Hey, 2017

A new year, a fresh start, a new chance to get it right this time around…happy 2017!

I always love New Year’s Eve because it creates so much excitement – there’s so much to do, I’m off from school for a week or two, and it’s right around the time when I get to see my favorite people. This year, I have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to look forward to, including an exciting announcement coming soon! I have set a lot of goals for myself in 2017 – I’m always hustlin’ – but my main focus is just to take better care of myself. I need to focus on being honest about what I want to spend my energy on, slowing down, making better choices with food, saving money, and getting back to the gym. I used to love working out and have really gotten away from it since I started teaching yoga. Andrew joined my gym a couple of weeks ago, and we have made a deal to make more meals at home and be healthier in 2017.

We spent New Year’s Eve with our friends Kelly and Josh, wearing soft clothes and letting all the dogs run and play through their house and back yard. We snacked, listened to music, built a fire, played a couple of games, and finally watched the ball drop at the last few minutes. It was low-key and easy; I loved it!

For New Year’s Day, I made a huge spread of food. I cooked all day and had Andrew and another couple over to eat – my sister was passing through town, too, so she joined us! We had d  e  l  i  c  i  o  u  s macaroni and cheese (recipe coming soon!), collard greens, black eyed peas, cornbread, and buttermilk garlic roasted chicken. We had a good time sitting around and visiting while the Harry Potter marathon played on TV in the background (yep, I’m a nerd). My mom always made sure we ate our dollars and cents for the new year, so I wanted to carry on that tradition.

It was a feast! I just jazzed up some canned collard greens and black eyed peas (I know, I know…but the macaroni was the star!). I fried up some bacon strips and then heated the black eyed peas in some bacon grease with bacon crumbles. The cornbread was easy (from a box), and the buttermilk garlic roasted chicken recipe can be found here. It was super simple and really yummy! The macaroni is my sister’s recipe that she’s honed over the years, and I’ll do a whole post on it soon!

I hope everyone has a healthy and prosperous 2017 🙂

Twenty-eight.

Happy fall, y’all!  (Why do we love saying that?  Well…maybe you don’t love saying that if you’re not from the south, but I am…so I do).  I can’t believe that summer has faded away, and the crispness of leaves falling will be coming soon.

I love this time of year – there is so much transition, so much letting go and opening up to new possibilities.  Along with change, fall brings hope.  It’s a clean slate, a time to reset.  You can rewrite your whole life while you sip a pumpkin spice latte.  All jokes aside, though, I’ve really been in a transition mindset lately.  I took a yoga class last night at my studio and the teacher gave the most beautiful transition theme throughout class (side note:  it was also one of the most physically challenging fitness classes I have taken, ever.) It hit me right where I needed to be hit, as usual.  How do they always know?!

It’s my birthday tomorrow, and I’ll be 28 years young.  I’m really not worried about getting another year older.  I spent a lot of time in 27 trying to force myself into some type of mold.  I was doing everything I could to be this way, to look like this, to be better, and to be more.  But somewhere around January or February, I started to get really tired of trying to ‘fix’ myself.  I started to realize that maybe I wasn’t even broken.  That’s when I started practicing yoga.  That’s when everything started to shift in my life and that is when I started to choose joy.  I have always been a happy person and I guess people would describe me as bubbly, but 27 was tough.  I had to make some difficult and devastating decisions, and I found myself in a place I never thought I would.

The beginning of 27, with the same fantastic people I will ring in 28 with.
The beginning of 27, with the same fantastic people I will ring in 28 with.  Yep, that’s a tiara.

But you know what?  Here I am.  28 is here at midnight, and I feel alive, thankful, blessed, loved, and stronger than ever.  I have so much to be grateful for; don’t we all?  We just forget to realize it.  We let all of these fabulous moments pass us by without ever really noticing them or taking time to have gratitude for them.  I’m making a promise to myself to notice the fabulous moments.  A day is the same day, whether we approach it with joy and optimism or negativity and defeat.  We get to make that choice every day when we wake up.  One of my dearest, true blue friends has a sign on her office door that says, “Today is a good day to have a good day.”  It really, truly is.  Stuff happens and sometimes shit gets real, but every day is a good day to have a good day.

I love birthdays, and I love getting another fresh start just as the seasons are changing each year…but the truth is, you can start fresh at any moment if you are willing.  Let go of the things that came in the last season of your life (see what I did there?!) that no longer serve you.  Let those things go and embrace whatever is coming your way.

I have had a request to post about Yoga Teacher Training, so look for that coming soon, along with other, not-so-serious posts…but this is my obligatory fall/seasons of life post.

 

28, I’ll see you in a couple of hours.  🙂