Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Family Priority Goals 2016 - update

A few weeks ago I wrote about these 2016 Family Priority Goals.

- learning new things (Learning to play the piano.  I have asked the kids' teacher and she is going to take me on!)
- taking photos of our life (Working on what this might look like.  I think I would like to take photos of birds in 2016 -- in addition to the usual subjects I photograph)
- keeping fit (I don't know exactly what this will be, however, I have told Vic I want to do another 10 km in the fall.  I have also started to intentionally increase my weights in 2/4 weekly fitness classes).

With one month of the year down, I wanted to report out on some progress! I started my first piano lesson this week following Fynn's lesson.  Sophie is currently on a break from piano following her last exam. She did well on her exam (75%) and needs to recharge.  In her place, I have started to learn some of the very basic fundamentals.  It's tough slogging as I have no musical training at all.  I have a new appreciation for what the kids are able to do.

With respect to my second goal - birds - Vic and I did purchase a second bird feeder so we can keep attracting more birds to our yard.  We've also managed to identify at least one of the birds that comes to our backyard.  The photo is attached. 

Finally, I am so proud of myself for braving a CrossFit Lite class tonight.  I asked a co-worker about it (she competes in CrossFit) and she was very supportive and encouraged me to take a class.  I had one of the best workouts ever!  Looking forward to next Tuesday's class.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


One of our goals this year (well, mine at least) is to take more photos of birds.  The first step was to take out a book on birds of Western Canada from the library so we could get a little bit better at identifying them.  Some are so tricky to tell apart.  Then Vic and I went down to our garden centre and picked up some more bird seed and a new bird feeder.  The little feeder that he and Fynn constructed a couple of years ago is still functioning, but we thought it would be nice to have a second one.

The bird in this photo was extremely tame.  Without a telephone lens I was able to get within about 1.5 feet and take this photo.  I think it is a finch, probably a Pine Siskin.  According to my book the like black oil sunflower seeds and they are pretty feisty at feeders.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Family Priority Goal: Helping kids achieve more than they could have imagined

I took half a day off work today and took Sophie to Kelowna (about 75 minutes away from our home) so she could take her Grade 1 Practical Piano exam (through the Royal Conservatory).

It has been months of hard work (and hearing the same 3 songs and scales!).

It was worth it today to see her accomplish this goal.  We won't know her marks for a few weeks but I am pretty confident she did just fine.  To celebrate I took her to her favourite frozen yogurt place -- Menchies.

I promised her a bit of a break from piano for a month or so, and also to give Fynn some time to focus on piano as it really has been heavy duty intensity on Sophie.


Monday, January 11, 2016

Further refining of 2016 Priority Goals

I've been thinking about my goals or intentions for 2016.

So far, this is what I have come to (words in red are what I have identified this past week).  I still don't have SMART goals for them, but getting closer.

 Things that make me happy:

- learning new things (Learning to play the piano.  I have asked the kids' teacher and she is going to take me on!)
- taking photos of our life (Working on what this might look like.  I think I would like to take photos of birds in 2016 -- in addition to the usual subjects I photograph)
- telling our stories (blogging, etc)
- keeping fit (I don't know exactly what this will be, however, I have told Vic I want to do another 10 km in the fall.  I have also started to intentionally increase my weights in 2/4 weekly fitness classes).
- seeing new places
- seeing the kids achieve more than they could have imagined (this is ongoing.  Sophie has her Grade 1 Piano exam next week. The goal: to complete and pass the exam in January 2016.  So far that is the only goal set).
- reading
Stay tuned.

Monday, January 04, 2016

2016 Priority Goals

For the most part, I accomplished many of my priority goals for 2015.  While I feel good about how 2015 generally played out, I think there was an emotional connection or piece of my life (our lives) that maybe was lacking. We were buckling down and working so hard, I'm not sure we took enough time to just reflect, be grateful for what we had (we are blessed with so much) and just breathe.

So for this year, I have been brainstorming a bit. So far I have the following categories identified which I plan to develop some SMART goals for each one:

Things that make me happy:

- learning new things
- taking photos of our life
- telling our stories (blogging, etc)
- keeping fit
- seeing new places
- seeing the kids achieve more than they could have imagined
- reading

Stay tuned as I work this through.

Friday, January 01, 2016

Update on 2015 Family Priority Goals

Happy New Year!
With the new year it is time to look back and see how we did with our 2015 Family Priority Goals.

This is what I documented last January:

We don't really make resolutions around here but prefer setting goals.  Something to work towards.

Here they are for 2015 (in red is the update)

Sheri -
Style - have fun with some fashion; invest in others.  I have a fair bit of work clothes, but I would also like to have some fun/play clothes.  I think I have gotten more inspired by feeling that I want to look put together when we go to Fynn's hockey games.  Warm and put together.  Warm is the operative word here. I really did embrace this in 2015 and made some good investment choices for my wardrobe (mostly work pieces but a few casual options too).  My moto was "buy less but better."  Key pieces:  a new dress from Judith and Charles, a cashmere sweater, new ankle boots (a big investment for me) but I wear them about 3 times a week, and a silk top.

Health/Well Being - I was getting regular manicures all fall and it really helped me with stopping my nail / cuticle picking.  My nails were looking really nice.  I haven't had a manicure yet in January and it shows.  I've started picking again, so I need to go in and get that dealt with. I also did well in this regard. Probably too well!  I became hooked on manicures by about September and was getting a new one every 7 days.  I currently have no polish on my nails and I plan to give them a break for a few weeks (and save some money).  Manicures really do curtail my "picking" though.

Fitness - I love my Fit Bit.  If I do nothing else, I am committed to getting 10,000 steps per day.  Most days I manage to do it!  I am also keeping up with my fitness classes 4 days per week. My Fitbit was a constant companion.  It really is the best motivator for helping me keep on track of getting my 10,000 steps.  I can't imagine not having it now.  I highly recommend this if you want to know how many steps you are getting each day. I did continue with my 3-4 fitness classes per week and the odd run with Vic.

Vic - he's still working on his.

Vic and I - we have prioritized a date night - every 2 weeks.  So far we have gone out the past 2 Fridays, so we are on track.  We love movies so it's great if we are able to get out to a good one every now and then. We also took in the symphony.  We started out strong with seeing the odd movie and symphony, but when our babysitter got a job, it really impacted our ability to go out.  We haven't seen too many of the likely Oscar hopefuls, so I am a bit bummed about that.  As Sophie is almost 12, I suspect we will be able to get away for longer stretches of time now.

Home - we have a furniture design plan for our living room that Goodspace did for us in the fall.  It is really lovely and we want to execute on the plan.  So far we have purchased the coffee table from RH and we love it.  We are going slow and only buying what we can afford. This was an interesting one.  With the Canadian dollar taking a nose dive, it really impacted our ability to execute on this plan as many of the items were going to be coming from the US.  We did purchase the floor lamp (because our old one basically fell apart), so I am happy about that.  We also purchased the 2 poufs.  We really do have our eyes on the blinds (Roman Shades) that the plan recommends but again with the low dollar, we have had to really save (and are still saving) for this purchase.

The kids:

Sophie -  might be taking her Royal Conservatory Piano exam in June.  We are working towards that, but will see how it goes.  She is committed to gymnastics, ballet and acro (acrobatics) for the Winter/Spring.  As far as school goes, she received 4 "4s" on her last report card, and I know the goal is to maintain that, if not improve.  Sophie has a lot to be proud of in 2015.  She completed with Distinction her first piano exam and she has another one scheduled for later in January. She received 8 4s on her last report card, so she is definitely working hard.  The big highlight for 2015 was her opportunity to attend the Royal Winnipeg Dance Intensive in Winnipeg in August.  It was a huge growing experience for her.

Fynn - hockey and piano.  And trying to keep up with his weekly French dictee (getting 7/7 is the goal). Fynn continued on strongly in hockey.  He had a good season and he left him wanting more, so he enrolled in the 2015 / 2016 Novice Year 2 session.  Piano is a small part of his weekly routine, as he tags his lesson with Sophie's.  He's not too motivated with it, but at least he is getting so musical training.

Travel - we are thinking of Winnipeg in the summer and our 25th wedding anniversary special trip - hopefully to London!  It would be a dream :)  2/2 on this goal!  We did make it to Winnipeg (and very fun to have our friends Bryan and Patti join us for a couple of days) and Vic and I enjoyed our anniversary in London.  It really was a dream come true!  I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend our 25th.

That's it for now.  I will post back in a few months with our progress to date.  I will create a fresh post about what our 2016 intentions hold.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Christmas party

I adore getting dressed up.  It is one of my favourite things to do.  It has not always been this way.  I remember a time in my 20s and even into my 30s where I really could not be bothered too much. 

A bit of a light bulb went off in my head in the past couple of years with the passing of time.  I realized that I would not have forever to enjoy getting dressed up, wearing heels, getting my hair done (although I have long been getting my hair styled before big events), etc.

For this event, my work Christmas party, I wore my Banana Republic dress that I got for a charity function last winter.  Some sparkly shoes, hair and makeup and I was set.

Here we are just before we went out.