There’s only a few days left until 2016…and in 2016 I turn 25?!
It’s crazy to think about for me, a quarter a century old. I would say I feel old, but I also know I’m really not that old. I’m only 25 after all.
I’ve accomplished a lot in the 25 years I’ve been alive and a lot in the past year. I began this blog, finalized an adoption, found out we were pregnant with our sixth child, and moved to a new town. There’s been funny and lighthearted posts, as well as ones that are more in depth and discuss mental illness and the not so perfect parts of my motherhood and life.
For the year of 2016, I’ve decided that it sounds about right to try and create 25 goals. Attainable, but larger than my usual monthly lists, I’m going to use my five categories from the monthly areas; blogging, kids, relationships, personal, and Christ-following.
1. Gain 1,000 followers on Instagram! I hit my end of the year goal of 650(and then some!) and would love to continue to grow on that platform. (If you are interested on following me on this platform, click this link!)
2. Have 500 likes on my Facebook page! This about doubles the number of likes I’ve gained since beginning this blog in May. (If you’re interested in this page, click this link here!)
3. Set up blog guest posts for the few weeks I will probably have to take off due to having a child. I have been wanting to have a few featured people to write up some articles that I can have ready to go for when our family is in the super intense part of adding another member to it. I don’t want to allow this blog to not exist or be dead during that time frame!
4. Improve my blog photography. Y’all I have a best friend who went to school for professional photography. She is absolutely amazing. I have a sister in law and a husband who are also amazing and have eyes for pictures. That is not me, naturally, at all. This year I’m really about focusing on learning how to take and edit my photos better.
5. Re-Designing the blog and launching it. I love the niche my blog is, but I’ve been moving away from the idea of being in a small rural town in the middle of the woods…because we simply are not anymore! I want to add some more of the mountains to the ideas, since it’s kind of what the Berkshires are famous for, as well as adding in some of that hardcore mill city aspect we own. I’m super excited to move forward with this new design though!
1. Include them in cooking more often. Someday my kids will be living on their own and need to make their own food. I want to teach them some of the basics with cooking and incorporate them in more of the meals we make. Plus, what’s more in than cooking with your kids?
2. Implement daily and weekly chores and stick to them. Our chore chart did not work. But I’m still all about getting these kiddos chores that they can do to help around the house; both to help me as well as to teach them life lessons.
3. Finish the reading nook in the girls room. There’s an awesome little closet in the girls room we want to create into a reading space. With lights, books and nice places to sit. We are so excited for them to have this area for themselves to relax, read, and do homework in.
4. Lessen the amount of things they own. They have more things that they know what to do with! I hate to get rid of things, but I also know they do not get as much use out of the things they have as they could if they had less things to get through.
5. Take a photo of the kids every month. I want to chart and record their growth as the year continues, so the first of every month, I am going to make the kiddos let me take a photo of them. (except maybe the 19 year old, because you know. 19.)
1. Finish a bible study together. Because of my position in the church, I’ve been given a few to look at and would love to sit down and do one with just my husband at night, after the kids are asleep. It’s a great way to grow together and spiritually.
2. 24 Dates in 12 months! I don’t have actual dates planned yet, but I hope to make sure we get two dates a month for the year. Any thing goes, but two dates a month to spend time one on one together doesn’t seem like we’re asking for too much, right?
3. Pray together before bed every night. This should not be as hard as we always feel like it’s going to be, nor as daunting. Yet every time we try, we don’t even begin or only last a day or two. I am determined to make this last.
4. Make some couple friends we can spend time with, both together and separately. When Josh and I got married and began our family, we didn’t have many friends that came with either of us. My friends were still happily living at their colleges or just graduating. Josh…well he didn’t have many friends, because he’s not really a “friend” kind of guy. We are hoping to grow our friendship group to people we can spend time with.
5. Take part in one of the marriage bible studies our church is putting on! Hopefully we can grow together as well as this helping us move forward with number four. Yay for healthy relationships.
1. Read 52 books in the year. I have a list of novels I want to read or re-read through this year, and I love to read! It’s just about making myself focus and read, and finding the time to do it.
2. Find, utilize, and rock a personal planner. I desperately need a planner for all our schedules and activities, between church, the kids appointments and blogging. I want to have one I have perfected the use of by the end of 2016.
3. Create a garden and tend to it. I did this pretty successfully two years ago, then last year I failed completely. This upcoming year I want to create and nurture a garden. And eat all those delicious homegrown vegetables.
4. Improve my running time so I am back to 10 minutes or less for a mile. I was doing great early this summer, then a child was created and I was forced to slow down. Birth should be happening some time between March and April, so I will gave time to begin walking and running again before 2017 comes along!
5. Fully embrace my word of the year: CONTENT. I see things often that tell you not to settle for being “content.” I personally love contentedness. It’s a wonderful gift to feel comfortable and safe in life. I struggle often with wanting more, more, more. I want my degree, I want more kids, I want to run everything at church. Striving to be better is not a bad thing at all. But I also have a wonderful life and I want to spend this year focusing on all the things I have; not all the things I want.
1. Take Back Sunday. The sabbath day is a very important part of the bible, yet I see as we lose time as a family and church, between different sports and activities. One of my goals as a Christian mom is to take back the Sabbath and dedicate the day to being Christ and family filled.
2. Double the size of The Group. The Group is a young adult group of 20, 30, and 40 year olds in our church. We get together for fellowship and biblical growth. Right now we have about 20 members who come regularly. I would love to see us grow to 20 regular members and deepen our friendships.
3. Create a refuge in our home. Hospitality is an important part of Christianity. I strive to have a home that is always open and welcoming to others in need…or even just to enjoy it.
4. List a blessing a day! In my prayer journal, I want to list a blessing from God each day that I can look back at when 2017 comes along.
5. Make time for Jesus. I’m a busy mom. I have kids, a husband, a house, church things and this blog. My personal growth time with Jesus is often put on the back burner, without a second glance, because everything else seems so important. But nothing is more important than my relationship with God and I want to spend 2016 focusing on growing and nurturing that relationship.