Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Look Back at 2013...

I'm sure you're all saying this too, but where did 2013 go??  I feel like it was just yesterday when I was holding a newborn baby in my arms and thinking about what all laid in store for us in 2013 and now that newborn baby is a crazy, active one year old and it's the end of the year already!

It was quite the year with a lot good things happening in our lives.  I'll touch on a lot of them below when going over my goals for this past year.  I'll also briefly touch on what each of us accomplished in 2013.

At the beginning of year I sat down and wrote out some goals for myself for this year.  With a 2, almost 3 year old and a newborn at that time, I feel like I was being pretty realistic with my goals and just wrote down a few personal ones and left them pretty broad.  I also jotted down some specific blogging goals that I wanted to see happen and they did for the most part!  Here's to looking back at 2013...

Personal Goals

  • Spend more quality family time together.  I feel like we somewhat accomplished this goal this year.  I know we can do better in 2014!  Both Kevin and I have busy work lives on and off the farm but we made time to take a family vacation to Texas this past September.  It was a great time with the boys!  They are the best travelers, we are so lucky for that as we like to travel and get to quite a bit! 

  • Workout.  I started to work on this goal off and on all year, but finally in September it just clicked.  I started the Advocare 24-Day Challenge, a fitness routine, and also really watching what we ate and both Kevin and I have gotten great results.  At the end of this week, I'll have been working out 5-6 days each week for 14 weeks straight!  I actually like getting up early every morning and going downstairs to workout before the boys get up.  It's kind of my own little personal time and seeing the results helps keep me motivated!  I had written down that I wanted to be back to Pre-HD weight this year and I'm almost there!  Only 4.8 pounds left!  Hoping to wave them goodbye by my birthday on January 21st!  I liked the Advocare products so much that I became a Distributor.  Check out my Advocare website for more information!

Before (9/29/13)

Current (12/31/13)

  • Become more organized.  This is an ongoing work in progress for me.  Some weeks I feel really organized and some weeks not so much.  Since starting my fitness regimen my mornings usually all start out the same with a workout down in the basement, so the fitness is definitely a "scheduled" part of my day and I love it.  Something that I want to work on more in 2014 is meal planning.  I like to go to the grocery store once a week so we can get a lot of fresh produce.  Luckily my boys pretty much love all kinds of food, for HD the weirder the better!  So, I want to get into a better habit of making a weekly meal plan and sticking to it.  
  • Grow my shop on Etsy.  Well, something had to give this year.  I realized that I can't do everything that I want to and this was one of the things that I put on hold for awhile.  I love to design invitations, cards, announcements, etc, and still do for some family and friends outside of my Etsy shop, but for right now that's all I can handle.  Maybe some day down the road I can start it up again!
Blog Goals
  • Plan my blog posts.  This will definitely be a 2014 goal for me.  I'm trying to find the best way to do this.  (If anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them!)  Right now at the beginning of each month I try to plan out my posts.  I've been doing this since June, but really need to become more regular with my posts.  
  • Touch on a variety of topics.  This too is an ongoing goal of mine.  I love to talk about family, food and life on the farm, but it's fun to through in a few new things too!
  • Weekly recommendations.  I thought this was a good idea for about one week, but then I stopped.  It took too much time for me, but maybe it will be something that I can try again in the future!
  • Link to other blogs.  I've been trying to do this some, but definitely want to get better about it!  There are so many wonderful bloggers out there that it's awesome when we can work together and link to other blogs for more information!
  • Incorporate Pinterest more with my blog posts.  I use Pinterest all the time and have been trying to Pin more of my blog posts to Pinterest.  Something that I need to do is add the Pin It button to my photos.  Goal for 2014 I think!  
  • Add Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest buttons to my blog.  Check!  This one was done and wasn't to difficult to figure out!  
  • Give my blog a make-over.  Check!  Check!  I got my own URL (sarashousehd.com) and got that set up along with creating a new header and rearrange the layout a little.  I decluttered some and added a few new things.  I think that blogs are always getting makeovers, so I feel like this will be an ongoing goal for me also!  
Phew!  Well, as you can see I hit some of my goals, am close on others and some I just crossed off.  Overall I'm really happy with where I ended up in 2013.  I'm working on my 2014 goals now and will hopefully have them up tomorrow!  

Before I go, I'm just going to give a few highlights for 2013:

Family Notes

What a year!  HD turned three in March and AJ turned one in November.  They are the best of buds.  I love watching them interact with each other!  AJ can now pretty much keep up with his older brother.  Sometimes I have to remind HD that I think AJ will be bigger than him soon, so he better be nice!  :)

Kevin had another busy year with the Corn Growers Association, both at the state level and now the national level.  He also had a pretty good harvest considering we didn't get much for moisture again this year.

I've been busy with my full time job as a Marketing Manager for my dad's insurance business, The Home Agency.  I've also gotten the chance to participate in some national CommonGround events which I'll talk about below.  All of that plus the boys keep me pretty busy!

CommonGround Notes
This year I was able to participate in CommonGround events in Texas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa and Florida.

Back in June, I was at the BlogHer Food Conference in Austin, TX and got to meet a LOT of fantastic food bloggers.  One that you may recognize is The Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond)!  This was a great experience getting to talk to food bloggers.  We want to be their resource that they come to if they have any food questions or if their readers have any food/ag related questions!

In October, I got to travel down to Boca Raton, FL to film a segment on GMOs on Lifetime Network's morning talk show, The Balancing Act.  That was such a fun and exciting experience!  Below is the full interview from the show that aired on December 19th and 26th.

So overall, I'd have to say that 2013 was a pretty great year!  Kevin and I have talked about some fun things that we'd like to do together and with the boys, so I'm thinking 2014 will be even better!  I just hope it's not TOO busy that we don't get to enjoy it!  The boys are growing up so fast, but I just love each stage that they get to even better!  I love watching them become their own person.  It's the best thing about being a parent!  

I hope you all had a great 2013 and have a Happy New Year!  Stay safe and we'll see you in 2014!

1 comment:

  1. Great job on your 2013 goals and good luck with your 2014 plans!