Our Family in the New Year

It's 6:10 am. I've been up since 3:30 am --crying baby who is now peacefully back asleep. I'm on my second cup of tea. There will be many more as the day wears. Dinner is in the crockpot and I have a decent handle on what lies before me. This new year I have been making a conscious effort to stick to routine. Should be easy for my personality, but alas, motherhood has eroded the finer edges of my core traits. Overall, this is a good thing, but there comes a point where laziness needs banishing.

Our family is well. The girls are growing and from my humble opinion thriving! Sweet Potato is mastering new school lessons like a champ, frequently asking to "do school", and living the life with a vibrant imagination. Each day we become more aware of her growing up. She is a delightful girl with a sensitive spirit and loving heart. We are doing our best to protect and nurture that. No small feat in our society! Pickle is teething. She has also started to demand her own way. It isn't pleasant and we are all eager for her to return to her sweet [spunky] self. She loves keeping up with big sister and has a very nurturing spirit. We have nicknamed her "Clean-up Kid" because she will frequently see a spot on the floor, grab a towel and "clean". Talk about making my heart melt!

The Christmas season was quiet and full of good, quality memories. We ate too much, indulged our guilty pleasures in many areas, sat a while with family and learned more about ourselves. Part of that learning, combined with end of the year reflections, helped rejuvenate me to reclaim elements of "me" that have gotten slightly side-tracked. Nothing horribly neglected, just a gentle adjustment needed.

So we started this new year with a few family and personal challenges. We are joining Nourishing Minimalism in moving (or attempting to move) 2,015 items from our home in 2015. I'm happy to say we are over 200! This challenge is less about moving stuff out, as we are fairly good about that already, and more about being away of what comes in.  We have also committed to reading nightly as a family and playing more games. It sounds silly, but we need to be more intentional in these areas because we value them, but other "needs" kept pushing them to the periphery.

Personally, I have set some exercise goals as I need more movement in my life. I also have some personal spiritual goals. There are a few books I want to read and a good deal of scripture study I desire to pursue. Last fall, I was part of a Precepts Bible Study and thoroughly enjoyed it. While, babysitting has become an issue for the next session, there is a part of me that is relishing in the idea of continuing the study, but more independently. Yes, it allows me to indulge my research self without worrying about getting "behind" or pursuing something in which the class isn't interested. Lesson learning: This season is about making the most of what you have. It might not be perfect, but you can still pursue and enjoy things even if unconventionally.

Another personal goal is to drastically knit down my yarn stash. I've been meaning to do this for a while, but lately I've been knitting like a crazy person. In true type-A fashion, I have set myself some deadlines for projects. In conjunction, I'm using my knitting and stash to make more gifts rather than purchasing items. I'm having fun and loving the thrill of projects completed, smiles at receiving something personal, and less yarn in the house. Of course, my reward for making progress and eventually getting my stash to the size I desire will be more yarn, but long gone are the days of just buying for buying sake.

Additionally, a girlfriend and I are also loosely following this guide for 52 weeks of decluttering. For us, it's less about decluttering and more about maintaining. Since we've already downsized in many areas, these challenges are completed much more quickly. It's a great little boost for my list making self! By the way, I'm hiring myself out for organizing/purging needs. My parents have long said I should do this, and while the "going rate" is a hug and a handful of chocolate chips, a few of you are actually taking me up on the offer. Which is both surprising and super cool! I love seeing someone taking control of their space and creating a home which enables them to pursue the true desires of their heart.

In a nutshell, that's us. Life is good, our hearts are filled with love and contentment is the air we breathe.

True contentment is a thing as active as agriculture. It is the power of getting out of any situation all there is in it. It is arduous and it is rare.
~ G. K. Chesterton

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