Two Thousand Nineteen In Review

Where did this year go? 

I know I’m not the only one who is sitting here wondering where the heck did 2019 go.  

I’m sure there are plenty of people who think this past year went by at a snail’s pace; but I’m equally sure there are another whole group of people who, like me, are wondering how the heck we’re back to the end of December again.  

You don’t have to admit it out loud if you don’t want, but I know it’s in your brain. 

Hopes and dreams for 2019

I want to start by recapping what my resolutions/goals for the year were.  More details in the whole post about it, but here are the highlights:

  1. Figure out how to effectively work from home
  2. Meal plan
  3. Grow this blog
  4. Other things
    • have baby #2, figure out how to have two kids
    • move from the east coast to the west coast
    • 50% savings rate

Update: Hopes and dreams for 2019 DASHED

Well, my friends.  I’m here to tell you that I failed miserably at numbers 1-3.

In hindsight, I didn’t exactly set myself up for success, but I didn’t just miss the mark a little bit.  It was a full-on epic fail.

Instead of wallowing and beating myself up about it, I’m going to move right along. Mostly, because there’s zero I can do about it now.  Also, because, overall I consider 2019 still a pretty great year, so I’m good with it.

Even if 2019 wasn’t a great year, there’s nothing to be gained in wallowing.  Learning from what didn’t work or mistakes?  Absolutely.  Wallowing?  Negatory.  It’s not useful, so just skip that part.

Number 4 however, I crushed.  Well, I crushed 2/3 of it.  So I’ve got that going for me.

In school, a 66.67% would NOT have been a grade I’d be eager to take home to my parents.  However, I’m an “adult” now, so if I want to call that a win, I’m allowed to.

I’m also allowed to shoot whipped cream from the can right into my mouth.  So there.

I successfully birthed my second child, and man o man is he cute.  I’m a little biased obviously, but he’s pretty adorable.

I’ve mostly figured out how to have two kids at the same time and maintain some level of sanity (after months of trial and error, more on that later).  They did both immediately ignore our “only one child may cry at a time” rule, but we love them anyway.

We successfully moved from Northern Virginia to Southern California.  We had a wonderful family road trip and the kids did way better than we were expecting them to.  The bar wasn’t set very high because we had no idea what to expect, but overall, it was awesome.

We did not average a 50% savings rate for the year.  It was somewhere right around 40%.  I can’t even give you an exact average percentage (which I know you’re very upset about) because I was too busy scoring an overwhelmingly successful 66.67% on item #4.  But we were at about 40% for the year.

The end of an era

Not only did I not figure out how to work from home, if you take a look at my archives, you’ll see I took a bit of extended maternity leave last year. 

Several weeks before Tiny Lyon Cub was born, I was trying to get ahead with my work because I knew the next several weeks, months really, were going to be crazy.  I was spending every spare minute I could find with my computer.  One day, I was watching Little Lyon Cub play over my laptop screen and it hit me like a ton of bricks that the time of just her and I was rapidly coming to a close forever.  Zero exaggeration. 

I was so excited for Tiny Lyon Cub to arrive, but Little Lyon Cub had been my sidekick for over a year and a half.

She taught me how to be a mom.  She showed me a completely different kind of love I didn’t know existed.  She proved that I can in fact be a pretty patient person (did not see that coming!).

She and I had a wonderful little world we lived in, doing everything together.  There was plenty of challenge and frustration, but so much more wonderful and amazing.

In a minute, I closed my computer lid and decided instead of working furiously for the last several weeks of being a one-kid mom, I was going to soak up as much of her as an only child as I possibly could.

She had no idea her world was about to be turned on its ear, but I knew.

SO.  Instead of trying to get ahead of work and set up for the next few months of madness, I decided to just let it go, and take a break.  

I’m so glad I did.

Consistency and business are important, but there are some things that are way more important and much more fleeting.  This was one of those things.

I’m sorry I fell off the face of the earth there for a minute, but I don’t regret it even a little bit. 

 

Beginning the new era

Tiny Lyon Cub made a swift entrance in late spring and we never looked back.  Little Lyon Cub took to him immediately and they absolutely adore each other.  

I feel so blessed every day to get to be these kiddos’ momma.  

Just two months after becoming a mom of two, still not really sure what I was doing all over again, we had to move out of our house.  We weren’t moving to California until September, so the kids and I spent some quality time with my mom and stepdad (and most of my extended family) in Maryland while Chris still had work trips and was doing a bit of couch surfing and longer-commuting.  

The short version of the story is we thought we were going to be gone by August first, so our tenants were moving in on August first.  Things changed and we weren’t gone yet, but they were still coming.

After six wonderful weeks of serious quality time with my family, we headed out west for California.

Cross country road trip

We successfully made it from Annapolis, Maryland to Oceanside, California, in eight days.  

The kids did wonderfully, which we were pretty surprised by.  

We had two whole days of no driving, which we spent in Arches and Zion National Parks in Utah.  They were a-maze-ing.   

If you haven’t been, we highly recommend a trip. 

We did some good hiking/walking with the kids and saw some amazing sights, but are definitely planning a trip with older kids so we can tackle some of the more challenging hikes.  The views are simply incredible.

 

What happened to meal planning?

Yep, that is also included in the epic fail column.  I did it kind of well for a little bit at some point early in the year.  How’s that for vague and shady?

I did learn some important things that made a big difference in our meal planning success, and will certainly help down the road.

The biggest lesson learned is after you put all this time and effort into making the plan, making the grocery list, going to the store and buying the things on the list… the key to actually executing the plan is oh so simple: PUT THE PLAN ON THE FRIDGE.

I’m not kidding.  That seemingly small little detail turned out to be a legit game changer for us.  Instead of keeping it stored on the calendar in our phones, I started printing it out and putting it on the fridge so it could smack me in the face every time I was in the kitchen.

This solved several issues:

  • took the stress out of “what are we having for dinner????” because it reminded me that I’d already figured that out
  • reminded me if I needed to take something out of the freezer the day before or morning of to defrost (that’s key, y’all)
  • it prevented my wonderful husband from coming home and starting to make something different, using ingredients for unplanned purposes thus messing up the rest of the week, and/or causing food to spoil bc we didn’t end up using it as planned (that was also a thing that kept happening that we didn’t really realize)
  • helped me remember if I need to start something earlier in the day to simmer, or if it was a 30min thing right before we wanted to eat, and plan/cook accordingly for the day

Now, if cooking and meal planning are already something you’re decent at, you’re probably reading this list thinking “dear Lord she is a freaking hot mess if those are the problems she has when it comes to making dinner”.  And, you would be correct.

That is a huge reason why I’m determined to become good at this meal planning business to begin with.

While I did not become the meal planning master I had hoped to in 2019, I do believe I made some serious strides in the right direction.  I’ll call that a moderate success.  Or at least moving in the right direction.  Baby steps.

66.67% is good enough for me

Ok, so that’s not actually true.  66.67% is not really good enough for me, but in the case of 2019, it is.  

I didn’t accomplish everything I set out to, but looking back now, I wasn’t exactly being realistic.  Could I have done better?  Absolutely.  I’m not making excuses to make myself feel better about my failing grade.

I am wondering what exactly I was thinking last January when I looked at what I knew was going to happen for the year that I had very little control over and set these extra expectations.

I’m learning, slowly but surely, that I need to meet myself where I am and make incremental improvements, instead of trying to go from zero to sixty in one and a half seconds.  That’s just not going to happen for me.  

I’m learning to set goals and expectations to keep me moving forward and reaching and improving, but not so ridiculous that I look back and think “what the heck was I thinking??”

Baby steps.

So, in conclusion, what I did actually accomplish in 2019:

  • grew our family by one adorable little boy
  • spent some serious quality time with my extended family before moving very far away
  • had a wonderful family road trip
  • got everything taken care of concerning our move, renting our house, packing, finding a new house, unpacking, getting settled in a new place, blah blah blah

That seems like kind of a short list when I write it out like that.  But it took me an entire year to accomplish it.  I did my best and it was great.  

So there ya go.

How was your 2019?

How was your year?  Was it better than 66.67% or worse?  Did you have any measurable goals or intentions?  Do you need to give yourself a bit of grace?  

I want to hear all the things 🙂 

Leave your comments below, or send me an email (team@lyonmoneyjungle.com).  I’d love to hear from you!

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