2012: the year of awesomeness and some goals

I don’t really make resolutions each new year, mostly because I don’t really have any bad habits I’d like to break (Not that I don’t HAVE any bad habits. It’s just that I want to keep them. And I will never, ever give up chocolate so you can just shut it. ha.) But I do like to think about my goals for upcoming year and what we have planned and what I’d like to do. I’ve been compiling a list in my head during this past week of All The Fun And New And Exciting Things That Will Happen In 2012.

1. Lose 15 pounds and run a race. Yeah, pretty standard for the beginning of the year, right? LOSE WEIGHT! EXERCISE MORE! I’ve actually been doing pretty well with the exercise thing since September when I started running and I’m really proud of myself for sticking with it for so long. I don’t usually do that- I get a bug up my butt about exercising and it lasts about 2 weeks and then I get sick or see something shiny and POOF. DONE. I haven’t run since Thanksgiving because the weather has been craptastic and I just have zero desire to run in the cold. Plus, even with running 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes, I was seeing no weight loss. I know I was gaining benefits in other areas for sure (cardio health, building muscle) but DUDE. I WANT THE SCALE TO MOVE. So I’m switching it up for the winter and doing some inside workouts- 30 Day Shred, yoga, etc. I went to my first hot yoga class last night and WOOBOY it was intense. I really liked it though, so I’d like to mix that in once a week or so. And if we get a random warm-ish day here and there and I can get outside, I will run. I would really really like to run a race in the spring (nothing crazy- just a 5k!), but after taking a long break from running, I’ll probably have to train a little bit first. But that’s my goal. That and fitting into some old pants and shirts.

2. Travel! We are going on our 10th anniversary cruise in February! Cococay Bahamas, St Thomas, and St Maarten. SUPER EXCITED!! Neither of us have ever been on a cruise and this is the longest alone trip we’ve had since we went to Italy before we had Maggie. Our anniversary isn’t until June but we really really wanted to get the heck out of Pennsylvania in the winter and go somewhere sunny and warm. My mom is generously watching the girls for us for EIGHT WHOLE DAYS AND NIGHTS. We haven’t left either of them for that long before, and I’m a little nervous. But they love Grandma and PapPap so I know they will have a blast. And honestly, Dan and I need a break, away, together because !!!!! Later in the spring or summer, we’ll probably take another weekend trip somewhere with the girls, and in November, I’ll be going to The Blathering again, this time in New Orleans, a city I’ve never visited! So it should be a pretty fun year, travel-wise.

3. Our House. We moved in here two years ago, and almost immediately I became pregnant with Audrey. So any grand plans I had to redo rooms and paint and stuff kinda got put on hold. We did a few things- painted the living room and kitchen (I actually finished this a week after I found out I was pregnant with Audrey- I was RACING to beat the onset of pregnancy nausea!) Then this past year I painted the dining room (I STILL HAVE PTSD FROM THE RED PAINT.) and we put up molding and a chair rail, and I redid our office.

But I HAVE BIGGER PLANS for this year. First on the list is Maggie’s room. It was painted pink pink pink when we moved in, and for a 2-and-a-half year old girl, it was PERFECT. But now her crib is gone and she has big girl furniture and big girl tastes, so it’s time to make a change. She picked out this bedding (we had a different one picked out that Santa was going to bring her, but, um, Santa procrastinated and then it was out of stock. CRAPSTICKS.) and we’re going to use those colors to fill the room. There’s been talk of polka dots on the walls and a curtain for a dress-up area… lots of fun ideas. I’m looking forward to getting started!

After Maggie’s room, I’d like to tackle our downstairs bathroom/powder room- mainly just paint and a new sink-top and new mirror. And finally, after all of that and if we have the funds, we’d like to fix our deck. Right now it’s more of a balcony than a deck- small with no steps to the yard. Now that the girls are getting older and Maggie can play outside for a little bit on her own (I can see the swingset from our kitchen window!) it would be SO NICE to have steps right there for easy access to the yard.

4. Organization. I guess this kind of goes along with house projects, but it doesn’t really require paint or a saw or anything. I found this de-clutter calendar on Pinterest and I’m going to try to do it. I already got a head start on a few things this year- I saved up and bought some handy kitchen organization drawers and racks (HOW LAME AM I? I have a KITCHEN ORGANIZATION BUDGET. Dork.) But I have an entire house full of drawers and closets that need FIXIN’. So it’s on.

5. Work. I survived my first year of parenting two kids and running my business. And I had a very successful year (relatively-speaking for me, at least!) with my work-life. But, I have more goals for this year- and not just financial ones. I’m always looking to learn new things and I love when a new project comes along that will challenge me to expand my knowledge and skills. So I’m hoping this upcoming year is a good one for me!

6. Finding and going regularly to a church. This is a more serious, personal goal for us this year. I grew up in a wonderful Presbyterian church and was very active in the youth group while I was in high school. I made some really great friends while I was there and those memories are precious to me. I was at the church two or three times a week! And you know- let’s face it, if there’s ever a good place for a teenager, it’s at church. Kept me (mostly) out of trouble!

But then I graduated from high school, went to college, got a job, got married and… got lazy. Sundays were for SLEEPING IN! Catching up on housework! Dan and I got out of the habit of regular church. I often use the excuse ‘God knows I need my sleep!’ but really… I’m a grown up. That’s a lame excuse. When I got pregnant with Maggie, we started going to church again because having a kid makes you Think About Important Things And Stuff, but we lived far away from my old church so we hopped around to a few different places but never found one we loved. So the laziness set in again. Then we’d go a few more times… then Maggie would get sick so we’d miss a week and then we’d have plans and then hey, lazy again! Rinse, repeat.

I think part of our lazy attitude about going to church is that we haven’t found a place we’re excited about visiting. So! Our mission (no pun intended, ha) is to find a church we love that has great stuff for kids- young and high school aged. I would love for my girls to have the church family I did growing up. I have already started a spreadsheet (OF COURSE I DID.) of local churches that we’d like to try. We’re going to start visiting each one a few times and ‘make the rounds’ so to speak. And hey- if anyone nearby has a church they love, let me know! I grew up Presbyterian but honestly, I just want to find a place that has God-loving people that makes us feel welcome :)

7. Finish converting videos. I have a pile of VHS tapes I took from my mom’s house last year for the purpose of converting them to digital video on my computer. I bought the software and it came with the proper equipment and all of that, and I made it through a few tapes! But then I ran out of steam (hi, Newborn Baby!) and there they still sit in the bin in the office closet. I NEED TO FINISH THIS PROJECT. It’s not a hard one- it just requires setting up the VCR (yup, we still have one!) and my computer and babysitting it for a little while. Because seriously, how else am I going to be able to share gems like this one? ME. CHEERLEADING COMPETITION. SIXTH GRADE. (That’s me on the back left with the chicken legs and gigantic glasses.)

8. A baby? And somewhere, Dan just got REALLY EXCITED. But he’d better calm down… I have a GIGANTIC QUESTION MARK next to this one, because truthfully, I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be A Thing. I wrote about all my complicated feelings on the subject recently, and they haven’t changed. But either way, in 2012, it will be decided: we will remain a family of four or make plans to become a family of five. (GAAAAAAH.)

So! What are YOUR grand and exciting plans for 2012???


  1. Tracy

    January 5, 2012 12:55 pm

    I LOVE that bedding for M’s room!

    Jealous of the traveling. We will be going to the beach (either Myrtle or Florida so that we can maybe possibly visit Disney) But I would love to go on a cruise. But my geektastic husband gets sea sick on the good ship lollipop so that will NEVER be in the cards for us. Hey- wanna go on a girls trip ;)

    Family of 5 is fun. Tiring. Expensive. All the things you would expect. You start to do the things that just get you by. Our kids always end up in our bed. We sleep in when we can and stay up way too late when we shouldn’t just to spend time together. But, BUT, it is totally worth it!

    I got pregnant with C a month after moving in here too…so our projects are just getting started. I cannot wait to finish them up and start new ones. Remember our bathroom remodel that started in JUNE? Yeah, it is still going on. and on. and on. and okay, done venting!

    Best of luck in 2012 and may all your goals be full filled…Dan’s too!

  2. Melissa

    January 5, 2012 4:04 pm

    Good luck with all of your plans and goals! Hope it’s an awesome year for all of you!!

    As for us, 2012 should be a quiet year. HAHAHA :) The biggest adventure will be selling our house and moving to Pittsburgh (hopefully ASAP). In the meantime I’ll be driving to my parent’s house (an hour away) to take care of my mom once a week and also visiting most Saturdays. And oh yeah, there’s also a third child due at the end of June. I’m very happy about that. :) George and I will be celebrating our 10th anniversary in May but I’ll be 7-8months so a trip alone (as desperately as we need one–haven’t had a night alone since May 2008!) will have to wait another year or two.

    My goals are to stay sane, spend as much time as I can with my mom, and try to gain less than 50lb this pregnancy (although based on history, no amount of salads and exercise will make that happen). I’ll also have to lose the baby weight AGAIN and then make arrangements for some kind of permanent closing of the baby factory. I am also tentatively planning to run the Miles for Mesothelioma 5K in September (I think the closest one is in Illinois?) in my mom’s honor. All of this makes for a very crazy, challenging year. BUT it will all be worth it. Plus I’m motivating myself with a new camera (the XTi just needs upgraded at this point), and George promised me a nice lens or two for my birthday/Christmas gift this year (Canon 24-70L f2.8? or the Tamron version, plus a 28 or 35mm? too many choices…) so yay for that!

    • Jen

      January 5, 2012 7:26 pm

      ha look at you, cracking jokes in your manic state! :) I’d say 2012 is definitely looking to be a Big Change kind of a year for you guys. xoxo

      Camera stuff- I was JUST looking today at lenses (I have some extra fun money coming my way (woohoo!) and I think I’m going to spend it on ME!!!!!) Have you heard anything about the Canon 28mm? (http://www.amazon.com/Canon-28mm-Wide-Angle-Cameras/dp/B00009R6WU/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1325786055&sr=8-7) It looks great and so much cheaper than the 35mm. And then Sigma has a 35mm that gets decent reviews. I rented the Canon 35mm and it. was. amazing. but it’s $$$… I can probably swing it if the expected money comes through but I get shaky dropping that much cash on just one thing! eek! I LOVE THAT I HAVE SOMEONE TO TALK CAMERA GEEK WITH!!!!! :)

      • Melissa

        January 5, 2012 9:17 pm

        Yes, the 28mm is one of the lenses I’ve looked at, too! I love the 50mm, but like you said before, in the house you’re backing up to the walls. I think 35mm would probably be more ideal–there is a 35mm f2.0 that is supposed to be a good (and much cheaper) alternative to the drool-worthy L version. I think my hesitation with the 28mm is that *outdoors* it will be a little too far for me () and so I might end up cropping every picture which means the quality (of the cropped part) won’t be quite as good… I dunno. But both the 35mm f2 and the 28mm f1.8 get primarily good reviews on Amazon, B&H, review sites, etc, so it’s probably just a matter of deciding which focal length better suits YOU.

        I originally thought I’d want to splurge on the 35mm L lens myself, since G was willing to let me buy something more expensive later this year, but every time I go outside with the boys it reminds me that I definitely need a new zoom lens first. They are never in the same place at the same time, so running back and forth to each of them to get the right distance with a fixed lens is hard–and it won’t get easier when I have a THIRD kid in the mix! lol. It would probably also serve me better overall than the 35mm lens (i.e. for traveling). You have the same zoom lens as I do, so you understand the need for a better one (f2.8), even though I know it’s not as super-sharp as a fixed lens for portraits. What would you do in my case–get the Tamron zoom and the 35mm L, orrrr get the 24-70 L zoom and the cheaper fixed lens?? HALP!

        I love having someone to talk camera geek with, too! :) Can’t wait to see which lens you decide on! Yay for fun money!

  3. the ambitious mrs

    January 5, 2012 4:17 pm

    I’ve been struggling with the church issue for several years. I made it a resolution at least once and we’re still not attending. Our problem is that my husband and I come from total different backgrounds. Me – Catholic. Him – no church history whatsoever! So needless to say it’s hard for him to handle much structure and it’s hard for me to handle anything too…. relaxed. We struggle! Good luck to you, I’m interested to hear more about this!

    • Jen

      January 5, 2012 7:31 pm

      oh my, yes I can see how that would make things a bit more challenging! Very different backgrounds and expectations! Dan didn’t really grow up going to church regularly, but he is a Christian and we’re mostly on the same page with things. So that definitely makes it easier… it’s just the laziness that needs to be overcome ;) Having the kids helps I think- we want to do it for them, and in the process I’m sure we’ll get some benefits too. Good luck to you as well :)

  4. keli

    January 5, 2012 8:18 pm

    heavy post, man. ;)

    I am struggling with a lot of the same issues as you, actually. Okay, not all b/c I don’t work [although I’m going to start trying to get some paid blogging gigs, but that’s just between me and you and whoever reads these comments, lol]. But yeah – the church thing is a struggle for us. I’m a believer but struggle with organized religion. And Ken isn’t religious at all, so I would basically be going by myself. Plus, our kids hate people, so I’m always the mom who has to sit in the nursery with total strangers, lol.

    Anyway, I just hope to pop this baby out healthy and survive life with three. Seriously, that’s IT. If I can do that, I’ll consider it a successful year, haha.

  5. Jane

    January 5, 2012 9:39 pm

    Great post. I love all your plans!

    I totally get the church thing. We belonged to a church for about 3 years (a small one) but never felt a connection beyond the pastor. When he left the congregation, we just moved to another (bigger) church so Maria could start going to Sunday School, and it has been awesome! We have lived here for 6 years and in the last year, the church has made me feel like a part of the community. I grew up that way, so I totally get it, and I think it’s great that you do too. :)

    Happy 2012!!

  6. Lea

    January 6, 2012 10:14 pm

    I love your resolutions and am so impressed by your running!

    Church is ALWAYS on my mind. I am Catholic, and we always went to church when I was growing up, and I so want that presence in my kids’ lives. We belong to a church, and it’s less than a mile from our house, and we like it, so we should be there way more often than we are…but between the hubby working weekends, our kids who hate to sit still and be quiet, and the ever-present laziness factor…it’s a struggle. We even we were definitely going to go on New Year’s Eve, until I ended up with the stomach flu. Oops! But yes, gotta make it happen!

    Good luck with all your resolutions! I am always impressed by how you make things happen!

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