OK-so 2008 has come and gone. How close to my goals did I get as far as getting the budget under control, using what I already have on hand as far as craft supplies and starting an Etsy business?
Ummmm. Not very.
But I do plan to stay on course in 2009 and actually formulate more of an action plan. This Christmas was the third Christmas in a row that the holidays kind of overwhelmed me. I didn't get any of the baking or candy making done that I usually get done. Actually I was just kind of wading around and not getting much done. I am not sure why I've had 3 years of getting overwhelmed. Maybe I need to examine my activities/goals and commitments and work towards simplifying.
Since I didn't get my normal holiday baking done, I have decided I am going to bake a dozen cookies on the 15th of each month and send to the people on my list that normally get home baked goodies from me at Christmas. I got an AWESOME cookie cookbook a couple weeks ago. I'll post the title later--I can't remember it at the moment and I seem to be planted in the chair...I'll probably start January's box with candy since I didn't do that either. See? I seem to have been on shut down mode this season. Maybe it was all the economic news or just my poor planning (which is more likely the case).
On the side, I am looking forward to the start of Simple Mom's 2009 book club. I bought a copy of the first book from the list "Your Money or Your Life" and have read ahead, but will go back when it starts and read each chapter and participate in the discussions online. I love the aspect of an online club---it fits my schedule and the books fit the theme I am trying to incorporate into my life. There are a couple other books I will be reading on my own such as two books in a series by Dave Ramsey ("Total Money Makeover" and "Financial Peace") that I have heard a lot of good things about.
As I sit here, my 2 1/2 year old great nephew is throwing a complete temper tantrum. We have him for a couple weeks since my niece is having complications in her pregnancy and he is a handful. It has been 13 years since my kids were this age and I have to say, toddlers are a lot of work. I'd forgotten how much. However we are working on getting him on a schedule and setting some rules. My niece gets overwhelmed with a 2 yr old and a 15 month old--not to mention she is going to have another one in 6 months--so my great nephew has been runny a little wild. The first couple days were a little wild since he tried to disassemble the house and had a few meltdowns, but he is learning there are rules. Not that he isn't testing them.....but that is what kids his age do. That is their job.
And he is doing very well at it!
Off the subject, I did get to go to Tipton, Iowa to pick up my oldest son. The nine hour trip there turned into over 10 hours since the roads in Missouri were iced over, but on the way back we had clear roads all the way through. After Christmas we had to take him back. The twins went with me so they could see the town where their brother lives. We did get a little later start, but since the weather was warmer, I had not anticipated any problems. But guess what you get when you get lots of melting snow and warm temperatures?
LOTS of dense fog. Actually it was fog from Des Moines clear up the interstate to the point where I was going 40 miles an hour. There were cars following behind semis that were flying, but since all I could see was less that 4 foot off the passengers headlight, I did not want to follow the rest of them. What happens if there is an accident up the road? With the lack of visibility, all the cars that were flying along following the headlight of the car in front of them would pile right into each other. Count me out on that action. The boys and I ended up navigating our way off the interstate to a Super 8 hotel in Newton, Iowa. We had my son's cat with us so I was afraid they would turn us down and we'd have to do plan B--sleep in the car. They were gracious enough to let us have a smoking room so the cat could come in. I was sooo thankful! We had originally tried to get into the parking lot of the Newton Inn that was directly off the interstate, but we couldn't find the frontage road in the dense fog and gave up. The Super 8 parking entrance was well lit, so that's where we went. I am going to make sure I email corporate to let them know how nice the staff was to us. We had a good nights sleep then left the next morning for the remaining 90 miles of the trip. By then the fog had faded and there was a little ice, but nothing that caused any problems since the road crews were apparently out on the interstate pretty early and the roads were clear.
As much as I loved visiting Iowa, Dorothy was right: There really is no place like home.