Top ten for 2010.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

As 2010 begins tomorrow - so hard to believe! - I thought I'd write down a few of my goals for the new year.
Here are my top ten for 2010:

1. Read the Bible all the way through.
This is normally a goal every year, but I usually end up reading everything except Numbers or one of the minor prophets, then I get bored and go back to familiar books without ever finishing. I really want to read the Bible in its entirety this year, Numbers and all!

2. Keep up with birthdays.

As a married woman and part of my own little family now, I feel a lot more responsible to remember birthdays of friends and families and I think I've done a pretty terrible job this past year (I'm so sorry!). I always seem to find out it was someone's birthday the day after when I see the stream of Facebook comments on their wall. There's an adorable perpetual calendar that I'm planning to buy that I think would make remembering much easier.

3. Celebrate the seasons.
I want to do more seasonal activities this year, like ice skating in the winter, having a picnic in the spring, and swimming in the summer. I really want to savor each season, especially now that they're much more distinct and tolerable in Tennessee than they were in Chicago!

4. Plan meals.

I haven't really ever done this, but I think it would help our budget and my stress level when it comes to meals. Once we get in a groove with our schedule, I hope to take an hour or so a week to plan a meal and shopping list. Anyone have any tips on this?

5. Continue learning about natural living.
There is so much more to explore with green cleaning and other natural solutions. I'll be sure to keep the blog updated with what I learn. I think first on the list for the new year will be making my own lip balm.

6. Finish my nursing school pre-requisites.
There are quite a few of them, but I am determined to begin full-time nursing school by either August or the following January, depending on when I can have the pre-requisites wrapped up.

7. Expand BrighterDay.
I have loved making jewelry on Etsy for a while now, but just recently have wanted to pursue it even more. It is such a therapeutic thing for me, and for every sale I make, International Justice Mission benefits as well!

8. Read one book a month.
I've found that if I don't keep up this kind of pace with reading, I feel frustratingly inarticulate. Reading is such good brain exercise, and not just blog or newspaper reading. :) If anyone has book suggestions for this year, please let me know!

9. Visit a beach.
We don't live close to one, but Shawn and I have been craving walking on a beach for a while now. We'll accomplish this one, I'm sure.

10. Master gluten-free bread.
This one will take quite a bit of trial and error, but I'd love to figure out a gluten-free yeast bread that is light and airy. I crave it most of the time, but have to pass when I know how sick it will make me. I'm looking forward to this one!

What are your goals for this upcoming year?


  1. For meal planning (and general home making) ideas, take a look at It is way less about motherhood and more about homemaking than anything else.

  2. ...and here is the exact post I was thinking of!

  3. found your site through Kirra's :) your blog is adorable!

    I'm a little obsessed with meal planning and budgeting and am always trying to master this grocery thing--it's a weird hobby for me! If you're just planning a grocery list/meal list you can easily do this in less than 20 minutes/week. I probably spend 1-2 hours because I'm crazy about couponing and getting the best deal possible.

    1. keep a list of meals you want to have, i keep a doc in my email that i'm adding onto whenever i see a recipe that looks good

    2. stock up on food when it is on sale

    3. I sit down once a week with my list of yummy recipes, sales ad's from the stores, mental list of what is in the freezer, fridge & cabinets and put together a list of meals that require me buying the least amount of food

    4. its always good to plan at least one meal that doesn't require many perishable items because something always comes up during the week where you don't end up using a meal on your list

    Because I have such a big stock pile, a lot of weeks I just have to buy fruits and veggies :)

  4. Great post, Whitney! I was inspired to jot down a few of my top resolutions as well. The book a month one we have in common! :)

  5. Hello Whitney,
    I am a friend of Shawn's parents and fellow GEMers living in Koenigsfeld. I found your blog through your M-in-law :-) I love to read it - not just because of the personal connection to your in-laws, but because you have such a sweet spirit that comes through - not to mention your love for the Lord (and I admire your lovely pictures).

    Anyways, I just wanted to add my tidbits to the already great comments about meal planning.

    I buy a small wire-bound notebook (about 4x6) and write out the next 6 days as headers on one page. That takes me to the next day I plan on doing my shopping. Then I sit down and go through recipe books or my computer recipes and plan the meals (keeping in mind my schedule and how much time I have to prepare or prepare in advance for meals). I also limit my meals that week to one recipe book or my computer recipes to simplify the recipe resource I'll need for that week.

    As I write down my recipes, I include in brackets where the recipe can be found - computer, recipe book and page #... I write the ingredients on the opposite page that I know I don't have on hand that I will need for each meal. I just group things together that will be in the same area of the store, such as dairy, baking, fresh produce, etc. I keep the notebook in my kitchen so that throughout the week, I also add items to the list that I'm running low on so it will not be forgotten on the next shopping trip.

    We eat a lot of fresh and homemade meals - I cook more than I buy pre-prepared (it's healthier and more economical) and I try to serve raw foods as much as possible. Especially when you start having children, getting them used to eating fresh, raw fruits and vegetables early on will be more nutritious, and easier to prepare your meals.

    When I take my notebook with me shopping, I have my shopping list, but I also have my meals so I can refer back to it again if I have to. I also have a quick reference for meals that I've served before - circling the ones that are favorites makes it easy to quickly put together a meal plan if I'm short on time.

    Ok, that's a lot from an old lady you don't even know (Ok - 41 isn't all THAT old, but I feel old sometimes!).

    Keep up the good blogging - and the gorgeous pictures! Love them!

  6. Thank you guys for ALL the helpful meal planning comments!!! I really appreciate the help! :)

  7. Hi Whitney :)
    A friend of mine found your blog and shared it with me (I'm 18) and I think you must have the most beautiful life!
    If you want to read the Bible all the way through try using the Great Adventure series by Jeff Cavins. The Bible College I went to last year used it. It takes you through the whole Bible, putting them in order of events, (slightly different to how they are set out in the Bible) which helps you to get the WHOLE picture in order :) It also gives you study questions and reflections that are really great :D
    It helped me imensely in understanding everything :)

    God bless to you and Shawn.


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