here we go

January 3, 2014

homeHappy New Year! Life has settled a bit and homeschooling doesn’t resume until next week, so we’re kind of taking it easy. Ben is back to work, I’ve been trying to catch up on emails, and the girls are having a blast playing with all their toys all day long. One word to sum up last year would be insane. There are so many things good (and bad) that I never expected to happen. We had lots of heartbreaks and tears, but also a lot of joy. I can’t help but feel anxiety about this new year. I don’t know what it is, but maybe it’s cause we’re are slowly getting older, the kids are getting older, and maybe it’s the reality that life isn’t always roses. You just never know what can happen, and I’m nervous about the unknown. Anyone else feel that way? I read this verse yesterday and have been trying to meditate on it to encourage my heart… Psalms 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom should I be afraid?”

Besides my bit of anxiety, I do know that this year will also have good things. There are already a few things I know that will be happening in the next few months, which I’m quite excited about. I spent a lot of time last year purging and getting rid of things, so it’s really helped keep our house as clean and sane as it could be with 4 little children living here. This has also given me more time to relax a bit with the kids, and they are really learning how to be contributors in our home. We have lots of garden projects in the works too, so I can’t wait to see how those turn out and be done with them. That garden of ours is always a work in progress though.

Yesterday, I worked on creating an “official” budget for us. We are typically good at knowing our monetary limits, but we’ve never had it actually written down on paper, so we can only get better right?! Thankfully, we have no credit card debt and are done with school loans, so it’s just our mortgage and setting limits for our living expenses. We just think it’s good to be better aware of where everything is going, to be able to set some aside for house improvements, and to save as much as possible.

As for this space, I’d love to get more projects and recipes up, but also just keep sharing life here. I’m thankful for all of you that have followed along in this journey; it’s been fun and I hope to have more fun this year!

Something I’d like to work on is simplifying all the tabs open in my brain. I feel like I’m always trying to do a hundred million things and can’t focus. I think social media has really been a distractor too and I’m not even that good at constant twittering, instagramming, and facebooking. Oh and pinterest, even though that’s my fave. This post really resonated with me, it’s another thing to work on.

Rather than choosing resolutions, Ben and I have been discussing a word to set for the year. I haven’t figured mine out, I told him I’d have it by next December (ha!). Maybe mine should be focus, I need that reminder everyday. I easily get lost and then all chaos breaks loose in my brain. Focus on my girls, focus on trusting God, focus on loving Ben, focus on healthy living, focus on growing friendships, focus on being financially wise, and focus on the present. I will definitely keep thinking about that word and ask Ben what he thinks tonight.

How has your new year started? If you had a to set a word for this new year, what would it be?

20 comments on “here we go”

  • tinajo says:

    I´ve decided to focus on our home this year, so my word is just that; “home”. The last years we´ve been travelling so much that I kind of got distracted, but this year we´ll mainly stay at home and get going with our plans – I´ll enjoy that! 🙂

    I hope and think 2014 will be great for you! 🙂

  • nikita says:

    My word is create. I want to do much more than i did in the past year. Encouraging post.

  • I love reading all the blogposts about chosen words and resolutions. I’ve never picked a word, one word, for a year, up until now (I am thinking about one now, but I am not that good at choosing), but I think reading all these posts, like this one by you, is so so inspiring. I think this year might become a very special one. For all of us. A good one.

  • Rachel says:

    I picked “embrace.” I really want to embrace my present in all it’s flawed glory and to stop dreaming about some days. Happiest New Year to you and yours.

  • nikki says:

    focus is a great word to base a year on! love it!


  • savannah says:

    I loved your post. I think my word is focus I feel that God has been working on me to really focus on what matters. I am.currently fasting from Facebook I may just make it permanent for.2014. I also.home school and I want to put my energy in my children my husband and Gods will this year. I don’t want to waste time on anything that is not purposeful to His will for me. Time seems to be speeding past me and I don’t want to Have regrets. I love your blog. I love when you blog about home schooling the girls and your faith <3 God bless you and your family

  • Bethany says:

    I can understand where you are coming from because last year was one of the worst years of my life– but, I think because of that, I just think that this year will have to be better! I want to focus on inner peace this year. I’m reading Danielle LaPorte’s “The Desire Map” and she says that instead of setting goals based on achievements, set them based on how you want to feel– that is more motivating. It is good to choose 4 or 5 words that describe how you want to feel and then base your choices in life on achieving those. So, I feel like I’m starting out on the right foot this year! I’m excited for your news too (!!!). 😀

  • janey says:

    I know what you mean about the anxiety of the unknown really scares me. 2013 for my family was good and bad, my husband finally got a permanent job after over five years of temp jobs. Only after going back to school to change his career path the banking world was hit hard for us. But we are so grateful to God for keeping us together.. It was a struggle being a stay at home mom for two kids feeling I was not contributing financially. You never know what a person a family are dealing with, I now know personally never thinking we would ever be in this position. I lost my brother to cancer, a ex-coworker to cancer and another to heart disease. It gets even crazier we had a huge blow-out with my husbands sister and husband over his mom who was diagnosed with dementia. To make a long story short she is now living with us and I am learning how to care for an ill elderly parent. Enough of a pity party for myself my resolution is to of course get healthy, get organized and to try and have patience stop being so quick to be on the defense. And now yours (focus) I love that! I love seeing pictures of your family it always puts a smile on my face : ) Happy New Year!!!

  • Bethany says:

    I haven’t heard (that I remember) that verse from Psalms before, but I love it! I think my word for the year is cherish. I get very distracted by things and frustrated at little setbacks, but there is so much good around me I should be enjoying! Loved this post.

  • Paris says:

    Thank you for being so honest in your writing. I love reading your posts. I am a homeschooling mother of five, 9 years and under. So I relate to a lot that you write about, oh and I also love all things vintage 🙂 my word for the year is joy, but it’s been my word for the last year…or two. Just can’t seem to get it right. I want to be known by my children as a joyful parent, not an angry one, and a joyful lover of Jesus. It’s a hard one for me at least. Life gets so crazy with so many little ones, you can loose sight of what’s really important.

  • Amity says:

    Focus is such a great word! I think it’s great! I have four little ones as well and home school and work from home. I feel like life is crazy insane and organized (or not so organized) chaos. It drives me nuts most days. I need organized, scheduled routine and it’s hard with so many kids and so much on my plate. What a great word, that might be what I need to work on as well. Oh and I feel anxiety about the new year too, I could totally relate when I read that. I don’t’ want fear of the what if’s to get a hold of me, so that verse was a great reminder. Thank you!!

  • Mandy says:

    I think my word will be thankful. I want to appreciate every day with my daughter and learn to slow down. I love your blog and thank you for sharing with us all!

  • Reynaul says:

    I really like the ideas of choosing one word for your resolution! Mine would be FOCUS as well. With so many things that can pull you in so many directions sometimes I feel like my children, my husband, my health, etc get the full attention that they need. Thank you for this!

  • Brittany says:

    Last year my word was “Simplify” but honestly I don’t know if I did any simplifying, even with my good intentions. Focus is a great word for all of us this year! And you’re right…all the social media out there is so distracting! I’m making a conscious effort not to have Pinterest and FB tabs open on my computer while I work. Think that will help my time management tremendously! Happy New Year!

  • Leonie says:

    My word for 2014 is Love.
    I am very loving to my family and show love to others but Im not so good at loving myself.
    This year I am going to learn to LOVE myself.
    I am going to learn to LOVE where we live too (having moved last year back to New Zealand from Australia).
    I want to declutter and minimise our lives and have only the things we LOVE in our home.

    I can relate to your comment about facing 2014 with anxiety. I feel it too.

    Happy new Year!

  • Chantelle says:

    I read your blog all the time but have never commented. However I just wanted to say, one word resolutions (or what I call themes) are the best! I find they really help me with decision-making, large and small, throughout the year, and become something to really grow into and pray for. Some years ago it began for me with a really wonderful Year of Stewardship; 2013 was definitely a Year of Trust. This year I have called the Year of Presence, which is not unlike your “focus” I think. Presence is, for me, about the call to set aside distraction (I get very distracted!) and to listen to God and people, to be grateful and to be open to the beauty and opportunity of each moment. We have a young baby and he teaches me to become more present each day!
    My friend jokes that having a theme makes me sound like a diocese (anyone else’s Church do themes?) but it works for me 🙂

  • Leigh vs Laundry says:

    I have those uneasy feelings about the unknown from time to time and I believe it’s spiritual warfare. My MIL gave me the best advice on the topic. Fear trumps Faith in prayer. If you’re praying with a fearful heart, your faith will weaken. The good news is that Praise trumps Fear. So if you pray in praise for all the good in your life instead of focusing on the fear of the unknown, your Faith will be strengthened. Sounds simple but it changed my perspective and my heart.

  • Chelsy says:

    I have a habit of projecting myself to the future, working toward goals (a good idea, sure) but its so easy to dismiss the present moment, this miraculous, holy instant right now. So I chose the word Arrived, so I know, that there’s nothing more important than now, there is no better future moment than now. If there is a better future moment, it will be experienced in the Now.
    I love your blog. It’s a beautiful place. When I get anxious about the future, I remind myself that when something bad actually happens, I will be able to handle it. What I can’t handle is the IDEA of something bad happening- what can you do about something that doesn’t even exist? Nothing! We can always handle the present moment.
    Thanks for this post! Happy New Year!

  • rae says:

    hey ruby! i’ve been reading here forever but i don’t know if i’ve ever commented. BUT I’m pretty passionate about budgeting, so I thought I would make a recommendation. If you haven’t already, I totally recommend Dave Ramsey’s total money makeover. every library should have it, and even though it is kind of an annoying read (or maybe I’m just not into that motivational language) it is really helpful when decided how to set your budget! My husband and i have been doing it and it has totally revolutionized how we spend money! We also use the home budget app. it is 5 bucks, but worth it. you can set all your budget items and it will sync between both of your phones! i LOVE it, and it keeps us accountable to each other. it can track your spending over months to so you can really see what categories you are consistently going over. good luck with your budget!

    • Rubyellen says:

      Yes! We love Dave Ramsey! Ben has the audio CDs and listened to them last year, which is what motivated us to get all our school loans paid off and thankfully we did!!! I haven’t read or listened to it, but Ben tells me all about it and try to follow his recommendations! I haven’t done the app yet, but I will look into it. Thanks Rae!

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