Finding the Joy


As we enter what will likely be a very different holiday season quarantined and at home, I’m really trying to manage my expectations and find the JOY. If I’m being honest, finding the joy has been hard, and some days it is downright impossible. Plans have been canceled, people are exhausted and the anxiety that fills our days can be overwhelming!

But back to JOY! We really do have so much to be grateful for, and if this year has taught us anything it is to slow down and be still. Love your people, find the joy, and try to laugh even if you feel like you want to cry.

JOY means different things to different people, but I think we can all agree that we need to find reasons to smile in 2020.

Reasons I am smiling……

  • the magic of the season as seen through the eyes of my girls
  • decorations went up early
  • twinkle lights and cozy blankets
  • extra time with the people I love
  • a cleared calendar means I am free of any obligatory gatherings
  • online shopping
  • slippers and loungewear versus fancy dresses at holiday parties
  • Added bonus is that I will not be walking in heels with snow on the ground this year 😉 
  • I have prioritized the traditions that mean the most to me, and let go of the ones that don’t bring me joy.
  • I’m excited to send holiday cards and connect with family and friends virtually.
  • I have more time to give, and giving doesn’t have to cost money. I plan to send cards to nursing home residents. Drop some surprise goodies on a neighbors porch, make gifts for my girlfriends and write letters to those I love.
  • I’m going back to basics, and finding the joy in the simple things. 
  • Wrapping presents extra fancy, baking cookies that have no calories and watching all the holiday movies.
  • Our Elf on the Shelf will be bringing extra JOY and mischief this month. I usually keep it simple, but this time I’m adding the “fun mom” stuff that usually feels like too much work.
  • And last but certainly not least…..NO travel or hosting! I will miss my extended family like crazy, but my silver lining is a quiet holiday with “my people” and hosting is a ton of work, and laundry 😉

Happy Holidays, sweet mommas! 

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Kristen is a mama to three blue eyed girls, Bryn (7.5), Maya (4) & Tessa (2.5) and has called Columbus home since 2004. She was born in Pennsylvania, but her family moved a lot when she was growing up. Her family has been in Ohio since 1999 which is the same year Kristen became a Bobcat at Ohio University. In her 4 years at OU, Kristen met some of her very best friends, learned to stumble with grace down brick streets, rowed on the OU Women’s Crew team, joined a sorority, fell in love with her now husband Justin AND earned a degree! A “big girl” job in Retail Real Estate at LBrands brought Kristen to Columbus, and if she’s being honest so did the guy. They married in 2007 and started a family in 2012. When baby #2 arrived in 2016, Kristen became a stay-at-home mom and 18 months later, baby #3 arrived! It’s the hardest and best “job” she has ever had! In her spare time, Kristen enjoys exploring Columbus, reading, running, Crossfit, decorating, documenting the days through pictures, hiking, yoga, organizing and labeling things, attempting to be crafty, bargain shopping, DIY projects and spending time outdoors. Her favorite things in life are the beach, her girlfriends, travel, wine county, Mexican food, bike rides, sunsets, red wine, french fries, ice cream and her of course family!