It was brought to my attention by my longtime friend Xenia @ Raised by Culture that a lot of bloggers have chosen a one word theme for the year. It’s described as being your vision, or theme for the new year. You may not know this about me, but I’m all about positive and inspiring quotations, so this is right up my alley!
But just one word??
For a whole year?
What would I choose?!
At the time we were living in a small apartment with my 2 children, and he would drive for over an hour 4 times every weekend to visit his son and his own parents. That year is when we decided to move out of that city and into the suburbs to be closer to his son and parents, and to provide my children a good life.
We moved from that little apartment to a beautiful 4 bedroom two story home in a family friendly town and a beautiful neighborhood. My kids entered into sports and thrived, and it’s one of the best decisions I feel we’ve made. That was the last time I had purposely decided on a word for the year, it was also the same year as Beyonce‘s single Upgrade U topped the charts, that made it even more of a sign to us!
At the end of each year I always like to revisit all the little moments that brought us to the closing of the year, and the hopes, ideas and plans I have for the coming year. This year was definitely no exception. Since we’ve moved to this town in 2007 we have dreamed of purchasing a home. We’ve gotten into a few deals where we were renting with the option to buy at the end of the lease, but our financial problems happened and for a while that just wasn’t feasible. We got into a hole, big time, and this past year was the first year that Big G worked a large majority of the year!
In the beginning of 2012 we moved into our current home under a one year lease, and had planned to purchase in 2013 after the lease was up. Our landlord wanted nothing to do with the home, which was definitely a “fixer-upper” in every sense. It had been inhabited by bachelor’s for a long time, and was in serious need of some TLC. We painted the kitchen, family room, downstairs bathroom, and 2 bedrooms.We purchased new appliances, began some landscaping of the backyard as well as new fixtures in our bathroom. But when the big things went bad (A/C went out, water heater had a serious leak which resulted in mildew, and the furnace ultimately went out) that’s when we realized what a nightmare of a landlord we had, and he was very serious when he said he was not going to put any more money into the home.
So the home we planned on purchasing, that we personalized and did a lot of projects as a family and fell in love with as our own is now the home we absolutely cannot wait to get out of! We move next week!
|Just some of the projects and changes we’ve made to our current home.|
Now we will be long term renters, with no future of purchasing our soon-to-be home. But the landlords are amazing, the home is beautiful and clean, and the kitchen has granite counters and amazing lighting! This is a good thing for you and this blog!
One of my goals when my oldest was little, was to own my own home before he moved out. I hate how life sometimes doesn’t work out how you planned, and I think that little goal has contributed a lot to my anxiety these past few years about wanting to own a home. He turns 18 this Saturday and I didn’t get to achieve that goal.
2012 was a difficult year for me when it comes to him. You see, I was a teen when I had him. we grew up together, and I finished High School on Independent studies and worked full time while living on my own since 17. I’ve always been a hard worker, but I never had the time to enjoy with him like I do now with my younger children. I was a single, very young mother trying to bust my butt to make a decent life for him and I. He has been with me through everything; high school, college, various jobs, being a single struggling mom, and then being married and part of a blended family. But this past summer he moved out of my home and in with his dad back to the city we had left behind in 2007. It’s been a difficult adjustment for me, because I thought he would be with me until after he graduated High School. Maybe he’d move out when he went away to college or the military. I thought I’d be there throughout the excitement of his Senior year, for senior portraits, prom, graduation and all the moments in between. And for the first time in my adult life, he’s not here every day.
A lot of people don’t even know about that, and I have dealt with it in my own, private way. Teenagers are a different breed of human, and sometimes no matter how much you know your kid and think you know what’s best for them, they still want to experience things and live life on their terms. I got through that dark period by diving into blogging and focusing on that, and it made me so happy! Seriously, cooking, and writing and taking photographs and rekindling friendships with other friends that also blog has ignited a creative part of me that I thought had long gone. It’s given me an outlet and helped me see that this cooking thing, it’s more than just something I do for my family. It’s a passion, and I can’t wait to see how things develop over the next year.
You see, I get anxiety attacks. Pretty badly. I may even have an anxiety disorder and I’m almost positive I have some time of OCD. I get almost obsessed with things, and I’m a total perfectionist. When I make a promise or set a goal, I absolutely HAVE TO keep it, under no uncertain terms. It’s difficult to let go of that and be flexible, especially when life sometimes happens and teaches you that it can’t always be about you and what you think is best. Over the summer I also had some setbacks with my health, mainly the use of my arm and it was very hard on me. I couldn’t cook, I couldn’t even carry my kids. Just to get groceries I had to bring one of the kid’s or (gasp) have my husband do it instead.
It was so frustrating and very depressing, but it made me learn about myself. I still don’t quite know what was wrong, it may have even been contributed to stress and my anxiety with everything going on in my life. I don’t know, but until then I had been on a huge health kick, and had lost close to 30 pounds by changing my diet and working out. With the injury to my arm I couldn’t work out and I fell almost into a depression. I’m no stranger to depression, both my parents suffer from depression and I know full well the importance of mental health. I also think everything happens for a reason and this is when I focused more on my blog and fell in love over and over again.
The point I’m getting at is we had a very blessed year overall. The struggles we experienced are normal, teenagers can be crazy, we all get sick or stressed out. But how we get through it and how we allow it to change our future decisions is what matters. I was thinking today of what I want for the year, of just one little word that could describe my hopes for 2013. I read some blogs and already had some ideas in my head. One of the words that kept haunting my brain was progress. I visited an article, and instead of saying “next page” it said “progress to page 2”. A sign? I’m not sure. But progress is a keeper. That’s what we will continue to do!
I know this entry was a lot more personal than what you may be used to from me, but I just wanted to share a piece of my life and my world with you. The friendships I’ve made through blogging, the outlet it has created in my own hectic little world has been cathartic. I have you, my readers, to thank for that.
Here’s to 2013, my very own year of PROGRESS.
To start the year, I came across two meme’s that have gained popularity. I’ve decided these will both be things that I will make an effort to do, to make this a successful, progressive year.
Wow you’ve had an eventful year, but yay for getting into a house with a better landlord! My word for 2012 was Epiphany my word for 2013 will be Authentic. Saying true to myself, blogging, my workouts, and health.
Mama Harris says
Definitely eventful, and so excited about the new house!
I love authentic, good choice! 🙂 I’m loving your blog btw! <3
Ariana Reed says
Really like how personal you got. Although I’m sad your oldest moved away. I think all things happen for a reason and just like you saw the word upgrade and progress around..I think it’s just meant to be. I have yet to find my one word theme. Not even a clue as to what would work for me, but I’ll keep searching.
Thanks for sharing! Made me feel a tad bit closer to ya! <3
Mama Harris says
Thank you Ariana, I’m still sad too.
And yes you’re right, it all happens for a reason. 🙂
Thanks for reading and commenting! <3
Marilla @ Cupcake Rehab says
I have no clue what my word is. I feel like it should be something really powerful & strong but I can’t think of anything, haha. But I do love this post!
Mama Harris says
Thank you! You’ll find your word!
Refreshing to hear true stories like yours Sometimes things dont work our how we wish and things happen that are out of our control but the accomplishment comes in never giving up! I love your word! I need to think of one of my own! Thanks for the inspiration!
Mama Harris says
Thank you Ruby, I learned long ago life isn’t rainbows and butterflies lol. I’m glad you can appreciate my story and my word. Thank YOU! 🙂
April Me says
Hi! I’m your newest follower. Please stop by and say hi when you have a chance. I’m also hosting a blog hop – if you would like to join us 🙂 Hope you’re having an awesome week.
A Mommy’s Blog Design http://amblogdesign.com
Connie Gomez says
Ok, I am a very emotional person but keep cool.. and I was fine until your son moved out..I lost it. Balling my eyes out. Why? Why do they grow up and move away? My kids are 3 and 2 but I would feel as if a piece of my heart were gone and you..so close to your son…I hope I am not making things worse but I feel your pain. Literally. I hope it all works out for him and for the best…and that you can slowly work your way through it all! I am so sorry for all the health issues.. BUT PROGRESS! I LOVE THAT!!! You can definitely make progress!!!!
Mama Harris says
Connie, I’m the same way lol. This was a very emotional post for me. I cried while writing it and also afterwards. I keep a lot bottled up inside, I’m more the friend that people come to for advice, hardly the one that opens up and cries to others. Many of my real life friends didn’t know for the longest time that he was gone, and some still don’t (unless they read here lol). I think writing this helped me deal with some of those emotions. I always knew I’d be a mess when he moved out on his own, but I thought I had more time. Sometimes the loss you feel is more about the plans you had, you know what I mean?
Thank you! And no, you didn’t make it worse. 🙂
Connie Gomez says
I totally know what you mean!!! Thank you for opening up! My Blog is my free therapy.. I always say!! 🙂 OHHH AND MY WORD IS: ORGANIZATION!!! 🙂
Mama Harris says
Ohhh Organization. Yes, good one. Anyone who knows a perfectionist knows it can be synonymous with procrastinator! It’s so much effort to get it perfect that you know how long it’s going to take. I have so much organization to do, but I’m excited for the move because it’s a new start and I can definitely work on some organizational projects.
I actually came across this blog a while back on Pinterest, and oh my goodness she has some wonderful organizational tips, on the cheap too! I bet you’ll like her stuff! Especially if you’re getting organized! 🙂 I’m always amazed at her stuff! http://delightfulorder.blogspot.com/
Christin Theiss says
Hey there! I’m a new follower, I don’t remember where I found your blog (maybe a blog hop) but I’m glad I did!! =) I love this post! I’m sorry to hear about your son (I don’t know how I will react when my 3yr old is out of the house) I say I want him gone now but every mommy knows that it’ll be a sad day when it comes! Congrats on the new house, although I can’t relate with the landlord situation because well, my landlords are my parents (lol) I do feel your pain! I love food so I can’t wait to read more about your life and all of the food in it. <3 Christin
Melissa Libertad says
Aww Dawn, I want to give you a hug and tell you that you are such a wonderful and strong woman. I am so happy you opened up and shared with us about your life. I loved your blog before because it always inspired me/challenged me to do better in the kitchen and now I am honored to know the person.
Life is challenging. We all have our struggles. our ups and downs but it is how we deal with these challenges that make us stronger/wiser. I am no stranger to depression. I’ve suffered for many years, and I’ve found that when you open up and share your struggle/depression, it takes some of the pain away. Please keep sharing.. with your husband, your friends, with anyone that will listen. the more you speak and get things off your cheast… the better you will feel.
Big hugs. Progress sounds like the perfect word for 2013
Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself with us.
PS my word for 2013 is motivation.. because I need a lot of it… lol.
Mama Harris says
Oh Melissa, you made me cry (in a good way) with your comment. You are so absolutely sweet! <3
And it’s so true, sharing does seem to make it better. I’m blessed with a wonderful man who loves me and all my crazy, and is always there for me with wise words, hugs, and great advice. 🙂
I love motivation too! 🙂
Sorry about your oldest 🙁 In some ways I am glad my kids don’t have regular contact with their dad.
I am doing a word of the year for the first time this year and I am hoping it provides me with the direction I need.
(Hopping over from Thumping Thursday)
I’ve had words in the past, but then they sort of fizzled out as most “resolutions” do, but I admire those that choose one. I love your word. Wow, I’m surprised by some of the stuff in this post, but thank you so much for sharing. I think you just NEVER know what could happen! You went into some of these homes expecting to buy and it did not happen. Maybe now that you have no plans to buy this home, it will! Wouldn’t that be amazing! Thanks for sharing your passion with us! So very, very proud of you.