New Year’s Resolutions. I have never really given them much thought, but this year is different. I don’t know why but it feels different to me. Maybe because our family will see so many changes this year, the biggest being both of my girls going to school full-day in the Fall. These next 8 months are going to fly by, and I have an opportunity to make them really count. I want to live them with more intention than before. Because I can’t get them back for a do-over.
I wanted to share some of the things we intend to do more of in 2018, and hopefully inspire you to do the same. Does your family make New Year’s resolutions? I’d love to hear what you’d add to this list.
I’m not talking about hand written thank you cards (although I still believe there is no replacing them and I am teaching my children the same). The more you practice being grateful, the more you find to be grateful for. There are many ways to do this, but many nights at dinner or at bedtime, we share the things that made us laugh, made us sad, something we learned, and something we are thankful for. I intend to make this a nightly ritual to enjoy together.
buy less, do more.
This is pretty self-explanatory. I also intend to relieve ourselves of all the things we have that take up space in our home and in our minds.
Our world is beautiful, and I want my children to enjoy all that it has to offer. I am not a naturally outdoorsy person, and anyone who has ever seen me see a spider in the woods will attest to that. (hint: it isn’t pretty.) I intend to introduce my girls to new places and different cultures…and recite the mantra “Spiders are not evil eight-legged creatures of doom” over and over and over.
volunteer as a family.
This is a big one for me. Right now I lead the charge on a lot of our volunteering. I intend to include my family more how we choose to volunteer. For my oldest daughter, that is the Generosity Feeds event. We started after she learned there were kids in her school who didn’t have food at home over the weekend, and she was horrified. This way we are each contributing to a cause another family member feels is worthy.
put down devices.
I don’t want my children’s memories of me to be of the top of my head because I am always looking down at my phone. We will enjoy more family game nights, creating together through art or dance parties. Looking my friends in the eyes when we’re speaking and not checking my email when I’m off my home WiFi. I intend to connect by disconnecting.
lastly, and perhaps most importantly… I intend to preserve our family memories (with me in them.)
My house is not a Pinterest masterpiece. Actually it is always a mess. My hair is usually in a ponytail and I rarely wear makeup. But our life is amazing, and part of photographing it is capturing the beautiful crazy, and getting in the frame myself even if it takes a little more coordinating. It’s easy to forget that last part, especially as a mom and being a Northern Virginia photographer – my job is to capture the moments from behind the lens. But I don’t want my kids to look back on their photo albums and marvel at our adventures and then wonder where I am. I hear “Oh, mom was taking the pictures of us!” all too often. This year, I intend to be a bigger presence in our tangible memories, to exist in our family photo albums.