Friday, March 01, 2013

March and the resolutions

I haven't written for a bit for good reason. In January I had my son Maxwell and in February I spent most of my days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or adjusting to being a new mommy. I am still adjusting as March began today. I thought today was a good time to update the blog on my New Year's Resolutions for 2013. Surprisingly with all of the big changes in my life, I still feel it is going pretty well. Here are some updates:

-- This year, I want to make a goal to read my bible all the way through again. I have done this in years past and each time I do it, I gain more from the word and the daily discipline of being in God's presence. This year I would like to dig a little deeper and focus more on the language of the times, on word meanings, and focus on where I am at as a mother in the word.

I am happy to report that I am on track to read the Bible through in a year. I used my time at the hospital to sit and read my Bible while looking at my precious baby and now, I read it to him while we are snuggling. This really keeps me focused on the word and also helps me navigate the new responsibilities in my life.

-- This year, I want to find a church in Southern Indiana that I can put roots down in. I would like to find somewhere where both Anthony and I feel at home, has a great children's ministry area, and places for Anthony and I to serve in our faith community with our spiritual gifts. I would like to visit churches in the area with the prayer of God leading this journey and not my preconceived notions of where I should be or what a church should "look like."

This one has been a challenge in the new year. Our Calendar for January had a different church to visit on it each Sunday. Well, God had other plans because I started to have complications in the pregnancy and was required to do several stress tests a week and then was admitted to the hospital in Louisville. Since we have been home from Louisville, we are adjusting to new parenthood and not really getting enough sleep to attend church on Sundays. I hope that we can pick this up in the coming months as Max gets a little older and less susceptible to illness.

-- This year I want to clean up my language, thought life, and critical spirit. Although I am certainly not a trucker in my language, I use far too many negative words, far too many critical words, and spew a lot of ugly at times. This is something I would like to focus on in 2013 and become someone whose fruit is more sweet than bitter and sarcastic.

To be honest, I think this one has gone to the back burner and I needed to dig it back out again. I am not using foul language because I spend 99% of my day with my precious sweet little boy...but I think I still need to work on my critical spirit and negative words. Reading this again reminded me that it needed a booster shot!

-- This year, I want to develop my spiritual disciplines to be something that is far more consistent. I would like to observe my prayer life, quiet time, solitude, church attendance, service, etc... and really focus on getting closer to God in a more consistent way. I want to have far fewer gaps in our conversations and far more moments of reflection on where I am in Him and where I am supposed to go.

The big changes in this year have been my Bible reading and prayer time. I pray each night with Max which helps me keep on track with talking to God period but my own time is growing also because I depend so heavily on God in parenting. I never knew how hard of a job it is and without God, I would be lost in it. I need to still work on Church Attendance (see above) and solitude and quiet time. Anthony and I are working out a schedule for feedings/sleeping/alone time so that we can take care of ourselves, Max, and our marriage. We are a great team!

-- This year, I want to focus more on developing my Proverbs 31 qualities by praying towards that, learning more about that and focusing my other goals on those tenants. I want my relationship with Anthony and Max to reflect those qualities and really see myself make improvements in this area this year.

I do see some improvement in this since Max was born. I have always been entirely career focused and very identified in accomplishments and accolades. This new journey of being a mother doesn't really allow me to focus on that since every day looks the same in terms of accomplishments and it is really hard with virtually no fanfare. It requires me to really look at Proverbs 31 and find my identity and true worth in who I am as a woman of God.

-- This year, I want to make more focused time for Anthony on set days. We have (for several years) observed Married Monday and kept Monday quite sacred and do not commit to other people, projects, work, or obligations on that day. We have slipped a little from this and need to get back on having a more consistent time that is focused on us. I would like to make it better from my end by taking the time to plan every other Married Monday, get really ready for our dates by grooming more appropriately (I know all the ladies hear  me on that!), and silence the cell phone and remind others in my life who "need" me that it is a special time for our family and it is something we are not willing to budge on readily.

Although this looks very different with a new baby in the house, I am proud to say Anthony and I are pulling it off. We do it a bit differently now and that is to be expected. When he gets home at 11, we spend from 11-1 am together and we eat a late dinner, have a glass of wine, watch a movie or relax in some other way. We also still spend Monday and Tuesday having family time including special time for Anthony and I when Max is napping.

-- This year, I want to make a concerted effort to lower our debt that was created during a period of unemployment and has gone on due to the move and several other factors. I would like to focus myself more on spending less on luxuries, making better financial choices, and exercising self control when money gets into our bank accounts. It is easy to build pressure and frustration in marriage when finances are out of control. Anthony and I have been lucky that we do not FIGHT over money but I would like to eliminate all areas of un-needed pressure especially in adding another person to our household and new financial obligations.

I am most proud of this resolution because it was one I have wanted to avoid since 2010 and did a pretty good job of it. Having Max so early required Anthony to take 3 weeks  of work off that was unpaid time. It was a huge sacrifice to our family as we live paycheck to paycheck due to the debt acquired. God was so good and provided not only for our lodging, food, and gasoline in Louisville but also our February Bills since Anthony did not work. Since we have been back, I have opened all bills, logged them into a notebook with account numbers, phone numbers, balances, and what the bill is for and am now working my way through the notebook on calling these places and arranging to pay them off. Many are medical bills and there are a few credit cards due to 9 months of unemployment in 2010. Either way, Anthony and I have a goal to be debt free (with the exception of student loans) by 2015 and buy a family car with cash next year. I am excited to see us have a more financially free life and be better stewards of what God gives us.

-- This year, I want to contribute more to our household by holding up my responsibilities better. I would like to have a real conversation about what would make Anthony's life easier in being a husband, father, and worker. My job as his wife is to be a helper and I would like to start to make those things a priority more than they are now. Anthony is exceptionally helpful to me and sometimes I feel less helpful to him.

I still feel like Anthony is the better helper especially now that Max is here. I have, however, made a schedule that helps us both get adequate rest and also time with Max. Also, I prepare all of the meals, do all of the cleaning, and manage our household finances. Anthony just simply said that taking care of myself and Max is enough help to him. He really is a saint sometimes!

-- This year, I want to focus on keeping our marriage passionate through our first year of being parents. I know that this will prove to be more complicated than it ever has but I would like to make an effort to keep our time together important and focus on our connection daily so that Max sees the parents that created him, ones that are IN LOVE and enjoy each other.

I feel like given the circumstances, we are navigating this quite nicely. I will leave you out of the details ;)

-- This year, I want to help Anthony in regards to meeting his own goals. Anthony would like to start taking college courses and further his education, learn how to play guitar, and really enjoys watching movies. I would like to make it my position this year to encourage those goals, help in any way I can, and participate in ways that would make him more excited about his personal goals.

This resolution is going pretty well. Tonight I am going to file Anthony's Fafsa for him to start college classes in the fall which is a big step for him. Also, I have been watching more movies with him and trying to take the time to be affectionate which is something Anthony really needs.

-- This year, I want  to develop a more consistent relationship with diabetes. I am currently on an insulin pump and that has drastically helped my diabetic control. I need to be more consistent with eye examinations, dental examinations, taking blood glucose daily, eating more regular meals to combat highs and lows, attending all dr appointments and following up with dr's orders, and exercising more for better glucose control.

I am still being hard-core on top of my diabetic care. I am having trouble maintaining my sugars since having Max so I scheduled an appointment with my specialist today and have plans to schedule an eye exam next week. I have also started back to exercising since having Max. It is going to be a long haul to health but I am going to stay on it.

-- This year, I want to develop a better eating schedule. I eat better than most people do, however, I often skip meals and make myself extra hungry in the evenings. It would be better for me to get back to eating 6 smaller meals per day and focus on nutritionally dense foods. I have improved my eating habits exponentially but there is certainly room for improvement.

Since Max eats 8 times per day and I do about 4-5 of those feedings, I have started trying to eat when he eats. I try to feed him and then when he lays down for a nap, I try to eat something good for me but also eat frequently to keep blood sugars maintained and metabolism up. 

-- This year, I want to develop my exercise habits back. When I lived in California I was very good at making daily exercise a priority due to the beautiful weather. It was considerably easier there. This year, I want to take advantage of having my sister as a walking partner, a willing and supportive spouse to walk with a new baby to take out in the fresh air. Although the weather is bad part of the year, I have multiple sources of exercise available to me and need to develop that habit again.

Most of this year so far was spent on being pregnant, having a baby, and healing from a C-section so I just got back into exercise this week. On Wednesday I did a cardio dance workout and felt like I might die so I realized that I will have to cut it back and start with something lower impact so I can get a whole work out in. When the spring is here, I want to start taking walks with Max and I am going to try to use my time alone to get some more creative work outs in as well.

-- This year, I want to have better sleeping habits. Although I will have a new baby, it does not excuse not taking the time to rest and be rested for his well-being and mine. I need to set a more regular schedule for sleep and take advantage of my husband's offer to trade off getting up with Max and doing the care of Max during the day. I want to take the naps I need, get the rest I need, and not overdo caffeine in order to compensate for rest not gotten.

I have finally figured out (after 3 weeks) how to get Anthony and I adequate rest with Max. I get 6 hours of sleep per night and Anthony gets 5 hours of sleep per night on our new schedule. Anthony has always needed less than me due to diabetes and he pushed for me to have the extra hour but with a new baby, I think 6 hours is doing pretty good. Thank God I have a helpful and supportive husband.

-- This year, I want to keep my home organized and free of clutter in order to make me feel less stressed and more at peace. I am one of those people who feels incredibly anxious in disorder and having things orderly and organized helps my mental and physical health. This year has been a very disorganized year with family crisis, being pregnant, and just adjusting to a new place so I am hoping next year I can develop more stability in these areas.

This one is taking time since we were gone to Louisville for 3 weeks and came back to dust, laundry from the trip, and we had a new baby to take care of. I am trying to get the house back to order and try to organize my time and areas to best suit all our mental health and time management. So far, I am working on it but am not even close to where I want to be.

I will catch up the rest of my resolutions tomorrow since there is quite a list. I hope you are all meeting your goals and having a great 2013. My favorite year yet! :)

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