Happy New Year & 2012 Resolutions

Happy New Year, friends!

I had the BEST 10 days off, and spent some much needed quality time with my boys. A and I had so much fun being home together, and tried to fit in as much playtime as we could. It's going to be hard to leave him tomorrow morning! How could you not love this face?!



The last few years, I feel like the new trend in blog-land is to not make new years resolutions. And while that may be for some, I love making resolutions. I'm a Virgo, through and through, and lists & goals keep me centered. Before I make my resolutions for the new year, I love looking back to see how I did the year prior. I don't ever beat myself up over not meeting any of my goals for the year, but making progress on all some of them does give me a great sense of accomplishment.

2012 Resolutions

• Get back to my pre-baby weight
I'm happy to say that this summer, I was finally back to my pre-baby weight. I earned every pound of the 29 I gained with A in 2011, and was blessed with a wonderful pregnancy and a very healthy 7 pound, 15 ounce baby boy. A was just around 16 months when I met that goal, and it honestly felt great. My body has certainly changed since having a baby, and I now seem to be a size larger in most brands, but I'm OK with that.

• Read one book a month for the entire year
This was such a great resolution, because it forced me to pick up my Kindle on a regular basis. In the past, I had a tendency to read in spurts, only to not read again for months. You can read all about the 18 books I read here, and plan to continue this resolution next year, too!

• Learn to use my DSLR
Ahhh - this goal I didn't do so great in. I'm guilty of always shooting in auto, because it is easy and my pictures seem to come out pretty good. Next year I plan to make this goal more specific, and try to learn to shoot in manual

• Launch Bella Carta Boutique Website & grow business
Complete! I plan to do a separate post all about this, but launching my business this year was one of my proudest moments. I am also happy to share that between Etsy and private orders, we had an extremely successful holiday season. It was full of stress & late nights, and lots of growing pains, but I wouldn't have it any other way! You can read all about the Etsy launch here!

• Start a blog
Pretty obvious, but yes, I started this blog. The amount of time and organization that it takes to manage a blog was definitely a shock at first, but I feel like after 5 months I am in a little bit of a groove. I don't feel the same pressure I did at first, to post every day... 3 times a week seems to be manageable for me, and I love that the blog keeps me accountable for my projects. Starting a blog was a dream of mine for many years, so I'm thrilled to have finally accomplished this 2012.

• Become a little more "green"
This resolution was pretty vague, but I do feel like I've done a pretty good job with this. C and I are both extremely environmentally conscious, both in our home and in our lives, and have really made this a priority. This year, I made my own homemade cleaners, was able to significantly reduce our junk mail by discontinuing many catalogs we receive each week. I started (but didn't finish) to create a way to manage Bella Carta's accounting all online, so that I can avoid printing out receipts & invoices all the time.

• Project Organize My Life
This resolution deserves a whole post in of itself, but having a disorganized home kind of drives me crazy. It sounds ridiculously unattainable, but what I truly strive for is order in our everyday life, so we can spend more time doing the things we love. I hate that I have to do a huge purge of our linen closet or pantry 4 times a year (for an hour or more each time) - if it was all organized to begin with, it would never get to that state. Here are some of the things I set out to accomplish this year.

     - Organize our Photos: find online storage, organize pictures in folders on computer & get albums printed
     - Work on our Living Will: write & sign our will, choose guardians & executors of our estate
     - Create a filing system: mail, receipts, taxes, health insurance documents & Otto's vet information

I'm happy to say most of these things are done. I'll share more about each of them in a later post, but having each of these items taken care of has made so many things easier.

Phew! It's been a good year!

On a personal note, 2012 was all I could have imagined and more. We watched our little baby grow into a rambunctious toddler, and embraced the new family dynamic that came along with it. C and I feel more settled into our roles as parents, and have carved out some time for ourselves, too.  That's not to say that our year wasn't also full of challenges, but knowing that we've gotten through them all as a family has only made us stronger.

The last few weeks have been heart wrenching for me, personally, as I've struggled to find my 'normal' after the Sandy Hook shootings. I found it hard to not feel guilty during the holidays, as so many families were still grieving for their babies. All of this has made me slow down a bit, and just soak in every moment I can. I've never been one to take anything for granted - I know my life, and my family, are all enormous blessings - but this holiday season I savoured it all a little bit more. I've made it my own personal vow to turn off the tv / put away my phone / get off the computer more often, and just BE. Be a mom, be a wife, a daughter, a friend... because those are the things that matter. My resolutions? They are important (to me), but never more important than my family.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with your families! Here's to a healthy & happy new year!

XO