5 Huge Accomplishments of 2013

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I have so many things to be thankful for as 2013 comes to a close.

There were so many firsts for me and my family. Let’s see if I can organize them into a list of only five…

When my second child was born in October I made the decision to stay home.

As someone who went to school forever and came out with a masters degree, I always felt a little funny about my decision. I felt like I had to qualify it with, “we’ll see how long it lasts” or “I’m aiming for six months and then we’ll see.”

My husband lays carpet and owns his own business. It can be a job with an unpredictable income – there are busy times and slow times and he doesn’t get a salary or hourly wage. I was the one who had the steady income, decent savings account, and got us through some tough times I. The beginning.

I am so happy to say that we have done amazingly well on one income! He has been an amazing support and hasn’t complained about me staying home while he works, and I have been able to cut our spending, keep our savings intact, and explore more ways to save and bring in extra money.

Best of all, I am home with my babies! They are my responsibility all day long and they are thriving! I have some beautifully behaved (for toddlers) and brilliant kiddos. I am so happy to have this time with them and I can’t believe we made it a full year!

Another thing being home has helped me do is work on creating a healthy lifestyle for the whole family.

As a person who grew up on chicken nuggets and sweets, I am so proud to say that my kiddos asked for corn and oranges when I offered them chicken nuggets. They are amazing eaters and I feel such a sense of pride knowing that my example and the meals I make for them have created this awesome behavior! I love each and every time someone comments how what good eaters they are or looks surprised as they ask for broccoli, chow down on a cucumber slice at 8-months-old, or goes crazy for a snack of frozen peas.

I’m also proud of how adventurous I have become in the kitchen. Our whole family is eating better and it is becoming more rare that we pick up something or make something less healthy on the fly. My husband and I have been more conscious about how we eat and snack, and both of us have lost weight this year.

Even my step-daughter has become a better eater – and that was a struggle! She has gone from gagging on anything that was not Mac ‘n Cheese and taking over an hour to eat, to eating what is put on her plate and finishing before the rest of the family many times. That is such a huge success, and I am so happy to see how much healthier she has gotten since being in our home.

In addition to better eating, we have become a much more active family. The kiddos and I went for runs all summer long, they watch me exercise at home, and we all spent more time outside or being active. My two-year-old asks to wear his running pants and do yoga, squats, or push-ups.

I started blogging in March of 2013 (maybe Feb?) and it has opened a whole new world to me! I’m not fantastic at it yet, but I’m learning. It has shown me that I can be home for my kids, but use this gift of time (what time with toddlers, right?) to try for something that would be a dream job/accomplishment.

What I’ve been exposed to and learned blogging has helped create bigger dreams and ambitions. I still have a way to go, and still I need a lot of help from fellow bloggers with more health and fitness knowledge than myself, but I am so passionate about pursuing this dream!

I gained a lot of support and confidence after attending Bloggy Boot Camp put on my the SITSgirls. Since then, I feel like I have come a long way with social media and gathering the skills I need to make that dream happen.

So, I’ve already talked about us becoming a healthier family, but can I take a moment to say – I lost 40 pounds this year!

I did it mostly with diet – tracking what I eat and being conscious of my choices and the meals I make. I started running in the Spring and I can’t believe that it became something I love. I crave a run all the time, I completed my first 5K, and I’m committing to 14 in 2014. I also found some great motivation in DietBets and won $278.91 along the way – bonus!

I plan to lose the remaining 40lbs in 2014, preferably by May because I’ll need to fit into a bridesmaid dress!

Last but not least, I have some amazing kiddos! They are well-behaved, polite, smart, and fun. I love watching how others react to them, and can’t get enough of hearing people compliment my amazing little people.

They are my biggest accomplishment!

Every other accomplishment on this list is ultimately about them. I am so happy to be able to spend each day with them. I am so proud to see how they are benefitting from and learning the healthy habits I am trying to create for my family. The time home with them has enabled me to go after some dreams that I hope will benefit and inspire them in the future. Last, a healthy Momma means a more fun and active Momma. This past November was the first time I have gotten in a swimsuit since my first kiddo was born in 2011, and I will never forget the look on his face and how happy he was to have Mom swim with him.

This year has been amazing! I have many goals for 2014, which I will reveal soon!

What are your biggest accomplishments of the past year? Have you written up goals for 2014?

12 thoughts on “5 Huge Accomplishments of 2013

  1. Kim

    Wow!! You have definitely had a banner year!!!
    I struggled with the same issues when I became a stay-home mom many years ago – now my boys are 15 and almost 13 and I have never regretted the fact that I’m not using all of my degrees!!!

    Reply
  2. Teamarcia

    Congrats on an epic year Kristen! This makes me think back to when I became a SAHM. Someone said to me “so you’re going to throw away ALL that education to raise kids?” Can’t think of a better use of it than on our future, right? Here’s to an amazing 2014.

    Reply
  3. Ashleigh @ Passion for Life, Love, and Health

    What an amazing year! I keep going back and forth about which accomplishment is more impressive, and the fact of the matter is, they ALL are! I’m not a mom, but I have a hard enough time making healthy changes in my own life that I can’t even imagine trying to make them in a whole family’s life as well. And losing 40 pounds is SO awesome! And going for your dream with blogging…that is one I CAN relate to. Here’s to an AWESOME 2014 for you!!! I hope it somehow manages to top 2013!

    Reply
  4. Jelli B.

    What an exciting year! I think it’s great that you and your family have been able to make it work so that you can be home with your kiddos. Isn’t it so much fun watching them learn new things every day that you may have missed if you’d been at work? Hoping 2014 is an even bigger blessing for all of you. Have a wonderful weekend.

    Reply
  5. bumpandrun chat

    Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished in 2013! 2014 is sure to be a great year! We are so similar with your #1, being a stay-at-home mom. I have a masters and making the switch was challenging, but rewarding as well. I’ve been doing this for four years now and sometimes I still feel like a newbie. It’s nice though that you have outlets like your personal blog and exercise should things ever get tough. Keep doing what you’re doing, and 2014 will surely be just as great or possibly better!
    ~Bre
    http://bumpandrunchat.com

    Reply
  6. bumpandrun chat

    Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished in 2013! 2014 is sure to be just as successful. You and I are so similar with #1, being a stay-at-home mom. I have a master’s as well and never planned on being at home. It was challenging for me at first, but was rewarding at the same time. I’ve been doing this now for four years and sometimes I still feel like a newbie. Keep up what you’re doing and you’re sure to have a fabulous 2014, perhaps even more successful than 2013!!!

    On a separate note, I’d love to get your feedback on your experience at the bootcamp. My blog partner and I have been exploring conferences to attend and are really interested in the SITSgirls event. If okay, I’d love to send you a separate note.

    Congrats again on everything!
    ~Bre
    http://bumpandrunchat.com

    Reply
    1. Kristin

      Bre, thanks so much for the kind words! I totally understand what you mean by it being challenging! I think I put a lot more pressure on myself now that I’m home than I ever did at work. I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

      I would 100% say to attend Bloggy Bootcamp! I walked away so inspired! I learned plenty of great tips for blogging, but I learned way more about life in general and felt like I walked away from a therapy session. The women speaking were amazing, and had such great messages about the balance between family and achieving your business goals. It was like a lightbulb switched on for me – I was surrounded by women, the majority of which were balancing family and career goals like myself, and I was listening to some successful women, who genuinely seem to care about lifting others up, tell me it’s ok to find my personal end game and go for it. Amazing. During our one day in Minneapolis we learned about videos, google+, the business of blogging (or we could have gone to more of a writing workshop), one bloggers first year mistakes and how to correct them, and using Pinterest to gain followers. We were assigned seats and we switched every so often, so we got a great chance to get to know new people. I can hardly explain what a great experience that was. I’ve used so many of the things I’ve learned. I’ve also gotten the courage to keep pursuing a particularly scary business goal of mine. I don’t think you’ll find a single person without warm and fuzzy feelings about Bloggy Boot Camp!

      Reply
  7. Sarah Fab

    Wow Kristin, you had a great year! Congrats on ALL your amazing accomplishments and I look forward to reading your blog in 2014! 🙂

    Reply

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