this more for my own accountability and record-keeping than for public consumption), but I find it entertaining and see no reason to alter that format, so without further adieu, here are 2012’s New Year’s Resolutions (amazingly, I’m running ahead of schedule here, posting this almost a week before the new year. Go, me, all organized and stuff!):

1. Home Blessing – this has been my first resolution for a couple of years now. It’s an on-going thing and I am wondering now how long it needs to be an actual resolution since it doesn’t seem like it’s completely accomplishable. There is always something else to do that falls under this category… in any case, this encompasses all de-cluttering and home improvement type activities from resolutions past. This year’s actual targets are the master bath and kids’ rooms: painting and decor.

2. Medication: get them filled, on time; stay on them. I seem to go through phases where I feel good and stop taking them, then need them again, but fight the need and so things deteriorate until it’s apparent that I am truly effed up and require them. So… keeping them filled and myself stable will circumvent this whole scenario. FYI, I have been diagnosed with clinical depression and last month was prescribed an anti-anxiety medication as well. It’s helping. I also take thyroid medication, asthma, and allergy medications daily.

3. Plan and take a family vacation. As the kids get older and wrapped up in their own interests, Loverly Husband and I actually get quite a bit of time to ourselves these days. That trend will only continue as the kids age, and I think that the focus needs to shift to keeping them focused on the family. A family vacation before they get too old and too ‘cool’ to enjoy it would be nice.

4. Get back to kid-friendly exercise. We slacked a lot on this in 2011. I want to get back to being outdoorsy even if it means just me and the kids by ourselves. Hiking, biking, swimming, beach – all that and more are on the books for 2012.

5. Forage/Raw Foods Week: Loverly Husband’s idea is to take a couple of weeks and instead of doing our normal grocery-shopping routine, buy only foods that can be prepared or consumed without cooking. I’m open to it, and doing something like this with him on board will be much easier than trying to do it with him kicking and screaming. Since it’s his idea, it’s going on the list for this year.

6. Fashionista: this is going to encompass my hair/nails and wardrobe. I need to keep up with my hair, I want to get my nails done (and keep them done) and update my wardrobe in the coming year. Hopefully the ‘kid-friendly exercise’ resolution up there will help necessitate the actual need for new clothing… one can hope, right?

7. Figure out Container Gardening: This year will be our third attempt at a garden. I want to do an herb garden indoors and a veggie garden outside. I’d also like to do a couple of fruit trees (a cherry tree??). I need to read up on them and decide where and when to start them. It’s part of our homeschool science class, so the kids can help, too.

8. Post my art journals to DeviantART. I have an account and pictures of my journals, I need to either put them in a video or post the pictures.

9. Complete at least one writing project. Any of them. At least one.

I would do 10 because it’s such a nice, round number, but it’s become somewhat of a tradition to only make 9. So that’s my list for this year. I don’t usually post progress reports during the year, so don’t feel bad if you forget all about them until the end of December.

This officially concludes the ‘current resolutions’ portion of this post. If you’re interested to see how previous resolutions have held up over the years, feel free to read on. I’ve been updating each year’s resolutions for the past few years; it’s interesting to me to see how my goals and things have changed.

2011’s Resolutions (originally posted December 29, 2010) & updates:

1: Home Blessing – this has been on the books for a while, and will finally see real progress this year. This resolution encompasses all the de-cluttering/cleaning goals from years past and includes anything related to making our home a nicer place to live in. We’re planning a major re-decorating/face-lift to our house in the spring, including painting inside and out, switching our bedroom into the master bedroom (which is currently doing time as a storage/library/craft room) and putting the boys in their own bedrooms. We’ll also do some appliance upgrades and redecorate. I’m excited!! – update: We completed repainting the outside of the house, and our bedroom is moved and decorated. That took a lot more money than we’d planned on, so the rest of the renovations will be carried over to this year. I’m not displeased with our progress – it’s part of home ownership, which I am grateful for.

2: Teach the boys to cook. SFK was bragging about her 9-year-old dd making a four-course meal; I’m jealous and so shall attempt to teach the boys more about the culinary arts this year. The goal is to have them make at least one full meal each by… December 1st. That should give me plenty of time. update: meh. Cooking, yes. Full meal, no. They have gotten pretty good at making simple things – following recipes and using the stove. That’s more from efforts of their own than me actively teaching them, but I am not displeased with that, either. I find that as much as I dislike cooking, I dislike for the children to be underfoot while I am cooking even more. Based on this year’s progress, I can surmise that their continued experimentation and learning in the kitchen will continue with or without my help.

3: Attend a Writer’s Conference/Workshop (or a homeschooling one). Both would be ideal, but attendance at one or the other will fulfill this one. This is a re-hash of a previous resolution; before it was ‘attend monthly group meetings’. I think that the monthly group would be good to do, too, but I really want to try for a conference or workshop that is more in my field (so romance or sci-fi/fantasy or para-normal romance. And no, you can’t read them…yet). update: nope; I didn’t do either. I DID, however, work on a couple of my stories and stared a new writing project with one of my BFF’s, AnnA of TheEverydayAlchemist. We have weekly Skype dates to collaborate and toss some encouragement for our individual projects around… and just because we’re more awesome when we’re together and need to be reminded of that often.

4: Try veganism on for a week. I’ve tried vegetarianism on (it doesn’t fit), but never veganism. It’ll be a challenge. update: HA! I say. I didn’t do this at all. In fact, I did the polar opposite of this – going all meat for a few weeks. I tried the Atkins diet for about three weeks – it sucks; I don’t recommend it. Maybe in 2012? Loverly Husband has mentioned trying a meal plan that consists of keeping only raw foods in the house and ‘foraging’ so maybe something like that would be more attainable since I’d have his support.

5: Personal Growth. This is the one that I am lumping the rest of my writing goals and all of my health/weight loss goals into, as well as parenting goals (such as putting into practice/deeper study of NVC). I always have a couple of these listed, and I think it’s kinda cheating to have 4 of the same, on-going goals… so. I’m also putting things like: continue meeting meditation and spiritual goals, making time for ‘me’, blogging/writing something daily, etc. Some friends and I are re-committing to SparkPeople.com for this year (so if you wanna join me, come on!). I have many goals in that particular department, but I blog there too, so that’s where most of that goes. update: Meh… I’m giving this a 75%. Some of this has been met and surpassed, other parts of it have been seen to but not quite as well as I’d like. See this year’s NYR’s for an updated and possibly more specific list of goals. I have posted parts 1-6 of 13 from the NVC book here on my blog with plans to continue this year.

6:  Date Night with Loverly Husband at least 1x per month. We used to do this at least that often, but this year, it seems like that’s taken a backseat. Between homeschooling and him working more, it’s been harder to find time to go out. It’s not a ‘problem’, but I’d rather focus on this now, before it becomes a problem. One the plus side, we did get a mini-break in 2010, with plans for another in a couple of months. Yay!! update: We didn’t stick to this plan… nor did we get to have a mini-break without the kiddos. We spent our money on house stuff, which was good, and as the kids are getting older and more wrapped up in their own interests, we do get more time together. I think this year’s more family-focused goal is more necessary as the kids get older.

7: Dye my hairNote to self: For the love of all that is salon, please visit the beauty supply shop and DO SOMETHING about your hair!!!! It’s been months – MONTHS – since you’ve put color in it. You have 6 inches of natural hair color. WTF?? That’s simply unacceptable. One cannot remain worthy of the moniker ‘Rainbow Brite’ with one’s natural hair color slapping people in the face. Before the month of January is out, you must fix this! And keep it fixed. All year. update: for the most part, yes. I haven’t had roots beyond an inch or so and have kept dye on-hand most of the year. Go me!

8: Plan for lunch out better. When the kids were little, I had food for them on me all. the. time. I breastfed them for 3 years each, and I believe that had an effect on how they eat now. They’ve always eaten frequent small meals throughout the day; with no big meals and no set times, that meant that as an in-tune mama I needed to keep food in the bag so that I could meet their needs. When they started school, they had to adjust to a more common eating schedule and I got out of the habit of keeping food with us. Since we started homeschooling, they’ve fallen back into their normal eating patterns but I have not. So my goal for this year is to plan for food better – packing a cooler with appropriate small meals and snacks when we go out. This will help me with #5 as well. update: pretty much met for the first part of the year, then sort of slacked off as the year wound down. We did Bento lunches for months, then were home a lot and I slacked off on making them. I do prefer Bentos and so do the kids, so we’re going to work on getting back to that on a regular basis again.

9: Do something about my wardrobe. I am putting this one separate from the ‘home blessing’ because it’s not really about making space or de-cluttering (though that does play a part). I have a bunch of clothes that don’t fit (both too small and too large) and that are out-dated that I’ve held on to. It’s time to let go! I don’t necessarily need new clothes (though if certain portions of #5 are carried out, I may), but I would like for the clothes that are taking up my space to be ones that I like and wear. update: I did declutter my clothing! I am in need of some new pieces though (but don’t expect a rainbow of colors or anything; I am still *me*). I also did the kids’ clothing and Loverly Husband’s, so yay!

2010’s Resolutions and Progress Report: NYE’s Written on Jan. 2, 2010: 

ONE: Continue making progress on the home front.
I’m going to include all the things that are in reference to “home blessing” from previous years, such as redecorating, de-cluttering and the like. It’s still in the plan, but it’s something that can be chipped away at slowly. There are a couple of specifics that I want to focus on like:
-my office (switching our bedroom to the office and the office to our bedroom) and the redecorating that goes along with that.
-the hallway bathroom (I’d really like to work on that this year)
-decluttering and organizing (all over)
**Semi-Accomplished** We actually lost the office when we started homeschooling. I do have to say that I’ve rocked the decluttering thing this year though. About twice a month, I take at least one bag of stuff to Goodwill and still have more to go. The switching didn’t happen, but will this year, and the bathroom also did not get attention (though I did paint in there). Everything will get a face-lift this year though… so yay!
2012: ongoing – I think we’ll forever be decluttering and simplifying.

TWO: Take a mini-break with Loverly Husband without the kids.
I want to go somewhere, just the two of us, with no kids, for a whole weekend. It’s been over 8 years since we’ve gone away for some time alone, so I think we’re due.
**ACCOMPLISHED** We went with my brother and SIL to Galveston for a long weekend, and have plans to go to San Antonio this year. Yay!
2012: we didn’t get to do this in 2011. I did get to go to Ren Faire for the weekend with The Girls though. Not the same thing.

THREE: Attend the Writer’s Workshop every(ish) month.
I really want to work on my stories/books/series this year. It’s once a month, on a Tuesday, and I think I need to make that a priority.
**Semi-Accomplished** I went to a couple, then got lazy. The main problem is that half of the writers didn’t say much, and the other half were SO not in my field. I am going to try again for this year though. Writing is fun for me, and I owe it to myself to hone my craft, even if it is only a hobby. For now. This has been updated for 2011’s list.
2012: That’s good advice, self. You should pay attention. 

FOUR: Get more kid-friendly exercise.
Now that the boys are older and more active, it’s a little easier to plan excursions with fitness as a focus. We all have kids and I have a bike rack for the car, so I think that’s going to be something we do more of this year. The boys are also into skating, so we’re going to get back into that habit again, too.
**ACCOMPLISHED** We’ve been hiking, biking, skating, swimming and Wii Fitted… and we’re continuing in this vein this year! Go me!!
2012: suckage for 2011.  It was insanely cold, then ridiculously hot and I’m being whiney and lazy. Better goals for this year!

FIVE: Go TV-FREE for one week per month and for one month during the summer.
I have no idea how this will work since Loverly Husband is completely opposed to the idea, but I would like to try it. We already don’t have much TV time when school is in session (no TV in the mornings, and no TV until homework is done) so it’s not like we watch a ton of TV as it is, but I do know that my kids are much more imaginative when the TV is not there to influence them and I want to see more of that.
**FAIL** Well, kinda. We actually don’t watch all that much TV. The boys are not allowed to watch TV or play video games on school days, so that’s the bulk of the week. The time they do have is squished between when ‘chores are done’ and ‘dinner’ so free-tv time is rare. Video games, however… they’re all about them and will spend as much time as allowed on them. We’ll be curtailing this come January 3rd.
2012: We’ve actually enforced this a couple of times. The kids have been playing more video games, but they’ve had less ‘free’ days… so I think it evens out. We’re going to cut them back this year again though. More outside time!

SIX: Work on getting Mom’s old pictures into digital format
Mom has TONS of pictures that I want and since she won’t part with them I need to make an effort this year to get them in digital format, both for preservation purposes and just to have.
**FAIL** Yeah… not so much. I did get a fantastic external hard drive this year, so now I actually have space to put all those pictures. Maybe in 2011…
2012: Because I don’t have enough of my own pictures to put on discs, I had to take on someone else’s photo-library?? What was I thinking?? I am retroactively striking this from the list.

SEVEN: Savings & Retirement plans
We’re doing pretty well in this regard, so it’s not a major thing to have to ‘resolve’ to do, but I like having it on my list because it IS something we need to focus on. SO the plan is to continue adding money to our savings accounts, to the kids’ savings accounts (and college funds), and into our retirement. We’ve been talking about getting a new car this year, and about painting the outside of the house and landscaping a bit, and it would be nice to follow through with those plans.
** ACCOMPLISHED** We bought a new (to us) Honda Odyssey in April 2010, about bought our house in June. Loverly Husband took care of all the retirement plan financial stuff, so we’re doing well! The landscaping and painting are in the plans for the next couple of months.
2012: Yep – Loverly Husband is still on top of this. Landscaping and home improvements are all still on the list as money becomes available.

EIGHT: Be more crafty
I really have missed arts and crafts. I’ve cut back on my “work and volunteering” schedule, so I am going to use the ‘extra’ time to do the things I enjoy. I want to do a glass project for the living room window, batik the curtains in the living room, make blackout curtains for our bedroom and the boys’ room, re-cover the couch… among other things. Plus, I need to work on scrapbooking and having pictures from recent years printed. I also would like to work on drawing and painting.
**ACCOMPLISHED** With multiple craft-days under my belt this year, and many crafty-projects with the kids, this is well done! Not these exact things, maybe; I made new curtains for the living room, decided not to cover the couch at all and blacked out my bedroom windows with foil and tape. Not as classy, maybe, but it’s hella-freaking-dark even at mid-day in there, so that’s done. The kids don’t want it to be that dark in their room…
2012: Two words: ART JOURNALS. Love them and have been having SO much fun with them! Eventually, I’ll have them all loaded to my DeviantART account, but that hasn’t happened yet. I’ve also made several crafts projects for friends, so I’m definitely still feeling the craftstravaganza vibe and hope it continues.

NINE: Learn more about homeopathy
I have a fairly decent foundation (not that I’m an expert or anything), but I’d like to learn more and utilize this more in day-to-day life.
**ACCOMPLISHED** I’m not an expert by any means, but we’ve relied much less this past year on western medicine than we have in years past, and I know more about treating the underlying cause of something than simply masking symptoms, so I’d call this well done as well. I plan to continue educating myself, and am thankful to have several friends who are willing to share the knowledge!
2012: Actually, it’s not ‘homeopathy’, it’s naturo-pathy that I like/use/meant. And yes; still into it.

Here’s an update on 2009’s resolutions:


Numero uno:
Stop obsessing about things.
2010: Ummm… yeah. So I have an obsessive-compulsive personality. “Stop obsessing” is like saying I’m planning on not breathing this year. FAIL.
2011: no change.
2012: added an anti-anxiety med to my anti-depressant meds… it’s nice so far; need to up the dose, I think, but I am definitely less stressed over minor nothings.


Numero dos:
Help the kids to listen to their bodies more and learn to understand the feeling of, and be able to voice “I’m hungry” or “I’m tired” instead of falling apart at inopportune moments.
2010: I’d say that this one is accomplished. Not in the sense that this is something that is ever “done” with, but I think it was something we worked on, not just for the kids, but for myself as well.
2011: This is an ongoing exercise for us. Food affects me and the kids so much, and it’s a struggle to respect its power without obsessing or over-focusing on it.
2012: ditto.


Numero tres:
Stick to SP goals.
2010: Well… this one got pushed aside this year. Between being pregnant for the first part of the year, and then grieving throughout the last half of the year, I am just glad I haven’t gained 20lbs. 5 is acceptable and easier to get rid of.
2011: I’m back on the wagon, with some friends to help motivate and keep me accountable. We’ve already started, and are doing well!
2012: meh. I’m working on it.


Numero quatro:
Finish DONA cert.
2010: Eh… I didn’t do this, but it’s still the same ole thing I have been debating about since the beginning. Certification is nice to have, but not necessary and may be too limiting. BFF and I are planning goals for WMC on Monday, so we’ll re-hash this again and decide what we want to do about it.
2011: I can pretty much cross this off my list. I’m not interested in being a doula anymore. I’ve also retired from LLL Leadership this year, so my attention is focused in other areas.
2012: Same; I am happy volunteering with the Beaumont Breastfeeding Coalition when I can and/or the mood strikes with no further obligation. 


Numero cinqo:
Continue de-cluttering house and down-sizing possessions. Get rid of things I don’t love, use or need, including shoes, baby clothes and extra furniture.
2010: This is a mixture of yes and no… yes b/c I have definitely been downsizing, esp over the last couple of months, but the baby clothes and stuff I have kept and will keep as there may be a need for them at some point. We’re still kinda unclear on that point, too.
2011: Ongoing… forever?
2012: ditto…


Nombre six (… switching to French now, because 5 is as high as I can spell en espanol without looking it up. It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care.): {edited on 12/31/2010 to add that since ‘cuatro’ is how you spell four in Spanish, it would appear that I can only spell to three…lol. Funny that it took 2 years to realize that.}
Home Improvements: Repaint and redecorate my bedroom and re-finish the kitchen cabinets. Design and complete the mural for the boy’s room, and re-do their decor. Rugs for various rooms, extra storage bins and cabinets, etc…
2010:… not so much. On any of that, actually.
2011:Eh.. some of that got done, some didn’t in 2010. The mural is ever incomplete, but we’re painting everything in a couple of months, so it’s fine.
2012: ongoing… home decor is much more expensive than I previously realized, but we have a plan. My bedroom is done; kids are up next.


Nombre sept:
Work on kids’ scrapbooks and get big pictures into frames. Lapbook the boy’s previous years’ school work. Better organize craft supplies and find the damn high-temp hot glue gun! Get a label maker. Try really hard not to label every single conceivable thing in my house. Figure out where the holiday boxes will live when not in season.
2010: …ditto.
2011: Yeah… not so much. That last part is a big one since we’re losing our storage room in a couple of months!
2012: Still working on some of this; not so much the scrapbooking thing – I’ve been art journaling, not srcapbooking. One day the mood will strike again and I will love it. Until then, it remains in storage. Plans to get the school room storage situation under control this year are underway.


Nombre huit:
Either buy gumballs for the gumball machine or get rid of it.
2010: DONE! We bought more gumballs. There are still some in the machine, too!
2011: Why aren’t all of my resolutions so simple and easy to accomplish?? I think I’ll start adding at least one challenge to my resolutions list. This year: be vegan for a week!
2012: this is a throw-away resolution. I am including at least one every year, I think. 



Nombre neuf:
… That’s all I can think of for now. I need to print this list out for myself so I can keep track of sticking with them. Now, I need to go back and see how I did for last year.
{Edited to add:  found a number nine!} Create outlines for all the story concepts I have written.
2010: Yes and no – I did outlines for some of them and have started an outline for most of them.
2011: I’ve really slacked on my fiction this year. I’ve blogged pretty faithfully though.. does that count?
2012: While not exactly kicking ass, I have been slowly plodding away at my stories. Progress=progress, yes?


As for 2008’s resolutions, Ha! I didn’t write them till the 6th last year, so I’m ahead of the game this year. To recap:


1) It’s called a budget! I need to make one and stick to it. More importantly, I should probably let my loverly husband in on the what’s what so he isn’t surprised by the complete lack of money that we have going.
2009: Yeah… we actually have been doing much better in the cash-flow department this year. I’m fairly proud of that, so I think I can call this one “accomplished” and we’ll say maintain this instead of making it a new resolution.
2010: We did VERY well this year in this regard. I can say that we’re progressing nicely on this front. We eliminated credit cards a couple of years ago, so that’s a big hassle that we don’t have to mess with anymore. This year, we’re funneling more money into savings and retirement. I’m proud of that!
2011: Loverly Husband took over all the budgeting of funds early in 2010, so… yay! He’s better at it than I am. We’re definitely in a better place financially now that we were back in 2007/8. It’s nice to be able to look back and see progress happening.
2012: Loverly Husband is still Mr. Finance. I have less and less to do with money and I like it that way.


2) Complete my Childbirth Doula Certification and Trustbirth Facilitator Application
2009: This is kind of a done deal (DONA) – but I’m making it an actual resolution so that when it’s done I can cross it off the list. Actually, I’m not doing TrustBirth at all – after thinking more about it, I decided it wasn’t for me. It’s not that I disagree with them, exactly, just that I am a little more open-minded about things. As for the birth doula cert, I am still working on it, and am actually doing DONA now instead of CBI, which was what I was looking at then. DONA is different, and either way, I need certain criteria to certify and I haven’t been as on top of it as I had planned. Can I blame part of this on Hurricanes Gustav and Ike?
2010: see above.
2011: Let me explain… I had all of my certification stuff done – all I needed to do was send it in and pay for it. I was waiting on BFF to get her breastfeeding education requirement done so we could submit our applications together, and got pregnant, then miscarried… Since then, I’ve decided that I don’t want to be a doula, and therefore see no reason to pay for the certification. So. That’s the what’s what on this.
2012: ditto…


3) Keep my prescriptions filled and faithfully take my medicines daily … so that I don’t end up needing my rescue inhaler multiple times daily and end up on the nebulizer like I did 2 weeks ago.
2009: I suck at doing this. I HATE taking meds EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s a huge hassle (and could it be any clearer that I am barely taking anything at all right now, which is why I am defensive about it?) I have kept up with asthma and allergy meds though, which is a good thing… so this is a “halfway” for me.
2010: I STILL suck at this. Something about this time of year. I have not been keeping my Rx filled and have been using the neb for the last couple of weeks. Ugh.
2011: Better this year… I’m off of some of them and need to refill others. This is going to be one of those on-going things for me, I think.
2012: ongoing… new meds this year; anti-depressant & anti-anxiety. It’s helping. Now to stick with them.


4) Stick with SparkPeople I slacked off in about August, so I’m starting over with that, kinda. So far, a week in and I’m doing well, so go me!
2009: Since I’m basically starting over again, and it’s on this year’s list, I guess  didn’t keep this one either.
2010: See above.
2011: Ditto this year… I lost 80lbs the first go-round with SP, then my weight-loss plateaued and I got discouraged. I managed to keep it off for a while, then have, over the course of 3 or 4 years, have put back on about 30lbs. That sucks. So, along with a couple of friends, I’m re-committing myself. It’s in 2011’s #5.
2012: *expletive deleted*


5) Wear hats more often because I like them.
2009: Ha! I SO did 🙂 I bought, like 4 new hats and have worn them all. And they look awesome, if I do say so myself. Go me!
2010: I’m still keeping this one faithfully 🙂 That makes me happy.
2011: ditto 🙂 My hat collection is ever-growing and still awesome.
2012: chapeaux + NicCuinn = even more awesome as time goes by. This remains one of my favorite NYR’s.


6) WRITE!! I have no less than 7 stories outlined, and 5 more concepts written that I need to work on if they are ever to become actual reading material. So my goal is to devote a little time each week to write something, even if I don’t like it and end up deleting it.
2009: Fleshing out already-written storylines? No. Adding all the newly thought-of concepts into word.docs? Yes! So another half-assed accomplishment on my part. I’m going to add “making an outline for all story concepts” above.
2010: I have been feeling more creative lately and have started a couple of new concepts that need to be fleshed out. As long as I keep doing that, I am happy with this level of progress.
2011:Yeah… homeschooling leaves very little time for writing fiction. That’s a total cop-out, but that’s my excuse for doing absolutely NO writing this year, fiction-wise. I did come up with a new non-fiction concept for a children’s book series, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten with it. I’m making notes on it now (like right this minute …. okay – I have an overview of the series written now) – so that’s something, at least, lol.
2012: And Skying/collaborating with AnnA. Lots of it.


7) Maintain the clutter-clearage that’s been going on. because I don’t want to end up like one of those people with an un-livable home due to all the unusable crap stored in it, I’m going to continue whittling down my collectibles (not that there’s that many that aren’t in printed format) and other assorted crap so that it at least looks like we have space in our house.
2009: I guess I’m kind-of on the same page as last year with this. I got rid of a TON of crap over the past year, so this is another “maintaining” for me. I’ll leave it as above though, because I have more specific goals in mind for this year.
2010: see above
2011: ditto
2012: ditto


8). Make more time for me. As a wife and mom, I have a full plate – add starting a new business to that and you can see how much time I don’t have. So my goal is to take a few hours sans anyone else and concentrate on me once a week (if I can swing that, but once a month is probably more realistic).
2009: This has been a lot easier since both boys have been in school. So I guess I’ll mark that as an “accomplished” too.
2010: I have been keeping this one.
2011: Oh, I just thought I was busy before…homeschooling is possibly the biggest challenge I’ve undertaken yet. It requires almost constant thought and attention on my part. On the plus side, my Loverly Husband is incredibly supportive and has both encouraged and made it easy for me to go exercise with my sister or grab coffee with a friend in the evenings. My resolution for this year is to stop feeling guilty about it!
2012: Yes – homeschooling time commitment is eternal. Coffee out and a weekend trip to Ren Faire with the girls this past year was amazing. Definitely on the list of traditions to continue. Also, meeting more personal spiritual nourishment goals has helped. Planning to continue in this vein.


9) Whole Mothering Center I don’t know how much we will be able accomplish this year due to external factors, but I want us to accomplish all that we three are able to.
2009: The “three” isn’t the same three as it was when this was written, and I think that we’ve done pretty well. We’re well into our 2nd year, and with the Ike evacs and BFF’s birth, the last few months have been slow, but we’re gearing up for an eventful year with WMC. So this is another thing I think I can say “accomplished” on.
2010: 2009 was rough on many fronts. I am hoping that 2010 will be a better year for WMC.
2011: I’ve pretty much phased myself out of WMC. BFF is continuing with her own plans, including starting midwifery school in Jan 2011, and I will be involved as much as I can, but it’s pretty much her show now. My attention and focus is elsewhere these days, and though I miss being in the place in my life where WMC was my dream, I’m excited about what the future now holds, both for my BFF and WMC and for myself.
2012: I miss being involved, but am so glad to see BFF continue meeting her goals. Also very glad to see WMC and the BBC flourish, if not quite in the ways we’d first envisioned. I am still proud to be part of the community of support for natural mothering in our area. My attention is still focused elsewhere, but my future goals are leaning in a similar direction – I’d like to go to school and work in counseling with new mothers and families once my kids are grown.


10) (because ten is a nice, round, reasonable number) I can’t think of anything else, but I’m going to format this like there is an actual resolution here anyway. because it looks better and because I can. So there.
LOL – I think it’s funny that I can only ever think of nine. I did the same thing this year. But it’s edited to add the writing one update 😉
2012: nine has become the tradition. I see no reason to alter that now!



That last bit still makes me smile. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone else’s resolutions and to seeing how you fared from last year. Good luck reaching them and Happy New Year!!

Warmly,
~h

Homeschool Resolutions

I was reading Alicia Bayer’s Better Homeschool Resolutions this morning and thinking about mine. Since we started homeschooling well after the first of the year in 2010, I didn’t get the chance to make resolutions for school last year. I always make personal resolutions, and I didn’t want to mix-n-match, so I am creating a set just for homeschool.

At the risk of sounding arrogant, there’s not a lot that we’re going to ‘change’ this year. I only say that because I didn’t go into it with a ton of preconceived notions about how things were going to go, and so was able to be flexible and make changes almost every month so that my goals were better met. Not that there’s not room for improvement {wink}. There are some areas that we could stand to improve:

1: Make better/more use of JOURNALS. We have a ‘nature journal’ and a ‘science journal’ and a ‘math journal’… but their use could be much improved upon. I love the idea of an art journal as well, so we’re going to work on making better use of journals this year, both as creative outlets and as ways to showcase what they’ve learned over the year. We’re going to start fresh this year, with new journals in each subject – just regular journal sized notebooks. They’re on sale everywhere right now, but even a regular composition notebook will work for most things.

**if you’re interested in math journaling, here are a series of videos about math doodles that would make excellent additions to yours.**

2: Kids in the Kitchen! This one kinda overlaps with my personal NYRs; I keep thinking that the boys are not old enough to be able to cook unsupervised, but my friend was telling me that her girls (a little older and a little younger than mine) routinely make meals, and so I think that I am underestimating my kids’ abilities. I have a cookbook called Whole Foods for Kids to Cook that is published by La Leche League. I’ve had it since LBB was a baby (I got that and Whole Foods for Babies and Toddlers when I was making baby food – both excellent books!!) but haven’t every used it… so we’re using that as a curriculum of sorts this year.

3: Patience, patience, patience… this is an on-going effort for me, and proof positive that homeschooling does not = patient moms. I have a tendency to be quick and sharp in criticism, especially when my expectations aren’t being met, so my goal this year is to chill the frak out. I am working hard to remind myself that there is plenty of time, and that when they’re having fun, they’re learning more. I have an am re-reading How to Talk so Your Kids Will Listen and Listen so Your Kids Will Talk by Faber & Mazlish. They also have one called How to Talk so Your Kids Will Learn at Home and in School that I am ordering. It’s probably an overlap of techniques, but sometimes I need my hand held in a, ‘say THIS, not that’, ‘do THIS, not that’ kind of way. (Siblings Without Rivalry is a great book, too!)

4: Stay Strong all the way through each mod! One of the things  noticed this past year is that I had a tendency to start slacking around the end of week 5 of each mod. Things would be fine up until that point and then I’d fizzle out. I’ve adjusted out schedule this year – each mod is 2 four-week sessions with a break in the middle instead of a long 6 weeks. I am hoping that schedule will fit better into what has become our ‘natural’ rhythm.

5: Word-A-Day. I really have a thing for archaic words, so websites like www.savethewords.org are quite popular in my browser history. One of my English teachers used to assign a word every week from The Superior Person’s Book of Words, which I always looked forward to. The kids have started attempting to make snide comments to each other, and as a sibling myself, I know that trying to stop that altogether is nigh impossible. If I have to hear it, then I think they can at least learn something from it and make their insults worth listening to. We’re going to start doing that with an eye towards increasing and improving vocabulary.

That’s only 5, but I think that’s a reasonable, reachable number. I think that these will be fun and interesting challenges to meet this year, and I am looking forward to getting started. Tomorrow is our first day ‘back to school’, and we’re ready!

Warmly,

~h


NYR: The 2011 Version

For the past few years, I’ve blogged my NYR’s on my MySpace blog. But since no one uses MySpace anymore, I’ve decided to import my resolutions here. My usual format is to post this year’s resolutions, and then do a re-cap of previous year’s with progress reports as needed. It’s a long post (so feel free to skip most of it. I’m blogging this more for my own accountability and record-keeping than for public consumption), but I find it entertaining and see no reason to alter that format, so without further adieu, here are 2011’s New Year’s Resolutions (completed on 12/31 and scheduled to be posted on 1/1 – FINALLY, a resolutions post made on the first day of the New Year!):

1: Home Blessing – this has been on the books for a while, and will finally see real progress this year. This resolution encompasses all the de-cluttering/cleaning goals from years past and includes anything related to making our home a nicer place to live in. We’re planning a major re-decorating/face-lift to our house in the spring, including painting inside and out, switching our bedroom into the master bedroom (which is currently doing time as a storage/library/craft room) and putting the boys in their own bedrooms. We’ll also do some appliance upgrades and redecorate. I’m excited!!

2: Teach the boys to cook. SFK was bragging about her 9-year-old dd making a four-course meal; I’m jealous and so shall attempt to teach the boys more about the culinary arts this year. The goal is to have them make at least one full meal each by… December 1st. That should give me plenty of time.

3: Attend a Writer’s Conference/Workshop (or a homeschooling one). Both would be ideal, but attendance at one or the other will fulfill this one. This is a re-hash of a previous resolution; before it was ‘attend monthly group meetings’. I think that the monthly group would be good to do, too, but I really want to try for a conference or workshop that is more in my field (so romance or sci-fi/fantasy or para-normal romance. And no, you can’t read them…yet).

4: Try veganism on for a week. I’ve tried vegetarianism on (it doesn’t fit), but never veganism. It’ll be a challenge.

5: Personal Growth. This is the one that I am lumping the rest of my writing goals and all of my health/weight loss goals into, as well as parenting goals (such as putting into practice/deeper study of NVC). I always have a couple of these listed, and I think it’s kinda cheating to have 4 of the same, on-going goals… so. I’m also putting things like: continue meeting meditation and spiritual goals, making time for ‘me’, blogging/writing something daily, etc. Some friends and I are re-committing to SparkPeople.com for this year (so if you wanna join me, come on!). I have many goals in that particular department, but I blog there too, so that’s where most of that goes.

6:  Date Night with Loverly Husband at least 1x per month. We used to do this at least that often, but this year, it seems like that’s taken a backseat. Between homeschooling and him working more, it’s been harder to find time to go out. It’s not a ‘problem’, but I’d rather focus on this now, before it becomes a problem. One the plus side, we did get a mini-break in 2010, with plans for another in a couple of months. Yay!!

7: Dye my hair. Note to self: For the love of all that is salon, please visit the beauty supply shop and DO SOMETHING about your hair!!!! It’s been months – MONTHS – since you’ve put color in it. You have 6 inches of natural hair color. WTF?? That’s simply unacceptable. One cannot remain worthy of the moniker ‘Rainbow Brite’ with one’s natural hair color slapping people in the face. Before the month of January is out, you must fix this! And keep it fixed. All year.

8: Plan for lunch out better. When the kids were little, I had food for them on me all. the. time. I breastfed them for 3 years each, and I believe that had an effect on how they eat now. They’ve always eaten frequent small meals throughout the day; with no big meals and no set times, that meant that as an in-tune mama I needed to keep food in the bag so that I could meet their needs. When they started school, they had to adjust to a more common eating schedule and I got out of the habit of keeping food with us. Since we started homeschooling, they’ve fallen back into their normal eating patterns but I have not. So my goal for this year is to plan for food better – packing a cooler with appropriate small meals and snacks when we go out. This will help me with #5 as well.

9: Do something about my wardrobe. I am putting this one separate from the ‘home blessing’ because it’s not really about making space or de-cluttering (though that does play a part). I have a bunch of clothes that don’t fit (both too small and too large) and that are out-dated that I’ve held on to. It’s time to let go! I don’t necessarily need new clothes (though if certain portions of #5 are carried out, I may), but I would like for the clothes that are taking up my space to be ones that I like and wear.

I would do 10 because it’s such a nice, round number, but it’s become somewhat of a tradition to only make 9. So that’s my list for this year. I don’t usually post progress reports during the year, so don’t feel bad if you forget all about them until the end of December, lol. This officially concludes the ‘current resolutions’ portion of this post. If you’re interested to see how previous resolutions have held up over the years, feel free to read on!

2010’s Resolutions and Progress Report: Written on Jan. 2, 2010: Doing better… last year, I didn’t write resolutions till the 4th. That’s progress, baby!

ONE: Continue making progress on the home front.
I’m going to include all the things that are in reference to “home blessing” from previous years, such as redecorating, de-cluttering and the like. It’s still in the plan, but it’s something that can be chipped away at slowly. There are a couple of specifics that I want to focus on like:
-my office (switching our bedroom to the office and the office to our bedroom) and the redecorating that goes along with that.
-the hallway bathroom (I’d really like to work on that this year)
-decluttering and organizing (all over)
**Semi-Accomplished** We actually lost the office when we started homeschooling. I do have to say that I’ve rocked the decluttering thing this year though. About twice a month, I take at least one bag of stuff to Goodwill and still have more to go. The switching didn’t happen, but will this year, and the bathroom also did not get attention (though I did paint in there). Everything will get a face-lift this year though… so yay!

TWO: Take a mini-break with Loverly Husband without the kids.
I want to go somewhere, just the two of us, with no kids, for a whole weekend. It’s been over 8 years since we’ve gone away for some time alone, so I think we’re due.
**ACCOMPLISHED** We went with my brother and SIL to Galveston for a long weekend, and have plans to go to San Antonio this year. Yay!

THREE: Attend the Writer’s Workshop every(ish) month.
I really want to work on my stories/books/series this year. It’s once a month, on a Tuesday, and I think I need to make that a priority.
**Semi-Accomplished** I went to a couple, then got lazy. The main problem is that half of the writers didn’t say much, and the other half were SO not in my field. I am going to try again for this year though. Writing is fun for me, and I owe it to myself to hone my craft, even if it is only a hobby. For now. This has been updated for 2011’s list.

FOUR: Get more kid-friendly exercise.
Now that the boys are older and more active, it’s a little easier to plan excursions with fitness as a focus. We all have kids and I have a bike rack for the car, so I think that’s going to be something we do more of this year. The boys are also into skating, so we’re going to get back into that habit again, too.
**ACCOMPLISHED** We’ve been hiking, biking, skating, swimming and Wii Fitted… and we’re continuing in this vein this year! Go me!!

FIVE: Go TV-FREE for one week per month and for one month during the summer.
I have no idea how this will work since Loverly Husband is completely opposed to the idea, but I would like to try it. We already don’t have much TV time when school is in session (no TV in the mornings, and no TV until homework is done) so it’s not like we watch a ton of TV as it is, but I do know that my kids are much more imaginative when the TV is not there to influence them and I want to see more of that.
**FAIL** Well, kinda. We actually don’t watch all that much TV. The boys are not allowed to watch TV or play video games on school days, so that’s the bulk of the week. The time they do have is squished between when ‘chores are done’ and ‘dinner’ so free-tv time is rare. Video games, however… they’re all about them and will spend as much time as allowed on them. We’ll be curtailing this come January 3rd.

SIX: Work on getting Mom’s old pictures into digital format
Mom has TONS of pictures that I want and since she won’t part with them I need to make an effort this year to get them in digital format, both for preservation purposes and just to have.
**FAIL** Yeah… not so much. I did get a fantastic external hard drive this year, so now I actually have space to put all those pictures. Maybe in 2011…

SEVEN: Savings & Retirement plans
We’re doing pretty well in this regard, so it’s not a major thing to have to ‘resolve’ to do, but I like having it on my list because it IS something we need to focus on. SO the plan is to continue adding money to our savings accounts, to the kids’ savings accounts (and college funds), and into our retirement. We’ve been talking about getting a new car this year, and about painting the outside of the house and landscaping a bit, and it would be nice to follow through with those plans.
** ACCOMPLISHED** We bought a new (to us) Honda Odyssey in April 2010, about bought our house in June. Loverly Husband took care of all the retirement plan financial stuff, so we’re doing well! The landscaping and painting are in the plans for the next couple of months.

EIGHT: Be more crafty
I really have missed arts and crafts. I’ve cut back on my “work and volunteering” schedule, so I am going to use the ‘extra’ time to do the things I enjoy. I want to do a glass project for the living room window, batik the curtains in the living room, make blackout curtains for our bedroom and the boys’ room, re-cover the couch… among other things. Plus, I need to work on scrapbooking and having pictures from recent years printed. I also would like to work on drawing and painting.
**ACCOMPLISHED** With multiple craft-days under my belt this year, and many crafty-projects with the kids, this is well done! Not these exact things, maybe; I made new curtains for the living room, decided not to cover the couch at all and blacked out my bedroom windows with foil and tape. Not as classy, maybe, but it’s hella-freaking-dark even at mid-day in there, so that’s done. The kids don’t want it to be that dark in their room…

NINE: Learn more about homeopathy
I have a fairly decent foundation (not that I’m an expert or anything), but I’d like to learn more and utilize this more in day-to-day life.
**ACCOMPLISHED** I’m not an expert by any means, but we’ve relied much less this past year on western medicine than we have in years past, and I know more about treating the underlying cause of something than simply masking symptoms, so I’d call this well done as well. I plan to continue educating myself, and am thankful to have several friends who are willing to share the knowledge!

… So that about sums it up for 2010’s resolutions. Six of nine well done, and 2 mostly done; I think that’s a pretty good success rate!

Here’s an update on 2009’s resolutions:
Numero uno:
Stop obsessing about things.
2010: Ummm… yeah. So I have an obsessive-compulsive personality. “Stop obsessing” is like saying I’m planning on not breathing this year. FAIL.
2011: no change.

Numero dos:
Help the kids to listen to their bodies more and learn to understand the feeling of, and be able to voice “I’m hungry” or “I’m tired” instead of falling apart at inopportune moments.
2010: I’d say that this one is accomplished. Not in the sense that this is something that is ever “done” with, but I think it was something we worked on, not just for the kids, but for myself as well.
2011: This is an ongoing exercise for us. Food affects me and the kids so much, and it’s a struggle to respect its power without obsessing or over-focusing on it.

Numero tres:
Stick to SP goals.
2010: Well… this one got pushed aside this year. Between being pregnant for the first part of the year, and then grieving throughout the last half of the year, I am just glad I haven’t gained 20lbs. 5 is acceptable and easier to get rid of.
2011: I’m back on the wagon, with some friends to help motivate and keep me accountable. We’ve already started, and are doing well!

Numero quatro:
Finish DONA cert.
2010: Eh… I didn’t do this, but it’s still the same ole thing I have been debating about since the beginning. Certification is nice to have, but not necessary and may be too limiting. BFF and I are planning goals for WMC on Monday, so we’ll re-hash this again and decide what we want to do about it.
2011: I can pretty much cross this off my list. I’m not interested in being a doula anymore. I’ve also retired from LLL Leadership this year, so my attention is focused in other areas.

Numero cinqo:
Continue de-cluttering house and down-sizing posessions. Get rid of things I don’t love, use or need, including shoes, baby clothes and extra furniture.
2010: This is a mixture of yes and no… yes b/c I have definitely been downsizing, esp over the last couple of months, but the baby clothes and stuff I have kept and will keep as there may be a need for them at some point. We’re still kinda unclear on that point, too.
2011: Ongoing… forever?

Nombre six (… switching to French now, because 5 is as high as I can spell en espanol without looking it up. It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care.): {edited on 12/31/2010 to add that since ‘cuatro’ is how you spell four in Spanish, it would appear that I can only spell to three…lol. Funny that it took 2 years to realize that.}
Home Improvements: Repaint and redecorate my bedroom and re-finish the kitchen cabinets. Design and complete the mural for the boy’s room, and re-do their decor. Rugs for various rooms, extra storage bins and cabinets, etc…
2010:… not so much. On any of that, actually.
2011:Eh.. some of that got done, some didn’t in 2010. The mural is ever incomplete, but we’re painting everything in a couple of months, so it’s fine.

Nombre sept:
Work on kids’ scrapbooks and get big pictures into frames. Lapbook the boy’s previous years’ school work. Better organize craft supplies and find the damn high-temp hot glue gun! Get a label maker. Try really hard not to label every single conceivable thing in my house. Figure out where the holiday boxes will live when not in season.
2010: …ditto.
2011: Yeah… not so much. That last part is a big one since we’re losing our storage room in a couple of months!

Nombre huit:
Either buy gumballs for the gumball machine or get rid of it.
2010: DONE! We bought more gumballs. There are still some in the machine, too!
2011: Why aren’t all of my resolutions so simple and easy to accomplish?? I think I’ll start adding at least one challenge to my resolutions list. This year: be vegan for a week!

Nombre neuf:
… That’s all I can think of for now. I need to print this list out for myself so I can keep track of sticking with them. Now, I need to go back and see how I did for last year.
{Edited to add:  found a number nine!} Create outlines for all the story concepts I have written.
2010: Yes and no – I did outlines for some of them and have started an outline for most of them.
2011: I’ve really slacked on my fiction this year. I’ve blogged pretty faithfully though.. does that count?

As for 2008’s resolutions, Ha! I didn’t write them till the 6th last year, so I’m ahead of the game this year. To recap:

1) It’s called a budget! I need to make one and stick to it. More importantly, I should probably let my loverly husband in on the what’s what so he isn’t surprised by the complete lack of money that we have going.
2009: Yeah… we actually have been doing much better in the cash-flow department this year. I’m fairly proud of that, so I think I can call this one “accomplished” and we’ll say maintain this instead of making it a new resolution.
2010: We did VERY well this year in this regard. I can say that we’re progressing nicely on this front. We eliminated credit cards a couple of years ago, so that’s a big hassle that we don’t have to mess with anymore. This year, we’re funneling more money into savings and retirement. I’m proud of that!
2011: Loverly Husband took over all the budgeting of funds early in 2010, so… yay! He’s better at it than I am. We’re definitely in a better place financially now that we were back in 2007/8. It’s nice to be able to look back and see progress happening.

2) Complete my Childbirth Doula Certification and Trustbirth Facilitator Application
2009: This is kind of a done deal (DONA) – but I’m making it an actual resolution so that when it’s done I can cross it off the list. Actually, I’m not doing TrustBirth at all – after thinking more about it, I decided it wasn’t for me. It’s not that I disagree with them, exactly, just that I am a little more open-minded about things. As for the birth doula cert, I am still working on it, and am actually doing DONA now instead of CBI, which was what I was looking at then. DONA is different, and either way, I need certain criteria to certify and I haven’t been as on top of it as I had planned. Can I blame part of this on Hurricanes Gustav and Ike?
2010: see above.
2011: Let me explain… I had all of my certification stuff done – all I needed to do was send it in and pay for it. I was waiting on BFF to get her breastfeeding education requirement done so we could submit our applications together, and got pregnant, then miscarried… Since then, I’ve decided that I don’t want to be a doula, and therefore see no reason to pay for the certification. So. That’s the what’s what on this.

3) Keep my prescriptions filled and faithfully take my medicines daily … so that I don’t end up needing my rescue inhaler multiple times daily and end up on the nebulizer like I did 2 weeks ago.
2009: I suck at doing this. I HATE taking meds EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s a huge hassle (and could it be any clearer that I am barely taking anything at all right now, which is why I am defensive about it?) I have kept up with asthma and allergy meds though, which is a good thing… so this is a “halfway” for me.
2010: I STILL suck at this. Something about this time of year. I have not been keeping my Rx filled and have been using the neb for the last couple of weeks. Ugh.
2011: Better this year… I’m off of some of them and need to refill others. This is going to be one of those on-going things for me, I think.

4) Stick with SparkPeople I slacked off in about August, so I’m starting over with that, kinda. So far, a week in and I’m doing well, so go me!
2009: Since I’m basically starting over again, and it’s on this year’s list, I guess  didn’t keep this one either.
2010: See above.
2011: Ditto this year… I lost 80lbs the first go-round with SP, then my weight-loss plateaued and I got discouraged. I managed to keep it off for a while, then have, over the course of 3 or 4 years, have put back on about 30lbs. That sucks. So, along with a couple of friends, I’m re-committing myself. It’s in 2011’s #5.

5) Wear hats more often because I like them.
2009: Ha! I SO did 🙂 I bought, like 4 new hats and have worn them all. And they look awesome, if I do say so myself. Go me!
2010: I’m still keeping this one faithfully 🙂 That makes me happy.
2011: ditto 🙂 My hat collection is ever-growing and still awesome.

6) WRITE!! I have no less than 7 stories outlined, and 5 more concepts written that I need to work on if they are ever to become actual reading material. So my goal is to devote a little time each week to write something, even if I don’t like it and end up deleting it.
2009: Fleshing out already-written storylines? No. Adding all the newly thought-of concepts into word.docs? Yes! So another half-assed accomplishment on my part. I’m going to add “making an outline for all story concepts” above.
2010: I have been feeling more creative lately and have started a couple of new concepts that need to be fleshed out. As long as I keep doing that, I am happy with this level of progress.
2011:Yeah… homeschooling leaves very little time for writing fiction. That’s a total cop-out, but that’s my excuse for doing absolutely NO writing this year, fiction-wise. I did come up with a new non-fiction concept for a children’s book series, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten with it. I’m making notes on it now (like right this minute …. okay – I have an overview of the series written now) – so that’s something, at least, lol.

7) Maintain the clutter-clearage that’s been going on. because I don’t want to end up like one of those people with an un-livable home due to all the unusable crap stored in it, I’m going to continue whittling down my collectibles (not that there’s that many that aren’t in printed format) and other assorted crap so that it at least looks like we have space in our house.
2009: I guess I’m kind-of on the same page as last year with this. I got rid of a TON of crap over the past year, so this is another “maintaining” for me. I’ll leave it as above though, because I have more specific goals in mind for this year.
2010: see above
2011: ditto

8). Make more time for me. As a wife and mom, I have a full plate – add starting a new business to that and you can see how much time I don’t have. So my goal is to take a few hours sans anyone else and concentrate on me once a week (if I can swing that, but once a month is probably more realistic).
2009: This has been a lot easier since both boys have been in school. So I guess I’ll mark that as an “accomplished” too.
2010: I have been keeping this one.
2011: Oh, I just thought I was busy before…homeschooling is possibly the biggest challenge I’ve undertaken yet. It requires almost constant thought and attention on my part. On the plus side, my Loverly Husband is incredibly supportive and has both encouraged and made it easy for me to go exercise with my sister or grab coffee with a friend in the evenings. My resolution for this year is to stop feeling guilty about it!

9) Whole Mothering Center I don’t know how much we will be able accomplish this year due to external factors, but I want us to accomplish all that we three are able to.
2009: The “three” isn’t the same three as it was when this was written, and I think that we’ve done pretty well. We’re well into our 2nd year, and with the Ike evacs and BFF’s birth, the last few months have been slow, but we’re gearing up for an eventful year with WMC. So this is another thing I think I can say “accomplished” on.
2010: 2009 was rough on many fronts. I am hoping that 2010 will be a better year for WMC.
2011: I’ve pretty much phased myself out of WMC. BFF is continuing with her own plans, including starting midwifery school in Jan 2011, and I will be involved as much as I can, but it’s pretty much her show now. My attention and focus is elsewhere these days, and though I miss being in the place in my life where WMC was my dream, I’m excited about what the future now holds, both for my BFF and WMC and for myself.

10) (because ten is a nice, round, reasonable number) I can’t think of anything else, but I’m going to format this like there is an actual resolution here anyway. because it looks better and because I can. So there.
LOL – I think it’s funny that I can only ever think of nine. I did the same thing this year. But it’s edited to add the writing one update 😉

That last bit still makes me smile. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone else’s resolutions and to seeing how you fared from last year. Good luck reaching them and Happy New Year!!

Warmly,
~h