January 2023.

It’s been a slow month for my family. We started the year hosting a decadent dinner with friends and all the kids, and we spent the first enjoying the Bucs game against the North Carolina Panthers in a luxury corner suite with 34 of our friends and family members – what a day. The kids called it one of the coolest things they’ve ever done, and it was definitely one for the books. After that, though…we fell. One by one, we became sick. First my husband. Then our son. Then me. Then our youngest daughter. The flu for them, strep throat for me. So far, knock on wood, the big girls have managed to stay germ-free.

Essentially, January told us to sit down, hold its beer, and it kicked our asses. I’m not complaining, though. I mean, I am absolutely complaining about being sick. It is no one’s favorite, and I am not a fan of watching our family suffer through illness, but rest is so essential. We are so busy all the time. January 2 was the first time we stopped and did nothing since…last January. We were overly exhausted, run down, worn down, and in desperate need of rest.

For the past three weeks, we’ve binge-watched Wednesday (so cute, and the kids loved it just as much as us). We’ve read books, ordered a lot of meals in, cooked a little bit here and there when we had the energy, and consumed a great deal of tea. We’ve visited the doctor four times, picked up two amoxicillin prescriptions and two Tamiflu prescriptions, and we are finally on the mend.

What I’m saying is rest is so good. It’s essential. It’s something I’m adding a great deal of to my life this year. Why am I always in a hurry? What am I rushing around for? Why are we so busy? Rest is something we’ve realized this month is mandatory, and the self-care aspect of that is playing into the new year with vengeance.

Making more time for rest

It won’t always work, I know this. We are busy people without trying to be busy people. We have four kids, careers, a business, friends and family and an active social and travel life. We don’t mean to be so busy, but we are. So, rest won’t always work for us, but we are trying. What does rest look like for us?

More time to read

For me, rest is making more time to read. This month, I’ve already read nine amazing books, and I’m making a concerted effort to read a minimum of three books a month this year. Reading is therapy for me. Books speak to my soul, and I’m going to read them, review them, and enjoy my rest in someone else’s story.

More time to play

Family walks, throwing the football and baseball, playing a game of basketball in the driveway, playing cards and board games, and finding family movies to enjoy together. These are all things we love to do that we so rarely have time for. We are making time this year. During the summer we can break out the volleyball net. Family nights in the pool are always amazing.

More time to bond

We’ve had so many family dinner nights at home, around the table, together this month. It’s been fantastic. The kids love family dinner nights, and we adore them, too. Setting the table, eating together, discussing our days, even while under the weather, has been such a gift. This is time we don’t get back if we don’t use it this way. This year, we’re making more time for family dinners, conversation, and quality time bonding.

More time focusing on each of the kids

You can imagine focusing on each of the children individually comes with its own set of challenges when there are two of us and four of them. Some of them (our high schooler) are a little needier than others with her constant need for a ride, her sports, practices, and her social life. Others are a little less high maintenance, such as the twins. It’s important for us to find the time to focus on each of the kids doing things they love.

For our son, it’s anything physical. A pickup game of basketball delights him. Throwing the football to the deep end of the pool so he can jump and catch and splash – his favorite. For Charlotte, it’s nail appointments. We go every two weeks for manis and pedis together, and it’s how we bond. With Ava, it’s golf. We take her golfing. Addy is a shopper and a baker. If I bake with her, she’s enjoying it. If we are shopping, she’s all about it. But it is the personal time we need with each of them that helps us feel like we are doing what we really want to be doing.

More time focusing on one another

Something we decided to do is make a few changes to our home this month…before we fell ill. One of the changes we made was turning the Christmas tree room into a sitting room complete with a full bar, seating, and new lighting. It’s my husband and I’s room to sit, read, visit with one another, and share a cocktail. A glass of bourbon for him and red wine for me, ambient lighting, and the kids in bed, but without the fuss of going out and being away from home.

More time at home

Home is my happiest place. We travel often, but home is always a place I am excited to come home to, and I love being here. Every nook, every corner, every room in this house is filled with so many memories, so much love, and so much beauty. We bought this house and remodeled almost all of it – we have a few more things to get around to eventually – and our touch, style, and personality is in every corner of our home. It’s filled with character and all the things we love, and it’s home. Spending more time here is something I want to do because it makes me feel so good. Being in the place we love with the people I love the most – it’s what drives me.

My word for 2023 – Value

It’s a loaded word, but I don’t do resolutions. If I’m ready to make changes, new goals, or resolutions, I do it when the urge strikes. But I love a new word for the new year. Value is the word this year. If it doesn’t bring value, add value, or feel valuable to me and my life, I don’t have time for it.

Sweet. Simple. Concise.

Happy New Year, friends. I hope yours is filled with quiet joy found in the moments that mean the most.


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