I'm a full-time wife and mom of two adorable boys. When I'm not busy trying to keep up with them I enjoy photography, traveling, planning parties and a little bit of reading.

In February of 2008 I was diagnosed with an incurable terminal lung illness, though God promised me a full and complete healing. While we wait for His timing, we're taking it one day at a time, and standing in awe of how God's using all of this for His glory. The tough road we've traveled has given us a new perspective on the fragility of life. Memories are more important to us than ever before. The goal of this blog is to share some of our family life - the ups and downs, the joys and probably some of the pains as well. It's mostly meant as a personal journal of sorts, but you're welcome to share in it. We'd like to take this opportunity to say ...


Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Ways for the New Year

In a previous post (about our Christmas traditions), I commented that each year between Christmas and New Year, Aaron and I have "the talk."  We discuss where we are as individuals, a couple, and a family - financially, spiritually, emotionally, relationally, etc.  We discuss how we've done on our goals for that year, and how on track we are (or aren't) with our 5 and 10 year goals.  We discuss our goals for the upcoming year, 5 years, and 10 years - and what steps we need to take to get there.  Each year we re-evaluate our lives - what we want them to look like - and how to get where we want to be.

This year (due to circumstances), "the talk" wasn't done all in one evening - it was done over the course of a week.  Some of the discussion and goals are too personal for this forum, so I won't delve into them.  But most of them aren't too intimate to share.  I don't think it's fair for me to discuss Aaron's goals here - that's up to him if he wishes to share them with the world.  So, I guess these are mostly MY goals.  These aren't really "new years resolutions" - they're just changes we'd like to implement in our lives.


We did pretty well with last year's goals.

Goal #1 - I'm still alive.
Goal #2 - I'm doing much better health-wise!  I can breathe better, do more without help, and have more stamina!
Goal #3 - We've gotten rid of almost all our debt - the final bit (except this house) will be gone by April - no credit cards, no car loans, no student loans - only a mortgage.
Goal #4 - Aaron got a promotion.
Goal #5 - We sold our house (for asking price!) and relocated for the new job.
Goal #6 - We saved enough money to more than double the size of our house.  We were bursting at the seams in our townhouse, and now we've got plenty of room to expand. (Translate: our basement's pretty empty!)
Goal #7 - I started writing again - they're silly blog posts.  But at least it's something.
Goal #8 - I wanted deep relationships with girlfriends.  God provided me with an amazing group of ladies from MOPS.  It broke my heart when I had to move away from them - they have no idea how much their friendships have meant to me.
Goal #9 - This is where we failed - I wanted to learn to drive stick - and didn't even have one lesson.


We'd like to have the entire house painted (the inside - not the outside).  That's gonna mean a lot of work - de-wallpapering, removing murals, etc.  We've discussed it, and even though they'll stay white, we're also going to tackle ceilings and closets.  If we're gonna live here for a long time, and we're gonna do it, then we're gonna do it right. This will need to happen slowly because paint fumes really, really, really make it hard for me to breathe.  We're hoping to have two rooms completed by the end of January - Alex's room and the guest room.

I'd like to plant a vegetable garden.  I'm sick of paying through the nose for flavorless vegetables at the grocery store.  This is the first time we've lived somewhere with an honest-to-goodness back yard (our last place was a townhouse, and we didn't technically own the grass).  So, I want to take advantage of it.  Aaron's given his blessing (and fully realizes that a garden means him doing a lot of the work, since summer heat makes it hard for me to breathe).  This means that I need to research what types of vegetables I want to grow - when to plant - how to care for them - and also how to freeze/can them.


I'd like to make one new recipe a week.  I hate cooking.  Scratch that - since I'm so tired chasing the kids all the time, I feel I don't have the energy for cooking.  During the past six months since we put Melbourne on the market, relocated, and settled into our new house, poor Aaron's eaten way too much grilled cheese and chicken nuggets.  Bless his heart, he did it without complaining (not even once) - but it's time for me to get out of this anti-cooking funk.  Life's settling down a bit, and I need to become domestic once again.  I don't have nearly as many easy, yummy recipes in my arsenal as I'd like, so as I scour the net and magazines, I'll keep ones that look particularly yummy.  My goal is to make one new recipe (or whole meal) a week.  If we end up only liking half of them, then by the end of the year I'll have almost an entire month's worth of new meals I can make!

I want to start reading again.  I was an English Lit major in college ... I like reading.  Well, I used to like reading.  Having to read, discuss, analyze and write horrifically long papers on an average of 5 books a week through college kinda turned me off reading.  But I'm ready to start again.  I'm ready for something deeper than "Goodnight, Moon."  I hate fiction.  Correction - I'd rather watch a movie than waste hours and hours of my valuable time reading fiction.  But I love non-fiction - I love having my brain stimulated.  I've placed a stack of books on my nightstand, and I'm slowly working through them.  My goal is to read at least one chapter before bed several nights a week.  I know it's not much - but it's realistic - and it's a start.

I want to go deep.  We relocated 10 weeks ago, and it's been ages since I've had a deep conversation face-to-face with someone other than Aaron.  Friendships will come - I know that - especially now that we've chosen a church and activities there are starting once again now that the holidays are over.  But I've become bored to death with chit-chat.  I'm the world's worst person at calling and talking to people.  So, I've decided to at least make my brain think now and then, lest it atrophies.  I'm gonna start "thinking" again, and reading again, and when I find a nugget that resonates with me, Facebook's gonna have to bear with me, 'cause I want to share it.  Life IS deep - it's time we stop just skimming the surface.

I want to spend money more wisely.  I've been well-trained (since childhood) how to stretch a penny.  Last year we instituted a spending freeze to save money for relocating, and were able to live off of one paycheck (saving the other one). Well, we wanna work on our house, so that's not happening right now.  But I can do a much better job finding good deals than I have been the past couple months.  I've been following a blog called Couponing to Disney (thanks, Jess!), and although we refuse to shop at Walmart (because of their notorious inhumane sweatshops around the world), I'm convinced I can stretch our dollars much further.  I'm sure once I decide exactly how this will be done in the Feitner household, there will be whole blogs on the topic.

I want to grow spiritually because I WANT TO, not because life forces me to.  For those who know me - really, truly know me - know that I've grown spiritually by leaps and bounds these past two years.  (Next month marks the two year anniversary of when the doctor told me I have an incurable terminal illness and probably wouldn't even live to see my baby born.)  The trials I've been through - the trials our family's been through - have been so tough that I only had two options: grow from them, or give up and just die.  Aaron had the option of growing, or walking out on me.  (I'm SO GLAD he chose NOT to leave!)  I want to keep growing spiritually - but want it to be because I'm choosing to "dig in" to God, not only because my circumstances are so difficult.  I'm sure part of this desire is that I naively tell myself that if I keep growing without the "tough-stuff," maybe God will decide I don't need as much of the "tough-stuff."  I'm sure that's wrong thinking, but at least I'm honest about thinking it.

So, now you've got some idea where this blog will most likely be heading in 2010.  Of course (based on the past couple years), there's gonna be lots of side-roads.  But these "goals/changes" will probably at least show up as threads throughout my blogging year.  Feel free to come along with us.

(I didn't take any of the photos in this post.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds great Julia!! I love reading your posts! :) If you need canning/freezing tips...my mom does all her vegetables and fruit that way...so I can hook you up with that if you need along the way! :)