Monday, November 14, 2011

New Year Goals 2011 - Revisited

I'm thinking I'll be a little too busy in the upcoming months to review my goals for this year. Or perhaps, lacking enough brain cells due to sleep deprivation to make such a lofty review. So, here goes - A review in November.

I had 6 goals for 2011. You can read up on them here.

1. Date my Husband: complete and utter failure. We've had 2 legitimate dates this year - hopefully 1 more before baby girl arrives. We have lots of excuses. And truthfully, it would be a lot easier if we lived closer to family. (They love it when you dump your kids on them, right?) But we have recently discovered the novel idea of swapping babysitting services with friends. We do a very good job of "family dates" - taking Eli places where he can roam free and we can hang out- but we all know that's just not the same. We'll try again in 2012.

2. Plant a Garden: Ehh. I've prepared, planned, and made some progress. Shortly after we moved in I got very pregnant and very sick. We found out we were pregnant around the 7 week marker and the next day got a ton of lilies and other plants from some good friends. I worked all the next day digging in the dirt to get them in the ground before morning sickness hit. Later in the summer, my family helped me clean up the front yard landscaping. And Rob and I have been working on solving a water run-off problem in the backyard to prepare for some fruit trees. I've finally decided that the side yard is the best place for a veggie/herb garden, but that is also where I want to put my day. Hopefully, we'll get the fruit trees in next year and I'd love to get some herbs going, at least in pots in the spring.

3. Take a Vacation: Success! We had a great family vacay with the extended Hartleys in Pensacola. You can read more about that here. It was great, nuff said.

4. Start my business: Success! I have thoroughly enjoyed this past year of helping women and their families welcome their babies into the world. It has been truly amazing to become part of their lives as they prepare for birth. I've had 26 students total this year and been a doula for some very strong mamas. Next year will already be off to a rocking start as I have 8 more students lined up and will cut my maternity leave a little short to work with their due dates. I've completed a year of provisionally teaching the Bradley Method and am working on my final exam - hopefully to be completed before baby girl arrives - the final step toward full accreditation. In addition to Bradley classes, I've recently joined forces with Open Heart Doula Services. These women are amazing. Their knowledge and support are vital; they are such an encouragement. I quickly discovered that being a doula is a very physically demanding job for many long hours usually during the night - during all of which your brain is fully engaged to help your clients have the birth they've envisioned. Without these ladies, this job would be impossible to do with a young family of my own. I'm so thankful for this partnership. I'm interested looking into pursuing certification to become a lactation consultant (IBCLC). That dream would take many years to accomplish, but I'm interested in finding out more about the steps to take towards it. It could be a great full-time/part-time job once my babies are in school. That, or using the Econ MA I already have....

5. Get Financially Organized: Getting There! We're taking a "correspondent" Dave Ramsey class and are working through all those baby steps. After first being very skeptical of Dave and his FPU, I now love him and often say, "but, Dave says." We have an actual working budget instead of just saying, "our budget is we don't spend money." And we've cut up all our credit cards. Not because we were in debt, but the economists in us recognized the tendency to spend more when you pay with plastic rather than cash. My favorite parts of our Dave-Transformation, the envelope system and monthly saving for big ticket items like Christmas and Car Repairs. We've also consolidated bank accounts and are working on setting up some long term stuff.

6. Spend Differently: This has been much easier since beginning the Dave course. Sticking to our budget can make purchases and purchase place very interesting. Thanks to sales and coupons and a Southern Savers seminar, I now save 30% + weekly on groceries. And I clip every coupon I can find that I think we'll use. The only thing extreme about my coupon endeavors, however, is the lengths I'll go to to use a coupon. I recently found a BabiesRUs/ToysRUs coupon for a $10 gift card just for creating a new baby registry. Bingo! Clearance racks/Thrift stores/craigslist/consignment sales and yard sales continue to be favorite haunts of mine. This goal and the one above have made it a whole lot easier for me to stay home with babies.

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