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.