Today I’m feeling nostalgic and thankful for these treasured moments captured in Paris two years ago. I’m so terrible about printing images, but my sweet friend and photographer Ashley Ludaescher sent these to me. While I still have yet to frame them (soon), I stare at them often. My heart is overflowing with love for my children – so much so that it hurts at times. It’s incredibly cheesy but true. Their unconditional love for each other, and for us, is overwhelming. At times I don’t even feel worthy of it. I hope everyone experiences a love as pure and true as this in their lifetime.
happy valentine’s day | joyeuse saint-valentin
“Are you feeling a bit shaken, maybe stirred, maybe fearful and doubtful and completely, utterly, wildly terrified? Good. Keep going.”
I have a new mantra for 2017. I read an article last week written by a man who can’t move anything but his face. He shares seven incredible life lessons, and the one that stood out to me most is: fear = fuel. Take what scares you most and turn it into positive energy, motivation. I’ll be honest – there is a lot scaring me, both at home, and in a broader sense, like the (broken) state of our country. Personally, I’m facing finding a more suitable home for my family, recovering financially after my husband was unemployed for five months last year, dealing with a recent diagnosis of adenomyosis (first time I’m disclosing those two facts publicly), deciding on an educational path for the kids, and strengthening my marriage after four years of survival mode with twins. These fears and concerns didn’t disappear at the stroke of midnight.
I’m not suggesting that I live in constant fear, but these issues have been a bit paralyzing recently. Instead of letting these fears continue to fester and frighten me, I’m facing them head on in 2017. Fear is incredibly powerful – I’m going to harness the energy and channel it, letting it propel me forward. My actions and decisions will be motivated by, but not made in, fear. I’m going to light a match (or two, or three) and set my fears on fire. So let the internal inferno begin, and hopefully the flames will light the way to a brighter future. I can already feel a difference – just changing my mindset has boosted my courage and lit a fire. Burn, baby, burn. Do you have fears you’d like to set ablaze, or a new mantra to share?
Well, we finally did it – matching family pajamas! I wish you could see mine a bit more, but this is what you get from a timed photo, ha. Next year we’ll invest in a family photo shoot, as it’s been too long since we had a professional capture us as a family. We had a lovely, lazy Christmas, which is honestly still happening because we all got sick with colds the next day. But back to the big day – it all started with discovering Santa had enjoyed the scotch + pfeffernüsse we had left for him (see this post for more about that family tradition). The first presents they found were in their stocking – adorable, handmade teddy bears that give back. Nothing sponsored – I’m sharing the link because I love gifts that give back.
We might have to call 2016 the “year of the train” for us – we’re on a roll! This was our first experience at the Strasburg Railroad in Lancaster – I think it’s going to be a new holiday tradition. One of their most popular events is the Santa Express Train, which has been happening since 1959! I couldn’t wait to give the kids the experience, and I was pretty excited myself, having never been on a vintage steam train. We had the pleasure of being pulled by the #90 locomotive, circa 1924, and rode in the passenger car #58, circa 1911. After geeking out over all the equipment (I have my Dad to thank for the interest), we boarded the train and anxiously awaited the arrival of Santa. See more on my Steller story!