Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Looking back on 2014, Forward to 2015

Hello again, dear readers!! It's been a long time. The end of the year got crazy and blogging fell to the wayside. I'm back and hope to be a bit more regular, we'll see if it works out or not. Ha! If you've followed this blog for a long time you know how it goes. I'll be here for a while and then I'll disappear for a time. Hopefully this is one of those times when I am back. #crossingfingers

So, since I've been MIA for a time, I thought I'd give some highlights from the previous year. I'll be as quick as possible.

January 2014: newborn baby, twins got RSV, continued struggles with nursing

February 2014: I attended a conference for my profession in Atlanta and took the two-month old with me. Thankfully he was great, slept a lot, and nursing felt better (though it never felt "natural").

March 2014: went back to work, had to settle into a pattern of nursing, pumping, daycare drop off and pick ups, and getting to work close to on-time.

April 2014: Another trip to Atlanta, this time the whole family went. We celebrated my brother's wedding from the previous fall (they got married in San Francisco). It was a fun party.

May 2014: Birthdays! Hubby turned 43 and the boys turned 3. Hubby built our garden boxes.

June 2014: Gardening and new windows (18!!) for our house.

July 2014: Peter got sick, difficulty breathing, ended up at the doctor office for several hours then the emergency room, and finally an overnight hospital stay. Diagnosis: pneumonia. Also, failed attempt at potty training.

August 2014: Peter gets sick again, exactly a month later. Another trip to the emergency room, no overnight stay this time, but a different diagnosis. More doctor appointments over the next week, diagnosis: asthma. Also this month, I was invested as a Benedictine Oblate Novice.

September 2014: Trip to the beach! Family vacation in Hilton Head. Fun times! Boys still hate the water (although Ethan did get in the pool twice over the course of the week). Silas (now 8/9 months old) seemed to enjoy the water. Maybe I'll get one water kid out of this bunch.

October 2014: normal life, all kind of a blur.

November 2014: I turned 40. My birthday gift to myself was to stop pumping. Silas started on whole milk. (And the heaven's sang with joy!)

December 2014: Silas turned 1, the daycare did their Christmas program, and we had a quiet family Christmas at home, just the 5 of us. Oh, and Christmas miracle!! I planned our Christmas dinner AND did all the cooking. Yes, me! I know, crazy, right?!

With 2014 over I can look back in awe at what all was accomplished. How we managed to do the things we do with two toddlers/preschoolers and a baby ... I have no idea. When you're in the thick of it you just do it. Then you look back later and think, "How in the world??" I'm still kind of in the thick of it but feeling a bit more capable with each passing day. This is probably why blogging had to take a back seat recently, just too tired of the day-to-day stuff to fit in the time for blogging.

Onward ho to 2015!!

This year I am working on making myself a better person and, hopefully, in the process, my family will become better and stronger as well. I don't like "resolutions" but prefer to think of these as personal goals. (Yes, yes, no real difference, but it makes me feel better, let me have this one.)

First of all, I've heard a lot of people choosing a word to focus on each new year. This year I am focusing on the word industrious. I have a big reason why this word is my focus this year, but I can't share that quite yet. However, it fits well because this is the kind of thing that I know I need to work on right now, for a variety of reasons involving both my home and my work.

My other personal goals for this year (many fit in with the idea of being more industrious) are:

To become better organized
I need (NEED!!) to be better organized in many areas of my life. Just before Thanksgiving I completely organized my desk at work: cleaned out files, cleaned off my desk, dusted my desk, found old buried (literally) problems and fixed those, rearranged my organizational system (well, okay, basically created one out of the chaos), and set up a whole series of folders and accessible files, etc. I feel better about getting things done at work because I can see everything. In the last month of work before the winter break I got a ton of stuff done. I want the same thing at home.

I need to be better organized in so many ways. I want to organize the mess that is our basement, I want more shelving in our storage area and better/more shelving in the toy room, I need to declutter, declutter, declutter, and I need to organize my desk space and other working space. There is so much that needs to be done in this area. I probably have rich fodder here for future blog posts.

Eat Healthier/Get Exercise
The perpetual goal. One thing I realized recently though is I can't take everything on at once. That's how I end up failing. I can work on eating healthier along with the organizational thing, but I think I need to put the exercising off a month or two. I just need time to get other things in order first. It's not procrastinating, it's keeping my sanity. So I have some plans of attack in my mind and hope to institute those in the coming months.

Daily Family Prayer Time
#1 We've been slackers here with the exception of before meals and before bed with the kids. I want something more now and I think the boys (the twins, anyway) are old enough to at least listen while Hubby and I pray and eventually join in here and there. I know ti won't be perfect, but we have to start something.

#2 We need a prayer space in our home. I think this will help with some focus and helps to set the mood. This also fits in with the organizing aspect of my year. I have plans for rearranging some furniture and taking some tips from The Little Oratory for giving us a small space in our home as a prayer corner.

TV Time and Bedtime
I'm making a conscious effort this year to turn off the TV by 10 PM each night and I plan on eliminating TV during Lent this year. I am also planning on being in bed by 11 or 11:30. I've been terrible at getting myself to bed at a decent time for a few months now and the TV was a big part of the problem.

Gee, I wonder why I have a hard time adding exercise into my day. #duh

(Shhhh, I'm breaking this rule tonight just to write this post ... and to bake brownies for a work function tomorrow. << That's a good excuse for being up late, right? Oh wait, I'm supposed to be eating healthier, too. #DietAlwaysStartsOnMondays)

Read More
It makes me sad that I used to be such an avid reader and now can barely make it through 2-3 books a year. But I seriously want to make reading more of a priority this year. I remember reading in one of Matthew Kelly's books how by reading just 5 pages of a good spiritual book each day we can get through several books in a year and thus grow immeasurably in our faith (I don't remember the exact stats, but they were impressive). This extends to several things for me:

  1. Reading the Gospel reading for each day (and I found a great app to help me with that)
  2. Always working on reading a good spiritual book, even just a few pages a day (I have plenty of unread books on my shelves, plus I'm open to doing book reviews either here or at Catholic Sistas)
  3. Reading the Rule of Saint Benedict each day (I have a schedule to make it easy, can read it three times through in a year by only reading a paragraph or two a day)
That's it. Easy peasy, right. Haha! No, I'll admit, it is a lot. But like I said above, I don't plan on doing this all at once. This whole year will be a work in progress and by the end of the year I hope to be at a place where I can feel accomplished in some areas or that I'm making progress in others. The one thing I don't want is to feel like I did none of these things. 

And now I'm done. Enough talk from me tonight, this post is already crazy long. So with that, I bid you good night (or good morning?).

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