New Year's Resolutions 2015/2016 Edition

Every year without fail, I post my goals for the prior year, how I did, and then what I am looking forward to the next year.  I may not post anything else all year, but I post this.  How'd I do?

1. Natural Childbirth - Done and done.  In a hospital, minimal interventions, I was satisfied with the experience.  Seriously, I can do labor no problem.  I don't like the 9 months working up to it.

2. Organize my Life/ Set up guest room - We'll give this an amber.  I don't think my life will ever truly be organized, but we did have a functioning guestroom for the summer.

 3. One big trip Once a Quarter - Another part way.  We made it to Tokyo and the trip there and back was quite the adventure.  Tokyo itself however...well, lessons learned.  It was the only big trip we did this year, but it was enough.
 3.1.  Mini trips once a month in summer-  Kawarage, Tsugaru and Star Wars with Rice Art and Nebuta, we had at least one trip a month this summer.  And don't forget Tokyo!
 3.2.  Major Festivals Year Round - Hirosaki Snow Lanterns, Misawa Tanabata, Aomori Nebuta, and a couple other little ones.  I might not have seen the really big ones that I wanted to, but I'll call this one a success.

4. Run -  This one is far more red than green.  Well, I did run, somewhat.  But with very little consistency.  Seriously, that third kid.  Love him though.
4.1 Base Races -  Big fat fail.  I didn't do one.
 5. Live the Title Soccer Mom - For the first half of the year, I did.  Second half, forget it.  Talk about exhausting.  Kaia is doing Preschool though.

6. Potty Training - Halfway there.  Kaia is trained.  Ashlyn is not.  She is ready though, I just have to commit to it. 

7. Preparedness -  I should give myself a little credit. It isn't as bad as it could be.  This is important enough to make it a repeat resolution though. Well, we do have a motorhome now...

8. DA Photo / Military Biography - Who am I kidding?  I'm not doing squat with anything to do with my military career while I am over here.  Still, I would like to update my DA photo.

9. Hire a Mamasan -  Done, they are life savers, and it is nice to have a clean house every two weeks, even if it lasts a couple of hours.
 9.1. Keep the house between Mamasan visits - Haha!  This should just be rephrased to handling kiddos better.  That is a goal for 2016.

10. Prepare to Go to the Temple - I am actually making good strides here.  I shall continue to head in that direction.  Maybe 2016 will be my year?

So, what are the goals for 2016?  We'll start with the repeats.

1. Potty training - Ashlyn is on deck, and she is really close.  I'll call it a success if I can get her trained before her third birthday.  I don't want to push her too much though, that stresses both of us out, but this would be awesome.

2. Preparedness - That means getting our paperwork straight in the event of an emergency and we have to be shipped out of here.  Also, 72 hour kits, and water.  I would like to think we have two weeks worth of food.  Its difficult to stock more than that.

3. Travel, Travel, Travel - We have a motorhome and we aren't afraid to use it!  This does involve planning out trips though.  We got a couple planned for down south, plus those long weekends to take advantage of.  We are learning through trial and error.  Yes, this is in line with #3 above.
3.1. All Japan Fireworks Festival - This year.  We will do it
3.2. Sapparo - Maybe, and likely via Ferry.  In conjunction with temple open house would be awesome.  Otherwise, Snow Festival.
3.3.  Tokyo - Tentative date of June.  We have family visiting, also possibly friends. 
3.4.  Southern Honshu - Because why not?  That requires a lot of preplanning though.

4. Temple - This year, I hope to make this happen.  If not, at least continue in that direction so it can happen next year.

5. Birthdays - Without going into too much detail, I want to acknowledge birthdays in ways other than a facebook greeting to siblings and niblings.  I've been planning this for a while, this year, I will make it happen.

6. Limit Political Talk - Nothing brings people closer than talking politics, hah!  Anyone who knows me well knows I'm a bit of a political junkie.  I follow current events closely and I feel like I stay reasonably informed.  Plus, this is an election year.  However, nothing gets me riled up quite like politics, and the desire for the last word.  One simple way to avoid this is to avoid talking politics in the first place.  Well, I can't promise that, it's a presidential election year after all.  So I'm limiting myself to one facebook post a month on politics.  Maybe link those to the blog, maybe.  I'm not going to engage other people on their facebook pages, if people get too political I will probably simply unfollow them.  I do not have the time right now to get riled up.  I have three kids I have to chase.

7. Pass my MSTs - Roller Derby related.  I need to pass my minimal skills test, which requires me to skate more, which requires me to practice, well, you get the idea.  Passing my MSTs forces me to do those other things.  I would like to put a hard date, like maybe this summer or something, but depending on life in general, I might just consider myself lucky if I pass them by year's end.

8. Organize the chaos - my life is chaos, hopefully I can yell less while I'm at it.  This includes getting the kids on a schedule, because when we are on a schedule, everyone is happy.  Sticking to the schedule can be trying. 
8.1 - Limit my phone/facebook/social media time - Maybe give myself a limit a day, because wow, what a time suck.  I can't ditch it entirely though, because that's how people contact me.  And that's how I stay in contact with friends and family back home.  But aimlessly surfing the web, though it is how I keep up to date, can be a time suck too.  Really cut back in that area. 

9. Summer Reading Program - I signed up for it last year, but we didn't do it.  It was just to much for me.  I like the idea though, so I'm going to try to get it done with the girls this year.  And Corbin too.  Might as well.  These kinds of things put me on a schedule, which is a good thing. 

10. Family Pics and Christmas Cards - I got them out last year, I want to try again this year.  And get them out in a timely fashion.  Anyway, its a good excuse for taking family pictures.

11. Get the Creative Juices Flowing - This could be in the way of art, writing, or photography.  I did a month long photo challenge last month and loved it, I need to do those more often, which kind of gets me into sub resolutions.  I really want to just take my camera out with me and get better pictures of what we are seeing and doing. 
11.1 Participate in some kind of monthly challenge every other month - I did one for December, so we'll stick to even numbered months.  This could be a photo a day type thing with a prewritten list, or even some kind of sketch challenge or something.  I can do more than every other month, but I'll try to stick to a minimum of one a month.
11.2. Draw! - Once upon a time, when I was a wee child, I thought myself an artist.  I just need to pick up a sketch pad every once in a while and draw again.  I'm leaving this vague, if I can draw regularly, I'll consider myself a success in this endeavor.
11.3 - Learn a new skill - I don't know what yet, but something crafty, or artsy.  Maybe knitting?
11.4 - Write a Children's Book - I have a couple ideas, I should knock them out while my children are still children.
11.5. Deviantart - Document the above. . .

12. Family Home Evening - This is a Mormon thing.  I want to be consistent with it.  My kids are getting to an age where they would benefit from it too.

13. Child-bearing ultimatum - are we or aren't we done?  This year we shall know for sure.  Because once we are sure we are done, there isn't going to be any more happy little accidents, if you get my meaning.

14. Work out - mostly run, but I'll keep it vague.  Hey, it's new year's!  What resolution list is complete without the desire to get into shape!  Round is a shape. 

So that's enough.  Looks like if I do it, I'm going to be pretty busy.  But I think 2016 is going to be a good year. 


2015 Year in Review

You think I abandon this thing, but every new year, I post an update about my year in review, and a resolution post.  And if I had a kid, I'll tell you my birth story.  I have a few drafts in my queue that I never finished, I just can't stop long enough to write anything in too much detail, and by the time I get back to it, the moment has passed and I don't feel like finishing the post.  Maybe one day, I will revive the blog, but meanwhile, you will always find me on Facebook. 

 01. What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?
Gave birth to a boy.  I have given birth before, but to girls.  I also became a den leader to cub scouts.  Hard work but a lot of fun.  Discovered Roller Derby.  Love it, so much fun, however my life is crazy so I can't give of myself to it like I would like to. 

 02. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I always do, but rather than resolutions, I guess I'd call them goals.  Or maybe that is exactly what resolutions are?  Oh well, I find them kind of fun so yes. 

 03. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes.  Me.  Also a few friends.  And some cousins.  My sister-in-law. I know a lot of people in the baby making business apparently. 

 04. Did anyone close to you die?


 05. What countries did you visit?

We have stuck to Japan.  We never left the country for 2015. 

 6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

  More opportunities to travel and see the sights.  2015 had its moments, but we were often stuck inside.  Three kids does a number on you.  Especially when they are all young. 

 07. What date from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

May 1st.  I had a baby.  Those days are etched in your memories forever.   

 08. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Having a baby I guess.  Becoming a mom to three and not completely losing my sanity.  But I have come pretty close.  I also got Christmas cards out and my life is slowly getting more organized.  I notice when I have goals or little milestones I shoot for, I feel better.  I started Roller Derby, but haven't really advanced much through it. Hopefully that will change this year.  Getting a handle on Cub Scouts.  Lots of things.  Busy busy.  Keeping myself busy is good for me. 

 09. What was your biggest failure?

Being overcome with mom fatigue has made me a bit of a party pooper at times.  I have also lost my temper a few times and I immensely regret it afterward.  A lot of my failures seem to revolve around being a mom.  I'm glad my kids are so forgiving.  The neighbors might not be so, however.

 10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had a baby.  Recovering from that counts. 

 11. What was the best thing you bought?

A motor home.  A tiny pintsized motorhome that my daughter calls a "Camping Car", so we can go see more of Japan.  Now we have to find our groove with it.  I wish we could ship this thing back home, it is seriously awesome.  More adventures await us in 2016!

 12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
  Can I just say that USAA rocks?  Well, it does!  I'm a fan of this company. 

 13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
  A certain tenant in our rental back home.  I will not go into detail, that scenario is still playing out.  But it was very hair raising for a little bit.

 14. Where did most of your money go?
A motor home.  Actually a lot of thought went into this purchase.  We think we can find a way to get most of our money back out of it when we leave here.

 15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Having a baby boy.  Going to Tokyo, which didn't play out like we wanted it to. 

 16. What songs will always remind you of 2015?
I avoid current music when I can.   2015 seemed to have really bad music for some reason.  And I'm not huge in following music, 

 17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

I would have to say I was doing pretty well last year this time and I feel the same this year.

 ii. Thinner or fatter?

Thinner.  Last year I was pregnant. 

iii. Richer or poorer?

Poorer for having purchased a motor home, but richer in the experiences it will hopefully bring.  Truthfully, we are ok. 

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Given hugs. 

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
 Yelled at my kids. 

 20. How did you spend Christmas?
Quiet morning at home with the family.  We then went to the water park and went swimming with some friends.  Then we came home and had a sodium soaked ham. 

 22. Did you fall in love in 2014?
Yes, with a little boy named Corbin.

23. Favorite Month 0f 2015
 May was a good month.  I'm going with May.  July was pretty sweet too, though it had a hiccup in there. 

 24. What were your favourite TV programs?

I discovered Doctor Who, but seriously, with kids I didn't get a good chance to really discover Doctor Who, because I would totally get into it.  Kids prevent me so far from it.  I'm digging My Little Pony and Phineas and Ferb, so glad Netflix finally released season 4. 

 25. Did you have a falling out with anyone that remains unresolved?

Actually, yes.  Long story, it's a somewhat distant family member who is a Social Justice Warrior, it involved Facebook and the year where everyone became offended over everything.  I'm a little irked it played out the way it did, anyway, she went on a tirade and I trolled her for it.  I probably should have just out and told her that her method of persuasion was less than persuasive, anyway, not sure if any other cousins appreciated my blunt method.  Oh well, if I see her at a family reunion in the future, I'm sure we'll talk, but not counting on her showing up, as she doesn't seem to particularly care for the family.  not sure if I will either for that matter, though I would love too.    

 26. What was the best book you read?
I didn't read much in the way of books, but I have been trying to refocus my life this year.  Do kids books count?  I'm going to go with The Book with No Pictures. 

 27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
  Lindsey Stirling, I love her!

 28. What did you want and get?

A healthy baby boy and a motor home

 29. What did you want and not get?

We wanted to move out of the Towers.  It didn't happen.  So we adapted and overcame.   I'm ok with it now.  I also want to get better at roller skating but that requires me practicing more.  So that one is on me,

 30. What was your favourite film of this year?

I guess I liked Inside Out and Star Wars, The Force Awakens.  I didn't see a whole lot of movies this year, but I'm a big enough Star Wars Fan that we had to see it before the spoilers seeped out. 

 31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 35.  It was quiet, and unfortunately, an earlier incident kind of ruined it for me.  It wasn't Gus's fault, but he sort of spaced it.  But as you get older, birthdays are less important. 

 32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If I didn't yell at my kids so much, and if they wouldn't push my buttons like they do. 

 33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
Nothing has changed. Nothing.  My personal fashion concept remains forever unchanged, I am completely and utterly predictable in this area.  Most of the time, I go out with no make up.  I reserve that for special occasions, though my kids are working it over so soon I won't have the paltry handful of items I currently possess. 

 34. What kept you sane?
Church.  Church keeps me sane.  I find kindred spirits there, and it is a place of renewal and reflection.  My social network in Misawa mostly surrounds my church friends. 

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you like the most?
When I see this question every year, I blank out, seriously. 

 36. What political issue stirred you the most?
 This next year is going to be a doozy.  Anyway, the appeal of Donald Trump I guess.  I do not get him.  2016 is going to be a circus. 

 37. Who/what did you miss?
 Family back home.  My mom did come visit for a month.  So did my mother in law.  I still miss them.  Also, I miss my horse. 

 38. Who was the best new person you met?
A little boy named Corbin.  Also made some great friends in Church. 

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
 You choose your attitude.  In the year of the perpetually offended, you have to choose your own reactions.  I choose not to take offense.  It has served me well.

 40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"Hello"  I'm going with that one.