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One week ago, Nathan and I took a look at our goals for the future — both short-term and long-term. We talked about things that we have on our bucket lists. One of our goals is to sit down each month and think about what we’d like to (realistically) accomplish in the upcoming weeks. Then, we’ll evaluate in 30 days.

I am looking forward to being intentional about what we want to accomplish as individuals and as a couple. And I’m excited to see what we will experience and start and (hopefully!) finish in the next 12 months.

In the whole goals/new year/reflection vein, I wanted to share a bit about what I’ve been reflecting on and thinking about for the new year. So, to start, I wanted to share my highlights of the past 12 months.

Highlights of 2011:
Getting engaged and planning a wedding
Wedding dress shopping with my mom and sister
Visiting San Francisco — my first trip to California
Moving home for two weeks before getting married
Having Julie nearby from January through September
Finding yoga and a great studio
Completing a 30-day challenge (26 yoga practices in 30 days)
Hosting friends in Galena
Going to Missouri with Nathan for a wedding
Seeing friends blessed with new babies, new jobs, new schools and new adventures
Bridal showers with friends from out of town
Getting married to my best friend!
Honeymooning on Mackinac Island via Holland, Mich.
Seeing so many family members and friends that I don’t normally get to each year
Going on an architectural boat tour in Chicago with friends
Stepping down from a volunteer role that I was not fully enjoying
Reading good books, including “The Help” (I will share more of the good ones when I can remember them!)

I’ve been so blessed in 2011, and I can’t wait to see what new adventures will arise in 2012.

Growing up, my family took up a new tradition for a few years. On Dec. 31, we’d write our new year’s expectations rather than resolutions. We’d write them secretly, seal them in an envelope, put them in my parents’ safe and take them out on Dec. 31 the next year at which time we’d share with the others and figure out how accurate we were in our expectations.

The expectation theme allowed us to make pretty good predictions about what we’d do over the coming year: graduate to the next grade, get our braces off, apply for college, participate in a tennis tournament, celebrate a birthday, etc.

In favor of continuing the tradition, I’d like to share a few of mine for 2012. Many of the expectations take the shape of goals, for me.

New Year’s expectations:
1. I expect to have my three-year anniversary at work
2. make some fun new recipes, some of which will be great, and others of which could possibly fail! [see Recipe resolutions — all 52 of them.]
3. complete a 28-day cleanse (started yesterday, and I’m quite excited. Julie shared a blog post about it. She started a week earlier than me.)
4. open a joint checking account with Nathan– finally!
5. travel somewhere with Nathan — not sure where yet.
6. find a new area to serve in/volunteer at
7. practice yoga a lot
8. teach my dad how to make bread
9. assist my mom in getting a few things organized
10. get better at our budgeting goals
11. celebrate one year with my husband!
12. scrapbook, scrapbook and scrapbook! (This may be the closest one to a traditional resolution. My scrapbooking has taken a major backseat in 2011. I have many months to catch up on … or skip. I’ll have to see.)
13. purchase a couch/sectional. I’ve lounged on a futon for too long.
14. figure out where this blog is headed

It’s already day nine of this year … and I’m excited to see where the other 357 days lead me.