Y’all, I love Harry Potter. The movies were not my thing, but the books were my jam. I love being able to escape into a world of magic and possibilities where the good guys win and heroes can arise from the most unlikely of circumstances.
I have wanted to go to Harry Potter World since it opened, but it just never really worked out…until this past weekend.
I literally haven’t been to Universal Studios since I was a high school senior attending my own Gradbash celebration. Last weekend, however, that changed. Waring, Corie, Derrick and I led a group of our school’s seniors to the event to celebrate their upcoming graduation. After 7pm it was just seniors and their chaperones in the park AND chaperones got fastpasses to ride all of the rides for the whole night AND tons of food and snacks!
Harry Potter World was as truly magical as I had hoped and the rides were so much fun. I felt like I was back in middle school! Corie and I even went to Olivander’s and had our wands choose us (twin dragon heartstrings)!
Ever since reading The Secret of Happy Families, by Bruce Feiler, I have been eager to create rich family traditions. We created our vision boards for the year using magazines and glue, and this weekend we had the chance to create a family motto.
The Feiler family motto is, “begin in adventure and end in love.” This family has two young girls and I absolutely loved what they came up with. I really wanted to create something similar that encompassed our values as well but I wasn’t sure just how to get those creative juices flowing as a family to come up with something until….
A few weeks ago while visiting New Mexico we visited the AMAZING Meow Wolfe interactive art exhibit. While there we learned that the creators each put words into a box and they drew two words to name their creation.
As a family we chose to do the same. We each put words into a box and drew out a word that represented each family member to create our motto.
The Harvey family motto is:
Travel Hungry. Love Safe.
I love it! Ella’s word was hungry. Waring chose travel. I put in the word love and Addie chose safe.
We as a family want to strive to stay curious and “hungry” for new adventures, novelty, and wonder in the ordinary. We also know that no matter how far we roam and what happens in life, the love of our family is our “safe” place where we can return home to at the end of each day.
You have been tiring already. Between the flu, bronchitis, stomach bugs, ear infections, and just general yuckiness…we are about ready to burn our house down and start over to get rid of the sickness that has been going around. Don’t get me wrong, we are so very blessed that none of this has been life-threatening….but we are ready to start living and not just surviving in 2019!
For this reason we NEEDED a little escape from the ordinary, and we found it in the Land of Enchantment! New Mexico marks state number 44 for me, and what a beauty she was! Eleanor took her third plane trip and Addie is a seasoned pro. It was a whirlwind trip, like many of our vacations, but it was just what the doctor ordered!
A few highlights from the trip included:
- Meow Wolf Interactive Art Experience
- Green Chile and Pork Stew
- Tent Rock Monuments
- Santa Fe’s Artwalk along Canyon Road
- Riding along the Turquoise Trail between Santa Fe and Albuquerque
- The most awesome game library and cafe in Albuquerque
44 down and 6 more to go!
With my word for the year firmly established, I want to focus on the “enough” that I already have. Yes, I am always striving to be and do more…but I don’t want to simply look back at my life and realize that my life is really just full of stuff. At the end of the day, I want to collect hugs, memories, smiles, and laugh lines.
So, in keeping with the theme for the year I have challenged myself to the “Not a Stitch new Challenge” (and yes, I did make this up). Here are the ground rules:
- No new clothing for myself bought new at any online or physical retailer
- If something is needed, clothing from yard sales or used clothing stores are allowed.
- Trendy/upscale thrift stores are NOT allowed
- Planned Exceptions: 1 pair of black flats, 1 pair of new running shoes, shirt from travels to new state or country
In reality, I go back and forth between wanting to dress like Olivia Pope from Scandal to wanting Marie Kondo to take my whole wardrobe out the house in garbage bags. Then I am reminded of Matthew 6:28 – 29. — 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
Christ provides, protects, and keeps us. Help me to abide in him.
My word of the year is E N O U G H. In a world of excess I want to remember that I have enough, not just for myself but also to share with others. I want to remember that HE is enough to carry me through every trial. I want to remember than in a world that constantly demands more and more, I am enough. I am a work in progress, but I am exactly where I am supposed to be and I just need to trust HIS process and plan for my life this year.
Another year, another bucket list…. 38 items in total. I must be feeling ambitious!
- Create a signature scent
- Try the Year of Enough: Not a Stitch New Challenge
- Celebrate 10 wacky holidays
- Visit 1 new state
- Visit 1 new country
- Go zorbing
- Go hang gliding
- Try a cupping massage
- Try Lucia Light Therapy
- Attend an ariel arts work out class
- Take a wine 101 course
- Plan Tokyo Olympics
- Listen/read 20 books
- Update will and life insurance
- Open 529 and savings account for Ella
- Consider doctoral programs
- Go non-toxic in the home
- Keep fresh flowers in the house
- Try a Tea 365 Challenge
- Create a Family Crest and Motto
- Create a family recipe book
- Read to Addie (3 children’s novels)
- Go to Harry Potter World
- Set and maintain family and self-care goals
- Take a tea sommelier course
- Go to a stargazing event
- Train for the 1/2 and marathon
- Try 10 new foods in the 1,000 Food to Eat Before You Die book
- Sleep in a tree house
- Decorate for minor holidays/collect books to read for minor holidays/store them in attic
- Take the 52 List Challenge
- Redecorate the master bedroom
- Get a new tattoo
- Create a porch oasis
- Display and curate a tea cup collection
- Celebrate the 12 Monthaversaries within during our 10th year of marriage
- Trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding
2018, you did NOT disappoint. Here a just a few things that happened that were not on the bucket list:
- We welcomed Eleanor into the world, home, and our hearts.
- I saw an all time new number on the scale before Eleanor arrived, but I lost it all again within a few months (whew…).
- Addie turned F I V E!
- Addie had her 1st piano recital and started taking dance lessons again.
- We put up a pool!
- Addie graduated Pre-K 3 from Countryside.
- Waring and I celebrated 9 years of marriage a week after Ella was born.
- I was given the amazing opportunity to transition into the role of Instructional Supervisor at the best high school ever (AKA SEHS).
- Waring finished all of his school counseling coursework and was accepted into his internship at a local high school.
- We booked an international trip for 2019 (Spring Break in Spain!
- I set a bucket list goal to see 2 new states…but hit five total and booked a February trip to see more!
- And now for the bucket list update:
ry Float Therapy at Remedy Float in Savannah. This ancient technique has been around for a while, but it involves resting in a water chamber that is filled with one thousands pounds of salt so that it is IMPOSSIBLE to sink. You float in darkness and with complete sensory deprivation. It is supposed to be incredibly relaxing and safe for pregnant women!—-CHECK!!! This experience was AHHH-mazing! February 2018=Self-love in a (salty) tub!
Learn about and try soaping. I have always been interesting in making my own soap and bath products. This year I am going to take a class in Jacksonville from the Studios at Florida School of Holistic Health. In progress: currently we have made lip plumper, lip sticks, all-natural baby care products, and herbal tea blending. AJ and I both have year memberships which expire in February. We didn’t get to go to as many as we would have liked…but there is still a bit more time!
- Light a Sky Lantern. NO!!! Why didn’t we do this? I have these….but have never lit them!
Visit 2 New States. I visited Michigan and Colorado last year….so onward to state 39 and 40 this year at least!—CHECK!!! We accomplished this goal in a BIG way on a 4 day road trip. We traveled 31 hours in a car for 2100 miles so that I could mark off not two, but FOUR more states! We went to Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas! Whoo hoo….8 more to go!–October 2018: Checked off Wisconsin as well! (Only 7 more to go!)
Create a back porch haven. We recently had a concrete slab poured for our back patio. I can’t wait until the covering is built over the next few weeks and we get to start creating a backyard sanctuary complete with our new grill that Waring’s parent’s bought us for Christmas!—Mid-year update: Aluminum Awning is going up THIS WEEK (July)! Pictures and proper documentation will come soon!–Purchased furniture, a rug, and pillows this week. It is officially coming together. Ella LOVES outside, so I see a lot of back patio sitting in our future. The porch is furnished, but it needs a little TLC and some decor to truly become an oasis.
Have a healthy labor and baby. Our last labor experience was a bit of a surprise followed by the scariest days of my and Waring’s lives. We are praying for a bit smoother delivery and a healthy baby and mama!—Mid-year update: Eleanor was born on 6-20-2018. We are so in love and have a healthy little girl. Birth story to be posted soon!–She is 6 months now and 100% squishy adorableness.
- Go to Harry Potter World. This has been on the list for a while….at some point it may happen. Okay, so I didn’t do this…again. BUT, guess who is the administrator attending Gradbash this year? This girl! So 2019, look out!
Prepare the house and the nursery for Baby Harvey #2. The future nursery of Harvey Baby #2 is currently our Christmas gift wrapping center/guest room. Now I just need to find out the gender, clean out the room, and search Pinterest for hours. Just bought the CRIB and some decor! —UPDATE: NURSERY…DONE!
Spring clean before baby. Christmas break normally starts part 1 of my two part spring cleaning, but it has only been completed half-heartedly this year in light of all the busyness we have had. COMPLETED DURING SPRING BREAK!–and more during Christmas break. Honestly, is this ever really done?
Start (and keep) Journaling during Quiet Time. I am notoriously inconsistent with journaling of any kind…but I do find it beneficial. I am off to a good start, now I just need to be STEADFAST. Year end: I wish I could say that I had stayed the course with this one, but with our opposite work schedules and Ella’s late night parties this didn’t happen as frequently at the end of the year as it did in the beginning.
Take a Blue Ridge escape. Pick a weekend and go! UPDATE: I am officially unable to travel now that I am well into the third trimester, but I think that this Blue Ridge trip will be the perfect fall adventure. Mid-year update: Planning a trip for August to go apple picking!–UPDATE: DONE!!!
Buy a fancy purse. I have been eyeing several lately but I just can’t pull the trigger….. Well, I haven’t bought a fancy purse yet, but I did buy one pretty sweet looking Kate Spade Backpack to use as Eleanor’s Diaper Bag! Plus, Mariah and I have found the Kate Spade Outlet in Hilton Head Island, SC….so we may start making more frequent visits! Ha! UPDATE: DONE!!! Beautiful and red and I picked it out all by myself with birthday money….so much fun! Year End: My sister and brother in law bought me the perfect gray owl Kate Spade tote that I love for Christmas. YAY!
Find and STICK to a skin care routine. I started researching this last year, but fell a bit short in the execution. Currently loving the Ordinary Skin Care Line from Deciem. Affordable and effective…what is not to love?! April update: I am on my second order of the Ordinary Skin Care. I am in love. My skin feels great and I am branching out to a few more products. So far so good! Year end: Still loving this line. It is so affordable and when I use it consistently my skin feels amazing!
- Use Fly-Lady Routines and complete a 30 day Declutter Challenge. I have done Year end: HAHAHAHA um nope!
Start an herb garden. Don’t hate me…but I am not a huge fan of basil. I am kind of obsessed with cilantro, tarragon, and dill though. I love the idea of growing herbs because they don’t take up much space. CHECK! March 2017: Currently growing thyme, mint, and lavender in the kitchen. I can’t wait to take a few pinches off each plant and put them to good use. Right now I am just admiring their beauty! Year end: They died. Next year maybe I should restate the goal to read start AND KEEP an herb garden.
Cook at least one new recipe each month and post pictures of the progress. I don’t know about you, but it seems like we cook the same meals over and over for dinner and it just gets BORING! This year we have deer meat, tons of locally caught shrimp, and frozen fresh picked tomatoes to experiment with for dinner! January: Inside Low Country Boil, Honey Garlic Lime Shrimp, February: Homemade Caesar Dressing, March: Cajun Sausage Skillet, Broccoli Quinoa with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette, Eggroll Bowl, Overnight Oats, Tuna Pasta Salad, Asian Chicken Stirfry. Year end: Okay, so there were no pictures and most of the items were super easy to make, but having this goal did help me to be at least a little bit more intentional. The return from maternity leave saw a sharpe decline of cooking in any form or fashion.