Monday, January 30, 2012

Back to reality

The post's title says it all, I have officially left my bubble and it is back to reality. 

Before I completely accept it, here are a few pics of our time in Florida. 

watching sunset on the beach
Before our dinner and dancing evening cruise (we were the only ones under 60 years old)
Sister going running with Grandpa and Mimi

Cousins playing dress up

We are quite aware that it is winter in Kansas. So we took complete advantage of being outside. 

My grandma is 90, she is looking good for her age, she loved watching the kids play

Lunches outside

Many trips to the playground (I promise they really do like swinging)

We got home on Friday and have hit the ground running. People keep asking me how I am doing, and my response is "really well." My disclaimer is that I have been in a bubble for almost 2 weeks. Physically I feel good, I go tomorrow for my 3-week post-op check up. I get tired some, but as long as I don't push it, I am fine. 

Emotionally I have been up and down since being home. I went to a girlfriend's baby shower Saturday morning and was fine. She is pregnant with her 3rd child, but lost a baby right before this pregnancy. Her STORY is very similar to mine. At church on Sunday morning I was talking to a girl that I had forgotten was pregnant (my brain is shot right now) and I was asking her about how far she was and her due date and she was so sweet and tender as she stated June 25th (my exact due date). Surprisingly, I was fine in that instance as well. Another girlfriend at church really encouraged me as she told me that she shared my story with a friend who also experienced lost and was encouraged by my story. That is a humbling experience, knowing that my story reached someone's heart. 

Then Sunday evening we had an intimate worship service to close out a week long fast our church did and that is where I lost it. Payton was with us for a bit (she had already been to Sunday school class all morning, so she joined us for worship until she got bored). Right before she left for class, we were given a few moments to thank God and I sat her on my lap explaining a few things to her then said we were going to thank God for making mommy all better. I reminded her how I was sick and had to go to the doctor, but God made my body all better. She immediately said "That's right, and the baby is sick, it's ok mommy, I will kiss the baby and it will be all better." She proceeded to kiss my stomach. Right after taking her to class, I returned and lost it, pouring my heart to God. I am so thankful that my story touches others, but I lost something so precious in the process. I believe God has and will continue to work this for good, but I envisioned my empty womb and our loss. (Side note, right before I had passed on in the doctors office he had down an ultrasound to make sure my uterus was clean. I have an image of the ultrasound from Monday with our baby, then one day later I saw another picture of my uterus empty, a concrete reminder of the life that was no more).

I wasn't only crying for our loss though. I was crying for gratitude for my life. My perspective has been different these last few weeks. I am so ever grateful for my God who said "Not now my daughter, I have you covered." I truly believe that He healed my body in a way that doesn't make sense scientifically. He has given my heart peace in a way that doesn't make sense for those who haven't experienced His peace before. My God has allowed me another day on this earth, that is a gift. So happy tears and sad tears rolled down my face all at the same time. I let myself go, I have only cried one other time that hard in the last few weeks. The worship was cleansing to my soul.

A friend from church shared that the song that was sang right after Steve had shared with the congregation about our miscarriage was sung by an artist who lost her baby right before she recorded it (that song was planned for our church service long before I miscarried). I looked up the story and the song again, let me leave you with these two videos. I am not sure if I will write more about this subject or not, like my title said, it is back to reality. Reality is I have a family that needs me. I have friends I love spending time with. I have a community I love being a part of, I have life and I will continue to live it to the fullest.

Here is the video of her story, if you have experienced the loss of a child, I would encourage you to watch this. 

Desert Song by Hillsong

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Steve and I have been loving the beach. God is so good that He had this scheduled for us to rest here instead of the cold Midwest. Physically I have had a few reminders of what I went through last week. I feel great most of the day, but my body has told me when I have pushed it too far. Just going to church and being up doing things Sunday morning, my body was worn out by mid-day. Our first morning at the beach we got up and took a walk right away, my body wouldn't let me go go that far. Ironically I forgot my running shoes (would like to say that I surely wouldn't have run, but it was in the back of my mind), I think that was God reminding me to rest :)

Steve said he is glad that my body won't let me do so much, forcing me to rest. I think I have the false sense of health since I really do feel great most of the time. Steve reminds me I lost almost 40% of my blood, the body needs time to heal. Our family doctor keeps texting Steve checking on me and Steve asks him for permission for me to do things (like go deep sea fishing on Friday).

I really can't say how grateful I am for this time as husband and wife to laugh together and cry together. I have had such fun with my best friend. Today we read the journal that Steve had written for our baby (Steve has a journal for each of our children that he writes in from the time we know we are pregnant). His prayer for our baby was it would know it has a destiny, that it is meant for a purpose for this time in God's story. I couldn't help but think that this baby's life was very short lived, but it served it's purpose at this time in God's story. We are so humbled that our story has touched, encouraged and challenged so many others. This baby's life had a purpose! Now it rests in the arms of Jesus!

I have had some emotional triggers this last week. I have some wonderful girlfriends that are due within weeks and even days of my due date. As much as I love those ladies (who have also experienced loss and trials in pregnancy) I have been brought to tears because of the reminder of what we have lost. I am sure there will be many more triggers, that is part of the healing process, we will take each one as they come.

The following quote a girlfriend text me the other day and it is so applicable for our current journey we are on.

"When we give God the highest glory, He gives us His deepest peace" Pastor Steven Furtick

God has been so faithful to us. He has blessed us way beyond what we deserve. Not only has He had his hand of protection over us (the more medical people we talk to the more we realize how series and dangerous DIC is, many people are not as fortunate as me) but one of the greatest gifts we have received from the Lord is peace. Peace throughout and over this whole situation. That is a supernatural gift.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sister is 3 years old!

Sister turned 3 years old today!

She is such a joy. She has her phases, sometimes challenging everything, sometimes being cooperative and lovey. 

I love how her mind works, she is so funny.

She is independent. She has already started dressing herself completely in the morning, and actually matches. She will show me the colors that match in her shirt and pants. She wants to do everything herself, she loves to mother her brother. While I was in the hospital this week and grandparents were taking care of the kids, she had no problem telling them exactly how they should be doing everything. She observes and remembers so much.

We had a small party this morning with a waffle bar.  After our week, the party was anything but fancy, we were thankful to have some close friends celebrate sister bear with us.

Her and E-man enjoying their waffles

Not sure what they are giggling at, but such a cute picture

Every girl needs a pink boa :)

Even a momma can sport it

The girls hard at work

 Attempting a family picture with 2 kids who both want to sit on momma's lap

Payton has forever changed our lives, we are so thankful for her.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A whirlwind

That is what the last 60 hours of my life has been.

A whirlwind

Thank you to everyone who has been praying, I believe God has answered those prayer over and over again. If you haven't read the recent happenings, read HERE and HERE.

Let me provide a little more detail (for those who care and for my memory as well). After my D&E (not D&C that is more common) Tuesday, I came home feeling great, just bleeding a lot. I didn't understand the magnitude of blood loss at that time, but it wasn't good. After talking a few times with the Dr and nurses, we were just waiting to see if my body would start healing itself. Finally at 6pm the Dr who preformed our surgery (the one I asked specifically for prayer for) called us and asked us to meet him at his office to check a few things to see why I was bleeding. As I got out of the van to enter his office, blood gushed out of me all over the ground. I had this happen a few other times in the day. I felt like one of Steve's deer that he kills that just leak blood everywhere (not a pretty image, I know).

After examining me in the office, he said we needed to go to the ER for further testing. A sure sign for him was both of my hands and one arm were swollen and bruised where they had taken blood or inserted IV's earlier in the day.  As I got up from the exam table I fell to the ground. Steve picked me up and I collapsed once again, this time I might have blacked out for a moment.  That is what earned me my first ride in the ambulance. I was very coherent at this point and joking the EMT riding with me. Steve said that moment watching me tied to a gurney and placed in the ambulance was one of the scariest things he has ever experienced.

Once in the ER, I had people swarming me, hooking up more IV's, getting me into a hospital gown, swarming all around. The ironic things is throughout the whole process, I really never was in pain. I was talking and joking with most of the staff. Let me put my gratitude in here for all you amazing medical personnel who save peoples lives daily.

They determined I had DIC (Disseminated intravascular coagulation). Layman terms, my blood was not clotting, so I kept bleeding. The hematologist guesses I lost between 30-40% of my blood in 7 hours, causing the fainting episode. I guess I looked really bad in the ER, Steve and my dad thought it was a good things I couldn't see myself, as I might have realized how bad off I was.

I was eventually moved into ICU so I could receive a blood transfusion, frozen plasma, cyro (for clotting) and all sorts of other stuff. I had to have at least 20 bags of stuff injected into my body.  That was a rough night, as someone was touching or poking me every 15 minutes. I am so thankful thought for the nursing staff who took care of me.

Many people thought I would be in ICU for much longer than I was. By morning my blood levels had somewhat "normalized" and I was released by 11 am to go home. I do believe it is God's hand of healing that helped me recover so quickly, as well as me being young and healthy they could pump me full real fast. My body responded better than anyone would have imagined.

The hematologists things that my body was fighting itself. Since the baby was inside of me but hadn't grown in three weeks, it was starting to break apart and liquify. My body started using things (not a medical term) from my blood/body to fight off this foreign object inside of me. Once the baby was removed, my body was all messed up and my blood didn't have everything it needed to heal itself. Scary thing is that kind of things killed women before medicine and technology improved.  

I have been home resting now.  Taking it easy physically. Steve made a good point that we really haven't even had time to mourn the loss of our child, within 30 hours of finding out we had even miscarried, I was being rushed to the hospital. At that point my health became the priority. Steve and I have some time away by ourselves this next week (planned months ago) and we are so excited for the time to be husband and wife and to mourn our loss and count our blessings together.

A verse a friend shared with me the morning I was going into procedure that spoke to me

Psalm 46

  For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song.

 1 God is our refuge and strength,
   an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
   and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
   and the mountains quake with their surging.

 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
   the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
   God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
   he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

 7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
   the God of Jacob is our fortress.

 8 Come and see what the LORD has done,
   the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
   to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
   he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth.”

 11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
   the God of Jacob is our fortress.

I so believe God's providential hand was covering our situation. I am so thankful for the ways he has protected me. Here are some of the ways I know God was alive and active in the process

  • We have become close enough with our family doctor that we were able to text  him Sunday and he squeezed us into his schedule
  • Dad was in town for meetings and was able to jump right in and take care of the kids
  • The ultrasound tech gracefully handled the situation with professionalism and care
  • Our family doctor called around and got the name of the OB who did my procedure (D&E's are uncommon, there are only a few doctors in the area that do them)
  • Dr. Hodes is one of the best and he got us in for early Tuesday morning
  • I did not experience any cramping or nausea from the D&E
  • Dr. Hodes called us Tuesday evening to come meet him at his office after hours (doctors don't often do that). Our friends happen to be at our house dropping off dinner and they were able to stay with the kids as we went back to the Dr.
  • Once at the hospital we have 2 friends that are nurses that both happen to be working during our stay and both were a great help.
  • Dr. Hodes stayed with us in the ER until 10pm (remember we met him for the first time at morning). During the down time in the ER, my dad and Steve were able to have some great conversations with Dr. Hodes ( I really believe he might be part of the good things that come out of this experience)
  • My in-laws live withing driving distance and were able to get here in time for my dad to fly home.
  • My body responded better than anyone imagined. The wonderful physician who created my body is the only one who has control over that
  • I know there are more areas we saw the Lord's hand at work, but my memory seems to be failing me a lot right now.
That is the long version of my physical healing. As far as the emotional healing, I am really relying on the Lord for that. I have already had a few "reminders" of our new reality that have been painful for me. But I do not overlook the fact that I have 2 amazingly healthy children. I really don't understand the loss of a child for a woman who hasn't been able to conceive, or whom has had multiple miscarriages. I am blessed beyond what I deserve. I want to honor and grieve the loss of a life, but not at the sacrifice of what I have right in front of me. I have experienced loss, we all experience loss at sometime in our lives. Loss looks different for each of us, but no matter the situation, there is a God who is in control and is faithful to lavish His love and blessings upon us.

Isaiah 41:10 
fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Thank you all for the prayers, words of encouragement, meals and support. We are so grateful for those we have in our lives. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A day of firsts

Yesterday I had a day of firsts

- had my first surgical procedure

- had my baby's dead body taken out of body

- was totally knocked out with drugs

- recovered with no nausea or cramping!

- bled through more than 6 outfits

- dr called me back to check blood loss

- fainted in his office

- earned my first ambulance ride

- ended up in the ER for the first time

- had people rushing all around me trying to figure me out

- watched my husband with helpless concern written all over his face

- earned a night in the ICU because I had lost so much blood due a few things wrong in my body that prevented my blood from clotting

- night away from kids, but less sleep (so much for having to figure out day off as a mom)

- nurses in my room almost very 15 min all night long

- more bags of junk injected into my body that I have ever experienced before

Good news is today is another day, praying my levels come back to normal so I can go home and get some rest

Laying tied down in a hospital isn't quite my idea of rest :)

Thank you to our friends and family who jumped on last night as we had to rush out, dad for leaving his meetings and other friends who came over for a bit so dad could come visit my in the hospital. Thanks to my girlfriend who works at this hospital and stopped by to sit for me for a bit.

God has taken care of so many details on our behalf and protected me through it all.

God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good!

Monday, January 9, 2012

A different plan

Things do not always go as planned.

Today I went in for a check-up, I am 16 weeks. This morning while getting dressed I was thinking how I needed to post a belly picture and brag about how I am not as big this time around. When I weighed in at the Dr I was feeling pretty proud that I had only gained a couple pounds, a significant amount less than either of my other 2 pregnancies . This breastfeeding and pregnant things isn't really that bad. I hadn't broken out the maternity pants yet, just using the good ole rubber band trick. 

I went in to the Dr today because I have been lightly bleeding the last few days. My Dr wasn't alarmed last week when I spoke about it, stating that many women have light bleeding, but we would keep an eye on it. I got in today, because I wanted to double check everything before we leave this weekend for a vacation. If I haven't stated it before, I love my family Dr who squeezed me in. My insurance has been a mess (I have a maternity rider) so I am in between providers trying to decide between Hospital/Dr and Birthing Center/Midwife.  So my family doc who does OB and deliver babies, got me in.

After checking in with the Dr and a few questions and measurements, we went upstairs to the ultrasound room. Elane (the tech) was great. We were chatting, explaining our situation and she pulled up the picture of our little baby. I could see the outline so well, it is amazing that little peanut is inside of me. 

Then it happened, Elane was quite, I was searching. I could see the baby, but I didn't see a heartbeat. I told Elane that I didn't see a heart beat, was I missing something? In the most tender voice, she said she was looking for it. She spoke to the baby like it could hear her, saying "come on, where is it?" 

That is when it hit me, our baby wasn't alive. The ife I had been dreaming about for the last few months, would not be. The tears flowed. Elane confirmed my suspicion.  The baby had stopped growing about 3 weeks earlier about 13 weeks. 

The next couple hours we waited as our Dr. spoke with a few different specialists, trying to figure out the course of action. I have a partial placenta previa, therefore I can not deliver the baby. I am too far along for a D&C, so I will be having a D&E (Dilation and Evacuation) which pretty much means the baby is too big for a D&C and some other measures need to be taken to get the baby out. Our Dr was hesitant to explain the difference when we asked, because the details of it. 

D&E's are not common and very few doctors in the area actually preform them. We will actually be having a surgeon preform the procedure who is known for doing abortions. Understandably, he is the specialist for removing a baby after the first trimester. When I heard that, my prayers is that somehow we are a witness to him of God's grace and power. 

God is so gracious in his timing. Dad was in town today for some meetings and was able to keep Payton all afternoon. The meetings (Steve was supposed to be a part of as well) were cancelled so Dad is staying with the kids tomorrow. We leave Sunday for a vacation, Steve and I alone without the kids for some of it, then time with my family. That time will be so wonderful. 

I have such peace, I believe in God's faithfulness. This baby wasn't healthy, something wasn't right, it went to heaven a little early on my clock, but I trust God's plan which is bigger than my own.

I am so appreciative of everyone who has reached out to us. When I say this, it is true for me right now. I really am ok. 

My heart hurt in that doctor's office, but maybe the rational side of me has taken over, maybe it is the confidence that my God wants what is best for me. I don't have all the answers, I don't need to. I have been laughing this evening, I have smiled watching my children play. I am so thankful for 2 healthy kiddos. 

I don't know what tomorrow holds. Physically I really shouldn't be in too much pain from the procedure, it is the emotional recovery people talk about. So tomorrow I might not be ok, but I might be. I am thankful for my husband to walk this journey with, and family and friends who have already shown their love. Mostly, I am thankful to God, for the rich blessings in my life.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mommy, can we cuddle?

This little stinker suddenly wants to cuddle. Miss Independent, let me be by myself, no you can't rock me when I am a baby, now wants to have cuddle time ... everyday. 

I love it! 

I think it might have to do with a little guy who likes to cuddle, and she has realized that it is nice to have mommy's arm around you. So whether it be early in the morning (like the picture above) or after nap (it does seem to take place after sleeping), Sister likes to crawl up in my lap and enjoy the attention. I try my best to put down whatever I am doing and sit and soak the precious time with her.

Recently, she has really been cracking me up. She seems to have matured overnight. She is witty, her memory amazes me, her problem solving and deductive reasoning has taken off. She speaks like she is older. She is just plain fun.

Now she is also still very independent, I will do it my way, I think I am in charge, I am starting to really sass my mommy girl.  She is sensitive as well. I have lost my cool a few times these past few days and she starts to cry if I raise my voice. It is good accountability for me, as I apologize for raising my voice but still explain what she has done to be so frustrating.  I am praying the hard work and consistency of training will pay off one day. 

Chemical Free Cleaning

I don't get excited about cleaning, I don't often get excited about a product, but Norwex has changed that for me! My girlfriend was having a party for a cleaning product from Norwex. I really don't go to "product" parties and don't host "product" parties. But she was quite convincing about the quality of these products that use a cloth and water to clean!

I am so glad I went and got a few basic cleaning items. Norwex's mission is "To improve quality of life by radically reducing the use of chemicals in personal care and cleaning."

If you are at all interested in cleaning your home in a quick, safe, effective manner, you will want to see what Norwex is all about. I have been using their microfiber clothes that go beyond "surface clean" with the innovative use of silver particles integrated into synthetic microfiber cloth and have been completely impressed.

I clean quicker, things stay clean longer, all with a cloth and water. Safe for my family!

I actually signed up to host a party next week but also wanted to let my far away friends know about this amazing product as well. If you are at all interested, check out their website

You can order directly from that website as well. If you are local the party is Tuesday at 6:30pm at my house. Let me know if you want more information.

Be careful, you might actually start to enjoy cleaning!

2011 and 2012

My last POST I shared the "How To" for my year-end review and goal setting for each year. Let me break it down for me personally (I always like seeing how things play out personally, I relate better to that then just some "How To".

Well this year I didn't follow the format :) I did my "30 before Thirty" goals, which were more than enough to keep me busy for the year, so this past year I broke the rules (I like breaking appropriate rules). This year is also different because as I reviewed how I have been doing with my 30 before Thirty goals, I still have 2 months to finish them. There are some goals I won't be able to reach, I am ok with that. Here are the few goals I will focus on that I realistically may reach in the next 2 months.

2. Sew something for myself
3. Use an electric saw to make something
5. Play a soccer game
6. paint an "artist" piece
8. go to a museum
11. make wedding photo book
20. write a letter to each immediate family member
21. reupholster chair
23. make sushi (this might have to be something else since I can't have raw fish)

My review of my journal from 2011
(I kinda laugh to myself, because many blogs I read showed the review of their best projects from 2011, my life didn't involve many fun projects, my life this past year has been focused on the people in my life)
  • The first half of the year I was exhausted, Colton was very difficult, screaming the first 2 months of his life, Steve's scary back injury, Payton being 2, the flu going through our house twice during all this chaos, Payton's broken arm, and my body and hormones recovering while worn out. 
  • The second half of the year my journal entries reflect such contentment in life. I was so thankful for my life, the people in it, and the place I call home.
  • June - I spent time thinking of why I am different because the Lord is in my life. I don't have a major turnaround in my life as in giving up addiction or radical life change, but through reflection and prayer I became aware and so grateful for His work in my life. (I might do a whole post on these things, because it is that important)
  • July- I was once again reminded that my way isn't the right way. This is especially true in my view of parenting. I love the topic of parenting, I read books all the time on the subject, I discuss it with people. But as in many areas of life, there are many ways to do the same thing. What works for me, might not work for others. My viewpoint isn't always right. This is a great lesson to learn in many areas of life and I am so thankful for growth in this area, it has released me from what could be considered a judgmental spirit.
  • This year big decisions were made (through prayer and fasting) on our rental house in Florida. We have put it on the market and pray the Lord's favor in releasing us from this home. This home has been a thorn in our side, but at the same time has kept us so dependent on the Lord, because we can not control it.

2012 Goals

  • intentionally build him up with my words in front of others (especially the kids)
  • the year of sex (not going to go into too many details here, hello his mom and grandma do read the blog) - I really want to focus on not using excuses of tired and pregnant for not having sex. Mom's of young kids and babies know how exhausting it can be to be pulled on and sucked on all day from kiddos, that you really don't want another person physically all over you once the kids are asleep. That isn't going to fly anymore, my relationship with my husband (all aspects) is the most important relationship (beside the Lord) and there can always be excuses, I want to purposefully not use them.
  • sticky note prayers (you exchange sticky notes on Monday morning with areas you need prayer for that week)
  • find specific ways to challenge/love/discipline/train her as an individual and remember she is     just a 3 year old.
  • find balance in the freedom to be a boy and explore with safety and boundaries
  • parent him differently than Payton
  • still time to cuddle with him even with baby #3 (he loves cuddle time with momma)
Baby #3
  • patience, the baby phase is exactly that, a phase
  • love and attachment
  • return to weight of 125-130
  • continue working out until end of pregnancy and return as soon as possible 
  • go through a home tour (leftover from 30 before Thirty)
  • take piano lessons
  • give birth naturally (unless outside of my control) 
  • prayerfully prepare for IYC talk
  • weekly pray for and encourage one person in our community group
  • maintain quarterly "ladies @ the creek" (pastor's wives of ICCC)
  • memorize the book of James (my Beth Moore study this Spring is based on James)
  • Florida and lake house (possibly CO depending on babies arrival) 

Well that's all folks! I do not live some amazing adventurous life, my life right now is so focused on others, on the people that are important to me and the ones that are important to God. I want to be a healthy individual (spiritually, physically, emotional, mentally) so I can in turn love on others out of a place of health.  

What are your goals for 2012? Is it going to be a New year, or just Another year?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Looking back and looking forward

The stinkin stud catching a sea turtle while shark fishing, he is quite amazing - for the animal activist, the turtle found it's way to his hook, and after fight, gratefully there was a successful release
My husband is a goal setting, intentional stud. His gift of being strategic, is amazing. When we were dating (not even engaged, just dating) we had a mission statement and values for our dating relationship, that was all him. He is purposeful in what he does. His mind is just wired that way. He is great about looking back at the previous year in review and making changes or "goals" for the new year. Of course, the goals have categories, that would only be appropriate to focus the goal setting session. He actually has a monthly review he does on his spiritual, personal and professional life. I have a specific journal that I use only for goals and year end review. The first few pages also have life goals that fall into the specific categories as well. I have been doing it since 2008 and each year I not only look back at the previous year, but also quickly look over every year in the journal. It is a great reminder of where I have struggled, where I have grown and the journey that I have been on.  

I will give you the logistics of what I do, then fill in the personal details for me in another post. I first reflect on the 5 categories and the goals I set in each of them. I notate which goals I reached and maybe some details. The categories are:

(breakdown goals for each family member and family at large)

(literally how I take care of my body physically and challenges for myself)
(things I want to experience, some of my "creative" outlet falls here as well)

(areas I want to be intentional in influencing others, spiritual goals fall in here for me as well)
(where would I love to go)

After I read through the previous years goals and notate how I did, I read my journal entries (from my regular, daily life journal) from the whole previous year and I write down highlights, lowlights, themes and other big stuff down in my goal journal. This is a great way to have a quick review of a year and what I experienced, struggled with, areas of growth, etc. 

Then I go back and set goals for the new year in each of the categories listed above. I often look at my life goals and see if any of them could be a reality that year, or maybe something I do could to be a step in the right direction.

So that is the logistics, I encourage you to do something, it can "formal and strategic" (thanks to husband) like what I do, or a simple couple goals for the new year. But write things down, reflect on where you have come and where you are going. For me it has made a huge difference in my personal growth.