Happy New Year!
Looking back on 2017, I’m incredibly grateful for all we were able to do and experience as a family and individually. We traveled to Destin, Florida in April to watch my sister marry the love of her life on an absolutely beautiful night at the beach. We also celebrated Parker’s 1st birthday and my dad’s birthday (they are one day apart) while we were there. We took our very first solo trip to Marfa, Texas in August – a place that has been on my bucket list for years. It was so hard to leave the kids but it was wonderful for us to have that alone time. (Check out my Marfa posts here, here and here.) Then, we traveled up to Minneapolis for Labor Day to meet our beautiful niece Bianca. While we were there, we took Parker and Brady to a Twins game, the Minnesota State Fair and an apple orchard! Every time we visit Minnesota, we wonder why we don’t live there. It’s such a beautiful state with so much to do and see! I’m just thankful my husband decided to venture way south for college so he could meet me.
Speaking of, my husband got a new job in the fall and he has been thriving, for lack of a better word. I love seeing him doing what he loves – it really makes a difference, let me tell you. I celebrated my one-year work anniversary at my beloved marketing job in November and couldn’t be happier. I’ve never worked in a place with so much support and encouragement, especially being a mother.
I also ran my first 5K in December which was so exciting for me. I realize running 3.1 miles isn’t that big of a deal to most, but it was for me. I’ve always been “active,” but after having kids, I felt like I had no time to go to the gym. And if there was time, I felt too guilty to leave the kids when I could be playing with them. So after I weaned Parker at 16 months and finally got her to sleep through the night (!!!), I started going to the gym. After going every other night for a few weeks, I was hooked. Not only did I feel better and have more energy, but I also really enjoyed having a little bit of time to myself. It’s made me happier all around. Training for a 5K was great because it gave me a goal to work towards and it helped me stay motivated when it came time to go to the gym at night (when I’d rather crawl into bed and eat graham crackers). I’m not going to lie, running the 5K was hard, especially with the steep hills, but I didn’t quit. Crossing the finish line with my entire family right there cheering me on was the best feeling in the world. Brady was yelling, “yay mommy!” and it almost made me cry. I may cry just by typing this! I love that he sees me being active and going after things that challenge me, I hope it encourages him to do the same.
Finally, this has been a year where I’ve grown significantly in my faith. It’s really been a very special and humbling experience for me and I have so many amazing people in my life right now to thank for it. I look forward to continued growth in the new year.
So, I’m closing out 2017 happier than I’ve ever been. I’ve challenged myself, I’ve made progress in so many areas of my life and I’m in a much better place than I was a year ago. That’s really all I can ask for.
I’m definitely a fan of making resolutions. Maybe it’s the planner in me, but I can’t pass up a fresh start and a perfect opportunity to set more goals for myself. I love that my friend Haley (@Alyson_Haley) writes out all of her resolutions every year and then goes back to see how well she did in keeping them. She has inspired me to do the same!
1. Focus on Friendships.
Being a mommy can take a toll on friendships. Suddenly you have no free time and when you do have it, you want to sleep. Finding that balance was hard for me since having Brady. While my kids will always come first, I’m making sure I set aside time for all of my sweet friends this year. Not only is it a great time to de-stress and reconnect, it also shows my kids how important friendship is. I truly am so lucky to have the friendships that I do and I’m so excited to see how much they grow this year.
2. Run a 10k.
I’m here to tell you that the “runner’s high” exists. After finishing my first race, I couldn’t wait to run another. I’m keeping this goal conservative for the sake of my body, but I’m excited to get a few more 5k’s under my belt so that I can then complete a 10k.
3. Have Date Nights Once a Month.
I can’t remember the last time my husband and I went on a date – alone. Life gets so busy for us with the kids, their extracurricular activities and our full-time jobs, so date nights rarely make an appearance. We’re both excited for this resolution and we look forward to a few hours out each month to disconnect from everything and just be the two funny college kids who met at Lowes.
4. Keep Blogging!
I feel like I say this a lot, but I truly love blogging. It brings me so much joy. I always have the best intentions when it comes to writing posts consistently, but at the end of the day, so many things come before it. I also have moments where I find myself comparing my blog or my instagram to others and I get discouraged. What always brings me back is knowing that my style is different and I have something truly unique to offer. But what helps me come to that realization are the sweet messages, emails and comments I receive from people who follow me on social media and read my blog. Those mean the absolute world to me. So, as I said in the post before this, I plan to publish a new post every week. This is a big commitment for me, but probably one of the most important ones as well.
5. Cut Out Sugar.
So this one isn’t quite a resolution, but more of a challenge. With all of the research out there, it’s clear that sugar has terrible impacts on your body. But oh my gosh why does it have to taste so good?! I have such a big sweet tooth and so does my husband. So, we are challenging each other to see who can go the longest without sugar – we’re talking refined sugars, junk food, etc. Whoever wins gets $100 to spend on whatever they want. (We’re being super financially-conscious this year so this is actually a really big deal.) We started today so wish me luck!!!
FAVORITE INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES
If you need a little help keeping your motivation levels high, here are a few of my personal favorite quotes.
“Although no one can go back and make a new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” – Carl Bard
“Don’t wait to finish university, to fall in love, to find a job, to get married, to have children, to lose those ten pounds. Don’t wait for Friday evening or Sunday morning to arrive, for spring, autumn or winter. There isn’t a better moment than this to be happy. Happiness is a path, not a destination. Work as if you don’t need the money. Love as if no one has ever hurt you and dance as if no one was watching. Remember that the skin wrinkles up, the hair turns white and the days become years. But the important things don’t change: your strength and conviction have no age. Your spirit is the duster that wipes away any cobweb. Behind every goal is a new start. Behind every result is a new challenge. While you’re alive, FEEL alive. And go on, even when everyone expects you to give up.” – @cristinasurdu
“As we drive along this road called life, occasionally a gal will find herself a little lost. And when that happens, I guess she has to let go of the coulda, shoulda, woulda, buckle up and just keep going.” – Carrie Bradshaw
“A year from now you will have wished you started today.” – Anonymous
Thank you so much for reading. May this be your best year yet!
Always remember, the best is yet to come.