Sunday, April 19, 2015
Carving out the life we want to live
I haven't been posting much to the blog a lot because life has been so exciting lately and I never seem to have the spare moment. We are in such a happy groove as a family O' five. A lot of the balance that has been lacking in our lives was restored this past year. The big boys are developing their own interests at almost 4 and almost 7 years old and we've been trying to nurture those as best we can. With them, we no longer have to focus so much attention on the basics like personal care since they take care of most of that on their own. In many ways it feels like a huge weight has been lifted and parenting has become much more enjoyable. We're appreciating each stage of babyhood and the last of the "firsts" with Noah and not wishing them away.
We've been looking at our finances and trying to better align them with our values, goals, and the things that make us happiest. Our family budget (which I just realized I need to write an update post on!) is split into several categories: housing, transportation, food, child care, vacation/sports, debt, investments, and entertainment/clothing. We're trying to consciously evaluate and maximize our happiness in each of the areas. More than ever before, we're at a really happy place.
A significant focus has been balancing each members interests and needs in terms of both time and money, particularly around vacations, sports, and entertainment. We've been trying to prioritize activities where we see potential for growing our own individual and shared interests into collective "family" interests. For us, some of these things are skiing/snowboarding, boating, fishing, skating, and travel. Having these collective interests will allow us to spend more time together as a family. For example, R loves to snowboard. I took ski lessons when I was younger and have decent ability. For the past few winters, we've taken the big boys out to the hill on a pair of second hand kid skis. This year, B took snowboarding lessons and loved it. I'm planning on taking snowboarding lessons next year. If my attempt doesn't go well then the following year I'll go back to skiing and take lessons to improve my skills. We're really excited at the prospect of being able to go as a family to the hill and to go on awesome winter vacations to places like Blue Mountain, Mont Tremblant, or Banff (much later on).
We also just made a big family purchase this Spring ... a boat has been on our wish list for a really long time. Boating, fishing, and water sports were a significant part of R's upbringing and our summers together pre-kids. We're hoping to carry that on with our kids. We are so fortunate to live near so many lakes.