Resolutions + A Word for 2013

Happy 2013 (a few days late!)
I love welcoming in a New Year.
I love looking back & reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the fresh start of a new year.

Before we look at my resolutions, let's take a look at how I did on my 2012 resolutions:

Since I am a teacher, I love "grading" myself on how I did.

1. Read 1 book a month. 
Well, I didn't read 1 book a month (that whole having a newborn got in the way) But I did read 10 books this past year, so I give myself a B-.

2. Go on a date with Kevin once a month, no kids. 
Yeah....that didn't happen either. Again, the whole 3rd baby and  newborn thing. 
I give us a D.....this NEEDS to change in 2013.

3. Try not to hit snooze 5 times when my alarm goes off. 
I am inconsistent. I did really good for a few months. Then it was summer, so no alarm! But, then, when it was time to go back to work after my maternity leave.....there I go again, hitting the snooze.
Again, I blame being exhausted from having a newborn & 3 kids. 
I give myself a C-. 
(Side note: I have shifted the blame to my kids for the first 3 resolutions that I didn't follow through on. Sorry kids. Ha!)

I am going to Simplify. 
I give myself an A- on this. In 2012, I did 40 Bags in 40 Days 
and got rid of SO much stuff. It might have taken me 5 months, not 40 days, but Hey! I finished.

5. Keep my car clean. 
Again, I am inconsistent with this, so I give myself a C+
Can I blame it on my kids again? They are the ones who trash my car. Ha!

6. Drink more water. 
If you know me, you know that I do not like water. 
I could live off coffee, Diet Coke & Wine :)
BUT, since I was pregnant for 8 months of 2012, I did awesome at drinking water. When I am pregnant the only thing I drink is water (and sometimes juice) so I give myself a B+ for the year of drinking more water. 
I would have given myself an A, but once I gave birth to Luke, my water intake has dropped big time.
7. Figure out a Laundry System. 
Haven't really figured out a system.
In fact, as I sit here typing this, there is a pile of clean laundry that needs to be folded and another clean load in the dryer (that has been there for 2 days.) So, I give myself a C+ on this because I feel like overall I have gotten better about not letting laundry pile up so much this year, but again, the whole newborn thing adds SO much more laundry. I was really on top of things until my maternity leave was over. Still searching for a good laundry system.
8. Host a wine tasting party for our neighbors.
FAIL. That didn't happen, so I get an F. I was pregnant for 8 months in 2012, so why would I want to host a wine party when I couldn't even drink it?!?! So selfish, I know :) Hope to make it happen in 2013.
9. No more piles!
I will have to give myself a B with this. My piles are lessening around the house, but they haven't disappeared completely.
10. Set boundaries. 
I am a people pleaser. It is SO hard for me to say "No" to things because I am such a people pleaser. But, I have been learning that it is okay to say No and it is good to have boundaries. But, I feel like I got an A- in this category this year! Yay for progress!

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.

So, here are my resolutions for 2013:

1. Date night with Kevin once a month. Yes, I know I said it last year, but we REALLY need to do this. With 3 kids & both of us working, we need to be even more intentional about date nights so we can reconnect as husband & wife and best friends. 

2. Stick to a budget. We don't really have a budget. We don't spend outside our means, but do we really know how we are spending our money? (I know, at Target!) But in all seriousness, I need to figure out how much I spend on necessitates versus how much I spend on frivolous & dumb things.

3. Meal Planning. I am pretty good at meal planning. But, I have gotten lazy about it (can I blame having 3 kids again?) I used to be really good about sitting down on Sunday after church & meal planing for the whole week. I want to get back to doing this.

4. Try out 3 new recipes a month. I feel like I am always cooking the same things for dinner. So, my goal for 2013 is to try out 3 new recipes a month! This will be helpful with my meal planning also!

5.Get the girls to eat better. We have PICKY eaters. I have fallen into the bad habit of making them something different from what Kevin & I have. So, in 2013, I am going to do better at making them eat a bigger variety of foods besides mac&cheese, chicken nuggets, PB&J, grilled cheese, pizza & hot dogs. I am going to have them start eating what we eat. I know this will take baby steps, but it needs to happen.

6. Laundry. For real. I need to figure out a system. I might have to bite the bullet & start doing it everyday. But that also means I need to start folding it and putting it away each day. *sigh* 
I despise laundry.

7. Take better care of myself. So many times I go to bed without washing my face (I know....terrible)
I don't exercise (I am blessed with good metabolism) but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be active. I know it will give me more energy. I was a former college athlete for crying out loud. It's just healthy to be active. Hey, we got Just Dance 4 for Christmas, so that's a start :) And by taking better care of myself I guess that means I shouldn't have ice cream every night. Also, by taking care of myself that includes being more daring with my wardrobe and not being stuck wearing the same old boring things. (More on this next week!)

8. Be more intentional with the girls. I feel bad that often times when they ask me to play with them, etc I have to say "No" or "In a minute" because I am nursing Luke or dealing with him. I feel like the past few months I have been in survival mode and I haven't gotten to really do fun things with them. They are really good about playing together and they love each other, but I feel like I have taken that for granted. I miss doing fun things like baking with them, etc.

9.  Go to bed earlier. I am queen of the midnight bedtime. I am a night owl. I would stay up until 1 or 2 every night if I didn't have to work. But, I know I am a better wife, mom & teacher when I get more sleep, so I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want to be more disciplined with my bedtime.

10. Do 40 Bags in 40 Days again this year. This was SO good for me to do and I can't wait to do it again. Even though I just finished it this summer, I feel the clutter & stuff creeping back in and I don't like it. 
This leads me to my word of the year. 
Each year I pick a word to focus on for the year.
In 2010, I chose Intentional.
In 2011, I chose Cherish.
In 2012, I chose Nurture.
In 2013, my word is:

I feel like many times I am running around like a crazy person.
(Probably because I am!!!!!)
With 3 kids, one of them being a baby, life can be busy (for those of you who have more than 3, I don't know how you do it. PROPS to you.)
In 2013, I want to SIMPLIFY so that I don't feel like a crazy person.
LESS is the new MORE.

I want to Simpify my time by saying NO to things. I am a YES girl, a people pleaser.
I am trying to re-train my brain that it is OKAY to say No to things. This has been a long process. I still have work to do with this.

I want to Simplify my house. Like I mentioned earlier, last year, I did 40 Bags  in 40 Days and I 100% plan on doing it again this Spring. My closets & cupboards are feeling disorganized & cluttered again. When my home is not organized, I feel like the rest of my life is unorganized. I want to get rid of more STUFF and feel peace in our home.

I want to Simplify my shopping. Again, this goes back to the budget things. 
Do I REALLY need that cardigan at Target when I have a closet full of cardigans?
Even though it is "on sale" or a good price, that doesn't mean I need it. 
Do I really need that stuff from the Dollar Bin? Hey! It's only $1.
No, I don't need it.
I want to Simplify my shopping.

 I need to Simplify by making ONE meal for our family, not making a meal for Claire, a meal for Kate and a meal for Kevin & I. 

I need to Simplify our schedules. I am a very social person. I like saying YES to every event. But I need to stop squeezing in everything we are invited to, like going to 3 parties in one day. 

I need to Simplify "myself". More of God & My Family and less of "me".

I read this quote a few weeks ago and it spoke to me.
"SIMPLIFY:  To eliminate those things we don't need or that may take away from the more important things in our lives"
 I am excited to live a more simple life this year.
How about you? Do you have a resolutions or a word of the year? 
I would love to hear about them!


  1. Great Post Mel! The idea of simplifying just makes me feel calmer already!

  2. These are some great goals! Let's hope you can "grade" yourself better come the end of this year. Stinking kids ruining things for you. ;-)

  3. I had the worse habit of letting laundry pile up, but there are six of us. I have 3 very small laundry baskets, when they're full, I do laundry. It's about every other day, but it's so much less of a chore! Throw a load in before you cook dinner, put it in the dryer after dinner or before bathing kids and fold when they go to bed. Putting away....that's a challenge, but hey, the clothes are clean and folded, so what if there's a pile on the dresser! Lol

    Also, YES, make only one meal for everyone. I am mean, but everyone gets the same food and if it is something someone doesn't like, the rule is to eat one good bite and that's it. As time goes on, the picky-ness gets better!!!

    I LOVE your resolutions, Mel. I am resolving to simplify as well in the same ways you are and also adding in DIY projects and crafting. I plan on thoughtful, homemade gifts for my family this year!!!

  4. It makes life so easy when you start only making one meal...I learned with my third to do this.

    I am a total night owl as well! That is something I am trying to work on this year as well.

  5. I've read your blog for a long time without ever leaving a comment but your budget resolution made me want to chime in. You should check out mint.com to get your finances together. My husband & I have been using it since we got married & it's incredible. Simple, helpful, practical - and the app on my iphone means it's always accessible too. Hope it helps!

  6. I love, love, love reading your posts because they are always so relatable to me. So many of your resolutions from 2012 AND 2013 on always on my list of things to improve in my life.

    I think Simplify is a great word for the new year. I hope you update on all these resolutions with some frequency because it will help me to remind me to work on those things too.

  7. Happy new year! Simplicity ( or simplify ) was my word as well. Less is more & I've been feeling so weighed down lately. It'll be nice to purge everything.

  8. Such awesome goals and I am a total people pleaser too! :-) UGG trying to learn how to say no! :-)

  9. Such awesome goals and I am a total people pleaser too! :-) UGG trying to learn how to say no! :-)

  10. I loved this post. SO relatable! One of my resolutions is the laundry thing and here I sit with 6 baskets full of clean laundry. Hmm... maybe the simplify thing would help in that department for me. I made resolutions, my blog post about them is here: http://gotomydoodlespot.blogspot.com/2012/12/did-i-resolve-my-resolutions.html?m=1 and then I have a word for 2013: PRESENT. blog post here: http://gotomydoodlespot.blogspot.com/2012/12/present-in-2013.html?m=1
    Something else I did this year was write a letter to myself to read in 10 years. Things that are going on in my life, with my family, my thoughts, what I think of myself, reminders to enjoy life and be confident as a person in 2023.
    I did this 10 years ago in high school and couldn't believe it was time to read it!

    KC - www.gotomydoodlespot.blogspot.com

  11. Mel,

    I've also never left a comment but thought of something you might try for the laundry pileup...I have a load in the dryer and a load in the washer that needs to be dried...however...when the laundry is clean, dry, and in the basket, we sometimes play The Laundry Game. :) It varies in how we play it...there are two versions. The first one is that we put out signs labeled with each person's name or the place that it needs to go after it is folded. My middle one can't read yet, so his older sister helps him find the right sign to put the clothes next to. After this, the kids either put the clothes away themselves or I load the things up in the laundry basket according to where they go and then divvy them up later when everyone is busy doing something else or sleeping. :) The other version of the game that I personally like a little better is when I have a laundry basket of clean, dry clothes that need to be folded, I start folding and making stacks for the kids and they start running back and forth from their rooms to get more clothes and put them away. I let them do the items that go in drawers (and then sometimes tidy up just a bit later), and then do anything that needs to go on hangers. My oldest is an almost 7 year old girl and she sometimes does her own clothes on hangars. My middle is an almost 4 year old boy and he's the one who actually asks to play this "game". :) You can totally "can" this idea or give it a try and see if maybe your girls will buy into it. :)

  12. One more thing...it says in my profile that my blog is CaringMeals...I apologize, that is not my blog, it is my husband's. :) Full disclosure here...

  13. I love Simplify. There are many ways as a parent that this needs to happen for everyone.

    For laundry... my boys have been putting their own laundry away for a couple of years. It really helps. I'd love to say one load a day works but it suuuuucccks to do laundry every day.

    Thursday is our laundry day and we do it ALL DAY since we work from home. In the morning I line all the baskets up outside the laundry room and start the rotation. When it is dry, I dump it in each person's room so they can't go to bed without putting it away. Then we do laundry party after dinner, blast music and work on laundry in each person's room.

    Sheets and towels get done every other week.

  14. Simplify seems to be a theme for my life: ) Not complaining, blessed: ) Used the dates printable you made me in our new header--Love how the simple things bring such happiness:) Happy New Year!

  15. We MUST be twins living lives on separate coasts ( I live in SC) from separate mothers! I just emailed this to my husband so he would (try) and believe me when I say that our lives with a 2 year-old and 3 year-old aren't fall from others with kids.

    THANK YOU for always being so honest and inspiring!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and your beautiful family!

  16. Yay on simplicity. Good luck with getting to bed early Mel the night owl. You should just make your goal to go to bed late, and then you are a winner every year :) Let me know when I can come over to watch Shipping Wars.

  17. so...first ~ love your blog! You have such a precious family! found you thru Shay's link today!!

    second ~ so much of what you said here could have come from my mouth. {sigh} since having our 3rd little guy (who is already 17 months old!) i SO feel almost all of what you said here. I feel like a crazy person most of the time and like i just can't quite get in a groove that i'm comfortable with! i feel like i'm slowly getting there but wowsers!! looking forward to following your journey through the year! =)

  18. I am so happy to hear your list!! you look so perfect in your pics...I was feeling like a loser...

  19. Love her stuff! I would choose joy, because I can always use a reminder to choose joy!


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