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!

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Hi There, It’s Been a While.

In case you noticed, I’ve been away from the blog for a while. April hit me like a ton of bricks and I, honestly, lost all urgency and desire to blog. But that’s ok because I’ve been too busy just living life this past month–and oh, it was such a good month.

I became an aunt again. TWICE. There are two new little guys in my family, Wolf and Jack, and they’re just some of the sweetest things ever. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again but being an aunt, to now six little kiddos, is one of the best things ever and I can’t even begin to describe that kind of love. So, welcome to the family little guys–Aunt Amy loves you so much.

I went on a weekend camping trip with a couple of girl friends and it was such an amazing weekend. And when I say camping–I mean CAMPING. I’m thinking about writing a post about it eventually but my favorite parts of the trip were being out of cellular coverage for three days, away from distractions, being out in nature, and spending quality time with friends.

This month was full of work, commitments, and a lot of behind the scene things. It was also a time of reflection for me to think about life, personal areas needing growth, and the mission behind my blog. As much as I love what I’m doing, sometimes I get a little frustrated with myself regarding the content I’m putting out there. I learned VERY quickly that my goal of three posts a week was definitely not sustainable for my lifestyle–and that may have contributed to my lack of wanting to write in April. Now that I’m getting back into the swing of things, I think that I will try to post two times a week (as life allows) and my desire is to make them more meaningful and intentional. Blog posts will be published again on Tuesdays and Thursdays, during the weeks that I am able to work on content.

See you soon in some more blog posts!

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Preparing to Come Home from Traveling

I get so excited when it’s time to travel and I build it up so much for myself that it can be really hard returning to reality. Haven’t we all be there though? As much as I love my travel routines and things that I do to prepare for a trip–I also have a routine for coming home. A day or two before I come home, there are some questions that I begin to ask myself to help prepare for “post trip letdown/depression” and getting back into my normal routine. There are also a few things that I like to do when re-packing and then as soon as I get home.

QUESTIONS I ASK MYSELF BEFORE RETURNING HOME

  1. What have I learned from this trip? I think it’s important to always be evaluating yourself for things that you can learn or that you have learned. I think that trips can also be more meaningful for you personally if you have this mind-set.
  2. What am I dreading the most about going home? Face your fears and stressors head on! Yes–there will be responsibilities waiting for you, yes–there will be laundry, yes– there will be work to return to, and yes to so many other things that you will have to resume. However, I think it’s important to work through these feelings and concerns so that you can prepare strategies for dealing with these issues.
  3. When can I next look forward to time off? Something I have learned about myself, over the years, is that my work and focus tend to be better when I know that I’m working towards something or some time off. I think that it’s healthy to regularly plan time off so that you don’t become overly attached to work and forget to take care of yourself. I have tried to plan time off every few months, or as the opportunity arises, and it’s a great motivator for helping me return to everyday life and stay motivated with my responsibilities.

THINGS I DO BEFORE AND WHEN I GET HOME

  1. Put dirty laundry in a drawstring bag or separate tote bag. I think that this routine helps so much when unpacking because all of my dirty clothes are in one place and I can easily start laundry when I get home.
  2. Put away suitcase as soon as possible. About a week before a trip, I’ll pull out my suitcase so that I have something to look at that lets me know time off is coming. However, I like to put my suitcase away soon after I get home so that I don’t keep looking at it and wishing I was still on vacation. I really like to do this routine, even if this means that I literally dump out my suitcase into a pile and put it away–it helps me so much.

I hope these tips have been helpful for you! Do you have any routines for coming home from traveling?

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My Goals for 2018

Bye, 2017! Hello and welcome, 2018! I can’t believe another year has passed and it was definitely a full year! It’s been awesome to reflect over the past year and also start to make plans for the next. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2018 will bring and tell you about those highlights next year. Before I get into telling you my goals for 2018–here are some of the highlights from the past year.

Highlights of 2017:

-1 year anniversary of my blog
-Went to Chicago to see my sister and her family
-Ran a St. Patrick’s Day 5k with my dad
-Went to Maine to see my best friend
-Helped to pick out my sister’s puppy named Franklin
-Did Whole30 twice
-Went to DC with 2 of my sisters for a week
-Went to Dallas with family
-Went to Virginia to see cousins
-Bought my first real, nice camera and started taking photos seriously
-Went to Dallas again for the Declare Conference
-Ran my second half marathon and this time with my pregnant sister (she’s a rock star)
-Ran a Thanksgiving Day Hog Jog with almost every member of my immediate family
-Went to Chicago again
-Went to 7 weddings
-Celebrated lots of family birthdays
-Had lots of aunt time
-Finding out that I’m going to be an aunt to more babies in 2018

My heart is so overwhelmed with all of these amazing things that happened and I’m so glad that I wrote each thing down. Although there were some bumps and difficult times in 2017, the amount of good things and experiences totally made up for them. I am thankful for every single thing that happened in 2017.

I have a few goals that I am setting for myself this next year and I thought I would share those with you today. Do you usually set goals or resolutions for the new year? I would love to hear what some of yours are!

My Goals for 2018:

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I wrote a post, last year, about my struggles with being fearful and wanted to share some encouragement to others in that post. Even though I wrote that post and know those truths to be real, I still struggle with this battle every day. Even when I may seem like I’m fine, the battle within can sometimes be crippling for me. But this year, I want to be more purposeful about giving fearful thoughts straight to the Lord and not allowing them to consume my mind. Joshua 1:9 says “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” and in Mark 6:50, Jesus says this to his disciples when they were afraid–“Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” I want to worry less this year, and in years to come, and trust completely in God and His plans for my life.

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This year I would love to try to put out 3 blog posts a week! I’m going to be changing my posting schedule from Tuesday/Friday to posting Monday/Wednesday/Friday and will try my best to stick to that new schedule. Some weeks are much harder than others to publish new content, especially because of my full-time job and those commitments. However, I’m excited to share more posts with you this next year!

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The last 2 months haven’t been great ones for me when it comes to staying active. After training and running a half marathon, I decided I was just way too tired and would rather be a couch potato. But the times that I have been consistent with exercising have been the times that I’ve felt and slept the best. So, this year I want to be the most consistent with going to the gym and go at least 3-4 times a week.

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I bought my first Canon in September and it’s been so fun to use! The photos that I’ve taken have turned out so well and I can’t wait to travel with the camera and take more photos. I hope to also share some of those photos with you this next year.

Happy new year friends!

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