What I Plan to do in 2016

Why hello there! You may be excused for thinking that I fell off the edge of the planet, but it’s quite OK folks, I still do exist. ¬†It seems to be common for me to go quiet on the blog at the end of the year, and last year (now that 2015 is so last year), everything seemed even busier than normal. The last time I blogged, I was days away from turning 40. I had a wonderful 40th birthday, (I’d love to tell you about it sometime), and then school holidays and Christmas parties started, so the busyness we experienced trying to do end of year school things and organise a party, just didn’t stop. Especially since we were getting ready to travel to family over Christmas time.

Cutting 40th birthday cake
Cutting the cake at my 40th party.

We have just arrived home and are not quite unpacked after a lovely time away with family in Cairns and exploring far north Queensland. Fortunately the heat wasn’t as stifling as our last visit when I thought I was going to melt as quickly as Frosty the snowmen would if he were sitting next to a campfire. Unfortunately, the monsoonal rains started and we pretty much didn’t see blue skies the entire time we were there. Occasionally a blue sky would shyly peep through the rain clouds, but it would disappear quickly in favour of a torrential downpour.

Millaa Millaa Falls North Queensland
The kids and I at Millaa Millaa Falls North Queensland

Ironically, half an hour after we left Cairns, we were told that the blue skies returned, but we haven’t seen them, because it’s raining hard here at home now.

And so here, I sit in 2016, the rain beating on my tin roof, ready to begin 2016. I spent some time on our 23 hour drive home (Time increased thanks to taking the scenic route on the first day, it took the same amount of time to arrive in Cairns, mind you. But that time we didn’t plan to take the scenic route.) pondering my hopes, dreams and plans for 2016. ¬†Hopefully I can share with you my progress at the year proceeds.

By the conclusion of last year, I just felt tired. It may have been that our family of seven had spent over a week living in someone else’s house and were sharing one room and the sofa, but I just felt so weary. 2015 wasn’t a bad year, but it has been challenging with my health. I have scoliosis and the bend in my spine is significantly increasing and I experience high levels of pain every day. I am aiming to get surgery in 2017 once all the children are in school. This makes my day to day quite exhausting, and combine this with my five spirited children and the pressures of my husband setting up his own accounting firm last year, I felt fatigued. I was quite contented to make my new year resolution “To Sleep” (and add a wish, to sleep pain free), and leave it at that.

Being the eternal optimist though, I think that 2016 is going to see some triumphs in our family, and for this I look forward to, and in anticipation, I’m rolling up my sleeves ready to do the hard work to make our dreams come true.

2016 is the year the triplets start Kindy. Of course I’m a little bit sad that they will not be with me five days a week anymore, but I’m quite excited by the possibilities of what I will be able to accomplish while they are out of the house also.

This year, I’m thinking I would like to break down my goals for the year into months. That way, each month is a new start and a chance to set goals to suit what is going on in the family. But roughly, here are the categories I am going to work on each month.

  1. Declutter
    After four years of triplets in the house and limited time to address problem issues and my own messy tendencies which only exasperate this problem, this year I want to declutter a zone each month in my house.
  2. Cook new food.
    I think we have a pretty varied menu in our family, however, I feel like with everyday cooking and baking, I’m in a bit of rut. I have my favourites that I pump out, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but this year, I’m aiming to increase some quick family meals and baking recipes into my repertoire. Hopefully this will help decrease the tendency to use jar and packet foods on nights that I have little time also. To add to this challenge, I’ve decided that I’m not going to buy any cooking books or magazines this year. I love buying these, but really, I have more than enough to step out of my comfort zone by just using the material that is already on my burgeoning bookshelves. I haven’t banned myself from using the internet or library if I really want to find a recipe though.
  3. Create
    A friend and I have decided that we are going to sew or do craft together on alternate Wednesdays this year. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to this. Each month, I’d love to have a finished project to show, or at least be able to tell of significant progress if it’s a larger project.
  4. Theme Months
    On the days that the triplets are home, I would love to be more focussed with our time together and make the most of this last chance we have to spend large chunks of time together before they begin full time schooling. The triplets love a theme, so I hope that we can work on a theme each month. I’m also hoping to do some fun number and letter work with them in preparation for Prep, especially since two of the triplets already seem to have a natural interest for letters and numbers.
  5. Explore the outdoors as a family
    During our holiday, there was a delightful moment when I realised that we had just completed a bushwalk – with the whole family! I have missed doing things like this because we have been so restricted in the last few years because it’s so hard with the triplets. After speaking with The Accountant, we have decided to set a family challenge to visit a national park, or do some other outdoor activity each month as a family. We recognise that these excursions might be reduced due to limited time during soccer season, but even still hopefully we can explore something that is closer to home.
  6. Blog more regularly.
    I will let you be the judge of whether I achieve this goal, but because I am not returning to teaching this year thanks to the shorter kindy days, if I’m going to make this blog work, this year is my year to do it. I think one regular feature I should do is a report back on how I am going with these above projects. I am hoping that this might be an interesting blog each month.

I love all these goals, and it’s really increased my anticipation for the year ahead.

Christmas Day 2015
A fun little snap taken on Christmas Day with Jonty, Imogen, Jayden and my nephews.

What did you do over Christmas? Do you have any resolutions/goals for 2016?

Linking for IBOT with Essentially Jess.

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    1. Thanks Stephanie. I think doing the creating with a friend will be the secret to actually accomplishing that goal. First project will be to finish a crochet blanket that I started back in 2009! I almost finished it in 2014 when I went away on a craft retreat with some ladies, but didn’t pick it up after I got home! So tragic! All the best with getting your new year goals done!

  1. I love your goals – sounds like the kinds of things I was doing when I was in that season of children going off to Pre-school/school. I hope your year is as good as your plans!

    My goals:
    1. Find someone to clean the floors and bathrooms fortnightly
    2. Be better at managing Mr Busy’s homework (I’m new to full-time working mum status)
    3. Get home before 6pm.

  2. This is great, especially the sadness of losing your babies to schooling. I remember when my last left me, I would come home to an empty house cry. It took me a few months to accept my role had changed

    1. I’m hoping I won’t be too emotional since I really know that they are ready, and that makes it easier for me. I’m expecting tears on the first day when we say goodbye, (me, not them), and because I love their Kindy teacher so much (she taught my older sons also) I expect to bawl on the last day, but I reckon, we should be OK in between!

  3. I love the idea of monthly challenges and themes. That appeals to me far more than just a big overall plan to change.
    I felt sad when Ava went to Kindy last year, but I quickly learnt to enjoy those days at home. It’s amazing what you can get done with a little extra time!

  4. Sounds like you have a full year ahead! My littlest is off to Kindy this year too, which I am feeling really sad about also. Decluttering is on the top of my list this year too and I’m sure it will be much easier as my 4 year old puts back everything I declutter at the moment LOL. I hope 2016 is a great year for you x

  5. Love all your pics Caitlin, and ready to enjoy this new season in your life. My favourite of your goals is the create one. I’m not much of a one for craft normally, but I *do* enjoy it when I’m doing it with others, so I know you’ll have fun! #teamIBOT x

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