It’s the last month of 2016! My update is so late, I may as well wrap it all up right now.
I am going to take the Texas court reporter’s license exam in three weeks. Haven’t booked my flight or hotel yet, but I will likely do so next week. I haven’t even started studying or practicing for it. The plan is to get my mornings in order within the next few days so I can study before the little wakes up and the day is no longer mine. All current “free” time is spent on transcripts at home, so early mornings (read: early bedtimes) are my only good option.
(Ugh, I’ve been working on early mornings all year, but with no permanent results.)
My hubby is going back to school the first week of January after a nearly year-long break. While I am glad he will continue, we’ll be back to hiring babysitters again because he won’t be home. This will affect our income and, likely, home life. But we believe it’s God’s will for him to continue school; He hasn’t opened up any other doors for jobs or opportunities to move somewhere cheaper, and my husband felt drawn back to school when we visited some of the professors recently. There is a lot of difficult catch-up to be done, but he has new motives now and we are in a better place with each other, so I hope and pray it will be a little different this time around.
Christmas is tomorrow, and everything is in order — gifts are mailed out and wrapped, decorations are up, plans are solidifying, food is prepared. Preparation has been really enjoyable this year. What really helped is saving every $5 bill that came into my possession all year long. I had almost $400 cash stashed away, solely to be spent on Christmas things. It was so much fun getting some new decorations and not stressing about the cost. I try to keep gifts simple and meaningful, and this year I was able to be creative with some supplies I already had stowed away.
(I’m not sure how I will handle next Christmas. The $5 thing was nice at the end but really inconvenient at times earlier in the year. I’ll have to consult Pinterest later.)
We are all also seeing a holistic nutritionist these days, and she does not mess around! We are strictly paleo for the time being and not even allowed many paleo-legal foods like cocoa in any form. Yes, it’s hard. It’s Christmas, for goodness’ sake! But this doctor pointed out a lot of things about our health that are worse than we thought, so we are making changes. And it is temporary, I keep reminding myself. The more closely we follow her protocol now, the sooner we can correct some issues and return to a (hopefully) more normal way of eating.
- Priority: Start each day off with the Lord and remember that my life, my soul, and my loved ones depend on it. Wake up early; begin day in the Word and in prayer; and use extra alone-time to work out, shower, and start breakfast before the little wakes up. :: It will take an amount of discipline I just don’t have within myself to really get this down. I will keep working on it next year.
Give more: Give more of my time, my money, my energy, and my heart to others.:: I would say I met this goal this year. Not as much as I could have, but my heart was more in it than it ever has been, and I want to keep going. We agreed that we should tithe every week at church, and I have seized many opportunities to give to others. Make our home a pleasant place to live in: Simplify by getting rid of unused items; efficiently organize what we keep; make what we have more comfortable; and creatively decorate on a budget.:: Our home is surely more comfortable and put-together than it ever has been, but that’s because of dual effort between me and the hubby. He actually does more with the furnishing. Bit by bit, we have gotten rid of things we don’t use or need. There is much still to be done, but it is better than it was this time last year.
- Pay off debt: Put an end to our consumer debts and start chipping away at our student loan debt. :: We didn’t make our goals with this this year (and it takes very proactive trust in the Lord on my part to not be a control freak about it), but we made a plan for the next two years. The hubs and I are on the same page, so, Lord willing, we’ll make headway with our debt.
T-Tapp program: Therapeutically approach my fitness with T-Tapp, yoga,and daily walking. :: Ever since we started seeing the nutritionist and changed our diet, my knee pain has nearly vanished! There is still a hint of pain, but I am able to exercise without feeling like I’m making it worse. And my energy has been super, so I’ve been more consistent with T-Tapp and yoga; not the walking yet. Overhaul wardrobe: Create a capsule wardrobe as nice as my budget will allow.:: I spent a couple hundred on my winter wardrobe. I wouldn’t say it is complete yet, but it is much more comfortable this year.
- RPR: Plan to take the last RPR of 2016!
No idea what this actually looks like yet, but I will start planning soon.:: Nope, this didn’t work out. The Texas test took priority. But I will try for the RPR in 2017 after the Texas test and will treat myself to my own personalized business cards as a reward when I pass.
God bless, and Merry Christmas! I will be studying and practicing a lot between now and mid-January, but I will try to find a time to sit down and think about what I’d like to work toward in 2017. I’m finding it interesting how my priorities are changing as each year goes on.