The start of 2023 has been a little rough on us. We said goodbye to our sweet 10-year-old Doberman last week, and we’re all feeling the loss pretty deeply.
But, I’ve been working hard to find happiness in the everyday despite the struggles this month has brought. I shared with you at the beginning of the month that my word of the year is joy, and I’ve been making it my mission to seek it out as much as I can. I thought in the interest of keeping myself accountable, I’d change up the format of our monthly wrap-up posts to share a few specific things that are bringing joy into my life.
So, let’s get to it, shall we?
Moments + memories
- Corey and I had our first overnight date ever to celebrate our 12-year wedding anniversary. We went to a hotel near our favorite outdoor shopping center and restaurant hub, where we had a progressive dinner and went to see a comedy show. It was a blast and I can promise you we won’t be waiting another 12 years to do it again!
- I had the most fun working on Parisa’s kitchen island. It always feels so great to be able to help a friend make their house feel a little more like home, and it felt really good to tackle my first big project of 2023!
- We had lots of unseasonably warm weather this month, and we took advantage of it when we could. We took some family walks to the neighborhood park, played outside more than we usually would in January, and just generally tried to soak it up.
- As painful as it was to say goodbye to Hadley, we did our best to soak up every last second with her. The boys and I fed her a Sonic hamburger and some ice cream for dinner, we snuggled her non-stop, and we let her spend as much time as she wanted on our bed (which is a place she wasn’t typically allowed).
- We celebrated Jackson’s 9th birthday this week and I’m still having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that I have a nine year old! We did it up big, taking him on a date last weekend to play VR and eat at a fancy restaurant. I love spoiling the kids as much as possible around their birthdays! This weekend, we’re having a small Harry Potter themed party for him and his best friends, and I can’t wait to celebrate him again.
Books + media
I’m trying to read a book a week in 2023, so I’ve been reading up a storm! This month I read…
- Without Merit by Colleen Hoover – It wasn’t my favorite of her books. I’ve really enjoyed a few of her books, but I also find that some of them are just not my thing. I didn’t hate it, but I’ve read much better from her.
- Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen – I loved this book! My best friend from college and I always get each other books for Christmas, and this was my 2022 book. She nailed it! It was full of twists and turns, it was totally captivating, and I loved every second.
- Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker – I’m joining a book club this year, and this was my first book for book club. I wasn’t sure if it would be my thing, but I really enjoyed it! I think I’ll be reading the follow-up book soon.
- Becoming by Michelle Obama – How in the world did I wait this long to read this book?! I can’t tell you enough how much I enjoyed it. It was interesting and powerful and inspiring in so many ways. Of course, her new release is going on my to-read list.
- I’m currently about halfway through Five Survive by Holly Jackson. Corey got it for me for Christmas, and the writing style took me a bit of time to get into, but I’m super intrigued by the story and can’t wait to find out where it leads!
This month, Corey and I watched season two of Alice in Borderland on Netflix (10/10, one of my favorite things I’ve watched in a long time), and That 90’s Show, also on Netflix. It was super cheesy and the acting was questionable, but if you’re a That 70’s Show fan, it’ll bring you a lot of joy!
We also watched and really enjoyed both Trevor Noah’s and Hasan Minhaj’s standup specials on Netflix!
I’m making a sincere effort this year to play more games. We love board games and have a ton, but, we’re often too wiped at the end of the day to play! I wouldn’t say we nailed it this month, but we did have a few games nights and they made me so happy. So, here’s what we played this month:
- Parks – The art on this game is beautiful, and we really loved the gameplay too! We’ve played it a few times now and it is always a great time. It is easy to learn but has some good strategy to it.
- Explorers – We picked this. game up for our overnight date, and we really enjoyed it! It’s quick to play, it’s easy to learn, and we had a blast with it.
- Just One – I think this is our most-played game when we have people over! We pulled it out for dinner with some friends who had never been to our house, and again when my parents were over. It’s a good game for people who don’t play games and for people who love them. Can’t recommend it enough!
- Throw Throw Burrito – Jackson got this game for Christmas and we’ve played it a lot. I won’t lie, we’ve had to stop gameplay more than once because it got a litttttle too intense, but we do always have a great time!
And let’s wrap this up with a few things I’m really loving this month!
- My skin is really loving this serum lately. My skin is incredibly sensitive and so many products cause me to either break out or develop a really awful rash. But this one? It’s a winner for me!
- Got these new running shoes to celebrate the marathon I ran last month and they make me smile every time I pull them on.
- Oh and speaking of shoes, if you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that these sneakers brought me an immense amount of joy this month.
- I replaced our old, chipping gold silverware with this set from Amazon and we’re all fully obsessed with them. Corey told me he wants to replace all of our silverware with this and can’t stop raving about how much he loves it.
- I bought myself this t-shirt because I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and I’m so glad I did. It makes me smile every time I wear it! I especially love to pair it with the comfiest $12 hoodie around.
- My old tapered curling wand broke a while back so I got a new one, and I forgot how much I missed the big, bouncy curls it gives me!
And that’s what brought me joy in January!