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intentional 2018

happy new year!

i wrote this post this afternoon and when i went to publish it, my browser tab froze. i decided to reload it thinking that's happened before and reloading fixed it and didn't result in the loss of any work. unfortunately, that wasn't the case today. i lost all but my first three paragraphs. which was a huge bummer.

also as i was backing out of a friend's driveway earlier today, i side swiped a wooden fence post. immediately i was thankful i wasn't driving the rental car that david is driving this week as we are having our expedition repaired after the rear-ending incident in december. i thought i had pulled up the driveway straight and parked so i could just back out the same way. nope. face palm. terrible, no good, very bad day.

but then. a miracle happened. i decided to try bina with some mixed veggies (the frozen kind, thawed) as part of her dinner tonight. first she ate her pasta, then a bite of cheese. and then. the unexplainable happened. she went for the veggies. she ate one spoonful and then painstakingly tried to get several more but was having trouble getting the peas, carrots, green beans, and corn to cooperate. so she asked ME to help her eat them. i was just like. IS THIS HAPPENING?!?! ya'll. my kid ate vegetables. all of the ones i gave her. ALL OF THEM. it is a miracle from god himself. that alone gave me the resolve to return to this blog post and re write the whole dumb thing.

AND THEN. after dinner david checked his email and noticed an email from our adoption specialist that i had not checked (look at me trying to be present and resist checking my email!). it was a request for a potential profile showing. OUR FIRST POTENTIAL PROFILE SHOWING. things just got REAL. we have until monday to notify our adoption specialist whether or not we would like our profile to be shared in this situation. we are prayerfully considering the possibility and excited to be at this point in the process where our profile can be shared with a birth mama.

the combination of bina eating vegetables and the potential of our profile being shared with a birth mama. that just got me all hyped up and ready to crank out this post. terrible, no good, very bad day -- you will not stay this way! LETS DO THIS. here we go.

one of my christmas gifts was a 2018 intentional goal planner. ISN'T IT BEAUTIFUL?!

naturally i stressed out trying to complete all the goal planning worksheets in time to start off right on january 1. i did pretty well with it. they were a lot of work. it took me several hours over several days, but i persevered. the only part i failed to do was map out how i'm going to implement my eight goals over the course of the year to make sure i'm not drowning myself at any one point. probably shouldn't have skipped that step because i'm pretty sure i am successfully drowning myself in january. but. i committed to live and learn and adjust for february.

for some reason i assumed this would also be a calendar planner, like the month overview plus weekly planner. that is not the case. so i got myself a daily paper planner to accompany it. david kindly offered to watch bina on new year's day while i went to barnes & noble to find myself a paper planner. side note: he texted me while i was gone saying "bina has hit the terrible twos or we are in big trouble." yes. yes, she has. and i love her for it. oh the wonderful, terrible twos. anyways, i settled on this kate spade beauty. it's a 17 month planner with five months from 2017, which i just ripped out. but because of that it was 50% off, a mere $18! i'm pretty happy with my purchase.

at any rate, now i have my weekly whiteboard, two monthly whiteboards, a yearly paper intentional goal planner, and a daily paper planner. overkill? no way. i don't know what it is with me, but i just cannot do the tiny phone calendar and month at a glance with dots. i need to be able to SEE it all at once. gives me some comfort being able to see all the things coming up. they're not just little dots on the monthly overview phone calendar that i have to click on to see information about the events of that day. some people like the dots. i am not one of those people. give me all the paper and whiteboards. all day. god bless the trees that were sacrificed to make these wonderful products. i did recycle the five months of the kate spade planner that i tore out. that counts for something, right?

with my goal planner comes a tending list to complete for each month of the year. the tending list has monthly, weekly, and daily goals to track. then i got this sticker book to embellish my planners, including color coded dots for items on my tending list that fall under each of my eight goals. it's pretty rock star.

brittain, why is your thumb in the way? well friends, it's because i didn't want to share that particular weekly goal. but you get the idea. and you can see that i did awesome on my daily goals the first two days and then slacked off a bit the third. that's because on the third day i did my one spontaneous thing a week (two, actually). doing the spontaneous things resulted in the sacrifice of some of the daily habits i'm trying to cultivate. but i figured if i was going to sacrifice my daily goals, might as well be for something like hitting a weekly goal. and as the quote at the bottom of the daily goal chart says: focus on little by little progress, not perfection. tomorrow is a new day!

since i found myself getting stressed trying to map out my goals for the year, one thing i'm really trying to focus on is progress over perfection. and lots of grace. our pastor shared in his sermon on sunday that people typically keep up their goals for the first two weeks of a new year and then fall off the bandwagon. i don't want that to be me! the whole point of this intentional goal planner is to figure out what's important to me and help me make a plan that can work to pursue those things, little by little. reviewing this tending list multiple times a day helps remind me which things i'm trying to prioritize, and to actually do those things.

one of the intentional goal planner worksheets had me evaluate ten areas of my life and then choose three to focus on for the upcoming year. the three areas of my life that i most want to cultivate this year are:

1. health (self-care, fitness)

i've been working out at lifetime fitness 2-3 times a week since the end of november. i'm glad i was able to begin progress on this aspect of the health area before the new year started and before the possibility of placement with a babe (thanks, god!). i needed time to get the gym into my regular routine, see bina thrive in the childcare, and begin to see the results of my efforts physically and mentally. i'm sleeping better because i'm exercising, my body is getting stronger, and i just feel better overall. i know that this is important and something that i need to prioritize for my health so that i can be the best mama i can be for my little (and wife for my hubs!). whenever we are placed with a babe, our lives will be turned upside down for a season. adjustments will have to be made in lots of areas. lifetime fitness childcare doesn't start for babies until they are three months old. so that means either i take a three month hiatus, or i get someone to watch baby for me once or twice a week, and/or david watches baby on the weekend so i can get in a workout. i have options, though. that's the important thing. growing our family doesn't necessitate that i drop this aspect of self-care that i have cultivated over the last month or so. and, in fact, i am now motivated to continue to make it work!

2. spouse (prioritizing my marriage)

i've been reading a transracial adoption book and one of the chapters touched on prioritizing one's marriage. it's easy to pour all of our attention and effort into children and let our marriage suffer. the children need us to survive! but, so does our marriage. and a happy marriage makes for happy children. i feel this year especially that as i take care of myself, i need to prioritize being intentional in my relationship with david. appreciating him. spending time with him. loving him. serving him. doing this is an investment in my children. earlier this year i did the husband project: 21 days of loving your man--on purpose and with a plan with a couple of girlfriends. i noticed that as i was intentional about considering david throughout my day, i felt more positive about our relationship and more present for him when he was with us. i knew that was something i wanted to continue because i knew it would benefit our relationship. i want a strong marriage. part of what david and i have committed to do for our children is to be the people that we want our children to grow up to be. and that means modeling a healthy, vibrant marriage. and hey, we're hitting 10 years of marriage this may!

3. recreation (having fun with my peeps and enjoying this season)

since my mini-breakdown over thanksgiving week, i've found myself much more at peace with the waiting part of the adoption journey and focused on enjoying this season with bina alone as long as it lasts. she is so full of life. every day she's saying new words and stringing them together into sentences i've never heard her speak before. her imagination makes my heart burst with love and pride. even in just the few days of giving her at least 20 minutes of my undivided attention in play, i've seen her grow and find more joy in free play beyond the time with me. we are in the midst of the season of life with young kiddos. and that comes with its limitations. it also comes with its unique joys! i don't want to miss those. i want to thoroughly embrace this season of life and focus on enjoying the moments. truly being present and content so that we can be together and make memories and have fun doing it. there will be good and bad days no matter what stage of life we're in. that's life! hold onto the good, and grab ahold of god's grace for the bad. the days are long, but the years are short. or so they say.

i am excited for 2018. my word for the year is joy. i plan to cultivate more joy in my life by practicing gratitude in all situations. we're in for some big, big changes in the next 12 months. i'm sure there will be times when we will ask ourselves WHAT ARE WE DOING?! but my hope is that by living intentionally, david and i can look at each other, repent if we need to, embrace, laugh, and find joy in the struggle. c'mon, 2018. LETS DO THIS.

hello there.

brittain here. just sharing my journey day to day with lots of laughs along the way.

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