i have to get real here. i really have a love/hate relationship with the new year because i always feel like i have so much i want to do and so much pressure to one-up on last year.  the other part of me wants to simplify and take it easy, do less. it’s quite the conundrum. do more, and therefore get busier and crazier, or simplify and tone it down, spend more time with my family…. can’t i just eat my cake?!

in the past i have had a word or phrase as the “theme” or my mantra for the year…
this is my general “theme” this year and a free print you can click on and download if you like it too.


live well, love always, and laugh often. 

so, here is a somewhat jumbled list of goals. but it’s mine. and totally achievable:

read the whole book of mormon with my husband in 365 days.  whatever your religion is, you are probably like us and life gets in the way of really getting into it at home. we pray together a lot, we have discussions about our beliefs and how we want to parent…etc. but we have struggled to make a good habit out of reading and getting inspiration daily. and we need it.  so i found this reading chart here and we will sit and read 15-20 verses each night before we turn on the tv for our nightly show to “wind down.” if we have time to be entertained, we have time to be inspired!

go out with my husband more. we have a few things on our list together that we’d like to do spiritually, physically, and financially, but one i want to work on is planning dates, time to go out more as just us. we usually throw the kids in the car, drive to a noisy restaurant and call it a date. but 2 screamers and a mom with frizzy hair does not a date make. it’s time to change that!

be nicer. as far as personal goals go, this is my biggest this year. last year my one little word was serve. and we did. i had lots of opportunities to serve others and we even started some fun traditions that we will keep up this year that involve serving those in need and our own friends that we can comfort and help. and while doing nice things is nice, i found that sometimes i wasn’t thinking nice things… i often say what comes out of my head much quicker than the time it takes to think through the consequence of that thought. a lot of it comes from truly seeing the good in every person i meet. i come from a family of sarcasm, humor, and yes, lots of laughing, and lots of love. i learned early in my marriage that my way of showing love involves some degree of teasing, and even from my easy going lover, it’s not always appreciated. i can be funny, and can make my family laugh, but even there i have some that are more sensitive that i need to be… sensitive to. i often say things i regret.

i once had a friend come visit me, when i was single, and i hadn’t seen him in a while. like a few years after high school. he told me that i needed to gossip less. granted, he was referring to my high school years when i’m sure i wasn’t the only female who gossiped, but it still stuck with me, because it obviously stuck with him. {i am sure i told everyone about how lame he was to try and fix everyone…} i am sure i was bitter and annoyed that he felt like he had to tell me, after years, that i was flawed. but he was right.  i have tried to live by the rule that i wouldn’t say anything that i wouldn’t say to your face, and i will usually just tell you i said it!  but ya know, just because i think it, doesn’t mean it needs to be said.  i am a work in progress and i’ve got a long way to go.
i want to be caught talking about you and have you smile to hear what i have to say.

weight shmeight. but i have and will lose at least 15 pounds. it won’t take the whole year though. i have a wedding to be to in a few weeks, so lets hope that helps lots, but now that we have gym memberships and all, i know i can maintain and make that happen. just thought i should say it. i have lost over 30 since having a baby, but it’s that last bit that is the hardest. i want to have a long time in my own body before i have to go big again. so once i lose said poundage, healthy i will stay.

plan fun activities to do with my kids {and of course as a family too}. i am grateful for all the work i have been able to do this year, and for the growth of the blog and my business, but it has taken a toll on my patience and my time spent playing with my kids. B needs me, and he tells me that every day. he will literally grab my hand to come play with him and i will ignore him, even be annoyed of him, so i can work more, spend more time on the computer… doing things that i could argue are “more important” than the few minutes we would be throwing puzzle pieces around. on the days when i am scheduled, planned, and know what’s coming up, and manage my time better, everyone is happy and mom is productive. plus i want my kid to see that i would rather be spending my time with him. he deserves his mom’s attention.

i can plan some of my blogging adventures WITH my 2 year old. we always have fun together when i plan for doing {the boring side of} work when the kids are down. i hate to admit it, but the most stressful days are so because i choose work over him. i hope this year we can get out more, play with friends, and go see things together as us 3. i’m excited to see what we find!

i also want to read 10 great new books this year. i have one i got for christmas that i plan to start, but if you have recommendations i’m all ears! i need to be reading more. i love reading and feel my brain stretching when i do, but i also sit down to read and talk myself out of it. i almost feel guilty to sit and read just for fun because there are always things to do.

shoot more of my every day. yes, professionally i will get to shoot more this year, and i do love that, but i mean in my own home, with my family, and with me in them. i don’t often get out the “big” camera because i have a phone in my hand, but later regret that i didn’t capture an outing or a little moment that would have been a perfect candid snapshot of my reality that makes me smile. i want my children to be able to look back at the photos i have taken and see how much i love them by the way i shoot them. and i want them to see me. i might never be picture-worthy, or perfect-sized, or dressed cute, but my kids won’t care when they are parents and want to know about their childhood. i need to be here in print too. i need to hand over the camera/hire other photographers more often to get shots of us as a whole family too. my brother snagged a few of us in between my shoot with our whole family over the vacation and i cherish them. cause they are all i have. i have been scouting for a few fave photographers here in SD to get some great shots for our crew, but that will be for later this year…

this year went by fast, too fast. and while it was eventful and so much fun, i am excited for what’s next. i hope my little goals will help me live well, love always, and laugh often.
cause that’s who i want to be.