Welcome 2013! Looking back, 2012 was one of the best years in recent memory. So many great things happened to me. Personally. Professionally. I really felt myself grow as a mother, wife, businesswoman, and artist. I felt creative and really enjoyed what I was doing for the first time in a really long time. I am not sure what brought on the shift that I felt, but I hope that it sticks around.

I think one of the biggest things for me was moving to DC. I liked Kansas, I made some lasting friendships, but I never felt like it was my home. A one year move is hard, and my attitude did not make my situation any easier. Leaving at the end of the year really was good for me. The kids and I spent the summer at the beach and as much as we missed Wes during the week, it was what I needed. I felt more connected to my babies, and in a lot of ways to myself. I worked really hard all year and was able to enjoy the benefits of my hard work with some down time. I read books for the first time in years, I spent long days on the beach, I spent time with my mom and got to know her again. I felt recharged when fall rolled around.

A little over a week before school started, we moved to DC. Immediately, I felt like we belonged there. I love where we live, the neighborhood is quiet, and the house we live in is small, but for right now, it is just what we need. There is an energy in DC that I really seem to respond to. The kids are happy there, I am happy there, Wes is happy there. We have friends from different eras in our lives, family, and for once we had community before we even moved in. We did not have the struggle of begging a stranger to be our emergency contact. And for nomads like us, that it is a really big deal.

I never dreamed that when I decided on a whim to start a food blog that so many amazing people and opportunities would come to me because of it. Don’t get me wrong, it is a lot of work. But work that I enjoy and that I get a great sense of accomplishment from. I have watched my photography grow and my writing as well. I have turned my blog into a business. I have traveled for my blog, made connections, and been able to cross things off of my bucket list because of it.

My marriage has always been good. Of course there have been ups and downs, no marriage is perfect. But it feels like it is stronger and happier than before. I know that Wes loves me, and that I love him, but this year he has really stepped up to let me live some of my dreams. He has taken on a lot of the responsibility of running our home so that I could do things for my career and for myself. He truly is my biggest cheerleader and I am grateful to have him by my side. We have a beautiful family together and I love the home that we have created for ourselves and our children.

My life is good. I am in a good place right now. 2013 is looking promising. This year, instead of the same resolution (I don’t think that I will ever lose that 20 pounds), I am going to set some goals instead. Some lofty, and some not. But things to work towards to make myself a better person.

1. I am going to say no to more things than I say yes to. This is hard for me to do. When I first started blogging, I was so flattered by the offers and opportunities that came my way. I really felt that if I said no to anything that no one would ask me again. I have since learned that this is not the case. I feel like I stretched myself too thin and began to lose some of myself. This year, I am cutting way back. If it is not something that I truly want to do, or something that will benefit me in the long run, I am going to say no. This is not just in my blog life, but also in my personal life.

2. Read more books. There was a time when I would read 3 books a week. Now I am happy if I read 3 books a year. I miss reading, and the connection that I feel towards books. I love getting lost in a book and being sad when it is over.

3. Run a half marathon. If you know me, then you know that I really hate working out. I signed up for the Nike Womens Half Marathon and am promising myself that I will finish it. This is a goal that I have always had (I have no idea why, I really do not love running) and need to cross of my list of things-that-I-have-done-in-this-life. I know that it will be good for my body and my mind and having a goal will help me stay motivated and on task. I will be happy if I do not come in last.

4. Eat out twice a month. As a family, we made this goal. Ironically, as much I cook, we do eat out quite a bit. It is not good for our bodies or our wallet. Instead of running out for dinner on a busy night, we will make something easy at home. A sandwich or a bowl of cereal will be fine, but we will eat our meals in our home. This I think will be hard to do, as we love eating out and restaurants, but that should make going to one even more of a treat.

5. Take more pictures of my kids. Every year I make my grandmother a calendar for Christmas. She looks forward to it every year, and I end up giving a few other family members one as well. Usually I have a hard time narrowing down which pictures to use I have so many. This year, I barely had enough to make one. Yes, I take a lot of iPhone pictures, but I really need to take my big camera out with me wherever we go. It is worth it, and something that I really miss. Photography does feel like work sometimes, and taking pictures of my family was the whole reason why I got into it in the first place. I need to take more pictures of our every day life again. At the end of this year, I want to struggle to have narrow down my options for the calendar.

Here is to a happy and productive new year. Have a Happy New Year.