Tuesday, January 7, 2014

To 2014 --- and Beyoooond!

Well, well, well, look at that. It felt just like yesterday when I blogged about celebrating Christmas, and what do you know... it's all part of 2013 history now! It's quite overwhelming really, to note how fast time passes - it's as if I haven't even caught up with things yet, and here comes another year. More coping and challenge-overcoming to do.

Here are the milestones and challenges of the past year, and how I plan to move forward with them this 2014:

MILESTONE: Little girl in ballet school 

Blogged about this before, and it was really a wonderful experience to look back on. Summer 2013 was our 'preparation' for the coming school year. Instead of going 'heavy' on the academics, we decided to improve my daughter's socializing skills instead. And I'm glad we made that choice, because we saw just how she bloomed from a shy little flower to a gregarious little girl when she's around kids her age. She easily made friends, and also learned to follow instructions from a person of authority (who is not me or her daddy) while in class.

This year, her Daddy and I plan to let her take ballet classes again - as she had insisted on this the entire school year anyway. We wanted her to get settled into the school routine first,  so we decided to postpone it for summer 2014 instead. I'm sure my little one will be overjoyed. Have to get K new ballet shoes though, she has outgrown those, and her ballet tutu already. Too fast! :)

CHALLENGE: A DIY Birthday Celebration at Home

In 2012, we had a DIY celebration too, but we held it in my MIL's spacious garage. Last year, we wanted the event to be more intimate, so we held it in our own humble abode. Given that it was a 'rushed' decision (read more about that here), I was pressed for time like I've never been with K's previous celebrations. But, we were able to pull it off, and my darling was so happy - that's pretty much all I needed to know - that she is satisfied. :)

This year, well K actually told me she wants to have a Jollibee party. We'll see if the budget permits, or if she would go with my 'suggestion' of going out of town instead. The beach can be pretty attractive too you know. *wishing*

BOTH A MILESTONE and a CHALLENGE: First Year in Preschool

School. Oh my. The thought terrified me at first - I wasn't ready for it yet. K, on the other hand, as it turns out, was more than ready. I feared she would have problems sitting still, like she used to in summer school back when she was 3, I feared she would have problems getting along with other kids, as she would have to deal with an entire class of little ones for two hours a day. I feared she would find it difficult to follow the lessons as they are offered in the traditional school she's going to. But well, my fears were all dispelled the minute she stepped inside the classroom. She looked at home on the mat with the other kids. She played, she smiled, she sang, she danced - and that was just the first day. The rest of the first three quarters were even more amazing. Her teacher commends her for being very participative in class, and for getting along very well with classmates. She is also very well-behaved, and was also in the Top 10 of the entire Nursery level (there are 5 sections in the level, that's about 100 students!), which is truly an ahhhh-mazing feat! Third quarter grades are not yet in, so we'll see if she maintained her grades, but whatever the results are, I will always think she is super. :)

Moving forward this year, I actually plan to 'chill' a little when it comes to academics, and encourage her to explore more of her artistic, and perhaps athletic (her dad wants this so much) side.  I am thinking of enrolling her to Kumon classes in the summer though, but then again there's her first love (ballet), which I think she would choose. Well, we'll see. :)

CHALLENGE: Work with a better hourly rate.

Finding more work through online channels is already a huuuge challenge in the past year. There were less jobs that gave a just rate for the work I do - it's sort of demotivating to an extent. I was working more hours, but not earning quite enough to give me and the family some 'room to move around'. And then I received an invitation to interview from a potential client - the job post showed they were looking for contractors from North America. That disheartened me a bit, but hey, they sent me the invite! So I responded, and accepted the interview, and my dilemma with jobs with higher rates were over. :) I am now working less hours, but I am earning like triple of what I used to on a weekly basis. I am so grateful! <3

This year, I plan to do even better with the work I do for that client, and to hopefully, land another one of the same 'caliber' or get a considerable raise from either of the two others that I also currently have. I plan to acquire an additional skill as well, to give me more of an advantage over other contractors.

MILESTONE: Our first brand new car.

We've owned two vehicles before, but they were both second hand. And while the latest one (a 1988 Pajero) served its purpose as a family car, we had increasing problems with it as the months went by. We found ourselves having it repaired for this and that almost every month! The expenses and the headaches piled up, and we just decided it was becoming more of a liability. We decided to get a brand-new car instead, and though the monthly amortization will be a pain in the pocket for the next few years, we think we'd have lesser problems maintaining it (hopefully ) for at least the next couple of years. And it would be easier to resell too, with a higher value than an old, second-hand vehicle.

This year, well we don't have plans of getting another car, although that would be nice if someone would give us one. Hehe. But we are certainly going to make sure that our new vehicle will stay well-maintained.

MILESTONE and a CHALLENGE: A Long-Term Investment
The first half of 2013 was very financially challenging for us. We were adjusting to the school expenses, and my online work wasn't 'kicking off' as I'd hoped, with a couple of projects with local clients ending before I wanted them to (not my fault though, which is sadder. :( ). We went from payday to payday, and though of course our lives remained comfortable, I felt the pinch, and the nagging feeling of having 'just enough' was a burden for me - not because I'm maluho or anything - it just pained me not to have any money to save or set aside. But work got better in the latter part of the year, and for hubby, so we decided to spend less on 'frivolous' things (not totally remove them ha), and instead funnel the money into investments. Big word! I know, I know, they're risky, but managed funds, based on what I learned are worth it. Saka sabi nga di ba, if you don't take calculated risks, you don't move forward. :)

This year, we plan to invest more and save more. As in manage our funds better. We know it is not going to be easy - we know it's going to take a lot of sacrifice. But we are definitely willing to work towards financial stability and independence, so go go go!

Whoa, that was quite a year huh? And well, the challenges we set for ourselves would require an insane amount of discipline. I really hope we triumph through this year's challenges, and reach our goals. :) God-willing - and with His guidance, I know we will.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful milestones Mommy Tin! I'm glad you had a great year and I wish you a super 2014! Here's to more milestones!

    Mrs. Diaz (http://www.mrsdiazchronicle.weebly.com)