Although we’re already eight days into the new year, it’s not too late to make resolutions, right? Good. Because this year, I’m hoping that recording our resolutions on this here bloggy blog for everyone to see instead of jotting down our list on a piece of paper that might (almost definitely) get lost and/or thrown in the trash (possibly after I’ve broken each and every one) will provide the accountability we need to actually get our butts into gear. So here they are, our household resolutions.
Improve our family’s eating habits: We used to be really careful about what we ate before Miss Maribelle entered our lives. We used to purchase almost strictly organic produce, meat and dairy, and shopped with a greater awareness of what we were eating and where it came from. Our old eating habits are a stark comparison to the 2.2 seconds of thought I gave my McDonalds breakfast meal on my way into work this morning. My how things have changed! Now that we have less time and money, the landscape of our fridge and cupboard includes a whole lot more microwaveable meals, boxed pasta dishes and food that was bagged/boxed/packaged who knows how long ago! It's not uncommon for me to go days without eating a fresh piece of fruit, and I most absolutely did eat two ENTIRE boxes of Little Debbie Christmas Cakes all by myself this holiday (Dear Lord, please tell me they have pulled those off the store shelves because I’m not sure I have the willpower to walk by them if I see them again). For our own health and for the health of Little Miss Belle, our resolution is to go back to some of our old eating habits. We need to find a middle ground between shopping exclusively organic and letting a few things slide (for cost and practicality’s sake). It’s still important for us, and especially for Maribelle, to purchase organic dairy and meat, and we’ll try hard to purchase only organic versions of the “dirty dozen.” This doesn’t mean we’re going all hippy dippy health nut, 'cause momma still needs a Little Debbie fix every once in a while!
Cut down on spending and budget wisely: This may or may not jive well with the previously mentioned resolution, but, we need to spend less and save more (oh organics, why are you sooo expensive?!?). Now that I’m working part-time and have to write a sizeable check every week to our daycare provider, it is muy importante that we learn how to budget and spend less. We’ve never had to worry about money before, so it’s been a bit of a tough road in cutting down our expenses and coming to terms with the fact that we can’t go out to eat, buy the latest clothes and gadgets, or take amazing vacations. Our ultimate goal for the year is to sell our townhouse and purchase a single-family home in the area (which is outrageously expensive!), so any strides we make toward following a budget will put us that much closer to our dream of not hearing our neighbors run up and down their stairs anymore.
Devote more time to our hobbies: I used to spend a lot of time doing the things I love, like knitting, embroidery, cleaning and organizing, baking and reading (major nerd alert!). I rarely do any of those activities anymore, and I miss them. Doing those activities kind of made me feel like me, ya know? They gave me a creative outlet and a chance to relax and zone out. Same thing goes for Jeremy, who is a regular old renaissance man of hobbies. Between brewing beer, cooking, sailing, gardening, playing and recording music, working out, bike riding and kayaking (these are just a few of his hobbies!), he was always busy doing something. And he is still busy all the time, except now his free time is spent running errands, cleaning or entertaining Maribelle while I run errands, clean or entertain Maribelle. I guess you could say parenting has become our main hobby (and that's ok! We just need more of a balance).
Spend more time with friends (and make more friends): This one is a tough one for a few reasons. One, we don't have all that much free time together as a family, so what little time we do get, we like to spend together. And two, we're still dealing with twice-daily naps and a 7:30 bedtime for the Belle, so we don't have the most flexible of schedules. But seriously, we have been lacking lately in the friend department. People had always told us that "oh, you'll meet tons of people through your kids," but I haven't seen any evidence of that yet. Or in the cases where it has happened, it's a major struggle to find a time or day that works for both parties. Maybe once Maribelle is old enough to start playing at playgrounds and gets involved in extra-curricular activities, we'll have more opportunities to make parent-friends. Because until then, how do you exactly find friends with kids? I'm not sure, but I'm still listing this as a resolution, because I miss spending time with other people!
And I would totally add "Exercise More Often" as our final resolution, but let's be honest ... that one doesn't stand a chance in my book.