Thursday, January 13, 2011

Vision Statement for Kids/Family

This one was a little more difficult for me, but a good exercise in defining what I want for and from my family. I was surprised at just how difficult it was for me to put my values into words. I do feel like it is missing *something* that I can't quite identify (maybe something about the process of becoming more independent? maybe something about extended family?). I might yet tweak it because I know I'm forgetting something important. Or I might just wait and revise for 2012. But I'll be taking lots of notes between then and now! I'd also love any ideas/input.

2011 Vision Statement for Kids/Family
I have a close relationship with my children. They feel free to discuss anything with me, and I listen attentively without quickly jumping in to give advice or teach a lesson. We hold family meetings to discuss our values, goals and any issues. We regularly discuss the values our family identifies as important. We enjoy spending quality time together that includes reading, crafting, family dinners, music and games. We maintain an active lifestyle together and travel regularly. My children are involved in caring and managing our home. We have beloved family traditions. I have good relationships with my children's friends and their families. Learning and higher education is encouraged, and I am actively involved with their schooling.

Winter Goals for Kids/Family
  1. Schedule library time every other week
  2. Buy snowshoes for kids (done! Thank you, Costco!)
  3. Organize kids' craft ideas (I have all these craft ideas from magazines that need a binder)
  4. Document holiday traditions for Christmas Planner (from
  5. Plan Birthdays x2
  6. Get piano in usable condition
  7. Sign kids up for tennis lessons
  8. Sign kids up for swim lessons
  9. Plan spring/summer travel
  10. Devote afternoons to kids (I should blog more about my ideas for this!)
Because I've been pretty wordy this week... Kate & Jack our in their snowshoes for the first time. We didn't go far but had a great time exploring. I have a longer outing planned for this weekend

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Vision Statement for Health/Nutrition/Fitness

Finally one in the first person singular! ME! Again, remember this is my ideal, not necessarily my reality...

2011 Health/Nutrition/Fitness Vision Statement*
My lifestyle promotes overall wellness. I maintain a happy and healthy weight for my body. I obtain regular health care for wellness and prevention, including dental and eye care. I take my routine vitamins. I regularly sleep 8 hours at night and am early to bed and early to rise. I lead an active lifestyle that includes running, biking, hiking, yoga, swimming, tennis, weight-lifting, downhill skiing, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing. I participate in occasional races to stay motivated. I fix healthy meals for myself and my family using local and organic products as available. I limit the intake of sugar, salt and processed foods. I drink adequate amounts of water for my daily activities.

Health/Nutrition/Fitness Winter Goals*
  1. Schedule a physical
  2. Schedule an eye appointment
  3. Take a cross country ski lesson
  4. Read a book on weight-lifting
  5. Purchase new running shoes
  6. Plan exercise routine a week in advance
  7. Go to yoga x5
  8. Look at races for 2011
  9. Organize loose recipes
*I left a few things out that I didn't feel comfortable putting out on my blog. You'll just have to wonder...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Home/Garden Vision Statement

Another one that was fairly concrete and easy for me to write. Also includes visions for our possessions. Again in first-person plural because it is Matt's house also (sorta). This one is certainly a *vision* - got some work to do here!

2011 Home/Garden Vision Statement
We have a home and yard that we enjoy. Our home is clean, organized, and uncluttered. Our children and their friends enjoy being at our home, and it is a place that is welcoming and comfortable for guests. Our yard is a space that lures us outside to play and relax. Our landscape meets our needs for aesthetics, edibles, play and pets. Our decor is simple and of personal significance. Our possessions are useful, beautiful and not excessive. We are surrounded by items that are mostly handmade, artful or sentimental. We own a variety of quality recreation equipment that encourages our active lifestyle. All things have a place and records are maintained and organized.

Home/Garden Winter Goals
  1. Design a playset plan
  2. Have new back window installed (so I can better see the mountains... and the kids!)
  3. Clean out basement
  4. Sort junk pile (already done - woohoo!)
  5. Meet with landscape architect regarding next steps and plantings for spring
  6. Start my garden plan
  7. Complete electrical projects
  8. Make a photo album for one year of digital photos (preferably 2005)
Unrelated: It's a pretty lucky day today 1/11/11...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Financial Vision Statement

This one was the easiest for me to write. Probably because it is fairly concrete. I'm adding my financial winter goals at the end. Remember, this isn't necessarily where I am, but more where I want to be. I also wrote this in first-person plural since it is the one of my goal areas where it is truly a partnership with Matt.

2011 Financial Vision Statement
We maintain purposeful control of our finances. We have a flexible budget that allows us to track our spending. We are able to provide support, education and experiences for our family without concern. We have a savings and investment plan to provide for our retirement, the children's educations, unexpected expenses, and larger purchases. We give generously to support the causes of family and friends and to support organizations in which we believe. We keep records and documents updated and organized. We are not wasteful nor focused on consumerism. We are passing our financial values to our children and actively educating our children regarding financial issues such as managing money.

Financial well-being is nothing but a balancing act on the back of circumstance. - Kent Nerburn, Simple Truths

Financial Winter Goals
  1. Meet with our financial planner for annual review (already scheduled!)
  2. Restart mvelopes (already started!)
  3. Have a "no buy" month (did this a couple years ago - I think we'll do it again for Feb)
  4. Define 2011 savings goals with Matt (done!)
  5. Define giving budget and list preferred organizations
  6. Review and revise wills (they are 5+ years old and need some changes)
  7. Read one book related to finance and children

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Vision Statements

I mentioned in a blog post a few days ago that I have been working on my 2011 Vision Statements. My friend Jill offered this to our goal setting group, and although the idea appealed to me, I wasn't sure if I would follow through. But when I started doing the End of the Year Ritual from the Not So Big Life book (by my favorite author/architect Sarah Susanka - I can't believe I've never blogged about her - I own ALL her Not So Big House books and I had this one pre-ordered months before it was published), I knew I would at least attempt vision statements.

In her End of the Year Ritual she mentions how expressing wishes is like planting the seeds. We plant the seeds and set the conditions, but we can't make the seeds grow. When you look back, even some you have forgotten may have come into being. There is that notion that "putting it out there" is often the first step. That's probably why I like the goal setting group and my blog. It is my way of putting it out there.

I see my vision statements as seeds or as my "wishes" for life. Where I'd ideally and realistically like to be. I'm doing 6 vision statements that correlate to the areas of my life for which I set goals. Financial, Spiritual, Community/Career, Health/Nutrition/Fitness, Home/Garden/Possessions, Family/Kids, Personal. I worked diligently on these the week before New Years and also set my winter goals.

Originally I wasn't going to publish my vision statements. Something about it felt to personal, too vulnerable. But I think I am going to put them "out there" here on my blog, although I might edit to keep a few things private. Sarah Susanka writes of listening to the inner longings of your heart and then letting them go. I may even try not revisiting these wishes until 2012. Or maybe just look at them quarterly. I've never been very good about letting go. And I've been known to stare at seeds that I want to sprout.

Saturday, January 08, 2011


Couple o' boring things...
  1. I changed my email client (but no change in email addresses!) When I made the change, I did NOT move all my old email over, and I may have even lost some emails in the process. I have every intention of going back to respond to the emails on my old client, but you know how that may go. And sorry if I accidentally deleted you, and you don't get a response. The good news is that my new inbox is COMPLETELY clean. Email me now, and I'll probably email back!
  2. I had to mess with my Blogger account so that I could have the same login for Blogger as for Google. I was getting tired of constantly signing in and out. It shouldn't have messed with any Blogger followers, but if it did, that's what was happening.
  3. I'm going to take my blog off the Facebook Networked Blogs thingamajig. The blog posts won't show up on my wall or the News Feed anymore. I don't mind anyone on Facebook reading my blog, but I don't know if I want every blog entry to be posted there. If you only follow me on Facebook, you might want to find a new system. Bloglines, Google Reader, etc. Or the link to my blog will still be on Facebook, just not the feed.
Hope you are having an enjoyable weekend! I sure am!

Friday, January 07, 2011


The eternal optimist. When the temperatures were sub-zero and we were all complaining about the cold, Jack pipes up with, "Well, it isn't as cold as the planet farthest away from the sun!"


"The problem, Mommy, is that I am a fast forgetter."


Pointing to the electric plant in town, "See that smoke maker? Yup, it is connected to all the lights in the city. It has to burn coal to make the lights work. All that smoke? Yup, that is the coal burning. And that is why Antarctica is melting all the time... and the polar bears are drowning."

He's actually mostly right. And I didn't even tell him this.


The only time I ever use foul language is in the car when someone is tailgating me. Hate it. On more than one occasion I have yelled, with kids in the car, "Get off my a**!!" Once I even added the F word. Fortunately the kids didn't pick up on that... although Kate did ask me why I was sticking my fingers up at the truck driver... *ahem*

So anyway, a few weeks ago, Matt was going over sight words with Jack and was having him use the words in sentences. They got to the word "as." It was one Jack hadn't yet learned in school, and he was a little unsure of how to use it in a sentence. (You know where this is going, don't you?) Suddenly a lightbulb goes off, and Jack says, "You mean in a sentence like, 'Get off my as!'?"


Thursday, January 06, 2011

2011 Resolutions

Here they are. I might try to add one more. Don't really like having an odd number for the list.
  1. Run 5K in goal time (unaccomplished the last 2 years...)
  2. Visit one state I haven't been to (I'd like to hit 2, but I'm not sure that is realistic. States left on the list are Michigan, Oregon, South Carolina, Rhode Island, and Delaware)
  3. Visit 2 new national parks (I'm being conservative... I think we might visit 4 new ones this year!)
  4. Build one carpentry project (a new skill I'd like to add to my repertoire)
  5. Make quilts for Kate and Jack
  6. Play an official tennis match
  7. Complete a second triathlon race
  8. **Run half marathon race
**Went back and added the half marathon goal. I decided today that I am NOT going to run the Austin Half Marathon. Matt's not doing it, I don't really feel like traveling, I'm not training the way I really wanted, etc. I feel good about the decision. I can focus instead on skiing and tennis the next couple months. But I still want to run a half marathon sometime in 2011. Plus I like having an even number of resolutions.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


Bristle B. (the B is for "betta"). The newest member of our family zoo. Another pet. With a middle name. You know, because I'm going for simplicity this year. *roll eyes*
He is actually pretty calming to have around. When I'm not stressing about how in the world I'm going to keep him alive...

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

2011 Theme

"Simply Live" is the theme I've chosen for myself for 2011.

It is a play on several quotes that are meaningful for me.
  • "Live simply so others may simply live." - Ghandi
  • "Simple pleasures are the last refuge of the complex." - Oscar Wilde
  • "Live Simply, Love Much, Laugh Often" (not sure where this is from... seems it might be adapted from a poem by Bessie Anderson Stanley)
I want to continue to strive for simplicity in all areas of my life. I've been working diligently on clearing out the unnecessary *stuff* in our house (although it often feels as if there is a continuous stream coming in). I've also been working towards an overall simplicity in our activities, our schedule, and my mind set.

The phrase also reminds me to be mindful, to simply live now. In the past year or so I've struggled with the would haves, could haves, and should haves in my life. In 2011 I'd like to focus on living more fully in the present. To worry less, to enjoy more, to simply live.

I'm excited how the theme plays out in my life this year.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Obligatory Trip Photos

Exploring the secret garden at the ranch
Ringing the chapel bell
Sunning with mom
Chiricahua National Monument with Tia
(this photo makes me want aviator sunglasses)
Snow in Arizona
Tia in the snow
Kids and Tia warming toesies
Dreamy Ranch Kitchen

Sunday, January 02, 2011


We are home. It feels good. But it also felt good to be away. We spent the last week in southeastern Arizona on Matt's uncle's ranch (where we had our wedding). Most of Matt's mom's side of the family was there. Aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins. And my sister was there which was so great. But Matt's sister and family got stuck in the snow on the East coast which was not-so-great.

It was a good week. Cousin Hannah and I did a 10 mile run together. The kids explored outside. We went to the Chiricahau National Monument and earned Junior Ranger Badges. I did some target shooting with Uncle Mark (but my hands got icy cold!). We ate and ate and ate. I finished a book (The Maytrees). I worked on my 2011 vision statements. We each burned a list of our 2010 regrets in the fire, and I was in bed before midnight on New Year's Eve. We left New Year's Day and had a leisurely drive home stopping in Hatch, NM (home of the chile pepper!) and Santa Fe.

I'm mixing up my New Year's resolutions a bit this year. I'm still going to do a short list of "resolutions" - things that I can tick off like a to-do list. Honestly, it isn't going to look that different from my 2010 list. I've also decided to go with a theme for 2011 (a la my friend Nona). AND I'm also writing vision statements (thanks to my friend Jill) for different areas of my life. The idea being that my goals come from my vision statements. I worked a lot on my vision statements this last week. I'm mostly done but haven't decided if I'll share them on my blog. Mostly because they are probably boring to anyone but me.

I can already tell 2011 is going to be a good year. How can it not when the year starts out with the date 1-1-11?!?