This is my 2nd post of the day...be sure to check out my post from earlier HERE! You'll especially wanna read it if you have a blog ;)
I know I have several new readers so let me fill you guys in. I have a little tradition (shocker! me? a tradition? no way!) where I write a LOT of little goals at the start of each year then at the end of the year I review those goals and see how I did at achieving them. What's the point of making goals if you never review them, right?
Here are my goals from 2012 and how I did at making them happen...this review will also lead me into my goal list for 2013 :) Warning...this will be long and personal so feel free not to bother reading it if it bores you! No pictures or anything exciting...just something I want to be sure to have in my blog books ;)
If you're really interested you can look back at my year end reviews from 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011!
- READ the BIBLE both on my own and as a family: Gah. I suck at this. Seriously. It's like a goal I have EVERY year and EVERY year I fail :( I did get a super awesome Bible for the kids for Christmas so that will motivate me to at least read with them. We gotta step up our spiritual game around here!
- Spend smart: Woohoo. I feel that we did so great at this! I truly did think about this allll the time and it was one of my mottos for the year. We cut back in a lot of ways and managed to pay off some medical debts (hoping to knock out the rest in 2013). It was a tough year financially in some aspects but we got through it which was great and I think we will continue to spend smart in the future. It's def one of those total lifestyle changes :)
- Continue having a giving spirit, but don't let people take advantage of it either: Also did great with this! Sometimes I give TOO much (not just financially but of myself too) and I am still learning that balance.
- Lose all baby weight and look as good as possible for Casey's wedding: While I didn't exactly lose all the baby weight in time for Casey's wedding...I did lose it all during the year thanks to Advocare ;) And I do think I looked decent for her wedding too (thank you Spanxx!)
- Raise Brittlynn, to the best of my abilities, like she is a "first born" baby: That's just not realistic. It's impossible to give a 2nd born nearly as much one-on-one attention as the first born. It's just not going to happen. However, I did hardcore focus on her schedule and did my best at giving her all I could of myself. I think she's doing great and that I have found the ability to give both of my kids plenty of quality Mommy time :)
- Use our timeshare trips! : It kinda happened...I mean we used one for Disney and it was a NIGHTMARE so we have decided to no longer travel that way anymore. It was time. It was a wonderful season of our lives and we got some GREAT deals but that kinda of travel just doesn't work well with two children. It's time for us to be more "adults" about our traveling so we may be going on less trips but they will be in better conditions :)
- Even after losing baby weight, continue with Weight Watchers lifestyle: I traded out Weight Watchers for Advocare and am LOVING the Advocare lifestyle!!! Def easier for me to stick with than Weight Watchers ever was :)
- Focus on quality time with Zach, even if it's just watching tv together at home: We struggle with this like all married couples do who have kids...but I think we have done well with going on many date nights, some alone trips together, and spend the quality time we can with each other and focus on our relationship. Our bond grew a TON closer this year and I'm so thankful for that!
- Don't spend so much time "plugged in" especially with my phone - it's there for my convenience not the callers (or "texters"): I have found a better balance with this as well. I'm still hardcore about texting (I average over 4,000 texts a month...) and am very into social networking. But I pretty much keep it for times when the kids are sleeping and I'll ignore my phone during together time with the kids and our family. Well, aside from the occasional need to Instagram a moment ;)
- Start walking again and try to do it a couple times a week: Haha. That's a joke right??? Nope. This didn't happen. I went on a couple walks over the summer with the kids but there just isn't time in their schedules for us to all leave the house and go on a walk together. Maybe once Britt drops her morning nap we'll be able to get back into this routine? Plus my toe issues have made this impossible for now!
- Go on a family trip where the kids get to fly in a plane: I'm not sure when we'll do this. I'd love for the kids to experience summer in Maine. I'd love for them to see REAL snow. We need to make plans and save for a trip like this. But we tend to always be saving up for trips for Zach and I to take alone together...maybe the kids getting to fly will wait until we're done having babies and they will all be old enough to really enjoy it???
- Put Brittlynn's schedule second only to worshiping the Lord!: Often I struggled with putting her schedule ahead of worship. We didn't even attend Sun night services until the start of 2013. Same with Wed night class (we switched off so Kye could go but usually Zach took him as I just wanted to be home to nurse her). While part of me feels guilt over this, I also have found peace about it. We attend an AWESOME church and EVERYONE has made me feel like it's okay. God understands my job right now is as a mother and that I have to do what's best for my children at their different stages. It just didn't make sense to bring a baby to Wed night services who would spend the entire time nursing. And Sunday mornings were tough enough with messing up her naps and such so there was no way I was going to attempt Sunday evenings too! We attended when we could, did our very best, and made sure Kye was always at everything possible. We were hardcore about ALL being at Sunday morning bible class and worship and that is the most important thing! I think we made it work (and I plan to write a post all about it).
- Help Kye to know all of his colors and with letter and number recognition: He has ALL of this 100% DOWN. I don't know how much of it was from me helping or from school but he's got it ;)
- Have company over more often, host events: We hosted a TON of the Parker family events and I really enjoyed it! I love our home being the place where everyone gathers and it made it so much easier with Britt's schedule! This is one goal we for sure met and I hope it continues!!!
- Have patience with Kye and focus on spending quality time with him: Did great on this one too!!! Kye doesn't require too much patience...he's pretty amazing and Zach and I adore spending quality time with him as often as we can!
- Manage LLC effectively and keep all bills and such organized: Ugh the LLC is a PAIN. But I think I've managed it effectively (we'll see when we do our taxes anyway...). I have not kept the bills organized at ALL though. Oops!
- Remember that it's okay to say no: Yes. It is okay. And I say it OFTEN :)
- Support Zach with work and be his biggest cheerleader: I did better at this, I think? I mean you'd have to ask him but as MY job becomes more involved (hello...two kids equals twice the work for me) I simply can't spend time worrying over his job too. I think for the most part I let him handle his, and he lets me handle mine. :) We make a good team!
- Have Kye learn stroke swimming by the end of the year: He is starting stroke at the end of Feb. I did plan to have him do it in 2012 but it made more sense to wait until Britt was old enough to do her swim so they can do it at the same time. Poor kid is DYING to get in the water!
- Blog regularly, do my best to stay current : I'm more behind now than I've EVER been but I'm just trucking along and not worrying about it. I blog almost daily and I love it. I want to keep up this trend for sure!
- Do a better job with brushing Kye's teeth twice a day and washing his hands after going potty: We suck at getting Kye to wash his hands after he goes potty. Are we gross or whhhat???? Oh well. It's legit, we admit it! Still a work in progress on that but we do brush his teeth twice a day!
- Choose to be happy each and every day: It's a nice thought and idea and sounds good saying it. I believe that happiness IS a choice but there are some days that it's a LOT harder to choose it than others. I had a lot of those "hard to be happy" days this year and I learned that it's okay. You can't force yourself to get over things. Or move on. Or be okay. Some stuff in life sucks and it hurts and it needs to hurt to be able to move forward. I do choose happiness as often as I possibly can though :)
- Be a living example of Christ and His love for us: Not to toot my own horn or anything b/c I'm farrrrrr from being Christ by any means but I do think about this a TON. Kye and I talk about it a lot and about how our goal is to be like Jesus. I want to be like Him. I want others to see Him in me. And I think many people do? At least I have had more people commenting to me about my relationship with Christ more than I ever have in the past. I may not be doing as well with reading the Bible as I need to be, but I'm still doing my best to light my light shine for Him!
- Take the kids outside to play on a regular basis Hahaha. I know myself so well. It's funny that I have to MAKE going outside to play a goal. THEY did go outside on a regular basis...it's just usually with Zach and not me ;) It works out well for him to take them outside in the evenings while I cook dinner.
- Be optimistic, don't complain: Do you like to hear people complain over and over? Of course not! So I have tried SUPER hard not to be a complainer. I have my occasional vents to my close friends and family and then I try to not bother others with it. I'm not one of those who vent it all on Facebook all the time and even on my blog I try not to complain about stuff often. I struggle with being optimistic. I'm naturally a pessimistic person. It's something I have worked on since I became a Christian 9 years ago and will probably have to continue to work on for the rest of my life :)
- Spend less time focusing on the people in my life that "should" care about me yet don't and more time focusing on those that don't have to care yet do: I could fill a book with this response. When I wrote this goal I had NO CLUE how much this would come to describe my entire year. It was the THEME of 2012. I'm so thankful for those people who "don't have to care yet do." They have become my lifeline and my rocks and my support system. I'm also thankful for "those who should care yet don't" because they have taught me so much this year. About myself. About true love. About what is really important in this world. It was a year of personal revelation and growth for me and for that I'm grateful.
- Discipline with love, never anger: While I haven't finished "Shepherding a Child's Heart" the book REALLY did help me so much. My job as a parent is to teach GOD to my children. I try so hard to have every action I take to have meaning with them and for it to be something that shows them Christ's love. Even when I have to discipline. I have realized I'm SO much more patient in times of discipline than I thought I could be and I have found that taking a min to allow both myself and Kye (as Britt is too young to allow for any time before discipline as she'd forget!) to cool off before disciplining has helped us BOTH in this area!!!
- Pray multiple times a day and truly have a conversation with God: I don't pray as often as I should but I have made EVERY prayer count. When it's my turn to pray with the kids I TRULY pray. I talk to God. I show them what a true relationship with Him is. I also have a better understanding of the Holy Spirit now and know that the Holy Spirit is interceding for me and that my every thought goes to the Lord whether it's in the form of a formal prayer or not :)
- Don't lay out in the sun so often and when I do wear sunscreen EVERY time: I am the palest I've EVER been. But my skin is healthier because of it! I didn't soak up the sun hardly at ALL this past year and I am def glad for it. I want to look great as I age and I know avoiding sun exposure is part of that!!! I also wore my sunscreen like a good girl should!
- Breastfeed Brittlynn until her first birthday Did it!!! Actually nursed her for longer than that even :)
- Swim more often: It's hard for me to remember how often I swam and how that compared to how often I swam the year before? But our pool DID get put to good use a TON in 2012!
- Get my skin in the condition I really want it to be in - get melasma handled: Since I did nurse Britt for so long that's something I couldn't actually work on until 2013 but I am doing it now! I went to the determatoligist and have invested in some prescription strength cream and...it's WORKING!!! yay!
- Encourage other mothers and be a source of help for them on their parenting journey : This is my mission field :) God blesses us all with talents and I have found that through my blog and other social media outlets I'm able to really reach a lot of moms who are looking for help. I love it. Truly. It fills my heart with so much joy when I have the opportunity to help someone in a time of need!!!
- Try my best to stay current on facebook photo uploads: Ehhhh. I'm on JULY of 2012 haha. Guess I sucked at that one! Now that I have a new computer AND faster internet I'm hoping to do better at it!
- Go visit Dad more often and make more of an effort to stay in touch with him: We tried. We really did. It just never worked out for us to go for a visit. It's been over a year since our kids have seen my dad. Thankfully he gets email updates about the blog so I hope he reads them and stays in the know about what the kids are up to :) I know Kye talks about his Grandpa a lot!
- Take the kids to see snow for the first time: Well...it wasn't LEGIT snow but they got to see it and play in it and LOVED it!!!!
- Have special time with each child individually : I think we do an awesome job at this. I know it'll get tougher as we add more kids to the crew, but we'll find a way! We both love and adore each of our children and getting to spend separate time with each of them is so special!
- Continue to pay down debts: YES! Our spending smart has paid off and we are down to just ONE medical bill left (at least for now...haha)! Hopefully we'll be able to start saving more for retirement or pay more on our house, or decide some other way to use our funds rather than having to pay medical bills ;)
- Put Zach's happiness before my own: I'm humbled when I read that goal. Did I do well with it? You'd have to ask him. But I feel like I failed at this :( It's HARD to put someone elses happiness above your own...even when you love them more than you love yourself.
- Make some dang blog books!!!: I only made ONE in all of 2012. BUT I just made 14 more a couple days ago :) 14! I'm not caught up all the way to Jan 2012...def a goal to be added on the goals for this year!
- Keep my car clean: What defines clean??? I do a decent job of cleaning out the trash and junk inside of it and I have pulled through the gas station car wash on occasion. So I guess I'm doing okay with this?
- Get back going with Stella and Dot: I decided NOT to go that route. I never made ANY money with it and it cost a LOT to stay with the company. I'm thankful Danielle showed me Advocare. Not only because it helped me and my family to lose weight and get healthier...but also because it's given me an AWESOME side income to help our family pay off those debts (and afford all these dang blog books haha). I plan to continue on with the Advocare journey and see where it takes me!
- Focus on living a full life and making wonderful memories: Yes yes yes!!!! I'm proud to say I FOR SURE live my life with this always at the front of my mind!!! I love making fun memories with my sweet family and it truly is what life is all about to me :)
- Be a good friend, especially to those that are such good friends to me!: This is another one of those where you'd have to ask them??? I appreciate all of my friends so much but Robyn has especially gone above and beyond for me this year. I hope she knows I'm also always there for her! Luckily we have pretty much been trading off our tough times so we can be there for each other during them since we aren't dealing with tough stuff at the same time ;) Casey and I have also gotten a lot closer this year and I love the deeper friendship we're developing! I also have focused more on those deeper connections I have with a few friends rather than spreading myself thin with a LOT of friends. I'm still working on that balance but I feel like I'm getting there :)
- By the end of the year have the outside of the house complete: stain fence, stone around back, stain porch, plants in back, oak tree in front, front porch done, pool furniture, playground, bench storage, and back porch furniture: Zach completed all of the following: stained the fence, stoned the back, pool furniture purchased, playground bought and installed, bench storage built, and is just finishing up building a backyard table. His goal before Kye's birthday is to put plants out back. I plan to do a blog post on all the awesome home improvements he's done lately! I'm not sure if we'll do the oak tree thing or not? Guess we need to talk about that!
- Cherish the wonderful moments of motherhood and don't beat myself up when things don't go my way: The transition to two was rough for a couple months but then I got into a groove and honestly it wasn't that big of a deal anymore. I do think I'm more relaxed...not so much in their scheduling or stuff like that, but in the way I view myself about things. I have come to realize that I am NOT a "natural mom" and I think that knowing that about myself makes me an even better parent. I have to study. I have to work hard. I have to put a lot of effort into being a good mom. So I do it! And I love it! And I have NEVER once doubted that I am a good parent. I can say it with confidence because I work my butt off to be the mom I am :)
- Reach out to people who aren't baptized believers, especially those closest to me: Well. Those who were close to me who weren't baptized believers have, for the most part, decided to no longer be involved in my life. But sometimes distance and space can in itself be an example. I have to pray that those people can one day see that.
- Do a better job of making sure Kye has vegetables for at least lunch and dinner: It was tough for awhile. My lunches for him got a little slack BUT I have recently changed that. I'm telling you...I'm VERY motivated by a new year :) Post to come for sure!!!
- Be company ready at all times...with a clean home and presentable appearance: Phhhhhhhh. Yeah right!!!! The appearance thing is WAY better now that I'm done nursing b/c I actually get dressed and put make up on most days :) Our house can be company ready in 20 in or less so I just do what I gotta do when someone tells me they are stopping by ;) Everyone knows me well enough to know you can't just come without notice haha! I do hope to make this more of a priority in 2013 though!
- Back up all pictures and important computer files: I'm also doing better at this. Now that I've switched computers I have to re-learn how to back everything up. But I didn't lose anything in 2012 which is good!
- Keep growing and learning in all areas of life - as a wife, mother, and daughter to God: 2012 was the YEAR of growing and learning. And yup, I grew and learned in ALL areas of my life. I'm so proud of my growth. I am a different person sitting here today going over this list than I was when I sat to write it a little over a year ago. That's something to be proud of :)
- Try to take the kids somewhere at least once a month so they can be well traveled: We didn't travel as often as I'd hoped we would. But we did travel a decent bit with the kids. I want to make that MUCH more of a priority this year. I want it have the theme of 2013 be Having FUN with my little family! I want go and do and experience things together more than we did in 2012. Now that Britt is older it's a little easier and I'm excited to see what is to come!
Overall, I have to say that I did pretty awesome in 2012 with my goals :) I achieved many of them during the year and several more at the beginning of 2013. I also think I did a good job of not stressing over some of the goals I set for myself and realizing that some of them weren't that valuable. I saw where things in my life needed to change, and I changed those areas. I also was given the opportunity to truly focus on the areas of my life where I am SO blessed and have found a new drive and focus to really make those areas shine in the coming year.
This was probably one of the biggest years in my life for personal growth and I appreciate so much that all of you were there with me through the process :) It means so much to me to have gained so many new readers and blog friends this year and to make some really awesome connections with you guys. I feel that the best is yet to come and that 2013 is already off to an INCREDIBLE start!!!
How did you do on your goals from 2012? Any new hopes for 2013?