19 for 2019 + 20 for 2020!

I can hardly believe it, but today is the last day of 2019. The last day of this decade! Ten years ago, I was a junior in college. I thought my life would be headed in one direction, and it ended up heading somewhere vastly different. Ten years ago I absolutely never would have pictured this life I’m living now but I am fall-to-my-knees grateful for where I’m at. This has been a challenging, beautiful, exciting, and fulfilling decade and I’m really looking forward to the next one!

At the beginning of the year, I shared my goals instead of resolutions (dubbed the “19 for 2019” list thanks to my beloved Happier Podcast). I wanted to review the list today and share what I accomplished, what I didn’t, and what I decided was better to let go of. Then I’m sharing my “20 for 2020” goals. Looking at this list, I’m excited for all that is to come this year!

My 19 for 2019

1- My #1 goal for 2019 was . . . BABY #2. We weren’t sure if that meant we would actually have a baby in 2019, but we at least hoped to be pregnant even if it meant the baby didn’t arrive until 2020. I’m so very happy that we were able to expand our family and have loved the past 4 months with our sweet little girl.


2- Plan an adults-only trip for Justin and I – Done! We planned and took an adults-only babymoon to the Bahamas and it was just what we needed. It was relaxing, fun, and just a wonderful vacation for us to reconnect and enjoy time together.


3- Update instagram account and create Chatbook for LJ – Not done at all. In fact, I ultimately decided that keeping up with my instagram goals and creating a chatbook was just not a good use of my time. I decided to accept that and move on from this goal and I’m happy with that decision!

4- Select pictures for family photo albums – Ugh, no. I really hoped to have been able to make this happen, but it just didn’t. This is a project that I just need to set aside several hours (honestly, probably days) to do, and I hope to accomplish this in 2020.

5- Plan out family photo albums – Again, zero progress. 2020!

6- Create a master list of my top book recommendations – DONE! I wrote a blog post about my top recommendations that you can find here.

Top Book Recommendations.jpg

7- Replace our ugly brown recliner – I would say this goal is partially complete. In college, Justin spent $20 on a used (and ugly) brown recliner. The recliner was sent down to the basement (which was progress), and then this year we did get a new sectional for the basement. So the recliner has been replaced, but Justin is still resistant to actually getting rid of it so we do still have it set off to the side. Here’s hoping 2020 will be the year we can actually move it out of the house!

8- Write and track our monthly spending budget – This is an ongoing goal, so it’s not really “done,” but we did a pretty good job of this. I’d say there is room for improvement and we’re hoping to keep getting better and better with this.

9- Send birthday cards – Again, an ongoing goal that’s hard to fully complete, but I did sent many cards this year and definitely plan to keep up this habit. It’s fun!

10- Find a local tailor – DONE! I found a local tailor that has done everything from fixing holes, hemming pants, adjusting the bridesmaid’s dress. It’s so nice to have these little projects taken care of!

Baby #2 3

11- Find a reliable, nearby babysitter – DONE! We found a college girl who lives about 10 minutes from us and is great with our babies. She not only watches the kids in the evening if we want a date night, but she also has no classes on Tuesday afternoons so every other week she comes for a few hours to hang out with LJ so I can run errands, make appointments, etc. It’s WONDERFUL and we are so thankful for her.

12- Have house siding washed -Done! Except we got it done for our old house…and now out new house needs it too. Definitely a 2020 project!

13- Find comfortable black heels – The search continues for this one. I looked and tried some on, but I’m struggling to find a pair that is actually comfortable.

14 – Plan our will with an estate lawyer – Done! I have to say, this felt really good to check off the list. It is so hard to imagine the “what ifs” and can feel kind of morbid to talk about what you want to happen in various situations, but the reality is we are going to die some day so we need to have a plan in place. It is a relief to also know that our children will be well taken care of and our wishes are known if something happens to both Justin and I.

15- Invest in buying plastic alternatives – Again, an ongoing goal so never really “done” but I have invested in several items: stainless steel straws, glass containers to store food, thinx, and reusable bags to use in place of ziploc. I recently purchased a shampoo bar (instead of shampoo in a plastic bottle) and I’m excited to see if it is effective. I also put some things on my Christmas list and am really pleased with the alternatives I’ve accumulated this year!


16- Set up accounts for LJ’s future – Done! We’ve set up his 529 plan!

17- Have budget meeting with Justin for each paycheck (roughly 2x/month) – Ongoing, but we have done pretty well with this. There is always room for improvement, and for 2020 we’ve decided to do mini check-ins on Sundays to help keep us accountable.

18- When buying clothing or shoes, look for fair trade, ethically made options – I haven’t bought many clothes because of maternity and now not being quite back to pre-baby size, but I did buy a fair trade purse and fair trade clutch for LJ’s diapers as well as a few other purchases from a shoppe whose mission is to provide fair trade, ethically made products that support survivors of sex trafficking and I’m very proud to contribute to their mission. While I haven’t necessarily bought fair-trade clothing, I have bought a lot second-hand which is at least a very sustainable option and I’m happy about that! And I read The Conscious Closet which gave me lots of ideas for how to make better choices with clothing in the future.


19- Learn more about finances (401K, 403B, investments, etc.) – I did okay with this one. I mostly listened to podcasts and did gain some insight but there is definitely still a lot I don’t know!

Overall, I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made! And now, let’s look ahead to 2020!

My 20 for 2020

1 – Plan a dreamy office/reading room. We have a room in our house that is currently used for storage and as a back-up guest room, but it would be the perfect space for built-in library shelves and a cozy reading chair. We may not be able to actually complete the room in 2020, but I want to at least map out our plans and start to budget for it!

2- Select pictures for family photo albums.  Didn’t happen in 2019, but I’m going to try to do this in 2020!

3  – Create family photo albums

4 – Update the Simplify the Chaos website. I really want to change around some of the pages and organize previous posts a little better. It’s a lofty goal for me because I know so little about working with websites but I know I’ll be so happy when it’s done!

5 – Replace basement carpet. The carpet in the basement is dated, worn, and bubbles up in places. Replacing it will make a big visual impact and be a little more functional for us, as the current one has a high pile and is hard to clean. I’m also hoping once we move furniture out for the carpet to come in, the ugly brown recliner doesn’t make it back in the house. 😉

6 – Update book recommendations list. I’m so glad I was able to create a master list of my book recommendations (read my post here), but I need to make sure to update it because I’ve read SO many great books since then!

7 – Get a dip manicure. I know I’m pretty late to the game here, but I’m so intrigued by the nail dipping trend and want to try it out! I love having painted nails but hate when they start to chip and don’t have time to constantly repaint them. I think this would be a fun little splurge to try sometime. 🙂

8 – Invest in footwear with a purpose. I kind of had this goal last year, but I’m modifying it a bit to say: I want to buy a pair of shoes that has some purpose. Either it’s fair trade, ethically made, eco-friendly, or a combination of all three. I’m specifically looking at a pair of Rothy’s or something from The Root Collective. They are definitely investments, so I want to make sure to find something I love and will wear all the time.

9 – Try at least 5 brand new (to me) foods. I am not a super adventurous eater (unlike my husband, who will try anything at least once) but I want to expand and go outside my food comfort zone more. Justin and I have a trip to New Orleans planned this year and I am psyching myself up to try lots of new foods there!

10 – Set up a 529 for Vi. We did this for LJ in 2019, so we need to set one up for Vi now!

11 – Read 60 books. This averages 5 books a month. Lofty for sure, but I like a challenge!

12 – Take a continuing education class. Even though I’m not currently teaching, I want to keep my teaching license up to date and I need to take classes to do that.

13 – Host a big summer party. When we moved into our new house, we knew that we wanted to have it be a gathering place for family and friends. We want to do a lot of work on the house, but we also don’t want to wait to have people over. So we’re just going to do it! We want to host smaller events too, but one goal is to have a ton of people over in the summer and just have a great big party with loved ones.

14 – Update Vi’s room. We kept the nursery very simple and gender neutral, but now that Vi is here, I’d like to spruce it up just a bit and add some girlie touches.

15 – Plan a family staycation. There are so many cool things to do in our area but we get complacent doing the same things over and over. I want to plan a fun family day (or maybe weekend?) of checking out local places we haven’t yet experienced.

16 – Take LJ to swimming lessons. This is a huge one for my list. We have done lessons at the YMCA already, but I’d like to have him in a more individualized lesson.

17 – Create something. I’m not exactly sure what this one will look like, but I’m feeling a desire to stretch some of my creative muscles in some form or other. Vague, but I hope by including this on my list, I’ll be inspired!

18 – Have professional family photos taken. I snap approximately 23428375938 pictures on my phone, but it’s always so nice to have some gorgeous, professional photos taken to document a stage in our lives. This time with little ones goes so fast and I’d love to have some beautiful pictures taken of it.

19 – Actually use my InstantPot. I was gifted an InstantPot like 2 years ago and I’ve used it exactly one time. It sounds weird but I’m kind of intimidated by it.  I haven’t taken time to learn how to use it and honestly, I love my crockpot and use it all the time so I haven’t felt the need to learn the InstantPot. I don’t like to have gadgets around that I don’t use, but I also don’t want to get rid of the InstantPot if it’s something I would actually love once I learn how to use it. So this year, I want to actually put in the effort to learn!

20 – Host at least 4 game nights. Justin and I love to play games and would frequently have friends over (or go to their houses) for game nights before having kids. Now that we have children and many of our friends do too, it’s hard to carve out time for this. I really want to make an effort though, because I think it’s important to still keep doing some things we adults love to do. I hope to host at least one each season (winter, spring, summer, fall) so we’ll see!

Do you have any goals for 2020? I’d love to hear them! May this be our best year yet!

3 thoughts on “19 for 2019 + 20 for 2020!”

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