The word of my year: Change

I will be the first to admit that I hate change, unless it is moving the furniture around my house. In that case, I love to do that and do it often.

However, in life, I detest change. I like things the way they are. I want things straightforward, no surprises, and I would also like it if life would throw me a bone every now and then.

As you may know, if you have been reading my blog (if you haven’t, grab a cup of coffee and settle in. I’ll wait.), that the last couple of years haven’t been easy for me or my family. I feel like my blog is chaotic and a good representation of my life the past few years. My family and I have dealt with infertility, bullies, scary neighbors, job changes, marital struggles, business copycats, and more. Quite honestly, my coping mechanism has been to become more hard of heart, distrustful, and bitter. Not a good combination.

Last month, with the new year looming, I forced myself to take a long hard look at life after getting caught up in dealings with volunteer work and my business. Why do I keep putting myself in the same position to get hurt? Why do I let things like copycats and bullies get me down? How can I just move forward, find happiness, and just be content?

I have spent the last seven years trying to get a business going. Quite honestly, it is more of a hobby, I suppose. I went from making extra cash at craft fairs to putting all my efforts into planning parties and then decided to most recently branch into a toy store. Meanwhile, my heart has been less and less interested. I couldn’t pin point what was making me unhappy, just that I was not enjoying any of it. It has bothered me to put so much effort into something and have people copy me or try to pose as my business. Quite honestly, it’s been frustrating to deal with it. It is exhausting to volunteer in my town when it seems like so many people are fighting each other, instead of working together because working together could bring business for us all. So I started to think about the things I did enjoy about it, like the smiles I bring to kids for their special day, the fact that I actually know my stuff in regards to toys, dolls, and parties (even if I haven’t been writing about it here as much as I should). I love how my daughter likes to pretend that she has her own business and plans to have her own restaurant when she grows up. At the very least, I have given her an entrepreneurial spirit. However, it all has been a bit much lately, so I decided it was time to change. I have taken a step back from my volunteer work and let my co-administrators take the reins more or less. I worked out a plan with a friend to start taking over my local parties, partly because I think she would enjoy it and partly so that I can focus on the online aspect of my business. It’s been a change I have needed to make, but I have been hesitant on doing.

I have decided that I need to work towards being a kinder, gentler person and what better time to start than the holidays. Enter operation Cookie Drop. If you know me well, you know that I am the one who cheats at the cookie exchange every year. In fact, one year, I made no attempts at hiding it when I brought in a Dunkin Donuts box with doughnut holes as my “cookie.” Let’s face it, if I didn’t do it, I would get no cookies, and then my kids and husband would have to have store bought cookies. I was saving them from that… Yup, that’s it. Let’s go with that excuse.

So many yummy cookies and yet I got hardly any of them!

So many yummy cookies and yet I got hardly any of them!

Ok, so what was Operation Cookie Drop? Well, I made cookies this year…and not a small amount. No no no. I just kept baking and baking and baking. The kids and their friend made a ton of sugar cookies. Then I made some cookies…and then I made some more. I packed them in bags. I sent them to the field with my husband. I sent them to the neighbors two doors down. I sent them to the neighbors behind me and across the street. I was like the mad cookie woman on the street. And you know what, it felt good. It put me in the holiday spirit for the first time in years. By the time Christmas rolled around, I was really excited to celebrate. I had fun. I spent it with family and friends. I ate at the kids’ table, of course. I really don’t think I will ever make it to the adult table in life. My kids had a better holiday because of my better attitude to the holiday season.

And it is with all these thoughts and sentiments that I have decided that for 2014, my word of the year is change. If I don’t like how my life is going, then it is time to change it. If I am unhappy, then I need to get to the root of it and change it. If my friends are treating me rotten, then I need new ones. (I don’t really see that one happening as I seemed to have thinned my list last year and quite honestly have the greatest group of people who love me, even at my darkest of times)

It is time for me to get out of the slump, to stop being a doormat, and to start changing my life, instead of being content to settle for the hurt and hurdles that life throws at me and my family.

I challenge you all to think of a word to describe what you want for this year. What is it in life that you need? Feel free to share in the comments below!

And don’t forget to visit me on Facebook:




New Year, New Beginnings

If you are one of those people who was relieved that 2012 was over, let me just say that I am right there with you. I am still trying to put myself back together from everything that happened last year. If you have been following my blog for a while, you probably noticed that my posts were often sporadic and sometimes all over the place. I guess they were a good reflection of my life over the past year. I started the year out by deciding to have a website overhaul. Then I moved my business. Then I took the steps to take my business in a completely different direction. I took on way too many projects. I became an exhausted mess, and then I ended the year by having a miscarriage and turning into an emotional wreck.

Right now, I am hormonal, confused about where I should go next in regards to having another baby and even where I want to go with my business. As much as I love volunteer work, I am dropping almost all of it and focusing on things for my kids and for me. I have decided that this year I am going to find a hobby. I have spent so much time focusing on the kids and my business that I really don’t have time for myself. I have decided that I need a fresh start. I need to get myself in order. I need to get organized. I need to stop acting like an old lady and start acting my age! I am going to be 34 for crying out loud, and most of the time I feel like I am past my prime.

Most of all, I just want to wake up in the morning, look at myself in the mirror and say,”Hey Girl, you are awesome!” And I want to mean it. I want to love myself quirks and all, fat and all, just as I am.

What do you plan to do this year? How do you want to see yourself this year going forward? I would love to hear from you!

How to Make New Year’s Resolutions you will actually keep

   Around this time last year, I decided that I really needed to make some changes in my life. However, I did not want to just make a list of difficult things that I knew I would regret or forget. I made a list of things I wanted to do that I knew I could. While some of the things on my list may not have worked out the way I envisioned them, I am proud to say that I continually found ways to work on each thing on my list all throughout the year. So I thought I would share how to make some New Year’s Resolutions that you will want to keep.

1. Dream big, but start small. One of the things on my list that didn’t work out for me was taking a dance class. For me, it was a time conflict as well as a childcare one. Instead, I got out my Just Dance games (I pretty much have all of them. I am a HUGE addict) and danced… a lot! My husband knows how much I love the games and that I wanted to try Zumba, but all the classes conflict with my schedule. So he got me Zumba for the Wii. The other part about all of this is nice is that I am not afraid to screw up because no one else is looking at me!

2. Create realistic goals. If you want to lose weight, that is great. However, giving yourself a goal of losing a bunch of weight in a short amount of time is only setting yourself up for failure. Not only that, the temptation to use unsafe diet practices is greater with an unrealistic goal, and you may run into health problems or gain the weight back. Make sure that what you want is realistic and give it proper time.

3. Research your resolutions and have a strategy. If you want to eliminate debt, research your options and plan it out. There are a lot of great programs and strategies to do it, and if you don’t know what you are doing, you are most likely to get frustrated and give up.

4. Don’t make ‘Bandwagon’ resolutions. What I mean by this is don’t say you are going to do something because everyone else is doing it or you are being guilted into it by all the commercials on TV right now. Make resolutions for yourself.

5. Have accountability. For my accountability, I published my list for the whole world to see. I also wrote a few posts related to it throughout the year mostly so I could check in with my progress. For example, if you want to start a fitness plan, find a buddy who can workout with you.

6. Jump back on the horse. We are all human and imperfect. Sometimes we make mistakes. However, we need to brush away the guilt and get back to our goal. Just keep going.

7. Believe in yourself. If you don’t believe you can do something, well you can’t. Ultimately, if you want it bad enough, you must have the confidence to make it happen.

I hope you find my advice useful. Honestly, I did not make any resolutions this year. I am just going to keep working on my list from last year. It is all a good work in progress! What do you want to tackle in your life this year?

My New Year’s Revolution

Yup, you read that right. I said “Revolution” not “Resolution.” I have decided that my life needs a revolution. I mean think about it, every year at this time, many of us make a list to do all these things differently. I promise I will eat healthy (and then break that resolution in about three weeks). I promise to spend less money (and then buy something unnecessary because is was on sale). I promise to become more organized (and then resolve that is pointless after getting buried in the mess of something in the house).  So this year, I am not resolving to do any of those things. Yes, I still want to lose weight. I am still working on it. It didn’t go on overnight. It is not going to come off overnight. I don’t want to make resolutions and then get mad at myself when I screw up because I am not perfect. So I have decided to start my own life revolution.

I am going to do five things this year that are out of character for me. I want to take my life in a different direction and get out of the box I have built myself. There are things in my life that I have wanted and never bothered to take the risks to make them happen. So this year, I am taking steps to change that. Here is my list so far:

1. Take a dance class. I am going to join my friend’s Zumba group for starters. My goal is to work my way up to taking an adult dance class in the fall at my children’s dance studio.

2. I am going to sing again. For starters, I am currently teaching my children how to sing to get back into the groove. I have recently realized how much I miss using my voice. My goal is to either sing at church or join a choir somewhere.

3. I am going to say NO more often and stand my ground. I have recently realized how much of a pushover I have become. I don’t want to be that way. I don’t think it shows a good role model for my children.

4. I am going to spend more time writing. At this point, I don’t care if it means blogging or writing short stories. My goal is to write. I enjoy it, and I do not spend enough time doing it.

5. I am moving forward with my life. I am working on the relationships that deem worthy of being relationships and getting rid of toxic people and things in my life.

So that’s my list. I will keep you all posted how this all plays out over the course of 2011. At the very least, it should be interesting. So what kinds of changes do you plan on making this year? At any rate, I wish you all a Happy New Year!