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I LOVE that word. Just the thought of it is, well…igniting me! I feel energized in a way I haven’t felt in awhile now!

How can that be? How can a simple word – no action, no nothing – make such a difference?

It’s all in the tremendous flexibility of our brains, the miracle of a shift in attitude, the POWER of words.

I’ve written numerous times about the power of changing your attitude. How a small shift in the way you look at something can completely change the way you feel about it.

Well. Exhibit A.

I have been feeling pretty lethargic lately. I have been unable to get myself enthused about much of anything. I’ve even just about phoned in Christmas this year. I’ve been on auto-pilot, in slow motion, drowning in a sense of “why bother?” I’ve had a hard time prying myself out of my recliner since we’ve been home, and I’ve been “doing” about as little as I can get away with. In the meantime, unfinished projects have been accumulating to the point where “complete” and “finish” were vying for my OLW for 2015.

But they weren’t quite right. I knew the basic CONCEPT was a good one for me to focus on, but we’re talking about THE word that would set the tone for the whole year. Neither were lighting my fire. And really, although the unfinished projects were a symptom of my deeper issue, the underlying problem is a lack of passion.

Then the word IGNITE came on to my radar screen, and all of a sudden I’m feeling the stirring of (dare I say it?) passion. Yeah, passion. Excitement. Instead of wanting to hide away, I’m wanting to DO something.

Last night I pulled out my journal from 2014 that has been woefully ignored, and caught up 2 sections – logging the prompts from both Documented Life and Journal 52. AND, I pulled out the paper that I used to make my monthly calendars for 2014 and put it with the things I need to pack for our January trip (to make NEW calendar pages for the new year!) so I can work on them onboard ship.


AND, I gathered up the materials I needed to help the kids make an ornament for their teachers for Christmas. I had convinced myself there just wasn’t time to do them, and the supplies were about to go on the scrap heap with the tons of others. But NO! I didn’t do it. With just a little effort, I made it happen.




Woohoo! It’s building! I can feel it!

The “to-do” list I keep in my mind where I don’t have to look at it every day is finding its way onto an ACTUAL list.

Now it’s possible I’m just having a manic day. I do that sometimes. It will take a series of days like today for me to completely accept that this is real. But real or not, it feels WONDERFUL, and maybe that will be enough to MAKE it real.

How are you coming with your word? Has it found you yet?


A Change In My OLW?

So, I’m minding my own business and a post comes across about a VERY expensive class on getting your art business going. NO! Don’t panic. I’m not even CONSIDERING that! Perish the thought.

BUT, the name of the class is “ignite.”

And I LOVE that word.

I am set on the concept of complete/finish for my OLW for 2015, but I’m not loving either of the words. And I can’t come up for another word that means the same thing that I do love. And I hate to settle for a word I don’t love. So, I’m trying to convince myself that if I were to “ignite” it would propel me into completing/finishing things I have started, so would be in keeping with the concept, but be a flashier, more fun word. It feels like a reach to me, but, hey, it’s my word, and I could make it work however I want, huh?

I’ve signed up to do Ali Edward’s support class for the project. Which, to be candid, doesn’t mean a lot. I signed up last year, too, and never even looked at it. I have a reasonably good excuse (don’t I always?) The plan was to combine Documented Life Project, Journal 52 AND One Little Word into one cohesive journal/planner. BUT, I got hung up on what style I was going to use to decorate the journal, and week after week went by without making a decision. Before I knew it I was SOOOOO behind I gave up. Well, not completely. I ultimately figured out how I wanted it to look, got pages base coated and ready to be written on.


I even had a mid-year hallucination that I might yet go back and get caught up. But alas. I ran out of year. Truth be told, I did some work in it today. I STILL haven’t been able to admit to myself that it isn’t going to happen. Heeheehee!

The bad thing is, I have the same fantasy again this year. But. Now I have IGNITE! Such a powerful word. I wonder if it will be powerful enough for me to start this project and actually follow through?

I have one pretty big thing working against me, and that is that I will be gone the whole month of January. So unless I can get my act together quickly enough to take supplies with me on the cruise, I won’t get anything into the journal until we get home. It’s deja vu all over again…

I’ve got about 2 weeks to get this figured out. Well, I’ve already figured out that I’m going with “IGNITE” as my word. Now I have to figure out if I’m going to One Little Word on its own, or if I will attempt, once again, to make it a combination project. AND I need to see, if, as a part of this year’s project, I’m going to go back and try to do last year’s. I suspect I’m crazy to even consider it. But then crazy is my middle name.

Lowering Expectations…

I have a little bit of a super woman complex. Let’s amend that to “had.” I’m getting over it.

There have been times when the expectations I had for myself were unreasonably high. ESPECIALLY at the holidays. I’m not sure if it is old age slowing me down, or a more wise understanding that the things that were driving me crazy were just not that important in the grand scheme of things. Either way, I’m in recovery and I’m happy about it.

There was a day when a mis-written address on Christmas card would mean it got torn up and re-done, even if it meant having to buy additional envelopes. Now, the mistake gets crossed off or darkened over. If it can be read by a semi-blind person, it’s good enough. If someone isn’t going to like me anymore because it isn’t perfect…well, they probably already didn’t like me.

There was a day when the Christmas newsletter had to chronicle the whole year, blow by blow, even if it took 4 pages, and not only that, had to be printed on festive, decorative paper with the text adjusted to wrap around the design. And it had to match the card. These days, I skim the year – distill it down to one page, hitting only the high points. The paper is just a tad bit nicer than plain old copy paper (kind of a parchment look) with no decoration at all. I confess, I had to force myself to NOT add some paint and pen work this year, but I won. Plain, no decoration. At all. Nada. Yes, if I had succumbed to complete slothfulness, there would be no newsletter at all, but I’m not there yet. Quite.


There was a day when Christmas just wasn’t Christmas unless there were plates full of 5 different kinds of Christmas cookies for the neighbors (and to have on hand for snacking…) and those days are gone, as well. Not so much because of the time commitment (although there is a big one!) but for health reasons. Still, yet another thing no longer getting done…


I had even considered not doing the kid’s advent boxes anymore. Not only are they a LOT of work, but they REALLY don’t need so much stuff (or candy!) but Thanksgiving rolls around and they are talking about them already – I just can’t seem to do it to them. I’m not going to be around forever. They need to remember how cool it was that Gaga did that for them! Right? I’m going with it.


Hahahahahaha! Looks like in addition to chronicling my slothful ways, I’m looking for even MORE ways to be lazy. No, let me re-phrase that…”make myself less stressed.” That’s a good thing, right?

I still decorate like crazy, buy Christmas jammies for the grandkids to open on Christmas Eve (like my mom did for my kids when they were little – although I’ve added the gift for the 25th from the advent box as well, just to take the edge off a little!) and do stockings for the grown ups.

I’m making progress on lessening my need to be Super woman. At least at the holidays. Wonder if I can apply some of that to every day life?


Christmas Shopping

I went Christmas shopping. I came home with this.



WHAT????? I bought them, and they are Christmasy, so it’s Christmas shopping, right? The fact that they are going on MY tree, doesn’t change that, does it?

I know. I have issues. But aren’t they just sooooooo cool?

So. That was Saturday. And truth be told, all my shopping (yep, all of it!) turned out to be for me. I feel like I should feel guilty, but I can’t honestly say I am. I hardly ever go shopping anymore, so when I do, I go a little cray-cray have to get warmed up. Saturday was warm up day. Sunday and Monday I did better. In fact, I probably did a little TOO good at Toys R Us. I think I’m lucky we have a small family, so not too many gifts to buy! Heeheehee!

Hope you’re on schedule with your shopping, and gettin’ a little sumpin’ sumpin’ for yourself along the way (it’ll make me feel better if I’m not alone!)










Happy 2015!!!

Yeah, yeah, I’m a little premature.

My “end of the year” blahs seem to be coming earlier than usual this year.

I get them every year, I think. That feeling of second-guessing yourself about how you spent yet another year of your life.

Once Thanksgiving was over, I let myself fall into the slump, taking the attitude that whatever I’m going to accomplish this is year is DONE, and all that’s left is the mop up. I haven’t been able to shake it.

Apparently, for me, a year has not quite 11 months in it, and for all intents and purposes, it’s 2015.

So. Happy 2015. (Cue Auld Lang Syne and fireworks!)

Hmmmm. I wasn’t able to muster much enthusiasm for that.

I must not QUITE be ready for 2014 to be done. Or, I’m not really looking forward to 2015. Or. Or I don’t know what. I’m in a blah zone at the moment. Do you ever get like that? Can’t work up much enthusiasm for anything and you don’t really know why?

I have no excuse for this.

2015 is stacking up to be a great year. We’ll be doing a fair amount of traveling and re-modeling the master bathroom (I love to nest!)  So what’s my issue? I’m feeling lethargic and uninterested. Usually on these “poor, pitiful me” posts I’m able to pull myself out of it by the end. Not today.

I need a good swift kick in the pants! Anyone want to volunteer? No? Then I’m going to take a nap.


Decorating Photos

Yeah, I’m a day late…

I felt the need to do a post on “Elf-Shaming” first…Now that I’ve got THAT off my chest, I can proceed with regularly scheduled programming.

With the exception of a few tiny little finishing touches, I got my Christmas decorating completed, but didn’t have enough time to get the photo file sizes reduced before publishing, so I went ahead without.

So, without a lot of fanfare, here is the majority of the Christmas decor at the Forrest household…

The main tree…












The kid’s tree…




Victorian Tree…



Then there are all the little displays…Santas









Outside Snowmen…



Inside Snowmen (this is new and a little weak, yet!)














Then a couple of extra little touches…




I guess you’ve figured out by now, I LOVE decorating for Christmas.

Seriously, Now We’re Going To Elf Shame?

What ever happened to living and letting live? Why do so many people seem to make it their job in life to decide for everyone else what constitutes an acceptable use of time and what is a waste?

We came late to the “Elf on the Shelf” phenomenon. It’s apparently been around since 2005, but we just started in 2013. Yeah, late. I wish we’d known about it sooner.

Just in case you’re unfamiliar with the elf, it’s a commercial product, but you could easily make your own if you wanted. You buy the elf, then the kids name it. You’re not supposed to handle it any more than necessary, as it will lose it’s power if you do. Each night, the elf relocates as it “watches” its family, the whole month of December. Then he/she reports back to Santa. Some people simply re-locate it, others create a little mischief, others a lot!

Yeah, some people may go a little overboard (there are over-achievers) in every endeavor, aren’t there? Is that a reason to not do it? Because someone else may do a “better” job of it? I think not.

Some days my news feed is full of the various elves escapades. I think it’s cute, but even if I didn’t, I’d just scroll on by. Whatever floats your boat, right?

Well. Now we have some people elf-shaming. Mocking those who choose to participate. Accusing them of having nothing better to do, going on and on about what a waste of time it is. How terrible it is to lie to kids about yet another make-believe thing, invasion of privacy by a creepy elf, yada, yada, yada. Personally, I think doing a whole blog post about hating the poor little elf is a bigger waste of time than actually moving the elf every night for a month!

AND, as far as I’m concerned, anything that brings parents and kids together, even for a few excited moments every day is worth spending a little time on. I mean, how often do “elf-less” kids jump out of bed in the morning – excited to get dressed, get their beds made and get downstairs? Ours do it 24 mornings a year!

So, meet our elves…

This is Jack. He is just a teeny bit mischievous…His job is to keep an eye on Joshua.



…and Lucy. She doesn’t get into QUITE as much mischief as Jack does, but she still has her moments. She looks out after Hannah and Bea.


One of the funnest parts is that even the daddies in our family get in on the act! I LOVE it! In their heart of hearts do the parents think it’s a pain in the butt? Maybe, but I’d be willing to bet those happy little faces and giggles make it so worthwhile!

I do advent boxes for the kids each year. Just a little something each day to mark off the days until Christmas (more on that in a future post!) Today their gift was really for their elves. Josh got a festive sweater for Jack…


Hannah got a fancy skirt for Lucy, and Bea got a pair of cool boots for her. They will lay the outfits out for their elves tonight and see if they put them on.


I’m betting they will! (And the mommies and daddies get a night off from needing to come up with an idea for what to do with the elves!)

And just in case you think the elves are just for kids…google “inappropriate Elf on the shelf.” Trust me on this, they can be as much fun for grown ups! Heeheehee!


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