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Happy New Year: There Is More

 2017, Day Three.

I undecorated my house for Christmas the same day I turned 38, and it was, in a way, symbolic of something I continue to learn–that putting away and optimistically moving forward is every bit an important practice as setting up and hanging on to the present moment because you don’t want it to end.

In 38 years, I’ve become far more familiar with my strengths and weaknesses, and somewhere between those two categories lies my notorious vice grip on things I love–my children’s babyhood, Christmas, a great vacation, a dinner out with friends that feels like magic. I’m usually the last to let go–the one begging, “No stay! One more hour! One more day! Don’t let it end!” It is a strength in that it’s rooted in great recognition for magic moments in life–I feel and appreciate them so deeply–and gratitude for surrounding beauty. But it’s also a weakness in that it’s intertwined with a subconscious irrational fear–that raising babies is the happiest I’ll ever be…that Christmas is the most magical our year will ever get…that the “regular life” that follows a great vacation will be mundane and emotionless…that the electric energy of a dinner out with friends will never be repeated. These are scarcity lies that discredit my own power to seek good, recognize beauty, create rituals, appreciate moments and live my very best life by the choices I make every day.

I’ve found three powerful words that push me forward. They are my mantra as Dash grows out of his 4T overalls; as Lainey moves beyond baby dolls; as car seats graduate to booster seats; as tears are wiped with another Happy Birthday sung; as youth fades into the fine lines of “beautiful stories lived”; as ornaments get wrapped back in tissue paper and tucked into their garage bins; as another year gets toasted with champagne glasses and all our gratitude for the past and intentions for the future…There is More.

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There is more. There is more. There is more.

And because of that, I’m learning that it’s okay to be both a little bit sad to put things away but also grateful and excited to move forward, swim deeper, accept time.

In the space where the Christmas tree was, light pours in our living room and a new path is opened up for Dash’s remote control car. We have stocked up heavily on family lounge days, enjoyed Brett being home this past week and are feeling renewed to make new fun plans for the coming months.

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I’m not a big January resolution girl (my brain follows more the school year calendar, and August feels more resolution-ish to me), but it felt fun and inspiring this year to make a little list of small ways to enter the new year. I’ve been checking off a lot of these this week with more to come.

  • Order prints of your favorite pictures of 2016 and switch out picture displays around the house.
  • Prune dying leaves on your plants. In fact, maybe just call TOD on all withered plants and start new. Perhaps artificial ones for a while or easy air plants.
  • Tuck pretty hankies in your purse and vow to use them more. (I have these 100% cotton ones and love them.)
  • Clean one kitchen cabinet. If you feel inspired to keep going, that’s fine, but go for one.
  • Make sure you have a desk drawer stocked with pretty stationery so you can send lots of snail mail this year. Buy new stamps. I got these pretty botanical ones for the new year, but these Wonder Woman ones are a powerful way to celebrate your woman power as you go in to the new year.
  • Wash your sheets and make your bed the most inviting corner of the house.
  • Pick a new book to read for the new year. Might I suggest my friend Erin’s book that comes out next week? Chasing Slow. Click on it, read the synopsis and then try not ordering it…good luck. Another great one that comes out next week, Kelsey Crowe & Emily McDowell’s There Is No Good Card for This. And for a great chapter book to start reading with your kids this new year, try The Poet’s Dog (we just started it). I’m already smitten.
  • Tidy your office area. Put a new candle on your desk. Buy new pens. 
  • Think of one person who would be overjoyed to get a phone call from you (ahem…your mom), and call them. Ask them all about their holidays, tell them a story that will make them laugh, say I love you before you hang up.
  • Put a date with your spouse on the calendar and set up a babysitter.
  • Visit the Valentine’s section at Target and smile. 
  • Try a new lipstick color.
  • Write a short letter to your child, telling them a favorite moment you had with them in 2016, and tuck it away for them to read years from now.

Finally, a few of our favorite moments this past week…

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A New Year’s Eve driveway party…

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(my boys)…

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Fresh clean bedding for the new year…

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So many naps last week!

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Games by the pool…(we got two of these for Christmas and have been having timed Tetris wars all week–so much fun!)

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The best weather Florida has to offer…

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Happy New Year, friends. There is so much more in store.

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Comments

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  1. Happy New Year! I’ve been following your blog for a while and I know you like to try new things for a healthier way to live. Have you ever considered oils, as in Young Living Essential Oils? Check out the website and then check out Gary D Young’s blog. It’s a healthier lifestyle and they even have a kid’s line!

  2. HollY Allen says:

    Ahhh Kelle! I get so sad when things end, and I might rival you in my love of Christmas. Your words spoke to my heart! You are a beautiful writer! Thanks for sharing and Happy Birthday!!

  3. Your words ring so true in this new year. I am one who holds tightly too. Appreciate your insight as I can say “me too” to your whys. My boys headed back to school this morning and I too am seeking an optimistic move forward. (August is always that new feeling for me over January). Love seeing the sunshine on your faces, it is gloomy here, but that will change in time. Thank you for making me feel understood as the rejoicing in newness is all around me. It’s always bittersweet. Happy Birthday! :)

  4. As always…thank you for the beautiful post. I really, REALLY needed this today and am going to do my best to live by your words…”There. Is. More.”

  5. I love this. “There is more.” What a wonderful reminder, especially as many enter the New Year with heavy hearts, old losses, and broken resolutions. There is more. There will be laughter and joy ahead! Every new season and year holds the promise of precious memories and abundant love. There IS more. Thank you for this!

  6. Sharon Germany says:

    Love the picture of Dash sleeping in his ‘I’m not tired” t-shirt…perfect!

  7. I’ve been following your website since Nella was born. I think I’ve commented a few times, but mostly just like to read, look at the beautiful photos, enjoy, nod my head.

    Nella was born around the same time as my second – a boy – and Dash was born around the same time as my third – a girl. I recently had my fourth (after a miscarriage) and am feeling especially emotional as he just might be our last baby, and the feeling of “this is the happiest I will ever be, enjoying Babyhood!” definitely resonates with me. As stressful as it can be, I can’t imagine NOT having another baby, just having “older” kids… even though it has to happen at some point!

    Anyway, I feel ya, and I love your “there is more.”

  8. I absolutely love your perspective on life. I love your ideas of little things to do for the new year. They really do add up!

  9. This was perfection! Just what I needed. I too think, ‘Is this the happiest I will be”? Will I forever long for the days of school pick ups and sippy cups. Thank you for this!!

  10. Cynthia Schrock says:

    Wow!!! Thank you. This was just what I needed.

  11. “There is More.” What a perfect mantra for the new year. Watching my daughter grow and change is both beautiful and heartbreaking. This post has reminded me that saying goodbye to one phase means saying hello to another, and all of the wonderful things that come along with it! Thank you for this!! Happy New year, from the east coast of FL!

  12. Love love the idea of writing a letter to your children with you very favorite moment(s) of the past year!

  13. I love this. Thank you. I’m definitely experiencing post-holiday blues and needed this reminder.

    Also, that b&w of Dash – just stunning

  14. I’ve never heard anyone express so accurately the way I feel about letting go. I too treasure vacations memories, traditions with the family, and have said many times that I will never be happier than I’ve been raising my children. When my older kids were 11 and 9, I had my third child. What a blessing this has been. Now my oldest is almost 22, my middle child 19 and my youngest 10. I am in that dreaded phase where my older kids don’t want to go on family vacations or even hand out with us- of course this is normal but I’m so sad! I treasure the moments with my youngest, knowing they are fleeting. I’m not sure how to go forward when it feels like the best years are behind me. I’ll try you mantra though. How bittersweet it is to see your kids growing up and away from you!

  15. Ahhhh… these words resonated with my soul. As a new momma to a 21 day old, I am shedding so many tears as our baby girl already starts to outgrow clothes and change. It is so bittersweet. But, “there is more” rings true with me. I can’t wait to see the beautiful person she will become. But snuggling my little 7 pound bundle tightly tonight. Thank you, Kelle!

  16. Nella’s hair is SO LONG! It’s gorgeous.

    I’ve realized that I love the anticipation more than the event. Which I why I love the month leading UP to Christmas, or why Christmas Eve seems more magical than Christmas Day (like you, I’m a Christmas Freak). But at the same time I want to not rush through and ‘use up’ all the anticipation at once, which usually leaves me wishing I had done more once it’s all over. Sigh…live and learn.

    Also – that empty space where the Xmas tree was? Gloriously unfurled back into our living space as a reading spot complete with circular rag rug and woven basket of favorite books. :)

  17. Wondering where you got your headboard…. love it so much!

  18. ANALISA Condon says:

    Kelle, this is just what I needed. Yesterday was ROUGH. I was dealing with the emotions of being away from my Midwest family, taking down the tree and getting back into the routine. What do you know, your words came at the perfect time. The two shelves in my home that were filled with garland, twinkly lights and candles will offer an opportunity for more books to fill, pictures to hang and flowers to bloom. You are so helpful in reminding us of moments like this. There is more. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  19. I promise, the parenting part of life just keeps getting better with age. Mine are 26 and 31, and Saturday night (New Years Eve) we celebrated the marriage of my older son. It was magical. I’ve never had so much fun on New Years Eve in my life. The love for those two in that room was incredible, and watching it was just so special. They’ll make you prouder than you ever thought possible with each passing year. Go ahead and hang onto what you have now, but I’m telling you, the best is yet to come.

  20. There IS more. As I put away my decorations and turned 60, I know there is more. I was that Mom that always wanted little ones. ” should I have had another baby? Was four enough? I was always thinking , ” ok, they’re 2, 6, 6 and 8 years old. I’ve got time for them to need me..ok they’re 6, 10, 10 12…
    And on that 60th Birthday they are 30, 34, 34 and 36 and I love this time with my bigs! We all still need and love each other and time spent together. Kelli, you’re writing is beautiful, your outlook on life is worth reading. And there IS more always!

  21. I was just having this exact conversation with a friend of mine. This rings so unbelievably true for me. I just turned 39 myself and have found that with each birthday of my children and each Christmas it seems to get harder. My babies are 14 & 19 though – quite a bit older than yours. Hanging on and not letting go is something I need to get better at. Thank you for the encouraging words.

  22. Kelle, January is not my favorite month, but your list made me smile. Here’s to kicking irrational fears to the curb and buying new pens and clearing off my desk tomorrow!

  23. Kelly – these pictures make me want to take a photography class. They’re exquisite. I shook my husband awake to show him. Where can I learn to shoot like you?!

  24. I love, love, love this. I’m quoting part of it on my own blog today. Thanks for sharing your words so they could make their way to me at precisely the right moment.

  25. I needed this. :) Thank you.

  26. christine says:

    Yes! This! All of this!

  27. Where did you get your swimsuit? I love it!

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