December always passes by in such a whirlwind, but it’s so fun having so much to look forward to throughout the month. I especially was feeling grateful because the beginning of December marked my transition into the second trimester of this pregnancy, which came with a definite easing up of symptoms. We also found out the gender of the baby (to be revealed soon!) and enjoyed all the Christmas festivities throughout the month, including Raven having a special little speaking part in the Christmas program put on by her school.
December also brought some hard things for close friends of ours, so we sent up a lot of especially fervent prayers throughout the month. It was a month of tender feelings and a lot of extra relying on our Savior, and I continually marveled throughout at the number of miracles we saw. Sometimes those miracles took the form of miraculous healings and protection, and sometimes they took the form of emotional healing and comfort. Throughout it all, we felt a definite sense of gratitude for our faith and for the many wonderful people in our lives.
I love Christmastime with small children. This was the first year we had the older two kids go to the dollar store and pick out gifts for everyone else in the family, and their genuine excitement and thoughtfulness made me want to cry. They were so eager to wrap and give their gifts, and they gave the sweetest things. They make everything more magical, and that’s the truth.
On the goals front, my increasing energy and lack of morning sickness meant I was able to get a decent amount done, but then we were also hit with a broken dishwasher, which probably messed up my plans and my regular cleaning routine more than it should have. Nevertheless, we got some big to-do items crossed off during December, so I’m feeling pretty proud of where we stood at the end of the year.
Note: There are affiliate links to books and products mentioned in the post.
Switch over closet to maternity clothes
- This didn’t happen until the end of the month, but seeing as I didn’t *quite* need them yet, the timing was fine. I’m still in that awkward stage where a lot of my regular clothes are starting to get tight but a lot of the maternity stuff is still a touch too big, but I’m sure my belly will get there in about two weeks 😉
- Get all kids’ clothes out of our bedroom
- Yes and no. I got out the main batch of kids’ clothes I was thinking of, but then…we brought up ALLLL the unsorted kids’ clothes from the basement and haven’t quite gone through everything yet, lol. Our master bedroom has literally never been completely clean and free of clutter since we moved into this house over two years ago, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change super soon, either…
- Completely clear off kitchen counters
- This would have happened, except our dishwasher broke early in the month. And I discovered very, very quickly that I am NOT great at being one of those people who can wash things quickly after use every time. So basically our kitchen regressed this last month. (Heck, it feels like our whole house did!)
- Get back into doing the FlyLady routine
- Nope – see #brokendishwasher above. Seriously, HOW DOES IT TAKE SO LONG TO WASH DISHES EVERY DAY?!?!
Get rid of hot tub
- This was a major win for us last month. We did a tradeout with some people in our neighborhood, where we let them have the hot tub in exchange for buying us wood to replace the deck underneath it. Seeing as it was a total nightmare for them to get it out, I’m thinking we got a great deal, especially since I’m hoping that it will seriously lower some of our out-of-control energy bills…
Edit last photo session
- I definitely need deadlines when it comes to doing stuff like this, so I gave myself the deadline to have this done before Christmas. And I was able to do it!
Put together family photo albums
- This took longer than I’d anticipated because I decided to label the backs of all the pictures with people and dates, but I know I’ll be really glad I did that in the future. I was able to complete these before Christmas, when I wrapped them up for the kids. (And one of the most amazing gifts I got this Christmas was all the scrapbooks from my entire childhood up to age 20 that my mom had been tirelessly working on for the whole year. Incredible!)
Make homemade chicken broth for gifting
- I think (?) this is one of the first (or for sure one of the only) times I’ve ever done neighbor gifts or anything like that, and while it was a ton of work, I loved being able to give this to some of the people we’re closest to down here. Some of them weren’t home or around when we tried, but it was fun all the same. Plus the broth tasted AMAZING. (I got the recipe from this cookbook, in case you’re curious.)
Book mini vacation for January
- Done! And we’re excited!
Decorate gingerbread house
- The kids LOVE this tradition, and we feel like doing this only gets more fun each year as they get more and more capable of doing more of the actual work.
Go on a drive to see Christmas lights
- We did, and we even saved money while we were at it.
For the first time in years, I’m actually looking forward to January (which is historically my hardest month since I really struggle with winter). And that’s not by accident — I finally learned from the past and made sure to schedule plenty to look forward to during the month so it wouldn’t just be one long, endless slog of cold and dreariness.
Among other things, we have a long weekend trip planned to somewhere warmer than here, and I’ll also be teaching a Continuing Education course at our local college that’s all about cut flower gardening (a paid gig!), as well as attending the 2023 Utah Flower Conference, which I won tickets to.
Should be a good month!
- Start tax preparation
- Since I’m raring to go on paying down our debt, I want to get our tax return back ASAP. The flower farm definitely complicates our tax process quite a bit, so I’m going to need to put in some decent hours this month to get those reports together so that we’re ready to file near the beginning of February.
- Take Onyx to vet
- He’s due for two vaccinations, plus we need to get him neutered, poor guy.
- Register Mazda
- Because I always need a few easy wins on here!
- Call in plumber to look at leaks
- Ugh, I’m kinda terrified to see what he’s going to say when he comes to look at the two leaks we have…
- Deal with dishwasher situation
- So our dishwasher broke last month, and it has been kind of a nightmare, mostly just because I realized I’m terrible at doing dishes regularly throughout the day, so our kitchen has been a perpetual disaster zone for a month now. Originally we were hoping Matt could fix it himself, but now there seems to be an additional leak that is beyond his scope. Now we’re at the point that we’re debating if we should have someone come and fix it and dole out $150 for a repair, or if we should bite the bullet and get a nicer one that will work better than the model we currently have, which isn’t great. Decisions, decisions…
- Clean out fridge
- Because it hasn’t been cleaned out since before I was pregnant, aka…back in early September-ish. Yikes.
- Start doing FlyLady system again
- Rollover goal. Although honestly, this will only happen if we have a functioning dishwasher again.
- Open separate bank account for flower farm
- I’ve needed to do this forever, and I can’t put it off anymore.
- Apply for flower farming grant
- I recently heard about a grant that might help offset the cost of the irrigation system we’re hoping to set up this year. It would be a huge help if we ended up getting it, but first I need to put in the work to actually apply.
- Prepare lesson plans and handouts for cut flower course
- As mentioned above, I’ve been asked to teach a community course at our local college on cut flower gardening, which starts this month. Time to put my teacher hat back on and start developing lesson plans!
- Finish three books
- I’ve set my yearly Goodreads goal at 36 books, which comes out to 3 books a month. Time to get a solid start on that.
- Publish book round-up post
- Because I’ve been working on one for like, 4 months, and it’s just getting ridiculous now.
- Publish post on 2023 house/yard projects
- A lot of our house goals are basically just finishing up stuff we’ve only completed halfway, but I know that accountability always helps me out, so I’ll plan on doing a post on those soon.
And that’s a wrap for me! I hope you enjoyed your holidays too, and that you have some things to look forward to this new month. What kinds of plans have you made for January?