Happy New Year! 2014 was a fabulous year for my family. We were blessed with so much awesome news. In a nutshell, a major, MAJOR goal we had happened for us. We had been hoping to get back to Wisconsin to raise our kids here and buy a home and had been taking steps towards achieving that by working hard and saving, and 2014 showed us that hard work and perseverance do pay off in spades. I can proudly say we are back in Wisconsin and homeowners of a house that I absolutely love. Our kids are being raised in a great city in our home state where my husband will have job security and not sacrifice his health and happiness by working 70 hour work weeks any longer.

leavenworth in winter.jpgLeavenworth, WA- near where we used to live

I don’t really set New Years Resolutions because the changes I really want to make I work at year round. Every few weeks throughout the year I like to sit down and refocus. Spending too much lately? Trim the budget again. Eating junk food too much? Let’s stop grocery shopping on an empty stomach. I can’t really think of anything I want to do differently this year that I’m not always working on. I usually have personal goals, and goals for my family to meet, and for the sake of a new year, a new day, and the chance at a new beginning, I’ll share some of them with you!

jocelyn on slide.jpgBeing a mom is exhausting. Staying at home with kids is always give, give, give. Fill up a bottle, nurse a baby, clean up after a child, change a diaper, stop a train wreck from happening, nap, repeat. Mom serves everyone else, but nobody serves mom. She is left with 0 energy and would like someone to make HER lunch, make HER coffee, etc. And realizing that, has helped me crack the drive-through code. More often than I’d like to admit, I will hit up Starbucks on my way to the YMCA, or drive through to get a sandwich after working out. I’ve already expended all of my energy helping everyone else, and now I’m hungry and crabby and I feel it’s my turn to be served. Setting myself up for success at home has been helping me avoid these situations. Stocking up on sandwich ingredients, delicious fresh greens and salad dressing I love, coffee, a pretty new thermos to carry…these are things that make me crave eating at home and make it easy. I didn’t wait for the new year to make these changes, and I’ve been feeling happier, richer (no more expensive take out), and have had far more energy in the past few weeks.

emeals plansIn keeping up with that, I rejoined eMeals. I’ve blogged about it before, but considering so many of you reading are likely thinking about overhauling your diet and exercise plans for the new year, it is worth repeating! After my oldest was born, I had a hard time kicking that last 20 pounds that hung on forever. eMeals and running was how I got rid of the last of the weight two summers ago. Of course then I got pregnant again right away once the pounds were off and I’m back to wanting to kick those pounds to the curb.

chicken masala 2.jpgIt’s a really easy system and makes it almost as mindless as reaching my hand through a drive through window. I choose a plan (the ones in the picture) that fit my family’s eating preference, and size. In the past, I’ve always done clean eating, but right now I’m subscribed to the Slow Cooker plan. Every week, a grocery list that is broken down by section is emailed to me along with the seven recipes and easy instructions. There is always a side dish too! And best of all, nothing goes to waste. If one recipe calls for half a green pepper, another recipe that week will use up the other half. I hate wasting groceries, and especially when I’m going outside of the box and cooking with things I don’t normally use, it’s good to know that the leftovers won’t be getting chucked. If you want to check them out, they offer a 14 day free trial to their membership!

With a super easy list at my fingertips (they have an app too) I am also looking forward to my money savings from sticking to a list. Another major goal I plan on diving into headfirst this year is paying off bills. We have been really excited about paying debt off over the past few years and I am proud to say that since we started making debt a priority, we have paid off over 60k in loans. This year I hope to nuke my student loans. It won’t be easy but I am laser focused on it and I have my eyes on the prize. This is not something I would normally share about on here, but if you’re interested in hearing more of my story about this, I will write more about it. One of my friends has been telling me that hearing how much debt we have paid off gives her hope that she and her husband will get out of the hole someday. It’s so worth the effort it has taken us!

jocelyn watching the paradeLastly, I wanted to share that in 2014 I was happier than I can remember being in a long time. I hope to continue the good outlook in 2015. I would say these these things contributed the most to my overall happiness last year:

1) Not holding people to a standard they can’t meet. Some people are going to be in our lives whether we like it or not (work people, family, etc) and sometimes they let us down. But setting the bar low means you won’t be constantly disappointed by them. 

2) When trying to make friends, realize that not everybody has to be just like you to get along with you. In the past, I’ve had a pretty small circle of good friends but I am starting to realize the beauty in our differences as people. Even people who share a vastly different world or political view than I do can still make great friends. At the end of the day most of us want the same things: an enjoyable life, enough money to get by and then some, and a safe and healthy environment for our families. If we can agree on all of that, then the rest is just details.

3) Put out into the world exactly what you need the most. I felt the need for less judgment, and more understanding and love from others. That’s what I put out into the world in 2014 and I noticed that it all got bounced back to me. It was a pretty awesome feeling! 

In the new year, remember that every morning that you wake up is a new chance at a fresh start. You don’t have to wait until a new year to make those changes. I am looking forward to a fresh start today even though I know I can start better habits any day! I wish you luck if you set any resolutions today.

*I got a renewal for my eMeals subscription for writing about them, but I would’ve written about it anyway. 

15 Comments on New Year, Fresh Start

  1. Eugenia
    January 1, 2015 at 2:54 pm (3 years ago)

    Your baby is so cute! I also love emeals!

    Reply
  2. Phyrra
    January 1, 2015 at 7:30 pm (3 years ago)

    Your baby is adorable!

    Reply
  3. Laura MyNewestAddiction
    January 1, 2015 at 7:50 pm (3 years ago)

    I enjoyed reading this. I agree completely. Your last 3 points are ones that I share with you.

    Reply
  4. Nidia - Lit From Within
    January 1, 2015 at 8:19 pm (3 years ago)

    Sounds like I want to be you when I grow up. 🙂 lots of great things that you’re putting into practice!

    Reply
    • justina
      January 2, 2015 at 12:21 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks Nidia, what a sweet thing to say. Hope you have a great 2015!

      Reply
  5. Miranda
    January 1, 2015 at 10:02 pm (3 years ago)

    wow this is actually a really cool service!! I want to try, I always have a hard time meal planning during the week!!

    Reply
    • justina
      January 2, 2015 at 12:26 am (3 years ago)

      Miranda, I think you would really love it! It has helped me a lot!

      Reply
  6. Kath Thefabzilla
    January 1, 2015 at 11:28 pm (3 years ago)

    Your first photo makes a great postcard! I’m happy for your 2014 achievements. You are an inspiration to young moms/ young couple! Cheers to a fabulous 2015.

    Reply
    • justina
      January 2, 2015 at 12:21 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you Kath!

      Reply
  7. Lisa Heath
    January 2, 2015 at 12:31 am (3 years ago)

    Gorgeous photos and what a precious baby!

    Reply
  8. Sheila
    January 2, 2015 at 3:08 am (3 years ago)

    eMeals sounds awesome. Here’s to another wonderful year!

    Reply
  9. Sheila
    January 2, 2015 at 3:08 am (3 years ago)

    eMeals sounds awesome. Here’s to another wonderful year!

    Reply
  10. Sheila
    January 2, 2015 at 3:08 am (3 years ago)

    eMeals sounds awesome. Here’s to another wonderful year!

    Reply
  11. Brooke @ Blushing Noir
    January 3, 2015 at 9:52 am (3 years ago)

    What a cutie! I miss being able to do little pig tails on my daughter. She just fights me now lol

    Reply

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