A new year, a new word.

by Lindsey on January 30, 2017

in Just Us

Every year people all over the Internet choose a word to guide them through the year. I have been doing this for a few years as well, and I can honestly say it has made a significant impact on my life.

In 2015, my word was Breathe, and I still can’t accurately put into words how it kept me grounded through some of the best and worst moments I’ll ever experience.

In 2016, my word was Embrace, and it helped me to completely wrap myself fully in every aspect of being a new mama to my bird. It reminded me to accept that I’ll never be perfect, that things change whether I want them to or not, and to slow down and just be here, in the present, enjoying every moment as it comes.

In 2017, my word is Commit. My hope is that it will encourage me to make better decisions about what I want, and give me the motivation to finish what I start.


Coincidentally, and long after deciding on this word for the year, the other day I was listening to the 10% Happier podcast with Dan Harris, and he was interviewing Gretchen Rubin. I haven’t read her book “Better than Before” (it’s now on my list!), but they were discussing a specific part of it that really resonated with me. Gretchen was describing her four tendencies — Upholder, Obliger, Rebel, and Questioner — and I immediately identified with the Obliger, or those who “meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves”.

If you asked my boss, or anyone else I work with, I think they’d tell you that when I’m given a project or task, I get it done, no questions asked, and on time, or even early, every single time. It’s just what I do.

On the other hand, though, if you asked my husband, he’d tell you that I often set myself up with all these grand plans, and then rarely follow through on them. I’m great about starting “all the things”, but I can probably count on one hand how many times I have actually completed a task I set for myself.

2017 is the year I want to change that.

The definition of Commit is “to carry into action deliberately”, and that’s exactly what I’m going for. I want to be more deliberate in my choices, so I’m more likely to follow through.

I’ve done a lot of brainstorming about what I really, truly, want, (and obviously that will be an ongoing process throughout the year as time goes on), and I’ve come up with a number of things I want to be diligent about this year.

  • This year I will commit to being my best self for my husband and my daughter. I’m going to make sure I’m taking better care of me, so I can take better care of them.
  • This year I will (re)commit to my husband. I’m going to put more effort into maintaining our relationship. This isn’t necessarily something I struggle with, but I figure it never hurts to love a little harder ♥
  • This year I will (re)commit to my Faith. I get confirmed into the Catholic Church on the Saturday night before Easter, and this RCIA journey has been life-changing thus far.
  • This year I will commit to moving my body everyday. Whether that means yoga, walking, running, or something else, it’s time for me to get off my butt. This month I’ve been doing Yoga with Adriene‘s #yogarevolution and I’ve been loving the daily practice!
  • This year I will commit to rekindling and maintaining friendships. Too many times we say “we should get together” but then never do. This year, we’re getting together!
  • This year I will commit to trying new things. Sarah from yesandyes.org makes a list of new things to try every year, and I’ve decided to make one of my own. I’ll post the full list at another time, but a couple things on it include (1) learn how to make soft pretzels, (2) take film photos with my YashicaFlex vintage camera (after getting it cleaned!), and (3) go kayaking.
  • This year I will commit to capturing and documenting. I want to take more pictures of our day-to-day and use Project Life to record our story. (I also have a couple pages left to complete Althea’s baby book!)

I’m super excited to see where my word takes me this year! I’m participating in Ali Edwards’ One Little Word class to hold myself accountable and reflect on my progress, and I’ll occasionally post updates here. I hope you’ll enjoy following along. :)


Althea: Twelve Months

by Lindsey on January 11, 2017

in Althea Marie, J&L Start a Family


I can’t believe this is my last monthly post!


  • Is a total cheese puff, clearly.
  • Spent the majority of this month sick, as did the both of us. This plague has been no fun and we’re all looking forward to it going away for good!
  • Went on one final road trip of 2016, to the Big Apple! She spent most of our trip bundled up in her stroller sleeping, but it counts!


  • Due to the holiday schedule and being sick, she spent two full weeks at home with us instead of going to Tammy’s during the day. I know she missed them, they missed her, and I certainly missed sending her there while I was trying to work!
  • Is walking everywhere! She took a little hiatus after that initial stroll across the living room, but picked it back up the week before Christmas and hasn’t slowed down since!


  • Celebrated her first Christmas and New Years! (Actually, she celebrated EIGHT Christmases, and I swear we are going to do things differently next year!)
  • LOVES opening presents, but is much more interested in the wrapping than what’s inside. Her favorite gifts included Little People, a ball pit, and a four-wheeler (though she is NOT a fan of the helmet!)
  • Stopped sleeping. I don’t know what’s going on, probably because she’s been sick, but 4AM is now my kryptonite, and things need to change, ASAP!


  • Are in complete shock that our baby girl is a year old already! The past twelve months went way too fast, and it has been made very clear to us that we need to cherish every single moment with her.
  • Have been running around like crazy people for two months straight. We went from Thanksgiving, to my dad moving in, to New York City, to Christmas, to New Year’s, to Thea’s Birthday, and somewhere along the lines I’m pretty sure I forgot how to breathe. It’s been a complete whirlwind, and we are so looking forward to finally slowing down.


  • Didn’t do a lot of the things we typically do in the month of December, and that’s okay! We got in a few dates, but no where near the “12 dates” we’ve become accustomed to. I feel like it was the first time it became so drastically apparent that our lives have changed with her, but she is so very worth it.
  • Truly enjoyed seeing all of our family over the holidays, even if it seemed like A LOT at times. It was so nice to have my dad back in town, and to spend quality time with each branch of our families throughout the month.


  • Are trying to decide how we’re going to document Thea’s milestones going forward. I’m not sure I’ll keep up with monthly updates, but I definitely want to keep some kind of record. Heck, maybe it’s time to start blogging more often about the everyday stuff, instead of just having these summary posts. It’s a thought I’ve been tossing around…


{ 1 comment }

Althea: Eleven Months

December 21, 2016

I’m super late on this one. Just pretend this is being posted on December 6th, okay? Thanks :) She: Is getting impossible to photograph laying down. This was the best I could do, and it’s the one reason I’m glad I only have one more to take! Loves to Dance! As soon as any song […]

Read the full article →

Althea: Ten Months

November 11, 2016

She: Is getting harder to photograph! She thinks it’s hilarious to roll around when I’m trying to get her to smile at the camera. Does this super adorable thing where she looks at you real surprised and goes “Ooooo!” about pretty much everything. Took her first trip to the Pumpkin Farm! And we got her a […]

Read the full article →

Althea: Nine Months

October 7, 2016

She: Started crawling this month! She had been moving around for a while, but she finally figured out the right motion. Then almost immediately, she started pulling herself up on the couch and ottomans! Celebrated grandparents day with Grandma and Pap, checking out the Trucks and Heavy Equipment Day in Oakmont! Pap was in his glory, […]

Read the full article →

Dear Althea

September 23, 2016

Dear Althea, Today was scary. In an effort to occupy you for a couple minutes, I handed you a cracker, thinking you would gnaw it into a soggy mess. You were strapped into your chair in the kitchen, sitting right next to me, except for the ~5 seconds I walked into the dining room to get […]

Read the full article →

Althea: Eight Months

September 6, 2016

She: Went on her first (of many) beach vacations! We spent a week at Topsail Island, NC, and had a blast! She liked the sand, but hated the waves. Her favorite part was having her Dino Pool right out on the beach with the rest of us! Visited the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital, which […]

Read the full article →

Althea: Seven Months

August 12, 2016

That face is so, very her right now! I’m a week behind on posting, because I’ve spent every waking moment getting ready for our beach trip!! She: Finally got to meet her Papa Kim’s side of the family, and more of the Dunmyre clan! Went to her first Pirate Game Went on her first road trip, […]

Read the full article →

Internal Battles

July 18, 2016

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past six months, it’s that having a child creates this constant struggle between the thoughts of “I can’t wait until she…” and “I hope she stays little forever.” Most of the time, those internal battles include things like I can’t wait until she can sit up unassisted, but I hope […]

Read the full article →

Althea: Six Months

July 6, 2016

Happy Half-Birthday, Baby Bird!! She: Got baptized! (More on this to come…) Attended the US Open Golf Tournament Attended her first Greek Festival (of MANY) Met some new friends! Her new BFF Imogen, and a few cute boys, Luca, Leo, and Ollie :) Started solid foods. She loves Avacados and Bananas, but hates Peas. (Can’t say I blame […]

Read the full article →