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?