Simplify: A 2016 Family Goal

I can't lie - I used to think that people who chose a word or theme for the year were weird.  Like, really you need a word to keep you in line?  And then 2015 hit & in the chaos and upheaval that was learning to live as a family of 3 completely changed my mind.  

My focus in 2015 was to give myself and others GRACE (you can read about that here & here).  I put the word on my mantle.  I couldn't help but stare at it every single day and I am different because of it.  By keeping 'grace' in the back of my mind day in and out, I *mostly* stayed focused on loving others & myself enough to cut us all some slack and to stop kicking myself every time I fell short of perfection. 

I had intended my word-of-the-year to be an area of personal focus, but slowly over the year my husband joined in and not only helped keep my mind on GRACE, but took it on for our family too.  So much so that in mid-December he voiced an idea for a word of focus for 2016.  Let's get real ladies - if our men have an interest & want to invest in family goals then JUMP ON THAT TRAIN.  

Enter SIMPLIFY.

It seems so simple - pun intended. We are always busy.  We have too much stuff.  We are constantly trying to decide what tasks are must do vs want to do vs dread doing.  So this is the year we are intentionally streamlining what we have and where we go and who we are.  

I'll be purging closets that I've meant to sort through for years.  We'll be purging our calendars so we can be all in no matter what we are doing. I honestly am so excited to be able to give myself the freedom to focus on wherever I am when I am there - be it time with family, friends, work, vacation, or writing.

Who knows what other areas of my life will be simplified (in a good way of course), because based on how GRACE interwove my life in 2015, I have no doubt SIMPLIFY will do the same for me in 2016.  

Here's to hoping I end up with a simplified cleaning and cooking routine - daily stressors in this neck of the woods.  If you've ever chosen a theme for the year I'd love to hear it for some added inspiration for future years.  

Happy New Year!

P.S.  I have loved having my theme in letterpress blocks on my mantle all year.   I've got 'SIMPLIFY' on order now & one day hope to have a gallery wall full of reminders of where we've been as a family.  My favorites are from Dayspring - you can create your own word here if you need the visual reminder like I do (affiliate link)!

Snowed In? Let The Online Shopping Begin!

Once again I'm spending another day inside thanks to snow & ice.  Sigh.  Since that means my monthly girl's night is cancelled, why not do some online shopping instead?  Seems only natural to me.....

A few weeks ago I wrote about my most favorite home decorations - the Letterpress blocks from Dayspring.  They are running a sale today 3/6 through Saturday 3/8 on all their home decor products, including the letterpress blocks!  Use the code HOME35 and get 35% off one item (aka one word, not just one block).  This is such a great deal, I'm picking up another word as a gift.  The've introduced a bunch of new words (Blessed, Family, Welcome, and a bunch more).  Don't forget you can customize your own word too! 

Photo used with permission from Dayspring

Photo used with permission from Dayspring

I've started working on a few projects for Vintage Lynchburg which is coming up in April.  I'm excited to show the town my new take on pallet art.   It's certainly a learning experience, but seeing the finished products at the end makes all the the late nights worth it.  Plus it's helping to fill up my empty crafting tank.  I know cross-stitch isn't everyone's thing, but I adore these!  Which, duh, I'm making them so I hope I like them.  Keep me grounded folks - what do you think?

Between shopping, painting, and some spring decorating, I may just be able to break out of this groundhog induced funk! Here's to hoping this is the last storm of the year - bring on the sun!

*Dayspring link is an affiliate link.

Letterpress, Grace, and Fringe Hours

Last year during our trip to Nashville, Andy graciously went along with my plan to tour the Hatch Print Shop.  You may not know them by name, but basically they are the kings of letterpress.  And I love letterpress.  If I could have afforded that style invitations for our wedding I would have. But alas, we are not katrillionaires.  (Yes, that's a number and it totally comes right after bazillion.  Duh.)

The problem is it's next to impossible to 1) find and 2) afford old letterpress equipment.  So I settled for the chance to make my own print on the tour and ogle over all of their letterpress blocks. 

And then Dayspring went and blew my mind and made my heart swell. (PS - Dayspring is the Christian arm of Hallmark)

Picture from Dayspring.com

Picture from Dayspring.com

They introduced their Letterpress Blocks.  You have got to click over and look at these.  You can customize any possible word you can imagine.  Hang them on your wall.  Fill your mantle.  Just maybe not use them to screen print T-shirts.

I had a gut feeling and went with "grace" and it found a sweet home on my mantle just before Christmas.  And folks, those cute little blocks started a change in my heart.  I've struggled in the last few months with trying to be as close to perfect as I can - as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, employee, friend, and the list goes on.

grace letterpress

What I began to realize was I was trying so hard to meet every possible need of the people around me that I started to feel empty.  I needed to cut myself some slack and give myself grace. Our Father has so freely given it to us, and I wasn't so free in handing it out to those around me, much less myself.  So GRACE became my word for the year - my theme you could say.  And since I can't watch the tube without those five letters staring me down, I'm praying it gets ingrained in my soul.  

And in nothing other than providential timing, I got an advance copy of Jessica Turner's (The Mom Creative) new book The Fringe Hours:Making Time For You.  She writes over at The Mom Creative and seriously the words are jumping off the page at me.  Since the baby girl arrived, most days I feel guilty squeezing in time to take a shower.  Forget writing, sewing, crafting, or any other personal passions.  It's love on her, do the laundry, run the errands, care for others, go to work, sleep, and repeat  And to step away from any of that had made me feel like I was being lazy.  Or putting myself first.  Enter my reminder of "grace".  There is always room in the day for time for me.  I just have to choose to make myself a priority.  You can preorder her book for a steal of $9.63 on Amazon - it releases Februrary 17th!  I'll be sharing more about it in a few weeks, but in the meantime you can sign up over here for 3 days of emails with pearls from the book (Jan 27-29).

fringe hours

In other book news (since I'm giving myself the okay to take time to read), Sophie Hudson's new book Home Is Where My People Are is out! You can read the first 20 pages for free here.  Mine came today from Amazon and I can't wait start laughing along with her.  She blogs as BooMama - add her to your daily reads....she's a hoot!

*Affiliate Links are included - if you purchase anything by clicking through I make a few cents, but shop where you will friends!*