Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back and Looking Forward

2011 has been a long strange year, with lots of good times, and some really hard times here at the end.

I haven't blogged as much as I'd planned to, because I've been busy at home with the baby, freelance work, and house projects, but I do plan to post more regularly next year. Bloggy Moms is doing a "Blog Dare" with a prompt each day of the year, so that should help on those days I don't know what to write about.

The best part of 2011 was getting to stay home with Robbie and watching him grow from a baby into a very active toddler. His personality has really come out, and he's an adorable little handful. He's learning new words every week, climbing, and copying so much of what he sees us do. He's very sweet and so helpful - he puts dishes in the sink, helps with laundry, wipes up spills, lets the dogs out, and lets us know when the dogs and cat need food. In short, he's more responsible at 20 months than a lot of people I know are at 20 years. ;)

The worst part of 2011 has been financial. I finally have some fairly steady freelance work, but not a lot of it, so I'm still only making a few hundred dollars a month right now. The hubby was doing pretty well at work, but they cut all overtime and then have been doing temporary layoffs over the last month, so things are much tighter. It's pretty scary, but I'm trying to really budget and save money where I can to make things a little easier. One advantage is that I am meal planning and we are eating at home much more often, and I've rediscovered how mice it can be to spend a couple hours playing around in the kitchen - at least until it's time to wash the dishes.

For the coming year, I'm going to try to do more freelance work and work on expanding my web design skills as well as writing. I've also been asked to help a friend with some organizing and decluttering for a family member of hers, but I feel sort of hypocritical doing that when I still have a way to go. We have got a lot done in the house this year though, and I want to finish all the decluttering and get the whole inside painted in the coming year. If money allows, we're going to re-do the floors as well; if not, I'll just be shampooing the carpets and trying to keep them in as good of shape as possible.

I'm also trying to get back into an exercise routine. I couldn't afford to keep the gym membership for this year, but I still have a treadmill, several exercise DVDs, and my bike and rollerskates. I can push Robbie in his stroller and walk or run on days that are nice, walk on the treadmill or exercise at home if I can get him to take a nap, and ride my bike or skate when Billy's home to watch him. I don't know if I'll be able to do roller derby or triathlon this year, but I can at least get back into shape so I feel better and have a good base to build on when I am able to get back into sports.
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