Check-up: Goals for this year revisited

Way back in January, I wrote a post detailing my goals for this year.  Since the year is more than half over I figured I better revisit that list and see how I’m doing!

  • Improve our financial situation as much as possible.  This one is already in progress as we’re refinancing the house and discovered that my FINAL student loan payment will be due in June of this year.  In addition to that, I plan to keep up with the couponing and try to add in some comparison shopping, only buying the best deals each week, possibly from multiple stores.  A guest post over at MoneySavingMom today said it best.  “It’s not about how much we save, it’s about how little we spend.”  If we do it right, maybe that savings balance will start to go up instead of down! Doing okay on this one.  The refi and payoff of student loans have definitely helped, as well as the smarter shopping.  We still haven’t been able to stop making occasional withdrawals from our savings account though.  This is mainly due to some unexpected expenses that have come up, as well as lower income since my contract job ended in March and Brian has to take a 5% pay cut for the remainder of this year.  I’ll keep trying though!!
  • Try to do more baking.  I do love to bake, but it can be hard to find the time.  I think if I try to fit it into the weekly routine, and just choose one or two simple items each week it should work out nicely.  It’s always nice to have some muffins or banana bread as an alternative to the cereal routine.  I did some big baking days for a while in the late winter/early spring months, but it was more sporadic over the summer.  We were just so busy and baking is not as appealing during the warmer months.  I do plan to pick it up again this fall though, especially since I got my KitchenAid mixer!
  • Try to institute a rotating lunch menu (maybe breakfast too).  I got this idea from Shelly and I think it would be a great time saver and stress reliever.  I’ve already compiled a list of favorite lunch items.  Now I just need to determine the schedule and shop according to it.  This has not happened.  We often have leftovers for lunch, and I keep a fairly steady stock of easy lunch items for when there are no leftovers.  I’ve been terrible w/ menu planning since changing the way I shop.  I think that will be a new goal for next year!
  • Spend more time outside with the kids.  The boys are finally getting old enough that it will be easier to get out and do more with them.  So, this summer, I really hope to get out to the park more with the kids and even just spend more time enjoying our own yard.  And, still this winter, I need to get them out in the snow!!  This also, sadly, has not happened much.  We do occasionally get outside and also go on playdates, but really have not utilized our own yard as much as we should.  I need to work on this!
  • Try to find a little more “me time”.  I have WAY too many unfinished projects and boatloads of scrapbooking stuff.  I really need to find some time to sit in my craft room and use what I have to preserve our memories.  I also really should finish all those wall hanging quilts that are partly done, piling up in the closet.  I’d also like to take a little time for exercise.  I REALLY want to go take Zumba classes at the Y, but it’s been hard to fit into my schedule so far.  I’m hoping I’ll be able to squeeze it in this spring!  I have taken some time for myself this year, so that’s been nice.  In the spring I got to go on a weekend scrapbooking retreat w/ some new friends and have since had another scrap w/ them at Amy’s house.  Amy and I are also planning to do Zumba together starting this fall, so I can’t wait!  I’ve also found a little time to sew and have made progress on three wall hangings and will have one of my Halloween quilts finished in time for the holiday!
  • Take a family vacation.  This one has been on my mind for years!  Even if we just go camping, I’ll be happy.  I just really want to take the kids someplace new, get away from home for a while, and just have fun with the kids.  Now that the boys are over 2, there’s a lot less gear to pack and a lot more we can do with them.  Family vacations are such a great way to build strong relationships with your kids.  I really hope we can do it this year!  This was a biggie and we did it!  We originally planned to visit South Dakota in June, but the weather there was terrible at the time.  After some last minute plan changing we visited Cincinnati, Ohio and Gatlinburg, TN.  We had a wonderful time and the kids handled the long hours in the car much better than expected.  I can’t wait for our next family trip!
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