2013 was all over the map for me, literally and figuratively. Indescribable joy, then grief. Sure and confident and prayerful in big decisions, then unsure, scared, and frighteningly far from God. Marriage connected and clicking, then disconnected and discombobulated. Expectant and proud and loving as a mama, then hopeless and discouraged and harsh. Satisfied, at-peace, and ever-so-thankful to be back in Mississippi, then grieving, restless, and overwhelmed over leaving Arkansas, especially as I watched my oldest children weep before bed. Connected and filled up in friendship, then lonely and longing for connection. Deeply satisfied in my work through the blog, then feeling like a fraud because my house was gross, dinner had consisted of frozen waffles and pizza for untold days, and a spirit of discord loomed in our home. The roller coaster of the mind.
But alas, the start of a new year. I know, I know, it’s already March, but nevertheless, 2014 has been a fresh start in so many ways…the hope of settledness that my heart has longed for here in Oxford after leaving our life in Arkansas. I love the start of a new year. And whew, am I glad it is here. After renting for many months with all our “things” in storage, we bought a home, and my heart rejoices having our bed, our dishes, Lainey’s kitchen and costumes, our swing set, books, McCarty pottery, our bikes, favorite blankets, winter clothes (that we didn’t pack!), and Annie Sloan painted furniture…all the things that make us “us.”
We’ve also had a pretty emotional transition to a new town, a new house, new schools, new friends, new church, new, new, new. And “new” gets old. In addition this year, parenting has been particularly hard for me. Unforeseen challenges that we’ve faced that have sapped me of energy and joy, yet a new year brings the reminder that God has not cut me loose to do this thing on my own. Eternally grateful for that promise.
One of the biggest holes in my heart over these last months is being away from the blog…creativity, cooking, and most of all, the community. Yet…my family needed me to take the break, not to mention every supply that I used to create a blog post was in storage…craft supplies, cookware, dishes, everything. And although it is always fun to find out another family’s favorite recipe is from the blog, I’ve learned over the last year that there are seasons when I have to pull back and give everything to my people at home.
Rest assured that easing back to the blog does not mean I’ve “arrived” as a parent of a middle-schooler (hardly), or that my house is decorated or even clean, or that there aren’t days I still struggle. I simply want to get back to doing something I really love. And God, in his gracious love for me, has granted me a *few* successes with my 7th grader, I’m tired of waffles and pizza, and I simply miss blogging as a hobby and part-time work. My people here at home love the blog, they love the food that appears when I post recipes, and they love random holiday decorations:). It has become their normal…so I am ready to get back…to normal.
So thanks for sticking with me. And if you have a favorite recipe or seasonal decor idea you’d love for me to share here, please contact me! I’m in the process of collecting fresh ideas and content, and readers and friends like you are who have the best input anyway!