Welcome, 2012!

Ever since we bought our home we've made it a tradition to take a picture in front of the house on New Year's Day. I think it'll be really neat to be able to look back and see how our home and family have grown and changed over the years.






Our family is very happy to welcome 2012. 2011 was such an intense year; it was the best year of my life and the worst year of my life all mixed up in its 365 fly-by days. It was a year of joy, sadness, excitement, and fear. I'm generally a fan of roller coasters but I've gotta say I'm ready for a much more low-key and drama-free year! As we sleepily rang in the new year last night (in our pjs watching episodes of Cougar Town -- we are pretty wild, right?) we dared to resolve for a year free from any and all hospitals. Lord please help us keep that resolution!

Speaking of resolutions, I thought I'd take a moment to revisit last year's, since most of them are getting rolled over to this year. :)

1. Structure, structure, structure! Find and keep it.

HAHAHAHAHA! HA! HA. What was I thinking, exactly? My life is pretty much the opposite of structured right now and I've finally accepted that it is what it is. I have two little tykes that apparently don't like structure so I'm learning to just go with the flow more. Some days I look around my house and feel so stressed out because even though it feels like I've been cleaning up after kids nonstop for hours it looks like I'm actually making negative progress. So while I do want to get more organized with my time I am also trying to stay realistic.

2. Read my bible every day, and be deliberately prayerful for others.

I have grown in my faith a lot this year. Rick and I were following a daily-read plan but when I went into the hospital when I was pregnant with Harper we got out of the swing of things. We read Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings and 2 Kings. We have also been studying Galatians in our small group. I started going to BSF in August and it has helped me grow in my studies tremendously. We are covering Acts and Hebrews and it is so in depth. Some weeks I feel discouraged because I'll get behind on reading every day, but the accountability of weekly discussion and the encouragement from fellowship has been SO great to help me to stay on track. And the study is such an awesome tool for parenting because they also have lesson plans to discuss with your kids as well as your spouse. Needless to say, 2011 has been a year that has brought me closer to God for many reasons and I'm very thankful. It's almost like it was His plan or something. ;)

3. Read to Harrison every day. And take time to read more for my own benefit, too.

He didn't really have the attention span to sit down and read a book with me until just recently, but now he's really into books! He will even narrate the page before I read it and say complete sentences about each page. So much fun! I also managed to read a few books for myself. Most of them were read when I was on bed rest and when Harper was brand new and nursing constantly. Lately reading has kind of taken a back seat to my bible study (and playing on my phone if I'm being honest :)) but I want to get in the habit of reading again because I love it. Rick got me a Kindle for my birthday last year and that makes it easier to always have a book on hand. Here is what I read in 2011: The Help, Water For Elephants, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay, Firefly Lane, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Heaven is For Real, On Becoming Babywise, The New Strong-Willed Child, Parenting with Love and Logic, and Happiest Baby on the Block. I burned myself out reading parenting books (which none have really helped and many contradict each other) and I'm ready for some fun reads again.

4. Revive the Cleaning List.

Haven't done it. I think about it every single day when I'm frustrated about the state of my house. I need to sit my butt down and just do it so it can stop occupying space in my brain! That is my goal for this week. Somebody hold me accountable!!!! :)

5. Organize the house and get the Toy Situation under control.

Ha. We did turn our formal dining room into a play room, but the Toy Situation is far from under control. I should seriously go take a picture of what it looks like right now. It is SCARY. I'm in the process of going through all of the toys and cleaning out some to donate to make room for round 2. I also have plans to revamp the space and make it more fun. I want to paint the armoire, shelves, and toy box and make vinyl labels for the storage bins. I've got a few other decorating projects brewing in my mind that I want to try in there as well. As for the rest of the house, I'm so itching for change! There are so many things I want to do around here but unfortunately they all require cash. BOO. I did give our laundry room a makeover a few months ago -- I'll have to post about that sometime.

As for any other goals, we're keeping it pretty simple this year. I want to make healthier things for dinner. We want to trim the budget as much as possible. We want to avoid the hospital. We want to enjoy each other and our kids more and not take this precious time for granted!

Happy New Year, friends!


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