In short, my goals for the year were...
---Better housekeeping, primarily laundry
---Cook more, focusing on healthier, well-balanced meals
---Outings/special activities with the girls
---Get more exercise
---Strengthen my relationship with Jeremy and with God
---Have more patience
Not too bad, right? And how have I done with these goals? Well....some areas are going better than others.
The housekeeping is a definite improvement over what it was two or three years ago. The clutter has been kept mostly under control since we moved in the new house. (I'm sure it helps that there are several boxes of non-necessities in the storage room that have not even been unpacked.) Laundry? Ehhh....we did much better for awhile, but I am still not where I want to be in this area. We have found ourselves falling back into the habit of washing four or five loads of laundry at a time, then living out of clothes baskets for weeks because we never can seem to get them put away. The exception is the girls' laundry, which my mother-in-law takes care of on Wednesdays when she is here (awesome!). In all honesty, here is a picture with my messy laundry room in the background (the kitchen counter is pretty cluttered in this picture, but it's really not like that most of the time).
Aren't my girls some cool chicks??
On the cooking front, I have done LOTS more in 2010. It wasn't really included in my resolutions post, but I have also made an effort to keep our grocery budget under control and to plan our meals so that we have what we need on hand and we actually use the things we are buying. There is still room for improvement, but I'm pretty proud of the progress that has been made in these areas. The grocery bill has been cut a lot by just not buying sweets/snack foods as much, and by actually thinking ahead about what we will eat during the week. I also feel like Jeremy and I are eating better than we were, and Addison and Mackenzie get a pretty good range of healthy foods along with the fun stuff.
There's no question that I have read a ton more this year than I did last year. It helps that the girls are at a much calmer age. They are in bed early, by 6:30 or 7:00 every night, which gives me a couple of hours to myself to read, blog, watch tv, etc. (Hmmm...could this be related to my piles and piles of laundry??) My Kindle also makes it easier to read more often. I stick it in my bag every morning, so if I have a few extra minutes during the day, I always have whatever I'm reading with me. Also, if the girls are entertained, I can sometimes get a little reading in without them noticing. I have read a few books this year that I would not have normally picked (thanks to a book club, free books on Kindle, etc.), and I've really enjoyed finding new favorites.
We do a pretty good job getting Addison and Mackenzie out for adventures fairly often. Of course there are still weekends like this last one, when we have nowhere to be and we don't leave the house except to go to church and out to lunch on Sunday. Everyone needs weekends like that, but we also take them to do fun things when we have the chance. The warm weather back in the spring encouraged us to get out to the playground or even to the swings in the backyard. Now that it's blazing hot, it's hard to get out as much, but we do manage to squeeze in a little pool time every now and then. My mom took the girls to their first storytime at the library today, and they really enjoyed it. I just want them to get out and have a variety of fun experiences, and overall, I think that's happening.
Exercise? Well, let's just say this will likely always be an area where I can use improvement. With the healthier eating and more eating at home, I feel like I'm healthier overall. Getting out with the girls does provide a form of exercise, so I'm counting that. : )
My relationship with Jeremy is stable, comforting, and fun. We haven't really had many date nights since the babies have been born, but again, the early bedtime allows us to spend time cooking or watching a movie together on the nights Jeremy is home. I was saying earlier this week, though, that it's about time for us to have a nice dinner out together. Hopefully that will happen in the next few weeks. We may not be all that exciting, but we love each other and we have a comfortable, drama-free relationship. For that, I am most grateful.
My relationship with God has always felt a little like an ebb and flow to me. You know how sometimes you have those points where you just feel like everything is right spiritually, like you're walking with God and seeking Him on a deeper level....and then sometimes, no matter what you do, you just can't seem to get to that place, like it's all just going through the motions? That's how it is for me, anyway. I haven't had as much time to focus on the youth or some of the other aspects of church that keep me inspired, but I feel like I'm moving back in the right direction right now. I'm looking for a good Bible study for my high school Sunday school class (suggestions welcome!), and hoping to find one that will encourage me as well. I have been teaching for so long that sometimes I feel like I am ready to go back and be a student for awhile, but I know it's an important job to teach those kids...so I try to find lessons that are meaningful to me as well. Multitasking! Anyway, I feel like I am heading in a good direction right now, but there will always be room for more growth and a deeper relationship with my God.
Finally, patience...oh, the elusive patience. This has been a big struggle for me in becoming a parent, and I am sure it probably always will be. I do feel like I have come a long way in demonstrating more patience with the girls. Of course, it helps that they are becoming more like little people, capable of basic communication and some understanding of what I'm saying. I hope I can continue to increase my patience as some of the behavior issues associated with the toddler years start to show themselves. Of course, when the smiles come out, the patiences a lot easier!
So, what about you?? Have you thought about your resolutions since January? Looking back was a good reminder for me...I feel like I'm back on track for the second half of the year!