Wednesday, January 1, 2014

#Gratitude365 Day 13

#Gratitude365 December 31 2013

The year has come to an end and we look forward to the new, a fresh start and a world of possibility.

Every year I hope for a LOT of improvements and dream up big things and while it is not all complete or perfect, I'm left remembering that life really is a constant work in progress, never to be "complete" let alone perfect.

As we went out to enjoy some fresh air at the park while the kids rode their bikes and played, I was filled with gratitude for just being able to breathe in the fresh air, time to sit and do nothing next to my husband on a park bench, for the beautiful San Diego weather and our health.

Contemplating what we are looking forward to does not always mean that we have activly sat back to appreciate what has been. I hope you've taken just a minute to revel in both the big and little accomplishments of this past year.

Some of the things I want to acknowledge and hold space for in 2013:

1. We are here in San Diego, CA rather than Austin, TX. My husband's job was relocated and we were at two opposite ends in what we thought was the best for our family. Lots of patience and talking and I'll admit stress and changing minds on both sides ended up with us staying here. I am so grateful to keep my kids in their same school and neighborhood. Starting my business over in a new city was not a task I was looking forward to, or leaving the strong community of families I've supported here, so I continued to be grateful for their support and referrals, helping my business grow. It ended up that my husband was able to find a position within the company that is a work from home position, and a small pay raise, plus cutting down on the expense of gas. I had MANY conversations with people who knew about this decision that weighted heavily on my mind, and am so grateful for their listening ear and support in bringing a few things to fruition to make the possibility of staying here appear to be the better choice to my husband. MOSTLY my husband sharing that he knew after visiting Austin that he could see us living there but through my eyes that he couldn't see ME living there. I have a partner who is truly a partner. And giving thanks that Blackbaud had that position open up that happened to be a fit! Things always work out the way they are supposed to - I firmly believe that.

2. I hired a story time leader to help with the Sign4Baby Signing Story Time programs. She is animated, she is devoted to early communication for babies and toddlers like I am and she has been a long time champion of what I do. So grateful for you Lea!

3. A project was started, by recording my classes, and will be a project that continues in 2014... starting is the biggest step. Figuring out how to secure the funds to complete the project will come!

4. I got active on Google+ which has been a steep learning curve, and so much fun in the process. One person I want to give a shout out to is Christine DeGraff for her #31Days Project where she featured me. It has truly helped me to connect with more people! I plan to do more on G+ in 2014 and use my voice!

5. I committed to my daughter at the beginning of the school year that we would allocate time for her to have friends over on Fridays afters school and create field trip experiences, which we have done almost every Friday. I can see how much she enjoys having this time to bond with her friends outside of school and will continue to do this in 2014 and beyond.

6. Winning the Red Tricycle Most Awesome Language Classes in So Cal for the 3rd year in a row was a wonderful accomplishment because I didn't promote the contest the the extent that I had the first two years, showing me that my audience has grown and that audience is very appreciative of what I do for them. AND I was ecstatic to be listed with some of So Cal's Coolest Power Moms!

7. I had a couple of successful social media projects for other businesses this year that I expect to expand next year. Grateful to Natural Baby Pros, The Center for a Healthy Lifestyle and Kids for Peace for giving me an opportunity to help get your messages out into the world through social media.

8. This year I had my first ever $1,000+ invoice with repeat business resulting in my first ever $4,000+ invoice. AND they've already contracted me for repeat work in 2014. Seriously, repeat business is the best!

9. I've had the pleasure of building upon existing sponsor relationships and adding new ones and excited for what is to come in 2014 with our sponsors! Partnering with brands that I truly believe in is a very good feeling because I'm able to use my platform to further educate families I serve about their choices of products and resources for their growing families.

10. This year we had the annual Sign4Baby Birthday party and the 2nd annual Signing Mrs Claus event - which I look forward to continuing in 2014 - even adding in another big Spring event!

11. It may not be a big feat for others to stop and acknowledge but for me it was a personal commitment that I was proud to keep to myself, that was taking time for 2 facials a month and I will be continuing that going forward. I'm lucky to have connected with Firefly Wellness who I see as my skincare coach! In 2014 I'm adding a monthly mani/pedi to the self care regiment!

12. Another moment that I just enjoyed so much was seeing the kids choose to all be Star Wars characters for Halloween! It was the first time they have ever done a theme and it was their idea and I just LOVE the picture of the three of them.

13. I was part of a mastermind group this year. It was a challenge to make the meetings all work and despite having to move some of my own personal calendar items and work on my own challenges of commitment, I managed to make it to every single meeting. I'm looking forward to continuing working with these women again in 2014.

14. We bought more organic foods than we ever have - especially grateful to Costco for making this an easier option! I get excited whenever I see a brand new organic produce option or healthy super food offered in their store because I believe the more organic options that reach the masses, the more people will buy them and the healthier we will all be.

15. I switched to the Diva Cup this year. TMI for some people, but honestly another way to reduce my carbon footprint and proud of that.

16. We added Sparkletts water delivery to our home. We were not making time with the Brita water pitcher to be full enough before leaving the house to fill everyone's personal water bottle and often times the personal water bottles were missing or not clean so we were stopping at convenience stores to buy water bottles and that's not helping our earth. SO, while we tried the best option, we realized we were not committed enough and found another way we could work on reducing our use of plastics.

17. We kept up on our date nights - averaging one per month. Sometimes we'd go a stretch of 2 or 3 months between and boy we would recognize when it was time for us to get some alone time together. I started this commitment to my husband about 4 years ago and it has been a huge factor in the happiness in our marriage. My favorite date night was one where we had a private chartered yacht tour via Details Matter App and Zolna Yacht Tours with an amazing sunset and view of downtown San Diego from the bay. Every year we have been better about making time for our #datenight and I always appreciate the special couple time!

Now it's your turn. What did you want to recognize as an accomplishment in 2013??