New Year, New Goals

Saltstraumen - Nordland - NorwayNow that we’re already more than one week into the New Year, I wanted to take some time (after a very long absence!) to reflect on this past year. A year that was good and bad, easy at times and hard at others, sweet, frustrating and full (as I hope your 2014 was too).

I started the year without a job in sight as my freelance gig ended exactly on New Year’s Eve and, almost exactly one year later, find myself six months into loving my new job within healthcare. And it’s been so good. For the first time since we got married, we have stability and the goals we’ve had for ages (buying our first home, getting Audrey a baby brother, saving for Europe) feel much closer.

In numerous ways, 2014 has been the year I’ve felt most like an adult—a feeling both unsettling and satisfying. There’s so much I miss about being a student and freelancer, like the variety, flexibility and general sense of possibility for all that lies ahead. While I still believe in possibility, so much of my life now feels regimented. I’ve already hit some early milestones—graduating college, earning my masters, getting married—and sometimes question if a new adventure will ever strike. With that said, I’ve began 2015 in a bit of a funk.

Although we’ve started the home-buying process, I wonder if it’s truly the right time or, more honestly, whether I event want to own. Yet, I’m trying to be wise financially and isn’t investing in a home a wise thing to do? So! In an effort to alleviate the anxiety I’ve felt so much this week, here’s a few resolutions I hope will brighten these fresh new days of 2015.

1. Stay present. Why is remaining in the moment such a challenge for me. Is it for you? I have no trouble pointing the finger at my Smartphone or this rush-paced world, but I can choose to slow down. At home, I’m rarely online; but at work, in moments of downtown, turning to my phone has become automatic. How else can I fill this time? I’m still sorting out how to filll these spare moments (maybe it’s okay to leave them empty?), but a few ideas include making a cup of tea, writing a poem, taking deep breaths and jotting down a list of things I’m thankful for.

2. Save money. I spent far too much in 2014 on things I didn’t need—books I could’ve borrowed from the library, eating out when we could’ve just made spaghetti. Saving is freedom and in 2015 I want to make a conscious effort to dramatically curb my spending. In fact, I’m very tempted to avoid shopping for an entire year. B doesn’t think I can do it, which makes me even more tempted to try. I’d make exceptions for socks and underwear and other essentials, but I really don’t need to shop and I don’t often wear half of what’s in my closest. Anyone want to join me?

3. Move more. Confession: I hate being confined to desk for 40+ hours a week and it’s such a frustrating oxymoron that sitting all day makes me too tired to hit the gym! I’ve been sneaking in a few barre classes here and there and always feel better for it. So my third goal this year is to get to the gym a minimum of 3/times a week and aim to squeeze in more movement everyday.

4. Be patient. The last couple of years have tested my patience in myriad ways. So many of my wants and what feels like needs to me have been perpetually deferred, which leaves me feeling restless and ungrateful for all that I do have. So this year I’m going to try and embrace the waiting and trust in God’s timing even when I don’t feel like it.

Four goals. I think I can stick to that. Sorry if this got a bit rambly, but it feels so therapeutic to write! I’d love to hear your goals for the New Year.

Have a great weekend everyone,
Em
Photo courtesy of Earthy Allurement

Spring is Finally Here

nanieHello, beauties! Does it feel like spring where you are? Today in Minneapolis it’s supposed to reach 70! The warmest day on record in over six months. My plans are to meet a friend at an outdoor patio and sip mojitos.

Sorry for being so bad about posting lately. Blogging and personal well-being seem to have an inverse relationship for me. When I’m uninspired in the office, I blog more and when I’m, well, quite happy at work, I can’t think of what to blog!

I do, however, want to make a spring 2014 fun-do list, so here goes:

-Plan a weekend for Gigi & Nanie to visit (Nanie’s the one in the photo)

-Have an outdoor picnic at least three times a week

-Take Aya on a long walk almost every day

-Read outside

-Eat springy foods (salads + fruit for me, please!)

-Finally read Grace: A Memoir

That’s about it. Simple is good. What are your plans now that the weather’s gorgeous?!

Mexico Pictures, Pt. One

What I love most about vacations is how drastically different time becomes. This week has gone so fast in the usual blur of work/eat/sleep and what I loved most about Mexico is that everyday I had the whole day to simply relax. My sister-in-law captured some really fun moments of the trip I thought I’d share with you. Next I’ll be posting some photos of charming San Jose.

mex

Relaxing in the “warm pool” with my adorable niece (6) and nephew (3)

On day three a herd of horses suddenly appeared

On day three a herd of horses suddenly appeared

My darling baby nephew!

My darling baby nephew!

Dance party at the pool

Dance party at the pool

mexico

These yellow plants which resembled bananas were everywhere.

Swimming in the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula isn't advised, but the water was so warm!

Swimming in the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula isn’t advised, but the water was so warm!

Baby Hunt just loved the water!

Baby Hunt just loved the water!

Everyday before lunch Coop would lay on my lap for storytime. Anything to do with ninjas, sharks and tigers were a hit.

Everyday before lunch Coop would lay on my lap for storytime. Anything to do with ninjas, sharks and tigers were a hit.

We had a lot of fun celebrating Olivia's 6th birthday

We had a lot of fun celebrating Olivia’s 6th birthday

I'd travel anywhere with this guy.

I’d travel anywhere with this guy.

I’m ready to go back! Have any of you ever been to Mexico? It was my first trip. I would have liked to do a bit more exploring, but it was so great to spend lots of time with niece and nephews. And, of course, get a little tan. X

Happy Birthday, Ashleigh!

ash

Happiest of birthdays to my bff from across the pond!  This woman is intelligent, witty and daring and like no one I’ve ever met. I’m so incredibly thankful to have you in my life, dear girl, and wish you so much happiness and goodness in your 25th year! Dance on the tables, drink some bubbly and know that you are adored! X

Back from Mexico

Always so sweet coming home to Audrey

Always so sweet coming home to Audrey

Good morning, everyone! So sorry for not posting yesterday. Our flight didn’t get in until after midnight on Sunday and it was all I could do to get through the day yesterday. All of my photos are still on my camera, but I will be posting them this week. We had a wonderful week in San Jose (my first ever time in Mexico!) and I even turned a little golden. The last time B and I went anywhere for a full week was our honeymoon, so it was such a treat to have seven days of ocean-side views, warmth and good food.

It also struck me how healthy it is to truly get away. I didn’t even turn my phone on until we were home and a technology-free week in and of itself was a vacation. Exploring artsy San Jose also got me and B talking about our next trip…travel is wholly addictive. We’ve decided to really start saving and make a fall 2015 trip to Europe happen (!!). Take two weeks off from work to see as much as we can (so far Scotland and Switzerland are at the top of our itinerary).

I absolutely indulged in a few good novels while away (Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, Z by Theresa Anne Fowler and an Agatha Christie (!)), so I’m also looking forward to sharing reviews this week and next.

It’s good  to be home, though, and I’m thankful for that. X