The End of Endless Spring Break

I’m writing this the day before our first day of school for the year. Our family chose to do remote learning this semester, as I’m still working from home and we felt that was the best option for our family. And technically, right now all the students in our school district are remote for the time being, but knowing that we have a full semester ahead of us feels a bit daunting. Instead of focusing on the unknown, I’m looking back at the summer we were able to have, even with the restrictions due to the pandemic. We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to safely and cautiously travel a bit this summer, both to Colorado and multiple trips to my family’s lake cabin. After being together in our home working and schooling and living for months and months on end, a change of scenery was extremely welcome.

I want to remember all the good times we had this summer, not just the disappointments, cancelled vacations and camps, and challenges. I want to remember Lucy falling in love with skateboarding in Aspen, Tate learning how to waterski, watching my brother-in-law get married in the mountains, hiking and biking, watching the sky change at sunset and staring at the Milky Way at night. I want to remember watching my kids actually play together, laughing and acting silly, not putting on a facade for friends. I want to remember sitting around a fire pit with my family, making s’mores and listening to them talk, laugh and share. I want to remember that the summer of 2020 wasn’t all bad. In fact, there was a lot of good in there too.

Choosing Light

I’m not a resolutions person (too much pressure), I’m more of a general theme person. I haven’t decided on my word of the year yet (which, BTW, is another recovery/sobriety thing that has been hijacked by the general population and it makes me smile to know all these people are embracing long-held sobriety traditions and they don’t even know it…see also: anything regarding co-dependency and pretty much anything Brene Brown has ever written), but I’m so close, and this little mapping exercise from Karen Walrond is something I started doing in 2012 and is still my favorite way to work out my focus for the year. 2019 was a fantastic, exhausting whirlwind.

I know 2020 will be hard (I mean, we are four days in and probably already at war with Iran soooo…) and stressful and wonderful and sad and joyful. But all I can control is me. I want to focus on being less pessimistic, less judgmental and more forgiving. The world right now is a scary place. But hasn’t it always been scary? Maybe we just see it more clearly now. And by “we,” I mean middle class white women with privilege that has blinded us from much of the pain in the world. Regardless, the glasses are on, and now we need to decide how to carry ourselves in the world.

I hope to choose action and love and optimism, even when it seems silly. Because if there is anything I’ve learned, it’s that adding to the negativity and sitting in my angry resolve that everything will be awful no matter what, doesn’t change anything. It just makes me a miserable, ineffective person. In the words of my fictional, spiritual guide, Albus Dumbledore: “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” Today, I choose light.

Happy Holidays from Us!

We hope your holidays have been full of love and laughter! Ours has been a welcome break from the craziness of the past year…and it was our first celebration in our new home. I couldn’t be happier to be in this place, with these people. Merry everything, friends!

Halloween with Queen

For context, this is the look we were going for….

The Peters family continued the ridiculous Halloween family costume tradition this year, and friends…it was a DOOZY! When Trent and I saw the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, we immediately knew Queen would be the perfect family costume. Mostly because Trent really wanted to shave an epic Eddie Mercury mustache. Challenge, accepted! The kids were mortified, but played along to get us to leave them alone, then promptly changed into their own costumes (Tate was a blow up dinosaur thing, Lucy was a witch) to go trick-or-treating. I’m grateful they at least let us take a photo for the now legendary “Wall of Halloween” in the new house. Their faces really say it all!

2018 Goals Revisited

Happy new year, my friends! I’m still in shock that 2018 is actually over. I mean, it was a great year, but it went so quickly. I didn’t write here as much as I wished, but that was mostly because life/the calendar was so full, it was difficult to find time to sit down and put together a blog post. It’s hard to complain about life being so full, but I do want to attempt to do more writing for fun in 2019, and that’s really what this blog is all about.

But before we get going on the new year, I wanted to revisit some of the goals I shared here last year that would be my focus for 2018. I’m a pro at overshooting when it comes to goals, so last year I decided to focus on three things as opposed to the giant list I usually make for myself. I wrote posts about all of these at the beginning of last year, which you can read here.

Cut Down on Social Media and iPhone Use
As we entered 2018, I was feeling very overwhelmed by social media and the feelings of anxiety that came along with being attached to the entire world through my phone. So in January, I went on a bit of a social media break, and it was the perfect way to start the year. I slowly started posting to my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter again in the spring, as it was difficult to cut the cord completely with my job and my advocacy work. But in May I ended up having an unfortunate experience that convinced me to take another extended break. I ended up completely staying off social media from mid-May through July, and it was WONDERFUL. I am still struggling a bit with what this means for me long term. I know that social media has benefits too, and it’s a necessity in my work, but balance is hard to achieve. This is something I’m going to keep working on in 2019, with a few planned social media breaks on the calendar. You can read more about my social media break and the resources I used in this post.

Focusing on Friendship
My post about how I wanted to put more of a focus on my friendships in 2018 was my most read and commented post of the year! It turns out I definitely wasn’t alone in my feelings about friendship as a mom and woman in my 30’s. This year I did a couple of things that were out of my comfort zone in regards to friendship. I went to lunch and coffee with women in my circle who reached out after reading my post. I sent a note to a group of friends from all different walks of life, asking if they’d like to join in on a group chat in the Voxer App, an app where you can send voice messages to each other as if you’re having a live conversation. Six women said yes and we have been “voxing” for almost a year! It has been such an incredible journey, as many of these women didn’t know each other prior to joining the group, and we’ve developed such a lovely, encouraging space where we share about everything from raising kids, marriage, career and more. The best part for me has been watching my friends BECOME friends with each other. I would call this group one of my biggest wins of 2019.

Consuming vs Creating
After years of spending too much on fast fashion and ill-fitting clothes, in 2019 I decided to take on the challenge of not buying any new clothing. This goal was harder than I anticipated! It’s surprisingly difficult to go to Target and NOT buy a random garment that I don’t need. But I actually did okay on this one. I did end up “cheating” a few times, buying new running sneakers when my old ones wore out, and a new sweater this fall when I bought Lucy some new school clothes, but for the most part, I stuck to my goal. One of the biggest revelations in the process was how LITTLE I really do need. My wardrobe is fairly complete, and save a few specialty items, I have no reason to get anything new. I feel like this goal really changed my buying habits, and even though the year is over, I am finding myself resistant to fast fashion, instead looking to add pieces that I can wear forever or that are handmade.

What goals did you set for yourself last year? How did you do? I certainly wasn’t perfect, but I’m proud of the progress I made in 2018, and I’m looking forward to adding some new intentions to the calendar for 2019!

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