Let 2014 Begin!
Okay, okay - so I am a month behind; like a WHOLE month behind! I'm just not sure how; wasn't Christmas just like a week ago?!? Eeeek - if January disappeared this fast, I'm not sure how I am ever going to survive this year; let alone keep up with it all!!!!!
Below is a collection of random photos taken through January!
I know back in November I wrote a post about 'Blooming Where I am Planted'; so I thought I would do a bit of an update on where I am with this, and other thoughts I have had regarding 2014!
I am SO proud of me, and of us, this year - we really are starting to make plans and follow through with them; the kids are at a good age now, and often play together nicely for a while, and also entertain themselves quite effectively! Button can often spend 30-45 minutes in her room with the door shut (so 'lil M doesn't annoy her), just playing with her dolls! It is so lovely to see... and all this growing up is starting to give us that little bit of freedom we have been craving, to complete tasks and tick things off our never-ending list!
Our nights are still tough - I think you could count on both hands how many full nights sleep we have had over the past 4-5 months... 'lil M went straight from eye-teething to two-year-old-molar-teething! Yep; I don't think we even got two nights between them... urghhhh! We had thought he had a sore throat over the Christmas / New Year period, but it turned out it was teeth *sigh*! I have taken him to the Doctors twice in the past couple of months 'just to be sure' as it feels like it has been going on a LONG time; last time being this past Wednesday... but he is 100% well, except a very slight fever, and two big swollen top gums - with big hard white lumps ready to pop through any day now! Grateful we're almost through it all, once they've broken through - then there is only two more teeth to come through EVER... EVER... EVER! Keep mumbling this to yourself over and over again, don't worry about what anyone else thinks or how strangely they look at you; make sure you look dazed and not quite with it and you'll have an idea of what I have looked / felt like for the past few months!! It has been worse than having a new born again; and that is why we made the decision to stick with two children...
The above paragraph was not to just elicit some sympathy out of you, but to also give a part explanation as to why I have been so quiet these past couple of months - by the time the kids go to bed, we're also ready to hit the sack! Utterly and completely knackered... Hubby is also really feeling it (I am very blessed with a hubby to who takes it in turns, so I am not having to face it alone)! and has struggled to get much done in the evenings. We just keep reminding ourselves that it is 'just a phase' and he'll outgrow it all soon... although it has been a especially difficult and LONG phase I must say!
So - anyway, back to the actual update! I have held quite high hopes for 2014; it is to be MY year, after four years of pregnancies and babies/toddlers, things are slowly balancing out once more. I talked about going out and entertaining more this year, and being more organised / time efficient... So I have not yet managed to go out or entertain more yet; although that is still on my agenda. But I am really starting to 'bloom where I am planted' in other areas, and currently we have managed to keep the momentum up as well!
Decluttering = this will be a blog post of it's own, however I have been very slack at taking before photos which is a shame. But this past week Iosis Family Solutions got to take away two van loads of 'stuff' from our place. Iosis is a Social Services Organisation based in South Auckland, and we were able to bless them with an old couch, shelves, kids clothes, toys, linen, port-a-cots, bike, radio, lamp, baby baths (just to name a few things), that we no longer needed! It felt SO good to not only be able to pass these things onto people in need, but to also rid ourselves of the excess! I mean for goodness sake - we had three port-a-cots, three baby baths and four kids bikes! We only have TWO children, so where the excess has come from is beyond me!!! I also spent an evening with my Mum sorting through my new born girl and boy clothes for two families in need down in their home town - they went home with about 6 boxes of baby clothes to pass on, with another four still sitting here waiting for their next visit! That was a little bit more emotional, going through all those gorgeous little things - but I kept a few special pieces just for me! We have been SO blessed since having the kids, it has been AMAZING... so it felt right to hand it on, rather than sell things on Trade Me.
Budgeting = I have also registered to do a budgeting course through CAP New Zealand (Christians Against Poverty), and will be starting that on Feb 12th; it runs for three Wednesdays in a row, and goes for about 1-2 hours each evening. I am really excited about this, because while we are not in any serious debt - we just can't seem to get ahead. I think I just need some fresh inspiration, and a different perspective, and hopefully this year will be better. I know we can do it, but every time we get anything in the savings account - another bill shows up, or the car breaks down; something happens and it eats everything up, and it feels like we have to start all over again!
Gardening = Hubby dug the garden over for us back in November, but never got any further... So in January I gave up, re-dug it up myself and then Mum and I spent time turning it over and feeding it. We covered it in worm juice, and we also set up a compost bin in order to keep feeding the garden. We have yet to plant anything - but next weekend hubby has promised we are going to go seedling shopping, and we're aiming high (in the hopes that we're not TOO late); lettuce, spinach, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. We're also going to buy a lemon tree in a pot (I use so many lemons in my cooking and baking), and make a herb garden at some stage - both the lemon tree and herb garden need to be portable, as we're renting still and want to take them with us.
Reorganising = In the process of decluttering, I am also reorganising; my main project being my kitchen... so, so, so excited about this, but while I started with much gusto, things have slowed down! Time is of essence and while we are managing to complete some projects, loads of other little projects have been left behind for later. However, it WILL get done as it is going to make a HUGE difference to me (I discovered last week that I have four containers of cocoa - that is how bad my pantry is; I do have photographic proof of this, but it'll have to wait until I can do a before and after post)!
I am slowly going through my recipes and getting myself organised, setting up a favourites folder and finding new and exciting things to try - this week I tried gluten-free tortillas! YUM, I didn't take photos as they looked terrible, but boy - they tasted good, and hubby LOVED them; think they'll become a firm favourite! I hope that one day I'll get them right, take photos and share the excitement with you!
Anyway - that is just the beginning of what we are planning for 2014; I have a lot of systems I want to set in place for my shopping and cooking, partly to be more efficient and partly to save on money. We are also wanting to go more whole-foods and organic this year, so have been stalking Bin Inn to check prices and products - so when we have a bit of spare cash I can go a little bit wild!
We are making plans for more us-time, and for more family holidays as well... we have never really managed a proper holiday as a family - only ever stayed with family, or in the family holiday home! This year will be more of the same, but it will be more often (God-willing); and hopefully we'll have a bit of spare cash so we can do more stuff when we are away... With 'lil M finally being down to one sleep, it does open up far more possibilities as to what we will be able to do!
Anyway - it is now almost 10pm, and if I keep rambling I'll not only work my way through all the blog posts I am planning on doing, but also all the photos I have taken lately... hmmm!
So - goodnight, and sweet dreams!