While I tend to always be pushing forward, it’s key for me to slow down to fully acknowledge the blessings in my life…both big and small…so I can truly express my gratitude. In a world of endless To Do Lists, it’s easy for me to lose sight of what I’ve accomplished, so I hope you’ll indulge me one last recap post of 2016, sharing my personal highlights.
I always hesitate to write this post because it feels so horn-tooting, but this blog is my happy place…my own personal scrapbook and life’s chronicle…of not only what we do to our home, but what happens to the people in our home.
So this post is a combination of my own personal highlights from 2016, as well as the projects you made popular…along with some geeky by-the-numbers stuff. Basically all the good stuff that made 2016 grand for me, my family, and this little blog, all in one spot! If we don’t share DNA, you might want to skip it! 😉
We didn’t have any major photoshoots last year (unlike 2015! #toottoot), but the photos from this shoot lived on in several publications. The largest being a four-page spread in Better Home’s & Garden’s inaugural ‘I Did It’ issue!
It was a fun surprise to see our last Living Room pop up in the ‘Pillow Talk’ story of Better Homes & Garden’s new special interest publication, Makeovers.
I continue to be overwhelmed by the response to our Living Room from a previous One Room Challenge. As if it’s not treat enough to enjoy my morning coffee in this room, House Beautiful just named it one of their favorites from all 10 seasons of the ORC, and it made their #bestnine on Instagram again! #Icanteven
And Relish Magazine (it’s a Sunday insert in major market newspapers) wrote about how to throw a Texas-style cookout…and I had the pleasure of being the resident Texan! #yall
I’m constantly amazed by the experiences and opportunities that come my way because of blogging. To me, I’m just sharing thoughts and ideas with friends on the internet everyday, so I’m beyond flattered when it leads to things like filming makeovers with Ikea, or hosting events at my favorite stores.
Since I think of you all as friends, I’m very choosy when it comes to recommending brands and products, and only collaborate with those I’d genuinely pass along to my mom or best friend. I know sponsored content is not always a reader-favorite, so I work extra hard to make those posts just as original and credible as non-sponsored posts. I was honored to work with these stellar brands last year.
*Stand-Out Personal Moments*
Between getting his driver’s permit and a full-blown Homecoming date, it’s safe to say our darling son is spreading his wings, and our years with him at home are dwindling. #sob As hard as it is to see him grow up, we couldn’t be more proud of the young man he’s becoming. I know the next few years will be so precious, and I’m excited for each new moment and experience.
I’m happy to buy supplies, make donations, and even work an occasional carnival booth, but I’m not the mom who volunteers to spearhead major events or lead committees. So no one was more shocked than me when I stepped outside my comfort zone and chaperoned the three-day overnight camp for fifth grade. It was one of the best things I did all year, and I’ll treasure that special time with our Little Miss forever.
Unfortunately, while at camp, our precious Maggie was bit by a venomous snake, and we had a scary 48-hours of waiting (with an even scarier vet bill!). She’s totally fine now, but it made us realize what a huge part of our family she is, and how completely attached we’ve become!
Our annual family vacation is always a highlight, especially when it’s with one of our favorite families!
Every moment of cruising the Mediterranean with my Mr. SP was a dream-come-true, and we never stopped pinching ourselves!
I loved the chance to get my darling Mama Sugarplum on the blog, in our Mother’s Day Tea post, and I treasure these pics of our three generations of ladies! I’m so excited that she’s agreed to appear more regularly in Dressing Room Diaries posts, too!
This Blogger Conference was really more of an excuse for a girl’s trip with my favorite blogger friends, and one of the most fun weekends of my year.
I don’t know what I liked more on our Big Sky trip…spending time with my darling brother and sister (and new brother-in-law), or watching my kids learn to ski with patience and courage!
My favorite part of blogging is the interactions with you. Every time I hit ‘publish’ on a post I wonder what you’ll think, and am always surprised by your response. The number of comments and reactions to these posts really blew me away!
Since we’re all friends here, it’s only natural I ask your opinion on life’s really perplexing issues…like kitchen tile and which dress to pack! 😉 I love hearing your feedback and ideas, and would love to find a way to have more circular conversations with y’all this year!
Some posts take on a life of their own, and I really have no idea why one project resonates more than another…but these posts (along with the most commented ones) received more views than any others in 2016. And according to pageviews, Dressing Room Diaries and Sugarplum Style posts are the most popular of my regular series posts.
It’s fun for me to see who you are, and where you’re coming from, according to Google Analytics:
More than half of you are referred here from other sites…so thank you to these amazing bloggers who so generously share my projects and include me in their blogrolls. Without them and Pinterest, I’d likely be writing to just my mom and aunt each day.
That said, the majority of the amazing opportunities that come my way, are because of you, darling readers…I know without your support, enthusiasm, kindness, and interactions, none of this would be possible. I can’t thank you enough for popping in every day, week, month, or leap year…whenever it is, I’m thrilled you stopped by! Even the lurkers…I know you’re there!
I know this post was a lot of toot-tooting my own horn, so thank you for indulging me. God has blessed me more than I could have ever imagined, and I’m beyond humbled by your friendship, support and kind words. With all my heart, thank you. #grouphug
Your encouragement makes me excited to continue doing what I love so much. Starting this blog was the best whim I’ve ever acted on, and I can’t wait to see what’s next. This year has already started with a bang, and I’m excited to share all the ideas and projects with you, starting with a big update on Monday! I pray 2017 is your best yet, lovebugs!