Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Clean Slate, Literally

I am always so excited about the feelings that a new year brings.  As 2010 comes to a close I am struck with how quickly it passed.  Yes, there were some VERY long nights in 2010.  A newborn can do that to you.  But, in reflection this past year was the quickest by far.  

Chris and I talked about all of the New Years we have spent together, nine in total.  This one wasn't the most glamorous, or the most outrageous, but it was the best.  We had two beautiful children tucked in their beds.  We hosted our closest friends for dinner and drinks.  We sat on the couch with our best friends and cheered in 2011...then we immediately drug our butts to bed so that we could function when the little ones popped in our rooms at 6 or 7 am.  

My how things have changed since our first New Years together 9 years ago?  I think we had roughly 50 or 60 people crammed in Chris' run-down, squirrel infested rental home.  Janna burst on the scene a little before midnight to announce her engagement to Peter, many, many tears were shed over that!  And I think I barely saw the ball drop, before I passed out on Chris' bed, leaving him to finish the hosting job.  Just thinking about this story makes me giggle.

Many years later, things were a bit calmer, if you consider 12 kids and 10 adults calm, but a little more special if you ask me.  We have so much to be thankful for.  So much to toast and cheer.  Life is good, no doubt about it.  


Speaking of the new year, I think of a clean slate.  A chance to try again at some of the things in my life.  Re-evaluate what is important and what I want for 2011.  Luckily I have my bloggy friends to keep me on par with this.  I am going to start some new and fun things over here at naptime novels.  I hope you will join in on the fun too!

Drumroll Pleassssssssssseeeee......

For starters, Project 365....exciting right?  I know all of you are rolling your eyes, but I am going to give it a try.  I want to improve my photography skills, so why not?  If you aren't familiar, this is when you take a picture every day for an entire year.  Quite a task!!  This will be a great way to practice my photography every day, and keep me working at it.  The only way to get better will be to take more photos.  I am going to try and get a picture of the kids together once a week as part of the project.  I think it will be awesome to watch them change throughout the year.  The pictures will be anything from the kids, to a favorite recipe, to I don't know what.  We'll just have to see how it unfolds!  I made a Project 365 page as part of my blog, so check it out if you have a minute!

Naptime is Craftime!  This is another goal of mine, but I am going to make it part of my blog too.  It will be a great way to share what I've learned along with keep me checking things off of my to-do list.  I would love to start a bi-weekly post about my projects and have anyone link up that would like to share what they are working on.  What do you think?  It could be anything from sewing, paper crafts, decorating tips, knitting projects, organization, etc.  I am not an expert in any of these areas (alright, maybe I am extremely organized, but that can also be a problem!!).  But, I love to see what other people are working on and giving things a try.  I am going to try and turn some of the things I am working on into tutorials so that I can share them with you too.  I have a HUGE long list of projects and crafts that I want to get done in 2011, so click here if you want to read more.

Those are just some of my fun projects, but now for some "real" resolutions.  Let's see, deep breath....

1.  I want to get rid of the last 10 lbs of baby weight.  I hope to have this done by Ellie' birthday in three months.  I always do great with the beginning of weight loss, and have the hardest time with the last few pounds.  In December I started going to the gym 3 mornings a week at 6 am, and getting all of my exercising done before the kids woke up.  I hope to continue with that, and just work out harder while I am there.  Then I go to a conditioning class that is very intense on Saturday mornings.  Just keep it up, and watch what I am eating.

2. Watch less TV.  This is a good goal for me.  I LOVE to watch reality TV and Bravo and The Food Network and MTV, you get the point.  I have enjoyed knitting so much because it is something relaxing I can do at night without just vegging out all the time.  So more crafting, less TV watching.

3. House projects.  Now that we are finally in our new home and settled, I want to get it decorated.  Having my Naptime is Craftime section is going to keep me on track with this.  My goal for 2011 is to sew and make curtains for a number of the rooms in our house.  Wish me luck!!

4.  Spend more time with Chris.  This past year has tested us in so many ways.  And I think marriages just take a bit of the back-burner when you have little kiddos.  But, I really want to spend some time together this year.  As soon as Ellie is done nursing (fingers crossed for March), then I would love to go somewhere together.  For an entire weekend.  Like a Friday and a Saturday night.  Yay!!  Anybody wanting to babysit?  Two years ago was our 5th wedding anniversary, and I was having surgery for endometriosis.  So, our three day weekend at the B&B was canceled.  This year for our 6th wedding anniversary we literally moved into this house.  Ummm....didn't get anything planned then either.  This year we need to do something just the two of us!  I am going to make it happen!

5.  Less is more.  That is a personal goal for me.  I can over-schedule myself.  I think, oh I can do that, help with this, host a party, plan birthdays, etc, etc.  I am making a decision to just do less and spend more time at home this year.  I signed the kids up for one "class".  Music Together.  Such an awesome program, but that is all we are doing.  It is a class that the three of us can do together and all enjoy.  We went to a free class in December and Ellie just loved it.  She loves music and dances to it.  Bradley has been to a bunch of these in years past, and he really likes the teacher.

Bradley is already booked with preschool three times a week, and I would love for the other two days to just hang out around the house, go to a children's museum, the library, the park.  Not having to go somewhere is so nice and I want to keep things simple.  I did sign Bradley up for swim lessons in Feb & May  But they only last four weeks and he really needs to get more comfortable in the water.  We already joined our community pool again, and I want him to feel confident when we it opens in the summer.  I was so busy last summer with Ellie, and a lot of his friends surpassed him with swimming.  Some of his little buddies were jumping off of the diving board and the sides of the pool.  Ellie with probably be toddling around by summer, and I will need to have my eyes on her 100% of the time.  I hope these lessons will help bridge the gap, and we won't be starting from scratch when the pool opens. 

So that about sums it, crafting, kids, hubby, and me.  Cheers 2011!!!


laura said...

love this post, friend! it's such a great way to look back and i know you will appreciate this post come next january when you can really see how far you have come.

i will be joining you for project 365. i've seen other blogs do this and i love it! and, since i take a zillion pictures, i might as well do something with them! i think i am going to take your advice and join that clickin' moms website too! :)

oh, and so funny to think back on new years past. this is our...hold on while i count...13th? years together. the first one was the peach bowl in atlanta. that was way back when uva was bowl-worthy! ;)

happy new year, friend!!!! i love how our blogs have reconnected us and can't wait to see what 2011 holds for you and your family! xo!

Colleen said...

Happy New Year Clare!
Your new additions to the blog sound great. Can't wait to see what you come up with.

P.S. I am extremely organized too (usually that is!!)

Lindsay said...

Great goals sis!! Love the naptime is craftime and I would totally love to link up! Can't wait to see all of your beautiful pictures! Love you!

aimee said...

Wow, usually I suffer from post-Christmas depression, but you really put a positive spin on January. The month of December is just so fabulous and I typically feel sad when I have to turn the page to the next month. Instead, I should think of this month as a new beginning. You've inspired me to set some of my own goals. I just may join you with photography and crafting ;) Hope you had a fantastic Christmas!

Jenny said...

Can't wait to see all the pictures and crafts!

Great list!

amanda said...

loving all the goals and the new pages! looks like it is going to be a very creative year friend!

Jen said...

Clare- Project 365 sounds awesome, I'm going to check out the website. What kind of portrait lens are you using?