Setting Goals for a New Year

Setting Attainable Goals for the New Year

I don’t know what it is about the start of a new year (or new day or new home, etc.) that always gets me excited. I love a clean slate and the opportunity to start fresh. I’m not so much a resolution person as I am a goal-setter. It helps me to focus and feel less overwhelmed when I can nail down (and make a list) of a few attainable goals for myself. Especially when things feel so out of control (in both the world right now and as the mom to three small boys) taking control of small areas of my life helps me feel less anxious. So I’m putting mine down here, so I can hold myself accountable to work towards them and also in case it helps you set your own goals for the year. Because 2016 was a “survival mode” year for me, and I am SO ready to be done with that.

When I reflect back on 2016 I have mixed feelings. Although I’ll always be grateful to this year for giving us our Quincy Q, it was a really tough one overall. It started off with a scary delivery and stay in the NICU, followed by months of colic and even more months of reflux, very little sleep, not nearly enough dates with my husband (I think we’ve had two), and a blur of motherhood living in survival mode. For basically the entire year. It took most of the year for me to get Quincy feeling better and then catch up on life and to get a handle on the whole “3 kids” thing. It has been the most physically exhausting and mentally draining year of my life. So I’m going to try to give myself some attention in 2017. I need to eat better, find some time to exercise, and get more sleep for starters. Also, I really really need to stop drinking Coke (my favorite thing) and drink water instead. If I somehow manage to accomplish those things I also want to give myself more grace — expect less of myself and put less pressure on myself to do it all. Those things will be what I work on first. But these are my goals for myself and my family to work on throughout the year.

My Goals for 2017

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Colorful Family of Five Photoshoot in Los Angeles

Cute & Colorful family of five photoshoot in Los Angeles | Oh Lovely Day & photos by Jen Roper

Getting family photos taken is something I used to look forward to, but as we’ve had more children it has become a miracle to get all five of us in one frame. Figuring out what we will all wear (especially me, especially with my still very postpartum body that doesn’t quite fit into most of my things), picking a spot that is nice for photos but not so interesting that our boys will want to play or explore rather than have their photo taken, and picking a time where everyone is in the mood to smile (or at least not meltdown) — it is no easy feat! I usually leave thinking “there is no way we got one usable holiday card photo.” But my friend Jennifer Roper always works her magic and is able to not only get great photos, but capture our family and each boy’s personality just as it is. She freezes that stage of our family in her beautiful photographs, and I know that (not our outfits or the smiles or the setting) is what I’ll cherish most in years to come.

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Christmas Tree Traditions

Christmas Tree decorating and traditions

I don’t know what it is that I love so much about Christmas trees. I think so much of it is tied to memories — memories of decorating our tree as a kid, memories of where and when we bought an ornament in our collection, sharing stories with our kids about them. Growing up in a small town in Ohio, we always went to a Christmas tree farm and selected the tree we wanted. They would put a tag on it with our name and then we would go back a few weeks later and chop it down, bring it home, and decorate it as a family. I loved that ritual of going with my dad to pick out our tree.

As an adult I always wanted to have a real tree, but since we had kids and because we live in a city (where tree hunting consists of picking one out in a parking lot) we decided to start using an artificial tree. As much as I have always been a tree purist, insisting that real is the only way, I now realize how much easier it is to have an artificial tree. Especially when you have really small children! No water, no needles everywhere, no fear of the tree drying out. After our old pre-lit artificial tree from the past 6 years died, we considered going back to real. I love the look of a real tree. But I’ve been spoiled by the convenience and lack of mess of artificial trees.

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Christmas Crafts + Handmade Gifts

How To Make Colorful Bottle Brush Trees | Dip Dye Trees | Oh Lovely Day

For those of you looking for fun and fairly easy holiday crafts and DIYs, I thought I would share some of my favorites that we’ve done in our house. They are great for holiday gifting as well! From ornaments to gift wrap, decor to gifts — these will have all of your bases covered. And some are great for little helping hands as well 🙂 So check out my round up of handmade salt dough ornaments, colorful bottle brush trees, modern mason jar snow globes, creative gift wrap, and winter wreath DIYs below.

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Charlie & Calvin’s Shared Boys’ Bedroom Tour

Shared Boys' bedroom | Charlie & Calvin's room tour with The Land of Nod

I’m so excited to share photos of Charlie & Calvin’s shared bedroom that I worked on with The Land of Nod. I really love designing rooms in our home (you can see others in past room tours here) but I was a bit overwhelmed with the idea of this room. I don’t know if it is because I had a newborn with colic or because I was worried about how having the boys share a room would go, but I felt in over my head. So I enlisted the help of the Land of Nod design services team and it was a so helpful in planning the room layout and design. You can see a look at our design process here.

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Matching Christmas Pajamas + Family Holiday Traditions

Holiday Traditions: Matching Family Christmas pajamas with Hanna Andersson and Oh Lovely Day

The holiday season is my favorite time of year because it is filled with magic and family traditions. I have fond memories of some of the traditions my family had when I was growing up and I do some of them with my own children. One of my favorites is matching family Christmas jammies. As a kid we could open one gift on Christmas Eve and they were always a new pair of Christmas pjs to wear to bed that night. I’ve carried that tradition on, but I can’t wait until Christmas Eve. I put my little ones in their Hanna Andersson holiday pajamas as soon as I get them.

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