New Year

How We Started 2018

Hey hey! How is 2018 treating you so far? I can’t believe it’s Thursday already. Mavis and I are walking four dogs together today and it’s currently 14 degrees (and dropping…!) and snowing here in Pittsburgh.

You better believe I’m going to look like the Michelin Man with all the layers I put on and Mavis will be wearing her winter coat.

Cocker spaniel and chocolate lab in winter coats

I have a minute to blog today, so I thought I’d share how we started out the new year! Actually, I’ll start with New Year’s Eve.

Jimmy and I went to church in the evening and stayed after for a New Year’s Eve fellowship. Everyone brought along food (I brought chili and corn muffins!) and hung out until around 8:30 pm, when we all discussed the past year, the one ahead, and then had a group prayer.

It was a really great way to ring in 2018! Afterwards, Jimmy and I went home and read (I’m still reading and loving this book) on the couch until about 11:00, then went to bed.

Since Jimmy and I both had the day off on New Year’s Day, we were able to sleep in a little and have a slow morning. We took Mavis to Starbucks (puppuccino for her, blonde roast for me, and tuxedo mocha for Jimmy!) and Lowe’s.

Dog in Lowe's

Jimmy wanted to grab some recessed lighting supplies for our basement and I wanted to practice therapy work with Mavis! I walked her around Lowes and lots of people pet her, which was a great opportunity to work on her social skills.

I’m continually impressed by how well she does with kids. A toddler grabbed her ears really hard and she simply cried (I thought she would growl, lol) and backed away. Go May May!

In the evening, we headed to Mavis’ fourth adult level 1 training class, which was a fun way to kick off the New Year. We spent an hour working on loose leash walking, the “leave it” command, and meeting other people and dogs politely.

On Tuesday, it was back to “normal life” post-holidays. It’s feeling good to get into somewhat of a routine again!

How did you start 2018?

2017 Inspiration in Pictures

I don’t have any specific goals for this year. It just feels like too much pressure. Rather, I have some inspiration. There are things I want to do, see, accomplish, and experience. Ultimately, I’m leaving what happens in 2017 up to God. He’s way better at planning than I am. I’m just going to follow His lead. Love God and love people. That’s what I want to do every single day.

I hopped on Pinterest and started an inspiration board for the upcoming year. Actually, I named it my 2017 Happy Board. I browsed around and wanted to see what would catch my attention. Some things surprised me (I didn’t pin as many travel pictures as I thought I would), and some things definitely didn’t (I pinned all kinds of dogs).

So, here’s a breakdown of my inspiration for 2017!

2017-inspiration-collage-1

It appears that I want 2017 to include copious amounts of coffee, studying my Bible, and writing.

Really, though, I am determined to get on some sort of a writing schedule for my book. I’m thinking I may lock myself in our office for a few hours on my days off of work or head to a coffeeshop so I’m not tempted to do household chores. Either way, I don’t want to stress about it too much. I love the quote I pinned, too. I need to believe I can finish my book!

As for the Bible studying, I’m going to study the women of the Bible this year and seeing what God has to show me in their stories. I’m currently reading Ruth and really enjoying it. She was such an upstanding woman.

2017-inspiration-collage-2

Ah, creativity. This didn’t surprise me one bit. Anything that involves a paint brush, camera, or any type of crafting makes me happy.

I’m inspired to use my camera and capture memories big and small. I’m also hoping to frame some of my watercoloring if I deem it acceptable, haha.

2017-inspiration-collage-3

Gardening, yoga, campfires, and house projects. A random conglomeration, yes, but I’d like to make each of these things happen.

I’m already wistfully counting down the days until Jimmy and I can start our garden again. I’m hoping to paint a coral accent wall in our office, refinish a bookshelf in our living room, have campfires with Jimmy, and continue to practice yoga. Bonus points if Malcolm joins me 😉

2017-inspiration-collage-4

Dogs. Always dogs. I don’t know if this means I’d like to have another (eek!), or if I just want to keep pet sitting as much as possible. Either way, I hope 2017 involves lots of dogs. The volunteer quote is so true. I’ve been in contact with an organization I applied to volunteer with in the upcoming year. Hopefully I’ll be able to share more details soon!

Oh, and how pretty is that bedroom? Jimmy and I might do a bedroom overhaul this year. We’re thinking of getting a headboard, maybe painting a peacock blue accent wall, and just updating our sparsely decorated bedroom. The top right picture reminds me that I want to have as many dates with my sweet husband as possible.

2017-inspiration-collage-5

This last collage is totally random, haha. The cake is inspiration for Hannah’s bridal shower. Yes, I am making her bridal shower cake and I am so pumped! The kitchen is another renovation I’d like to work on this year. Mostly, I just want to repaint our cabinets and walls.

Hot cocoa reminds me of coziness, and I I’ll take as much of that as I can get this winter. The bottom right picture is from Washington DC. It has been a few years since I’ve visited and I’d love to go again. The top right picture is always what I hope to be. It reminds me to love others as much as possible.


While it may sound kind of silly, writing this post helped me have more of a focus for what I’d like this year to look like. I’m praying I will follow God’s lead for my life and do my best every day.

Happy New Year!