Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 Goal Update

If anyone's been following my blog for a length of time, you'll know that every year I participate in the One Little Word challenge. It's easy. Step 1: Pick a word that describes how you want your year to be. Step 2: Make it happen.

Last year my word was Embrace (post here), i.e., embrace the changes. I just re-read last year's post myself, so here's a couple of my thoughts on how well I "made it happen."

Embrace Change: As far as major life changes, I didn't actually have any this year. I remember last year I was worried I would be put into a new position at my school, but fortunately for me I ended up going right back to my 8th grade math spot. So as it turns out, I didn't quite have to embrace too much change in that area.

Embrace the "Baby Year": I think I've been doing a good job at this. I'm kind of a big ol' sap already, so those nights where I just want to put Lincoln in his bed at 6:30pm on the dot and close the door behind me and not have to deal anymore, I've been able to remind myself pretty easily that these nights won't last forever. I knew last January that my six-week-old was going to turn into a toddler by the time the year was up, and I can honestly say I've (mostly) cherished the moments. I've snuggled my baby well past the time he's fallen asleep in my arms. I've snuck into his room to watch him sleep countless nights. I've kept myself from getting (too) discouraged as he's refused to sleep or has his occasional meltdowns. The baby year went by fast. They say it does, but you don't realize it until you're at the end of another year.

See? This guy's practically ready for college now, for crying out loud!

Embrace Relationships: This one. I did not do well with. At all. I'd like to blame it on time and other life issues taking priority, but I know I've had plenty of time to work on this, time that's gone to other things like reading cloth diaper forums and catching up on NCIS LA. I'm continuing to work on this in the coming year.

Embrace Fitness: So I thought I'd failed on this one, but then I really stopped to think about it, and I'm going to give myself a C+ on this one. In the spring I signed up for Stroller Strides when it was offered by my school. Over the summer I continued with the weekly Stroller Strides course at a local park and we all joined the Y. Lincoln had a blast at baby swim classes and the child watch class, while I did dance and yoga/pilates. In the fall, we did Stroller Strides again at the school. This is way more than I've done in years, but still less than I should be doing, so C+.

Embrace Food: Oh, man, this one was tough. I'm just going to go ahead and say we all failed on this one. Yes, there were definitely weeks when I took time to plan out our meals, bought groceries according to plan, and actually stuck to the plan... but there were a lot of times when I let the busyness of work take over instead.

Embrace (My) Creativity: I was fortunate enough to have quite a bit of extra time in the beginning of the year. I was on maternity leave and in a position that did not require a ton of my home time, which led to creative time in the evenings after Lincoln went down. (Well, on the nights that I didn't go down at the same time... which sadly happened quite a lot.) I also had a really great opportunity to be on a creative team for my favorite scrapbook designer, Liz Tamanaha. I even almost finished Lincoln's baby book this year, which, come on, is pretty huge.

Embrace Frugality: Ah, my last minute throw-on. I'll go ahead and give myself a B- on this one. While the couponing didn't last too long (hello, that stuff takes a lot of time), using the Ibotta app to reverse coupon has been great. I've also been paying attention to the coupons that come out with receipts at the grocery stores these days. I almost always get Plum coupons and coupons for our favorite bread. Still working on convincing Chris to buy only what we plan to use in the following week (his method is to just buy all the things so there's always something at home to eat), but I think we've taken great strides in using up what we buy. We used to throw out so much that had gone bad before we used it, it was awful.

So that was my year. Not the best as far as goals go, but not at all the worst! T-Minus two days for the new year to start, and I'm excited to get going with my new word and ideas for the year.

As you can see, this little guy's also excited for the year to come. Another year of fun, learning, and growing- this time toddler style!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


We'll, we're on our way back home from another fabulous Christmas in Yucaipa. It was cold enough there that it actually FELT like Christmas. It even almost snowed! 

As usual, we did not get a Christmas photo of our little family. Sigh. People think that photographers have lots of pictures of themselves; really, we have lots of pictures of our babies, some pictures of our husbands while they're with our babies, and occasionally a picture of ourselves. (But that only happens if we want to spend time setting up the timer function or convince our husbands to leave their desks to take a picture. Ain't nobody got time for that.)

But I digress.


Notable events this year:

Chris' dad is recovering from knee surgery he had literally a week ago. Lincoln helped by snuggling and reading books on Grandpa's lap.

Lincoln discovered the magical pantry at Grandma and Grandpa's house. It's full of Lincoln sized items like sprinkles containers and parsley jars. Perfect for a little boy to rearrange and move to nearby benches.

Lincoln also discovered that Gracie is now bigger than him and even more rambunctious than him. He kept a cautious eye on Gracie the whole time.

Lincoln discovered the big toy that makes music, aka, the piano.

He now LOVES the piano.

We of course opened gifts. Lincoln's much better at it than he was at his birthday, especially with the gift bags. But his favorite things to play with Christmas day were not his many new toys, but a box of cotton balls and Grandpa's pick-up stick.

Favorite gifts all around include a new flask (Chris, from "Lincoln"), Lularoe leggings (Jordan, from Sarah), and a few Duplo Lego sets (Lincoln, from Justin and grandparents).

Oh, and of course, this Rudolph from Sarah, the first gift Lincoln opened.

Lincoln got his first lollipop on Christmas day, which he seriously loved. No, really, he loved it very seriously. You wouldn't think he was enjoying it, until the tantrum he threw when I took the last little bit away from him.

AND for another first at Grandma and Grandpa's house (well, kind of), Lincoln executed his first bowl-to-mouth spoon maneuver with Christmas night lasagna. The entire table clapped every time he did it, and you know that kid lives for the praise. He also likes to praise himself along with everyone else. 

So Christmas this year was mostly centered around Lincoln. As is life these days. But that's okay, because having a toddler wading through life for the first time is pretty entertaining, and honestly makes life a lot more fun. You never realize how special things are until you experience them with the fresh eyes of a one-year-old. And though he didn't really "get" Christmas this year, it sure was fun watching him walk around with Grandpa's pick-up stick and reorganize Grandma's herbs for the tenth time. Here's to next year's Christmas with a two-year-old!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day

As usual, Christmas has been a long, slow day of relaxing, eating, and opening presents at Chris' parent's house. The usual suspects are here: mom and dad, Chris and me, Sarah and Justin, Grandpa Ed. This year we added a one-year-old and a puppy to the mix, which made for a bit more of an interesting time. For the first year, we had ornaments being pulled off the tree, toys being eaten, popcorn being spilled, tantrums being thrown, naps and walks needing to fall into the festivities somewhere, etc. It's been an exhausting and beautiful day, summed up by the picture below.  

Merry Christmas, everyone!