joy · one little word

One Little Word: 2018



Happy New Year!

I know, we’re already 16 days in! How are those resolutions coming??

Yeah, me too.

I’m not really a resolution person, and every year I say I’m not doing resolutions, but privately, I list a few new habits I’m going to pick up or lay down. But it never sticks.

Several years ago, I heard about One Little Word – the idea that you choose one word to guide your year. I love this idea because it makes me think about what I really want, it makes me find a connection between those goals, and it helps me simplify choices I make in my day-to-day life. It’s a guidepost and a reminder of what I truly value.

Every December, as the year comes to a close, and we fill that week between Christmas and New Years with lazy days, playing at the park, and wearing PJs, I try to figure out what word is going to guide me in the year to come.

This year, several words kept coming to my mind, particularly BE, SLOW, and JOY. I’ve done SLOW before, and it’s a good one, and I could chose it every year for the rest of my life and still not fully master it. But another word kept coming up in conversations and readings and even songs.


This One Little Word is different, though. In fact, I almost ditched it because I’m not sure I really know how to be joyful. Sure, I know how to have fun and how to seek things that make me happy or that give me warm, fuzzy feelings – candles and reading in bed and wine and delicious meals and time with friends and long walks and cozy blankets on cold, winter nights and a million other little things that make me smile.

But what I’ve been wrestling with is that I’m not sure any of these things are actually JOY. I think a lot of what I attribute to JOY might actually be PLEASURE. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing – there’s a lot of joy when I recount memories of these things that have brought me genuine pleasure.

A lifetime of little pleasures strung together builds a beautiful life.

But I wonder about purpose. I don’t think my life is supposed to be ALL about little momentary pleasures. My whole life can’t revolve around food and wine and books and being cozy. (Or can it?? It DOES sound pretty great….)

So, this year, instead of fully embracing it and BEING my One Little Word right off the bat, I’ve decided to spend this year diving into JOY – researching it, reading books (like this one) and articles (this and this have been interesting reads so far) and scripture and classic essays about joy. Interviewing people about what joy is for them and where they find it. Crafting a personal definition that guides me to a deep understanding joy and what it looks like in my life.


So when I start to fight this word – when I think it would be easier to choose SLOW or even BE because it feels more tangible somehow (if not attainable) – I realize that this is a perfect example of doing something for the sake of learning. Not because it’s easy, but because of what the outcome will be.

What about you? Did you choose a word for 2018? Or do you make resolutions? Or try a New Things list? (This idea is really interesting to me, too.) I’d love to hear your thoughts.



Christmas · Kids

Stories of Yuletide Cheer: The Trampoline

I’m taking a departure from (ir)regular project posts to share a heartwarming story from our family’s Christmas season of Yuletide Cheer! (sarcasm, friends, lots of sarcasm)

backyard trampoline

Husband and I decided to get the kids a trampoline for Christmas. Two of The Boy’s friends have trampolines, and it’s his most favorite thing to do when he’s at their houses. And The Girl has always loved going to the trampoline park. Husband and I were pretty proud of ourselves for thinking of this – it would be a HUGE hit, and Santa wouldn’t even be getting the credit – WE would!

Without even thinking of measuring, we ordered it from Amazon late one night and were thrilled that it would be delivered in just a few days! (Fast forward to Christmas Eve, when Husband and I are bundled up, assembling this 15 ft diameter behemoth and trimming our landscaping IN THE DARK because the trampoline doesn’t fit anywhere in our backyard. But now we’ve got 176.71 square feet of jumping pleasure, so it’s totally fine.)

(See kids? You will totally use those geometric formulas in the future. Area of circle = pi r squared. BOOM.)

I started making plans about how to hide the boxes in the garage, and the day it was due to arrive, I wouldn’t let the kids go outside or walk up to the door without me checking first.

Sidebar: For the past few years, Husband and I have followed the Want, Need, Wear, Read idea for gifts for the kids – they get 4 gifts from us that fall into these categories. They know what to expect, they get the same number of presents, and they even help brainstorm ideas for these categories. BB had already started giving us suggestions for things. Like a lightweight raincoat.

Well, the night of the trampoline delivery, it still hadn’t arrived, and I had book club. I told Husband to listen for the delivery, and we discussed where we could hide the boxes.

When I pulled into the garage that night, the headlight beams hit the enormous boxes, which said “TRAMPOLINE BOX 1 OF 2” and “TRAMPOLINE BOX 2 OF 2” in huge letters on the side, right out in the middle of the garage.

Me (coming into the house): So, we need to go move the trampoline boxes.

Husband (reading a book): The kids have already seen them.

Me: WHAT?! Why did you let them see them??

Husband: Well, when I saw the delivery guy walking up the path, I opened the door, and he said, “HEY! I’ve got a TRAMPOLINE here for ya!”

Me: (speechless)

Me: (still no words)

Me: Are you freaking kidding me?? It’s December 11th!! What on earth does he think the trampoline is for? A purchase for ourselves? Just for FUN??

Husband: Well, he did say, “Uh, I mean, maybe this is for neighbors….?”

Me: (expletive)

Me: So, where were the kids when he was saying all of this?

Husband: They were in The Boy’s room, but they heard it all pretty clearly.

Me: And? What did they say??

Husband: Actually, they seemed a little confused. They DID hear him say “neighbor”, and I told them I didn’t really know anything about it.

Me: Crap. So, what are we going to do?

Husband (going back to his book): We don’t have to do anything right now.

Me (pacing and pulling my hair and gnashing my teeth): What? Yes we do! We need a plan! We need to have this figured out before they wake up in the morning. They will ask about it immediately.

Husband: Nah, I think it’s fine. They probably won’t even remember it in the morning.


I immediately text-vent to two friends about the situation and about the INCOMPETENCY of the delivery man. I also text our neighbor that has kids to see if maybe we can come up with a “story” (read: bald-faced lie) to tell our kids. We are in luck! The neighbors do not have a trampoline, so we are going to tell our kids that we are storing it for the neighbors for Christmas and that the kids CANNOT tell their kids about it because it’s a surprise.

I’m still feeling shaky and grumpy about the whole thing, but I am finally able to go to sleep.

In the morning, as soon as The Boy walks out of his room:

The Boy: MOM! Did you know there’s a trampoline in our garage?

Me: Yeah, I saw that.

B: Do you know whose it is?

Me: Yes, it’s The Bartlett’s trampoline. Daddy said Mr. Bartlett got it for their kids, and we are storing it for them until Christmas.

B: Oh, phew! Thank goodness! I didn’t want a trampoline!

Me: What? You don’t want a trampoline?

B: Yeah, because, if I got a trampoline, I would only maybe have one present under the tree. And I REALLY want that raincoat.

Me: (speechless)


Editor’s Note: The children LOVE the trampoline. Both of them. They’ve spent hours and hours on it already, making up funny moves and tricks and inventing games with stress balls and duct tape and having Nacho Libre wrestling matches – I don’t even know. Anyway, it was a huge hit, and Husband and I are the BEST PARENTS EVER.

At least for this month.

Editor’s Note #2: What is happening in the world that delivery truck drivers announce their packages when they arrive? I mean, it’s less than two weeks before Christmas. You haven’t been trained to deliver packages as covertly as possible?! And is it only during the holidays, or will all packages start being announced? “HEY! I’ve got that PLUNGER you ordered right here!” or “ALRIGHT! Looks like you’re getting some LICE TREATMENT today! Lucky you!”


Editor’s Note #3: Before you think The Boy was the only one acting a little bit ungrateful (unknowingly, of course), another story:

This year, we also decided to let the kids spend their own money on gifts for each other. I thought this might be met with some resistance, but they LOVED the idea. I told them they could spend a max of $5 of their allowance money, and I took each kid shopping individually. It was actually really sweet – The Girl picked out a small pack of Pokemon cards for The Boy, and The Boy picked out a little Hatchimal for The Girl – very thoughtful gifts that showed they really know each other. But then, the very next day, The Girl and I are at Target, and she happens to see the display of little Hatchimals that The Boy shopped from, and she says, “You know, I’d never really want one of those little ones. They are just too small.”


Editor’s Note #4: She LOVES the little Hatchimal. She was so touched that he picked it out for her, and it didn’t leave her side, day or night, for a week.

Editor’s Note #5: My lesson in all this? Don’t ever believe anything your children say.


Style · Thrifts · vintage

Everyday Vintage: 12.21.17

I’m back with another Everyday Vintage, my weekly-ish roundup of how I incorporate vintage finds into my everyday life. 

I haven’t posted vintage finds in a couple of weeks, so there are a bunch of photos today. Enjoy!



Vintage Boots! I found these 70s leather boots last winter at Goodwill. I took them to the shoe shop this fall to get the toe box stretched a bit. As soon as I got them back, the sole split, so they had to go back. I FINALLY got them back after Thanksgiving, and I can’t stop wearing them.



This vintage cotton blouse has pretty front pleats, a mock turtleneck, and buttons all the way up the back.



I wear this black vintage sweater weekly. It’s in such great shape, it’s a great lighter layer, and it goes with everything, but especially this faux leather jacket.


I love wearing an oversized sweater with a silky vintage blouse underneath. Also, monochromatic layers make me feel like a preppie.


Fake Adopted Mom passed this moose print wool coat along to me. It’s from Nordstrom from the 70s or 80s, has HUGE poufy sleeves, and is ridiculously warm. Bring on the snow!


I wore this vintage brown herringbone tweed blazer with a gray turtleneck. When in doubt, light brown/cognac + gray = a combo that always seems to work.


Again with a sweater vest! I found this vintage Evan Picone polka dot and striped vest at a thrift store last week. I added more stripes with a navy + white t-shirt underneath, because, why not?

FYI – I added some fun holiday (read: fancy! sparkles! sequins!) vintage pieces to my Etsy shop last week. Click here to take a peek! (This one is my favorite, and this one would be so fun to wear on New Years Eve!)