Holidays give plenty of time to do some scrapbooking so this month I finished December 2014. I didn't have a lot of photos, so i've ended up with 2 double page layouts and a single layout to finish. The first page has photos from putting up the tree followed by a layout for The Boy's birthday party.
Christmas day. The photo I took to include in our annual Christmas slideshow greeting, The Boy washing the car, the Rip View Swim Classic and one of our few trips to the beach.
Our New Year's cake covered in sparklers. Credits here.
So after a grand total of four decent beach days in the three-and-a-bit weeks we were down at Pt. Lonsdale we came home and have had five hot days in a row. The timing could have been better but we needed to be home for The Little Girl's orthodontic appointment on Wednesday and she also has a swim meet this afternoon. The kids have been using the pool, so there's that and we were also able to go fridge shopping, so that is good, especially considering we wanted a left hinge door which is a special order and won't be delivered for another week. I would not like to be without a fridge once we are back to school and busy again. Right now we're walking around the old fridge which is perched in between it's old hole and the island bench and collecting our cold stuff from the fridge in the garage. At least I am getting a lot more steps going to and fro.
We also have a guest this week ... the sister-in-law's dog Barney so we've enjoyed some walks and the kids have been practicing looking after a dog again. This weekend is our Australia Day long weekend which is a lovely bonus to have Hubby home on Monday and get a little more family time before we launch into the back to school frenzy. The Boy has gone off to MSAC with Hubby and The Little Girl this afternoon so he can go on the Flowrider while The Little Girl does her warmup. The Big Girl and I are waiting for Barney to be picked up then we are going to shop and cook for dinner. She's cooking Chocolate Malt Ice-cream Sandwiches, I'm making Korean BBQ chicken. The rest of the weekend is wide open for all sorts of possibilities but first here's some links ...
4. DIY seedbed from an up cycled shoe box. Currently my seed packets are shoved willy nilly into the post envelope they arrived in and every time I want to do some planting I have to pull them all out and see what I've got.
Me: I'd like to ride the Bellarine Rail trail sometime.
Him: Why don't we do it Saturday?
Me: You don't think we should just ride to Queenscliff first?
Him: It's only 17km.
Yeah ... 17km uphill most the way ... plus I'd run 13km on Friday. Knees, legs and butt were screaming by the 11km mark. The Big Girl was not feeling well and The Little Girl had bike issues so they stayed home. Hubby, The Boy and I made it though, The Boy on a bike with no gears.
A stop in Drysdale for an iced chocolate and we were back on the bikes and headed back downhill. The 17km home was much easier, apart from the last big hill on Fellows Rd.
I'm counting that as #28 on the list as complete. If we do the ride again we'll put our bikes on the train and ride downhill!
Three weeks in and I'm managing to keep to my plan. When I laid out my plan I neglected to specify that this year I am keeping to the 12x12 square format for my book because it allows for lots of photos at a decent size to be included. I have made a few changes to my workflow to streamline the process of making pages. Previously I have kept my photos in monthly folders but after the first week I realised weekly folders are much easier to work with. So all photos and the completed pages are going in weekly albums in iPhoto. I also keep a note on my iPad for each week where I jot down anything that has happened in pretty much the exact format that I am using on my page. All I have to do when making the page is copy this text. So onto week 2 ...
What we did: The Boy had his final week on Nippers, including back beach day. The back beach at Pt. Lonsdale is the 4th most dangerous patrolled beach in Australia, and this year The Boy completed his first run-swim-run there with flying colours. Water events at the Nipper Championship on Saturday were cancelled because of contaminants in the water due to the heavy runoff from the previous days. The Boy was very disappointed because he had been finishing 2nd or 3rd in boards this year and had decided to enter the IronNipper this year as well. The Little Girl went to a 4 night swim camp at Geelong Grammar. The Big Girl and The Cousin organised a trivia night. We went to see Night at the Museum 3.
The pages: I made three pages this week. The first highlights the dlsr photo that I picked as the photo of the week. The Boy was very excited to finally get his hands on his Nipper instructor's hat. Also includes the week # and dates.
The second page includes the week summary. Photos from Nippers sessions including back beach day and the kids in the pool.
Third page includes a photo of the girls trivia questions and The Boy's Nipper certificate. As well as a photo of the kids using their Christmas present from the grandparents and a group of photos from Nipper Championship Day.
If you've been round here for any length of time you may have realised that I make lists. Many times these lists don't get completed, but there's always some things crossed off and at the end I've always accomplished more than I would have if I hadn't have made the list in the first place.
Format: With several unfinished years of kind-of-Project-Life under my belt, this year I would like to finish. The last couple of years I've tackled it in a monthly format and this year I plan to go back to weekly as I'm hoping it will be less daunting sifting through the stories and photos for a week rather than a month. I also want to be able to do a weekly review, to include more of the little things that don't warrant a spot of their own.
Photography: Last year I didn't pull our my dlsr very often. This year I would like to change that. My plan is to pull it out at least once a week and capture one image that I love. I'll still use my iPhone a lot, especially when I'm out and about.
Standard Page Layouts: I've got into the habit of always bringing home an armload of cook books when we visit the library. Before Christmas I picked up Jamie Does .... I returned it without trying any of the recipes but the photography and layout was beautiful. Each country had a slightly different layout and I picked Greece to use as my inspiration. My favourite image from each week will be blown up to fill the page and this will be coupled with as many pages of grid collaged photos. Words will be on the large photo in in the grid. Sometimes I may just have the large photo.
The Stories: Lots of random stories in the weekly pages. Events if they're big enough can have their own page. I'd like to also include some day-in-the-life or week-in-the-life pages. If I'm inspires particular subjects may make their appearance. Artistic scrapbook layouts will have a place too. I'll keep a sense of continuity by placing the layouts in place of the photo in a single photo layout.
So, I'd forgotten that I even took on a word last year. Interestingly the things that I named in that post were some of the things that I tried to work towards last year, but there is still work to do and that is why I have settled on habit as my word for this year as I think that long term what we need individually and as a family are good habits that nurture and habits that stick when things become stressful. With that in mind I've been reading a bit about habits. I expect two books in particular to shape my approach this year.
Once a routine becomes habit it requires less brain power to complete, reducing the willpower and decisions required, allowing energy to go towards other tasks.
Minihabits: Smaller, Bigger Results by Stephen Guise. The main idea is that mini habits require less willpower to turn into an automatic habit, they are so easy it would be silly not to do it. Don't break the chain of days completed (although I'm going to have Sundays off). This system is flexible as I can do as much as I want but just completing the mini-habit is counted as success.
So I've picked four areas for improvement and associated mini goals.
Better habits - check my mini-habits off.
Improve time and distance running, plus core, flexibility and strength - put on my sneakers.
Read more non-fiction - read 2 pages of non-fiction book.
Complete half-finished photo books - Work for 2mins on a photo book.
We had a cake to celebrate. I'm glad to say goodbye to 2014 and hello 2015. After the drama of 2013 I was looking forward to 2014, and while there's been some good things happen, it was also a year with major stress that threatened to derail some extended family relationships, work and our financial situation. By November I decided enough was enough and was prepared to walk away if a resolution was not forthcoming ... luckily we turned the corner in time for Christmas and both Hubby and I are looking forward to new beginnings in 2015. The good news is that, though it all, as a family our relationships stood the test and we had good support from close friends and other family members.
In the stress many of my good intentions were derailed but I did have some wins ...
I lost the extra couple of kilos I'd put on in 2013 and took up running to support The Little Girls cross country efforts. I'm now around the same weight I was when I finished high school. I began the Couch to 5K program and against expectations continued on with the 10K program when I finished that. I am still running. This is the longest I have managed to keep running without having knee problems and am currently running 10km in just under 60min.
We successfully negotiated a year with a year 9 teenage girl and I am really happy that we have managed to continue our close relationship. and avoid major issues. The Big Girl has surrounded herself with a good groups of friends and is making good choices. She is still very positive about me being involved in her life and she has appreciated me being her basketball team manager this season. At this stage in our life a lot of time is spent ferrying around kids to their activities and being their number one supporter and that is OK.
I completed two more subjects towards my MA(Theol), achieving excellent marks.
I've begun making some changes to my diet for more energy and less sugar. I've tackled breakfast so far, increasing the seeds and nuts and reducing sugar by making my own toasted muesli and bread and including berries with my muesli.
I read more than the previous year, including more non-fiction.
The stuff that I'm not so happy about ...
I'm generally feeling quite fatigued physically and mentally (possibly due to extended stress) and I am having problems with sore shoulders.
I only completed one photobook and while I've got some pages started for each month in our 2014 PL I've only completed three months. I also let my photography slide last year.
I had planned on doing at least one fun thing as a family together each month but failed to follow through on this.
My spiritual disciplines were decidedly undisciplined. Although I did have a period of four or five months in the middle of the year that I was pretty consistent with these.
In 2015 I would like to ...
Maintain my weight and increase my running distance and speed. I also play tennis once a week but need to add in some core, strength and flexibility work.
Continue reading, make sure I taken notes on my non-fiction reading and keep better records.
Write more consistently.
Complete some of the photobooks I've started, keep up to date with PL2015 and record a bit more here and in my journal. (I'll follow up with detailed plans sometime next week)
Continue building family relationships. Support The Little Girl in her various activities (she's just moved to 6 sessions of swimming a week), help The Boy with his organisation skills in preparation for high school in 2016 and help The Big Girl build a solid base of study skills, organisation and knowledge to take with her into VCE.
Reduce bickering and sniping in the family. Also make time for activities as a whole family.
Get some discipline with my spiritual disciplines.
Spend some time with Hubby.
Monday I plan to share my One Little Word for 2015 and a bit more about my action plan for this year.
Do you like to make a fresh start in the New Year too?