Simple Winter Wreath @ Stilettos In The Mud
New Year's resolutions are not something you will find in our household this year. The idea of setting a goal is steeped in tradition and should come from a positive place. However, somewhere along the line, many venture to say they become disillusioned with or too disappointed in the inability to follow through with their lofty goals, and it is easier to not make them, than make them and fail. I don't mind failure as long as I know I have given something my very best. As long as a resolution is a positive affirmation, then I say make as many of them as you can.

Every year I look back over the prior year and then envision where I want the next year to be... I positively focus on where I want to be a year from now, rather than kick myself for not having arrived yet. 

For example, last year instead of focusing on my sadness of living in an environment which felt toxic for me, and my family, I envisioned what living in a healthy community environment would look and feel like. Researching and writing down all the positive directions I wished to go. Instead of whining and complaining that my cowboy "would never move from the farm," I began stating to him what changes I would like to see. I "armed" myself with positive and quit looking at that which was wrong. I researched options, and began sharing my findings in a positive manner. It took less time than I had imagined for him to begin looking at other options. 

I must confess almost every item of change on "my list" has been met in this last year. My life has had many struggles in the last 6 months, but many more blessings.  

This year, I am focusing on TWO things. The first is for my family to make a list of positive directions we wish to take individually and as a family. As we sit around our table tonight, we will make a list and then keep it in a place to remind us of the direction in which we are moving. 

The second area of focus is on life's blessings.  It is easy to overlook the small day to day blessings which occur. We can be so focused on the nest item on our list that we miss those little moments of serendipity where gifts we were not even imagining we wanted, fall into our lives. This year I decided to follow some ideas I saw on Pinterest. I want to make sure I keep track of all the small blessings while I am focused on positive change! 
Each person in our family (and any guests who wish to join in) will have a place to write down their blessings of the year and place them in the pitcher. Next New Years Day we will look over ALL our blessings! 
Now I don't know about you but I have some naysayers in my life... and bless their hearts I can't just shut the proverbial door in their face. We can pretend life is all goodness and light and there is no negative forces or influences but that just isn't the case! As I was thinking over what positive way we could face these challenges, I remembered a favorite poem of mine by Shel Silverstein. I read it as a child, and it has stayed with me all these years. I decided to write it out as our New Year's Day Inspiration. 
In order to remind my family to stay positive and keep their faith, I will be regularly writing positive affirmations, encouragement and ideas on the chalk board I made out of an old door. It is hanging in our dining room, where it will be seen daily. Though I love ALL the beautiful chalk board art out there, I wanted this board to be simple and something I would not mind erasing regularly. This is real life in this house... and as beautiful as I want things to be on the outside, it is important to make sure we are working on the things which matter. 
There will also be a little box of fabric scraps in the sewing table drawer. If anyone has a worry, they can write it on the scrap and leave it hanging at the door (on the hooks). No need to worry or carry a heavy load. As the hooks fill up we will toss them in the fire and let them be handled by a power greater than ourselves
As you take the first steps into this new year, may your family be blessed. May you find encouragement, friendship, and love. Thank you for celebrating this last year with my family! 
A very popular event here in North Western Montana is always an auction. I have been to quite a few of these things, and yawn.....they are usually all about the farm/ranch  equipment. My husband usually grumbles about how much the prices of things go for, and we walk away with a few items. In the last few years I have attended as few of these things as possible, however with Seth's work schedule I felt I needed time with him, so off we went to the auction. 

The directions we were given led us through some beautiful country but I felt a little jostled from the state of the road by the time we arrived. After a bit of a walk, as there were a trucks and cars and trailers parked a ways down the dirt road, we made it to the auction site. One man even brought his four wheeler to drive back and forth with. My first thoughts were the auction was going to be my day from the underworld watching people get all sorts of excited over the trucks, tractors, lawn mowers, saddles, gates, pens, and all manner of things you find on a working ranch. Just as we were about to leave, yes there is a God, because Seth said there was nothing of interest to him, he heard there was a whole other section. Low and behold there was a covered area full of household and garden items. 

Whoever this woman was who owned this farm, she had taste. I walked up and down the rows of items, collecting a list in my head. Low and behold there it was. THE TV stand. The EXACT match to my set we had chosen not to purchase when we bought our furniture. My husband is a frugal one and wanted to wait and see if it went on sale, it did and they sold out. It has always been a little of a sore subject. I looked at him with big eyes and said "I'm bidding on that and Ill go to this amount expecting a resounding "Excuse me?" I was very matter of fact, which I am so proud of myself for. He must have understood the gravity of the situation, and agreed. However, the equipment he wanted to bid on was being auctioned off at the same time, so I suddenly found I was going to have to do this myself. However, thankfully, my mother in law decided to stay with me. 

Two minutes into the thing and I had bought a chair for a $1! Woohoo...nice little wood thing will look great on the porch! It never ceases to surprise me how people will pay almost retail for used items and spent a lot of my time shaking my head that EVERYTHING sells at an auction. It took hours to circle around to the side of the structure I had been waiting for. After a few successful bids, I was ready for the TV cabinet! I waited for the auctioneer to start with a decent price and off we went. I had been discussing the cabinet with a few friends and they were all crowded around in hopeful anticipation for me...low and behold I won! Woohoo!!!! For half of what I was willing to pay. I could not wait to tell Seth, but that would have to wait until I found a few more treasures to bid on, such as the lovely set of top of the line baking items, two Pier One mirrors, a set of Pier one dishes, and a Frigidaire mini refrigerator. This could become addicting!

After loading all of our treasures, I commented on my state of tiredness. A friend of mine asked if my arm was tired from bidding and I just grinned. I do not think I'll be dragging my feet anymore when Seth says there is another auction...I think I have caught the fever! Look out!