366 days ago, I wrote on my Facebook page that "2013 will be the best year," and I won't pretend to hesitate when admitting how right that prediction was. This was a huge year in my life, though I'm sad that, with all the busyness this year threw at me, I wasn't able to share every little detail with you. I'm not big on resolutions, but this is one I am really going to work for in 2014: while I'll be busy with a few other fun projects this year, I'm recommitting myself in 2014 to keep this blog going strongly. I'm sorry I failed you this year.
Because I wasn't the greatest shower-and-teller this year, allow me to recap just why 2013 was the greatest 365 days in my 28 years of existence:
I GOT MARRIED.
So, obviously this was the most exciting thing to happen to me this year. On May 18th, I gained the raddest husband on earth and we threw, in my humble opinion, the Most Perfect Wedding of All Time in the History of the Universe. For the year and a half leading up to the big day, I wondered how it could be possible to pull off this meticulously-detailed wedding that had been floating around in my head, but on that day, with the help of the most amazing friends and family imaginable, not only did everything turn out just as I had imagined - but it was better. The day was the perfect symbol of our relationship - easygoing, full of fun, a little sappy, bursting with color and happiness and plenty of goofy moments. It was a sentimental day full of love, followed by a huge, champagne-soaked party. I couldn't wipe the big, dumb grin off my face all day - not only because it was the wedding I'd always wanted, but because this pretty-cool dude was now my husband. Best day of my entire life, and then some.
P.S. Want to see more wedding pictures? Check out some more photos of before-the-ceremony, all the little details I made and the super-happy, tear-filled ceremony itself.
WE MADE SOME SERIOUS CHANGES TO OUR HOUSE.
we tore down the main wall between our living room and what was then our "French" room. While we were at it, we tore a big hole in our stairway and added a bannister so we could see from our kitchen to our living room. It was a big project, but it made a huge impact and our little home feels so much bigger! I'm still amazed when I look back at pictures of how it looked previously and how it looks now. What a difference!
I BECAME A PROFESSIONAL (MORE OR LESS) BLOGGER.
In the fall, the Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel's new lifestyle site, Fresh, launched... and I was tapped to be the resident home-design blogger. It was a huge honor to be asked to blog for them, and I've had an absolute blast doing so! It's been a fun side project and it's nice to have a new audience reading my work. Writing professionally has always been my dream - we're talking since I was, like, six. So picking up my new blog, Make, Do and Mend, and a couple other freelance projects along the way, is me making a couple huge, happy leaps to that dream. Plus, I get to write about what I love - thrifty DIY home design! This year, after a lot of work and patience, it all started falling into place for me.
(P.S. Check out Make, Do and Mend's latest post: "New Year's Resolutions for your Home")
I LANDED A NEW JOB AT A MAJOR NATIONAL MAGAZINE.
Surprise! If you don't follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you may not know yet that I recently accepted a job as contingent editor at a major national magazine. I may have always wanted to be a writer, but I went to college with the hopes of one day working at a magazine. After working in marketing for seven years, I'd all but kissed goodbye my magazine dreams, until I began freelancing for the magazine last summer, and then was offered my new position in late November. I begin next week, and am so excited to get started! Another dream, realized.
OUR HOME WAS FEATURED IN THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL.
Wisconsin's largest newspaper featured our home in their "At Home With..." feature in both the print and online editions. We were interviewed and our home was photographed and I was so uncomfortable being the subject of this feature.... I'm used to being the one writing, not being written about! However, we had a lot of really nice compliments about the interview and our home, so we appreciated it. It was just kind of fun opening our home for so many people to see!
LIFE WAS JUST GENERALLY AWESOME, ALL THE TIME.
I can't get over how amazing this year was. Just thinking about everything above, and all the little things in between, I get nothing but big puffy floating hearts dancing in my eyes. I've never really had luck on my side, and things generally don't come easy to me, but this year, things just..... worked. I'm reminded of a quote from Conan O'Brien, after being fired from NBC, on his first "Conan" show on TBS, he said, "If you work hard and are kind, amazing things will happen." This is the best summarization of things I can work up while sitting here, on the last day of a pretty incredible year, thinking about all the amazing things that have happened to me in 2013. Big, big things are ahead, and I can only hope that the same good fortune that I've experienced this year can be realized by all of you.
Here's to a great year behind us and an even better one to come. Kick all the butt in 2014, my friends. The happiest new year to you all!