If anyone’s been following my blog for a length of time, you’ll know that every year I participate in the One Little Word challenge. It’s easy. Step 1: Pick a word that describes how you want your year to be. Step 2: Make it happen.

Last year my word was Embrace (post here), i.e., embrace the changes. I just re-read last year’s post myself, so here’s a couple of my thoughts on how well I “made it happen.”

Embrace Change: As far as major life changes, I didn’t actually have any this year. I remember last year I was worried I would be put into a new position at my school, but fortunately for me I ended up going right back to my 8th grade math spot. So as it turns out, I didn’t quite have to embrace too much change in that area.

Embrace the “Baby Year”: I think I’ve been doing a good job at this. I’m kind of a big ol’ sap already, so those nights where I just want to put Lincoln in his bed at 6:30pm on the dot and close the door behind me and not have to deal anymore, I’ve been able to remind myself pretty easily that these nights won’t last forever. I knew last January that my six-week-old was going to turn into a toddler by the time the year was up, and I can honestly say I’ve (mostly) cherished the moments. I’ve snuggled my baby well past the time he’s fallen asleep in my arms. I’ve snuck into his room to watch him sleep countless nights. I’ve kept myself from getting (too) discouraged as he’s refused to sleep or has his occasional meltdowns. The baby year went by fast. They say it does, but you don’t realize it until you’re at the end of another year.

See? This guy’s practically ready for college now, for crying out loud!

Embrace Relationships: This one. I did not do well with. At all. I’d like to blame it on time and other life issues taking priority, but I know I’ve had plenty of time to work on this, time that’s gone to other things like reading cloth diaper forums and catching up on NCIS LA. I’m continuing to work on this in the coming year.

Embrace Fitness: So I thought I’d failed on this one, but then I really stopped to think about it, and I’m going to give myself a C+ on this one. In the spring I signed up for Stroller Strides when it was offered by my school. Over the summer I continued with the weekly Stroller Strides course at a local park and we all joined the Y. Lincoln had a blast at baby swim classes and the child watch class, while I did dance and yoga/pilates. In the fall, we did Stroller Strides again at the school. This is way more than I’ve done in years, but still less than I should be doing, so C+.

Embrace Food: Oh, man, this one was tough. I’m just going to go ahead and say we all failed on this one. Yes, there were definitely weeks when I took time to plan out our meals, bought groceries according to plan, and actually stuck to the plan… but there were a lot of times when I let the busyness of work take over instead.

Embrace (My) Creativity: I was fortunate enough to have quite a bit of extra time in the beginning of the year. I was on maternity leave and in a position that did not require a ton of my home time, which led to creative time in the evenings after Lincoln went down. (Well, on the nights that I didn’t go down at the same time… which sadly happened quite a lot.) I also had a really great opportunity to be on a creative team for my favorite scrapbook designer, Liz Tamanaha. I even almost finished Lincoln’s baby book this year, which, come on, is pretty huge.

Embrace Frugality: Ah, my last minute throw-on. I’ll go ahead and give myself a B- on this one. While the couponing didn’t last too long (hello, that stuff takes a lot of time), using the Ibotta app to reverse coupon has been great. I’ve also been paying attention to the coupons that come out with receipts at the grocery stores these days. I almost always get Plum coupons and coupons for our favorite bread. Still working on convincing Chris to buy only what we plan to use in the following week (his method is to just buy all the things so there’s always something at home to eat), but I think we’ve taken great strides in using up what we buy. We used to throw out so much that had gone bad before we used it, it was awful.

So that was my year. Not the best as far as goals go, but not at all the worst! T-Minus two days for the new year to start, and I’m excited to get going with my new word and ideas for the year.

As you can see, this little guy’s also excited for the year to come. Another year of fun, learning, and growing- this time toddler style!