2014. It's been a good year, a blessed year. And when I say that, I don't mean it's been a year without challenges; there is never a year without challenges. But it has been a year with no regrets. I've got a round up below of YOUR favorite blog posts from the year, but first a little reflection (you knew that was coming, right?).
This was the year that I turned 40.
In 2014, I . . .
. . . had an abnormal mammogram and discovered I have a mountain of food intolerances. (Let's just get the icky stuff out of the way first, shall we?). After said mammogram, my ultrasound to follow up showed a weird obvious mass of something that wasn't supposed to be there. Then my follow up ultrasound to that ultrasound was inconclusive, but not alarming enough for a biopsy just yet. I now get checked up every few months just to make sure, but since I've never been good at just waiting around, I have decided to take my health into my own hands. My lifelong battle with extreme eczema took a painful, almost debilitating turn this year and after more scratch patch testing then blood testing, I embarked on a dairy-free journey. On Jan 2, I will go dairy-free, grain-free, sugar-free, alcohol-free for six weeks to help get to the root of what's happening with me. 2014 is the year I took a good long look at my health and actually, finally, started to do something about it. If I die, I don't want it to be because of something I did to myself or could have prevented. Good health is the foundation for a good life.
. . . soaked up as much of every waking moment as I could with full gratitude and an open invitation to adventure, exclaiming joy in the moment to anyone would hear. Life is way too short to quell one's happiness or to be afraid of what others may think. Never, ever apologize or be embarrassed by your enthusiasm for anything and everything.
. . . traveled to Hawaii, the Big Island; Las Vegas, NV; Kansas City, MO/Shawnee, KS; the Olympic Peninsula in Washington; and made several day and weekend trips to Hood River, Oregon and the Oregon Coast (Lincoln City, Astoria, Cannon Beach, Pacific City). I love, love, LOVE to travel, especially with my family, and will do everything to scrimp and save so that we can travel more together. Growth happens and your perspective expands tenfold whenever you leave the comfort zone of your home base.
. . . said no to a lot of opportunities that coulda, woulda, shoulda... but were just not right for me or my family at the time. Started and stopped projects for various reasons. And that's all good. I don't feel like I failed just because something didn't happen the way I planned. More opportunities will come. There are always more opportunities.
. . . watched my children grow into these awesome, freaking AMAZING kids in these glorious stages of being seven and 10. As a mom, I am totally in LOVE with these ages! They fight like crazy, but they are the best of friends. My heart swells and bursts every day with love and gratitude for these two gifts that make every single day a wild ride. The house may be falling apart and never be fully clean, work may be overwhelming, but these kids...at the end of the day, they remind me that nothing in the world is more important than family. Nothing.
. . . shared my 40 Ways to Live Your Bliss on my 40th birthday. I learned that 40 is a milestone for a reason: you grow into your authentic self, you own your perspective and opinions, your body is not the same and that's a-okay, you are never the same and that is more than a-okay because you are better. Forty is a beautiful, awesome age. And yes, I DO believe that life truly begins at forty.
Here's a look at some of YOUR favorite posts from 2014, based on visitor stats, comments, social media shares, etc. These happen to be my favorites as well!
Click on the titles to see each post. You might see something that you missed earlier in the year! ;)
Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Frosting // Cilantro Lime Asian Chicken Wings // Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese // How to Make an Ombre Cake // Thai Peanut Curry // Avocado Corn Salad // Teriyaki Turkey Burgers with Asian Slaw // Cider Grilled Chicken // Apple Whiskey Hand Pies // Spitzbuben: Swiss Sandwich Cookies // My Favorite Bacon Corn Chowder // Soft Ginger Molasses Cookies //Honey Mustard Basil Chicken // Bacon Mushroom Spinach Quiche // Chocolate-Covered Pretzel Thins with Bacon Sprinkles
12-Month Blog Post Planner // Valentine's Day Party Flags // Oscar Party Printables // Spring Printables // Bold Rainbow Birthday Party Printables // Gift Card Holder Printables // Road Trip Printables // Halloween Printables // Wine Tag Printable
Sonoma Wine Country Travel Guide (4-part series) // Lincoln City, Oregon: Olivia Beach Cottages // Seattle, Washington // KOA Kampgrounds // Family Road Trip Games // Hotel deLuxe & Hotel Max // Astoria, Oregon // Extended Stay Travel Tips
2014 WINE + BEER
DIY Marquee Tutorial // My Little Pony Equestria Girls Birthday Party // Oscar Party // LEGO Friends Birthday Party // Modern Geometric Bedroom Makeover // DIY Mosaic Art Project // Easy Googly Eyes Halloween Crafts // DIY Changing Table to Chalkboard Bar Cart
What a FUN and BLISSful year!
Do you have any favorites? Any recipes, travel tips/trends, DIY/Crafts posts you would like to see more of in 2014? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I **LOVE** your comments and value your feedback!
Most of all, 2014 is a year for which I am deeply, profoundly grateful. Thank you all so very much for taking the time to stop by and read this blog, for your comments, and for your connections on social media. I treasure every interaction I've had with each of you over the past year, and I look forward to connecting further in 2015!