Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Mountain Song - 2015 Un-Resolutions in Review

I totally flaked out on my 2015 New Year's resolutions, and the recording of my journey, at around month seven to nine last year.  I have excuses, but they're boring and unnecessary.  In 2015 I set out to do a lot of things, some I achieved, others not so much.  Before I go and stand on the top of a mountain top and proclaim my 2016 resolutions for all to hear (spoiler alert: climbing a mountain is absolutely NOT one of my 2016 resolutions) I thought I'd reflect on what I'm most proud of from 2015, in the spirit of the "lost" 2015 resolutions and beyond.

10 Things That I'm Proud of 
Achieving, Learning & Grateful for in 2015

Chris and I in front of the Married with Children fountain in Chicago
  1. Making More Memories with the Kids
    I am a big fan of the school of thought of making memories and having experiences over accumulating stuff (AKA junk).  We try to funnel money from gifts for the minions towards life experiences, rather than stuff and let Molly and Jack select what we're going to do.  One of the most important things I learned from Molly this year, who loves to rehash memories and stories almost as much as I do, is that the little things often make a much bigger impression when compared to big things, excursions or purchases.  Most talked about activities range from witnessing a raccoon, who their cousins named Turkey, sneaking into our kitchen tent and stealing our marshmallows when we were camping to our drive to check out the holiday lights just a few weeks ago.
  2. Making My Own Broth
    I know this sounds silly, but it drives me (and especially Chris) crazy when we waste food.  By making my own broth most of the time, less veggies go to waste in our crisper drawer, chicken and turkey gets a second life, and soups taste a lot better.  It also has me cooking from scratch more, and my two "assistants" learning about good, healthy food.  So win, win, win, win?
  3. Getting More Couple Time with the Hubby
    Our very "active" social (there is some sarcasm there, but I know we get out quite a bit for parents of twin four year olds) and work calendars didn't allow for the two dedicated date nights a month that I'd resolved for, but we did get some solid date nights in over the year.  We got away sans minions for a long weekend in Chicago, which was a great way to re-charge.  Late nights with drinks in the backyard where we have a drink (or three) and talk about things that go beyond the daily grind are still the best way to connect.
  4. Tooting my Own Horn                                                                                                       I've been putting up my hand more and promoting my own writing a lot more this year, something I've always struggled with, but I'm getting over it.  I'm putting out a ton of  freelance applications pitching story ideas, and boasting my own content via social media and in person, like this article on BabyGaga on 7 Main Reasons Pregnant Couples Fight
  5. Keeping Track of Our Budget in Excel                                                                              
    We had some significant financial changes in our lives in 2015. By starting a detailed monthly budget in Excel and keeping tabs on money coming in and going out, we were able to do Christmas under budget (it was only under budget by $32.89 but hey, that's better than the alternative!)  This also let us discuss money, and upcoming bumps and hiccups in a pragmatic way.
  6. Watching a Number of my Friends Become Parents for the first (and second) time     2015 marked a number of new bundles of joy.  It has been awesome to be able to share in parenthood, the good, the bad, and the ugly, with a number of my closest pals.
  7. Charity
    This year we saw many friends and family inspired to participate in volunteerism and raising money for worthy causes. As parents we're trying to set a good example for the minions, so they can see us donate to food banks, and other worthy causes.  My heart swelled three times last week (like the Grinch's) when Molly asked me to donate her old backpack to kids who need it more than she does, after she got a new one for Christmas.
  8. Reaching Milestones
    This year marked so many things worth celebrating.  Chris and I had our ten year wedding anniversary, others in our family toasted their 45th in Europe, my brother got married (and I got a new sister), the minions turned 4 and entered kindergarten, and a certain favourite family member became a centenarian.
  9. Learning When to Walk Away
    Not all lessons seem like "good things" at the time, even though we often learn the most from them.  Learning to say no, and knowing when to fold, when to walk away, and when to run (and other lessons summed up by the Kenny Rogers song, The Gamblerare responsible for one of the hardest lessons I've had to learn about myself and my own boundaries.  I'm thankful for support from my friends, family and beyond, and that I didn't let sticktoitiveness keep me in situations that were bad for me.
  10. Inspiration
    I am so thankful and proud of all the people who have supported me and pushed me to strive to follow my dreams.  I am thrilled that I have been able to focus some of this energy into a handful of my talented friends and acquaintances that culminated in the creation of a Photography Etsy shop, CK Collective Photography.  I am energized by Molly, Jack, and Chris and so many others to do more, do better and try harder.
At times 2015 was like a roller coaster that I wanted to get off of, but it was also a really awesome time.  The minions are growing up so fast and it's so freaky, awesome cool to see them get more independent and slowly come into their own.  Okay 2016, I'm ready for you.  I'm only what, 5-6 days late?

Chris and I had some photos taken to commemorate our 10th anniversary, me in my wedding dress & him in a vintage tuxedo tails

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