For Auld Lang Syne

I think goals are silly. And disappointing. And stressful.
Not all goals. Just the ones that include timelines and numbers and deadlines. 

Once I set a goal it's as if my brain takes that as permission not to do it. 
And a lot of times I find loopholes in the goal so that I can say I did it when I know I didn't really do it.

Or I tell myself that the goal I made wasn't the one I meant to make and instead I write down a "goal" for something I never planned to accomplish. Like adding things you've already done to your to-do list just so you can cross it off. That's how I do goals. 

So the last couple years I have done away with goals and instead made a list of qualities I'd like to gain or improve within myself. I've written down qualities like empathetic and forgiving. And now I'm an expert at both of those. Ha. Not really. Though I do think I am more empathetic and forgiving than I used to be.

For 2018 I've decided on awareness. This picture of Alice was my inspiration.

I often find myself sitting in a moment and thinking of something in the past, wishing I could remember it better, or thinking of the future wishing it could be here already. I've realized that because I'm old now(30), time seems to be moving faster or my brain is slowing down and can't remember things that have happened or at least remember them as vividly as I'd like. 

I'd like to be more aware. I'd like to be sitting in a moment and be thinking about what is happening right then instead of thinking of other things. I want to soak up all the details like a sponge so I can have them to revel in when I'm old(er). 

I read an anonymous quote a while ago on a friend's post that talked about how a lot of times you are unaware that the last time you do something is the last time. And that made me really sad, but then made me want to pay more attention to my own life. I want to be okay with my last times because I soaked them in. I don't want to be sad because they passed over me and I didn't notice.

That's my "goal" this year. I will do my best to live in the moments that I find myself feeling feelings. I will be more present and aware.

Now, I generally like to start the new year by taking down the tree, putting away twinkly lights and stockings. I enjoy changing our calendar and putting up new pictures of family and friends. I clean out our books and closets and donate things where they might be needed.

And this year I'm excited to change the big chalk sign that Tyler built us to a fresh new phrase that will remind me to be aware. When I read the words 'be where you are' my mind resets. It refocuses on what I'm doing instead of what I was or will be doing. 

And it will stay all year! Actually it will stay until the next holiday that needs something cute on the chalkboard. But it will stay till then and stay in my heart the rest of the year!
I've also decided this winter warrior needs to be somewhere in my daily line of sight. Winter and I don't get along too well and this will hopefully remind me that I can power through the cold, slush, and ice and I can do with a smile! Some of the days!

This beautiful gold foil art is from my friend Tessa! She creates a piece of art each month and sends it out to her subscribers. She is so thoughtful, kind, and incredibly talented. I'm so excited to get something from her each month!

Prayers and Pie. Thanksgiving 2017

Sometimes when it's my turn to say our family prayer I just start saying thank you for "ridiculous" things. It usually starts because I open my eyes while praying (gasp!) and just start expressing gratitude for the things I see. The ottoman, locks on our doors, a mattress, trees, our mailbox, shoes, silverware, socks, pens, paperclips, tiny perfume samples, receipts, chairs...so this actually just makes our house sound messy.

In the process of the ridiculous thanking, I find myself actually feeling gratitude for all of those little things. Those that make our life so comfortable. The ones that make our life easier. Those are the things that make it so I can focus on the bigger things. 

I get to focus on Alice, to play with her and comfort her and show and teach her new things. I get to focus on Tyler, do laundry or dishes so that when he gets home we get to veg on the couch together.

I get to work comfortably from our home so that we can eat and keep living here. I get to cook meals, because we have food to cook. 

I am so grateful for everything I have in my life. 

We spent our Thanksgiving at the J&A Ranch this year. It was over 60º every.day. 
Wednesday we played with family, started making our pies for the great Larsen Pie Contest of 2017, and enjoyed not working or going to school. 

 


Thursday we played outside, did some clay bird shooting AKA clay bird shooting and missing and instead shooting the cans 40ft away.



Alice loved riding with Papa until she didn't.

Getting the squint just right.
We had an incredible meal made by Tyler's mom and sisters and to which I contributed nothing, which is probably best.



We went to the movies to see Coco and Alice made it to about the part where supposedly there was a huge twist in the movie and something crazy was revealed. We'll go back another time. Or more likely watch it on Netflix in a few months. 

Then we had our Great Pie Contest 2K17! 
Banana Cream, Raspberry Cream Surprise, Pumpkin, Pecan Pumpkin, Caramel Apple, Key Lime, Cherry Brownie
The Raspberry Cream Surprise was a definite favorite, so light, creamy and perfectly tart.
Our Caramel Apple pie--tasted delicious...the structure however, did not impress.



One of each!
Serious pie judge deliberation!
We definitely chose winners but in the end doesn't everyone win at a pie contest? I think so. 

It is tradition in Tyler's family to drive up the mountain in trucks, then snowmobiles or four wheelers and cut down Christmas trees the day after Thanksgiving. We've done it, twice, maybe three times since we've been married. It's always so fun to go up together and sip hot chocolate and hike to find the perfect tree and bring them all back down the mountain to have for the season. Inevitably there are sad babies and it's cold and usually takes longer than planned, but we're still all together and that can make any detour fun, usually. We had one of the sad/tired babies this year so we didn't hike all the way in, or hike at all for that matter. And we didn't bring home our own tree because airplanes don't allow trees, as far as I know. But I think everyone else had a good time.


Alice and her Aunt Rachel. 
We forgot Alice's coat (almost her hat) and had gloves that were too big and no shoes, but two pairs of socks. #winningatparenting
Saturday we slept in a little, ate some yummy leftovers, played outside some more and took family photos. I'll post those another time, but here's a lovely test shot.
Location scouting and test shots for the family photos. Is that a model or my husband? Or both? ;)
Again, I am extremely grateful for everything in my life. 


O, Winter

O, Winter! 
You are a beast that I cannot tame. 
Your seething, icy jaws 
threaten my joy
But your beauty seduces
even the warmest heart.
I wish for the pause 
of your wretched wrath. 
I wait for a bloom or a clear, dry path.

This is a poem I wrote so that I didn't have to just post this pretty picture I took of Winter a few weeks ago.