Tuesday, February 5, 2013

New Year's Resolutions 2013

So, since I was doing this on New Year's...

...I've been a little behind on 2013 already. But since it's February now, I figured it's time to catch up and make some New Year's Resolutions!

I don't remember making any New Year's resolutions for 2012. The only evidence I can find is the comment on this post, where I said I might resolve to work on handmade gifts all year to ease the pressure in November/December. I can tell you I did not do that. Of all the years I should have done that, this was the one, and I did not. I can, however, tell you that I DID briefly reach my goal weight before I got pregnant (and gained it all back) AND I have succeeded at about 25% of my resolutions and goals from 2011.

I stopped consuming mainstream "news" and while I am totally out of the loop on most important or entertaining events, I am considerably less fixated on all manner of horrible things that have happened or could happen. I also learned to sew and made lots of adorable things for Alice. Unfortunately, I didn't share most of them on the blog... I didn't roll up my sleeves, per se, but I convinced Jon to roll his up and he made a bunch of awesome stuff for our house with his own two hands. He built gallery library shelves in our dining room, a console-style shelf for behind our couch, a big girl bed and shelf for Alice, and helped Santa build a certain dollhouse. Again, I didn't blog about most of those but I promise, they happened! I am aiming to put together a little round-up of our completed crafty/DIY projects... I also significantly improved my Photoshop skills but I still have tons to learn.

I've been thinking about what I might resolve to do in 2013 but realistically, I know that it will take up most of my mental energy to take care of a baby and learn how to manage a toddler and a sibling while being a working mother. However, I have had some ideas bumping around  the back of my mind and I think a few of them have emerged as worthy candidates.

So, here it goes. Here are my resolutions for 2013:

Resolution #1: Do one thing at a time, do it now.

When you are a parent - especially one with toddlers and/or infants - multi-tasking is sort of unavoidable. But I want to try to avoid it whenever I can. I also want to resolve to just go ahead and do whatever it is that I have in mind. Chores, projects, fun stuff, special experiences; just do them. Don't procrastinate or put it off, don't save it for later. Just do it now.

Resolution #2: Invest in myself.

I am pretty good at prioritizing my mental health and happiness, even with the added demands of motherhood. I know that I can't be a great mom if I'm not taking care of myself physically and mentally, and if I'm not happy. I definitely believe happiness is a form of courage and I've spent a long time learning how to make myself happy, but my life has reached a point where I need to be more intentional about cultivating that happiness. I can no longer achieve happiness by way of sleeping in, blowing off my responsibilities, eating junk food and reading all day. And that's not really possible/practical anymore, with two tiny children depending on me. I need to invest in more strategic efforts.

The challenge is that as much as I value my happiness, I have a really hard time spending money and time on anything that I might need to accomplish that goal. If my family can't live in it or eat it, it's hard for me to justify the expense. I also hate spending time away from home and my family doing things for myself such as shopping for something I need, like shoes. I have precious little time with my family and I hate having to use it on things they can't enjoy or participate in. I shop online as much as possible but that doesn't always suffice and I can no longer rely on a quick trip to Target to meet all my needs. I need to prioritize a little time and money for myself in advance. For example, I need to make sure that I have clothes and shoes that fit and flatter, instead of waiting until I have a wardrobe emergency and buying the first cheap thing that is even remotely appropriate in the shortest amount of time possible.

Here are some specific areas where I'll attempt to implement this resolution.
  • My health and fitness:
    • Invest in time to exercise. With Alice, I waited until I was done nursing to really start exercising seriously again. I am ready to start exercising now, as soon as my body is healed well enough. While I'm on leave, I plan to start walking (maybe even running!) and to use up the classes on my gift card to a local yoga studio (they have mama/baby and mama/toddler classes!). And once I'm back at work, even if I can only manage 15-20 minutes in my living room before bed, I need to incorporate some high-return activities into my day. I'm really looking forward to resuming my bike commute! If I can spend time with my kids/hubby while exercising, all the better, but I need to make sure I find time to do it with or without them (but not at their expense!).
    • Invest in proper, quality tools. I just bought an inexpensive resistance band that I intend to use for portable access to all manner of exercises. When I start running again, I'll really have to invest in some quality running shoes from a proper running shoe store where they can diagnose my fit and needs.  I also need some well-fitting running clothes - like a good sports bra! - and something to secure my phone, which functions as my running trainer and musical motivator. When I first started running, I didn't want to buy a bunch of expensive gear if I wasn't going to enjoy and stick with it but I found that it's something I definitely want to continue. I still don't want to spend a bunch of money on fancy stuff but my body deserves proper support in order to do the best job for maximum gains. My running shoes are at least 8 years old and probably aren't even actually intended solely for running. My knees deserve better!
Shoes are supposed to have some soles. Preferably level ones...
  • My appearance:
    • Invest in my wardrobe. I know everyone wants to burn everything in their closet at some point. But I've felt like that for almost as long as I can remember now because my closet is filled primarily with drab, unflattering items that were cheap to buy because they were cheaply made. I want to revamp my closet and my style with well-made pieces that will last and make me feel comfortable and confident. This will largely have to wait until I reach my goal weight again, but I plan to look for creative ways to freshen my wardrobe in the meantime by thrifting, refashioning, and sewing for myself.
    • Invest in a hairstyle. I just got my hair cut again and specifically asked for a length that is too short to pull back into a ponytail. Because when it's long enough for a ponytail, that's the only thing I do with it - every day. And though a ponytail is quick and convenient, it isn't the most flattering style for me and it gives me a headache. So I'm resolving to find a cut that gives me an actual style and to invest in the time and ability to do it every morning. I'm happy to say that this current cut is about 90% of the holy grail I was looking for. It's too short for a ponytail, looks good if I let it air dry (HUGE deal for me, that is NEVER the case), is quick to blow dry even without sectioning it off or using a special brush, and doesn't need any straightening with a flat iron. So, it's almost as quick and easy as a ponytail! Plus, I invested in some velcro rollers and a 1/2" flat iron that can make waves or curls (counter intuitive to curl with a flat iron, I know), so that I can add even more variety to my style options. I've never been good at doing my own hair, aside from fancy braiding, so I'm investing some time now to learn how to use these tools so I can actually have a hair style. I'm in my thirties now, I think it's about time I had some style!
    • Invest in my skin. Again, I'm in my (EARLY) thirties. I need to figure out what my skin needs and how best to take care of it. Some day, I'd like to be blemish-free. I feel like I'm closing in on some things that are working, but I need to get creative and keep experimenting.
haircut, fresh from the salon. skin, in need of  a little TLC.
  • My Ideas:
    • I have a lot of ideas and I rarely do anything about them. I want to quit making up excuses why I shouldn't or can't pursue my ideas and start investing in reasons and ways that I can turn them into reality. I don't have have any great examples to share with you here, but I'll let you know if and when I succeed!
Resolution #3: Stay In The Picture.

I read this a while ago and it hurt because it's true at my house. And then I read this and it really broke my heart. I am the photographer in our family, so I'm usually behind the camera instead of in front of it. And I usually hate the way I look in photos, so I do tend to avoid having my picture taken, or block the photos I'm in from seeing the light of day. And the result is that I have precious few photos of me with my kids. And that hurts, a lot. So I'm resolving to change that. From now on, I'm going to stay in the picture. 

When I was near my ideal weight, I realized I no longer hated seeing myself in photos. That surprised me, mostly because that hadn't been the case in so long that I hadn't realized it was still possible. It's a huge motivation for me to get back to my ideal weight. Investing in my health, fitness, and appearance will surely make me happier with the person I see looking back at me in photos. Even if I'm perfect in my daughters' eyes and they don't see the same imperfections I see when they look at photos of me, I know that I'll smile brighter when I am confident in the way I look and feel. But I don't want to limit my appearance in photos to only those times that I feel like I look perfect. 

I've already made progress on this resolution by investing in a tripod and a remote camera shutter. I want both to be a regular fixture in our home and our lives so that I can capture myself in the sweet, every day moments with my girls. I've also started taking more photos with my phone (which is almost always within arm's reach), both of Alice and Ivy, and of myself with them. Though I resisted for a long time, I've finally started using Instagram as well and I'm finding that it motivates me to take more photos of our every day life and to actually do something with them.
 {L} Alice & I making "kissy" faces. {M} Just wearing a baby. {R} Keeping it real with my little baby burrito.

Resolution #4: Keep Creating.

It's important to me to be able to create things for my kids and my home. I'm so happy about the progress I've made in learning to sew, and with the things I've been able to make for Alice. I want to keep investing in the time to create all the things I dream about, and to improve my skills.

Resolution #5: Blog about it.

I want to blog more regularly. I want to be better about recording the little things that don't seem important until you look back at them months or years later. I want to record the things I create. I want to share the progress I make on these resolutions. I want to document our successes and our failures. I want this to be a better record of our lives and the love in our family. 

As with every year, I will continue to keep up work on my previous resolutions. I'm still trying to drink more water and wine, to watch all those classics and award-winners in my Netflix queue. I still aim to send birthday cards and other correspondence in a timely manner and hand-craft holiday gifts throughout the year. When I revamp my wardrobe, I will make a concerted effort to make sure there is more color involved. And I will try my best to blog about it all!


  1. Love the haircut!

    I know what you mean about hoping to get to an age where you're blemish free. It's the worst! I've learned you just can't skimp on skincare if your face is fickle. I've come to LOVE Murad's Vitamin C spf 30 moisturizer. On Sephora it's $$$ but I've found it on Amazon for much less. Back when I had money to burn I became addicted to microdermabrasion facials at my dermatologist office. If you find yourself in a place to splurge on a series of microderm appointments it's one of the best investments for my skin I've made and trust this from a gal who has tried EVERYTHING. On a budget I can't go without my Clarisonic coupled with a 5% Benzoyl Peroxide face wash. I don't care how many chemicals are in BP wash. It gets the job done like no other.

    Also, as of tomorrow I'm funemployed. I've taken a gander at some sewing classes in Silver Lake. I'm on a mission to start making throw pillows. If you have any tips, literature I should check out at the library, YouTubers to watch, or whatever please send them my way. When I get the hang of things perhaps you can help me out. Buddy system.

  2. I love your list! I'm right there with you on a number of resolutions. I've started back at the gym this past January and it has been wonderful. I'm getting stronger in the pool, and I've stopped dreading the cardio machines. I really like working out, but my favorite part is the shower afterwards. I take my time, put on lotion, the whole nine yards. I don't get luxurious showers at home anymore, so I really look forward to my gym time.

    I think your hair looks great. It's a nice length, and it won't take too long to style. As far as skincare goes, I am a freak about it! I've tried every product under the sun, and honestly, the best thing that I've found is this random Japanese moisturizer that's supposed to be for your hands. I put it on my face and it has significantly improved the texture and clarity of my skin. It's called Yu-Be. I put it on right before bed, and wake up with refreshed skin. It has a weird, medicinal smell at first but that quickly goes away. I bought it before I read any reviews, just on a whim, but after I looked it up I found that other people use it on their face too:


    It's rad.

    I love that you want to be in pictures more this year too. I feel the same way! I just got up to speed on printing and organizing all of our photos into albums and it makes me sad how few pictures I have together with my son. That stops now! No matter how roly-poly I feel, I am going to be a part of our family photo history from here on out!


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