Well, Christmas is over, and it feels bittersweet. Daniel and I were very blessed with a day spent together with our daughter and family, and now it is back to our usual routines. We were able to make our rounds Christmas Day and visit Daniel’s family here in New York. We had a beautiful time and slept soundly that night. Unfortunately, I did not make it to New Jersey to visit my neck of the woods this year. A family member convinced me it’s just not worth the risk to drive five hours in my little car with a baby in tow through treacherous roads, and I truly appreciate him for it.
The weather here in New York has been chilling to the bone, dropping to the single digits, with an unpredictable wintry mix every other day or so. The baby seems to have taken to the cold pretty well. We have been bundling her up all cozy in her winter gear which may be the reason why she has welcomed winter so easily. While I have not grown any more keen on this snowy weather, I have learned to embrace these cold days by staying in and cuddling with the baby when a blizzard decides to make an appearance. It almost gives me an excuse to stop, breathe deep and take some extra precious moments to enjoy these times with the baby while she is still so young.
Is it just me, or does the New Year approaching feel like a refreshing new start? Some of us feel like we’re running on empty after the holiday madness of running around visiting family, traveling out of state, working overtime (like my husband)…There is something thrilling about starting anew.
Feeling burned out? What better way to kick off the new year than to cuddle up at the end of the night on the couch or with your other half to read a chapter of a new inspiring book?
Here are my current favorite reads:
1. Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover
If you really want something, you have to take it by the reigns. Daniel and I are really honing in on paying off our wedding debt and student loans. We have done all the loan consolidating we can, and now it is time to get “gazelle intense” when it comes to paying off these debts we have acquired. Dave Ramsey explains, we have to “live like no one else so that one day we can live like no one else”.
If you are looking for an extra inspiring way to transform your budget in 2018, look no further than this book. But I will warn you, it is not for the weary of heart! It requires sacrifice, dedication, and living “like no one else” (within or sometimes below your means) so one day we will be able to “live like no one else” (debt-free). But, I promise, if you are ready to take the leap of faith, this book is worth its weight in gold. I downloaded this on Audible because I appreciate listening to this aloud and taking notes for inspiration and as an outline for our family budget.
2. The Magnolia Story by Chip & Joanna Gaines
Chip and Joanna Gaines are like a breath of fresh air. They are honest about marriage NOT being a piece of cake. They share their lowest of lows but also inspire us with how they got where they are today: creating an extremely lucrative business through dedication and integrity and rebuilding Waco, Texas in the process.
3. 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman
This book is invaluable to couples. Period. If you find you just can’t figure out why your significant other sucks at making you feel loved, this book is for you. If you can’t figure out why you suck at making your significant other feel loved no matter how hard you try, this book is for you.
Daniel and I read this book together, and now he finally understands that yea, I like gifts; but what I cherish most is the time he spends with me. Oh, and maybe a back rub every once in a while. Those things are more important to me than the material gifts money can buy. I’ve learned what makes him tick. Together, we have grown stronger in understanding one another and understanding our friends and family as well. Each person has their own different love language, and you will never view love the same after reading this book.
4. Capital Gaines by Chip Gaines
Yes, I am one of those chicks who adores Chip and Joanna Gaines. But really, I admire their persevering spirits, their realness, and their humility in sharing their story in order to help others learn what it takes to become successful entrepreneurs. I’ll give you a hint, sometimes it just takes a huge (more like gargantuan) leap of faith and a lot of patience, but the end results can be well worth the wait.
5. Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman
This book may not be by any means as inspiring as the others on this list. BUT it was extremely fascinating to me. I read it at the end of my pregnancy. Frankly, it was a book I purchased used and as something to read just to pass the time when I was uncomfortable, super pregnant and still had longer than a week to go until my due date.
After reading the book’s description, I became intrigued in learning the differences between American and French child-rearing techniques. And I am so glad I did! I find that the “French” way of raising a child resonates with many of my beliefs in how a child should be raised. Even if you are not completely convinced to model your parenting after the French, you will find yourself laughing by Druckerman’s hilarious, self-deprecating stories.
What are some books that inspire you?