Why I Stopped Writing To Do Lists

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Good Morning!

I’m excited to continue my Work Life and Mom Life series in 2017 and look forward to continuing to share my story as a working Mom. If there are any topics you’re interested in hearing more about, please send the ideas my way!

I spent a lot of time in 2016 building out routines that work for me and my family. As the year ended, I couldn’t help but feel that I finally found the balance I’ve been looking for the past several years. Ironically, I have more on my plate than ever and I think finding this balance was because I had to. Nevertheless, the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some things that have been working for me. (no pun intended…)

Today I’m sharing the main thing that has helped me be more mindful with my time at work the past few months. I’ve made a considerate effort to keep my work within the 9-5 hours over that past year and consequentially I’m getting more done in less time. This has forced me to have systems in place that allow me to get stuff done and this is one of them.

It may surprise you, but I stopped writing to-do lists and started doing this instead. Continue reading

Five Good Things

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Good Morning!

Phew, what a week! My work days were non-stop and we were running on very little sleep due to my teething toddler. Honestly, every day felt hard but I managed to find time for myself and time for Rich so overall the week ended up being a good one.

I am starting something new for 2017, Five Good Things! This series will be a Friday check-in that will combine my recent “Things I’m Enjoying Lately” posts and my old “Take Time Tuesday Posts” plus allow me to check in with a “life” post every week. In short, this post is where I would like to share five good things from the week to end it on a good note.

1. As much as I love the holiday season, it feels great to be back into our every day routines. As I wrote about on Monday, we put a lot of effort into our routines in 2016 and now that our house remodel is done we’ve been able to fall back into them. Things just feel easier!

Fridays are my work from home days and I typically use them as my day to do laundry and run errands during lunch to leave my weekend open. Last night Rich and I got ahead of laundry and tomorrow we’re grocery shopping as a family, so that’s two less things on my plate today!

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2. Last year Rich and I started a three year line-a-day journal together and I’m proud to say that we made it the entire year filling it out! Often we would have to catch up on several days at a time, but overall it was nice to spend a little time together each day. Now that we’re onto year two it’s been fun to look back on our previous answers.

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3. I’m back in a reading kick for the new year and have been reading for 15-30 minutes before bed. Currently I’m reading The Look of Love by Sarah Jio and absolutely loving it. It’s a cute story about a Seattle florist who can “see” love. It’s been a fun read and extra enjoyable after my recent trip to Pike Place Market in Seattle.

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4. After reading about Midnight Outburst in an article, I Amazon Primed it for our New Year’s Eve party and it was so much fine! Our friends were describing it as a dirty version of Family Feud. We had a blast playing and I can’t wait to play it again.

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5. Lastly, Rich and I are starting Whole 30 tomorrow! I’m a little nervous and somewhat apprehensive since I made a lot of progress not dieting in 2016, however I’m excited to be able to support my husband and do the challenge out of solidarity. I am looking forward to cleaning up our diet and eating in better moderation after we finish the program, hopefully seeing my skin clear up, improved allergies and more energy. I know it’s going to hard, but we can do anything for 30 days- right!? (but seriously, if you’ve done it- send tips my way!)

This weekend is going to be a low key one for us. We’re going out to pizza for my brother-in-law’s Birthday tonight as our last hooray. Tomorrow Rich is off work and we have plans for Crossfit and grocery shopping. Sunday we’re hoping to make it to church in the morning  and I scheduled a massage for myself in the afternoon. Other than that, I see a lot of lounging and hopefully sleep in our future. It should be a good, relaxing weekend!

Now your turn! Tell me ONE good thing from your week!

Finding Contentment in Routine

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Good Morning!

First of all, thank you so much for the love and support in the comments on Monday’s post. It was a hard one to write, but once it was out there I felt so much better. It was what I needed to do to move on from 2016 and focus on the year ahead.

Now that the year is here I’m feeling much more motivated that I was initially. It feels good to be back our usual routines and I’m feeling really proud of all the work that I put into making our day to day run like a well oiled machine in 2016.

For now, I have no plans to set any big goals in 2017. Instead, I’m focusing on the intention of contentment and would like to hold myself accountable throughout the year. I’m not sure if this will mean setting goals monthly, but for now this feels right.

So for January, my goal is to focus on finding contentment in our routines. One of the main reasons I wanted to set and follow routines in 2016 was to make our day to day easier so that we could slow down and enjoy the little moments. It took a lot of work to get to the place that we’re in, but now that we are in them our routines do make things a lot easier, our life calmer and overall they make me happier.

In the past I think that I used this blog to myself accountable to goals that I was working towards, but what about appreciating what I already have? This month my goal is to ease back into our routines, take note of them and document them on here so that I can reference what’s working in the future when I find myself in need of figuring out what works.

What are your goals for January? Do you thrive on routines in your life?

Letting Go of 2016 and Setting Intentions for 2017

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For the past several years, I’ve started the New Year feeling motivated. I set big, lofty goals and set out to achieve them. I worked my butt off and when I achieved my goal I would set a new one. It lead to a lot of chasing, a lot of pushing and a lot of work. This year I’m feeling different.

At the beginning of 2016 I set the theme of  “focusing on what matters” in an attempt to simplify my life. But of course, because as soon as you try to plan and control your life, I was reminded that life never goes according to plan and 2016 became the year of CHANGE.

Looking back I think that setting these focuses for my life was God’s way of preparing me for what was to come. I needed a reminder of my foundation before my life was completely turned upside down.

On February 25th, 2016 my life was forever changed. My usual morning phone call to my Dad was unanswered and in my gut I knew something was wrong. I called and I called and text and emailed with no response. Within less than an hour with help of family and friends it was confirmed what I already knew in my heart, my Dad was gone. He had suffered a heart attack peacefully at home and went quickly and poetically after helping shovel his neighbor’s snow.

Losing him unexpectedly forced me to quickly accept what had happened. I had the unfortunate advantage of already losing my Mom so this time things hit me hard and quickly. There was no denial, just gut-wrenching pain and quick acceptance. I found peace in our last conversation about finally feeling comfortable as a working Mom, him telling me how proud he was of me and him getting to see a picture of Buel that day. “He’s getting so big” was the last thing my Dad said to me.

The months that followed by Dad’s passing were a blur. I kept myself busy with managing my parents’ estate and my organizational skills became crucial. In four months I closed out every single bill, selling the company that my Dad started when he was in his early twenties and sold my childhood home.

At the same time, amazing things happened for our family. I do not see this as a coincidence but more so a reminder that things in life happen for a reason. A month following my Dad’s passing we finally got approval for our short sale after eleven months of waiting, quickly put our condo on the market and sold it within 24 hours. And from there, our life went into overdrive.

The second half of 2016 was one where I stretched myself further than I ever thought I could. I became determined to make my life exactly what I wanted it with my priorities clearer than they had ever been before. The last six months of the year were all about pushing, striving and working.

As the year ended we finally were able to slow down and I spent the month reflecting on what had happened. I struggled with constant, all encompassing feeling of guilt from what we were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. We had the life worked so hard was achieved but it came at a cost and nothing felt quite right.

It’s a weird feeling to struggle with happiness while grieving. To some extent it feels wrong but a part of me always remember that my parents would be proud of me. This constant back-and-forth is something I need to let go of before I’m able to move on.

So, as we start the new year I am letting go of 2016. I’ve accepted every part of the year, both good and bad and I’m ready to move on.

seek-kathleen-clipper-day-8-web-version-716x1024In 2017 my intention is contentment. My goal is to find peace in every situation and accept that the positive can still exist despite the negative. I want to find ease in our every day routines, let go of my need for perfection and embrace the messiness. I want to slow down and enjoy the little moments with my son. I want to nourish my body and continue to take care of myself, encourage my husband to do the same and foster my friendships. And most of all, I want to practice gratitude and shift my focus from the negative that will inevitably exist no matter how hard I push, plan or focus. I’m ready to let go and just be content.

What are you letting go of from 2016? What are your intentions in 2017?

 

 

2016 in Review

 

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Good Morning!

When I look back on 2016, I’m positive that I’ll always be in shock with how much happened in twelve short months. 2016 was one of the most exhausting, challenging, overwhelming and heartbreaking years of my life. It was also beautiful, rewarding and brought as much good into my life as bad.  Looking back I’m grateful for each and every experience.
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