- Eat more whole foods. We are getting another Full Circle box of produce each week starting in early January. This will help for the first few months of baby’s life as we eat through all the meals I prepped in the freezer for post-baby life. Then once we get through most of those quick meals, I plan to develop a 30 day whole food, non-processed menu for us.
- Our big audacious goal for the year is to finish off both our school loans and car loan this year. We have over $40,000 to go but think with lots of hard work it is do-able. I want to earn more money from home this year, we will continue our amazing cash budget, and have at least one garage sale this year. We’re also prepared to put any extra money (bonuses, stock options, etc) into loans to be able to accomplish this as fast as possible. It might end up being a crazy year for us financially, but to be debt free at the end makes us crazy in the best way possible!
- We want to be healthy active parents. This means we need to take care of ourselves physically so we can take care of our darling son. I’d like to work through my health goals from 2012 that I wasn’t able to finish when I found out I was pregnant.
- Make time for marriage. Before we got pregnant or ever dreamed of doing so, we fell in love and started building a life together. I want Robert to be my first love after God and I want to always build our lives as a family and not just as parents. For Christmas, I bought us a couples’ devotional to work through this year which should help keep us on the same page and talking and reading the Word together on a daily basis.
- Keep working to establish routines at home and to make our home more and more clutter free. As soon as we emerge from the initial baby haze, I plan to slowly go through each room and declutter even if it takes months to make more white space in our house.
- Be grateful and graceful. I plan to write 1000 Gifts I experience this year like in Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts. This is about 3 items a day in a journal that I am thankful for, be it small things like baby smiles or big things like paying off another loan. It will be fun to read through my list as time goes on, especially when I fall into a slump and think that God is not working as much as usual in my life.
Remember my giant to-read-list-before-baby? I got through a lot of them but definitely not all. I had trouble finding most of Teej’s list from my library system which is odd since it’s the best system in the US currently. I will keep working to find, borrow, or buy these so I can read them.
I also hit a point in November where I was so excited about the upcoming baby’s arrival that my brain turned to mush and I could mostly just read cookbooks.
So to officially recap, with some thoughts:
RJ’s list for me * Girl in Translation this was an interesting read not totally my favorite but the main character’s way of interpreting the English language felt spot on, Glass Castle, re-read To Kill A Mockingbird, Dubliners, Anna Karenina, All The King’s Men, Pilgrim at Tinker’s Creek, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks– this was such a fascinating read, I got hooked in right away and followed the author on her 10 year journey to pursue this story, being a science person-it was exciting and reminded me of my Bioethics college lectures, IQ84.
Jen’s list for me * A Sense of the World, The Road-Beautiful book. I am a fan of distopic novels and this one is a post-distopic novel of sorts. Simple, short, and wonderfully written, King Leopold’s Ghost-I had to push through this book a few times but still was so glad I read it and understood so much more of the history of a generally undiscussed genocide of sorts, Operating Instructions after finishing this book in just two days I couldn’t stop relating stories to my husband that were relevant to my thoughts/plans for parenting.
My re-read list * And Ladies of the Club, Gilead, One Thousand Gifts, Stepping Heavenward-I consistently love this book and learn from it after every reading, Little Women what a lovely book though it was funny to be reading it when we found out we were having a baby BOY, Little Men so I jumped quickly into Little Men to be better prepared for parenting a son and actually learned a few great tips (Sunday Closet), Jo’s Boys I always love this book and am so glad L.M. Alcott wrote all three books in succession, Pride and Prejudice, Committed, Celia’s House
My baby book list * One Year to an Organized Life with Baby
Extra books I read (generally ones I had put on hold long ago at the library that came available in these months): State of Wonder – this was an interesting book, beautiful-yes, but realistic-no. I know too much about science to believe most of this but it doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. Gone Girl-Intriguing book but I can’t say I’d recommend it yet, there was absolutely no redemption in it. Game of Thrones-I am not normally a fantasy reader, but this book was great albeit long, but not overlong. Just set aside the time to read it and you’ll love it. I want to watch the first season of the show version from HBO before I read more in this series since not all the books have been written or filmed yet. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail– Great read, I’m actually excited to see a movie of this one someday though am not sure that Reese Witherspoon has the darkness to pull it off but that wise lady bought the movie rights months before the book was even published.
I read many other books about babies, pregnancy, childbirth, freezer cooking, and some mysteries for fun. I am actually glad I didn’t get through the list or even half of it because it gives me some more good reading time while breastfeeding.
Remember this gigantic list… https://wearemartins.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/to-do-before-baby-arrives-list/
Well I added more to it and am happy to report that nearly everything got done!
We crossed over 80 items off of our to do list. It helped that I set time frames for each step so we weren’t rushing to do everything in our last few weeks or even last trimester.
I feel really prepared list-wise for having a baby though I know that no one can really prepare for an infant or even the tiredness. I think I even intimidated some people with how much we got done in advance. For instance, I stocked our freezer with lots of meals and broths and other items for easy food post-baby. Some people viewing a picture I posted on facebook said they didn’t feel the need to bring any meals after baby arrives. I’d like to say, we still want to see you and would love if you bring snacks or skim milk or even sandwich materials. Even prepped meals would be easier than us having to defrost and cook something some nights, and we definitely want to hang out too! I just wanted to feel prepped myself for the first few months so I didn’t have to rely on others, but if anyone wants to be hospitable and helpful, they still can!
There were a few items that didn’t get crossed off of the list but we are okay with this and think we have good reasons:
marriage conference-we realized that I didn’t want to sleep anywhere besides my own bed third trimester
set up diaper washer-we’re only using disposables at first, so have time to still set this up for cloth diapering
set up dirty diaper holder-just need a plastic bag for now for disposables, but we have all the pieces for the cloth diaper holder
finish painting house-our toilet leaked and then our roof leaked and mold grew in our attic, so painting is on hold but we did get a large portion of the house done. And once I am no longer pregnant (as of tomorrow), I can help with painting in 2013!
massage-decided not to spend the money
get eyebrows threaded-decided not to spend the money
decorate bedroom-the moldy attic and leaky roof prevented this project from ever starting
make a Legacy Drawer-started, but we want to write a will together after baby is born which will be the basis for the Legacy Drawer
To follow up on last December’s goals:
1. Eat more whole foods, especially vegetables. –We did pretty well with this all year till the past month when we went on lots of outings and dates before baby’s arrival. We bought into a weekly produce box with Full Circle Farms for three months early in the year and have signed up for another one starting in January too. We also bought a pig from my farmer friend and are still working through that and the cow we bought earlier.
2. Get enough sleep. – I think we did well with this especially considering we’re ending the year with our firstborn child.
3. Pay off as much school debt as possible. – We are really proud of ourselves on this account. We paid off over $30,000 in debt this year! Most of it went to student loans and car and some to our HOA’s need for new roofs on each house. We’re hoping to finish the student loans and car by the end of 2013, it’s over $30,000 left but we have big dreams.
4. We would both like to get in better shape. – We didn’t do great on this goal but we didn’t get much worse either. We found out I was pregnant in early May and that definitely changed a lot of our plans, but I still maintained a healthy pregnancy and will probably write more about that soon.
5. Start volunteering at church more. – This year we were actively involved in the hospitality/greeting team, the worship team, VBS, and announcements. We had to be early to church every 2-3 weeks each month. Now that baby is arriving (tomorrow!) we have taken a hiatus from everything indefinitely as we work to minister to ourselves as a newly expanded family.
6. We have several vacations planned just for us, but we’d also like to read at least two marriage books together. – We didn’t read any books through together but we did read lots of articles and blogs and talk about our marriage often.
7. We both want our home to be a tidy, clutter free, restful place retreat for ourselves and anyone who needs. – There’s always room to grow with this one, or more white space to make in a home but I am so much happier with our house this December then I was last year. Maybe just getting married threw me off because I couldn’t keep track of where my beloved items were amidst Robert’s. I feel I have much more control of the house and generally know where to find things now. There’s always more we can declutter, but I am leaps and bounds ahead of a year ago and feel ready for baby to move in and join the craziness too.