This post means a lot to me. This has been an incredible month, a definitive month. I made sure it was that way. Did you know we are capable of that? We are capable of making a day or a month or a year wonderful or woeful. It really is our choice.
I woke up on January 1, 2016 before the rest of my family. All was quiet in my house except for the sound of my coffee maker. I stood in the middle of my kitchen and thought to myself,
“Today is a new beginning. This is the first day of a new year and I’m gonna make it a good one. I WILL NOT have another year like 2015.”
Last year was full of emotional strife from all directions. A lot of my stress and worry was exacerbated by my own analytical thought processes. I seemed to be consumed with thinking about the things that were wrong with this or that instead of being grateful for the good in my life and enjoying each day. There is so much beauty in every 24 hours if only we look for it.
I’ve worked hard to wake up each day in January excited with anticipation and mindful of the small moments that bring the greatest reward. As I look back on the month, these 10 things make my heart and my face mile.
1). Running a 5K on New Year’s Day: This is the most inspirational and invigorating way I’ve ever started a new year. A close friend and I celebrated day 1 of 2016 running our tails off through the streets of downtown Asheville, and it was awesome.
2). Relying on my BuJo: I won’t lie. I’ve become slightly obsessed with my Bullet Journal. It’s an analog system using a certain notebook and finding a system that works for the individual. I’m a month into it now and have found it to be really affecting my productivity, habits and inspiration. Stay tuned. Friday I will be sharing some more information about the Bullet Journal system.
3). The boys turning Seven and Four: Though their birthdays are not until later in the month, the highlight of January is watching their excitement leading up to and on the days of their birthdays. This year was extra special because for the first time, they are both at ages where they are not only excited for themselves but for one another as well. So cute.
4). Auntie love: My sister and sweet baby niece, Maddie, came in town for a week this month. It was so fun to spend quality time with them and not have to fit in holiday festivities. We could just relax and pass around our sweet baby girl. Can’t wait to see them again soon!
5). Year of Gratitude: Our church is doing a series this year where the entire focus is on being grateful. We are encouraged to write thank you notes/cards to folks in our lives who have impacted us in a significant way. It’s based on a book called A Simple Act of Gratitude which is SO good. I won’t get into a complete synopsis here, but it’s one of my all-time favorite books. In the book, author John Kralik states, “Until you are grateful for things you have, you will never receive the things you want.”
6). Snow days: We have had so much fun the past several days frolicking in the snow. It’s so fun to go to bed with anticipation then wake up with the world blanketed in snow. The first morning of a big snow is my favorite. Watching the flakes fall outside, having nowhere to be, drinking a warm mug of coffee, watching the boys play. I love it.
7). Living room face lift: Over Christmas break we decided that some of the rooms (all of the rooms?) in our house need a bit of a face lift. We started with our living room. I’m super happy with how the room turned out. My husband did an incredible job painting and it was fun watching the boys help him.
8). Snowboarding with my boy: I grew up snowboarding and so badly want my boys to do the same, especially because we live only 15 minutes from a ski resort. Some friends of ours are pretty avid snowboarders and have been going regularly, so we finally went this past weekend and had so much fun. My husband is more of a skateboarder/wake boarder but is ready to get on the slopes. And Case is almost ready to learn. This past time though, it was just my big boy and me.
9). Biltmore in the snow: After many, many days indoors, we finally decided to drive over to nearby Asheville yesterday. We were going to merely run errands but then my husband said, “Let’s drive through Biltmore Estate and see what it looks like in the snow.” I am all about spontaneity and since we have season passes, this was was a pretty easy thing to do. The Estate was simply gorgeous. We even ended up going through the house because there were so few people there. It was nice to leisurely walk through without fighting a crowd.
10). The Carolina Panthers: Being from North Carolina, I’m obviously a Carolina Panthers fan. My husband grew up outside of Charlotte so his entire family are Panthers fans, several of them having season tickets. They attended the NFC Championship game yesterday. Here are my super cute nieces cheering the Panthers on to victory. Super Bowl, here we come!