Well, it’s been so long since I’ve blogged that I actually forgot the password to sign in! HA! If that’s not a testament to how badly this has been neglected I don’t know what is!

SO – Christmas is over and a few days off before Christmas was so good for my soul. I’ve had two family sessions and two newborns in the last four days which has been insane but suddenly I’m sitting here (uploading today’s photos) with my 2014 calendar complete. I can’t believe what an incredible year it’s been. The older I get, or the older my kids get, the faster time seems to fly, but looking back it might have also been because it was a BUSY year that kept me going non-stop!

I am admittedly NOT a good goal setter, I’m not good at resolutions and I’m not great with follow-through on most things. I’m great at cranking things out at the last minute if need be and you can always count on me to finish something I offered to do for someone else but the things I promise myself fall to the wayside more often than not. Which is a shame. Part of my problem is that I get so wrapped up in the busy of every day stuff (like for instance, the fact that I’ve always gotten up from writing this blog post half a dozen times b/c Chris wanted help with laundry, Gray wanted to play me in checkers, Grandpa Allen and Grandma Mary called, Chris wanted me to do a quick purge of my closet for a Goodwill run tomorrow and then I had to tuck the kids in – ALL good stuff, but also distractions) that I forget a lot of times what I was supposed to be working on. Goals get forgotten, ideas scribbled on post-its get lost on my desk and suddenly the year is coming to a close and I can’t remember what I had meant to do in the first place much less have it finished. The busyness of life takes over and sometimes it feels like a miracle that I just made it to the end of the week which leaves no space in my head for long-term goals.

That’s why this year I’m doing a few things differently.

1. I’m starting the year out with an actual marketing plan. That sounds SO professional right? HA! I guess I’ve always had a marketing plan but getting it from my head to paper has been very eye opening.

2. I’m changing the way I keep track of my every day to do list, weekly lists, monthly lists, etc. Actually, adding in weekly and more importantly, monthly tasks is a brand new thing for me.

3. I’m working out a few new systems for the business. Tricia told me I need to work smarter not harder this year so I’m going to try. I also have a new HUGE dream for the business (maybe just maybe it’s a brand new studio space that’s HUGE and fits ALL my needs and is of course like 3X my current rent!) that I would love to see fulfilled and working smarter might be the only way I can achieve what I want.

I am going to try to go into detail about some of those things as the year progresses but today I wanted to tell you the OTHER thing I’m doing differently this year…

I’m doing Ali Edwards’ One Little Word project.

NOW – I’m not scrapbooking it and I’m probably not even doing much with it except putting it on my wall and making it my mantra (unless someone can find me a super cute print???). It will also find it’s way into your hot little hands in the envelope of the New Year’s cards I will be sending out eventually for Fresh Art (if you want to get on our mailing list please just send me your address!).

Before I explain, here is my word:


It’s not an action word (I’ve done this in the past and love action words) but it’s one that speaks to my heart. Since the kids were little I’ve asked them two questions over and over and over again…

“Are you doing/saying that with a kind heart?”


“Can you please say that again in a kinder way?”

and other versions of those sentiments as well.

We talk about being kind a lot. Being kind to one another, to our friends, to our family, to the poor, the environment, strangers, etc. And all of that plays into my word this year. I want to be aware of my words and actions. I want to give myself self-checks – “am I being kind? can i be kinder?” I want to do this with my kids, Chris (especially), my family, friends, clients, etc. I can be incredibly kind to strangers but then my family gets the worst of me a lot. I can pay for the person behind me in McDonalds or hold a door open for someone or even go so far as to pick up a girl waiting at a bus stop in a snow storm and drive her 25 minutes to her home in the city (true story) but then I come home and yell at Chris or the kids about something stupid. Kind. I want to ask myself the questions I ask the kids more intentionally this year.

I also want to continue to work on these things with the kids – especially being kind to the world. I want to find more volunteer activities that can involve them. I want to pick up more trash in parks and surprise more people with their art work in the mail. I want to intentionally keep instilling the idea that they are not the center of the universe in simple and easy to understand ways.

Most importantly though, and why I chose this word, is that I want to learn to be kind to myself. To my body that feels too fat and my skin that breaks out like a teenager sometimes and my hair that is unruly and turning gray and my mouth that curses too much (yes, I am a cursing Christian!) and my heart that can be ugly and my attitude that can be lazy and the list goes on. I want to be KIND to ME. I’m honestly not even sure what that looks like exactly but I have the entire year to figure it out I guess!

Is anyone else an Ali fan that’s doing this? I’d love to hear your word and why you chose it in the comments!

Tomorrow I am excited to shoot the image i need for the New Year’s card (say a prayer my kids cooperate!) and clean off my desk. I am excited for a clean slate. A new year. Where new ideas can push old ones out and old ideas that are good can grow their roots deeper. I’m excited for a new planner with empty pages to fill up. I know going from December 31 to January 1 is just the ticking of a clock but it feels more significant to me. It feels like a new notebook and Gelly Roll pens on the first day of school. Anyone else love new school supplies as much as I did?!?

I feel proud of the year we’re closing the door on but SO excited for the new one we’re starting. I have no idea what’s around all the corners or how the path will twist and turn but I can’t wait to find out!

Happy New Year friends!