Posts Tagged ‘New Year’

Happy New Year 2015!

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Happy New Year 2015

Talking Tuesday

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

TalkingTuesdayShare your thoughts, feelings, and stories as well as respond to others regarding these questions:

What are some of the ways you plan on making your marriage or relationship better this year?

I’ll get us started …

You can never care too much about your marriage, and you certainly can never do too much to make it better. That’s both challenging and exciting! For me this year, I want to plan small outings and date nights more for my husband and I. Typically he takes point on all of that, and while I love and appreciate that he does, I too want to surprise him with thoughtful, fun things to do together. Also, I want to be more intentional about doing acts of service for him. Maybe it’s a shoulder massage or taking care of the trash so he doesn’t have to. The possibilities are endless, so I just need to think about it and choose some to do for him on a regular basis. There are times I know that my marriage slips to the back burner, and I want to make sure I’m constantly bringing it to the front burner so that I’m doing my part to make it the best it can be!

Okay, it’s your turn!

Talking Tuesday Weekly Announcement REVISEDIf you have a question you would like to see asked in our weekly Talking Tuesday discussions, we want to know what it is! Just contact us with your idea!

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.

Talking Tuesday

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

TalkingTuesdayShare your thoughts, feelings, and stories as well as respond to others regarding these questions:

What are you most looking forward to in 2014?

I’ll get us started …

First of all, Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a blessed and wonderful 2013, and may 2014 be filled with much love, laughter, and blessings for you!

Now, let’s see. What am I most looking forward to in 2014? Well, to be honest, our year is already off and running full speed ahead, and I have a feeling it’s not going to slow down anytime soon. There’s a lot that we are planning for, praying over, and anticipating for this New Year. Perhaps the biggest for me is getting licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist here in North Carolina. Much like an attorney, each state has their own requirements to get licensed as a marriage and family therapist in their state, so I am working on that process. It’s a bit overwhelming to be honest, but I’m excited to start seeing clients again because I love working directly with couples and individuals! Perhaps the other thing is potentially getting a home. Steve and I have been married for nearly 5 ½ years, and we have patiently waited to buy a home until our circumstances, finances, and location all came together. Finally it seems we are at that point, so we are praying for God’s guidance in getting the right home for us to settle into and call our own!

Okay, it’s your turn!

Talking Tuesday Weekly Announcement REVISEDIf you have a question you would like to see asked in our weekly Talking Tuesday discussions, we want to know what it is! Just contact us with your idea!

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.

Talking Tuesday

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

TalkingTuesday

Share your thoughts, feelings, and stories as well as respond to others regarding these questions:

How do you plan on improving your marriage in the New Year?

I’ll get us started …

No matter who you are or how long you’ve been married, there’s always room for growth and improvement. I know for me, I always want to be working toward betterment for myself and my marriage. The start of a New Year is a great time to check in on how things are going and where you need to do some tweaking.

Something I would really like to do to improve my marriage is take time to listen to my husband. I have a tendency to do most of the talking, and I’d like to do a bit more listening this year. Whether it’s hearing about his day, resolving an issue, or discussing a topic, I want to tune into what he has to say on the matter. I know how I feel, but I think there’s so much to be learned from someone when you take the time to hear what they say and why they feel that way. Guys tend to be the less talkative ones in a relationship anyway, so I really want to create space for my hubs and cultivate an environment where he wants to share more.

Okay, it’s your turn!

If you have a question you would like to see asked in our weekly Talking Tuesday discussions, we want to know what it is! Just contact us with your idea!

Talking Tuesday Weekly Announcement REVISED

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.

Talking Tuesday

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

TalkingTuesday

Share your thoughts, feelings, and stories as well as respond to others regarding these questions:

What are you most looking forward to about 2013?

I’ll get us started …

There’s something really nice about how a new year presents a bit of a “clean slate.” It’s just an opportunity to reflect on the years gone by, and anticipate what the New Year holds. Of course there will be some planning and goals set as well as old ones looked at and assessed. Plus, we have some fun things happening in 2013 such as a trip to Virginia with my whole family to celebrate my sister’s graduation. We’re also tackling some new things with Foundation Restoration that are exciting. I just love that so many people actually take time to pause and reflect on their lives – what has been, what will be, and what they want there to be. It’s important to have those moments to savor, learn, and grow.

Okay, it’s your turn!

If you have a question you would like to see asked in our weekly Talking Tuesday discussions, we want to know what it is! Just contact us with your idea!

Talking Tuesday Weekly Announcement REVISED

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.

Talking Tuesday

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Share your thoughts, feelings, and stories as well as respond to others regarding these questions:

What was your favorite part about 2011? What are you most looking forward to in 2012?

I’ll get us started …

To be very honest, I feel like the years all kind of blend together. It only gets worse the older I get because time seems to fly by with a (scarily) quickening pace. This question took me some time to think about.

Probably my favorite part of 2011 was just the lessons I learned along the way. I really focused on trying to be content and enjoy the journey rather than push the pace in order to get from one goal to another. I’m a perfectionist by nature, and I demand a lot of myself. That often leads me to miss out on the joy of getting where I’m going because of the frantic pressures I place on myself. So, this year I’ve tried to slow down a little bit in my ambition to where I do my best, allow God to do the rest, and take time to savor where I’m currently at regardless of where that is. It’s been a challenging lesson, but it’s been one I’ve needed to learn (and am still trying to).

Other than that, I’ve loved the memories made with my husband, our families, and friends. God’s been good to us, and I never want to take that for granted. We’ve had some really fun adventures, and I’m so looking forward to all the ones yet to come in 2012. I love anticipating what’s to come because no matter what it is – good or bad – it will be a memory and an opportunity to grow.    

Okay, it’s your turn!

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.

Talking Tuesday

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Share your thoughts, feelings, and stories as well as respond to others regarding these questions:

With Christmas wrapped up and the New Year coming, what resolutions are you setting for your marriage? If you aren’t married, what resolutions are you setting for yourself?

I’ll get us started …

I think it’s important to take time to assess the quality of your relationship on a regular basis. Many couples go years without doing so and find themselves waking up one day asking, “What happened?” One way to prevent that is to take time to check in with your spouse to see what is going well and what needs a little work in your relationship. That’s what I will most likely do as this year wraps up in order to make sure our marriage is on track and thriving. Just like with our physical health we go for annual physicals, our relationships need check-ups too.

Just a word of caution, these conversations can be difficult ones. Often they are intense and can be emotional. It’s important to be wise in the timing of a conversation like this (not when you’re tired, hungry, or already upset), and to prepare yourself for honesty both ways. Be receptive and patient allowing for clarification and explanations when needed. Don’t forget that the object here is to improve  your marriage, not destroy it.   

Okay, it’s your turn!

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.

Just Do It

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Hubs here.  

Christmas came and went.  New Years came and went.  2011 is here.  Now we are faced with a new year of opportunities and challenges.  For some the New Year is a blank canvas of possibilities.  For some the New Year is daunting.  I find myself bouncing back and forth between the two.  I like the excitement of planning and setting new goals.  I am energized at the thought of doing things I have never done before and accomplishing goals I would like to achieve, but at times I also feel a sense of anxiety.  In some ways I feel like I barely made it through last year, so the thought of trying to accomplish more in the coming year is somewhat overwhelming.

My thought process through this stressful back and worth usually leads me down a similar path each time.  At first I feel overwhelmed and wrestle with the thought of trying to do something I have never done before.  In my mind I struggle with pushing through the anxiety and not giving up.  Next, I go through a period of weighing my different options.  Do I have to accomplish this goal this year?  Is there something else I would rather do?  Should I increase or decrease the scope of the goal?  Finally, I end up letting go of the thought for the time being and allowing some time to pass before making a decision. 

My little process works for me … well kind of.   With my system, things tend to easily fall off the radar.  It is easy to put off something for the moment and end up forgetting about it for years.  Something that may be important gets lost in the shuffle, and in the end, it never happens. 

 Having observed this phenomenon in myself lately, I have decided I am tired of pushing things off that I actually need and want to get done. It is time for change..  Through months of pondering my normal mode of operation, three ground breaking words have popped into my head helping me to start getting things done without feeling overwhelmed: “Just do it.” 

“Just do it” keeps playing over and over in my head … really original, right?  But when I repeat that phrase in my head, it is not simply about reciting Nike rhetoric. It is like I am hearing it for the first time. Perhaps Nike has engrained this marketing message in my head through years (well, decades at this point) of (awesome) commercials, or it might be that this message speaks to a fundamental desire for motivation at the heart of human life. Either way, it is an honest and simple call to action.

The reason I am writing about my new brilliant, life-changing slogan is because it is helping me be a better husband.  I tend to spend my days thinking about grand plans of “world’s best husband” magnitude and end up passing up tons and tons and TONS of opportunities to do smaller, but still very meaningful, things for Ash.  Write her a note, take out the trash, surprise her with a Frosty (Ash loves Frosties), help with the laundry, buy her flowers, give her a massage, make dinner, empty the dishwasher…the list goes on forever, and I mean forever.  There are so many things I can do that require a small amount of effort but go a long way in letting Ash know that I love her. That’s where three little words are helping me take tangible steps towards being a better husband. 

In a lot of ways, this isn’t groundbreaking stuff.  “Just do it” has been around for 20 years, and a lot of you are probably already doing the above mentioned.  But in what ways can you take simple steps to be a better spouse?  The ones listed above are the very basics, and you can have some fun being creative and finding simple yet unique ways to express your love.  You can always do just a little more to show your sweetie that you love him/her, brighten his/her day, or do something to help him/her out. 

In the New Year, I encourage you to make it a personal goal (it’s one of mine for 2011) to be a better spouse by looking for simple ways to show your love to your honey-buns.  When you get an idea, don’t think about it … “Just do it.”

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.

A Glance Back & A Look Forward

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Happy New Year everyone! 

It is hard to believe that we have reached the conclusion of one year and kicked off another.  Last year was one that proved to be extremely exciting for Little Wifey, and this year promises that much more in our quest to promote healthy marriages and relationships.

As we gear up for 2011, I wanted to first take a glance back at the events of 2010 to appreciate how far we have come. It seems like yesterday this was all just a dream, but now, as we reflect on all we have accomplished, we are realizing that our mission is becoming a reality. Here are some of the exciting developments of 2010:

  • Created an interactive website that provides articles, inspirational stories, resources, book recommendations, information, and much more all aimed at providing a free opportunity for individuals and couples to find ways to prepare for, improve upon, and recover a strong, healthy, and thriving marriage;
  • Established a readership from all 50 States and 76 countries;
  • Developed a Facebook page with nearly 1,600 fans;
  • Created and send out monthly newsletters to a devoted readership;
  • Began lining up speaking engagements;
  • Appointed a board of directors, established bylaws, and launched our non-profit, Foundation Restoration;
  • Received our official 501(c)(3) federal non-profit status, allowing us to offer our donors the benefit of tax deductions;
  • Hired an intern;
  • Provided personal interaction with individuals seeking help and advice;
  • Initiated community involvement and outreach;
  • Launched the interactive “Talking Tuesdays” providing an opportunity for readers to share their thoughts, stories, and feelings as well as interact with others;
  • Introduced “Hubs Corner,” which provides a husband’s perspective on current issues, personal struggles and dealings, relationships, and married life;
  • Began establishing a solid donor base to provide the resources to develop, grow, and provide more comprehensive opportunities for individuals and couples everywhere 

These are just some of the monumental and thrilling accomplishments we were blessed with this past year. It is amazing to reflect upon these things and know that God has been gracious to us in regards to the calling He placed on our lives. As we reflect on these happenings, we find ourselves energized and propelled into this New Year.

While much has been achieved, there are still many undertakings and goals we have our sights set on moving forward. Our hopes are high as we eagerly plan out what we hope to establish in 2011. Here is a list of things we are looking forward to launching and developing:

  • Create and launch a new jam-packed website for Foundation Restoration that will incorporate Little Wifey and boast more features, resources, and interactivity;
  • Line up seminars and speaking engagements across the country;
  • Create a video Q&A where I will answer questions that you the reader have as well as highlight various current issues and food for thought;
  • Feature more guest writers to provide a comprehensive and diverse array of topics;
  • Further establish a solid donor base to provide Foundation Restoration with the means to develop more opportunities and resources to our readers;
  • Set up an office where we can provide hands-on services like therapy, seminars, and workshops;
  • Develop partnerships with other organizations where we can jointly provide more opportunities to people everywhere;
  • And much more!

Again, our hopes are high for 2011! My passion is to help people prepare for, develop, save, and maintain a healthy marriage. For over 2 and ½ years, I have fervently worked at making a difference in this area with the help of my husband and others who believe in our mission and calling. My prayer is that this New Year will be one where we are launched into a whole new level of being able to Help Relationships Thrive!

Blessings,

Ashley McIlwain

Founder & C.E.O., Foundation Restoration

If you are interested in helping our ministry and being a part of thriving, please contact me at Ashley@foundationrestoration.org. There are needs in the following specific areas:

  • Donors
  • Partnerships
  • Web Design & Management
  • Office Location
  • Supervisor for MFT intern
  • Marketing
  • Hosts for Speaking Engagements and Seminars
  • Guest Writers

We are of course always open to your suggestions and feedback too, so please feel free to contact me any time.

Personal Note: New Year

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

New Year’s is such a unique holiday I think. It’s a time where people are excited, hopeful, and re-energized. It’s a time when people are optimistic and just believe that the best is yet to come. People tend to look at it as if one chapter closed and a whole new one is opening. It’s a time of celebration, and it’s universal.

While the reality is that New Year’s is just another day where everything is the same as it was the day before, it can be a time where we take the initiative to make changes. It can be a time of hope and excitement because we can choose to change how we act, react, behave, and live. We can take a moment to get our priorities straight. It’s a time where we can decide how we want the New Year to go. True there are things that happen that are out of our control, but what about the things that are in our control? Grab them and choose to get your life in a position to prosper. It can start with putting your family first. For me, I want to walk less by sight and more by faith, relying on God each step of the way in life. I choose to make my husband number one and try to make him the happiest husband out there. Those are some of the choices I am making for the New Year. How about you?

That being said, I wanted to share Steve’s and my New Year’s Eve/New Year’s experience with all of you. We decided that we were going to camp out on Colorado Street in Pasadena, CA on New Year’s Eve Day to be front and center for the Rose Parade New Year’s morning. Two of our friends joined us for the crazy endeavor, Jeremiah & Cheryl. Steve and I arrived around 12:30 New Year’s Eve Day to get some seats. After some adventures, we managed to get some great front row street seats. It was amazing how jam packed it already was at that hour. Over the course of the next 20 hours, we bought a lot of “glow” such as necklaces, “firework” headbands, swords, and glasses. We grilled some dinner, talked, and watched as people threw burritos with shaving cream, marshmallows, & silly string at the passing cars. There were some crazy moments, funny moments, and exciting moments. We brought in the New Year with a gazillion other people on the street along with a giant party popper and some silly string. Around 3:00, we bundled up for some failed attempts at shut eye on the street. We survived though and enjoyed the beautiful Rose Parade. It was hilarious, fun, and exhausting all at the same time. Check out some of the pictures: