Starting Fresh

Loveys, how is 2017 going for you? I've been wanting to write a New Year's blog post, but it's taken longer than expected to get back into the swing of things post-holiday season. We came home (after that LONG drive), and Jeff dove into working in our basement. He's been trying to get things ready for our inspection (which we passed, hallelujah! So on to the drywall and everything else). But he disappeared down into the basement and I stayed above ground with the crazy kiddos and all the luggage and laundry and...did I mention crazy? I did manage to get all the Christmas decorations put away, but since the basement is underway, I'm lacking storage, so I still feel like there are boxes around. This will only be for a few more weeks, but I sort of feel like I've been living in chaos. Temporary chaos, but it's there.

Amid all that, for days we had freezing temps and really strong wind happening. I know we're not the only ones who've been dealing with the cold. It seems like every time I try to go somewhere, I have to bundle myself and all my kids (this is a long process), then we get in the car, and, no matter how cold it is, Lily pulls off her shoes and socks. So when we get to where we're going, I have to stand in the freezing cold and put her shoes and socks back on.

It's easier to just stay home. If I can. And, you know, drink some coffee.

We've hit the trying twos over here. (I would say terrible, but I'm trying to be positive.) Miss Lily is still a tiny thing, with not many teeth, and YET. This girl knows who she is and what she wants (which is to watch Harry Potter 20 hours a day). She's climbing everywhere. She's starting to understand how effective tantrums are. She's not going to be pushed around, even though she's the smallest at our house. She can do things.

SO. (Deep sigh.) I've been down this road before and I know it will all be okay. But I'm remembering that I worked outside the home when both my other kids were at this stage--so I had more breaks. It wasn't me and my two-year-old, all day every day.

I'm thinking I will need more breaks.

Friends, for real, let's go out for cocktails soon. Mama needs a break.

Which probably won't happen till the basement is finished. That's okay. I can do this. (Yes, I'm talking to myself. Just be ready for me to slip into personal pep talks, lovey. It's okay.)

So we're more than halfway through January and I'm finally getting to think about goal-setting. (As I look around at the chaos and mess of the upstairs part of my house, I think that I need help more than goals, but it is what it is.)

One of my girlfriends came for coffee recently and we talked about what we want for this year, and I felt so encouraged. Because setting goals isn't about drawing a line in the sand and having to run to reach it. It's just about figuring out who we want to be and taking small steps (or big ones) in order to get there.

So who do you want to be, lovey? What do you want to shake off from last year, and take on in the new year?

I like fresh starts and new beginnings. (I think this is why I like to move.) I love the feeling I get after spring cleaning. (Not kidding, I just started to twitch as I again looked at the mess I'm currently in.)

I have small goals and big goals for the year. Really, for my life, not just this year. And while I don't have a timetable on making changes, somewhere along the way, I have to take the first step. My friend and I were talking about practical goals we have--less TV, more sleep, more time away from our phones, choosing joy, and so on. For some people, it's working on their health, or their marriage, or maybe tackling house projects. For others, it's just trying to keep your head above water in a season of stress. (We have all been there.)

The New Year is a great time for goal-setting because it feels like a fresh start.

I love my life so much, lovey. Even so, change and growth and new directions can be good for us. I had a quick cup of coffee at a friend's house this morning and she said something that I keep thinking about--she said that you need to spend time with life-giving people. Don't neglect what you need.


I think moms especially tend to neglect what they need because there is almost zero time to even think about what you need amid work and being a waitress to small humans and trying to keep the house chaos level right at manageable. But here at the first of the year, we can at least put it on our radar.

I need time with friends. I need time to write. I've got this super fun new idea for a novel that I WISH WAS ALREADY WRITTEN. But it's not. So I need to find a teeny bit of time to write every week. Also, I need to be better at laundry.

Goals. Right there.

There are a million other ones to add to that. But let's start there.

I know that these are the days I'll hold in my heart forever. The days with the sounds of children all around me. Good days. Long days. (We can do this.)

I love to read, lovey. But, to be honest, it's hard for me to find time. That whole waitress-to-small-humans thing. But this month I've been reading Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst and it's been so good for me. I can't read as much as I'd like to, but I can squeeze in a few books here and there.

What few things could fill you up this year?

There are practical things we have to do--it's only January and I've had to start scheduling dentist appointments and eye appointments and doctor visits. (By the way, those things exhaust me.) We've already had invitations to two birthdays this month. (I'm telling you, calendars fill fast.) I want to be organized, but remember, I'm living in chaos this month.

But the year is just beginning.

Here's one thing I know: I want this to be a year where I love my husband well. Next month Jeff and I will celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. That's a long time, filled with good days and hard days. I'm so thankful for him.  And I'm very, very thankful for where we are right now as a couple. We work hard at this. And I want to enter this year, and my 14th year as a wife, loving Jeff well.

I want to yell at my kids less.

For real. I don't yell all the time, and we're a pretty laid-back household, but I've started feeling as though there are things I need to be better at letting go of, and other things that I need to concentrate on, when it comes to my kids. I love our little family so much.

For myself, I want to breathe easier. I turn 38 later this year, lovey. (Insert eyes widening and twitching over here.) The end of my thirties is scary close. I want to truly focus and embrace this time of my life. I remember reading something Robin Gunn wrote once. (It might have been in a Sisterchick novel). It was something to the effect of reflecting back on your twenties and thirties and realizing that you looked fine--and yet, how much time did you waste constantly thinking about things like weight and calories and how you looked? When I read that, it really spoke to me. It's a trap for almost every woman. Don't get me wrong, I want to be healthy, and that really does takes effort and some thought.

That is different from obsessing about how we look.

What if, at the end of our lives, God told us how many hours we spent thinking about our weight and our hair and on and on and on? (I cringe at the thought.) What if he told me how many hours I spent looking at my phone? (More cringing on my part.)

Those are parts of life. But this year, I hope for more self-acceptance and less insecurity. That's on my radar, and it's the direction I want to go in as I get older.

All kinds of goals, loveys. Some to work on who we are, some just to add spice to life. I really want to buy a nicer camera this year. Taking pictures of my kids is one of my favorite things to do. I'd love to invest in a better camera. I hope that happens sometime this year.

Life happens in the somewhat mundane moments of watching Peppa Pig every day, as well as in the more exciting moments like traveling and vacations. So if I can add more to life in the everyday moments with loving my husband, snuggling with my kids, going out for margaritas with girlfriends, quiet moments of just me and the treadmill . . . .

It's the life I want, loveys.

It's 2017. We get a fresh start.

Who knows what this year will hold? It might hold painful moments. It might be the best year ever. We might change. We might get to know ourselves more than we ever have. Dreams might come true. Goals might be met, others might be released.

What do you want for this year, lovey? What are your goals/resolutions for 2017? Let's go after them together.

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