Welcome to 2017, friends! We had the most enjoyable winter break with the kids. It included time with family, friends, each other and so many simple fun moments playing board games, napping, watching movies. We spent Christmas Eve and Day with our entire family (with the exception of just a few people). Our home was full of people, joy, laughter and playing. So much playing! My cousin’s twin girls are almost two so the house just felt alive with all four kiddos and all of the fun aunts and uncles who were on the floor and in the basement playing full force. It was amazing! We hosted a small group of some of our closest friends on New Year’s Eve as well. It was a fairly last minute gathering so I didn’t feel the pressure to host how I might normally host. That was incredibly fun and freeing. The evening was filled with sugar-high kiddos playing, laughing, dancing, parents acting ridiculous and so much more.

I have to admit that while I’m normally someone who starts a new year filled with goals and ideas, I’m finding myself feeling content. I’ll certainly set goals for my career. I’ll likely set personal goals of one kind or another. I’ll continue to exercise a few days a week and strive to eat well, but I don’t have any intense desire to make huge changes this year (other than one thing-I plan to ROCK The Snapchat. ;) I just figured this thing out thanks to a friend and am a bit obsessed. Ridiculous?! I know!).

In the past, I haven’t taken the time to truly be grateful for what I have. I did in 2016 and it made all the difference. Gratitude is powerful, friends. I’m sure it’s annoying to some to constantly hear how grateful I am, but it’s changed my perspective and it’s important to me. I’ve realized that I’m truly surrounded with the most amazing female friends… while I’m always open to new friendships that make sense, I can’t help but feel like the luckiest woman in the world to have the women I have in my life including a cousin who is like a sister just miles away and my most trusted confidant and dear friend right next door. I also have the most amazing high school and college friends plus some amazing women I’ve met along the way in other ways.

My marriage is strong (maybe too few date nights in 2016, but we’re working on it!). Our kids are (mostly) healthy and fairly happy. Our home is imperfect, often messy, yet totally functional for us. I’ve come to accept the mess a bit. It’s been a long process though. I think my words for 2017 are going to be “Grateful” and “Content.” Gratitude has changed everything. I no longer look at things thinking of ways to constantly make them better. And learning to be ok with things just as they are has been a big growth point for me.

With that said, there is one thing I do want to spend more time doing in 2017. That’s travel. We are starting this year off with a trip to Maui, Hawaii WITH the kids in February. We’ve been to Maui a few times and LOVE it. Thanks to free flights for all (thank you Delta Skymiles!), this trip is super affordable for us.

While we’ve done Maui several times, we’ve never done it with kids. I’m spending a lot of time researching fun new beaches and playgrounds, cool kids activities (like the Maui Ocean Center and Submarine and Maui Zipline) we haven’t spent time doing.

I’ll be sharing more here on traveling with kids and specifically, traveling to Maui with young children soon. All in all, I’m excited for a fresh start, but don’t plan to change much.

OK, friends! What are your hopes and dreams for this new year? Do you set an intention or words for the year? If so, what are they? Happy New Year, you beautiful people!

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