Durham love

2018 (And the Last Day of 2017)

I love a new year in kind of the same way I love Mondays. A fresh start, new goals, a chance to reset and make the best of life. I’ve always kind of loved that my birthday falls at the beginning of a new year. A new year on the calendar, a new year in my life.

At the beginning of a new year I usually get really excited about goal setting. Overly excited about goal setting may be a more apt description of things :). I have a tendency to become too abmitious, bite off more than I can chew, and ultimately end up crashing and burning because I can’t live up to my own (pretty unrealistic) expectations. So this year I decided to do something different. Don’t get too excited–I’m by no means breaking new ground here. Instead of coming up with 10,000 I want to do better/differently, I chose a theme. I’m not even sure I did this the right way, but who’s making the rules here? (I AM! I’m making the rules!) It’s my new year, and I’m determined to do it my way. So the theme I’ve committed to his year is cultivate creativity. If the last couple years have taught me anything, it’s that buckling down and forcing myself to become more regimented often leaves me spinning my wheels rather than becoming more productive. Choosing a overarching theme allows me to loosely structure my life around that idea and to gradually get to where I want to be.

This year I want to infuse creativity into more areas of  my life  For example, creativity in my parenting might look like saying yes to my kids more often, even when it feels inconvenient to me. Creativity in my marriage may mean finding a way to have a date night after the girls are in bed if we don’t have the time or the money to go out that week. And cultivating creativity means spending more time doing/watching/listening to things that spark my imagination instead of mindlessly getting sucked into things. And again, this is something I just want to be mindful of. Like asking myself during the day, “what could I be doing right now that would inspire creativity?” and not, I need to do [blank number] of creative activities today.”

So, what do you do to get ready for a new year? Are you a goal-setter that sets out to achieve all sorts of things? Or do you choose a word or idea and try to let that affect every area of your life? Please share in the comments, I’d love to know!!

I also wanted to share a little bit of NYE 2017 with you as well. We had a pretty low-key day and were just really happy to spend it together after the hustle and bustle of Christmas.

We started out with coffee on the couch in the morning. If you know me even a little bit you know that one of my favorite things is a slow morning with my family and a full pot of coffee.

Later on we took the girls to the museum to put their Museum of Life and Science membership to use for the first time! It was such a good time for all of us. Corey and I got to sit and talk (and drink more coffee) while the girls ran around and played with all.the.things. I think this is going to end up being one of our very favorite gifts this year–and I’m not just talking about for the girls!

When we exhausted just about everything inside (because the high was in the 20s or some such nonsense and mama doesn’t play outside in cold weather!), we headed to NanaTaco for–what else–tacos! Much to our surprise it was nearly empty, which really never happens. We enjoyed taking our time with our meal and these two entertained us with their antics.

 

We came home and Corey and I broke out the champagne toast (early ;)), we all put on our jammies and slippers and snuggled up on the couch for a movie.

 

The girls were asleep by 10. Corey carried them up to bed and we crashed hard shortly after. It’s certainly not the NYE I desired or could have imagined in my 20s, but right now I wouldn’t have it any other way. These are my people and I couldn’t be more thankful.

I hope you’re having a great start to a fresh new year. I’m really looking forward to using this space a little more to create more of an authentic connection with you this year. I just can’t wait to see what all is in store!

 

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Back After a Break (+ a Weekend With Family)

Sooooo, I know I take a lot of breaks from this blog and come back apologizing (as thought there are masses waiting to read what I’ve written. Ha!), but this time the my break was very unplanned and kind of frustrating. I’ve been having some technical issues with the blog and I had to get them sorted out before I posted again. It was really frustrating, mostly because I’m quite technologically illiterate. But thank goodness for good friends who help you out when you need it (and don’t make you feel dumb, even though you’re asking the most basic questions).

Anyway….

While I was on a break I had the very best weekend since we’ve been back. I feel like life starting moving at breakneck speed again once we touched down in RDU, and we really haven’t had many moments to just relax and soak up time as a family of four. But this weekend I took off work the entire weekend (Friday through Monday!!) and my sister and her husband came into town. The girls have been sooooo excited to meet “Bonboo and Marka” since FaceTiming with them in Uganda. We had such a wonderful time with the two of them. I think it’s safe to say that Teddy* and JJ* are pretty smitten with their aunt and uncle.

I’m including some pictures from our awesome fun-filled weekend below :).

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Uncle Mark brought the most fun puzzles for the girls. They have 5 layers and each layer is a different body system, so as you move down–or up–the puzzle you reveal muscles, internal organs, and bone. They probably put these together 100 times over the weekend (and they’re working on them again right now as I type this).

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On Saturday we went to the Museum of Life and Science in Durham and had the best time. The girls were thrilled with all the exhibits and it was so nice to just let them play as long as they wanted in each one.

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Other highlights included JJ getting a butterfly to light on her finger, then trying not to move a muscle so it would stick around. She was so sweet and so patient attempting to get the butterflies. I just love seeing her little personality on display.

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We had so much fun that someone totally fell asleep and didn’t wake up until later that afternoon.

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This sister of mine. She let me nap for 2 full hours on Friday and got the girls up from their nap, dressed, and beds made all while I slept. I felt better than I had in weeks afterward. Thank you, Auntie Bonboo! I was in desperate need of that little break!

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Saturday night we made chapati and African tea, two of our favorite foods from Uganda, for Bonnie and Mark. I am loving my new-to-me teapot I’ve used several times for the tea.

That’s all for now. I’m so glad to be back here blogging! Let’s all just keep our fingers crossed that I can manage the new techie stuff here ;).

*I’ll be using nicknames for both the girls here and on social media just to maintain some privacy for them :).

 

 

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Back to the Dirty D

Well, we’re back! We had such a great time in Germany and Finland. It was so exciting to experience Europe for the first time together. And let me tell you, Corey is quite the little planner when traveling! I promise a blog post (or 10) on everything in the next couple of days. We have SO MANY pictures to look through and we’re pretty excited about reliving all of it.
For now, we’re enjoying being back in Durham. We feel so blessed to live in a city we love so much among some of the greatest friends we’ve ever had. Every time I leave and come back, I can’t wait to do more exploring here. It just feels so “us.”

 

 

 

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