New Year. New Me.

Happy New Year, readers!

Last night, the Shipper Fab Five spent the evening at home. We dressed up for dinner, had a dance party, played a few games, and watched a pre-recorded countdown at 7:00 PM so the kiddos could be tucked in bed by 8 (God bless you, Netflix).

It was hardly the most glamorous NYE of my life, but we aren’t exactly in a glamorous stage of life. (Bea and I had our first baths today in…well I can’t say. It’s just too embarrassing.)

Despite our humble evening at home,  we all enjoyed ourselves immensely. As much fun as it would have been to go out for a night on the town with other adults, there is something to be said for plans that require so little effort. So little expectations. It’s not that we didn’t try; anyone who has ever tried to have fun with their toddlers knows that it takes some a ton of work to pull of. All I mean is that sometimes it’s nice to make plans that don’t fall apart if you didn’t couldn’t wouldn’t shave your legs, for example. IMG_9063

Fresh out of the bath and ready to ring in the New Year, Beatrice rocked what might be my new favorite outfit. It’s not only pink, it also has butterflies on it. Shut. Up.


The Shipper men looking quite dapper for dinner. (I told them to come wearing cocktail attire, or to not come at all.)


So I titled this post, “New Year. New Me.” And I know at first this might seem a little trite. A little cliché. But here’s the thing. I haven’t created a list of goals that I believe will transform me if I’m able to stick to them throughout the year 2016. Because…I’m already new.

Someone that I really admire (Steven Furtick) once said that how you end one season determines how you enter another. I love that. This past season, the year 2015, was filled with so much change. Mike completed his Masters. We took our first family vacation. We welcomed a daughter into our family. We BOUGHT A MINIVAN for goodness sake.

But to go even deeper…

This past year was big for me personally.

Emotionally. Spiritually. Mentally.

I found a lot of freedom from things that were really dragging me down and wearing on me. Things like: unrealistic expectations placed on me by both myself and others; relationships that I kept far too long past their expiration date; and the crushing weight of worrying about other people’s opinions and criticisms of my life.

I’m over it.

Be gone, unrealistic expectations. I don’t want you. Hit the road, people who don’t belong in my life. You are just dragging me down. Don’t let the door hit ya on the way out, other people’s opinions and criticisms. I’ve gotta make way for better things.

I’m sure I’ll always struggle with carrying these things around from time to time, but I know the work I put into learning how to let go of this baggage in 2015, will help me find continued freedom in not only 2016, but all the years to come.

So I’m starting 2016 already new. I’m feeling a lightness and an excitement that I haven’t felt for a long time, and I know that this next year will be good because I’m good right here, right now. That doesn’t mean I’m worry free. Care free. Struggle free. It just means I’ve gotten a littler bit smarter and a whole lot tougher about facing the hard things.

As I look to the new year, I want to continue to live in the freedom that I found in 2015. I found this sweet little graphic created by Ann Voscamp and plan to work through this so that I’ll have a visual reminder of the good things I want for my life.

From Ann Voscamp’s Instagram page: annvoskamp

I have a feeling big things are in store for 2016. I don’t know what exactly, it’s just a feeling. I’ve been thinking about what my “word” will be for this year. Do you choose a theme word for each new year? A word that will guide and inspire all you say and do?

Last year, my word was “new. I had no idea all the new things that were in store for us! This year, my word is “yes.” As a mom, I have to say “no” so much. No you can’t eat more chocolate. No you can’t bring your sandbox in the house. NO YOU CAN’T STUFF YOUR BROTHER IN THE TOYBOX.


I’ve felt strongly that there are new things ahead for me this year, and I won’t experience them if I don’t first say yes. Yes to things that scare me. Yes to things I’m not good at. Yes to things that don’t have guaranteed outcomes. Yes.

I dwell in possibility…

-Emily Dickinson


3 thoughts on “New Year. New Me.

  1. I adore that you all dressed up for your stay-at-home New Year’s celebration! My family did that for Y2K – my mom had one evening gown and she wore it that night – and I’ll never forget it! 🙂 Happy New Year, my sweet friend! ❤

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