Welcome to my blog. I document my adventures as a young wife and mom. Take a look around. I hope you enjoy!

- Dana

Restart 23.

Restart 23.

Photo via @tessacombs // instagram

Photo via @tessacombs // instagram

I've always called my birthday my new year. It is when I restart the clock and begin a fresh chapter in my life. Looking back at twenty-two, it's been a whirlwind of a year. I'm sure many of you can relate. We often have expectations that don't seem to pan out quite as we expect, but if we embrace change, and look for the lesson I find that we'll be less expectant and more grateful. I started to pen down my thoughts on turning 23 and reflecting on how my last year has been. However, I felt that wasn't a clear indicator of where my heart is now. So, I finally put them down. Some new year resolutions to mark my 23rd year of life. I find that this may be applicable to anyone whether you're just turning 18 or 80. Check out my birthday resolutions, I might print them out to keep as a reminder throughout the year.


1| Live Beautiful

My first birthday wish is to go through this year without losing sight of everything that I've been through and continue to go through. Reflection is the greatest reminder of triumph for me. It is so easy to sail through each day without appreciation for the obstacles you once faced. Doing so, you lose a sense of gratitude for the present moment and how much of a blessing it is. That means that when someone afflicts me this year, I can forgive freely and without holding back. Or if someone needs my help, I can give of myself and draw from my experiences generously. Obviously we're all human and we will not always be kind and patient and gentle and compassionate. But to live beautiful is to be able to catch yourself when you are not being those things and to reintroduce yourself each and every time to who you once were, who you are now and who you'd like to be.

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
— Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
But our hearts are more elastic than we think, and the work of forgiveness and transformation and growth can do things you can’t even imagine from where you’re standing now.
— Shauna Nequist

2| Live, Beautiful

You cannot use someone else’s fire; you can only use your own. And in order to do that, you must first be willing to believe you have it.
— Audre Lorde
There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.
— J. Walton

They say that we are our biggest critics. While that is true, it is also very consuming. It is too much work to be your biggest critic all the time. Whether that is a physical issue or an internal issue I may have with myself, I'm learning from my daughter that I was made perfectly and without flaw--divinely designed. In the same breath, I vow to myself that even in this new era in my life, I will make a conscious effort to taste new experiences. A friend of mine told me the other day that she felt like I'd been hiding for the last year and a half. And I totally agreed. We often hide when we feel like we don't have it all together or when we feel lost. But the whole motivation behind my blog was to put myself out there, to wake up my inner explorer and see the world. Exploring the world isn't confined to just traveling the world (though that is totally something that I've always done and wanted to do more of), there are so many types of experiential journeys that are exciting and worthy of your time and efforts. So maybe that means travel or reading more or starting a venture or picking flowers or taking a walk. Doing something ordinary can be extraordinary if you've never done it. You don't need to be drastic to live a fulfilling life. Just take baby steps to things that bring you joy.

3| Serve

There is nothing better than serving others, I think it builds an innate desire of generosity within us. I want to be generous in spirit and to do it authentically, so for me that means serving at church a little bit more and using my platform as a voice box for those who may not have it. I guess the question I keep asking myself is this,

"How far am I willing to go for other people if no one was looking?"

"How much of a servant would I be, if I never received any praise for it?"

My goal is this: always to put myself in the place in which I am best able to serve, wherever my gifts and qualities find the best soil to grow, the widest field of action. There is no other goal.
— Hermann Hesse | Narcissus and Goldmund

4| Fear Less

I think the quotes I found here do more justice than anything I could write (As you can see I have a thing for words already spoken. A BIG thing)

Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling with the mistaken belief that you can not bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel all you are beyond that pain.
— Kahlil Gibran
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
— Jesus | John 14:27

5| Me

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart.

6| Authentic Life

Life feels good when you feel good. Simplicity is good. Family is good. Honesty is good. No money is good. Lots of money is good. It's crazy how we find ourselves complaining when in the end it is only the simple, little things that we remember.

It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life.
— J. R. R. Tolkien | The Fellowship of the Ring

7| Family First

I get to start my new year with my new family and they deserve to have 100% of me. No questions asked.

Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.
— Simone Weil
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