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From Living to Thriving

THRIVE. It’s just One Little Word. One word I’m committing my year to.


photo credit: Brianna Soloski

A little back story: in 2008, my friend Brianna picked a word with Ali Edwards and it became her onus for the year. It propelled her forward and helped her focus her year and in the process she discovered a lot of things about her word and the way it applied to her life. Thus, in 2009 I chose a word: Celebrate! Every year since then, I have chosen one little word to focus on. I try to let it come to me, something I’m craving, something I need more of in my life, and always something I can use to push myself forward. This year, I want to share One Little Word with y’all!

I (and most everyone, I’m sure), have spent life struggling with resolutions and the pressure to change immediately at the beginning of the year. I like that OLW allows you to be as involved or not as you want; I feel like you can ease in. Plus, I love that most words give a lot to work with. My past words include: Love, Continue, Celebrate, Nurture, Focus, Time, Health, and now Thrive. Each of these words have such a huge range of opportunity for growth, and a variety of ways they can be applied to my life.

So, thrive. This year, I popped over Ali Edwards’ site to see the list of words people had chosen and the bright red letters front and center on the page were mine. Reading the post, I saw how well it would fit into my 2014. What does it mean to thrive? What would look differently for my family? What would remain? What would I focus my time on? “Thrive” means to “grow vigorously, live optimally, prosper, bloom,” and to move toward the best possible outcome despite, or in spite of the circumstances.

2014 will bring little brother, due April 27, 2014, and hopefully the beginning of grad school for me in Fall 2014. These two things will very specifically alter the current flow of our family life and make me especially desirous of moving toward my word this year. My first focuses in this year of thrive are continuing to improve our diet, finding ways to stick closely to our budget (zero spend challenge), and creating time and space for my husband and I to do the things we love. Thus, we are menu-planning fools and are trying to spend ZERO in February; but maybe surprisingly, I have decided that the most important focus for us to thrive is time for ourselves.

We have definitely found ourselves de-prioritizing our time for hobbies and fun, but we can’t thrive without our self-care time. That is one thing I took away from nursing school. Without time for self-care, one cannot care effectively care for others. It’s something I see moms and families prioritizing out, stacking activities, chores and obligations until they blur into a ball of dread. Thriving means time to devote to yourself, time for the thing you’ve wanted to make, the hike you want to take, a bath or a video game. I know that I am a better mommy when I spend just a little time alone with my nose in a book.

So, this year I’m going to take time for myself and make sure my husband has time, too. One thing I would never change is our “stay-home day” mornings. As Isaac crawled into our bed this morning, warm sun just peeking in, he ‘nuggled up entwining his arms around us and we lay there exchanging “I love yous” while the world woke up. Little brother kicks. I think he knows what April will bring.

Will you pick One Little Word? What self-care do you make time for?


HAPPY 2014!


reading Vampire Academy

listening to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (La Da Dee by Cody Simpson)



About Jamie Schnell

Jamie Schnell
Jamie Schnell is an RN and full-time mommy to three boys. Her husband, Adam, keeps track of all the stuff that she can never remember where she had it last, and she loves his geeky-wonderfulness. He is definitely the best daddy. Jamie has a BA in English to accompany her BS in Nursing, and recently completed her Master's in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner track. Jamie loves reading, writing, crafting anything and everything, green beans, having little parties to celebrate life, coffee, camping, cooking, spa days, Cheetoes, naps, and just being outside.

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