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My Intentions For 2018

Eva Amurri Martino bundles up with her children Marlowe And Major on the snowy beach in Westport, Connecticut

See ya, 2017– and a very warm welcome to the New Year! Boy, I felt like this past year was such a doozy.  Globally, definitely, but also personally.  The highs were high and the lows were oh-so-very-low.  If you recall, I started off the year in 2017 with a New Year’s Day admission that my mental health was in shambles following the worst experience and darkest period of my life.  It was a blog post that I never regret, but that prompted an attack by so many strangers towards me at my absolute lowest point mentally and emotionally.  It was the biggest education of my life– firstly because I could actually not believe the darkness that seems to exist in the online space, but also because the support I got from strangers surprisingly ended up far outweighing the negative.  It drove home once and for all for me that allowing myself to go through the real ups and downs of life and Motherhood in an open and honest way may just be my calling– and it’s something I hope to be doing for a long time.  It taught me finally to let go of fear, to stand resolute in my truth, and to know that for every feeling I ever have there are women and men all over the globe who stand beside me in a similar truth.  It is the same for each of us, and I wish for 2018 that we all find the community that comes when we allow ourselves to reject fear and commit to being our most authentic selves.  As I sought treatment for my PTSD, Postpartum Depression and Anxiety in the early months of the year, I began to really peel back the layers and learn so much more about myself.  Painful things and positive things.  I decided that I’m ok with being exactly who I am: flaws, mistakes, fears and all.  I came out of this year with my foundation leveled, and a raw an honest framework for my life moving forward beginning to be built.  In some ways it feels a little scary to be looking at everything with new (healthy!) eyes, but it also feels more solid than I’ve ever felt.  I’m trying to rebuild as gracefully as possible– as steadily as possible, moving forward from a place of love– most of all for myself.  Today on this first day of the year I thought I would share some of my intentions for 2018 with you!

Eva Martino holds son Major's hand as they walk through the snow on the beach in Westport CT

Eva Amurri Martino wears a tan knit beanie and faux fur lined parka, and holds one year old son Major on the snowy beach in Westport, CT

1.  Maintain My Mental Health & Wellness

This is my number one priority this year.  I’ve committed to continuing my therapy sessions as I work through all of the emotional and mental revelations I’ve made this past year.  Therapy is something that gets so much harder before it gets better– and it’s worth every minute.  It can be really painful to take a really close look at your relationships, your childhood, your own actions and belief system, and view them through a critical lense to understand yourself better.  But what I’ve found is that the understanding of oneself and others that comes from this process is so worth the pain.  I finally feel like I’m raising my children, living my life, and participating in my marriage in a way that is intentional and thoughtful– and not a product of what I learned through my childhood, my past experiences, or as a result of past traumas.  I finally feel like the choices I’m making are my own, and not a reaction to other people’s choices or opinions.  I’ve learned coping mechanisms and tools that are healthy instead of destructive, and I’ve learned how to coach myself through my own mistakes and difficulties in a way that is healthy as well.  I’m nowhere near perfect by any means– there is always improvement to be made, but I feel braver and stronger than ever.  One of the many things I discovered in treatment was how important self care is for my mental well-being– and I remain committed to investing as much time in to my self as I need to be the best version of myself for my family.  More than anything, it’s important to me to spread the message that mental health is not a taboo subject.  In fact, being humble enough to ask for help to be the healthiest version of yourself makes you so powerful.  I wish for more people to strive for mental wellness this year! (Also don’t forget that finding the right therapist for you is EVERYTHING.  You made need to meet a couple before you find the right one for you!)

2.  Invest In Healthy, Positive Relationships

This is a tricky one.  One thing I did through therapy this year was really take stock of my relationships with others and look at them critically– were they healthy for me? Were they supportive? Or were the dynamics of them contributing to some of the issues I was having? One of the most painful aspects of the past couple of years for me has been going through several really traumatizing experiences (for example, my miscarriage and Major’s accident) and hearing crickets from some of the people who were supposed to be my friends– and even some family! Big life events can really teach you about the nature of your relationships, if you let them.  While I’ve come to the conclusion that certain people’s inability to be there for me when I was struggling doesn’t make them bad people– it does indicate how much energy I should continue to put in to those relationships.  Some people are capable of more, emotionally, than others.  While maybe it doesn’t warrant cutting them out completely– it can definitely teach you to invest more of yourself elsewhere.  It’s been sad to realize that some of my relationships will only ever reach a certain point– but it is exciting now to be able to identify which healthy qualities I’m looking for in my friendships moving forward– and to cherish my relationships with the special, and loyal people in my life! This year I want to really invest in cultivating and strengthening positive relationships, and reconnecting with people I miss.

Marlowe Martino stands on the beach in the snow in Westport CT

3.  Take My Vitamins

Ugh, I have a total mental block when it comes to vitamins.  It doesn’t matter what I do, where I keep them, or how much I know I should take them– I ALWAYS forget to take my vitamins!!! It’s nuts! Whenever I’m consistently taking my vitamins I feel like I have so much more energy and my immune system is in great shape, so I want to make it a priority in 2018!

4.  Create A Physical Activity Routine

I got MUCH better about keeping active in 2017, but I’ve kind of been grabbing exercise time as I find it instead of committing to set times in the week.  I find that having my exercise be this haphazard vastly ups the chances that it gets cancelled last minute, and that my own physical wellness is relegated to the bottom of the totem pole.  It is my sincere wish to be stronger physically in 2018 as well as mentally!  I have started doing training sessions at Train Away Pain in Westport, as well as Hip Hop dance classes at Double Up Dance Studio– and I really want to find exact classes that I like and to stick to them.  I think it’s a nice way to make friends, too! Other exercise I’ve been liking are barre workout classes, and Ballet Beautiful online classes that I can do downstairs in the family room before the kids wake up or after they’re asleep.  Overall, my intent for my exercise is to stay limber, strong, and toned– never weight loss! My current goal is to shoot for 3 scheduled exercise times weekly, and then see if I can build from there next year.

Eva Amurri Martino is playing bundled up on the snowy beach with her two children, Marlowe and Major, in Westport CT

5.  Grow Together In My Marriage

This year has done a number on my relationship with my husband.  I’m not ashamed to admit that, and neither is he.  About 6 months after I started treatment for PTSD and PPD, Kyle started seeing a therapist as well– in really examining our past traumas, histories, and looking critically at the dynamics in our marriage we realized there were things that needed to change in our own relationship.  About two months ago, we started couple’s therapy, and we are in the midst of re-establishing our relationship in a proactive, healthy way.  I write that easily now, but it hasn’t been easy.  It’s been confusing, painful at times, and really very challenging work.  But both of us ultimately want to have the healthiest and happiest relationship possible– and we are hopeful that it IS possible for us.  Right now we’re in the middle of the work, so we aren’t at a place where it will be productive to share publicly, but Kyle and I both agree that when we’re ready to share more about this time in our marriage we will.   I think it’s always helpful to know that every couple has ups and downs, and that being open and honest with each other, and standing together in the discomfort of those low moments, can create a really unbreakable bond in a relationship.  At least that is what we’re telling ourselves! LOL.  We don’t have the answers obviously, we are figuring it all out as we speak, but I’m hopeful that 2018 will be very healthy for our family as a whole.

6.  Spend One-On-One Time With My Kids

Now that Major is a toddler and no longer a baby, I really want to establish consistent one-on-one time with each of my kids.  Right now our dynamic is that I’m working during the week, and Kyle is gone working on the weekends– so I end up with both kids on my own during my “off” time.  It makes for a lot of togetherness, but being outnumbered I can’t say they get enough time individually with just me.  My intention for this next year is to have a sitter on the weekend twice a month so that I can take them each to do something special with me for a few hours.

Eva AMurri Martino holds son, Major, in a snowsuit on the snowy beach in Westport, CT

7.  Take Periods Of Time To Unplug

Being offically “on vacation” over Christmas break has shown me how necessary it is for me to take a few times during the year to really unplug from work and focus on just being.  I often will spend holidays or weekends working or creating content, and though it feels fun while I’m doing it I think that my mind needs some time to unwind every now and then and go in to official rest mode.  I realized a few days ago while I was watching TV in bed (without a computer in my lap) that I hadn’t done  an official veg out like that in over THREE MONTHS.  I feel like that’s not for the best.  LOL.  I plan to take a couple weeks in summer, and a week next Christmas holiday again, and just totally unplug from work to recharge.

Marlowe Martino holds little brother Major in snowsuits on a green sled on the snowy beach in Westport, CT

Eva Amurri Martino pulls her children through the snow on the beach in Westport, CT

8. Write A Book!

This past year, I took the first steps towards writing a book that I feel really passionate about.  While I can’t share more than that right now, it ended up taking a total backseat to the very real life struggles of the year.  I was just too overwhelmed figuring out all the other moving pieces of my life (and work) to fully commit.  I’m excited to dust it off in 2018 and hopefully resume the official steps to become a published author! I don’t share too much about the Italian side of my family, but my Grandfather (Antonio Amurri) was an author.  He and I were very close before he passed, when I was still young.  When I write I feel a real connection with him, and I hope to follow in his literary footsteps one day.  What I CAN tell you is that this book will be a much closer look at me, my past, and lots of things that have made me who I am today– based on the posts I write that you guys like the most, I know for a fact you will really enjoy it! (*winky face*)

Eva Amurri Martino carries her one year old son, and pulls her three year old daughter through the snow on the beach in Westport, CT

More than anything, I plan on trying to do my best to make a small but vibrant space of non-judgment, honesty, humor, and pretty-looking stuff right here on HappilyEvaAfter.com.  I’m so appreciate of all of you who have followed along on my journey, been so supportive of me this past year, and helped me create the job of my dreams.  I feel so very lucky to be living the life I live today, and to be surrounded by so many awesome, inquisitive, funny, bright, and strong people like you who truly make this blog what it is.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Wishing you and yours an epic, healthy, hilarious, and bright 2018.  To many more!

 

xoxo

EAM

Eva Amurri Martino pulls her children through the snow on the beach in Westport, CT

 

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40 Comments

  1. Sue says:

    Eva,

    Happy New Year! You never cease to amaze me with you honest and thoughtful reflection and projection on life, love, laughter, adventure and the future.

    Sending love and best Wishes to Kyle, Lowie, Major and you!

    Love,
    Sue

    PS-Can’t wait to read your book. 😘

    01.01.18Reply
  2. Irina Visan says:

    Happy New Year, Eva!!! Hope this one is the best so far and thay you will accomplish everything you plan to!

    Looking forward to your book, your blog posts but most of all your Insta stories with the kiddos lol!

    Love,
    Irina

    01.01.18Reply
  3. Brianne says:

    Eva-

    It’s so refreshing when people (especially moms) are honest and open about their ups and downs. So often we see these picture perfect Instagrams and blogs, and sometimes you start to compare your situation to those, and it can really take you to a dark lonely place. But when you feel like there are others out there who know exactly what you are going through, it makes a world of difference.
    I’m sure you don’t know the number of lives you’ve made a difference in by sharing your stories and feelings with us. But I can say you’ve made a huge difference in mine. My daughter is now 18 months, but as a first time mom who suffered from post partum anxiety (and someone who suffers from anxiety regularly), it was so helpful to read your blogs and hear different things that have helped you through tough times. Thank you for being so open with us. You have a beautiful family and you are an awesome mom and wife.
    Looking forward to 2018- and your book!
    Have a happy, healthy New Year!
    Love,
    Brianne

    01.01.18Reply
    • Tara says:

      Could not agree more! Xx

      01.01.18Reply
  4. Caren says:

    Happy New Year Eva to you and your beautiful family. Sometimes I’ll print out one of your blogs and use it as a reference to go back to and this is one. I am a mom of a 6 year old boy, 4 year old girl and 3 year old boy. I also turned 41 and my frame of mind has shifted. I want to be more present with life, kids and husband. I want to do more for me and I would like for this to be a changing year.
    I look forward to reading your book and what this year brings.

    01.01.18Reply
  5. Zoe says:

    Happy new year, Eva! Your honesty is incredible. You are brave, humble, loving and kind and that ALWAYS comes through in your posts. Love reading your stuff. It’s inspires me and makes me feel comfortable and proud of my own life situations. Grateful for your blog. Thanks, girl! All the best to you and your family in 2018.

    01.01.18Reply
  6. Lisa Robinson says:

    You are an inspiration. It seems that everyday the news in the world is awful and it can really get one down, but reading your blog and watching the InstaStories of your beautiful and joyous children reminds me that there is good in the world.

    May you and your family have a happy and healthy 2018! 🙏🏻

    01.01.18Reply
  7. melanie says:

    Bonjour!Je suis du Québec au Canada!

    Je vous suit depuis le tout début!Je suis Quéecoise et ma première langue est le français!J’espères que votre livre sera traduit en français!

    Merci et bonne année!

    01.01.18Reply
  8. Chelsea says:

    🙌🏼 Number 2!! So on the same page for number 2. You put it just right when you said: “While I’ve come to the conclusion that certain people’s inability to be there for me when I was struggling doesn’t make them bad people– it does indicate how much energy I should continue to put in to those relationships.”

    Thank you so much for your heart, as always Eva. Happy New Year to you and your family!

    01.01.18Reply
  9. Cristina says:

    I just want to say thank you. From the bottom of my heart. For keeping it 100% real and being brave enough to tell your truth. I relate on so many levels. Also .. your kids are 😍😍😍 but you already know that. Hahhaa
    All the best for 2018 xoxoxo.

    01.01.18Reply
  10. Melissa says:

    Eva,

    Thank you for being so transparent. It is always such a pleasure following your adventures in life. Also, my 11 month old loves watching Major on Instastories!

    Happy 2018!

    01.01.18Reply
  11. Tania Hidalgo says:

    Happy New Year, Eva. Thanks for sharing. Your blog is one of the things that helps me up, when I’m super low. I’ve had a rough 2017, but I’m committed to changing a few things in an attempt at happiness. You have such a positive energy. It’s real and anti preachy….which I love. Here’s to 2018. May we be Kinder to eachother and ourselves.

    01.01.18Reply
  12. Kaila says:

    Happy New Year! I am so excited for you book. You have been such an inspiration to me this past year as I started following you journey almost exactly a year ago. Thank you for being so honest and making me feel like I’m not the only Mom that faces the ups and downs of being a wife/mother/business woman and all the other things we women take on.

    Here’s to a fabulous 2018!!

    Xoxo

    01.01.18Reply
  13. Your writing is always so gorgeous and truthful! I think seeking help is so beneficial and I have been doing that this past year as well. It’s so much work but so worth it! 🙂 I plan on continuing! You learn so much about yourself and even others! Happy 2018!

    01.01.18Reply
  14. Tracy says:

    Happy New Year to you and yours! Thank you for the honest and relatable posts on kids and life. You are a sharp and thoroughly insightful writer and I look forward to your posts. Good Luck with everything in 2018!

    01.01.18Reply
  15. Megan says:

    Your blog is such a wonderful space – thank you! Keep it up!

    01.01.18Reply
  16. Jill says:

    Hey Eva, your 2018 sounds like it is going to be amazing! I’m diabetic and take many medications and even though I’ve been on meds my whole life I would forget if it weren’t for my phone! Try a medicine reminder app for your vitamins. I have one that I can snooze so if I’m in the middle of something I’ll get reminded later. Just a thought for help with your vitamins!

    01.01.18Reply
    • Carly says:

      I agree with this! I recently downloaded the app “Round” for all my pill reminders, including vitamins, and it has been a game changer!

      01.03.18Reply
  17. Yvonne says:

    Hi Eva,

    Thank you for being so candid and open with your personal experiences.
    It is so refreshing to hear that I am not alone in feeling how I do with anxiety, since having my son in March. In identifying it, I have spoken to my doctor about it and she has given me tips and praised how I was able to identify it. Thank you for giving me courage.

    Looking forward to the many adventures ahead for you and your beautiful family. I can’t wait for the book!

    Happy New Year!
    Love,
    Yvonne

    01.01.18Reply
  18. Jill says:

    Happy New Year!! I am excited to learn more about your book!!

    01.01.18Reply
  19. Erin says:

    Happy New Year to you and your gorgeous family! I’ve been following you on Instagram and reading your blog for about a year or so now and like so many others, love your honesty. So many bloggers and Instagram users only show the beauty and good things that happen in their lives and I love that you are honest enough to show it all, the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. Thank you for that. Keep your blog posts and Instastories coming – side note, I was watching your stories this morning and my 8 year old daughter heard Marlowe and asked “Is that Marlowe!” 😂 She loves watching your stories and thinks Marlowe and Major are the cutest, they are but you already know that 😊
    Much love to you and your family, may 2018 beca year of much happiness and joy!

    Erin

    01.01.18Reply
  20. Megan says:

    I’m so sorry there was negative things said about you from last years post. I always really appreciate how open you are with your readers. And as a person who deals with mental health issues, it is inspiring to hear others talk about it. Love to you in the New Year!

    01.01.18Reply
  21. Maria Harrington says:

    Hi Eva! Just saw you at dinner as we sat next to each other 🙂 wish I said hi! My son definitely waved hello to Marlowe hehe What an amazing and personal post! I went through ptsd with my first born and now while pregnant with number 2 and due in early March I’m worried whether those same feelings, emotions and state of mind will come back to haunt me. No one truly prepares one for motherhood and everyone’s experiences are so different…. and no one deserves any negativity because Mother’s are superhero’s in everything that we do! Happy New Year! Wishing you all the best in 2018 and for all your goals and intentions to realise! – Masha

    01.01.18Reply
  22. Masha says:

    Hi Eva,

    We just saw you at dinner as we sat close by… Wish I said Hi! My son did get a chance to wave hello to Marlowe 🙂

    Thank you for your post. I had ptsd with my son and its a difficult period and one that is unexplainable to anyone. Now as I wait for my second born, I worry whether those same feelings and emotions will come back… I think setting goals and intentions for next year is a great idea to stay focused, happy and positive!

    Happy New Year! Wishing you all the very best in 2018 and to realise all of your intentions!

    -Masha

    01.01.18Reply
  23. Mary says:

    Happy new year to you and your family! Keep up the good work! This blog has created a much needed community to all of us who struggle everyday with the challenges of motherhood.But what amazes me most about you is that above all of your wonderful talents and skills you have shown us in this blog, you give the example of a woman who is not afraid to come out of her comfort zone, share truths and deep thoughts and pursue her true calling in life.The very first post I read on your blog was “the struggle is real”.A couple of weeks earlier my nearly 9 months old son had accidentally fallen from our bed where I put him play while I was quickly folding clean clothes right next to him.It was enough to just take my eyes off of him for a split second before I turn and see him with his back on the opposite edge of the bed and then watch him toss his head and body backwards on the floor! It was so quick that I didnt manage to reach him.I have never felt in my life before such a huge amount of adrenaline running inside my body as in the minutes that followed! Hopefully he was not hurt at all and after ten minutes of screaming and crying I managed to distract him with a toy and get some smiles.After a couple of days when we were absolutely sure that everything was fine, I was left feeling relieved but also sooo ashamed of myself and utterly stupid that I allowed this to happen considering that 99.99 % of the time I was extremely alert and careful about his safety.In an attempt to find some comfort I searched for days on the internet about similar experiences that other mothers might had and somewhere in there I discovered your captivating post and loved your blog since! I wish you a very creative year and I cant wait for your book!

    01.01.18Reply
  24. Tess says:

    Thanks Eva. Refreshingly honest.

    01.01.18Reply
  25. Erin says:

    That’s so upsetting hearing that you got a lot of negative comments after sharing your story about your son. Especially since many of the comments probably came from women, and most likely mothers. I had my son around the same time as yours and also suffered from anxiety. I never heard anyone talk about it. I only would hear PPD which I knew I didn’t have. I remember reading your post and feeling so much better that I wasn’t alone. It’s such a scary feeling, and totally understandable after the scary accident you experienced. I never comment on blog posts but really felt so compelled because it makes me so sad that people feel the need to judge/put down others. So happy to see your little guy doing so well. Happy New Years to you and your family!

    01.01.18Reply
  26. Kate says:

    Eva,
    I’m a new follower of your blog but just had to tell you how much I enjoy it. Everything is so relatable, and I love your style! Hope 2018 is great for you!

    01.01.18Reply
  27. Liz says:

    This was great!! Really honest and inspirational, sitting down to write my own right now 🙂 happy new year!

    01.02.18Reply
  28. Christina H says:

    This is a great list! In regards to some of my priorities this year, I too am working on the relationship with my husband. Our son is about to turn one in a few weeks so this last year really was full of joy and dark areas, mostly on my part from Postpartum Anxiety. I gotta tell you, I started reading your blog before I got pregnant and have followed it for two years now. Your blog has helped me A LOT in the baby/child department. You talking about the emotional ride is what we all need because that’s what I believe helps other women and men move forward. Knowing others have gone through the same crap. I know a few first time Moms who gave birth this last year and I’ve told them all about your blog. I even send them articles so they have to read it haha! But it sounds like they enjoy reading them. Anyway I love your blog, you’re great, keep it up! I hope there will be a book!

    01.02.18Reply
  29. Erika says:

    So glad I found your blog. You are an inspiration to me. Thank you!

    01.02.18Reply
  30. Erin says:

    Thank you so much for sharing and being so open. I give you tons of credit for this post. I started following you just after Major was born because, I’ll be honest, your kids are super adorable and make me smile. But I’ve grown to love and appreciate you’re whole family. Thank you for sharing yourself with us! All the best for 2018!!

    01.02.18Reply
  31. Brigit says:

    Thank you Eva. The articles you write for the blog are really nice and inspiring. Yhe personal intentions hit home a bit especially, with anxiety. It helps to see hope in recovery if worry, and fears.It helps me also to watch the kids laughing in an Instagram post. It is definetly a good idea to keep all of the things listed on this post as a intention.You are an inspiration to me being a mother and taking care of your family and, yourself. I wish you very well this year 2018.

    01.02.18Reply
  32. Suzie says:

    Eva, this is such a wonderful and inspiring post! I can’t tell you how much I look forward to your blog. The professional blogger space is so full of “perfection” it can be of putting! Your honesty really sets you apart! I wish you and your family and happy and healthy 2018 full of growth!

    01.03.18Reply
  33. Laura says:

    Dear Eva,
    First off, I want to let u know how inspiring your blog has been to me.

    Whilst I don’t have children yet, your insight is so helpful im guiding me to the parent I hope to be one day.

    My question is in relation to ur PTSD. I myself am trying to pick myself up after a mental breakdown that happened last June. Long story short, it was linked to childhood trauma & after alot of therapy & yoga, i’m aiming to return to work, “normality” in a couple of weeks.
    I appreciate it is not the same circumstances but the thought of leaving this bubble of mine is terrifying. I was wondering how u transcended back into ur “normal” way of life after the curveballs life threw at u.

    Many thanks & know your inspiration reaches many miles!
    Xxx
    Laura, Scotland, UK

    01.03.18Reply
  34. Lauren says:

    These are all such great intentions and I love your photos! Happy 2018!!!

    Lauren,
    http://www.atouchofsoutherngrace.com

    01.03.18Reply
  35. Dan Woog says:

    Eva, I love your honesty, your insights, and the power of your writing. Please keep lifting us up, and keeping us all real. Happy 2018 — you rock the universe!

    01.05.18Reply
  36. Hi Eva,

    Any recommendations on Vitamins?! As I’m creeping towards the higher end of 30, with one 4yr old in tow, I KNOW I should be taking something but honestly have no idea and basically just looking for recommendations if you wouldn’t mind.

    Thanks!

    01.05.18Reply
  37. Debbie says:

    Thank you Eva for always being so open and honest. #2 – Invest In Healthy Positive Relationships – is right where I am at. 2017 was struggle personally and I really came into the end learning who my tribe needed to consist of. I am not a mom but loyally follow your blog and insta stories (because Marlowe and Major are just the cutest. And Kyle dancing w/the kiddos-thank you). I appreciate your honesty and still relate. Keep doing you and thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing all that you do!! <3

    01.05.18Reply
  38. Amanda says:

    I’m very sorry for all the criticism you have received. I think you are beautiful and wonderful and I’m proud of you for being yourself and sharing that with us despite it. It’s easy to be a critic but much harder to be an authentic person running a business like you do. I like you and your blog very much. Anyway take care and happy 2018.

    01.08.18Reply