My 3 Monsters: Happy New Year!
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Happy New Year!

Hi guys!  I know, I know.  I was MIA around here for most of December.  The month of December was AMAZING in just about every way possible. Just to get you all up to speed:

I've been off from my day job for the past two weeks -- the benefits of working at an elementary school -- and enjoying quality time with the familia. This picture is one I took on Christmas Eve.  It's not a perfectly staged photograph by any means -- I mean, the 2 liter soda bottles, yikes -- but it is the perfect moment frozen in time.  This, THIS, is how I will forever remember the holidays in our home, surrounded by goofy kids, deliciously simple food, laughter and love. And a dog just waiting for that bowl of bread cubes to get knocked off the table. 

After almost 9 months of unemployment this year, Brent got a job!!!!!  Not just "a job", THE PERFECT JOB.  He had an interview on the morning of December 19th and they called back about an hour later with an offer for -- get this -- MORE than he was asking for. It was a genuine Christmas miracle and gave us the luxury of a truly relaxing holiday. We had been coping with the stress fairly well, I think, but I just didn't realize how hard it had been until, in an instant, it was all gone. No more guilt and worry about past-due bills.  No more $10 an hour part-time day job and graveyard custodial job for him, compounded by me working full-time and still struggling to make ends meet.  {I'm going to stay on at the school, though, because I really do enjoy it!}

I guess that's really all that is "new" around here, but it feels like so much more.  As I've had time to do some soul-searching these past few weeks, I've learned some things about myself -- the person I want to become and the direction I want to head.  I've always kind of scoffed at people who choose a focus word or phrase for their year.  I don't know why.  It's not a silly thing to do.  This year I'm joining that club, so scoff away if you must.  I've certainly earned it.  I really want to live my life more intentionally. To act instead of being acted upon.  Everything we do in life has an associated outcome, right?  For example, if I choose to stay up until 2 a.m. watching lame TV shows I don't really care about, the outcome will be that I am exhausted when the alarm rings at 6 a.m., I am grumpy all day long, I am too tired to cook a nice meal for my family, and/or go to the gym -- all things I really do care about.  By choosing the behavior, I am choosing the outcome.  If I want a different outcomes, I need to intentionally choose different behaviors.  And yes, it took me 41 years to grasp this concept.

What spurred this thought process for me was, believe it or not, getting a new mattress for our bed.  Really.  We have had the same mattress for 18 years.  The very one we purchased for about $200 when we got married.  It became evident about 10 years ago that we needed a better sleeping arrangement in the master bedroom.  But a really nice mattress is pretty expensive and we never felt like we had the means to upgrade, so we made do.  Meanwhile, we were frittering away money on dumb little things -- $20 here and $30 there on I don't even know what.  Things we kind of though we wanted at the time, I guess.  Because it was easy to find $20 in our budget for some immediate gratification, but a lot harder to find the $1000 a new mattress would require.  The thing is, we were never going to "find" that much money.  When we intentionally chose to use our money for the thing we needed {and really wanted} it was like a whole new world opened up to me.  {Maybe actually getting a good night's sleep helped me to think clearly for the first time in a decade as well.}

As a result of this paradigm shift, things may start to look a little different around here on the blog.  I will probably begin working on different kinds of projects than I have in the past as intentionally focus on the things I really want in my life {and my home} and cut out some of the clutter.  No more projects just for the sake of doing a project and having something to post about.  Lots more real, quality design and decorating projects that add actual value to my home and my family's life. More of what I love and less of what is "OK for now". I hope you'll all stick around for the ride.  {And maybe invite a friend or two -- that would be cool...}  What are your hopes for the new year?

Have a wonderful 2015, friends!


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