Thursday, 2 January 2014

Looking back, Looking forward

Man oh man, I have been trying to blog for days now, but this moving stuff is tough business. I must completely agree with Matt Walsh's blog post today, in which he advises "If you are thinking about moving, remember to carefully gather together all of the items in your house — and burn them. Burn them all. Just throw them into a pile and burn them. Travel to your new location with only lint in your pocket and a dream in your heart." Amen to that. It is almost gross how many possessions one accumulates without even fully realizing the extent of it until one must unpack or pack them into boxes.

Anyway. This is really the first chance I've had to sit down and reflect on 2013 and/or dream about the new year to come. A lot went down in 2013 - some good things, some tough things. I am not one of those persons who shies away from making New Years resolutions because they think its lame or pointless or cliche or what have you. On the contrary - the first of the year is my favorite time because it just feels so fresh, like a blank notebook or a brand new appliance. Ha. Maybe it's all in our heads, sure, but what's wrong with choosing a day of the year to fully acknowledge the power we have to start fresh? The key, though, of course, is to remember that power stays with us every single day and every single minute. 

I can't say that I'm terribly sad to leave 2013 behind. It was a tough year in some aspects, consisting of loss and unknowns and leaps of faith and lots of waiting.  Going into 2014, we seem to have fresh starts on several fronts - our new home, most notably, and hopefully a job for Matthew here pretty soon. The foreseeable future is all so exciting, and that's just nice. After a year of blah, 2014 is looking mighty fine. But still, I'd like to take a time out and just review some of the highlights and lowlights of 2013, for posterity's sake. I really enjoy looking back on these "year in review" posts on my own blog, and hopefully some of you may enjoy peeking back in time a bit, too, whether for the first time or for the second.

Let's take a little trip down memory lane...

* * * * *


+ Took our annual trip to Fredericksburg and stayed at the gorgeous Buckhorn Cabin
+ Also blogged about some great Austin restaurants like Gourdoughs and Eastside Cafe  


+ Wrote the "3 Years of Marital Blish" post - still one of my most popular posts 
+ Wrote Advice For Bloggers Vol. 1 (the crazies: they could happen to you) and Vol. 2 (blogging your life)
+ Posted on great Austin restaurants like Foodheads and Hula Hut


+ Wrote "The People I Come From" post just a few weeks before unexpectedly losing my beautiful Grandma to a hemorrhage in her brain
+ Launched the j. noel photography website
+ Reviewed Austin restaurants Walton's and Winflo


+ Things my Grandma told me
+ Posted on Houndstooth Coffee, La Condesa, and Epicerie here in Austin
+ More advice for bloggers: Sponsorships, Gettting paid for blogging, and the "I blog for me!"
+ Announced Blog Every Day In May
+ Sold our old house, packed up and moved out (and in with my mom), and finally announced it all here.


A heck of a lot of blogging took place in May, thanks to the Blog Every Day In May challenge I hosted. A few highlights:
+ Blogging tip: Taking photos in public places
+ One of my most embarrassing moments
+ Reviewed Pieous in Austin
+ Trip to Florida in photos


+ Photography tips for beginners, part 1: how to get started
+ Cenote and the 4th & Guadalupe Farmer's Market
+ Summer fun with family
+ Social media pet peeves


+The Prairie Part I and Part II
+ Photography tips for beginners, Part II: Starting a business
+ Boards went up on our house!
+ Revealed a secret we'd been keeping


+ Texas Style Council recaps 1 (my first major stint with public speaking!) & 2
+ Some words on budgeting
+ Reviewed WD Deli in San Antonio and Dominican Joe in Austin
+ Went back to the Prairie with my MIL and SIL
+ Announced Blogtember


A few j. noel photos
+ A story about a time I almost died in a plane crash
+Reviewed Austin's Lick Ice Creams


+ Our home build in progress
+ Matthew's 10 Things You Need To Survive the Zombie Apocalypse
+ Mexico Trip Part I, Part II, and Part III


+ Fall in Austin
+ Reasons why you should probably never build a house
+ Are you living up to your potential?


+ Turned 27 and didn't have much time to think about it
+ Took a trip to WYOMING!
+ Matthew graduated law school
+ Finally got some family photos! :)
+ Christmas
+ Aaaand we closed on our house the day after Christmas, but I haven't posted on that quite yet. Coming soon in 2014. :)

Thanks for traveling back in time with me today... have a wonderful second day of the New Year! :0

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