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This month, the South of the Border Bloggers decided to check in with our New Year’s Resolutions and see how we’re accomplishing those goals.  Or, to realize that maybe it’s time to start again.  Either way, bring on the accountability!

Back in January, I decided that my “Word of the Year” for 2018 would be Intentionality.  I wanted to stop drifting through life and really pay attention to how I’m spending my time, my resources, and my energy.

So–how is this going?


The main reason I choose “intentionality” as my word was to put more priority on my relationships with other people.  To be honest, I’m not sure I’ve made many strides.

During Lent, I felt led to give up my blog for six weeks.  The point was to focus more on the people around me.  I did make more of an effort to have breakfast with my friends during the school day.  After a few breathtakingly beautiful one-on-one breakfast brainstorms with my buddies, I toned it down a bit.


But I am still trying to remember to ask someone out once a week.  (Isn’t it funny how trying to maintain adult relationships is a little like dating?  Or is that just me?)  It’s good for me and takes me out of the box I tend to live in.

However, as lovely as my intentions were, I can’t say that I’ve really spent much more quality time with my kids or my husband.  That was my goal.

I’m failing a bit there.

So, from here on out, I will make a commitment to play a board game once a week (on Saturday or Sunday) with my kids.  They really enjoy that.  But I think they really enjoy board games because they know that I really enjoy board games and a good hour of Catan” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Settlers of Catan is some of the best “quality time” that we’ve been able to manage at this stage.

So, bring it on, Catan!


This is the area where I really have been focusing my time.

Wait–didn’t I just say that I was failing at “quality time” with my kids and I’m a stay-at-home mom?

Yes.  But I’ve decided to beef things up a bit with this blog and freelance writing opportunities.  I’ve always been one that hates selling things.  I believe one year my brother sold my Girl Scout cookies for me.

However, I really enjoy writing.  I’ve had some confirmation from a variety of sources that writing may be a gift of mine.  So if I could possibly earn an income from it, I’m on board!  So I’m putting some real effort into learning how to sell my writing.  It’s stretching me a bit, but like the hubs tells the kids “we’ve got to know how to sell ourselves, or we won’t get ahead or accomplish our goals.”

(Warning:  that also might mean putting some ads and affiliate links on this blog.  I promise NOT to shove ads between every paragraph.  I’ve read enough other blogs to know how I do NOT want mine to look!)

Let’s face it–I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 10 years and I really, really, really miss having some income of my own. IMG_6627

So if I’ve been pounding you over the head on facebook with blog posts, my apologies. I really want this to work.  I’ve been spending some real time on pinterest (and,  canva) and I’m finally seeing some results.  (Nothing hugely dramatic, but this week ALL of the visits to this blog have come from pinterest!  Eeek!)

I’ve also invested in an online branding class.  It’s been fabulous in giving me more confirmation that sharing what I know through writing may be one of my spiritual gifts, giving me direction to tie the diverse elements of this blog together (or maybe cut loose ends), and helping me give this space some focus.  I’m looking forward to finishing it and polishing up the visuals and aesthetic appeal of this blog–so there may be some changes coming here!

And then I have unlimited access to the class, so I’ll reapply what I learn to SaltilloExpats! branded_beauty_logo-.png

If anyone–blogger, artist, entrepeneur–is interested focusing your marketing, reaching people who would be interested in your product, and simply presenting a pulled-together business, check out Branded Beauty by Jill Simons at Pink Salt Riot.  I’m getting more out of the class than I expected to.  The class has a Christian element to it (discernment, stewardship, spiritual gifts), which I love, but realize that’s not everyone’s cup of tea.  Jill, the teacher, is Catholic, but even though she uses some Catholic-specific vocabulary, I haven’t noticed anything that would make a Protestant from any mainstream denomination weirded out.  Interested?  Click on the link here to find out more!

Since I’ve invested 9 years into this whole “blogging thing”, it’s clearly not just a passing fancy.  Slowly but surely, I’m changing my frame of mind to make this my business, instead of a hobby.

Oh, and freelancing.  I’m making it a goal to send something–anything–to a magazine once a month.  I’ve had articles accepted with Highights and Spider (one each), and looking on expanding to travel magazines and adult Christian magazines.  (Can’t lie–I do feel more at home writing for kids!)  I’m not quite making my goal of submitting once a month, but I’ve at least doubled my submissions in comparison with last year!

Personal Choices

Reflecting on this post, I racked my brain to think of any other way I’ve been intentional this year.  Up until May, we’ve been pretty strapped for cash, so we were eating vegetarian more often than not.IMG_6374 - copia

That wasn’t exactly a choice.  But, now that we CAN buy more expensive items on a more regular basis, I’m remembering that eating lower on the food chain is better for the environment and better for my own health.

Now, I like my tacos as much as the next Mexican, so I won’t ever be going full-out vegetarian.  But being intentional about planning meat-free meals three or four days a week sounds like a beneficial goal.  To accomplish it, I’ve got to be intentional about it!

The Next Six Months

I’ll probably keep plugging away with my year as it’s been going.  (Adding in a Catan” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Settlers of Catan day once a week, of course!)

I want to keep writing, and with a tighter focus.

I want to focus on enjoying my kids while they’re still young.  (I’m already starting to see some adolescent angst creeping in on one . . . we might be in for a bumpy ride soon, so I’d better enjoy it now!)IMG_2943

My husband and I just came back from a long weekend to celebrate our 10th anniversary.  I was nervous about spending 5 days together, just the two of us.  (We tend to fight when we have too much quality time . . . in fact, our actual anniversary in November was spent in stony silence.  Worst.  Meal.  Ever.)  However, we had a marvelous five days together–even when an eight-hour drive was involved!  So here’s hoping (and planning) that we continue to be a bit more intentional with our relationship.

I’ll look into putting more vegetables in our diet and intentionally cutting back on meat.  I’d like to up that ante and watch my sugar intake a bit more carefully.  But I think we’ll work on finishing the school year first!

Now that we’re halfway through 2018 what are some things you’ll do to keep you on track with your resolutions?  Didn’t make a resolution?  Maybe resolutions are better for June, anyway!