Sunday, December 29, 2013

My 2014 Theme in One Word

I'm in the midst of planning for the New Year. There's something irresistible to me about the shiny goodness of a brand new year and I love setting goals and making resolutions.

Remembering what they are and doing something about them once the shine of the new year has worn off is another story, though - I definitely need to work harder on that!

One of the things I've done for the last few years is picking my "word of the year". Since Ali Edwards has trademarked "One Little Word" and I don't actually take her classes or do her album project, I'll just refer to mine as my yearly theme.

As usual, my word came to me without much trouble. I've got some behaviors I'd like to change, and to my surprise they're all related:
  • Too much idle reading and Facebooking online rather than working on my blogs or businesses
  • Too sedentary - not enough exercise
  • When frustrated with my kids,I tend to disengage, instead of gently teaching what I want them to learn
  • Hubby has pointed out that during arguments, I tend to just shut down and stop talking
I'm an introvert, and need lots of quiet alone time. That's not going to change. 

But in order to grow my businesses, protect my health, mother effectively, and nurture a great relationship with my husband, I need to "stay in the game" and be willing to get my hands dirty, so to speak. I can't be passive anymore, with my time, with my health, or with the hard parts of my closest relationships.

At first the word I chose was "active", which is the opposite of passive, and encompasses all the things above.  But I am more motivated by a verb than an adjective. I need something I can use as an exhortation to *DO* something.
This is a logo designed by Nick Harrison. I love that it's simple. And hot pink.

So I decided on ENGAGE. It has multiple meanings, but I like the energy it represents, especially within relationships. Staying engaged rather than passive and disengaging when things get frustrating. Engaging in regular physical activity. Engaging in activities that further my businesses instead of wasting time reading articles about taking action.

I'm planning to make myself a handstamped sterling silver cuff bracelet with my word on it so I've got a constant reminder. As I've done in the past, I can make bracelets, keychains or necklaces in copper, brass, nickel silver or sterling silver for you too. Email or contact me via Etsy if you're interested! I'd love to work on a project for you.

So, what's your word for 2014? I love hearing what other people are working on!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

2013 Creath Family Holiday Letter: Temporary One

I usually have this post written by Thanksgiving weekend, but we've been traveling two weekends in a row which is highly unusual for our homebody family.

December is shaping up to be a challenging month for us. We pulled T out of her preschool due to safety issues and mismanagement, which breaks my heart because the teachers and program are excellent. But having active construction while the kids are in session, and putting kids in a building that failed inspection just a week ago are no bueno in our book.

We also decided to "camp out" in our living room at night so that we can all be together rather than sleeping in separate houses while our house is being remodeled. It's actually working pretty well but we now have to coordinate logistics between what we bring to our house and what we are leaving at my parents' place, and when we're spending time at each. BabyM still continues to wake several times at night but we'll tackle that issue later.

And if that weren't enough, Spike has been diagnosed with kidney failure and a tumor in his bladder. He's 13, so we're lucky to have had so much time with him. We're keeping our fingers crossed and loving on him as much as we can.

Well, that's a depressing beginning for a holiday letter, isn't it? 

Now on to the good stuff - we are 2 months into a HUGE construction project to turn our house into our perfect *forever* home. There's something for everyone - BabyM finally gets her own room, the girls get a playroom conveniently across from my new ENORMOUS craft room, TJ gets his own office with a door, and the dogs get their own half of the yard separate from the kids.

T turned 4 in September and some of her favorite things are: 
  • Vancouver, Canada (we took a mama-daughter trip there last weekend)
  • Her new Kindle (early Christmas present)
  • Playing pretend, usually involving food preparation of some sort
  • Vienna Teng's new CD AIMS (yes, I am heavily influencing her choice of music)
  • The all-Christmas music radio station
M turned 1 in October and she currently likes:
  • Walking! (This is new, and she still crawls about 50% of the time)
  • Stacking cups of all kinds
  • Tackling her big sister, then hugging her
  • Lint and dust bunnies
  • Her toddler group 
Peanut is 11 and doing pretty well considering his age and size.

TJ started his new job at ESPN in February and likes it a lot. In April, I decided NOT to go back to work at Microsoft after my maternity leave with M. It's been fun and challenging to be home with the girls, but I love the more easygoing pace of our days.

I also continue to make handcrafted stamped metal items and jewelry in my Etsy shop, Anandi's Laboratory. In August, I started a new venture, making custom handcrafted scrapbooks and photobooks at The Papercraft Lab.  I'm pleased to say that I got some nice publicity, and have exceeded my initial sales goals.  (Wouldn't be a holiday letter without some bragging, right?)

My parents spent June through October at their place nearby in Redmond, which was great. We just returned last week from visiting TJ's family in Tucson, AZ, and were able to schedule a quick family photo shoot there so we can finally update the photos on our mantel!

If you're still reading this far, thank you for indulging me :) Best wishes to you and yours for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2014!

(c) Kristi Lloyd Photography, 2013

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