I was at a writing conference once where they asked us to write our "One Little Word". This one word was supposed to encompass our personal focus for our year, a word that would remind us of our self-declared purpose and refocus us if ever we felt we were being bogged down by all the little voices telling us of the million things we need to accomplish.
I've seen a few friends report on their "One Little Word" in their personal lives, too, and I have been anxious to figure out a word for myself. Well, it took me a while, but after weeks of thinking it over I now feel that I have found my word for this year:
A few things have prompted me in this desire to be more mindful, but basically all of them revolve around one little thing: my cellphone
Last October I watched a church conference where we were challenged to go on a 10-day social media fast. I quickly accepted the challenge and deleted my Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Marco Polo apps from off my phone. The first few days were definitely tough and I was very much aware that I was missing something to fill my time. But after a little while, my body and mind stopped automatically searching for my social media and instead filled my days with other worthy activities.
I found more quality time with my daughter, outdoor play sessions with my puppy, and insightful conversations with my husband More productivity cleaning the house or tackling piles of laundry. More book reading and blogging. Basically, I realized the importance of not just filling my time so that I'm not bored, but filling my time with meaningful things that enhance my life socially, spiritually, mentally, or physically.
And then....the social media fast ended. I told myself I would remember the lessons. I told myself that I would not let myself get mindlessly addicted to my phone again. I told myself that I could hold strong to my priorities. And yet, I found myself slipping back into those habits where I mindlessly scroll through friend posts and always keep my phone by my side.
How many relationships have I missed out on because I was more interested on the not-so-interesting posts on my phone? How many important conversations have gone unspoken because I was so transfixed on the color-matching game on my smart device? I am not going to try to guess; instead, I'm making a change.
I feel really good about this one little word for 2019. I am going to work on being mindful. And just because I know that my one little word is still broad, I want to write down some specifics:
What is your one little word for 2019?
Suddenly, my little girl isn't a helpless infant. It feels like it happened so suddenly.
Now Grace can hold her own bottle.
She can sit up all by herself (and only falls backwards occasionally).
Grace babbles like crazy. Her favorite is to blow raspberries and get drool all over the front of her outfit. Her newest sound obsession is the fake cough.
She grabs at EVERYTHING. Nothing is safe anymore, including the food on my plate or the vase of flowers.
She loves testing things by banging them on the floor/table or stuffing them into her mouth.
Speaking of putting things in her mouth, Grace is a great eater. She loves trying new foods, including mango curry, crackers, fruits, and scrambled eggs. Basically, Mom and Dad have to share with her every time they sit down for a meal.
Grace loves splashing around during bath time. Her favorite moment is getting out of the tub and being wrapped up in a towel.
Grace is a thrill seeker. She loves being scared and tickled. We hear the most enthusiastic squeals when we play peek-a-boo.
Even though she technically knows how to roll both ways, she still fusses over tummy time.
Gracie and Cali are good friends. Grace loves holding onto Cali's fur and laughing when her pup gives her kisses on her cheek and ears.
She is fascinated by young children and loves to be around them (even if she can't participate in their games).
She is also very interested in tongues and has hers out constantly. If you stick out your tongue, she will definitely try to grab it.
Grace has gotten a little more needy and doesn't like being left out of things. She still is an angel baby and so mild tempered.
At this point,
- no teeth
- no crazy mobility with rolling or crawling
- no actual words like "dada" or "mama"
It's funny because I see friends' babies who are around Grace's age or younger who have reached some of the milestones that Grace hasn't gotten to yet. Sometimes I am tempted to compare and wonder, "Why isn't Grace doing that yet?" But then I remember that everyone learns and develops at different rates. Grace will get there when she is ready, and until then I will enjoy the growth that I see in my daughter and who she is right at this moment. I don't want her to grow up too fast.
As a little girl, I remember the years going by soooo slowly. It felt like I was in school for FOREVER, and it seemed that one New Year was always so distant from the next. I don't know why time felt longer then, but time has definitely shortened as I have grown, and each passing year seems to sneak up and surprise me by ending too soon.
December was filled with lots of family and friends. We celebrated my birthday near the beginning of the month with some food at a new restaurant and then a quick, chilly visit to a live nativity.
Andrew, Grace, and I were able to attend a very fun Christmas PJ party, where we celebrated in true Christmas morning style. There was delicious crème brulee french toast bake (and I mean SERIOUSLY delicious! Here is the recipe). We decorated sugar cookies and then voted for the coveted awards for "Most Creative", "Most Festive", and "Most Professional". The night ended with a gift swap of some of our favorite things. It was a great party to start the holidays off on the right foot.
The Macey clan had a ton of family parties this Christmas season. From regular family dinner celebrating the December birthdays, to a white elephant gift exchange with Andrew's dad, to Christmas Eve at Grandma's house, and finally our family dinner and gifts on Christmas night...phew, it was a lot! And it was a lot of fun. We spiced up Christmas night with some minute-to-win-it games and a quick stop at the local firehouse where we dropped off cookies to the firemen who had to work that evening. It was so much fun spending time with family. Gracie especially loved being surrounded by so many little kids.
And then, of course, December also signals the end of the year. Our New Year's celebration was fun and chill. We went over to our friends' house for some dinner, games, and great conversation. We both have little ones, so we were in bed by 11. But then Andrew and I were horrified to awake to the sound of crazy loud fireworks just outside of our home at midnight. Apparently, fireworks are allowed until 1am on New Years. Whoever thought that law was a good idea did not have little children or a dog to worry about. It totally disrupted our sleep (we are such old farts now! haha).
2018 has been one to remember. It has signaled the end of my teaching career (at least for a time) and the beginning of my many mommy adventures. The year brought more babies into our extended family and a fur baby into our own home. It hasn't always been easy; Andrew and I have discussed and debated over job satisfaction, puppy commands, time management, and schooling. But I think 2018 has set the stage for some big growth to happen in 2019. Bring it on!
Andrew and Maichael
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