1.04.2016

35 in 35

Happy New Year!  I hope you had a blessed holiday season.  I made an effort to simplify the Christmas season at our house (is that ironic or an oxymoron?  Effort to simplify. Lol).  But, it truly made a difference in my stress levels.  We didn't get out every single last decoration, we didn't make ourselves sick trying to complete our Christmas bucket list, and we didn't race from event to event like in years past. It was so nice to spend quality time at home with my little family.  I hope you were able to enjoy it as well. 

I am a (almost) New Year's baby.  And this year I turned 35.  Not a huge birthday, but it definitely feels like a marker of sorts.  35 is firmly entrenched in adulthood, like it or not.  And while I've never been one to dwell on age or numbers, I am well aware that my mom was only 9 years older than me when she received her first cancer diagnosis, and 23 years older than my current age when she passed away.  She accomplished almost all of her life goals before her too-early passing, and I have felt an urgency over the past year to use her inspiration as a drive to be intentional in accomplishing my own life goals. 

These thoughts, along with seeing Amanda's list, led to the creation of my own list.  I have written down goals multiple times recently, only to lose my list (getting back to my natural inclination towards organization is one of my goals).  Posting my list here not only keeps me accountable, but also ensures I won't lose my list.  I would love to hear any goals or dreams you have for the coming year.  Let's make 2016 a great one!




Holly's 35 in 35 (not in any particular order)
  1. Go to bed at 10pm, lights out no later than 11 (so long, Netflix binges)
  2. Read more books
  3. Watch less tv
  4. Make a budget & stick to it
  5. Participate in at least one of the 2016 One Room Challenge 
  6. Plan a trip to Seaside; the last vacation spot we took as a family before my mom passed away.  It will have been 5 years in June since our last trip
  7. Blog more frequently
  8. Improve my photography skills (learn through books/classes/articles)
  9. Focus on my time-management skills
  10. Organize my home; this is something that used to come easily to me, but I struggle now that I have 2 little ones (& a spouse who is the complete opposite of organized)
  11. Use my Day Planner every day (see #8)
  12. Learn how to sew
  13. Attempt more DIY on my own (instead of having hubby do it for me)
  14. Bake more with my girls
  15. Improve my health through regular exercise (starting with a minimum of 3 days a week) & decrease sugar in my diet
  16. Train for and run a 5K
  17. Create annual photo albums
  18. Meal-plan every week & cook more at home
  19. Go out on more dates with my hubby
  20. Learn to play the guitar
  21. Play the piano more frequently
  22. Purge our home so that only things with meaning remain
  23. Dust off my French language skills
  24. Learn more world & American history
  25. Volunteer on a more regular basis
  26. Work on paintings or crafting
  27. Start a cleaning schedule & stick to it
  28. Plan more weekend adventures instead of sitting around the house
  29. Focus on creating memories & traditions for my girls
  30. Practice Random Acts of Kindness
  31. Take my oldest to tea at the Ritz
  32. Implement the landscape plan for our house that I designed 2 years ago
  33. Create an outdoor living space (I dream of a screened porch) we can use & enjoy year-round
  34. Send snail mail on a regular basis (& become better about the timeliness of thank you notes)
  35. Celebrate each day for the gift that it is!

1.02.2016

My Inspiration Word for 2016

Happy New Year y'all! I hope everyone had a blessed and happy holiday season full of love and laughter. The holidays are bittersweet for me; fall through Christmas is my favorite time of year, and the time of year most filled with our family traditions, which are so important to me. But, it's also difficult because my mom shared my love of the holidays and traditions, and she passed away exactly 3 weeks before Christmas. Focusing on sharing the joy of Christmas & the other holidays with my girls helps me to push through my sadness, and also is a great way for me to share a part of my mom with them. I both look forward to and dread the holiday season every year, but this year the scales seemed to tip just a bit more towards joy, and for that I am grateful.

Like most people, I have spent the past couple of days reflecting on 2015, & thinking about what I want out of 2016. I've never chosen a word of the year before, but I as I was thinking about my goals, one word kept leaping out at me: FOCUS. I want to focus more on the people around me, and less on the distractions of everyday life. I want to focus on my time management so that I can spend more time making memories, and less time on my to-do list. I want to focus on my ideas & goals in order to complete the things I start, and not leave half-completed projects and partially fulfilled dreams in my wake.

I have another post for tomorrow detailing more of my plans for 2016. Until then, I'd love to hear if you have a word for the new year!