Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Book Review: Free Range Kids

If you find that you are an anxious parent, always worrying that something or someone is going to harm your child, and/or find yourself living by the mantra "You can't be too safe!" Then you should most definitely go out and purchase this book! Or if you know me in real life, you are more than welcome to borrow it.

Written with a equal parts humor, sarcasm and brutal honesty, the book is broken down into two parts. Part one is her explanation of The Fourteen Free Range Commandments and part two is The Free Range Guide to Life.
Purchase on Amazon
The Fourteen Free Range Commandments
  1. Know When to Worry—Play Dates and Axe Murders: How to Tell the Difference
  2. Turn Off the News—Go Easy on the "Law and Order" Too
  3. Avoid Experts—Who Knew You Were Doing Everything Wrong? . . . Them!
  4. Boycott Baby Knee Pads—And the Rest of the Kiddie Safety-Industrial Complex
  5. Don't Think Like a Lawyer—Some Risks are Worth It
  6. Ignore the Blamers—The Don't Know Your Kid Like You Do
  7. Eat Chocolate—Give Halloween Back to the Trick-or-Treaters
  8. Study History—Your Ten-Year-Old Would Have Been Forging Horseshoes (or at Least Delivering Papers)
  9. Be Wordly—Why Other Countries Are Laughing at zee Scaredy-Cat Americans
  10. Get Braver—Quit Trying to Control Everything. It Doesn't Work Anyway
  11. Relax—Not Every Little Thing You Do Has That Much Impact on Your Child's Development
  12. Fail!—It's the New Succeed
  13. Lock The Out—Make Them Play—or Else!
  14. Listen to Your Kids—They Don't Want to Be Treated Like Babies (Except the Actual Babies, of course)
What I really love is that at the end of each commandment (chapter) she gives an example of a baby step, brave step and giant leap toward becoming a Free Range parent. They help connect what she is saying to day-to-day life, and if you're on the fence, allow you to let go of your fears a little at a time.

My favorite commandment to read in depth about was number six, Ignore the Blamers. Because it's the one I struggle with most. I am very much a Free Range parent, and facing judgement from other parents is the hardest part about it. Tim and I have had a mom bring Love Bean back over to us at a playground because they thought she'd wondered to far from us. I left my girls in the care of a sweet old lady at the grocery store, while I ran to my car in a down pour. And I still haven't heard the end of that one from my husband or mother. (Note—once you master commandment two, what I did won't seem like as big of deal. Also, I'm resisting the urge I have to justify my actions)

My biggest take aways from part two, (which debunks many common parental fears like, eating raw cookie dough, BPA poisoning and "stranger danger") are it is confident and self-assured kids who are least likely to become targets of creeps, and "don't talk to strangers" is one of the worst lessons you can teach your children.

By telling children NOT to talk to strangers you are in effect removing hundreds of safe adults that could help them if they did feel uncomfortable or were in danger. For example, if someday one of my girls is at the mall alone or with friends and some creepy dude is following them, I absolutely want them to know that they can approach another man or woman and say, "hey this creep is following us, mind if we sit here with you for awhile."

Instead what we should teach our children is that they can talk to strangers, they can ask them for help. What the should NOT do is ever go off/leave with a stranger. Even if that stranger says something like, "you're mom couldn't make it, so she sent me to pick you up."

Seriously, I think this book should be required reading for parents. Even if you would already consider yourself Free Range, it will reaffirm and encourage you. If you are interested the author also writes a blog of the same name, Free Range Kids. If you have any questions about Free Range parenting, the book, or anything else I mentioned in this post feel free to comment here, or on our Facebook page.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Confessions of a SAHM

Attention all mamas, I have come to a conclusion. The kids' nap/rest time is my time to sit and relax. I just want to put that out there that I do it. I am not ashamed to say I wait to eat until I can sit and be by myself. If you don't have that time you are awesome for making it through the day. To be honest if I didn't have a little break from the wants and needs I would go crazy. Wait...I do go crazy because of course sometimes Gat doesn't like to nap.

Another confession: I let Rae watch the iPad so my ears can get a break. Two days ago she watched tv or played the iPad pretty much all day while Jo was at school. You can call me a bad mom...or should you call me smart?! Because for one whole day I had my sanity. And I got a lot done too. Now this doesn't happen everyday. The day before she literally helped me clean the whole day. Because it seems like that no matter if you spend 1 hour or 8 hours cleaning each still have to clean the next.

Back to the nap time thing. Take a sec and just relax catch your breath, rest your feet. Don't feel you have to clean, I promise you it will be there when you get up. Read a book, crochet, watch tv, eat, blog, read blogs, do whatever you're big loving heart desires.

Hey, I clean best when my kids are up and around. I mean doesn't everyone clean so the kids have to chase you. You don't? Then do!!! Seriously. . .if you sit still they can always find you. BUT. . .if you keep moving, cleaning, laundry and everything else they can't quite ever get a total handle where you are. It will require the occasional "I'M in HERE!" Hey it takes them at least 2 minutes to usually find you. (By the way I have a rule you don't freak out, like mom is gone-she left us forever gone, until you have checked every room in the house.)

I am realizing that it seems like I don't like my kids. But I swear I do. I love them. Just some days, SOME days, they bug me. But that's okay. . .right? It's normal right!? Ahh now I am feeling a little insecure.

Here are some other pics, because they're fun. Did I mention Jo went to a birthday party and the "REAL" Belle came. . . "For real Rae she was the REAL Belle." And I went out to dinner with a couple special friends and that's fun and the pic is what I wore. I love my leather motorcycle jacket from Target $20!

Oh by the way our lovely readers. I don't have facebook, so comment here so I know you're listening to my rants. Probs the only thing I miss about facebook is interacting with you all. You're awesome!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Team Gatlyn T-Shirts FOR SALE!

We have all been on Team Gatlyn before that kid was even on earth. Though the rooting has changed along the way, we have all been there cheering for him every step of the way. #TEAMGATLYN is trending ya know.....

You all cheered for him to stay in Mallorie's belly 9 more weeks, you cheered for him to stay strong and fight his hospital battles, and you continue to cheer for him as he does BIG things on the daily at home. What's a team without a killer student section? ;)

Even better, it's that time of year again........the Super Bowl of Preemie Baby Research.......MARCH OF DIMES!!!!!!!!!! What a better time to be to not only be on Team Gatlyn but Team I wanna help save babies lives.

This is the year folks. I can feel it. 1st Place has our name written all over it. Don't get me wrong the first two years we were successful. Team Gatlyn taking 2nd place and raising over $3,000. But I know we can do better :) Goal for this year: $6000.00 and if 1st place comes with that, two thumbs up.

So get your foam finger and your fast shoes on, as Roo calls them, we have a 5k to walk. Or run if you're really that motivated. And unlike any other team, Team Gatlyn loves a good band wagon, so jump on if you haven't been on the team before. EVERY little bit helps.

As always, we have the yearly team shirt for purchase. $15 for adult sizes and $10 for kids. $7.75 of the adult shirt will go automatically towards the team donation, as well as $3.50 for each kids shirt sold.  So everyone and your mother, brother, sister, kid, and everyone else order your shirt!!

Shirts are as follows:
-Shirts can be ordered through messaging the Twenty Somethin Mamma's Facebook Page.
-$15 or $10 for a shirt paid before the date of ordering the shirt April 1st! Any unpaid shirts WILL NOT be ordered.
-Sizes Offered: Adult Sizes S-XL and Kids 2T-5T
-They will look like the awesome design below. Gold Shirt, black writing.

Also, don't forget there are other ways to give to the cause. Donations are welcome and can be given through this link or contacting Mallore, Jamie, or I. Now let's raise $6000.00!!!!

Walk Info:
April 26, 2014
Location: 5600 Beechtree, Caledonia MI
Time: Registration @9am Start @ 10:30

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Three Bean Chili

I've been loving soups this winter. They're warm, hearty and easy to make with a baby in the high chair and a toddler under foot. Since I limit my grocery budget to $50 per week, I usually try to fix one or two meatless meals a week. This Three Bean Chili is is just as filling as any meat dish.

What You'll Need
olive oil
1 yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
15 ounces diced tomatoes (I actually used stewed tomatoes that Alexis and I canned earlier this year)
1 cup water
1 cup tomato juice (again, I used tomato juice we canned earlier this year)

1 Tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt

What You'll Do
Heat olive oil in pan until hot then add onion and garlic, saute until soft and translucent. While onion and garlic are cooking, rinse and drain your beans.

Add beans, diced tomatoes, water and tomato juice to your onion and garlic. Stir in your spices. Then cover and simmer for at least 20 minutes.

I served it with a little bit of cheese on top. Enjoy!

Monday, January 20, 2014

The New Future

Hello everybody. . . insert nice little intro here. I can't think of a way to ease into it so here it goes.

Gat, our baby, has been diagnosed with Diplegic Cerebral Palsy(CP). It happened like the week before Thanksgiving. . . I think. Now I can't remember, that's annoying. Anyway he has it. It still doesn't seem right coming out of my mouth, or fingers in this case, and I am not completely sure how long it will take for it to feel ok. Because to be honest guys I am not okay with it. It just kinda sucks. We have been going down this road of therapies and stuff thinking there was an end in sight. Turns out we were wrong. Therapies for life (throw up rockout sign here please).

"Cerebral means having to do with the brain. Palsy means weakness or problems with using the muscles. Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and keep their balance and posture as a result of an injury to parts of the brain, or as a result of a problem with development. Often the problem happens before birth or soon after being born. Cerebral palsy causes different types of disabilities in each child. A child may simply be a little clumsy or awkward, or unable to walk at all." (info from here)
It is also known as Spastic Diplegia. "In this type of CP, muscle stiffness is mainly in the legs, with the arms less affected or not affected at all. People with spastic diplegia might have difficulty walking because tight hip and leg muscles cause their legs to pull together, turn inward, and cross at the knees." (info from here)

As you know Gatlyn can walk with a walker and is getting really good at it too! This is no lie he can part a room like the Red Sea. It is amazing what the little guy can do. I mean look at this Snap I got the other day...

A couple things I want you to know:

1. It is not a death sentence. Lucky for us we will get to see those bedroom eyes forever! Even his mean side...I get scratches and smacks from him too.

2. I am not sure how to not totally get offended by people. Like when people say "Kids like that...". I know each and every one of them mean well. For real I do... but when people say "Kids like that..." it makes me have to come to terms he is now "lumped"  with any kid with a disability. And when I don't really think of Gat in that way, of course I don't want others to either.

3. Gatlyn is smart. If it wasn't for his physical impairment you would not know he has CP let alone a preemie.

I will probs being writing on this topic a lot. So peace out for tonight. Here is a nice image to leave you with.

Friday, January 17, 2014

One Year of $50 Groceries

It works best for my schedule to go grocery shopping on Wednesday or Thursday. So a week refers to Wednesday to Wednesday or Thursday to Thursday. Meal ideas use a combo of the week's groceries and ingredients I already have on hand.

It's been a year since I slashed our grocery budget to $50 a week! When I started, I wasn't sure I would stick to it for so long, but it's working for our family and I'm turning back. This week you'll get a glimpse at what happens when I go to the store with a list of only "must haves" and no game plan for the rest of my budget. It didn't end up too bad, but could have been better.

Quick Facts
  • Total Spent: $55.43 ($5.43 over budget)
  • Total Savings: $18.72
  • Savings Break Down: $5 from Mperks, $12.72 from shopping sale ad and $1.00 from coupons
Must Haves
  • Cheez-Its (per Tim's request)
  • Milk
  • Hot Cocoa (per Stella's request)
  • Cheese slices
  • Eggs (Turns out these weren't a must have. Got home and I had a dozen in the fridge, oops!)
My Meal Ideas
  • Baked oatmeal
  • Tortellini with garlic bread
  • Beef stir fry with white rice
  • Turkey and egg noodle casserole (I have lots of slice turkey, not sure if it will work in the casserole, but I'm going to try anyway) 
  • Penne Pizza Bake
So how could have my trip been better? Well for starters, I went over budget. That wouldn't have happened if I would have had a plan. It would have been a good week to stock up on pasta, it was on sale for 79 cents, that 20 cents cheaper than the usual sale price. I didn't actually need eggs, so that's $3 that could have went else where.

You can read my other $50 Grocery posts here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Working Mom Guilt

Let's get real the biggest feeling every working mom has is guilt. I'll be honest, I felt guilt for the first two or three months, but now about 9 months in of being a full-time working mom I really don't feel much guilt at all. Between just looking at reality and saying "this is the way it has to be," and actually admitting I like being a working mom, helps me to cope with about 50% of the guilt. The other 50% comes from the following rationalization I have in my head that is a mix of personal thought and thoughts from other working moms and mom blogs. Carrying on to explain said rationalization.....

So for some reason, there has always been this ongoing battle between working moms and stay-at-home moms (I recently saw someone refer to them has SAHMs, so we'll run with that. Like they are their own breed or something ;)). It's a true rivalry. Comparable to the fantasy football league in our family (That I am NOT a part of). AKA pointless, yet humorous at the same time. 

This is where the second 50% of my guilt comes in. Self examination like .... Am I any less of a mom because I hand Ruthie off to the best babysitter in the world everyday? Is Jamie or Mallorie any better of a mom than me because she is with their kids 24/7 of their life? Is Ruthie being denied the time she should have with her mom by having me home with her? Does Ruthie feel neglected because I make her go to Shannie's everyday? Is Ruthie not going to behave and have the things I hope to have instilled in her for life? Is Ruthie going to be worse off then kids who do get there mom home with them everyday? It's the kind of guilt that puts you in, as Ron Burgandy said it best, a glass case of emotion. 

So back to that rivalry.......
Of course, "each side feeling that their choice is the better one, each side ridiculing the other because their choice was different, each secretly (or not so secretly) harboring moments of guilt about their choice."
So who did it? Who made the right choice? Who has the more important job? Ummmm.... invalid questions in my eyes. If we can call this debate between these too professions then can we call it for other professions? Okay you tell me .....Which job is more important? The mailman who delivers your mail or your kid's teacher? Exactly. It doesn't even make sense to debate this. We would be screwed without either profession. Mailman, teacher, SAHM, working mom, potato, tomato. 
A blog I read put it best:
"Both moms are working moms. They are one in the same. One chooses to work in a building with others in and around their age group, and the other chooses to work in a home with a younger age group.Both are working. And both have the right to choose where they work…don’t they?"
Each have there own valid reasons. And there are some of the SAHM's reasons I for one who rather not deal with. 

I don't think either side should feel the slight bit of guilt. If you are happy with your choice, rock it. I think I'm to that point now where I am good to admit that I like being a working mom. Yeah, some days completely suck and you snap chat your sisters all day, showing them the cube you are stuck in or you have to text Shannie to ask her how your girl is doing to prompt a picture being sent. Or some nights it absolutely sucks when you had a day from hell at work and you come home no dinner made, a messy house, a workout waiting for you, and a little girl that nothing in the world would make her happy at the moment. 

But for more days then not I am good with going to work. I like the sense of accomplishment it gives me. I like having responsibilities outside the home that I can go deal with for 8 hours and then leave them in my little cube for the night or weekend and go home to Roo and Matt. 

More reasons I have learned I prefer being a working mom over a SAHM. 
-My patience level has dramatically decreased. If I stayed home, Roo would probably be in timeout more often then she should. 
-Waking up at 5:50 makes my days seem twice as long. Sucks on the weekdays, but it makes the weekend a little longer. 
-I like being able to buy things (and try not to feel guilty about it) like my new car!
-The drive into work (Lansing). I love the "me time" I get on my drive. Coffee in hand , usually the radio off, thinking, and watching the sun come up. Oh and can't forget to honk at moms.
-Ruthie absolutely LOVES her time at Shannies. I hear about it all night what she did, her Emma friend, fighting with aubs...haha I love the stories that come from that house.
-That moment we pull into Shannies driveway and Roo says "Here's my Shannies house!!!! My fweinds not here yet mom, but later!!"
-And that moment I open the door to pick her up and she screams "MY MOMS HERE!!!" and I get the bigger hug than the day before.
So to conclude this massive rant of personal feelings I say if your happy with your choice, if you know what you are doing is best for your family, OR if you know what you are doing is best for your own sanity......SO BE IT. No guilt shall be felt. 
And let's stop thinking we're better than each other. 

Don't Waste a Good Pic

We do Christmas cards every year. Let's be real I like to show off how cute my kids have gotten over the last year. I always am thinking about what picture will work for it throughout the year. My mom always did them to so I think I inherited a little bit.

The last two years I decided to write a little letter to go along with our picture. It really is just a recap of the year and update on the favorites and stuff.

Of course I like to get to get them in the mail too. Pretty much the only time of the year I really look forward to the mail, (unless a check is supposed to be coming;)). Because I know how much time, money, energy, cooperation and effort they take I don't like to throw them away. I used to just shove them in a desk drawer...I don't think I could get away with displaying them all year. A couple years ago I saw on Pinterest (do you find stuff anywhere else these days?!) to punch holes in special birthday cards and save them with binder rings. After seeing that I did it with the kids birthday cards. As I was putting the little books together I came across my stack of Christmas cards. You know what's coming next. . .

So there you have it. Easy and it only cost me like $4 for the binder rings at Staples! 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

When Breast Isn't Best

I have had two completely different breastfeeding experiences, and I really appreciate when other moms are open and honest about their breastfeeding experiences. Those are the two things have lead me to writing this post.

Love Bean 9/20/11
 While pregnant with Love Bean, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. In my head, I had built up how wonderful and natural it would be. After all, that's all I had heard. When she arrived, we did everything "the way you're suppose to" we had skin to skin immediately and tried nursing. Love Bean wasn't having any of it. The nurses knew I wanted to breastfeed, and were very helpful in trying to get her to latch and waiting as long as possible before suggesting we try a bottle so that she'd get something to eat. So Tim fed her, her first bottle at the hospital. I already felt like a failure. But I didn't give up that easily. We kept trying and eventually she got the hang of it.

Nursing went well, until it didn't. A few weeks in she suddenly wouldn't latch properly on the left side. No matter what I tried, it was painful and I had to wear a shield with every feeding. For whatever reason, I couldn't get in touch with the lactation consultant at the hospital, and I cried through many nursing session. Not exactly how I was imaging it would go. I stuck it out for 6 or so weeks, before we decided breast was not best for us. Switching to formula was the biggest relief. I didn't feel guilty, I knew I was making the right decision for my mental health, and therefor my baby.

Fast forward to July 2013

Angry Bean 7/1/13
 Not letting my previous experience deter me from trying again with Angry Bean, I resolved to try again—chalking up my bad experience to being an inexperienced new mom.

Right from the start things we completely different. I swear to you Angry Bean was born rooting. She found her way to by breast and started nursing almost immediately with very little help from me or the nurse. And aside from once in the middle of the night, she never had trouble getting a proper latch once. All I could think was, "Now this is exactly what I had imagined the first go round."

Things continued to go well after we were home. In fact at her first check-up she had almost gained a pound, when most newborns weigh in at close to birth weight, if not under it. 2 months went by and still things were great. She was gaining weight, happy and nursing on somewhat of a schedule. I was exclusively nursing, she hadn't even come near a bottle and I hadn't pumped at all. It was all going like I had imagined.

At about 3 months, she started nursing more often. At first I chalked it up to a growth spurt, but then she started seeming really small to me, and she didn't fill our her clothes as much. I remember my mom even commenting on how little she looked compared to another baby born around the same time as her. But, I wasn't overly concerned. Looking back, this is when she must have started losing weight. The week before her 4 month well child check-up she started wanting to nurse every two hours again. She hadn't done that since about a month old, plus she was much fussier than she had ever been. The day before her appointment she nursed every hour, and still didn't seem satisfied. I knew it was something I needed to bring up at her appointment.

Like usual, she was weighed at the beginning of her appointment. I knew something was definitely not right when the nurse weighed her again with a very confused look on her face. Rosalie weighed exactly the same, at 4 months as she had a 2 months. She had practically fallen off of the growth chart. Not good. It is so important for babies to have their nutritional needs met. Aside from helping the grow physically, it helps stimulate and make new connections in the brain. Her doctor made it clear that I needed to at least start supplementing with formula, if not make the switch completely. I needed to be able to come back in two weeks and say with certainty that she is eating X ounces every Y hours. Up to that point, I had no idea how much she was eating because she was almost exclusively nursing.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I cried at the doctor's office. But she was so understanding, and reassured me that it wasn't my fault. That just for whatever reason, sometimes moms just aren't able to keep up with the needs of their baby.

I tried pumping for a few days, but it would take me three or four sessions to just get enough for one bottle. And that combined with Love Bean getting into trouble or needing me every time I got the pump out, was enough for me to make the switch. After one day, you could see the change in Angry Bean. After we went exclusively to formula, she was back to being happy and content, no longer screamed through tummy time, she started staying awake for longer periods of time, and she developed more of a nap schedule. At her 2 week weight check she had gained a little over a pound. That solidified what I already knew, switching to formula was again best for my babe.

Angry Bean had her 6 month well child check-up today. She weighed in at 14lbs 12oz, and is now in back on the growth chart and in the 21st percentile. There are a few developmental things she seems to be a bit behind in, but nothing to be concerned about.

Tim and I will definitely be having more kids, and I will definitely try breastfeeding again. But I think it's important for moms—especially those of us who have tried, and for whatever reason switched to formula—to be open and honest about our experiences. Breastfeeding is a tough job, being a mom is a tough job. We shouldn't add to the guilt many moms already feel by, bashing moms who choose to use formula. We don't always know their stories, and contrary to some articles I've read, baby formula is not poison. We should count ourselves as lucky that if our babies don't seem to be thriving, we have access to it.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Restoration Bluff

Our life is chaotic. Some of it self induced, other things we have to do. When I say chaotic, I mean busy and sometimes a little overwhelming. Our original winter plans were to go to Florida and take the kids to Disney...that didn't happen. Plan B was to go to a indoor water park...that didn't happen. So we decided to go visit my parents lake house for a couple nights. Jamie, Dad and I collaborated to come up with the name, "Restoration Bluff". It is right in between Ludington and Pentwater and is now one of my favorite places. Weirdly, I haven't been there in the summer and I still love it!

Anyway, we went up there for a couple days and rejuvenated the Schrock family. We actually stayed in a whole day and didn't leave. If you know me and my husband well you would know that is rare. It was so nice to lay around, do puzzles, color and play games with the kids.  Here are a bunch of pictures because pictures make a post a lot more interesting.

The next pictures are because I have a soft spot for Lake Michigan. I am in awe every time we go. These pictures don't do it justice. This is the first I have ever seen the lake in the winter. So enjoy.
View from the lakeside lawn.
This next picture is Friday.
 The next one was taken Saturday in the same spot as above.
It was amazing the difference in the beach. Where I stood was probably 6-8 feet higher the second day. You couldn't even see the water when you walked on the beach at first. 

 This was just amazing and to think that God made it all. 


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

It's a New Year for New Goals

Today I have realized I've never set a new years resolution in the entire 22 almost 23 years I have been on this earth. Scared of commitment much? Nahhh, I'd just say I'm pretty honest with myself.

I think I've always thought of resolutions in the wrong way. I've seen them as thoughts that cross ones mind the day that they would have probably never crossed their mind, if it wasn't for this glorious day to remind us too. So that leads into making promises to become a better human being, which are more then likely to be forgotten about the week or two after they are made.  Ouch. With that being said I instead like to think of them as new years goals/lists.

And let me tell you, I am highly motivated by goals/lists. Our parents have always done this growing up and between that and advice I was given almost two years ago, I think writing down goals is one of the most life directing things you can do for yourself. Seriously, I wrote down 5 goals last year and totally forgot about them throughout the year until the anniversary of writing them in April. When I had looked I had achieved 4 out of the 5 goals. Ummmm talk about finding money in your pocket .... that was one of the best feelings ever. And to think I hadn't really said "Goal #1 complete. Continue to #2." and still reach them amazes me. It's like I wrote the direction I wanted my life to take and marched on winning gold medals on the way. 4 gold medals, not too shabby. 

With that rant being said if your not into the "I vow to smile more" or "I swear to not drink pop other than on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Saturdays" then I say you make the time to write, I repeat WRITE, goals down. Genuinely think and write where you want to be or even what you want to have by this time next year and tuck them away.

Now keep this in mind because its helpful. When making the goals ya gotta make them specific and real. If ya don't well sorry you really can't officially call them goals.  

For example. "To run a 5k." That is NOT a goal. That's a cop out. Instead "Run the March of Dimes 5k on March XX in under 25 minutes" is more like it. Measurable and achievable. 

Or how about. "Save money." Sweet I saved a dollar today, I reached my goal. Be specific, "Save $XXXXXXXXXX (I wish ;) by XX/XX/2014. 

I'm up for that accomplished feeling again so I'm taking a stab at it again. I'll let ya know next year how it turns out. :)

Also I mentioned it up top that I remember my parents doing this growing up. I know they would take a trip once every year and write goals they wanted to achieve together for themselves, our family, and their business. I think doing this with your husband or serious signifiant other is a great idea. You are a team after all. And if you have two players running a different play... you know that's more than likely going to result in a turnover. 

So think about it and I seriously recommend doing it if you don't already.

Happy New Year. May your 2014 be FUN!