The Resolve for No New Year's Resolutions

It’s a new year. I know many people are setting new year’s resolutions because I have seen a billion posts about other people’s resolutions. It starts me thinking about making my own New Year’s Resolutions, but every year my real resolution is to not have any New Year’s Resolutions. Or any resolutions at all.

res·o·lu·tion
n. a firm decision to do or not to do something.

I don’t need any firm decisions in my life right now, I need a chance to give myself a break and to not feel guilty about things. I always want to do better but resolving to do something is just going to add stress and guilt to my life and that won’t help me do better. As much as I want to resolve to have a clean house, or be a better wife by making dinner more often I just need to do those things when I can and be happy about doing them when I can.

They may be always changing but I always have goals. I hope that you can try to reach your goals without adding any stress or guilt to your life as well. Make your goal to be happy and healthy and applaud yourself for any little step you take in that direction.

No New Year's Resolutions

I have spent some time this week re-reading some of my own posts about how to be happier. My post with journal writing ideas goes right along with resolutions. As a child (and even later) I would get a new journal or diary and decide I was going to write in it every day. Some times I lasted a day, sometimes two weeks. Once I wrote about each day for almost a year. That took a ton of time writing things like “Nothing interesting happened today” three weeks after the date I was writing about.

With my tips for writing in a journal I said to just move on and not worry about how often you write or about going back and writing about the past. It makes for a nice read when I go back in my diary and see the good things I wrote about. The gap in the timeline never is a worry I am just happy to read the things I did write and I know that when I was writing them it helped that day or week be a happier one. It’s something I can do to improve my happiness but it won’t ever subtract from my happiness because I forgot a day or lost momentum.

The same can go for any resolution you might come up with. If you resolution was to start eating better be happy about making a healthier food choice today. Try again tomorrow. Don’t be hard on yourself if you slip up, every day is a new day to try to start again, and everyday can be a step in the right direction if you make it happen.

My current goals are lofty but every step I make toward them is a good one. I want to be healthier, happier, a better wife, a better mom, a better blogger and have a cleaner house and keep to my saving plan as well as spend more time with my dog. Doing a little to improve in each of those areas when I can will help me get to where I want to be, and I don’t need a resolution to get there.

Here are more of my Life Tips (Most of these posts are just to help me though!)
Journal Writing and Journal Entry Ideas
How to Stop Shopping
Making Better Food Choices

Journal Writing and Journal Entry Ideas

I have been trying to be happier. It takes work, but everyone needs to be happier. The happier I am, the happier everyone around me is. Or maybe that’s just because I’m the Mom. Writing in a journal helps me stay positive sometimes and helps me look back at how I was positive before and it reminds me that I can stay positive again.

I have a few rules for myself when journaling. The first rule for myself is to keep everything positive. There is enough negativity as it is, and I don’t need to hold onto it for the future. Sometimes I need to rant about negativity and doing it on paper helps. I just make sure to do it in a cheap notebook and throw it out immediately after it is written.

Another rule I try to follow is to date my entries. It makes it so much better for if you ever want to look back at them.

I also keep most journal entries very short. I usually don’t have time for much and I won’t write at all if it takes too long so a short list or small quip about something is usually perfect. The one main exception to that is when I wrote down my son’s birth story. I realized I was already forgetting some of the small details a few weeks after he was born so as I nursed I wrote every detail I could remember. It was pages and pages and it took me days but it is worth it to me and it might be to him later on.

One last thing I try not to do while writing in my journal is to back track. Unless it is a big event (like my son’s birth) I won’t let myself feel guilty that I haven’t written in a few days, months, years, etc. And I won’t try to remember what happened for yesterday or for the last three years that I didn’t write a thing. I just put down today’s date and move on.

Here are a few ideas to get you started writing in your journal:

Things Accomplished Today List

Top 5 Good Things About the Day

My Favorite Things (in my house, kitchen, from my vacation, foods, clothes, anything)

Reasons I am Happy with My Life (or My Children, or My House, or my Neighborhood or anything else you can think of)

Reasons I Love My Spouse (or Child, Friend, Co-worker, Pet, whoever!) {See My  Reasons I Love My Husband Post Here} {And My Reasons to Love My Dog Here}

Reasons I Love Myself (what personality traits or quirks do you love about yourself?)

Reasons I’m Happy to Be Home (or on vacation, or any change you are experiencing. Think of why you are happy to be there. Another I have done is Reasons I’m Happy to  Not Be Pregnant)

My Bucket List (Keep a few blank pages after it and you can add to it at any time) {See Mine Here}

A Quick Story From My Day (Or week, month, vacation, etc!)

I’m Feeling: (positive emotions! and why)

What I Did For Exercise This Week

Child Updates (Check out this post at I Can Grow People for a great layout of it!)

Memories of a Lost Loved One (See my latest post here for more ideas)

I recently made some beautiful printable bookmarks with a shortened version of this list- to make it easier to remember and have these tips in your journal or near it whenever you need them. The bookmarks can be downloaded for free, please click here to view them and then scroll to the bottom to download them. Thank you!

Other Ways to Work on Happiness:
Resolve for No New Year’s Resolutions
How to Stop Shopping
Happy Wive’s Club: 21 Days to a Happier You
This vs That
My New Workout Plan

Pregnancy Announcements for Facebook

With our first pregnancy I couldn’t wait to tell everyone, so as soon as we got the news we wanted to post it to facebook, so that we could avoid calling everyone individually to tell them (and having hurt feelings because we called one person before another and so on). We called the new grandparents and then took this picture and posted it with the clues to facebook.

It was a cute way to announce it until I got a few people telling me I really did look pregnant. I was 5 weeks along and shouldn’t have looked any more pregnant than before! So we decided to find another way to tell everyone for the second pregnancy.

I searched all of my pins and decided to do something a little bit more unique. With a second child our Jeep will be full, so we went out to our closest wash (aka dry creek) and took this picture. Click on the picture to see it bigger!

The idea was a little more confusing but still super cute! Once I explained it in the comments everyone got it. At least no one’s calling me fat this time!

Other Jeep Related Articles:
4 Jeep Sewing Projects
Camping on the Mogollon Rim
5 Reasons I Love My Husband

5 Reasons I Love My Husband

This isn’t a post to make anyone jealous, I’m just trying to show off my husband a little bit and show that I am thankful for everything that he does for me and for who he is. I recently started reading The Happy Wives Club blog and it’s been helping me remember to think positively about my marriage and try to show it. I usually have a hard time showing it, so hopefully this will help!

1. He works hard for our family. He works a job where he has to get up super early and he is not a morning person, so it really means alot to me that he works for us. He also went through a 9 month deployment for us recently. I know it was hard for him, I’m so glad that he did it for us though.

2. He takes the time to listen to me. He also lets me get my way, alot. He always tells me that if I’m happy, he’s happy.
He even let my son help him with fixing the Jeep

3. He tries to be cheap like I am, and DIY stuff. Like fixing the Jeep. He saved us thousands of dollars by staying up super late to finish fixing the truck so that I could use it the next day. (See number one where he is not a morning person and had to get up early.

Look how young he was in 2008!

4. He loves kids. My little brother and sister were young when we started dating and he was great with them. It made me love him more right away! The picture of him and my brother has always been one of my favorite pictures. I love to see him play and interact with our son, as well as see how excited he is about bringing another son into the world soon. He is an amazing dad.

5. He does things that he doesn’t want to do, for me. Like wearing this bright blue tie so that it matched my awesome dress when we went on our cruise this summer. He didn’t want to dress up either.

He also tries to eat new things. That’s a hard one for him, he likes staying in his comfort zone of food and hates trying new things. It may take some nagging but he does try new food for me. It really amazes me what he drags his feet on eating though. Who doesn’t want to try delicious frosting? Or candy? Or pie? I’m glad he does try new things though, because we have found some great new recipes and some of his favorite places to eat.

Throwback Thursday: Moving Out

The Life of Bon is having a summer of Throwback Thursdays and I wanted to tell my moving out story too. Thanks to The Life of Bon for the ideas and the link party!

I graduated 5 months before I turned 18 and I was ready to move out as soon as I graduated. I didn’t like having anyone tell me what to do and I couldn’t stand being home.

At the same time I couldn’t afford to live on my own- at all! I planned to move in with my boyfriend. On my 18th birthday my best friend and my boyfriend took me out to the movies and to the mall to celebrate, because how else would you celebrate being 18? It was also the first time I had a midnight curfew.

That’s where we went to go visit my boyfriend’s mom at work, a jewelry store in the mall.

My boyfriend asked her, “Hey is it alright if Monica moves in with us tomorrow?” And she answered “Absolutely not.”

I was livid. I had been bugging him to make sure it was ok with her for months and he had just planned on it being ok with her but not asking her until the night before. This is the man I married.

I was all packed up and ready to go, ready to live in my car if necessary because I didn’t want to be at home any longer. Luckily for me, my best friend swooped in and saved the day.

Her mom lived alone when she was at her dad’s, which was most of the time, so her mom let me move into their cat’s bedroom. It was their spare bedroom but the cat was the one that spent the most time in it.

With just a couple trips in my car I was able to get all of my stuff over to their house, with the help of my boyfriend who was still in the dog house.

I came to find out that my new roommate, Amy, wasn’t there very often, and being alone freaked me out at first. The first night I stayed there alone I heard some weird noises outside and realized that this was the first time I had been anywhere that I couldn’t go run and grab a gun if an intruder came in. To make myself feel better I grabbed a handful of firecrackers and a lighter and put those by my bed instead. If I needed to I would try to scare someone off with a small firecracker and pure willpower.

Now that I am a first apartment, a marriage and a first house further down the road I see how easy everything was and how everything I went through then wasn’t a big deal but I sure am grateful to those people that made it easier for me. Thanks Amy and Kourtney! I guess I should finally let my now husband, Ben, out of the doghouse because he was young and stupid just like I was.

More Stories:
The Greatest Trip I Hardly Remember
He Doesn’t Know It
The Rock Climbing One Year Old

My New Workout Plan

I’m on the countdown for when my husband might supposedly return home. Unfortunately I have cookie gut from sitting on the couch and eating cookies the whole time he was done. My facebook will seem otherwise, because I am just that good. Also, I don’t want to change my lifestyle too much because I’m lazy, and because I like cookies.

When I see my cookie gut, I feel bad. When I eat a cookie I feel a little bit better. When I realize I just ate an entire box of girl scout cookies I feel bad again.

My new workout plan is to do 5-10 squats everytime I feel bad about myself or when I eat something I feel bad about. It makes me feel better for the moment, so maybe, just maybe it will pay off later too. Right now I feel bad about myself because I’m out of shape and almost died on a short bike ride today. Ten squats are calling my name… when I get up. I’m sore!! Also, I want to eat the last samoa, but I might not because I don’t want to do more squats. See this plan is helping already!

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

It’s finally been cooling down around here, but only at night. I use that to my advantage and open the windows at night to try to cool down the house some for free. It got all the way down to 76 degrees in my bedroom! Cool enough to have a blanket on and to wake up and have something warm to drink.

I love something weird. At least my husband thinks it’s weird. I love to make buttered toast and hot chocolate (with milk, of course!) and dip my toast into my milk for breakfast. It’s so good! I was so glad it was cool enough to be able to enjoy that for breakfast this morning.

Even if I can’t enjoy cool air the rest of the day or spend time with my husband, I know I still have some of these little things to make me happy!

Trying to Eat Better with Green Chicken a la King

Most of my recipes are something like my chicken a la king. They are saucy and have a little bit of meat and a lot of bread or noodles. Looking at the new food pyramid, My Plate we don’t get enough fruits and veggies. We probably didn’t get enough when it was a pyramid either.

I’m trying to change our eating habits a little bit, and just eat a little bit better, if not always healthy. Tonight I did that by making our Chicken a la King with my own vegetable juice instead of the milk and water.

The vegetable juice was made mostly of squash but also had green and yellow pepper bits, broccoli stems, and a little bit of peas. I started it with a bit of milk and added enough water to make it equal out to 3 cups at the end.

It tasted a little vegetable-y but it wasn’t much different from normal. I’ll probably do it like this as from now on, as long as my blender is working!

To see more of my “better” options check out these articles:

Not Fried “Refried Beans”
This vs That (My Better Choices)
DIY On-the-Go Applesauce

Simplifying for Fall

There is a Simplify for Fall even going on in the blog world right now. I didn’t hear about it until a few days into it when The Minimalist Mom posted about her progress and it made me want to start doing it for myself. I will have to get to what I can when I can, but I was able to clean up our clothes and laundry room a bit to start with.

I went through my clothes and got rid of stuff just recently. (My sisters always love when I do that!) I found a few more things that I didn’t want and put them in the yardsale pile, and made sure everything was organized. I also organized my husbands clothes a little bit better. I try not to go through his stuff or get rid of anything without him, I just “strongly encourage him” or threaten. One of the two. But he’s not here so I just try to cram everything into his space.

My closet still looks disastrous because I need to find a better space for my craft stuff. I think it will all go back into the closet of my spare bedroom once that gets cleaned out better. Or I’ll move all the army stuff there, and move my craft stuff into the army closet. Too many options.

I went through my son’s clothes (we keep them in the red shopping baskets) and took out everything that doesn’t fit, and sharpied our name onto the tags so we could give them to a friend for her son (I am greedy and I want them back for the next kid 🙂 I also went through the pile of clothes he hasn’t been fitting into that I already took out and finally sharpied our name on those ones too. My friend will be getting the box tonight hopefully.

Our laundry closet was still pretty clean, from when I posted about my clothesline. I wanted to get rid of a few hangers but after doing a load of laundry I realized I needed all of them. I still need a better way to store them though.

When I get back from yet another short trip I will be back to try to simplify in the other areas of my life as well. After I get some of that done I will have to try harder to look for a job. Anyone know of anything part time that I can take my baby with me? I don’t “need” the job so I’m going to be picky about bringing my baby with me and try to do something from home or childcare of some sort. Thanks for reading, maybe my cleaning will inspire you to do some too!

Mom and Baby Brave the Airport

My son just barely turned one, and he’s not walking yet. We went to go visit my in-laws and enjoy their under 100 degree weather. We just went out there in April, so I kinda have the drill down, except that this time I would be flying without my husband. That meant there would be no passing the baby back and forth through security or when the bag or baby got too heavy. Or during the 5 hour flight when he wouldn’t sleep or got too fussy.

What I Took:
I brought two bags with me. One was my new messenger bag, the one I made so that I could easily bring my laptop. It fit in an outside pocket so I could easily slide it out through security.

The other bag I brought was my carry-on suitcase. It wasn’t easy bringing both bags, but it was reassuring that it wouldn’t get lost or stolen. I also had the opportunity to get something out of it if I needed.

I also was wearing the baby on my back, using this carrier. If you are going to wear your baby be sure that you are familiar with it, and that you can handle the weight there for awhile. The carrier I have puts most of the weight on your hips like when you would normally carry a baby, so it made it a bit easier. I had other carriers that I would have never made it through the airport with.

Going Through Security
I was well aware of the fact that they may ask me to take the baby off my back, but both times through security they let me walk through with him. They did a new test though, they swabbed my palm and tested the sample for explosives. It was quick and easy.

They also let you bring in liquids for the baby that are more than 3oz. They don’t make you drink them or anything crazy but they do test them. The test doesn’t touch the liquid either. I had an unopened box of liquid children’s allergy medicine, and they did open the box to test it.

For children under 12 they are able to keep their shoes on. I also found it interesting that people over 75 can keep their shoes and light jackets on as well.

Before the Flight
At some airports they have play areas. Take advantage and let the kids (no matter what time it is) get some of their energy out. I let my son crawl around the seats as we were waiting and make friends with the passengers. It was almost 10pm the first time because we took a red-eye flight. I followed him around while keeping an eye on my luggage and moved him back when he got too far away. Other people were very understanding and they wanted me to let him crawl around too- so then he might be quieter for the ride.

I also made sure to get our drinks ready, but I didn’t let my son have anything to drink at that time.

My son had to go back on my back as soon as they mentioned boarding, and we were able to pre-board.

On the Plane
During take off I tried to get my son to drink from his sippy cup. He was thirsty because he hadn’t had anything to drink in awhile, but he drank it too fast. The goal was to get him to drink while gaining altitude so that his ears wouldn’t pop or start to bother him.

The first flight we took was overnight. It took the baby a long time to get to sleep and then he didn’t stay asleep for long. If you baby falls asleep on you– don’t move– even if you are dying, it’s not worth it! On the way back we flew in the late afternoon to night and it went much better. He slept some but was happy when he woke up or wasn’t sleeping.

I had plenty of new toys to cycle through as he got bored of them and tried to let him sleep. We had the blanket from his bed, as well as his stuffed animal to try to make him know that he could sleep.

If he was too fussy or if we had some grumpy seat mates I was fully prepared to buy drinks or give out ear plugs if necessary. I also had brought a cheap set of headphones for the baby in case that would entertain him, and it didn’t. The headphones did come in handy when the baby fell asleep and there was someone behind me playing loud music without headphones.

Overall my flying experience with the baby went well. It doesn’t beat having my husband to help, but I am proud that I managed it alone!

See some of my other Traveling Posts:
Airport Traveling Tips
Messenger Bag
Decorated Suitcase
Packing List