Finishing 2012 by Katie Brightbill

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The last day of 2012.

I always have high hopes of creating beautiful lists and resolutions that are reasonable enough for follow-through, but too often, the holiday season is rushed and chaotic and I find myself on January 1st- thoroughly swamped and bombarded with to-do's... and I never get back to retrospection and evaluations of the previous year.

This year I've had a little time to think through things. 2012 is really a year that has made me incredibly grateful. It's been GOOD. Not perfect... there have been lots of ups and downs- especially some downs lately, but it's a year of growth and learning... and the realization that turning 30 is not the demise of my youth after all.

The year started with a move to our current home, so this point last year was full of blank walls & floors, and piles of boxes to unpack. My dear husband had an excess of work for the first six months, and I realized that I am capable (with God's help) of managing two children from 7a-7:30p on my own four days per week after all. Some may think that's cake {wives of coaches and investment bankers, I'm talking to you...}, and others may think that's insane, but for me- it felt like an accomplishment. While I hope not to repeat such full days absent of my husband, I definitely took far more advantage of the minutes and hours he was home and I learned to adjust my mentality to be grateful, rather than bitter about the time alone.

The parenting aspect of life has adjusted itself remarkably in '12 as well. I spent the first months of the year nursing Maggie & hoping that Sophie didn't get into mischief as she snuck out of the room to explore while I was "locked down." These days, I can trust Sophie enough to keep an eye on M as I run downstairs to do laundry. It's incredible what progress children make in just a few months time! They've also become such bonded little friends. I'll catch Sophie leaning over to kiss Maggie's head just because, and Maggie shrieks with joy when Sophie wakes up & comes in the room.... their camaraderie  and affections just melt me!

There are days I would like to forget in 2012, but I know for a fact that I will look back on this year with a satisfaction and appreciation. It was good. I'm reluctant to say goodbye to it; in fact, because there will be ever so many beautiful memories to recall from these days. That said... I've heard the best is yet to come, so I refuse to live in the past... I have resolutions this year, and I plan to keep them.

  • Give More. Such a general statement, but to make it tangible, my goal is to have one intentional activity to give to other people monthly... things like making a meal for a friend in need, giving to homeless, getting toys for children without- that sort of thing. 
  • Be Joyful. Things aren't going to be perfect next year. There will be ups and downs, but I resolve to approach my days with joyful gratefulness. God has given us so much, these days of my kids being little are so short, and I plan to smile and be bright & grateful as much as possible through them. 
  • Follow-Through. In '12, I followed through with a diet for the first time ever (those pesky last 5 lbs of pregnancy weight were finally shed!), and I managed to blog daily for 4.5 months after starting a blog a year and quitting after a month or two. These things were done primarily because my husband lovingly pointed out that I've been the type to start things and don't really follow through... not a good trait! I love the accomplished feeling from "finishing," so my tangible goal is to follow through blogging every weekday the entire year of 2013. Hopefully you'll be reading! :) 

There you have them. Resolutions!

XOXO,

Kate

A Little Cheer by Katie Brightbill

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There's a lot to buy this season... a lot to give. There are people who receive a lot, and people who receive very little. We did a little craft/project this week to give a little gift to two people in need. We haven't met them yet, but we have little gifts ready for when we do.

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We saved two oatmeal canisters. Sophie painted paper and we covered one container with that, (gluing with mod-podge) and the other I wrapped with basic wrapping paper. We always take the little extra samples of soaps and lotions from traveling, so we put those inside, and a pair of socks, some bandaids, and any little gifts we could find around. Added a bow and a little note that said Merry Christmas!

Today we are going to give these basic little gifts to homeless neighbors to bring a little smile to them this Christmas. Such a simple way to give.

XO,

Kate

Baby Baby by Katie Brightbill

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It's been a really rainy couple weeks around here. We tried to get out and explore the city whenever there were breaks in the rain- even when there weren't- because two kids + rain + indoors all day = three bad temperaments. Sometimes I think I'm a bit crazy with what I try to tackle on my own, but it's the moments when I'm lugging two heavy grocery bags, one girl in a stroller and one holding an umbrella next to me, going across the city on a bus... thirty minutes away from nap time- that I feel as though something is really being accomplished here. Yes, maybe the kids are hungry, maybe they're even whining, but we're having adventures, you know? We're making memories! Beats a day in a stuffy house watching Curious George anytime... but don't get me wrong- that's definitely been happening too.

Christmas is about here and we got our gift early... well technically late, but early for Christmas: my sister gave birth to a darling little perfect baby yesterday!! I mean, she is gorgeous. I will be sharing pictures here, but we want all the family to see her in real life before plastering her prettiness all over the www, so you get to just see a pic of me holding her instead. I'm in LOVE... again (and I have baby fever that's going to have to cure itself...)!

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XO,

Kate

Gift Guide: Guys by Katie Brightbill

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Clockwise from top left: 

1. Bottle Stoppers. || 2. Grey Sweater. || 3. Grilling Rub Set. || 4. Ray Bans|| 5. Manly Candle. || 6. Duffel. || 7. Fancy Watch.

Today Erin and I rounded up some fun ideas to get the guys in our lives. It's always a bit tricky to find things for guys. My husband tends to like quality over quantity but I love the fun little things that fill stockings or can be wrapped in multiple boxes. These are fun ideas for both types with different price ranges.

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Clockwise from top left: 

1. Socks. || 2. HiFi Hat. || 3. Flip-Top Gloves. || 4. Belt. || 5. iPhone Battery Backup.

Seriously? Christmas is in five days! FIVE. It's the first year I feel like Sophie really, really gets it, so I'm feeling like I'm the kid again with all the excitement. 

XO,

Kate