A few favorite photos from 2013:
It typically takes me a while to get back into the writing and blogging groove after the holidays. So instead of trying to write out an insightful recap of last year, I thought I would just show a few of my fave photos from the year and do a little Q&A. I first saw this idea over at Rage Against the Minivan. I left out and changed a few of the questions though. So here goes!
1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Became the mother of a Kindergartener!
2. Did you accomplish any goals in 2013?
I read more. I rested more. I said no to things that caused stress. I stepped up my photography skills. I rebranded my blog. I studied God's word and learned SO much more about Jesus than I ever have before. I cultivated deeper trust and authenticity with a few of my closest girlfriends. I became more confident in my writing and even took on the 31 Day Blogging Challenge in October. And the best one of all... I shared the gospel with my Father for the first time ever.
3. What cities did you visit?
Harrisonburg, VA, Pittsburgh, PA, Indianapolis, IN, San Antonio, TX, Hilton Head, SC, Lancaster, PA
4. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Contentment in the mundane days.
5. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February 15 - Husband surprised us by taking a day off work and we took the kids ice skating in Philly for the first time. It was totally spontaneous and stands out in my mind as the perfect family day. Watching my children try something new and challenging was such a joy. It seems like such a small thing but I wish we did spur of the moment activities like that more often.
6. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I'm really thankful for achieving a balance last year between the kids schedules, family time, and time to pursue my own passions. I feel like we finally got into a really nice groove where all three of those priorities were given their proper attention.
7. What was your biggest failure?
Procrastination. So....much....procrastination. And too much of what my husband calls "piddling". #guilty
8. What was the best thing you purchased last year?
In August we finished our basement. Prior to this it was just a giant slab of concrete with loads of potential. This construction project added an additional 1,000 square feet to our home. It's part family room for movies and Wii, part playroom, and part home office. We are enjoying it even more than we thought we would!
9. Where did most of your money go in 2013?
See number 8! We also bought a new car and replaced our roof. But I feel like all of those things were wise investments.
10. What did you get really excited about?
The rebranding of this blog back in the spring. I got to design the whole thing myself and have really tried to hold the whole thing with open hands. I write when I feel inspired and it continues to serve as my favorite creative outlet. Other things that excited me last year were our annual family trip to Hilton Head, SC and seeing some serious growth in my faith as I dove into the book of Romans with my weekly bible study group.
11. What songs will always remind you of 2013?
Brave by Sara Bareillis
Treasure by Bruno Mars
Oceans by Hillsong United
We are Never Ever Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift
12. Compared to this time last year, I am _____.
More at peace about my future. Come what may! And that no matter how long or short my life on earth ends up being, I'm truly excited for Heaven.
13. What do you wish you’d done more of?
14. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Stared at my iPhone.
15. What was your favorite TV show?
I don't watch a lot of TV but my two fave shows last year were Breaking Bad and Downton Abbey. Two polar opposites but I couldn't get enough of either of them!
16. What were your favorite books of the year?
My favorite books were Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. Here is the whole list of books I read last year.
17. What was your favorite music from this year?
So many... Justin Timberlake, All Sons & Daughters, Beyonce, Rend Collective Experiment, Ben Howard, Ed Sheeran, Mumford & Sons, and my newest fave - Josh Garrels
18. What were your favorite films of the year?
Les Miserables! Also The Great Gatsby.
19. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 34 in June and we went out to dinner at my favorite local sushi place and then walked around Longwood Gardens. Simple and perfect.
20. What was one thing that made 2013 satisfying?
Watching my daughter enter Kindergarten and thrive. It was a big transition for this stay-at-home Mom. But I was pleasantly surprised at how ready BOTH of us were. It was satisfying to know that I had done everything I could from the moment she was born to get her ready for this important transition.
21. What was your favorite thing to wear in 2013?
I think this was the year of the skinny jeans. And my favorite staple is simple button down shirts from American Eagle. They go with everything. And I kinda got into blazers as well. I also love a cute pair of brown boots.
22. What brought you joy in 2013?
Reading in bed, the way my son still wants to cuddle, having a staycation weekend with my husband, music that moved me to tears, watching my son learn to play basketball and ride a bike without training wheels, watching my daughter swim like a fish and start to read, sitting in a beach chair watching my kids play in the sand, going out to dinner with my family on Friday nights, serving in MOPS, Fountain Diet Cokes in the morning, monthly Supper Club with dear friends, a brand new iMac, attending The Influence Conference, and texting my sisters silly stupid things when one of us needs a laugh.
23. What is a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013?
Just love people through their junk. I wrote a whole post about this. Jesus modeled this so well and I've been so struck by this radical, counter-cultural form of unconditional love.