Well, 2010 is about to come to a close, and looking back, it was a very eventful year. It started with Charlie's birth on January 5th. Lucy turned 3 this year and started preschool (which resulted in a full-fledged preschool tour for a few months, but we are happy to have permanently landed at Good Shepherd!). Henry turned 2 this year and continued with swim classes at the YMCA. Charlie has run through a year's worth of baby milestones and is just shy of walking now! Ryan was promoted to manager at work this year and continued with his hockey league. I started a bow business that I successfully ran for 8 months and continue to be involved in social activities with my mom friends. We took our first family vacation this summer to Holland, MI. And, we adopted our puppy Heidi on Halloween! Phew! What a busy year!
I don't feel like this year was a bad one at all. I am in no rush to see it end. But at the same time, I don't feel any desire to drag it out, either! :) I am ready for a new, fresh year! I am very interested to see what 2011 will bring. I usually make resolutions each year, but I do have a hard time keeping them. I think I am just going to try to look ahead and make some goals for myself/the family and see what happens. I have already begun my weight loss plan, but the holidays in combination with all the illnesses that BLASTED through our house over the last two weeks has really put the workout and diet plan on the back burner. I fully intend on resuming the plan tomorrow (at this point I might as well enjoy tonight, right?!).
This year, I hope to keep drama out of my life. I had a couple issues with some select individuals this year, and it really ended up bringing me down. These people have since been removed from my life, and I look forward to spending quality time with my friends that really matter... my friends that have proven to be supportive and loyal and respectful... oh, and mature, too! At almost 30-years-old, I have no room for high school drama in my life. ;) I am looking forward to some mom's night out events, book club meetings, and movie nights in with the lovely ladies I call my friends.
I am hoping for a healthy 2011, full of many playdates and activities for the kids. This year will be the last year before Lucy starts preschool (as she starts kindergarten in the fall of 2012 - and yes, it makes me cry just thinking about it). The kids are only this young for such a short period of time, so I really want to enjoy my time with her while I have her home (well, for most of the day anyway!). I am looking forward to many visits to the Morton Arboretum and the Brookfield Zoo with our membership passes, too! And now that Henry is older, I am looking forward to the kids riding their trikes together outside and taking family bike rides now that we have the child seat for Ryan's bike, too!
I would really like to take another family vacation in 2011, too. But this time, I would like to take the kids somewhere farther, like Florida! We discussed this as an option, and I am really hoping we can put Ryan's travel points to good use and pull it off. Since Charlie will be 18 months in the summer and nearing two in the fall, he will finally be down to one nap per day, which would allow us to vacation without the restrictions that come with a infant's schedule. I'd really like to make it a goal for us to pull off a week-long family vacation.
Financially speaking, I am hoping that this year we can finally budget for the purchase of our bedroom set by the end of the year. We got married in 2006, but we still do not have a bedroom set. We have a bed (with no head or foot board), cheap nightstands I bought at Target for a "quick fix" a few years ago, and two dressers from my childhood bedroom! We do have a big walk-in closet, so we have storage space. But the room is just not what I would want it to be. :) I would LOVE a bedroom set. I think then I will feel like a "real adult". Hahaha! We've had it picked out for years, but when you have only one spouse working and three small children, budgets are tight. It seems like there is always something else coming up. That is one of the fun parts of home ownership! Last year it was a new garage door and this year we paid the $2,400 to join our neighborhood pool and racquet club. It's always something! Knock on wood, I don't know of any other purchases that NEED to be made this year (OK, maybe carpeting for the basement!), so I am hoping that we can maybe budget for that bedroom set I've been dreaming of!
I am considering going back to work in the fall of 2012 when Lucy starts school, so another goal I have is to take a 2-hour college course so that I can renew my teaching certificate in July of 2012 when it expires. Even if I choose not to go back until 2013 or 2014, I will still need to renew, so the class must be taken. I have already begun the process of checking into classes through the DuPage County Regional Office of Education, and luckily it will cost about $350 (maybe another $50-100 for books/materials) to take one class, which is not too bad. (I was afraid it would cost $2K! I took a $1900 class at Benedictine a few years ago...) And, they offer classes in condensed form (you go for two Fri-Sat-Sun sets in a row and you're done). I would like to get this taken care of some time this year to give myself enough time to process my renewal in early 2012. I am not sure what the state of the education system will be at that point or how difficult it will even be to get a job. But, I am leaving my options open at this point. While I do love being home with my kids, I do sometimes miss the challenges that working brought me. We'll see how it goes.
I think this will be an interesting year! It's the first time since 2007 that I am not pregnant nor will I have just delivered. It will be our first year free of the infant stage! No bottles. No jar food. No middle of the night feedings. The crib will be taken down in a few months. Charlie is on the verge of walking (he's already taking a few unsupported steps at a time!), so he will be fully mobile very soon! I feel like I am entering a new stage of motherhood, one that I have been really looking forward to... where the kids are still young, but also able to help themselves, entertain themselves, and get themselves around without my constant assistance! It's going to be so much fun! Yay for more independence -- for both them and me! :)
Bring it on, 2011... I'm ready!