Joy Becomes Her

11 Goals for 2016

March 3, 2016

Normally people write goals in December for the upcoming New Year. At the latest, maybe January? But not me. Being huge and pregnant, feeling like my life was on pause, I just couldn't wrap my mind around creating goals for myself or with my husband for our family. I really wanted my pregnancy to be over so that I could feel like I could move forward instead of waiting for something to happen. And it is. My pregnancy is over and we're snuggling our 4th baby and I am ready to move forward.

I'm going to spend 2016 focusing on health. Physical health, nutritional health, and financial health.

1. Lose, on average, 2lbs a week. That is roughly at 104lb weight loss in a year.

My physical health is our family's number one priority. Im obese. There's no way to be cute about it because obesity and the health problems that can occur aren't cute. I am going to accomplish this goal by cutting out all processed foods in our home that have more than 5 ingredients. My husband doesn't know this yet! He's naturally thin but his eating, like mine, isn't the best. So if I'm not making the whole out of a sum of ingredients or if the product has more than 5 ingredients, we're not eating it.

The exception to the rule: Vacations/Family trips, eating over someone's house/eating a meal provided by a friend or family member

2. Exercise at the YMCA 3 times a week (starting when baby Mo is old enough for child care).

Our YMCA offers 2 hours of uninterrupted childcare for members. This is an amazing opportunity to use that time to take classes for myself and give my kids the opportunity to run their energy out.

3. Limit calorie intake to 1,800 calories a day

I've found that the combination of real foods and calorie restriction works best for me. Im going to play around with these calories because I am breastfeeding and I don't want to mess with my milk supply but I know as it is right now, Im eating too many calories. Im going to keep track of my calories on MyFitnessPal.

4. Pack my husband's and my daughter's lunch every day.

This is a great goal because I love packing lunches. You can check out my weekly updates on my instagram account every Friday if you want some inspiration. Doing this will also help us financially because as of right now, my husband is eating either unhealthy lunches he's thrown together or spending money on eating out. This will be a test though, more so for him than me, to see if he'll actually bring the lunchbox back when he's done at the end of the day.

5. No eating out

We're not eating out anymore because a lot of times it goes against our real food goal and because its expensive. Eating out as a family of 6 (well, 5 because the littlest one doesn't eat "real" food yet) is expensive. It's anywhere between $40-60+ dollars a visit.

The exception to the rule: Vacation/Family trips, birthdays, being invited out to dinner (and they are paying), meal provided by a friend or family member.

6. Save 3 months worth of my husband's monthly pay

Unfortunately, moving and having a baby has tapped our savings account and it is in need of love and care, for real. Saving 3 months worth of my husband's monthly pay a great way to provide us a cushion if something were to happen to his employment and make the worrier in me feel better.

7. Organize and purge unnecessary items

We live in a 1,000 square foot home and it feels smaller when our stuff doesn't have any place to go or doesn't belong here in the first place. So I am going to purge 10 items a week, that's 520 items for the entire year! The rest of the things that we do keep will be in their proper place, organized.

8. Only buy necessary items, everything else spend less than $100.00 a month

What are necessary items? Obviously things that keep our family running like food, gas, clothes, shoes, and the like. But no unnecessary purchases at the Goodwill or random items in my cart at Target or else it comes out of the $100.00 we've set aside.

The exception to the rule: I want to purchase a TV stand for living room and the older two kids need their room re-done in the summer.

9. Keep grocery bill under $500 a month

I've played with this number for years now. Sometimes trying to get us as low as $300 a month for groceries and it just Right now we're at about $600 a month for groceries but that includes some processed things. I think when we cut those things out I'll be able to save $100 easily. Im also only taking cash with me at the grocery store.

10. Follow a morning and evening cleaning routine

I've been doing this successfully for a few weeks now but it's definitely something that takes committment! It works though and I love how our house looks.

11. Reduce our waste

Our trash and recycling has gotten out of hand. We purchase too many things that require plastic packaging and we don't compost. My goal is to only use one trash bag and recycle only one can of plastics a week.

Giving Thanks

November 25, 2015

This Thanksgiving we're staying on the West coast and partaking in a Friendsgiving. A dinner with new friends connecting over great food and drink. I can't think of a better way to celebrate this holiday, one we choose to reflect on the year and dive into gratitude for all we have and will have, than with friends who have made this year a fairly easy transition.

I've spent this Wednesday, prep day, swatting away six eater hands from homemade pies and repeating "I know it looks great, but this is for tomorrow" more times then I can remember. But its all good. As each year passes there will be less swatting and more room for eager kids wanting to partake in holiday preparation, just not this year.

I am so very grateful for a lot of things this year including grateful that I am grateful for what I have.

Weekend Wrap-Up

October 18, 2015

This week: This week my mom moved into her own apartment. She had been living with us since the end of August and on a whim we checked out a really nice complex down the street from our house and it was perfect. She applied and two weeks later we were helping her pack and move a short drive away. Bean asked if she was going back to "New Nork" (so cute) but I assured them that no, Nana is only down the road now. We feel very lucky and spoiled. We had a friend over and her three little ones and we made apple pie. I love the fall. It means baking and sharing goods with friends and family, it makes my heart full. The husband and I went to an independent school fair to look at school options for Bean and Reid next fall. It kind of makes my head spin just thinking about the logistics and finances of private schools 40+ minutes away from where we currently live, but hopefully we'll find a way. 

Snapshots of the week: Bean scored her fist soccer goal this weekend! It was a huge deal for all of us and she got a run around the yard on Daddy's shoulders when we returned home with the news. She felt like a super star.

To-dos and goals for the week:
 - create a month long learning plan for Reid
 - work on the big kids' Halloween costumes
 - earlier bed time for me
 - drink more water
 - try not to obsessively check my baby registry
 - spend time alone with Reid
 - organize the garage 

A few facts:

  • I've given up all hope of making homemade granola, it always tastes like crap.
  • I found an amazing all wood coffee table for the living room for $14.99 at the Goodwill, waiting definitely paid off.

September Apple Picking

October 1, 2015

Apple picking in Central New York is so great.

There is a farm that we visit every year. The same country store that sells the same snacks and baked goods. The same orchard, the apple trees knotted and twisted but still neatly in a row. We watch the kids take bites out of apples as we pick, fill the bags that are then given to Daddy so that our arms don't fall off, and after we order three hotdogs, one hamburger, and gorge ourselves on apple cider donuts that stick to the roof of our mouths and leave our shirts sparkling with cinnamon and sugar.

We love it and I will miss it.

We've decided that we aren't giving up our September tradition and even though we are skeptical, we figure how can the number one apple producing state let us down, right? Right.

So off we went on a Sunday afternoon, apple picking for the first time in Washington State:

The place was huge, a real attraction with a lot of things to look at. We didn't really explore those areas too much, we wanted to pick our apples and eat lunch so we got on a wagon hitched to the back of a tractor and rode it out to the apple orchard. There we picked Jonagold apples larger than my fists. Sweet and tart the kids did more eating than picking but I didn't mind, I enjoyed twisting them off and placing them in our bag.

We picked a little under 20lbs of apples that I happily took home, peeled, and put in a crockpot to make apple sauce. The rest of them are waiting on more jars so that I can make apple pie filling.

Right Now

September 27, 2015

Right Now I am...

  1. Picking apples with my family
  2. Loving how cozy our home feels this season
  3. Dreaming of all things apple
  4. Taking it slow and enjoying the changing of the trees
  5. Feeling itty bitty kicks
  6. Finding new ways to show my kids that I love them
  7. Reading a book
  8. Trying to be in bed by 9:30pm
  9. Making myself drink tea
  10. Just...really..really..enjoying my life right now

Right Now

September 13, 2015

Right Now I am...

  1. Trying to figure out how to supplement Bean's public school education at home.
  2. Rejoicing in the connections I've made with friends
  3. Preparing for out youngest 2nd birthday tomorrow (September 14th!)- where has the time gone?
  4. Trying to remember to take my prenatal vitamins
  5. Enjoying the big kids (Bean and Reid) being in soccer
  6. Trying to add to my essential oils collection without going into abject poverty
  7. Realizing that its finally too cold to wear sandals anymore, bummer.
  8. Welcoming the Seattle rain
  9. Making sure all my fall spices are fully stocked to kick off my Fall Baking Season
  10. Just...really..really..enjoying my life right now.

Day 1 of Kindergarten

September 8, 2015

Today my little Bean went to her first day of Kindergarten. She practically escorted us out of the room. Was what I said and then she gave me a half assed side hug and said "Bye Mommy!" is see ya later..Oh, okay.

It wasn't as dramatic for me as I think it is for other people. Doesn't mean that I don't care or Im not deeply affected, I think people just process and react to information differently. And that's okay. Instead of crying at the school I kind of wandered around the house all day, noticing how quiet it was, feeling a little sad when Reid would say "Bean! Look at this..Oh wait..I forgot." - yeah, that kind of stunk.

The good news is that she had a great time. We are all happy about that. So this is our new.