Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year 2011

I'm not sure why, but I find myself looking forward to 2011 with uncharacteristic (for me, anyway) optimism.
vintage ephemera
2010 was overwhelmingly good:
  • Our oldest graduated from college. She worked so hard, did so well, and is now plotting her course through graduate school as she holds down a job, and is adjusting to her first home-away-from home. So much for one year, but she has handled it with poise and aplomb. My heart swells with pride when I think of the beautiful young woman she's become.
  • Our middle daughter also had a year of many changes. She was accepted into her first choice of universities; she turned 18, and from my perspective, she grew up. Suddenly, my baby is so incredibly mature, introspective, and graceful. She's always been my sunniest child - beautiful, cheerful and pleasant; but now there is something else - she's on the cusp of being a "grown up". My sweetest child is fledging and I could not be prouder of everything she's become. 
  • Clementine turned five. In addition to becoming much more self-sufficient, she started preschool, had her tonsils out after a very long illness, grew 5 inches, had her long hair cut into a cute pixie cut, advanced several levels in swim class, and started ballet lessons (which she loves). 
  • Dan had a busy, productive year. He took three week-long trips for work (New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts). He spent a week in VMWare training (VM = Virtual Machine), which he really enjoyed, and he'll be taking the exam to be certified in VMWare after the first of the year. Dan went elk and antelope hunting, and brought home a very nice antelope which now graces our freezer.He worked on various projects around the house, spent more time at the gym, and spent a lot of time doing "daddy stuff".
  • As for me... I've had a busy year as well; being a wife and a mother is a full-time job.
    I've done some writing (but not nearly enough), and some crafting (not nearly enough). I did a fair bit of knitting (but not nearly enough), and even got around to making Clementine's Halloween costume by hand... which I hope to get around to posting here soon.
    I did some de-cluttering, but got seriously sidetracked when Clementine was so sick (from November 2009 through May, 2010).
    I had surgery at the beginning of December, which was a long time coming, and am starting to feel better.

    vintage ephemera

My resolutions for 2011 are: 
  • To be a better wife. I've been consciously working on this during the past year and I hope I've made progress. My husband is the sweetest, kindest, best man in the world and he deserves someone who appreciates him and helps him in every way possible. I strive to be yet more helpful, more supportive, and more appreciative in the new year.
  • To be a better mom. I need to remind myself to make time for the most important things in life - spending time with my beloved three daughters. They fill my heart with indescribable joy. 
  • To be a better home maker. I'd like to make more of our food from scratch, and sew more. Last year I decluttered my kitchen, learned to make yogurt, and started baking from scratch again, this time using gluten-free recipes. I'd like to bake more, and make more of the things and products we use. 
  • I'd like to continue to make our home greener, both because it's healthier and because it almost always costs less. Last year I purged the kitchen of nearly every piece of plastic and replaced them with china and Pyrex/Fire King from thrift stores (safer and cheaper than the plastic was when it was new). Glass never melts, doesn't off-gas, and looks so much prettier than plastic.
    This year, I'd like to focus on greener cleaning supplies and to continue buying organic where it matters (The Organic Dirty Dozen - foods which should always be purchased in organic form^) 
  • To watch many more awful B-movies with my husband. We cancelled cable last spring, and while the amount of TV viewing in our home went way down overall, we soon began to seek out and watch old B-movies together. But instead of sitting there passively watching TV, we found ourselves talking, laughing, and enjoying ourselves. Movie Night is the highlight of my week now.
  • I'd like to work more in clay, knit more often, and craft more. I did pretty well last year, making time for several small projects, but could certainly do more. One of my goals this year is to make as many of the gifts we give during the year as possible.
  • I'd like to exercise more, including getting out and hiking. It's a shame to live amongst all this beauty and not spend more time in nature. 
  • Immediately return to our 10-a-day decluttering plan, starting January 1st (today!). It works like this: Pick 10 things - however you wish to define "things" - 10 magazines, 10 forks, ten pieces of paper. Ten of one thing  or ten different things. Then, take those ten things, whatever they are, and get rid of them. Give them away, recycle them, thrown them out, donate them, shred them, whatever. Easy, right? Just do ten a day, every day.
  • Read more. I don't read enough. Actually, I read a lot, but most of what I read isn't in book form. So, I'd like to focus on reading more books. 
  • Recommit to The Compact Movement. The Compact Movement is dedicated to buying less through agreeing to buying new only what you absolutely need (food, medicine, school books, etc.), and trying not to buy anything else for a year (or for whatever period you commit to).
  • To appreciate everything I have. Not things, but people and relationships. I'm blessed with loving friends and family, but I don't express how much I love and care for all of these wonderful people as much as I should.
vintage ephemera

With that in mind, I would like to wish you the Happiest of Happy New Years, and thank you so much for reading.
vintage postcard from 1927
Welcome, 2011
The Year of the Rabbit