At the beginning of January, after a wearisome office move to a new space, I looked at my calendar for the remainder of the month . . . and balked.

Then, in an exasperated sigh, I placed the back of my hand on my brow and collapsed into a heap onto my couch, declaring that I wanted to say “No” to every possible engagement for the rest of the month.

I didn’t.

I went to them all.  I don’t regret it.

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After a big move (and over coming a nasty cold…thanks to an abundance of rich foods during December celebrations), I needed a lot of rest and down time.

Some nights, I crashed at 6 PM for the night. Yes. I did.

I drank tons of water, I received chiropractic adjustments, I rested, and I started a detoxifying purification program along with several of my patients.

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Here I am on the brink of February, and I feel pretty darn good.

I’m learning so many amazing new vegetable dishes–I’ve expanded my culinary breadth for winter meals.  My son has a blast helping me in the kitchen almost daily.

Also, I’ve been knocking out several crafting projects this month.  I may not yet know the full menu of what I want to serve my family for Valentine’s Day, but I know how I want to decorate the table!  My son helped me whip up a fun table topper today.  So enthused to dress up my table, I found more fun fabric on fabric.com plus a 10% off coupon from retailmenot.com. Fun projects for wintry days when I’m longing for spring.

With the fabric scrap, I made him a parade flag on a yardstick in the spirit of our latest reading adventures of Beezus and Ramona.

To round-out another craft project we completed earlier in the week–which my son turned into a fishing game with scissors and scraps (don’t ask), we hung our Ikea napkin wall flowers above our dining table.

With the table, they look like this . . .

Son is licking ketchup off his plate during lunch . . . but please, look at the wall flowers, instead

So, you may not have read multiple posts by me on a regular basis.  Yes, I’m living life . . . adapting to a new schedule and routine . . . and little by little, I’m figuring out how to incorporate regular blogging (for both blogs) into my life in addition to an almost daily newsletter posting for the awesome folks who are joining me in this purification program.

A week ago, I worked a full-day with few breaks providing chiropractic adjustments to elite athletes at a Crossfit competition here in Charlottesville.  It was SO much fun!  Photos and more at Spinal Health & Wellness.

Friday night, after a full day of patients, I went to the Main Street Arena in Charlottesville for the Brawl in the Cage fights.  I assisted and observed my colleague perform 40 fighter physical exams plus ring side attention in the event of injury (it was common) or potential neurological damage.

Blood, sweat, spit.  It was intense.  I should have worn a poncho. Not kidding.

During the pre-fight physicals, one fighter asked me if I liked or minded seeing blood everywhere.

My response, “As long as it’s not my own, I don’t mind.”

Let’s just say being an on-site physician for 15 MMA fights is a completely different feel than a post-partum check-up immediately after a birth.  Very different, but both are quite interesting.

Just wanted to give you a quick recap with a few photos to highlight my January experience of a new and limitless year.

I’m enjoying our new office space, loving time with my family, and taking the winter weather in stride.

Stay tuned . . . this week, we launch the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide with fun gift ideas for the whole family, some cool discounts for readers, and giveaways.  So FUN!

How is your start to 2011?

I heart Valentine’s Day.

Since our door wreath was more spring and summer appropriate, I retired the butterfly and moss wreath for the moment and hung up a vibrant felt one that my son and I created together.

Felt wreath with felt rose heart

The design concept was inspired by this super cute wreath from Urban Comfort–who also featured it on Family Circle Magazine.  I used her technique for holly berries and felt dhalia centers to create the rosebuds on the heart.

Using a rotary cutter and mat to cut the felt strips, and adhering them to a foam wreath base with push pins–that process took maybe 30 minutes or so.

I cut out the heart shape onto cardboard with a freehand design.  Using a glue gun, I adhered red felt to the cardboard heart.  Then, I glued it onto white felt and cut around it with pinking shears.

Using pinking shears or straight-edge scissors, I cut the strips for the rosebud spirals.  I wound them up, then hot glued them to the heart.  Once complete, I pinned the heart to the wreath.

Truly, the heart rose buds took the longest amount of time.  I almost went with the plain, flat red heart…but it was too flat.  This wreath needed a little more dimension.

The final wreath is fun, and using white paper Ikea twine, I hung it up with a command strip hook in a couple of minutes.

Because he helped put it together (picking out felt strips or handing me push pins), my son loves the wreath.  He calls it our “heart wreath.”

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Fun thing about the colors on this wreath is that I could easily change out the heart and add a shamrock or a cluster of shamrocks for March, and a collage of felt stars for Independence Day.  There are so many possibilities.

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Starting next week, expect to see some fun gift ideas for the whole family for Valentine’s Day–great giveaways and discount codes exclusive to you amazing readers!  SO excited!

YOUR TURN: What are your crafting ideas for Valentine’s Day?

Not only did we move into a new office space, but I’m gradually migrating my documents and data from one laptop to my new one. AND, we switched to a new website host to make my wordpress life so much easier.  Thanks, Authorpress!  Now that I’m still getting all my housekeeping in order, I appreciate your patience with my delays in updates.

I feel like I need a vacation after all that moving.  But, we’re starting to get back on cruise control with our family and work schedules–at last!

So, over the holidays, we traveled to 3 cities in Pennsylvania and New York to visit family.  We were never at one place long enough to feel like we burdened anyone too much, and we always looked forward to our next stop.

A few highlights from our trip:

My son about to peg me with a snowball

There wasn’t much snow in Pennsylvania, but we got snowed in one day in New York.  Warm fire, great good, and fun with family meant we didn’t mind being stuck at home.

We even made a few backyard sled runs until the three of us hit a major goonie rock that broke the sled. We enjoyed it while it lasted!

The best part about visiting grandparents?  They have a small pool-sized jacuzzi tub that makes enough bubbles to build a fort.  Calvin looked forward to his bath every day (sometimes twice a day) just so he could play with his indoor “snow” that made it to the walls and the floor.

We made it out for an adventure one day–Bear Mountain State Park–next to the Hudson River and West Point Military Academy. Possibly named for the abundance of black bears, the on-site walk-through zoo featured animals indigenous to the Hudson Valley area, including this cinnamon-phase black bear.  The bears put on quite a show for spectators.

I wanted to get a more symmetrical photograph of this really cool bridge and bridge building built in the 1930′s, but I didn’t want to get run over by traffic.  The bridge was adjacent to the zoo, and Bear Mountain.

After we grew tired of hiking around in thick snow and bearing the icy blasts of wind on a very cold day, we headed over to an indoor area of the park that housed a gorgeous historic carousel featuring animals from the area: frog, cougar, beaver, bear, eagle, squirrel, horse, rabbit, and more.

We ordered hot chocolates and sat by the massive stone hearth to sip away the cold from our noses an toes.  For $1, Calvin and I had a couple of rides on the carousel.  He wasn’t afraid to hold on by himself.  He’s growing up.

Bear Mountain also had a sledding hill (bring your own sled), and an outdoor ice skating rink.  The historic Bear Mountain Lodge was undergoing remodeling, but it looked like a beauty of a building from another era–would have loved a glimpse inside.

If you’re ever in the Hudson Valley area, I’d highly recommend a trip to Bear Mountain–for the historic Revolutionary War sites or the picturesque views over the Hudson Valley, a nearby lake with paddle boats, or a tour of West Point.  There’s so many cool things for the whole family to enjoy–for free or less than $5.

YOUR TURN: What was the highlight of your December holidays?

I’m gonna re-surface soon.  Been submerged with re-locating my office since the beginning of the year.  All three of us are weary from the move, running errands, and late bed times.

In fact, I want to write a post very soon about expectations of a move with a small child—and how to prepare for the reality.

Sometimes, and maybe for several consecutive days, you have to bust the bedtime schedule because LIFE happens.

Catching up on sleep and trying to get through another week.  Back to regular programming soon!