Happy New Year a couple of days late! I am thrilled that we are in January, the holidays are past us and life just might settle down a bit. I've been rather silent as of late on the blog. It was hardly planned and I had tons of posts I wanted to do during the holidays, however exhaustion has/had taken it's toll on me in December and I had little energy to do much besides taking care of my kids. Although I love the holidays there is always so much to do and this year because I was so worn out and struggling with a hurt back I decided I had to step back from the blog for a couple of weeks. It was good, because it gave me time to think about where I want to go with the blog in this new year, as well as think about how to implement some changes in my day-to-day life so that I feel like I am on top of the mountain instead being smashed by it.
I am feeling rejuvenated now that January is here. I've been looking forward to the quietness of this month since summer. I'm not really a huge winter fan, however January can be glorious because it's one of the only months where there aren't holidays to deal with, nor outdoor activities I want to participate in. Instead I can focus my time on all the things that need to be done in the house, you know, play catch-up from the summer and fall. Life has been topsy turvy since our daughter was born last March and I've continued to have a very difficult time trying to get into a natural routine. Before she was born I always got up around 5 AM and started my morning with prayer and time in the Bible, then I would work on the blog. My son would get up, we'd do our thing until he napped in the afternoon, etc. etc. etc. However, since Isabella's birth, sleep has gone out the door. Oh how I miss a good night sleep!!!! Isabella is almost 9 1/2 months old and is still not sleeping through the night. She nurses 1-3 times a night and her morning wake up time has varied from 3:30 AM to 6 AM over the last couple of months. My son decided that he also no longer wanted to take naps. We've been working on quiet time in his room, but he is relentless in trying to fight that. This leaves very, very little opportunity for me to have time to myself.
So, it's time to make changes and boy am I ready for it. I'm kicking the depression I've been dealing with out the door and I'm ready to refocus and take charge again. The first thing I did was move our daughter out of our bedroom. Since I'm nursing her still it made natural sense to go ahead and leave her in our bedroom, however, like her brother, she is a light sleeper (if anyone knows how to change that PLEASE let me know!) and anytime my husband and I enter our room, no matter how quiet, she often wakes up. This creates issues in various areas of our life as you can imagine. So, yesterday I moved her crib into our guest bedroom. Last night I couldn't stop smiling after the kids both went to bed because I was able to grab my book and sit in bed and read. My husband and I were both able to get up this morning with out having to be completely silent and could even get dressed in our room! What a treat. I feel like I gained back a little control. I know many of you don't relate to what I'm writing, but all I can say is I feel great.
Okay, so step one done, what else do I have in store for this year?
Here's a break down, if you're curious. To be honest, I've never been a new years resolution person, but this year I felt like some resolutions needed to be made.
1. Morning time in prayer and reading the Bible. I've decided to read the entire Bible in one year in chronological order. I've been struggling with where and what to read in the Bible as of late, so doing this is a nice way to give me greater motivation to stay on top of my reading. Keeping God first in my life is a must and this fall with everything going on the Lord quickly slipped to the way-side on more than one day. It's hard to find quiet time to read and pray when either one or both of your kids greet you far before the day is light! I do read the Bible to my children, but I still need my own personal time in the Word as well.
Here are a couple of links you can check out if your interested in reading the Bible chronologically in a year:
2. Staying on budget and working towards our goal of being debt free. I haven't mentioned much on the blog about my husband and I trying to get out of debt, but we've spent the last 3-4 years working diligently to make this happen. We had A LOT of debt when we started this process. We've made some drastic changes to help aid this process, like selling our home two summers ago and drastically cutting our spending. However once our daughter was born I lost some of my perseverance in trying to stay on budget and instead of lowering our debt we've raised it over the last 9 months. There have been many reasons for this, but this year both my husband and I are going to do all that we can to see the last of our credit card debt gone and perhaps even get our car payed off. This would leave us with just a student loan to pay on. We know we can do it, but we're going to have to be very creative with our money in the process. I'll share more on this in another post, because a large part of where our money goes is to food. It's doesn't take much to overspend in this area and we have to cut our grocery/food bill in half or more to make our debt-free goal possible.
3. Exercise! Okay, I know this is the one everyone puts on their list, but my intention is not to lose weight per say, even though I have 20 more baby pounds I'd like to lose from being pregnant with my daughter. No, I need to exercise specifically for my back. Having babies has been a bit hard on my body and I'm paying for it now with issues in my lower back region, among other places. I hurt my back very badly this summer and since then a day rarely goes by where I don't have pain, either just the annoying numbing pain or the type that leaves me on all fours and unable to walk. I was seeing a chiropractor for awhile, but stopped because I realized while having my back adjusted helps what really needs to happen is I need to re-build my core muscles around my midsection. This is tedious to me. I have hundreds of things to do and doing the type of exercises I need to do for my back is not high on my list of how I want to spend my time. However, in December my back was causing me a lot of pain again (another reason for silence with the blog) and I realized I've got to figure out a time to start working out. Trying to pick-up kids all day and having a weak back is a very bad combination, so a new workout plan is a must.
4. Let things go. Like most, I have plenty I want to get done in a day and if I could plan my time I would actually be able to get most of it done, however my kids tend to have a different idea on most days. I don't know that I (or any stay at home parent) will ever get over how long it takes to feed kids, dress them, clean up after them and get them to sleep, then there's trying to teach them and simply hangout and have fun with them. Forget about it when sickness comes for a visit or they are having one of those days where they simply need lots of extra attention. Being a stay-at-home parent is a full-time (plus lots of overtime) job and trying to fit much else in can be impossible sometimes. I have to learn to let go of my time more, because when my days don't go as I hoped I tend to get very discouraged and feel like I can't ever get on top of my "to do" list. This played a huge role in me feeling depressed this fall. If I can't get things done, like blogging or working on my art or even simpler things like getting the laundry put away, so be it. Now to just remind myself of that on those more difficult days!
Now for the blog.
Honestly I have far too many things I'd like to share with all of you, from recipes, to art and a whole lot of nutritional information. I am in awe of the people who have young children at home and still blog several times or more a week. If you are one of those people, let me know your secret for finding time to do it all!
During the fall I lost some of my focus of where I want my blog to head, but now I've had several weeks to think it over and I'm hoping you all like what's in store. The first step of my blog for the new year is to start at the beginning. It occurred to me that while I know some of my readers are familiar with real food, slow food and all that that stands for, most of you probably do not. With that said a post in the next week will be covering the basics of eating wholesome food the way our ancestors did, as well as give you some information about the Weston Price Foundation and why I follow many of the food guidelines that they suggest.
Also in store for this year are book reviews and some basic information on the ingredients that fill our cupboards, along with product reviews. I'm going to spend a little less time on my own recipes, mostly because I can't afford to keep experimenting in the kitchen. I have thrown away far too much food in the last 6 months as I've experimented with different techniques and alternative ingredients. I typically cook/bake by taste. Making recipes with exact measurements can be difficult for me, plus if I want to stay on budget with our food bill then the experimenting will have to drastically slow down. With that said, I'd like to share recipes from some of my favorite blogs and cookbooks.
Finally, I really hope to have a greater emphasis on art on the blog. Despite the quietness in this area on the blog (like the "my art" tab that's been under construction for months now) I truly do love to create art. Last fall I had wanted to share information about some wonderful artists I know. Hopefully in the coming months I'll be able to do that, as well as share some more of my own art. I hope as my kids continue to get a bit older and a little less dependent on me I'll have a little more time to spend in this area.
Well that's that. Are your eyes tired yet? Hmmm, now perhaps to do a post on my top 10 posts of 2010!