To move to…

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Early on, in 2016, I created a spotify playlist entitled To Move To… As anyone who knows me knows, I am one of the worst “namers” in the history of naming things. To me, at the time, it seemed a clever way to label my workout list. As the year progressed however, this playlist morphed into my motivation for many areas, not just fitness. It is pretty amazing that this long-ago list worked it’s way into birthing the only word which made any sense at all, for this year.

MOVE.

It is a powerful word. It means a vast degree of many things. It reaches into every area of my life, from health and fitness, to writing, to education, to parenting and marriage. MOVE. Stagnancy kills. MOVE. Even if it’s a step in the wrong direction, it is better than nothing at all. MOVE. Move. move…

My word for this glorious fresh and unwritten year is move.

This isn’t my image. It belongs to Vimeo actually. When I saw it though, I knew it fit my vision for this year, my heart for this year, in a thousand different little ways. Move. To move in such a way that the place where my feet were is left better after my time there…

I do not do resolutions. I commit to goals. Typically, but not always, these goals stem from my word. With a word as huge as this year’s, I don’t think there is a goal that would not apply, somehow.

Goals:

  • To read two books (minimum) per month.
  • To learn one new thing, every month.
  • To complete my passion project More.
  • To complete and self/indie publish my novel.
  • To lose those 50 last pounds I need to lose.
  • To literally move to a more conducive home for the next phase of my life.
  • To expand my freelancing/writing income.
  • To enjoy my family intentionally, in simple and life affirming ways.
  • To visit somewhere I have never been before.
  • Find my writer’s tribe and flourish within it.

Move.

Where are you seeing yourself, this year?

Movie, movie, movie…

This morning was shaping up to be a great day for a variety of reasons. This morning, when I found myself wide awake after only a couple of hours of restless sleep, I decided this within the wee hours of the dark night, and so far it is. I mean, sure, I am feeling pretty tired. By 7 a.m. I’d already done half of our weekly laundry, watched an episode of Jane the Virgin, caught up on emails, had breakfast and coffee with my husband and done a little writing. Also admitting that my entire To do list is more of a hoping to get to list, and have a little grace for that.

As an avid movie lover, 2016 has been a bit of a let down for me. I am wondering if this is because I am just getting older… Or maybe it is that 2016 has been such a hard year that suddenly (*gasp*) movies felt less important than before… (truthfully, this last one just doesn’t feel true, but I guess it is still a possibility.) More often than not, these days, we sit here and feel unanimously like there is nothing worth going to see. Despite these less feelings, there have been some really great movies that I loved, come out this year. One of my all time favorites was Storks. I know, I know. This sounds ridiculous, especially since I am not an animated fan typically. I took my grandson to see it, and then my husband. And then my best friend. And in the wee hours of this morning, when apple alerted me to the fact that my pre-buy was available- I very nearly curled up on my couch to watch it alone.

Today was a pretty good movie release date, through Apple. Hillsong, Let Hope Rise is waiting for me, along with The Hollars. Both of which were also films I loved this year. (there will be more on Hillsong LHR, closer to the dvd release date.)

I was thinking, this morning, about classic Hollywood vs current. One of my favorite modern Christmas movies, The Holiday, touches on how back in the day, it was a big deal that a small handful of movies opened in a quarter. Now, a dozen plus movies open each month, and three months later we are watching them at home. It is fascinating really, but if you look at so many of those old movies in comparison to so many of our now films, it is easy to spot a difference in quality. Sure, special effects are better, images are sharper and sound is more layered, but it takes more than some software to make a story come to life. While there are movies I still fall in love with, I am admitting that (even for this die-hard movie obsessor) quality trumps quantity every time…

In honor of Award’s season beginning and the Golden Glob noms coming on Monday I wanted to leave a little list of the 2016 releases I actually loved. Feel free to share what you’ve loved!

The Hollars

The Finest Hours

Hello My Name is Doris

Money Monster

The Meddler

XMen Apocalypse

Free State of Jones

Ghostbusters

Bad Moms

Imperium

Greater

Hillsong LHR

Storks

Arrival

I have seen a ton more but these stuck with me… Some because they were crazy funny, some because they moved me and some because it’s just thought-provoking… Have you seen movies lately, you love?

Dearest Mr. Kringle,

In my November/December Newsletter I shared a gift list with suggestions for people you may be shopping for this Holiday season. I am a stickler for details and observant, to a fault, so throughout the year I collect ideas for things. It brings me great joy when a subscriber emails me to tell me they purchased one of the items for a loved one. (this has happened about a dozen times since my newsletter went out!) I love helping others and often dream of being a personal gift shopper because, let’s face it, giving gifts is THE BEST!

My daughters were begging me to get a list together for Chw. He’s kind of the worst at making a wishlist. When I pointed this out to him, he said that I hadn’t exactly presented him with one. We aren’t really exchanging gifts this year and my daughters both know what I would like, and wouldn’t, so the idea of making a list myself seemed ridiculous. Then, as if by magic, a long time reader emailed me and asked when my wishlist would be up. Weird right? See, every year, around December 1st, I tend to post a “dream wishlist”. It’s not a big deal, and it’s just for fun. We all have those things we’re dreaming of getting, but know we won’t. Well, apparently she looks forward to this list at the start of the holiday season, which is super cool and pretty funny, to be honest.

At any rate, after careful thought, I’ve decided this place could use a light-hearted/fun post so here it is…

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1.) Drake Tufted Sofa I mean, seriously… is this not the most beautiful sofa? This color… The tufting…
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2) If I haven’t complained on here about my current kitchen, please be amazed. It is my least favorite kitchen in all of the kitchens. This little kitchen set is SO adorable though and whenever I see it, i just grin from ear to ear! My kitchen needs some love.

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3) THIS recipe box. Do I need a new one? No. Not really…  But recipe boxes tend to be among those things that are typically pretty ugly and never really “fit in”, but this one… Well. :)

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4.) This Vase is gorgeous. Among my favorite things, in all the world, are fresh-cut flowers. I love them. I imagine this vase filled with flowers and my domestic little design loving heart soars…

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5.) These food prep boards… I mean, imagine the love these would bring to my kitchen. (remember my woeful kitchen confession above? *sigh*)

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6) This PTR face mask sampler is something I drool over every single time I’m in Ulta. PTR is my FAVORITE “something essential, yet special” skin care line, and with my Mask Monday stuff, this is PERFECT!

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7) I have been on the hunt for this Palette for what feels like ever. I have dreamed of it… Someday. (maybe. Hopefully. If only…)

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8) It is amazing. Enough said… 65-loews-spa-day-massage-or-facial-reg-125-2250482-regular

9) A spa day, complete with a facial, deep tissue massage, pedicure and glass of wine.

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10) a private jet. I miss my kids like crazy and soon Gen won’t be home either. (college) my closest friends live insanely far away and sometimes a “quick weekend” somewhere warm sounds perfect…

So there you go! Of course, I don’t need any of these things. The best parts of Christmas, for me, have nothing to do with what I unwrap. It is all about who I am surrounded by and the joy that lights up their eyes, along with what I can possibly do to make that a reality… What are you “wishing” for?

P.S. A quaint little Inn, in Cape Cod, Ma… :)

Hello, August…

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I’ve been back in Michigan for a little over two months and after moving, and moving, and sitting on the brink of moving again, I’m finally starting to find a normal feeling. Everything still feels fragile and a bit surreal, but I’m attempting to move forward-one foot in front of the other- and here’s my hopes for this month we call August.

Home~

upcycling a serving tray

Being inside less and outside more

downsizing to a capsule wardrobe

experimenting more with essential oils

 

Health~

get back to a good work-out routine

swim, swim, swim

yoga, at least once a week

bike rides

Savor~

quality time with my husband and kids (when possible)

me time

evening walks

reading, poolside

Connect~

counseling

handwritten letters

remembering birthdays

attending a book club

going on a photography adventure

Kitchen~

focussing on fresh & locally sourced meals

loads & loads of sun tea

grilled fish with fresh herbs

scones with lemon curd & Devonshire cream

homemade ice cream

Read~

Present Over Perfect

Kisses from Katie

Where’d you go, Bernadette

The Jesus Centered Life

Watching~

Season 7 of the Good Wife

Season 3 of Parks & Rec

Suicide Squad

Ben Hur

The better sort of list…

Everyone is all about bucket lists… I made a beautiful one last year, to complete before I was 40. Losing my family and way of life shot my list all to hell, so I thought instead I’d make a list of the 100 BEST things I’ve done in my 40 long years…

  1. skinny dipping in a natural body of water.
  2. dancing in the rain.
  3. watching fireworks, on a hilltop, set to Bach.
  4. My first time at the ocean, a glorious week on the Oregon coast.
  5. going in to NYC to see the tree at Rockafellar center.
  6. Swinging with the kids I worked with, at Hope House, on a hot summer day with the public sprinklers on.
  7. Snowcones with my kids.
  8. Working at Hope House and the amazing, life changing relationships I made there.
  9. Getting my nose pierced.
  10. the tattooes I’ve carefully chosen.
  11. I met Colin Firth.
  12. falling in love with the culture and pop culture of South Korea.
  13. Working at OBI and the dear relationships I made there.
  14. That I’ve always been one to forgive and try again. No exceptions.
  15. Seeing Starship on the Santa Cruz beach. It wasn’t Starship, but the beach, air and company.
  16. My first upside down rollercoaster, in the rain, in St. Louis.
  17. that I learned to appreciate music.
  18. adopting.
  19. The Chvrches concert. It was how concerts should feel.
  20. New Mexico sunsets.
  21. Reconnecting with my high school BFF and being one who demonstrated unconditional, sacrificial love.
  22. Being stranded in an airport and befriending a total stranger.
  23. knowing Jared Glenn.
  24. Loving with my whole heart, even if that has never really paid off.
  25. Understanding the value of true family, whether there’s blood relation there or not.
  26. catching live crabs and cooking them on the beach.
  27. the first time I held hands with a boy, no feeling compares.
  28. seeing my niece be born.
  29. the moment I met my husband and knew we would be married.
  30. My first DMB show.
  31. The secret P!ATD show in Boise, when Gen was little, complete with awesome treatment, tv interviews, etc.
  32. Attending a wedding with an MTV film crew.
  33. the first time I loped on a horse.
  34. The gift of knowing and loving my grandfather.
  35. My dog Paisley’s love for me. Life affirming.
  36. My grandmother’s chicken and dumplings.
  37. When my stomach finally eased after my first major bout with sea sickness.
  38. The week long backpacking trip I went on, when I was in 8th grade.
  39. Seeing a large meteor shower.
  40. Seeing Wicked on broadway.
  41. The time a bear went through our camp while we slept under the stars.
  42. walking at the ocean, feet in sand and sea.
  43. The first time I body surfed.
  44. Genny’s Twilight impressions, when she was younger.
  45. Learning to give facials.
  46. any inside joke, with my husband.
  47. Staying at the Regent Beverly Wiltshire.
  48. Gen’s 6th birthday, in the hotel on Easter. it was really fun and a nice connection moment for C & I, with midnight cake and snuggles.
  49. Christmas with my husband and all three of my kids.
  50. The twin foster babies we had.
  51. When my husband baked me a lemon cake for my birthday. It was one of the most beautiful, thoughtful moments I’ve had with anyone.
  52. Tummy slamming, with Melanie, when we were little.
  53. My cousin Kyle. He really changed my childhood.
  54. My pet turtle Rosie, who made the journey from my house to my grandmother’s, a few blocks away, and back.
  55. My german shepherd/husky (when I was a kid) named Betsy.
  56. White water rafting.
  57. The way autumn smells, in Idaho.
  58. That huge, terrifying storm we had in Kansas, when I was 17.
  59. Stars, porches and conversation.
  60. My California girls trip, in 2001.
  61. Alicia Michelle.
  62. Petting an Elephant at the Portland Zoo.
  63. The San Diego Valentines day getaway I had with Chw in 2002.
  64. bacon wrapped dates in Illinois. Delicious dinner and lovely evening conversation.
  65. The Blake hotel in Chicago. Stunning.
  66. The gigantic moon the Christmas of 1999 in Phoenix.
  67. My bus ride to Kentucky, from New Mexico.
  68. The summer I went in a semi to Los Angeles.
  69. The look on Chw’s face with his surprise 40th birthday. Making him happy was always my favorite thing ever, there was no one more deserving.
  70. Hours and hours of playing Killer Bunnies.
  71. Girl’s day on Make your Own Holiday day.
  72. Being published in The Pink Project.
  73. the living room conversation I had in 92. It was terrifying and safe to be known so well.
  74. saving myself from my sexually abusive step dad.
  75. the Detroit blackout in 2003.
  76. the magic of my first plane ride to Michigan, amidst the turmoil surrounding me.
  77. My grandparents shed, my safe haven.
  78. playing “Mermaids” in Monique’s pool.
  79. Seeing Chw & Gen when i got home from the LA nightmare.
  80. My first trip to NYC. Tiffany & Co, Central Park & FAO Shwartz.
  81. the first time I shot with my Canon.
  82. My one and only healthy ultrasound.
  83. Whenever I hug my son.
  84. Face to Face conversations with my daughter Amanda.
  85. Amanda’s wedding. Helping, being there for her and getting her through it, the father/daughter dance and how stunning she looked.
  86. Waking up for 6 months of beautiful mornings, in the smoky mountains.
  87. The most delightful conversation imaginable, with Emma Thompson.
  88. Witnessing both the sun rising on the US east coast and the sun setting on US west coast. Different days, but still a gift.
  89. email corresponding with my grandmother’s favorite soap opera actress, after my grandmother died.
  90. Chw and his little figurine for me after I had my first real operation in 1999. It’s never meant more for me to see anyone in all my life.
  91. hearing strange sounds and learning my cat, whom I didn’t even know was pregnant, had just delivered one single kitten, who looked nothing at all like her. It felt like a miracle.
  92. A youth that included white water rafting, snow tubing, ice blocking and casually floating the river. It was a blessed adolescence for sure.
  93. late night dance parties, being surrounded by the coolest of people you know.
  94. Eerily quiet Chinatown, in San Francisco. Exhilarating.
  95. Becoming sisters with my sister Sherri, who is my heart sister but I know there isn’t anyway we could be more genuinely real.
  96. Being Julie’s heart daughter. She’s been gone a decade, this year, and I am still in awe of her love for me.
  97. heart pounding risks…
  98. following my instinct/intuition, and learning something anyway, when it may not work out.
  99. Discovering Chinese massage. It may not be amazing everywhere, but here it is extraordinary.
  100. My relationship with God, learning to blind trust and love through it has been the biggest adventure of my life…