Sunday, December 29, 2013

Reflecting on 2013 and looking to 2014...

I can't believe 2013 is almost over...

This was the first year that I was "mommy" the whole year.  Last new year's Jackson was just 6 weeks old, and throughout the year I've enjoyed watching him grow and learn- hitting his milestones and developing his little personality. 

New Year's Day 2013- and 6 weeks old!

We celebrated Jackson's "first" holidays of Valentine's Day, Easter, 4th of July, and Halloween.  We went on our first family vacation as a family of three (with my parents and brother also) to the beach.  And I planned for and we celebrated Jackson's first birthday!
Valentine's Day 2013
Easter 2013
4th of July 2013

Halloween 2013
Those are just some of the highlights-- we had a couple "bumps" this year, first of all being that our bad financial decisions caught up with us!  We had to make some big cuts and learn how to budget our money better.  We are still learning but things are looking better.  We also muddled our way through our first year of parenthood and came out on the other side no worse for the wear! 

My little goofball just before his first birthday

This year I do have a few "resolutions" (or goals) for the next year.  I split them into a few different categories, and I hope that I can stick to them- at least I'm going to try as hard as I can!


  • Pray more - use my notes on my iphone to keep my prayers organzied but I do need to do this more often!
  • Read more- it's been soooo long since I've been able to start and finish a book that I just wanted to read for fun.  I'm talking since before Jackson was born, maybe even before I was pregnant!  I have several ebooks on my Kindle I haven't read yet so I want to get into those.  I also want to read the bible more as well.
  • Be more disciplined about picking up after myself/cleaning house-  Seriously I'm horrible at this.  Here's what happens as far as my household chores go... I let them slide, I only do the bare minimum on a daily basis, then I'm left with an entire day packed full of cleaning... as in 6 loads of laundry, clean clothes piled up, dishes overtaking the sink, clutter on the floor, countertops covered, etc.  I know if I just MAKE myself put things away when I'm done with them, that I'll have half as much cleaning to do when I do "deep clean".  This is going to be a hard one for me but I'm trying to make it a goal to load the dishwasher, pick up Jackson's toys, and work on something laundry related (whether it's washing/drying a load or putting clothes away) every day.  


  • Spend more time alone with my husband- we have been on TWO dates since I had Jackson.  That's two times we went out and did something together without him.  Usually if we go out to eat or something we just bring him because he is such a good baby going out and such and it's easier than getting a babysitter.  But as much as we love our little guy I know it's important for us to get time with just each other.  So I'm setting a goal to have at least one "date night/day" a month.  I know financially we will have to have several date nights in but instead of putting Jackson to bed and doing our own thing (which is what we usually do, and nothing wrong with that- we both enjoy our "me" time too) but on a date night in we will have a late dinner together, play a card game, or SOMETHING to just talk and reconnect.  
  • Sleep train Jackson-  As of now and pretty much since he was 5 months old Jackson sleeps anywhere from 2-5 hours in his crib until he first wakes, then he sleeps the rest of the night with us.  It really has worked out well, we all get enough sleep this way and Jackson has never had to "cry it out" as it has been often suggested to me that he does.  It hasn't hurt our marriage or "alone" time or any of that-- basically this arrangement works and has been working so we haven't been motivated to change it.  BUT sometime this year we hope to conceive baby #2 and two things I would like to happen before I get pregnant (or as close to as possible) is that I would like Jackson to be weaned and sleeping in his own room all night.  It won't be good for his sleep if he's in bed with us with a newborn waking up every two hours and I also don't think that tandem nursing is for me.  Jackson has cut down on frequency of breastfeeding so I don't think weaning will be a problem.  As for sleeping in his room all night, I know that it is probably going to involve a good deal of crying at first but I am ok with that now that he is older.  I believe he understands that we aren't abandoning him or anything.  And he is ABLE to fall asleep on his own at the beginning of the night, so I know he CAN put himself back to sleep too.  I'm not necessarily going to night wean, at least right away, but I think if I can get him sleeping in his room through the night that he will naturally night wean.  He only nurses at night now because he falls asleep fastest like that (so for comfort) and because for the second half of the night I'm right there and he has easy access.  We have been putting it off for a while now because of my own laziness.  It's just EASIER to get him, nurse him, and have him in our bed the rest of the night.  I'm setting a "deadline" though for myself to start this process before he turns 18mo.  So by May 1 we need to get this ball rolling (if not before!)
  • Stop preventing pregnancy-  Sometime this year :)


  • Get our emergency fund together (and check off that first Baby Step!)
  • Start our debt snowball (this will be possible after we get our tax return)
  • Sell one of our vehicles- things have worked out so that we CAN still keep the Jeep and save some money each month, that said we technically have three cars right now (though one is still being worked on) so we obviously don't need three.  We are hoping to either sell the Jeep and get out of the payment OR sell our other car and use the cash for our debt snowball.  We will probably list both here in another month or so and see what goes quickest!
  • Pray about my job situation-  I am going to be applying for full time teaching positions this year again.  We are also considering me possibly going back to subbing (as much as I HATE to) because I was making more money subbing than I am teaching preschool right now.  So I don't have any specific goals here but I wanted to spend more time praying about it- praying that if it's God's will that I will get a contracted position (which even though I'd rather not work full time it would be a huge financial blessing to us and we would be able to get out of debt MUCH faster), and if not then that I am able to make the right call as to whether I should go back to subbing or continue teaching where I am now.

  Whew! ok yeah so that is quite a bit but hopefully it's not too much!  As always I'll keep updating on everything on here! :)

Happy New Year everyone!!!

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