New Years

I don’t like making resolutions.  I am all about being goal oriented, especially short-term goals, but I always have a hard time making new year’s resolutions.  I guess what I am supposed to do is look back over the passing year and decide in what ways I’ve failed, could be a better person, or how I could achieve in the new year what I couldn’t in this.  I don’t diet, I know myself well enough that if I say, “I am going to exercise,” I just won’t, and I’m already a freak about staying organized so all the usual standbys are even more meaningless.

In retrospect, 2014 was an exceptional year!  February I had an incredible baby shower full of fun, my favorite snacks, friends, and presents!  We moved into a better apartment in a safer neighborhood.  March, our beautiful daughter was born just in time to be the best birthday gift ever in April.  May, June, July were rough, I’m not going to lie.  Even though our girl is amazing, smart, funny, sweet, affectionate, and beautiful she was a handful to get used to.  September we had our first family vacation in the Outer Banks and we needed it!!  October, baby’s first Halloween (she was a fat cat!), then my parent’s came to our house for the first Thanksgiving we’ve ever hosted, and we just kind of slipped through our first Christmas as a family of three (it snuck up on us this year but we had a nice, relaxing time).  I’ve learned a lot this year, changed, grown, transitioned.  If I were to make a resolution regarding all that I suppose I could say I want to be a more attentive mother – as my baby attempts to eat a something off the floor.  Although, that would be pretty meaningless too because  Autumn is happy, healthy, and I am sane!  We play together, we laugh together, and she’s learning so fast, so if I don’t catch every single fuzzy before it sees the inside of her mouth I think I am still doing pretty damn good as a mother.

I suppose there are some things I’d like to do in 2015 but they only count as new year’s resolutions by default.  It is only a coincidence that my to do list starts in the new year.  We haven’t lived in this apartment for a year yet so I haven’t had a chance to fully utilize the yard and clothes line out back.  Only because it requires hot summer days, here is my first “resolution”:

1. Be diligent about using the clothes line so we can save money on electricity.

I guess we can add this to the list.  We need to save money on electricity because we are:

2. Trying harder this year to save our money for a down payment on a house.

I am so thankful for the new apartment we are in now.  Unlike our last one, it isn’t in the city surrounded by drunken frats and drug dealing neighbors and it isn’t up two flights of stairs.  We love our new home but we’ve been day dreaming more and more about owning one.  In our last apartment our land lady let us use our rent money to fix it up a bit.  We painted every room, put new flooring in the kitchen and bathroom, and installed a new faucet in the kitchen.  It made living there for the first two years more comfortable and didn’t cost us anything but our time but it was still an investment we’d never see a return for.  We want a home with privacy, where we can’t hear our neighbor walking or snoring through the walls, a place we can make our own without asking permission, where we can have chickens and a big dining room table to fit all our family!

In the same vein:

3. Plant a vegetable garden to lower our grocery bill.

4. Put ALL of our tax return in the bank!

In years past we’ve used our tax return mostly to make extra payments on our school loans and in part to help get our newlywed life into a comfortable routine.  But this year we are putting it all away!  It hasn’t been easy watching our friends moving through life milestones while we feel stuck where we are.  Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t regret the choices we’ve made and we’ve stuck to our priorities.  Priority number one has always been to get out of debt and to that end we’ve never made a life choice that hindered us from making over the minimum monthly payment.  Another priority is the life we give our little one.  Those fast-moving friends have a leg up on us because they all have two incomes.  We decided our quality time was more important to spend as a family than in some job.

While I don’t consider my to do list “resolutions” in the strict sense that I am waiting specifically for the new year to start them, I guess they make the cut by default.  Mostly because they require warmer weather or the end of a tax season, those are my goals for 2015.  And just because now I’m feeling in the spirit of plan making, here are a few other fun things I’d like to do after winter.

5. Spend more time outside.

6. Learn how to can things from my garden.

7. Take Autumn to the park.

8. Spend less time on the computer.

Happy New Year!

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