Thursday, January 2, 2014
Closing Out 2013
It's time to close out another year and start a fresh one! Lots to be thankful for this year, lots of lessons learned, and lots to look forward to in 2014. Have you made your resolutions yet? Some people say resolutions are self defeating and don't bother making any. I make them because they are a form of a list that keeps me on track with the things I promised myself I would focus on. I did pretty good with my resolutions last year. I wanted to eat healthier and lost weight. I worked on changing my diet and although I wouldn't call myself a vegetarian, I found that I know eat less meat, lots more beans/protein, and a lot of salads. In the end, I lost 10 pounds over the last 8 months. I discovered that in the end, it wasn't about the number I got to on the scale but rather the way I felt about myself and the way my clothes fit. Since I am just 5'3" gaining 1-2 pounds is really noticeable to me because there aren't many places for the weight to hide. Damn you, tall girls! I feel like this year gave me good clarity on what I need to do to maintain the weight that makes me feel my best. Now I just need to make sure I maintain...as though that's a piece of cake or something! I also committed to using the sitting area in my bedroom more. We have a fireplace in our bedroom...that has never been used. My closet is right by the fireplace and I don't want my clothes so smell like a campfire every day. Ironic, since I enjoy camping so much. By the fireplace, we have a nice seating area and a big screen tv...that we never sit in. We tend to hang out as a family in the living room so the sitting area just doesn't get used. I did try to accomplish this resolution but wasn't able to work it out. I need to work on finding a way to use the nice, relaxing area more but I need to balance it with the desire to spend time with the family, considering we have such a short amount of time together each night. And quite frankly, I can't think of what my third resolution was but I know I had another one. I'm going to guess I didn't do well on that one. Just being honest with ya....do you remember all of your resolutions?? Maybe it's just me. Each New Year's Eve we do something a little different - whether it's host friends here, go to a friend's house, or celebrate together. I was happy to spend the night with the four of us this year as I know it might be one of the last with the kid's growing social lives. We started the day by going into Providence. We had lunch and then the boys went to the Providence Friars basketball game while "us girls" went shopping at the mall. Now, let's just say that Mimi and I love a good trip to the mall. We started out with a few returns that we had and then we did a little shopping but for whatever reason, we didn't have our shopping mojo on and were ready to go home 2 hours later. However, the basketball game went into double overtime. I don't think Mimi and I have ever uttered the words "Hopefully we can leave the mall soon" but that's what we found ourselves saying. When we got home we had planned to do one thing per hour until midnight to keep ourselves busy...and awake. First up, ping pong tournament! I had got the kids one of those portable nets for Christmas thinking they would use it a few times on the island but somehow our dining room table has become a full scale ping pong table! We played 3 rounds, Jack winning each time. The next hour was spent making and eating some very yummy appetizers and watching a movie. We love "appetizer night". We usually do it when there is a Patriots game on in the late afternoon or sometimes on a Sunday night we combine apps with a movie night. Whenever we stay home on New Year's Eve, it's what we do. The next hour was spent discussing where we want to go for our trips in 2014. Apparently Tim and I were still thinking about camping trips and the kids were not. We worked it out...meaning, we are still camping and the kids are coming to terms with it. But we each shared our lists of where we want to go, then we narrowed it down to a top 3 for each person. Now we have 2 weeks to do our research and come back to share what we found out. Then we'll do a family vote and go from there! Thanks to my friend Pinterest, I started 2 new traditions last year. One, was the Jar of Good Memories. I have a jar that I keep on the counter with plain paper and a pen inside so there are no excuses that you couldn't find a piece of paper or something to write with. Each time one of us has a great memory from the year, we write it down and put it in the jar. Then we spent an hour going through them on New Year's Eve. It was really fun to see what people had written, to read about things we had forgotten about, and to see what everyone else had put in there. There were things like "I had a great summer vacation" to "We spent our 16th wedding anniversary in Beverly Hills!" to "Making the baseball team" to "Had a great time paddling in Wilmington, NC!" If you don't do this, I highly encourage you to do this. It was one of our favorite things to do that night! The other thing I started that we are just now reaping the benefits from was to start a perpetual calendar. I have a little vintage berry basket that I keep index cards in. Each one has the date on it and then each year I write the day of the week and the year. Then I just jot down 1 or 2 things that happened that day. For instance, on New Year's eve this year, it was already New Year's day in 2013 and we all went and took a walk in the afternoon. Honestly, some days I have nothing to jot down, so I'll just note the weather. We are only a few days in but already it is fun to look back on what happened this day a year ago. Again, do this one too!! Finally, we finished out the night by watching the New Year's eve special on tv, getting our toasting drinks ready, and ringing in the year with noisemakers and hats. We had a great night and I know that time with the kids is becoming limited since they will soon be off to school so this was a special night for me that I know I will remember for many years. Actually, I'll remember it for as long as I keep up my perpetual calendar :) Happy New Year to you!!!