2013 Year in Review

Well, 2013 is over. Following on the heels of a previous rough year, 2013 was a year of serious ups and downs and it started at the very bottom. I began last year, in the ER with my mom, which set in motion a chain of difficult life changing events for our whole family. Still exhausted from 2012, it was challenging to stay positive last year.

I could recite a whole litany of clichés here, like “whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” or “it’s always darkest before the dawn”. Maybe it’s easy to say those things when times are tough, because they make us feel better and it’s hard to explain what gets us through things.

Things are good now, I did get through them and everything might even be better than it was before. It’s funny how things work. I feel very lucky to have the friends, family and co-workers I have. I don’t know what I would have done without their support… and patience.

Now that I have all the sad stuff out there (I hope you are all still with me), let’s talk about the good things that happened last year! The good things that happened were huge, so maybe that’s how it goes. Also, amazingly enough, I still achieved many of the goals I set for myself last year.

The Top 3 Major Events in 2013: *

*Yes, these all get exclamation points. After the year I’ve had, I can use exclamation points as much as I want!

Matt and I got engaged!

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My nephew was born!

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My mom got better and moved into assisted living!

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How I did on my Goals for 2013:

GARDENING-

Grow more blueberries– I bought two more blueberry plants (of different varieties) and moved them all to their own spots in pots. So hopefully I will get more blueberries next year.

Seed saving– Never got to it. This one will go back on the list for next year.

COOKING-

Cook the Books Cookbook Challenge– I participated in several months of the Cook the Books Cookbook challenge and learned to make all sorts of food I would not have made otherwise. In January, I made French cuisine with Around My French Table by Dori Greenspan. Flower and I teamed up in February to make Asian Dumplings. March was Good Fish by local favorite Becky Selengut. Apparently, August was my favorite month because Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones got two posts, for Basil Ice Cream and Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream. Guess I have a bit of a sweet tooth. There were so many more good books included in the challenge, but I didn’t have the room or time for a new cookbook every month. I would have loved to participate in December for The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making, since that sounded very interesting to me, but I ran out of timeBig thanks to Meg and Briggsy for hosting. Maybe we could do a quarterly version next year?

Cheese MakingI had a great goat cheese making experience making chevré, with goat milk my friend Julian bought for me. That post has proved to be one of my most popular all year!

Master Preserver’s class at Seattle Tilth– I never got to this in 2013, but it will be at the top of my list for this year. More canning posts are a must for 2014.

CRAFTING

Knit sweaters– Rolling this one over to 2014 as well. I continued knitting in 2013, and made a scarf for my mom and wristbands for Flower and Val, but I never got to the sweater. This will be a priority for the new year as well and I have plans to implement it already.

Use up my fabric stash– I did an okay job of this. By okay, I mean I used up a lot of fabric making things for the Makers Market and Blithe Bazaar. What I sucked at, was not buying more fabric. My happy place in 2013 was the fabric store. The West Seattle Fabric Co. is right near the nursing home my mom was at, so I often stopped there after visiting my mom. Pacific Fabrics is right by my work, so they are both very conveniently located for me. I don’t feel too bad about it though, that may have been one of the things that got me through last year. It was my form of retail therapy. In my defense, I also think it helps to have projects lined up. Plus, with designer collections, once it’s gone, it’s gone! So I I have lots of ways to rationalize it.

Attend Blogcademy workshop in Portland– This was a life changing experience for me and came at a time where I really needed a pick me up. I am still reaping the benefits from that weekend. You can read the full recap here.

Some Other Noteworthy Things That Happened in 2013:

I got to interview Sarai Mitnick of Colette Patterns

I attended Blogger’s Summer Camp and Schoolhouse Craft’s Fall Conference.

I preserved a bunch of food.

Not bad for a year that started out crappy! I swear all this stuff helped keep me sane, by distracting me at the right times and giving me something to look forward to. Despite it all, I wouldn’t change a lot of things about 2013. I feel like all of it helped shape me, caused me to grow and become a better person. I sure am grateful for all the little things right now.

I am really looking forward to 2014. There are a lot of exciting things on the horizon for 2014, like Matt and I’s wedding and all the subsequent planning and celebrating associated with that. I also have big plans for projects this year and the blog itself, so stay tuned for a 2014 goals post. Some stuff will roll over, but there will be a lot of new goals as well.

Until then, Happiest of New Year’s to all!

2 thoughts on “2013 Year in Review

  1. So glad that your year ended much happier than it began. Cheers to you and your family! Look forward to reading about your work and life in 2014!

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