Wednesday, December 10, 2014


I suppose that when my snarky teenage daughter brings my lack of blogging to the table, that it's time for me to update you all. Funny how that works.
I have been CRAZY busy. I know I say that a lot....but in this case it's actually TRUE! I wouldn't even know where to begin to fill you in, so for tonight let's just start with a teaser.
We bought a house! And now the months and months and months of renovation projects have ceased and we have started settling in. I will update you all with pictures very soon!
And in the middle of all that renovating I decided to go back to school. Actually, I've been thinking about it for awhile now...just needed to take the plunge. Bad timing aside, I am working hard to complete Bachelors number 2 and start on Masters number 1.
More on that later as well.
For now, know that we are alive and well, living and loving, and faithfully serving.
Oh, and remind me to update you on our newest family member....Tobias. An adorable little nugget of awesomeness. Weenie dogs abound here at The Cottage.
And now, I'm off to join my handsome husband in our super snuggly bed. Sweet dreams, lots of love, prayers and peace.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Annual Summer/Fall Fun List!...

We have been super busy here...having fun, making memories, and enjoying sunshine. I can't believe that in one short week we will be back to school, back to reality, back to schedules and planners, and back to squeezing the fun times in between responsibilities and real life. BORING!

And while we got A TON of things done this summer...we still have A TON of things coming up....and A TON of things to do this fall. YAY!

We had a *few* unexpected set backs, expenses, and downpours. And we also had a *few* blessings, gains, and rainbows. My sweet boy puppy Zero had a major urinary infection and back injury..that vet visit was a rough one. Our faithful (or at least paid for) vehicle had a little hiccup..that repair was a rough one (Kudos to my hubby though for fixing it! And thanks to really great friends for the assist!). And a few weeks of unemployment..that was a rough one. The good stuff just keeps pouring in though...more on all that later.

For now, I want to share our Fun List...all the things we've done, we want to do, and we're going to do.

*4-H Project and Fair. (COMPLETED! And she got a blue ribbon!)
*Marching Band. Competitions. State Fair. (COMPLETED! The band placed 10th overall!)
*Tennis Camp. (COMPLETED!)
*Family Reunion in Wisconsin. (COMPLETED!)
*Mother/Daughter Photo Outing with Film Cameras.
*New School Year and New Semester. (COMPLETED!)
*Go to Kings Island.
*Begin Project Life Album.
*Jubilee Days as Photographer. (COMPLETED!)
*Writing Workshops. (COMPLETED! and ongoing)
*4th of July BBQ with Family and Friends. (COMPLETED!)
*Camping Road Trip.
*Connor Prairie.
*Richmond Mudhens Game.
*Indianapolis Indians Game.
*Work Concession Stand at Indianapolis Colts Game.
*Picnic. (COMPLETED!)
*Back to School Shopping. (COMPLETED!)
*Farmers Market. (COMPLETED! All Summer.)
*Make Strawberry Freezer Jam. (COMPLETED!)
*Build, Plant, and Sustain a Garden. (COMPLETED!)
*Have Garage Sale. (COMPLETED!..well, almost.)
*Make Quote Stones.
*Paint Letters for Wall.
*Update Website. (Be looking for this to be completed upon return from Wisconsin.)
*Open Etsy Shop. (Almost ready.)
*Complete Cookbook Project.
*Begin Hope Chest Project.
*Update Family Tree/Genealogy Project.
*Read. Create Book Review Blog. (COMPLETED! Follow along at
*Father/Daughter Tennis Competition.
*Watermelon Party. (COMPLETED!)
*Make Homemade Ice Cream. (COMPLETED!)
*Camping Sleepover Party.
*Unplug Day. (COMPLETED! Twice.)
*Sunday Game Nights.
*Family Water Fight.
*Take Family Photos.
*Antique Shopping/Junking. (COMPLETED!)
*Outdoor Movie Night.
*Go to Drive-In.
*Road Trip to Jungle Jim's and IKEA.
*Traveling Paper Craft Party with G, S, J, N, and Mama.
*Glee Marathon with Small.
*Make Wind Chimes.
*Paint Driftwood Intention Sticks.
*Canoe Trip. (COMPLETED!)
*Make Homemade Laundry Soap and Dryer Balls. (COMPLETED!)
*Set Up Recycling Station. (COMPLETED!)
*Make Homemade Cleaning Products: Establish "Green" Home.
*Begin Canning/Set Up Pantry. (COMPLETED!)
*Complete Photo Challenges on Instagram. (COMPLETED! See them at
*Begin Family Bible Study.
*Paint Spirit Rocks for Yoga Space.
*Make Rain Chain and Rainwater Collection Barrel.
*Make Dream Catchers.
*Learn How to Cross Stitch.

That's a whole bunch of stuff! It's been an amazing summer so far..and it just keeps getting better! I, for one, can't WAIT for fall...and more fun stuff and quality time with my peeps.

Working on a post updating the planner notes and schedules. Check back soon for that!

I truly hope everyone is staying safe, counting their blessings, maximizing the good times, minimizing the bad times, and living life to the fullest! Life is so great...take advantage of it.

Be gentle and loving with yourselves.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Woo Summer!

Oh My Goodness, Oh My Goodness. I have SO much to tell you guys. It's going to take awhile to get it all blog ready, for now, Happy Summer!!!
I can't believe we are here already...AND halfway through the year! I'm working on a Summer To Do List (which, of course, I will share here!)...and getting a big long blog post together. It's going to be stay tuned for that!
Also, I have a ton of life lessons and advice to dispense. You know the drill by now.
News, updates, plans, and events. All happening. Right. Here.
And hey, I'm right smack in the midst of a writers workshop. How do you all feel about me posting what I'm creating here? Yea or now!
That's my post for today! Happy Summer, Happy June, Happy Saturday!


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Up To Speed...

The last few months have been full of busy! I feel like I need to make an excuse for having not been keeping up on my blog...but I just don't have one. I've been busy living life, having fun, making memories, and sharing the world! And because I like all of you, I want to update you on what I've been doing, where I've been, and all the things my planner has had to say along the way! So settle in and get we go.

February! Small had Solo and Ensemble for band...she got a gold medal. She also had her first ever fancy pants dance, Snowball. I had a mini meltdown at how grown up she looked, and dad had a mini meltdown about her in a dress! We had a Super Bowl Party, made pizzas at the high school, had a plethora of doctors appointments and birthdays, celebrated Valentine's Day, had a sleepover birthday party, went to a Stampin' Up party and a couple sorority meetings, Small started 4-H, and I celebrated with the girls.

March! Sorority meeting, more doctors appointments, Bunco night, another stamp party, some snow day makeup days that cut into Spring Break, a sliver of Spring Break, some more snow, a phenomenal sale from my business page, a few birthdays, and a Girls Night Out.

April! Finishing up Spring Break, a round of puppy shots..and selling of all 3 babies, more doctors appointments, more sorority meetings...including a State meeting, another Bunco night, paying taxes..yuck, a photo challenge on Instagram (find me at eosanna), an amazing camera auction, a not so amazing flat tire on the interstate, a band concert, a Girls Night Out, a day of shopping with my girls for a home makeover, Easter, and THE VERA BRADLEY OUTLET SALE! Oh yes, that happened. And it was AWESOMESAUCE.

May! Marching Band started, Jazz Band started, Windy puppy has a birthday, there are more doctors appointments, another Bunco night, a birthday extravaganza, graduation, a sorority dinner event, another photo challenge on Instagram, a work family picnic with the hubby, Memorial Day, and a day in the sun with drinks and girlfriends.

There's also been dieting, walking, reading, enlightenment, studying, homework, house hunting, cleaning, gardening, shopping, funeraling and sleeping. Shew!

My planner has been busy, too! Dispensing advice, keeping the peace, offering insight, and controlling the chaos. Here's what it has had to say.

Monday, January 27, 2014: Note To Self: Love more. Worry less.
Monday, February 3, 2014: Note To Self: Don't forget to have a good time.
Monday, February 10, 2014: Note To Self: Never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.
Monday, February 17, 2014: Note To Self: All I can do is be me, whoever that is.
Monday, February 24, 2014: Note To Self: Only the ideas we live have any value.
Monday, March 3, 2014: Note To Self: You are here. Be present.
Monday, March 10, 2014: Note To Self: I am worth my time.
Monday, March 17, 2014: Note To Self: Hold the vision, trust the process.
Monday, March 24, 2014: Note To Self: Above all, try something.
Monday, March 31, 2014: Note To Self: You don't need a plan: you just need to be present.
Monday, April 7, 2014: Note To Self: No one looks stupid when they're having fun.
Monday, April 14, 2014: Note To Self: I'm unstoppable because I don't know how to stop.
Monday, April 21, 2014: Note To Self: Tread softly, breathe peacefully, laugh hysterically.
Monday, April 28, 2014: Note To Self: Done is better than perfect.
Monday, May 5, 2014: Note To Self: Stop eating garbage. Get on the treadmill. Go.
Monday, May 12, 2014: Note To Self: Relax! Life takes time.

Sunday, February 2, 2014: RESOLVE: Therefore, let us not pass judgement on one another. Instead, resolve not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother. Romans 14:13
Sunday, February 9, 2014: GRACE: Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer all. Colossians 4:6
Sunday, February 16, 2014: TRUST: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
Sunday, February 23, 2014: HOME: She is loud and defiant, her feet never stay at home. Proverbs 7:11
Sunday, March 2, 2014: WHOLE: Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with their whole heart. Psalms 119:2
Sunday, March 9, 2014: JOY: Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares its joy. Proverbs 14:10
Sunday, March 16, 2014: CHARM: Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30
Sunday, March 23, 2014: QUIET: My wrath against you will subside, my jealousy shall depart; I will be quiet and no longer angry. Ezekiel 16:42 (This happened this week!)
Sunday, March 30, 2014: REST: There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest. Job 3:17
Sunday, April 6, 2014: WAIT: Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heavens...they lay in wait for us in the wilderness. Lamentations 4:19
Sunday, April 13, 2014: PROGRESS: Be diligent in matters, give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 1 Timothy 4:15
Sunday, April 20, 2014: LOVE: Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers a multitude of sins. Proverbs 10:12
Sunday, April 27, 2014: LEARN: The suffering you sent was good for me, for it taught me to learn your principles. Psalms 119:71
Sunday, May 4, 2014: BETTER: It is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man. Psalms 118:8
Sunday, May 11, 2014: FORWARD: So then, beloved, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless, and at peace with him. 2 Peter 3:14
Sunday, May 18, 2014: GATHER: Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Matthew 12:30

WOW! All caught up and up to speed. Life...lived real...right here in paradise.

See you again soon.



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hear Ye...

Today I want to talk about LISTENING. Having spent the last few days home alone (not including the zoo), and therefore not saying very much, I've had some time to think about what I DO say..and WHEN.

We all know loud people. People who speak loudly. People who think loudly. People who live loudly. These are the people who command attention, who require notice from others, who always have something to opinion, an idea, or (most annoyingly) the last word. These are people who speak more and hear less. These are people who either control a room...or other people. We might appreciate or envy them for awhile...their no nonsense attitude, their outspokenness, their obvious extroverted personalities. We might even have BEEN them for awhile. But soon, these same qualities make us spend less and less time with them, make us avoid interactions, make us confrontational or bitter.

Do you know WHY? Because these people have forgotten how to LISTEN.

A healthy part of any relationship is communication. Knowing what to say and when to stay silent. Hearing what others say to us is vital in understanding who they are and what they need. How can we expect to help others, to learn about them, to be a support system...if we fail to hear what they are asking for?

Now understand, HEARING and LISTENING are two different things all together. Hearing, in short, is easy. It's biological. But listening? Listening is a skill, a trait, a conscious decision. It involves paying attention. It requires focus. It demands that we actively participate in life, in conversation, in other people. Hearing is background. Listening is front and center.

Active listening is a way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding. Often when people talk to each other, they don't listen attentively. They are often distracted, half listening, half thinking about something else. When people are engaged in a conflict, they are often busy formulating a response to what is being said. They assume that they have heard what their opponent is saying many times before, so rather than paying attention, they focus on how they can respond to win the argument.

My myself, and to you if you so desire to join to learn to listen. Actively. To mentally be present and engaged. To stop allowing my focus to wander. To be insightful and attentive. To let go of my desire to win every argument, have the last word, offer my opinion or advice, or be heard. My challenge is to listen..with an open mind and an open heart.

In the hopes that I will truly hear.

"The richness of life doesn't lie in the loudness and the beat, but in the timbres and the variations that you can discern if you simply pay attention." (Seth S. Horowitz)

To everything there is a season...a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak. (Ecclesiastes 3:7)

Blessings to you all as we learn to listen. To others, to ourselves, and to the universe.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Living The Life...

"The secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you possibly can." Mike Dooley

How incredibly fitting. I have been absent from blogging, absent from sharing my opinions and advice, absent from living here...because I have been living HERE, in the real world. I have been discovering all the little ways I can live the life of my dreams.

And as cliche as it may sound, as easier said than it is done, I am adopting this ideal as my new mantra. For this blog, for this year, for this life. At least, I promise to try.

Why? I need to learn to count my blessings (and I have many). To not take things for granted. I think we've all committed that crime in one way or another, which is no way to really live. I've taken far too many things for granted in the past years, and I think it's time to explore a part of myself I don't normally recognize, gratitude and happiness. I'm hopeful this journey will help me to find inspiration in the little things I do, say, think, find.

After all, I'm only beginning to learn who I am and what kind of person I want to be.

But I think I have a pretty good start.

I am faithfully following His lead.

Tomorrow, I plan to update everyone on what else I've been doing for the last few months. There will be lots of updates on those planner notes, as well. And be on the lookout for a new post this weekend, all about listening.

I've had a much needed and welcome rest. But it feels awfully nice to be back.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Let It Go...

The following is excerpted from T.D. Jakes.....with my sincere gratitude.

~There are people who can walk away from you, and believe me when I tell you this-When people can walk away from you: let them walk. I don't want you to try and talk another person into staying with you, loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you, staying attached to you. I mean hang up the phone. When people can walk away from you, let them walk. Your destiny is never tied to anybody that is left. The Bible said that "they went out from us but they were not for us. For had they been for us, no doubt they would still be with us." {1 John 2:19}
People leave you because they are not joined to you and if they are not joined to you, you cannot make them stay. Let them go. It doesn't mean they are a bad person, it just means that their part in your story is over. So don't keep trying to raise the dead. You've got to know when it's dead. You've got to know when it's over.
I have the gift of goodbye, it's the tenth spiritual gift. You have to believe in goodbye. It's not that you're hateful, it's that you're faithful and you must know whatever God means for you to have, He will give it to you. If it takes too much sweat, then you don't need it!
If you're holding on to something that doesn't belong to you and it was never intended for your life, let it go.
If you're holding on to a past that hurts and pains, let it go.
If someone can't treat you right, love you back, and see your worth, let it go.
If someone has angered you, let it go.
If you are holding on to thoughts of evil or revenge, let it go.
If you are involved in a wrong relationship or addiction, let it go.
If you have a bad attitude, let it go.
If you keep judging others to make yourself feel better, let it go.
If you're stuck in the past, let it go.
If you keep trying to help someone who won't even try, let it go.
If you are struggling with the healing of a broken relationship, let it go.
Let the past be the past, forget the former things, there are always new and better things!~

OK-I am done with the "let it go" speech. I just think that everyone I know, everyone I want to know, and everyone I don't know could relate to some or all of this. Myself especially included.

And a little positive affirmation that we are on the right track never hurt anyone.

Side note, I realized I forgot to post Planner Notes in earlier posts from this week. So here you go:
Monday, January 13, 2014: Note To Self: Today you will shine.
Sunday, January 19, 2014: DELIGHT: In the multitude of anxieties within me, your comforts delight my soul. Psalm 94:19
Monday, January 20, 2014: Note To Self: Be positive, patient, and persistent.
Sunday, January 26, 2014: ABIDE: I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me should not abide in darkness. John 12:46

And there you have it.


Friday, January 17, 2014


Today's topic is forgiveness (another concept I find struggle with)...forgiveness as it means to us, versus how it means to Jesus. Because there IS a difference.

Learning how to forgive does not come naturally to us. In fact, forgiveness runs polar opposite to our human nature..and our desire for revenge. When we are hurt by someone, we want to hold a grudge. We want justice. We want others to know and understand our hurts. We want leverage for future interactions and disagreements. The problem? We are ALL wounded. We are ALL guilty. On our best days, our self esteem hovers somewhere between feeble and fragile. We seek approval from others. When they reject us, it hurts. When we encounter disapproval..even perceived sends us into a tailspin of hurt. Even if, and when, others' disapproval or criticism is valid and warranted, it's still hard to digest and take. It reminds us that we have failed in some way. We didn't measure up to expectations...others' or our own.

But what we must remember is that we ALL have at least one thing in common...we've all failed someone. And each of us also knows the pain of someones failure towards us. Knowing seems we could cut each other a little slack. We're all human after all.

The main problem is that, if we refuse to forgive others...not only do we foster bitterness in our own hearts, we fail to live up to the promises of Jesus.

You see, we view forgiveness as a supernatural act that only Jesus is capable of- because he loves us so unconditionally. What we forget is that people are incapable of unconditional love. (Despite the Katy Perry song to the contrary.) Sure we love our spouse, our kids, our parents and family. We love our friends. We love perfect strangers. But, it isn't unconditional. We place demands on them, set rules and obligations. We love them if they treat us right, if they do what we want them to, if they live up to their end of the deal. Conditional.

And when we are unforgiving of hurts and slights..when we hold grudges..when we seek revenge, or justice, or karma...we forget to trust God with that task.

But Jesus understands the brokenness of the human spirit. He knows that humans-all humans-are weak. For us, it usually doesn't help to know that those who hurt us are weak, that they are broken like us. That is why it is so important to turn those hurts over to Him. And to forgive- just as He forgave us. Just as we trust Him for our salvation, we must trust Him to make things right on our behalf. Especially when we forgive. He will heal our that we may move on with a clean heart and spirit.

Unfortunately, there are no easy steps to forgiveness. It is a process...a climb...a game of trial and error. But we can be confident that what He asks us to do, He also provides the strength to do.

So...think about this: His forgiveness is abundantly generous. He forgave us willingly, leaving us free of guilt. (Which is the product of an unforgiving heart...the burden of guilt.) It is not something we deserve or earn. Thank goodness. But because of this, He asks us to share this grace. By learning per His example.

Next we must realize that forgiveness, while exponentially worthwhile, is risky. The person we forgive might fail us again. And again. And possibly again. Perhaps the same way, perhaps many different ways. That is not on us. That is not our fault. Jesus sets no limits on forgiveness...forgiveness counts quality not quantity. It's not how many times we forgive's how well. It cannot be measured and cannot be counted. And we shouldn't even try.

Lastly, forgiveness is not some cosmic "Oh Well, better luck next time" from Jesus just because we say the right words. Forgiveness must be sincere and welcome. So I urge you to pray for the people who hurt you and begin to ask God to bless them in very specific ways. If you can't do that just yet (and that's OK..), at least ask Him to help you get there eventually. A little bit, a little at a time, is better than not at all.
"love your enemies, and do good to those that hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." JESUS {Luke 6:28}

Do it because YOU are forgiven. Do it because it's the right thing to do. Do it because you are freeing yourself. And do it in order to accept it from others.

We are all in this together.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Taking Offense...

Today I want to talk about something I'm working on - and struggling with - taking offense where none is offered. In this day and age, with the influx of social medias and less face to face interaction, it becomes more and more difficult to determine tone, mood, voice, or meaning in conversations. Sometimes an innocent remark or casual tone can be misinterpreted..even by well meaning acquaintances. The difficulty for me is in distinguishing..and not assuming the worst.

I often wonder what people mean, how they feel about me, what they say about me to others. I am slowly learning that how other people view me, feel about me, or interact with me is none of my business. My "job" is to live a life worthy of that leaves nothing open to misinterpretation or causes others to speak negatively about me. My "job" is to make better my world, my surroundings, my charges, and myself...and to inspire others to do the same.

Sure, I can't control what people think of me, whether they like me, or what they have to say. Sometimes people just don't work well together. But, I CAN give them reasons NOT to leave my company with a negative impression, I can give them cause to celebrate, I can give them pause and peace.

I can also stop spending my days obsessing over how to change their hearts. Again, not my "job". Everyone doesn't have to be on my fan bandwagon. And that's OK. I have more important things to focus on than winning over negative or toxic people (and there are some)...and I certainly don't need them taking up space in my life. After all, lions do not lose sleep over the opinions of sheep. (RAWR). I'm not saying that every person you meet or interact with is toxic or negative, or that offenses occur because of that...I'm simply allowing that occasionally you will encounter such people. And it's perfectly acceptable to walk away from will know if it's right. Trust your gut. Don't waste precious time, energy, and emotion trying to figure it out...or worse yet, change them. Let the sheep out to pasture.

So back to the taking offense. A lesson I need to learn is that every situation, every interaction, every opportunity is not one sided. Nor is it mutually exclusive. Someone else's bad day, bad moment, bad mood does not have to A. be about me B. reflect on me C. be because of me or D. affect me. And vice versa. Life happens. And while sometimes offering yourself to another person is a struggle, as long as I can say I did my very best for other people....I should rest with an easy heart.

Now, I'm not saying that I will never again get offended. I'm not implying that my feelings will never again be hurt, or that what other people say and do won't have an impact on me. I'm human after all. Nor can I say that I will consistently be super sensitive to others, that my filter is magically functional again, or that I won't, without meaning to, hurt other people. Undoubtedly I will. Because, once again, I am human. And I am flawed. But, know that I do have the best of intentions and that I am trying. And know that I love you ever so much. Whoever you are...and no matter what.

Learning to channel emotions is a process. It won't happen overnight. Changing how you view every interaction is daunting..and sometimes exhausting. But, I promise that as we learn to brush off imagined hurts and welcome understanding...we open ourselves up to the greatness we deserve. We lessen the burdens we carry, we lift the heaviness from our hearts, and we release ourselves from the self imposed prison we have created. I say we...because I am right there...learning, changing, and forgiving. I fight the very same battles and pray the very same prayers.

And if I can change my perception...I know that you can, too.

Keep the faith, have hope, and are a lion. Don't lose your power. Every moment is a choice. Choose you. Choose love. Choose understanding. Choose forgiveness. Choose better.

See you very soon.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Let's Talk...

Hello and Welcome to the New Year! It has taken me until now to figure out exactly what I wanted to say to you here in this cyber corner. Plus, I've just been really busy. And really cold.

As we enter a new and exciting year, full of promise and reward, there are so many things that we leave behind. 2013 was less than epic for me. Sure, it had amazing moments..but, I leave it with hope and regret. I have hope that 2014 will be an opportunity for change, for more, for better. And I have regret that 2013 did not live up to my expectations, that people I care about suffered immense pain, and that some of that may have been inflicted by me.

That was NOT the legacy I intended to leave behind.
So, let's talk.

Let's talk about resolutions.  Normally, I don't make them. But, this year is different. I'm making them for change the things I dislike, to begin holding myself accountable, to recognize the mistakes and celebrate the victories.

I resolve:
To Be: Kinder - to examine the things I do, and proceed with love.
           Quieter - to examine the things I say, and respond only with love.
           Present - to BE where I am, to enjoy who I'm with, and to live in the now.
           Engaged - to fully belong to the moments that surround me.
           Active - to better myself and my health.
           Gentler - to respect those I love. Not gentler in action...but in word and tone.
           Generous - to shower those important to me with love, affection, and time.
           Patient - to others and to my own heart. The journey takes time, slow down, enjoy, and learn.
           Decisive - to do and say what I mean, to take back the control, and to accept circumstances.

Let's talk about change. This year, my life changes. I am going back to school. I am going to read more and Internet less. I am going to reconnect with people and spend less time alone. I am going to fill our home with love, resources, and baking, cooking, canning, loving, and hugging. I am hugging everyone. I am going to write more and worry less. I am going to let go. I am going to renew my faith, my spirit, and my desires. I am going to succeed. And, most importantly, I am going to survive.

And, finally, let's talk about blogging. And planners. I received a BEAUTIFUL planner from my sweet husband...even though he is convinced that "planning" is a job for my tablet. That said, you will find a very different blog from here on out. I am opening up the pages of my planner to dear readers. Each week, on Monday, I put a quote in the pages. Something to reflect the journey for the week, something to remind me what I am trying to accomplish, something that speaks to my heart. And each week, on Sunday, I leave a word. A little on that: for the last few years I have chosen one word to define the year. (You can look this up, it varies of course, but I use the One Little Word idea.) Last year, my word was Lovely. And while 2013 certainly had lovely hardly defined my year as a whole. So, this year, because I couldn't decide on just one word (already failing in that decisive resolution.)...I am using one a week. Some have scripture associated with them. Some a quote. Some are just an ideal..a thought..a goal. Whatever the case...each week I will share with you that word...and what it means moving forward.

What this means for the blog...I hope to use the blog as a tool this year. To bring me closer to all of you, to provide you with a look into my life, my art, and my soul. I hope to maintain my resolutions here...and allow all of you to hold me to a higher standard and expectation. I hope to share my journey...and I hope to follow yours. And mostly, I hope to express less anger, less toxicity, less pain...and more love. I hope to move on and let go...and I hope to do it successfully.

So let's begin...shall we?
Monday, December 30, 2013: Note To Self: Before going to sleep at night FORGIVE everyone and sleep with a clean heart.
Sunday, January 5, 2014: JOURNEY: Perhaps I will stay with you for awhile, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey. 1 Corinthians 16:6
Monday, January 6, 2014: Note To Self: (Listen)3 Thrice, (Think)2 Twice, (Speak)1 Once.
Sunday, January 12, 2014: GROW: And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9

I'm ready to take on 2014 with a clean heart, a quieter mind, and a healthier soul. And, as always, I am ever so thankful to have you tagging along. And, in case you were interested, my Soul Scripture for this year is Ephesians 5:2..Walk in love. That's the goal.

So there you have it. Thanks for trudging through that ridiculously long post.

See you very soon, I hope.