Thursday, December 30, 2010

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Saying Goodbye to 2010

Here we are at the end of another year. I swear every year seems to go by faster and faster. I know, I sound like an old lady when I say that but I can't help it.

Before going on to the new year I thought it would be good to reflect upon the past year. This year I:
  • Lost 50 lbs and kept it off
  • Healed my body immensely
  • Completed my second year immersion program at IIN
  • Completed mentoring my 11 students
  • Began mentoring 28 more students
  • Traveled to NY twice for conferences
  • Traveled to Miami for a conference
  • Watched my son graduate high school and turn 18!
  • Traveled to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a family vacation
  • Took a major turn in my life and began focusing on my art
  • Started this new blog and posted 77 times
  • Took 4 online art classes and 1 in person art class
  • Traveled to Myrtle Beach with my hubby
  • Hosted an awesome cookie exchange for charity
  • Hosted Christmas for my family
When I finished my list I was happy with a lot of it but I have to be honest and say that I was a bit disappointed that it wasn't bigger...that there wasn't more on it. Then I started thinking about the everyday things I did that I wouldn't normally list out.
  • Attended about 150 baseball games (no joke!)
  • Attended at least 30 basketball games
  • Attended about 35 soccer games
  • Attended about 15 wrestling tournaments
  • Shuffled 3 boys to at least 10 practices a week for just about every week of the year
  • Went to at least 30 dentist/orthodontist appointments
  • Went to at least 40 doctor appointments
  • Hosted at least 7 birthday parties, a graduation party and several just for fun parties
  • Read at least 15 books and a gazillion magazines
  • Helped kids with homework for at least 6 hours a week
  • Did umpteen loads of laundry (and have umpteen more to do right now)
  • God knows how many hours I cleaned
  • And many more things I can't think of right now
So I guess as a mom of 5 boys I have to be realistic and realize that there is only so much time in a day and I have a lot of responsibilities to take care of. But I know that I am so blessed to be surrounded by these beautiful boys. I am watching these miracles grow up before my very eyes and I couldn't be happier about it. And do I love every mundane task that goes along with it? No, not really but when I look back over the year I am filled with joy and love and happiness and those other things seem to fall to the wayside.

But if I'm honest, there is a big chunk missing from this list of 2010 and that is accomplishments in my career. So as I go forward and welcome in 2011 I know that my focus will need to shift if I am to look back on 2011 with pride in my career. I will dive more into my visions for 2011 in another post.

How are you feeling about the past year? Do you feel like you've done the things you wanted? Did you live the life you wanted to live? What lessons can you take from 2010 that will help to guide you through the next year?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

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Freezing Fog is SO COOL!!! I love, love, love it! What a way to wake up! If you have to live in a winter climate, this is the way to do it. It is so beautiful!

A fuzzy blanket of snow covering everything!

Even spider webs!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

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I've been playing around trying to decided on my word for the year. I always think about this as the year comes to an end but I never manage to continue it throughout the year. In fact, I can't even remember what my word was for last year.

This year I want to work with the word and embrace it throughout the year. I think it will be a great way to focus on growth throughout the year.

If you are thinking about your own word of the year, check out Christine Kane's resources to help you out.

Monday, December 27, 2010

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The aftermath of Christmas. Orbeez all over the floor! I'm going to have to have a talk with that darn Santa!!!

Riding the Waves of Life

When I was 14 I took a trip to Australia with my mom and my uncle Steve. My mom's family is originally from Australia and my mom had lived there when she was a child. She had always longed to go back and when my parents got divorced it seemed like the perfect opportunity to cross the sea. I was ready for the adventure.

We visited family in Melbourne, checked out Sydney, and then headed north to the Sunshine Coast where my Uncle Gary lives. I can remember one of the trips we took to an island off the Great Barrier Reef. We rented windsurfers and a small catamaran and spent the day riding the water in various ways.

I remember being out on the catamaran with my uncle Steve and going back and forth across the bay to catch the wind. We were working intently to get the hang of it and before we knew it we were pretty far out to sea. So much so that we could see the small speck of a lifeguard waving us in.

It was surprising how quickly we had been taken out. The ocean seemed so peaceful and gentle with waves bobbing gently. The wind was not strong, there were no big gusts, just gentle breezes so when we looked up and saw how far out we were I think it shocked us both.

Lately I've been thinking about this as a metaphor for life. It almost feels like going through life is like navigating the ocean. The ocean can be beautiful, peaceful and inspiring and it can also be dark, terrifying, and dangerous.

The surface looks one way and underneath there are currents and undertows that can push and pull you off course without you even being aware of it.

Everyday on the ocean is a different day. You can be floating along heading off in one direction and before you know it you look up and you are somewhere you never intended on going.

Isn't it funny how life can sometimes get away from you in this way too?

Here I am going along, riding my waves of life, focusing on my art, my blog, making plans for my future and then along comes my Christmas wave. Parties, gift wrapping, the joy of children experiencing the holiday, fun with the family, playing games, relaxing, enjoying each others company, being embraced in love and happiness. It's all so beautiful.

Then I wake up and it's all over and I feel as if I'm a different person. Not at all focused on the same things. As if I am a stranger looking through the window at who I was a couple of weeks ago. Not bad, just different.

The kids are home for another week and the new me wants to play with them, hang out with them, enjoy them. The old me knows the week they go back to school is going to be crazy busy and if I'm to go forward with my original plans I need to get busy working now and prepare.

Who am I in this moment? Where am I in this big ocean of life? How do I know if I am on the correct path to get me to where I want to go? How do I know if where I want to go is even where I need to go?

Learning to balance your plans and your dreams with the current moment is a difficult feat. You want to enjoy every moment and live in the now and at the same time you feel as if you need to be thinking into the future to plan and prepare.

I know I could benefit from some "inside time" to go inward and connect with my spirit. This is what has been lacking in the last couple of weeks. There has been a lot of "outside time" with all the focus on the external. I think this is where the shift occurred.

The simple act of writing about this has created a shift and has got me thinking again, got me centered and helped me get some clarity.

Could you use a little centering after the holidays? Perhaps this can be a gentle reminder to take some time to journal, create a piece of art, meditate, take a walk in nature, or whatever helps you connect with your spirit. Now is the perfect time before round two begins...New Years Eve. :o)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

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Merry Christmas for us! A day early! Santa was busy loading up the tree.

The boys are ready to open all their presents!

Here I am sporting my new scarf and opening my Cookie Monster Christmas Ornament my hubby got me to celebrate my big win in the cookie exchange contest. Hee hee.

Papa G (grandpa) got the boys a special gift and Auntie Lynn and Uncle Mark take credit for the awesome mohawk hats!

Here we are with Mimi (grandma) in front of the tree. It was a great day!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

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Santa Comes to our house 1 day early this year. You see with all the children in the world, Santa needs an extra day to deliver all the presents and this year we get to go first. It doesn't hurt that my older children are at their dad's on Christmas Day this year. wink wink.
We had to make sure we got busy making cookies for him. We made our own dough and the kids rolled them out and cut them out themselves. We even made our own frosting.

The kids had a great time. Even the 13 year old had fun. He had to get creative and cut out his own shape cookie. I love that!
They were a little heavy handed. Poor Santa. I hope he doesn't get a belly ache. :o)

Here they are all set out and ready for Santa to drop by. It looks like they picked the perfect cookies. Santa won't get a tummy ache after all! Phew!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

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The boys had some fun making their gingerbread house today.

The bird even got in on the Christmas spirit!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

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Today I decided to compile a bunch of pictures I took with my boys into a movie. They had a blast playing in the snow. We worked on creating the movie together and I have to tell you they had some AMAZING ideas! They are naturals. It was Liam's idea to do the beginning and Aidan's idea to do the ending. I think they are both awesome!

I hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

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I hosted a cookie exchange on Thursday. We sampled all the cookies and everyone voted for their favorite with a $5 bill. The money is being donated to Heifer. This is where everyone placed their money for their votes. We had 18 entries but I made it with 25 stockings to allow for it to be used as an advent calendar.