Hello 2018

How do you feel about new years resolutions? Do you make resolutions at the beginning of the year? Do you find yourself just a few months into it and you didn’t stick to anything?

That’s me! I can’t tell you how many years I’ve said “New year, new me!”, “I’m going to start working out and keep it up”, or “I’m going to eat better this year.” I can honestly say that I have never made a new years resolution that has stuck throughout the entire year. I read an article that said 8% of people actually keep their New Years Resolution. That should tell you something about resolutions. So this year I decided to set realistic goals for the year and write them down. But then I decided to take the rest, what would normally be considered a new years resolution and take it month by month.

For example, instead of saying in January I’m going to have me time, I sit down at the beginning of the month to decide what I want for my me time to look like, and schedule it right then or mark it in the calendar to happen. Another thing I want to do is slowly continue to do little updates on our house. So for the month of January I wrote down 1 thing that I want to do in the house that month. Small or big, but only 1 thing. Then I thought about where Nathan and I dream to be financially, So I have it set on a monthly plan; how much we want to put into savings in the month of January.

I want this to be a great, healthy and successful year for me individually and for my family. So I want to be realistic in setting these plans and goals for myself. I want to not only make big plans for the first of the year but things that will stick for the entire year.

Something that has been helpful with this is my 2018 planner. At the beginning of every month there is a spot for your monthly mission board. IMG_0917

It includes: 

  • Me time
  • Be Social
  • Home
  • Health
  • Financial
  • Dream Big
  • Blank: God Time
  • Blank: Volunteering

So at the beginning of every month I am filling in those spots with my monthly goals. I have chosen to use my blank spaces for God time and Volunteering. This mission board is really going to help me think through what I want to do each month, to be more intentional and hopefully help me grow every year. Not a goal planned out for the entire year that I more than likely wont stick to. If you feel like a monthly mission board would also be helpful for you, I’ve created a print out that you can print, fill out and look at every month. There is power in writing it down and looking at it every day!

Your Own Monthly Mission Board or if you want to pick up your own monthly planner you get can it here.

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How my life has changed since Titus

I remember, before having a baby, other moms saying enjoy every minute because the time will fly by. It’s crazy how real and true that statement is. I can’t believe that I have officially become the mama to a toddler, a strong, kind, and happy 18 month old little boy. My life has changed so much since becoming a mom. It’s been a year and a half of constant learning and I know that there is SO much more to learn.

Here are a few things that I’ve learned as a wife, mom and friend since my new title of mama:

So much joy has been not only added to my life, but my husbands, our family and all of our friends. The day that Titus was born I never knew I could love something quit like I love him. His cute little round nose (like his mama) and his beautiful big brown eyes surrounded by long eyelashes (like his dad) stole my heart the moment I saw him and that hasn’t changed since. His nose is still so cute and those brown eyes help show every little expressions that he is trying to convey. His laugh his contagious and he if you cheer him on for any new thing he does, he will clap for himself afterwards. Joy is the first word that comes to mind when I think of the past year and a half.

But with the new job title I’ve also seen more and more how my marriage needs to be first. I wrote about this in a past blog, but my relationship with Nathan needs to constantly be nourished and filled. Date nights needs to be mandatory and can’t be the first thing to go when life gets busy. Honestly, we still struggle with this. By the time the work day comes to an end and Titus is asleep we usually end up doing our own thing so that we can both unwind. And date nights go longer and longer without happening. We are regularly trying to get better at this and spend intentional time together. And that doesn’t have to be going out to a fancy dinner (not really either of our ideal date) but just a night in, good food, time to talk and relax together. It’s so important to make sure that our relationship continues to grow since one day, yes I know there’s a long time until then, but there will come a time when it’s just Nathan and I again and we need to make sure we still like each other.

One of the toughest things since becoming a mama is everyone’s opinion on how you should do x, y and z. It’s great to have experienced, amazing mamas out there to help you out when you need it but I’ve found that most of the time 2 other moms don’t agree on almost anything. I’ve seen that I need to stand firm on my convictions as a mom, like struggling with my child walking (read past blog here). I contemplating even writing that blog because I thought about how people would question why Titus wasn’t walking yet. Or the fact that we have started to discipline or how we chose to. Another hard one was when I talked about us letting him cry it out, no that does not mean that we put our child in his crib and let him scream for hours on hours. We read up on it, we learned about it and we put it into safe guidelines to help Titus enjoy and get a healthy amount of sleep. So for as long as I can I will be tough for my kid and stand firm on how I feel as a mom.

And last, I think I’ve always known but it has become more real now that I actually have a child but he watches my every move. Even though he isn’t old enough to fully talk he is taking in everything that happens around him. He is looking and listening to how I react to things, the ton of my voice, my attitude, what I spend time doing and how I interact with others. He is taking all of that in and that will be helping in because the kid, teenage, young adult and man that he will become. I want him to know that conflict will arise, you will not ever agree with everyone, BUT you determine your actions. I want him to be a compassionate, kind, generous, strong, God honoring man. And that starts now. That starts with the actions of me and his dad. It also goes further with the people he is around regularly. He is taking it in everyday.

Like I said, I know this is just the start of a lifetime of learning I have ahead of me but I am so thankfully for the last 18 months. I can’t imagine a life without our sweet boy, and I am so blessed to be his mama!

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Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup- Instant Pot

It’s just been one of those weeks in our house. Over the weekend we lost power for a bit because of a 3 inches of snow, Titus has been fighting colds on and off for a while now and then my husband came down with a stomach bug. Yep, one of those weeks and its cold here in Virginia. It may not be cold for some of y’all but anything below 40 is just to cold for me and I usually don’t want to even get out of my pjs on those days, I know I’ve got a long winter ahead of me. But when it’s really cold out I love soup. So I figured why not make homemade chicken noodle soup in my instant pot.

Below is the recipe in printable/PDF form and a video on how quick, easy and delicious the chicken noodle soup ended up being. One of the things I love about making my own food is I can make it however I want. You will see that I don’t have celery in my recipe, I just don’t like it. So again the great thing about homemade you can have it however you want!

Enjoy!

Chicken Noodle Soup- Instant Pot