Resolute: 2013

I realize that it's been January for an entire week but for those, like me, who have had family home in vacation mode, today is TRULY the first day of the New Year.

(Hal and I actually toasted and made out a la NYE last night before passing out at a whopping 10:30pm, my new goal "bed time" because I suck at going to bed before 1am and that needs to change. Amongst other things. Like using parenthesis so much.)


Happy New Year FOR REAL today.

I realize that New Year's Resolutions are painfully obvious ie:

1. Look better.
2. Feel better
3. Do better.

... And I agree with all the eye-rollers in the house who are like, "shut up with your fucking resolutions, ahhhhh we get it you want to lose weight and write the Great American Novel ahhhhh."

However, I find it remarkable that we all (even when we pretend we don't) have things about ourselves we'd like to improve, whether it's because the year has changed or the day or the season. Good for us for knowing we can rock harder and working toward making it happen. Good for us for building better selves.

My #1 personal goal of 2013 is to get strong, physically and then everywhere else. I've spent the last several months throwing my back out and feeling really lousy and out of shape, mentally and emotionally and I think a lot of that has to do with my physical self feeling weak. SO. I've decided to change that with an early morning workout, sans kids, yoga mat at the foot of the bed in the darkness,  pushing myself, strengthening, BAM. I've been going strong for a week feel really great and happy. Sore and uncomfortable and happy. (I'm absolutely terrible with routine and even worse with mornings so this has been hugely challenging for me even though it probably sounds very no big deal whatever.)

I've decided that everything I've been struggling with comes from a lack of core strength. My body is telling me something and because it's 2013 and I have a starting line, I'm going to take full advantage and become a more solid citizen and able-bodied weight-lifter. Because 24/7 heating pads on my person is no longer an option.

When life breaks your back, fight... back, I said to myself this morning, doing crunches in the dark.

Anyway, that's where I'm at with this new year. Read more books, have more sex, drink more wine, eat more amazing things, write more, dance more, build a stronger body, celebrate these last ten years of blogging (whoa) with something different and new.

Which is where you come in.

Dunt dunt DUNT!

For the next twelve months, I want to pull away from memememememe and make it more about ususususususususus so I was thinking I'd take this opportunity today to solicit you guys for post topics so we can create a dialogue together. So that we can share our stories no matter how insane, sane, significant, seemingly normal, etc.

I've spent the last ten (twenty?) years writing specifically about what is happening in my own life and me me mememememe and I'd love for GGC to get more conversational. Because so much of what I love about this space is your insight and stories and advice and I want more of that action up in this mix, you know?

SO. If there's anything specific you'd like to discuss in 2013, please let me know. I'd like to designate a (weekly?) slumber party so that we can come together in a non-judgy space to talk love and kids and life and everything etc dot dot dot.

SO. You want to talk porn as a marital aid? Let's do this. The conundrum that is (or isn't) taking a spouse's last name? Yes, please. Birth control woes? I could talk about them for days. (I said as I squatted on three maxi pads, c/o my Paragard. Thanks, Paragard!)

Let's get TMI. Or not. Photography? Best of: Children's Books? Favorite movies of the year?

I'm going to take every comment in this post and print it out to address in 2013. Doesn't matter how small, how huge, how crazy in the coconut (nothing is crazy because everything is), 2013 is my ten year blogiversary and I'd like to celebrate with a slumber party where NOBODY is allowed to freeze anyone's underwear.

(We can totally play light as a feather, stiff as a board though.)

That was my last parenthesis, I
swear lied.


The photos on this post were taken by my Dad after I lost my phone and all of the hundreds of holiday photos that were on it. RIP holiday photos. 


Kaylie | 11:29 AM

Birth control!!!! My baby is one year old NEXT MONTH (ahhhhh) and my cycle hasn't come back yet (yay breastfeeding) but it should be coming back soon. Our plan was for my husband to get a vasectomy but I've been reading about serious complications no one ever talks about and failure rates! Eek! My husband is one of those people whose in the small percent of people who have complications, like the three percent who have serious deadly issues with common surgeries! With my inability to tolerate hormones and copper and a Tubal seems like so major, I'm freaking out on what to do! NFP charting for the rest of my life? Condoms forever? Give up and have a billion kids?

Sorry for the rambling! I would love to talk about birth control.

lholloway | 12:42 PM

time for sex! I have (what feels like) a million children.. ok, so only 3.. but they're all under 3 and I really struggle to find time for my hubby.. OR we have time and all I want to do is sleep because all day, every day, I chase a million children. help! I miss the romance and spontaneity of our kid-free existence (not that I would change it for anything!) ...except maybe some awesome sexy time ;) advice? ideas? date night suggestions? help a boring-in-the-bedroom sister out! my husband (and my self-esteem) thank you!

sam | 1:06 PM

Style! My fav posts are about your style. Where to shop, how to find a signature look, etc.

Also? How to keep your sense of self with babies. My girl is 5 months old and I feel really lost!

Kristen | 1:11 PM

I love thos idea. about sex, personal creativity, non-date night marriage fun, raising girls, raising boys, and life transitions. That list basically sums up my life. :)

Meghan Elaine | 1:34 PM

I'd like to hear other parents perspectives on effective ways to discipline young kids. I find that taking privileges away seems to work but sometimes I feel at a loss when they are extra naughty. My twins are almost four. I don't read parenting books but I'd love other practical ideas for a positive, affirming way to set boundaries.

Tutyfrutyjudy | 3:14 PM

How about...parenting with a disability or mental illness...parenting kids with disabilities or to help eachother out in public and not be with unique family circumstances ie. sick grandpa/grandma living with your family...helping our children be good citizens...Cleaning a house with three plus kids and a husband and pets without maidservice...When you and a sibling have conflicting parenting styles and views...the mountain of laundry that constantly threatens to crush you each time one walks in to the laundry room...oh yeah and how to find enough energy to have more sex!

Ok, sorry, I'm done! Awesome idea! (and by the way, I love parenthesis too!)

Anonymous | 4:09 PM

Getting along with difficult in-laws. Your family seems happy and cohesive but perhaps you can share stories or advice from friends????

Anonymous | 5:34 PM

Letting kids be kids...real kids who, god forbid, get dirty, spend more time outdoors than in, and don't expect their sandwiches to look like cartoon characters. How to, as parents, ignore the competition and let our offspring be who they want to be despite what we may want them to be...

JoanLindsay | 6:27 PM

How about how it's okay to not be awesome all the time, how sometes you just want/need to wallow for a bit. I'm all for optimism but, when I have to wait at the Dr./pharmacy for 3+ hours because I got pink eye from my 1 year old. I want to wallow in it - just a little.

On a less bitchy note, I second time for sex/how to feel sexy when you don't really - see one year old.

Great idea. Thanks for your honesty.

cj | 6:29 PM

I shouldn't even weigh in as my kids are grown or almost grown and my issues are things you won't have to think about for, like, 20 years or something but I love your stories and your pictures. And I thank you for sharing your life.

Anonymous | 10:33 PM

I second the in-laws. It seems that talking about them is too risky on the interwebs. But seriously? husband's got some major dysfunction happening on his Dad's side. They are crazy and scare the beejesus out of me (as in lacking major social skills/manners and normal human qualities). As bad as it sounds I would honestly be ok if I didn't have to associate with them again. Eek!

Anonymous | 10:40 PM

How to make time for yourself while juggling work, kids and husband?

Anonymous | 10:53 PM

I love my husband and my kid but my marriage is boring, I am fantasizing about my yoga instructor! How do you keep the spark alive in your marriage after being together for 10+ years?

TLR | 7:16 AM

Every suggestion above and also - ideas for earning a little ME money while being a SAHM, which leads to coping with financial issues with hubby when I feel like I am undervalued as a Mom with no income, which leads to depression and overeating/drinking which leads to being cranky with my children......any advice
On a positive note - fun inexpensive ideas to enjoy with your children, fun inexpensive ways to reconnect with ME, style ideas especially for currently overweight Mommas
Love this idea but would still like you to post about Youyouyouyou because I love seeing your pictures and reading your honest stories.

Anonymous | 7:22 AM

Like cj my children are almost grown-my youngest started college last fall. When I read your blog I remember all the great things about small children. Then somedays when I read your blog I am happy the childhood days are past-the recent lice post comes to mind. Count me in for a slumber party-

Anonymous | 9:35 AM

hings on my mind: not feeling guilty about everything, juggling being a working mom and never feeling like I have energy or time to do either super well, sick kids- ugh, how to not panic and cope, why are we as moms/ women so hard on each other- out own worst enemy sometimes. I would also love tips for the newly emerging toddler years- some days it feels like you are scolding/ redirecting all day instead of have fun. Oh also tips for successful vacations with small children. My random thoughts today- love your writing and honesty!

Leslie | 9:47 AM

I love your parentheses! Don't fret it! I use tons of parentheses as well...

I don't have any great ideas at the moment. Maybe ways of retrieving your awesome when it seems lost? I have been in a funk on and off for several weeks and it JUST NEEDS TO STOP.

Mama Smith | 12:24 PM

The judgement that comes with having more than one kid (or in the case of my friends and family, even the one kid!). This might be regional too since I obviously see a lot of large families on blogs, but here in the Boston area with my circle a bunch of kids is a definate no no. As we get serious about giving our little guy a sibling, we are getting flack on everything from environment (which is tough because it is something I do care about), money (apparently we should be able to pay for all our kids college tuitions and well... we can't), the sacrifice I'm making to my career, and on and on. If I said I was going to have four kids, I think my friends would sedate and sterilize me- so I'm curious how it feels to have that size family, if you do worry about all the responsibilities/ judgements above... or if I just have crazy friends and family :)

Amy L. | 1:18 PM

OMG, yes, please!!!

Sarah | 2:22 PM

I am curious how you feel about censoring music (or maybe even movies) from your kids for language? My son is 2.5 and I still play whatever music pops up. He's never said a bad word and speaks very well so I haven't seen the problem Do you censor your kids?

Anonymous | 2:28 PM

I'm super super curious about why you didn't take Hal's last name but your kids did? Thanks! You're awesome!

Rachel | 8:36 PM

I didn't take my Husband's last name either and am still a little pissed I didnt fight harder for my child to have both our last names (non-hyphen) on his birth certificate even though he would go by my husband's last name. I meant a lot to me.

Cindy | 10:43 PM

You've written about this some and I really enjoyed it, and in light of the slumber party, how about friendships? I've experienced a big shift in the dynamic of friendships in my life since kids came around. People move away, jobs, kids, life, busy, busy, busy...I often find myself melancholy for the friendships of my 20's. (Let's run to Target together and talk about Johnny Depp and stop at Sonic for a cherry limeaide on the way home ok?)

S | 11:12 AM

Oh, I'm all for a judgy family size discussion. I'm about to have baby #3 in about 5 months and though I'm 1 of 3, my husband's 1 of 5, and our parents are part of 2-5 (I.e. everyone has at least 1 sibling, typically more), our own families are judging us for having 3. It seems super strange and if we can't get support within, I don't know where to turn. (Sorry, that seems very woe is me, more than it needs to be.)

Sheelah | 2:16 PM

Co-parenting! Especially when one spouse/partner does the bulk of the day-to-day nitty gritty. I'm a SAHM, and it is so hard for me to let my husband parent when we have different opinions on how to handle things.

Joy | 7:34 PM

Do you cuss around your kids? Why? Do they cuss?

Are you gluten free? Why or what is the story there?

What are your in laws like and can you share stories about handling various issues or incidents? Or perhaps they read your blog and therefore aren't safe subjects?

Jenny Paurys | 9:08 PM

School. My first-born will be 5 in August. He is very bright (yes all mamas say that) but I do not think he is ready for kindergarten. He attends a very very small preschool now with success but shipping him off to big public school scares me. The bullying. The commercialism. The tedium. I want to homeschool but everyone looks at me like I have 3 heads when I say that. Do I want to do it for him or for me?

Katy | 8:15 AM

Let's talk about family size and number of kids, as some others say. How do you know when you're DONE? Is there always a twinge for maybe one more? And if you finally decide, how hard is it to make that ultimate final birth-control solution? (Ie, sterilization, vasectomy). And yes, the flak for wanting 3 kids.
Also, let's talk about how to keep a house clean on your own. Yat

Hot Mama | 6:54 PM

One word: babysitters! Someone you trust to watch the kiddo, so that you can get out of the house and do something for yourself. See a movie, get a pedicure, take a walk, go to the library. It gets easier every time, and I promise, once your babe gets older and less physically needy, the better you will feel!!

Jenny Paurys | 6:56 PM

Yes. The twinge. Does it go away?

Anonymous | 6:59 PM

I third (?)... that. ;)

Anonymous | 7:09 PM

Speaking of family size, how do you respond to the crazy, innane, intrusive comments that people make to parents of twins? Or to any parent, for that matter? I've been asked if my identical twin girls were natural, if we had difficulty conceiving, the list goes on. I am never sure how to respond...yes, they are natural and I am fertile myrtle? I can't imagine what it must be like to have these questions asked if I had difficulty conceiving.
And, if another person sees me with my three kids and says "you've got your hands full" I am going to scream!!!

Anonymous | 10:08 PM

I would like to discuss photos! (and videos, even though you don't do vid) Mountains and mountains of photos and memories. What do you do with all the photos, how do you organize them, store them, manage your iPhone/hard drive memory? Do you print photos? Make photo books? How do you cull through them all and delete? I am curious what people out there are doing?

Anonymous | 9:03 AM

Yes please! I'm with you sister!!

Anonymous | 8:11 AM

How to explain death and grief to a child when religion isn't a part of your life. Our first son died when I was pregnant with our second and now we have a third. Soon we will find ourselves having to explain death to our boys and struggle with what to say as we are not 'believers'. I'd love to hear from other mothers and fathers who can relate.

Amy | 9:15 PM

Family size and method of growing the family! We have one bio son who is 3, and we are in process toward adopting a baby. We want at least 2 more kids, with no preference on whether they are biological or not, and the comments and the judging we have seen, holy crap... and we don't even have a second yet!!