Friday, January 12, 2007

New Year

I finally got pictures up from the trip. We took almost 400, so I just kind of picked a few. Every day with the hiking and the mountains and the canyons--it was wonderful. I feel so blessed, so grateful to have such a close-knit family; even though my sister and I are grown we still take family vacations together with my parents. It's a bittersweet feeling, because that was probably the last time that it will ever be just the five of us. Don was invited on this trip but couldn't make it, next time he'll be with us, and maybe my sister's boyfriend, and eventually we'll have our own family as well.

My parents have bought a vacation house in New Mexico that we will all be using from now on-- they've given Don and me carte blanche to crash there whenever, and probably K and her guy as well. It looks beautiful, and I keep imagining future vacations-- just the two of us, or my entire clan, or maybe with new babies-- mine? My sister's? I think, I hope that having this family vacation place will help to keep us close, even as we branch out. I want us to remain the kind of family that voluntarily spends time together-- hard-earned vacation time. Maybe we'll take up skiing.

So it's January again. I love January, and not just because it's my birthday month either. I love the clean, fresh-washed feel of a new year; all the decadence and splurge of Christmas washed away; everyone looking forwards with goals and resolutions. I went back through my blog to look up last year's goals to see how I'd done in 2006. Answer... not bad. Not great, but decent. The most-achieved category were the financial goals, the least being dietary changes. It was harder than I thought it'd be to stay out of debt, and I've got a bit now that needs paying off again. Yo-yo dieting? No, try yo-yo budgeting.

But, I try to look at debt as a income-to-debt ratio. If you make, say, $25,000 (just an example, read nothing into that please) and have $1,000 in debt, that's like what, 1/25? Equal to one (gross) 2-week paycheck. But if you make $25,000 and have $6,000 in debt, you owe like a quarter of your yearly income before it's even made! This makes me feel pretty good about the little bit o' debt that I have, because I know I can pay it off in the next few weeks-- it's not even enough to make a goal over. And, my Discover card is back in hiding and out of my wallet. My 401(k) goal rocked. Seriously, I didn't know how easy it'd be to set it up and put money there. I only kept track of my spending for 3 months, but really that was enough. I'm not that 'detail oriented', really.

Breakfast every day? Ha! Only if a Starbucks Grande non-fat Caramel Macchiato counts as breakfast. But, I didn't gain any weight for the year and even lost a few pounds in Big Bend-- must have been all the walking up and down mountains.

Don's and my real goal for 2006, though, was to get the heck out of Dallas and into greener pastures. Check! One cross-country move ticked off the list. This year I'm not going to make a list of goals . Rather, I'm going to go for smaller, monthly goals to keep things interesting--small changes, nothing major, just something to challenge. My goal for the weekend is to clean the apartment, set up my new work table w/ the sewing machine, and stock up on groceries. As I said... nothing major!

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