Looking Forward!

Hi you guys!!  Hope your holidays were amazing!  As I was scrolling through Instagram this morning almost every post had a Monday I Hate You vibe.  I feel like the first Monday of the new year is particularly ugh worthy.  But It is such a fantastic feeling, to just start again. Ya know?

Looking back on 2015 I think it’s safe to say, was a mixed bag.  Some really amazing things happened (hello baby!!) but it was also a year of…personal growth, which is the positive way to say it had some really sucky moments. People surprise you, and not always in a good way. But after taking some time to work through it all I’m happy to report that I’m a better person for having had the experience.  And while I’ve always known how wonderful my husband is, our relationship is next level amazing. When everything fell apart he was there and man I love that guy.

I feel like in terms of the blog, 2015 was a solid year, maybe not one for the record books, but definitely one that I needed to have.  I think that there is definite room for improvement in 2016.  Specifically in 2 areas.  1. Posting more consistently. The last half of this year posting was sporadic at best.  So I will be working on that quite a bit. If you haven’t noticed consistency isn’t one of my strong suits ;). The second thing is a little more abstract.  Its the spirit of the whole thing. Forgive me for showing my weaknesses, but in 2016 I am bringing back the love. It is extremely easy to get wrapped up in yourself when you do something like this for a living. Its all about your ideas, your projects, the way people respond to you, how many likes you get on an instagram picture etc. it can become really self-centered.  I’m not typically a self-centered person (hello co-dependency) but this last year I found myself stopping and looking around and thinking “Wow. You need a reality check.”  Do you guys ever feel like that?  When I started the blog I was in such a different place in life. Everything around me was in shambles. Having a creative outlet saved me, it was how I could breathe. My heart was in everything that I did and every word I wrote.  I don’t know if I can say that I consistently felt that way this last year.  Of course there were moments, but there were definitely moments that it wasn’t and that’s not really fair to any of us. It feels like in this crazy competitive creative space that unless you have something that is BRAND NEW NEVER BEEN DONE AND AMAAAAAAZING! that its just not good enough to talk about. So that is what I want to go back to. The reckless abandon of just putting it out there because its what I want to talk about, not because I hope it will get shared on FB a zillion times, but because I’m passionate about it. 

I feel like in this online world it is so easy for things to be surface and contrived.  Perfectly staged pictures, perfectly clean houses, perfect everything. It reminds me of the turkey dinner on the movie Christmas Vacation.  It looks absolutely perfect, until Clark cuts into it.  Then it deflates into a puff of burnt turkey smoke. I don’t want that. I want something that is real and actually does more than makes you hungry for a life that looks great from the outside but is empty and hollow inside.  Ya know?


So what does that mean for 2016?  Well, the first thing on our to-do list is to get this baby here!  Fingers crossed that he agrees this week is the week.

One of our biggest goals as a family this year is to build a new house. It absolutely terrifies and excites me to put that out there.  Its going to be a totally new experience that I’m sure will be full of lots of trial and error but that’s what life is all about right? 

Which means, getting this house ready to sell on a crazy budget.  The kitchen and bathrooms are at the top of the priority list. Along with pulling everything together so that it’s cohesive and still fantastic. Its going to be GREAT!!

If you would have told me when I started all of this stuff that I would be where I am today I would have told you to get off the telephone wire and to find a fire extinguisher because your pants are on fire. I am grateful beyond belief for you and the influence that you have on my life!


  • Jenny H 04.01.2016 at 22:03

    My little one is arriving anytime too! Please soon! Itsbaby #5 and I feel soooo ready. Best of luck with labor and delivery!!

  • Krystle 04.01.2016 at 23:36

    yes to the craziness of the blogging world! i have gone back and forth about quiting for all the reasons you mentioned. i want my passion back & build relationships in the community, and none of the unsaid expectations. I seriously finally joined Instagram and I was shocked on how the majority are so tactical to get high numbers of followers. i was like ‘what did I just join!?’ thanks for being real about the world of the internet creatives.;)

  • Amanda 05.01.2016 at 00:13

    I am seeing this attitude more and more in the blogging world lately, and I love it! Thanks for being real. And here’s to a baby this week!! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

  • Mindy 05.01.2016 at 01:38

    Wow, a new house. That’s a BIG deal. Good luck! Whoever buys your house will be seriously lucky.

  • Haley 05.01.2016 at 01:44

    I love this! I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for you.

  • Cindy 05.01.2016 at 04:02

    Yes to all of the above, but one note: Please try not to put too much pressure on yourself to post more consistently. I love reading your posts. They are worth waiting for. We can be patient. I think it’s a good discipline to write and post even when the muse isn’t speaking, but I also think that posting for the sake of consistency is a recipe for burnout, especially with a newborn. Like I said, your posts are worth waiting for. I don’t think any of us are going anywhere.

    Good luck! Come soon, baby boy!!

    • McKenzie 05.01.2016 at 14:52

      Totally agree with this. Quality, not quantity. I love your posts! Good luck this week!!

  • Sharon / TPT 05.01.2016 at 07:01

    Wow! A new house! You’ve worked so hard on this one!
    Really I don’t know how you do it all … And now a cutie new baby and moving year! You go girl.

  • Sarah 05.01.2016 at 14:07

    I’m so happy for you guys! I mean…I know I don’t know you in real life, but from where I stand, you and your husband seem like great people. I’m so excited to follow along in the building process! My husband and I also plan to build a home in the next few years and I’d love to see the nitty gritty that they don’t normally show on blogs because it isn’t glamorous or pretty. Like…where to even start and how to talk to the bank. Or how to work with an architect and/or a general contractor. Anyway, I have my fingers crossed for you that the baby comes sooner rather than later! :)

  • Joanne 06.01.2016 at 02:02

    Thank you for starting out the year sharing your thoughts. I am a mother of 6 (4 under the age of 5) and now a grandmother. I know how busy life can be. Don’t feel the pressure to post consistently. It is a great goal but sometimes you have to make sure the time is there as well as be in the mood. I remember being tired ALL the time after my kids were born. Enjoy this time when your baby arrives. When you are well rested you will also feel more inspired. Thank you for your posts so far. I am looking forward to the next one even if it takes a year…..

  • Crystal@ClearCutCrystal 06.01.2016 at 03:44

    We are moving this year too! new baby, new house! Wow!!

  • JoDi 06.01.2016 at 16:30

    I agree with some of the other commenters that it’s more important for you to post when you’re genuinely excited about something than to post “consistently.” I’d much rather read interesting content less frequently than boring uninspired content posted on a schedule. I tend to do a lot of quick scrolling and scanning and not a lot of reading on blogs that post daily or multiple times a day. What they’re posting just isn’t that interesting because they’re just doing it to generate “content.” Ugh! In my mind, the word “content” in connection with a blog is becoming synonymous with mass-produced sponsored junk.

  • Liz 07.01.2016 at 02:59

    I read this post a few days ago, but had to come back to comment. I was just reading Big Magic by Liz Gilbert (she wrote Eat, Pray, Love) and these lines totally nade me think of this post:

    “the older I get, the less impressed I become with originality. These days, I’m far more moved by authenticity. Attempts at originality can often feel forced and precious, but authenticity has quiet resonance that never fails to stir me. Just say what you want to say, then, and say it with all your heart. Share whatever you are driven to share. If it’s authentic enough, believe me—it will feel original.”

  • Gwen Sarmiento 07.01.2016 at 03:19

    I bet your new house will be really lovely and gorgeous! Cheers for the new baby this week!

  • Melanie 07.01.2016 at 05:08

    I adore you, Mandy! Your focus is what the world needs more of: real & love. Truth & compassion & freedom. Continue to nuture your soul. Make your heart SMILE MORE!!!! Love & hugs, Mama xo

  • Sheri 08.01.2016 at 01:28

    I’m excited for the arrival of the baby. Wishing both you and the baby for a safe and healthy delivery.

  • Kim @ be ReInVintaged 10.01.2016 at 19:21

    Best of luck in everything in 2016, Mandi. I look forward to seeing what all you put here in the coming year!

  • Paul Burkhardt 13.01.2016 at 16:57

    It sounds like you have a good grip on what should be a good year for you. I myself had an extremely bad 2015. I found out that the reason my 20 year relationship had been rather cold for the last 2 years was because I wasn’t the only man in her life (nuff said), lost my job and started drinking more than socially. But now I am getting things back under control, I’ve cut my drinking by 75% and am well on my way to quitting, I started my own business that is doing very well and I’ve been meeting nice women online with online dating sites. Now I think 2016 may be one of the best years of my whole life. Best of luck to you Mandi and everyone else and remember to cry when you need to ,laugh whenever you can and force yourself to smile whenever you have a free moment.
    Never Give Up!

  • Janelle 15.01.2016 at 05:06

    Looks like a great start for the new year! May you be more blessed this year. :)

  • shelley 19.01.2016 at 19:08

    Congratulations to your entire family!!! I’ve been checking of and on to see if he came safe and sound. So happy all is well!! A new little person so fresh from heaven!! Joy!!!


Post a Comment