Hi friends! Happy New Year!
I always love the fresh-start feel that a new year brings but I’m not usually one for resolutions. However, you know I love the Happier podcast, and one thing they have been talking about lately is a “19 for 2019” list. It’s like a combination resolutions list + to-do list and I enjoyed hearing about their “18 for 2018” lists last year so when they started talking about 2019 lists, I decided to write one as well. Today I thought I’d share my list and also give a quick re-cap of our Christmas travels since I’ve been unplugged from the blog through the holidays.
My 19 for 2019
1- Rough start, but this one is personal and I’m keeping it to myself. If there comes a point where I feel I want to share about it in this space, I will, but today is not that day. Next!
2- Plan an adults-only trip for Justin and I (We may not be able to actually take the trip in 2019 but I want to start planning and budgeting for it now!)
3- Update instagram account and create Chatbook for LJ
4- Select pictures for family photo albums (I want to do one for each year of marriage. We’ve been married 5 1/2 years so this is a big project!)
5- Plan out family photo albums (Such a big project I had to break it up into two items!)
6- Create a master list of my top book recommendations (I get asked for recommendations so often and I want to have a go-to list to easily share)
7- Replace our ugly brown recliner (Justin bought it used for $20 in college. It has lived a good life and it’s time to move on. 😉 )
8- Write and track our monthly spending budget
9- Send birthday cards
10- Find a local tailor
11- Find a reliable, nearby babysitter (we have some already but weeknights are always tricky to find someone)
12- Have house siding washed
13- Find comfortable black heels
14 – Plan our will with an estate lawyer
15- Invest in buying plastic alternatives (stainless steel straws, etc)
16- Set up accounts for LJ’s future
17- Have budget meeting with Justin for each paycheck (roughly 2x/month)
18- When buying clothing or shoes, look for fair trade, ethically made options
19- Learn more about finances (401K, 403B, investments, etc.) through books or podcasts
We’ll see how this goes. Some items are quick, one-time items that I just need to schedule time for. Others are ongoing or very time-consuming. I’m going to take it one step at a time and just try my best!
As for the recent holidays, we spent about 10 days away from home. It was a lot of travel but it was so great to spend so much quality time with our loved ones.
We left after lunch on the 21st for Chicago for Christmas with my mom’s side of the family. My uncle lives in Chicago and while his apartment didn’t have room for everyone, we were able to rent out the entire Lang House B&B nearby and stay together as a family. The B&B was absolutely gorgeous and we all enjoyed our stay there!
Friday evening most of the family (minus Justin and my dad, who stayed back at the B&B with LJ) went downtown to see “A Christmas Carol” at the Goodman Theatre. The play was amazing – the actors were all super talented and the set and special effects were incredible. We all enjoyed it!
Saturday was spent exploring Michigan Avenue in the morning and early afternoon. We did a little shopping and just enjoyed walking around in the festive atmosphere. Justin, LJ, and I ended up heading to Christkindl Market with my two sisters and my sister’s fiance and while it was extremely crowded, we did feel like the Christmas spirit was going strong! It was fun to walk through the tents and see unique ornaments and other decorations.
We all headed back to the B&B in the early afternoon to relax and rest up for a big night ahead. LJ found the L ride home especially relaxing 😉
Saturday night was one we had all been looking forward to for a long time: a 1920’s murder mystery! Months ago, my uncle purchased the scenario and assigned us parts. He put in a lot of effort to give everyone a part that worked with their real-life personality and all the details he put in place were just perfect! We all worked hard to get costumes in place and learn about our character. We had a catered meal, only to later discover that while the meal was catered, all the “servers” were actually friends of my uncle who were characters in the scenario as well. Justin actually was the one who was murdered, but he got to come back in Act II as the detective investigating the mystery. It was SUCH fun evening! Everyone got super in to their characters and we had all an awesome time.
It was a great weekend with extended family!
Sunday morning we packed up after breakfast and headed to Ohio for an evening Christmas celebration with my parents and siblings. Then we headed out early on Christmas Eve for a week in Virginia with Justin’s family.
Because of Justin’s work schedule, he hasn’t been able to travel to Virginia to see his family since last Christmas. It was SO wonderful to get to spend some good quality time there with his family. Our six-year-old nephew especially was excited for uncle Justin to come around and play with him and it was sweet to see their special bond strengthen. And don’t even get me started on the sweetness of seeing LJ with his cousins! I didn’t take many pictures during this trip but our four-year-old and ten-month-old nieces each had some especially precious moments with him that I managed to capture on camera. Oh my heart.
We were able to squeeze in a few short visits with some friends in the area but for the most part we focused on spending time with family and were so thankful to not only have Christmas Day together but also be able to get together other days for meals or just to hang out. It was a great holiday!
We got back home on Sunday night and spent Monday as a family of three (five including our dogs!) together at home. We got LJ one small present and the dogs each had treats in their stockings, but other than that, we kept it super low-key and just enjoyed a cozy day at home with each other. It was the perfect way to cap off a great holiday season.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday as well! Cheers to 2019!