Word of the year (or words)

For the first time in a long time, I have struggled to choose a word of the year. A word of the year is just a word you choose to represent how you want to live or change in the year.

The first word I chose was “together.” I want to spend time together with my family and friends as much as possible but I especially want to spend time with my husband and my kids. The nights are long but the years are short and I want to make as many memories as possible.

The second word I chose was “renewal.” I want to experience a total renewal. A renewal of my faith and relationship with God. A renewal of my relationships with my family. And a renewed spirit and sense of calm within myself. I feel like I spend so much time being tired and stressed; why feel stressed when you can feel blessed and renewed?

What is your word (or words) of the year? Comment below and share.

Happy 2020: word of the year and New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year, dear friends! I hope you are doing well and have had a wonderful week. We are doing well…and still trying to clean up from Christmas.

We were very blessed and had a great Christmas filled with family and sweet memories.

Now that the new year is upon us, I have been taking some time to reflect on what I need to do better this year. I don’t like to call them “new year’s resolutions,” as I feel that is somewhat cliched and, if I’m honest, I have a better chance of keeping them if I don’t call them that.

So… in no particular order, here is what I’d like to improve in the year 2020:

1. Money

I’m probably not the only person who plans to spend less and save more in the new year. I’d also like to be a little more intentional with my spending and purchase less.

2. Live with less

Less is more, and we have a lot of things we don’t need or use. I’ve been on a personal quest this week to clean out and clear away all of the unneeded items in our home. Our house feels cleaner and brighter and it’s great. If you have something in your home you don’t need, donate or give it away so someone else can enjoy it. I’ve gone through and purged every room except our playroom, our closets and our dressers. That’s happening this weekend.

3. Spend time with my family more

Together is my favorite place to be, yet I feel like I didn’t spend enough time with my family this year. Those are moments and memories you can’t get back, so enjoy them while you can.

In fact, one of my words of the year is going to be “together.”

4. Continue my fitness journey

I made a commitment to get healthy by exercising more and eating well. I’m really glad I made those changes and I look forward to improving my health even more in 2020.

5. Lastly, and most importantly, I want to improve my walk with Christ.

I have seen time and time again that when you put God first, everything else falls into place. I want to be sure to put God first and stop struggling with things that I need to trust God to handle.

Tomorrow I will share my two words of the year. What are your “New Years improvements” for 2020?

2019: a year in review

2019, what a year. It was a busy year but overall, a great one. I took some time off blogging and it was the step back I needed. Now I’m back and feeling better than ever.

January: a new year

We blew into 2019 and hit the ground running. We had a pretty low key January and nothing particularly interesting happened…but it was still a great month.

February: NCSU gymnastics

We took our tiny gymnast to see the NCSU gymnastics team compete against the UNC gymnastics team in historical Reynolds Coliseum. It was a blast and we loved it.

March: Mr. Lumber’s birthday

See that handsome devil with the tape measure? That’s my handsome devil and he turned 39 this year. He’s gonna get me for posting that, too. Oh well.

March was a pretty quiet month and we didn’t do a lot. I did attempt to raise awareness of colon cancer by sharing my dad’s story.

April: my birthday and the Tarheel Ten Miler

In April I turned 34 and ran in the Tarheel Ten Miler for the first time ever. It wasn’t my best time but I finished and got this beautiful piece of hardware.

I was also at my heaviest weight back then.

May: last day of school

This little sweetie finished her second grade year and got started on a super busy summer break.

I celebrated Mother’s Day with my sweet mama and my girls.

June: better choices and a better me

With the help of my personal trainer, better diet choices and adding strength training to my endurance runs, I lost almost fifty pounds. I am amazed at how much better I look and feel.

This little lady also turned 8.

July: beach vacation

We took a family vacation to Wrightsville Beach for the first time in ages and had a blast.

August: back to school!

We went back to school and Emorie began third grade. Aubrey has a year and a half left until she starts school. I began my 12th year of teaching.

We posted this end of summer recap.

September: adjusting to being back in school

We began the very tedious process of redecorating our back porch. We are still not done.

We didn’t do much in September, as we were adjusting to being back in school.

October: Halloween, farm visits and day trippin’

This little flapper and little Anna made their way through our town and brought back a giant haul of sweets. They didn’t wanna share. Too bad.

We had some work done in our yard and we cleared out some overgrowth. We have plans to remove this flower bed altogether but I’m not sure what we will put in its place.

We built this fireplace and even though it was hard and a pain in the neck, I am pleased with the result.

We visited two local farms and had a blast.

November: Thanksgiving, family, and dance

This little hot mess turned four.

This little lady had her first dance competition and she brought home her first crown! We are heading to regionals in March and nationals in June.

Then, we ate four Thanksgiving dinners til I thought I’d pop.

December: the busiest and most rushed Christmas ever

On a sad note, we lost our sweet yellow lab mix in December. We miss this big guy so much but we are so glad for 13 years he got to be our dog. Until we see you again, big guy.

Thanksgiving was late this year and that made Christmas seem early. I also didn’t get off work until the 20th, which meant I rushed to get my decorating up and my shopping done. And it was rough!

I still managed to get these awesome pics of Santa in our living room.

And I think our kiddos had a great Christmas and they each got what they wanted 🙂

I hope your 2019 was a good year and I hope your 2020 will bring blessings and peace. See you next year! Tune in on January 3 for our word of the year.

Merry Christmas!!

We at Lumber in my Minivan wish you a Merry Christmas from our family to yours. We truly appreciate your time and support, and we hope you have a blessed holiday season.

We will resume regular posting schedule on Saturday, December 28. Have a blessed week.

Christmas Traditions You Can Do With Your Family

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and we are excited! We wanted to share some of our favorite traditions with you all, as we prepare for Christmas Day.

1. We read The Night Before Christmas every Christmas Eve night.

This has been a tradition since the oldest Lumber was a tiny tot. We make it a point to make popcorn or hot chocolate and read this classic story together. If you’d like to own a copy of this beautiful book, you can get one here.

2.

2. Ride around and look at Christmas decorations and lights

Get some hot chocolate and ride around your town looking at the Christmas decorations. This cute set up was spotted while we were headed to see The Nutcracker.

And you never know, you just might find a cute photo op (if your kids will cooperate, that is).

3. Get your elf on

We have a blast with our elves on the shelf. You could always read the Elf on the Shelf book or watch the movie. If you don’t have them, you can get them here.

4. Turn off all the lights and simply enjoy your Christmas tree

This is one of my favorite things to do, and it doesn’t have to be Christmas Eve. Just enjoy the peace and quiet and bask in the soft glow of the lights. This leads me to my next thing.

5. Read the Christmas story in Luke.

This is my favorite tradition. There is no Christmas without Jesus, and He is definitely the most important part of the Christmas season.

What are some of your family’s traditions?

We will resume regular schedule on December 26. Have a wonderful Christmas Day!