It’s Going To Be a Mighty New Year

The past three months have been a bit unusual. Buying and renovating a house is obviously stressful. Joyful and exciting, but stressful. Until we moved last week, D had been leaving around 6am to meet with contractors at the new house, followed by a full day at work, followed by stopping by the house again to check up on things, and finally arriving back home around 7 or 8pm. In a nutshell, he wasn’t seeing the kids very much, if at all. I, on the other hand, took on a slew of extra writing assignments to help fund said renovation, and was up to my neck in deadlines while taking care of the kids from sun up to sun down (barring school, of course), and basically losing my mind just a little bit.

I feel like we both have been failing at the parenting gig for the past two months. I’m not proud to say that the kids have watched (way) too much television, played (way) too much on the iPad, and frankly, haven’t received the undivided attention a 2- and 6-year-old need. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve said (through a clenched jaw), “What? What do you want? Can’t you go play??” to little Wita while she whined incoherently. (How about some attention, mom? Maybe play with me for a minute or two instead of breezing past me, looking for your to-do list? HOW ABOUT THAT?)

(Mom guilt is in FULL FORCE over here.)

Well, the good news is that we have moved into the house, and although our house project list is still lengthy, we are at least together under the same roof in the mornings and evenings.

Last month, one of my favorite internet dynamos asked me to be one of the inaugural cast members of her new website, Go Mighty.  Go Mighty is all about life lists, and achieving your goals via connecting with people who can help and/or brands that will support you. I chose 10 ten things from my life list that I’d like to accomplish (listed here), and it wasn’t long before I heard the awesome news that Olay had decided to fund one of my goals.

You guys, this is the dickiest thing ever, but when I heard that the goal being funded was “discover 10 cool places in my town,” I was annoyed. At first, all I could think about was how much it would would pull us away from our weekend home projects, our daunting to-do lists, and in general, things that need to get done. How could those things be accomplished when I’m schlepping my family around Newport Beach for, like, 10 weekends in a row?

And then it dawned on me. We need this. As a family, we need this SO HARD. We need get out of the house, away from the to-do lists, and spend time together as a family. No paint stores, no rearranging furniture while the kids zone out to Nick Jr., no no no. Just real, quality time discovering new places and experiences as a family.

I’m so excited about this. The kids really deserve it, and I hope it makes up for our lame lameness over the past few months. I wrote my first post here, and will be posting updates on my Go Mighty page starting in January. (You should sign up too, by the way. You never know who’s out there, waiting to help you.)

Oh! Important part. Feel free to share some of your favorite spots around coastal Orange County…we’ve been here for 10 years, so we’ll need to dig deep for some new discoveries.

Family time. Ready, set, BREAK.

  1. Andrea Howe

    December 21, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Ha! I love this, you dick! I’m right there with you. This past year, between being pregnant and having a new baby, while trying to fix up our house as well with never ending DIY projects, PLUS my own work on my site, we have spent way too many weekends just hanging around home like bumps on a log. We live in So Cal for goodness sake, where there is SO much to do! It’s actually one of my family goals for the family this year is to get out more! So a suggestion for you is the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach. It’s so close to your house, free, and a very cool little day outing for you and the kids. You can easily spend 1 hour there, or pack a lunch and spend 3 hours. I love those types of places :) It’s small, but good little walking trails and some neat exhibits. Good luck!

  2. Joy

    December 21, 2012 at 9:25 am

    I LOVE this idea of the Go Mighty website. I’m definitely going to have to check it out. My shy side is afraid of putting myself out there, but I love making lists and always have new goals I want to achieve so this looks like a great way to get things done, all while connecting with great people.

    I hope you find some lovely places near your home!

  3. Colleen

    December 21, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Oh how I can relate with not wanting to commit to things that take me away from my long-list of to-dos. I can also relate to deperatly needing to get away from that list. I hope you have an amazing time with this project, I can’t wait to read your updates!

  4. Maggie Mason

    December 21, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I’ve had the same reaction a few times, just feeling like, “On top of all the stuff I have to get done, I’m now required to HAVE FUN?” The weird thing about Life List stuff is that there’s always so many chores that you feel like you should put ahead of just living your life. It’s so easy to blink and find the year gone. I’m excited to see what you guys do. Me and the kiddo could use a little adventure too.

  5. Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian

    December 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    That’s a pretty awesome concept for a site and I think it’s awesome that this will contribute to your family spending more quality time together!

  6. Jen

    December 26, 2012 at 9:51 am

    I had no idea you were in Newport Beach! I’m excited for you to go on this adventure, because I’ve been here for almost 3 years, and still don’t have any idea what to do in this town besides venture down to the piers and hit up Fashion Island. Selfishly, I can’t wait to see where you all end up going so that my husband and I can follow suit.

    We did go to the tidepools in Corona Del Mar once which was fun (do your adventures have to be in Newport Beach proper? or just the area?)

    I know it seems like a lot of work, but quality time is always worth it, isn’t it? :) Excited for you all!

  7. Sheila@Chinaberry

    December 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Bravo to you for being honest about not always focusing on your kids. There are times when they watch too much TV — those times when we need to get things done, for example. But also bravo to you for finding yourself in a position to do something about it since finding that balance with your kids is so important. I love that this “prize” you won will help bring your family together. Now I think I just might toddle off to my kids soon . . . {smile}.

  8. Mary

    December 27, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Do you really need Olay to sponsor you to visit places in your own town and spend quality time with your kids? I love the Go Mighty concept but this just seems a bit ridiculous.

  9. up north

    December 27, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    I agree with post number 8. So many of the things you love to share in your blog are things that have been given to you and then you tell us how wonderful they are so we can purchase them. That is also ridiculous. You like to complain about not spending time with your kids because your so busy writing paying for your remodel. Can’t feel bad for you now that I know you live in Newport Beach. It’s all about choices.

  10. Jeanne

    January 5, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    I think it’s GREAT that you’re going to explore the area. It doesn’t matter where one lives. With children plus the always growing to-do list, it’s often hard to get out and explore one’s neighborhood through a tourist’s eyes.

    I look forward to hearing what you discover. I’ve lived here for over a decade and it was only this past month that my friend took me out in her Duffy to Backbay to watch the crew team row on the glassy waters. Who knew we had a rowing team out here?! Also park and check out the hidden interior of UCI. It’s beautiful, with a huge circular expanse of large trees and hilly grass. When my kids were young, they loved rolling down the gentle hill. It’s also a great place for you to run and the college students make me feel young again..at heart anyway.

  11. Karen J Moseley

    January 15, 2013 at 5:49 am

    Dickiest? Please. Explain.