A New Years Letter

I’ve always thought new years resolutions were silly and superficial since they are typically just statements without real plans associated with them. So instead of an annual weight loss goal that I’m pretty sure I’d ditch in a few weeks anyway, I decided to start a new tradition and write a letter from myself to myself. I wanted this letter to be constant motivation for me throughout the year and filled with reminders for the person I strive to be and pray daily that I’m on my way to become. I’ll be honest, it felt a little crazy writing to myself but taking time to self reflect, prioritize and gear up for year ahead was pretty darn powerful. I’m definitely going outside of my comfort zone here on this blog, but if any of this inspires or motivates you, well then it’s totally worth it. Here were some of the the highlights from my 2016 letter:

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Stop stressing and worrying because it’s absolutely, totally, 100% pointless. Instead, pray for guidance and direction from God and trust that He is always directing your steps. Find peace in the fact that you have no permanent burdens because Jesus loves you enough to eternally conquer all of those for you. Hold up. On second thought, do a little more than “find peace” in that gigantic fact that I squeezed into a tiny sentence. Jump up and down, do some cartwheels, praise Him, and for the love of cheese tell as many people as you can about it so they can experience His love, peace and salvation too.

Please spend your time more wisely this year. The fact that you somehow have time at night to keep up with celebrity gossip AND thoroughly check three social networks looking at updates from people you barely know anymore is just no parts good. Remind yourself that this time will quickly add up to days, weeks, months you could’ve spent reading books, growing relationships, helping others, or learning something new. Oh and while we’re on the topic plllllease put that iPhone down when your playing with your kids. Be present wherever you are and soak up every moment God gives you on this earth.

Grow! Grow your skill set and knowledge in your career, grow as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and coworker, grow your love for strangers, and Jamie, it’s finally time to make some bigger leaps in your growth as a Christian. You’ve been a big ol’ “taker” for a while and that’s OK. You needed it. You needed to start learning God’s word and spend some time watching and learning from “the givers”. But now people need you to give. So start asking God to use your skills and talents to help others and be open to the opportunities He puts in front of you.

Remember it’s through trials and hard times that we typically do our best growing. This is a hard one to write because I cringe at the thought of any pain and sadness in life. I pray everyday for all those around you, but if you experience difficult times this year remember what God put in your heart when Jeremy got sick last year: Trust in Me. It’s through the trials that you learn and that you grow into the person I want you to become. Without that experience you wouldn’t have had a reason to pray several times a day for two weeks straight… to call people and ask them to pray… and you wouldn’t had the chance to watch God answer those prayers. You witnessed the power of prayer in that experience and perhaps your first grown-up test of walking in faith.

Find new ways to show Jeremy how much you love and respect him. He is the bread to your butter, the jam on your biscuit, the honey in your hive… and things just got weird. Sorry. I’ll stick to carb metaphors. But you get my point. There is no end to your love for him, so when parenting little babies clouds that sweet butter, jam and honey, remember to focus on what makes him feel loved and respected in your marriage. He is such a good husband and daddy and deserves to hear daily how proud you are of him for all he does for your family.

Lastly and on a bit of a lighter note, learn to embrace the noisy, very colorful, always out of their labeled bin, house of toys. You’ve become a neat freak to the max sister. I’m kind of worried about you.. I mean me. Wait. I’m confused. But seriously, just start embracing the insane amount of plastic superhero’s, dinosaurs and doll babies that currently exist in every square inch of your home. I can barely say this without tears but one day you will live in a house without toys and little people asking you for love and help. Do your best to keep the funk at bay so that the kids don’t get sick from licking the toilet seat but then give yourself a break on the clutter and whatever you do stop.buying.storage.bins. When you look back at this season of life, I highly doubt you will remember the messy rooms and dirty clothes. Ok.. maybe the dirty clothes. Some things you just can’t unsee. But I think you will spend more time swimming around in the memories of their cute giggles and those sweet, sweet gummy grins.

Love,

Me

jamie

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Peace Out Perfection

I had a bit of an epiphany last week, as Jer, Dylan and I were recovering from the bubonic plague (on the forreals, I’m pretty sure we had the norovirus…) and a horrible cold. This 2 week sickness got my “balance” all out of wack. You know what I’m talking about, right? That balance you feel when you’re giving work, home, the fam, friends, etc. just the right amount of yourself to keep everything and everyone chugging along and happy. Then when one gets way off it just all comes crashing down, leaving 6 piles of laundry, 100+ unread emails, no food in the house, and you taking your kid to daycare dressed for “wacky day” when it.isn’t.dress.wacky.day.yet. True story.

Ok, back to my epiphany. So as I started getting my life and house back in order, I realized that I’m just way too frumpy and unhappy when things aren’t “perfect”. I seem to not be able to relax at home these days unless everything is clean and in it’s place… which yes, means I never really relax, which yes, is extremely exhausting. So I’ve decided enough with that. I’m done. I’m throwing in the towel on perfection, because it’s just not obtainable and is something if I start chasing, I’ll always chase.

I absolutely still recommend putting in the hard work of getting yourself, your life and your home organized, because it will instantly make you feel lighter and happier but I guess what I’m saying here is let’s let go of pursing “spotless” and make a little room for the dust bunnies, dirty windows, frozen pizzas and blog typos. When we’re old women, will we remember our spotless homes or will we remember the times we spent tickling bellies to extract that oh-so-sweet baby giggle or the way their sweet baby breath smelled when they slept on our chests during their naptime, instead of their crib (so that we could get laundry or dusting done).

No More Perfect MomsI still have a lot of work ahead of me to really master this way of thinking but recently came across a new book, “No More Perfect Moms” by Jill Savage, that I’m hoping with help me along this journey. I saw this quote on the review and was instantly hooked: “While we’re pursuing perfection, we’re missing out on the most precious parts of life: the laughter of silliness, the joy of spontaneity, the lessons found in failure, and the freedom found in grace.”

I also love that this book is faith based, since in “my book” (pun intended!) there is only one form of true perfection and it’s through Him that I have this amazing life.

As I always do, I’ve been collecting some inspiration on Pinterest to help me with this new state of mind. I’m thinking one of these might need some prime wall real estate to keep me honest:

I'm Rocking My Baby and Babies Don't Keep

 

Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life

Quote

 

xoxo,

jamie

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Dylan’s Nautical Baby Shower

So I’ve never once doubted my mom and sister’s ability to throw a party. From weddings to backyard pool parties, these two ladies just know how to throw down. So as soon as my sister asked to throw me a baby shower, I just knew it would be nothing short of fabulous… and boy was I right. From the invitations to the napkins… every little detail of this nautical themed shower was “pin-worthy!

Kristen & Mama: Thank y’all so much for planning and organizing such a wonderful day. It was so fun celebrating Dylan’s upcoming arrival and he’s so blessed to have such an amazing aunt and grandma! I love you both so very much.

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Ok, Ok… enough with the sappy stuff – on to the details. I mean I just said every detail was “pin-worthy”, so I’ve gotta show you the goods.

So as you may have seen from my Nursery post or my “Oh Baby!” pinboard, I’ve been obsessed with nautical baby stuff. I think I’ve been so drawn to it, because it’s baby-ish yet also really masculine, preppy and just plain cute. I mean come on… who doesn’t look precious in topsiders and seersucker?

Knowing all this, my super creative sister created an entire shower around the theme “Ahoy! It’s a Boy!” and incorporated a nautical flair into almost everything.

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How creative is this? Kristen wrapped all of the utensils with rope and a little lifesaver! And on the right you can see the custom table runner Mama made to coordinate with the theme. I’m telling ya… these ladies are some party plannin’ fools.

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And if the table runner wasn’t enough to showcase the crafty crafterson that I originated from, check out the stunning quilt that she made for Dylan. I haven’t taken a photo of the details yet, but the fabric is so freaking cute and the stitching is even done in little sailboats!

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I also have to give a special shout out to all of my family and amazing girlfriends who made the haul to my house in The Bumpass to celebrate Baby Dylan. Thank you so much for showering him with such wonderful gifts and love – he and I are so very lucky to have all of you in our lives and we love you so much!

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xoxo,

Jamie

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Best of 2011

So I’ve officially been blogging for 7 months, yay! What started as a place to house pictures of my craft projects has really turned into a blog about so many things – pregnancy, recipes, trips, family and of course all of my DIY projects. So as 2011 winds down, I wanted to capture some of my favorite projects this year, as well as link up to Rhoda’s Top Projects of 2011 Party.

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This bench is still one of my favorite projects on my blog. We call it the “traveling bench”, because I honestly move it every couple months. It’s been a footboard bench, window seat, and is now a laundry room storage bench. It may be getting some nursery love soon…

TV Stand Turned Bench

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Found this antique Henredon coffee table at an estate auction for $10 buckaroos.

Painted Henredon Coffee Table

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Rescued these beauties on their way to the dump…

Refurbished Adirondack Chairs

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Found this lamp in Delaware with a “Free to a Good Home” sign.

Refurbished Lamp

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It’s amazing what half a can of Benjamin Moore’s Stonington Grey can do!

I <3 BM’s Stonington Grey

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Spruced up our living room with a $25 frame gallery set from Target.

Frame Gallery

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Added some swagger to the breakfast nook. See the traveling bench in action!

Swag Valance

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Not exactly a Before & After, but I just loved how easy it was to turn a simple piece of plywood into a fabulous tufted headboard.

Tufted Headboard

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xoxo,

Jamie

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