Looking ahead at 2014, there are a lot of big things on the horizon.
Next week, I will start my school counseling practicum at a local elementary school. I'm so excited, and also pretty nervous. This will be my first real experience in school counseling. The spring semester will also include an oral exam for my master's program, plus I'll be attending my first school counseling conference. During the second half of the year, I'll complete my first of two school counseling internships at either an elementary school or a high school. Also, my husband is about to begin nursing school at night on top of his full-time job. His classes start in a couple weeks, and clinicals begin in February. By the time 2014 wraps up, I'll be one internship away from graduating, and he'll be halfway through the nursing program! We're going to be busy, for sure, but we're both excited about taking the next steps toward our future careers!
Also during the second half of the year, my oldest son will start middle school (how is this even possible?!) and my middle son will start kindergarten. I can't believe how fast my babies are growing up. Each year seems to go by faster.
Of course, I have plenty of other goals for the year. Like most people, I want to lose weight this year and get in better shape. I'm turning 30 next month, and I've realized that I've been carrying around extra weight my entire adult life. Certainly, I have lost a lot of it over the past five years, but I still have approximately 30-40 pounds I want to lose. Even more significant than that, though, is the situation with my abdominal muscles. Basically, they are split (thanks, giant babies) which causes me to have core weakness, back pain, and puts me at risk for a hernia if I don't repair the split. So that is my main health goal for the year. I have to be careful about the exercises I do, though, because traditional abdominal exercises can actually do further damage. I am also thinking about signing up for another color run in April. Maybe. We'll see. ;) I enjoyed my experience with running last year, but it never helped me at all with weight loss, so I may choose to focus my exercise efforts elsewhere. I definitely want to do some strength training, and I have plenty of inches to lose.
Some other things I anticipate this year:
No more diapers! Joshua turned two a few weeks ago and is becoming very interested in potty training. I definitely plan to be completely done with diapers by the end of the year, and hopefully within the next few months.
Lots of reading. I know I don't have a lot of extra time, but I want to be intentional about how I use it. Right now, I tend to spend too much of my spare time on Facebook. Instead, I want to cultivate a habit of reading, especially about topics that are important to me as a mom and school counselor.
Another trip out of town with my husband. I'd love to go back to Nashville around my birthday next month, but any trip at any time would be acceptable. ;)
Writing. If you know me, it's no secret that I've always enjoyed writing. I've kept a journal since I was a child, and I've been blogging in various forms for about a decade now. Unfortunately, I haven't written as much over the past couple of years because I've been so busy, but I miss writing and I want to get back to it. Between my posts as I read through the lectionary, thoughts about various topics, and general life updates, hopefully this blog will get a lot of use this year.
Love. As always, I want to be a more loving, generous person. I hope that people will see the love of God through me as I continue to grow spiritually.
I also want to start consistently attending church again. This will, of course, require my family to stay healthy. That has been our biggest hindrance over the past few months.
And of course, I'm going to continue developing close, positive relationships with my children. The older they get, the more I see these efforts pay off. It's not always easy, and it certainly takes time and patience, but it's so worth it. I want to intentionally focus on spending consistent one-on-one time with each of the boys. They each enjoy this, but it's so easy to let life get away from us without making time for it on a regular basis.
So, there are some of the things I expect for the year. Of course I know there will be many unexpected happenings as well, and I hope I can stay positive throughout whatever changes come my way. Here's to a new year!