Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: "One half of knowing what you want ..."

"One half of knowing what you want 
is knowing what you must give up before you get it." 
- Sidney Howard

Over the weekend, I was planning on writing a review of "The Great Conversation" by Robert Hutchins, but life tends to happen and I am only half-way through reading the essay.  So, I decided to focus on some things I am looking forward to and goals for this year that are not really school/curriculum related.


1. Organizing/ Cleaning:  I am not very good at keeping house, and that is something I really want to change.  I love planning and organizing things like my pantry and the closets, but tend to make piles around the rest of the house, which makes it look quite cluttered.  It has recently been difficult to get SC to help clean up her room and playroom, and I think one of the reasons is because she sees the rest of the house so unkempt.  So, this year, I want to spend some time getting everything in order (even if we have to change our schedule for a few days), and then come up with a plan to keep it that way. 

2. Eating at home:  Ever since I spent a year teaching high school two years ago, we have really struggled to get back to eating at home most of the time.  Part of that has been due to SC being involved with activities in the evenings, then being tired from those activities, so we just do fast-food so she can get in bed at her normal bedtime (7pm).  Part of it has been due to problems with keeping the kitchen cleaned up, so even when I do plan to make dinner, I forget I have no space to do it, and we end up eating out.  This year, I want to try to eat at home 5 of 7 days a week.  That still leaves two days to eat out with family, or in case something comes up in the afternoon/evening and we need a quick solution.

3. 90% Paleo:  In conjunction with eating at home, I want us to be solidly eating paleo foods 90% of the time.  I am currently about 75% paleo on my own, and because I am less strict with SC, she is maybe 40% paleo.  AC is maybe 10% paleo, but his work schedule makes it difficult for him.  He travels a lot, and while it seems easy to just get meat and veggies at a restaurant, very often that option is not available.  He is stuck with room service, if it is offered, or whatever he can grab (usually fast-food) travelling to and from his client(s).  This year, I want to figure out a way to help AC eat paleo more of the time, and I want to be more strict with SC about the choices she makes when she has the option to choose.  Also, eating at home most of the time will help with this.

4. Church:  We absolutely love the church we go to.  However, we really struggle to get there on a regular basis.  In fact, we are lucky if we get there once a month for services.  Part of the reason is because the church we go to takes about 30 minutes to get to, and they only offer one service at 9am.  This means we all have to get up earlier than normal to get ready.  Part of the reason is because AC travels so much, Sunday is one of the few days we have with him, and we end up staying home, running errands, or visiting his or my parents instead.  This year, I really want us to get to church most of the time.  In fact, once we start going regularly, I would love for us to finally join the church, but going regularly and being active with our community group is the first step.

5. Christmas:  It has really been on my heart since SC was born that, as a family, we need to focus more on Christ and less on presents.  However, having a new child and loving to gift her and each other with things has turned our Christmas ritual into a monstrosity.  This past year was the first year we didn't have to take a break from opening presents, and only because SC just tore through them so fast, not because we cut back in any way.  I proposed to AC that this year, we really focus on the reason for Christmas, rather than the presents.  I proposed that we start making a big deal out of birthdays instead, and really turn Christmas into a birthday celebration for Jesus.  We could each receive only one present from the family, and fill our stockings with small things, and give the rest of our Christmas funds as gifts to Jesus through programs like Samaritan's Purse.  I even found a great Advent idea book to help get us started, instead of just the simple count-down and candy calendar that the stores sell.


6. New friends:  I recently connected with a woman who I went to high school with, but having graduated in a class of hundreds, we never knew each other then.  She recognized me at a local McDonalds (more than 40 miles from the area we both grew up in) as someone "she remembers passing in the hall."  We instantly hit it off.  She has a daughter about six months younger than SC, as well as a little boy who is about 18 months, and SC has really enjoyed spending time with them.  It has been fun to get to know her, and I am looking forward to spending more time in her company.  Also, she is probably going to start homeschooling when her daughter reaches school-age, so it will be great to share ideas with her.

7. Piano lessons:  I found a place that takes 4-year-olds for real piano lessons, and I am very pleased that I was able to get SC into the last place in the class.  It will be difficult to make the drive downtown on Thursday afternoons, but I am looking forward to SC taking lessons from someone trained in teaching piano to young kids.  She loves music so much, and already enjoys creating on our piano at home.  I cannot wait to see how taking these lessons fosters that love.

8. Seattle/ Portland:  We are hoping to take a trip this fall to the Seattle and Portland area, part of which will be a work trip for AC in Seattle, but SC and I will be able to travel down to Portland while he is working and visit my aunt, cousins and their kids, whom I have not seen since right before I got pregnant with SC, and SC has never met.  In the almost five years, SC was born to us, but my three cousins have had four babies I have never met, plus one of my cousins has remarried and also has a step-daughter.  So SC has five new cousins, plus the two older ones, she has never met.  I am very excited about this trip and getting to see this part of my extended family.

9. San Francisco:  Last year, when AC traveled to San Francisco for Oracle's OpenWorld, I tagged along at the end of the week/weekend so that we could have some adult/married time just for us.  I have discovered that having a quick trip like this helps invigorate our marriage, gives us time to go to places that SC just isn't old enough to go to yet (like cities that require a ton of walking!), and honestly makes us appreciate SC in a way that being with her daily doesn't allow for.  This year, I will be tagging along again for the end of the week and weekend, and I am really looking forward to it, especially since AC has been travelling so much these past few months.  It is only a few weeks away!

10. Ireland:  This is a totally unexpected trip that has come up in the past two weeks, but I am very excited about it.  A friend of mine recently sent me a Groupon link to a trip for a week to Ireland and asked it I wanted to accompany her.  I have only been out of the USA twice, and both times were to go skiing in Canada, so I am looking forward to traveling to Europe.  I am also very excited to travel with my friend, AB, because she and I have similar ideas about the types of things we want to do/see when we travel.  Finally, I am thrilled to have this trip to myself, to renew my love for AC and SC by spending time away from them, and to relax from the high-energy job of being a wife and mother.

Any comments, advice or opinions are welcomed.  Don't forget to check out other "Top Ten Tuesday" posts here. 
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