New Year’s Resolutions: Trusting Your Family To Make Them For You

New Year’s Resolutions: Trusting Your Family To Make Them For You


Do you trust your family to share their New Year’s resolutions for you?

Aren’t we all just a bit excited for the end of 2012 and the beginning of a new year? Recently, I seem to be focused on the necessary changes and improvements I plan to make in the coming year.  Like almost everyone else in the blog-o-sphere, I, too, have created a list of resolutions.

But I am NOT going to share them with you.  Aren’t I selfish!?!

This year I decided that my New Year’s resolutions were a bit tired (i.e. They haven’t changed much in the past few years). It is time to switch things up a bit and get some new ideas.  And who better to ask than the 2 people who may know me best: my husband and daughter? At dinner last night, I mustered up the courage and requested that Adam and K share with me their own resolutions for the New Year as well as those that they would like me to make.

Here’s a brief synopsis of the conversation:

Round 1: What are YOUR resolutions for yourself?

  • Daughter: To hang up my coat and practice my cello.  (Editors Note: While I applauded her for being so specific, I asked that she stretch the “hang up my coat” resolution to putting all of her clothes awaynot just her coat.)
  • Husband: To keep my things organized and clean so I can’t be accused of being messy. (Perhaps a direct dig at me for not being more organized and for being SO messy but I chose not to ask for clarification lest we get off topic.)
  • Me: To write at least one blog post every week and to be better organized. (Yes, this means get our files in order, shred those things that need to be shredded and get rid of the clutter in my office.)

Round 2: What are your resolutions for me?

  • Daughter: “Stop using your phone all of the time. Every time that I am at a skating lesson, and I look up to see if you are watching me, you are looking at your phone.  I want you to pay more attention to me and less to your phone.”  (Point made.) “Also, I think that you should read more.” In other words, she likes it when I read to her at night and would like that to continue.
  • Husband: Get your office in order and be more organized and on top of things. (Note: He wisely did not mention my blog. I guess he wanted to avoid arguments too.)

Round 3: (Now it was MY turn) What are my resolutions for each of them?

  • Daughter: Better time management. Having never taken a Franklin Covey class in her 9 years, she asked me to clarify.  I explained that I expected her to plan better so we weren’t chasing shoes, mittens, homework etc. moments before we were supposed to leave for school in the morning.
  • Husband: (Now here’s the shockerI could have chosen all sorts of things to ask him to do, like be less critical, help out morebut that’s not what I said.) “Stop and enjoy your life more.  Stop rushing to go from here to there and enjoy ‘the show.’”  The time flies by so fast and if he doesn’t take a moment, he is going to miss some of the greatest moments of his and our lives.  I know I sound a bit like Ferris Bueller but I think it’s important to remind our loved ones that they have permission to enjoy their lives too.

I am not sure if they felt it too, but I am confident that this was an important conversation for our family to have before we start a new year together. At least each one of us has an idea of what the other members of our troop want for us.  Clearly, I need to get it together and be more organized.  My daughter needs to be more proactive and plan better.  And my husband?  Well, he needs to take some time to relax, get off of his phone and take a few moments to enjoy the flurry of life’s activities.  Before we know it, things will change and we will miss these chaotic times.

Here’s my question for you: Are you brave enough to ask your family to share their resolutions for you?  You might be surprised, or even pleased, with what is shared.

The Pantry Gets a “Back-To-School” Makeover

The Pantry Gets a “Back-To-School” Makeover

The rumors are true!  A Windy City Momma TOOK the summer off!  But now that the kid is back from camp and the house is a mess, so it’s time for A Windy City Momma to get back to work!

My first project: A Chaotic Pantry.

As self-proclaimed “Foodies” who love to cook as much as we love to eat out (okay, he cooks and I eat), we have quite a collection of FOOD! There’s only one slight problem, there is so much shoved in our narrow but deep pantry that I can’t tell what’s actually in there.  As a result, I continue to buy the same “stuff” because  I can’t find what I need in the pantry.  So I asked Organizer Sandy, an incredible resource and lovely lady, how I should start this daunting project.   She tweeted that I must: “Take everything out of the pantry.”

Yesterday, I decided to dive in and take her advice.  The first step was to figure out what I already had and what, if anything, I really needed. In the end, I wound up learning quite a bit about my family’s eating habits and about me! First the Wordless Wednesday pictures:


Actually, no one (including me) can find anything in the pantry because there is just too much in there. So, I decided to get organized…

The Pantry: Cleaned and Cleaned Out

Yeah, about that…



Seriously, it took me eight hours and a very long and involved trip to The Container Store to conquer the Foodie’s Pantry.

One question….

Step 3: Keep it that way!

So what did I learn?

  1. Our family loves storage containers (tupperware, sandwich bags, gallon sized plastic bags etc.)  We have so many of them that I decided to get rid of a lot.  They were out of control
  2. We drink A LOT of tea including green, white, black, chai, diet, ginger, dandelion and the list goes on and one.  And, since purchasing the Keurig, I have even more tea and have added all sorts of coffees to my selection.  (Note to self: DO NOT BUY ANYMORE TEA!)
  3. We love peanut butter and can’t seem to stop buying it
  4. We love sugar, flour, pasta and rice (including risotto):  I had to donate quite a bit of unopened dry products just to be sure that we had enough room in the pantry for what was already opened.
  5. We love spices and nuts.  I could have dedicated an entire shelf to these dried goods
  6. We don’t eat a lot of salty, crispy snack foods but BOY (!) do we LOVE chocolate!  We have a huge assortment of bittersweet, semi-sweet, dark, milk, white, powdered, hot, cold and chunked chocolate.  It may be time to investigate how old some of the cooking chocolate is and get rid of the chunks left over from our “dating years.” (Almost 15 years ago.)
  7. We have too many canned tomatoes and not enough tomato soup (or any soup for that matter.)
  8. We really need to stay away from bulk stores like Costco, or Sam’s Club.

Project “Get the House Ready for School” continues.  After finishing the pantry, I decided that I needed to take a few days off and concentrate on my writing. Baby step…baby steps People!

Next stop?  The bathroom shelves and drawers–I have heard that there are some scary prescriptions hanging around since the 1990’s.  Tsk, tsp….