This year seemed to come and go quickly; probably because I was so busy for most of it. Slowing down has never been my strong suit, and I’m actually learning that it’s a real problem for me!
But in the midst of work and raising kids and new hobbies and new commitments, I feel like I learned a lot about myself. Like that red lipstick is my friend. And some other much less superficial stuff.
Instagram’s “best nine” collage for 2016 summed up my year pretty well – a little bit of fashion, a whole lot of home, and a Britney quote that reminded me I can get through anything (thanks for the reminder, Brit).
[ follow me on insta // @themombot ]
The year began with a new commitment that I had made to help head up the board of my child’s preschool. What I thought would be smooth sailing turned into a complete shipwreck when we found out that we needed to relocate our preschool before the fall, else we would have to close our doors. No pressure, though… what ensued was 11 months of some of the hardest work I have ever done. I prayed and I cried and I called real estate agents and I met with city planners, and here’s what I learned:
- I can confidently relocate any preschool at this point
- I am basically a realtor by now
- God has created me to be an incredibly capable individual
- God provides. God opens doors and He closes doors, but He stands beside you in either case. He has plans bigger than we can imagine, so we need to be more open-minded. He has timelines that are not our own. But He is the ultimate provider and (thankfully) He is in control of all things that are out of our hands.
Long story short on this topic, my term on the board ended in November and God worked in incredible ways to extend our timeline at current location along with bringing us a new place to relocate to in the coming year. When I walked about from the position at the end of 2016, I felt a huge sigh of relief and a renewed sense of God’s vastness and power – and that was a huge lesson for me.
When it came to my business in 2016, I saw incredible growth thanks to my wholesale account with UncommonGoods.com. A whole lot of people have quote books in their homes now thanks to my placement in their spring and winter catalog. For the first time, I hired employees to help fill orders and I worked so hard that my back literally hurt (binding books is no joke).
[ Kids’ Quote Book ]
But when I sat down and balanced my books last week, I realized that my income had doubled from 2015 to 2016. And even as I type that now, I have tears in my eyes. I have always been a dreamer, and I have always dreamt of success in my business. I’m still not quite “there” (are we ever really?), but the trajectory is up and I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I have learned that hard work really does pay off. And I have learned that I can not do this alone, nor am I the only who deserves the reward.
Over the last year, I have also learned that my love of working on and remodeling my home is becoming a little more than a hobby; it’s a NEED. My creativity is just about bursting out of me, and if I can’t paint something or build something or shiplap something, I might explode. I have really learned over the last year what my aesthetic is and how to work it into our home and I am loving every minute of being able to do that. If I could flip houses for a living one day, I think I would be in heaven. I’m just not sure my husband is on board… actually, I know he isn’t on board.
Family life was equally fun and exhausting this year. Having a first grader who attends full-day school and rides the bus is no joke. My youngest turned two in June and it’s been a battle of wills ever since. I’ve pulled my hair out more than once when he hid behind the couch playing with his daddy’s guitar, refused to take a nap, or ran off with his sister’s scissors for the 18th time. Thank God I am in my early thirties; five years older and I would have just given up and given him away (kidding). But despite the rough times, the kids also participated in gymnastics and tee ball, my daughter and I took a girls’ trip for the first time to visit my sister, we went to baseball games and fairs, we went on hikes and watched parades and picked our own vegetables – it wasn’t all fun, and a lot of it invoked my inner “crazy mom” voice, but it was all an experience and a memory.
My husband and I went on a vacation to Costa Rica to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary, and it will long be etched in my brain as the most restorative vacation ever. We had so much fun together (alone!) and relaxed enough to recharge us for the rest of the year.
And over the course of the last year, I learned that the 5 of us are a good team. We fit together in a weird way. My husband and I are tired a lot of the time, but we are constantly trying to learn and do better (I literally just took a parenting webinar today…).
And now I’m looking ahead to 2017.
I have plenty of goals, many of which I will probably never reach, but that’s ok, I prefer to overestimate. I can’t wait to see what I learn in the new year. The kids will grow, our house will change and I will inevitably pick up a new hobby (I’m planning on learning to knit, because I’ve got plenty of time, right?). Bring it 2017.