A Clean Start

by Andrea Cooley

fresh start I didn’t have the best start to the year. It wasn’t terrible, but it was much busier than I would have liked with a photoshoot that I produced and a trip to California (more to come about this! Traveling with 2 small boys is always an adventure). Like I said, they were good things, but they kept me super busy.

I finally made time last weekend to slow down enough to think about goals for 2015 and reflect on 2014. And if you know me very well, you know that I LOVE making goals, but I also love to look back at where I’ve been.

Last weekend Adam and I got a babysitter Saturday morning and had a breakfast date. Maybe this will be our new thing. It’s great to get out at night, but honestly, at this point it’s kind of easier to get out during the day. Do any other parents feel this way?

We talked about the highlights of 2014 and our “game plan” for the new year. We weren’t as formal about it this year as we have been in the past (if you’re looking for a good tool, we have liked the Family Playbook from Words of Williams). We talked about expenses we are anticipating, vacation plans (my favorite), and made goals individually and as a family.

One thing we really want to do this year is read a book about parenting. Emerson is definitely at the age where discipline is important and he’s starting to understand so much! Does anyone have a favorite to recommend?

I’ve been on a huge organizing/purging kick lately. Hence the picture of my clean dining room table above. Maybe it’s because after Christmas I felt like we had stuff everywhere. The toys, the decorations, the leftovers, the junk! We took one big load of stuff to Salvation Army and then I cleaned some more and have another round of stuff to take. If we don’t use it, I’m getting rid of it!

I think I’ll write another post about cleaning out my closet and my take on the capsule wardrobe, but I ordered a bag from ThredUp and am hoping to get some money back from some of the nicer things I’m getting rid of.

Here are some other random thoughts for this gray last Thursday in January:

I’m a sucker for articles about how to have a good marriage, but I especially liked these 12 Lessons Learned in 12 Years of Marriage.

I’m watching the latest season of The Bachelor, mostly because I want to see how they portray Iowa and am excited for the episode that was shot in Des Moines. I’m not loving it though. Maybe that shows I’m becoming more mature! The girls are crazy and Chris (#princefarming) seems pretty shallow. Anyone else?

I’ve made this granola twice and the second time I made a double bath. I snack on it alone, but I especially love it in yogurt!

Here’s an interesting take on what it takes to be a good parent from Donald Miller

I love the new website yummy toddler food. I know the mom who writes it and can’t wait to try some of the recipes with Emerson.

I recently finished reading this book and really liked it. It’s a coming of age story of a young boy set in the 60s in Minnesota, but it’s also a mystery and about faith and brothers.

Even though it’s the end of January (hooray! We’re that much closer to spring!), happy new year! And thanks for reading my sporadic posts.

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Andrea Cooley

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