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Top Ten Most Read Posts for 2016

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I get a kick looking at the past year. I like those little videos Facebook makes to capture your year. I enjoy seeing the most liked posts of my friends on Instagram. Even though, if I think about it too much, it’s a little creepy, I still like to reminisce about the past year.

And for my Only a Season Mamas, I love seeing what you guys kept coming back for on our site to get your mom tip fix. I love being surprised too! Sometimes I see a post pop up as most read for the week and I’m like “Whoa! That’s from last year!”

So reminiscing is fun for me and I hope it gives you an opportunity to look around the site a little more to see if there’s a tip or some advice you can use right now, in your mom life today.

Let’s take a look at what you’ve been reading at Only a Season this year!

This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are always my own. Full disclosure here.

Most Read Posts by Moms looking for mom tips! Most read posts by moms in 2016.

 

10. Can I Just Take a Minute and Talk about Some Awesome Mom Bloggers?
I love that this post made it to the top ten list! I have made some amazing online friendships and I am so glad that many of you mamas out there stopped by to read about these amazing ladies to help support you in your mom journey!

9. Why I Don’t Shop at Gap Anymore
This post has been one of my most popular throughout the year. As I talk about my transition to being a SAHM, many of you mamas out there, whether you work away from home or at home or both! you felt like you could connect with my sort of identity crisis during that transition and The Gap.

8. What It’s Like to Grieve without God
This is one of my faith-based posts where I talk about the loss of my mother this past year. I had originally published it on Only a Season but eventually started another blog and moved it over to there. Nonetheless, it seems that grief unites many of us in many ways, no matter the journey we’re on with it. If you’ve lost someone you love and you struggle with God and grief, then this post may be for you.

7. Five Freezable Baby-led Weaning Breakfast Ideas
Apparently many of us mamas are looking for quick breakfast ideas that we can pull out of the freezer in the mornings! My son is well beyond the weaning process but we absolutely LOVE these recipes and the handiness they bring to our early, busy mornings!

6. Which Wonder Week Was the Worst for You?
So yah, you are NOT ALONE in wondering what the heck is wrong with your baby and then find out that there’s a Wonder Week for that! I remember times when Bubby would be crying or waking for what seemed like no reason and then BAM, it was a Wonder Week. Check out the survey from other moms and see what was their worst Wonder Week!

5. Four Healthy Snack Alternatives for Your Toddler
I’m thinking that food may be a common theme for many of us moms as we are searching for tips to help us thrive as we parent our little ones! From Universal Meltdown Hour to the screaming baby in the grocery store, these handy snacks will make you feel good about what you’re giving your little to snack on during the day.


4. Five Items Under $20 Your Kitchen Needs
And here we are, another food related post that we all seem to want tips on. ALL of these items are in my kitchen and I absolutely love being able to grab them when I’m whipping us up something to eat. These are great deals and they will last in your kitchen for a good amount of time too! Check them out here!

3. 20+ Tips from Real Moms for When You Have a Toddler and a Newborn
There’s strength in numbers. And that means when you have more than one kid, they outnumber you when you’re home with them all day. But it also means when you receive tips from other moms who have been where you are, then you find strength in their advice, knowing you WILL survive. This post came out only a couple of months ago and it is the third most read post on the site this year. That tells you something, Mamas.

2. 45 Daily Activities to with Your Toddler (12-18 months old)
I remember being inspired to write this post when I found myself constantly scrambling during playtime with Bubby. I finally decided to make a list and then it dawned on me that other moms could use this list too! Apparently many of you feel the same way, making this the second most read post on Only a Season. This post is also one of my higher pinned posts too. For someone who still has a young blog, that’s pretty exciting! 🙂

1. How to Transition Baby from a Rock n’ Play to the Crib
It was late in the night and I started Googling “how to transition from the rock n play to the crib” and the results were pitiful, like there was hardly anything out there to help me figure out how to get Bubby to sleep in his crib. I scoured Pinterest but came up empty handed. So I used some of the principles for nap transitions and viola! I got Bubby to transition sleeping in the Rock n’ Play to the crib. And many of you mamas out there faced the same dilemma, making this the most read, most searched post on Only a Season. And what’s better yet about this post, is if you have a friend who may be going through a similar battle, you can refer them to the post! Whoot!

JOIN THE TRIBE!
There you have it, ladies! I would love to hear any thoughts you might have on other posts we’ve had here that encouraged you! Tell us below! If you’re interested in getting posts like this sent directly to your inbox, check out our Mom Tribe so you never miss a post!

I look so forward to 2017 and what it will bring to us Only a Season Mamas!
Cheers!
Glo

78 Songs That Should Be on Your Summer Playlist

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My back is damp as I lean forward in my seat. My shirt pulls away from the leather and I hang my arm out the window. There’s something freeing when you are driving 55mph on a country highway and the windows are down and you brave the wind with your torpedo hair flapping out the window.

If you would have been out in the middle of nowhere-Iowa this weekend, you probably would have seen my little family and I driving, bringing this summer driving scene to life. Asher was getting fussy, I was getting tired of the curvy roads, Mike was tired of driving, so we rolled the windows down and cranked out my Summer Music Playlist.

I am a lover of music and I am a lover of lists of all sorts. But when it comes to music, I am particularly a lover of music playlists that connect with a season or a mood. If you were to scroll through my iPod you would see quite the variety of playlists. I have traditional playlists, like Christmas or Classical Music. Then I got my “Dancing-In-The Kitchen” list. Or “Spring Break.” If I am feeling lovey-dovey, I play my list titled “LURVE.” I even have a list I like to call “Purple.” I love to have playlists that tie in with the change of the seasons. I tend to associate certain songs with certain times of the year. And as we were making our way up to Iowa, I knew I would need my summer playlist. After all, Memorial Day is an official season setter for some of us!

So, for fun, I am giving you my list of 78 songs you should have on your summer playlist. And if you don’t have one, then don’t be afraid to start! They are fun to make and an easy tradition to start! My husband has even gotten into the habit of asking about different playlists as we are traveling or hosting a party or as Christmas time approaches. (And if I’m being honest, I even have sub-Christmas playlists!! Eeeeek!) I couldn’t bring myself to put these in any particular order besides alphabetical, so enjoy them as they roll!

(I did exclude Christian songs because I have those as a separate list for the summer! Maybe another post?? 🙂 And I can’t guarantee clean language or videos in all of these either.

I know, some of these might seem cheesy, but when I hear them, I think of summer and I just can’t help myself!!!

By the way, some of these videos are pretty fun to watch–The Cranberries with the eclectic wave on the screen?!?! Or Billy Idol’s hair!

What about you?? Do you have any staple summer songs? Share in the comments for the rest of us to check out!!

  1. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough — Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
  2. All These Things I’ve Done — The Killers
  3. America the Beautiful (cuz of 4th of July 🙂 — Ray Charles
  4. Any Man of Mine — Shania Twain
  5. Anything Could Happen — Elli Goulding
  6. Are You Gonna Be My Girl — Jet
  7. Below My Feet — Mumford & Sons (by the way,  if you seen them live, they sound just as good!)
  8. Black Dog — Led Zeppelin
  9. Blood — The Middle East
  10. Born In The USA — Bruce Springsteen
  11. Boot Scottin’ Boogie — Brooks & Dunn
  12. Can’t Hold Us — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  13. Dead Sea — The Lumineers
  14. Difference Maker — NEEDTOBREATHE
  15. Dirty Paws — Of Monsters and Men
  16. Don’t Stop Believin’ — Journey
  17. Don’t Worry Baby — The Beach Boys
  18. Dreams — The Cranberries
  19. Elephant Love Medley — Moulin Rouge Soundtrack (Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor)
  20. New York (Empire State of Mind) — Jay-Z & Alicia Keys (struggled to find a good one here)
  21. Express Yourself — Charles Wright
  22. Fall In Love With The 80’s — Reliant K
  23. Feel Again — One Republic
  24. Fishin’ in The Dark — Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
  25. Footloose — Kenny Loggins
  26. Friends in Low Places — Garth Brooks
  27. Get Lucky — Daft Punk
  28. Gloria — Them ( This is from the movie The Outsiders and has part of my name, so I’m biased 🙂
  29. Go Do — Jonsi
  30. Good Life — One Republic
  31. Hangin’ Tough — New Kids on The Block
  32. Have You Ever Seen The Rain — Creedence Clearwater Revival
  33. The Heart — NEEDTOBREATHE
  34. Her Man — Gary Allan
  35. Ho Hey — The Lumineers
  36. Hotel California — The Eagles
  37. How Far We’ve Come — Matchbox Twenty
  38. I Believe in a Thing Called Love — The Darkness
  39. I Get Around — The Beach Boys
  40. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For — U2
  41. I Want It That Way — Backstreet Boys
  42. I Will Wait — Mumford and Sons
  43. If I Ever Leave This World Alive — Flogging Molly
  44. It’s Tricky — Run DMC
  45. Keep Your Hands to Yourself — The Georgia Satellites
  46. Kokomo — The Beach Boys
  47. Learn Me Right — Birdy & Mumford and Sons
  48. The Man — Aloe Blacc
  49. Me & My Friends — Tim Myers & El May
  50. Mony Mony — Billy Idol
  51. Moves Like Jagger — Maroon 5
  52. My House — Flo Rida
  53. Old Pine — Ben Howard
  54. Oye Como Va — Santana
  55. Party in The USA — Miley Cyrus
  56. Pour Some Sugar On Me — Def Leppard
  57. Praan — Garry Schyman
  58. S.O.B — Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
  59. Say Hey (I Love You) — Michael Franti & Spearhead
  60. Shake It Off — Taylor Swift
  61. Shake It Out — Florence + The Machine
  62. Shower — Becky G  ( I know, I know…)
  63. Slow Ride — Foghat
  64. Spirit In The Sky — Norman Greenbaum
  65. Suit & Tie — Justin Timberlake (feat. Jay-Z)
  66. Summer of 69 — Bryan Adams
  67. Summertime — Kenny Chesney
  68. Sweet Home Alabama — Lynyrd Skynyrd
  69. Team — Lorde
  70. This Magic Moment — The Drifters
  71. Thunderstruck — AC/DC
  72. Ticks — Brad Paisley
  73. Til Kingdom Come — Coldplay
  74. Uptown Funk — Mark Ronson (feat. Bruno Mars)
  75. Wanna Be With You — Hootie and the Blowfish
  76. Wink — Neal McCoy
  77. Winter Winds — Mumford & Sons
  78. Young Blood — The Naked and Famous

Don’t forget to share you favorites for Summer in the comments below!!!

 

78 Songs summerplayist PIN

5 Freezable Baby-led Weaning Breakfasts

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FIVE FREEZABLE BREAKFAST FOODS FOR BABY-LED WEANING

I’ve got a new list for us! You know how I am about lists… Once Bubby started eating foods with his hands along with pureed foods, I really became interested in making healthy foods for him and for me! I love that about baby-led weaning: Feed them what you’re eating! While starting this journey, I was reminded of what I already knew. Foods we eat are full of sodium and sugar, which are items you need to be wary of when feeding baby what you eat. I try not to obsess about this but I like to be aware.  I found that breakfast foods where an easy first start for us when giving him food to handle on his own.

Breakfast foods are easy to make, can be made in bulk for freezing and eating later, and can be made a little more versatile with adding different ingredients here or there. While these breakfast ideas are probably not ground breaking, the recipe ingredients might be new to you and the taste is soooo worth trying!

Don’t underestimate the power of freezing foods. As I started feeding Bubby what we’re eating, I quickly realized he didn’t eat all that much and I didn’t want it to go to waste, especially if he loved the food, so I started freezing different foods to see how they would turn out!

waffles

Whole Wheat Waffles Strips

These waffles are delicious! I took the original recipe from Lisa at 100daysofrealfood.com.  The only thing I do different from her is a I add 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla and I double the recipe so I can have a big batch to freeze later! Doubling her recipe gave me 22 waffles. Husband and I ate four for breakfast, Bubby ate some of one, so I froze 17 waffles. These recipes use naturally sweet ingredients instead of sugar. Bonus! Anytime she adds salt, I just omit it. 🙂 #babyledweaningwin

*EXTRA MOM HACKS*

*Spreading yogurt on these is really yummy. Have you ever tried whole milk, plain yogurt. I swear it tastes almost like cream cheese. Bubby loves it! Another nice thing about spreading yogurt on these is you’ve now created a sticky layer to add some other food! I squish raspberries, blueberries, pears, blackberries and bananas on these waffles! You could even sprinkle a little smidge of cinnamon to add a little flavor flair!

*To freeze these, I just put them in a freezer Ziploc bag. When we want to eat them, I put them in the toaster and they’re ready in like two minutes!

*Take a Saturday morning to make a double or triple batch of these. It’s worth it!!

 

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EGGS Galore

Don’t forget the power of eggs! I should add that it is totally up to you on when you introduce eggs. Apparently, there’s a lot of new research out there that says it’s OK to feed your baby eggs around 6-8 months. Like anything, Google it and ask your pediatrician because I’m just a mom telling you my experience over a cup of coffe.

Husband and I don’t have any food allergies and neither do our families. The rule of thumb is if it’s an allergy somewhere in your family, then you’ll probably want to wait. With that, Bubby LOVES scrambled eggs. Again, this is another food when you can add variety AND you can freeze cooked eggs and they warm up pretty nicely.

*EXTRA MOM HACKS*

*When making your scrambled eggs, add a little milk. This makes them fluffier and juicier so baby can grab chunks easily.

*Try Egg Muffins! Once I discovered this, I have gone to town with all sorts of varieties. You can add bacon and bread chunks to a muffin cup, pour in your egg mixture, pop them in the oven, and freeze the leftovers! Super easy! Peppers, cheeses, spinach, and other greens are easy add-ins to your egg muffin cups and gives baby a variety to try!

*My rule of thumb when I try something new in the oven is to start at 350 degrees for baking. This seems to be a pretty universal temperature. You can figure out about how many eggs you’ll need to fill 12-24 cups to your liking. I have found that 8-10 eggs (depending on egg size) works well to make 12 full muffin cups. If you have extra, just make a small batch of scrambled eggs to eat on the spot with your little one!

*Another incident where silicone is awesome. I love my silicone muffin cups! Seriously, 24 reusable cups for $10 bucks is UH-mazing. Awesome for freezing and non-sticking. Plus, whenever I decide to use my muffin pans, I never have to worry if I have muffin cups on hand! When you freeze the eggs, I would freeze them in a single layer first, then throw them in a bag. I think the cooked eggs like to stick to each other.

*These warm up nicely in the microwave!


 

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MUFFINS!!!

While we’re on the topic of muffins, another favorite around here are these awesome berry, nut, banana, whatever you want muffins! I totally stole this recipe from Lisa and we LOVE THEM! I leave the salt out of these too. They are super easy. Seriously. I made them in like 15 minutes, total. I honestly don’t worry about exact measurements of fruit that I add to these. I just add whatever I have on hand. I like to buy berries to eat throughout the weak. When I can see they are trying to go bad before they get eaten all up, I like to make this recipe to use the berries all up!

*EXTRA MOM HACKS*

*My picture above only has blueberries, but I’ve made these with blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and bananas before. They turn out lovely! You could even add chocolate chips if you want something with a little sugar! 😉

*In Lisa’s recipe, she uses coconut oil. I use canola oil and have never noticed a taste problem.

*To defrost, you could put them in your fridge over night or even just on the counter. I have done both and they seem fine. Honestly though, I find I don’t think to eat these until the morning of, so I just zap them in the microwave for a minute or so and they turn out great!

 

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FRENCH TOAST STICKS

My favorite about french toast is that I love it so much it started me on making my own bread.
(Quick Digression: We got a bread machine for Christmas some time ago and I put that baby to work every week! If you have one, I really encourage you to bust it out! There are some great, easy recipes out there!)
OK, back to freezing food! This breakfast might be an exception to your salt intake if you buy commercial bread. Nothing wrong at all with doing this! I would probably consider this your splurge meal of the day for baby if that’s the case.

*EXTRA MOM HACKS*

*French toast seasoning is really about your preference. Personally, I whisk together a few eggs, a little milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hint of vanilla and a drop orange juice in mine.

*To freeze these, make sure you don’t have too soggy of bread when you’re done. I have found freezing these when soggy, creates a mushy after freeze. I put these in the toaster when I take them out of the freezer and they have the perfect little crunch to them!

*I have found Bubby likes any bread-related item, like his mamma 🙂 Don’t be afraid to try different varieties of toast! Sometimes I give him toast with his scrambled eggs. Sometimes I give him toast with yogurt spread on it and fruit, etc.

 

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YOGURT  CUBED SMOOTHIE

If you love smoothies and want an easy way to have some on hand for those urges and want baby to share in the yumminess with you, this is the easiest way to have a smoothie on the go!

*EXTRA MOM HACKS*

*When you are done making your smoothie, freeze a batch in ice cube trays so you can control how many you want to grab later. We all know smoothies can have incredible varieties for taste! I use whole milk yogurt and a tad of OJ. I try to do more yogurt than OJ to limit some of the sugar and to help with consistency. This has worked well for me!

*When you want some immediately for eating, put it in the microwave on the medium heating setting for 20 second increments. Once it starts to get a hint of mushy, break it up with your spoon to mix with the cold on the inside and enjoy!

*If you know you’ll want it for lunch for yourself and baby, then take out a batch and put it in the fridge. It will be ready to eat by lunch! I like to store batches for myself in my small pyrex containers.

 

Do you have any favorite recipes you love to share with  your little one? Any favs to add to the list?

5 FreezablePIN

Word for the Year 2016: Focus…and Cultivate

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I couldn’t decide on one word for this year. I had a few goals and thoughts that I was mulling over for a couple of weeks and I just kept coming back to these two words. Focus was the dominant word. Each time I would delve deeper, the word cultivate kept swimming around my thoughts. So there you have it. My two words for the year are FOCUS and CULTIVATE.

Every year I tend to fill the need to change something in my life. One year I allowed myself to watch TV/Movies for a total of three hours in a one week period. Another year I wanted to run everyday. Ha! That was the year I got bronchitis AND laryngitis. (If you’re wondering, no, I didn’t end up running everyday that year.) Another year Mike and I pledged to eat at one new restaurant a month. One year I decided to read a new book each week. (I was close. I ended up with 50 on my reading list that year.) You get the idea. I have never picked a word to focus on. This will be a new endeavor.

I got the idea from Frank Viola. He posted a great article about getting ready for 2016 and I decided to run with it. If you’ve never heard of or read any of his stuff, you should head over to his site and check it out. Once I decided to pick a word for the year, I started to pray about it. I plan to take this seriously, so it seemed natural to ask God for help.

I knew I wanted to be on social media less, run more, eat healthy, read more, write more, be angry less, spend time with people I care about more and be purposeful in my relationship with Mike. I wanted to focus on them, but not just that, I wanted to grow these things. Improve upon them somehow. Enter cultivate. So here’s my list of focus and cultivation for the year 2016 and how I plan to “implement” them.word2016

1) Facebook less. I plan to turn off all my push notification on all my social media apps (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest). I have found that I have great excuses to be on these all the time (while I’m nursing, while Asher is napping, when I’m going for a walk…you get the idea). I keep missing the present because I’m so focused on someone else’s “present.” Who wants to spend life on Facebook. I don’t even want to know how much of my time is spent either surfing social media or the Internet in general. So, I’ve decided to allow myself two times in a day to check these things. I get up early and like to do emails, etc. so morning seems natural. I’m not sure when the other time will be, but it will be minimum.

2) Run More. I like to run. I feel healthier, stronger, and usually mentally stronger when I’m running. Especially if I have a plan for my running. I plan to run a half marathon this spring. That’s as far as I’m taking it right now. The fall gets pretty busy for me with coaching, so we’ll see what it brings. I already try to run a few times a week, so this isn’t new, but I am cultivating this habit. See what I did there.

3) Cook More Wholesome Foods. I believe I’ve mentioned before how I love Lisa over at www.100daysofrealfood.com. I use her site as my go to when I want to make wholesome, less processed foods. I’ve decided to use my blog to help me with this goal. I’ve got some ideas turning but I’m thinking of a “Supper Sundays” post. I’ll post what I cooked, how it went over, the recipe I used and any other resources. I don’t know if anyone will read it, but it will help keep me accountable to cook at least a wholesome, non processed, possibly all organic meal, once a week. I’ll most likely cook this on Sundays, hence “Supper Sundays.”

4) Read More. If you check out my side bar, you can see that I’ve signed up at Goodreads.com for the reading challenge this year. I plan to read 40 books this year. If you are a struggling reader or like to read, this is fun to do. You can join others and check out who’s reading what. It’s an easy way to find some accountability for your year of reading. I love it!

5) Write More. I’ve thought about using my blog to help me accomplish this. Obviously it’s two-fold with the Supper Sundays idea. I’ve thought about other “day themed” writings. I’ve seen a lot of other bloggers do this and it seems like a good idea. I wouldn’t have to keep it up every week, but when I get an idea, I could tie it to one of those themes. I also have realized that I want to schedule more time in for writing. This can be tricky. I have two prime times in a day to do this, but I use that time for a lot of other things too, so I’ll have to decide maybe what days to do what. Book ideas keep floating around my head. Right now, their just floating. I’m trying to get the sail up still.

6) Relationships. I would definitely consider myself and my husband an introvert by definition. We have friends we see every now and then but nothing consistently. I tend to easily run in my head that “I’m introvert. I don’t need to see people to get energy.” This might be true, but that doesn’t mean it’s the way God intended things for all introverted people. I plan to invest in some of my relationships more this year and spend time with people I care about. I’m pretty sure Mike will go along with this 🙂 I also have a big family, and we can go a long time without talking to each other. This bothers me when I think about it. So, I’ve decided to plan a phone call/text to my family members more often throughout the week.

7) My marriage. I can easily see how married couples lose their intimacy and friendship when they have a child(ren). I can see this slowly happening to Mike and me. He works fairly long days and it’s easy to fall into the roommate mode and give all  your energy to your kids. I’m thinking we need to implement two date nights a month or something. I haven’t worked out all the details of this because I need to talk with Mike about it. but I plan to be proactive in this. We’ve got a great babysitter that we trust and Asher doesn’t have any issues going to bed at night, so we just need to plan to go out together!

That’s my list to help me FOCUS this year and CULTIVATE some things that are important to me. Have you thought about your year? I really like Frank Viola’s idea of making a list of your “Dream Year.” How inspiring! I would like to sit down with Mike and do that. I think it would be a cool idea to see how those dreams pan out for the year. What would  your word for the year be? Why?
Thanks for reading!

Crying in the car and being a control nut: What is your top ten list for 2015?

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I know many are focusing on New Year’s resolutions, but before I jump in to looking ahead, I like to sit back and look at the year and all the things I experienced. I like to make a list, (shocking, I know) and reflect on what had an impact on me as a person. I like to try and narrow down these experiences to ones that seemed most impactful to me. These “experiences” could include a book or music or even a movie. So before you jump into the new year, I would encourage you to reflect on your year in 2015.

WHY make a list?
It’s good for the soul to remember things that have helped mold you into the person you are. As a society, I feel like we’re always looking forward to the next date we have marked on our calendar that we forget to reflect on important things that have happened to us.

HOW to make your list?
I tend to be a “free writer” myself. I don’t start out with a number one and then try to perfect my list right away. I generally sit down and just start writing about the year in total free form. Sometimes I go through all the pictures on my phone to bring up reminders of special events. Sometimes I go through my music play lists to refresh on my favorite songs. I also keep a journal. I like to go through it and reflect. You might even want to talk with someone you spent a lot of time with throughout the year. They might have some interesting perspectives on how the year went.

WHAT to put on your list?
Of course this is very general and can vary greatly depending on the person and what they experienced during the year. Some might find this reflective process liberating and motivating as they move into the next year. We can’t forget the struggles that the year brought. There are many who may have had a tough year who wish to leave it behind and never look back. Think about how your experiences could or may have made you a stronger or more considerate person than before. Your list may include a relationship that ended, a lost loved one, a new loved one, a book, a song, a trip, a concert, a restaurant your family was addicted to, maybe a TV show.

This list is wide open. Be serious. Be funny. Be thoughtful. Be gritty. Be honest.

MY LIST FOR 2015

1) Having my first child.
Of course, this seems like an obvious one, but I must say that it seems almost all my experiences this year revolve around this little guy. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if Mike and I would have kids. God opened my heart and now I don’t even know how I used to think that! I could live without the labor part, and really skip the nine months pregnant part. A stork delivery would be nice. But I would do it all over. Words can’t express all this, really.

2) Becoming a stay at home mom.
If you would’ve asked me a few years ago what I thought I’d be doing the rest of my life, I would have said teaching in a school somewhere. I never would have thought that I’d be a SAHM. Now, I can’t imagine working away from my little guy. The transition had its and still does have its emotional moments, but I am so grateful that I get to be with Asher for all of his “firsts.” Wearing leggings everyday does have its perks.

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3) Love and War by John Eldredge.
This book has brought a new foundational meaning to my marriage. If you are struggling in your marriage and are interested in faith-based insight, you really should check this out. I feel like this book gave me a huge reminder that we are all under attack by the Evil One and prayer is a powerful thing for your marriage, for any relationship, really. Marriage is hard and having a child and being parents is icing on the cake! This book saved us! I really should write a review for this book.

4) Since I’m on the topic of marriage, the song Broken Together by Casting Crowns rang true for me this year, especially after having a baby! There were many car rides, with a lot of tears upon hearing this song. Pregnancy hormones didn’t help either! (Come to think of it, there was lots of crying in the car this year…) There’s nothing more humbling than you and your spouse caring for this new little life (or lives) you’ve been given and realizing how utterly flawed you both are as you walk your parenting journey together.

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5) Organic and less processed.
This year I have tried to cut out processed foods and create a more “whole foods” shopping list. I am addicted to Lisa’s site www.100daysofrealfood.com I first decided to really pay attention to ingredient lists of foods I buy and I try to buy organic when it’s feasible. I really try to go by the dirty dozen. We certainly don’t always eat healthy, but I feel healthier knowing I’m making more educated purchases at the grocery store.

6) Being a control nut.
I have realized this year that I like control. I like to control as much as I can and when I can’t, I feel like a failure or I feel unstable. Again, having a kid can do wonders! I always knew I liked to plan and organize, but I feel I really saw my controlling flaws within my marriage and my relationships and the unhealthy side of control. I think control can be a good, healthy characteristic, but like anything, too much can become a problem. I certainly haven’t mastered dealing with being too controlling but I feel that being more self aware has already helped tremendously.

7) Learning to laugh more.
Laughter instead of anger. This practice has helped me a lot in my marriage. It could help in any relationship. There are several occasions when Mike and I could easily get snippy or rude with one another, but we’re finding out that sometimes. things can be pretty funny and laughing instead of getting angry can calm a storm very easily.

I could probably add Taco Bell, KLOVE Radio, and the public library to this list, but those are long enough for a post of their own! By the way, I realize I only have a list of SEVEN! I’m working on my controlling deficits.

The new year is almost here. Take some time to reflect before diving in with new resolutions or before planning away all your time. Remember those closest to you and how they have impacted you. Most of all, enjoy the season of life you’re in. We all know things can change so quickly.