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Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year, New List(s)

Before I talk about my resolutions, we need to have a word about New Year's fireworks in small German villages... HOLY COW!  I was so unprepared for the awesomeness.  I guess it's only legal to sell fireworks in some parts of Germany around New Year's.  And they don't mess around man!  Jesse and I sat on the bench along our windows and literally watched 25 minutes of over 40 individual fireworks displays across Otterberg!  It was so romantic and so fun!  I can't wait till next year... we're gonna wake the girls up to watch them :o)  Jesse wants to buy a big one to set off in the street but I'm not so sure about that ;o) 

Anyways I think it became uncool to make New Year's resolutions awhile ago... but I'm kind of feelin' it this year.  Maybe it's because I haven't left my house since Christmas Eve and have also been in my pajamas that entire time ;o)  Definitely feels like I need a breath of fresh air, productivity, and new goals around here.  Oh, and to get better... that one I'm still working on. And here's my list(s) of other things I'll be working on this coming year...

Big Picture New Year's Resolutions:

1.  Try new meals every week.  I have so many recipes that I want to try, so I'm going to give a "recipe to-do list" a try :o)  I'm making a list on my iPod (probably by category of dish) of all the recipes I want to try... and when we try them, they get checked.  Then I move on to a new one.  This should keep me from the meal plan rut, and also help me systematically try new recipes on a regular basis!  Yay!  I think my goal is two new recipes a week.  We'll see ;o)

2.  Clean out/organize one space per day.  A friend of mine in NY told another friend about this little trick and I'm just now going to apply it to the out of control corners of our house.  When she had small kids and little time, she would clean/organize one drawer, closet, bin, etc. a day until she had her organizing task complete.  I love that idea... because I have a lot of disorganization going on (HOW does that happen in less than a year?) and it's overwhelming to think of trying to do it all at once.  But I love to get organized, so once I start little by little, I'm sure by the end of February I'll have all those corners sorted out... and hopefully we'll have a little less stuff laying around in piles (Airman's Attic here I come!).  Should make Spring cleaning easier (yeah right like I ever do an actual Spring clean - ha!)

3.  Exercise four times a week.  This is so not happening till I can breathe through my nose again.  But I'm looking forward to when it does, cause I'm feeling so gross and lethargic from the lack of exercise.  Jesse's working evenings (3-11p) for Jan/Feb, so I'm looking forward to giving a "routine flop" a try.  Instead of getting up early to exercise and read before the girls are up, I'm going to stay up late till J gets home and sleep until a little closer to the girls' wake up time.  In the evenings, when J's at work and I'm all alone (after Double Trouble start snoozing at 7) I'll have plenty of time to exercise, shower, read, do some chores, or draw.  Hopefully.

4.  Hand-write letters/cards to family and friends.  I love love love getting "real mail" in our mailbox.  And I know I'm not the only one who likes to read a good old fashioned letter sometimes.  I have a few Air Force wife pen pals from here and there... but I want more :o)  And though I love that facebook/blogger/email keep us all in touch on a day to day basis... I still love the idea of surprising my Mom when she goes to the mailbox every once in awhile.  This one is going to be harder to stay on top of but I'm thinking if I sit down and send out a bunch of letters, then all I have to do is be disciplined about responding asap to any return mail I get.  I usually find that works best... when someone writes me I usually try to sit down that evening and get a reply out.  Especially since I only hit the APO once a week... then the letter is ready to be mailed the next time I hit the post office.

5.  Regular, focused times of educational play with Lily (and eventually Sam).  Sam is still taking a morning nap, which leaves Lily and I alone for about two hours on the days we're home.  That is usually prime "get stuff done" time, which is broken up by Lily's whines and my periodic breaks to read her a book or play for five minutes.  I want to make it a more fun and focused time for us.  Half that time will go to an activity (or activities) with my girl (the other half she can follow me around while I do chores.)  I have a host of great resources at my fingertips for amazing crafts, games, activities, and other stuff that will make the days more special (and more fun) for my girl.  I might also add afternoon "activity times" as I find stuff that Sam can join in on.  Let the fun and learning begin!

Every Day New Year's Resolutions:

1.  Read.  I got a pile of great books from my family for Christmas... which I added to the pile of great books we already own that I either want to read or re-read.  So I'm going to continue to carve out time every day to snuggle up with books, which I love.

2.  Rosetta Stone.  Learning the German language fell by the wayside a bit after our trip to the States.  And then the holidays came around.  So I definitely haven't done much and need to refresh my memory a bit.  But I want to be ready when summer comes and we're out and about more in this lovely country.

3.  Draw.  Yep, that's right!  Jessica's gonna start drawing again!  My Love surprised me big time for Christmas... he got me a pretty wooden box with all sorts of pencils, charcoal sticks, and a whole bunch of stuff I'm unfamiliar with (all used for drawing I assume!) plus a cool little stick figure man you can draw :o)  THEN he got me a brand new big beautiful sketch book that is so bright and fresh and clean and full of possibilities.  AND THEN he got me a HUGE drawing how-to book.  It's apparently all the rage for budding artists who could use a hand figuring out the basics!  I'm super excited.  He's been wanting me to get back into art again for a long time.  I dabbled in painting before Lily was born but I got discouraged and gave up again.  So I'm determined to work at this and enjoy the process of relearning something I once loved!

Well, that's that.  A fresh new year to fill with fresh new habits that make my life better, more productive, more enjoyable, and more German-speaking.  And no.  I don't ever overestimate what I can accomplish.  Ever ;o)

I hope you all have a great New Year!


  1. Cheers to resolution making and keeping (at any level is success)!!

  2. happy happy happy happy new year to you guys- love you much, miss you

  3. GIRL, you have a LOT of resolutions :). i will pray for your success. my resolution is to send you snail mail this year because you were such an awesome overseas friend to me when i studied abroad, and it blessed me so much.

  4. I, for one am very much looking forward to getting hand-written mail . . . oh rats, I guess that means I need to send some to you in order to keep it coming! And you do have a lot of resolutions - but I guess if you even keep *some* of them it'll make the year great!

    Oh - and Dad had frequent flyer miles to use up (they were expiring from an airline we haven't flown with lately) so he got subscriptions to a bunch of magazines . . . including Family Fun. So I guess what I'll do is send you a letter with the magazine every month which should encourage you along the lines of resolutions #4, #5, and possibly #1 (they probably include *some* family-friendly recipes still, right?) but probably frustrate your efforts at #2.

    Happy New Year, we love you!

  5. Michelle, I know. It's kind of embarrassing. And I would love mail from you! :o)

    Mom, I love magazines! Send em over!

  6. Can I join in on some of these? I want to try more recipes as well but might hold off until James gets home.

    I also watched Midnight in Paris last night and decided I am reading a ton of American classics this year.

    AND I want to crash your rosetta stone sessions because I hate that everyone at home asks me how to say " " in German and I have no idea.

  7. Haha yes Jen! Join me! Especially easy to do recipes and rosetta stone together cause you can come over the night's J works and help me cook and then we can do rosetta stone after the girls are in bed! Win win. OH and then we can watch a chick flick. Perfect!

  8. Great resolutions! I may need to steal some of them! I especially like the try a new meal each week. I often get in a food rut too.

    I love that you are going to start drawing again! I never knew that you had in the past. Hoping that you post some of your masterpieces. :)