About Me

2018 Goals & Resolutions

I love having goals.  And to-do lists.  It just makes me happy to have something to strive for and then to accomplish it.  I’m one of those crazy people who has about 6 to-do lists running at any time and if I do something that isn’t on my to-do list, I’ll write it on there and then cross it off. There is such a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment to strike through an items that has taken a long time to complete or was harder than expected (I’m looking at you half bath redo of 2017!).

My husbands goal is “to never have goals”.  So when we headed to the mountains last week to celebrate Brooks’ 6th birthday with some time on the tubing hills, I had him confined in a small space for about 5 hours – plenty of time to push him to set our goals for the year!

And so I have something to check throughout the year, I’m going to share them today:

FAMILY:

  • Complete 6 one-on-one dates with our kids – 6 for me and 6 for Dean.  I feel like we do a decent job of doing these now and want to continue it. I think it’s important for our kids to get special, individual time with us.
  • Start a non-sports activity for each kid.  Whether it is music, dance, theatre, martial arts, boy scouts, chess – I’d love for my kids do some individual activity that is more than be on a sports team.  Expand their interests and hobbies.
  • Take some vacations –
    • An international trip with our kiddos.  We went and got their passports ordered this month, so we’ll be ready to go somewhere fun.  And I really enjoy traveling, so this is something I want to start doing for my kids so they have tons of cool adventures in their childhood.
    • 10 year anniversary trip.  We will hit the decade mark in October and I’d love to do a bigger trip to commemorate with my favorite husband.  Hawaii is a top contender on our list right now, but we’re still very early in the planning process.
    • Vacation with Dean’s family – My family tends to do a pretty good job of trips together (we’re headed to Maine this year and we also received an amazing Christmas gift from our parents – a siblings/spouses weekend away/no kids), but this is something that my husband’s family doesn’t do as often. I’d love to make sure we see his brother and their family – maybe meet at a beach for a long weekend together. And also to make a better effort to see Dean’s dad when he comes down to his Carolinas condo.  I know the kids grow so fast and soon enough they’ll be teenagers who have no interest in family trips together, so let’s take advantage while we can!

HOUSE:

  • Get a couch for our living room. Our couches have been around for about 20 years, they were passed from my parents to me when I bought my first house about 10 years ago.  I’ve been waiting for my kids to be old enough to let me have a nicer couch 🙂 It’s time.
  • Get rid of our playset.  When we bought our house in 2013, our kids were the perfect age (1 and 3) for the big playset in the backyard.  Now, they’d rather spend their time playing sports in the front yard, not sliding and swinging.  I think it will free up a lot of space in the backyard for extra play area.
  • Furnish our living room.  First up, curtains!  Second, there is a really large blank wall in our living room and it just needs something on it.  I’ve been waiting until I bought a couch to decide how to decorate (should it have a little sitting area in front of it, or just artwork?) All that will depend on the size and layout of our couch.  Since we’re planning to do that this year (see house goal #1), I should be able to finish off this room.
  • Hang a light fixture over our kitchen table.  We have a few “builder” looking chandelier light fixtures in our house and this is one of them.  It just doesn’t go with the rest of the house and the changes we’ve made.  I’d love to find something that fits our style a little more.  (And as my husband has requested – not from World Market – I’ve bought two chandeliers from them and both times we had a heck of a time installing it.)
  • BONUS GOAL (this one is of course contingent upon having a solid year financially):  Do a large project.  A master bath upgrade (I want a bigger shower and smaller tub!) and an outdoor pergola/dining area have been on our house wish list for the past few years.  Either of these projects would cost $5,000-10,000 so we’d have to make sure it made sense in the bank account.

FINANCIAL:

  • We always like to stretch ourselves on saving, tithing, college funds and retirement contributions so we’ve earmarked some goals here.
  • Is 2018 the year of the car?  My car is 11 years old and while the mileage is good (only 85k miles!), I don’t want to get stuck with a car that starts having problems and it seems this is around the time they start to happen.
  • BONUS GOAL: Pay down mortgage principal. I’d love to be completely debt-free in the next 10 years and our mortgage is standing in the way.

PERSONAL:

  • Dean’s goals:
    • A full knee recovery.  He’s looking at another possible knee surgery (we’re at the point where he needs some “buy two, get one free” surgery coupons!) and so he’ll need to work hard to rehab and get himself walking without a peg leg.
    • His workout goal is 225×5 on the incline press. Whatever that means!
    • Plan 3 entire date nights this year (picking the activity – can’t be just dinner (that’s our default), coordinating the date and babysitting, etc.)
  • Ginger’s goals:
    • Read 25 books. I’ve been on a reading kick for about the past year, so I think this should be do-able.
    • My workout goal – do PiYo 2-3 times per week for the next 3 months so I can get more flexible and stronger. Also to be able to do 15 good push-ups.  I am upper body weak!
    • Go to counseling 3x this year. I feel this one has been on my list for several years, but I need to do it. I guess I’m just afraid of what will come up when I start.  I don’t like feeling that vulnerable and open.  Being a mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend – there are so many things I worry about and that stress causes friction in my closest relationships (Dean and the boys). I want to do better about this.

Well, I can’t wait to get to work and start crossing some of these things off my list!  It will be a challenging year, but I know we can hit every single one of these.  And now that I’ve put them out there, it makes me feel a little more pressure to get them done 🙂  #accountability

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The cost of my yes.

I’m reading a book with my women’s bible study called “Present Over Perfect” and while I’m only halfway through, generally the premise is that so often we get stuck trying to be everything for everyone, except for those we really need to be there for.  We’ll bend over backwards for those who are in our “outer circle” (your happy hour buddies, friends I see 3x a year) but they aren’t really our “people”.  My people are my family, my closest friends… these are the people that I’m going to call when I get crazy news – good or bad.

And as a result, we live this frantic life trying to do, do, do.  We leave no margin in our life and so we are exhausted and overrun. We keep ourselves busy doing unimportant tasks for people who really aren’t that important to us.  We’ll cancel our family plans because our boss’ boss asked us to start a huge project at 4pm on a Friday (due Monday morning).  Or we’ll try to take on the Team Mom, Room Mom and PTA Coordinator roles – but by the time our kids get off the bus, we’re wiped out and angry because we’ve been stretched too thin trying to be too much for everyone else.

I can completely relate to this.  I often say yes to too much and then our family life suffers.  I sign us up to volunteer for events, or to host friends on the same day we have back-to-back sports activities.  I find I either say YES to everything, or YES to nothing.  It’s hard to find that happy medium.  So our life will be crazy hectic for 4-5 weeks and then completely dead for a month or two so we can recover.

Even when I’m resting, I’m not really resting.  I’m mentally planning my kid’s upcoming birthday party or I’m folding laundry while I relax and watch a show. I think mom’s are especially guilty because we take on so much when it comes to our children. I want to be super mom and working mom and helper/volunteer mom and party planning mom and playdate mom.  I want it all.

But at what cost?  That’s what I’m trying to figure out.  How can I really find the balance that we need for our family?  This book has really helped me remember that sometimes saying YES to something only feels important for a moment, but when I look back at my life, does my YES really matter.  I want to do things that make our family better.  That give us more margin to do things God might spring on us.  Not to have us suffering as we run from one activity to the next, one to-do list to the next.

Unpopular Opinions

Funny how there are some things that “everyone” loves that you just can’t get on board with?  Whether it’s a tv show or movie that everyone is raving about or a particular type of shoe.  And it’s funny how hard the “adorers” push that product, like they’ll be able to convince you with their words that it really is funny/delicious/comfortable/etc.

Here are some of my unpopular opinions:

  • Cheesecake is gross. Yes, I went there to start. I know many people claim cheesecake is the best dessert ever – in fact, it’s my husband’s dessert of choice!  I can’t get on board. I feel like cream cheese needs to be incorporated into salty foods, not sweet.
  • Goat cheese. I figure these kinda go together. The popular and trendy cheese tastes like moldy cream cheese to me.  I can’t even “eat around it” just getting a little in my mouth makes me want to scrape my tongue off.
  • Seinfeld. This show is terrible. It’s so annoying how they never get to the point. And I understand that is the premise, but I just feel like I’m wasting precious minutes of my life if it’s on.  (Again, my husband loves this show and owns several seasons on DVD so it’s a case of opposites attract).
  • Coffee.  I don’t really like coffee-flavored items, but even worse for me is the feeling coffee gives me. It makes me feel jittery and hungover. Plus if you drink coffee, that taste just infiltrates your tongue for the rest of the day, no matter what you’re eating!
  • Apple products.  I know, the masses are against me! My brain doesn’t work that way. And I realize that I’m SUPPOSED to love Apple as 30-something who likes to do creative work.  But give me a PC any day of the week. The only Apple product I have is an iPod and even there, I only use it for running.
  • Sci Fi/Fantasy anything. I don’t like  Star Trek, X-Men, Star Wars etc.  I like things that can have a real interpretation – something that could potentially happen.  I’ll stick with my romantic comedy, adventure, crime/drama flicks.
  • Dark Chocolate. I’m not sure if this is really an unpopular opinion because I think most of the world prefers milk chocolate.  But I’ve had a few friends who say they prefer dark chocolate items and dark chocolate tastes too bitter. Milk chocolate for life!

What about your unpopular opinions?  Anything that the world loves and you can’t stand?

Who is going to watch chick flicks with me?

I’m a mom with no daughters.  This means I don’t really having shopping buddies in my household. Nor is there anyone who wants to go get their nails done the one or two times a year I do this.  I guess since I’m not girly girly, it worked out well for me to have boys.

But, who is going to watch chick flicks with me?

I saw Troop Beverly Hills was playing over the weekend, so of course, I had to record it.  It was one of my favorite movies as a little girl and I hadn’t seen it in at least 20 years.

I decided to ask my boys to watch with me.

They weren’t as impressed. But we didn’t get to the songs part… yet. So I’m still holding out hope that they’ll like some of the movies I grew up on.

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Just living in this “all boys” world!

P.S. And yes, I am crazy and don’t like the “glaring tv brand light” on the front of my tv so I keep a postcard in front 24/7/365.  Don’t worry about that little blue light, it goes away when I turn the tv off – otherwise I’d have a postcard there, too 🙂

Married: 8 years

8 years.  In eight years, we’ve done a lot.  We’ve had two kids, lived in two houses, changed jobs, participated in several couples bible studies, taken lots of beach trips, a few international vacations and more.

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Yes, those are the big things.  But the big things are just that – big – extraordinary – not the norm.  It’s actually the little things that really make up our marriage.

In those 8 years we’ve gone grocery shopping together over 500 times, we’ve tucked in the kids over 2,300 times, we’ve made 2,000+ dinners together – some out of a box, some from scratch, and we’ve watched every episode of Big Bang Theory. But that’s not all.

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We’ve also had at least 100 fights – some big, some small – and we’ve apologized at least that often.  We’ve disagreed on everything from decorating our house (no we aren’t going with his purple Ravens Man Cave idea) to disciplining our kids. I still yell at him at least once a week about his driving skills and he “reminds” me not to be quite so opinionated whenever I meet someone for the first time.

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But there have also been hundreds of kisses; huge, enveloping hugs at just the right moment; laughter in bed as we talk about our life (and kids!) and so many fears, secrets and dreams shared.

It’s been a busy 8 years, and I’m thankful for every day of it.

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Being an extroverted introvert.

When I meet people in social settings, people are often shocked when I disclose that I’m an introvert.  They just assume since I often speak up and don’t tend to seem shy that I’m extroverted.  And the location varies, it might be at a wedding, church outing or meeting a friend’s group of friends that I’ve never hung out with before.  Because I carry a unique trait of being an extroverted introvert I can “turn on” a fun, outgoing, social personality in those settings.  I don’t have to be a wallflower, I can be the life of a party.  But there is a challenge that comes with this trait – it can be draining.

Because my natural, most comfortable state is down time at home with my boys, when we have social events, I have to “turn on” my fun side.  And sometimes I can actually feel myself doing it.  And I like to turn on my fun side a couple times a month, but if I do it too often, it completely drains me.

As a result, I have to be careful about how we schedule our months.  If I put too much on our calendar, I can get overwhelmed with all of our social events and I have a hard time recovering in between.  It’s as if I tap out at 2 events per week. Sometimes just the thought of so many events coming up stresses me out because I know I’ve jam packed our month with activities, so you can bet that the next month, I’ll be saying “no” to a bunch of social events in order to let myself recover.

June is going to be one of those months for me. Not necessarily that I’ll need to turn on “fun Ginger” because many of the events are with family and I don’t really do it with them, but we have a jam packed calendar this month, so I can guarantee that we’ll be taking July easy this year!

Does anyone else share this weird trait where they are more of an extroverted introvert?

I’m living my best years.

I’m in my mid thirties (or “13” as Brooks always corrects! Thirteen, thirty… same difference!) and I really think these are the best years.  If someone came to me at the end of my life and asked what years I’d like to relive, I think these would be it!  Here’s why:

I’ve got more than a couple years of marriage under my belt and my life with Dean is so fun and comfortable.  We know what to expect from each other. We know what drives each other crazy. We know how to push buttons and we know how that special thing that will make our other half feel loved.

Our kids are at the perfect age.  Really, as frustrated as I can get at bedtime and despite the never ending struggle to get Brooks to eat a full meal at dinner, these kids are at an awesome age. They’re somewhat self sufficient, but they’re still so quick to forgive, they show endless love, and they just enjoy their parents.  I love this stage. I’m not fighting for a cuddle and I get tons of “just because” hugs. Too soon, they’ll be pulled by friends, activities and other things that compete for their time and we won’t get the same unconditional love we’re getting now.

The thirties are great for your confidence.  I had some pretty good confidence in my college and post-college years, and it’s at least tripled since I’ve had kids and slowed down my life pace.  I just generally don’t care about what other people think about how I’m living my life.  To each his own.  That’s not to say I don’t struggle with a little keeping-up-with-the-Joneses, wanting-what-others-have-itis at times, but I definitely care more about my personal self-evaluation versus what others think.

My body is still strong and capable.  While I’m not as limber as I was in my high school/college heyday, and I definitely have to stretch more in one week than I did in an entire season of volleyball growing up, I love that my body is still strong enough to exercise, run, lift things, carry two little boys and more.  I know that as the years pass, I’ll hit a point where some of these physical traits slow and I’m just thankful I’m not there yet.

I’ve also gained a little wisdom.  Not a ton. But I’ve definitely noticed some gray-hair worthy thoughts as I’ve grown.  Some are attributed to great bible studies I’ve been part of, some to the circle I surround myself with and some just the result of many years of adulthood.

By my mid-30s, I’ve settled into my career. I’m not the low-man-on-the-totem-pole (although I’m not above paper filing on occasion) and when I come to work each day, I have a ton of variety to my work and I just really enjoy what I get to do.   I love the challenge that comes with it and how much I still learn each week. And with over 10 years at work, we have financial security allowing us to do great things like take fun family trips, put our kids in special activities and just live a comfortable life.

Yes, I really think the 30s are awesome and I’m in the best years of life!