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12.11.2017

17 Goals in 2017 | Final Check-In

At the beginning of this year, I published my 17 Goals for 2017. in progress. As I near the conclusion of this year, I accomplished less than half of the goals I set for myself. Honestly, I'm not at all disappointed. I had two babies to take care of this year and I juggled multiple jobs, so anything else that I managed to check off was just whipped cream on my life's sundae.

Here's what I did in 2017:

17 Goals in 2017: 4th Quarter Check-In




PROFESSIONAL
  1. Submit a grant proposal(May 19, 2017) Probably not super impressive to most development professionals, but I managed to acquire a few thousand dollars for my Farmers' Market this year. Woohoo!
  2. Continue working with my former employer. (April 7, 2017) I will always love my Foodbank family. I had a great experience working part-time at my old job and will totally go back again this year if the opportunity presents itself!
  3. Apply for Advocacy Corps(January 12, 2017) I found out mid-May that I didn't get the position. Although it never feels good to be rejected, I know it was for the best. Just weeks later, I landed the most amazing, perfect job working alongside one of my good friends.
READING
  1. Read 52 books in the year. (INCOMPLETE) 29/52 completed. I have to laugh at myself for thinking that I could even come close. Two babies under two and multiple side hustles? Yeah, right. Maybe 2018 will look better.
  2. Hit the pause button on reading challenges. (January-December 2017) Once I took a break from reading challenges it was difficult to get back into. It also didn't help that I barely read most of the year, so reading competitively wasn't on my list of priorities. However, Erin's next book challenge begins in January and I'm definitely considering joining up again!
FINANCIAL
  1. Pay off a credit card. (INCOMPLETE) We chipped away a bit, but we mostly just paid interest rather than the principal which is annoying.
  2. Open up college savings accounts for the boys. (July 7, 2017) I haven't contributed to their account since I first opened them, so this will need to be a continued goal in the new year.
BLOGGING
  1. Publish at least 3 posts per week(INCOMPLETE) I did really well with this at the beginning of the year and then my blog kind of tapered off during the second half of the year when I got busy with my 87 different jobs.
  2. Have one of my DMB posts garner more than 1,000 pageviews. (January 30, 2017) What I Wish Someone Told me About Postpartum Sex remains my most popular DMB post to-date. Now, I need to top it!
HEALTH
  1. Do the splits. (INCOMPLETE) I think I did yoga like two or three times in 2017. I did not make stretching a priority which is terrible. I can't even touch my toes. It's ridiculous.
  2. Run 13 miles. (INCOMPLETE) Once again, I think I may have ran once in 2017. Pathetic. It is a goal I hope to carry into 2018. I miss running and though I'm thin, I'm not fit. I would rather be strong than skinny!
  3. Hit my goal weight. (March 28, 2017) I hit my goal weight and then some. Our Whole30 experience definitely helped with this. We started taking our health more seriously and eating better this year which I'm really proud of.
HOME
  1. Convert basement into playroom. (INCOMPLETE) We don't spend any time downstairs and our kids won't play down there without us, so this stopped being a priority. We've actually discussed converting the basement into a guest room and maybe even listing it on AirBnB, like my friend Suzanne. So, who knows?!
  2. Finish painting and designing upstairs bedroom. (INCOMPLETE) We didn't realize at the time of making this goal what a project it would be. Not only do we need to install a window, but we'll also need to insulate and install a heating vent in this room because it gets no heat in the wintertime. We'll see if we do anything with it next year.
  3. Plant a backyard garden. (March 23, 2017) In May, we were able to start harvesting some lettuce, spinach and kale. I didn't end up planting anything after our greens, though. I'll have to do better with our garden next year.
MARRIAGE
  1. Go on monthly dates. (INCOMPLETE) We did relatively well most of the year, but with all of the health issues with my Dad, we were kind of thrown for a loop and went a long stretch without any Mommy/Daddy time.
  2. Take a weekend getaway for our fifth anniversary. (INCOMPLETE) With Crosby still breastfeeding and just a general lack of funds, this wasn't realistic for us. Here's hoping we can have some kind of extended getaway this year!
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Some of my goals changed and were no longer a priority (especially with our house). Some goals were not realistic given that we relied solely on my husband's income for a large portion of the year (see financial). Some were ones that I would have liked to accomplish, but just lacked the time or energy (I will have to carry my fitness goals over to next year!). All in all, I think I did okay considering.

Stay tuned for my 2018 goals- I have a lot more life to accomplish!


Did you accomplish everything you set out to do this year?

12.08.2017

CROSBY | 15 Months

My Crosby Loren is a toddler, folks. And damn, I just love this age. He's pretty much smiling 24/7, he's learning to communicate, and figuring out how things work. He's just an all-around blast and I adore watching the relationship between Charlie and him blossom. My sister is still my best friend in the world and it is my most heartfelt prayer that my boys will have that same close relationship.

CROSBY'S 15-MONTH UPDATE




WORKING MOTHERHOOD
I started writing about my current work/life balance and what I'm doing to supplement our family's income. It got so long that I decided it garnered its own post. In case you missed it, read about working motherhood and where I'm at now.

BREASTFEEDING
We are officially done!

I started by weaning him to just bedtime and first thing in the morning. Then after I'd been sick for awhile, I decided one night around the 14.5-month mark that I just didn't feel like it and it was time. That sounds selfish and horrible, but his sitter and Daddy had been putting him down for naps and bedtime without nursing, so I knew he'd be fine. I'm thankful not to have the pressure of nursing anymore and having some of my freedom back. A couple weekends ago, my friend held a weekend-long Harry Potter marathon and I was able to attend most of it flying solo while Daddy graciously watched our little monsters. It was soooo amazing and I felt completely rested and rejuvenated having some extended kid-free time.

As for Crosby...




LIFE
Life is just the best with this sweet little man. He and Charlie are now able to play together more and more which is so nice for my tired Mama self. He loves to drum (like his Daddy!) and is happy just to participate in whatever Charlie happens to be playing with. He's still a great eater. Eggs are pretty much the only thing he isn't crazy about. He loves people, but Mama is his favorite. He's started to get a little more clingy now that he knows when Mom is leaving him.

He becomes more and more like his Dad, both in looks and in personality, the older he gets and we're starting to see just what a smart cookie he is! He's very observant and just loves to be affectionate. He has the best temperament and everyone who's around him comments on how "chill" he is. He's just a happy little guy!

MILESTONES
He's chatting like crazy and has developed more of a vocabulary in the last 3 months. He now says "yeah," "uh oh" any time he drops something, "Mama," and just some general babbling. As of now he still isn't walking, but he's getting really close. He gets around well holding onto furniture and has successfully tried out his brother's hand-me-down walker! Truthfully, I'm in no hurry. I can barely keep up with these boys as it is!

He's gotten quite a few more teeth and his hair is finally coming in.

STATS
Crosby's 15-month doctor's appointment isn't until the end of month so that I could line it up with Charlie's 3-year appointment. Our bathroom scale says he weights 20 lbs. He's still wearing size 4 diapers and is in primarily 18-month clothing.

(What it's actually like photographing a 15-month old):





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It's so exciting to watch his progress every day. I can't wait to hear this little one continue to develop his vocabulary. As for the walking, I can wait a little longer for that. I can't imagine what life will be like when I have TWO toddlers to run after in the parking lot! (See Crosby's Birth Story1 Month, and 12 Months posts).



12.06.2017

My #MomBod Feels Too Skinny

I often joke with my husband that if not for my genetics, I would probably weigh 900 pounds. I love food and have gone through seasons of having extremely unhealthy eating habits. That being said, I don't think I ever ventured above 135 pounds before getting pregnant. Both my parents are on the smaller side, so although I've always had a bit of a "pooch," I've never been obese.

I don't share this to brag. And I don't want to be perceived as being all "woe is me." I'm saying it because I think women can have mixed feelings about their bodies at any size. And right now, I wonder if my #mombod is too skinny.



Continue reading on Cincinnati Moms Blog.


12.04.2017

3 Ways I'm Getting my "Give" On this Christmas

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #bebetterbygiving #CollectiveBias

In case you're new here, or even if you're not, there's something you should know about me: I want to make the world a better place.

I've long been an idealist to my core and it's probably the reason I'm so nuts about the holiday season. Despite the horrible things that do happen in our world, I have faith in humanity. I believe in kindness for the sake of being kind. I believe in spreading joy and lifting up those who are less fortunate than myself.

It's the reason I've been participating in the Dressember campaign for the last four days, and it's the reason I try to spread random acts of kindness during the entire month of December. There are so many ways to give back this time of year. Little things done with love can yield extraordinary results.



So how am I giving back this year?

1. By wearing only dresses for 31 days. The Dressember campaign is such an easy way to raise awareness and funds for the issue of modern-day slavery and human trafficking. It started last Friday, and I've been documenting my dress-wearing on Instagram!

2. By random acts of kindness. There's someone in my life experiencing a really difficult life change so I've been plotting ways to ease this person's burden and lighten their load just a little bit.

3. By purchasing products made by ethical companies. One example is b+b® OTC medicine. b+b is a newer, family-owned health and wellness company with an amazing business model: For every package of ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen they sell, they provide over-the-counter medicine to persons in need. Through their national partnership with Americares, b+b has donated medicines to a network of over 1,000 free health clinics & rural health centers serving 5 million patients in need. They even provided medicine to victims of recent hurricanes. 







There's something refreshing about a company that believes in serving those affected by homelessness, extreme poverty & natural disasters in their business practices. If you'd like to check out b+b for yourself, you can get $1.00 off your purchase with the Ibotta app.

You don't need to wear a dress for 31 days, and you don't even need to work with a specific organization. Something as simple as picking up a bottle of naproxen sodium at Walmart, can mean someone in desperate circumstances gets the all-day relief from head and body aches, fever, or the common cold, that they need.

This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and should always be used as directed.
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