Let me start by saying this; Happy New Year! Literally, I don’t know where this year went. I feel like I looked up and it’s the day before 2019. 2018 held a lot of beauty; a strong playoff run for the Falcons, my husband having his jersey retired, standing beside one of my best friends on her wedding day, purchasing our first home, attending the premier for my sisters first movie role, Rico earning a long term deal, and last, but definitely not least; watching Luca and Leni become amazing little people right before our eyes. 2018 was also a year that had some low lows, but, that is life and I like to believe that without the lows we wouldn’t appreciate how insanely beautiful the “highs” are. I am highly anticipating 2019. I cannot wait to watch the babies continue to flourish and grow, I am so excited for my husband to get back onto the football field again and I cannot wait to finally* honeymoon with R.
Last year I focused a lot on self growth and holding myself accountable for my actions and for my life. I wanted to really focus on how I lived my life– from all aspects– my physical health, my mental health, balance in all things. I wanted to truly be the best, most present Mom that I could be. I wanted to show my husband how much I love and appreciate him, and I wanted to get to know him even better. I wanted to grow my faith in God and listen to His voice even more than I ever had. I wanted to focus on Grace-Allen.com and utilizing this platform for good. I can honestly say that I feel proud of how I lived this past year– but, I absolutely will be bringing this past years goals into 2019, with the addition of a few more.
Change takes time. Whatever we are most used to doing is what we will continue to do– it’s really that simple. If we are used to choosing unhealthy foods over healthy foods, we will keep doing it. If we are used to choosing to give our attention and love to people who don’t deserve us, we will continue to do so. If we are used to making excuses for ourselves and living in a state of jealousy, we will continue. I can speak in these words because I have been there. I have been the girl that would knowingly make decisions that I didn’t want to make and then beat myself up after the fact. I have been the girl that gave that guy that didn’t deserve me one too many chances. I have been the girl that instead of making choices to make myself better, I chose to just live in envy of others that attained the things that I wanted for myself. I remember realizing one day that I was in full control of the things that I didn’t like about myself and my life, and after that, the rest was history. I started taking my health seriously. I closed chapters that needed to be closed. Straight up, I started to pay attention: to the things that made me feel good, and the things that didn’t. I started to pay attention to what made me happy, what made me feel the most “me” and then I made the conscious decision to only make choices that aligned with those things. This major life change happened for me in 2012 and I haven’t looked back since. Something really beautiful happens when you stop making excuses and start to hold yourself accountable. I don’t have it all figured out, and actually I am not even close.. but, what I do know is that everyday is a chance for growth and a chance for change. We either get better, or worse– and as long as I can look back on a week, a month, or even an entire year and know that I chose to get better more than I got worse, that’s success in my book. I have been thinking a lot about what I want to focus on for 2019 and I have decided to share a few of them with you. I am a firm believer in speaking our goals out loud (sharing with family and friends who can help to hold us accountable), and I am as equally a firm believer in keeping some of our goals for just us to know (in my bedside journal). I encourage you to do the same.
This was one of the things that I was focusing on this past year and its absolutely one thing that I will be bringing along into 2019. Balance looks different once babies come into the picture– it’s a juggle, and it’s hard, but I have found with even just a little bit of focus on keeping things balanced, it comes easier. Finding the balance between being a loving and supportive wife, a present mother, and all the of things that make me “me” is something I am going to continue to work on– probably forever, lol. When it’s time to be a hands on Mom, I drop all things and get down and play and explore the ways in which my children need me to individually connect with them. When it’s time to be a supportive wife, I focus all of my energy on being a rock for my husband and finally, when it’s time to focus on me, I focus on me. I do my best to be present in whatever moment I am in without thinking about the next thing. Like I said, I can guarantee that balance will be on my list for all the years to come.
Read/Listen/ Learn More.
I absolutely love to learn about any and everything. I think that it is crucial to see things from a multitude of perspectives and to grow our knowledge. Reading is my favorite way to learn, but lately I haven’t had much time to sit down and read an actual book. So, instead of just saying “I don’t have time to read” and leaving it at that, I am going to utilize all of these services out there and start listening to books– while we drive, while I cook, fold laundry, etc. I love podcasts so I plan to continue to listen to those as well.
Scheduled Date Nights.
I want to make it a point to schedule a date night out every two weeks– dinner, a movie, anything. I also want to make it a point to schedule a night away every 6 weeks– either go downtown ATL and stay in a hotel, or make the drive to North or South Carolina. It is so easy to fall into the role of being parents, changing diapers, making bottles, etc and I want to be sure to keep the focus on being lovers alive.
Plant A Vegetable Garden (and maybe have a small greenhouse).
I would love nothing more than to walk into my backyard to pick the produce that makes the meal that I feed my family. I don’t know anything about gardening, or even how to start– but, this is a new project that I want to focus on this year.
Stay In Better Touch With The People That I Love.
You would think that my phone is always in my hand with how often I post to my IG stories, but that is far from the truth. 99% of the time I don’t know where my phone is and after the kids go to bed at 7:30 my phone goes right onto the charger where it stays until the morning. I started leaving my phone out of our bedroom when I read research that totally freaked me out about the radiation that our phones emit and ever since then I have become even worse about keeping in touch. I will be the first to admit that it can take me a day to respond to a text. I will also be the first to admit that people are placed on my heart and I make a mental note to reach out, yet it never happens. This year I want to do a better job of acting on those nudges when someone crosses my mind, I want to do a better job of not just “keeping up” with people I love via social media but by actually calling or scheduling a coffee date.
Continue To Practice More Patience.
This was something that I focused on this past year and I have gotten better, but I want to continue to grow more. I noticed how fast I was to get frustrated when someone would cut me off while driving (happens literally every time you drive in ATL), so that was the motivation to make a change and then it just grew from there. Having patience when young children are in your life is so crucial. They are always on their own schedule and have their own agenda for everything. I have found that I am a much more peaceful mother since focusing on being more patient. Sure, by the kid’s bedtime I am literally beat, and when Luca asks me to read a fourth story I am secretly over it, but I have made a point to focus on the fact that he won’t be asking me to read him stories for that much longer so I might as well embrace the fourth story and cuddles with my boy… even when bedtime takes 30 minutes longer than I expected it to. Patience is also important to have with myself… and I am realizing this more and more. I get frustrated when I don’t make time to workout because I feel like that’s an excuse– but, I have gotten a lot better about accepting the days that it doesn’t happen and making the days that it does count even more. I get frustrated with myself when I don’t make time to write a priority– and to be honest, I haven’t gotten better about this. Another goal for myself for this year is to find a way to carve out a writing block at least three times a week. Whether I have to hire a sitter to hang with my kids so that I can lock myself in my closet to write, or if I have to give up doing laundry, prepping dinner, cleaning up/all the things when my kids are napping– either way, I have to figure it out.
Make It Happen.
If you were to ever read my journal you would find that the last third of it is filled with ideas and dreams. My goal for this year is to actually make one of those come to fruition. Grace-Allen really is a God thing. This was never anything that I sought out, or planned for. But, it’s here, and I feel immense responsibility to handle it with grace and to make the most of it. I have been fortunate enough to partner with so many amazing small businesses and larger brands this year and I am incredibly thankful for that– but, this year, I want to make something of my own. Stay tuned!
The moral of the story is this: whatever life we dream of having can and will be ours, if we are willing to the hard work. My life changed when I stopped making excuses for myself and started living in line with what I dreamed of. I have a long way to go and I am excited for the journey, but I am thankful for the growth this far. I pray that 2019 is a year of health, wealth, love and happiness. I pray that in 2019 you come home to yourself and finally realize the power and beauty that you hold. I pray that in 2019 you start choosing the things that will grow you, build you, and prosper you. I pray that in 2019 we get to meet IRL over coffee, wine and a big ass bowl of pasta.
here’s to the new– year, you, hopes and dreams. xo, G