Saturday, January 2, 2016

JOIN: Celebrate This Week - Year! and Puppies

Every Saturday, join me as I CELEBRATE This Week 
with Ruth Ayres from Discover. Play. Build.

Today I'm celebrating the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016! One of the biggest things that happened in 2015 was that we adopted out puppy Perdita. We call her Perdi for short and I love seeing my kids play with her and watching her run and pounce around the house. I'm so happy we have her in our lives. She's already grown a lot since we brought her home!
In 2015 we also took a great road trip to Disney World. It was such a great trip and we talk about it all the time. We just has so much fun and it was a neat bonding experience, especially for my kids who are now eight and five. They really grew up and grew together on that trip from fighting Darth Vader to becoming pirates, they just had fun. Great memories.

One of the biggest changes that came in 2015 was that I left the school district where I had worked for my entire career (thirteen years) to come to a school district that is closer to home. It's been an amazing change but there were definitely ups and downs along the way and while I love my new position, it has still been a monumental change. 

So when it comes to 2016, I'm excited to soak up the reality that is my life right now. I love my little family. I love our snuggly little house. I love everything I get to experience day in and day out - all the ups and downs, I'll take it. For 2016, my one little word is: REVEL. Even just having this blog as a space to share my story and encourage others is a dream. I started it because I wanted to have a space like this...but now I do have it and it feels awesome. 
I believe in mindfulness through writing and one way for me to truly revel in this beautiful life is to take time to write everyday. A friend shared the Listers Gotta List challenge and I'm in love. Every month, The Reset Girl shares a list of daily topics for lists. She's my first new follow for the new year and I'm already in love with her Instagram posts. 

Here are some highlight from my January 1st list!

What I Loved About 2015:
  • My OLW for 2015 was 'grace' and I'm pretty proud of the deep breaths that I took and how I practiced reacting to situations with grace - I wouldn't say that I was perfect or was able to do this all the time - but I tried and I definitely improved.
  • I visited many a Starbucks but also local coffee shops Hansa and Area General Store where I did a lot of writing. I love the feel of a coffee shop and the sense of accomplishment I get from being there - because I actually get stuff done!
  • I traveled to my favorite conferences this year - ALA, Nerdcamp, and NCTE but also got to travel for Florida with my guys and to Boston with my husband. The best part of all of these trips for me was getting to spend time with friends and family.
  • To get a little out of my comfort zone, I took a motorcycle class, went ziplining, and went on a weekend yoga retreat where I slept in a yurt. I adopted my mantra: "I believe I can and I will." from pushing myself to my limits and finding out I can get past them.  

There is just so much to celebrate. I'm already REVELing in the fact that 2015 was an awesome year and that it feels like 2016 is going to be just as awesome. I'm excited!

I'm very conscious of how blessed I am in this life that I have. I hope that I can spread some love and appreciation and celebration of life to others in my REVELing this year. Whether it's from sharing my story here or in real life. Maybe you'll try the Listers Gotta List challenge...or just try one list today. 

What did you love about 2015?
What are you celebrating? 
2015 or anything else, please share!
I've got (virtual) confetti at the ready. 
Thanks for stopping in to explore with me!


  1. What a cute little addition to your family! Just look at that little face. You had a very busy year and one that brought about changes, but that is what keeps us on our toes! I am hoping to write a few more IMWAYR posts this year. Trying to put those little things I enjoy in front of those things I have to do. Here's to a great 2016 full of celebration, reading and writing!

    1. 2015 definitely kept me on my toes! But you're right, it was a good thing. I've stretched and grown for sure. Change is a good thing even if it isn't easy. I'm glad you're hoping to join in with IMWAYR more. It's my fave. :) In 2014 my one little word was "simplify" and I often need to remind myself of that word and really focus on what it's most important. Best to you!

  2. It's fun to see, and remember, all the things you loved about 2015, especially that puppy! Perhaps you didn't write about it, but I didn't know about the motorcycle class. A long time ago someone wrote that she had inherited a Harley, and then proceeded to take classes to learn to ride it. I still remember what an awesome thing that was. I hope there will be motorcycles or something that challenging in 2016 for you, Jen!

    1. I think I wrote about the motorcycle class once. It was not easy! But I did it. I would love to have a Vespa scooter and that was my first step...we'll see if a scooter comes into my life this year! I wish you the best in 2016, Linda!

  3. 2015 was an amazing year for you and I'm sure that 2016 will be even better, Jen! Let's get together real soon to write and hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate this time! Love your new OLW and your new website!!

    1. Hi! I hope we can get together soon! I'm glad you like Story Exploratory. It really makes my heart happy in a new and different way. Cheers to 2016!

  4. LOVE this site and your word: REVEL. It's positive and powerful!! I can feel the excitement for this past year and the year ahead. Oh and that puppy...I'm in love!!! She's ADORABLE!!! Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks, Michelle! I'm so in love with this little addition to our family, too. She's super sweet and she's learning so much already. She does keep me busy but my heart is full in a way I didn't realize it would be. I'm excited to revel in her being in my life all year. :)

  5. I love the word revel...such a positiveness to it.

    1. Thanks, Deb! I was hoping for something positive and to truly celebrate the year with. :)


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