Live everyday to the fullest

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


I am grateful I started blogging so many years ago. I love looking back at my old posts, where my thoughts are preserved and photos keep loved ones and experiences alive in my heart. It's an archive of our lives during the past 13 years.

Or at least a pretty good archive until 2018. That's when blogging lost out to other parts of my life that were demanding more of me ... my real estate business, grandchildren, friends and family.

Those are all important, for sure, and worthy uses of my time. But I miss having that archive. I miss being able to revisit moments and memories whenever I want to. And I have begun to realize that my time spent blogging was important in other ways. It helped me process what was going on in our lives, to either celebrate the good times or find the joy in the sad and tough times. 

I've been faithful about writing in my gratitude journal every morning. I will continue that, but there are no photos in my gratitude journal. Photos capture moments in ways that words can't, and vice versa. My blog allows me to do both. 

In the beginning, it was about the words. I was a writer. Then photos took center stage, as my photography addiction grew. And I enjoyed connecting with other bloggers, writers, photographers around the world. Many of them have stopped blogging, but I've stayed connected to them through Facebook, and I'm grateful for that. 

I realize I don't care if anyone else reads what I write now. I am truly doing this for me. 

Of course, last year I had good intentions of blogging at least once a month. By the end of December, I had published two. I started many posts, but finding the time to finish them was the challenge. My real estate business grew and there is always something I should be doing for it or my clients. 

Time slips away too easily. I'm really not sure where 2021 went. Or 2020. Or 2019. So this year I'm focused on the motto "Life by design, not by default." I'm going to block time in my schedule for the important things related to my business, clients, family, friends, spiritual life, physical health, and mental health.  I've done that before, of course, but I'm determined to do a better job of protecting that time and being intentional with it.

I've decided blogging is one of those important things, because it brings me joy, so my goal is at least one post a week.

Time is precious, and I want to relish what I've been given. And since 2021 was such a blur, I'm going to reflect back and preserve each month with some photos and memories, before I lose them.... both the photos and the memories.

But that will be my next post. I'll end this one with some highlights from the first week of 2022...


I get up before dawn each day. I eat breakfast, write in my gratitude journal, then head to my office to plan the day.

I'm not sure how many beautiful sunrises I've missed because I'm glued to my computer, but I'm grateful I looked up and out on this morning. 


Jan window


Belle doesn't let me linger in my office very long before herding me out for our morning walk.

The highlight is the view from our neighbor's hill. 

On cold mornings the hollows near the lake fill with clouds. 


Jan sunrise


I'm still finding heart rocks on our caliche road. 


Jan heart


We had a stretch of unusually warm, spring-like weather, but a few days ago winter arrived and Tom got the first fire going in our stove.

It heats our whole house.

I'm so grateful for it! 


Jan stove


In the first days of the new year, I already felt stressed and overwhelmed.

I'm sure it's because I was thinking of all I needed to do but wondering how the hell I would fit it all in my schedule, because getting enough sleep is one of my priorities, also. What should get my "yes" and what should get my "no"?

Then a friend posted this quote. It's something I knew and have practiced, but I had let it get away from me. 

I needed the reminder, so I'll share it here, in case someone is reading this who also needs it. It may be me again in a few months! 


Jan ralph quote


No offense to Ralph, but I have to add that I believe occasionally reflecting on the highlights of all the yesterdays isn't wasted time if it brings you joy and helps you remember how rich you really are!

Happy 2022!

November 25, 2020

May 02, 2020

July 06, 2019

February 14, 2019

September 03, 2018

April 03, 2018

December 25, 2017

September 17, 2017

July 27, 2017

March 13, 2017

December 02, 2016

July 30, 2016

July 03, 2016

February 16, 2016

September 29, 2015

May 03, 2015

April 21, 2015

April 05, 2015

February 28, 2015

February 24, 2015

September 08, 2014

August 26, 2014

July 01, 2014

May 13, 2014

November 06, 2013

November 04, 2013

October 20, 2013

August 15, 2013

August 02, 2013

July 14, 2013

July 12, 2013

July 02, 2013

June 25, 2013

June 22, 2013

June 16, 2013

June 11, 2013

May 17, 2013

April 26, 2013

April 20, 2013

April 16, 2013

March 23, 2013

March 09, 2013

March 08, 2013

February 22, 2013

February 21, 2013

February 17, 2013

February 14, 2013

February 13, 2013

December 11, 2012

November 27, 2012

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I'm a licensed REALTOR with Keller Williams Realty in Austin, Texas. If you, or someone you know, has a real estate need anywhere in the world, give me a call! Click the icon below to find out more.


For more information about my photography, go to Barbara Shallue Photography

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