Best gift I've made this year
Here we go.

Taking Stock

Two days into the new year and I feel like I need to look back a bit. 2012 was a good year for me - a really good year, in many ways.

I started off the year with a word as my focus: make. It was about making time, making memories, making choices, making things, making friends, making food, making a home. And while it was not at the forefront of my mind at all times, I do feel that it was the guiding, and sometimes driving, force by which I lived in 2012.

As the year got underway, I felt like I needed a purpose other than being a wife and mother. I needed something for me, something to do, something to focus on. I said that bit out loud, to Fatty and a few friends, and the universe listened. An opportunity presented itself shortly thereafter and it felt right.

We tackled some long and overdue projects around our house. Rooms and woodwork were painted, light fixtures swapped out, wainscoting installed, carpet removed, the basement and garage trashed out. I admit it kind of snowballed, one project turning into another. In the end, though, I feel like this house we have lived in for 7+ years is finally feeling like us. 2013 will see more painting, more carpet removing, more organizing and less stuff.

We traveled. Some trips included the kids and extended family, others were just the two of us, one was by myself. We like to go places, see new things, eat and drink our way through cities. Many of my favorite memories of the year were made during our travels. Meeting friends I have "known" for years because of this blog and hanging out with our loved ones invigorates me. Still, I like home best. And I know that to be grounded, I need to be here more than anywhere else. I'm glad I finally realized that.

Sewing-wise, there were a couple completed quilts and two quilt tops that are waiting to be basted and finished. I sewed some clothes for myself and the girls. I finished a dress I started in the fall of 2011 and it has become a favorite. I finished a sweater that was started around the same time as the dress and I don't love it. Granny square fever struck in the summer. As with every year, there were some real winners craft-wise, and some real losers. Many of them not blogged. It's my intent to go back and chronicle some of these in the next month - stay tuned. I also took a one-night painting class with a group of girlfriends. Immediately, I knew I needed to get back to art. It felt good to play with paint and I wondered why I had ever stopped. Top of my list for 2013 is more art, both sketching and painting. I'm also continuing to focus on moving my body every day. It became abundantly clear that exercise, like making, is crucial to my mental well-being.

I made a definitive effort this past year to be present with my family when I am with them. This involved me saying no to some opportunities and leaving work to weekday school hours. I don't regret it one bit. My days had structure and I was very aware of what could be done in the number of hours I had. I think it helped me get beyond my procrastinating ways, as well. In the end, these girls are only home for a limited number of years and I am lucky that I get to spend a good part of my day with them. I want to be able to look back and know that I did everything I could for them and with them while I have the chance.

I'm in the throes of documenting our days from the last year using Project Life. I had started out 2012 strong and steady, but stopped sometime in April. This is one project I don't want to let go so I am back at it, halfway through August at this point. I will be continuing for 2013, too. With my fifth year of 365 under my belt, I have developed a strong habit of taking photos every day and I can't imagine not doing that. Recording these moments helps cement the memories. This is really important to me and the girls love looking back. So do I.

So, onward! I'm happy to be in 2013, feet firmly planted where I stand with lots of room to continue to grow. At 41 years old, I feel like I am finally settling into my own skin, my own being in ways that have escaped me previously. Kind of exciting, if you ask me.

January peonies



so beautiful, erin. wishing you much celebration of all that has been, much peace + joy with what is yet to come, and all the very best for right now. xoxo


happy happy new year! I hope your 2013 is even better. xo


i love this taking stock - that you've done it, and the way you've distilled things to their essence. beautiful, e. words, and life. here's to 2013!

Molly Irwin

Happy New Year, Erin! You are always an inspiration. Onward!


beautifully said, erin. happy happy new year to you and yours! xo


Happy New Year!


It sounds like you made deliberate choices in 2012 and that is really neat to hear. Happy New Year!


happy 2013! here's to home, happiness, and health.

Sarah Jane | beautiful dawn

ah, all sounds good. i'm impressed that you jumped back into the project life after a hiatus. it's easy for me to say I'll wait till next year.
Happy New Year to you.


wishing you the very best this year! we are ever-evolving, yes? enjoy the discovery! xo


happy new year!! wish the best for you and your sweet family in 2013.


I completely agree with your last paragraph, Erin. At 40 almost 41 I feel the same. Happy New YEar.

Helen Shields

Erin, your post really resonated with me today. I turn 41 this year to and I to feel like I am finally growing into my skin. I had a conversation with a friend today who is turning 40 next year and dreading it. I reassured her that it was the making of me. The time to take stock see what is important and what's not. Who also fits into that phrase. She replied, "you have changed alot of the last few years and really seem to be able to let go and ignore what used to irritate me and wind me up. I have three gorgeous kiddos who I am beginning to realise will only be with me for a very short time and I don't want to miss that. My health has improved and I can now run 12k, never would have thought this possible. This year my focus is on earning an income from what I love and what I am good at, no more procrastinating and making excuses. Thank you for sharing and making me realise I am not alone and that the changes I am making are good ones. Best of luck with 2013 I am sure it is going to be a good one.

Cheryl Jaeger

Great blog post!


Happy New Year, Erin. I appreciate your reflectiveness always; here, on flickr... you are a constant source of inspiration. xo

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