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Another year comes to a close, and as I reflect on the year that has past I can not help but feel a little relief. 2013 was a full of some extreme highs and lows. I am grateful to have ended the year on a high note. I am engaged to the love of my life, in a better place financially, and all around I can say I am really happy. This didn’t come easy however. I made a lot of mistakes, some down right bad choices, lost a job, had some financial troubles,  and hurt people in the wake of it all. I learned about love, forgiveness, and myself. So as I look ahead to the new year and the resolutions that I choose to make, I do so with happy heart and one that knows no matter what life has in store, it will be the best year yet!

The overriding theme for me this year is happiness and discipline. I am by nature a very free spirit. I would never want to change that about myself. But have come to realize after 40 years on this earth that a little discipline actually allows for that spirit to be able to play. Just about everything on  my list this year was on my list last year. I begin this year better than I did last time around. But as one who chooses to learn, grow, evolve, and improve – I know these areas could all still use a bit of work. One thing that is greatly different however is my attitude going into the new year. I don’t feel guilt or a punishing feeling that I usually feel when creating my new years resolutions. This year its about extending the love and joy in my heart. Its about living my life, on my terms, and loving large while enjoying every adventure or mis-adventure along the way. You can also see the positive influence Matt has had on me. Now this is a long blog post so just sit back and sip on a coffee and enjoy. This post is mostly for me.. a way to document my goals and have something to look back on.

Be Happy

Entering 2014 I am a happy girl. I am getting ready to marry my partner in crime and best friend. I have some pretty awesome and resilient daughters who make life so much sweeter and soon we will all be a family. I just want this feeling to continue. I feel loved, I love myself, and I can honestly say I love life again. Life is far from perfect but I am learning to enjoy the ride regardless. And for me that is what I want to try really hard to do. To always count my blessings and take a moment to remember the important things in life. Sure, like most I wish I was making more money, had a few more things, a lot less debt… but every day is a little better. And I want to have joy regardless of circumstance. After all life will always throw in some crazy into the mix.

Be Healthier

You will notice for the first time in many years I did not say “Lose Weight”. I did that. Over the last two years  I lost a bunch of weight that I had been carrying around since I gave birth to my youngest now soon to be 11 year old daughter. I figure cleaning up my diet and recommitting to my workouts will have an over all effect on things like weight. In the case of diet and exercise is about balance and of course discipline. Balance in my diet. Good whole foods, lots more veg, a lot less fast food, but not completely denying myself the indulgences that I enjoy. We love to eat out on date night, have popcorn at the movies, and this year I am going to learn how to bake bread. Balance is key.

Commitment and discipline in my workouts is the next order of business. I take a cue from my fiance. His work outs are part of his daily routine. Twice daily he works out. Period. I have never seen him make an excuse that he was up too late, or worked too hard, or anything. His work outs are simply part of his day like brushing his teeth or taking a shower. I want to be like that. I am far from being there.. so today its about commitment and having the discipline to stick to it.  I have already eliminated caffeine and alcohol from my diet, been eating much healthier, and working out as I should. Off to a good start just gotta keep it going.

Be more Fiscally Sound

I like to shop. I like to shop a lot. I don’t like to save and I have been known to say “budget smudget”. This ends now. Again – taking a cue from my Matthew, who is quite good with his money. He makes a good living, saves, doesn’t buy crap he doesn’t need, budgets, and sticks to it. This allows him to buy all the geeketry he sets his eyes on, take me out to nice date nights, and all the other expense that come from dating being engaged to me. 🙂 He is intelligently frugal and yet quite generous.

I am good at shopping. I love rebates, coupons, and sales. I am going to lean on Matt on this one. He will be my budget maker and I am going to try really hard to stick to it. Along with this I am going to try and follow some leads  to look for work that is better paying and a bit more fulfilling. I am glad to have Matt as a partner on this one.

Exercise my Creativity 

I am a very creative girl.  My soul thrives when I am playing in my studio, sharing my latest paper adventures, cooking something yummy for my family, creating something with pixels, sewing and knitting, and jamming to karaoke. Life has had a way of pushing these aside in the name of responsibility and all the things we have to do. This year I am committing to make time for the things that truly make me thrive. And all this creativity is good for my soul which means its good for those I love. To my creative goals I am adding video to the mix. (I just need to get my family to play along.)

Date Night

Matthew and I have a wonderful thing – Date Night. Every week we spend time together. Just the two of us. Sometimes we go out on fantastical dates at the hottest restaurant or martini bar or even weekend road trips. Sometimes date night is netflix and taco bell. No matter what, date night is our special time. I learn something new about Matt each time and I feel closer and a deeper connection every single week. I am committing to make sure we continue date night after we are married. Family and life may not always allow for a whole night away, but even if date night is a quick bite to eat then an evening of snuggles, date night will continue.

One night I asked Matthew – “are you going to miss dating?” at the time I really meant all the crappy first dates I had to go on to find him. But he replied with “No. We are still going to date each other even when we are married!” I am sure he had no idea how this warmed my heart but it really did. And I look forward to more of our special time together. Something I think will be especially important since he is going from “bachelor” to a house of three teen age daughters in one fell swoop!

Have a more Organized and Clean home

So this one is on  my list every year. I will say that I am way better than I was a year ago. But I want to be even better. Again for me this is about discipline. Making sure the kitchen is clean before going to bed rather than letting it all sit. Coaching the kids to be better about picking up after themselves, and tackling bigger cleaning tasks on a regular basis. I think the biggest challenge for me is to accomplish this without breaking into world war three with my kids. I don’t want to be mean and resentful when my freshly cleaned kitchen ends up with popcorn all over the counter. I want a house that is lived in and loved in. But I recognize that it is way nice to have things more organized. Spending time at Matts place motivated this in the middle of last year… he is totally OCD. So I have gotten better. And since the new year I have taken a few tasks every day to get the house in order. I have also created a simple schedule that I think will help us stay on track. I have two and a half teen age daughters, I am a crafter with hoarder tendencies… my goals are realistic. But I like how much less stressful life is when you know where the scissors are when you need them and big cleaning jobs are not nearly as big when done on a regular basis.

Have a baby

This is crazy right? But it is a goal… a big one. And just about every other facet of my life will be effected by it. But I would really like to have a baby with Matthew and he wants one even more than I do. Since I am no spring chicken I would like to try to have a baby this year. Of all my resolutions this will no doubt be one of the funnest to work on.. 😉 And I hope that some of the other improvements in my life will help to make my pregnancy a little smoother.

Friends and Family

I want a happier home. And I know as the “mom” all roads begin with me. So I am going to really try to deal with issues in a more calm manner. I tend to go nuclear exploding glass bomb when dealing with certain issues. I will really try to be better. I am sure I will have some missteps along the way, but I am going to really try. The big one for me is to be more consistent when it comes to action and consequences. Again – glad I will have a partner in this one now. I also want to carve out some family time. With teens and a tween in the house we are sometimes like passing ships. As we come together as a family I want to make sure we are better about family time.

I also want to continue to connect with my family who I spent time with last summer. I have connected with parts of my moms side of the family (the Callanta clan!) and I want to continue to dive into my family. Its been years since I have seen some of my aunts and uncles on cousins on my dads side. I need to remedy that.

I also want to meet my soon to be family in law. All of this is a tall order I know, but I really hope that I can finally meet them face to face.

This is the year I will visit some friends and I want to be much better about spending time with the ones close by. (Jennafer I am talking to you…! ) I have some amazing creative friends in my life and I need to put the laptop down and make it a priority to spend time with these friends I love.

Live my One Little Word. (which you can read more about here)

And finally… I want to learn to bake bread. I don’t need to talk about the dinner roll incident of TG 2013. But baking bread is the one kitchen skill I am sorely lacking. I can admit humbly that I am a good and passionate cook. I love to cook. This is the year I will learn to bake bread damn it.

Well thats it for now. I have some private resolutions as well. Happy New Year to all. I hope what ever is on your list that you will find a year full of love and laughter and prosperity.