Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hello 2013!

I suppose we can make resolutions at any time, but the New Year always brings with it such a hopeful fresh start.  When I began this blog back in February, I thought it would be a good way to combine two things I love:  working on our home and writing.  It proved to be the perfect creative outlet and I'm so glad I took the plunge!

Now that isn't to say I didn't have some difficult lessons to learn, and will continue to as I still consider myself a newbie to the blogging world.....in the beginning I was way overly ambitious, planning a "reveal" post about every other day.  The pace I set for myself was completely unrealistic and I would get discouraged that I wasn't keeping up (with the schedule I imposed on myself!).

A big take away for me in the coming year is to set reasonable goals and strike a better balance.

I have found such inspiration from other bloggers...they are the ones who made me want to blog in the first place!  But, if I start comparing myself to fellow bloggers in my genre or spend too much time on what others are doing, I tend to lose my own sense of direction.  Sure it's great to keep up with what's happening and current, but ultimately this is our home and I want it to feel like our unique place, not someone else's.

So, another focus for 2013 is to be myself and continue to be inspired by others without playing the comparison game.

Sometimes I'll come up with a great idea and talk myself out of it.  The biggest risks I've taken in our home have had the biggest payoff.  They are the spaces that I truly love.  I've definitely had some misses in there too, but if I didn't try then we wouldn't have the success stories either.

So going forward, I want to take more risks and trust my gut!

As much as I have loved blogging, this was a very stressful year for our family.  James carried a heavy load with work and football and I was incredibly over-committed, doing a million things and none of them really well.  Each day felt like survival, with important things falling through the cracks, and I know that put unneccessary stress on my family.

In the coming year, I'm cutting several of my outside commitments and am going to focus back on our family and home (which supports the voice of my two blogs).  But instead of coming up with all sorts of ideas for the blogs that end up stressing family life, I'm thinking about what could help and simplify life for our family.  Then blogging about it.    

In 2013 (and beyond) our family needs to drive the blog, not the other way around.

How do we do that?  James and I talked about the areas of the house that are most stressful to us, and that's where we'll focus in 2013:

-Office: having an organized place to work will help us both to be more efficient when we are "on the clock"....and hopefully better storage systems will keep my project supplies from exploding all over the house!

-Master bedroom:  the current dumping ground.  I realize this room will not help in the function of our home, but I'm ready to kick out the junk and create a true sanctuary.  We need a restful place to lock ourselves away from the chaos!

-Kitchen:  my poor cupboards.  How long have they been in mid-paint status and without doors? Too long.  It won't take much to get this 2nd phase of the kitchen update complete, so as soon as we have better painting weather, I'm determined to get er' done!

-Entry points/Garage:  Our garage door broke a few weeks ago, so our in/out point shifted from the garage/mudroom to the front door.  You would laugh (or run) at the pile of jackets, hats and scarves littering the front entry floor right now.  As of yesterday, the garage doors are fixed, so we are ready to finish off the systems we had begun to put in place.

We have plenty of other little projects in other rooms of the house to sprinkle in between, but I'm looking forward to getting our hands dirty in these areas!

Even with those plans/goals in mind, ultimately, I don't want to lost our sense of gratitude. In whatever we are doing around the house, we never want to forget how much we have been given and all the ways we are continually blessed.  We don't need more.  We want to be good stewards of what we have, take joy in making it beautiful and ours, and use it bless others in whatever way we can.  The most important thing that happens in our home is not our projects but our family.

Thank you so very much for letting me share them both with you here!  Your readership, kind comments and encouragement mean more than you could know!  Happy New Year!!


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  1. What great goals, Deme! I especially love your motto that "our family needs to drive the blog, not the other way around." That is a lesson I am trying to learn in my blogging life, too. Best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful 2013! I'm looking forward to reading your blog this year! :)


  2. I'm so glad you wrote this post. I had a goal last year to write and receive 366 letters, one for each day. I found that I got busy, really behind and then began feeling guilty. When I sat to blog I would feel guilty about not paying attention to the kids. When I sat to write I felt guilty about my messy house. I just couldn't balance everything from work and home. I rewrote my goals this year too. I was really encouraged knowing knowing that I wasn't the only one feeling this way. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for your sweet comment! I completely understand the guilt of doing one thing when you feel you should be doing something else....and feeling overwhelmed by it all! I hope rewriting your goals helped you have a better focus - Happy new Year!

  3. Great post Deme! I was thinking about time balance as well with regards to my time. Since I do the fashion blogging, my posts don't take anywhere near as time but the internet is still my peril. There are always emails to be answered and things to look at. I realized that my kids see me on the computer quite a bit throughout the day-while this is not horrid, I would certainly rather have them see me reading a book or the bible, perhaps praying in the couch in silence or even just really "Being there" with them not online. I also realized how much time we waste running fun or necessary errands everyday. I have decided to try and group my errands both fun and necessary so we truly have slow, productive and learning while enjoying every moment. So my simplification for the year is unplugging from the internet during the day (except naps when I blog) and unplugging from being a busy-body. There now that I have shared this-I have someone to help me be accountable! Blogger says I am anonymos but I am not stylewithandie.wordpress.com Andie

    1. I hear you loud and clear! I've become much more conscious of what my kids see me doing recently (especially my computer time). I'm going to try to keep the lap top in the office during the day so I'm not tempted to "just hop on for a minute"...you can guess how that goes ;)


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