Sunday, January 31, 2016

HYGGE Much?

I stumbled upon this article called "Why We All Need Hygge in Our Lives" and the idea has been percolating in my mind ever since. I may be the last to the Hygge awareness...but just in case this is new to you the explanation in the article is:
It’s a concept that’s all about making things soft, cozy and comfortable, sort of like the embodiment of a warm fuzzy feeling.

Hygge is a Danish concept / custom and is credited as a reason Denmark is is considered one of the Happiest Nations. Basically, in a country that has very long winters with longer nights than days, creating a cozy home gathering with loved ones makes for a happy winter. There are tons of pictures on the net of what Hygge looks like.

Starbucks on a Winter MorningFrom what I can tell, Hygge looks like cozy socks and heavy afghans, candles and blazing fires in the dark. I think it probably smells and tastes like cookies, coffee and hot tea with a little chocolate and cinnamon.

Last weekend, when we were snowed in, I approached it as a Hygge opportunity. Pajama bottoms, warm socks, and an afghan while reading on the couch. We ate sausage biscuits we had in the freezer. We had a copious amount of hot tea and we had grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch.
English Tea

We were lucky that we did not lose power so we were able to stay nice and warm. We enjoyed a very Hygge weekend. I hope your winter is cozy and warm and safe and happy.

'Til Next Time,

~Kimberly

P.S. Tuesday is Ground Hog Day!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Meet Alister


This is Alister. He is the newest addition to the Montgomery household. He wasn't exactly "planned". But he was definitely meant to join our family. 

It was the weekend before Christmas and we were out running errands (getting ready for the big day) when I got sidetracked by a sign that said "Cat Adoption Today". 

"Let's stop," I said thinking I love petting cats. I just wanted to pet a soft kitty...you know? Maybe a soft kitty that is also a warm kitty. 

Of course, my husband said we needed to stay on task. But at the very last minute, he asked if I really wanted to stop. 
Uhhh... Yeah! And so we went into the pet store that was hosting the cat adoption event.

All of the cats were sweet and looked like they would enjoy some loving. I just walked around and then I saw Alister. He was so quiet and mellow, not to mention beautiful.

He is a Flame Point Snowshoe. Snowshoe cats are closely related to Siamese cats. Some say that they are a Siamese cat with specific markings. I'm not sure how it all gets classified. He has some Siamese characteristics such as points, and blue eyes. But he has little "snowshoe" front paws. He also seems more sturdy that the typical Siamese.

So, when we saw him we asked if we could hold him. --Mental note: Remember to only hold a cat (or anything cute, soft and furry) if you are prepared to own said sweet cat.

We were smitten. As with most pet placement agencies, they are not a "store" you can't just say, "I'll take the pretty one over there." You have to complete an application and they have the right to call your references and your vet and do a home visit. All I knew was that Alister had to be ours, and so we went home to complete said application. The rest of our errands simply did not get done.

Long story short, we passed the adoption screening and are now proud parents to a sweet cat/kitten. He was seven months when we got him.  --I know, he's big for being a kitten, right? We've had him since right before Christmas...so now he's eight months.

As you can see, Alister can do pretty much whatever he wants. Expect to hear more about this guy! He's just too fun. More pics are on the way too.

TTFN!
(ta ta for now)

~Kimberly

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The First Snow Day of 2016

Not even a month into the new year and we got a snow day. It seems we get one big snowy or icy storm a year...sometimes two. I'm perfectly happy staying in on those days. I so hate the idea of driving or feeling guilty because I chose NOT to drive...meaning I chose not to go to work.

You remember that one time when our Bank closed at 1:00? But so did the entire city of Raleigh. So everyone was trying to leave at the same time. Not to mention that year the storm came so much faster than anyone could expect. I mean, it was clear at 10:00 a.m. and by 1:00 the roads were COVERED in snow and ICE.  
I use this photo as a cautionary tale to remind me not to try to drive in this weather. Yes, that's my car. See how beautifully I pulled it off the road? That year I didn't make it home. I stayed at a co-worker's house for three days. 

I believed the weather forecast this year. I knew that if there was any ice or snow I would not be going to work, but I was surprised that the Bank was closed. Yay! I could do what I was going to do anyway without any of the guilt! 

Because I'm thinking of snow days, I've reached into my old photos and pulled out two from when we lived in Charlotte. Danielle was in elementary school.

The beautiful poodle in this pic is Simon. He was our standard poodle and he was our heart. An incredible dog. 

Jacob is Simon's mini-me. His personality reminds us of Simon all the time. We can't imagine life without him. 
Here is a photo of Danielle and me playing in the snow. I'm pushing her on our makeshift sled. As long as everyone is safe and has the ability to stay warm and fed, a snow day can be a wonderful thing! 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Word of the Year



















Last year my word of the year was "Relax". Looking back, I don't know how much of an influence the word was. I think last year was the first time I ventured into the idea of declaring a word of the year. I guess I'm not really sure how it's supposed to work. Do you meditate on the word? Do you make it a mantra? Do you use it to help during decision moments? I guess it's like choosing a theme for the year. 

Anyway, I think the last few years I've improved my ability to relax. And yes, I think that's important. Looking back, I think I did a decent job of relaxing in 2015.  I think my intent was more than "just chillin'". I think I was going for the idea of relaxing into situations. You know, not get anxious too early. I meant that's what Aaron Rodgers was saying, right? Relax, we've got time, we're going to be okay.

I also think I was thinking the word relax could mean "don't worry". I'm going to say I was giving myself permission to relax in every sense of the word.

I enjoyed a special (cruise) vacation with my daughter. I really enjoyed that. One of the best things was that I carved out small moments of "me" time. One day I chose to stay on the ship instead of going ashore. I felt like I was on my own private ship. It was exactly what I wanted/needed. I gave myself permission to enjoy my vacation in an unconventional way.

Our weekend in Asheville was also perfect. We got to hang out with some of our favorite people. We got to explore artist studios. We stayed in our first Airbnb, which had the most comfortable bed I think I've ever slept in. 

I have chosen a word for 2016. It came to me earlier this month. I actually tried to fight it.  I thought it had negative connotations but the word would not leave my consciousness. I decided to accept my word. The word is  Surrender

This year I did create a word cloud for my word. I actually think I may have thrown a few words in the cloud that may not apply. But...maybe they all apply. When I was making the cloud my mind was thinking about yoga practice. That the best practices are ones where you surrender to the present and don't try to force things. To surrender you allow things to unfold (in yoga and in life) without trying to influence the results. I'm thinking that to surrender is a deeper form of the word relax. 






That is all for now.

~Kimberly

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Hello 2016

I have to say I really took my "goals" seriously for 2015. I grew in more ways than I expected and I'm changed. I like that concept: "changed". I like that my goals were pure. I would categorize the 2015 goals as Health and Happiness goals. The goals focused on actions and ownership rather than results. I guess it's based the whole idea of if you do the right things, the right things will happen.

Okay, to be clear, some of my secret hopes for end results have not been achieved. I was sort of hoping that I'd drop some weight as one of the typical definitions of "health". Funny enough, I did lose a little weight, but not really a significant amount. After about six months of my regular yoga, a few people commented that they thought I lost weight. And here's the thing, my dresses are hanging like they are too big. So, although the scale didn't move very much, things appear to have shifted which gives the illusion that I'm somehow smaller. Hey, I'll take it. 

But (and I know you are not supposed to start a sentence with "but" much less a paragraph...but...) if I had focused on an end result, I would have abandoned the goals. Being focused on a # on the scale (that did not happen, by the way) would have been too discouraging. Instead, I'm taking "baby steps". Baby steps I go to the yoga studio. Baby steps I get through a full class without passing out. Baby steps I begin to get stronger and can do more of the poses and take fewer child's poses and so on. 

I've learned so much just by doing. 

Without further ado, I will set my intentions for 2016.  ~I like the concept of intentions better than goals. I think it speaks more closely to what I'm doing.

❋ Continue to Own My Practice

❋ Get My Sleep {I mean REALLY!}

❋ Own My Daily Water Intake

❋ Nurture My Relationships

I have so much more to say about all of this...but it is already past my bedtime...so I need to go.

Peace & Happiness,
~Kimberly