Saturday, January 2

This is a great plan. Bring it, 2016!

I feel like I need to revisit a couple of last year's EXPECTATIONs before diving into this year's, because it'll feel good to check them off the list. As in January last year, I have a good feeling about this year, but unlike last year, I have some serious reasons to have hope.
First, Brian starts a new full-time job on Monday, and this one seems like it'll work out way better than the last. He's been in a pickle when it comes to jobs lately, and that looks like it'll change quickly once Monday arrives. Second, I now have a job that I like, and that pays me. I'm not getting paid well, for sure, but there's at least some extra coin coming into the house, and it's because of me, and that makes me feel better as a person, parent and wife. Also, my brain is being used, and that's something that I missed a whole lot over the last several years. Those two things right there, were huge on the list last year. Sure, they weren't accomplished until very late in 2015, but at least they were accomplished. Herein, my EXPECTATIONs for 2016.
EXPECTATION #1: Do some serious debt reduction. The goal is to double up on some payments (my Amex bill), and get rid of others entirely (my Nordstrom bill). With Brian's new job, that may work out even better and quicker (his "extra" income, too).
EXPECTATION #2: Make Gammage my friend again. This one is held over from last year, but at least we did get to go see something this year. Brian and I thoroughly enjoyed Book of Mormon, and it reminded me how much I love going to the theater. I can't think of anything better than taking Sydney to see her first stage musical this year.
EXPECTATION #3: Clean and purge the house. Especially Sydney's room, because she has way too much random stuff that she does not play with anymore. Also, unclutter a bit. I have a lot of stuff, and I don't want it all anymore.
EXPECTATION #4: Find a house cleaning crew/person that won't cost me a fortune. I always said that the first thing I would do after finding a job would be to get someone to clean my house. And I'm still all in with that. But I fear that the cleaning service will cost me $300 a month, and I simply can't add that to my budget quite yet. But as soon as a bill is paid off, the cleaning will commence.
EXPECTATION #5: Knock off the list of stuff I want to buy for the house. Potting shelves for the backyard; pink quilt and accessories for master bedroom; bed frame for Sydney; sofa and area rug for the living room; and possible cozy chair replacement. These things have been on my list for a while, and that's irritating, but I've decided that this year, I'll check one off every month. In January, for my birthday, the pink quilt and bedroom accessories.
EXPECTATION #6: Spend holidays with the family and friends who want us with them. This year, we got ditched way too often, and I won't tolerate it anymore. Sydney deserves the huge, loud holiday celebrations that I always enjoyed, and this year, she's getting them.
EXPECTATION #7: Vacation. I had hoped to get one of these into the schedule last year, but that just wasn't in the cards. This year, I'm thinking we definitely need to get out of town for a week or so. Again, Brian's bonuses should help with that a lot. We will vacation as a family.
EXPECTATION #8: Do better by my kid's weekends. I got really, really tired of telling Sydney that we couldn't do anything over the weekend because we didn't have any money. I refuse to let that dictate my life this year. We're going to go on adventures, and we're going to have fun. Weekends spent at home, in pajamas, will not be tolerated, unless it's what we all want.
EXPECTATION #9: Be a "pretty girl" again. I need regular manicures and pedicures (as does Sydney). I need someone to color my hair and cut it regularly. These things must be added to my monthly to-do list. (I already get my brows waxed. I'm not an animal.)
EXPECTATION #10: Make some dinners. My pile of recipes that I'd like to try is getting crazy tall, and I want to start making things for dinner. Mom got me the panini press I wanted for Christmas, and that will be awesome for fun sandwiches. But I'd really like to be able to mess around in the kitchen more.
It's not lost on me that most of my EXPECTATIONs are finance-based. To do these things, we'll need money in the house. But real, working adults should be able to set those things in motion, and I'm excited to be a part of it.

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