What Worked in 2014

Anne’s recent post on what worked for her inspired me to think about what worked around here before I set goals for 2015.  I am so often focused on fixing what didn’t work that I change what is working. Proverbial baby and bath water.  So I made a list.

1. Our new home.

After seven months of being a guest in my parents’ home, I am so grateful to be home.

But even before that, we were spending so much time in the car.  Just for his work commute, Sam saves 112 hours a year commuting. That 28 minutes a day is the long enough for a short run, or a leisurely conversation, or half a child’s soccer game.  The library was a twenty minute drive each way; now it’s a ten minute bike ride (or a three minute drive).  A wide path is a block away, and we walk (or bike or run) it daily.
We also took advantage of some of the other neighborhood activities, like Shakespeare in the Park (“All’s Well that Ends Well”– 10 points if you can name the movie I’m quoting here) and a Frozen sing along.
The Tempest in the park
2. The daily schedule.

Oh, how I dreaded making this white board schedule.  Its main benefit, I suspect, is that I can no longer set ridiculous expectations for what we can accomplish in one day.  Gone are the days of planning to clean all the baseboards, put away the winter clothes, read the complete works of Emily Dickinson and take a nature walk in one day.
3. Working out while the kids are at swim team.

Planning the afternoon for my workout time is counter to many fitness “experts,” but it’s working for us.  Knowing that I get an hour (or more) of uninterrupted running time gives me a reason to push when the kids feel lazy and don’t want to bother.  Knowing that I have 75-90 minutes with no other demands on my time has pushed me past the 30 minute run. Now my “regular run” is anywhere from four to six miles.

one of my favorite places to run

4. My doctor.

2013 was rough for me health-wise.  In January I started seeing a new (to me) doctor who not only listened to me, but also encouraged me to listen to my body.  2014 wasn’t perfect, but we’re getting closer.

5. Monthly meal planning.

It’s so easy for me to fall into a cooking rut. Looking at a whole month at time helps me to try more new meals here and there and make sure we’re not eating pizza every week. We spend a big chunk of our budget on food because we buy local, organic sustainably produced foods whenever we can, but planning by the month makes it more affordable.

6. Our cooking “curriculum.”

I had planned a very formal cooking course with the children for this year that I scrapped in favor of watching some food TV and encouraging challenges like Chopped At Home and asking the kids to prepare dinner from start to finish.  They have all gained skilled and confidence in the kitchen. (I’m still waiting for their palates to broaden…)

7. Regular blogging.

I’ve had a great time participating in link-ups like {phfr}, Short Reviews (formerly known at twitterature) and 7QT.

8. Visiting relatives in Chicago.

We changed things up this year, visiting family in Chicago in the summer and staying home over the winter holidays.  We are a big family ad putting us up is always a challenge, made harder when lots of family descends at the same time.  Our off-season visit gave us time with individual family members instead of as a huge group.  Then we flew Sam out for various weekends when we could do the most good. I think it works for this season.


bowling fun with Aunt Mandy

9. Our church home.

We’ve been there 10 years.  We all are growing, learning and serving.

10. Our new homeschool “school.”

We have always used a once a week enrichment program to supplement our homeschooling.  This year we tried a new program, and all the kids are enjoying it.

Your turn. Feel free add a link or list in the comments.  Thanks for your support and conversation in 2014!

6 thoughts on “What Worked in 2014

  1. Pingback: What Worked in 2014 | Practice Makes Beautiful

  2. Pingback: 2014 – What Worked (and Christmas Pics) | Reading, Writing, Rock Collecting

  3. Pingback: What worked in 2014 | Our Curious Home

  4. Pingback: New Year’s Thoughts, 2021 | Learning As We Go

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