January Check Up

{Blogged over Thin Mints. Because it’s that time} I figured this was a good opportunity to check in and see where we are with our resolutions/ goals/ intentions/ whatever they are called! I am feeling pretty good about 2018, month one (the rest of the year might turn into a disaster, so I’m not getting too gloaty here!) For a little refresher on my goals, go here.  So far I have:

-Tried an escape room (So so SO fun!!!) I went with me and my hubby for a date night but we have several others planned with friends.  My husband and I love any and all games and this was right up our alley. Totally addicting and challenging (and humbling!) Try one (and if you live in Orange County, message me and I will tell you all about the one we went to! They were wonderful!)

- Spent almost every weekend outside (thank you, CA weather!) at new parks. We’ve spent time at the Great Park (in Irvine), at two parks in San Juan and it’s been great.  Anyone with children knows that the best thing for them is to get outside. We’ve packed lunches and dinners and just let them run around on the grass, play on swings, night swim—and it’s been  wonderful.  We are not taking this fabulous weather for granted one bit!

-Traded out paper towels for cloth towels. I know, it’s not much but it’s a start for us.  Kids make everything super messy  and we can easily go through a paper towel roll (or two!) a day. Now, we are trying to be very good at  drying our hands, drying dishes, and wiping the counters with a cloth towel.   With all of the germs floating around lately,  I have been washing the towels non-stop but it is working out so far!   I hope to make one small change a month and by the years end, it will make a much bigger impact! Next month: cloth napkins for everyday!! 

-  Focusing on my kids when I get home. I have been diligent about putting my phone down and just concentrating on them for the short time I have before they go to sleep.  For me, my weekdays are a little bit of time with the kids in the morning over breakfast and then the absolute tornado of dinner/baths/bedtime at night.  Its not nearly enough, and it sometimes really gets to me, how fast life moves and how weeks turn into months.  It makes me sad to be away from them so much, but  I try not to dwell on it and just focus on the joy of the moment.    So far, its working! 

-Tried an at home work out video.  I have only done a few so far, and it’s been so-so. I am a runner at heart, but I’m struggling to find the time. For any kind of exercise.  I’ve started to do videos after the kids go to sleep, and I think if I stick with this, it will be because I find good ones! I will let you know what I find-- and I'd love to hear your favorites too!

How are you all doing with your resolutions?  I would love to hear from you and hang in there! Sweetly, Michelle 

Looking Behind In Order to Look Forward

{Written with an optimistic heart— and a pile of gummi bears #haribo} 

As always, I can’t believe this year has come to an end. They always just seem to fly right on by, don’t they? I have mixed feelings again about this year, just like I did in 2016. My son was born in 2016, which was one of the best things to ever happen to me, yet we lost my father in 2016, which was one of the very worse things that has ever happened to me.  2017 was a year of firsts for us: we became a family of four, Hudson took his first steps, we celebrated his first birthday, I started my own law firm (and we hired our first associate!!)... and there were other firsts too- all of the holidays without my dad, celebrating his birthday without him. The good and the bad, the ying and yang- this is life. I have come to learn that the euphoric highs and crushing lows are all just a part of the journey.   We will have joy in this life, but we will suffer pain too.  This realization has had a profound impact on my outlook.  It’s made me so cognizant that this moment – – the mundane, the routine, even the boring – – will never come again  and we need to embrace it as much as possible. And trust with all our heart that God has a plan for us. With all this in mind, my 2018 thoughts/hopes/ goals are shaping up to look a little bit as follows: 

1.  Be more mindful of the things that I buy for my family:  try to buy sustainable, quality, local, good-for-our-world kind of goods as much as possible. Sometimes, this whole concept seems so overwhelming to me, but I am going to start making small, smart, changes and hopefully it will snowball.

2. Play more outside!!! 

3. Have engaged conversations with my kids.  I sometimes feel like I am running around doing 26 different things at once and I am listening to what my daughter is telling me while making dinner and dictating an email into my phone.  I need to slow it down and put it down and be present. 

4.  More spontaneity: I like to plan everything out with long lists.  I need to toss those out the window more often and just make memories! We live about an hours drive from a million great places to explore- now, I just need to get out there and do it!  

5.  Strive to have a grateful heart and show this to my children.  My husband and I send each other emails about the things we are grateful for, just to make sure we remember how fortunate we are. I need to somehow incorporate this in the conversations I have with my kids because  they do learn by osmosis and we (my family but more broadly, basically everyone who lives in the United States) have an abundance of blessings. We can (and should) find something to be thankful for every minute of every single day.  Kids are greedy little monsters at this age 😊 and I know this, but it still bothers me a bit how much they constantly want want want. I would love to try and have my children realize that we have enough of everything. Not the least of which are the most important things —each other. 

6. Find a little more time for myself.  As a  mom, I seem to spend 28 hours a day fulfilling the needs of my family.  I am not complaining — this comes with the territory!  While I am happy to do this,  since Hudson was born, I find I have zero time for myself – – a nail appointment, a facial, a run- nada!! I would like to reclaim a little more of me time in 2018 (and not feel guilty about doing it!)

7.  Spend more time dating my husband! This seems impossible in light of #6 but I am gonna try! My marriage has had its share of ups and downs for sure but right now, we are in the best place we’ve ever been.  We turned a corner when we realized that even though we hate leaving the kiddos, we NEED time for ourselves. Even if a date night is just a date lunch or a movie on the couch when the kiddos are asleep- connecting as adults makes us better parents (and people!)

I also like to throw in a few achievable goals each year— things I know there is a chance I will actually do (like, giving up coffee or sugar is never gonna happen). I’m thinking this year, (1) Learn to sew (and actually make something that isn’t only trash can worthy and (2) Do something new every month. My friend Emily did a challenge in 2017 where she did something new every week (and it WAS challenging for her to come up with new ideas ) but so cool. She tried new restaurants, went on a ton of adventures, saw plays, went to museums, and generally, got out of the box! I’m gonna try one a month and see how it goes!

I am so  fortunate to have you all on this journey and I look forward to more of it in 2018.  Happy happy new year! XOXO Michelle 

PS: I did a little 2017 recap below, which I should do every year because as I scrolled through these pictures, I was reminded about what a fun year we had! 

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In 2017, we made new friends who are already old friends.... 

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We remembered that love is all you need.... 

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We saw a heck of a lot of palm trees.... 

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We learned to stand tall.... 

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We had a Coachella Party (of one)! 

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I pulled a tooth (no more of this in 2018! Ugh!) 

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We lugged Huddy around to mama’s coffee shop addiction...

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We thought about kindness and we tried to spread it.... 

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We went to lunch with our cousin... 

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More of those palms... 

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We learned to crawl... 

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We opened our house...

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And our hearts.... 

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And we filled them with friendships... 

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We painted tiles at School... 

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We loved bounce bounce bouncing!...

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We went to a lot of movies together.... 

 We have lift off!!! 

We have lift off!!! 

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Eight months of this love...

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We waited in a long line to see the Easter bunny... 

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He was sort of creepy, to be honest... 

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We learned that everything at a baseball game is better with friends.....

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She did not catch that ball, for the record.... 

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Easter Sunday!!!

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We made an ombré cake for Easter....

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We learned that being with our cousins is the best.... 

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Hiiiii cousin! 

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Addison loves all of these babies!

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We learned that Mother’s Day is one of the best days.. 

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Hi mama! 

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We learned that we really like bagels.... 

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A lot.... 

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We learned when you’re a kid, you can pretty much wear jammies everywhere... 

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We went to a very special fairy party.. 

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We went to Mexican food around 3 times a week!!

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We spent time with our dearest friends... 

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All sorts of time... 

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But no time is enough time.... 

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Super mamas! 

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Being a baby is tiring stuff... 

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We love water... 

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A LOTTTTT!!... 

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My hubby had a terrifying 3 months that ended with spine surgery... 

 But 2 months later, he was on his feet again... 

But 2 months later, he was on his feet again... 

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We played with a lot of furry animals... 

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(Do goats count as furry animals?)😊 

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All ready for a little swim mama! 

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We turned 10 months old! 

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We learned we love horses...

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We learned that our Mommy loves the USA...

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Hudson took a little to warming up to this concept.... 

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❤️❤️❤️ 

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 More Mexican food!!!! 

More Mexican food!!!! 

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Before...

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After!!! 

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We were in a theater group!

 We took a little girls day together... 

We took a little girls day together... 

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And went to the Hollywood Bowl!!

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More time with our cousin!

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Thumb sucker alert! 

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Hi Charlotte! 

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Bagels are better with friends... 

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Happy 4th of July!!! 

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More bagels! 

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11 months old!! 

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We took a trip to Chicago!

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How’s that for matchy matching? 

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We love our Chicago cousins!! 

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Huds first wedding... not particularly impressed... 

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Family ❤️❤️❤️ 

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Hudson turned ONE.... 

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And then went on a juice cleanse 😂

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I made an office move....

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Saw an eclipse....

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Got reacquainted with chocolate malted crunch ❤️

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Began an obsession....

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Best friends sometimes have fur... 

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Fed the obsession again.... 

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Saw our cousins in Manhattan Beach.... 

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Mom life right here folks

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One of only 67 matching pairs!!! 

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Happy Halloween! 

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We celebrated life’s greatest joys with dear friends... 

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We came back to what feels like home.... 

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Maui is Magic... 

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There are no words for the way some people touch your life and become a part of your heart (and family)... 

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More beautiful moments with beautiful friends... 

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Santa learned to take careful notes... 

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Ready to race into 2018!!!