Reflecting on 2012 and Looking Ahead To 2013!

2013 Word Art

Wow, I know, I'm totally behind on this post but hey, I still have 11 months before 2013 is over so that's plenty of time to still work on goals and resolutions and reflecting on the past year, right?!  The year passed by way too fast, I don't believe that Kiggster is already 2 years old…well technically she is now 27 months old and Honey and I have hit 7 years in our marriage!  So I definitely wanted to take the time to reflect over 2012, our family, marriage, motherhood, spiritually, and blog-wise before creating new goals for 2013.  The great thing about having this blog is, it didn't let me "lose" my virtual 2012 goals and so I re-read them here to jog my memory about what I even wrote.  Yes, it's bad, I didn't really look at them after April last year and so I had no idea what I even had committed myself to anymore. 

First before I go into my goals from past and future, I wanted to do a 2012 Kiggster recap.   Below is my own version of Subway Art that has everything that Kiggster has said, done, or loves from 2012.  You will notice there are some things in blue below…that's her favorite color currently and they are some of Kiggster's cute sayings from 2012!

Rayne 2013 Word Art-Blue Theme

I can't believe how much she's grown in just  year.  This was her at her in 2011 at her 1 year birthday party compared to her at her 2 year birthday party!  

1st and 2nd Birthday Collage

Up until her 1st birthday, she had just mastered walking on her own at a relatively quick pace and she'd figured out the wonders of a DVD player, opening ziploc bags, and play in the spice cabinet.  But fast-forward a year and she's talking up a storm, climbing everything in sight, jumping off what might as well be Mt Everest, sensitive to feelings of others around her, and has also become an avid doll collector!  It seems everywhere we go, she always finds a new doll that she wants to get but she plays with them all so I guess it makes it worth it!  Horses are still high on the list of what she loves along with now saying "No, thank you!"  At least she is polite about it!  I love how she pronounces her words right now…she can't exactly get her "r," "l," and "th" sounds right so a lot of her words like "Bless You," "I Like It," "Thank You" sound more like "Bwess You," "I Yike It," or "Tant Tew!"  Oh and she also likes saying stuff like "How about this?!" or "How 'bout that?!" when she wants you to give her something different than what you've offered her!  Gotta love her approach!  I can't believe how much she's grown even in January alone, she's saying sentences so much more advanced than I ever would have thought!  

2012 Recap Collage

So in 2012, I was able to quit my job and stay home with Kiggster full-time.  It was so amazing to finally get what I dreamed of.  Honey also finished another year of his Master's program and is now half-way through but finding time between school work 2 internships and time for family and self proved to be a challenge.  

2012 Recap 2 Collage

Photos taken by Claire Renee Photography

Below were my goals for 2012 and in blue are my comments on how I did…or didn't do on them and what I'd like to change for 2013:

1) Marriage (Joint goal): Spend more quality time together each day, whether it’s praying, reading, cuddling, or talking together.  Once school starts for Honey: goal is 10 minutes/day.

This goal and the next goal were hard ones especially with Honey's schedule and my inability to stop putting more things on my and our family's plate!  You'd think 10 minutes wouldn't be hard to accomplish but it is!  This will continue to stay on 2013's set of goals because I refuse to give up on this!  Plus we want to make sure we go on consistent dates in 2013 so that our marriage continues being rejuvenated and we get time to have uninterrupted, at-length and deep conversations!  We haven't yet established what "consistency" schedule we'd like but hey, this is a start right?!

2) Family (Joint goal): Have family times together each day, whether it’s prayer, bath, story, play, puppet, song, or game times.  Once school starts for Honey: goal is 10 minutes/day.

Same as #1 but we'd also like to make sure we make our weekend activities quality and that we don't miss precious daylight hours but instead doing more outdoor activities together.  Early last year, we had our Day of Rest Sundays but this year, we decided to revamp it and make it Slow Down Sundays and we started it with a lazy day at the park today!

3) Wife: Encourage Honey daily with my words, actions, gifts, time, and anything else that helps him to feel loved and special.

Ah, this one!  Well, I wish I could say that I perfected this one but this was also a challenging one.  I need to make a more conscious effort at helping him feel supported.  This will start with making breakfast consistently everyday and having veggies at every dinner so that he doesn't feel stressed about going to work/class on time or about whether or not Kiggster is getting enough greens.  Those of course would be in addition to watching my words and making sure that my words and attitude is one that builds him up and not tears him down!

4) Spiritual Goal: Spend more time journaling my prayers to God again.  Expressing my heart and not just my wants/needs to God.

Uh, sad to say, I did not even journal one single time in 2012!  Epic fail on this goal but 2013 is a new year so I have my journal nicely tucked into my purse now and I intend on pulling it out this year for some journaling!

5) Reaching out to others (Joint goal): Help others with their marriage and invite others into our home more.  Each week, have someone or people over for dinner and connect with others.

We rocked this one in the first half of the year when we were helping a couple with their wedding planning and having them over for dinner every week.  But then after that….well, let's just say no one else really stepped foot into our home and then we moved in with family so there's that.  But we'd really like to deepen our friendships here in San Francisco this year and so our goal is to take away all the excuses and make those moments happen.

6) Health: Go back to my sugarless and white flourless way of living again and not let myself get talked out of it (I talked myself out of it).  Set a good example for Kiggster on healthy eating habits.

Another epic fail!  So I talked myself out of it again but this time, for a whole year!  Unfortunately, all the baby weight plus some that I had lost right after Kiggster was born…I managed to gain it all back in a little over a year.  I am now back to the weight I was when I was pregnant with her, horrible!  So I started again trying to just be healthier and having more self control in my eating.  Here's to starting over again!

7) 366 Project (Joint project): Take a picture daily of something in our life that we’re grateful for, caught our eye, funny, or anything else but it might end up being mostly pictures of Kiggster!  So I have to admit this might be more of a 361 project since I only decided on the project after the 1st week was pretty much over!  Never too late to start right?!  A post will be coming shortly today on my progress so far for this project.  

Uh, well, this didn't make it past May, or was it April?!  I took pictures still but just couldn't keep up with trying to have all the photos edited and posted weekly.  But I might try to do a less intense version of this project this year so we'll see what I come up with.  Maybe something on Instagram instead?!  

8) Blogging Goals:

  • Transfer my Blogger site (www.mommykangaroo.blogspot.com) to my self-hosted WordPress site (www.kangaroomama.com). 

Totally transferred to self-hosted WordPress in April and loving it!

  • Blog a minimum of 2 times per week.  Maybe on Tuesday and Fridays each week.  

As you can tell from my post "schedule" I didn't exactly stick with the Tuesday and Friday schedule, it's been more erratic than that. Hopefully that will change but I have to put some more thought into the schedule before committing this time!

  • Network with other bloggers and learn from others in the blogging community.

I'm loving the support in the blogging community but I hope to be able to support my fellow bloggers more this year!

  • Find an inexpensive but awesome blog and logo designer for the blog.

This was definitely a blessing from God but he allowed me to have a complete blog transfer, logo design and website design within budget and I absolutely looooove it!

  • Increase traffic to my blog and the number of followers/subscribers.

It happened but I'll touch on it more in a little bit.

  • Generate a small income from the blog and acquire relevant products for free for review on the blog.

I did do this and I will touch on it some more shortly.

I would like to apologize to all of you who have stuck by my blog so faithfully in the beginning.  In looking at my blog goals from 2012, I realized that most of those blogging goals were selfish and I'm sure that's what easily sucked me into the life of "free" review stuff, getting overwhelmed with writing said reviews, and then somehow the blog turned into mostly a review/giveaway blog when that was never my intention.  I got really wrapped up in my numbers, how many followers, and all the joys of it's fluctuations.  But I don't want to be ruled by numbers and I don't want to care about numbers, I just want to write what I love though I will still be bringing you giveaways but more than likely, they'll be self-sponsored!  So my goal for 2013 is to go back to more content blogging with only maybe around 20% sponsored content.  Of course, that's when I finish the reviews I have on hand and then I can regroup my brain and think about how to implement that!  

I also would love to set up my business to teach children and their parents sign language.  I really put this off last year and my goal for 2013 is to finish up my next level of certification, come up with a name for my business, pay for the business license, and teach at least 1 series in 2013!  I believe sign language is something that can benefit both parent and child and has been so fun for Kiggster, Honey and I to use in communicating with each other that I'd love to be able to share it with others!

Now that I'm home with Kiggster, I'd like to also have another one of my goals this year to be a more present mom physically, emotionally, and mentally.  One way of me achieving that is to learn to be more grateful, live in the now, and seeing all the blessings in my life.  I just started the book One Thousand Gifts and it's been nice shifting my focus onto being a more grateful person for all the blessings that God's put in my life, which are plenty but I need to recognize them and living in the now rather than living only after I reach a certain goal or milestone!  I'm excited to read the book and to implement the ideas!  Below is a beautiful quote from the book:

The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world.  When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places, let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows.   ~Ann Voskamp

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