Whole Parenting Family

Beginning a-fresh NEW YEAR!

whole parenting family

It’s that most wonderful time of the year//New Year!!! Linking back to my blog posts & writings from the last year!

I look at 2014 and my last New Year’s post and marvel. A third baby. Lots of blog and etsy momentum. Traveled quite a bit. Watched my husband tackle hard challenges at work and whomp them. Watched my son read! Listened to my daughter comfort her baby brother. Gaped while that baby crawl up the stairs much to my horrified pride. Tried out sewing on knit fabric, a totally scary leap for me, thanks to my sweet friend Grace’s encouragement.

I also look at lots of home projects we did. The new bathroom. The features in Design Mom and Apartment Therapy. The articles for What to Expect, Verily, and I Believe in Love. A few fundraisers including one for the marvelous Monks of Norcia {oh I wish I could be a monk with their group! Such an incredible person is Father Cassian Fulsom and the kids are in love!}. New wall hangings by my friend Kelly and a more focused motif in both kids’ rooms. Many closets cleaned out and wardrobes turned over.

But I also look at what I want to do better in 2015. Read books for me. Sew my mending pile. Clean my house more regularly. Sleep. Write better and edit more clearly for Blessed is She. Tackle healthy eating with my full attention.

Let’s get specific. Right here. Right now. ::

1) clean bathrooms.

I can’t keep confessing this to the internet. I’m a failure of a housekeeper when it comes to deep cleaning. My friend Clare helped me out with some Norwex products and I fully intend to commit myself to a regular cleaning schedule. Even if this means I put BabyLoves in his crib with a pile of board books to chew and two semi-cogent babysitters named his older siblings.

2) poetry.

I was a creative writing english major and POETRY has no place in my life. I mean, I’ve made no place for it. Reading A Child’s Garden of Verse aloud each morning should help for the kids. But for me? What do I do? Poetry anthologies? My fabulous girlfriend from undergrad founded REVOLVER with a few equally brilliant folks. Maybe I can spice it up a bit with their work in my regular reading. And my girlfriend Sarah did a series on poems back in October. Loved them.

3) meal plan continued.

You guys have helped me so much with just making one. Please and thank you continue!

4) let the kids set the pace.

They won’t be this little forever. SuperBoy is already 4.5 and it feels like 15. Really. I want time to stop and just be able to fully be with each child as they are right now forever. Don’t let them keep getting bigger (aka eventually leaving this little nest). I want to have an idea of what our day will entail, our week will look like, but day-to-day? Let the kids set the pace. Follow their lead and stop saying no.

No, we can’t paint (it’s too messy). No, we can’t play outside (I don’t want to bundle you up and it’s too cold out). No, I can’t read to you that same book again (I want to do something for me instead). Be open to their minds and imaginations! Don’t interrupt them when they’re having great imaginative play. Push myself past my comfort limits of letting them set the pace and place for our days.

5) regular exercise.

*head hung low* I’m inconsistent at best. And this is the only body I have. Put down the fudge and do a pushup. I used to lift & run & ride horses regularly. Maybe I can’t do the horses right now but I sure can do the rest!

6) time with my husband.

Quality time. Remember how I said I needed more than date night? I needed to share life experiences with a man who works more than full time and with whom I have three kids. Life experiences that don’t necessarily involve his work or our kids. Tricky. Still trying to figure this out.

7) different blogging pace.

I’ve been bursting with writing this past year! I’ve been thrilled to work with products and sponsors and getting and giving and sharing and telling. It’s also added a layer of hectic to my otherwise very calm life.

Solemn wink.

I’m aiming for more like 2 posts a week instead of 3-4. Maybe I’ll do the meal post as a bonus third. I’m still feeling this out. Bloggers talk to each other and anyone who will listen <<hallo, mom!>> about life//blog balance. Sounds like a real first world problem. It is.

It means that I want to write and share and collaborate and promote and do all kinds of thrilling nonhouseworkrelated activities. It means this is our charging station. And it means that we are all trying to also work in our homes, some of us outside our homes, and tend to our relationships with family members, be it independent ones or the little dependent ones. So when do I do what and with whom? All that jazz. If I come up with anything more meaty than that on the topic.

Oh, don’t worry.

I’ll blog it. Right. Here.

I hope you’re starting a-fresh this new year. I hope you have a long list of resolutions. I love them all! Do them, and don’t feel badly if they don’t all stick. Just bursting into 2015 with energy and exuberance is fantastic. And if no one else will verbally affirm you, you can always count on me. You can do this!


  1. Amy @ Motherhood and Miscellany on December 30, 2014 at 7:21 am

    It sounds like you had a great year 🙂 I just looked back at my goals for 2014 and saw that I failed pretty miserably. Ugh. Here’s to a new year and new goals! I am with you on #1 and #3. And #4 and #5. I like #2 too. I used to be really into poetry in college and I haven’t read much of any in recent years. I think I’ll have to check out your links.

    Happy New Year Nell!!

    • Natural Mama Nell on December 30, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      I’m pretty sure I fail every year!!! So with you on this. Happy almost New Year, Amy!

  2. Sully on December 30, 2014 at 8:05 am

    I love everything about your goals for 2015, especially #4. I need to let my kids set the pace in our house too, so this was great inspiration!

  3. Ashley on December 30, 2014 at 8:50 am

    Happy New Year, Nell!
    You know I loved this post. A new year and new goals gets me so pumped up. Love all of your choices and I’m right there with you with #4. So often my own selfishness gets in the way, so I’ve started asking myself one question when I automatically say “no” to the kids: “Am I saying no because there’s a good reason or am I just being lazy?” Convicting in the best way. Here’s to a new year and embracing all that this vocation has for us!

    • Natural Mama Nell on December 30, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      It’s hard to be honest about the line between lazy mom and legitimately tapped out mom. So glad I’m not alone!! Happy almost New Year, Ashley!

  4. Celia on December 30, 2014 at 8:58 am

    I am not a huge poetry person, but I recently got a copy of Czeslaw Milosz’ collected works that really like. I pick it up now and again. A woman at our parish also suggested diving into the Psalms (Grail translation, like the breviary) for a poetry fix. 🙂

    • Natural Mama Nell on December 30, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      I LOVE his work! and so true on the psalms!

  5. Laurel on December 30, 2014 at 10:06 am

    You’ve had a very wonderful and full year, Nell! And I’m so glad you decided to try out sewing on knits. My daughter is in love with her new leggings! 🙂
    I think my resolutions list is going to look eerily similar to yours. Let’s keep each other accountable, m’kay? 😉

    • Natural Mama Nell on December 30, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      YES! I totally need accountability. Hence the public shaming on the toilets 😉 And I’m SO GLAD she likes hers!!!