One Little Word, One Looong Post

One Little Word, One Looong Post

Hey guess what! It’s January 7th! I’m definitely that person who always has the highest of expectation and the best of intentions to do BIG things but ultimately takes on too much, spreads myself too thin and fails at more than I succeed at. Even though we are a week into the new year and I am just now setting my New Year resolutions and attempting to set a new schedule for myself I am heavily optimistic about 2014. I’ve been contemplating how I would even begin to sum up 2013 or start 2014. 2013 was unexpected and completely different than I had planned or anticipated. I began the year by choosing my One Little Word which was my first attempt at doing the OLW challenge. I had chosen the word “Lovely” and honestly believed in my heart that 2013 was going to be all roses and rainbows and that I was just gonna attack life and really conquer the world. In February I found out I was pregnant, SURPRISE! It was quite the twist for 2013 and even though the Boss and I had been talking about adding #4 to our family we hadn’t quite planned or anticipated it happening so soon. I can honestly say that I know Ivory came exactly when she was supposed to whether Bret and I were prepared or not. With that being said it doesn’t mean that I was ready immediately for this new change of plans. To keep a very long story short I was really sick and really REALLY struggled with depression and fatigue throughout the majority of my pregnancy. I’ve never experienced depression like I did during those months and I almost felt like it had handicapped my ability to live. I didn’t feel like myself a lot of the time and felt like no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t snap out of it. I knew in my mind what I was capable of and was holding my usual expectations for myself over my head. I felt like on my best day during this pregnancy I couldn’t accomplish what I could get done on my worst day before I got pregnant. I was perpetually disappointed with my non contributing self and was a burning negativity inferno. I couldn’t gain a greater perspective over what I was actually doing…. like you know, making a person! Fast forward to when Ivory was born, the lights went back on and I snapped out of it. Even when she was in the NICU I felt uplifted by the comments and prayers from everyone around me and had a sense of peace about everything. I felt like myself again, I felt happy, I felt blessed and I felt energy again! I can now look back and say that whatever I did or didn’t accomplish doesn’t matter to me. My little Button makes up for all my failures and shortcomings in 2013 and I chalk the year up to being a success. I’m of course paraphrasing quite a bit about the good, the bad and the ugly of the year and maybe I will be able to do a few recap posts about 2013 and hopefully share about Ivory’s birth story as well. I know as I take the time to reflect on the past year I will recognize more and more blessings and accomplishments.

It is now a new year and time to announce my new word for 2014 which is “Ta Da“!  Last year I was a speaker at SNAP and while I was there I had the opportunity to listen to Julie Hanks talk about emotional survival for women who feel overwhelmed. “Overwhelmed” is something I relate to intensely so I listened eagerly and soaked up everything Julie had to say.  What impacted me the most was when she pointed out how we as women tend to be far too hard on ourselves. I for one should be president of the guilty club because I constantly feel guilty for not being smart enough, clean enough, organized enough, happy enough, healthy enough, nice enough, fun enough, creative enough, spiritual enough, athletic enough, selfless enough…. you get the idea. Julie talked about how women make these long and extreme “To Do” lists for themselves each day and then punish themselves when they don’t finish everything on their list. Not only do they agonize over what they didn’t accomplish but they completely neglect to give themselves credit for the things they do accomplish each day. She suggested having a “Ta Da” list for the end of the day where you write down each achievement from that day no matter how big or small. I could have climbed across  the banquet table I was sitting at and picked up little bity Julie and swung her around and around in my arms in a jolly good hug to thank her for giving me permission to rejoice in my small defeats each day and to stop beating myself up emotionally over the things  I have yet to do. Old habits die hard and I still give myself internal guilt trips when I suck at life but here and there a light turns on and I remember to acknowledge my daily triumphs.

This year choosing my word was easy, I knew I wanted to chose “Ta Da” so I could get better at making a Ta Da List and not being so hard on myself. I know I need an attitude adjustment and that I need to get in the habit of keeping score of all the good things that happens and not be so hard on myself about what I haven’t gotten done yet.  Some victories may only be  “I put a bra on today, TA DA!” or  “I kept the kids alive all day today, TA DA!” and my goal is to be ok with that. I mean wearing a bra is a chore sometimes and kids are hard to keep alive, you gotta feed them and everything! My hope is that as I start to recognize each little thing I do as a win it will be a catalyst for getting more done and generate more momentum for positive productivity. I wanna change my mindset to believe that I don’t have to move mountains every single day and that maybe moving little tiny pebbles is all part of the process of moving that big ol’ fatty mountain.  I know that because I am only human that some days I might forget to do my “ta da” list so I have been putting up little reminders in my house and I will be hash tagging #TaDa like a boss! Also, saying “TA DA!” out loud is pretty fun! I hope you will take something positive from this post and that you find yourself saying “ta da!” for your own achievements as well.




(I made this printable so I could print it at Persnickety Prints and put it on my desk as a reminder for myself. Feel free to print a copy for yourself if you want. #TaDa)


If you want to start doing a “ta da” list with me I designed a free printable you can download and print it by clicking [here]. Free Printable… #TaDa!


PS. Look how stinkin cute the “ta da” earrings by Kate Spade are! I looked everywhere to try and buy some but they seem to be discontinued. Phooey!


PPS. I wrote a blog post, #TaDa!

Did you pick out your own One Little Word? I would love to hear what it is and why you picked it! We can help each other stick to our words!


  1. Heather @ French Press - January 7, 2014

    I am in LOVE with your word, it suits you perfectly! I cannot seem to find one yet

  2. Amelia O'Brien - January 7, 2014

    I just read your post and I felt like we were living parallel lives. I too found out I was pregnant last December (via a trip to the ER and subsequent surgery in which I thought I lost the baby) needless to say I had a rough and worry filled pregnancy. I too struggled with severe depression until the moment I saw her sweet face and knew my prayers had been answered and she was here and healthy. I love your word for 2014. I too want to find joy in the simple things and just be more present and content. Thank you for sharing your story it really spoke to me!

  3. Anne DuRoss - January 7, 2014

    Love this! I think there are many of us that can relate to this. We place so much pressure on ourselves as well as so much guilt that it’s no wonder we are drained physically and emotionally. I love the idea of a Ta Da list. It’ll be wonderful to celebrate the victories in our days, be them big or small! I am participating in OLW for the first time. I chose balance. Kind of goes hand in hand with what you said….I need to balance the demands I place on myself as well as the demands I feel from eveywhere around me. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Katie - January 7, 2014

    Joy! I bought JOY marquee letters for Christmas and decided that I needed to keep them up all year! I want to spend the year finding joy in everything from the teeny tiny things to the great big things. I am hoping it will be like your TaDa’s and with recognizing those things I will find better motivation, organization, creativity… the lists goes on. Am I expecting too much from my little three letter word?

  5. manda - January 7, 2014

    THANK YOU! What a great idea! I’ve been working on trying to see the positive more than the negative. I love this post. (It’s also comforting to know other moms do not have a life of lollipops and unicorns) As a constant to-do lister, this will be much more positive! Thanks again!

  6. Mckenzie - January 7, 2014

    I loved this post and I really needed to hear it. Thank you for writing it, to encourage me to be more positive! You rock and seem to have a lot to be proud of!
    P.S. I saw the kate spade “ta-da” earrings on ebay!

  7. Katie - January 7, 2014

    Joy! I bought marquee letters to spell out JOY for Christmas and decided I wanted to keep them up all year. In 2014 I want to find joy in everything from the teeny tiny things to the great big ones. I am hoping they will be like your TaDa’s and will bring me motivation, organization, creativity…. Am I asking too much of my little three letter word?

  8. Katie - January 7, 2014

    Sorry my reply is duplicated. There was an error so I thought it didn’t go through.

  9. Emily DeBry - January 7, 2014

    I love your word, and you are lovely so it fits.

  10. Gaylin - January 7, 2014

    Yay! I found you and you complete me!
    Thank you for admitting to fears I have and felt alone with.
    Your beautiful soul makes mine smile !

  11. Jenifer Hall - January 7, 2014

    Whenever I turn on the lights or open a window to let the light in for my little kids I always say “Ta Da!”, like I just performed some great magic trick! That’s what your word reminds me of: finding wonder and magic in the little things. Thanks for the great post! You never cease to amaze me.
    My OLW for 2014 is “THRIVE” after having a baby last year too I’m ready to be done with just barely surviving. I want to live bigger and love deeper and enjoy every bit about life.

  12. Tina - January 7, 2014

    My OLW for 2014 is “GRACE”. Like you, I tend to be way to hard on myself so I am extending more grace to myself and others this year the way Jesus did for me! I love your word and hope it helps you recognize the wonderful woman you are!

  13. Christine - January 8, 2014

    I couldn’t pick one word, I went with a phrase. “Refuse to sink” is my phrase. 2013 has been a year of loss for me. I lost my house, I had three unexpected deaths in my family, and discovered who my real friends were, just to name a few…All I gained from last year was a learning experience. This years title is because of everything I refuse to go underwater and be let down.

  14. Jennifer - January 8, 2014

    I could have written a lot of your post- my beginning of 2013 was exactly the same- big plans, and then- SURPRISE- pregnant with number two and having to put everything on hold for almost an entire year. I love the Ta-Da idea, it’s a great reminder. Hope your 2014 is full of moments that make you feel fulfilled!

  15. Shannon R - January 8, 2014

    I LOVE your OLW choice for 2014! It is so YOU! I chose CREATE for my OLW 2014. I am excited to see how this word transforms me throughout the coming year.

  16. Adrienne - January 8, 2014

    This post was just what I needed to hear today! I am grateful to know that small wins are ok. My OLW for 2014 is faith. I need to have faith that no matter what, everything will work out. Last year my OLW was create and I had so much fun with it! I am grateful for the OLW because it isn’t the massive list of New Years resolutions I normally create and then beat myself up about. Thank you! I plan to continue to have faith in myself and in The Lord as I work towards my goals.

  17. jessica - January 8, 2014

    I just want to thank you for your post today. I have been following your blog & fb page for almost 2 years now. I would have had no idea you were depressed during this pregnancy. It is so refreshing that you admit it & talk about it. I too unexpectedly found out inMarch I was prego with baby #4. I find I have so much in common with you, so many similarities, (is that a word). You always make me smile, I LOVE your style & I’m sorry but it makes me feel better to hear you may not be as put together as you appear to be. (As I sit here in my pjs @ 12pm that I have been wearing for the past 2 days)……lol Ta Da! My kids are dressed though!

  18. Amanda - January 8, 2014

    “I’m definitely that person who always has the highest of expectation and the best of intentions to do BIG things but ultimately takes on too much, spreads myself too thin and fails at more than I succeed at.”

    I feel like this entire post could have been plucked out of my head. But the quoted sentence above the most – I swear I just cried those words to my husband last night.

    Good luck with your word! Mine is “peace” – looking to find a bit of peace of mind.

  19. Chrystal - January 8, 2014

    OK I love your word! It made me laugh because my 2 year old has been saying this for the last couple of weeks. For instance, he will pick up his toys and then throw his hands in the air and with a big grin say “TA DA!” It cracks us up! :) Have a great 2014!

  20. Michelle - January 11, 2014

    I’m on the hunt for that tea pot would that look awsome in my kitchen my is Red, Black & Gold hints

  21. Lisa W. - January 12, 2014

    What a beautiful very inspiring post…thank you!!! My word is “change”, not exactly the best word I wanted to choose, but there is going to be ALLOT of change in my life for 2014. Not good change…but change no matter. So I decided you have to go with it, or curl up and die. SO I will accept it and hope the very best comes out of it in the end!

  22. Sarah - February 17, 2014

    Thank you for this post! I discovered your blog through a post Tomkat studio had Instagram about you. I was awed and intimidated by all your amazing posts on your own Instagram! But then this blog entry really struck a chord with me bc I have felt the same way- overwhelmed and spread thin. I just had a baby too and life is happening faster than what I am ready for! Thank you for reminding us to celebrate our own little wins! Ta-da!

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