This time last year I shared my 2011 goals/dreams on The Creative Mama. Their website is currently being updated so I’m unable to link to my article, but I was able to find the list still living on my computer. I’ll admit, I revisited the list practically never after February, but surprisingly I kept to about 80% of it (highlighted in blue):
- Get new carpet.
- Turn the basement into a family room where we can all hang out, play and rest together.Turn the dressing table into a desk for Charley.
- Move the TV (somewhere, anywhere!) from the main level – create a space where family time does not have any electronic interruptions (minus music).
- Continue to create a space that is free of clutter and full of an invitation to live simply.
- Find and buy large galvanized buckets. Grow a garden. (Our spring got so busy so fast we decided to skip growing a garden this year.)
- Build drawers on casters to hold magazines, books and toys under our bed. (HGTV took care of this for us.)
- Refinish and paint the stairs. (I’ve been working on these super slowly all year, but I’m 90% of the way done. All that is left is to paint 1-2 more coats of white paint on the risers.)
- Create a unique way to display photos leading upstairs to our bedroom.
- Turn my 7-10 year old photography workshop into a book that families can do together during the summer months. (In the works!)
- Brainstorm the possibility of hosting a workshop live so that I can meet some of the 300+ students I’ve had. (I definitely brainstormed, but with many things with 503 I had to scale back more than I had planned this past year.)
- Formulate a marketing plan to book more senior photo shoots.
- Collect more recipes and be better at planning a week’s worth of dinners so that we’re not always trying to think of something last minute (I definitely took steps in the right direction, but this is something I need to continue to work on).
- Create a photo book of black and white headshots of every single person that plays a significant role in my life. (Woh. This is a HUGE one and honestly one that might not happen – or take years to do. But, it’s something I’ve dreamed of doing for so long and I’ve decided to just add it to the list.)
- Get family photos taken of us and create a 2010 book of memories.
- Return to the city where Charley was born and take pictures documenting the weekend during her birth, adoption and coming home.
- Care more for others – make unhurried visits, mail gifts, write cards, drop off food, etc, etc. (I will always be a work in progress on this.)
- Spend more intentional, unhurried time with God. (I will always be a work in progress on this as well.)
2011 was a HUGE and, for the most part, really good year for us. We had so many milestones it seemed (with house updates, finalizing Charley’s adoption, HGTV, Charley turning one, Taking better care of my body by eating better and working out, saying goodbye to Chili, Corey finishing residency and starting his fellowship, Charley turning into a toddler, tons of traveling, deciding to adopt again, and so much more.
As 2012 approaches I am feeling so excited and optimistic about life. I will never hesitate to exclaim when life feels this way because I surely have never hesitated to exclaim when life hasn’t felt this way. It’s just nice to feel like I am in a place in life where I really feel like I’m thriving; as a child of God, a wife, a mother and an entrepreneur. I am seeing more so now than ever before the Lord’s kindness and grace. I am a hot mess, people! So it’s freeing for me to feel confident with the strengths God has given me and humble in my weaknesses (which feel like they outweigh my strengths most days). I don’t have quite as long of a list for 2012, but I definitely have some high hopes and goals for myself and my family.
- Finish stairs (just do it already!)
- Paint and re-install railing
- Paint chest of drawers in babe #2′s room
- Learn InDesign
- Design kid’s book
- Research finding office space outside of home
- Build and launch —— (it’s a secret ; )
- Connect in-person with more photographers (starting in just a few weeks now that I’ve talked my web-only-for-now-friend, Gail, in to coming to hang out in Cinci for the weekend! ; )
- Organize our lives so that less “multi-tasking” takes place*
- Take an adventurous trip!
- Become a family of 4 (eeeek! sigh … hooray!)
- Remind myself more often that I am nothing without God and that I make really terrible decisions when I don’t consult Him first. These two things always fuels my fire to spend more time with Him.
*I’ve realized just recently that our daily schedules aren’t really working out for us right now. This past year from about January to September being a work-at-home mom was incredibly difficult. Now, it’s completely impossible. I can sort of make it work when Corey gets home at a decent hour (i.e. 6′ish). That way we can enjoy dinner together and spend a moment together after she goes down and then I can work until midnight or so without feeling guilty. But, these past few months – with his fellowship in full force – he hasn’t been getting home until 7:30-9:00 (9:00 for two weeks straight!) and I’m feeling more pulled and stretched then ever. So, I’ve been spending some intentional time thinking and processing and praying on how I can make some changes in our life to make life work a bit better. I don’t have it all worked out, but I’m on the road. This, right now, is my first priority for the New Year: figuring out how to do less “multi-tasking.” I loathe spending time with Charley and hopping on and off the computer. I want to work well and efficiently and then I want to mother well. Doing the two simultaneously is kind of ridiculous to even attempt.
I started this post nearly a week ago now. Such is life in this season I’m in. I sort of snickered when I read over the part where I wrote about how excited and optimistic I am about life right now. It’s true that I am. But, still I had a quick flash to last night when I had to call our friend (who is a pediatrician, Corey was of course working) nearly in tears to come help me because Charley had a 104.2 temperature and the Tylenol wasn’t working. She came armed with Ibuprofen and reassurance that she was going to be okay.
Then, I asked Corey, as we were brushing our teeth, when this rather dreadful month (and schedule) would be over. He said – quite casually – “well, there will be a bit of repreive at the end of the month and then February is gonna suck and then March is gonna be pretty awful with two weeks of night call.” I finished getting ready for bed, walked out of the bathroom and into our bedroom, took one look at him (who was already in bed, on my side to warm it up) and burst into tears.
Sometimes life just sucks and it feels silly to feel that way because we have a roof and food and the sun shines and everyone is healthy (healthy meaning no one is terminally ill) and we have each other. But, then sometimes I dip down into my bucket and I realize it’s only got a few drops of water left and then I realize that even if nothing tragic is occurring things can still be tough. And, that’s okay. We’ll of course make it through (we’re in our 9th year of this for crying out loud!) and we will be stronger. In the meantime I’m reminded that I’m not as strong as I think I am most days. Luckily I have a God who is happy to step in and fill my bucket overflowing. I need it more than ever these days.
This morning I read the excerpt below from here and I sighed in relief …
The funny thing about New Year’s resolutions is how they can overinflate our self-image, making us think it’s up to us to make it a better year. Maybe we pledge to lose weight, quit drinking or volunteer more. And while none of these are bad, they’re typically rooted in the false assumption that we’re strong enough to do it on our own. We figure if we can just do a little more, be a little better, than we’ll earn ourselves a happier year. Exhausting.
But there’s an alternative. We can drop the whole resolution bit and step into the flood of God’s grace. We can say that today, January 2nd, we’ll rely on God’s power, not our own brute strength or good effort. We’ll believe in His love for us and quit trying to earn merit badges. We’ll be calm and open-handed, knowing we can trust Him to work through and around us. Then, instead of egos and exhaustion, we will find his freedom.
Happy January 2nd.
Perfectly said. Happy January 2nd, dearies,