Saturday 31 December 2016

New Year's Eve- 2016

Today is New Year's Eve.  I am looking forward to the 'clean slate' that 2017 brings.  This year wasn't great personally and the blog suffered for it.  I am thankful that you kept on coming to read my posts, encourage and support me. 

I started this blog because I love to write.  I wanted to have a little space of my own where I could express myself and this blog has allowed me to do that.  I never could have imagined the friendships that would grow out of blogging.  This has been the most rewarding part of this blog. 

I wish you all a safe and happy New Year's Eve.  I also wish you a wonderful New Year.  I hope that 2017 holds many happy moments for you.  

Thank you for reading.  I will be back in the New Year with my 2017 Goals/Resolutions.

Thursday 15 December 2016

2016 Recap

2016 is winding down.  I wish I could say that it was such a stellar year, but it really wasn't.  It most certainly had beautiful moments and happy times.  It also held heartbreak and challenges that took a lot of prayer and trust to get through.  

I looked back at my 2016 resolutions to see how I did with my goals for the year.  Things went well goal-wise and I managed to keep to most of them.  Here is a closer look:

Personal Resolutions:

-Finish the KonMari Method.  I did this.  It helped lighten the load for our move.  I didn't find it to be "life-changing" but it definitely gave me a different method to minimize my belongings.  This method was helpful and I look forward to continuing to pare down our possessions.

-Continue to develop a personal relationship with God through my prayer life.  My personal relationship with God is ever evolving.  I relied heavily on my faith this year and sought out different ways to further my relationship with God.  I feel that I achieved this goal and I will continue to work on this relationship.


-Go on a family trip.  We did this at the end of summer.  We went on a family trip to Red Deer, Alberta and Calgary, Alberta.  We visited a farm, the Zoo and Telus Spark.  Elizabeth had an absolute blast.  Hubby and I enjoyed ourselves, as well.  It was great and I am looking forward to the next trip!

-Build up our savings.  This happened.  It wasn't super easy with Hubby's job loss this year, but we managed to add to our savings.


-Post on the blog 2 times a week.  This goal didn't work out.  With everything going on in my personal life, the blog really got put on the back burner.  I am okay with this goal being unmet.  My priorities have to be my own health and my family.  Perhaps next year will be more conducive to blogging.

-Post to Instagram 3 times a week.  This also was placed on the back burner.  Perhaps next year will work our better.


-Go on a date night once a month.  We went on a date every month this year.  Not all of our dates were on "date nights", but we managed to date every month.  It was a great resolution and we really enjoyed having time together as a couple.

My word of the year was PEACEFUL.  My knee-jerk reaction to this is to scoff at my word choice.  This year felt anything but peaceful.  It felt chaotic and overwhelming.  The word choice wasn't meant to magically make my year peaceful.  I wish simply choosing a word could do that.  Thankfully, there was peace among the chaos.  My faith provided a sense of peace that I could never find anywhere else.  I am not saying that my peace never wavered, but I trusted God and He always brought me back to a deeper sense of peace.  I tried to help others find peace, or at least support, in their lives.  I tried to look for ways to help when I could.  It was a challenging year, but it made my faith deeper.

I am so looking forward to 2017 and a fresh start.  I love the New Year.  It always feels hopeful and untarnished.  I am excited to make new resolutions and new memories.  I will share my resolutions with you in January.

How was your 2016?  Did you keep your resolutions?  Are you looking forward to 2017?

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Simple Christmas

Christmas is a beautiful and sentimental time of year.  It can be filled with joy, laughter and the company of family and friends.  For some, however, Christmas becomes stressful, overwhelming and difficult.  To be honest, I have spent some time feeling stressed and overwhelmed at the holidays and it wasn't fun.  I think that I truly have my Christmas spirit back in recent years.  Here is how I found it.

1.)  Cut Back.  We quit doing Christmas gifts on my side of the family and we have greatly reduced the gifts that we do on Hubby's side.  We are always looking to simplify our lives and gifts (however thoughtful or well-intended) were really making this goal difficult.  Our shopping list is extremely short and we always follow a similar gift thread.  Most of our gifts are either food or sentimental items.  Elizabeth makes gifts for the family members and they enjoy receiving something that she has worked on.

We have also cut back on the food that we prepare for our Christmas meal.  Growing up, I remember there was always 6 salads, 3 desserts and a crazy amount of baking.  I am sure it was stressful for those who prepared it and I honestly didn't like most of it.  At Christmas, I crave turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries and buns.  We don't often eat turkey so it is a treat all on its own!  My Mom prepares our favourite Christmas treats and we forgo dessert so that we can enjoy the baking.  When I host Christmas I make a basic turkey meal.  Everyone is generally satisfied with that.  I usually bake one item.  If anyone offers to bring something, I ask for baking.  Dessert is taken care of and we can enjoy a variety of treats.

2.)  Focus on Faith and Family.  We try to be careful when making holiday plans.  I don't like to overbook our family with festivities.  It is a lot for everyone to handle.  We know that we like to see each family at some point during the holiday season.  We also value having time to enjoy Christmas festivities with just the 3 of us.  I try to figure out our plans well in advance and only book a few events.  Sometimes this means saying no to a Christmas party or other social event, but we find that guarding our family time is key to our enjoyment of the holidays.

We also work hard to keep the focus of the season on the birth of Jesus.  We do special prayers as a family during Advent and read books focused on the first Christmas.  We attend Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and try to keep our focus on the amazing gift that God bestowed on us.  A Child that was born to save us from sin.  It is a powerful display of love and one that I am eternally grateful for.

3.)  Be organized.  Even though we celebrate a rather simple Christmas, we still have things to do.  I enjoy sending out Christmas cards to our family and friends.  We are hosting Christmas this year and I will be preparing a holiday meal for the family.  We make Christmas gifts and purchase a few gifts.  All of this requires some planning.  The more organized you can be, the more peaceful your holiday season will be.  Emily at Queen of The Household has an awesome printable to help you stay organized this holiday season! I enjoy making lists and breaking down the tasks.  I then write each item that needs to be completed on my calendar to ensure that everything gets done on time.

How do you enjoy a peaceful holiday season?  I would love to hear your ideas!