Two days into the new year and I feel like I need to look back a bit. 2012 was a good year for me – a really good year, in many ways.

I started off the year with a word as my focus: make. It was about making time, making memories, making choices, making things, making friends, making food, making a home. And while it was not at the forefront of my mind at all times, I do feel that it was the guiding, and sometimes driving, force by which I lived in 2012.

As the year got underway, I felt like I needed a purpose other than being a wife and mother. I needed something for me, something to do, something to focus on. I said that bit out loud, to Fatty and a few friends, and the universe listened. An opportunity presented itself shortly thereafter and it felt right.

We tackled some long and overdue projects around our house. Rooms and woodwork were painted, light fixtures swapped out, wainscoting installed, carpet removed, the basement and garage trashed out. I admit it kind of snowballed, one project turning into another. In the end, though, I feel like this house we have lived in for 7+ years is finally feeling like us. 2013 will see more painting, more carpet removing, more organizing and less stuff.

We traveled. Some trips included the kids and extended family, others were just the two of us, one was by myself. We like to go places, see new things, eat and drink our way through cities. Many of my favorite memories of the year were made during our travels. Meeting friends I have "known" for years because of this blog and hanging out with our loved ones invigorates me. Still, I like home best. And I know that to be grounded, I need to be here more than anywhere else. I'm glad I finally realized that.

Sewing-wise, there were a couple completed quilts and two quilt tops that are waiting to be basted and finished. I sewed some clothes for myself and the girls. I finished a dress I started in the fall of 2011 and it has become a favorite. I finished a sweater that was started around the same time as the dress and I don't love it. Granny square fever struck in the summer. As with every year, there were some real winners craft-wise, and some real losers. Many of them not blogged. It's my intent to go back and chronicle some of these in the next month – stay tuned. I also took a one-night painting class with a group of girlfriends. Immediately, I knew I needed to get back to art. It felt good to play with paint and I wondered why I had ever stopped. Top of my list for 2013 is more art, both sketching and painting. I'm also continuing to focus on moving my body every day. It became abundantly clear that exercise, like making, is crucial to my mental well-being.

I made a definitive effort this past year to be present with my family when I am with them. This involved me saying no to some opportunities and leaving work to weekday school hours. I don't regret it one bit. My days had structure and I was very aware of what could be done in the number of hours I had. I think it helped me get beyond my procrastinating ways, as well. In the end, these girls are only home for a limited number of years and I am lucky that I get to spend a good part of my day with them. I want to be able to look back and know that I did everything I could for them and with them while I have the chance.

I'm in the throes of documenting our days from the last year using Project Life. I had started out 2012 strong and steady, but stopped sometime in April. This is one project I don't want to let go so I am back at it, halfway through August at this point. I will be continuing for 2013, too. With my fifth year of 365 under my belt, I have developed a strong habit of taking photos every day and I can't imagine not doing that. Recording these moments helps cement the memories. This is really important to me and the girls love looking back. So do I.

So, onward! I'm happy to be in 2013, feet firmly planted where I stand with lots of room to continue to grow. At 41 years old, I feel like I am finally settling into my own skin, my own being in ways that have escaped me previously. Kind of exciting, if you ask me.

January peonies

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