This year, I tried not to make any New Year’s resolutions. I mean, in all honesty, I make them in January and by May I can’t even remember what my resolution was. I do have goals I want to accomplish (catalogue all my random recipes I have in screenshots on my phone into my actual recipe book, figure out exactly what Chris threw into the backyard shed back in 2011, etc), but I thought instead of doing a New Year’s resolution post (which I’m about three weeks too late for anyway), I would focus on things I was simply looking forward to in 2017. That way, if I don’t do them, #nbd right?
So here are 17 things I’m ready for in 2017:
1. Hiking 3 new state parks as a family
I wrote awhile back about how much Chris and I love hiking different state parks. We took Olivia on her first one back last fall, but never made it anywhere else. This year, we want to make an effort to get out more, go to ones we haven’t been to.
2. Actually using my Instant Pot
Chris was able to get one of these off Amazon using Christmas gift cards and his $30 credit, making the thing only $11 out of pocket. So far, I’ve been too
chicken busy to use it yet, but we did make hard-boiled eggs a few times, which means it’s practically paid for itself. You guys, those eggs came out perfect. I joined a Facebook group, but sometimes that can be more intimidating. More information isn’t always better. But this year: Pot roasts, soups, chilis, rice, potatoes and eggs will be cooked in this thing. Promise.
3. My freelance writing course
With my Christmas money, I could have bought another purse, or some kitchen gadget, or perhaps some new pens I could add to the 728 others I have floating around the house, but no. I took all that money and I paid for an e-course on freelance writing geared toward moms who work from home. I mean, I’m a freelancer wanting more, I’m a mom who works from home and I have absolutely no idea how to manage it all. So I’m looking forward to this course. Bonus points if it ends up bringing in more income for us.
4. Once a month date nights with my husband
When Olivia was born, Chris and I came up with this brilliant plan that every month we would get out for a date, be it lunch or dinner, as long as we were out together for a few hours. There were some busy months that we didn’t make it, so this year we will do better.
5. Rekindling old friendships
So I am someone who is all about her friends. My friends are everything to me. But we’re busy. They work multiple jobs or live really far from me, or don’t have a lot of time to go out because of kids. This year, I want to get together more with my lovely friends, grab more dinners or coffee and have more talks.
6. Having more bonfires
We had one fire in our backyard since Olivia was born. I’m sure it was a combination of sleep deprivation, nursing every two hours, sleep regressions and anxiety about her being in the house while we weren’t, that caused this pitiful number. Now that’s she older and walking, I’m ready to have more fires.
7. Celebrating 9 years of marriage
The best part about going out for our anniversary was always the food. We’d always go to a fun restaurant we wouldn’t normally go to. Last year, we went to Biaggis, where we haven’t been in years. One year, we went to a high-end restaurant in Minneapolis with homemade pasta that was out of this world. It’s always our one night where we can justify wine with dinner and an expensive plate of food because “it’s in celebration.”
8. Making a play area for Olivia downstairs
She has so many toys, you guys. Granted her first birthday party was a big deal, followed by Christmas a month later when Mama accidentally went crazy with toys. (Why did I buy so many toys?) Anyway, we have a room downstairs that will eventually become a playroom, but in the meantime, there is a nook area to the left of our family room with cabinets for toys and can house her play kitchen, bigger toys, and foam mat. The *hope* is I can clear my living room, bringing up two or three toys daily for her to play with. She doesn’t even play with all those toys when they’re spread out all over. I’ll keep you posted on how well this works out.
9. Decluttering the house
Which leads me to my next great excitement: Purging the crap. Not all the crap. But a lot of the crap. I did a good job purging the crap in December. I brought gobs of bags to Savers actually, at the encouragement of my best friend, and every few loads would earn me punches until I had a 30% off coupon to spend there… to buy more crap. No, really, I use it to buy Olivia clothes. It works out nicely. So decluttering is a big thing I’m planning this year.
10. Celebrating five years of blogging
Which will technically happen in December. I can’t believe I’m still blogging after 5 years. But I’m proud of that. It would have been easy to just…stop blogging, once Olivia came, once my infertility has “resolved” (whatever that means). But I love this space. I love my documentation on Olivia. I love the sense of community I have with you all. So I keep writing.
11. Fixing up this new space to satisfy my OCD
I touched on this in my very post on RKW (I’m already doing acronyms for my site—yasss!) but there is a lot of housekeeping that needs to be done with all my old posts that were brought over from the old site. Formatting, fixing broken links, swapping out better quality images, fixing typos, adding in tags… it will be a year-long project, but I’m looking forward to it. I guess.
12. Keeping myself more organized
I bought a Passion Planner. And I could pee my pants, I’m so excited about it. I’ve been looking for something like this to help me stay organized with my three freelance jobs and this blog AND managing daily life. And I found it. So hopefully I can stick with it.
13. Working with companies and building up my brand
January has been crazy with planning everything with the giveaway. But I’m looking forward to picking up some sponsored posts. I obviously want a balance, of course, but I do want to take some on. I think it’s good experience for me and hey, it would be nice to make back what I put into this blog. I won’t ever post anything I don’t believe in though.
14. Summer swimming lessons with Olivia
We did this last year, when she had just turned seven months, and it was a great decision. Chris can’t swim, and I don’t want my daughter have the same fears. Plus, she LOVED the water. And now that she’d be a year older, she will be much more interactive. She was one of the youngest in her little class back then.
15. Baking more bread
SO random, I know. Bread was (and still kind of is) intimidating for me to bake. The first yeast bread I ever made were these Honey Rolls. Which turned out fine, but I still don’t bake as much bread as I would want to.
16. Replenishing our canned goods
Chris and I are big time canners. We have a huge garden: nine 8×4 foot raised beds in our backyard. We can tomatoes, salsa, marinara sauce, tomato juice, green beans, pickles, and relishes. We also have peaches, cherries, applesauce, and jam. Last summer, our garden did not cooperate and for the first time in years, we are out of tomatoes. Those first few cans of store-bought tomatoes made me cringe. So we need to plant gobs and gobs of tomatoes this year to replenish all the tomato-based canned goods.
17. How Chris and I will grow as parents
Olivia’s first year was incredible. It’s been such a joy seeing her grow and develop. But it’s also been fun watching Chris grow into his role as a daddy, and it’s been slightly hilarious seeing how I fit into this role as Mama to Olivia. How will I discipline? Will Chris and I be on the same page in raising her? Will I ever stop laughing at her when she’s naughty? Time will tell.