Tuesday, May 7, 2013

New Home, New TRADITION, and Lots of LOVE

The sunshine is coming through my windows.  My music is playing.  I have several hours to myself while my youngest is in preschool.  We are finally in our new home!  Life. Feels. Good.  Everything seems to be falling into place so perfectly.  And with that comes peace and a feeling of normal.  As much as I love adventure, I also love routine.  I love feeling settled and in control.  Being in our home and having this space to make my own is so exciting.  We still have so much organizing, unpacking and cleaning to do but this is all part of the FUN in making a new home OURS.  I'm just trying to remind myself that I don't have to do it all at once.

One room down.  The rest of the house to go.  But I can see the FLOOR!

Every day here brings with it a feeling of gratitude and happiness. The more that things come together and fall into place, the more the fear and worries fade away. Everywhere I look I see beauty... the mountains, trees, our neighborhood, my view from my office, the lake where I run, my kids running around and loving their new home... just feels RIGHT.  It could be that this is just something new and that it will all wear off but right now, this place just feels so perfect.  Feels like the place we've been dreaming about all along.  The only thing missing is our family and close friends back in Oregon.

With a new home and the craving of routine, comes starting some new traditions with my family.  As I unpacked box after box, I found all sorts of things that sparked inspiration.  I would pull out a favorite book and remember the feelings that the story evoked in me.  An old journal that reminded me of that time in my life.  Books about things to do with kids. Colorful paintings that put a smile on my heart.  And then I found a Gratitude Journal that my mom had given me back in 1998.  I've always loved this book but I never really did use it much.  I tried but it never really worked for me.  I've just tucked it away knowing that I'd use it someday.  Seems as if I must have known all along that it wasn't meant to be used until now.

I'm big on creating family traditions to help instil values and make memories.  There are many healthy habits and traits I want to help my kids learn and one of the most important things to me as a mother is to raise GRATEFUL kids.  I'm excited to make our new family tradition in our new home to keep a family gratitude journal.  Simple.  Quick.  Meaningful.  Every morning at breakfast we will have a new page with the date at the top and we will each take a moment to write down one or two specific things that we are thankful for. Or more.  We are only on day three but it seems to be a tradition that will so easily stick!  And what a treasure to have this book to look back on as the years go by.  It is already fun to see the things the kids come up with that are significant to their present moment.  The thing I love about it the most is that it doesn't take much time at all.  In fact, I wrote my quick bullets down as I was putting breakfast on the table and my husband wrote his after I called him back in the house before letting him leave for work. The ease of this routine is important in a busy house with three kids going all different directions.  I especially love that the kids see us doing this too.

This journal will sometimes be left out for when we pass through the dining room to the kitchen.  When I see a pen and an open journal, I will surely stop for a moment to write something.  Maybe the rest of the family will pick up on this too.  

In the process of creating new space, family traditions, and a happy new lifestyle here in North Carolina, I hope that above all, it draws us closer together and brings with it LOADS of LOVE.

Front Porch Kisses

What are some of your favorite family traditions in your family?  



  1. What a wonderful, beautiful mother you are!!!!!!

  2. I love that journal idea - such a positive start to the day.
    One of my favorite family traditions is eating dinner together (at the table - no TV) almost every night. It is such a great way to stay connected. Thankfully, our boys are still happy to do this - so many of their friends (and families) rarely, if ever, do sit-down dinners.

  3. What a beautiful new tradition, Amanda! We have all kinds of little traditions at our house and I'm always looking to add new ones. So, so happy to hear you are loving life in NC -- I was pretty sure we'd lose you permanently to Asheville and I guess time will tell if I'm right!! :) xoxo

  4. That journal is one day going to fill you with the most amazing memories of an incredible adventure that you undertook as a family. And in the short term it helps you focus on all the good things in your lives. What a gift to yourselves!

  5. We've just added a tradition of asking what the best part of your day was at dinner each night. Another friend did "good thing, bad thing and funniest thing" each night, but for now the best part is working well for our family.

  6. I'm so glad this is coming together for you! Awesome!


  7. I love how you have your house and now and that everything is falling into place. I am very happy for you! XXX

  8. Love the looks of the house! Glad things are working out so well for you there. I may make it down there before you go back next year, btw--it's a town on my list to check out!

  9. I love the idea of a gratitude journal. Do you think this would work well with a classroom? It seems like such a neat family idea that could transfer over to my school "family."

  10. Everything seems to be coming together for you. The home looks fantastic and very happy for you. <3

    Kat & Sarah

  11. Congratulations on moving into your new home, Amanda! I'm happy to hear that everything's falling into place for you and your family, and that you're very much in love with your neighborhood. Buying a new home isn't just about the house, after all, but it’s also about the surroundings. Thanks for sharing!


  12. Your house looks lovely - sun-filled and gorgeous. I love the gratitude journal - that is a wonderful tradition to start.

  13. I LOVE this idea of a family gratitude journal - I can't even imagine what a positive, uplifting influence that must have on the family and the kids. You are so good at setting a good tone in your home. Now, I need to go out and get a journal to leave on the counter! Thank you for the great idea.

  14. Congratulations on your new home, Amanda! I can see that your new house is perfect for you and your family. The routine you have that comes with moving into a new place is understandable; it is actually quite good because you wouldn't want to miss out on something, right? I hope your family will have a lot of good times in your new home. :)

    Carmen Monrovia

  15. What a lovely looking home,, filled with love and happiness. Enjoy living in it!