Monday, January 2, 2012

A Brand New Year, Right in the Middle of the Chapter

We celebrated a New York New Year’s this year, complete with Apple Cider, swine- wrapped green beans, and no-egg cookie dough. YUM.

Nothing says “Good beginnings” like Martinelli’s.


We toasted and welcomed in the New Year.



Holy Moly.



Then we came home, made our kids brush their teeth and went to bed. That’s life.

On Sunday morning, we got up and went to Church. And it was good. Like really good. Like God used Pastor Nathan to tear it up on stage, and it got my mind and my heart situated for a brand new year. Because I was ready, to say Good bye to 2011. Not as ready as I had been in 2010 or maybe even 2009, but ready. Looking back, I think things are actually on the upswing. But looking forward Mr. Dunbar and I are right in the middle of a chapter of life. We are not starting a new one, we aren’t ready to end one, we are just in the middle of one. A chapter I’ll be writing this upcoming year. Care to join me on this journey?

In order to really start the year off right, we had our annual goal setting dinner. Every year since we’ve been married we go out to dinner the first week of January and set goals for our year. Goals for our family, goals for God, goals for money, goals for achievement. Some years have been rough. Some years not so rough. This year it was good. Real good. It was real. Ever had one of those conversations with your spouse? You should.

But before I get too serious, let me show you our dinner.

We ate at Wood Ranch. There is nothing better than a good dinner. Only a good dinner that is free. Gotta love those Christmas gift cards. Thanks Judy.

Fresh baked garlic rolls. YUM. I think I ate an entire basket by myself. Good thing I don’t have any diet resolutions.


Look at Mr. Dunbar smiling over his pulled pork sandwich.


That sauce in the middle, in that little tin cup, A. MA. ZING. Seriously, it revolutionized the sandwich from something that you could make at home to something worth paying for.


Now for my dinner. I ordered the Chop Chop Salad. Do not order this salad. Blah. Blah. Blah. But they did exchange my salad and got me the Natalie, in like 2 minutes flat.


So, I’m still raving about Wood Ranch.

Anyhow, back to the real story. Mr. Dunbar and I set our goals for the year. BIG goals. Bigger goals then we’ve ever set, which is funny because in reality, they are probably the most small goals we’ve ever made, but we are going to really accomplish them. And I’m excited. 

That’s why on my new header, whenever I get it up, you’ll see that it says something about an “authentic life.” True, I do live each and every day intentionally. But seriously, my intentional-ness has a lot to do with laundry and dishes, along with math facts and menu planning. With some potty training and video games thrown into the mix. Not headline stuff people.

But my hope for this upcoming year and this blog is that you will see the authentic side of  myself and this little Dunbar family. I am deciding to let go of outdated beliefs, old identities, and just plain baggage that I’ve held on to for so long. You know, those truly unrealistic expectations.

I hope you stay a while as we journey through what God has in store for us, as we decide to invest our time in family and fun, and as we conquer each of our goals to get us to the end of the chapter we are in the midst of. I know its not going to be easy. My pulse gets a little faster when I think of what we are going to do this year.  I’m still planning on keeping the general gist of the same blog, and perhaps some WIWW (those are harder than I thought) , along with some recipes, and who know’s what else. Hair tips?Genn and I are going to do a Vlog at some point, I’m going to conn her into doing my hair extra big and letting you all see it. Ha. And I’ve got some other ideas of people and things I’d like to introduce here as well. 

It should be fun and if nothing else, it will be authentic.


Happy New Year. And Welcome 2012!


Nicolle said...

Your dinner looks amazing.

I can't wait to go on this journey with you through this new year, and read about what is happening in your life. I have a lot of unrealistic expectations, and maybe I can learn something good from you.

Happy New Year.

Lori said...

can't wait to see the new direction

SZM said...

Happy New Year, Dunbar Family!

Genn said...

LOVED this post Irene!
Loved it.

Great night out at Wood Ranch.
Mr. D's dinner sounds fab.

I love that you guys do that every year. We don't but we are gonna.

And now, about this hair vlog... LET's DO IT!!! Oh what fun it will be.

Say when.

Eric and Jenny said...

I can't think of anything funner than a vlog from you and Genn, do it please that would be fantastic!

Happy new year to you, it sounds like you are making some life decisions right now. I hope you have a very blessed 2012!

Genn said...

hi again,

i made my collages in picnik. i bought the premium package so that I could have access to all of their collage styles. it's pretty easy, and kinda fun. ;)

Mrs. C... said...

I am on the journey for sure!!! A goal for me this year that includes you - is more quality time with each other and the families. I miss you! As for the chapter you are in, enjoy it because it is good - page turning, gripping, don't want to put it down good. The next chapter that I am in is a bit rough....being honest here. Authenticity - I know a church that uses that focus too. ;) Hugs friend.

Mrs. C... said...

Oh yeah, and ANYTIME you want to go to Wood Ranch - we are there! We even have kids eat free coupons! Or let Judy watch the kids, and we can go as adults!!!