Sunday, January 16, 2011

2011 New Year's Resolutions

Let's return to 2010 to see how we did with our 2010 resolutions. Did you know that 80% of all resolutions are broken by Valentine's Day?

Renie's 2010 Resolutions
Lose 25 pounds and keep them off. - FAIL. I think I needed glasses because clearly I thought it said GAIN 25 pounds from the looks of where I stand this year.

Organize the house from top to bottom.
Well, we kind of got this done because we had an itch to sell the house last July. Then we chickened out because of the economy. So we are again organizing the house, decluttering, and making it a goal to put the house on the market March 1st, just in time for the medical residency match that comes mid-March. We pray that our efforts to declutter will pay off and we can sell our house and move up to have a little more room.

Quiet time. I'm not going to set a daily goal because I know I will not keep it. Let's just say I need to reintroduce quiet time in my life.
I'm going to claim victory on this one, but with the caviat that 2010 was a bit of an emotional roller coaster so there were definitely some times when I dropped quiet time from my routine. I lost several beloved grandparents and dealt with some major life transition moments. All the more reason why this needs to stay on my resolution radar for 2011.

2011 New Year's Resolutions:

Renie's Resolutions
1. Lose 50 pounds. OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration but at least 25 pounds need to go away, and quickly. We got Xbox Kinect from Santa for Christmas so I'm working through Your Shape Fitness Evolved. It's amazing, but it will only work if I stick with it.

2. Stick with quiet time. God is really working on my heart right now. I sense a growing boldness in my spirit. While many who know me think I'm pretty bold, when it comes to my faith, I tend to keep it under wraps. Something is stirring in my spirit and I look forward to what comes from that.

3. Keep up a personal hobby while balancing family, work, and home. I think it will be sewing, but it's all been put up in storage for now until we can have more room in a larger home. It was just sitting there staring at me through three huge clear rubber maid tubs so I had to move it until it can come back out. For now, I'll be working with ready to smock dresses rather than pleating and sewing my own from scratch.

4. Balance work and home. This is always going to be a struggle but it's gotten better. Samford is a great place to work, as was BSC, and I'm thankful that working on a college campus is so family-friendly. Still, my children and my husband need a priority place too, and I'm just going to have to be more diligent about this.

5. Start writing again. I don't know what I will start writing, but for now I'm might just start journaling in the hopes it might turn into a short story, for better, an idea for a novel.

Philip's Resolutions
1. Eat healthier (Renie's gonna force some broccoli down that throat)
2. Start a regular work out routine
3. Enter graduate school again, the gaol being to earn a doctoral degree.
4. Work on my spiritual health.

Little Philip's Resolutions
1. Learn to tie my shoes
2. Count by 2's and 5's
3. Learn to put my head under water and swim without swimmies (He is screaming bloody murder next to the comptur right now, saying he doesn't want to do it until he is at least 10.)
4. Learn to ride a bicycle without training wheels.
5. Finish reading the entire Chronicles of Narnia (we just started Voyage of the Dawntreader)

Helen's Resolutions
1. Work on wearing something other than a tutu every day.
2. Sleep through the night on a regular basis
3. Learn to swim!
4. Understand that being a princess is about what is in your heart, more than what you put on the outside (This is the only way Mommy is going to survive the princess years).

Riley the Dog's Resolutions
1. Lose a little weight. I'm an old dog now, and getting a bit rotund in the middle.
2. While I will continue to drink out of the toilet, I will try to lick my lips and keep from dripping a gallon of water across the floor as I leave the bathroom each time.

Atticus the Cat's Resolutions
1. You think you're old, you silly dog? Try being 13 years old and be the handsome tomcat I still am! I plan to keep on being that in the coming year.
2. I plan to continue to throw up my food about 3 minutes after eating it. I'm beginning to think it adds to my life longevity in some way.
3. I will continue to demand my water directly from a slow running faucet stream immediately after Renie gets out of the shower each morning. Just so she doesn't forget, I will meow incessantly on the counter in the bathroom for the duration of her shower until she gets out.

Julep the Cat's Resolutions
1. I will continue my conquest for Riley's entire dog bed. No longer will he be allowed the remaining corner he sleeps on since I always plant myself there first each night.
2. I will continue to keep Atticus young by chasing him around the house.
3. I will stop hissing and throwing a huge fit when both of my human grandmothers come to visit. If I cannot do this, I will at least treat my human grandfathers the same way so that my human grandmothers will not take it personally.

Couponing Again

So I fell off the coupon wagon when I went back to work full-time in July. It's not that we are rolling in the dough, it's that I didn't reschedule my life to include grocery shopping in a routine regular place each week. As hard as it is to keep a routine with both parents working, it really is the only way to make it work. So that is one of my new year's resolutions, to get our household and family routine back in shape.

My wonderful coupon binder sat on a shelf for months, and our two Sunday papers that are $1.00 a piece, delivered to our home each Sunday, kept piling up until my bedside table looked like a shot from Hoarders. So, just before our holiday break ended, I spent several hours getting the coupon binder up to date, and every coupon that had not expired in its rightful category.

For the last two weeks, I've done my shopping by couponing again. I have literally been spending about $250 more each month in groceries or eating out, by my estimation. Knowing what I can save by couponing, it makes me sick to think what a terrible steward we have been of what God has given us. More so, it sticks in my heart and gut about where that money could have been put, since we had it to spend on groceries. Really makes me think more about what we need to do to be more honoring to God about the blessings He has given us.

Since I do work full-time now, I can't do my weekly shopping on Wednesday morning like I used to, just after finding the match up coupons from the Tuesday Publix flyer. So I did my shopping today, Sunday. It's not ideal, but when the kids are napping, it seems about right. I'm not sure I'll stick with this day but it worked for today.

My total bill was $49.33 and I saved $50.00. That being said, it was a weird shopping day. We can eat Aunt Jemima waffles for days now, and since I depleted my razor stash by not couponing the past four months, it was nice to begin that new stockpile with the savings on the Quattro disposable razors today. Otherwise, we got some free Jiffy popcorn, eight cans of super cheap Progresso soup (will help out with my diet and eating on the run on campus each week). There were a few other good deals too, which you can see at which is my weekly visit to match up on coupons. My percent savings would have been higher but I also bought two bagged salad mixes, two fresh tomatoes, two candy bars that were on clearance, and two bags of mozzarella cheese for the kiddos to make a pizza. And that is how I also recommend shopping for those of you who are new to couponing. Don't make it an idol in your life! Recognize that you are saving a bundle so if you want to (and can) splurge on some special cheese or another item that is not on sale or you don't have a coupon for, you can, because you've made a little room in your buggy and pocketbook to do so by your couponing efforts.