Happy Tuesday, loves!
And Happy New Year!
Want to hear something funny? This is my least favorite time of the year. Well, December 26 – August 31 is my least favorite time of the year. I live for September 1 – December 25. The rest of the year I could actually care less about. There’s something so magical and amazing about those four months, and I get a little sad when they are over.
Of course, I love the new year and what it means. I love days each of my five loves were born. I love our wedding anniversary. I love the fun we have all year. I just don’t feel the same magic every single day the first eight months of the year. But I do the moment September 1 arrives. Every single day until Christmas is magic.
The magic that happens the rest of the year is more situational than it is every moment, and that’s where I feel I love it just a bit less. Also, I don’t care much for being hot. Ironic, for a lifelong Floridian, right?
It’s a new year right now, and that’s significant for so many people. While I’m a firm believer in making changes and starting over any day, any time, and for any reason you feel the need, there is something so magical about starting over on January 1. It’s like the slate has been wiped clean, the new year is here, and there is just too much to be excited about.
Reflecting on 2018
What. A. Year.
Okay, so we say that every year. But it’s amazing that every year seems like the most amazing year and it cannot be topped, and yet the following year always manages to top it. That’s certainly not to say that there are not moments in which life is not the best ever or that we don’t have low moments, but we are fortunate enough that our low moments and our down moments are few and far between, and they are far outweighed by the good. We are big on choosing happiness, and that works for us most of the time.
2018 was a fun year in so many ways. It brought at least one getaway or trip every month, which was our goal.
We took the big girls to New York City for the first time. Craig and I have been going a few times a year for the past 12 or 13 years, and it’s our favorite city. But the girls have never been, and we decide they were finally old enough. And oh my goodness, did Craig make sure they had the best time. He made reservations at our favorite restaurant, Il Tinello, one night. They got to stay at our favorite hotel and meet our favorite doorman. He made sure that every dinner reservation he made was for a great filet for Ava, since it’s her favorite.
He took them to American Girl and let them go to town getting whatever they wanted. We went to Times Square and they disliked it as much as we do – so we know for certain we never have to go back there again. We took them to the Plaza for brunch. We took them to Saks to go shoe shopping because that’s my favorite pastime there. We took them to see the Statue of Liberty from the Ritz Carlton, and to tour Tiffany’s (because I can’t leave NYC without a new little blue box) and to every Starbucks and to Central Park and everywhere in between.
We visited my grandmother in Texas twice in 2018. She’s almost 100, and it’s our priority to spend a few weekends a year with her these days. The kids went with us for four days the first time, and Craig and I went alone to spend a whirlwind 24 hours with her – and my parents and brother and extended family – in November.
Craig and I went on a cruise with our four favorite couples for a long weekend. Cruises are not my favorite, but these people certainly are. Craig ended up definitely, totally, almost ruining night one for me when he got SO sick, but our friends made it hilarious, funny, and enjoyable, and of course, he definitely made up for it the rest of the cruise.
We spent a long weekend in West Palm, we spent a long weekend with our families in Orlando in a fun rental house doing nothing but enjoying the time we have with one another. We spent long weekends at the Omni Championsgate, at the Gaylord, at Disney, in New York, the Caribbean, Tampa, Naples, and more.
Our best friends bought a river house, and we spent so many Sundays there making memories with them and all of our kids. We celebrated our 10th year of Wednesday night dinners with them. We exceeded our goal of having 6 date nights with no kids with them (we made it to 9), and I cannot even tell you how much we laughed. We spent more time outdoors being athletic than ever before. We ran two 5k races. We went to the gym together. We had more family movie nights. Addison found a love of baking, which means she and I get to spend more time together.
We had more fun, made more memories, and celebrated so many things. We met our goals for the year much earlier than we thought we would, and then we killed them the rest of the year. We failed in some areas (I’m looking at you tiffanyraiford.com….I didn’t blog as often as I said I would simply because I put my clients first. The blog is a fun hobby for me, but the writing I do for my clients is my priority). We didn’t do nearly all the stuff around the house we wanted to do, but we did other things we didn’t plan on doing.
2018 was a fun year. It was also a year for learning – as they should all be.
One of the best things I do all year is spend some time looking back at the lessons we learned.
For example – we can do anything, but we cannot do everything.
Quality people are the best people.
Giving back is always the most important thing we do.
Quality is always better than quantity.
Forgiveness is always the answer.
What other people think of you only matters if you’re unhappy with yourself – change your life and learn to love yourself and it won’t matter how others view you.
The best times are the simplest times.
A full calendar is not my favorite.
#backtobasics is everything good in life.
We all make mistakes, and we should learn from them, take ownership of them, and move on to become better people.
Kids are kind of assholes, but they’re super cute.
Life is good, and I appreciate the hell out of that. I don’t take that for granted, and I am filled with grace and gratitude because of it.
Goals for 2019
What will this year bring? I have no idea, but I do know that there are some new goals I’d like to make. There are also some old goals I’d like to continue to live by.
I will continue to live with these goals:
- Always say no if you’re not 100% invested in it from the start (life is too short to go about it doing what you don’t want to do)
- Give grace
- Practice gratitude
- Put my marriage first
- Spend more quality time with the kids
- Re-evaluate anything that makes me second guess my own life and make changes as needed to get back on track if I feel off track or unhappy with anything in life.
- We will spend at least one weekend per month traveling
I have set these goals for 2019.
- Spend less time on my phone. Considering I run my business from my electronics, it’s not always easy to step away, but I’m going to do more than just put my ‘do not disturb’ on from 8 pm to 7 am. I’m leaving my phone in another room at 8 pm – and I’m not checking it at all after that.
- I’m practicing patience. It’s not something I have much of, but I’m going to teach myself to have more.
- I’m going to be more in the moment.
- I’m reading more books.
- I’m going to be better about gossiping. It’s easy to get caught up, and I dislike thinking that I’m not immune to that.
- I’m going to surprise my husband more. He does such a good job of being sweet and doing wonderful things for me all the time, and I’d like to do more of the same for him.
- Spend more quality time with our families.
- Say yes to anything that sounds exciting and fun.
- Travel at least one place we’ve never been with the kids and without the kids.
- Relax more
Essentially, I like to spend my time becoming a better person. I don’t always make it in every aspect, but I am so down for trying harder and making strides anywhere and everywhere. I don’t set health goals because I work on that every day regardless. It’s not something I have to set my mind to, so I don’t set those goals. I always value my faith, my marriage, and my kids above everything else, too. I always make it my goal to focus on those things, so they’re not things I need to make goals, either.
The new year is a wonderful new start for everyone. If you’re struggling with what to do, here are some thoughts. Make it a goal to be a better person. Let go of things that bother you. Let go of anger, resentment, insecurities, and things that don’t make you happy. Trust me – when you learn to let go of that stuff, you definitely live better. Focus on the good in life, and create more of that. Make a list of things you aren’t happy about in life, and then change them. Don’t worry about what other people think. Don’t compare your story to everyone else’s. Pick your friends wisely. Grow up. Laugh more. Worry about yourself instead of everyone else. Own your shit. Be yourself. Do you, boo.
It’s a brand-new year, and that’s super exciting. Enjoy it, love it, make it yours – and always laugh more.