I am cheap.
No, really. I hate using my hard-earned money to buy stuff that will take up space in my home. If I can use it up or give it away, cool. If I have to find a shelf or drawer to store it, I better love it.
That being said, there are some things that have earned their real-estate in my condo. Here are 5 things that I’m glad I bought in 2013:
1. My crockpot:
My old crockpot was a hand-me-down from another single mama. It worked just fine, but didn’t have a removable crock, so it was a pain to wash. I almost didn’t buy this one, but my mama promised me that it would be worth it. She was right (as always). I love coming home from work to the smell of “real” food cooking. And I love eating that real food and putting the crock right into my dishwasher. Win.
The truth is, I am constantly trying to sneak toys out of my house (shhh…). I swear they multiply while we are sleeping, and most of them are just a waste of space. These, I love. They are tools for sustained, creative, hands-on learning through independent or shared play.
3. The perfect pair of heels:
I have spent my entire adult life in search of the perfect pair of heels. This spring, I found them. Comfortable enough to wear all day, versatile enough to pair with a dress or jeans, neutral enough to go with just about any color. And the cute little flowers sealed the deal.
4. This book:
Although I buy kids’ books like it’s my job (I guess it kind of is), I actually don’t buy many adult books. This is an exception. Along with the companion book Parenting the Hurt Child, it is a must-read for adoptive parents or anyone thinking about becoming one. Also, if you ever get a chance to attend a workshop by the author, Regina Kupecky, do it. I got to hear her in Toronto this summer and she is great.
I know this one is kind of a cheat, but other than keeping a roof over our heads, this is the thing I spent the most money on this year, so it gets a spot on the list. I debated long and hard about whether or not I should take my daughter to Ireland for my cousin’s wedding this summer. And I have to say that I have absolutely no regrets about choosing international travel with a kindergartener or spending an unexpectedly ridiculous amount of money on said international travel. Watching my girl overcome her fear and perform her flower girl duties beautifully. Watching her dance until midnight with uninhibited joy. Watching her chat effortlessly with folks in youth hostels and five-star hotels. Working together for weeks on a scrapbook to capture our shared memories. Watching this trip become an anchor in the story of our life together as she says, again and again, “Mama, do you remember that time we went to Ireland?” One hundred percent worth it.
Happy New Year, folks!