Luckily, we didn't really put up many holiday decorations, so bringing them down isn't too time consuming.
We came home a day early to avoid getting caught in the blizzard that just swept through the midwest, driving some 1,300 miles in ONE DAY. I have to say, the kids were AMAZING. Imagine 3 kids 4 and under, plus a significantly pregnant lady & Matt, all crammed into a Ford Taurus for 12 hours straight. Believe it or not, there were no tears or complaining (well, from the kids, that is) and only a few "are we there yet" whines.
Matt accomplished a miracle feat by getting us completely unpacked on Monday, which would have been our second travel day if we'd stopped as we planned. And since we did serious cleaning/organizing before we left, we came home to a relatively clean and nice apartment. We rented it out during the time we were away, and over New Year's a group of college boys stayed here. The bathroom was surprisingly clean under the circumstances (I'm sure there was plenty o' drunken celebration, not to mention 4-6 men using one bathroom), but I still spent a good chunk of time thoroughly soft-scrubbing all of the bathroom surfaces before putting the kids in the tub.
Today is our first 'normal' day back, and it's actually not quite back to normal - Patrick is home for a doctor's appointment, so the boys are struggling to get along and I'm just trying to keep them gainfully occupied, rather than doing my normal cleaning routine. We had sent out the laundry before we left, so that's waiting to be put away and I've already sent off all the sheets and laundry from the trip. Since I did the bathroom yesterday (I usually clean the bathroom on Tuesdays) today becomes kitchen-cleaning day (Monday's usual chore). If I can accomplish that while the boys are asleep, I will be caught up with my weekly chore list and have a decent jump on my monthly tasks. The dishes are not only washed, but dried and put away. Now that I think about it, I should be pretty impressed with myself.
On the way back from Indiana, Matt and I had plenty of time to re-evaluate our life, review our New Year's resolutions from last year and make some fantastic New Year's resolutions.
As for last year's goals, well, I didn't meet my 'get pre-preggo body back' goal, obviously. But I did manage to do a lot of good reading, as did Matt. We had picked 5 books we wanted to read for the year. I think we both swapped some of those books out and added several along the way, so we blew that resolution away. Matt resolved to leave the house every morning by 7:45 and not eat snacks from the cafeteria at work, and probably accomplished that, eh, 60-70% of the time.
A resolution we made for the kids was to teach them the prayers of the rosary, and besides the Apostles' Creed and the Hail Holy Queen, they've got them nailed. Another one for the kids was to read the Bible with the kids, and we probably read thru their preschool level Bible 20 times over! I think Karol's almost ready to move up to a more detailed version, Pat is probably tired of the preschool one, but not ready to move up, and Max isn't quite ready for it. So this year we'll probably do more saints' stories (he got several great ones for Christmas) and less Bible for a while.
This year, we have an in-depth, well-thought-out, and quantifiable/measurable list of goals for the year. Using Zig Ziglar's 'Wheel of Life' segments, we developed goals that hopefully address our whole family in a whole-self sort of way. The segments are spirituality, intellectual stimulation, physical wellness, professional growth, deep relationships and giving back.
Matt's goals are to read 2 Biblical leadership books, starting with Tony Dungy's recent release, to get a little more involved in the academic side of finance by writing guest articles and maybe guest lecturing, and exercising 2+ days a week. He's renewed the 'no more cafeteria' pledge and made a couple of networking/work-related goals as well. He's also planned to 'give back' by tutoring military/former military college students for free :)
I plan to read the whole Bible this year. I've already got a jump start by listening to it via podcasts - after that I'll dive into my new study Bible. I'm going to read 12 fiction books this year, get my post-Patrick body back - which was actually better than my pre-preg figure (after Reagan comes, of course), and I have a few goals for my campaigning blog. My 'giving back' is to coordinate the silent auction for the kids' school - I volunteered at the end of last year since the person who did it before was moving away. That will definitely be a new kind of challenge.
Some of our family related goals are to read a couple's devotional together, continue to spend quality 1-on-1 time with each of the kids, and teach the kids the Memorare and the Apostle's Creed. We actually did a surprisingly good job saving up for all our holiday travel, so we're also making it a mission to continue saving that aggressively.
Pretty ambitious, right? Well, we'll see what transpires as we float through the year.