Hey January,

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

You started with lots of puppy cuddles on a frigid day. We rang in the new year with my sister and her family, hopped in the car, and drove home, then decided we would hibernate for as long as possible since the temperature was in the negatives. I broke that plan a few hours later when I left to visit some friends for a couple of hours. But when you started I had my number one sidekick right by my side, and that ended up defining the month.

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

A few days in, I woke up exhausted. You started off with a bang: late nights in the office as I finished a project, and breaks for lunch meetings with a client. I was weary and moving on autopilot. I left the house when it was still dark out, but the sun was out by time I made it to the office. I pulled into the parking lot–the first one in–and needed a moment to take a breath before I walked inside. I don’t know what made me look up, but when I did I saw this beautiful sky. The frigid temperatures had disappeared–it was just a few degrees above zero, but warm enough that I was able to spend time outside trying to get the perfect photo of the sky. I scooted around the parking lot for a few minutes. When I was finally satisfied I stopped looked at the side of the building and saw a deer running. It only took a few minutes to take in the beauty and breathe the fresh air, but it rejuvenated me and gave me the energy I needed to power through the day. What a great reminder to take time to breathe, even when weary.

[Tweet “Take a moment to look around + breathe. Even when you’re weary. Especially then.”]

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

A few days later was my dad’s birthday, so we had a family dinner to celebrate.

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

You brought quite a few snow days, which meant plenty of time to spend with the pup by my side or nearby as I worked.

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

It also meant leaving the room for a few minutes only to return to find Mina trying to get to my coffee… or my popcorn. ๐Ÿ˜‚

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

I went to see Blithe Spirit just as it was ending it’s run at the Guthrie. I knew I wanted to see it and was so excited in the weeks leading up to it, but when the actual day arrived… all I wanted to do was stay home to work. In some ways I begrudgingly went to the play, but i made it there… and I absolutely loved it! The cast was fantastic, the story was hilarious, and it was a great break. There’s always work to be done; a never-ending to-do list, and it can be hard to prioritize time for myself. Seeing this play was just that: taking time for myself.

January, you also reminded me that not only do I need to take time for myself to relax and get some rest, but I need to take time for myself to cross off those items on my to-do list that benefit me. I always want to finish the things I need to do for others, but as soon as I cross items off the list I add more to it. That to-do list is never going to be 100% empty, so I need to make sure I’m taking care of myself in the process. There are so many different statements that say the same thing: “you can’t pour from an empty cup” and “do you, then do others” come to mind. I spent so much time transferring tasks–like organize the linen closet–from week to week to week and I didn’t realize that they were contributing to the restlessness and anxiety I was starting to feel until I finally completed them.

[Tweet “Take care of yourself. Get some rest, cross items off your personal to-do list. You’re worth it.”]

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

I’ve been obsessed with making different variations of this ever since.

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

She is the queen of relaxation. And the queen of tummy rub requests.

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

January, you brought enough snow that I’m getting almost daily, “Why don’t I live somewhere warm??” messages from a friend and Little One needs a little path to walk on. Before the path was created, I started walking through the snow and called Mina to come to me. She looked over and looked away like, “No thanks.”

[Tweet “It’s important to know your limits. Know when that snow mountain is a little too high to climb.”]

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

When Mina knew she was a prop for a photo and demanded tummy rubs as payment in advance.

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

A work from home snow day gave me the opportunity to accompany my niece and nephew to their piano lessons and get some work done while I was there. These are the moments when you feel like you have this life thing figured out. I always strive for feeling like I’m on top of everything. I want to feel like I have it all together 100% of the time and when I don’t feel that way, it can really throw me off. I’m slowly learning that some weeks I’ll feel like I have it all together, but there will also be times that I don’t.

[Tweet “One week you feel like you’re on top of life, the next you don’t. That’s part of life.”]

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

I spent lots of time this with little guy at the end of the month. My sister and fam needed a puppy sitter, so Mina spent some time with her grand-humans and I stayed with Tino. I’d love to bring her with, but they have very different ideas about how to coexist in the same house: Tino wants to play and jump on her and Mina would rather not.

The first month of the year has come and gone! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the month, along with lessons learned. // dreams-etc.com

And January, at the end of a long, cold, snowy month, you brought a wintery hibiscus bloom. ๐Ÿ˜ย It’s a beautiful reminder that winter will soon come to an end and before we know it, we’ll be tormented by the heat and allergies of summer.

Goodbye, January! It was fun.

PS – Here are some recent posts. (If you only read one, make it the first one!)

The first month of 2018 has come and gone! Snow days, puppy cuddles, a gorgeous sunrise, and a reminder that winter will end soon all contributed to a great start to the new year. Let's chat about the adventures we had and lessons we learned his month! // dreams-etc.com