Hello everybody! Sorry I've been such a bad blogger - let's do some catch-up, okay?
Over the holidays, we took a big family vacation up to Minnesota. We had an absolute blast for our first White Christmas. I planned lots of fun, winter activities that we don't get much chance to do here in Austin - like sledding and ice skating. I'll probably write up a little post about the trip and some of the ways we saved money. It took a lot of planning and a fair bit of stressing (I don't live in a climate where I have to ever worry about getting stranded in the blizzard in my car - almost happened, by the way) - so it's nice to be back and get into what I usually plan and stress about - house projects!
I also got a promotion at work! For the first time since I had my son, I feel like I'm in a good place career wise - making good money and being fulfilled at the same time. I cannot stress what a difference being happy at work makes in the rest of my life.
We went to a friend's house for New Year's Eve and the boyfriend decided to be the Designated Driver, which resulted in me partying - hard. Which then resulted in me being very hung over and in pain (I actually fell down drunk - klassy), and sleeping most of the first day of 2013 away. So the new year officially starts tomorrow for me. I've got quite the list of goals for this year:
Start working out
I know, it's obligatory and a cliche, but I've done a good job in the last couple of months of changing my eating habits. I don't ever want to be one of those women who's always on a diet, or always restricting myself. I believe that eating well is eating good food in the right proportions. I am guilty of enjoying food too much - eating big portions and going in for seconds. And eating too late at night. So, I've been working on that and I also cut my addiction to Coke - which was bad. I feel 100% better since I stopped drinking it. I used to think my body needed the caffeine, and made excuses since I don't drink coffee that it was somehow okay, but I have much more energy now that I'm not dependent on my sugary soft drink fix a couple of times a day. So now I'm going to take it to the next level and get on an exercise routine. I don't have any huge goals (lose so much weight by a certain date), because that usually leads me to stress out. Just do better and hopefully see some results.
Be a better housekeeper
I've never been a great housekeeper, but when I was working such hellish hours at my last job, I really let a lot of things go, and the house has become really cluttered. So I'm going to focus January on de-cluttering and organizing, and then get back into my daily chore routine (instead of saving it for the weekend - really, who wants to clean on the weekend?).
Stay on budget
With my new salary at work, I had the dream that extra cash was going to be floating around, but that's not really the case. Mostly because we're switching my son's afterschool care and putting him in day camp for most of the summer, which pretty much eats up my entire raise. However, we finally have enough money that we're not struggling to pay bills, which unfortunately was not always the case. So, now we can actually save up, get out of debt, and hopefully be able to afford some big ticket items we've been putting off (I'm looking at you, sofa I bought to recover almost 2 years ago). Plus, we have two weddings to travel to this year and we want to take a big Florida/cruise/Disneyworld trip in 2014 that we'll have to save up for. So my Excel spreadsheet is my new best friend.
Have more adventures
We had so much fun family time on vacation, and I want to keep that spirit alive during the rest of the year. I've made a list of local places I've always wanted to go to, but keep putting off, so I plan on crossing them off this year.
Finish the house!
Okay, I seriously doubt I'll finish it - but I do want it to be in that 80-90% done category by the end of the year. I have all of my ideas formulated and will try to not keep changing them and causing chaos. Instead, I'm going to buckle down and get things done so the house stops feeling like a work-in-progress and starts feeling more polished. I mean, this last year I've been reluctant to even have people over because I feel the need to explain, "Oh, I know this wall is empty right now, but I have a big art project planned" and "I promise I have good taste - this is just our make-do solution." I don't want to make excuses for my house anymore - I want what I see in my head to actually exist in the real world.
Be a Better Girlfriend/Mom
I'm lucky to be a part of this family and I let them know how much I love them everyday. But I think a big part of any family's success is for the people in it to be actively involved in making the relationships better and stronger. No one is perfect, but we can always do better. A lot of times I get wrapped up in the functions of running the house (cooking, cleaning, shopping, planning, etc.) and forget to just enjoy my family. So at least an hour every day will be dedicated to real time with the family - talking, playing, making memories.
I'm going to start on that last one right now - we're about to play a board game as a family. It feels cathartic to proclaim your goals outloud (even just on the internet) - maybe it makes me feel more accountable for my own success. Best of luck to you in the new year! 2013 is going to rock!