Thursday, December 15, 2016

thirty two

Yesterday was my 32nd birthday. A few days before, I had to do some fast math to figure out how old I was going to be; my age is not something I keep track of these days, I suppose. I don't dread turning one year older, but I also have never really been one to make a big deal about my birthday. My main desire is to not have it lumped with Christmas, but other than that, I'm pretty low key.

I love this photo, especially the blurry-ness

I had a wonderful day yesterday thanks to some of my favorite people. I was awoken at 6:30 AM by my darling Max, and the entire family (with the exception of Louisa) was downstairs before 8 AM. Victor made special French toast for breakfast and surprised me with a hidden bouquet of roses--he sent me on a mission to find a Christmas candle in our butler's bar, and there they were, waiting for me.

We picked Victor up from work around 11 to go see Santa at the mall. Max was pretty jazzed to see the big guy; from the moment we entered the mall (or "Santa's house," as Max referred to it), he began calling out for him. We walked right up to Santa and plopped the kids on his lap as there was NO LINE (I highly recommend going mid-week during the day)! Max was a little less thrilled about sitting on his lap once we got to him, but he held it together enough to get a nice, non-crying photo. After Santa, we had lunch together in the food court before heading home for naps.

My in-laws came over for a Mexican dinner celebration last night, and we also enjoyed a yummy festive cake and opened gifts. Victor cleaned up the kitchen while I put kids to bed (he's the best kitchen cleaner), and then I enjoyed nice warm bath with one of my new bath bombs (Victor and the kids got me bath products for my birthday: lavender-scented soaps and salts, a fabulous bath pillow, and an assortment of bath bombs). I finished the night off watching two episodes of Gilmore Girls on the iPad in bed (almost to season 6!). It was a lovely day, made even more special by all the birthday wishes sent via social media and phone/text. I definitely felt the love yesterday, so thank you for thinking of me!

I decided this year that I would make some goals for myself. Here's what I want to accomplish/work toward in my 32nd year:

+ Live a healthier lifestyle. I want to nourish my body with healthy foods and exercise. I want to get more sleep (this one might be out of my control for a few more years, but I can try!). I want to be stress-free. I want to have more self-control when it comes to my guilty pleasures. I think all of these will help me be a better version of myself.

+ Begin a new master's program. I started one back in 2011 but found myself unhappy with the program and classes (all online...bleh). I took what was supposed to be a short break in 2013 and then never started again. My teaching license is expiring next July since I haven't completed enough continuing education credits, so if I ever want to return to teaching (which I'm still on the fence about), I need to go back to school. I'm thinking of something literacy-related, perhaps a reading specialist program, and I know I for sure want to physically go to classes, even if I only take one class at a time. My plan is to research and begin a program by Fall 2017.

+ Declutter and organize my house. I feel like every time I open a cabinet or closet, I have an instant urge to purge and reorganize. We have accumulated so much STUFF that we don't even know what we have anymore! I love it when everything has a purpose and a place. I love having things contained in baskets or bins. I love having things neat and tidy. But I feel like my house is always a disaster, even if it's only a disaster behind the scenes. Time for order!

+ Be more present. I feel like I'm easily frustrated (especially with Max) when I'm constantly focused on my to-do list. I want to give myself the freedom to be more present with him and truly enjoy our time together, having adventures and creatively playing and interacting. I know that my frustrations will continue to grow as Louisa gets older and things get busier, so I need to get a handle on this goal ASAP!

+ Do more with the photos I take. I am pretty good at saving photos to Dropbox regularly, but then they just sit there. I rarely print photos anymore. My frames hold the same photos year after year. We have so many bare walls in our home. I need to put those photos to good use!

+ Demand more time for myself. I feel like I'm getting lost in motherhood, and while I love my kids and cherish being home with them, I find myself reaching burn-out levels occasionally. I need to force myself to get away from my mommy/wife role, even if it's just one day a month, and just be Rachel again. We moms put ourselves last pretty much every day; once everyone else is taken care of, we can take care of ourselves, and if there's no more time left that day, our needs get pushed back to the next day...and the next day...and the next day. I'm a classic introvert and require alone time to reset and recharge, and when I don't get that, I can be pretty unpleasant. I think everyone around me will benefit from me having more "me" time, but I need to get out of my own way and ask for/schedule it.

Hopefully sharing these goals with you all will help hold me accountable and make it more likely that I accomplish them!

Enjoy a trip to birthdays past:


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