Goodbye 2018, Hello New Year!

 2018 has been quite a year for us two! 

We “went tiny” and downsized into a travel trailer.  We said goodbye to San Diego county after a few wonderful years and moved all the way across the United States to the east coast.  We started new jobs, found a new church to call home, and cultivated new friendships. We adopted two kittens and then had to say goodbye to one last month. We installed a composting toilet and learned to compost, and I sure am lucky to have found a guy that put up with all my crap… literally! *Wink* We got to explore and travel and experience so many new and wonderful things, but we also faced MANY uncertainties, stressful moments, financial difficulties, and LOTS of uncomfortableness.  We braved it all together and with faith that God had a plan for us, and He was faithful through it all.  Looking back, I can’t believe all that happened in only one year.  It was a LONG year and honestly one I am glad to see come to a close.  As I reflect on everything we went through, I am so grateful for the love and support we experienced all along the way and for the journey that God has brought us on.  I truly couldn’t ask for a better husband and friend who sticks by me in our struggles and brings out my goofy/fun side, and I still LOVE our travel trailer life and my organizing job.  I love the new relationships beginning to form as we settle here, and God answered my prayers of guidance to find a great church that we could jump into and be just as excited about as the one we left. 

With all the craziness of the last year, there were a lot of things that fell into place for us and a lot of answered prayers.  We learned how to really budget and take control of our finances together and set up our goals for the future.  We learned how to cook and eat delicious (sugar/flour free) food that nourishes our bodies and helped me lose another 20 pounds.  We found ways to stay active and learned to like going to the gym together.  We learned when to say “no, not right now” to ourselves and when to splurge (like on a cruise!).  We learned how to “work it out” when we fought, not many other options when you live in 260 square feet!  We learned how to better love and respect one another, invest in our marriage, and tried to savor every moment.  We spent more on “experiences” than we did things, and while we still watched a good amount of Netflix, we found many other things to invest our time in to help us grow as people.  While I don’t remember starting last year with any clear “goals”, looking back I am so proud of the growth and progress we have made in one year. 

 I am even more excited for the next year to come, though.  Not because it is going to be the most fun year ever… I have actually already dubbed it “the year of suck”, as Jake will be gone 8 of the 12 months of the year thanks to his job and we will both be working our hiney’s off!  This is the year we dig in our teeth and sacrifice fun and comfort to accomplish some pretty large goals, with our incentive being Christmas of 2019 in Hawaii and then starting a family in 2020, God willing! 

Since all the research says you are more likely to stick to your goals if you have accountability, I am putting our 2019 goals out into the world for you all to hold me accountable!  Thats right, this is your problem as well now! Gotcha!

 

Goal 1: End the year credit card debt free and build up savings. This is going to mean some pretty hefty sacrifices, and a lot less family visits, fun trips, and experiences for you all to live through vicariously on Instagram and Facebook.  Sorry everyone, guess you will just have to do your own travels, but tune in for Christmas in Hawaii!  To our family, it doesn’t mean we love you any less… you’re just not a priority right now! Oops, did I say that out loud…?  I mean we would love for you to come visit US!!!!

 

Goal 2:  Get Healthier.  This is a rather multifaceted goal, but personally for me I want to lose another 15-20 pounds by eating right and remaining active and balance my hormones (I had some concerns with my thyroid this year that I am working out. Yay for CBD oil!) before starting a family.  I also have some fun dental work I have been putting off for a year… can’t wait!  With Jake gone, I am hoping I have less excuses to “treat-yo-self” and can practice a little more self-discipline when it comes to sugar intake and food choices.  I love cooking the Trim Healthy Mama way but am NOT excited to be cooking for ONE again, so my biggest hurdle will be putting in the effort to still make good and healthy meals and not just order “pity pizza” every night because I am tired and alone!  We also want to eat out as little as possible, which is a bit easier to accomplish when “date night” is just face timing.

 

I am also trying to be more conscious about what goes ON my body, not just in my body. We did a great job this last year getting plastic out of our kitchen and replacing things like plastic baggies, tupper-ware and water bottles with silicone, glass, and stainless steel (I don’t even trust BPA free plastic as there are still other chemicals coming to light to be concerned about).  Now after watching “STINK” on Netflix and researching, I am also becoming more careful with the products I put on my skin, not just cleaning products, but also lotions, candles, shampoo, makeup, hair products and perfume (even some clothes can have harmful chemicals on them! Yikes!).  I have found a few companies that I trust and am trying to stick to shopping with their items and ridding my home of old products that could contain harmful chemicals.  I am sure some of you may be rolling your eyes at this part thinking that sounds like overkill, but the more I learn about this topic the more concerned I grow and my conscious simply will not let me continue to “not care” about what I put on or in my body.  I only have one body and one life, but the choices I make now will also influence my children, and the chemicals we are exposed to can also be transferred to and found in the womb and in newborn babies.  This year I am choosing to find toxic free products not just for myself, but for the health of future children to come.

 

Some companies the I trust to help me reach this goal are:

~ Public Goods: best natural, aluminum free deodorant ever and also love the Castile soap, witch hazel cleanser, cheap razors and tree-free paper products!  So many good options that are all organic and clean, even some essential oils, all at a great price because they sell to you directly, no markups!  We paid for the membership when this began on kickstarter and it is SO worth it now, especially since we get free shipping for orders over $25, which is easy when we to a bulk order every month or two!

~Thrive Cosmetics: Expensive but the Mascara is SO worth it and they seem very careful about their ingredients, though not completely perfect. Saving up for the eye shadow… I also love RMS beauty products as they are clean and nourishing to your skin.

~MightyNest was the greatest site for helping me go plastic free in the kitchen, and I love the “All Good” product line!

~Norwex products have helped me cut down on the need for liquid cleaners and I also save money in the long run.  I love their Window/glass cleaning rags (only need water!), their dish rags with the Silver Backlock that disinfect an area with no other product needed, and their towels and washrags that help with the buildup or bacteria.  We only have to wash our towels ever week or so, which certainly helps keep down water and laundry costs!

 

~ Trim Healthy Mama:  I trust THM more than ANY OTHER COMPANY when it comes to products of the highest quality for the greatest price.  Crazy excited to face the new year with their newly released “Feminine Balance” CBD oil, and they offer a large range of amazing, clean, healthy products from lotions and skin products, to the highest quality food items for baking and making healthy food at home.  I no longer even keep any flour or sugar in our house, but am instead always stocked with their Baking Blend, Baobab Powder, Super Sweet, Gentle sweet and Stevia sweeteners, Pressed Peanut Flour, not-naughty-noodles, THM Chocolate chips (can’t live without these now and like WAY more than Lily’s chocolate bars or chips), and my husbands favorite can-never-have-enough-of Pristine Whey Protein Powder.  I swear the man cannot LIVE without his daily protein shakes, but I guess it is worth the money if I get to look at those abs… ;)    Everything they sell is pretty wonderful and I cannot say enough good things about the Trim Healthy Mama products or how this life style has completely changed my life and health!

 

Goal 3: Less TV, More personal growth.  Honestly, this will be very hard for both of us as it is easiest to fill the void and silence with Netfilx.  But my hope is to take advantage of this time apart and to dive into our separate passions and interests.  Jake will be starting online schooling and trying to balance work, school, and his mandatory 2 hour a day at the gym to get SWOLE (*insert eye roll here*).  I will also be spending most of my time working but will probably have a little more time on my hands than Jake will.  I hope to take this time to embrace the silence and let my creative juices flow again instead of drowning my thoughts out with the background noise of the TV.  I want to spend more time reading and blogging, connecting with friends far and near, volunteering at church, and being active, whether at the gym or finding another outlet where I can enjoy moving (highly considering looking for contemporary dance classes in the area…)  I hope to do my cooking and meal prep in the evenings and enjoy the silence, learning to embrace my emotions and thoughts, not fear them.  I hope to grow as a person as I read and listen to audiobooks or watch TED talks and informational podcasts as I work out or cook dinner.

 

I enter the new year wanting to embrace the moments that lie ahead, good or bad, easy or difficult, fun or boring.  I want to be intentional with my time and invest it, not look back in a year with nothing to show.  I am almost excited for the difficult parts, like the anticipation you feel standing at the bottom of a large hill, seeing the climb before you but also being able to see what you have to look forward too, and while I am not excited for the pain, I know it is all a part of the journey, and when I finally reach my end destination I will look back a bit winded but knowing that the view at the end made it all worth it.  At least that’s what I keep telling myself!

SO HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS, and congratulations on making it through 2018!

As Red Green would say: “Keep your stick on the ice! Remember, I’m pullin for ya. We’re all in this together! “

 

Other inspirational quotes:

“Further up and further in!” - C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

“But I will not tell you how long or short the way will be; only that it lies across a river. But do not fear that, for I am the great Bridge Builder.”
– Aslan, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by C.S. Lewis

 

Marissa Abbott