Happy 2017 to you!!!

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2017.

Can you believe it? It is actually 2017.

34 years since I was born.

18 years since I received my drivers license.

17 years since I graduated high school; 13 years since college–since I was graded on my work, since I could legally drink.

14 years since my first trip to Italy.

21 years since I met Brian.

27  years since I learned to ride a bike.

10 years since my honeymoon.

33 years since I received my first Cabbage Patch Doll.

Is it official?

Am I old?

Truly, the amount of stuff that has already happened in my life is crazy. The future is here, and happening at a rate we can’t completely fathom until the childlike whimsy of our youth wares off a bit. Do you agree? Do we need a tad of age-related cynicism to acknowledge the truth: we are getting older.

What are your thoughts about 2016? Did it go according to plan?

Brian, James, Caleb and myself wrote down our 2016 goals last January, signed the paper and hung it on the fridge. I’m pleasantly surprised with how well we all did although Brian and I both fell short on our Italian lessons.

Oops.

That’s okay. 2016 was a fantastic year.

Brian led Pinnacle Funding Group to a successful year-end, fathered our boys, attended football games and art classes, played golf and took me to Napa on the most exquisite anniversary trip imaginable.

James completed kindergarten, learned to ride a bike, won the flag football “Super Bowl” for 6 year olds, caught more fish than anyone else in our family of 4, flew to Oregon once and South Padre three times, and took communion for the first time.

Sweet Caleb deals with us all. A successful youngest child by remaining happy, easy going, emotional and the ultimate provider of love. He marches to the beat of his own drum with creativity and spunk.

How can we complain? At the end of this year did you feel disappointment? Don’t forget everyone fails every year: TAOLB doesn’t have the followers I envisioned, I cost more than I make, I yell at my kids sometimes, I yell at my husband lots of times, I’ve gained weight, I wore some jeans and then returned them because I decided I didn’t like how they looked on. (shhhhh)

Perfection is not attainable. But a beautiful life is.

My point is to not focus on the shit. Yes, I said shit. And I’m telling you not to focus on it. In this fallen world, in a race of imperfect humans there will be imperfections. There will be shit.

Learn from those parts and then move on.

Focus on the wonderful things. Focus on the little fact that your hubby took the youngest to Mommy and Me art class once when you were on a bachelorette trip to Miami.

Focus on you that time you actually made dinner. Or that time you bought some shoes and they ended up being on sale AND comfortable. These are life successes. These are to be celebrated.

Celebrate the wins in 2017. It is a clean, fresh slate. Our paper is white.

Clean and white.

Speaking of white, I’ve decided to make this non-color my inspiration for every part of TAOLB this month. White Chicken Chili, Winter Wonderland Tablescape, and a beautiful white sweater to take you through the winter with warmth and style.

By 2018 your clean, white paper will be full of scribbles…but their will be some jotted notes of genius legible if you take the time to look.

Make it a beautiful year friends.

-ciao for now-

lauren

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