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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Year End Review: 2014

Every year I make a list of goals for myself. I've done this for years even long before blogging. I used to enjoy sitting down on Dec 31st and recapping my year and then making my goals for the coming year. This post is VERY much for myself. But I like to have it documented as it's nice to look back and see the areas in which I've grown :)

Here are the goals I had for 2014 and how I did at achieving them:

  1. Always be mindful of my #1 goal in parenting: Raise children who love the Lord and who show others that Christ lives in them: I think this is always going to be something I'm striving for as a parent. I won't know how I did on this one until I'm in Heaven someday surrounded by my children :) 
  2. Continue in our Dave Ramsey lifestyle and stay focused on our financial goals: We did AMAZING this year with this! Especially since it was a year when we traveled a ton, welcomed a new baby, and Zach actually had his lowest income year that he's had in several years. We still stuck to our financial goals and didn't stray from the "Dave Way" and I truly believe it's why the lower income didn't affect us at all! We didn't have as much saved, but we were still fine with our monthly needs. 
  3. Research and find methods to help Kye and Britt get along better and have well established consequences in place for when they argue: FOR SURE still working on this. They bicker and bother each other a lot. I do think since having Tess that they have become better friends and we deal with less arguing. I've read some GREAT articles and have been implementing many new strategies that are truly making a difference in this area. 
  4. Be a support system for people in my life that I care about and also work on building a stronger support system around me too: I think I'm a pretty good friend. I try to really be there for people when they need me and try to be an encourager to others. I hope my efforts show! I am mega blessed with a TON of great support around me. I continue to make new friends!
  5. Go through my old blog posts and make them more "Pinterest friendly" and do a better job pinning posts as I write them! Ehhhhh, I think I went back and did a few posts? I did go and put majority of my stuff on Pinterest! And I reorganized my boards to make them more "user friendly" so if you aren't following me on Pinterest... you may want to! It's a great place to find a lot of my more advice driven posts! 
  6. Be an encourager to others and especially help new mothers the best I can...possibly put together a baby wise facebook group? I didn't put together a baby wise Facebook group b/c there are already SEVERAL of them. I did chime in more often on them and try to help people. I also upped my game with response time when people contact me and tried to help as much as I could. 
  7. Do not let my own personal hurt during Leo's delivery dampen any of the joy. Stay focused on this sweet, wonderful blessing and on the people who are there with us, surrounding us in their love and support: Nailed it! I was really, really fine when Tess was born! I think everything affected me more after she was born and during my whole PPD situation. But it's all better now and I'm thankful that I did have so much AMAZING support surrounding her birth. I have nothing but HAPPY memories of that time!
  8. Train Britt to no longer suck her fingers outside of bedtime: She does AWESOME not sucking them outside of the bed. We still have to remind her but she will take them out quickly and say "oops sorry!" when we tell her to. Good luck getting her to stop sucking them in the bed though! 
  9. Write a new will prior to Leo's birth: UGH we have the money set aside to do it! We just need to make the appointment and go get it DONE!
  10. Be in prayer about our decision for where Kye should attend school for first grade and do our best to make the best decision for his future and for our family as a whole: This has been weighing SO heavily on my heart and mind this past year. I'm truly so glad we decided to keep him where he was for kindergarten so we could delay this BIG decision. We have come to a decision but it wasn't easy and either way we went I don't think I'd feel FULLY at peace about it. I do think we have to look at the "big picture" about things and do what's best for our whole family. Which is hard when it kinda conflicts with what decision we'd probably make if Kye was our ONLY child, ya know?
  11. Focus on the reasons I love Zach and let go of the little things that get in our way!  Zach and I had a HUGE year of growth in our marriage. We both really did stop "sweating the small stuff" and let SO much go that would have caused little arguments in the past. Of course it's a work in progress but I do think 2014 was a BIG step in the right direction in this area. 
  12. House Goals: Transition all new rooms, patch and paint areas to spruce up home, refinish dining table and coffee tables, put backsplash up in kitchen, put the edging around the under cabinet lighting in kitchen, and add an over hang onto the storage shed to store golf cart and Power Wheels: All the rooms got transitioned and the patching and painting happened. But that was IT for this year. 
  13. ENJOY this phase of life. Savor my days with my children. Soak up the sweetness of my newborn! I wish I had been able to do a better job at this. I HATE that I let the PPD get the best of me for awhile but I'm SO thankful it was a short phase and that I truly was able to push through it and get back to a good place. I do appreciate EVERY DAY with my babies!!! And I do think I didn't take a second of Tess's newborn sweetness for granted!
  14. Transition Britt to her big girl bed: Smooth and easy switch!
  15. Be Zach's biggest cheerleader. He works hard and deserves my constant, unwavering support! I think I did good being supportive of him. I didn't push him too hard and was supportive of all the golf he played. Which is hard for me! I do think 2015 will be a better year for him with work and I'm trying to be as supportive as possible to help him achieve his goals!
  16. Have a more active and constant prayer life and do more with my time for the Lord. This is my #1 goal of 2015! I'm already doing WAY better with it! It's hard to create a new habit for yourself. It's waaaay easier to stop a bad habit than it is to start a good one. 
  17. Be 100% there for Casey when Branch is born and really devote the time before Leo is born to being a support system for her.: I'm not sure what Casey would answer about this one but I think I was able to be there for her how I wanted to be. I LOVE that she let me help and Carter's birth truly took our bond to a new level. I'm SO thankful we get to share our experiences as mothers together. 
  18. Catch up and stay caught up on Facebook albums: Did this!
  19. Focus on God's GOODNESS in all things. Even in tough times, remember He is Good and there is goodness everywhere in everything! I've worked hard on this in my life and I am the QUEEN of "silver lining" I truly do seek Him and HIs glory in the tougher parts of life. I think I achieved this one!
  20. Be healthy after Leo is born and work hard to get back to being ME :) Blah. Healthy yes, Goal weight? Not even close. 
  21. Do a better job of keeping the kids clothing stored properly when they grow out of things and do a better job storing baby items for the next baby as Leo grows out of them! I organized the attic storage area twice. We need to have a system to make it easier to put things in their proper storage place!
  22. Finish all of my blog navigation tabs before Leo is born. Didn't happen!
  23. Help Kye have a positive transition to his new room upstairs. Was a smooth transition! He loves his new room! 
  24. Find acceptance with my lot in life with family. Find true fulfillment in my little family and get to a point of peace about my lack of personal extended family. I am in a REALLY good place with this. I have moments of sadness and longing but overall my little family completes me. I'm so thankful for them!
  25. Respond in a timely manner to questions and such on the blog Facebook page: Yes! And I have a new email that I'm also responding quicker to!
  26. Share my personal testimony on the blog. Didn't do this. I do think about it often and it's something I WANT to do!
  27. Focus on rest and breastfeeding when Leo is born...accept help and ASK for help as I'm sure I'm going to need it! I did great about this as well. I had a LOT of help (thank you to my angel MIL!!!) and was really able to focus on Tess and her needs during those early days. 
  28. Have plenty of meals made ahead of time and in the freezer before Leo is born. Also did great on this! She's 6 months old and we still have meals left!
  29. Find age appropriate chores and responsibilities and implement them for both children to help our family when we add another baby. I had Kye doing chores and he LIKES doing them. But with so much focus on Tess it kinda fell away. I do want to get back to that and have Britt doing chores as well! It's about carving out time during the day to make it happen!
  30. Do not be afraid to let go of relationships that aren't mutually beneficial. Sometimes friends are for a season and that's okay. Seasons change and friendships evolve. Be okay with letting go if needed: Sometimes I write these goals and then look back and am like "DANG! did I have a Crystal Ball?!??!" I've had two of my long-time close friendships fade this year. One due to some hurtful things that took place between us and the other due to some hard personal choices she has made that are just making it impossible for us to be close right now. Both still hurt. I'm the kind of person that rarely completely closes a door. Both would take a lot of work to mend, but maybe the future will allow for that to happen. I'm in a lot of prayer for both of them as I do love them very much and will continue to do so no matter what the future holds. 
  31. Publish 350 or more blog posts and stay closer to "real time" in my blogging: Yikes. Running 6 weeks behind and posted less in 2014 than I did in 2013. 
  32. Be mindful in my pregnancy to eat healthy, drink lots of water, get plenty of rest, and EXERCISE! Exercise didn't happen. (Does it ever when I'm pregnant?) but everything else did!
  33. Continue my daily bible readings with the kids and work on doing bible studies for MYSELF too! Did great with the kids, sucked it up with myself. I did a few small studies but didn't finish them like I should have. 
  34. Don't let pregnancy or postpartum take over my ability and desire to look my best each day! Bust out that spray tanning system on the regular :) I have REALLY stepped up my daily appearance game! I get ready pretty much every single day. Hair fixed, makeup on, and even a cute-ish outfit!
  35. Limit the phone usage for Zach and I when we are spending time with the kids...find a good balance to make sure they always feel valued, listened to, and never 2nd best to our phones. I want to implement more of a hard house rule about this but I know I personally have gotten better about it. 
  36. Make our 30th birthdays special even with a new baby! Oh we achieved this FOR SURE!
  37. Have my vehicle completely paid for and be well into the next Dave Ramsey step! Didn't happen in 2014...but did in early 2015 ;) 
  38. Have Britt night and nap trained...be done with diapers for her for good. Oh wow! It's hard for me to remember already that she wasn't in panties all the time last year! She's adjusted well to this transition as well! Very easy switch!
  39. Continue to focus on healthy eating for the kids, even when life gets crazier with a newborn added in the mix: I am pretty hardcore about my kids eating healthy. I do my best. But when a new baby comes? I suck. They get more treats and more junk than I'd like. It doesn't help that Zach does the grocery shopping and isn't as big about reading labels as I am! It took us about 6 months to get back to normal. Once I was more actively involved in the daily process, I buckled back down with them (hello...why were they being allowed to eat like 3 pieces of chancy each at church?!?!)
  40. Have lots of special individual time with Kye and Britt before Leo is born and still make time for them daily!  We did a LOT with them individually and still continue to do so. I also think we did a good job of doing "big kid" stuff after she was born. There has been ZERO jealousy issues!
  41. Make plans for a family trip that will allow our children to play in the snow. YES! It was AMAZING!
  42. Buy a gun for myself and learn how to use it!!! Didn't happen in 2014...but did in early 2015. I'm a gun owner now so WATCH OUT! (still need to go learn to use it)
  43. Read both Preschoolwise and Childwise and apply them to my parenting techniques. I re-read Babywise. Does that count? 
  44. Find an easy way to back up photos and actually DO IT. I have carbonite, upload to Facebook, the blog automatically saves all pics on google, and I have the mac backup. I think I'm covered?
  45. Work on spending more quality time with Zach's grandparents.  Sucked at this too. It's REALLY hard for me to remember to spend time with them b/c I haven't had my own grandparents live in my town since I was a little girl. It's not an excuse. I just do not even think about it!
  46. Find a non-family babysitter and build a relationship with them so we have someone we can use when family isn't available: I tried this. It didn't go so well. We had one that was awesome but she moved. I realized that trying to find a long term sitter is hard because people do move or graduate or whatever. So I still don't feel like I have a legit non-family sitter. So far, we've done okay not needing one. 
  47. Have more structured playtimes for the kids, less random free playtime. This has gone pretty well!
  48. Put Leo's needs first for the first year of life and stay true to our goals for Leo to be well sleep trained and a true baby wise baby: Oh Tess's needs def come first! No doubt that child is all the way baby wise!
  49. Take many family trips and have Leo be just as "well traveled" as Britt and Kye: She's already gone to the beach and to Orlando. I do want to take her more places this year. But she's in the car WAY more than the other two were as babies and she's a great car seat baby!
  50. Continue to have a close bond with Casey and Jordan as we all adjust to our lives with new babies: We are all even closer...although I miss the days of the 4 of us hanging out!
  51. Do not fear what the future may hold, trust that the Lord has is handled! I did SO much better dealing with fears this pregnancy than I did with Britt. Even with Tess as a newborn, I just had a PEACE about it and didn't worry about her in the same way. 
  52. Have this year be a year of FOOT HEALING. Whatever it takes...put this phase BEHIND US! Boo. I wish it was behind us. I'm gong for an MRI tomorrow actually. I'm so over it. 
  53. Do my best to prepare Britt for preschool life and help that be an easy transition for her. She has done AWESOME!!!
  54. Try not to stress over Hawaii. If it doesn't work out, try not to be overly disappointed. It worked out GREAT! We had a wonderful time! It's funny b/c when I wrote this goal I had NO CLUE that we'd have a baby with bottle rejection issues. So Hawaii was MEGA stressful for me, just not for the reasons I had anticipated. SO glad it went so well! 
  55. Continue focusing on my true friendships and make time for doing more things with my friends when I can.  That's def something i"m doing way better with in 2015 now that Tess DOES take a bottle and is on an easier schedule. I love spending time with friends and have found it's something i NEED to do! 
  56. Be the best wife I can be for Zach and show him love in the way he best receives it.  Since we recently did our love language tests I think this will be something that will really develop a lot in 2015. I do think 2014 was a big year for our marriage and having Tess actually brought us closer together than ever before. I guess when you are outnumbered you become a team!
2014 was SUCH a great year and I think I did well on my list of goals. Having a new baby really throws so much out of the window, especially when it was a difficult adjustment for me. I think I still achieved a lot of what I was hoping to accomplish in 2014 and that I will do even better in 2015!

You can see my past yearly reviews here: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008!

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