Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy Twenty-Eleven!

Welcome Twenty-eleven! Very excited to make your acquaintance and cannot wait to see what you have in store for us!

To copycat my sister-in-law, I will begin this year by reflecting on the previous year. Twenty-ten was a wonderful year. We were able to move into a 3-bedroom townhouse giving us a little more privacy and space. We were able to "adopt" another kitten, Maxie who has been such a wonderful little addition to our family. We visited Matt's parents in California for one week, which was amazing. We celebrated our second wedding anniversary. I got a raise at work. Matt decided to go into the U.S. Marine Corps. We were able to visit my family in Michigan and see the entire extended family. Then all of Matt's immediate family was able to come to Lynchburg to celebrate Christmas. It was a wonderful year.

Below is a copied portion of my New Year's resolution post from 2010. The portion in purple is what I wrote. The portion in pink is how I think I did. (thanks, Jamie, for the inspiration!)

As far as resolutions, I feel pretty good about the resolutions I made for 2009. This year I want to keep it simple, but focused.

1) Focus my life entirely around my faith. I admit, there are areas of my life that I still have trouble allowing God to take over. Bad move. I want to focus everything I have on Him and His plan for my life. Plus, as I prepare for motherhood, I want to be able to answer my childrens' questions about God and lead them to an understanding of the faith and hopefully to a faith of their own. As a preschool teacher (which I still miss each and every day), I was given a glimpse to the minds of young children and how many answers I will have to have for their eager little minds. And I am so excited for the opportunity to raise up my children in the Lord and allow Him to mold and shape them as much as I am able to allow so that when the time comes, they will continue to walk with Him. But first, I must make sure everything is right in my life.
Better. Still a work in progress, as always. I have learned much about trusting the Lord through this past year. God has provided for us in new and wonderful ways and He has made evident (or we were paying better attention) His plans for our lives. God is good and I hope to continue to grow in faith and hope each and every day of 2011.

2) Build up our savings. My income is secondary and extra. We put most of it in savings except for very special occasions. We hope to have enough for a down payment on a house, to fix up said house if necessary, and to furnish said house. Not to mention all the baby costs that will probably come around the same time as the house. When we start having children I will be a stay at home mom so we're building up our nest egg now. We don't plan to purchase a house until after both of us are out of grad school, but we want to have it all set up before then so we're ready when that perfect house comes along. I have an actual number I'd like to see our savings at and if we don't meet it... well, that would mean there was some terrible accident and we needed to quit work or buy new cars or one of us was in the hospital for an extended time or something else way out of the ordinary. There should be no reason why our savings doesn't meet and exceed our expectations.
We did sock away some into savings. Every time we go to the bank the teller asks if we normally keep our savings that high. I take that as a good sign. We started living a little more extravagantly when Matthew determined to go into the Marines. We're still saving, but not so much for a down payment on a house anymore. These savings are for emergencies, vacations, pregnancy and birth costs, and the possibility that there will be a time between my giving birth to our first child and no income coming in for a couple months. No details on that last statement, but we're giving ourselves a good buffer just in case.

3) Go to the Bonnell family Christmas. I wanted to this year, but since taking a new job I didn't have vacation days yet. So next Christmas season it is a must.
Done. Wonderful time. I have an amazing family and it was wonderful to be able to see my three grandparents and two of Matt's grandparents. Our grandparents are all doing fairly well health wise, but when you reach the ages they are approaching (or at right now) you cannot take a single day for granted. It was a blessing to be able to spend time with each of them while we were in Michigan.

4) Visit the gym with regularity. I have the weight I want to maintain and I have the body image I want to have. Shouldn't be too hard since I've only fluctuated within 15 pounds up and down since freshman year of high school. But I want to be active about keeping my weight in check as well as being fit. It was so easy in high school- with sports teams, especially cheerleading as a flyer. Even in college I had accountability with my friends who went regularly. We have gym memberships at the YMCA now and even though Matt gets a discount since he works at the hospital, I still need to take advantage of the equipment since we are now paying for it.
Eh. Went to the gym regularly for a while... then stopped... then started up again once a week... then stopped... just recently began going again regularly. I'm at a "healthy" weight right now and everyone says not to try to lose any more weight. I'd like to drop another couple pounds before pregnancy, so hopefully my continued gym goings will make that a possibility.

5) Get straight A's in my Graduate Studies. School has always come easy for me and thankfully all of my Master's classes are extremely interesting to me. My work will only pay for me to take one course at a time so I should have no reason to get anything less than an A in my coursework. I will take four courses towards my degree this year (beginning this summer) and the rest next year while I'm finishing up my time at Liberty (hopefully, if everything goes according to plan baby wise... smile). I was lazy to a certain extent in my undergrad program. There were a handful of courses I got B's in that should have been A's. I still graduated with honors, but I definitely could have had a different color cord. In my grad work there should be no excuses!
Done. Five classes finished. All five high A's. GPA of 4.0 thusfar in my graduate program.

6) Be a loving, serving wife in every way possible. Day in and day out. I am a fairly selfish person. I have working on having a servants heart towards my husband. I firmly believe that it is my responsibility to clean the house, pay the bills, and do the dishes. This is not true of all families and it is not a must for all wives... but I take pride in running out household. Matthew is our bread winner and I am so thankful for his hard work to provide for our family and our future. I don't show it enough.
Again, a work in progress. Some days I do well with this goal. Others, not so much. Recently I have been discouraged about a few things that do not relate to Matthew but it has changed my entire attitude. I have become a little more lazy in keeping the house spick and span and a little more quick to tell Matthew what he needs to be doing on his end. Thankfully, I have a very patient and loving husband who understands that I am frustrated and never stops serving me.

That does it for 2010. Now, on to 2011. First, the verse of the year. I really like the verse I found for 2010 1 Timothy 1:5. I think that is the goal of Christianity summed up completely. It will remain on my profiles but I will still choose a focal verse for 2011.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12

This verse will suit my growth needs for 2011 in numerous ways. Trials I expect to face in 2011 include work strain, Matthew entering the Marines later in the year and the admission process until that point, and our plans to increase our little family. This verse will remind me that all things happen in the Lord's time and sometimes His answer is no. I must continue on steadfastly, though, through all things. For God has rained down His promises on me, His child, and I am to trust and follow always.

For resolutions (or goals as I prefer to call them), again, keeping it simple and sweet this year.

1) Grow in my prayer life. Not only bringing everything to the Lord in prayer, but also to increase the faith that goes behind the prayers. So often I think of Matt. 17:20 (look it up!) and wonder if my prayers are not being answered as quickly as I wish or how I wish because in my heart I doubt.

2) Be a supportive wife in all circumstances. This does not always mean that I have to agree with what Matthew is saying or doing. But I support him as a person and what his goals are. We may have disagreements, but I will always stand by him and love him unconditionally. Support is especially important as he enters the Marines. I know he will do wonderfully as an officer and I know that there will be times when I may hate the lifestyle we are pursuing. But Matt does not need to hear my complaints. He needs to hear my faith.

3) Finish my Master's program. I should be able to accomplish this with no problem. I may have miscalculated my total credit hours for my Continuing Education so Matthew and I may need to pay for one class ourselves, which shouldn't be an issue. I could take half a semester off and take the additional class later... but I'd prefer to just continue going through the program back to back and finish it. I would like to maintain my GPA of 4.0 throughout the entire program.

4) Be more kind. Be less judgmental. Of myself and others.

5) Make the most of every opportunity. This has several meanings. In 2012 if I recap once again I will explain more in detail. But this is a way to state my last goal/ resolution publicly without going into too many details. Make the most of every opportunity.

I close with a picture. I'll try to make the posts more interesting in 2011 also. The only people who read this blog (that I know of) aren't reading for pictures... but it makes it more enjoyable, I think. Then again, when I look at who's been reading my blog it is interesting. I don't know anyone in Alaska (that I can think of), yet someone from there is constantly viewing my page. If this is you... Hello! My name is Becca Iveson. Pleasure to meet you.

They are beautiful kittens!

Happy Twenty Eleven!

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