Being a teacher, sometimes it’s hard for me to get too excited about starting a new calendar year. My school year starts in August and ends in May, and that’s usually when I set new goals for myself. But after hearing many others talk about what they did in 2017, Mr. Cupcake and I pondered on this last year and what it meant for us and our family.
- I said goodbye to the only school I ever taught at after ten years of being a classroom teacher there. I love this school, the families, and my colleagues so much so this was very emotional. I will always feel like a Thunderbird!
- I graduated with my doctorate degree. I surprised myself that I was able to successfully complete this! I grew so much as an educator, a writer, and just a disciplined person through this whole process. I was able to finish my dissertation after dealing with a tough pregnancy, mono, and a newborn. I was asked two different times to share my story with others in cohorts behind me and I hope I was able to encourage them!
- Fitz had surgery as a 9 month old and we dealt with the emotional aspects of that. All is well now and we are thankful for Fitz’s continued health.
- We made it to my one year breastfeeding goal! Fitz and I struggled for a couple of months in the beginning, but we stuck with it and I was able to breastfeed and also pump throughout the school year. By the time he turned one, we even kept a couple of feedings going for a few more months.
- I started a new position as an Innovation Specialist where I teach STEM to Kindergarten-sixth graders. This definitely keeps me on my toes, but I love seeing the kids enjoy hands-on learning by building, creating, and becoming innovators.
- I started a blog which lead me toward freelance writing for Hellobee, and then I added Kansas City Mom Blog at the end of the year. I love connecting with other mamas! Also, writing has become a huge outlet for me. I always journaled, but when working on my master’s and doctorate degrees, schoolwork consumed much of my writing energy. It’s so nice to be able to write what I enjoy again and in my own time!
- I started working as an adjunct instructor teaching graduate education courses. Going into higher education was the reason I started working on my doctorate, so it was a huge blessing when I landed this part-time gig. I’m getting great experience and I’m hoping that in the near future it will lead to something more!
- Mr. Cupcake and I paid off thousands of dollars of our student debt. We still have a ways to go, but it’s encouraging to look at how far we’ve come, and what we can really accomplish when we put our minds to it! We were able to pay off more than we thought last year, especially considering we had a lot of medical bills and I was making less (from being on maternity leave) than I will this year.
In 2018, my little family has more to do in the area of perseverance. This last year increased my faith and hope in Christ and how He is always with us and is faithful to provide. I’m so excited about what’s to come!
Now we are looking ahead to what we want to accomplish in 2018! Even though our life changed massively in 2016 with the birth of Fitz, we had a lot of new things continue on in 2017. While they were all good things, it was just quite hectic so we are hoping that 2018 will be a little calmer. Here are some of our goals:
- Paying off more debt: This is the BIG goal. The MAIN goal for the year. We are still working on cutting back and hitting every extra penny on the student loans. Mr. Cupcake has a little Miata (which he adores) and we plan on selling that to get some $$$ to continue to hack away at our debt snowball. I still struggle with the temptation to shop for new clothes each season (which I adore) and of course Fitz constantly needs new things as well, but we are constantly trying to limit our spending.
- Spending time as a family: This is not so much a goal, as something we are just looking forward to doing. Last year working on my dissertation took up so much of my time, that I’m excited to have more time with my boys this year. Also, last summer Mr. Cupcake and I both worked a lot over the summer and this year we are planning on taking the whole summer off together! Fitz will be turning two, so he’ll be old enough to enjoy a lot of summer activities together.
- Taking Fitz on his first trip: He flies free before he’s two, so I think it would be fun to fly somewhere in June! My brother lives in Nashville and before the baby, Mr. Cupcake and I took many road trips there. If we can find good ticket prices, we’d like to fly with the baby and show him a new city and visit his aunt and uncle.
And the scariest one….
- Getting pregnant! We always talked about having baby number 2 when Fitz turns 3. We are thinking about trying near the end of 2018 so that we’d have a baby around summer and Fitz’s 3rd birthday. This time frame seems SO soon! After being so sick during my first pregnancy, it’s hard for me to even think about being pregnant again in a matter of months. But I know Fitz would love being a big brother! As a teacher, it’s easier for me to have babies in the summer time because I can either take less days off, or it can work to extend my leave. Also, since Mr. Cupcake teaches too, he could be here with me more without having to take his days off.
So there’are our main goals! Are your family goals full of new things, or are you hoping for a calmer year? It’s such a good time to reflect and communicate with your partner over your family vision for the upcoming year. I wish you well!