In 2018, I turned inward and focused on improving myself by putting myself first. I felt as though I had lost myself and I longed to be the girl I was almost 10 years ago; Care free, confident and sure of who I was. I invested in myself, created new routines, and did everything that I could to improve my mental health. By taking care of me and working on the relationship that I have with myself this past year, I realized that version of me was still there, I just needed to take care of her and let her live. I've worked hard to be the best me that I can be, and by doing that, I've become a better wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, and employee.
A new year doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop working on myself. I’m going to continue a lot of the habits that I created this past year and create new ones to continue to work toward becoming a better me. While I continue the habits that I started this past year, I want to shift my focus and work on being more intentional in other areas of my life. Last year I let my word inspire my goals and the way I lived and I can honestly say that it made a difference in my life. I’m really excited to see how the word that I’ve chosen for this year affects who I am as a person and how I interact with the world around me.
My Word of the Year for 2019 is HOME
This word came to me a few months ago and the closer we got to the new year, the more sure I became that it needed to be my focus this year. Every day I’ve found more inspiration for things that I can do to simplify my home life and make my home better. My goals for this year go beyond the physical space that we call home.
How I’m applying ‘home’ to myself
My house feels the most like home to me when I have the clutter under control and have done what needs to be done to keep it clean. Every morning that I walk down the stairs into a clean kitchen, I feel happy and ready to conquer whatever the day sends my way. One of my favorite places to hang out in my house is the front room because it is generally clean, has lots of natural light, and is decorated in a way that reflects who we are as a family. I spend time there because it makes me feel happy, at peace and inspired.
My goal this year is to make more areas in our house feel like that to me. I want to enjoy spending time at home, no matter which room I’m in. I’m also working to create a routine that helps me keep on top of the clutter and the messes, as much as is possible while we live in it daily with our two toddlers. Living in a space that I love, that reflects who I am, and that is light, clean and organized helps to keep my anxiety under control and allows me to be the best version of myself.
How I’m applying ‘home’ to my marriage
Whenever I think about home and our relationship, I think of making myself a safe place for my husband. I want to be his calm and the one who makes him feel completely comfortable being himself and being vulnerable. I want to do the work that I need to be that person for Joe. I also want to make our house a space that he looks forward to coming home to after work each day and a relaxing and fun place to spend time on his days off.
I also have a goal to finish decorating our master bedroom and make it a sanctuary for our marriage. When we lived in apartments, our room doubled as storage space for all of the extra stuff that we owned. We were so excited to move into a house with a basement so we could move all of that storage there. Now our room has become the place where laundry piles up, our kids prefer to play, and where we change diapers and get our kids dressed or ready for bed. This year we’re going to reclaim our space and turn our room into a haven for the two of us to spend time together.
How I’m applying ‘home’ to my parenting
I want to be a safe place and ‘home’ for our kids, the same way that I want to be that person for my husband. I had the opportunity to attend a workshop put on by Ralphie from Simply on Purpose this past year and was inspired to make some positive changes in my parenting. With the focus that I put on myself last year, I have gotten to a good place where I take care of myself well so that I am able to be fully present with my kids as the best version of myself. I have goals to spend more quality time with my kids, have more fun as a mom, and “stay safe” as Ralphie would say.
My other goal is to make our house a place where the kids love to be and love to play. Updating their bedroom decor, simplifying their play space, and making time for fun on a daily basis will help me do this. When we were in the hospital with Emmy, Bensen spent a lot of time in the care of other family members, and although he loves each of them and loved going to their houses, he was always most excited to come home with Joe at the end of every day, and spend time at home with me every morning. He’d run around with excitement and squeal in delight each time he’d find a toy he loved or see his bed. I want my kids to have the same level of love for being home each day. Whether we’ve been out on an adventure, running errands or visiting family and friends, I want them to feel happy and content being home and spending time as a family.
How I’m applying ‘home’ to our house
When we bought our house almost five years ago, I wondered if it would ever feel like home. Most people choose to purchase a house that feels like home the minute they walk in, but we chose to purchase a fixer upper instead. The first two months we owned the house, we focused on demolition and making the space livable. It needed new flooring and new paint and we chose to update a lot of spaces including the kitchen, master bathroom and the basement. We’ve done a lot to update and fix our house since then, but only a few rooms have been decorated and truly feel like home.
This year I want to finish decorating the spaces that I haven’t gotten to yet, and work on projects we’ve been putting off that will make our house feel like even more of a home. Both kids need their room decor updated, especially Emmy who only has a crib and a small chair. We want to finish our deck project and redo our backyard so that it’s an even better space for our family to hang out and play. The biggest thing that I want to work on is the master bedroom. It’s one of the last spaces to be decorated and I really want to make that space a home and a sanctuary for our marriage.
I’m really excited to take on my word this year, make our living space more of a home and be a safe space for my family!
Do you have a word of the year or specific goals to help you become a better version of yourself?
Photography by Sadie Banks Photography