Happy New Year!! I can’t believe it’s the first day of a new year! I have been a little MIA for a few days now because my family is in town! Well my sister, her husband and 3 girls left yesterday but my mom is still here! This was my sister’s family first time to the Jacksonville area so we were staying busy showing them everything! It was quite the surprise for one of my nieces – my mom had planned to take each girl (my sister has triplet girls who are 10 years old) on separate trips here over the next year. When my mom planned the trip during the Christmas holidays, my sister planned to surprise my niece by showing up at the airport to pick her and my mom up. And ya’ll, it worked out perfectly! It is a 9 hour drive from Baton Rouge to Jacksonville so they left the day before and drove the 2nd half the next day. It was so nice having them here for a few days and Dockery enjoyed playing with them!
Today, I am getting pretty personal on here. I wanted to share a few things with you as I reflect back on 2017 and look forward to 2018. I started thinking about this post and writing it about 2-3 weeks ago. This one is a hard one to press publish on because it’s sharing a very personal side to me. But then I think about how many times I loved reading super personal posts from different bloggers and I always took something away from it. This is also a way for me to look back at the end of next year to see where we were and what was going on. I am a dates person so I love to look back in my camera roll at big events that happened and remember how things were at a certain moment in time.
2017 brought significant changes and accomplishments for my family and I. I think that will be the 2 words that describe the year for us. If you didn’t know, we moved from Louisiana to Florida in April of this year because of my husband’s job. When the job was offered to him we didn’t have to think twice about the move. When we had an idea of the opportunity for him, we made a trip to Florida and took a day to ride around the area we had researched to live. I can remember the exact spot we were last year when I said to him, “I hope we are living here this time next year!” Amazing how much can happen in a year! So here are 4 things that stood out for the year 2017!
Starting this blog – Even though the move was huge for us this year, for me personally this one is the biggest. My husband told me he prayed for me to find something that I was passionate about and this is it. Starting this blog was a long time coming but this year was finally the year that I became confident enough to do so. It’s very hard to put yourself out there and I question all the time if I am doing it right. But is there a right way? I guess not because everyone’s way of doing it is different. I also question over and over if there’s a ‘spot’ for me in the blogging world. It’s competitive, overwhelming and so much work but at the same time it’s so fulfilling and exciting. I have so many goals for this blog and I have a feeling that I will always be working towards some accomplishment but it’s exciting to me! I am so thankful that you come here everyday to read the blog and I am so blessed that I am able to do this while staying home to take care of our sweet boy. I hope to bring content to you guys that you enjoy reading next year!
Flying with Dockery – This may not be a big deal to a lot of people but it’s a pretty big one for me. Flying gives me major anxiety and doing it by myself with my toddler was not something I was looking forward to. When I flew with him about 2 weeks ago to go back home to Louisiana, everything went so well! I prayed and prayed about it before and during and while we did have a cancelled flight because of the fire in the Atlanta airport, the traveling portion of the trip could not have been easier. We talked to him about it a few days in advance and he did everything that we talked about. Accomplishing something that I never thought I could do on my own is really encouraging and I know I am capable of doing it again….but not anytime soon 😉
Moving to Florida – Our move was another huge accomplishment and change for us in 2017. I am so blessed and thankful to live where we do and to have met the people we have so far. I know there’s so much in store for us in our new community, Andrew’s job and this blog. Had we not moved to Florida, I probably would have never started blogging. Sometimes you just have to take that big leap of faith and let everything else work out on its own.
Growing closer to God – This year has been pretty eye opening for me and seeing God work in our lives. I have started to realize that not everything is by coincidence but by God watching over me. I have seen him present in my life so many times this year – more so than I ever have before. I really do think that because I have opened myself up to Him this year and listened to Him, He is working in my life and I am seeing Him work in our lives. Has everything worked out perfectly this year? Absolutely not! No one’s lives are perfect but when I look at everything we do have and how blessed we are, that outweighs everything that comes with a struggle or things we question.
2017 was a great year and 2018 has a lot to live up to! Writing these goals out will help me to hopefully stick with them! Here we go…
Engage with readers more – I want to find more ways in 2018 to engage with you. To be honest, Instagram stories intimidates me. I personally love seeing them from people I follow everyday and so I know that will help with engagement on Instagram when it’s such a tough thing to keep up with. When I see you guys and get feedback, I am so humbled and appreciative to know that you come here to read the blog. And it’s me opening up myself and my life to you and I knew that before I started this blog. In the past, I have personally related more to bloggers who are personable, relatable, open and honest. I hope to be all those things to an extent when I am posting here. I am so thankful, blessed and humbled that I am able to do this every single day. I have had a range of jobs in the past from being a student worker at LSU, a summer lifeguard, working in small boutiques to working for 2 different financial firms for the last 8 years. It almost felt as if I retired this year from jobs that I knew were passing time. I enjoyed every single one of those jobs and knew that was where I was supposed to be in that period of time but nothing has felt as right as it does with blogging. I received the nicest email from a reader about 2 weeks ago. She was so sweet to email to tell me how much she loved the blog and how I had found my calling. I absolutely lost it reading that. I know a lot of people don’t understand blogging but everyone’s dreams and desires are different. And to hear that from someone meant the world to me. For someone to see how hard I work and to maybe find one thing they like means I must be doing something right.
Routine, routine, routine – My weeks and days are currently all over the place. I am a big planner but I can never seem to plan my days out right. I would love to be able to plan certain days for blog posts, certain days for picture taking, certain days for the grocery store (I always say it’s my 2nd home) and to meal plan. I am going to try really hard with this one because this will help me manage my time better and to be more productive.
Unwind, recharge, know my limits – I have always required a lot of sleep – like at least 7-8 hours a night or I do not function well the next day. With working from home now, it has really made me think about how I use my time wisely (which I am still working on). I notice on days when I start to feel rundown, I need to forget about my to do lists for a few hours, not look at social media, put the computer away, forget about the laundry piled up and get take out for dinner. Luckily, I have a husband who completely understands this and encourages me to rest when I need to. And I have become more aware of knowing when I need to take a step back, recharge the battery when I am doing too much but get right back up when I am feeling more energized. Resting helps me with patience as a mother and wife and my attitude is 100% better.
If there’s one word that I can look forward to in 2018, it’s growing. Growing this blog, growing our home together, watching Dockery grow. 2017 was one for the books but I am so excited to see what’s in store for 2018. There’s lots of hopes and dreams that Andrew and I both have and to finally be at a point where we are both working towards them is so inspiring! We encourage each other every single day to keep working hard because we know this is where we are supposed to be at this stage in our lives.
And thank you to each and every one of you for your support over the last 5 months! It has truly been amazing to see this little blog of mine turn into what I had always (secretly) hoped to accomplish and I can’t wait to see what happens in 2018!
Cheers to you and a brand new year!!