We were supposed to go to a party last night, but it was in Dallas (which, contrary to the term "DFW" and the fact that I can see the Dallas skyline out of my downtown Fort Worth office window, is not part of Fort Worth, but rather is an hour drive away; we've lived here for 10 months, we've been near Dallas only twice) and we couldn't get a sitter and Claire's been stubbornly sick, so we decided to have a family party at home. The kids and I piled in the car (with Bear still in her pj's, covered by a warm jacket) to make a quick Kroger run at 5 p.m. to pick up any party supplies remaining in the store display (only napkins and blowers could be found). We had to repurpose a few things in the house, but I think we made a nice table.
We enjoyed flank steak, riced potatoes, fresh veggies, bread, red wine, champagne, apple cider, and store bought desserts. Then JP and I enjoyed another bottle of champagne after the kids toddled off to bed at 8. We made it to midnight, barely.
Landon's highlight of the night (and possibly his whole year) was getting to drink his sparkling cider out of a champagne flute. Claire spent most of the meal in my lap, but we got her to eat everything on her plate. She managed the cupcake without any help at all.
Also yesterday, I flew in the face of my new health and fitness-based resolutions and made homemade cinnamon rolls. It just felt right.
This recipe is excellent, though next time I'm adding more powdered sugar to the icing and using salted butter (I wanted it a little sweeter; as it's written, it tastes mostly like cream cheese, and then I just like salt). The dough was easy to work with and rose beautifully and I love that it only makes 18. I do not need more than 1.5 dozen cinnamon rolls in my house.
As to goals for 2013, I have a few.
1. Get back on track with family walks. We have a 2.5 mile loop that runs through woods and streams and parks that we love, but we've fallen off the wagon in doing it. This is due largely to the fact that the training wheels on Landon's bike are almost completely worn away, resulting in lots of falls and tears and frustration, but our one attempt to teach him to ride his bike without training wheels was so disastrous that none of us has even mentioned it again. Luckily, Landon got a scooter from my parents for Christmas, so now he scoots along while I once again get exercise in the only form I do not hate (well, that and hiking, but hiking is really just walking with an incline and better scenery).
2. Pick up the free weights sitting in the closet in the family room and do a few reps any time I sit down and turn on the TV. Thanks to swimming and then carrying around my babies, my arms are fairly toned. I'd like to keep them that way (yes, it's purely superficial, but I'm told weight-bearing exercise has health benefits as well). The weights are right there, there's no reason I can't pick them up when I'm hanging out at night or while the kids are napping on the weekends. The same reasoning should apply to doing a few sit-ups, but let's not get crazy.
3. Make vegetables with every dinner. Also, learn ways to make vegetables that do not involve steaming. I don't mind the occasional steamed vegetable, but there has got to be other ways to make a healthy vegetable side dish.
4. Re-start a vacation savings account as soon as JP gets a job. There are many things demanding financial attention, but in reviewing our pictures from 2012, absolutely none stand out so brightly as our January ski trip. It was expensive and we saved money in a special online savings account for 2 years to do it, but it made memories for a lifetime. And next trip, the kids should actually be able to remember it for a lifetime too!
5. Stop pussyfooting around about baby #3. Stop letting fear of transient inconveniences or uncertainty (JP's unemployment; fear of newborns and their sleep/wake cycles; hatred of pregnancy; our current uncertainty on where we might be living 6 months from now; weight gain; weight loss; money; the return to diapers; more daycare just when we are about to downsize to only 1 attendee; car size; house size; money; fear of newborns; JP's unemployment; etc, etc, etc.) get in the way of a life-long decision. Decide, move forward, stop talking about it. And then work on reacquiring all the baby stuff we gave away when we moved. (Update: To be clear, my goal is to resolve our constant "should we have another?" discussions by the end of the year. I am decidedly not pregnant. We are decidedly not resolved. If JP ever actually read this blog he would have a panic attack at your lovely congratulatory comments :).
6. Support JP. Both in unemployment and the job search generally and his new business venture specifically. I'm not going to lie, it scares the hell out of me (both of those things, but the new venture even more), but it's something he believes in and desperately wants to do (no matter how much he holds back from pressuring me on supporting it). In the short term, this means being his sounding board and enthusiastic co-worker at the end of the day when most of the time I just want to tune out and watch West Wing re-runs. This is his dream; he deserves this chance; and as I have to keep reminding myself (and we learned the hard way this year), every job has risks, including working for the large, stable Fortune 100 company of my risk-averse dreams.
2012 brought us a new job for me, Fort Worth, home renovations, two trips to Colorado, new friends, and new opportunities. I'm looking forward to what 2013 has to offer, and I'm hoping a new, exciting job for JP, preferably in Fort Worth, and some good news on a few critical items regarding the new business, are first up on the list. (Job first though, please; someone has to worry about our mortgage and that someone has insomnia that is highly correlated with stress. Fully supportive stress.)