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Everything has to start somewhere! As was the case with our family and making a conscious choice to lose the excess!

That’s why I’m answering the question of, “Who am I and Why On Earth Did I Start a Blog?”

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I am just like every other woman out there who lives with the daily challenges of raising a family, keeping a home in some kind of order, (in my case) working outside the home to help our family, and loving on these beautiful people that God put into my life.

To be honest, I am finding out a bit late in life that the choices that I made, and that my husband and I made early in our marriage, continue to have an impact on how we live today. We are currently a two-income household by necessity, but have recently had our eyes opened to the possibilities of a leaner, simpler, less excess-filled life.

We are soooo not there yet!

There is so much the older, wiser, me of today that would like to tell that naïve young woman who innocently believed that I had to work to afford life.  I look back and wish we had made better, more informed choices, especially now since we have added two kids to the mix.  It breaks my heart to send them off every day while I venture to work to help bring home the bacon.

Never one to look too far back down the road (think Lot’s wife), I am now moving forward with my goals and documenting the journey along the way.  That’s where this blog comes in.  Who knows where this will lead, but I have to start somewhere!

Here are ten things that I hope to work on this year:

1. Embrace where I am in life

Even though I work full-time and continue to juggle being a mom, wife, employee, daughter and friend, I am learning that there is beauty in each of these roles.  While I don’t get the MVP award in any one of these categories, the mere idea of embracing where God has me right now takes the pressure off that I have to be the best at everything.

2. Escape excess

This is my main challenge and what I hope to accomplish on this blog.  By excess, I mean anything that takes away from the core mission and purpose of your life. Such as:

  • Excess food (you should see how many groceries we waste here)
  • Excess clutter (it just adds chaos to my already busy life)
  • Excess stuff (clothes, toys, paper, electronics, household items, you get the picture), excess commitments (there are only 7 days in a week and they were not meant to be booked solid)
  • Coveting other people’s things (or their blogs, wishing mine could only be as snazzy)
  • Clogging my mind with mindless things (I don’t know how many hours I’ve wasted after telling myself I would just take a peek at a recipe, facebook, etc., and then wonder where the last three hours went)
  • Processed foods, pesticide-ridden veggies, and prescription meds (including steroids for my son’s asthma, and steroids for my daughter’s eczema).

3. Become debt free

We took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University through our church last year and our ideas about money, credit, interest and retirement have been forever changed. I should say, shaped for the first time, instead of forever changed because before Dave Ramsey, or BDR as we call it in our home, we had some very unhealthy views about money.  Some of our ideas about money were just plain ignorant.

4. Save for a house

We may not accomplish this goal by this year’s end, but we will hopefully have it started once we finish our debt snowball above.  We love living in Southern California, so one of our goals is to buy a home in a neighborhood that is within commuting range to my husband’s work.  This is a huge goal for us because housing prices in California are outrageous!

5. Get more organized

I love to find order in things, but can’t find the time to create the order I need. Make sense? I have lists to keep me organized; boxes and bags to keep my stuff tidy, but I have yet to find a simplified system online or on paper for all my needs.

6. Discover and build new income streams

I work full-time outside the home at a job I actually enjoy.  But, in order to accomplish some of our financial goals faster, I am hoping to find the creative in me and find new ways to earn money. This is a work in progress, so I imagine many posts on new ideas and pursuits.

7. Learn how to cook

I mean really learn the basics of cooking. Neither my husband nor I grew up in homes where cooking from scratch was modeled, so it’s no wonder we have no clue what we are doing in the kitchen. This goal goes hand in hand with #2 and not wasting food. It seems like a great idea when I go grocery shopping, but I end up throwing half of the stuff away because I don’t know what to do with it.

8. Be a better giver

Of time, money, resources, God-given talents, you name it. I want to get better at giving it and find ways to serve others.

9. Institute date night with husband

Every time we try to institute a regular date night, something happens…someone gets sick, babysitter cancels, or some other wrench in the wheel comes our way.  We’ve been successful at a few dates, but we really need to get on standing, WEEKLY schedule, even if it’s just a sweet date on our patio by candlelight after the kids go to bed.

10. Spend quality time with the kiddos

Play with them before getting engulfed in my endless to-do lists of cleaning, laundry and chores. Twenty years from now, my kids will never remember if the laundry was done or the baseboards were spotless, but they will remember how much their mom invested, engaged and listened to them.  Of course I will accomplish my chores, but only after I do what I’ve been privileged to do…and that is be a mom!

I hope you’ll journey with me through life this year and beyond.  Greater things have yet to come!

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