December 27, 2014

Wishing you a very happy New Year!

I hope you had a great couple of days! We spent Christmas over at my in-laws, and we had a wonderful time opening presents and eating good food.

Here are a few of my favorite Christmas presents from this year. The oven mitt my 6-year-old handmade for me (he decided I'm a pink, purple, orange type of person - love him! :)). The sugar pot from Anthropologie my mother-in-law searched all over for me. The super comfy mittens my sister- and brother-in-law gave me.


Those are my favorites because I know I'm loved every time I look at them. They took their time to make, search, choose what I would really like, and just thinking about that puts a big smile on my face. I'm so lucky to have such a loving family. 


We didn't have a white Christmas this year. But the sky's been blue and our grass is still green, so I can't be complaining. This reminds me of the mild winter weather I grew up in Japan and that makes me feel a little sentimental. I remember the days I used to fly kites with my brother on New Year's Day.

It's been unseasonably warm around here and my son just asked me if the spring has already come. "We're not quite there yet, honey," I whispered it. "We need to go through winter before flowers blossom and trees bear fruit."

And this is also how the seasons of life unfolds.

It's been a wonderful year with many exciting things happening in our lives. Our boys thrived at school and I started my own creative business, and I couldn't be happier with both. 

But we've also had a set of challenges that kept us up at night. I'm grateful for those challenges, too, because they helped us learn and grow. But if I'm honest, it hasn't been easy. I feel as if we've been through a long stretch of winter and now finally started to make baby steps towards spring. It's a slow progress and our path is filled with uncertainty, but there is one thing I know for sure: We're moving towards our goals and dreams. And that's all we need to know in order to keep going.

Our heart is now filled with hopes and dreams for the new year, and it's a great feeling. I know this is going to be an exciting year! 

I'm going to take some time off from the internet, including this blog, for a couple of weeks (my Etsy shop will be open). I'm looking forward to spending some quality time with my family, reading good books, cleaning and organizing our home, and setting my goals for the new year. The boys are going back to school on January 5th, so I'll probably come back a few days after that. But we'll see how it goes. 

These are the books I'll be reading if you're curious ...

http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Up-Social-Relational-Screen-Driven/dp/0802411231/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1419749039&sr=8-1&keywords=growing+up+social

Growing Up Social: Lovely Linda at Creekside Ministries gave me this book a while ago, and now I finally have the time to read it. Thank you, Linda! I know I'll be learning a lot from this book :)

And this...
http://www.amazon.com/Faster-Olympic-winning-strategies-everyday-success-ebook/dp/B004VF7YHW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1419749080&sr=8-1&keywords=will+it+make+the+boat+go+faster

Will It Make The Boat Go Faster?: When I took the Blogging Your Way class back in November, one of the teachers, Fiona Humberstone, recommended this book, and I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Meanwhile, if you're new here or you're in the blog reading mood, you're more than welcome to check out the archives.

Here are the sample of my favorite posts.

Stories of becoming:
- Now Let's Talk About Fear
- There's something about giving
- Let your ordinary gift shine
- The Sweetest Fig 
- The Taste of Happiness
- At Summer's End
- One in a Million 

DIY projects:
- Trumeau Mirror Makeover
- Brick Fireplace Makeover
- Resin Bust Makeover

Decorating {in progress}:
- Our Dining Room Today
- Guest Bedroom Updates (here and here)
- How I chose the perfect paint color

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit this blog this year. I'm looking forward to sharing my journey with you in the new year. Wishing you a happy New Year!!! 

xoxo

Yuko



9 comments:

  1. merry christmas and happy new year dear yuko. enjoy your time off, you are a beautiful soul. xo

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    1. Thank you, Janet! Happy new year to you and Larry as well xx

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  2. Hope you enjoy your New Year's break!! What interesting reading. It must be intimidating raising children in this time. Heard an interesting thing about our generation--we are the last to have a low-tech childhood and the first to be high-tech parents. Your boys are lucky to have parents so connected to nature to help them discover the organic joys of life.

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    1. It's been a bit challenging trying to stay away from the internet today lol! I guess it takes time to completely digital detox. It really is an addiction. Our boys still don't play video games, but some of their friends do. It will be a good opportunity for me to focus on hands-on activities we can do as a family, and try to stay away from tv and ipad as much as possible.

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  3. Thanks for sharing. I also find it interesting that we are living in this era where technology is so readily available for kids. My kids are encouraged to bring their devices every day to school! I know I have be much more intentional about limiting the kids' time on it. But that book sounds so interesting. I will have to check it out. Happy New Year!

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    1. You're so right, Yuni. We really need to be more intentional about how we use technology, especially around our kids. Have a happy new year! xo

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  4. Happy new year, dear friend! I'm so grateful that the Lord has brought our paths together ... I always love a good visit with you and am inspired by your creativity and interesting thoughts. Can't wait to do life together in 2015!

    Hugs. And blessings.

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  5. My grandson is 4 1/2. Just a few months ago we were out in the yard and I had my camera with me. I was taking some pics for my blog. I thought it would be interesting to let my grandson take some pics. Since it was bright outside and no flash went off, I couldn't tell exactly when or what he had taken pics or how many he took. When I saw the pictures that he took after I put them on the computer, I was amazed. Of course all grandmas think that their grandkids are geniuses, but the pics he took were excellent. I seriously thought maybe he was a photographic genius. I thought that he had just started using a camera. About two weeks later I discovered that he has been taking photographs with the IPad that he uses to play games for many months now. I am so silly that I didn't even know that IPad had a camera. I hadn't given it any thought. Well, the pics he took were excellent, but now I know there is more of an explanation to his ability than I originally thought. It's called practice. I do think that video game playtime should be limited, but now I also consider that there can be some creative aspects of the technology also. The creativity part needs to be encouraged.

    Happy New Year to you and your family!

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  6. Looks like you were really blessed this Christmas!! Your gifts look awesome!

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