2023 was a good year. I find it helpful to reflect a bit before setting goals, so here’s a dive into a quick review of the year…

A Look Back at 2023

Family & Self

I had some emotional moments this year (one such one here and another one missing dad here, among others that didn’t make it into writing). It might just be the way it is every year I get older, but these have typically centered around the kids getting older.

Sometimes I think about what having a bigger family would have looked like and ache that I’ll never get to do have a baby again. I think some of this might be normal processing of time moving on (and turning 40) and romanticizing the baby and toddler phases. Being years removed from it, it’s easy to forget the physical demands. I’ve worked to breathe through and feel those emotions, but to not wallow there. It helps me to channel those moments into being present with the girls. I don’t take for granted the time I have to pour into them and how close we are. It’s the relationship I always dreamed of having with my kids and watching us build that bond day after day, year after year is one of my greatest joys.

My marriage was strong this year. Some circumstances outside of our relationship (seeing marital struggles unfold for people we deeply care about) has heightened our appreciation for each other and our commitment to what we’ve built thus far and our future. I do see 2024 being a year where I’d like to focus more on fun and romance for just the two of us though. We do so much as a family, which we LOVE, but I also want to ensure some time is spent on just us and our relationship.

I didn’t write as many parenting-focused posts this year as I used to when the girls were younger, but I did open up a bit about my philosophies and practicalities on parenting tweens and shared 13 reasons why big kids are awesome. I’m open to topic ideas in this category! But just not sharing personal tidbits about the girls’ specifically for obvious reasons.

Food & Health

I find I lean more into natural health practices with each passing year. I stuck to a lot of my 2023 health habits all year long! I learned more about my blood sugar regulation by using a CGM and would love to do it again. I shared my favorite natural health remedies and medicines for the family and how I make my fermented honey and garlic. This year I need to share my oregano tincture because I’ve used it a lot and have had great results.

For a lot of the year I shared our weekly meal plans and my monthly grocery spending. I’m not sure I’ll keep up with this in the new year. It took a lot of work and I’m not sure it was valuable enough to you to warrant the time. My three favorite new recipes I shared this year are slow cooker chicken curry, easy lasagna, and creamy slow cooker chicken burrito bowls.

Homeschool

We are only halfway through the girls’ 6th grade and 4th grade year, but I’m really pleased with how it is going. We spend December doing “Christmas school,” which is focused on being together, making memories, and leaning into all the joys and the reason for the season. Now I think we are already for the reset that January brings. Hailey and I both really thrived on the block structure we started our year on and are implementing the same system when we start back to school on Monday.

Travel

We enjoyed some amazing travel in 2023! We kicked things off in February with a skiing and snowmobiling in Jackson Hole family trip. In March we rented a Class C RV and spent a weekend at Carolina Pines RV resort. In late April David’s dream came true as we returned to the BVI’s for another week long sailing trip. There was so much we fit in that I had to divide it into two recaps, part 1 and part 2. In summer we took an epic road trip in combination with my family up the east coast. We explored Yale University in New Haven, spent two days in Boston (I’m not a city girl but I LOVE Boston), then spent a week exploring Bar Harbor, Maine and Acadia National Park- part 1 and part 2. We spent 3 days in Rhode Island on our way home where I fell in love with Bristol and explored Newport. In August we visited Tennessee and spent a day at Dollywood’s Splash Country. In September we went on epic adventure glamping and hiking at Zion and Bryce National Parks. We spent the tail end of that trip exploring Las Vegas, before heading some and settling into fall activities and schedules.

A Look Ahead to 2024

2024 promises to be an exciting year for our family. While some aspects will have to be more go with the flow and not perfectly planned ahead of time, I am setting some goals to give myself some direction. I’m relistening to Atomic Habits to remind myself how to effectively transition these goals into habits.

David and I sat down one morning and reflected on things we felt worked well in 2023 and goals we’d like to work towards in 2024. We broke it down into the categories of Career, Relationships, Health, Personal Development/Hobbies, and Life in General. So if I were to come up with 24 goals for 2024, just because it’s cutesy and fun, I’ll break them into these categories!

  1. Career: Add some structure and systems for content planning and implementation to A Healthy Slice.
  2. Career: Get more comfortable being in front of the video camera; stop nitpicking myself apart.
  3. Career: Be more consistent sharing in-feed IG content.
  4. Career: Complete the product I’ve been working on for the past year.
  5. Relationships: More marriage focus with cooking date nights, monthly life dinners, time spent just the two of us, etc.
  6. Relationships: Be a more proactive friend. Reach out more often, say yes, and pour into important friendships.
  7. Relationships: Consistent read aloud with the kids.
  8. Relationships: Make more phone calls (not just texts) to family and friends.
  9. Health: Add in a consistent cardio aspect.
  10. Health: Experiment more with more nonalcoholic/pro-health fun drinks in fancy glasses.
  11. Health: Consistency with rebounding, dry brushing, and other lymphatic health practices.
  12. Health: Get up to date on bloodwork and other labs.
  13. Health: Incorporate regular stretching.
  14. Health: Continue daily morning walks to get that sunshine!
  15. Hobbies: Get up to date with family albums. I’m doing it this year no matter what.
  16. Hobbies: More bread making. I’d like to get comfortable and consistent with sandwich bread and improve my sourdough.
  17. Hobbies: Grow one thing well. I’m not yet in a place to focus on a whole garden, but I’d love to grow good container tomatoes this year.
  18. Hobbies: Read the bible consistently.
  19. Life: Buy clothes I love, not quick fixes because I have nothing I like. Experiment a little with personal style.
  20. Life: Put myself together more often with clothes and make-up. Can still be minimal, but I show up better when I do this.
  21. Life: Less rushing. Slowing down my days.
  22. Life: Manage home improvement projects effectively and quit saying I’m no good at design. Get comfortable making home design decisions.
  23. Life: Simplify. Go through every room and reduce inventory. Everything has a home.
  24. Life: See the gift and joy in each day; live life and enjoy it!

End