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Monday, January 23, 2017

Warm Beer and New Year's Resolutions

I haven't posted ANYTHING on the blog in six weeks! Dang - I think that's the longest gap in the past 7 years of doing this. But I'm sure you were busy with the holidays so I'll forgive you if you failed to even notice.

It's practically February and most of us have already fallen off whatever New Year's bandwagon we jumped on January 1st (personally, I just completed a 20 day work-out program and eating clean thingamajig. Nailed all the workouts, complained to BJ on day 5 that eating clean all the time was really difficult and basically threw the nutrition piece of the plan out the window on day 12.) But I finally took down the Christmas wreath on my front door today, so now I'm re-focused and ready to tackle what lies ahead in 2017.

BJ and I do this thing every year where we go on a date and talk about the last year's successes and failures and what we want out of the upcoming year. We share the goals we each have written down in our journals (couples who journal together stay together) and basically get on the same page. This year I had the brilliant idea to go to Starbucks for a free date because our church had given us $10 in Starbucks gift cards for volunteering and our local Starbucks was heavily promoting their 'Starbucks evenings' initiative.

Starbucks evenings is "a way to extend the Starbucks experience into the early evening hours." At our local store there was a lovely picture out front of a wine glass and cheese platter. Despite my enthusiasm about getting free drinks courtesy of our local mega-church, "Starbucks evenings" was easily the worst decision I've made in the past 5 years. We waited 10 minutes for one barista to show another how to successfully open a wine bottle before being handed a glass of wine with cork floating in it and a warm can of beer. After another 5 minutes of explaining that beer -unlike coffee- is actually consumed cold we took our glasses to a wonky table in the corner and hunkered down. In spite of the guy next to us watching Die Hard 3 WITHOUT HEADPHONES and the barista's boisterous flirtations with a customer in Spanish (which for the life of me I could not ignore, so I kept spacing out on what BJ was saying and constantly asking him to repeat himself...) we laid down some tracks for 2017 together.

We set a few family goals (to adventure more around the Atlanta area) and some fitness goals (BJ would like to consistently land a kick-flip on his skateboard and nail two finger pull-ups) The kids even set goals for themselves this year as well: Elijah wants to pass his Blue Belt Test, Brit wants to do gymnastics, Ben wants to learn how to ollie (a skateboard move) and Jude wants to learn how to use the potty.

I set a few very realistic and a few very lofty goals as well:

Put my phone away from 9pm-9am
BJ bought me an alarm clock (what a concept!) for Christmas, so I have made the move to charging my phone in the kitchen at night. It is SO great. We have always taken a hard stand against having a TV in our bedroom so that the time we spend in our room/in bed isn't distracted, but somehow we were blind to the creeping distraction our smartphones became. Not picking it up again until 9am helps me start my day with quiet time, writing and giving the kids my full focus as our school day begins.

Memorize John 15:1-8
My word/theme for the year is ABIDE. My sister graciously hand-lettered and watercolored a beautiful image of the word for me to look at daily because I desperately want to sink these words of Jesus down deep in my soul: If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. 

Perform an unassisted pull-up
Not being able to receive the Presidential Physical Fitness award in elementary school and middle school was always a source of shame for me. In order to get it, girls had to do ONE pull-up, a feat I could never accomplish. BJ regularly knocks out a dozen pull-ups in the morning without breaking a sweat and I really really really want to be that cool. I'm following these training suggestions and a pull-up bar for our doorway is on my wish list.

Get away twice with BJ (no kids)
We are working on booking a weekend away at Lake Oconee this Spring and I'm hoping to maybe do a short overnight this fall as well. If you're interested in taking a shift watching our kids or offering up your cabin/beach house/romantic getaway in the city, be on the look out for a sign-up sheet. :)

Begin volunteering with the local food bank
For YEARS now I have had a little clipping on my fridge from an organization called Second Helpings Atlanta about their need for drivers. And I finally signed up to do it with the kids! About once a month we'll drive a route given to us and collect surplus food from restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores. Then we'll deliver it to the local food bank to be distributed to families in need throughout the year. I can't wait to start participating in such a simple way to help out and educate the kids simultaneously.

Blog weekly and increase email subscribers/wean Crazy Joy off Facebook dependence
Blogging is hard y'all. If you have blogged for any length of time, you know it's more than just posting a picture and throwing up some words. Words require time and quiet. Pictures require forethought and editing. I'm short on quiet and forethought these days (I got up at 5am to write this...) but I truly love blogging and want to dedicate the effort and time it requires more consistently. I also would love to have more of my readers become email subscribers so that I don't have to depend on Facebook to show you these posts. So hey! if you are a regular reader (or suspect you would become one if you were subscribed) - enter your email address in the box over on the right side of the page to get each post delivered to your inbox. I post about once a week (the last six weeks not withstanding), I don't sell stuff or spam my readers via the blog and once you're subscribed you can quit checking Facebook so much! Win-win-win right?

Lead a moms small group this summer 
You guys hear me talk about Birds on a Wire and their studies/resources for encouraging moms all the time. Right now BJ and I are mentoring an engaged couple and still in our married small group each week, but once our small group ends in May, I'd love to start a short-term small group for moms in my neighborhood that meets to discuss one of her mom-centered books over the summer months.

Create a product/class/webinar to help people plan and cook for their family efficiently and effectively 
This is a big one considering I have little to no experience creating digital videos and delivering them. But I know there's a gap in between what Blue Apron and Prep Dish offer and I have a ton of fun talking about cooking and meal prep and the grocery store, so I'm noodling on it and spending a lot of time talking with BJ about it.

Do you set goals each year? Do you love/hate Starbucks Evenings? What are you resolving to change in 2017?

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