Sunday, December 29, 2013

Looking Back... The Flops & the Favorites!

I've never really been a "New Year's person." Sure, when I was younger and kid-less (and apparently much more fun) I went out and rang in the new year as one does with both good friends, strong drinks and an ensemble that now makes me cringe with pain when I think of the shoes it required or twitch with an itch when I think of the scratchy sequins it typically entailed. 

I much prefer the comfort of my couch, a bottle of requisite bubbly, fuzzy slippers and a bed time that naturally falls just short of watching the ball drop. This year, however, I'll be swapping out the requisite bubbly with something a bit less alcoholic. I'm thinking... a giant sundae of mint chocolate chip ice cream with all the fixings. 

Despite my lack of enthusiasm for the holiday, I do however enjoy a good hike down memory lane. It's always fun to look back on our year and one of the many perks of blogging is that it's all archived for me in a neat little chronological package. 

So, if you're new here, grab a drink and a comfortable seat and stay a while. Read a little bit of what we''re all about. If you've been following along for a while now, hopefully I'll have recapped just a few of your favorite moments of our year. 

In early January, I contemplated what kind of mom I was and took a minute to ponder the various labels that come with procuring a baby. Who knew there were so many? I decided then and there that I wanted to be a Renaissance Mom since there's just no way to pigeon hole myself into one category. Many of you could relate! I also joined forces with the fabulous ladies of the Christmas Cash Giveaway Extravaganza to bring you a series of winter project challenges. My post on How To Organize Your Changing Table and Changing Table Must-Haves continues to be a popular post on Pinterest. Re-reading it makes me excited to plan our final nursery, something I should probably get started on!

Coincidentally, February rolled around and in the same month I posted this delicious recipe for Sugar-Dusted Brownie Bites and this amazing recipe for Monkey Bread Muffins while tackling my personal struggles with Postpartum Weight Loss. Obviously I wasn't indulging in too many brownie bites and gooey muffins and had decided to give up my beloved daily coca-cola only one month before. I made it nearly ten months soda-free and it wasn't until I became pregnant with baby number three that I fell off the bandwagon. Nothing is more encouraging than progress and it feels great to be able to look back on this post and know that I can (and will!) eventually lose this baby weight after number three arrives. I just need to remind myself that it's a slow and steady process. I giggled as I read about how difficult it was mothering a two and a half year old. If only I knew then what I know now about 3.5 year olds, ha! In perhaps one of my most favorite posts this month, Failure versus Fairytale, I wrote about celebrating the fairy tale side of Motherhood, rather than always relishing in the failures.

March turned out to be kind of a lame month for me. I threw in my two cents on Living The Pinterest Life and bared a tiny bit of my soul when I admitted to needing just a little extra help around the house. Looking back that post is a hoot considering my "help" in the form of a house keeper only came to clean our house a few times this year. With baby number three arriving in early Spring, you know I'll be working just a little harder to factor her back into my monthly budget and I won't be feeling the least bit sorry for it. 

In April I wrote a letter to our two boys, titled Dear Sons, Our Future Is Not Guaranteed and it was a letter that struck a cord with many of you out there. I talked about many things including our hopes and dreams for them as well as the promises we made to them the moment we knew they existed.

May started off rather fun as I shared the finished pictures of Maclane's Whimsical Baby Boy Nursery. For those keeping track, he was 10 months when it was finished. Better late than never, I suppose, but what fun I had putting it together. At the rate we're moving now, baby number three may just move right into Maclane's old room and never have a dedicated nursery of his own and I'm kind of OK with that. Maclane started walking this month and our lives would never, ever be the same with two mobile children. What a game changer. 

In two of my most popular posts ever, I wrote about how I consciously put my children before my husband and how I'm so grateful to have a husband who understands how and why. I ended the month of May by asking for More Grace as a Mother, something I rarely allow myself to do.

I spent much of June planning and executing Maclane's Where The Wild Things Are first birthday party. We had a blast and it was so much fun celebrating our little wild thing. Days later we hopped on a plane and took a family vacation to New Orleans where we proved that The Big Easy Isn't Just For Big People. When the post-vacation sads wore off, I got myself back into the kitchen and shared this delicious recipe for Grilled Banana and Nutella Paninis, something that I'm now realizing I didn't make nearly enough this year. 

July brought with it many weekends spent at the beach which meant I had a lot of time to sit back, relax and contemplate how I mother. I realized two things this month; that I yell too much and that I'm not always sharing my best self with my family. In these two posts, I vowed to change that. We also celebrated my very favorite three year old this month and I'm astonished at just how much Carter has grown since then.


Much of August was spent preparing to tackle the throes of potty-training. Looking back, I was way more anxious about the process than necessary and as always, Carter shocked the hell out of me by proving he was, in fact, more than ready. In what was clearly my most controversial post of 2013, I shared my opinion on Breastfeeding In Public after one woman's radical video went viral. Another personal favorite post is the one I wrote this month about seeing myself through my sons' eyes.


September was kind of a big deal around here as it marked the month I turned thirty. I celebrated by sharing 35 Things Learned In 30 Years and many of you caught on to the lack of celebratory champagne. As a stay at home mom, I also wrote about how sometimes, it's just nice to be missed, a feeling we don't always get to experience. 

In October, I couldn't keep the secret any longer! We were going to become a family of five in April of 2014. I'm currently 23 weeks pregnant and these last several months have flown by. I can only imagine how quickly the next few months will pass and before we know it, we'll be welcoming our sweet baby boy! This month we also celebrated our six year wedding anniversary and I wrote about how I often Do My Best Before Bed. Many of you agreed!

Last month I shook things up a bit writing about how social media can be a double-edged sword. My awesome sister-in-law surprised me with a Thirty Random Acts Of Kindness birthday gift that she had been working on for months and we had a blast sharing the acts with the boys. Speaking of boys, we also found out that baby number three would, indeed, be another boy and we couldn't be more excited. Stay tuned for a post later this month about how "we won't be trying for that girl." 

This month, a midst the holiday chaos, we wrapped up 2013 with a fun DIY project of Melted Crayon Glass Ornaments, my first call to Poison Control and another Badge of Motherhood earned and I shed a little light on what it would be like if the walls of my house could talk. A few of you were surprised that I have an affinity for piles and loads of crap stashed beneath my couches and I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing! 

All in all, what a year it has been! Having seen new places, met new faces and spent more intentional time thinking about the kind of mother I am and want to be for our boys, 2014 has a lot to live up to! In addition to welcoming our sweet addition, I have a feeling it's going to be hard to top! 

As always, thank you so much for reading and following along with my many {mis} adventures in mothering. For the comments, the words of encouragement and the emails filled with support. I'm grateful to write for a community of readers like you! 

Do you enjoy yearly recaps as much as I do? Take a look at a few of my favorites below! You may recognize these ladies as they begin to link up as the Christmas Cash Giveaway girls (and the Winter Project ladies, of course!) They've each rallied the best recipes, projects and moments shared during the course of the last twelve months and trust me, they're each a must-read! 

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  1. I love this post, AP! Although I read many of these during the year, I enjoyed the recap!

  2. I love that I found your blog this year. You are an incredible mother and I look forward to reading your blog every chance I get. Thanks for keepin it real, keepin it funny and most of all....thanks for sharing!!

    Kate @

  3. I love recap posts. It is always fun to look back and remember the good and the bad of the year. You had a busy year and another one to come w/ baby #3 on his way! I love your posts about parenting b/c they are always honest and don't sugar coat what it is like. I hope

  4. What a wonderful year. I usually stay at home in my pajamas on NYE, but I think this year, since I'm healthy and for now childless, I'll go out and see what happens.

  5. Loving these posts! I might have to write one of my own! Definitely some posts I missed or am going to re read. Especially parenting a 2.5 year old since that's what I got right now!

  6. What a year it has been for you! Excited to see all that 2014 brings for your story!

  7. Stopping by from Southern Hospitality. Love the birthday party idea, perfect for a little boy! Happy New Year!

  8. Ok I know this is an old post but I just want to say thanks for being so honest about your post partum weight loss journey! This is my third baby and usually the weight falls right off but now it's... Not. Just encouraging to hear I'm not the only healthy person who is weirdly struggling.


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