A New Year, Merry and Bright

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Happy New Year! Here we are on my favorite day of the year, at the best time of the day—dusk. The sun is setting and the view from my living room window is calming and peaceful. The wind-swept dusting of snow from yesterday takes on a bluish tint in the fading light, and I’m content in the warmth of our cozy home. There’s no place I’d rather be. This is the perfect way to end the first day of 2019.

One of the things I love about New Year’s Day is that it holds the promise of what the next year will bring. We usually have no real plans, so we can whittle way the hours as we like…and most years that amounts to not doing much of anything at all. Any other day finds us trying to fit in too much, leaving no downtime. That’s why I purposely like to set this day aside for nothing. In a sense it acts as a reset day for the year ahead.

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I don’t usually set New Year’s resolutions, but I do like to think about new things I may want to try or learn in the new year. In 2018 we traveled to Vietnam, which was another step in living our goal of experiencing new places and cultures with our boys. I was thrilled to run the Twin Cities Marathon…the first time I’ve tackled a 26.2 mile race since Will and Theo were born. We also made it up to Camp du Nord as a family, where I learned how to make soap, gazed at millions (billions?) of stars each night, and enjoyed as many dip-sauna-dip sessions as I possibly could.

For 2019 my hopes are not nearly as tangible; there’s no set bucket list of items that I can check off throughout the year. My goal is a bit loftier—and, admittedly, much more daunting. My hope is to approach each day with more joy and optimism. Those of you who know me may be thinking I’m biting off more than I can chew. I am, and have always been, a complete pessimist. But this year I’m pledging to walk on the sunny side of the street. (Friends, if you catch me doing otherwise, please call me out.)

This is big and I’m going to take it seriously. It may mean taking a few days off of social media, reading a book instead of checking my email at night, or learning to say no every once in a while. One key thing that makes me happy is something I often shove aside: taking time to be creative. I want more creativity in my day-to-day life in 2019.

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I’m starting with this. Over the weekend I sat down and folded several of these origami paper lanterns from my Craft-A-Day Book. I originally saw this project in a Martha Stewart Living magazine several years ago, only they were all made with white paper. I love mixing and matching patterned origami papers for a whimsical look. Or, better yet, I like to use this project as an excuse to reuse wrapping paper. Use old scraps of wrapping paper to decorate your light strings during the holidays. Watch out: folding these cute little boxes is addictive…it’s hard to fold just one.

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Here’s a quick video we did of the folding process, to make it easy (I’ve included step-by-step photos below). You can also find the instructions in The Craft-A-Day Book, along with several other fun projects. Hope this is just what you need to kick start a crafty new year!

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