Resolutions are funny things.  Most people have already fallen off of the resolution bandwagon by this point.  After a couple of days of relaxing and reflection, I have thoughtfully decided to take mine seriously this year.  Yes, I'm putting them out there - for everyone one to see.  This blog will be directly effected by my resolutions - as an effort to get more fulfillment out of my blogging, it is my goal for this forum to be a truer, more genuine reflection of myself, my life and my ideas.

The following is a little insight of what I hope to bring to the blog (and my life...) in the upcoming year.  What are your goals and resolutions?  No weight-loss goals, please.*  

I love this light-hearted moment - true bliss

Let Your Heart Be Light... we only do this once, people

This year, I'm going to make an effort to remind myself to let my heart be light - to live with enthusiasm, leaving fear behind.  Life is to be lived and felt - richly and abundantly.  We are all so blessed - stop worrying and live happily.  After all, we only do this once.  

Last week I was talking to a friend that was having a hard time - she is at a crossroads of what to do next.  Through our conversation, I remembered a similar time in my life.  The advice I gave to her was the same I had given to myself.  Make yourself happy.  Whatever it takes.  Just do whatever it is you need to do to be happy...  Not empty happiness and not happiness in a selfish way, but true, solid, sturdy, genuine happiness.  Years ago, when deciding what direction my life would take, I spent a great deal of time defining that elusive "happiness" for myself in an honest way - which you must be willing to do.  It is a process that you must invest yourself in - it takes time to discover and to decide what it means for you.

At the end of my process, I was able to find a clarity of what I wanted my life to feel like - not look like from the outside, but feel like from the inside.  I let go of short-term goals and of what I believed to be what a picture perfect life looked like.  I looked beyond them and tried to uncover the emotions that were attached to happiness - why those goals seemed so appealing.  What I discovered were the root emotions that I wanted to feel.  I set those feeling as my goals instead of the postcard view.  I didn't want the picture perfect life from someone else's point of view - I wanted to be sure that I was really living a life of genuine happiness and fulfillment.  I still need to remind myself of this sometimes what I forget what "it's" all about and need to check myself and my goals.   We only do this once, people. 

An attempt at a Christmas card photo... out of focus, trying to beat the camera's timer...
Give it up... Let it go

As an event planner, wedding designer and food photographer, I have spent the last 6+ years producing picture perfect events and blog posts that represent life at its best.  Painstakingly tedious, designing perfection takes time, effort, patience and obsessiveness.  Sometimes I find myself 'producing' my own life instead of living it.  I want every dinner, family gathering, trip, and occasion to be perfect.  My career of designing these perfect events and blog posts has crept into my real life, sometimes prohibiting me from enjoying life as it comes and living in the moment.

In just the first few weeks of motherhood, I have discovered that I'm going to have to give up the idea that great moments and experiences are created and methodically designed.  As we were (attempting) to pose for a family photo complete with newborn and dog, after a half hour of frustration and not being able to capture it just as I had planned - I said to myself (and out loud), Give it up.  The shot wasn't perfect.  Don't obsess.  Let it go.  After all, a real photo is much better than a perfect one, right?  Right.

While I don't intend to "Give Up" trying to do my best, I am going to give up trying to make every project and occasion perfect.  It will be perfect just as it is.  For the blog, this might mean more photos taken of our dinner just before we eat it instead of earlier in the day when I've had time to style it and shoot it in natural light... which takes hours, by the way.  It might not look as perfect, but it will be real.

Be Open... I'm open and ready to take in what the world brings to me.

I tend to be a bit of a closed person.  I'm introverted, private, a bit of a home-body... perhaps borderline recluse?   No, I don't think it is that bad!   Yet.  Everyone asks me if I get lonely working at home by myself.  Nope.  I love it.  I enjoy my quiet days of projects and writing all by myself - it is very comforting for me.  I'm very content with my lifestyle.  With that being said, I realize that I need to step outside of my comfort zone to grow and push myself.  Contentment can be comforting, but it can be debilitating!  This year I look forward to being more open.  Open to everything - people, experiences, business ventures... even new foods, style choices, decorating inspiration.  I'm opening my heart, mind and eyes so I am ready to take (and run with!) what the world brings to me.

Baby Life... Welcome, Baby Emma

As this blog is a reflection of my life, I will be introducing a new blog topic... Baby.  I'm sorry if you are not a baby person and you don't have any need to read about baby things - I am and I do!  So there.  I'll try not to post too many baby photos (how many is too many...?) and gush over how beautiful she is constantly... but no promises.  As I said before, it is my goal for this forum to be an honest reflection of my life - and Miss Emma is a (very) big part of that.  If I didn't include baby references, then I would be selling myself and the blog short.  With that being said, I do not plan on offering (or taking...) parenting advice or theories.  I will be including some of my favorite baby things, moments and occasions.  Hopefully you'll find our new addition an inspiring new addition to the blog.  Photos of her nursery are coming soon!

Music... Getting back into the swing

This may seem a little 'light' compared to my other goals and resolutions, but that is the whole idea.  A couple of years ago when Mike and I were dating, I had a ton of music that I loved and a playlist for every occasion - working, sleeping, spiritual, dinner parties, late night, old school... somehow I fell off the music wagon.  Music can be so magical - I miss it!  Maybe it is that I only listen to NPR in the car, or maybe it is just an age thing...  Well, I'm ready to hop back on.  Feel free to recommend your favorite artists and songs... please.  I'm desperate.  I'm still listening to Regina Spektor and Joshua Radin, people.

Misty morning walk with Mr. Darcy last January in Fairway
 *Mind & Body... Enjoy yourself

Notice you won't see weight-loss goals resolutions here.  I don't get motivated by short-term goals - I need real meaning behind everything I do.  I workout only to feel good and to clear my head, not to lose weight.  I eat things I enjoy and that make my body feel good.  Sometimes I will forget to eat until 2pm... because I'm so busy doing something I enjoy.  Basically, get busy doing something that you love (for me, that means working) and that makes you feel good (for me, walking Mr. Darcy!).  These are the only slim-down tips I have - they are the only things that have worked for me.  Perhaps they'll bring some clarity to your weight-loss goals.  For me, in my post-baby body, this Mind & Body post will help remind me not to get in a hurry - it will happen in time if I do things that make me feel good!