Winter Mantel 2013


Here is the view from my couch on this Winter Sunday.

We have a fresh new mantel heading into 2013.  We enjoyed our Christmas Mantel, however with 2013 arriving we like to begin fresh.

Intentional Inspiration 

We like to be intentional in the way we approach a new year.  This year on New Year’s Eve Day, we had childcare and Andrew and I headed to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.


We took the time just to be inspired.  And then we sat down together to talk about the year to come.  2013 will mark 10 years of marriage for us.  We talked through the different ways we wanted to be intentional.  We made note of them by using Siri (talking into my phone who recorded my voice) and we spoke out different areas that we wanted to be intentional about.

Intentional Themes

On January 1 with that list of ideas in hand we went by the ocean and each wrote in more detailed explanations of what they meant for us and what we discovered was that we had 10 clear themes for 2013 (10 is a lot, but it is a good number for our anniversary year).


We then took those ten themes and turned them into our mantel.

Intentional Mantel

2013Winter Mantel

That is a lot.

Let’s take it piece by piece.

IMG_4533 This center section, with its three pieces represents 5 of our themes.

We love that picture.  In person it looks almost like a line drawing, but it is an iphoto from our trip to the MFA of one of our favorite pieces.

Here is the original iphone picture:


The piece was beautiful in person and I love the colors of it.  We love the picture and debated whether we should get it in color or black and white.

1. Centering

I really appreciate that this picture captures a reminder for us to center.  This year we want to really take the time to set our priorities, to articulate what we know for sure, and have those core principles guide our daily actions and choices.

4. Connect in Community

We love the various communities of friends and neighbors we have around us.  But the truth is it takes work to connect in community, and so we are committed to being intentional in seeking out ways of doing this.  The little chair is a reminder to rest and take the time to engage with friends and neighbors.

5.  Fiscal Fitness

We are adventures in many ways.  We like to try new adventures, do new projects, experience new foods . . .   We are working at being sure that we are making the most fiscally fit choice.  So Andrew took our iphone picture to Staples and the least expensive way to get it above our mantel was to get a blueprint version print, in black and white.  We put it in an old frame and here she is for a total of $1.75.  A good reminder to seek out our options as we walk through the year financially.

8.  Notice the Details

This theme is executed throughout the mantel.  However, we both find the details of the reflection in the glassware enchanting, and there is no reflection of the observer.  The details are often missed and they can be what is most beautiful.

10.  Reflection

We both want to remember to intentionally reflect and to do that together.  We want to reflect the centering goals that we make and to reflect the themes throughout the year.  We love the word reflection and the many ways it can impact our lives.


This section of the mantel has three items and reminds us of two of our themes.

3.  Purposeful Parenting

This silhouette we made of Colton in November.  We sent it to both of his grandmothers and his great-grandmother as an Advent gift.  I love his little face and this reminder that he is this age for such a short time.  We have captured a moment in time, yet we must be purposeful daily in how we parent. Our parenting so clearly has a direct impact on his mood, his learning, and his little personality.  Three and a half to four and a half is a time of transition for his little soul and we want to be careful and intentional all along the way.

compassion7. Compassion

We both want to continue to be aware of global issues and organizations that are reaching out to meet the needs of others.  In fact we want to be more aware and we want to continue to nurture our hearts of compassion.  So the globe is our reminder to think about issues that are impacting others around the world.  I printed out this definition of compassion from Pinterest.  I love the simplicity and depth of it.


And here we have 5 items to remind us of 3 things.

2. Health & Fitness

We have enjoyed this little guy at Ikea, and when we talked about health and fitness as being one of our themes this year (and every year), we decided we would acquire him, and we are already enjoying him very much.  We do intend to make new choices each month that will have us explore how to live healthier lives.

6. Adventure

This has been a theme from the beginning for us, hence the name of our blog.  We found this interesting vase on sale at Homegoods, and liked the mountainous backdrop he gave to our running man.  We will absolutely continue to adventure in 2013 (and I am trying to convince Andrew to let us make the fiscal choice to take an adventure to celebrate 10 years of marriage.  If you are still reading this and know Andrew, put in a good word for this idea, please).

IMG_45299.  Life Long Learning

This too is a lifelong theme for us, we have lots of ideas about classes and books we are interested in.  So these two sweet filigree books (that have been passed down to my from my grandparents and theirs before them), are a reminder to keep making learning choices throughout the year.

Winter Mantel 2013

The Sharpteam definitely believes in the power of choosing words.  Here is a story about The Sharpteam’s Origin of Words.

We also do believe in being intentional about setting goals and revisiting goals. We talk a bit about this in our post when we chose an Annual Word in 2012.  The truth is, on word is not enough for us for a year.  We would talk about each month when we made our monthly goals, but we ran out of fresh thoughts about refreshing.  We are looking forward to our monthly times together and having all of these themes to talk about.  The year ahead looks full of good intentions.

And there is the LONG explanation of our Winter Mantel 2013.  Here is to a wonderful, intentional adventure!

Linking up to . . .