Our Family Photos by the Lovely Melanie Duerkopp and New Year's Resolutions

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I may have mentioned I take my New Year’s resolutions pretty seriously, mainly because they’ve had a real impact on changing my life. Last year’s was no exception. Having a baby means a lot of family time – we started to get to know Bennett, we saw almost all of Chris’ and my family numerous times, (including his sister and family who live in Australia), we took him around the country and showed him off; it was exactly how we wanted it and just what a newborn needs – to know he’s come into a world full of folks that love him. It’s weird but having taken the acting class before all the chaos hit, settled me and somehow brought me back into myself in a way where I could (more often) ride the wave of visitors and sleepless nights and not worry I was losing myself the way I did the first round. (Except for my stomach. I fear earlier versions are forever lost to this current version, which requires tucking into my pants).
baby-boy-blue-laughingThe class was such a small thing, but, almost a year on, I still think about it and feel more complete because I fed that part of myself and I know it’s possible to go back and take part in this thing, acting, I really love.

This year I want more of that. More feeling like myself and really digging in and relishing the little free time I have (when the majority of your email replies originate in the bathroom, I’d say it’s safe to say you’re not working with an abundance of “me” time), rather than piddling it away on tasks that are going to need doing again tomorrow and make me curse the washing machine, dishwasher, shower, Swiffer, mail, Target, and the fact everyone in my family requires feeding at least three times a day and how can it be time for you people to eat again when I just fed you?!?!

I have a hunch these tasks will all somehow get done and the world will most likely keep on turning whether or not my my shower is cleaned on Tuesday or Thursday this week (or ever) or they won’t get done and my family will start gnawing at my ankles and I’ll know it’s time to refocus my priorities.
girl-dancing-bay-bridge-balloonsWith that in mind, I’m going to do two things this New Year (this is breaking tradition with my one resolution of fun, but I think when you see the second one you’ll give me a pass).

First, I’m going to make time to do each of these four things once a week: blog, exercise, read a book (not a magazine or my phone), have an adventure with my kids/family. When these four things are in my life, I’m different. I’m better and more kind and funnier and more myself. And, let’s be honest, Game of Thrones isn’t coming back until this summer so I have PLENTY of time to work with.

(Of course, my inner critic starts up as soon as I write this with, “Once a week? How lame! What’s the point of working out once a week? You might as well declare yourself a permanent couch potato and give up!” To which I very politely say, “Shut up.”)

Secondly, we’re hiring a housecleaner. This comes will all sorts of baggage, namely, “why would you pay someone to do something you can do yourself?”, but I’m getting over it because I want the time, thank you very much, and because the one time this past year we had someone clean our house, I felt such a weight lifted you would have thought I’d just finished final exams and had the whole summer ahead of me. Which is not a bad feeling to have twice a month, I’ve gotta say. Paired with my four things, World, you better watch out because this mama is going to be on FIRE this year.
Have you made any resolutions or picked a word you want your year to be about?

Our lovely, lovely family photos were taken by the incomparable Melanie Duerkopp, who also did my headshots and somehow always manages to make me look much younger than I feel. 

  1. Penne says:

    Those are some lucky little good-looking short people. They have a beautiful fun mommy and a handsome proud dad. Enjoy your housekeeper. There is no finer treat in the world. Miss you.

    • Kara says:

      You were actually my inspiration for hiring a housekeeper because I remember how much you loved Fridays. Miss you too.

  2. Shawna says:

    Four priorities and a house keeper! I love it!!!!!!

  3. Sarah Leineweber says:

    You are amazeballs! I love seeing what you and your (um, hello…freaking adorable) family are up too. You are an inspiration…even for those of us who haven’t hit the life stage of husbands and babies yet!

  4. I’m so glad you specified reading a BOOK. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down to relax with a magazine or my phone and gotten up 30 minutes later feeling just as stressed. You just can’t lose yourself in a magazine or an RSS feed the way you can in a hundred pages of good writing.

    • Kara says:

      Yes! I feel the same – I feel refreshed after reading a book, not half-guilty like I do after reading one of my celebrity mags…

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