Merry Everything and Happy Always

image3Who doesn’t love a fresh start?

As the clock rolled over into another new year, we were surrounded by love, laughter and friendship, good food and champagne. I took a brief moment, almost as if I was standing outside and looking in, to take it all in. I saw a lot of happiness. I saw a lot of joy! I heard conversations. Heard screams of cheer and saw fireworks. I always seem to get nostalgic and semimetal in the New Year. I have always loved talking and thinking about the past year. It’s lessons. It’s losses. It’s new and second chances. What great things happened, how far we’ve come and what we have to look forward t0.

The hubs and I had one last official date of the year on the 30th. In a restaurant full of people, I love that somehow it can still be only us. A hundred people swirling around us and it’s simply he and I. Alone. We talked about the incredible year we had. A BIG year! A graduate. A lot of travel. The sell of a house. A move. A new career move.

Starting it off we had our last baby child gradate high school. That in itself was huge! Empty-nesters.

You know when you’re just starting out and you’re building your family…that word seems like an eternity away and then one day you wake up, and you’re there. It. Goes. By. So. Quickly.

image6Over the years of our life, he and I have had dreams and goals. We’d talked often about life after our chicks were gone and out of the nest. I am grateful and thankful that we have remained a constant with one another. Best friends who have grown up and grown closer over the years of raising a family. Always putting God first, then one another, then our family. We will no longer have carpools, school calendars, dance recitals, swim meets, football games, gymnastics meets, ski club, co-op, homeschooling, trips to craft stores for projects, teacher meetings and the mountain of other actives that accumulate while raising kids. What would life be like when it’s not full of running errands and helping with homework? We dreamed, he and I. We always have. We made goals. We looked forward to the future, all the while LOVING the time raising our kids, but looking forward to that chance to become just a couple again, someday. Isn’t it fun to dream with your spouse? To reach in and pull out one another’s heart and examine it? As we stepped into 2016, we knew that time was upon us. We did it! We celebrated our success at raising the last of our three kids to adulthood.

One of the plans was to sell our big house and downsize. After all….we would both rather collect memories, not things. Travel more and not be tied down to a house that is way too large for two. Not to mention maintenance; lawn care, snow removal. Not our thing. We’ve always thought there are better ways to spend our time. Mission accomplished. The move was tumultuous to say the least. The binging and purging was taking way longer for us than expected. We both felt as if while we were paring our house down, we were paring our life down. Letting go of “things” was so refreshing and it allowed for evaluation of every single aspect of our life.

image1After my JMT trip, I had already come back a changed person (more when I continue that post) I came back ready for change, ready to purge…everything. I had lived 3-weeks out of a tent and backpack. I had nothing but time to process unwanted garbage out of my life. When I returned I had a new focus and new zest for life, that when shared with the hubs, motivated him just the same. He didn’t need to be out in the wilderness to catch everything I was getting at. Taking 6 days to drive the coast after that trip was the best debrief I could’ve asked for. I shared my journaling with him and it came as NO SURPRISE that he and I were both on the same page. LET IT GO!! A fresh start was about to take place. The move….well, it was just the icing on the cake. It sealed the deal that everything we had talked and dreamed about all these years, was about to break free and come to fulfillment.

Our words for last year were Patience and Prepare. Every year instead of resolutions, we wait and listen for ONE WORD. Isn’t it just like our God to give us those two words? Patience and Prepare. WOW! Our ENTIRE year was lived out and based on the fulfillment of those words. I learned patience like I’ve never had before. Through all of my training and racing last year, through injury and sickness, I HAD to be patient with myself, with my body, with my health. Hiking days on end for long hours in the Sierras instills patience like I’ve never encountered. Selling a house…pushes it to the brink. But I knew that God had prepared me/us for all of it.

During the process of moving, we took the advice of those friends who have gone through the same thing. The ones who have dreamed big and had those dreams become reality, some selling their homes to travel and live by RV, some selling and moving different states to chase the sun and some who sold homes to live their dream of living on a boat. Talk about having to purge! We loved the encouragement. Loved the inspiration! The purging became so much more to us than getting rid of our stuff. I literally became clearing out EVERYTHING we felt was holing us back, holding us down, holding us hostage. Baggage. The trunks dragging behind that were getting too heavy to haul. Bad, unhealthy relationships, bills, toxic unauthentic people in our lives, old unforgiveness, walls that were built over time, that needed climbed over or broken down, unhealthy eating and drinking, missed workouts and missed opportunities, resentments. You name it, it was flushed out. God worked on our hearts as a couple and individually. He guided and showed us the way. And when it was done…..we felt a whole new sense of freedom. We felt …. Light. And as 2016 slipped away and 2017 came flowing in God whispered my word for the year: Intention. Be intentional.image2

image4Living with intention to me means, to live with purpose. To continue to foster the REAL in me, verses what people want of me. Live deliberately. Instead of thinking “I don’t have time” really evaluate if it is a priority, and move on from there. And if it’s not, to not allow guilt of any kind creep in. I want my actions to speak more than my voice. I want to be intentional with friends, giving them the undivided attention they deserve while we are together. I want to surround myself with people on fire for life. I want to be intentional in my food choices, my exercise, and the time spent doing the things I love: traveling with my hubs and soaking in salt water. I want things in my home to have a use and a meaning, not just “because its shiny” I want to wake up each morning with my aim focused to my Creator, to listen to what He has in store for me. I want to be a magnet for miracles and notice them everywhere, every day. I want to continue to notice the beauty and abundance that’s all around me. I want to dig deeper and deeper into the Word of God. I want to be intentional in my relationship with my hubs, honoring and respecting him everyday and being acutely aware to his needs and interests and fanning those in him. I want to believe good things are happening everyday. I want to be intentional to giving, to doing everything with a good heart and expecting nothing in return. I want to inspire others in my walk with God. I want to watch less TV and be outdoors more. I want to drink more water. I don’t want to “settle” for anything, realizing life is short and fleeting. I want to NOTICE more. I want to journal and pray more. I want to serve more and be aware of others needs. Spend time with those I adore.image5 I want to take more risks and love fiercely, even if others can’t return that love. I want to let go and let God, knowing I cannot control the uncontrollable. I want to soak in the knowledge that each day starts with new grace and fresh mercy.

This journey into a new year will be radical. Exciting and challenging! I already know it will be filled with more joy than we will know how to contain. Join me in raising a glass, to your ONE word, to your resolutions, to your new year, new you, new career, new marriage, new baby, new chapter or maybe even a whole new book. Get excited!  Flip the page.Processed with VSCOcam with p2 preset



Thanksgiving is More Than Just Eating, Charlie Brown

Thanksgiving!  My most favorite of holidays.  I see it as more of a state of being than a holiday though.  I thinking everyday should be thanksgiving.  But as the holiday goes, it’s my favorite.  No pressure, just relaxed time, a lot of laughter, family, friends, and LOTS food.  What could be better?

In our home as we gather around the table every year, we have a tradition of going around and saying what we are thankful for.  What brought us joy.  What grew us. Each of us taking time to remember the past year, and give a little slice of what we loved!

I try to live out almost every single day in a state of joy-full-ness and thank-full-ness.  I am just a person that sees something great in everything.  In every circumstance.  If not, I have the wonderful choice of changing it….if by nothing more than changing my attitude about it.  I’m not saying everyday is peachy and full of roses, but it’s how I decide to go about my day, my life, that changes things for me.  I’m joyful!  JOY-FULL!  This little nugget of joy is in my DNA.  I am positive all the time that something wonderful is going to happen.  I am thankful, for things that go well, and also the parts of life that do not go so well, because that’s what grows me as a person.  It’s what allows me to know what I like and want… and what I choose to pass on.  <We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.> -Abraham Lincoln  I always see the roses!

These things I am thankful for right now:

~My relationship with God.  And the fact that I live in a country that I am able to have said relationship.

~My husband.  He is always at the top of my list because….yes, he is that extraordinary!

~My kids.  They are by far the BEST thing I ever did in my life.

~My extended family.  Near and far, they ROCK!  They are all so special, and I think about them everyday.

~My friends.  It always amazes me the fun times, laughter, and adventures we share.  Through the good times and bad, we are there for one another in love, in solidarity, surrounding one another and lifting one another up.  They truly are, like family to us.  I think good, true, loyal friends sometimes, are hard to come by…and honestly, I think we may have scooped them all up!

~Travel.  A lot of that this year.  All for fun!  Can’t beat that!

~Our dogs.  There is something about dogs.  No matter what kind of day I have…even if it is gloomy and I have had a hard day, you cannot help but be happy in their presence.  They make me smile every single day.  (They are both currently curled around my feet snoring LOUDLY)  I always wonder about people that do not like dogs….

~Summer.  This has by far been one of the best summers ever (other than the summer I met my hubs)  This one, definitely in the record books.

~Our home. I have always said, that is doesn’t matter the size or shape of your home.  If it is a house, a condo, an apartment, a cabina or a tiki-hut.  It’s what dwells inside the house that makes it a home.  I could find just as much pleasure living in a tent.  Home is what you make it.  Find joy in your space.

~The snow.  YES, I am ready for it.

~My health. I am always amazed and overwhelmed that God has given me this body to use.  My ability, my heart, my lungs, my muscles, my limbs to train and run and race without a lot of ailments and issues.

~Laughter.  This is absolutely the best noise in the World to me.

~Books.  If I could ever live in a library…


~And rain….especially on a day like today.  Rain…that I can go puddle jumping in with my sweet new rain boots!

~Running.  I know this could go in the health line, but it deserves its own shout-out.  Its own place.  For me, it is the ONE thing I do for myself that I adore.  To clear my head, to clear my heart.  It is my passion, my therapy, my life-force.  There is nothing that cannot be solved with a nice long, sweaty, run.  I solve most of the World’s problems when I run.  😉

~My  job.  The ability to have a job that my soul purpose is to motivate those around me!!  I get to do what I love every single day!!

~Popcorn.  And movie nights, cuddled on the couch with my family.  Or my girlfriends.  Yes, I am thankful for popcorn.

~Red wine.

~Music.  Music has the way to transform any situation.  At home, I listen while cooking.  I do the occasional (ok maybe more than occasional) dance party.  My hubs, often turns on music and finds me wherever I am, and pulls me onto a “dance-floor for two” And I love all types of music.  It can motivate, allow me to contemplate, or just celebrate!

~Cooking.  There is nothing better than cooking a meal, and having my family or friends gathered around my table.  It’s intimate, and loaded with laughter and sometimes tears, but it is always so soul-satisfying to me.

~Laughter.  Did I already say laughter?  Well, it deserves another place in the list.

~I could really go on and on.

**1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “ give thanks in all circumstances.”  I love the way The Message says it,  “Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens.”

Living in a constant state of thankfulness is easy.  It truly is.  Every single day there is reason for joy and thanksgiving.  You are not your circumstances, or your surroundings.  You have the right to change your life and journey at any moment.  If it is not bringing you pleasure…move on, mix it up, or just be thankful where you are.  There can always be negative things that happen, it’s how you handle the negative that makes the difference.  Chose to look beyond your circumstance and look up. UP!  Choose an attitude of gratitude.  Choose to be thankful for all things.

“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.” – W. T. Purkiser

“You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.” -Robert Caspar Lintner

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving

“Thanksgiving is more than eating, Chuck…we should just be thankful for being together.”