2017: Year of Light

2017: Year of Light

Yes, I know. 2016 has been a vicious year. I’ve read too many social media posts about the U.S. presidential election and sadness over celebrity deaths and how this YEAR is conspiring against us all. I’ve felt that way at times too. I’ve struggled as a mother to try to have it all together, but very often, I came up empty and felt like a failure. I have dear friends who faced divorce or loss of a parent. An old friend from college lost her battle to cancer, leaving behind a young son and husband on Thanksgiving.

In the midst of all of this, I clung to my faith and my 2016 “theme” which was Strength. Let’s just say the good Lord worked in many magnificent ways to reveal truth to me about this topic, most notably that always trying to do things in my own strength is futile and I need to lean on others and God to really thrive. One of my favorite Christmas gifts was the Strong’s Concordance, which will help me study the Bible more deeply and strengthen my faith – and how about the tie to my theme!

In preparing for 2017 and pondering my new theme, I felt very strongly that Light is what I need to focus on. Perhaps it was inspired from a line from my favorite Christmas songlet your heart be light. Or maybe it’s because I’m suffering from a slight case of seasonal affective disorder and I’m just clinging to whatever sunlight I can get! I feel like I have a lot to learn about how to lighten my burdens and develop better habits – especially financial and housekeeping – that will free my soul to enjoy life more abundantly. I am also seeking a light-er, healthier body this year.

My concordance (mentioned above) notes over 350 references to Light and its variations. I look forward to exploring many of these during my 2017 journey – it will be delightful!

I challenge you, friends, to define a theme for 2017. I find it way less stressful than a resolution and feel it can actually be more impactful as you let your theme pervade your life and bring light to things you may not even have considered when you kicked off the year. Please feel free to comment/share your 2017 aspirations below.

As I am desperately trying to teach my 18-month old to say by this weekend — Happy New Year.


My Christmas needs saving



Today I got smacked right in the kisser by this calendar post.

It’s the week leading into Christmas and I’m finding myself to be a bit grinchy this year. And I love this season..the music, friendly gatherings, time off work, our cozy family room complete with wood stove and lovely decorated hearth.


Cozy family room at Christmas

I  am blessed beyond measure – mom to a happy, healthy toddler and wife of a handsome, loving man and rock star dad. And still…my inner Scrooge has been rearing its ugly head for weeks.

So what gives? Or rather, who gives? I’m not giving myself a break.  My checklist is a mile long and I cringe every time I get close to crossing something off and my plans get foiled.  I’m also not giving myself the opportunity to relish what this season is actually about…another very special baby boy, Jesus.

That’s right, Jesus. Over 2,000 years ago, He left heaven and entered this crazy world  (well, pre-Christmas craziness, so how bad could it have been?), as a baby, born in a stable full of animals to a 15 or 16-year-old girl and her fiancé.  Now THAT would be a killer reality show moment! And every year, we have the opportunity to acknowledge His birthday, and here I am, whining and making it all about me!! I actually said a few weeks ago that I was annoyed that I’d have to go to church on Christmas morning. Um, excuse me, did I mention it’s HIS birthday?! How did I let things get so out of control?

Fast forward to today and this humbling calendar reminder. I’m going to make a conscious effort for the rest of 2016 to re-focus. Remember what, and who, really matters.

And in the midst of the mundane, I’m going to remember a King leaving all of glory to save me and all of us, making His entrance on an ordinary night to ordinary people. And this King celebrates you and me every day because He loves us. For this, I will delight in Him and enjoy celebrating Him this Christmas.

If you need a quick, cheap way to liven up one of the holiday’s most thankless tasks – washing the dishes – try this!

Cheap Entertainment


This week was crazy. Worked late two nights, wrote my Lucky Life Editor contest finalist entry, and spent three much-needed nights in a row with friends. Tomorrow will be a day of rest-ish.

In the midst of this chaos, I am planning my sister-in-law’s baby shower. It’s turning out to be a significant expense so my “fun money” budget is basically obsolete this month. Instead of crying about it, I’m finding thrifty things to do, cheap entertainment one might say.

On Wednesday, I had the privilege of seeing a fine documentary, Miss Representation, at a local university for free! Thank you higher education! In a nutshell, the film shows how the media assigns value to women based on their youth, beauty, and sensuality, ultimately limiting their life outlook, potential, and career options. Whether you agree with this or not, it’s definitely food for thought. And, I’m definitely going to start scouring local publications and sites for more free movie screenings and events in my area. Why haven’t I done this til now?

Being the office party planner, I was also up late one night baking these amazing pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, courtesy of The Food Network. I brought them to my office for a post-work  happy hour in honor of a colleague’s birthday and they were a hit! I am actually still awake now because I am baking more… can’t get enough! These are a delightful autumn twist on a classic favorite and they are super easy to make. I think baking is another great source of entertainment I ought to tap into more often. Sure, you need to run out and buy a few ingredients, but you can spend time listening to music while you mix up a batter, and afterwards, you get to eat yummy treats! And do share – don’t let the goods go to your hips!

Last batch of cookies is beeping – bed time! Sleeping is also a delightfully free activity I love.

Thank you, Triple A Cafe


I am blessed to work with some great people in a small creative agency. My office space includes 2 other desks, occupied by some amazing women who share the same first initial “A.” Together, we make up the Triple A Cafe and we even serve delicious coffee daily from a red coffee pot. While we all enjoy our work, at times we feel we need an outlet to share our daily musings, passions, and areas of expertise. So we made a plan and set a deadline to each start a blog by December 16, 2011 (note that today is November 6th, thus I made the deadline).

I enjoy shopping, mostly the bargain type. From clothes to food to furnishings, I look for deals and find ways to be creative through them. And I’m always trying to outdo myself! I hope to share some of these real-life retail adventures with you.

More to come.

Thanks Triple A Ladies for your inspiration and for being my friends.

Coffee rules