Making Babies........Someday

A while back I wrote this post in which I listed things I wanted to do before we have a baby. The things on the list were things that didn't "need" to be done before baby, just things that would make life with baby easier and more enjoyable. I thought now would be a good time to review them as it's almost been a year. And in case you are wondering, we have not achieved all of them yet and are not actively trying to have a baby :)

1. Payoff our house!!

Come December 1st we are planning on making our last house payment!!! That is if everything goes according to plan :)

2. Visit Europe

Barring no unplanned pregnancy, we are planning on go to Azerbaijan in March to visit our friends. I would have liked to visit Western Europe as well, but feel that I want to spend a decent chunk of time in Europe and right now is just not the right time, but Azerbaijan I refuse to not visit.

3. Keep house clean for 60 continuous days

One would think paying off a house would be the most challenging thing on the list. Sigh. Sadly it is not. This one has been a bit of a challenge but today is day 15 of moderately clean house. I've been trying to clean as I go. It is not a normal way of doing things for me. I prefer to let things get out of control and then go to town on cleaning. Since getting back from vacation though I have being trying to pick up as I go and wash dishes while I cook. So far so good.

4. Making healthy living part of my everyday life

This is a two-part goal. Eating healthier and making an active lifestyle part of my life. The food portion has improved significantly and I am extremely happy with the progress I've made. The active lifestyle has also gone great. I don't go to the gym or workout everyday, but I go for walks, ride my bike, play basketball and soccer, and any other thing that involves physical activity. I enjoy being active in ways that involve other people or that are fun and interesting.

5. Weekly date nights with Kenny

This one has not been a priority to either of us until recently. Probably because we were so busy. We do get to spend a lot of time together and rarely feel disconnected, but we both agreed how great we feel after intentionally choosing to leave the house for the sole purpose of spending time with each other. This is now a priority to both of us.

There you have it folks. No baby yet, but here's to the future :)

Beautiful and repulsive all at the same time

This not so little guy was running around wild with all of his cousins on our trip to Mexico!

On related note, one of my dreams is to see a Komodo Dragon in real life. This little guy pales in comparison, but if I were to ever see a Komodo in the wild, there is a high likely hood that I would wet myself. No joke.

Simplifying: Time

I was recently telling Kenny that I didn't know how I managed to graduate from a private college with no debt. Then as I thought about it, I realized I don't remember much from that time. I was busy! Not normal busy. Busy as in take 18 credits, work full-time and manage to volunteer a few hours a week and have some semblance of a life outside of work and school. Then when I graduated I stayed busy. Worked full-time, coached soccer, volunteered, got married, got a puppy. I realized I was busy and I didn't like it. My favorite days were when I had nothing planned. Then I had this epiphinany 'I don't need to be busy.' You don't have to be a genius to come to that conclusion, but you do have to be thick skinned and confident to do something about it. The reason I say this is because the world tells us if we are not busy, then we are lazy, not driven, wasting our time, being unproductive, can fill in the blank. It is not normal to not be busy.

Have you ever told someone you were busy and had the response "Good for you" or "Better than the alternative". Or have you ever said no to someone and have them question why. I recently quit coaching soccer and it was as though my reason for quitting had to be another form of busyness. I couldn't just quit to have free time. The reason I came up with was that we were thinking about starting a family soon, which was true, but not the reason why. Kenny and I don't want to work all day and have every week night filled along with weekends filled with soccer games. We don't even have kids. Don't get me wrong, I love coaching BUT I love waking up on Saturday mornings and have nothing planned. I love going for walks. I love having nothing planned so that if something comes up I don't have to apologize and tell them I'm busy.

Choosing to simplify how we spend our time may seem lazy to some. It may seem like a waste, and that would be true if all we planned to do was sit home/read/watch tv/indulge in our selfish nature, but that is not what we desire. We desire to be able to focus on ourselves yes, but more importantly on others. I want to be able to go for a walk and if I see someone out, stop and talk instead of feeling like I need to hurry home to get to the next thing, I want to be able to stop by people's home just to say hi and visa versa. I want to watch the sun set. I want to play games with kids. I want to have dinner with people and savor the moments. To linger around. I want to go places and be fully present and not worry about where I need to be next.

I want to be fully present in every moment. I want to give people the best of me, not the rest of me. My desire is to live life fully present in every moment and to not waste my time being busy.

Simplifying Our Lives

Kenny and I have been on a journey to simplify our lives for the past year. This has been a process that we are no where close to having complete, but we have made progress. Some of the areas of progress include our clutter, our money, our goals, our food, and our time.

Clutter - I plan to post a more detailed post about this one where I'll detail how many t-shirts, socks, sweatshirts, and pairs of underwear I owned. The numbers would shock you. They shocked me and I lived with the stuff!! This winter we went through our entire wardrobe and simplified what we owned. Originally I thought I'd have a garage sale and do something good with the money, then I realized I wanted the 'stuff' gone and donated it to Goodwill.

Money - Every month Kenny and I get an allowance. This way we don't have to have discussions about whether or not we should buy the pack of gum or the sun flower seeds. We are both cheap and don't like to spend our money on things we don't 'need', so believe me when I say, we've had those discussions. Now we each have 'our' money and the other person is not allowed to comment on how we individually chose to spend our money. The rest of our money was already quite simplified so we didn't have to do much else. We do however still need to simplify our bank accounts. We do not need 2 checking accounts and 4 savings accounts. We have so many because we never combined all of our accounts when we got married. It's only been 3 years :)

Goals - A couple months back I wrote out goals. They were categorized, and within each category there were various goals. I soon realized I was being too detailed and needed some leeway.   So last month I simplified. I now have two things I will not compromise on and other things I would like to do if time permits and I get to them. Two things I've come to realize I won't compromise on are: daily time with God and weekly date night. Those are the two most important things in my life right now and that is where I chose to spend my time.

Food - Our food consumption has become cleaner and healthier. A majority of our food we consume is whole foods. We shop on the outer edge of the grocery store, with a majority of our purchases coming from the front where all the fresh foods are located. Food is an area that has come a long way, but one we want to simplify even more. The next step is buying all of our food locally ie farmers markets, and the final step would be to raise the food ourselves!

Time - This one has been the hardest and the most rewarding. I recently read this article, and one of my favorite quotes from the article was:

It’s not as if any of us wants to live like this, any more than any one person wants to be part of a traffic jam or stadium trampling or the hierarchy of cruelty in high school — it’s something we collectively force one another to do. 
We don't really want to be busy, but it is a choice for me not a necessity. So we have chosen to not be busy. To say no to people. To have free time to do as we please. This is an area we are still working on, but it is an area we will fight for. 

This next week I plan to go into more detail on the areas that I am most passionate about.