12 x 12

With the start of a new year I would rather plan for the time ahead, instead of lingering on the past. With that in mind, here is a list of 12 things I’d like to do more in the months ahead. My plan is that I will do each of these at least once a month in the coming year. And? Because I’m still jumpy from too much holiday chocolate, I plan to blog about them. If my math is correct, that should get me about 144 posts in 2010. (Sounds like an awfully big number for somebody who hasn’t posted in over a month!) These are goals, not resolutions. And I really think that doing more of the following will make 2010 a happier, more relaxed year…

  1. Read. And I don’t mean magazine articles or picture books. I’d like to try to read one “grown-up” book a month. I’ve had several conversations lately about “what was the last book you read?” and I am tired of coming up blank. I really honestly have no idea what it was, other than ‘Feed the Animals‘ for bedtime last night. I’m going to start with ‘East of Eden‘ by John Steinbeck. Because I both love it and own it. And it’s been a loooooooong time since I last read it. Ideally, I’d like to try some new books as well… Anybody have any suggestions? I tend to prefer my fiction light, and with a relatively happy ending. I’m also a fan of historical stuff…
  2. Movies with Ben. One night a month, I want to cuddle up on the futon upstairs and watch a movie. Popcorn optional. Snuggling required. Ben, pick the first movie!
  3. Try new recipes. I got four lovely cookbooks for Christmas this year. (I may have a slight cookbook obsession… Maybe.) Generally I do very little cooking from a recipe–please, don’t get Ben started on this. Anyway, these new cookbooks are full of beautiful pictures and simple (fast!) recipes that will fit well with our current phase of life. I would like to try at least one new recipe a month–they don’t have to be from my new cookbooks, but I’m going to start there.
  4. Blog more. Fortunately, if I have any sort of success with the other 11 items on this list, I should have no shortage of post topics. I’d like to not only write with some regularity, I’d also like to clean up my reader and do a better job of commenting on posts that I enjoy, appreciate, etc. I don’t feel like I’ve ever been really good at ‘community’ and now seems like a good time to dip my toe in and test out the waters. Have a favorite blog that you read? Let me know–I’d like to check it out!
  5. Take photos with a camera. I love my iPhone, almost as much as Caroline and Thomas love it. But I’ve noticed that with the handy little camera on the phone, I very rarely pull out the real camera and take photos of the kids. Everything is now on the iPhone. And, while it takes pretty decent pictures, it just doesn’t quiet compete with the clarity and detail that a camera provides… Thomas’ eyelashes and Caroline’s wispy curls require more than an iPhone. I am aiming to take pictures of the kids at least once a month, and they don’t have to be formal shots. Could be a simple as action shots of them playing with the jungle of toys on the living room floor.
  6. Play outside. We used to go to the park with some regularity and I’m not sure why we stopped. Could have been the heat of the summer, or a general lack of energy and motivation… Whatever the reason I would like to make a concerted effort to reverse this. Other possible activities include taking a walk with the kids, coloring with chalk on the patio, or short bike rides.
  7. Send cards. Real cards, like with a stamp and everything–I know, it’s very old fashioned of me. Tucked away in my closet I have a box of cards. They are addressed in the loopy slanting cursive of an older generation, in hand writing that will always be familiar to me. It is my collection of cards from my grandmother. From Granny. She was truly an amazing woman and even though she has been gone over 5 years, I still think about her on nearly a daily basis. She was a master at sending cards, letters or just sweet notes saying “thinking of you” and opening the mail box to find an envelop with her handwriting never failed to brighten my day. Next to the box of cards in my closet is a large ziplock bag of blank cards. I’d like to start sending this to friends, near and far. Just to say “hi”, or “I’m thinking of you” as a tribute to my Granny.
  8. Cruise the Farmer’s Market. There is just something about being outside, seeing fresh fruits and vegetables… It makes me happy. And (tying back in to other items on this list) it also inspires me to cook, or at the very least to think about cooking. This is one of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday morning and I’m always wishing I took the effort to do it more frequently.
  9. Paint something. Like a room in the house… Or, you know, a painting. GASP! Or, on a more general sense, do something creative around the house. I have some picture frames I bought to fill with collages for Caroline’s room. I have several empty pots out front begging for new cheerful flowers. A vase of flowers on the dinning room table… Something small and creative. Or big in the case of painting a room–am thinking it would be wise to start small, with say a bathroom. Once a month. You heard it here… We’ll see how this one goes.
  10. Cook with the kids. Muffins, cookies, banana bread, etc. Thomas LOVES to climb up on the counter and help measure, stir and spoon. And Caroline comes running whenever she hears the mixer–or when she sees him on the counter. (Sheesh. I tell you… Give her one little tiny taste of frosting once and I can’t keep her out of the kitchen. EVER.) Anyway, it is a fun (although often messy) way to spend a weekend morning and I know the memories will be priceless.
  11. Adult meals. Specifically, I would like to have a meal with my husband and without the kids at least once a month. This doesn’t have to be dinner, or even in a restaurant. Could be lunch on a day we are both working from home. Or could just be sitting down together to eat dinner after the kids are in bed. But I’d like some adult time, time to eat and talk without having to explain everything to Thomas, or without getting up to refill cups of milk 3 times, or without talking Caroline into holding onto her silverware. You know… Grown up conversation and maybe even grown up food.
  12. More house plants. I want this to be a year of living. And thriving. And all things green and healthy. I’m feeling optomistic today, can you tell? Besides, Caroline is past the uprooting stage so it’s fairly safe to have plants in the house now… And I’m always wishing I had more.

12 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. I love all of these. Especially #7. So much so I’m going to steal it. And mail you the first card. But, um, I lost the envelope with your address on it…can you email it to me? *cough*

    January 4th, 2010

  2. Ooh, do you guys use Netflix? We just signed up for the Canadian version and love the fact that we’re dragged away from our respective computers every few days – gives an “excuse.”

    I, too, like #7. One of the things I decided to do this year was get back to making greeting cards for fun so I’d have a ready supply instead of panicking and trying to throw something together 15 minutes before a birthday party. Let’s just see if I follow through… ;)

    January 4th, 2010

  3. Not sure this will work, so I am likely to comment tomorrow. Am too wordy. Shocker, I know. Anyway, I hear the Time Travelers Wife is a great book. Snort. Also, I like the blogging more. Is good plan. Oh the book I read in Vegas was Rise and Shine by anna quinlan. Loved it. Truly.

    January 4th, 2010

  4. kathygee1

    I like your goals. I’ll will be anxious to see how they work out. Looking forward to your blog posts.

    January 4th, 2010

  5. Damn. Now I’m feeling sorta inspired to do a post like this. Good luck with your list!

    January 4th, 2010

  6. I love this idea! Makes me think I should dust off my blog and do something similar! Thank you for the inspiration!

    January 4th, 2010

  7. Very cool! I love the novels of Pearl Cleage, and I think you may, too. Her first is “What looks like crazy on an ordinary day”. It was an Oprah selection, so there are plenty of used & library copies out there. :P
    I’ve read several of her others, too. They are kind of fairy tales for the modern African-American woman, IMO. I really love them.

    I’d like to try more recipes, and send more cards, too. :D

    We have some Dracaena ‘trees’ [kind of palm-ish] in our house and they are quite sturdy and really thrive, and you can find a few varieties at many regular stores, eg, OSH, Target, home stores, garden stores; about $20- for a pretty big grouping of …stalks? trunks? We’ve had ours for years now, and they are really great. :D

    Farmer’s market is something I’d like to do, too…I just not usually up early enough for it. Y’know, being a sans-kids nightowl work-from-home person. :P

    Have fun & good blogging! [& living!]

    January 5th, 2010

  8. Ben

    When Harry Met Sally, as soon as possible. I promise to not recite every line. (But I will recite some. Especially the poppycosh line.)

    January 5th, 2010

  9. At some point, later in the week, Ocean’s 13 is on TV. Record it. Is dam funny. :)

    I love the camera thing. Am trying to remember the last time I did that. Real pictures. Sigh.

    January 5th, 2010

  10. Grandmother

    I have found joy in sending cards to 4 pre-schoolers and to 3 special friends who live out of state…and to my sons and daughters-in-law.

    So, hurry and GO (physically) to the Hallmark store and browse; join the Hallmark rewards club and when you get the first coupon, you’ll be hooked.

    Postcards are always a big hit! I like the black and white ones of older movie stars, musicans or artists. Buy a bunch and send one when you are thinking of that person. It gives them a laugh and something they can display and share.

    Pictures! More Pictures! tangible stuff we can hold and hold and hold.

    January 5th, 2010

  11. Dot

    This is a great list!! Even just talking about giving and receiving hand written cards makes everyone smile :) I have lots of cards at home…just waiting to be sent :) Let’s see who does it first!

    You definitely need more movies, and dare I also suggest girly movie dates with ME?! haha

    PS Do you find it just so strange that our husbands who share the same birthdate also share their love of When Harry Met Sally? :D

    January 5th, 2010

  12. Aunt Raina

    I like #7. Can I be a recipiant? Just a suggestion….get a bunch of cards, sign them and address them to those you know you would send them to, and put stamps on them. Then when you feel the need to send them out just add a quick few lines and it’s done! Saves time when life is busy and by putting the stamps on them already your more likely to send them so you won’t waste the stamp! Works for me! Have already addressed the Valentines to the great neices and nephews!

    January 6th, 2010

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