MAGIC – My One Little Word for 2018

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For the past several years, I have participated in Ali Edward’s class, One Little Word. I have chosen a word for the year and completed several exercises throughout the months to connect to my word. I feel that by choosing a word for the year, I am able to keep focus on what matters most to me at that time. This year my word is MAGIC.

The One Little Word concept fits well into my view on resolutions. I do not make specific resolutions any more. I felt that making a list of to-dos for the coming years was just setting myself up for failure. It was too easy to let that list slip to the side as other obligations arose.

Instead, I choose areas of focus for each year—broad themes that govern how I will spend my time and make decisions in the future. Over the past years these areas of focus have been mainly concerned with my family and home as I had growing children who I was homeschooling. Scrapbooking had always been on the list too because it is the main way I express my creativity.

In 2017, however, I found that my role as mother and homeschool teacher is becoming less and less the center of my life. My oldest is in college now, and my younger two children work on their own much more. I am realizing that I have a new degree of freedom to explore different areas of focus.

So this year, I have two broad areas of focus: creativity and open-mindedness.

Creativity includes exploring new ways of memory keeping, more blogging and other forms of writing, completing personal photography projects, and growing our farm into a more self-sustainable homestead.

Open-mindedness includes continuing a daily meditation practice, exploring different spiritual practices and traditions, further developing my relationship with my horse, and working on becoming stronger and healthier.

So how did I come up the word MAGIC for this year? Well, I looked at all the things I want to do in the coming months and realized that creativity and open-mindedness both instill a sense of wonder in me—creating a sense of MAGIC.

What is your word for this year?

Now go create!


One Little Word | January 2017

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SLOW. This word came to me near the end of 2016, as my year with the word CREATE was coming to an end. I know that 2017 is going to bring some huge changes to our family. I want to make sure that I enjoy every moment.

Last year was a year of great creativity for me. I took art classes at a local university, scrapbooked hundreds of pages, and worked for four design teams. I started a photography course and began redecorating my house. CREATE was a word close to my heart.

This year will be a year of many firsts. My older son will get his driver’s license, turn eighteen, and go off to college this fall. My daughter will get her driver’s license and begin her college search. My younger son be a member of our local fire department. My husband is buying an office condominium after years of renting.

And I will be watching every minute and milestone go by with love in my heart and a tear in my eye. I just want those moments to go SLOWLY.

I also will be making some changes in my life to bring the word SLOW into my being. I hope to eat healthier food, do more strength training, be more deliberate in the choices I make, and eliminate as much stress from my life as possible.

I will be doing Ali Edwards’ One Little Word class again this year. I find that the class helps me really explore my word and keep it in my life all year.

So here’s to new year and a new word!

Now go create!


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JOY. My One Little Word for 2015. It is a fairly common word, but it is exactly the word I need this year. Last year was difficult for me for many reasons. Many good things happened, but many stressful things as well. Stress won.

Last year I found myself dwelling on the negative and waiting for the positive just to magically enter my life. Finally I realized that in order to be happy, I needed to choose to be happy. I was not making that choice.

So as 2014 wound down, I started looking forward to a fresh start (which, ironically was my word for last year—FRESH). The word JOY popped into my head almost immediately. When I told my husband what my word is, he said that he had chosen to focus on that same sentiment in 2015. I knew I had found my word.

This quotation sums up my goals for the year:

joy quotation

I am committed to choosing JOY this year. I do not want to wait for JOY to happen to me. And I do not want deny myself and my family great experiences because I am dwelling too much on the negative.

One of the things that brings me much JOY is scrapbooking. I plan to use my creative time to keep JOY in my life. So I have decided to shake things up a little and find new ways for memory keeping.

One of the new things I am doing is using a Heidi Swapp planner for OLW. I am just adapting the month’s prompts so that I can record my response in the planner format. January’s prompts worked well in the planner—I will see how well this new format works for me during the rest of the year.

What is your One Little Word for the year?

Planner Love

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Being a left-brainer, I have always loved planners. The first planners I used were fairly plain and basic. When planner pages began coming out in pretty designs, I loved them all!

Now, however, I have a new love—planners that combine my desire to make lists with my passion for scrapbooking. I purchased two planners for 2015—one is for my daily tasks and the other is for my One Little Word and journaling.

The first planner I bought is from Cocoa Daisy. This planner has monthly, weekly, and daily pages and comes with a cute embellishment pack each month. I keep this planner open on my desk so I can jot down to-do items, ideas, and notes to myself. Then I can decorate the pages with the washi tape, stickers, clips and other cute things that are included in the monthly kit.

Cocoa Daisy Planner

The second planner I purchased is Heidi Swapp’s newly designed memory planner. This planner comes with pages for the entire year. There are also several embellishments coming out soon to go with this planner—I cannot wait to get my hands on them!

Heidi Swapp planner

Right now I am using this planner with Ali Edwards’ One Little Word class. This year I am trying several new formats for my memory keeping. For example, instead of using the traditional 8.5×11 album for One Little Word, I am taking each month’s prompt and adapting it to the Heidi Swapp planner. This month, I wrote answers to the OLW January prompts in calendar squares (instead of on journaling cards like last year). I love this new approach!

I am also using this planner as place to keep Instagram photos, favorite quotations, and journaling. Last year I rarely printed my Instagram photos, so many of my 2015 pictures are coming off my phone and into this planner.

So far I am loving these planners as new ways of memory keeping!

Saying Goodbye (and Hello) to My One Little Word

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Another year has come to an end and with it passes my word for 2013—RENEW. I have been doing Ali Edwards’ One Little Word class for the past three years. The first year I participated, I chose CONQUER as my word. I was a little hesitant to take the class at first because I couldn’t imagine how focusing on one word could make a difference in my life. But it did. By having that word in the back of my mind and for most of the year and actively working with it in class once a month, I believe that I accomplished some things that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

The next year my word was FOCUS. I felt as if our family was being distracted by many outside forces and I wanted to use that year to FOCUS on what was truly important to us. I kept my word in mind as I made plans for us and ultimately said no to many extraneous activities.

This past year, my word has been RENEW. I felt stuck in a rut at the end of 2012 and I wanted to find new perspective in many areas of my life. I did make many changes in my attitude toward certain facets in my daily living during the year, so I felt this word helped me reach those goals.


These cards show the first six areas that I focused on RENEW-ing. Throughout the year I explored ways to bring new energy to these facets of my life.


These pages were two assignments that came mid-year. The left page is a reflection on how I was relating to my word at that point in time. The right page is nine quotations that I found inspiring and relating to my word. I had such a blast making these little cards!


I don’t normally do much art journaling, but one of the class assignments was to create a technique-y page with my word. I pulled out some paint and mist and a stencil and just had fun. My result is on the left. The right page is a collage of photos that I had taken through the year that I felt reflected my word. The photo assignments in this class are the most enjoyable to me. Now that the year is coming to and end I say goodbye to RENEW.

And hello to my word for 2014–FRESH. Over the past few years my family and I have been exploring organic eating and living. We have a flock of chickens that gives us fresh eggs. We have had a fairly successful garden the last two years. We shop at Whole Foods and local farmer’s markets. We get our beef from a local farmer. I cook more whole grains and vegetables. My kids are eating more vegetables. I am practicing yoga.

However, despite these efforts, we still spend a good amount of dollars on restaurant food. I have noticed my weight slowly creeping up over the last few months. I can see many ways in which we waste time and money. This year I want to keep focused on the positive changes we have made and see how much more we can delve into fresh, healthy living. I also want to reduce the clutter in our home and be mindful about what enters into our house. I’m excited about these changes and am ready to get started with One Little Word 2014.