This is what I made this morning:

I put this video together this morning while the kids tore down the house. They had fun, and I did too. Another year has passed and the one thing that's clear to me—in the midst of so many things that aren't clear—is that I love telling stories with images and words. 

I hope this story of 2014 encourages you to look at the things in your life that did work this year, instead of all the things that didn't. Remember all the things that brought you joy. When you begin to define what you want for your life next year, start there. 

See you in 2015!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ba57McijB-o

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This video includes clips from an inspiring interview with Robbie Schaefer, the Founder of the One Voice Community. Thanks again, Robbie, for inspiring the world with your vision and reminding us that we are beautiful.

Oh what fun it is to... improvise.

Recently, the boys and I were in the kitchen working on homework when Cate walked in. 

"Look!" she said. "I have Elfie"

Our jaws dropped.

Blake, who loves the elf and is the first to find him each morning, gasped. Dillon, who knows the deal but plays along, looked at me and we both stifled a laugh. Things went blurry after that. The general words coming from the kitchen were "No, no Cate! You're not supposed to touch the elf. He'll lose his magic." 

"Cate! How did you get him?" I asked.

She led us to the family room and pointed to the red step stool that helped her reach into her stocking, where Elfie had been hanging out for the day.  

I put the elf back in Cate's stocking. "Let me think about what we should do to get Elfie's magic back." I picked up my phone and sat down. "Maybe I should Google it." 

"I know!" Dillon said. "I'll do a ritual." And then he started doing a dance, and Blake joined in.

Clearly we didn't need Google, so I put down my phone. "We should throw some magic dust on him, too," I said. "I think we have some!" I went back to the kitchen and grabbed a scoop. 

We each took turns sprinkling the elf with raw sugar, I mean, magic dust. "I think he's good now," I said. 

Then, I texted Shawn, giving him the play-by-play of what happened, including the photos. 

"Ha!" he replied. "That's a blog post." 

Sometimes these stories simply write themselves. 

I hope your holiday is filled with unexpected joy, friends. Much love to all of you! 

Angie

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When things get crazy: Just don't do it.

I met a woman recently who told me that she heard me speak years ago. And now, when she starts to get overloaded, she scratches about 20 things off her to-do list. 

Neither one of us could remember exactly when I gave that talk, the one that inspired her to non-action in times of stress. But in that moment, I asked myself, am I walking my talk? Do I remember to take my own advice?

When things get too crazy, just don't do it. (Tweet that!)

You don't have to do it. 

You don't have to do all of it. 

Yesterday, I felt myself rushing around, feeling stressed. The kids will get out of school on Friday. Family is coming this weekend. Friday feels like a deadline.

I'm great at working deadlines. But yesterday, I felt like a holiday cliche. Stuck in traffic and grouchy.

No. 

I didn't intend for this to happen. I never intend for this to happen. I have to remind myself that getting overloaded doesn't mean I'm doing life wrong. We're not doing life wrong. There are always a million things coming at us all the time. Things we feel like we should do, things people ask us to do, things we need to do, things we want to do, things we do out of habit. 

Each day, each moment, we have a chance to reset the filter. 

So yesterday, when the kids got home from school, I told them to put on their pajamas. They thought that was great. They played upstairs for a while, then we worked on homework, and later there was a moment of temporary but relaxing snuggling on the couch.

The downtime gave me fuel to wake up today and get moving and not curl up in a ball on the floor. 

The first thing I did was reschedule some things, and delete some things. Honestly? I felt a bit disappointed. There were a lot of "I want to-dos" on the list. Just because a to-do becomes a "not right now"or "not ever" doesn't mean it doesn't hold some level of importance or meaning. That brings me comfort, that I'm overloaded with good things. It lets me shift to a place of gratitude and make choices out of love, not obligation or desperation. 

Wow. I just blew my own mind. I need to re-read that and let that thought sit for a while. 

What about you? As the year draws to a close, what will you do and not do? How will you make time to be?

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