Goals and New Beginnings

New Year’s Day at our house was actually pretty awesome, even if Drew and I were still recovering. I made special meals that everyone loved (ok, I’ll be honest- Drew did NOT love the sauerkraut, but he DID eat a bite because he loves me! And he thoroughly enjoyed the rest!), and we spent a lot of time relaxing and enjoying each other. It isn’t very often that the three of us are in one room just taking a load off, but we cuddled under blankets and watched a few movies- it was great.

Every January First I think about the blank slate ahead of me and I get excited. Even though I know you can create positive changes at any time of your life, the possibilities seem endless when everything is fresh and new. Like I do every year, I came up with some things I’d like to improve on. Instead of calling them “resolutions” which always seem doomed to fail, I am setting “goals”. I prefer goals because there is no end, no immediate sense of failure- just a working toward something good! So, without further adieu, I present my 2013 goals:
1. Become more patient and tolerant. This is a BIG one for me. I don’t necessarily have the worst temper, but when I get pushed to my snapping point, even if it IS rare, it isn’t pretty. I got to that point once last week, and while I had a MILLION good reasons, I don’t want my kids growing up wondering when and if their mom is going to freak out! I am reading a great book right now called The Buddha Walks Into a Bar and it has been wonderful so far. I think I can take a lot of those principles to heart as I improve myself.
2. Become a better photographer. Griffin has already grown into a little boy right before my eyes and I feel like I’ve done a horrible job capturing it! I don’t want to feel the same way about Evvie in two years. I don’t need journalistic quality photos, but there are so many parents out there doing a WAY better job than I am- even just using their cell phones!I want to make sure I am capturing the moments that make their childhoods special. I have an awesome little DSLR that Drew & I bought each other for Christmas a few years ago and it has been languishing in a drawer in favor of the easier iphone and point and shoot photos. I want to actually teach myself how to use the good camera- and use it well! In the meantime, I have decided to take part in the 365 Photo Project this year to keep me inspired! This is basically where I take a photo- even just one- EVERY DAY for the entire year. I have started a flickr account for my 365 Project if you’d like to keep tabs! http://www.flickr.com/photos/jkeeferou/
3. Cook more real food. I feel like I easily get pulled into boxed mac & cheese, frozen pizzas, or picking up a rotisserie chicken on the way home because I am tired or haven’t planned well or Griffin is demanding something FAST. There is a lot of pressure on me to have dinner on the table within minutes of walking through the door. I feel like I can do this more easily by doing a better job of meal planning, utilizing the crock pot even more (even though it IS already my BFF- THANK YOU, Betsy!!), and occasionally separating Griffin’s dinner from ours. I think I am stuck on the idea of a “family meal”, but I think Griffin is at the age where he can sit down with healthy leftovers while I take the time I need to make something more time intensive for Drew and I. I think I can also keep myself more motivated by occasionally blogging about food again. It is something I really enjoy doing and if I have a recipe in my head that would make a great post, I’m even more inspired to actually do it!
4. Get organized. I don’t think our old house was completely organized until we were getting ready to move out of it and this house hasn’t been organized since we’ve moved in. It doesn’t help that there is ALWAYS a project going keeping one room (or whole area of the house) in utter disarray. I adore our home, but the one thing it is lacking in is storage (as far as garage/ basement space). Until now, we kept everything sort of shoved into the extra bedroom, but now that the baby is coming we need to come up with some good (and creative) ideas! One of my favorite home blogs is running something called The January Cure where they email you tips on cleaning/ decluttering/ organizing every day in January with the end result being a completely put together home by February 1. I am taking this SERIOUSLY- I am over the frustration of things not being in their place! But at the same time, I am allowing myself some grace and understanding that because of things outside of my control (ie our basement being a construction zone) it may take me a bit longer!
5. Take more time for myself. I am completely drained. I know a big part of it is getting over the flu, but part of it is that I always feel like there is something I need to be doing- I never just sit and relax. Drew does such a good job of taking “him time”. I used to sneer at it- as he played video games in the evening while I loaded the dishwasher or folded laundry. But Drew also has the chance to decompress EVERY SINGLE DAY, and I don’t. Really- who is healthier in that scenario? So I think there can be a win-win. If Drew helps me just a little more with chores, and I am willing to occasionally let things go without being immediately done, I can also enjoy some time to myself every evening. Maybe I’ll watch some tv. Maybe I’ll read more, maybe I’ll craft more, maybe I’ll update that new blog I’ve been dreaming of…  but I owe it to myself for sure. Especially since a new baby is coming and once she’s here, all free time is out the window for another 6 months or so!
So wish me luck as I embark on my new and improved self!And all the best to you in this new year filled with hope and possibility!

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