2013 in Review + Intro to 2014

I really meant to have this post together before now. It is currently the dawn of a new day and year, as 2014 is upon us! I'm so thankful to be here still rocking with you all. 2013 was a great year, full of discovery and surprises. Though I've had a few misses, I can still say that 2013 was good to me. As a way of charting my progress and gearing up for 2014, I am doing Rosetta Thurman's Annual Review (courtesy of Happy Black Woman) for the second time.  It has been quite helpful to me, so I wanted to share my review in hopes that you may want to do the same.

What I Want to Remember About 2013 

What was the most valuable lesson I learned this year? This year, I really learned how to trust the Lord in all things. When I found out hubby and I were pregnant with baby #3, I was so unprepared. I wondered and worried about how that would change our family dynamic. God showed up and showed me that if I trusted Him, He would make a way for my husband and I to provide for our growing family. Throughout my pregnancy, we experienced quite a few challenges. But God interceded, made a way out of no way, and blessed us with a healthy baby boy, among other things. I'm just in awe of how amazing He has been to us.

What was the best book and/or movie I discovered this year? Reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz was such an eye-opening experience for me. It was about more that reading a few lines and vowing to live by their precepts. It invited me to a new way of thinking. I saw how making assumptions and taking things personally have caused me to make damaging decisions in the past. It has also encouraged me to be impeccable with my word (whether it be spoken or written) and to always do my personal best. Everyone should read it!

The Best Man Holiday has been the movie of the year for me. Watching the cast members grow from their 1999 roles to deal with matters of the heart, experiencing ups & downs in their careers, and terminal illness really made me pay attention to the things going on within me and in the lives of those around me. Seeing The Best Man Holiday was like a call to action for me. I needed to understand that for every peak we hit in life, valleys will also come. Nothing is constant. Seasons change in every aspect, including friendships. No one is ever too immersed in "living" that they shouldn't reach out and connect with someone. You'll never know how much they need you or how much you need them if you don't. I learned many of these lessons the hard way this year, so this movie was a very emotional one for me. It was something I really needed to see illustrated though. It did my heart good.

What was the biggest personal milestone I reached this year? I think I've matured a lot as a wife this year. Though I've spent the last ten years of my life in love with J and the last 2 years married to him, I believe that this year has been more essential to our growth as a couple than others. We've seen some stressful times this year. But finding my place in my marriage, being secure as his wife, and most importantly consulting God and praying for my marriage have really kept things moving smoothly around here. I've been known to crack under pressure when dealing with a lot of things, but with this-- I've vowed to hold this spot down until death do us part. And I will :)

 What I Want to Leave Behind As I Enter 2014 

Which goals did I make the least progress on this year? 2013 was supposed to be the year of networking and connecting with other creatives, bloggers, and people with whom I shared similar interests. When finding out I was having a baby, I used that as an excuse to become stagnant. I didn't go out and network as much as I wanted to, nor did I take the opportunities to cultivate my interests into something greater. I broke those promises to myself, so I will definitely have to make amends. I owe myself that much.

What did I do in 2013, if anything, that was out of alignment with my values? It's not necessarily what I did in 2013 that wasn't in alignment with my values. It's more of what I didn't do. I value community and family immensely. However, I didn't really do anything in 2013 to uplift or further build my "back yard" in ways that I know I can. I've been presented with a couple of opportunities recently, so I'm hoping to work closer with my "back yard" and really make a difference with my family and community.

Gabs and J at Relay for Life 2013

What I Want to Bring Into My Life in 2014

What do you deserve more of in 2014? In 2014, I believe I deserve more romance, date nights, lunch dates with friends, and weekend getaways with my family. I deserve to allow abundance and opportunity to pour into and envelope me. 

My brother + my babies during the holidays

What personal milestone(s) do you most want to reach this year in your relationships, health, family, finances, education and/or lifestyle?  I would bore you guys with resolutions like losing weight, eating healthier, spending more time with family + friends, and saving money, but I'm not. While I do want to do all those things, I feel that they are things I've been working on constantly. For a change, I want to be more adventurous in 2014. I'm going to be bold and ask for things, even if I'm afraid the answer may be know. I'm going to dive in and do things I'm terrified of doing. I'M GOING TO EMBRACE FEAR, DANCE WITH IT, AND DEFY IT. Period.

What professional accomplishments (at work or in your business) do you want to see for yourself this year? I don't want to share too much here and jinx the whole operation, so I will tell you all to stay tuned. I have some high hopes and hopefully, I will see some fruits of my laboring this year :)

What do you want to learn in 2014? I STILL want to learn to sew. Now I realize I've known a stellar instructor all along, so I can soon make this a reality!

What do you want to cross off of your bucket list in 2014? I want to cross off wearing a bikini to the beach, starting a vlog, and taking a pole fitness class (don't judge me lol).

What I Want My Blog to Look Like in 2014

I can't wait to share more with you guys this year. I embrace the opportunity to continue getting to know many of you! In the past, I've shared interests in music, thrifting, beauty and style here. This year, I hope to further engage you guys in all of these subjects even more. I plan to also share more about my family life, as I mentioned in prior posts. I feel such a joy in blogging, especially when I'm blogging about things that I'm passionate about. So while I want to share things that you guys enjoy reading, I must first make sure that these things are in alignment with my passions. 

I like to keep things easy breezy around here, but from time to time I may want to vent or beat my laptop to my heart's content about whatever is going on around me. Don't worry-- I won't turn the blog into Dear Diary or anything. I just hope you guys continue to rock with me through the good, the bad, and the ugly, should it come. I appreciate you all so much for continuing to read, comment, and engage with me here and on other social networks. I'm also very grateful for those of you who are new subscribers and liked what you saw here enough to continue on this journey with me. Stay tuned for the upcoming YouTube channel, too! 

Thanks for rocking with me in 2013 and still rocking with me in 2014! Y'all could have done anything in the world today, but you're taking a few minutes to mix it up with me. And I appreciate y'all for it! 

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