11 Hopes for 2011

We are 5 days into the year 2011, so I thought I would blog my New Years Resolutions.
Yes, I am "one of those" people who does New Years Resolutions.
I don't know why I do them because I FAIL at some of them every year.
But I will still continue to make resolutions & "attempt" to keep them.

Instead of calling them Resolutions this year, I am calling them "Hopes" for the year.
I "hope" I follow through with these Resolutions/Hopes.

But before I share this years, let's review & grade my Resolutions for last year
(which I called Intentions)
2010 Intentions:
1. Go to bed earlier. Try and be in bed by 10-10:30 pm on school nights.
Big Fat Fail. I still go to bed between 11 pm & midnight.

2. Start running again. Seriously people. Have I mentioned that I haven't worked out since MARCH 2006?!?! That is just wrong. I am so ashamed of myself for this lack of exercise. My college soccer teammates would be SHOCKED if they knew this!
Another FAIL. Although, I did go running ONCE this summer.
One time in 4.5 years = pathetic.

3. Try a new recipe at least 3 times a month. I LOVE to cook, but find myself getting in ruts where I cook the same thing over and over and over again. Did I mention I got The Pioneer Woman Cookbook for Christmas? It rocks. I am trying one of her recipes tomorrow night!
I give myself a B+ on this. I tried a lot of new recipes this year! Not 3 a month, but probably 2 a month.

4. Be more consistent with meal planning. I go in streaks where I am really good about this, and then I get lazy for a few weeks & don't plan our meals until the last minute. It is so much easier (and cheaper!) to meal plan.
I give myself an A- with this. I did weekly meal planning almost every week!

5. Learn to sew! My mother in law got me a sewing machine for Christmas since I have been wanting to learn how to sew for the past 6 months. I have already made 3 things. 2 turned out "decent" and 1 was a complete disaster. I should do a blog post about it. It will make you feel really good about yourself.
I give myself a C with this. I didn't sew anything too exciting, but I did sew & applique several shirts for the girls this year. (For their birthdays, Valentines Day, Easter & Halloween)

6. Read 1 book a month. This is not a hard task, I can't believe I have failed at this the past few years. (I already read the Pioneer Woman Cookbook cover to cover on Sunday. Does that count as my first book of 2010?)
I give myself a D. I only read 7 books, not 12.

7. Try not to hit snooze 5 times when my alarm goes off. (This one is for Kevin). I am a REALLY heavy sleeper. And, I don't like waking up in the morning. So, it hit snooze on my alarm. A lot. It is a big pet peeve of Kevin's, so I am REALLY going to try and work on this. Old habits are hard to break.....
Okay...I have gotten SOOOO much better at this, right Kevin?
I asked him to grade me on this & he gave me a C-.
Ouch. That is better than an F, right? :)

8. I am going to Simplify. We have so much "stuff". I am going to clean out our clothes, the girls toys and our closets every 3-4 months and donate stuff we don't need to those who DO need it. Less is MORE!
I give myself a B on this. I did about 4 huge clean outs this year...but I need to keep doing this!

9. Bake or craft with the girls at least once a week. We had so much fun during Christmas Week. I want to incorporate more of that into our weekly routine!
I am giving myself a B+ on this. We did a lot of baking/cooking together this year. Both girls LOVE to help in the kitchen!

10. Go on a date with Kevin once a month, no kids. So that we can reconnect & spend time together without distractions!
Yeah, this didn't happen once a month. With the move & trying to get used to our new mortgage, we didn't have any extra money for a monthly date night. But, we will be attempting this again for 2011.

Even though I am a failure with most of these, I still make resolutions each year.
I think it is good to take time to reflect as the year comes to a close and a new one begins.

Here are my 2011 resolutions/goals/hopes in list form.
I love lists, so here you go:

Mel's 11 Hopes for 2011

1. Go to Bed Earlier.
Yes, I have this as a resolution every year, but I need to stop being such a night owl. Again, my goal is to be in bed by 10:00-10:30 (Instead of midnight). Last night I was asleep by 10:30. Glorious, I tell you! I need to keep this up.

2. Continue Meal Planning each week.
My goal is to have a meal plan done every Sunday for the week. It makes my life so much easier during the week if I have meal plans. Another goal for this is to have Monday's dinner made on Sunday (like a casserole of some sort) so all I have to do on Monday is heat up the dinner.

3. Eat Breakfast.
I am one of those people who isn't hungry when they wake up. (Kevin & Kate on the other hand are the type of people who need to eat almost immediately after they wake up) Because I am not hungry when I wake up, I often forget to eat breakfast. It will be 11:00 and I will be in the middle of teaching & my stomach will start growling and I realize that I am STARVING! I used to keep Luna bars in my classroom, so I need to either start doing that again or have a bowl of cereal before school. Having just coffee for breakfast is not a good idea! Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, so I need to start eating it!

4. Read 1 book a month.
This goal is on here yet again. I LOVE reading, I just haven't made the time to do it on a consistent basis, the last 2 years, I have only read 7 books each year. Going for 12 this year!

5. Date night with Kevin once a month.
Because Kevin's mom gave us the "Gift of Sleep" for Christmas, the girls are going to have sleepovers at her house 2 Tuesdays a month. Kevin and I are going to make 1 of those date nights & go to dinner or go out to coffee and play cribbage (using gift cards that we got for Christmas).

6. Figure out a good cleaning schedule.
Our new house is almost twice as big as our other house and I am having the HARDEST time keeping it as clean as I would like. I am a neat freak & with 2 young kids, a messy dog, working, etc. I am having a hard time keeping on top of it. I am going to come up with some sort of daily schedule instead of just saving it for the weekend. And, I need to come up with a better system for our floors. About 75% of our house is hardwood, so cleaning the floors is totally overwhelming. Anyone have advice?

7. Stay on top of Laundry.
Laundry is my nemesis. I just can't keep up.
What I have been doing with the laundry situation isn't working.
I have been saving all of our laundry for the weekends, but then I am just overwhelmed with load after load after load. And, I HATE folding laundry. (Currently I am staring at 4 loads of clean, unfolded laundry......ugh) I would love to hear other people's laundry systems.

8. Host an Official Neighborhood Party
I think we live on the most social court in Northern California. Our court has some sort of block party or get together at least once a month. Certain houses host the same party every year. For example, our neighbors to the left always have Chippino night in January, our neighbors to the right have a Cinco de Mayo party every May, Across the street is in charge of the Memorial Day Block Party, Two houses away from us host the 4th of July Pool Party, one house is in charge of the Labor Day Block Party, another house hosts the Halloween Party, another one hosts the Christmas Party & another family does a New Years Party. (I told you our court is social.....all these parties are just for people on our court! This doesn't include all the unofficial get togethers that happen as well!) Kevin and I want to add another "Official Court Party" to the mix. I think we want start hosting some sort of wine tasting party every Fall. We need to make it happen!

9. Eat more Vegetables.
Our family LOVES fruit. We eat a lot of fruit. Vegetables? Not so much.
And, I like vegetables....I don't know why I don't include them in every dinner. Sure, most of my dinners have some sort of vegetable with the meal, but I need to get more consistent with making side dishes of just veggies & make more green salads.

10. Plant a Garden & Grow our own Vegetables.
Our side yard is empty, so we want to put in a garden.
We both grew up in houses that had vegetable gardens (and they still do!)
There is NOTHING better than home grown tomatoes!
This will help with #9, if we have more vegetables readily available.

11. Potty train Claire.
Really, I should have done this about 2 months ago because she is showing signs of being ready. We didn't potty train Kate until she was 2 years 6 months, so I think I have been "ignoring" the fact that Claire has been ready since right after she turned 2 in September. By making this one of my goals, it will help keep me accountable :)

So, there you have it. My 11 goals/resolutions/hopes for 2011.

And, like last year, I decided to pick a word for the year.
Last year for 2010, I chose the word INTENTIONAL to be my focus.

This year, the word I want to focus on is:
Here is what cherish means according to dictionary.com
–verb (used with object)
1. to hold or treat as dear; feel love for.
2. to care for tenderly; nurture.
3. to cling fondly to.

I’m focusing on cherishing the little things (and big things) in life.

I want to CHERISH my children.
My girls are growing so fast. I can't believe Kate will be FOUR in a few weeks. In a year and a half she will be starting Kindergarten. I feel like a need to reflect and spend time with the idea that I need to do more than just get through the day with my kids, I need to enjoy the stages that they are in. Yes, I will even try and cherish the Terrible 2's stage Claire is in. I want to cherish these years of them wanting me to play with them, wanting to snuggle with me & needing me to do little things. Because before I know it, they will be teens & young women & going off to college. I want to cherish the days...like the famous quote, "The days are long but the years fly by".

I want to CHERISH my husband.
My husband is awesome. One of the greatest (and cutest) guys I know. I am soooo lucky & take for granted the awesome man I get to call my husband.
These years with young kids have been hard. Our kids don't sleep well. We are tired.
We don't get a lot of "us" time.
We need to keep marriage balanced so that we are more than just the kids parents.
Hopefully consistent date nights will help us reconnect & have fun together.

I want to CHERISH my family.
We are incredibly lucky that we live in the same town as both of our parents & siblings.
We have a lot of fun things in 2011 with our families. Honestly, I don't know what we would do without our family so close. When I am at work, my mom watches the girls 3 days a week & my mother in law watches them 2 days. My sisters baby sit for us so we can go to Small Group, so I can run errands, etc. For my family, we have my younger sister's wedding in April. I want to cherish that day (and the days leading up to it) and not get to overwhelmed with planning her shower, Bachelorette party, etc. And, this summer we have the Disney cruise with Kevin's family. It is going to probably be the trip of a lifetime & I want to cherish every moment of it and not be stressed about flying, taking a red eye, traveling to a different country, etc.

I want to CHERISH my other relationships.
Including my girlfriends, our Small Group, people I work with and our neighbors.
I am so thankful for the people & friends God has put in my life. I want to grow & go deeper with those relationships, especially my relationship with God.

What about you? Do you have any Resolutions or Goals or Words you will focusing on in 2011?


  1. Mel, I love your list. It's fun to have something to aim for and so satisfying to be able to check things off a list. "The Gift of Sleep", how lucky are you? I think that would have been my favorite Christmas gift, hands down. Lastly, here is a link to my cleaning schedule. You can change it to suit your needs and it really helps to spread things out so you don't get totally overwhelmed or stuck with a day of cleaning on the weekends. http://prettynpinkngreen.blogspot.com/2010/03/cleaning-schedule.html

  2. Your review of last year's resolutions is priceless. I love your "hopes" for the year. I've been putting off putting my resolutions in writing because I know I'll fail to do them. I'm looking forward to reading about your potty training success. My 21 month old is ready but I'm not.

  3. Your goals sound great! I would love to live in a neighborhood that was active. I also have a cleaning schedule, im a stay at home mom, but if i dont have it wrote down on a list to check off to make me accountable it wont happen. I really love to make a menu, makes grocery shopping so much eaiser!

  4. You hardly fail at the book part! I have stacks waiting to be read! So sad! I don't make resolutions for the same reason, but I like that you are calling them hopes! Think I'll reconsider and create one too :)

  5. Fantastic list! I soooo want to live in your neighborhood :)

  6. Wonderful resolutions Mel. Good luck with them!

  7. Mel I could have written your 2010 for myself! Honestly, I struggle with all of those things as I am a working mom too. I love your hopes for this year.

  8. What a great summary to do and be better. Thanks for the inspiration! {That pic of your girls is so cute!}

  9. With the laundry I actually get EmmyKate to help with it some. She loves to fold the towels and dishclothes. So I put a load in when we get home and it runs while I am cooking dinner. Then I throw it in the dryer and by the evening it is ready to be folded. I will sit on the floor and fold it with her help. Plus this helps her to start doing little chores.

  10. beautifully written :)

    My laundry system is pretty easy. I do Jaina's laundry on Monday. I do Jayce's on Tuesday. I do towels on Wednesday. I do my clothes on Thursday. I do kids' bedsheets on Friday. Saturday was declared as a no laundry day :) Sunday is for my husband's clothes, our whites, our bedsheets, and any dog stuff or misc. loads. We know we'll be spending all day on laundry and we do it together :)

  11. Great post. I've been reading for about 7 months. I don't think I've left a comment yet. I found you through Joy's Hope. I wanted to tell you two things I do to help with laundry and keeping up with the house. First, do one load of laundry everyday. That way you're not overwhelmed with lots of loads to fold and put away. Second, make a cleaning schedule with one room or thing per day-like I vacuum& mop floors on Mondays or dust/vacuum or sweep on Wednesdays and post it on the fridge. I hope that helps!

  12. Such a good recap. I can't believe it has been an entire year since you chose the word for the year! I did that too... and I can't even remember what my word was. I need to do that again for this year. I like "Cherish". Good call. :)

    When you get that cleaning schedule down... please share.

    And I am officially inviting myself to your wine tasting party. :)

  13. I enjoyed reading your goals and though I didn't list this, I plan to read more this year, too. The library is such an excellent resource that I too often forget about. Just think of it, all those books just waiting to be read, for FREE.
    I have been going to bed at 11pm instead of 1am and I am a different woman! The Tuesday overnights sound amazing. I am a trifle envious.

  14. Seriously, I want to live in your neighborhood! Your goals and word are all great, Mel!

  15. My word for 2011 is MEL
    because I want to be more like you
    Happy New Year

  16. I really love this post. It's so cool to see people's progress on resolutions & things. I recommend getting a Roomba to keep your hardwood floors free of debris.

  17. Oooooh, love these!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Yours is super cute, too. Look forward to learning more about you. : )

  18. the thing i most admire about this post is the HONESTY in the grading of last year! i would be so tempted to lie to myself and everyone else, just to make myself feel better...i hate that about myself. thank you for being a good example of not being ruled by the need to be perfect. it makes me want to say out loud what i want to do too. and then be FINE with myself when everything doesn't always come out as planned.
    really truely inspirational....

  19. I just love your list... I don't know how you stay up so late though, I'm fast asleep by 9 p.m. at the LATEST every school night (my husband loves me).
    I'm hoping to improve my meal planning in 2011 too. I love that you said you need a cleaning schedule, I need one of those too!!!

  20. Love the hopes for 2011. That sounds so much more inviting than resolutions or goals. Also, love the intention of cherish. How sweet and uplifting. Thanks. Also, your sponge story made me smile. Hope you've been able to open the package :)

  21. I'm stealing this! Don't worry... I link to you :) I just love calling them HOPES and I think 11 of them is perfect. Mine will be posting later this evening...

  22. great goals! i have many of the same ones you do. And i love your word for the year. i definitely need to focus on that word everyday too.. Noah is growing up way too fast.

  23. Hi Mel! I was just catching up on reading all the linkies on Shauna's "give" post. I love your list of goals. Makes me want to make one too, esepcially since you are modeling such freedom in the inevitable failure of SOMETHING. Great attitude. And just so you know, no one is ever "caught up" on the laundry. ;)

  24. You inspired me to make my own blog post about my hopes/dreams/to do's on my blog.


    Thanks a bunch! I do love your hopes! Your girls are simple adorable! Have an awesome day!
    Karin Marie :)



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