2016 A Year Of Gratitude: Appreciating The Quiet Moments

Today is January 4, 2016 (Happy 10th birthday to my sweet niece in Hawaii!) and it's the Monday after a very long Christmas/New Year holiday season of my husband off from work (by choice!) Nobody wanted to go to sleep last night, 2 out of the 3 kids woke up multiple times after they did actually "go to sleep", and the day started way too early. I'm tired and cranky and I already miss my husband being home and am counting down the days til Saturday when he's off again. After over 10 years of being together we still really enjoy each other's company.

Today I'm grateful for:

1. This sleeping baby who's nursing on my lap so I can have a few minutes to drink my decaf latte and think about what I'm grateful for and actually write a blog post!

2. I'm very grateful that my husband has a job to go to everyday. He has a career that started as a passion (he's in the motorcycle business), he's worked hard for it and has done well for himself and moved up enough to the point where all of his good ideas and suggestions are getting heard and implemented and his opinion is being asked and put into action. And that is a fulfilling place to be in your career. 

3. I'm grateful that I am able to be a stay-at-home-mom who can homeschool my children. It's not something I ever pictured, but it's what works for our family and it's what my family needs and we are doing well because of it. It was a good change for us and my kids are happier and our days are calmer and more peaceful. I'd say we are thriving because of it. It's not always wonderful and peaceful and fun and I do have my doubts when times get tough and it's not for everybody, that's for sure! But it works for us and the rewards far outweigh the troubles. So, I'm grateful for being able to homeschool my children.

4. I'm grateful my husband's co-worker no longer wanted his espresso machine so that I could make lattes at home! There is nothing like a hot latte on a chilly morning! I've never been a big caffeine drinker because I feel too jittery til the late afternoon and have to pee a million times, so I drink decaf because I like the taste. 

5. I'm so very grateful for this quiet moment of peace, serenity, reflection and gratitude right smack in the middle of a crazy Monday morning. Who would've thunk it? Thank you for this day and for these little moments and for this life that we have carved out for ourselves. I'm so incredibly grateful. 

My Peaceful Little Breastfeeder


2016 New Year's Resolution Challenge: Set Small, Successful Goals By Making Weekly Changes

Sound familiar?

I realize that I set these really high goals for myself with unrealistic deadlines and expectations, so I have decided to look at my New Year's Resolutions in a new way. I'm not really good at starting on January 1st going full throttle into a new diet plan or giving up caffeine or sugar or something like that because New Year's Day feels too much like a holiday for me. My husband is always off work still from before Christmas and we're still in relax-mode.  We enjoy watching the Rose Parade on repeat all day long and staying in jammies, having a big breakfast, going for a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood or at our local park trail and playing with Christmas presents. Today was not much different.

However, I do want to make some changes to my life and I think I'll be more successful taking these new changes in weekly doses rather than feeling like I have to start all of these multiple things on day 1 and if I don't I have failed the whole year. GASP!

I can do anything for a week. Seven days is nothin'! I'm also not going to star each weekly goal on Monday mornings because Monday's are hard enough as it is without having to start a new weekly goal. I'm going to start on Saturdays. My goal is to get used to doing the new habit or seeing the benefits of the new habit so that I'll want to naturally roll it over to the next week rather seamlessly. A few days before the new week starts I'll pick a new goal from my list to start and I'll try my best to continue my goal from the previous week too. If I can't seem to accomplish the previous weeks goal I will at least focus on completing the goal I choose for that week, and will do my best to continue it all seven days. I plan to make a hard copy of my weekly goal sheet too with check off boxes so I can see what I'm supposed to be doing as well as see all of my progress.


The first week is making my bed daily. I'm really bad at doing this. I have a hard time with mornings. I'm always very tired and my back is always very stiff. Especially when I'm breastfeeding a baby like I am now with my 12 month old. (Hard to believe he's already a year old!!!) But the position I'm in to nurse him all night long wreaks havoc on my back.  I've been in a lot of car accidents over the years and this has exacerbated my back pain.  So I wake up in pain pretty much every single morning. The last thing I want to do is bend over and try to pull heavy blankets up to make the bed, so it's become a habit not to make it. However, I like having a nice, neat bed to climb into at night and so does my husband. Plus, as my husband said today,  "it makes it easier to dump a load of clothes to fold when it's made too"  and I agree. We not only made the bed this morning, we also folded a bunch of clothes too and even put most of them away while the kids were busy playing Legos and the baby was happy in his jumper! Bonus! Not too shabby of a way to start the new year off! We even slept in!

So week 1 is making the bed daily and folding my PJ's and putting them away in the morning. Those kind of go hand in hand. I'm REALLY bad at taking clothes off and leaving them on the floor. So I'm trying to change this really bad habit. 

I have some other ideas of things I want to add to my weekly list of New Year's Resolutions and I'm determined to make them last past the second week of January. Isn't that usually the time when everyone stops doing their resolutions? 

I'm going to start making an ongoing list of things I want to accomplish in 2016 and I'm going to update each new post with my running list. I'm hoping to create some better habits this year.
Would you like to join me?  What would you put on your list?

In no particular order:
1. Make the bed every morning
2. Fold PJ's in the morning and put them away.
3. Fold/hang up clothes at night. 
4. Brush teeth before bed. (Doesn't always happen if I'm too tired, even though I make the kids do it.)
5. Wash face before bed. (Doesn't always happen if I'm too tired.)
6. Spend 5-10 minutes cleaning, organizing, straightening our room or bathroom each night. 
7. Spend 5-10 minutes cleaning, organizing, straightening our room or bathroom each morning. 
8. Meditating each morning or evening. 
9. Start the day off with yoga. 
10. Eliminate sugar. 
11. Eliminate wheat. 
12. Eliminate dairy. 
13. Daily gratitude (3 things).
14. Eliminate yelling. 
15. Get out in nature every day and take a daily nature picture. 
16. Clean out 1 box, 1 bag, 1 cupboard  or 1 drawer a day. 
17. Straighten up/clean up, organize bathrooms each day.
18. Juice Daily
19. Load and run the dishwasher each night.
20. Wash, dry, fold and put away ONE load of laundry a day.

to be continued...

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