New Years resolutions are funny things. Every year, around January 1, we hear people resolving to “eat better,” “organize the house,” “workout more”, “pray more,” or “be healthier.” While these are all good things, I always wonder what they mean? If I say one extra Hail Mary, did I fulfill my goal to pray more? If I eat a carrot, I’ve eaten better than had I eaten a chocolate. Abstract resolutions are really hard to quantify. At the end of the year, the only thing you have is your feeling. Do I feel like I prayed more, ate better, or worked out more? And, you may feel like you did or you may not but you likely won’t have anything specific to show for it because you didn’t set out to do anything specific. That’s why I’m not going to be better, my house is not going to be more organized, and my children aren’t going to eat more vegetables in 2021.

This year, I want to set quantifiable goals and small ones at that. I joked on Instagram that my resolution for the year was to paint the railing (I’d already begun that project), strip the towels, and paint the basement stairs. It may take me until December 31 for that last one, but I’m done with the towels (though I wasn’t impressed by the process) and the railing. These aren’t really goals for a new year but just things I’d like to get done. And, maybe successful resolutions involve re-evaluating goals regularly and raising the bar as you reach them.

I don’t want to make a grand (unfulfillable resolution) and find at the end of 2021 I’m no further along in better-ness than when I started. I’m not going to just be healthier, I’m going to work out five times a week and serve a fresh vegetable with dinner (even if it is just cold carrot sticks). I’m not going to pray more, I’m going to make an effort to choose specific prayers to memorize or books of the Bible to read. Im not going to be more patient, I’m going to take a deep breath and pray one Hail Mary (or is there a quicker prayer? I’ll say that one) instead of yelling every time my six year old makes me want to pull my hair out.

I’m going to stop adopting animals on a whim. Okay, just kidding, that’s taking things a step too far. Have we talked about how we started 2020 with a newly adopted cat and a hedgehog and ended it with three cats, a yorkie puppy, some fish, and a hedgehog? No idea how that happened. But, I digress (often and I don’t resolve to stop that either but maybe I will share my digressions here again because writing is good for the soul).

If I was the kind of person who really sat down and thought about a word for the year, mine would be: intentional. And, that starts now, with me resolving not to try to be better but by just doing it.

Dear Readers (all two of you;),

You may have noticed I took a hiatus. That was not intentional. That was very much situational. And, unfortunately, the situation did not end intentionally either. After a year (and more) of very much hoping for number five to join our family, we happily fell pregnant. I suffered for three months with a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum or what other mother’s describe as a never ending stomach flu or morning sickness on steroids. As I was beginning to feel better and return to my daily life, we found out our sweet angel had passed 2.5 weeks earlier at 11.5 weeks. I haven’t begun to find the words to describe that experience but I hope some day to share it. I’m not sure that day will come, but if it does, I hope it helps another mom going through the same heartbreaking experience. I’m not sure anyone has really missed me on this blog space but if you wondered, that’s where I’ve been. And, either way if you’re reading this now, please pray for my family: for peace, healing, and God’s will as we continue to move on as a family of six plus an angel.