Happy 4th Birthday, Blog: Lessons from Last Year

On January 31st, this past weekend, my blog turned 4 years old! Yay!! I know that year 3 was kind of a wash, but I learned many lessons about myself and life during that time. Today I want to celebrate new beginnings, refreshment, a new year, and new goals–which is what I am hoping year 4 will be for this blog.

I would like to share with you 4 lessons that I learned last year during my little hiatus. While I probably learned more than 4 lessons–these are the ones that stick out to me the most.

  1. Material things will not and do not make you happy. I mean, I guess they kind of do–but if you go in with the mindset of “well, if I get this or that then I’ll feel better about myself,” you will be wrong. I think in the first couple years of blogging, I tried to accumulate so much stuff because “that’s what everyone else was doing” so that things could showed off and reviewed. While yes, I know that some bloggers do a really good job of giving reviews, writing about fashion and style, and marketing for other companies–I was doing a really bad job at it. After a while all of the stuff I had was beginning to crowd me and make me feel overwhelmed with the amount of money I was spending and also just how much stuff I had to maintain. I do not mean to offend other bloggers at all, because I know that many have full-time careers through them, but this was a lesson that I learned because of my blogging and social media experience. This lesson made me check my heart and evaluate the motives behind my materialism. I have since adopted a much more minimalist mindset.
  2. Moments with Jesus are powerful and change everything. If you read my last post, you’ll know that I mentioned my battle with anxiety and depression last year. There were many times that I felt so paralyzed by it all that I couldn’t really pray anything other than “Jesus, help me.” My quiet times with Jesus were not as often as I would have liked–but the moments that I would meet with Him and when I felt so desperate–I knew He was with me. I would instantly feel peace and an assurance that He knew exactly what I was going through. The times that I spent in His Word were so powerful because everything was relevant and applicable to what I was dealing with. That’s one of the amazing and powerful things about the Bible and gospel message–it is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12)! I encourage you to, even if you don’t know what to do or what to say, spend time with Jesus! He loves you, He is waiting for you, and He has given us access to Him at all times (Ephesians 2:18).
  3. Life is precious. Life is short and must be valued and celebrated! Last year, my mom went through cancer treatment and throughout the whole process, the reality of mortality was scary. It made me want to make the most out of the time that I had with her and my family each day, to not complain, but to plead with God for more time. As I mentioned in my last post, she is now cancer-free and God was, and is, so gracious to our family. I know that this world is not our home and one day we will be in eternity. I am so thankful for the promises of God and the hope we have of spending eternity with Him. I hope, very much, that you have the same assurance as well. I don’t mean to turn this post into a morbid topic, but that’s just reality.
  4. It’s ok to wear black 99% of the time. I’ve come to the reality that I just really like to wear black. I used to think it was boring, I really should wear more color, or that everything just looked the same. But that’s just me and my style–and I love it. Yes, I do have some color in my wardrobe–but it will most likely be accompanied with black. It’s classy, versatile, appropriate for all-year wear, and it’s great to mask the occasional coffee spill. Ha!

Those are my top 4 lessons of the last year! Some are pretty serious and some are not as much–but I think important, nonetheless. What are some lessons that you learned last year? I would love to know!

Hello Blog: Where Have I Been?

Hello, blog! Hello, readers! Holy cow. It’s been a while. I had no intention to be away from the blog this long (my last post was in MARCH 2019) and I have been wanting to be back as soon as possible. I thought that maybe I could skip over the “where have I been” part and just jump straight into new posts—but this part is important. I have always wanted this blog to be a space of encouragement and joy, in the midst of a crazy and sometimes difficult life, and it would be wrong of me to just pretend like everything’s been fine.

Have you ever had one of those years that, even after it’s ended, is difficult to process? Last year was one for the books, in that respect. My family has been and has come through a really difficult season, but also one that had been full of so many blessings. Last year my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, one of my siblings took a job far away, and our family had to adjust to a new way of life in specific areas. But we also welcomed another precious nephew, who we had been praying to arrive for a long time. Last year was a difficult one for me in dealing with anxiety, depression, and just an overall inability to emotionally cope with everything. I had felt paralyzed by life’s circumstances and honestly, I didn’t feel like I had anything to offer anyone on this blog. I didn’t feel like I could encourage and uplift others, when I was having such a hard time encouraging and uplifting myself. But then there were also many good things that happened last year such as hitting milestones in my career, spending some extended time in Maine during the summer, going to England in the fall, and enjoying life in my new-ish house. That is life though, an ebb and flow of good times and times that make you want to curl up in a ball.

But, in all of that…and in everything the happened in 2019–I will say that God is good. He has been so faithful through all of these seasons and it has been such a comfort to know that He has walked with me and with my family through all these times. Perhaps some would think that living a Christian life comes without suffering and difficult times–but that is far from the truth. God even says in His word that–“in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).” I think one of the biggest blessings about going through tough times is knowing there is hope and peace through Christ for those who are in Christ. My favorite worship song lately has been Goodness of God by Bethel Music and it’s words have been so encouraging! I can definitely say that I have lived in the goodness of God! And praise God, my mother has been declared cancer free!!

I love Your voice

You have led me through the fire

In the darkest night

You are close like no other

I’ve known You as a Father

I’ve known You as a Friend

And I have lived in the goodness of God

And all my life You have been faithful

And all my life You have been so, so good

With every breath that I am able

Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God

Goodness of God by Bethel Music

I think this may be a very random and jumbled post, but it’s just a little snippet into the last year and some of my thoughts. I feel like I am finally able to move forward with my plans for this online space, now that I have addressed the elephant in the room. I know that hard times are still going to come, but I want to encourage and support you through whatever you may also be going through. I have plans for travel posts, home posts, cooking posts, etc., so bear with me!

Hello, blog! Hello, reader! I’m excited for 2020 and I hope you’ll continue to join me on this journey!

Happy Blogiversary: My Thoughts on Year Three

Today is the 3rd anniversary of starting this blog! Woohoo! Yippee!

The last year was an interesting one for my writing and personal life, but I learned a lot of things along the way. If you are in the blogging and writing world, I wanted to share with you my takeaways and thoughts from year three.

Sometimes blogging is not the main priority. Sometimes you need a break for your own mental health or tend to things that are more important. There were a few months that I just needed to stop writing and focus on work, family, and rest and that’s ok. Sometimes you need to take a break to find your vision again and gain inspiration. I think that earlier last year I lost my vision and didn’t even know how to move forward. I found my purpose and vision for blogging again at the end of the year, but I’m so glad that I let myself take that break.

You need to take care of yourself. You cannot serve your audience, your friends, or your family if you are exhausted, weary, or just faking it until you make it. You can’t preach what you can’t practice!

Your blog is YOURS. Take the pressure off and don’t compare your work to someone else’s. You get create your own vision, mission, and have creative freedom! You may not have a huge amount of followers, blog views, Instagram likes, etc…but that’s ok!

Unless blogging is your full-time job, don’t treat it like that. You do not have to keep to a strict posting schedule. Earlier last year I told myself that I would post three times a week for the whole year. However, that happened for about a week and then burnout ensued. Since then I have learned how much I can handle so that I can also thrive in my full-time job.

My Favorite Blog Posts from 2018:

26 Hours in LA & San Fran–It should not come as a surprise that one of my favorite blog posts was related to traveling. This trip was so memorable and great to see different parts of California.

A Weekend in Napa & Sonoma–This post was part 2 of my California trip!

My Home Interiors Inspiration–This was such a fun post to write during the process of purchasing my house!

28 Things About Me–I think it’s fun to learn random facts about people and I hope it’s the same for you!

Welcome to My House: The Living Room–I loved this post about mt living room interior design! I can’t wait to post more house reveal posts soon!

I can’t wait to write more this year and also learn a lot! Thanks for still supporting me on this journey!

28 Things About Me

In the spirit of still celebrating my birthday month, today I’m sharing with you 28 random facts about me. I wrote one of these posts 3 years ago (I can’t believe it) and it’s funny to look back on those facts as well, haha! If you want to read that post, I’ve linked it here. If you are new to this blog, I hope you enjoy reading these things and getting to know me a little better.

  1. I love making lists.
  2. I cannot braid my own hair anymore–it’s too short and I don’t remember how to do it for myself. I can braid other people’s hair–just not mine.
  3. On my days off you can find me wearing ripped jeans and a black hoodie.
  4. Cooking and experimenting with food has become such a hobby of mine.
  5. I am a huge advocate for the importance of self-care, rest, and taking care of your body, mind, and soul.
  6. I have a never-ending stack of books always waiting to be read.
  7. I recently started taking boxing classes with some of my friends and I love that it makes me feel so tough.
  8. I’m trying to stop saying the words “anxious, scared, fearful, afraid, etc.” so much. I realized the other day that I had been doing that a lot and I don’t like that.
  9. My closet is pretty much black, grey, navy, and stripes.
  10. I cut my hair super short this year and I think this look is sticking for a while.
  11. I learned how to make my own almond milk this year and it’s pretty yummy.
  12. Family and my community of friends are essential in my life–I couldn’t do life without them.
  13. I think that fall mornings are just wonderful.
  14. I cry every time I watch Little Women and/or Anne of Green Gables. Every. Single. Time.
  15. I collect candles–there’s always an occasion for one.
  16. I could eat breakfast food for any/all meals of the day.
  17. I am so excited to do some traveling next month.
  18. This year I rediscovered my love of camping.
  19. Sour Patch anythings are my favorite kind of candy.
  20. Boy Meets World is my favorite show to watch if I need something to binge-watch.
  21. I believe that ice cream should NEVER be made in savory flavors. I saw a carrot and tumeric flavor the other day and, I’m sorry but, that’s just wrong.
  22. I sleep with about 6 pillows every night.
  23. I believe in speaking life into one another, and I’m trying to do that more for myself also.
  24. My cup of coffee is a highlight of my mornings.
  25. I am always planning a next vacation.
  26. When I was younger I had a yoyo named “Jimmy” and I would drag Jimmy around like a dog.
  27. I am slightly considering getting a dog next year.
  28. I am eating waffles for dinner (Can you tell that I’ve run out of facts this evening, haha!).

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Looking Back on My 27th Year

Ahhh! Another birth year is almost over! This is the year that it’s really hit me that I’m now in my late 20s. Yikes. This past year has been a really great one–full of love and exciting things and I think that will continue in the next year. There were definitely some low times this past year but God is faithful and He never left. Growing older is a funny thing to me in the sense that it’s exciting to see where you’re heading, while also being bittersweet that some things will never be the same again. But that is life–and life is precious.

I think this is the year that I fully felt like I knew myself and grasped who I am. I am confident of who I am in the Lord and who I am to those who mean the most to me. I know my priorities and what things I value the most. This is the year that I stopped apologizing for wearing so much black–it’s just my style and I’m going to embrace it. This is the year that I truly saw my life circumstances as gifts and found so much freedom in realizing that.

Some other major high moments this past year were:
-traveling to Chicago to spend time with family
-finding out my best friend was going to be a mama
-traveled to California with my cousin for a true girls weekend
-traveled to Maine for my annual “bestie time”
-seeing my best friend’s baby through an ultrasound
-became an aunt for the 5th time
-BOUGHT A HOUSE
-became an aunt for the 6th time
-went camping with friends in Palo Duro Canyon
-moved in my new house
-bestie became a mom
-found out I’m going to be an aunt for the 7th time
-and lots of house design/projects/etc

I can’t wait to see what the next year will bring and what 28 will be like. Thanks for following me in this journey 🙂

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