a new year, a new outlook, & some changes.


here we are, 2015. 

after my first full year of being a momma (and a wife and working full-time...), i've decided there are few things in life that are really necessary. there are few people that are truly worth my time and energy. there are (very) few social media sites that need checking, few 'extras' at the store that need to be bought, and a few too much that we try to pack in our days just because it seems like we should be able to check off 173 from our to-do lists in a 24 hour period.

that is why, for this coming year, i want to really strip everything down to the basics and keep one thing always in the back of my mind:

simplify & focus.

this has been something that has been irking me for a few months now, and i've already started to kind of simplify things in the last few weeks. but it's not enough. 

we have enough going on with both jae and i working full time and little 1 year old gracie girl and our fur baby zo. we need to just focus on us and the things that are necessary for growth and love in our little family and let the other stuff go.


a few specific goals in mind:
-less time on social media 
honestly, i've already started this one. the only things online that i check at least semi-regularly are facebook and blogs (no, i don't have insta or pinterest or anything else, and i don't have them for a reason! this reason!). i deleted my fb app from my phone a few months ago and can i just tell you, it has been such a good thing for me. instead of being able to so easily scroll through my news feed any time of the day i want, i have to go to my internet and log in that way if i want to see it. and as silly as it might sound, it's a lot more work and takes more time and i honestly don't do it very often! a couple of times a week is all, usually. it feels awesome. as for blogs, i've narrowed down my 'must-read' blog list a lot, and only check the ones i truly care to read. ones i get something out of, or ones of people i know personally. and guess what? i don't miss any of it one bit!

 this is one i need to work on, and i need to work on it a lot. i have always been great at handling expenses and paying bills. the part i'm terrible at is saving and spending 'excess' money wisely (or not spending it at all..?). since building our new garage this past year, we have left ourselves without much wiggle room. but the garage is something i finally came to terms with as a need for us if we want to be able to stay in our home long-term, so we did it. and it is/will be a wonderful thing for years to come. with that said, we've got to learn to buckle down on spending and enjoy a more frugal season of life.

-family/friend social events
 not that we're exactly social butterflies these days, but sometimes trying to please people or work around others schedules becomes too much. and sometimes you just need to say no. i love spending time with our families and our friends, but i need to make sure to recognize when too much is too much. sometimes things needs to be skipped. and that's ok. i need to do what's best for myself and my family.

i'll be the first to admit, i'm not a great homemaker. it's still something i'm working on and an area i'm  constantly learning and growing in. in the way of simplifying life, i want to purge all the excess stuff in my house! i tend to hang on to stuff or just not find a permanent home for things or get something because i'm sure i'll find a good place for it in our house. i want to get rid of the stuff!!! i have also sort of started this one already - many trips to the DI over the last few months, as well as selling a few things online or in jae's mom's yard sale. this new garage will help a ton with storage (since we currently have nothing but a couple of small closets in our house now), so we can get the stuff that needs to stay out in the garage in proper storage and get the rest out of the house, whether that's to a new home or to the dump. i just want a simple, clean, happy home. it feels freeing already :)

-being healthy
i've never been consistently healthy. i am one of those roller coaster people that does good for a certain amount of time and then just stops out of nowhere and doesn't make much effort for another x amount of time. i've never been terribly out of shape or unhealthy, but at this point in my life (post marriage, post baby), i feel like i am at one of the unhealthiest points i've ever been in my life. and i know making lofty goals of exercising daily and not eating any chocolate chip cookies ever again just isn't at all realistic. so I'm not going to. instead, as part of my i want to be healthier but also trying to simplify things and make life easier, i have put together a little work out schedule for myself. a couple things i've discovered from past experiences that i work/don't work for me and working out - i need to go to a gym and i need to try taking classes. this encourages me both to go (paying for a membership) and actually get a good workout in during that precious sixty minutes I'm there. so, here it is: Tuesday morning is yoga, Thursday morning is cardio, and Friday morning is cycling. that's it. three days a week. all early morning (hello 5am!) so I'm gone while gracie is still snoozing but back before jae leaves for work. i am not going to cut out chocolate or the occasional dp from my life, but i am going to try to eat less of those things and more salads and whole wheat bread. and that's that. it's easy and consistent and something doable.


i feel like if i can put my efforts into simplifying my life in general, it will help me focus on what's really important and deserving of my time. as crazy or stressful as things can get sometimes, i love my little life and little family and wouldn't trade it for anything. i'm excited for the new year and really working hard to make it the best it can be




  1. Those pictures are darling, Mara! So, so cute. Cheers to a new year and better and more meaningful living! Hopefully Jordan and I have made the cut of people you want to make time for on occasion. ;) We'll have to have you over soon to see the house and catch up. Xx.

  2. These pictures are so darling---I absolutely adore them! Kudos to your photographer!

    These goals reflect a lot of what's been on my mind too. Can't wait to read about your year of simplifying! (If you haven't already, check out the blog Becoming Minimalist--definitely worth a little bit of time each week!)

  3. Amen to EVERY word of this post!! I totally relate. And Mar, I can't express enough how beautiful your family is. I feel like these pictures really portray the love your family has for each other. It's a rare and beautiful thing. You guys are a bright light to those around you for sure.