Welcome & 2018 Goals!


Welcome (or welcome back) to my blog!

I started this blog 2 and a half years ago now, and have been absolutely blown away with over 71,000 views on my blog posts (which has almost tripled from last year), and over 2800 likers on my Facebook page! That really blows me away! Thank you to all of you for making this experience a positive one - I really enjoy writing blog posts, and finding interesting things to post on Facebook, and interacting with this wonderful community! 

I thought I would re-introduce myself for those who might be new. I'm Sarah, I'm 29 years old (30 in April) and am married to Brendan, who is almost 33. We have two beautiful daughters, Miss M, who was born in December 2014, and who has just turned 3, and Miss O, who was born in October 2016, and who is 1 year & 3 months old. We got married in April 2013, and then bought a house, which my hubby renovated. At the start of 2017 we moved to a town 1.5 hours away and so we are renting our first house out, but in November that year we moved back into another house (our 'forever home') we bought a year earlier.

We live in Northern NSW which is where we both grew up. My mum & dad, as well as my two brothers live here too. Brendan works in Family and Community Services, but is a trained primary teacher as well. I am trained as a secondary PDHPE Teacher, however I've spent 3 of my 6 years teaching Maths (I've also had two periods of maternity leave during that time). I'm planning to go back to work two days a week casual teaching this year, Miss M starts preschool and will go two days a week, and Miss O will be in daycare two days a week. 

Our word for this year is CALM. I wanted 2017 to be a calm year, and all about finding our new normal as a family of 4, and it was anything but calm, a real whirlwind of a year, with moving towns twice in a 7-month period! There were great parts about the year - overcoming PND, and learning that I am much stronger, and capable of much more than I believe I am, as well as meeting some incredible people when we moved to a new town. I'm hoping 2018 will be calmer and quieter, and that I'm able to get into a good routine with work, preschool, daycare, playgroup, Thursday family dinners, church and everything else that we normally do in a week, and that I can focus on the things that really matter! 

Here are our goals for 2018:


2018 Goals

House
 - install ceiling fans in the living rooms & playroom
 - paint & install IKEA spice racks in the girl's rooms for book shelves
 - unpack the last of the items in our shed
 - put more picture hooks on the walls for our photos
 - look into how we will landscape the yard

Money
 - focus on paying a certain amount off the house
 - create a new budget
 - work two days a week casual teaching

Personal/Health
 - Get back to my pre-pregnancy weight
 - Exercise 3-4 times per week
 - Brendan plans to do a couple of marathons

Purchases
 - a mattress topper for our bed
 - a new hairdryer
 - a new vaccum cleaner
 - charcoal blockout curtains for the master bedroom
 - a new Aldi coffee machine 
 - a buffet

Travel
 - Port Macquarie
 - Bathurst for a wedding
 - Hunter Valley for a wedding 
 - Mt Tamborine
 - Brisbane
 - Gold Coast
 - Toowoomba 

Family
 - spend one-on-one time with Brendan (date nights!) / Miss M / Miss O (and for Brendan to do the same)
 - Continue having our Thursday night dinners with family

Blog
 - keep going! 
 - My 'Forever Home' series will be published, where I go through each room in our new place, starting from tomorrow! 




Before I go, have you noticed how good the new layout of Keeping Up With The Joneses blog and Facebook page is? Charlene from Teacher by Trade Mother by Nature (link is to her Facebook page, blog link here) very kindly and generously gifted me a blog makeover back in October, which we published on November 1st.  You may remember the old layout (this is the mobile version):


Here's the new layout! I love the new logo Charlene has created, and how she's cleverly organised my blogs into themes with drop-down menus! This is the mobile version, and the bottom pic is from the web version (however it proved really hard to take a pic of my computer screen, so you'll just have to check it out for yourself!) 




If you are looking for anything in particular, for example organising posts, just click on organising and then select from the drop down menu, or scroll down and type something in the search bar. 

Thanks so much again to Charlene, I just love it, and love entering a new year with a new look! 


Happy New Year everyone!!

[Images in order: top image: istockphoto.com |  goals image: birobot.org | happy new year image: dreamstime.com] 

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