The Power of Three and New Year’s Resolutions

When I was a stay-at-home mom, I used to make long to-do lists – 10 items at least. I would get so frustrated because I could never get them all done. Usually, I only crossed off a few of them. I felt like a failure. I mean, I’m home ALL day – I should be able to get more done. Since then, I learned that I wasn’t a failure. My list was just too long. Ten is not the magic number. Three is.

Three is manageable. Three pushes me a little, but not so much that I give up. Three helps me focus better and accomplish the most important things.

So, with that introduction, I’ve chosen three broad goals for 2014.

  1. Health
  2. Home
  3. Happiness

Why these three?

  1. Well, for the past 10 years, I guess, I’ve wrestled with fibromyalgia. Add to this a love of (addiction to) sugar and a recent switch from stay-at-home mom to sedentary accountant. What do you get? Fatigue, headaches, muscle and joint pain, and an extra 30 lbs.
  2. I have my dream home – a little, 1916 farmhouse with nary a picture on the wall and little space for accumulating things. I’ve also noticed that when I’m organized at home, everyone’s day runs more smoothly.
  3. The first two goals started with ‘H’ and really, who couldn’t use more happiness?

I’m planning on sharing what works for me as I work on these goals during the year. I’d love to read your great ideas, too, so feel free to share.

Happy New Year!

-Jennifer

 

 

 

Recap: The Farm

 

 

 

 

It started innocently enough. She wanted him…

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He got lonely, so we got them…

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He…

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wanted these…

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And she wanted this….

Oh my gosh....

 

We needed her…

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And carelessly got these…

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He wanted these…

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So he sold these.

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I came home from work one day to discover that he traded these…

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for this…

beans

Just kidding.

He really traded for this…

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I’m just trying to keep up.

 

Changes on the Farm

My husband and two youngest kids went camping last week. Since I was out of vacation time at work, I stayed to take care of the growing herd of animals. (Since I really don’t like sleeping on foam pads anymore, I was happy to miss out.) Anyway, while I was doing the morning chores on the “farm”, I lured a few of them closer so I could take their pics.

Here are our two newest members. My daughter and her friend named them T-Bone and Brisket. How can we eat them? They’re so cute!

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But wait! There’s more!!

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I know he looks dead, but he's actually getting a good scratch in.
I know he looks dead, but he’s actually getting a good scratch in.

 

A new batch of chickens because coyotes ate almost all of the others.

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Balancing Work, Family and Guilt

I’m feeling guilty again. Is it just one of the plagues of motherhood? Guilt for working full time while my kids are home all summer. Never mind that they sleep until noon. Guilt for not working part-time instead of full-time. Guilt for enjoying my time at work.  Guilt for vegging in front of the TV or computer when I get home from work instead of making dinner with them.  Guilt for not seeing my kids as much as I’d like because they’re teenagers and would rather hang out with their friends than their nerdy mother.

(Speaking of which, my 16 year old son just blew in, introduced a new friend, rattled off his plans, grabbed two frozen pizzas and a bag of Cheetos, and raced upstairs to grab who-knows-what.  I won’t see him again until midnight so I purposely stood at the bottom of the stairs so he HAD to hug and kiss me before he left.)

I know that guilt DOES have a purpose. When my oldest daughter was in high school, she used to accuse me of making her feel guilty. I reminded her that sometimes we feel guilty BECAUSE we’ve done something wrong. As a mom, though, it can be hard to distinguish between guilt that is for a purpose and guilt so we can beat ourselves up for not being the perfect person we’ve concocted in our minds. Sometimes I announce that maybe I should quit my job. The kids just look at me like I’m crazy. So that means I’m just going to have to use the guilt to help me find balance. Meal planning or Pinterest? Dinner or TV? Taking necessary time to relax or fiddling away the entire evening after work? Doing dishes with my kids so we can chat or watching more TV?

I think I have my answer. I can’t do it all, but I can certainly pick what’s most important to me and my family and concentrate on that. I feel better already.

 

 

Newport and PicMonkey

What do these two things have in common, you ask? Not much, but I’m battling a case of insomnia so it seemed like a good time to play around with the photos I took when the family went to Newport, Oregon last month. I’ve never used PicMonkey, but I’ve noticed that many bloggers do cool things with their photos so I thought I’d give it a whirl. The only thing I did was crop and clean up my pictures and add my blog name (which I really think is cool!).

Anyway, our condo was on the bay, so I took a few pictures when I went for a walk.

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Typical cool, Oregon coast weather and gray skies.

 

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I think I'm going to take a picture of my feet whenever I go on vacation. I actually like my feet.
I think I’m going to take a picture of my feet whenever I go on vacation. 

 

There’s still a month left for vacationing.  Camping anyone?

 

 

Paradise

Our family returned from a 10 day vacation in Maui last week. It was the perfect place for me to relax and rest my mind and body.

There was time to sit and listen to the ocean. I’m amazed how the sight and sound of  rhythmic, crashing waves always clears my mind.

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The entire family snorkeled together many times. Besides sitting on my butt and reading a book on the beach, I think snorkeling is the most relaxing activity ever.

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Honolua Bay

 

My youngest two.
My youngest two.

 

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My handsome husband.

 

I started to notice the little wonders of nature….

 

 

        First, I noticed this little hole in the sand….

 

Then I met the builder.
Then I met the builder.

 

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We stared at each other for awhile.

 

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While the boys went for a bike ride at Makawao Forest, the girls enjoyed an outdoor breakfast near the ocean. We were joined by some cute birds who were definitely used to being fed.

Sometimes we just stopped to absorb the beauty.

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and breathtaking sunsets.

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I miss you already, Maui!!!!

Mother’s Days

The extra ‘s’ is intentional in the title. Mother’s Day started yesterday for me. Here’s a list of the things that have made the occasion special to me.

Saturday

My husband took the day off work. It’s very special to be able to just hang out together. We went to breakfast where I seriously wolfed down my hazelnut french toast in half the time it took him to eat his food.

The Farmer’s Market opened for the season on a beautiful warm and sunny morning. I love the hometown feel of the Farmer’s Market in a town that isn’t small.

I took a big nap.

There was a mini jazz band festival going on in a few downtown restaurants. We went to our favorite Thai Restaurant and enjoyed dinner and a show! Then we strolled through a little antiques mall recently opened by a friend’s son, and lastly stopped for frozen yogurt – pomegranate raspberry. Deliciously tart.

Sunday

Slept in till 10 am. My youngest made me breakfast in bed – apple pancakes, sausage and juice. She was so sweet. She was concerned that the pancakes hadn’t turned out right. I took a bite and her suspicions were confirmed. My plate was whisked away and she whipped up an entirely new batch of pancakes which we shared in my bed. She was feeling bad about it until I reminded her that she doesn’t yet know the universal truth of motherhood – in the future I may forget what she made me for breakfast, but I’ll never forget the love that I felt.

This is last year's breakfast.
This is last year’s breakfast.

My husband and kids made pork chops and mashed potatoes for dinner which is one of my favorites. My mom came over and we opened cards from the kids (me being one of the kids).

Best of all, I don’t have to do the dishes!!

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!!