Est. 2011

January 2, 2018

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It’s a New Year!

Wow, wow, wow! How has another year passed by and suddenly we’re 2 days into 2018! I think I ask myself this question every year. Time flies, especially when life is so FULL! This post was supposed to go live yesterday, but I found myself really wanting to unplug and go through my downstairs and pack up Christmas decorations, deep clean, and reorganize! I did just that, and figured this post could wait until today.

I love how this time of year sparks the desire to clean, organize, refresh, plan, and set intentions. This regrouping and planning ahead is so necessary and welcome; it helps get me out of my daily ruts and tendency to never want to change or improve or leave my comfort zone. It’s so healthy to look back at what our goals and intentions were for the past year and then refocus on our new intentions and goals.

I was just rereading my 2017 new years blog post, and was reminded how many of my goals for 2017 are still at the top on my list for 2018. Soon after that post went live, I found out I was pregnant with baby Jojo! I was shocked, to say the least; I was not mentally or physically (or in any way) prepared to have another baby. The first several months of 2017 were marked by morning sickness, a sense of being overwhelmed, not knowing how I was going to be a mom of 3, and a complete lack of motivation and desire to create.

After the first couple months, I slowly came out of the fog and transitioned back into work and “real life” and the summer flew by. My grandfather had a stroke in July, which was a complete and total shock, and I tried to travel to New Jersey as much as possible to see him and my family before having the baby. Baby Jojo arrived in September, I took about 1 month off of work to adjust. Joe left his position as a cyber intelligence analyst about 2 weeks before having the baby, and we had 3 months together to bond as a family of 5. This was such a sweet time of transition. Then the preparations for and the holidays hit, and now they’re over and suddenly we’re in 2018. When you summarize the year in a few paragraphs, it seems to have flown by even faster!

I have lots of new (and some of the same) intentions and goals for 2018. My hope is to share them here with you now, and then write a monthly recap post, sharing how I’m doing in each area. I need accountability, and would love to hear more about your goals for the new year, and we can help each other achieve them!

Personal
After Zoe was born, I had nearly 4 fingers width of separation in my stomach muscles. I never took the time to properly heal those muscles and strengthen my core. When she was 9 months old, I got pregnant with Naomi. My diastasis recti got even worse during my second pregnancy. But once again, after she was born, I was lazy and did nothing to help my body heal. Then almost 3 years later, along came Jojo, and now I’m almost 4 months postpartum and have still done nothing to bind those muscles back together. For 2018, I am committing to strengthening my core and healing that separation. I’d also love to lose the last 15 lbs of baby weight. I gained the most weight during Jojo’s pregnancy (about 45 lbs), and need to reclaim my health! It’s not the weight I’m worried about, it’s the fact that I’m almost 32 and I am weak and have zero physical endurance. Time to devote some time to a healthier lifestyle!

Home
Lots of questions for us regarding our home! Should we buy a larger house? Should we sell our home and rent a larger one? Should we stay where we are for another few years? Should we build an addition? Should I convert our garage to my studio (something that’s been in the works for about 3 years)? Should I rent a studio space somewhere in town?

We own our charming 1920s Virginia farmhouse and we simply love it, and moving is the last thing I want to do. I don’t like that kind of change or the idea of packing everything up. However, our home is only 1,100 square feet and we are rapidly outgrowing it. I accumulate props for work and I currently have no dedicated work or studio space. When I shoot in the home it’s in one of our tiny rooms and it invades our living space. This fall, we’ll start officially homeschooling, but we have no room for bookshelves or a school table. And currently, the baby sleeps in our room, but soon he’ll need to move out, and the girls’ room is tiny, about 9 x 10.

I know people with more children live in spaces this small, but we’re feeling quite cramped. A goal for 2018 is to figure out what to do in this area (and how to stay sane in our current situation)!

Family
This year, more than ever, I want to be more intentional with my children. The older they are, the more I see the need to be present in their lives; to teach and train them, to invest in them, to make a daily effort to spend one-on-one time with each of them, to be patient with them, to slow down with them. My intention, as I did [not so perfectly] in 2017, is to work 2 days each week and to simply be with them the rest of the week.

Blog/Business
One of the most exciting/scary times in the life of a business is knowing that in order to grow, you have to make some changes. Some of these changes for 2018 will be bringing on an intern (yay…you’ll get to meet her soon) and creating a designated work space (either at my home or renting a local studio space).

I have a list of a million and one things to work on for my blog this year, but the main goal is to continue to create inspiring content for my readers while helping to support my family. Since Joe’s job changed in September, we’re depending on my income more than ever. It’s incredibly humbling and exciting that I can do what I love and inspire others to enjoy life’s daily somethings, and help to support my family! Thank YOU for making that possible!

Some of my other blog and business related goals from my ever-growing list: develop exclusive content for and foster a real community in my newsletter (sign up here; we have exciting content coming every month), stick to an editorial calendar, keep you updated each month with my goals and intentions for the year, create more DIY posts, and catalog and categorize all my recipes and make them easier to find on the blog.

My last business related goal for 2018 is to begin hosting my A Daily Gathering[s] again! When I found out I was pregnant last January, I decided to take a break from my retreats, dinners, and workshops. With my morning sickness, and a baby due in September, it was just too much for me to take on. But I am yearning to host more gatherings; I love bringing people together for a good meal and teaching about hospitality and intentional living and making your life more beautiful! So, keep your eyes and ears open for news of the first event!

For the rest of this month, I have some simple content planned to share in this space. Content that will hopefully inspire you to start fresh this new year. Simple recipes, ideas of how to enjoy this long, cold time of year, easy home projects, and ways to plan for the year ahead.

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