005 | inventory

This post has been a week in the making. Things have been crazy busy around here and we have been recovering this week from a super hectic schedule lately + getting sick over the weekend. Hopefully things calm down for a bit before the real excitement happens during the month of April when we celebrate a 2 year old at the beginning of the month and a fresh new babe at the end of the month! IMG_7794Making: lots of meals lately for new mamas! I feel like I have made an extra meal every weekend for the past month or so to be delivered to a sweet family with a new baby. This was a gesture that was totally lost on me as a person without children. Now anytime I see a care calendar pop up in my email inbox I sign up right away. Those first few months with new tiny humans are tough and cooking is the last thing you want to do/can do with any free time you have.

Drinking: way too many La Croix for our budget’s liking. I have been so terrible about drinking regular water during this pregnancy. I’ve also been craving wine like none other, but obviously not indulging (sad face).
 
Reading:A lot lately! Which has been awesome. One of my New Year’s goals was to up my reading game and I have been successfully finishing at least one book a month (all two months of this new year hah). Last month I finished The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene for a book club. This month I finished reading Rapunzel Let Down (another bookclub pick that I just didn’t have the time to finish in November when we originally read it). Currently working my way through a lenten bible study for my moms group at church – Mary: Virgin, Mother, and Queen by Fr. Mitch Pacwa and reading Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin (with the rest of the world right now). Up next for my bookclub is The Robe by Lloyd Douglas.
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 Wanting: to really buckle down and get things organized around here in preparation for this new baby. I need to start making some lists and getting things in order because I’m feeling really anxious that big things will be left undone and we will bring this new babe home to a disaster of an unorganized house.
Listening: to multiple Disney soundtracks: Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, and Mulan. I have to admit that when I can I try to convince my tiny friend to pick Mulan more often than not…not trying to knock the other two soundtracks but lack of lengthy songs/mostly instrumental (looking at you Cinderella) songs gets to me after a while. When it’s MY choice to choose what’s on our Spotify rotation I have been defaulting to my boy John Mayer. It’s really time for him to have another tour. I’ve been to three of his tours/shows and really I can’t get enough. Also some new-to-me podcats I’ve been really into lately: Rose Buddies Podcast, Matrimoney, and The Mom Hour.
Eating: um…everything. I have hit that point in my pregnancy that after 8pm all my body wants is to consume all of the food in our house. I am currently participating in a health + wellness challenge with my bootcamp so I have been trying really hard to keep my nighttime snacking on the healthier side but I feel like this baby really could use some ice cream..and by some I obviously mean a pint…all to myself. I mean herself.
Smelling: bleach + cleaning products. I scrubbed down our bathrooms today for the first time in entirely too long and my hands are still lingering with the scent of all-purpose cleaner. I’ve been thinking about switching some of our cleaning products (I lead an exciting life, ok you guys?) and not necessarily going all natural, but I guess more conscious about what we are using? I just feel like for so long I have just bought the generic all-purpose types of cleaners and haven’t really put a whole lot of thought into it. Recommendations welcome!
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Enjoying: the last couple of months being pregnant with this babe, afternoons spent outside in the sweet spring sunshine, thinking about the crazy that this summer will bring, playdates with sweet little friends.

Loving: introverting at-home date nights with my husband and my toddler’s huge word spurt in language development recently. The conversations we have been having during the day have been a constant source of humor and I’m loving this personality she is developing (although sometimes her attitude can get in the way;).

Hoping: for a smooth labor + easy delivery + healthy baby at the end of April.

Feeling: tired, stretched, and a bit anxious. At the beginning of the day I’m still feeling pretty great but post putting my toddler to bed and I’m pretty much done for the day. My body says it’s time to throw in the towel and set up shop on the couch and my belly says there’s no more room to stretch anymore. I’ve also been feeling a bit anxious lately about labor and delivery lately. Just thinking back to our previous experience and the pain gets to me sometimes, but I’m sure I’m not alone in these thoughts and that plenty of other moms pregnant with their second child have felt the same way.

Wearing: pretty much all maternity clothes all the time. I have a few tunic tops that can pass for bump-friendly clothes but other than that this belly has taken over and the majority of my pre-pregnancy clothes have been stored away for the time being. Noticing: small things I want to change about our house. I’ve been watching entirely too much Fixer Upper lately and while there is a part of me that wants to knock down a couple of walls and embark on a total kitchen reno, I realize that’s just not realistic at the moment. But there are a few things I wouldn’t mind changing up – hanging up a few things that have been on my honey-do list, shelves for the bathroom, making our laundry room more efficient, a book shelf for the office/study/guest room.

Bookmarking: pretty much anything and everything that Nell writes, some unexpected fashion inspiration, and meatless Friday meal inspiration because, Lent. 

FAITH | Merging 2016 Goals + Lenten Goals

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We are officially one week into Lent and I feel like for once I am doing ok with maintaining the upkeep of my 40-day promises. This is usually a time where I am so excited about the start of a new year – new exercise plans! new diets! getting sleep! – that I tend to pile my Lenten goals on top of my New Years goals to make myself one overwhelmed, over committed, over tired person and to be honest I usually give up on everything about half-way through Lent because I just can’t handle it all anymore.

This year I took a new perspective. I took a long time to mull over my intentions for this new year and after doing so I felt like I should try and focus on some of those goals rather than pile on MORE to do and work on. Sometimes I forget that my faith life and my daily life are the same thing. I prioritize my to-do lists and commitments over my connection with God more often than I should and then my prayer life and vocations tend to be compartmentalized into this tiny little box that is only opened up at night in the form of a five minute prayer before ultimately passing out on my pillow (sometimes before I even finish my prayer). Looking at this Lenten season as a way to focus on certain aspects of my overall plan for the year was more motivating than in years past. I already have an entire list of things I want to accomplish in my spiritual life this year – why not take these next 40 days as a way to improve upon those habits as well as integrate my spiritual life and daily life together, because they really should be identified as one cohesive unit anyway.

I thought I would go ahead and share exactly what my Lenten goals are for this year to keep myself accountable and who knows, maybe even provide some inspiration for someone else. I really enjoy reading about other people and their plans and goals (especially the planning process itself).  I know that Lent has already begun but it’s never too late to reevaluate your plan and make some new commitments if you’re feeling called to do so.

ALMSGIVING | Giving my whole, present self to my friends and family. I have developed a terrible habit of checking text messages and notifications around people and it needs to stop. When there is a lull in conversation I don’t want to be known as the person that automatically whips out her phone for entertainment. I want to enjoy the learning moments with my daughter during the day and really enjoy the quality time and conversations I have with my husband at night. I also want to focus more on serving my friends and family in any way that I can. Whether that be spending the day snuggling a sick toddler, making sure my husband is content and relaxed at home, or helping a friend in need with a meal or something else they need provided. I realize these aren’t necessarily the traditional ways to give alms but it’s what I can personally do in this season of life.

FASTING | I feel like I just need to come out and say that I am the worst as fasting. I was so excited when I was pregnant with Madeline because I learned that I was not expected to fast in the traditional sense of the word. (My hanger is a very real problem.) Because I’m pregnant once again I’ve decided to give up a habit that has formed this pregnancy…sugar. I was having a hard time gaining weight in my first and second trimesters so I took it upon myself to delve into a nightly bowl of ice cream or other sweet indulgences throughout the day. I just recently started participating in a health and fitness challenge for a bootcamp ( I. Heart. Goals.) and realized how bad my sugar intake has gotten! Because my weight gain is  back on track I am limiting myself to one dessert/sweet treat a week. This has already proven itself to be one of the harder goals I’ve set this Lent, offering up ice cream and chocolate is no joke for a pregnant lady!

PRAYER | I have always loved journaling as my main form of daily prayer but after getting married and having a kiddo I have found myself lacking in energy at the end of the day to actually open up my journal and write. But I am not lacking in time. I thought I was but I just wasn’t looking hard enough. I am going to take the first 30 minutes of nap time everyday to journal, pray, reflect, and sit. I’m really hoping this is a habit that sticks after Lent because I have struggled with making any sort of daily habit like this in my prayer life for so long. After a week of doing this I’ve also found that it makes me use the rest of nap time more effectively and more eager to get things done.

I also thought I would share a few resources I’m using this Lenten season. I know that I have mentioned to friends and family before my love of the Blessed is She ministry.  I have loved connecting in an online ministry that I can access anywhere. They have also provided spiritual resources to use during Advent and Lent that I have so adored using to guide my prayer life. I am using their Lenten workbook and stations of the cross cards as daily motivators during this time. I know both of those resources aren’t available anymore but I have also been using their daily devotional emails alongside these resources and you can sign up for them at anytime – subscribe here! I am also participating in a bible study with my moms group at church and have loved it so far. We are using the book Mary: Virgin, Mother, and Queen by Fr. Mitch Pacwa and while it’s a great study to discuss with other people, it’s also one I could envision using on my own. For some blog inspiration: I loved reading Haley’s Lenten Liturgical resources post as well as Britt’s list of resources that she is going to use with her family.

I hope your Lent is off to a great start and pray that this season brings you a much needed time of spiritual reflection and inspiration. If you have any resources for spiritual development or goal-setting I’d love to hear about them! .

FOOD + LOVE | At home date night: Valentine’s edition

With Valentine’s Day coming up I know there will be plenty of opinions floating around the internet regarding who is pro “Hallmark Holiday” and who is so against even recognizing that the day exists on the calendar. I understand where people are coming from, it is really hard to justify celebrating a holiday that has been overly glorified by every aspect of consumerism. But then again, the romantic in me really doesn’t mind taking one day out of the year to focus on the person I get the privilege of loving and caring for the rest of my life.

I know that quality time, date nights, and the general freedom to celebrate each other whenever and however we wanted is something that my husband and I completely took for granted in our pre-children life. Looking back on those much simpler (and quieter;) days I want to scold the girl who would spend countless late nights and hours stressing out expending energy into endeavors aside from her new marriage. But then again, having kids has made us cherish our date nights all the more. It does make the time out together that much more intentional because there are usually babysitters involved and planning ahead in our calendars.

  
While date nights out are all well and good, we are really trying to reign in our budget this year. With a new little one on the way and lists being made for the future, one of my goals for this year was to be more premeditated in planning at-home date nights. It’s so easy for us to get caught in this rut of scrolling through Netflix and just vegging out together. Sometimes that’s needed, but sometimes it can also get way too cyclical and becomes not nearly as special.  Something we always loved doing together while we were dating was cooking a good, fun, exciting meal together, cracking open a bottle of wine and watching a movie. That’s a routine that has unfortunately gone by the wayside in the past couple of years and I’m hoping with this newfound outlook on the at-home date night I can revive our old ritual and make it a regular habit once again.

  
Last Saturday we did just that and made one of the first “fancy” meals we ever made together. Years ago I found a recipe for Gorgonzola Crusted Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon in a cooking magazine while in the waiting room at the dentists office (actually, I think it may have been Southern Living…not entirely sure and don’t want to mis-reference). Since finding that recipe we have really honed in our method for searing steak to our liking that has made it such an indulgence to eat. We paired that nice chunk of meat with some classic garlic butter sauteed string beans and oregano dusted garlic bread. We even busted out a little cheese tray for a pre-dinner snack while we kept our little one company during her (early) dinner and for dessert I made dark chocolate + coconut oil dipped strawberries with whipped coconut cream. Then we watched The Intern and aside from not being able to share a bottle of wine together…it really was a pretty perfect date night!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day! No matter how you plan to celebrate or not – I hope the day is special and you can find love throughout the little moments.  
 

FOOD | Nutella Cinnamon Rolls

I feel like any introduction I write to this post will be completely ignored in order for you to scroll down faster towards the recipe (and rightly so! Nutella is not to be ignored!). This has continued to be one of those simple + easy + constantly hitting it out of the park recipes that I turn to time and time again. I make these cinnamon rolls for brunches, play dates, and last week I made them for a staff breakfast at school. Everyone always loves them and I never have leftovers after making these scrumptious little bites (which can be viewed as both a good thing and a bad thing). I honestly feel a little bad that I haven’t thrown this recipe up on the blog sooner because it’s just that good. I promise that you will not be disappointed and those you make these sweet treats for will leave with satisfied, chocolate-filled tummies. So I won’t continue to bore you while I wax poetic about my love of buttery bread and melted, gooey, hazelnut chocolate and we can just get on with the show.

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Nutella Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients: 

  • 2  cans of refrigerated crescent roll dough (I use Pillsbury Original)
  • roughly 1/2 c. of Nutella (reserve about 2 tbsp for drizzling)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • powdered sugar to garnish

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees (following the oven temperature on the cans of dough).
  2. In the microwave soften Nutella until it is almost runny – I usually pop it in for 10-15 second intervals until I get the consistency I desire.
  3. Spread out crescent roll dough on a lightly floured surface and press together seams of crescent roll triangles to make one connected piece of dough (I know Pillsbury made an un-seamed crescent roll dough for a while but I haven’t seen it in a while – this would be perfect for that!)
  4. Using the back of spoon spread out Nutella on crescent roll dough to make a thin layer. I’m always tempted to over do it and really lay that Nutella on thick but this is a case where less is more and makes it easier to roll up later on.
  5. Dust cinnamon and all spice over Nutella evenly.
  6. Roll up crescent roll dough length wise and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. I can usually get about 12 little cinnamon rolls per long roll of crescent dough.
  7. Space cinnamon rolls 1/2 inch apart on a lined baking sheet (either using a Silpat or parchment paper) and bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.
  8. Take out, let cool a bit, drizzle with remaining nutella and dust with cinnamon.

I have also made a vanilla glaze using confectioner’s/powdered sugar + milk + vanilla and drizzled that over the top of these rolls… I find that it makes it a little too sweet for my liking but it was still pretty good! I mean, you really can’t go wrong with carbs + chocolate in breakfast form, right?!

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Happy eating!

READ | Head & Heart {book review + giveaway!}

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Lately, with the holidays and a toddler who sleeps consistently (finally!) time has allowed me to dive into a few good reads. It’s a part of my 2016 goals to try and attempt finishing one book a month which I think is an attainable – depending on the book. I have been gathering a nice long list over the past few months of recommendations from friends, other blogs, and stories that have caught my eye while sifting through the shelves at local book stores and libraries. A few months ago, I saw a title a floating around a few Catholic circles I’m involved in that sparked my interest. I was lucky enough to be given a copy of this (really awesome, but we’ll get to the review in a second) book to read and share about in the hopes that it can give you the same inspiration it has given me.

Let me start this post off by saying that I have always been a fan the non-fiction, self-help book genre (which may explain my degree in psychology). I’ve always loved learning practical steps that I can apply in the daily practices of my own life that will hopefully lead me to becoming a better person. I love reading books that leave me inspired, refreshed, and ready for a change whether that be big or small. The Head and Heart is a practical spiritual guide written by Katie Warner that is filled with concrete steps that I can easily add to my daily practices.

An area in my life that has been lacking lately is major spiritual growth in my relationship with my husband. Sure, day to day we pray for each other when there is something big going on in the others life and when we remember (or stay awake long enough) we pray with each other before falling asleep at night. These are all really great things and I’m sure more than some couples do on a regular basis – however, for us it seems like we are meeting the bare minimum requirements of a couple’s prayer life together. We aren’t necessarily finding challenging ways or new innovative ways to pray with and for each other so we haven’t been seeing a very drastic change in our spiritual life together.

In comes this book. It really was delivered into my hands at the perfect time – right around the time I was having this realization that our prayer life was dwindling and right before my husband went on his annual silent retreat. I was able to read the book before he left for his few prayer filled days and he was able to read it while on retreat. We have both come away after reading this book with a refreshed sense of what we both need and desire to do for the spiritual growth needed in our marriage.

I think what I loved most about this book was that it broke down the spiritual roles of men and women in relationships so concretely and specifically; explaining why females and males are drawn to providing spiritually in certain ways. It can be tough being an active practicing Catholic today’s culture. Especially as a woman, when I feel like the media and the world is shouting at us to be independent to the point of shutting ourselves off from any help, even more so when that help is provided by a man. But as a woman I have always felt the need to be spiritually lead. I have a hard time keeping tabs on my own prayer life and need the reminder of another human person to keep me accountable. I’ve always felt a little self conscious about this personality trait of mine until reading this book when I realized that craving spiritual leadership and guidance from my husband is natural, normal, completely acceptable!

Another tidbit from the book that I think both Eric and myself benefitted from was the reminder it provided that prayer doesn’t have to be this beautifully eloquent production in order to be worthwhile. I have always thought that if I don’t journal at the end of the day or make time for some lengthy form of prayer every day that somehow my small and constant conversation with God throughout the day didn’t count. Often times the fear of providing inadequate prayer for my spouse is what keeps me from praying out loud with him – when I just need to remember that anything, no matter if it is a single Hail Mary or a sleepy ramble of intentions at the end of the day, is a beautiful and decent prayer in the eyes of God.

I thought it was only fair that the husband had a chance to share his thoughts on the book in case you are interested in a guy’s perspective (or if you are met with some resistance from your spouse about this book – maybe an alternate viewpoint might help;):

I have never really been drawn to self-help type books, usually preferring fiction, or non-fiction that educates me about the world around me – but as its title hints, Head and Heart really does have something for everyone.  The way the complementary roles of husbands and wives were described really resonated with me – and kept me reading with an open mind to learn something new about myself, and my marriage.

A standout feature of the book is twofold – the author suggests, and even insists that you don’t try everything in the book at once, and each area has tiered options for improvement, based on your current proficiency or comfort in that area.  I was able to pick and choose the pieces that were relevant and at my level, without feeling the need to follow a one size fits all path all the way through the book, which really helped me act on the content in a meaningful way.

This book would be a fantastic addition to anyone’s Lent plans this year or a great Valentine’s present to give to your spouse and work through together! I really cannot recommend it enough. It’s a book that has brought some much needed inspiration to our life as a couple and I hope that it can do the same for you!

If you want to win your own free copy of this book leave a comment below and a winner will be picked next Thursday February 4th. Happy reading!

**CONGRATS SHARON! I will be contacting you about your free copy! (: **

 

FOOD | Slow Cooker Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

One of my goals in this new year is to use our slow cooker more on Sundays. We have always had a pretty hectic evening routine on this particular day of the week because my husband and I both participate as band members for the youth mass at our parish. While this has been a part of our Sunday norm for almost nine years now we haven’t ever really had a regular Sunday night supper tradition.

In college, when it was just me singing at mass and going to the weekly Newman Catholic Ministry meetings on campus – pizza satiated my appetite on a regular basis. Then as a young working and engaged couple my husband and I both volunteered as Core members with our parish LifeTeen ministry so we always ate what the teens ate after mass. Then we got married and continued volunteering and it wasn’t until having a child of our own, and giving up other commitments after mass that I realized that we hadn’t established a Sunday meal ritual as a family. I also didn’t realize how important that was to me as a mother. I don’t want to give up our time singing and worshiping on Sunday evenings but I also want to provide a warm, delicious meal for my family to gather around as we begin a new week together.

Now here’s the kicker…after rehearsing songs, attending mass, cleaning up sound equipment, chatting with friends, etc. by the time we make it home it’s really hard to get the meal of my dreams on the table without someone getting hangry in our family (usually it’s a toss up between me and the toddler)…so in comes the wonderful, magical, fantastic invention that is the slow cooker. It’s a kitchen tool I use so often, yet I feel like I’m seeing it in a new light ever since mentally committing to making an effort toward Sunday night dinners. Seriously, it’s such a beautiful thing to be able to toss some ingredients together earlier in the day, give it a little stir, and then that evening be the domestic goddess I have always dreamed of being by serving my family a yummy meal. If I wore an apron and matching oven mitts while plating everyone’s food then I would really be achieving some major goals.

A few weeks ago we tried this fun little enchilada casserole/bake in the crockpot. I was inspired by this recipe that I initially found while browsing the wonderful world that is Pinterest. I really liked the idea of mixing it up a bit by using quinoa instead of rice when cooking a Mexican dish. I honestly was a little nervous to see how it would turn out or be received by the rest of my family but I can now say that the quinoa cooked perfectly and the recipe was an all around winner with both my husband and my toddler! We also had leftovers for dayssss so plan accordingly.

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Slow Cooker Quinoa Enchilada Casserole
Adapted from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen – Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoa

Ingredients: 

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed (I used Trader Joe’s Organic White Quinoa)
  • 1 15 oz. can of fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen corn (I used Trader Joe’s Roasted Frozen corn and it added some really good flavor!)
  • 1 15 oz. can of black beans – drained and rinsed
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 chopped medium yellow onion
  • 1 chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 16 oz. jar of mild salsa (if it were up to me I would have amped up the spice a bit – but tried to keep this as toddler friendly as possible)
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups Mexican Cheese blend divided (1 cup will be mixed in and leaving 1/2 cup for topping later)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro for garnish (optional – we opted out this time around and instead used up some halved cherry tomatoes!)

Instructions

  • Brown ground beef in a skillet until completely cooked through. Add ground beef and remaining fat in skillet to slow cooker.
  • Add the following ingredients to the slow cooker: quinoa, fire roasted tomatoes, frozen corn, black beans, garlic, yellow onion, green bell pepper, water, and salsa. Stir until completely combined.
  • Add spices: chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper to taste – mix once again until well combined.
  • Add 1 cup of Mexican Cheese blend and mix until completely combined.
  • Put lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 3 hours until liquid is absorbed.
  • Then stir casserole one more time to ensure there’s no liquid on the bottom of the slow cooker and to fluff the quinoa. Top with remaining cheese and put lid back on slow cooker for about 10 minutes or until ready to serve.
  • Plate by topping with cilantro for garnish.
  • This casserole can be eaten by itself or served with tortilla chips for dipping. It’s also really great the next day spread over a flour tortilla and cooked as a quesadilla!

Happy eating!

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Creating 2016

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For the past two years I have chosen a word that would ultimately act as a theme or motivator in this next new year of life. In 2014, I chose the word trust. Which turned out to be pretty apt for that year since we welcomed our first daughter into the world and I completely changed my current career path from being a full time public school teacher, to stay at home mom, to part time teacher. Then in 2015, I decided to simplify. With the purchase of our house this past January I felt the need to purge (and still do) and start fresh. I also really wanted to focus on saying no to every single social event (even though I still want to do this all of the time;) and really figuring out how our family unit could thrive in our new community.

So, continuing on with tradition I wanted to pick a word for this bright and shiny 2016. I kept bouncing back and forth between two words and decided that both might come in handy over the next 366 days. I also decided to set some actual goals for this year! I’ve never been one to make resolutions because I hate not crossing things off my to-do list and would rather not feel like I’ve let myself down at the end of the year in the case that I don’t fulfill a certain resolution. But goals and intentions I can do. Hopefully this will all help me to be better organized in my thinking over the course of this year and keep me motivated to continue the journey of bettering myself for my family and friends.

Without further ado, the two words I have chosen for this year are: create + cultivate. I think I should also throw in the word survive because this year we will be welcome our SECOND daughter into the world and I think that there will probably be a good few months that are solely dependent on copious amounts of coffee and a hefty dose of prayer. But anyway, I landed on these two words because last year I felt like even though we did simplify in a lot of ways – I didn’t really get a chance to dig deep into creative endeavors and relationships I wanted to see grow. I let this blog go by the wayside in so many ways and it really is a space I enjoy. I feel like I would enjoy it even more if I actually dedicated regular time to it, rather than just ignoring it for months on end only to pop up every once in a while with an apology for an unintentional hiatus. I also really love cooking and sewing and both of those hobbies haven’t really been cultivated in the ways I have been hoping for lately. Again, time and dedication are going to have to be something I implement in my calendar in order to achieve the goals I want but I think that’s doable. There have also been some new friendships made over the past couple years that deserve time and attention, and again the cultivation poured into them that I just haven’t been lately.

Now as for goals, after deciding on these words I was able to sit down after the start of the new year and break down certain areas of my life I really want to see improve. My planner has a nice little space right in the front that I was able to brainstorm in and write down all of these lofty ideas. I hope to refer to them monthly and make smaller more attainable goals from there. I think a problem I have had in the past with resolutions/yearly planning is that I have always had these huge ideas in my head and then haven’t taken the smaller steps monthly, weekly, and daily to achieve them. Some of these goals are things I’ve just needed to write down to keep myself more accountable, for example: I want to make going to confession a monthly event. In college I was so eager to get to confession as often as I could. I was a part of a very involved student ministry and felt so supported and encouraged all the time to go. Then I started working and became a real deal grown up. I got bogged down in the day to day of going to work, fostering friendships with coworkers, and helping my students in anyway that I could that I forgot to help myself. Then I became a mom which blew any sort of regularity out of the water. Some of the other goals I have are a bit more practical like really taking the time to meal plan every week, making the most out of our Costco membership, and buy smarter when it comes to clothes and accessories. Then there are the fun/silly goals (which I think the Costco membership one could be filed under this as well;) like creating more at-home date nights with my husband, making more constructive activities for my toddler and I to do together, and reading at least one book a month.

I’m so excited to fill this year up. I already know it’s going to be a full one but I think it’s going to be even more so just knowing all I want to achieve.

Happy 2016 y’all!