It’s amazing to think that another year has come and gone. This year has flown by for me, faster than any year I can remember. It’s been an amazing and wonderful year, but it’s also been a tough year. There have been many milestones and even more sleepless nights. There have been smiles and laughter and plenty of tears.
This has been my first full year of blogging with a baby. I was determined to stay true to my food blog roots and avoid becoming a “mommy blog.” I’d be lying if I said it’s been easy. Keeping up with the blog (even with the limited posted I’ve been doing) has been tough. More times than not, I have just wanted to hang it all up and walk away from it. But, here I am.
Since last Christmas, Madison has gone from a little baby to a toddler. It’s amazing to me to think of how much she has changed in the past year. She is taking in the world at a rapid pace, and I am so blessed to be able to be there by her side every step of the way.
A lot of things have to change when you have a baby… That’s not news to anyone. I knew our sleep schedules would change (though, I’m not sure I expected to still be getting up 2 – 3 times every night after 14 months!), and I knew that we wouldn’t be going out to eat, going to movies, and doing all of the things we used to do. In many ways, those were the easy things to let go of.
For me, letting go of things that I “always do” has been the bigger challenge. I’ve barely made any cookies this year for Christmas. I haven’t had a lot of time, and baking with a toddler who just wants to play with the oven isn’t really an option. While I have mourned the fact that I didn’t have countless hours to decorate elaborate cookies, I have also enjoyed watching Madison laugh and smile, learn to walk, and hug Yellowdog after they share a morning snack. Sure, I have my setbacks (and, most recently, not having time to decorate my annual Yellowdog cookies was one of them), but I am learning to let go of things a bit and just enjoy the time I have with my family.
Compared to previous years, my cookies aren’t very elaborate this year. I stuck to two colors of icing – white and red. I only did about a dozen cookies with flood icing. You see, I have never really enjoyed the flood icing part of cookie decorating. I much prefer to pipe. So, when I knew I had to cut back on my decorating this year, I decided to do what I enjoy. I made a single batch of gingerbread cookies, and I spent one afternoon piping away and listening to Christmas music (during naptime).
I debated whether or not to even take the time to share these cookies and write a Christmas blog post this year. After all, I haven’t exactly kept up with all of the gift lists, recipe roundups, and other Christmas-related blogger “obligations” this year. But, I think this year’s Christmas cookies are a pretty good reflection of my life in 2013. I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to keep up with everything, but I’ve learned that I can’t do it all. So, I’ve scaled back and focused on the things that I love, the things that are important to me.
Don’t worry, this isn’t a “goodbye” post, though it may read a bit like one. I’ll still be here in 2014. But, I think you’ll see a bit of a change… I hope you’ll notice a change. Instead of writing because I feel like I should, I plan to write when I want to. I am going to be focusing on making the food that I want to make, not what I “should” be posting for a particular holiday. I’ll be sharing photos that I love and not worrying about how they measure up to other bloggers’ photos (no matter how many sites reject them). Starting in January, I am giving myself permission to do what inspires me.
Until then, I am going to take a short break… Last Christmas, Maddie was only 2 months old. She fell asleep while we were opening her gifts. So, for all intents and purposes, this is her first Christmas. I want to enjoy every moment of it. It may take her 3 hours to tear every little piece of paper off of her gifts, but it will be a blast. She probably won’t remember it, but I know we will. And, I want to remember that we had a great time together as a family.
From my family to yours, have a very merry Christmas and a blessed year in 2014!