2019 Check In

 

Well, we are almost half way through February but honestly it feels as thought 2019 has been here forever.  Anyone else feel that way? I usually don’t relate a lot to January being the longest month of the year but this year it really felt that way! Despite that, I think we had a pretty good month around here.  Nothing huge or spectacular but nothing memorably terrible either – so that’s a win!

Health wise my back seems to be progressing in the wrong direction, but I’m feeling at peace with my health team.  I’ve also been doing a lot of my own research on possible solutions (there’s not really any, and nothing is straightforward) and physicians who are more specialized in Marfan syndrome (the condition that predisposes me to all these issues).  Though my research hasn’t led me anywhere that gives me more hope, it’s helped me secure my feelings of peace about the physicians who are already working on my case.  In the last two weeks I’ve also become uncomfortable with my sedentary lifestyle that has been necessary but that has contributed to weakness and muscle loss as well as a 20 pound weight gain.  I’ve expected weight gain from the beginning but I was already 20 pounds heavier than my most comfortable weight when this all started so another 20 pounds on that makes my body feel much more uncomfortable to me.  Of course my diet has also been a huge contributor to the weight gain.  I’m not sure if there’s anything I can do about the sedentary lifestyle but I’m giving some serious consideration to increasing my pain medication frequency to accommodate some light exercises.  I’m also trying to make small changes to my eating habits – limit my after supper snacking, eating more salads and drink more water are the ones that come to mind right now.  Food has been difficult during this time because aside from my back issues I’ve also had a lot of GI issues popping up that we’ve been trying to deal with and figure out.  Loss of appetite, intense heartburn, and food aversions have been the biggest issues that has led to poor food choices just to get some food into my body.  Some of those have gotten significantly better so it’s time to COMMIT to making some changes to my habits.

In terms of my one little word and goals I have for 2019 I feel as though I’ve made a pretty good start.

  • In January I read 2 books (goal is to read one book per month): The Knitting Circle by Anne Hood and Educated by Tara Westover.  I recommend both, they were easy reads and really good stories.
  • For self care I got out of the house for an entire evening for some much needed girl time.  It was perfect and I’m so glad my husband nudged me to go when I was feeling doubtful that I should.
  • I have also made some clothing purchases! This is huge for me because spending money on clothes has been really hard for me to do in the last several years.  Making sure that I’m buying as much ethical clothing as I can has made me a lot more mindful of how and what I purchase.  Instead of just going out and checking items off my list to get it over with, which is what I would have done in the past, I am researching and thinking about decisions for days (sometimes weeks) before making a purchase.  Given that these items are much more expensive than fast fashion items I’m also going to be trying to take advantage of discount codes and sales which makes the process slower as well.
  • I have yet to get started on any new hobbies which actually makes me irritated with myself.  I have everything I need to start sewing and for some reason (fear of failure? Not wanting to go through the learning curve? Wanting things perfect on the first try? Having no one to hold my hand? All of those things most likely) I haven’t yet started.  I’ve made a lot of excuses that are truly not valid, so it’s time to just COMMIT.
  • The transition to plant based has been up and down.  I’ve tried more vegan products and meals and have enjoyed them but I’m not making any huge drastic changes (see above paragraph haha) beyond picking up new vegan food items each time I go to the grocery store.  I know it’s a long drawn out process but it seems more sustainable to me than doing an all or nothing approach.
  • One thing that’s not on my goals list (because every year I add it and every year I fail miserably) but that I’ve finally made the jump and COMMITTED to is a budget. This will probably be a whole other blogpost but I’m feeling really good about it and feeling much more in control and at peace with my finances and it’s only been a couple weeks!

OK, this is a lot longer than I anticipated! I don’t know if I can keep up a monthly check in but I think there is value in taking some intentional time to look at where I am versus where I want to be.  Seeing the small steps I’m already taking is encouraging and takes away some of the overwhelm I often feel when thinking about big goals.

Tell me how your 2019 has been going!

One Little Word 2019

It’s that time again!

I was finding it really difficult to think about what word I was going to pick for 2019.  The obvious one would have been something related to health but honestly I’m ready to not have 100% of my life focused on my health.  Of course that’s always something that’s on my mind but 2018 was bombarded with it and it’s just enough, you know?

The last couple months I’ve been acutely aware of something I struggle with.  It’s not something I’ve ever pinpointed as a weakness in my life previous to the past couple months.  I struggle with committing to and finishing things.  It’s typical of me to start something really strong and passionately and it’s uncommon for that commitment to last any large length of time.  It’s beginning to be something that I lament and wish was different.

So.

2019 is the year to COMMIT.

When I am about to embark on something – whatever it may be – I will be committing to see it to completion or commit to a specific length of time depending on the situation.  Of course, as is the case every year with my One Little Word this will take on it’s own life but I look forward to seeing where it will take me.  I am looking forward to the growth I’ll experience and the further insight into my inner workings.

On top of my One Little Word I’ve come up with a “Bucket List” of goals for the year.  Today as I was driving home from an appointment I began to feel the pressure of a New Year.  Being on social media there are a plethora of posts all about goals, resolutions, and hopes for the new year and all of them great.  I tend to feel pulled to include everyone else’s goals in my goals because of course they seem like great ideas! However, I realized today that just because a goal is a good thing for someone doesn’t mean it’s a good thing for me in this moment.  So, instead of adding to my list today like I was tempted to I left my list as it was last week when I wrote it.  I’m going to enter 2019 with an overall intention to be the best I can be each day.

So with my One Little Word of COMMIT and my intention to be the best me I also hope to check each of these things off my list:

  • Invest in hobbies – don’t be afraid to spend money on a hobby.
  • Learn two new skills/hobbies – hoping for it to be sewing and pottery.
  • Show gratitude and be generous in everything – keeping with my hope to be abundant minded.
  • Invest in relationships – put myself out there instead of shy away from the commitment.
  • Go away on a date weekend at least once – I hope twice.
  • Do more exploring with the kids – mountains will be visited more often.
  • Read a book a month – starting with Educated by Tara Westover.
  • Transition to mostly plant based – been feeling this shift for the last 4-5 months.
  • Invest in clothes – I have two pairs of jeans, a handful of layering tanks, a couple sweaters and that’s basically it apart from my pyjamas and sweats.  It’s time to make this change.  It will be largely ethically made or homemade clothing and I’m going to be checking off this list:
    • 2 Jeans
    • 2 Lounge pants
    • 5 Tanks
    • 2 Blouses
    • 2 Casual Shirts
    • 2 Long Sleeves
    • 2 Sweaters
    • Undergarments
    • 1 pair of runners
    • 1 pair of sneakers
    • 1 pair of Birkenstocks
    • 1 pair of Rainboots
    • 1 pair of Winter boots
    • 1 pair of dressier shoes – I hope Poppy Barley
  • Do one self care act a month – could be something I spend money on or could just be an afternoon away from the kids.

That’s it.  I feel like I’m keeping it fairly simple and attainable – maybe I’m getting the hang of this!

Happy New  Year friends.  I pray that 2019 is everything you need it to be.  If you are using a word or setting resolutions or goals I would love to hear them!

2018 Goals and Intentions

So now that I’ve reflected on 2017 and I’ve chosen my one little word for 2018 I thought it was time to set some solid goals and intentions for the year.  I’m not planning on setting any huge goals, or having a million intentions and goals.  I’m trying to keep it very simple but I do like to have something laid out to guide the year, a plan of sorts – Type A personality at it’s best!

I’m letting my word ABUNDANCE guide my intentions and goals for the year.  This year is going to be very big and busy for us.  For the first time in four years we will be a two income family, we have a lot of catching up to do financially and so that is a huge part of what our year will be as a family.  I’m feeling seriously conflicted about this part of our year (I’ll be blogging that soon!) and so in an attempt to release some of that stress I’m really trying to establish some healthy practices that will help me cope with the busyness and stress and that is what my intentions are born out of.

I sat down and wrote out some intentions for my Body, Mind and Soul.  Here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • Body – I intend to place value on my body, to love and nourish it and treat it with respect by:
    • Eating food that fuels and benefits my body.  Stop sabotaging my health and wellbeing for the short term satisfaction of eating food that does not benefit my body.
    • Starting to move my body daily.  Do activity that I enjoy and builds strength.
  • Mind – I intend to grow my mind, to slow the negative inflow and replace it with positive by:
    • Stopping the endless scrolling.  Put my phone down, engage in the present moments.
    • Decluttering online.
    • Reading and writing daily.
  • Soul – I intend to recognize my soul as a valuable and meaningful part of my being, to nourish my spiritual being by:
    • Daily Bible reading.
    • Daily prayer/meditation.

I really think all of these intentions will be very beneficial to my wellbeing in 2018.  I feel like I’m at a bit of an advantage in being able to anticipate my struggles as I return to work and the busyness of work/life balance since this is the second time!

My goals are small, and I think attainable.  I hope to achieve more than this but I want to keep this list short and simple keeping in mind that I’m also building a business on the side which keeps me very busy in the downtime of my days.   Here’s the goals I’ve come up with so far:

  • Have zero credit card debt and have paid down other debts by Dec 31, 2018.
  • Be 100% gluten free.
  • Knit at least 1 garment for each family member (already started on mine!)
  • Learn how to sew (FOR REAL this year!)
  • Revamp the blog to reflect current life (happening this month!)
  • Complete One Second Everyday video (LOVING this app this year!)
  • Only buy sustainable, ethical clothing for my wardrobe (and local when possible), thus beginning a real capsule wardrobe.

That’s it!

I know we are only 8 days into this year but so far I’m loving it! Have you set any goals or intentions for your years? What about a word to guide you? I’d love to hear them!

One Little Word Check In

As part of my One Little Word (R.E.S.T.) this year I’ve decided to intentionally focus on one thing each month that will help me to dig into resting.  I recognize that this year is going to be full.  With adding two people to our household – one being introduced to Canadian culture for the first time and the other being a newborn who will need a lot of care and attention – it’s bound to be crazy and at times stressful.  So resting is even more important for me this year, it will be absolutely necessary for my health in every way.  My mental, spiritual, and physical health will all need to be nurtured and paid attention to.

January I decided I would do a “spending freeze”and not spend any money beyond groceries, medications and gas.  I wanted to be able to not stress about money and wanted to start the year off with responsible and healthy spending.  Well that was a complete and utter failure.  I brought it on myself by not planning properly.  I didn’t look ahead at the month and anticipate expenses, and so necessary (and super expensive) things like car maintenance came up and because I hadn’t budgeted or anticipated for it I ended up feeling like a failure.  After that I just threw it to the wind but at the same time I always had this nagging in the back of my head.  So instead of completely giving up on my financial goals this year I am picking myself up and trying again in February.  Today I sat down and mapped out a budget that included expenses that I could anticipate.  My knitting obsession was included in the budget so that I didn’t feel like a failure when I know for sure I would give in and just go buy yarn.  I also know that I have a ladies date day with some friends that will cost money so that was included.  Lastly this month is seed starting month and I need a few extra supplies, so I built that in to the budget.  I’m ready to be financially free this year and I am determined to make it work.

Instead of just use my January goal for February I decided to keep on going and also focus on meditation as planned.  This summer I started practicing meditation in the early mornings but once I got pregnant all of that fell to the wayside.  I know that there are so many benefits to meditation and I am looking forward to including it into my prayer life as well.  Mentally I know that I will need an outlet and a coping strategy when things get overwhelming this year.  If this pregnancy goes as predicted that stress is probably going to start soon with a babe born a bit too early (although we are trucking along very well so here’s hoping the predictions are wrong!).  I know that I am going to become obsessive over certain things like pumping enough breastmilk to meet the demands of a growing preemie and getting the house ready for two new people.  On top of that I know I will be stressed about splitting my time between home and the hospital.  I am hoping that being intentional with meditation and learning coping strategies to deal with stress will help me to recognize my stress early and take time to deal with it instead of push it aside.  I rarely feel stressed mentally but I have come to realize that although I don’t feel it mentally I am still stressed and my body eventually manifests the stress in other ways.

I am so looking forward to this year, to being able to have the capacity and time to focus on becoming a happier, healthier me and in turn becoming a happier, healthier wife and mother.

Goals, Thoughts, Wishes

So I’ve shared my “One Little Word” for 2017 already, but I’ve also made a list for myself of some specific things I hope to see in 2017.  I’ve labeled the list “Goals,Thoughts,Wishes” they are 7 things that I’m going to work towards.  They are specific and I really believe they are achievable, two must have things for any goal.  I thought that I would share my list with you all as a way to keep myself accountable.  I know that I won’t nail every single item but I do hope to make some good progress on each item.

So without further ado:

  1. Home Pre-schooling – This is probably my loftiest goal by far but one that I’m really determined to do and try to do well.  Besides adding another wonderful child to our family in 2017 I’m most looking forward to spending the year with Ezekiel.   Some people keep their toddlers in daycare for the social aspect, and some make sure to put them in a pre-school.  I’ve chosen to keep him home for that extra one on one time during home-schooling and to save a substantial amount of money.  I’m currently working on researching and developing a curriculum based on where Ezekiel is at currently and where I think he could be at the end of our year.  I’m cognizant that this will have to be flexible but the important things to me is that we have variety, socialization (outings with friends, library classes etc.) and get outside to explore as much as possible so those will all be worked into our curriculum.  I’m hoping to start by mid-June depending on when this new babe decides to make an appearance so the next two months I’ll be in organization mode to get the curriculum finished up.  I’ll write an updated post before we start and maybe blog our experience as we go, there are sure to be lots of mistakes and a steep learning curve!
  2. Post-Partum Restored Health – Last year my health was so far from where I wanted it to be and although a lot of it wasn’t in my control, there are many things that are in my control.  I will be going gluten free again (this is a recommendation from my GI doctor and he wants me to do it now, so this may start earlier than postpartum).  I’m really looking forward to being home and having the time to focus on food, nutrition and cooking it was a huge highlight from my first maternity leave.  I will also try to be active each day – whether that be walking, yoga, or a home workout – moving my body will AGAIN be a priority.  This will be a struggle in the beginning given that I will be coming off of several weeks of modified rest and many more weeks of not being able to do much other than walk for a few minutes.
  3. Financial Stability and Wellness – This could be one of the bigger struggles coming up.  After 3 years of being a one income household and struggling just to keep up with it I’m ready to take back some control.  I’m researching and hoping to find a way to make some extra income this year to put towards my debt.  Luckily my husband has little to no-debt and is amazing with his money.  It’s my debt and payments that are the problem and so in 2017 he’ll be working and able to contribute to household expenses while I’ll be able to focus on paying down my debt and being smarter with my money.  I’m starting this one off with a bang by making January a “no spend” month.  That means that nothing more than the necessities will be purchased.
  4. House Decor and Maintenance – This one is big! The three years that we have lived in this house there are things that we’ve never done like clean the carpets and furnace ducts – I’m embarrassed to even admit that! I’m also really terrible at deep cleaning, I’m talking light fixtures and baseboards so I’ll be working on a list of tasks that should be completed within the year and splitting that up into 12 months to make it more manageable.  Then there are the wish-list items that may not happen depending on our budget like painting.
  5. Social – Last year we tried monthly dates and I think we only did three months – a terrible attempt.  This year I’m going to try to do this again.  With school, work and now adding another little soul to our family it will be easy to forget that marriage takes work and maintenance.  I want to spend time focusing on us beyond just our kids and responsibilities.  I’m also excited to start up some ladies nights with friends to keep connected and build a community around me.  This is something that I’ve lost over the last couple years and as I sit at home on modified rest it has been so apparent.  I’m a homebody but I also crave community and connection and I’m ready to get back to that.
  6. Family Trip – This may just be a week in the mountains, or maybe it will be a week in another country.  I have no idea but we need a trip away together.  I’m going to be spending a lot of time researching, budgeting and planning it well so that it is something we can afford to do.
  7. Gardening – My garden last year was beyond what I could have imagined but I’m dreaming even bigger this year! I’ll be narrowing down what I plant for what we actually use.  I want to plant even more flowers, get even more tomatoes and peppers harvested, maybe even sell some.  I also want to start the front yard landscaping project – this one may be put on hold or only partly done depending on budget but it’s something we’ve been dreaming of for a couple years and now that the back is more or less complete it’s time to focus on the front.

That’s it! As I wrote it out I began to think maybe this is all too much! Yet one step at a time is what gets you to your goals.  So I’ll be focusing on the small steps that will take me closer to each goal and I’ll be happy with progress whatever that may look like.

Happy New Year friends! Praying it’s the best year yet for you! 

 

Reflections and Hopes

Hello again!

It’s been a long two months of absence and I’m not about to make any empty promises of a regular return.  In truth I haven’t even thought a lot about this little space in the past two months.  Life has been stressful, more professionally than personally but it’s taken a huge toll on me.  I’m ending 2015 feeling very abnormal, very not myself and frankly it’s been a bit scary to realize how unlike myself I have become.  Physically I’m run down, I have symptoms that are vague but scare me.  Mentally I’m nowhere near where I’d like to be, I find it hard to be upbeat and cheery and some days although I don’t feel depressed I wonder if this is how depression can sneak up on people.  Spiritually I’m almost completely absent, I just don’t have the energy to invest.

Once again I find myself in a precarious employment situation, and once again I’m trusting that the Lord knows – always – and something will inevitably work itself out.  It always does.  Yet, it’s still stressful – funny how our hearts speak the truth but our minds continue to wander to the lies.

I’m smack dab in the middle of a 4 night run of night shifts and instead of sleep on my break my mind was racing and I thought what better time to try and get out in words the storm of thoughts that have been accumulating.  December does this to me, as much as I love Christmas (gift giving is my favourite) I also love the end of the year and beginning of a new one.  Time for reflection and clean slates.

In 2015 I dubbed my “One Little Word” to be THRIVE and in some ways I feel like I achieved that but in more ways it was a complete and utter failure.  I’m ok with that though, I’ve learned more and more that extending grace to ourselves in our weaknesses is far better than expecting perfection.  I feel like I thrived professionally, I owned my responsibilities and I did the very best that I could.  I tried hard to go above and beyond expectations, I learned SO MUCH and grew immensely as a nurse.  As a Momma I also feel like I thrived – not without stumbles of course, but overall I feel like that was one part of me that survived and did well.  In taking care of myself I fell flat on my face.  There was no balance in that regard – the way I fed my body was not all terrible but wasn’t even close to how I want eat.  I barely moved my body at all this year and I continued to be on a downward spiral in terms of how I feel overall.  If 2014 was the best year for my body 2015 was almost opposite – only because I now know what it feels like to feel WELL.  As a wife I struggled so much.  My husband is one of the most amazing people I know but I really struggled with having enough energy to invest in US.  Don’t get me wrong – we aren’t struggling in the slightest as a couple, but we will before too long unless I step it up.

Although 2015 brought so much joy, happiness and fulfilment I’m not sad to see it go.  I’m ready for a new word and a clean slate.

My “One Little Word” for 2016:

INTENTIONAL

So many areas of my life deserve and need some intentionality:

  1. Marriage – I’m determined to be present in this partnership, to push past the exhaustion and go the extra mile.  I don’t think it has to be big and extravagant but it has to be intentional.  Instead of going to bed early because I’m too tired to even think about having a conversation, I’ll stay up that extra 30 minutes to simply ask “how was your day?”.  Once a month I’ll set aside a budget for date night and make sure that it happens.
  2. Myself – I deserve some intentionality, I deserve some focus.  I can’t even recall how many times I’ve been sick this year, how many times my body has been so exhausted or how many times it’s been in insane amounts of pain.  Some of this is out of my control but I would be amiss not to admit that a lot of it is completely within my control.  In 2016 I will again be going gluten free and I will again be moving my body more those are the 2 absolute promises I’m making myself and I hope that the domino effect occurs and that one by one bad habits will dissipate as new good habits form. Instead of crawling into bed at 730 or 8 I’ll make sure that I’m staying to do the things that bring me life – creating!  I’m also going to be starting on a lifelong dream of mine – I’m not ready to write about it yet but it’s already in the works and I’m excited to start!
  3. Friendships – This is the area of my life that 100% fell to the wayside this past year.  I can probably count on my hands how many times I met up with friends this year.  It’s terrible and one of my biggest regrets.  Thankfully I have friends full of grace and love and I’m learning to have grace with myself as well.  This year of learning how to be a full time working momma and how to teach my heart not to rip in two every minute I’m away from Ezekiel has taken a toll on my friendships.  Ezekiel is a bit older now and although my love has only intensified for him, I’m learning to let go just a little bit more.  Where I wouldn’t leave him home to meet up with friends, I know now that if that’s the only way I’m going to be able to invest once again, then that’s just what I’ll have to do.
  4. Motherhood – This is probably the area in my life that I was the most intentional and the area that is the easiest to be intentional with.  Yet there is always room for improvement!  I plan on doing a lot more one on one play and reading with Ezekiel this year, far more exploring and adventuring.  Instead of spending 30 extra minutes in the kitchen I’ll spend it on the floor diving into the imagination of a 2 year old.

Well, there you have it – the reflections of what was and hopes for what is.  2016 is bound to be another year of immeasurable growth but I’m more than ready! 

2015 Goals

It’s been quite the month around here! I’ve been really contemplating this blog and where I want it to go now that I’m back at work and don’t have as much time at home.

One thing I know: I love writing and I love this blog so I don’t want it to become something on the back burner. I’m going to try my best to get onto a better schedule.  Forgive my absence and bear with me as I continue to transition into this working momma role.  It’s amazing to me how long it’s taking me to get to a “normal” place in this new role I find myself in.  Of course starting a new job has made it even more difficult for life to feel “normal” because my transition in a new job has also had it’s challenges.

Anyways, more on all that later!

I promised a list of goals in my last post and I’m about to make good on that promise.

GoalsSo here they are!

Office : Our office is the bane of my existence! The thought of the disorganization and clutter in that room drives me batty, but it also overwhelms me to the point of paralyzing me.  This year I will conquer and finish that room if it kills me! I’ve already cleared out the closet and organized it.  Next up is the filing.

Monthly Dates : Carlos and I hadn’t been on a date since before Ezekiel was born! Now that I’m back to work and life is busier than ever and finances are a bit more stable we are making it a point to go on one date a month.  That might mean staying home and watching a movie.  It’s more about the intentional act of spending time together just us.  Marriage needs to be a priority, and this year we are making it that way.

Home Binder : This will be our finances, cleaning and maintenance, warranties and other things.  Just another way to organize our lives.

Gluten Free : After going back to work in November I let my diet go and eating gluten again has wreaked havoc on how I’ve been feeling.  So I’m making it a point to maintain a gluten free diet to allow my physical body to thrive.

No Credit Card Debt : while on maternity leave I was forced to use my credit cards for various things and was never able to pay them down.  This year I will pay them off and leave them locked up and put away to use only for emergencies.  I’m already over half way to this goal! I’m excited to thrive financially this year.

Past Years Picture Books : for years I’ve had pictures printed and stored in a box, and pictures stored on my computer.  Just sitting there, forgotten.  I wanted to get those printed pictures into photo books and also create digital books for the digital pictures.  Last year I found an online deal for digital photo books and bought five of them for $5 each and I finally got them made! I’m so happy to say I am all caught up on my photo documentation!

2015 Project Life : I realized last year while documenting Ezekiel’s first year of life that I really dislike digital photo books.  So I’m committing this years documentation to Project Life.  I have to be careful about the amount of supplies I buy.  I was drawn to Project Life because it can be as extravagant or as minimalist as you like and of course I’m going for more of a minimalist look.  The problem is that it’s just so tempting to buy all the cute supplies! So far I’ve almost completed January and I’m quite pleased with it!

So those are the big goals for this year.  I’m confident that they are all achievable and I’m ready as ever to thrive in 2015!