Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016 Goals - Winter

So here I sit on in front of our fireplace in the mountains on the last morning of 2015. I'm drinking warm tea from my favorite Hawaii mug (and thinking that Hawaii sounds lovely after the last few days of skiing in single digit temps!) and hoping that my family stays asleep for a bit longer (I love 'em but I also love the quiet - and quiet they are not!). The new year is my favorite time to review and plan, but I've found that for me it is better to set some shorter, get-it-done type goals vs. year long resolutions. Plus I still keep an ever evolving 5-10 year life plan. So here is my first set of plans for 2016... some specific, some general, some short term, some longer term.


  • Keep list of all purchases in 2016 (more on this later)
  • Maintain Mvelopes (this is what I have used for years to track our income/spending, I switched to free in mid-2015 but wasn't happy, so I'm excited to be back to Mvelopes!)
  • Update insurance on jewelry (understand the importance after losing a diamond earring in Lake Michigan - ugh! Thankfully it was insured & Matt gave me a replacement for Christmas)
  • Update will & estate documents (we've needed to do this for years!)
  • Set up savings plan for big home updates (would like to do them debt free)
  • Set up savings plan for big travel the next few years


  • Finish family room projects (paint bookcase doors & hang art)
  • Dining room projects (hang plate racks, line sideboard drawers in silvercloth)
  • Update Jack's room (rug, hooks, magnetic board, desk, shelf, drapes)
  • Coat closet clean up (2nd hanging bar, add hooks, declutter, paint?)
  • Make design plan for basement renovation
  • Meet with architect for to develop long term plan for back of house (kitchen, deck, mudroom, kids' bathroom, new master)
  • Follow Home Storage Solutions 52 Weeks plan (as best I can - like it as a guideline and to help keep the house decluttered)
  • Declutter and simplify Christmas decorations as they are put away

Personal Development

  • Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge (will set goal at 60 books)
  • Don't click gossip news/fishing links (more on this later)
  • Pledge with Matt & kids to not text as the driver (even at stoplights), to make all calls hands-free, and to limit in town calls to less than two minutes (we are doing this both for our own safety & to set an example for the kids are they inch closer to being drivers themselves)
  • Set morning and evening routines for myself
  • Work through Gretchen Rubin's 21 Days & 21 Strategies program
  • Look at meeting with a therapist or coach for some personal development help
  • Blog at least once a week
  • Use my Get to Work Book to organize projects in a Getting Things Done style

Family - Keeping a few other goals private 

  • Update/set morning & evening routines and daily checklists for kids
  • Plan 1:1 dates with each child
  • Read one parenting book

Health & Well Being

  • Complete 30 day green smoothie challenge starting Jan 1
  • Complete another round of Go Sugar Free (goal this session is to define my personal sugar selective guidelines)
  • Work back up to a 10K using 10K Runner program
  • Maintain Pilates workout 1x/week
  • Bake more homemade bread (using both bread machine for dough and the no knead method)
  • Research, choose and potentially schedule executive health exams for Matt and me
  • Restart vitamin regime
  • Read Power of 10
  • Make Favorite Winter Meals list

Fun & Recreation

  • Plan spring break trip
  • Plan late spring trip
  • Plan weekend trips in 2016 (I'm feeling some wanderlust but school and other activities are keeping us close to home)
  • Complete 3 quilts by spring (zigzag, New Bedford, flannel backed patchwork)
  • Visit a new state  in 2016 (I feel like I'm stalled with the remaining 4... Oregon, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Delaware)
  • Plan monthly game night
  • Make a 2016 resolution hiking list
  • Do hike in camping with kids in 2016
  • Go cross country skiing (I really want this to be my *thing* but getting there has been tough)

Monday, December 21, 2015

Family Swim Practice

No official swim practice for us the next two weeks, but we are planning a few family swim sessions.
Kate was in charge of our workout today. I barely survived. I was done after the warmup!
Apparently I stink at butterfly. And I don't keep my head down in breast stroke.
And I think both kids might be faster than me...

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Homeschool Moment - Mess Making

Some kind of Harry Potter inspired candy making experiment
(FYI it took everything in me to say yes to this mess making!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

DayBook 12.15.15

Outside my window... it's snowing! We got a few inches overnight which was a surprise for me (I should check the weather more!). Was even more surprised to find out school had been cancelled.

I am hearing... the furnace blowing - it used to be a constant, winter sound in our old house, but this fall we had insulation blown in the outside walls and now that the storm windows are back up after getting the house painted, our house is staying warm and toasty without the furnace working overtime.

I am feeling... blah. I think I need to get outside and get some sunshine in my face!

I am thinking... that my kids are growing up much too fast! I need them to slow down.

I am thankful for... snow days. It just feels like extra time.

From the kitchen... made a cranberry chicken dish on Sunday night with roasted brussel sprouts (and broccoli because the kids won't eat brussel sprouts), last night we had taco soup pulled from the freezer. This morning I'm going to put Greek chicken in the crockpot for dinner tonight. And since it is a snow day, we are going to make some Christmas cookies this afternoon!

I am wearing... my black hiking pants (because they are so comfy!), a wool turtleneck and my lounge sweater. It's my lazy outfit.

I am creating... I have been busy in the sewing room. I got 2 (TWO!!) quilt tops done last week (but the house fell apart!). One of them I basted over the weekend, and I'm slowly quilting. I'm also thinking of crocheting a few ornaments for the kids.
I am going... to take a shower this morning. I'm desperately dirty.

I am reading... I seem to be on a bit of a book hiatus. I'm reading Crown of Midnight (book 2 of the Throne of Glass YA series), but that is it. Don't even have a current audiobook! I've been listening to podcasts instead.

I am hoping... that Matt gives Tripper a bath this week. 

Around the house... it's half decorated for Christmas, but with no tree yet, it doesn't feel really Christmasy. I also have boxes everywhere. Boxes of stuff to be donated, boxes to be sent out, boxes to be recycled.

In the homeschool room... Jack and I did baking soda rockets and other experiments last week. Other than that, just our normal stuff. 

How I'm exercising... I'm not. I keep meaning to go to the gym or get outside for a run, but I've been feeling lazy. Plus the sewing room distracts me! Maybe I need to put on my FitBit again.

One of my favorite things... Christmas cookies!

A few plans for the next week: Life feels like slows way down starting this weekend, but we still have a lot going on. The kids have a swim team Christmas party, we have a friend's birthday to celebrate, going to the Nutcracker, my parents are coming, we have to get & decorate our Christmas tree, and lots of cooking to be done!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday, December 04, 2015


Our Advent project today was snowflakes
Even made a Stormtrooper snowflake!