New Year’s Resolutions Early

Okay, so bear with me.  I’m a planner.  It brings me joy to think ahead.  It also brings be worry!  I was all in a tither last night about where our kids would stay in two weeks after school when my husband and I travel to his ten year work anniversary dinner.  Two weeks away people…I like to know who, what, when, where and why I do things.  How about you?  Do you plan or wait until the final hour?

The final hours of our year are here.  We have November and December 2014 then bam…it will be a new year…2015.  I try New Year’s resolutions each year, and usually I totally bust.  I thought it may be nice to set some more realistic ones this time around and go for it early!

So here goes…

I will take time to do a yoga DVD or go to yoga class once per week.  (I used to go twice a week for a bit…then I fell off that wagon and began driving here there and everywhere!)  I want to slow and be less busy.  I need to carve out time to stretch this body and breathe on a mat.  Yes, it is that simple.

I will plan a storybook lesson each week for the kids at work.  I’m a pediatric speech therapist, and I love to read.  I incorporate books every week but not with every child.  If I plan ahead a bit I can use my home and office resources paired with creativity and Pinterest projects to make/create some fun stuff that bridges language learning through books.

I will snuggle our sons more.  I am often on the go around the house doing chores or preparing meals.  I love to snuggle them and read or see what they are doing on their tablets…I just need to carve out that space and time.  Leave some chores unattended…oh wait…that is super easy! (I do that already).

I will leave my cell phone in a designated place.  I am queen of losing my phone.  I thank God we have a landline so I can call my cell phone and listen for its location.  Spot to be determined.  Wait…let’s make it the clock shelf or it’s charger at my bedside.

I will try one new dinner recipe per month. I tend to make similar things for our family or jazz it up freestyle.  Following recipes may be a good thing.

I will not grumble about tasks I chose to take.  I like to volunteer for things, but I am quick to lose patience with myself or others.  Grace.  Quiet.  I’ll work on that.

I will print out this list. 

Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Holley-Gerth-Button-250x250

Eight Girls On an Island Retreat

feetyellowfin2 annamariasunset Photos by: J.S. & P.L.

Eight girls gathered…

Two grew up in Illinois,

Three were born and raised in Kansas,

One Iowa farm girl, One New Yorker, and me…a native Floridian.

We went to a lovely home on the Gulf of Mexico, a rental that was once a couple’s home.  Three stories reaching into the blue sky near the blue waters of a coastal town, Anna Maria Island.  Our “home” for five days was the “Yellowfin.”  The houses are named, and rightly so…they are full of personality and stories.

We created our own long weekend of stories.  Recording our funny quotes of the weekend and re-reading them the final night, we laughed.  Dining out for lunches and dinners, we discovered our favorite places on the island to eat and again laugh.  Shopping was also a must, a group of eight women…how could we not?  Anna Maria Island was special.  Biking, walking, driving, and running around the island was an adventure we all will remember.

Remembering these eight women is a treat.  We all come from different upbringings, but we all married, become mothers and ended up in the same neighborhood in a Kansas City suburb.  God does that sort of thing.  There is a Divine hand in friendships.  He weaves together stories that He deems necessary.  These women are part of my story, and I thank Him for that.

That we may be lucky enough to travel,

That we may have the gift of family,

That we have true friends that do not fight but rather love on one another,

and that we have sweet spouses that are willing to let their wives slip away for a retreat of girl time…these are all big blessings.

November is a time of thanks.  I thank each of these girls for spending the time and money to come to Florida.  This is my home, and it is truly a place of beauty.  Friends make the world an even more beautiful place, and I feel fondness toward Kansas…a stopping point along my husband’s career journey.  It was also a place where I grew into being a mother, a friend, and recognized the power of both.

yellowfin Yellow Fin Street View. By: J.S.

 Manatee swimming wild and solo. By: P.L.

 Fan the sinking flame of hilarity with the wing of friendship; and pass the rosy wine.
-Charles Dickens 

The most valuable things in life are not measured in monetary terms. The really important things are not houses and lands, stocks and bonds, automobiles and real state, but friendships, trust, confidence, empathy, mercy, love and faith.
-Bertrand Russell