I can’t believe that another year is nearly over! Every year, my husband and I dream up New Year’s resolutions only to find that months later our goals have faded away into the business of the year. I’ve found that those resolutions, while so well intentioned, just don’t stick with us throughout the entire year. That’s why I love the concept of monthly goals. I especially need that now that we are a family of four. Life around here changes quickly, and with my son on the brink of walking, who knows what 2014 holds for my family!
Speaking of my son, the highlight of the year was definitely welcoming him into the world! I love this shot when we were in the hospital because my husband was instantly in love. Matthew has been such an amazing addition to our family. He is full of smiles, snuggles, and has a soft spot for his sister. Although there’s been an overload of joy, it has been a very busy year for us as my husband graduated with his PhD, we moved, I quit my job, and started this blog! We have treasured those little moments with our kids as it reminds us of how lucky we are to have such a healthy, happy family.
I’ve loved getting to watch my daughter grow into a big sister and my kids grow to know one another. These two have a relationship that is all their own. Their relationship is certainly changing now that my son is mobile. On the one hand, my daughter now “protects” her projects when her brother gets close by and, on the other hand, they actually play together by crawling and chasing each other around the house. I think that is one of the reasons that my son has become a much happier baby since he started crawling – he can keep up with his sister! I can’t wait to see what happens when he’s walking!
My highlights from the year have included getting to know my Canon Rebel T3i. The shot above was from January when we took our last trip as a family of three to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I was experimenting with shooting in manual which was so much fun! I grabbed the nifty fifty lens and, now, I don’t leave home without it! It was also great to capture moments throughout the year like my daughter’s first dance recital and many experiments shooting during golden hour (the hour right before the sun sets). Here’s one of my first golden hour shots of my family 🙂 It really illustrates their personalities, too. My daughter is looking off at something that’s captured her interest while my husband loves on her like crazy, and my son is staring at me wondering, “What on Earth is the lady up to now!” Yep, that’s our life as a family!
Now, time for our monthly goals! MaryAnne, over at Mamasmiles, has focus areas during her monthly goals which I adored. So, I wanted to come up with a few for my family as well:
- Gratitude: I was thinking of appreciation, but I have to borrow MaryAnne’s focus area of Gratitude because it lends itself to more applications, I think.
- Connections: In other words, treating people with respect, taking responsibility, and valuing people in your life. I couldn’t come up with the best term for this, but my hope for our family is that we continue to value others and ourselves by making meaningful connections.
- Simplicity: Again, a focus area from MaryAnne, and one that will echo through many of our goals this year.
- Prioritize: With a busy family, I want to remind myself to focus on prioritizing the most important things in our life. While I certainly mean family time, I also mean things like Doctor’s appointments, planning meals, and date nights. Taking care of ourselves will help us all to thrive as a family.
In January, our monthly goals are:
- Donations With all of the wonderful things that we have received over the holidays, it’s time to go through our things and donate what we no longer need. (Focus area: Simplicity, Gratitude)
- Family Night The last few months have been so busy for my husband, so I want to focus on bringing us together once a week for family time by playing games, building with our new unit blocks, art, music, etc. We generally spend family time on the go as we like to visit places like the zoo, parks, and our local lake, but I’m hoping to come up with some new ways to bring the family together under our own roof! (Focus area: Prioritize, Gratitude, Connections)
- Toy Rotations This goes along with Donations, but as I sort through things, I want to simplify their options and start to rotate toys. For example, I have everything food related in my daughter’s play kitchen right now. It’s literally busting at the seams. No wonder she has difficulty putting things away because there’s just too much stuff! I want to limit the area to 3 categories: Food, Plates/Utensils, and an Accessory. This way, I can focus her play (instead of overwhelming her with stuff) and help with the clutter/clean up. (Focus area: Simplicity)
- Date Time My kids are not at there best when it comes to bed time. They aren’t out of control, but they need their Mom and Dad. This has limited the opportunities that my husband and I have had to have a date night. So, we decided to try and have a date time once a month when we get a babysitter and have time together – whether that be during the morning or afternoon when our kids are more adaptable. We are also having date time as a family once a week at my husband’s work (we’re lucky that he works at a University by the beach!). And, lastly, we always have spontaneous date times with our daughter throughout the month, but I’m hoping to make this time more intentional, planned, and to start making date times for little brother as well. (Focus Area: Prioritize, Connections)
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