Thoughts + Things Thursday #6

La La Land

On Sunday night Robbie and I went on a date to see La La Land. There were such polarising opinions on this movie that I sort of mentally prepared myself to not like it. I think my gut knew I would like it, but I didn’t want to be disappointed. Well, we went to see it, and I LOVED IT! I appreciated so much about the movie – the musical component, the jazz component, the story and the depth to the story, and the cinematography. I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone by going into details, but I love the idea of people who push us towards our dreams. I love how they brought so much detail to a certain moment in a story that it made you remember and feel what it was like when that happened for you. Ah, I could go on, but I won’t because I know not everyone loved it as much as I did. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack all week! I will finish with this – if you are interested in seeing it, go into it know that it is a “modern day musical”. That’s what they were going for. It’s not a light-hearted rom-com, so if you go into it thinking that’s what you will get, you may be disappointed.

Our Favourite Gym Instructor

I told you last week that I had switched gyms. Well Emily and I tried our first class on Monday night. It’s a Les Mills class called Body Balance, and it combines Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates. When I looked at the timetable for this gym, I saw this class and that it was following a Les Mills Body Pump class. I noticed the instructor for both was “Amanda”, and I was hoping that maybe, just maybe, it was the same Amanda from our other gym who had become our favourite instructor. We arrived on Monday night, and it was her! I was stoked! Another plus for this new gym!

The Weather

Today, the weather is amazing. Such a nice, refreshing relief from the past two 100+ degree days. I wore jeans. Yep, that’s a big deal in my book. Perfect weather is a tank top and jeans to me (without sweating!). I love that I could let Eleanor be outside and go for walks without feeling like we were going to get heat stroke or needed to apply 100 layers of sunscreen. If only it were going to stay this way. I am such a winter girl!

Kids Camp

I took Eleanor to a kids camp today that a local church runs every year. I was so hopeful that she would go in and have fun with all the toys and other little kids, including her friend Essie. No dice. They called me after 25 minutes to tell me she wasn’t settling. This girl can be quite stubborn and such a mumma’s girl, so we haven’t had an easy time leaving her at church creche or things like that. Any advice on how to help kids settle at daycare or church kids’ programs? We still had a nice time in the parents’ tent with the coffee and treats, but it was definitely a bit different than I had planned for the morning to go.

The Magnolia Story

On our way home from kids camp, Eleanor fell asleep in the car, so I parked in the warehouse car park and read a book so she would get a decent nap. I finished reading The Magnolia Story – the book about Chip and Joanna Gaines. (Also, the second book I’ve finished this year, and it’s not even February! Definitely feeling good about changing this habit!) I really loved reading about their story, and I feel like I identified so much with Joanna’s journey with motherhood especially. She would say she’s a perfectionist, and it was encouraging to read about her journey to push through that and really be with her children and create spaces and a home for her family, not for a magazine. They have such incredible stories along the way, and it’s no surprise to me the success they have had. They’ve really stood on their strong foundations and haven’t wavered when things were challenging. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to be inspired or encouraged or who love them and their show.

Other Links from the Week

If you haven’t had a chance to read, I’ve posted a few other posts this week.

Check out “My Hopes for 2017” here or “18 Months with Eleanor” here!

January 19, 2017|Random|0 Comments

My Hopes for 2017

Here it is – my hopes for 2017. I’ve started this post at different points since the New Year, but with the first week of the New Year not going so swimmingly, I’ve had to start over a few times.

In my New Year’s Day post, I wrote about my desire to live more intentionally this year. I’ve been writing bits and pieces down over the past month or so with what I wanted to focus on in the New Year, and after I concluded that a big theme would be living intentionally, I wanted to really shape these hopes in the right way.

I’ve tried to focus on several areas and then narrow each down so it’s specific enough to be realistic. I don’t call these resolutions because I find resolutions can be self-defeating. The minute it doesn’t happen, we can so quickly think “well better luck next year” and give up all together. These are hopes because I genuinely hope to put time and thought into these areas this year. I am sure different ones will have center-stage more than others at different points throughout the year, but this is what I am aiming for.

2017 – Be Intentional

Invest in Learning

This is probably the one at center-stage right now. My learning muscles have been a little weak in the past year (unless it’s kid related – let’s be honest!), and I am noticing the great importance for continuing to learn in many ways and areas. I plan to pursue this by reading more and watching less, as well as by listening to podcasts. I’ve already finished one book so far this year, and I am nearly finished with another.

Intentional Days

Sometimes the daily grind can take over, and I forget to think through what’s happening. I sort of live in this place of “responding” to the day rather than “planning” for the day. Obviously with kids, you have to have a measure of flexibility, but I find Eleanor thrives with new activities and places, as well as some routine. I want to plan more creative things throughout the week for Eleanor, new activities or parks, the library, etc. I also want to plan more personal, intentional time to work on hobbies and activities that bring me life, as well as activities that bring life to my friendships and my marriage.

Blog Better

I have had such a love for blogs and writing for so long, and I feel it’s something I want to continue growing. I want to create more content, develop more quality photos to add and really invest time into all that this blog can be. I’ve been doing a lot of reading about some of the areas I would like to grow the blog, such as editorial calendars (check!), SEO, photography for blogging, and networking. I’m excited to see where it goes. The other area with blogging is that I want to be a bit braver about what I am posting. I for sure want to use wisdom and post with purpose and intention, but I think I’ve let too many posts sit in my drafts folder for fear of how the internet world may respond. I actually think it’s worth it, though, because those posts may reach someone who needs to read them. That is my hope, and therefore, I will be braver for that reason alone.

Begin with Intention

At the moment, our days begin when Eleanor wakes up. Depending on when we got to bed or how the morning goes, we can actually start our day pretty frazzled or behind, and I really feel that needs to change. I may start setting my alarm to wake up at the same time every morning, and maybe, just maybe, it will be before Eleanor if she ever decides to stop waking up at 5:40am! I want to be intentional about spending time reading or listening to worship music or “filling my cup”, as they say, even if that means giving Eleanor a bit of screen-time to do it. It’s totally worth it. I am also wanting our family to create a habit of beginning our day praying and inviting God into the day. Maybe not first thing but definitely before we head out the door. Such a small thing like that has gone a loooooong way in the past.

Continue Cultivating Healthy Habits

I am so proud that I can write “continue” instead of “create”. Something clicked last year, and I am so grateful that healthy habits really started happening and becoming a part of my life. I still have so much room to grow and learn in this area, though. I want to continue exercising and experiment more with meals and snacks, creating a bit of a routine with some of that to make life a little easier. I would also LOVE to kick this nail biting habit once and for all. If that’s something you have achieved, please give me all your tips!

^Cheeky monkey jumped in my photo shoot for this post, but who can resist posting a pic of Eleanor, hey?!

Be Intentional with Relationships

Living in community as we do, you can really take for granted how you spend time with people. You generally see most people throughout the week, but I wouldn’t say you’re spending quality time every week. I want to host more people in our house, particularly now that we have the space, and I also want to pursue my girl friends more – let’s go have coffee or go to a movie or the beach. *I am determined to have a no-kids beach day with my girl friends before the summer is over! Another way I want to be intentional with relationships is to be better about long-distance relationships. I think we do ok with some but definitely have a lot of room to grow in this area as well.

Grow Photography Skill

A couple of years ago, I wrote a bit of my journey with photography. Now, having had my camera and a decent lens for a couple years (oh, and a model to shoot whenever?! Thanks Eleanor!), I have fallen in love with it again. I really want to invest time into take more photos and growing my skills even more. I’d love to start taking photos of families and engaged couples again because I feel the perspective I have now compared to 8-10 years ago is drastically different. I’m not sure if I am game for anything wedding related yet unless I was a helper or assistant, but nonetheless, I am wanting to take more photos and learn more and more. I got the program Lightroom for Christmas, and I am really loving it and feel that it has already helped in many ways!

What are your hopes for 2017? What do you think about the idea of resolutions, goals, hopes, etc?
January 16, 2017|Random|0 Comments

Gilmore Girls Viewing Party

When our flat got renovated, giving us a much larger living room to host people, I was pretty excited to start hosting. Right around that same time, news of the Gilmore Girls revival came out, and I was ready – this was the big party I was going to host. I sent out a status asking who of the staff girls at YWAM Newie watched Gilmore Girls, and over the next couple months, people responded and planning started.

In the weeks leading up to “the event”, everyone started talking food. You really cannot have a Gilmore Girls party without alllllll the food. It was hilarious to see everyone’s excitement and creativity come out, even sharing blog posts they had found of food ideas. (Go to Pinterest and search “Gilmore Girls Viewing Party”, and you will laugh at the sheer number of pins and blog posts about this very topic.)

My contribution was Pop Tarts that my parents had sent in a package, as well as popcorn. The amount of food was insaaaaaane! It was perfect. 24 girls rocked up to my house, and my living room was full. We all made it through the first one with pizzas, fries and cookies sporadically appearing out of the oven. There was coffee, of course, and a ton of other soda drinks. There were marshmallows and dessert sushi. Donuts. Some girls came with Thai takeout. We had pizza, chips, fries, cookies. It just kept coming. We were set.

It was such a fun time. I’ll spare you my review on the actual show because I think the internet has enough of those. I will simply make one random comment – the musical….why?!? I still don’t get it.

I actually didn’t think in the midst of everything to get out my nice camera because we were just running around getting everything set up and trying to start on time. I’m kicking myself for that. Below are a few screen shots from SnapChat (classy, I know!), but the best photo of the night was all of us together at the top!

Did you watch the revival? Did you do anything special? My friend all the way in Europe MADE homemade pop tarts. Majorly impressed! (Good job, Faith!)

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January 14, 2017|Random|0 Comments
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