Picking a Word

It goes without saying 2016 sucked for a good many people. I don’t think you can be on FB for more than 20 minutes without seeing some meme lambasting this last year. But while it was awful for all of those reasons, it was also just a hard year for me personally as well. When I picked the word “calm” for 2016, I was envisioning systems and routines and habits that kept us all from running around like crazy people.

I didn’t imagine that it would come to mean being able to grocery shop, and laugh over coffee with friends, and make dinner, and snuggle my children while simultaneously feeling bereft and grateful. I didn’t know that it was humanly possible to feel both overwhelming joy and complete brokenness at the same time, but this year…I could. I don’t know if the people nearest to me would say I’ve been “calm”, but I’ve certainly never dealt with this much emotional upheaval and maintained any level of composure before this year.  Hokey or not, I’m going to go ahead and say my word certainly helped in 2016, even if it didn’t in the way I most thought it would.

So in October, when a word kept popping up (the way things prone to do when the universe or God or life is trying to tell you something), I started thinking. And listening. And when it came time to start thinking about resolutions and goals and plans for 2017 and the word came up again (and then one more time), I thought it might be time to claim it.


More accurately, self-discipline.
(def: noun: the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.)

I’m a great dreamer. I’m an okay implementor. I’m a HORRIBLE sustainer (which is one of the reasons I married a man who is a complete and total work horse. That man can put his head down and plow through with such blind determination, I get exhausted just thinking about it.) If only life could consist of picking a project, starting a goal, and two weeks later saying, “Nope. I’m going to tackle that other goal over there instead.” (and then repeating the process again and again and again). I’d win awards. I’m the absolute BEST at setting a goal.

And absolutely terrible about reaching most of them.

So…it’s time to change that and do what’s best for me, even when I don’t want to do. Even when I feel like being lazy. Even when I feel like I can break my personal rule “just this once”. Even when I’ve earned a break.

The plan is to do some small things (health, budget, home maintenance) that will hopefully (over time) make some big changes. The plan is to plow forward and hopefully through whatever 2017 throws my way. I’m going to work really hard anyway.

And I’m going to knit each of the kids a sweater. (Because it can’t ALL be about work.)

I hope you’ll tell me what you are looking forward to this year. And what your word or resolution is (if you have one of those). Thanks for being here, friends!!

Not All the Socks

I’ve come to the conclusion that if you’re going to make a goal, it should involve something you like doing. Of all the goals I set in 2016, this is the only one I managed to achieve. But I crushed it.


The remainder of 2016 is going to involve reading (I picked up the biography that inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda to write the Hamilton musical because I’m obsessed), mitten knitting, and the madness that is Christmas. Thankfully, we’ve been gone and back for my family Christmas (a wonderful time even though family members were dropping like flies with one illness or another) and that leaves Jesse’s family celebration and our own little family. Can I say creating the “we don’t go anywhere Christmas day” tradition was the greatest thing I’ve ever done? Seriously. I either make crock-pot steel cut oats or french toast casserole for breakfast (yay for meals you can make the night before) and then we get to spend all day in our jammies, playing with toys, listening to favorite Christmas playlists, watching movies, and being lazy. It’s delicious.

What’s your favorite way to celebrate the day?

*With the crazed time of year, I wanted to give you all the heads up that my plan is to be MIA from now until mid-January. I’m hoping to maybe get a post about my word for the year and some goal planning up on January 1 (because if I don’t I’m afraid someone with take away my blogger card), but my first priority is to enjoy this time (and then the next couple of weeks of catch up) without too many outside obligations. Which is basically my long winded way of saying, no need to worry if I’m missing for a few weeks, I’m just loving the season with my family.

Wishing you a happy everything!!!

Tuesday Things


This last weekend Jesse and I headed up to the cabin for a bit of a “before the madness of the season hits us” pow-wow. We did some Christmas shopping, had a very nice dinner with my brother and his fiancée, relaxed, and worked out our plan for the season. Saturday the ground was still green and I was complaining about how I felt we were never going to have winter (I like winter. I especially like SNOW in winter.) and then I woke up to this above pretty picture on Sunday. It’s just not Christmas to me without snow.

Knitting: socks, scarves, mittens. Because this time of year isn’t busy enough with holiday stress or the kitchen remodel plans we’re making, I thought it would be a good idea to start some last minute handmade gifts.

Watching: I watched a few episodes of The Crown based on Marian’s recommendation and I’ll add my recommendation to that as well. I didn’t watch anything this weekend though I did spend a lot of time listening to The Hamilton Mixtape. I preordered awhile ago and have been loving the early releases. Now that the whole thing is out I can’t stop raving about it. I’ve become positively obsessed (in part because Jesse and I ordered tickets to see it in NYC for our 15th wedding anniversary and I don’t know how I’m going to wait until August).

Reading: Nothing. I’ll resume that again after Christmas.

Cooking: This week I’ll be making a few “fancy retro” dishes for a Mad-Men-esque themed Christmas celebration. So I’ve been scoping out recipes here, here, here. I’m so excited; I may have even bought a dress for the occasion.

What’s new and exciting in your world? Making, reading, watching or listening to anything you’d like to share?

Tuesday Things


Isn’t it funny how some time with a good friend can absolutely change your mood? We’ve been gray and drizzly and it’s getting dark at 4:30 which is just a recipe for me to feel cranky and blah. Yesterday, I met a friend for breakfast and now I feel as if the sun is shining despite it still being gray and drizzly. Some people are just good for the soul. I hope you have some of those people around you during this crazy holiday season!

Knitting: Well, I finished my November socks and proceeded to a pair of mittens over the weekend. I love the pattern and recommend it if you are looking for one. I found some lovely yarn from Knitted Wit on etsy and I’m so glad I ordered more than one skein. I love it.

Watching: I’ve been curling up with holiday favorites: The Sound of Music (I drive Jesse crazy as I sing along with the whole movie), Home Alone, and the first Harry Potter (it just FEELS like it should be a Christmas movie even though I know it isn’t) and knitting away. Do you have holiday favorites? I think Charlie Brown is next.

Reading: Absolutely nothing. Have anything to recommend?

Cooking: I made this stuffing (or one close to it, anyway) and this cranberry jello salad  for Thanksgiving. Otherwise the only thing I’m doing in the kitchen is dreaming about remodeling. I need to get back into the habit of cooking.