one little word 2015: simplify

olw2015 simplify

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” – Hans Hofman

This year, I am participating in Ali Edwards One Little Word workshop. I actually started the workshop last year in January, but didn’t end up following through and finishing (big surprise!) However, I’m looking forward to really focusing on my chosen word and living it each day as the year progresses.

In choosing my word, I reflected back upon the previous year. 2014 brought me many blessings, with the most important one being the birth of Kressa. However, overall, it was a challenging year for me. I started off the year 3 months pregnant, and found pregnancy the second time around much more exhausting with a 3-year-old to tend to. I also had the added challenge of getting my solo law practice off the ground. Once Kressa was born in May, I found the transition to two kids more difficult than I had anticipated. Between trying to run my business, mother two kids, and make it through each day sleep-deprived, almost all the goals I had set for the year fell by the wayside.

Kressa finally started sleeping through the night around Thanksgiving, so I am entering 2015 much more well-rested and with a renewed spirit. I’m ready to really concentrate on myself this year, and make myself healthier, both physically and mentally.

I threw around a lot of words before finally deciding on “simplify.” Other words I considered were focus, habit, action and do. In the end, I realized that if I start focusing, creating habits, taking action and doing things, then my life will be much simpler. I feel as though I am in a constant state of overwhelm and never able to enjoy my free time. I want to get rid of all the unnecessary things in my life so that I can focus on the good stuff and have less stress. Here are some specific areas that I am hoping to simplify this year:


  • Get rid of excess items. I really want to start living a more minimalist life. I’ve come to realize that the more material things we have, the more time it takes to clean these items, organize them, etc.
  • Create routines that will streamline our life. For instance, coming up with a weekly meal plan and sticking to that same meal plan each week for a month. This way, we can spend less time on having to decide what to eat/cook, and also streamline our grocery shopping list.


  • Keeping with the minimalist theme, I want to create a capsule wardrobe. Along the same lines as eating the same things each week, this will help me to eliminate decision fatigue. (I plan to write more about this in future blog posts.)
  • Consume less information. Cut back on time spent on social media, television and reading online.
  • Start taking better care of my skin, which begins with washing my face at night (I know, horrible bad habit!)
  • Eat healthier, drink more water, exercise.
  • Get enough rest.


  • Focus on the task at hand and eliminate distractions.
  • Stick to a consistent work schedule. Since I am self-employed, it’s too easy for me to say that I’m going to “work from home.” I find however, that I have a hard time focusing when I work from home. So, I want to make sure I go into the office everyday.
  • Reach the monetary goal for gross revenue I have set for my business.


  • Do new things with the kids and Scott. Spend more time outdoors.
  • Come up with activities at home that will help enrich the kids’ time (cut down on tv and iPad use.)
  • Being a good mother requires energy, which means I have to really invest in taking care of myself, both physically and mentally.


  • Be more thoughtful and selfless.
  • At least one date night per month without the kids.
  • Take one vacation, just the two of us, this year.


  • At least one blog post per week.
  • Keep up with 2015 Project Life by keeping it simple – journaling and pictures.
  • Get all my home videos edited. I’m currently taking Xanthe Berkeley’s yearlong Creating Time Capsules course to help me accomplish this.

Whew. That’s a lot of stuff. Throughout the year, I’ll be documenting my progress here on the blog. Have you chosen a word for 2015 to focus on? If so, I’d love to hear about it!

2014 christmas bucket list


It’s hard to believe that December is already here! I’ll be the first to admit that I am not Ms. Christmas. Of course I love Christmas and enjoy this time of year, but I always find that I end up so stressed out, between the shopping, decorating and the fact that we usually travel for the holidays. I’ve finally accepted that and this year, while I definitely plan on celebrating and making this month special for my kids, I’m setting realistic expectations and sticking to the few things that I truly enjoy. This month is extra hectic this year, as I’ll be recovering from surgery for a couple weeks as well. Here’s my bucket list for this Christmas season:

  • Decorate: Keeping it simple this year and sticking to the tree and stockings.
  • Make sugar cookies.
  • Watch a few Christmas movies with Decker.
  • Create some type of handprint Christmas gift for the grandparents. (Can’t go wrong with handprints, right?)
  • Visit Snowflake Lane.

As far as documenting the holidays, I won’t be doing an official December Daily album, as that process is just a bit too intense for me. However, I do plan on creating a separate album using the digital pocket system. I purchased the 2014 Traci Reed Pocket Life Collection and the Merry and Bright Mini Kit, which were both on sale for Cyber Monday. I’m also hoping this will give me a jump start on my backlog of Project Life. What’s on your Christmas bucket list?



I have so much to be thankful for, but this picture really captures the essence of it all. I’m so thankful for my little family and that we are all healthy. Yes, most of the time our house is chaotic, toys are everywhere and I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in 6 months, but I know these moments are only temporary and they’ll be gone before I know it. Happy Thanksgiving!

first sickness strikes


It’s been a very rough week and a half around here. Kressa’s first cold hit with a vengeance. It started off with a fever, but then turned into a horrific cough. The worst part of it all (besides the lack of sleep) has been that she will often cough after drinking a bottle, which then results in her vomiting everything back up. After 5 days of the cough, I took her back in to see the doctor and they diagnosed her with bronchiolitis, so we started breathing treatments.

I don’t think there is any worse feeling than when your child is miserable and there’s not much you can do about it.

There’s been a few times this last week when I was on the brink of losing it all. One particular night, Scott was gone at a work function so I was home alone with the kids. I fed Kressa and then she threw up all over me. I finally got her to sleep and was pre-heating the oven to cook a pizza when the smoke alarms went off and she woke up crying. The only solace in all of this is that Decker has been such a good boy lately and he was quietly entertaining himself while I was tending to cleaning up vomit.



I’m glad to say that she is finally on the mend, just in time for Thanksgiving!

44/52 halloween wrap-up

“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.”**

Halloween has come and gone and it was a good one, although I realized it is a lot more exhausting when you have 2 kids, even when one of them is an infant. Getting both of them ready in the morning and dropped off at daycare is a big enough challenge, but then adding the costumes, 2 parties, trick-or-treating, and the fact that it was at the end of the week this year…well, let’s just say that I was pretty much done by the end of the night.

Decker is obsessed with Spider-Man, so his costume was no surprise. And Kressa was absolutely adorable in her owl costume, although at times I felt like she was probably wondering “why am I wearing this thing?”








**With a few weeks missed here and there.

Linking up with Jodi


We didn’t make it to the pumpkin patch this year, but did find some time to carve a pumpkin, albeit the night before Halloween. Unfortunately, I am a horrible carver, so Scott did most of the work and we ended up with a somewhat decent-looking pumpkin!






I set the tripod up and we had some fun with the interval timer. As you can see, Scott was doing most of the hard labor.


Can you see the little hairs growing back from my post-partum baldness? It’s crazy how much hair fell out!




“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.”


Kressa at 5 months, sitting in her new exersaucer. She is so observant and just loves sitting there watching Shiloh and Decker.


Rolling the markers is so much more fun than drawing with them.

Yikes. Let’s just pretend that it really hasn’t been ten weeks since I’ve posted. What can I say? Life has been busy with a baby who still wakes in the middle of the night and trying to run and grow a business all on my own. Unfortunately, there has been no time for blogging. However, I miss this place and plan on making it a priority to be more active here. It’s good for my creative soul.

Linking up with Jodi


“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.”


Kressa at 3 months


He loves bubbles, especially chasing them around and trying to pop them, which is a great way for him to burn off some energy.


“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.”



Play-Doh is serious business for this boy.



Tummy time! She’s getting stronger every day and is rolling over onto her back now.

Linking up with Practising Simplicity

august 2014 | letters to my children

Dear Kressa,

You are now 3 months old and I can’t believe how quickly time is going! It is so exciting because you are beginning to show little bits and pieces of your personality. You love to smile and one of the best parts of my day is when I go in to get you in the morning and you give me a humongous smile with your cute chubby cheeks. You have also started daycare and seem to be doing great. I can’t wait until you can sit up so that you can start enjoying more toys and being able to see more of what is going on around you.

Your dad and I are still adjusting to life as parents of two. You have definitely made our lives a bit more hectic, but you have also made our family feel whole. You are so very loved and always will be.

Love Always,




Dear Decker,

I always smile inside when I get the inevitable question from people: “So, how does Decker like his little sister?” You have adored Kressa since the day we brought her home. You get so excited whenever you see her and you always exclaim, “Oh, she’s so cuuute!” There has never been even an ounce of jealousy since she has joined our family. You have been such a great big brother!

Lately, you are obsessed with the song, Gangnam Style. You love watching the music video on the iPad and will stand there imitating the dance moves. A few weeks back, you were entertaining Kressa with your amazing dancing. I’m so glad I captured it. You seem to get funnier and funnier by the day and find such joy in life. That makes me so happy.

Love Always,





Please visit Tamryn’s blog to read her letter, and continue through the circle until you get back here.

Letters To My Children is a monthly blog circle project I participate in, along with a group of fabulous mother photographers. You can see more of my letters to my children here.

Linking up with My Memory Art


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