TUESDAY, JANUARY 4, 2011
On the Agenda for 2011
Finally getting around to sitting down and putting some thoughts, goals and hopes into words for our New Year... 2010 was not my favorite year. It was stressful and exhausting and painful. It was also full of a lot of joy, growth, and happiness. It was complicated. I'm happy to start fresh and I have high hopes for 2011. In no particular order, here are a few things I plan to tackle for myself, my family, and my home in the new year...
- I resolve to be more proactive about my mental and physical health. I eat well, take my vitamins, drink a lot of water and not too much wine. But a brisk walk without my kids on a sunny day is good for my mind and my body, I need to make it happen more. A long, sweaty yoga class is good for my soul, I have not practiced yoga regularly since we moved here 2 years ago. I need to visit the Dentist, the Doctor and the Naturopath. Would you like to go for a walk with me? Or meet me for a Yoga class? Or maybe a hike on a Sunday afternoon?
Check. Pretty much, at least! One of my favorite investments in myself this year was joining my yoga studio. Since April, I have practiced yoga here 2-3 times per week and setting that time aside for myself a few hours a week has been awesome for my body and amazing for my soul. My mind is clearer, my muscles are stronger, and my limbs more flexible. The thing that I love most about yoga is that it can be practiced by all shapes and sizes of bodies and many levels of physical fitness so even as my body has changed drastically this year, my yoga practice has not slowed. It's changed, for sure! But I'm looking forward to practicing right up until this baby comes, and I know from experience that it will help with my delivery and recovery too.
- I resolve to figure out how to compost in the desert. I'm thinking I need one of these.
Another Check! I finally got around to buying a spinning composter from a guy here in town who makes them. (If you're in Tucson and want his contact info, leave a comment and I'll get it to you, he only charged me $80, and even delivered to my house!) Our garbage volume has decreased drastically and the boys have a new chore that they are actually happy to do for me--dumping our kitchen pail into the compost bin a few times a week--they love that we're "making dirt" in there.
- I resolve to figure out how to make yogurt. Do I need this?
Fail. Maybe I'll move this one to the goals for 2012. Maybe not. We'll see...
- I resolve to get my family out of our current food rut. I really don't mind cooking, I actually enjoy it. I just can't stand coming up with new ideas, making lists and doing the shopping. Do you have a favorite recipe to share? Would you like to come over one morning and assemble a bunch of dinners with me?
Overall, I'm probably doing ok here... We had our moments this summer when I was in my first trimester, it was hotter than heck and I just.didn't.feel.like.cooking. One major (Life Changing!) addition to our kitchen was my early Christmas present from my Mother In Law--a LeCreuset dutch oven. Oh, my...How did I live so long without one of these? Since I took it out of the box I have cooked with it 3-5 times per week and dinner has never tasted so good. Seriously.
- Speaking of food: more local, less Trader Joe's.
Check, Again! Yes, I still shop at Trader Joes. Often. But, since October our family has been getting a weekly box of produce delivered from a local farm. It's delicious and feels good to be eating seasonally, supporting a local business, keeping my money in my own economy, and eating organic produce on an exclusive basis.
- Before I had children, I spent a good portion of each week doing volunteer work in my community. That work has taken a back seat since my babies came around, but now that I have a few mornings a week with 2 boys in school, I'm committing to giving back. This week I plan to head down to Ben's Bells to paint some bells. Would you like to join me? I can think of no better way to spend my time than chatting with a friend while painting bells for one of my favorite non-profits, can you? If there are bunches of you who are interested, maybe we should even set up a party?
Making Progress... I did make it to Ben's Bells a few times this year. Not as often as I'd hoped, but a few times. Our family took on a really fun, easy community service project that you can read a little about here. Perhaps the best part about our Sandwich Squad involvement is that so many generous friends have jumped on board with us that we have our own team. Early this month our family made a delivery of approximately 120 lunches made entirely by friends and their friends from our own close circle--what a wonderful feeling! There certainly is power in numbers. I also spent time each week in the classroom with my favorite 1st Grader and his classmates and that brought its own satisfaction, not only for me, but for him too.
- I resolve to shave my legs more often, put my clothes away, and stop wearing shoes in the house. I resolve to clean out my car more regularly and try to manage the paper that comes into our house more efficiently.
Um, I'll admit that in my current condition my legs are not getting the attention they deserve these days... :) But my nesting instinct has done this house some favors--there are fewer piles of things around the house and we're pretty organized! Once we finished all the construction I also had our carpets cleaned and there has been a strict-ish No Shoes policy in the house. Read here about how I've cut back on at least some of the regular paper coming into the house too.
- Now that we've sold some real estate, we can finally move forward with some plans for our current home. This week I have a meeting with a Landscape Designer, if all goes well we will break ground soon on a wall and landscape plans. There will be a re-org of our guest/craft/storage room. And some work on our bathrooms too. It's going to be fun, I can't wait!
Major Check! I pinch myself every time I look outside and see our beautiful yard...it has seriously changed the way we live. It's hard to believe that we started here... And ended up here... (You can read more about the yard project here, here and here. At some point this Spring I'm looking forward to doing one more post littered with photos of our more-mature landscaping--it's amazing to see how quickly things have grown in such a short time!) Both bathrooms were also totally remodeled, you can see Before and Afters of our Master Bath project here. We're happy to say that after nearly 3 years in this house, it's done. Now we just need more square footage...It's going to be interesting to see how a family of 5 survives in a 1700 square foot house! We're already saving our pennies for a fantastic addition but that's not on the agenda for 2012.
- If all else fails, the only thing that matters is quality time with my boys. Date nights with Papa. More traveling and hiking and playing with the family.
Definite Check. We really grew as a family this year. Papa's work schedule was more predictable and the boys settled into nice routines and friendships at school. We had some memorable trips--the boys learned to ski, visited LegoLand and the beach, and witnessed Mother Nature at her finest with a visit to White Sands National Monument--lots of new experiences and plenty of wonderful time together at home.
I think that's about what I can honestly commit to...What about you, anything fun on your agenda for 2011?
When I venture to think about our agenda for 2012 only one word comes to mind at the moment: Survival. It's about to get nuts around here! Hopefully I can come up with some more concrete, productive goals to work towards...I'll let you know.
And what about you, Friends? How was your year? Did you accomplish some goals? Did take some time to sit back and enjoy? What did you learn? Any big plans for 2012? Do share...