Do you resolve?

I don't necessarily make resolutions - especially at the beginning of a new year. I try to make realistic changes throughout the year if possible. Reflecting on this past year, things I have changed or accomplished are:
  • Couponing seriously and practically changing my entire shopping strategy. I am at the point that I will not buy something unless it is on sale (and worth it) or with some sort of coupon/incentive to go along with it. It's become quite an obsession, but well worth it in our budget!
  • Planning weekly/monthly menus. Sometimes I can plan far enough in advance and premake some things to put in the freezer for easy cooking nights. It really does save time and money - not to mention using up what you have on hand!
  • Went to a cash system. We aren't total Dave Ramsey'ans but we are close. We decided to ditch the debit card and live on cash. Surprising it was the best thing we ever did and we feel like we have more money and do more things we want now than ever before.
  • Paid down our credit CARD. Yes, just ONE. We never have had more than one, but if you have 1 or 5, you use it. We are all guilty of it. We just stopped using it about 2 years ago, but still had to pay for the balance. With the cash system, we allocate more each month to pay on it, paying it off faster. We have noticed a big difference already and its only been about 8 months.
  • Spending more time with family. We still need our own time individually and our date nights, but we seem to be spending more quality time as a family and its been great. With hubby working nights and all of our activities, I didn't think this was possible, but we just make it work.
  • Reading more. Its been a long time since I could just sit down and read for pleasure, but now that LH is a little older and can entertain himself longer, its become easier to do.
  • More home improvement. We have really stepped it up this year and worked on our house. Its not a bad house and doesn't really "need" anything, but it just needs updating here and there. We have really accomplished alot.
  • Became more involved in our church. I have been going to this church for over 25 years and stayed really involved until about College. It took until last year to find that place just for us where we fit. We love our Sunday School class and have done more in this last year as a couple and family to help people in our community or church family and its an amazing feeling. We have met new friends and have made it OUR church and not just MY church. Its been a blessing for all of us.
Overall I feel that 2009 was a wonderful year. I have a few "ideas" in store for 2010, but I won't call them resolutions. I don't want to be held to something from here on out, but I will feel accomplished when these ideas turn into reality!

Ringin' in the New Year Family Style

We celebrated the New Year with good friends and their kids! The original intent was to have a family game night and play the Wii and shuffle board complete with good snacks and drinks. Plans changed a little after we found out our HOKIES would be playing in the Chick-fil-A bowl! We adapted....its not hard when you get to watch the game on a 104 inch flat screen and your kid is consumed with play!!!

Hubby was loving this TV!

Happy 2010! Cheers! Kids toasting their "champagne" AT MIDNIGHT! We got home and LH to bed around 1:30...he was hanging in there better than me! I was trying hard to stay awake come 1 am.

Go Hokies
Playing DS! Oh, that's Daddy Daycare!!! See, he's a natural!
It was the best way to spend the end of a great year - with great friends and family! Even though there have been some moments I'd rather forget, most of it was awesome and this next year is just going to be even better!