Stefani's most-fantastical-reads book montage

Crooked Kingdom
Six of Crows
Yellow Brick War
The Wicked Will Rise
Charm & Strange
Their Fractured Light
These Broken Stars
Big Little Lies
I'll Be There
Red Queen

Stefani's favorite books »

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What lies ahead...

I expect 2013 to be a year of change for our family. Derek has just barely gotten his feet wet at his new job, our house is for sale, and the floor plans are set for our next home. We have two children to focus on raising, both at completely different points in their development and, as Cohen gets mobile, I do believe we will have our hands {very} full around here. There are some changes that I want to push for in my personal life - things that I feel like I need to do or want to do to become a better person. Addison is old enough now to call me on my bullshit - and she does occasionally. If I'm on the phone while we're driving - she tells me to quit it. If she hasn't seen me eat, she asks where my dinner is. There is one set of very aware eyes watching my every move {and another set starting to pay attention} and I realize that, if for no reason other than my children, I need to get some things in order.

1. This may seem stupid, but one of my resolutions is to Instagram something everyday. I made a photo book today of IG's from the past year and I loved looking back on all the random moments in our lives. I would like to do that again, but with more daily consistency. [Note: It's 9:10pm and I haven't done it yet today and I have NO IDEA what to snap a picture of... this could be a challenge].

2. I have to get my spending in order. I say this every year and I blow it every year because I am addicted to shopping {particularly the online sort}. I also spend way too much on groceries each month - our pantry is STOCKED and I keep buying more. I have to limit myself to the necessities and use up what we have. When we sat down and started figuring things out for the new house it became clear that I needed to cut my shit out if I wanted all the upgrades and new furniture that I've been dreaming of. So, until the new house is built - all of our extra money is getting pooled into savings so we have cash on hand for appliances, a fence, etc. Then, 50% of my left over money is going into savings each month, and 50% is going to credit card debt. As I pay off each card, I'm canceling it. I'm done with credit. By the end of the year both kids will have a Fidelity account in their names for college funds with monthly contributions of AT LEAST $50 each - more if I can afford it.

3. I need to be a better role model for my kids.

I have to get my health under control. I've had an on again, off again, on again eating disorder since high school. It's never been bad enough that I needed treatment for it just enough to piss my family off and get babysat around meal times to make sure I ate something. Now, however, my daughter is picking up on these cues from our family and she's starting to ask what I ate and when. I'm sure she doesn't understand the whole concept yet - but it's not far off. So, I'm trying to get in to see a counselor who specializes in eating disorders and a nutritionist to help with meal size and realistic portion control. I'll be the first one to say that I don't want to do it, but I know that I picked up my views on food by hearing my mom always worry about her weight and my dad always criticizing anyone who was overweight. I don't want to put my kids through that but at the same time, I'm terrified of gaining weight. So I need help and I'm working on getting it.

Going along with the nutrition aspect of things is getting physically active. With all that's gone on with my spine in the last few months it has become blatantly clear to me that I need to take better care of my body. I hate working out and aside from Aqua Zumba in the summer, it just won't happen. But I need to spend these winter months doing some stretching and basic strength training and then start walking once the weather gets decent.

I also need to be a better spouse and set an example there - I tend to put my energy into everything else during the day (like parenting and  photo books and blogging and cleaning today) and Derek ends up getting zero attention from me. He's too good of a man to have to be left at the end of the line each day. I need to devote time to make our relationship stronger - even if that means giving up some things that are important to me and doing them another time. Family needs to come first - always.

4. I want to get involved in my community in a way that allows me to still be involved with my family. I want to start attending church so that my kids can grow up in a religious environment and make their own decisions about their faith when the time comes. I want to volunteer for causes that are important to me - March of Dimes, The Humane Society, and The Red Cross being my top three. I want to have my whole family get involved as well so that we can be together and do something great for someone in need.

5. I'm going to continue working hard this year to become a better educator. I've invested a lot of my time, money, and effort in supporting the changes that are going on in our district and particularly our school and I want to continue to work toward being a teacher that makes a daily impact on student lives and learning and being someone other educators respect. I'm one of the youngest on our teaching staff right now and it means a lot to me to have the respect of the people around me. I am going to continue to participate in professional development through our school, work with our ESD coordinator, continue researching best practices and teaching strategies, and trying new methods in my classroom. This goal will be a work in progress until the day I retire but I hope that someday I'll have the confidence in myself to have a student teacher in my room or to work with future teachers at the college level. I'm not there yet, but I feel like I'm making strides in the right direction.

So, that's the path I'm starting on today... I guess the first and only step I've taken is writing this all down so I can go back and remind myself when I start to get off track. If anyone out there has suggestions or feedback or wants to 'buddy up' on a particular goal, I'm game. I need all the support I can get! 364 days to go!

{and I'm totally IGing a pic of this post for my first pic... otherwise it'll be a selfie and I haven't showered in two days!!}

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