Lessons from 2015 & New Year Resolutions for 2016

Thursday, December 31, 2015

I don't know what it is about a New Year that always has us all like, "Time for that new year, new me stuff!" But it happens every year. I have never really made an official resolution list aside from three things I jotted down in my planner at the beginning of last year that included showing Hank at a dog show, having a baby, and writing more. Well, turns out only one of those things happened. Hence, how this blog was born.

Anyways, New Year Resolutions. Maybe I've never made one because just like with a fad diet, I feel like it's hard to really stick to. Does that makes sense? I mean at first you're really enthusiastic, do everything just right, and feel like you really know what you're doing. Then after a little time passes you slack off, lose interest and therefore gain all the weight back or fall off the bandwagon entirely, whatever. I've always thought if I was going to change my diet, it would have to be something I could stick with forever or what's the dang point. Over time, fad diets? They don't work out. 

Or maybe that's my way of avoiding making a resolution list and holding myself accountable? No telling.

Without a doubt, this has been one tough year. Like the toughest for me ever. Yes, there were many highs, but also a lot of low, lows. I have said it before and I will say it again. I am not one to wish away time, but I am more than ever ready for the start of a new year. I am ready to put the past behind me and start anew. Bring it, 2016. And with that, I feel it's time to officially document a list of New Year's Resolutions. How's that for accountability?

1 / Being More Thoughtful
There's nothing I love more than finding little ways to let someone know I am thinking of them, I care, they are special, or just because. I have a calendar that I am constantly scribbling important dates on, but do you think I ever bother to look at the thing? Sometimes. I am going to make it a priority to check the calendar regularly and remember those important dates and also go out of my way to be more thoughtful and the best possible version of myself and friend I can be.

2 / Move More 
My goal is to be more fit! I always find excuses, but then I find I am mad at myself later if I don't get out and move, not to mention complain all the time with how I feel, look, etc. NO MORE! I love how I feel after I exercise, and I truly miss running! I used to run a lot. Not like I was a superstar runner by any means, but I did it without pain and enjoyed it. A back injury set me back, but I feel like I am ready to ease back into it, and hopefully be able to do another race or two in the new year. I always love a good competition. 

3 / Show Hank
Yes, this is a repeat from last year, but since I never did it, I will carry it over into the new year as well. Sometimes with new experiences, it can be a little overwhelming at first. You don't know what you're doing, you fear being judged, or you worry about little things that, in the end, deter you from trying. Just me? I felt this way about entering the dog show crowd, but after attending a few classes with my dog I was so surprised at how much he and I both enjoyed it, and really, what is stopping me? I just never quite made it to the shows because of the intimidation factor. Here's hoping I can muster up the courage this year. After all, he and I aren't getting any younger!

4 / Finish House Projects
Since buying our home a year and a half ago, there are still many things we need to complete around here. Ryan and I are going to sit down and compile a list of things we want to complete this year and then do it! Also, I want to finish other projects I have been dreading like sorting through old paperwork, getting my office in check, and ridding our life of things we don't need or use anymore. 

5 / Make Time For Fun
Whatever the coming year brings, I want to make sure Ryan and I always remember to have fun together. It's easy to get caught up in the everyday routine, but I want us to make time for just us and get out and do fun things. I have a little surprise that goes along with this one I am hoping he really likes. More on that later...

Despite this year being a little rough, there were a few lessons I did take away. Sometimes you just have to get rid of the chaos in your life. Sometimes you have to be a little selfish and make yourself a priority. Sometimes you have to say No. Sometimes things don't go according to plan; sometimes they go better if you take the time to enjoy the ride and find out. Sometimes you have to let the laundry sit for a few days so you can make time for other important things. (Sorry babe!) And sometimes, you just need to call your Mom.

I was reading one of my favorite blogs yesterday, and like many times before, Kelle (who I absolutely love reading and admire!) had just the right words for what I was feeling...

"You don’t own your family or their feelings or your circumstances. You can’t guarantee your health, you can’t lock in your youth. But you do always have the power to make. Choices, changes, happiness, comebacks, words, songs, love, amends, space, someone else’s day, beautiful things. I love to think about what I’m going to make this next year." -Kelle Hampton via

Here's my attempt at fitting a year's worth of memories into nine squares. Trips, tears, triumphs and treasured special times. My year would not be what it was without the love of family and friends. Their love and support means the world to me. This obviously does not include everyone but you know who you are!
1/ BLB Weekend 2/ Laporte Camping 3/ Seattle Trip, Top of the Space Needle 
4/ Becoming an Auntie 5/ My Family 6/ Round Top Texas Antique Week Trip 
7/ Jeepin' to the snow 8/ Mama & Me 9/ Puppies and Keith

And with that, Cheers to the New Year and making more things! I wish you good health and happiness in the coming year. 

Christmas Hangover

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I'm back!!!!

I have been missing this little space of mine lately, but I have been busy trying to soak in every last bit of the holidays. And frankly, I feel like I have a Christmas hangover.

I don't want it to end! I wish it could be Christmas all year long! I am in absolute denial that the holidays are wrapping up for the year, but then again I am soooo excited and looking forward to the start of 2016! Wow I can't stop using exclamation points!!!

On Sunday I actually had to give in and take down our poor tree. It had seen better days and there were more pine needles on the ground then on the actual tree. Now our house is in that awkward transition. I really need to put back the rest of my regular decorations because it looks bare right now. But of course, in typical Lindsay fashion, before I finished doing that I decided it would be a GREAT idea to start in on another project and not just any project, but refinishing our bathroom cabinets. The goal is to see how we like them before I tackle the kitchen cabinets. All 1 bazillion of them...Wish me luck!

Anyways, we had the best Christmas! The best gift this year for me was not under the tree though. It was just having all of my family together, and for the most part, all in good health! My family is my world, and it's sure been rocked and tested this year, so being together was everything for me. We hosted Christmas dinner at our house for our parents and my grandparents. It seriously fills my heart to the brim getting to all be together and making memories.

We honored annual Christmas traditions like opening up new jammies with my Sis on Christmas Eve and watching "All I Want for Christmas" and welcomed new ones like hiding the pickle on the tree (which my most favorite MIL found this year) and decorating sugar cookies for dessert altogether on Christmas night. Grandpa Bill's "Cat In Snow" cookie had us all rolling as did my mom's obsession with the song "The Spirit of Christmas" playing on repeat in the background. I had my doubts about how the men would do but they joined right in and surprised me with their decorating skills! It was neat seeing everyone's creativity come out. Definitely a memory I will always treasure!
As much as I love hosting and entertaining, I am welcoming and looking forward to a low-key NYE at home as I continue to recover from this Christmas hangover.

Merry Little Festivities

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

This weekend before Christmas was so fun! There were lots of places to be and people to see, that's for sure. I know this time of the year gets busy for everyone, and every year people vow to say "no" to things and slow down to enjoy, but I secretly love the hustle and bustle of this time of the year. One thing I did do was get my shopping done early which has eased the stress that sometimes accompanies this time of year. (Yay for online sales, rewards and free shipping!) Yes, there isn't always time to do it ALL, but I like to squeeze as much as possible out of this time of the year. Afterall, it IS the most wonderful time of the year!

We started off last weekend by attending a good old-fashioned Griswold family Christmas party. I hope it becomes a new annual tradition! Everyone was supposed to come dressed as a character from the movie "Christmas Vacation" and it was so neat to see everyone dressed up. Ryan and I went as the cheapo boss who skips out on Christmas bonuses and his wealthy wife, Mr. & Mrs. Shirley. Ryan and I like to go all out for things like this. I think he pulled it off a little better than me, but nonetheless, it was FUN!
Some of the guests that dressed up! If you'll recognize, there's Mrs. Shirley, Catherine, Aunt Bethany, Ellen, Audrey and Catherine #2.
Our host Ellen really went all out with replicating some of the dinner from the movie including these jello shots.
Then on Saturday, Ryan and I headed over to finish up a bit of last minute shopping (with the rest of the world.) We met up with my little sis for the best breakfast I have had in awhile at this little hole-in-the-wall cafe that I had never been but Ryan raved about! Holy eggs benedict, YUM! I was very happy with our choice not to mention they had hot chocolates the size of your face that reminded me of the hot chocolates from the movies the Santa Claus. The best!
After shopping I had a bridal shower to attend for a dear friend! She is marrying one of our closest family friend's son whom I have grown up with. We are so excited to be officially welcoming her into our group. It was hosted at her parent's gorgeous home and I love all the attention to detail! Parties are my jam, and I enjoyed seeing how it all came together for her! It was a beautiful, and fun shower. 
That night, we had several other places to be, one being my in-laws annual Christmas party. I got back to town late from the shower, but we headed up as soon as I got home. I couldn't wait to see how my mother in law had decorated this year. She amazes me with her impeccable taste and style. I love how she decorates and pulls things together. I admire her "Cheers to life" attitude and how she makes things special. She started a new tradition this year with this Christmas tree hanging print she picked up at Ikea. She had all of her friends sign a bulb and hang it on the tree and every year they can add to it and see who was there. 
After heading home for the night, Ryan drove me around town like a little kid to look at Christmas lights. He's a keeper, I tell ya'.
Sunday the weather was rainy and cold and perfect for staying home! It was mainly spent playing catch up, preparing for the merry week ahead and snuggling my newest teeny tiny nephew for as long as possible. 
3 more sleeps til' Santa comes!

Linking up for the final week of bits of cheer!

'Twas the Week Before Christmas {Happenings & Five on Friday}

Friday, December 18, 2015

I can't believe how fast this week has gone! It must be because it was so eventful and next week Santa is coming! Here's five things from this week-the week before Christmas if you can believe it!

I've whipped up several batches of Oreo truffles lately. They are my favorite easy dessert to whip up this time of the year because they are especially easy, always a hit and can easily be made festive with Christmas colored sprinkles added on top! Everyone always loves them and I can't help but smile because they're literally made from 1 package of cream cheese mixed with 1 package of oreos, dipped in a half of a package of melted almond bark chocolate and adorned with festive sprinkles!
I just realized it's probably been years since I have gotten mistletoe. I think it's time I pick some up to hang around our house...

My Best Friend had her baby BOY! I am thrilled to be an Auntie again! I brought balloons to the hospital and was met at the door by a lady informing me I couldn't bring the latex balloons inside, only the mylar one. Note to anyone else who considers doing this as well. Instead I decided to drop them off on the door as a little welcome home surprise! (I hope they were still there when you got home Maris!)

We are attending a good old-fashioned Griswold Family Christmas Party tonight and we are supposed to come dressed as our favorite character from the movie. Christmas Vacation is pretty much a year around favorite movie of ours, but definitely our all-time favorite Christmas movie! I don't understand how we have friends who have never seen this movie. If you haven't seen it, you're literally missing out. It's going to be hilarious and I can't wait to see all of the costumes!

I decided to hang all of our happy Christmas mail and cards on our pantry door using simple washi tape like I saw Christina do and I love it! I used to hang them in another room but I thought it was so clever that way I see them always since I spend so much time in the kitchen! I love getting snail mail throughout the year, but this month I especially love getting the mail and seeing faces we haven't seen in awhile.

Off to finish up my costume and truffles for tonight! Wishing you a merry weekend, friends!

Welcome Hallen Babe!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Yesterday my best friend and her husband welcomed the sweetest, squishiest, most precious and highly anticipated baby BOY! 
The moment I saw him my eyes welled up with tears. I was so happy to finally meet him! There's just something about a newborn baby that makes you feel a little closer to heaven. What a miracle a baby truly is! 

We had been texting back and forth everyday and I've been trying to be patient as I waited to hear the news! They didn't find out what they were having and no names had been revealed so it was quite the surprise for everyone! The surprise of a lifetime, that's for sure, and I really don't know how they waited to find out! They have some strrooonnggg will power...but boy, was he worth the wait! (All 9 pounds and 7 ounces!)
Anyways, mama and baby are both healthy and doing well! She was a champ and I'm so proud of her!

Happy Birthday and welcome to the world baby Judd!
I can't wait to spoil you and watch you grow! 
Congrats Maris and Kev! Let the parenting adventures begin!

{Bits Of Cheer} Favorite Christmas Songs & A Playlist

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Today for the Bits of Cheer link up I wanted to share some of my favorite Christmas songs!

If you're anything like me this time of the year, there's Christmas music playing at all times. In the car, at work, at home, everywhere! In fact, when I think of Christmas time I think of Dean Martin (and also the theme song to Christmas Vacation, but hey.) Whether I'm cooking dinner, wrapping presents, decking the halls, or doing the laundry it makes things that much more festive, I think and brings me great cheer!

I've complied a list of some of my favorite Christmas songs and I do hope you'll enjoy!
 Countdown til' Santa comes is officially on!

Five on Friday

Friday, December 11, 2015

Happy Friday!

This is one of my favorite Christmas time quotes by Dr. Suess of course!
Last week I attended a wreath making class hosted so generously for clients of a local business. They do it annually and it is so fun as they supply the wreath and decorations, you just get to go and decorate, wine and dine and enjoy yourself. Best part is you get a fresh wreath to hang on the front door!
If you need a few ideas for Christmas decorations, you can check out my post yesterday where I shared some pictures from around our house. I have a ton of old canning jars usually displayed on the cabinet soffits but I thought this year I would change it up a bit and add some small ornaments I found last year after Christmas and make this little tree. What do you think?
I basically have Christmas music and Christmas movies playing 24/7. This is one of my top movies I watch every year at Christmas with my sister. We've been watching it together since we were kids! All I Want For Christmas
Tonight we are headed out with some family and friends for a holiday lights tour and I cannot wait! Having someone else drive around while we get to fully enjoy and take in the sights and festive drinks? Bring it on!
Wishing you all a merry little weekend!



Christmas Traditions & Scenes from our Home

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The sweet month of December, oh how I love thee!
This time of the year is so festive and special, and we love going all out decorating around our house. Ryan takes care of the lights and outside decorations and I do the inside mainly (although sometimes I require his help, lol.) Ryan grew up with a family who went all out when it came to decking the halls. In fact, I've learned a lot and even inherited a few special decorations over the years (thanks, mama bear!) In my house growing up too, those decorations came out of storage a little before Thanksgiving and they were starting to go up the day after so they could be enjoyed all month long. (I hate to admit it, but I've been known to leave the tree up until well into the New Year and probably when it is considered less of a decoration and more of a major fire danger.) 

These are traditions I am so happy we both had and have chosen to carry on now around our own house. 

I absolutely love coming home each day, leaving the lights dimmed, and seeing the glow of the white lights around the house. The first thing I do when I get up in the morning and the first thing I do when I get home from work is turn those lights on. The glow is so sentimental and reminds me of traditions and time with family growing up. 

We always went to the mountains to cut our own tree, spent nights getting out all of the boxes with Mom to decorate, sorting through each carefully hand-picked ornament and finding a special spot to hang it and reminiscing about the year we received that ornament. Every year for Christmas my parents added a new ornament to a collection for me and my sister and as we got older, we both had our own to adorn our trees with as we moved out. One year in middle school, I was obsessed with talking on the phone as in I was ALWAYS talking to someone. My parents finally gave in and bought me my own phone and dedicated phone line. I still have the little pink phone ornament I recieved that year to hang on the tree and I smile whenever I see it.

Now we not only have a real tree to decorate, but we have also added a fake tree. I love putting it in front of the window and seeing it as you drive by. 

I've truly been enjoying our most favorite time of the year. I want to savor it all; the smells, the traditions, the memories, the candy making, the being with the ones we love and whom cherish and feel the same for us. This year I am choosing more than ever to focus on the true meaning of the season. I am so thankful for these special memories and traditions and look forward to adding a few of our own in the coming years.

"What if Christmas, he thought, didn't come from a store? 
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more." Dr. Suess 

Here is a litte Christmas tour of our home so far this year.
That's Santa in the window ;)  
Someone has already been caught trying to peek under the Christmas tree. She is way too smart!
We may or may not have a tree in practically every room...
It is so hard to get a good view of the house lights! Ol' Clark Griwold did an incredible job this year, despite us never having enough lights for everything he wants to do! We add a little more to our collections every year and although this picture doesn't do it justice, it's so so lit up when you drive by.
And this little self timer photo that snapped makes my heart go pitter patter. 
Simply stated, this time of the year is so magical to me. What are your favorite holiday traditions?

Family Fall Photos 2015

Thursday, December 3, 2015

This post might get a little sappy. And also really gushy and lovey. Consider yourself warned.
A couple weeks ago Ryan and I had some fall pictures taken. We didn't have any pictures of me, Ryan and our dogs since our wedding nearly 5 years ago! I love having pictures to document and look back on different seasons in life. Ryan does not enjoy taking pictures as much as I do, but our photographer Lacey was so easy going, made the shoot as quick and painless as possible, and we all just clicked. (no pun intended!) Ryan even admitted at the end he wouldn't mind taking them again...WOW!

Anyways, I am thankful every day for my little family. Life might not always be roses and rainbows, but the truth is we all face daily struggles and the feeling of having someone to go through them with who supports you, loves you, and holds your hand throughout it all is indescribable. I feel lucky that no matter what, at the end of each day, I have Ryan to always fall back on. I love doing life with this man by my side. 
"Family means you are a part of something very wonderful.
It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life no matter what."
We hope someday we will be able to add a few children to the picture and complete our family, but for now?
These photos of our little family of 4 make my heart so, so happy.
  And my favorite outtake of the day is definitely this one! I can't stop laughing at the dogs kissing and Hanky's face! It pretty much sums up his personality to a tee. 
So thanks, babe, for giving in and taking these pictures for with me.
I hope you love them as much as me!