My 2017 Intention

In 2016 I chose the word settle as my intention. I anticipated a quieter year, with less obvious growth and change, and I wanted a word that would help me feel grounded and at peace even as I saw big things happening for the people around me. After all the change that came with 2015, I wanted 2016 to be a restorative year. And I think it really was.

But looking forward, it seems 2017 will be a year of adventuring. We’ll be taking our honeymoon trip to Italy in March (Derek’s first time abroad). I hope we spend the summer hiking and day-tripping around the Pacific Northwest. We’ll be in Colorado in the fall. And maybe if I’m really good, I can convince Derek to spend Christmas in Hawaii. 🙂

I also see some professional growth on the horizon for 2017. But I also know that in order to get there, I’ll need to have some honest conversations about what I want and how I can best contribute to the team.

And, finally, I have some personal goals that I hope to accomplish in the new year, like running a 10K in under an hour, making more time to write, and maybe even getting a little more involved in our growing Everett community.

So I’ve decided to set be brave as my 2017 intention.

I hope 2017 brings fearless travels, courage at work, and the confidence to achieve more, share more and give more.

If you’re reading this, thank you. I know I haven’t shared much in the last few years but I’m hoping to make it more of a priority in the year to come.

Cheers to a bold, beautiful and brave 2017!

Intentions from years past:

2016- settle

2015- focus

2014- enjoy

 

My 2016 Intention

2015 was a big year. Essentially everything about my life changed; I moved cross-country, got married, and started a new job. It was a year full of love and celebration and excitement, but there was also a lot of anxiety, long discussions and difficult choices. It was probably my most beautiful and, simultaneously, my most challenging year to date.

And so, for 2016, I’ve chosen the word settle as my intention.

With all these life changes behind us, it’s time for me and Derek to settle into our new lives. For me to settle into my new job. For Derek to settle into his dissertation work. In the spring, we’ll settle into our own apartment. We’ll settle back into Seattle. And of course, we’ll settle into our marriage.

I’m anticipating a quieter year, a year where our growth will be a little harder to see from the outside. I’m looking forward to a little more consistency and less chaos. I guess this is a sign of growing up—when a year of just living my life as it is sounds great, but that’s where I’m at.

But I know myself, too. I worry that I’ll grow bored of the quiet and start looking for change. I hope I can remember this intention in those moments, and instead appreciate this period of relative peacefulness in my life. I hope for myself to make 2016 a restorative year that sets the stage for whatever might come next. Because sometimes you just need some rest, you know?

To every sweet person who supported me in 2015, thank you. Your love and encouragement means more than you know. Cheers to an amazing 2016!

A 2014 Summary and a 2015 Intention

If I had to choose one word that summarizes the last year, it would be enjoy. Comparatively, it was a carefree year. There was so much to celebrate (engagement! Super Bowl Champs!). I spent a month in Seattle, traveled to Mexico, Tennessee (twice) and saw Niagara Falls for the first time.

But even more than the big things, I learned to enjoy the everyday. I settled into my job and the freedom and flexibility that comes with working from home. I spent more time with Derek and with my friends. I slowed down a bit and took more time for myself.

There were challenges and heartbreak–but they didn’t define me or keep me down for too long.

2014 was a year of relishing, reveling and rejoicing. Ah, it was a good good year.

Even though I chose enjoy in retrospect, I really love the idea of choosing an intention for each new year. I was never very good at resolutions anyways. And so for 2015 I’ve chosen focus.

To me, it means a few things:

Focus my attention and be present in the moment

Especially with our wedding on horizon, I want to get better about truly experiencing the special moments and everyday joys rather than getting overwhelmed with what’s coming next. I think this is going to be the hardest one for me, but I really think it will be worth the work I put in.

Focus my consumption and limit my belongings

I’ve been drawn to stories of minimalism a lot over the last year; this year I want to take steps in that direction in my own life. To start, I did a major closet clean-out and started my first capsule wardrobe (35 clothing items/shoes for a 3 month season). I’m looking forward to cleaning out our basement storage unit next and really pairing down what we have to just what we need. But more than getting rid of our extra stuff, I’m hoping I can permanently shift the way I buy–choosing quality and function over quantity.

I imagine in a year, when I reflect on how the word has manifested itself in my life, I will have more to add. But I feel encouraged by the concept of focus and how it will guide me through the year to come. It already feels like a year of big change.

Thank you my darling friends and family for the part you played in my enjoyable 2014. I look forward to what’s to come.

Holiday Celebrations

Well, now that we’re more than a week into the new year, I figured it was about time I got around to sharing some photos and stories from my holiday season. Derek and I didn’t go to back to Washington for Christmas this year because we have this expensive thing called a wedding that we’re saving up for. But, even though I missed our families, we really made the best out of it.

Our holiday season kicked off with a potluck and gift exchange with some of our awesome friends. It was a perfectly low-key get-together filled with delicious food and lots of laughs. D and I had to bounce early to catch the Seahawks game, but we truly enjoyed the day.

Dec 1The next weekend was full of Christmas cheer: I saw The Nutcracker with my lady loves and then we celebrated Lisa’s birthday with an Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl. I’ve never gotten into the ugly sweater theme in the past, but this year I was all in. And it ended up being such a fun night; definitely in the top 5 night’s out of the year. Those Christmas tree sunglasses brought out the gangsta in me. 🙂

For the actual Christmas holiday, D and I piled into my grandparent’s car and roadtripped to Tennessee to visit my Aunt and Uncle. It took us a day and a half of driving each way–and honestly it wasn’t too bad. I’m not a big road trip person, but the drive was easy, the car was comfortable and I had endless entertainment on my iPhone.

Dec 2We spent a lot of our time just hanging out at home which was really nice. One night we went out for a group dinner in Knoxville. The next day we spent time in Gatlinburg. D and I tasted moonshine and rode a (slightly terrifying) skylift so we could get a good view of the Smoky Mountains. It was a cool experience–but as soon as we got to the top, it started to rain so we pretty much called it a day after that.

True to Anderson tradition, my Aunt bought us all new pajamas to wear to bed on Christmas Eve. But after giving out the jammies, she couldn’t resist and ended up giving us the rest of our presents that evening too. On Christmas day, we had a family breakfast, lounged around and then some of their friends came over for Christmas dinner and boardgames.

Dec 3We left Tennessee the morning of the 27th which got Derek and I back to Boston with just enough time to grocery shop and unpack before meeting friends at a bar for the Hawks game. I was never more thankful to work from home than I was that Monday morning.

For New Year’s Eve (also our anniversary), Derek and I joined a gym, cooked dinner at home and then met up with our football friends for drinks to ring in the New Year. I usually have high expectations for NYE and then end up feeling let down. But this year, we went with the flow and ended up having a great time. I got to wear heels and a NYE crown, drink champagne and kiss my boo at midnight–everything I needed to make it a success, but without the hangover that comes with bigger celebrations. It was the perfect way to end the year.

I’ve got another post marinating in my head about my intention for 2015, so stayed tuned. More on that coming soon…

xoxo,

A

Happy Two Year!

For Derek and I, last night wasn’t just about ringing in 2011. I was our second anniversary too! Due to low funds and distant friends, there was no huge party or elaborate celebration. But I had a fabulous night.

My Aunt & Uncle took us out to a nearby wine bar for dinner. Chef Mike, who (like most of the waitstaff) we know by name, put together a four-course dinner menu for the night. He was thoughtful enough to offer a vegetarian option for each course. I started with a salad, followed by a cheese plate, then the most delicious, couldn’t-eat-enough-of-it asparagus and potato au gratin and the meal finished with a dessert of strawberries and a champagne toast. My Aunt and I had the same dishes and we both agreed that the potato/asparagus was the best thing ever. She told Mike that she’d divorce Uncle B so that he could make it for her every night.

When we got home, Derek and I played Wii for a little bit before joining my Aunt & Uncle in the TV room to watch the ball drop. I’m not used to working (at all, let alone a job that requires me to be awake in the 5 o’clock hour) so I barely managed to stay up til midnight (and I felt really lame about it to0). But I did stay up. We “Happy New Year!!”ed and kissed and then I crawled into bed and fell right to sleep.

The night had everything I required for a New Year’s Eve/Anniversary celebration: I wore heels, there was champagne and a “Happy New Year” crown, and I was with my handsome man. And as a bonus I had my Aunt and Uncle too.

My Resolutions for 2011:

  • floss regularly (you’re such a good example Rebecca, but I just can’t make the habit stick)
  • find a work-out plan that makes me happy and healthier (I’m looking at you hot yoga) and then stick to it (that’s the hard part)
  • replace TV-watching with book reading a couple times a week (might not be a problem once I move out of my Aunt’s house and can’t afford cable)

I hope you had a great time welcoming the New Year. More on the new job next time.

-A

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