Thursday, January 12, 2012


Hey 2012! I know I'm a little late, but I just had a baby, and I plan to use her as an excuse for being late and/or behind on everything for AT LEAST another 5 months, and YOU, New Year, are no exception. So, here they are, two weeks late: my lofty goals for 2012, made in a cloud of January euphoria and postpartum hormones! (So, you know, probably don't take them too seriously. I'm rather unreliable.)

1. Ditch the postpartum body
Yes, please! Mary Catherine is getting married in May (!!!!!) and Annie & I are the maids of honor, so I'm using the wedding date as my weight loss/fitness deadline. Nothing like wearing a fancy dress in front of lots of people to motivate you, eh? I'm not setting a particular amount... I tend to me more motivated by how I feel energywise, and how clothes fit than I am by the scale. But, I'd like to end up about 10-15 lb below my pre-preg weight, not have a marshmallow tummy, and have slammin' arms. (Slammin!) For me, this means counting points again, being a hard-ass about saying no to proccessed foods, white flour, & sugar, and finding someeee way to exercise... I'm thinking at-home workout DVD's. Anyone want to lend me some??

2. Spend money on myself
I know- what the heck?!?! We can't afford resolutions like this!! Here's the deal: I am CHEAP, you guys. C.H.E.A.P. And, while this is great for living on a budget, it is not so great for maintaining one's personal appearance- espeeeecially if one is the mother of 2 small children and the caregiver for 3 OTHER small children.  It is really, really, really hard for me to justify spending money on things like clothes, makeup, and haircuts when I know that most days I'll be home all day, aaaand that whatever I'm wearing will most likely have poop, pee, breastmilk, spit-up, snot, playdough, drool, crumbs, and/or unidentifiable smears on it. I know, SO HOT, right?!?!
But, regardless of my lack of audience, I just FEEL so much better, on so many levels, when I 'Get Ready' each morning. You know, AS IF people might ACTUALLY see me and notice my appearance. Plus, IIII see me and David (poor, poor David) sees me, and we're worth the effort! And the money! I think! I also haven't really bought clothes since being pregnant with Henry, so it's high time. I'm going to try to buy one or two things for myself each month- shoes, clothes, haircuts, new makeup- that kind of thing. I'll probably be a supermodel by 2012. Look for me on the runways.

3. Read & write more
Holy cow, there's seriously no time, people!!! I'm aiming for 2 books a month this year- whatever book my book club is reading, and one other one of my own choosing. And, I'm including being better about setting aside time to read the Bible in this resolution too. I think my writing goals will be better lumped in with my next resolution, so read on! If you're not asleep yet!

4. "Teach me to number my days, that I might gain a heart of wisdom" Psalm 90:12
My women's Bible study group at church just studied Psalm 90 this week, and our table spent a while talking about what this verse means. What does it look like to 'number our days'? And, while I'm at it, what the heck does a 'heart of wisdom' look like? (And, can I just order one from Amazon? Etsy, perhaps??)  I'm sure there are a number of good interpretations, but here's what I'm taking it to mean, and how I'm making it a resolution.

For me, learning to 'number my days' means first of all, recognizing my own mortality. That the days I have are not infinite, they will not always keep appearing every morning, that I do, in fact, have a specific number of days left in my life. Even thought I don't know the number, that realization seems to give each day a little more worth. A little more value. A little more individuality. I'm hoping that trying to grasp this truth more will continue to help me give meaning and purpose to my time each day, and to help me avoid the 'survival' mentality that I so easily fall into. I don't want to allow my days to sort of mush together, one into the next, all a blur of tasks & moments that I rushed through in order to get to the next one on my list.  That survival mentality, the 'mushy days' feeling, is always easy for me to get caught in, and I'm ESPECIALLY prone to it with a newborn- the sleep deprivation and reptitiveness of routine make it really easy to just tell myself to just get through, just survive.  But, here's the thing- we plan on having a few more of these here kiddos. Which means, I will spend several YEARS of my life in the new baby phase, and even more years in the toddler/preschool phase, and I really don't want to spend that much time in survival mode, just letting my days & my heart get mushy. I want to notice this time, to appreciate it, to enjoy it, and to allow the Lord to use it to refine my own heart. I want to be able to tell my kids that even though they drove me bonkers, that I loved and appreciated every single day that I got to spend with them. That time with them was always considered a gift.

PLUS, according to this verse, if I learn to 'number my days' then I get a heart of wisdom. That sounds pretty good- I'll take one!

So, here are my mini-resolutions that fall under the umbrella of using 2012 to explore this idea of appreciating, noticing, and numbering each of my days.
A) Start a gratitude journal. I did this for a while last year, and really appreciated how it shifted my mindset each day. I want to do it consistently this year, and be sure to date it.
B) Blog more/blog less. I think one of the reasons I'm so inconsistent is that I feel like I have to have Something To Say in order to write a post. This year I want to try to blog more often, and use it as a way to record our days. (You know, since I'm NEVER going to scrapbook, perhaps the blog could act like one for me.) I'm thinking just a picture and a few sentences. So, I guess more frequency, less pressure to have significant content.
C) Get my butt out of bed in the morning, and make time to at least pray for the day, for my kids & for David before the craziness begins. Five minutes, self! That's all it takes! You can have coffee while you pray! A BIG CUP!

Bring it, 2012. It is on. It is so on.


  1. Hey! Congratulations on the new baby!! I swore I left a comment below, but it seems not to have appeared. Whoops.

    Best wishes to Mary Catherine! I always say this, but your younger siblings are still little in my mind, I can't believe she's getting married! Whose next, Annie!

    Wonderful resolutions and I hope you do get a chance to write more!

  2. Rachel, I love reading your blog updates. You have a real gift with words and manage to be real, humorous and thoughtful all at the same time!

    Also, I can sooo relate to the wedding/post baby body! My sister-in-law just asked me to be a bridesmaid next december at her wedding in JAMAICA. That gives me about 7-8 months to get my ass in gear. I'll be rooting you on from Philly!!