I had the best of intentions to have this posted on the first day of the new year…then we all came down with some sort of plague that has just kept producing new symptoms with each coming day, and a whole lot of not sleeping well at night, all of which has combined into a motivation-sucking monster of misery.

How’s THAT for a new year start?

Anyway, we’re all still sick over here, but at least Matt has been well enough to still go into work, and I managed to go grocery shopping yesterday so that we’re not living on cereal and cans of soup. #progress

It feels a bit strange not to be doing my typical new year’s resolutions post, but with last year’s implementation of the 101 in 1001 list, I figured there was no need to double it up. I did think about choosing a word for the year or maybe making some “intentions,” as some people say, but I’m pretty good at reflecting and working on personal growth throughout the year, so I think I’ll just call it good with how I’m doing.

One thing I am working on though (that can’t really be nailed down to a goal, so I guess it’s my current “intention”) is being better at connecting with other people. I’m all too good at living in my own head a lot of the time, to the point where I miss a lot of opportunities to strengthen my relationships with other people. I’ve realized it’s something I really need to work on, so that is my intention for the year ahead.

As for current plans for goals, I do still plan to do monthly recaps here on the blog, as they keep me accountable and as goal-setting is a big part of who I am (so it makes sense that I would post about it on here). Here’s how last month shook out:

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December Goals

  • Go offline for at least two weeks
    • While I didn’t go completely “offline” for two weeks (as I still used the computer to look up recipes or our bank accounts or do family history), I overall stayed off the computer as much as possible last month, which made a big difference in a lot of areas (for one, our house was generally quite a bit cleaner!). I learned some interesting things from this experiment, some of them totally unexpected, which I hope to share in a post soon.
  • Go on a day adventure to Hardware Ranch
    • Done! (In fact, that’s what the pictures in this post are all from.) Matt and I talked a lot about which Christmas traditions we wanted to keep, and I’m glad that this one made the cut! It’s always freezing cold to go up the canyon this time of year, but it’s so fun to see all the elk and to see the kids’ reactions to them. (Plus, it always feels SO GREAT to go home to hot cocoa after!)
  • Try a new cookie recipe
    • I tried the Food Nanny‘s recipe for peanut butter cookies with chocolate kisses, and they were delectable.
This was the only space dry enough (and large enough) to get Thias into that snowsuit (and yes, his arms were really stuck like that for the duration of the time we were there).
  • Send/give 4 handwritten cards or letters
    • I only did one.
  • Read the rest of the talks from General Conference 2018
    • As I’ll note below, because I had a hefty scripture-reading goal, I didn’t make a ton of progress on this one—I maybe read about a fourth of the talks?
  • Find the names of 30 ancestors
    • As I mentioned above, I mostly tried to stay offline during the month of December. The exception? Working on genealogy/family history or indexing. I ended up finding 17 new names, which I was pleased with.
  • Go to the temple 4 times
    • Matt and I continued to go to the temple weekly (individually the first 3 weeks, then together the last one). I cannot express the huge strength this has been to both our marriage and to us as individuals–this is definitely something we’re going to try and continue in 2019!
  • Make 5 new recipes from The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner
    • I almost doubled this goal by making nine, including her recipe for cinnamon rolls (that I made Christmas morning), which were AMAZING.
  • Take one self-portrait
    • Although I did use my new tripod weekly to take our Sunday family portraits, I didn’t get around to doing any self-portraits. I probably could have made the time/effort, but my creative energy was pretty sapped last month.
  • Index 100 names
    • As I let myself get on the computer to work on family history or indexing, this one was knocked out pretty early in the month since I had nothing else online to distract me from it.
  • Start two Assigned Reading books
    • This is bad, you guys! I haven’t even STARTED. I haven’t even FOUND one of the books yet. I have a feeling this term’s “grade” is going to be pretty dismal.
  • Declutter one 50WTO area
    • I spent a lot of my spare time and energy this month simply cleaning the house up in general, but I didn’t have much energy left over to do anything beyond that.
  • Register Mazda and van
    • I registered the Mazda, but I still somehow can’t find where I put the van’s title to get it registered in our name. Grrrr…
  • Optimize one old blog post (recipe)
    • Like I mentioned above, I lacked creative energy this month, so I didn’t spend too much time playing with the new tripod.
  • Revisit 101 in 1001 list and see if I want to change any
    • I ended up changing quite a few, which I’ll post about soon. I think it’s important to only stick with goals that are exciting and relevant for my life now, so it was definitely a good thing I switched some!

Our December felt busy (as Decembers always do), but thanks to my goal to stay offline and to not overschedule us (where we could avoid it), we actually did have a lot of down time, which was much needed. I could have used a lot of that freed-up time to work on projects, but I chose to give myself some much-needed rest periods, instead. I did get a couple of notable things accomplished, though (that weren’t part of my initial goals post):

  • I finished reading the Book of Mormon before the end of the year.
    • I talk about this more below, but seeing as the Book of Mormon is a volume of scripture containing 531 pages and that I read it in less than two months, I was averaging between 10-20 pages every night to get this done. Totally worth it!
  • I got some work done on my back and some much-procrastinated doctor’s visits and hospital tests run.
    • I don’t think I’ve mentioned this on the blog yet, but I’ve had to quit exercising almost completely for the past month and a half or so because I seem to have hurt my back. My sister (who’s a massage therapist) did a lot of work on me over Christmas, which helped a lot, but it also brought to the forefront another apparent issue I had with an inflamed liver, which I didn’t know I had. Anyway, I almost didn’t get everything done before the end of the year (which I was trying to do for insurance reasons), but I was able to find a doctor who could meet with me before the end of the year and get all the tests ordered, which I got done on the last Friday and Monday of 2018. I didn’t get a ton of answers about anything, but most of the tests came back okay, so that’s good. I might start physical therapy in the next month or so if things don’t improve on their own with my back, though.
  • I surpassed my reading goal for the year.
    • As I mentioned in my reading round-up for 2018, I actually managed to surpass my pie-in-the-sky reading goal for last year (of reading 67 books, which was one more book than I’d read the year before). All in all, I ended up reading 68 books, which is the most I’ve ever read in one year as an adult (since I’ve been tracking, anyway).

All in all, December was a month that had times of insane busy-ness and some much-needed downtime, and I feel good with what I was able to get done. While this sickness has sapped a lot of my usual new year energy, I still am excited about a lot of the plans I have for the year ahead, some of which I plan to start this month (and others of which I plan to blog about shortly).

January Goals

  • Go without sugar (treats) for the whole month
    • At the start of this month, I was less than 3 pounds away from reaching my pre-pregnancy weight. Cutting out the treats should definitely ensure that I reach that by the end of January. (Note: Matt is going to be doing this with me, and although we *could* go super extreme with it–meaning no sugar in ANYTHING–we’re just cutting out the obvious treats, which makes it a bit easier on me as I won’t then have to obsessively read every single label and make every last thing from scratch.)
  • Install shelves/hooks in upstairs bathroom
    • For a long time, I put off doing anything more (besides painting) in our main upstairs bathroom because we eventually want to update quite a few things in there. But I finally realized that it’s silly to put off doing ANYTHING until we have the $500+ to make the changes we want, so we’re starting with some simple updates for now. I’m excited to hopefully be able to post some progress pics soon! It’s been too long since I did any house/room updates here on the blog.
  • Make 4 Instant Pot recipes
    • My mom and stepdad got me an Instant Pot for Christmas, which I’ve wanted FOREVER. I’ve heard the learning curve is a bit steep for them, but I’ve already made two successful recipes in there, so I’m excited to keep playing around with it!
  • Update pics in living room
    • Our living room was the first place we hung up anything on the walls, and our family pics I chose for the wall weren’t even the most current ones at the time, and that was more than a year and a half ago (crazy we’ve been in our house that long!). Judging by the pics, you would never know we’d added another member to our family. Time to change that!
  • Get my mom updated family pics
    • Seeing as a I’m photographer and that we literally take a family photo together every Sunday, I have absolutely no reason why my mom should (also) not have an updated pic of the four of us.
  • Start the Book of Mormon in Spanish
    • Last October, the prophet of our church issued a challenge to all women to read the Book of Mormon before the end of last year (in about two and a half months). I was able to complete that challenge, and it made an enormous difference in how I felt day to day, and it also greatly strengthened my testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ. On my mission, I read a good portion of the BOM in Spanish but never quite finished it, so this year I’m starting back at the beginning and intend to finish it (in Spanish) by December 31st of this year. (If you want to know more about my beliefs, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or you can read more about the Book of Mormon here.)
  • Set up crib in Raven’s room
    • When Raven was a baby, she was out of our room when she turned 6 months old. Our plan was to do the same for Mathias, but as he’s not consistent about sleeping through the night, I’ve been hesitant to move him into Raven’s room. However, I also don’t want to put it off forever, so I figure setting the crib up in there is the first step.
  • Make 5 recipes from The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner
  • Decide on canvas size + quantity for prints in bedroom and purchase them
    • One of the last places in our home that we decorate the walls is in our bedroom (and always has been so). I’ve been wanting to display more of my own photography around our house (especially as the majority of it is, you know, of our family), and I’ve saved some tutorials on how to make your own photo canvas prints that I hope turn out well. I don’t plan to actually get around to making the prints this month, but I figured I’d better start somewhere. (#babysteps)
  • Ask neighbor over for feedback on built-in shelf options
    • Ever since we moved to our home, we’ve planned on putting in built-in bookshelves in the basement, but we haven’t made much progress toward actually doing that (and I weep every month that the books remain boxed up in our closets). We have a talented neighbor who designed and built his own (gorgeous) home, so I’m hoping to invite him over to get his thoughts on how we can go about doing this project.
  • List 5 things on Ebay
    • I’ve listed some stuff on Ebay for my brother before, but we never really worked out if it was going to be something I continue doing for him. Over Christmas though, he gave me 3 enormous bags of vintage clothing to list, so I want to get started as soon as possible, as that will provide some nice extra income for the both of us.
  • Finish Assigned Reading (by 1/27)
    • Truth: it will be nothing short of a miracle if this actually happens because you guys–I HAVEN’T STARTED ANY OF THEM. This has never happened in the history of me doing this. Part of the problem was that all of our books are in boxes (see above) so I couldn’t even FIND the books, but part of it has just been that my personal time to read has seemed almost nonexistent lately. We shall see what happens, though–after all, procrastinating up until a deadline is a particular talent of mine.
  • Register the van
    • Rollover goal.
  • Declutter two 50 WTO areas

And that should be enough to keep me busy for the month (and then some)! What are your plans for the new year? Any big goals?

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