The end of the year is approaching and a new year is almost here. It's time to choose a word of the year and here's an easy, no nonsense way to do it.

A new year is upon us. Now is usually the time when everyone starts making plans, creating goals, and coming up with their word of the year. To this, I am no exception and I’ve been planning, coming up with goals, and focusing on what word I want to guide me through 2018.

Back when I first started doing this word of the year thing, I did what I always do when faced with something I’ve never encountered before. I asked around. “What’s your word?” became an actual question I would ask people who didn’t look at me crazy when I mentioned having a word of the year. I also researched. Thesaurus.com was my jam and I’d search words that were of interest to me and then look up their more sophisticated sounding synonyms because, you know…extra.

Last year was the first year I actually just practiced being open to receiving the word. Not The Word, but the word. I didn’t seek out any help from others. I didn’t do twenty million worksheets to help determine the word for me. Thesaurus.com wasn’t opened once, and I didn’t feel the overwhelming pressure to check in with everybody else who’d chosen a word of the year. For the first time, I let the word choose me. View Post

As an adult, I find that there are so many reasons to shop at Aldi. When I was younger, though, I hated shopping there. Like, HATED IT. I always felt so embarrassed to be walking along with my mother as she popped a quarter in the stall to retrieve her buggy, and then utterly mortified when she made me choose between “Fruit Rounds” and the “Frosted Flakes” with the polar bear on the box. It was just too much for my 15 year-old brain to process. Like, why do we have to pay to have a shopping cart? Does this store really not give you bags for free? Ma, please tell me you’re seriously putting our groceries in an old box because you’re refusing to pay for 60 cent for 6 bags?

The struggle was real.

Now that I’m an adult, though, I’m not sure how I ever fixed my mouth to complain about such a treasure. Aldi is the truth. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Shopping at Aldi has become one of my favorite things to do. View Post

2017 is past the halfway point. Can you believe it? If the weather wasn’t so nice, I’d swear January was just last month! This year is zooming by and creating so many lasting lessons, memories, and experiences in its wake, I can’t help but be grateful.

When this year started off, I was optimistic but skeptical. Like many people, I had some goals I wanted to accomplish, some things I wanted to do, but I have those every year. And every year is usually like the one before…a swing and a miss. Plans undone, goals unaccomplished, and self-doubt growing larger and larger. So when I say I was optimistic but skeptical, I really mean it.

Things have been different in 2017, though. I have been different in 2017. First, I changed my mindset. I decided to stop fighting the same battles, stop having the same arguments, and stop doing the same things that were keeping me stuck. Secondly, I decided to try. Try new things, try old things that I’d forgotten about, try new people, etc. And wouldn’t you know, it worked and gave me some of the best times! View Post

This blog, in all its infinite randomness, is not turning into a travel blog. I honestly don’t travel enough for that. What it is turning into, however, is a place where I can share my journeys through motherhood, work life, marriage, and of course, self-care. And I’m slowly learning that travel, for me, is a form of self-care. So…sometimes you’ll get travel posts.

I had an inkling that travel was restorative, but I really didn’t believe it until my solo trip to Chicago recently. Now, I’ve traveled alone before but it was usually for a one day conference and was a quick turnaround trip by car. I didn’t really get out and explore the city and it felt more like a work obligation than an actual solo “vacation.” Even when I headed down to San Antonio for Blogalicious a few years back and I went alone, I didn’t really feel like I was on my own. It was weird because I was, but it just didn’t feel like it.

Chicago was different, or maybe I was different. I hopped on a flight after work on a Thursday and flew into Midway International Airport. My blogging buddy and Chicago expert, Natasha from Houseful of Nicholes, recommended Midway over O’Hare and I’m glad I took that advice. Midway is not huge, but it’s a pretty decent size and I appreciate the fact that it’s not a behemoth like LAX…because LAX had me feeling all the way overwhelmed. I’m thankful that Hubz and J were with me for that one.

I’m also thankful that they weren’t with me on my trip to Chicago.

chase chicago sign downtown

Does that sound bad? I’m sure it does, but it’s the truth. From the time I boarded the flight to the time I grabbed my luggage when I made it back to Omaha, I didn’t wish they were with me. Of course there were a few times when I thought, “J would love this” or “I wonder if Hubz would like xyz,” but I never once wanted them there. I needed to be rejuvenated without the pressure of being “mom” or “wife.” I just needed to be me for a while, to be completely selfish in what I wanted to see/eat/do/buy or where I wanted to go. And it was lovely. View Post

Just because I’ve never been to Los Angeles

A few years ago, I started keeping a list of things I wanted to accomplish during the year. It was more than a to do list, but less than an actual “goals” list. I guess, I saw it as being more of an experience list. Eventually, it morphed into what I now consider a “just because” list. There is no rhyme or reason as to why I want to do these things; I just do. Most of them will not improve my life in any direct way that I can currently see. And that’s okay. This is literally a list of things I want to do, well, just because I want to. View Post