A Year of….

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Yes, yes, and more yes! It’s the year of Champagne! (Or at least that is how I plan to look at it!) 2017 is going to be the year of celebration: Celebrating life, love, and all that goes with it!

As many of you may remember, I give each year a theme to live by. Last year, I just knew in my bones it would be the year of transitions. I knew Tim was going to sell his home and officially move into the cabin, which would mean would move into the cabin eventually. I sort of figured we would get engaged (though it took 8 months! lol) and yes, I knew I would more than likely move down to Southwest Georgia and begin looking for a job. Boom & done! Transitions.

NOW… oh now. 2017 is full of good stuff! I’m going to kick off the year celebrating two of my very best guy friends: Bill & Scott! Not only will I be traveling to Macon to celebrate the New Year with them, I will be attending their very posh wedding! Talk about a fantastic New Year’s Eve! Then on New Year’s Day I will be celebrating the last night of Hanukkah with my very dear friend, Arielle. Just bring on the brisket, the latkes, and the dreidel!

Now back to the word Champagne….

I can’t exactly make my year about champagne. Well.. I could side trip it to the actual area of Champagne in February… but….

Okay.. I need another word. The official word to sprinkle into my daily mantra. How about….

(1 hour later…. )

JOY.

Yes, it will be joy. When I got to thinking about champagne and happiness and celebration – it hit me, my life will be full of joy! I need to live with the intent to experience joy and make sure all who spend time with me walk away feeling joy.

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What is your word going to be? I challenge each and every one of you to discover your word of the year and share it with us in the comment section or with your friends & family!

Have a joyous New Year, everyone! May 2017 bring you love & prosperity!

 

A New Year Is Here

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I have always held the New Year in high regard. It’s that one time of year that we reflect on our triumphs and mistakes, we are held accountable as to how we lived our lives, and we set goals for the coming days.

I’m goal oriented. I like to make a little list of things I hope to do, and over the years, I slowly check one off the list. Over time I have accomplished many wonderful goals. This year will be no different.

But we before I get into that, I need to go over those three things I just mentioned. My Triumphs & Mistakes- Not an easy task to conquer, but it is necessary to account for all of the good & bad. There was definitely a sense of balance with both. I gambled my future and I think I made the right choice. I left a job I loved in my hometown to move to a place where I knew very few people. I landed a fantastic job, got engaged, and I am now planning my future. That is definitely a triumph. My mistakes: handling people & their feelings without as much patience as I could have used. Letting stress and business dictate my level of energy. I have to remind myself in the coming year that boundaries are the key to my happiness. Always have been, always will be.

I was able to get healthier on the inside. My labs look phenomenal. You would think I was thin & trim! Which leads me to my next goal – trying to get the outside to mirror the inside. I am cancer free, diabetes free, and I have my high blood pressure and cholesterol and triglycerides completely within a very healthy range. My lifestyle changes paid off where it counts! I even chose a less invasive route with an old knee injury. I did physical therapy for weeks and I have healed my knee. I had my eyes examined and have glasses now. Overall – I am in good shape. Next up: Teeth & retake my sleep apnea test to see if I have cured myself of this also.

Again, I must hold myself accountable and take strides to forever  improve myself. I bought that camera I have been dreaming of, next up – classes! I have the space and desire to create a home fitness routine and have even employed a health coach. All is well on that front. I have a diet plan for the new year that is both healthy and delicious. Yes, things are looking up.

I will be getting married, traveling to Paris, and then coming back to find a forever home. More BIG plans are in store.

My faith is another thing I am working on. I am finding my way, even at 43. Figuring out how my beliefs have altered over the years. Figuring out how to make it make sense for me.

Today’s devotion was absolutely perfect for what I am experiencing in these last days of 2016. It reads: Embrace Your Destiny. (Are you doing that? And what does it actually mean?)

How often we search outside of ourselves for some elusive moment, for an experience like someone else is having, for an emotion we’d like to feel but aren’t, at least not right now? How often we long to be somewhere other than where we are, or someone other than who we are? How easy it can be to complain about and regret our past, thinking it’s somehow wrong?

The answer is to fall in love – fall in love with our own life. Our destiny isn’t some far-off moment or something that happens to someone else. Our destiny is taking place right now. It’s been happening all along.

Destiny is that mysterious force or energy that magically intertwines with choice, free will, and fate. Let all of those elements weave together and create your life. But know you can help to create it too, by falling in love with your own life. Love all the places you have gone and all the places you will go. Love the lessons you have learned and the way you have learned them.

Most of all, love where you are right now. Because that’s where your destiny lies.

 

My Attempt At Domestic Bliss

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Just like the wise men seeking the Christ child, I, Nicole Thurston, am attempting to seek some sort of Christmas Magic or Domestic Bliss as some might call it.

Look… I get it.. I’m like 20 years late to the party. But Lord knows, I’m a-trying.

Today is the day we head to the Christmas tree farm. This will be only my second time cutting down a tree from an actual place that sells them. I know, I know.. poor little oh Nicole. My family preferred the artificial variety with the bazillion little arms of faux fir going into a metal stand. With all of that saying, it was a very beautiful tree, and just like the thousands of families that enjoy the smell of a beautiful Frasier fir, that plastic that came out of the dusty old tree box reminded me each year of the magical season upon us.

OK.. so we get the tree today. Should be simple enough. And of course, I bought the gingerbread house stuff. Yep. Never tried that either. Perhaps I’m biting off more than I can chew? Who knows…

Last night we gave the ole – Let’s Give The Kids The Perfect Christmas experience fiasco. I woke up in a foul mood, which honestly, rarely happens. But it was what it was… and we made our way to Columbus to go Ice Skating. Tim & I had the joy of sitting in the cold arena for about 2 hours, while we constantly had to coax his kids into making their way around the rink. (I think they held onto the wall most of the time and maybe went around 6 times total.) Thank goodness for the bravery of a little girl all bundled up trying to get the hang of things. We watched this little kid dressed in a fluffy purple coat get completely turned around, falling down, and accidentally doing turns and going the wrong way right in front of our seats. She was a hoot to watch (she would fall and then get up and shoot her dad a thumbs up!) It was adorable. The kids would come back to sit with us and we would encourage them either to get their shoes on or go skate some more. It was cold, we were getting hungry, but we wanted to give them an experience.

Finally, around six, we headed to Five Guys for some burgers and fries. It was Tim’s first time and I think he almost fainted when he heard the total for 4 burgers and fries. ($60.) We ate up and headed toward Callaway Gardens to check out the Fantasy of Lights.

Here’s where this turns into a freaking Griswald Christmas – Tim decides to release this man-sized burp. Something that I can’t stand from anyone, and when I say don’t burp around me.. I mean it..

(I’m actually gagging as I type this.)

Anyway.. it happened. And I proceeded to…

Wait for it…

Vomit. Into my hand. Seriously. Tim is dying laughing, the kids are giggling.. and I roll down the window and threw it out the window…

This is as we are driving 80 down the interstate.

I don’t want to go into any greater detail… just it was traumatizing… and embarrassing.. and… I think he finally gets it now. I don’t do bodily functions.

So I sit for about 30 more minutes in a car, frozen in place, mortified and we roll up to Callaway Gardens. We park waaaaaaaay back and begin to wander aimlessly looking for a ticket booth. We make it in, the kids are whining, Tim is trying his best to keep everyone happy, and as we were standing I line, I looked over and saw a coffee/coco line and suggested he go over there and I’ll get the tickets. After 15 minutes, it is finally my turn and I tell them – 4 adults and we were riding in our own car. That’s $28 dollars a person. (I’m thinking, these lights better blow me away..) and the guy informs me, the first available slot would be for us to go through at midnight.

Say what?

PS – It’s 7:45 at this point. I said.. um.. I’ll be back. I get out of line, track down Tim and we looked at each other and said, Uh no. Of course, one of our kids is Miss Sassy Pants and she had a few words to say. That turned into a Sass Attack and well.. we all were pouting and disappointed and pissed with each other as we trekked our way back to the car.

Then in fine Nicole form, I begin to make suggestions of things to do when we get back  to Columbus. Nothing. Both kids were pouting and Tim was so mad at himself for not checking the website first. I kept telling him, “Hey – we could always come back another day or after Christmas (they are opened a week after.)) And he was not having any of it. Finally we all agreed on one thing – Starbucks. So this Christmas season, I would like to thank Starbucks for saving what was about to turn into the worst day possible for our family outing.

*sigh*

And with that… I will conquer the tree today. Granted, I don’t have any of my Christmas stuff here (in storage in Macon.) But.. I will make do. New transitions are NOT easy.. but oh the stories they make…