my 2016 word.

the last two years, it's taken me a little while to find my word.  months, really.  this one little word project is so much better than a resolution to me.  when you look for it, you'll find it everywhere.  my first word -- gratitude -- was the perfect fit for 2014.  julian arrived and shook everything up, and reminding myself to have gratitude for little things made all the difference in the world.  then last year -- balance -- kind of fell to the wayside.  it was great for a couple months, and then our world was turned upside down when we found out about the new baby i had apparently been growing and there was no more balance in my life.

but 2016?  i have a feeling i know exactly what this year is going to bring us.  or at least what i hope it brings us.  i knew right away on new year's eve what my word for 2016 was going to be.

s e t t l e .

as in settle down and settle in.  get settled in our house, knowing we won't be leaving.  settle in to my role as a mom to a toddler and to a newborn.  settle down this busy life around us we've been living the last few months.  and yes, some days it will mean to settle for what the day was, what i accomplished or did not accomplish, settle for knowing that there aren't always enough hours in the day.

i think it's going to be perfect.

i think the whole year will be perfect, really.

and i hope yours is, too.

one little word 30//2015

unless you live under a bridge, chances are you've heard of one little word.  it's taken me a while, but i am finally ready to get to work on mine.  after all, it's march, so i guess i better get going with this whole 'new year's resolution thing.'  for me this year however, i think this will be less of a 2015 word and more of a word for my 30th year.

last year my word was gratitude.  it was wonderful.  the word and been bouncing around in my head for a while, but after julian came and my world was turned upside-down those first few weeks at home, i found myself coming back to it on an almost daily basis.  over the last year, gratitude helped me to see the rays of light when i could have focused on the dark.  i chose to feel grateful that my body was able to birth and feed our son instead of depressed about weight gain or stretch marks.  i chose gratitude for the new addition to our life when i was awake at all hours of the day and night rather than focusing on sleep deprivation [this did not happen every time, but i tried my hardest and it so helped].  i chose gratitude when philip traveled for work, remembering that the few days he might spend away each month allowed him to be home all day when he didn't travel.  i found so many things to be grateful for.

it's taken me a while to choose my word for 2015.  but since i first got the word in my head, it keeps popping up places, in podcasts, in things i'm reading, in conversations,  it's crazy.  i've tried to live with it for a while now, and it feels good.  i've tried it on and it fits.

my word for 2015 is...

there are so many ways i can use balance in 2015.

relationship balance // give and take, talk and listen.

physical balance // bringing it to the mat.

life balance // not 100% one thing, but being equal parts mother, wife, and my own person.

work balance // spend time finding editing projects that contribute financially to our life as well as working on the book, and a little bit more time on the blog.

spiritual balance // putting out as many good vibes as i get in return from the universe.

emotional balance // spending a lot more time focusing on the positive instead of on the negative.

i love hearing other people's words and bookmarking some for the future.  did you choose a word for 2015?  what is it?  [if you are still struggling to find your word, try this.]

20 things i learned in my 20s.

this weekend i will be thirty.

usually, i kind of freak out about my birthday.  i spend a lot of time moping around.  but this year, i'm feeling pretty good about it.  part of it has to do with my 30 before 30 list, which has had me accomplishing goals and learning new things and feeling really good about 30.

i've been spending a lot of time thinking about where my life is now, and thinking of where my life was at 20.  so many mistakes, so many bad haircuts.  but if i had to do it all again, i don't think there's anything i'd change. 

but that isn't to say there weren't a few bumps around the road.  let's look back on some lessons i've learned... and some hairstyles i've had. 

1.  don't take yourself so seriously.  like amy poehler said, 'no one looks stupid when they're having fun.'
2.  go after what you want.  people aren't mind readers -- bosses, boyfriends, etc.  ask for the raise you want.  tell people what is on your mind.  it turns out much better than you imagine it will.

3.  go. travel, move, etc. if it doesn't work, you can always go back home.  this is the number one thing i learned and the piece of advice i dole out the most by far. 

4.  no one actually pays attention to fashion.  be true to your own personal style - wearing something 'trendy' makes you look like someone else.  i have finally found my look and couldn't be happier, or feel more comfortable in my own skin.

5.  there's nothing wrong with pursuing someone, but a real relationship is 50//50.  if you're doing all the work, it's not right.

6.  people change and that's ok.  you won't be the same person at 30 that you were at 20, and your friendships might reflect that.  embrace it and roll with it.

7.  there's no reason to keep a scale in your house.  are you healthy?  do you like what you see in the mirror when you're naked?  ok then.  love your body -- it's the only one you get

8.  always be honest.  with your words, with your actions, with your work.  even when it hurts.

9.  the best experiences in life happen outside your comfort zone.  ski fast, take chances [right mom?].

10.  there really never will be a better tv show than friends.  seriously.

11.  things don't always work out the way you thought they would, but there's always a reason for it.  mourn the loss of whatever you thought was going to happen, and then move on.

12.  you can't force things.  you know when they're not a good fit, when you're questioning it -- whether it's a career, a relationship, a move.  you know in your heart.  follow it.  live things for you, and not for who you think you should be, or who other people think you are.  do what's best for you. 

13.  keep a journal.  you'll want to look back on things someday, even the mundane everyday.  i made the shift from long, erratic journal entries to a daily line a day journal and i'm going on three years now.  love it.

14.  send mail.  birthday cards, thank you cards, just because letters.  it's important and it makes people feel good. 

15.  above all else, communicate.  those little problems that you dismiss day to day don't just fade.  it is literally the key to every relationship in your life.

16.  diets are a waste.  everything -- everything! -- in moderation, and you'll be fine.  life is way too short to only eat salads.

17.  if you want to make a friend, be one first.  this is something you'd hear on sesame street but it's totally true. 

18.  your mom is right.  all the time.  really.  it's annoying.

19.  learn where to splurge and where to save.  no one in the world needs a gucci tee shirt.  but the chemicals you rub on your face?  pick the good ones. 

20.  most importantly, get the haircut.  or dye it.  whatever.  it's hair, and it will grow back.