- Become a foster parent, and who knows? maybe adopt. But probably not so soon. But maybe. How exciting that this actually happened!!! And we will, most likely, be finalizing an adoption before the year is half over. Wow, just wow.
- Learn to use more of the features on my camera, also, invest in a good lense. This one didn't happen; not even a little bit. I blame Ricky, because he bought me an iPad. It's so easy to just pick up a phone or tablet to take photos or video these days. So, this goal fell to the back burner. I did use my SLR quite a bit for photo shoots of the littles and such, but really didn't spend any time, energy or money (aside from replacing a lost lens cap) on learning new things about photography.
- Get brave and try skiing again. I had a bad fall and injury a few years back, and I've been too nervous to try again. But I really, really want the kids to learn, so we're going to go. This one didn't happen either, simply because we didn't make it a priority to go. Ricky and my younger brothers are actually going tomorrow, and I had intended to go too before this infection set in. However, we've made tentative plans to go later this month or in February with our small group. So, this one gets moved to 2013 :)
- Start reading chapter books with Nicky (oh, I am so excited for this!) Yes! I loved it and plan to keep doing it. I also formed the habit of reading to Silas before his mid-day nap and I really look forward to that time with him.
- Pay off student loans. Partially accomplished. I paid off one entirely, one is nearly paid off, and one more remains after that. Ever since Little Miss came to live with us I've been putting money aside toward a new vehicle (we are super crammed with three car-seats in the back at present), so that kind of took over the loan payments I was making in big chunks before. Need to make a more specific plan.
- Keep up a good work/life balance This was successful. I switched between 1-2 shifts per week, depending on what was happening at home. This has been a tricky area for me. Honestly, if I thought I could handle being a stay-at-home-mom full time, I would love to do that for a season. But I've found I really need those few days away to remind me why I like being at home, and also just to use different skills. I would love to move toward more specific nursing practice this year, building on some groundwork I was able to lay this past year.
- Read a book a month (open to suggestions) Done! I read:
There is No Me Without You by Melissa Fay Greene
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis
Naked Sprirituality by Brian McLaren
Grace, Eventually by Anne Lamott
A Year of Biblical Womanhood:How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting On Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband "Master" by Rachel Held Evans
Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren Winner
Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected by Kelle Hampton
Heaven is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph and Everyday Joy by Stephanie Nielson
The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up and Burnt out by Brennan Manning
Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
- make a quilt out of the boys' worn out clothes, and other fabric scraps I have lying around Halfway done. I pieced the quilt top and bought all the materials for putting the layers together, and then lost my motivation...honestly the hard part is done. I just need to spend some evenings quilting the layers together with a good movie. Sounds nice.
- be more intentional about spending time with friends The first half of the year, we did a good job with this. After Little Miss came, we really struggled to find time and energy to seek out social interaction. I think that's normal after "having" a baby, and I'm so grateful for the friends who sought us out! Now that we're back in a reasonable routine, hopefully we can get back on track. Ideally, I'd love to have one evening a week set apart for spending time with friends.
- learn to make artisan bread This one was kind of random, and sadly did not happen. Kitchen time is pretty pragmatic these days!
- cultivate the habit of un-distracted listening I think Nicky gives me lots of practice with this one! That boy can talk. One of the challenges of parenting is giving your undivided attention, it seems. I didn't always do it well, but it was certainly a focus this year. Something to continue working on.
- and finally, my word for 2012: generous. As I wrote in my 2012: Year in Review post, I do see many examples of generosity, big and small, when I look back on the year, but I don't feel it's the most defining word for the year. It does seem that every day, on some level, we're presented with the choice to be selfish or generous, and as I've learned so many times, when you try desperately to keep something for yourself, you find no joy in it. This is an ongoing lesson. So I hope to choose generosity, as a habit, as well as bravery.