Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy New Year!

     Happy New Year! I've seen many more readers from Finland and a few places that I haven't seen before (Serbia, Pakistan, etc) on my blog. Welcome! I'd love to get to know you all. A large snowstorm on the East Coast delayed the end of my winter break so I got an opportunity to stay home a few extra days. Here are some pictures since I last wrote.
 The boys dressed up for Christmas. Sorry the lighting is bright and you can't see how nice the tree looked.
 He was slightly excited with his new tablet.
 David and I and the ornament he made me at school.
 David at Grammy's.
 The boys and their cousin. We took a series of pictures. This is the least awful- and David makes me laugh.
 Tin can robot. I'm sure he'll love putting this together.
 Our most recent snowstorm provided many opportunities for the boys to go play. David is by the telephone pole, buried up to his shoulders. He is throwing snowballs at Tim, whose head you can see on the right and is also in a big pile.  They were having a blast.
The dagger icicles hanging from the house. They were huge.


    How do you feel about resolutions? Every year, I pretty much make the same ones- get in shape, get the apartment organized, etc. This year, I have read many posts from bloggers about how they picked one word and focused on that 1 word for the entire year. Rather than fail at a list of resolutions, they chose something that would help guide their decisions. I have decided that this is something I'm going to try this year.
     I sat down and considered which word I would choose to focus on. The first word that popped into my head was "Declutter." I have had so much going on this year that I felt kind of frantic for a lot of it. Anyone who knows me well will know that I'm a pile person and frequently my apartment (and my car, classroom,  gets pretty cluttered because of it. However, declutter does not really have positive connotations in my head so I decided that I would like another one. I decided to go about this in a backwards way. I thought about what I wanted to change and why I wanted those things to change. Ultimately, what were my real goals rather than the superficial ones?
     This year was tough. There were a lot of events that slowed me down to think about life, and quite honestly, there were things that really made me extremely concerned about the world my children are growing up in. (Not like I haven't felt this before, but it was one thing after another this year.) The Boston Marathon Bombings is one of the events that I'm thinking of. After some praying and thinking, I realized that this past month I have been pretty burnt out and anxious. I have let some friendships get weaker, stopped writing, been somewhat content in the messiness and gotten used to feeling stressed and frantic. I have also felt like, since I have not felt 100% myself, I have not been myself in my relationships with people.  So, I'm choosing my word: REJUVENATE.
     Good ol' Merriam Webster defines rejuvenate: ": to make (someone) feel or look young, healthy, or energetic again, 2 : to give new strength or energy to (something)"

   Ironically, as a Christian, I don't think I can rejuvenate myself so one of the major things I'd like to focus on this year is my relationship with God. As Galatians 2:20 says "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." I think if I concentrate this year on strengthening my faith, renewal and rejuvenation will come. 
     There are things I can work on though- getting healthy, making my life less cluttered so I can do things more effectively, investing in my relationships with friends and family and reconnecting with some of them as well. I guess the main reason I decided to choose one word is that I can use the word to help me in my decisions. How often do I say "yes" to things I don't really want to do or things I feel I have to (that aren't actually things I HAVE to) and then feel more overwhelmed?  I actually started considering this in late December. It led to me accepting invitations that I would've turned down normally and resulted in some nice times with friends. My kids are also enjoying me being a little more relaxed. 
     I'll be joining the community at to encourage others and keep myself accountable. I'm sure I'll blog more about it during the year.  If you were going to choose one word for yourself, which word would you choose? What are your goals this year?


    Speaking of the blog, should I try the 366 challenge again? I will eventually succeed at this. Since writing is a huge stress reliever for me (when I'm not making myself anxious about not getting back to people within a certain time frame), I will continue the challenge. If I don't reach my goal this year I will probably not try again. I will not stress about it. If you don't know what my challenge was, I was hoping to send and receive at least 366 pieces of mail within the span of one year. (That year had was a leap year.)  I was doing fairly well this year and then my laptop broke and I lost track of everything.This also affected my blogging.
     So far I have a letter out to Katherine in Australia and Larry in Minnesota. No mail received yet. NOTHING at all, not even a bill.  If you'd like to send me something, or start penpalling, leave me a message and I will get in touch with you. I would like to get caught up with all of my normal penpals before I take on any new pals but I'm hoping that I can do that fairly quickly.  If you'd like to correspond, please add your address to my postable.  If I see anybody new added, I'll send you a postcard :)

2014 Mail Challenge:

Sent: 4- Letter to Katherine- Australia,  Letter to Larry- USA, Postcrossing card  US-2570859     to Germany, and a US to US postcard swap headed to Washington.

Received: 0 



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