It’s convenient that my birthday is the last day of the year, because those reflections on the past year and dreams for the year ahead line up perfectly with the start of the new calendar. There are all sorts of ways to have these conversations, and I’ve used many different methods in the past. Jenny Allen’s Dream Guide, setting a One Word intention for the year, and of course good old resolutions! I’m going to be honest—I feel like I’ve been living in a bit of a blur and even though there is a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, it still feels like it is a long ways off. I think this is normal for new moms, so I am giving myself grace. This year I decided to take a very simple approach as suggested by one of my favorite bloggers, Modern Mrs. Darcy. She asks two questions: What worked well for me this year? and What didn’t work well for me this year? The answers to those two questions provide a great starting point for goal setting in the year ahead.
Here are a few of my answers.
What went well for me this year
Pregnancy and Natural Childbirth—I’ve written about this quite a bit lately, but it really was the best thing to happen to me in a long time. I felt REALLY great when I was pregnant (thank you magic hormones!), and I’m so glad we chose to go the route we did with our supportive birth team and low interventions.
Eating!—as previously mentioned, I felt great while pregnant and was even able to eat things I had been avoiding for a long time.
Essential Oils— I finally used my oils for more than just making things smell nice, and I was really happy with the results! I managed to fight off sickness several times when everyone else around me was falling prey—which is really saying something considering my horrible immune system. I also got some digestive support oils for baby Lindszlo and I can tell it helps to get things moving when he’s having tummy troubles. It was nice to have this gentle option during pregnancy—and it was especially nice that oils were recommended to me by the midwives.
Little Free Library Launch- the grand opening of my very own Little Free Library was a huge success, and it has been fun to watch people come pick out books throughout the year. I neglected my steward duties for about two months after baby was born, but when I finally made it back out there I was pleased to see that the books had rotated and someone had even left a Bible. I love our little neighborhood!
Updating our House’s Curb Appeal– my friend from Petite Modern Life gave us some quick and easy curb appeal ideas for our little home, and boy did it make a difference! Everyone has been commenting on how much it makes our house pop, and it has started a little revitalization in the neighborhood (I’m going to go ahead and take credit for that) 🙂
New Garden Spot— After my failed attempt at gardening last year, I decided to try a new spot in the yard, and it was a great success! It also helped that we got compost and increased my plot from 4×4 to 20×15. Now that I have one successful year under my belt, I am excited for more planning ahead—and letting Baby Lindszlo dig around in the dirt with me.
Being Productive Before Baby- I set a goal of finishing ALL of my scrapbooks before the baby was born, which meant digging through 10 year old pictures and spending hours crafting each day this summer. It was a project I had been putting off for….well, 10 years. I am so glad it’s done! I felt so accomplished and it is really nice to not have it hanging over my head. By the time my due date rolled around I was trying to think of ways to pass the time—like FINALLY learning how to crochet. It was a nice feeling. One that I haven’t felt in a LONG time.
Keeping Things Simple- from meals, to Christmas plans, to my wardrobe—it has definitely been a season of simple, and it is really nice. I used having a baby as an excuse—but I don’t think I need an excuse. More simple in 2017!
What didn’t go well for me this year
Eating Sugar—that whole “I can eat anything because I’m pregnant!” meant I ate A LOT of ice cream and other treats…and it definitely got to me.
Getting Sick—I have definitely associated my angioedema flare-ups with anytime I get a sickness, infection, etc. Since I have a pretty weak immune system, knowing this has encouraged me to work on ways to avoid sickness and do what I can to get better quickly when I do get ill.
Pre-Baby Wardrobe- I think all moms can probably relate to this one. I expected my belly to get bigger, but I was surprised at all the other changes—like my widening hips! I have been told by mama friends that EVENTUALLY I may be able to fit back in those old clothes, but I decided I would rather get rid of (most of) them and start anew with clothes that fit me now. It really makes a big difference in the way I feel about myself and it’s easier to pick out clothes in the morning, knowing that everything should fit. My love for buying everything at thrift stores and my recent hobby of re-selling my clothes on Poshmark has made this financially possible.
Homemade Laundry Detergent- this is a new addition to the list. I have been making my own laundry detergent for almost two years, and I have loved it. it’s an easy way to reduce the amount of chemical exposure we have on a daily basis. But in the last month I’ve noticed that it doesn’t work well on removing spit-up spots from our clothes. Since pretty much everything I put on gets spit up on, this obviously will not work because I will need a whole new wardrobe—and if you read the last point you know that this IS my new wardrobe! If anyone has suggestions, I would love to hear them!
I’m using some of these points to plan for 2017, but most of all I am planning to keep it simple. Grace in these early months of motherhood is essential, I have learned. More cuddles, less hustle. Maybe that will be my theme for the year!