focus 2016: family

In 2016, I've decided to pick four areas to focus on: family, faith, wellness, and enough. Today, I want to talk about how I'll be focusing on family this year.

I hope and believe that this will be the simplest thing for me to prioritize this year. Already my family is the most important thing to me, the most prominent thing in my life. With such young children, it has to be. This year, I want to be more intentional about how our family spends its time and interacts and hope to do that in the following ways:

1. Marriage first.
With two young children, Todd and I have found that it's easy for our marriage to take a back seat. This year, we are both committed to spending more quality time together, approach each other with love, and always remember that we are a team. When our marriage is strong, we communicate better and our whole family benefits. 

I am especially looking forward to celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary in May with a trip to Charleston. It will be wonderful to spend a week together connecting without everyday distractions. We did this last year on our babymoon to Puerto Rico and it was so rejuvenating for our spirits and our marriage.

2. Experiences over things.
We are blessed with many beautiful things. Our kids just received dozens of amazing Christmas gifts including books, toys, and craft supplies. I do not exaggerate when I say that they are set for the whole year. We are so grateful for this because we can put our financial resources towards providing our kids with meaningful experiences instead of buying more belongings for them. 

This winter, we're planning different weekend outings for our kids such as a return trip to Impression 5, and visiting Frankenmuth, as well as swim lessons. This spring we're looking forward to dance class with a friend, and a girls trip to Chicago with Tia Emily for Elia's birthday. I am so excited to build these rich experiences for our kids. 


3. Patience abounding.
I have a two and half year old. She whines. A lot. Or at least a lot more than I'd like her to. When she gets tired or we throw her curve balls at her schedule, I sometimes find myself frustrated when she reacts like a two and a half year old and my patience can feel used up before morning snack.

It's easy to forget that while Elia is amazing and independent and learns more things in a month than I have in years, she is still a toddler and cannot be expected to act maturely or be reasoned with as if she were an adult, especially when she is tired or experiencing emotions that she doesn't entirely understand. Wells is still a baby but even young babies can pick up on the mood in a room. This year I am resolved to approach both of my kids with patience and do my best to model the behavior I expect of them and show them grace and love when they are challenging me.

4. Best for us policy.
I'm not entirely sure what this will look like but this year, I am committed to doing what's best for our family in terms of setting expectations and boundaries. This might mean saying no to certain events if they conflict with naptime or we are feeling overbooked that week. It might mean not committing to things as far out. We've been testing this a bit this holiday season and giving myself the space to say no to things that will stress our family out, for whatever reason, has been freeing. 

If family is one of your focuses for 2016, how are you going to be intentional with yours?

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