Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Belated New Year's!

It's hard to believe it's Wednesday already! Our week is flying by with regular activities and preparation for Ben's travels this weekend! He wishes alternately for more time and for it to speed up so he can get this interview over with. Thankfully today he had some really encouraging conversations and has had a few meetings with various people already, giving him helpful advice and tips on the interview process, people who work at the university, etc. Now we just pray for him to get all of his preparations for his presentation done in time and then some peace and we're good to go!

Eliana was all dressed up for church on Sunday, without arguments surprisingly, and when I asked what shoes she wanted to wear, she requested firmly her new Dora rain boots that she got for Christmas:) A perfect match, wouldn't you say?! She does look so sweet in this picture.

I have been thinking about New Year's and resolutions and all that jazz and I've come to the conclusion that I was right last year in concluding that small goals are the way to go! They are much less overwhelming and I think much more successful, too. I know there are always things to change, habits, patterns, routines, etc. I have no huge goals in mind at the moment, which could always change!

The things that come to mind for me are taking specific, purposeful time to give attention to my kiddos, especially the boys. All too often, I find myself doing something else while they are talking to me and sharing about their day or asking me questions and I want to take some more time to actually look them in the eye and show them that they are valuable. It's not always easy to do graciously, especially when you are in the middle of dinner prep (a.k.a. the bewitching hour(s) or your other two children are fighting or talking to you (because for some reason, they all like to talk to me at the same time! I know I'm a cool multi-tasker and all that but still!), or you are exhausted and the last thing you want to do is talk or even listen!

Being a mother takes a lot of selflessness and strength. I need to be better about putting my own weaknesses or interests aside and valuing my kids more. Before they turn into aliens (a.k.a. teenagers) and they don't want to talk anymore. I also want to hug them spontaneously a lot more.

That's probably the biggest thing for me. I can always become better organized, clean a little more, etc. So can everyone else! (at least let me believe that anyways...) Something that helped me get a little better in the organization, routine, cleaning departments this past year was a planner I found on clearance at Target last year which I LOVED. I kept it on my counter facing my Mom Plan It calendar (a yearly gift from my dear MIL which I anxiously look forward to each Christmas!) and I write down my to-do lists (and check them off as I finish them!) or info as I am making phone calls, etc and then transfer any important info to my calendar afterwards. I was very sad to see my $2 planner come to an end with the start of a new year and I am hoping that Target still sells them! Ben has been much better about adding events/meetings to the calendar, too, this year and told me that he checks it regularly and it helps him when I keep it up to date. Who knew?

I also decided to make Mondays my big cleaning day since I am home without a car anyways, instead of spreading out my cleaning a little each day. I found that I was avoiding the chores I didn't like (hello, mopping!!) and then they weren't getting done until it was absolutely necessary. Or gross.  It helps that I can't go anywhere and that I have a crawling, busy baby coming to my house a few days a week. Good motivator to keep the place clean! Maybe cluttered...but clean:)

We have also really cracked down with the boys' chores this year and have been much better about handing out allowance to them. There are rarely arguments about their daily chores like unloading the dishwasher and clearing off/wiping down the table or wiping down the downstairs bathroom (they are so dirty!!) but we do need to work on their daily bedroom cleaning. We came up with the nicest cleaning chart together and it is even hanging on their wall but it's so hard to find time for yet another thing in the day.

Ah well, there is always this year to get better! Anyone have any good resolutions or changes they are making this year??

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