With the New Year right around the corner, I’m starting to reflect on the last 12 months and think about the next. I’ve been brainstorming ways I can improve myself, our home, my health and my habits, and have decided to share here to help keep me accountable. ;) I don’t know about you, but I prefer to keep my New Years resolutions loose and flexible, forgiving, and certainly not “all or nothing”. (I don’t want to set myself up for failure here!) See below to read some of the simple goals I’ve set for 2017, and please... wish me luck in my efforts!

 

 

Health: While it seems like everyone sets specific goals to 'completely stop eating sugar' or lose 15 pounds, I’ve kept my health goals very, very simple. Geoff and I got memberships to our local rec center a couple months ago and have been really good about going together most mornings. I’ve always gotten pretty intimidated by most gyms, but this place is so low-key. Full of senior citizens, an indoor track I can run in the hot months, and a kids club and rock wall my girls love-- it’s perfect for our family. I figure as long as we continue to keep up the habit of going regularly, that’s a win! A couple other health-related goals I’ve set this year are increasing my water intake, treating my skin better, and making sure the whole family is getting more sleep at night.

 

 

Balance: The word ‘balance’ is pretty comical, but I’m aiming to get more of it this year anyway. Working from home with Geoff by my side has been nothing short of amazing, but I know I could use some practice in separating work + family a bit better. I’ve never set regular working hours (because aren’t flexible hours the biggest perk of working from home!?), but I’m quickly realizing that a set time dedicated to work means less distractions and more dedicated time set for my family. One rule I’ve implemented is not checking my phone before a certain time of day. If my alarm clock goes off and I start skimming emails in bed, I’m immediately thinking about all that needs to get done that day, when in reality it can all wait a few more hours. I’ve found I’m much more patient and present in getting the girls up and at ‘em if I haven’t dived into work just yet. When you’re able to do your job from your phone, I’ve learned it’s so important to set some sort of boundary for yourself.

 

 

Home: Being able to all be home together as a family was one of the things that drove us to start our own business in the first place! That said, everyone home all day means our home gets lots of… errr.. love. We just moved into our new house this August and while it still feels mostly empty and unfurnished, we’re still somehow managing to make plenty of messes! I want to figure out a good system or checklist for the every day, to avoid the nightly “OH MY GOSH. WHAT HAPPENED IN HERE?!” meltdowns. (Any tips on keeping up with the clutter? Is it even possible!?)

Another thing I’d love to be better about is more meals cooked at home. Truthfully, since Alice + Ames became a full time job I’ve been cooking way less than I’d like to admit. (But I've got the baking part down pat, I won't tell you how many times a week I make cookies!) Being the youngest of six kids, some of my favorite childhood memories include sitting around a big, busy table and eating a delicious home cooked meal together. It kills me that my girls probably eat takeout just as much as homemade meals right now, but this year that will change. Mark my words!

 

 

Marriage: One thing I want to be better at is scheduled date nights and at least one non-work-related trip together a year. We're so lucky that we get to spend so much time together—but carving out time that is uninterrupted by kids or work is where we lack. With our last two girls refusing bottles for the first year of their lives, leaving them with sitters on the weekends was not an option for us. We fell out of the habit of regularly going out together for a while there-- but with no more nursing babies at home, no more excuses!

 

 

Family: There are so many things we could work on as a family it's almost daunting. Just off the top of my head; being better at monitoring homework, getting our bedtime routine more under control, practicing patience, kindness, more one-on-one time spent with each girl, etc. But as more of a 'bucket list' thing, this year as a family I really want to go some place new! We’re creatures of comfort, so almost every spring, summer, and fall break we find ourselves driving to California. Don’t get me wrong, it’s like a second home to us and it’s our favorite place to be with the girls-- but I’m itching for a bit of adventure! Whether that means renting an RV to drive up the coast, getting their passports stamped, or taking them skiing for the first time, I want them to experience something different this year. All the ups and downs that come from traveling together are what really bring a family close, in my opinion. Now to decide where to…

 

That's all I've got. Wish me luck and have a wonderful, safe, and happy New Year from our family to yours! xx