Looking Back on 2013

looking-back-2013In many ways, 2013 was a big-time growth year for me.

I tried a lot of things. I failed at a lot of things. I learned A LOT about myself in the process.

And for the first time in my life, I have a full record of much of it by way of this blog (though, I will say, many of the things I’m thinking about as I reflect in this post were not captured on this blog – remember, this is just a tiny, well-edited sliver of my life).

I sat down to write this post thinking it’d just be a list of happy things that happened this year, and it mostly was. But among all of the positives, I also saw a lot of room for improvement – ways in which I let myself down and areas where I could have done more, been more and followed through on more.

More, more, more. Bleh. When will I stop wanting more? 

Regardless, I still feel like I did, saw, attempted, accomplished enough.

And that is something that I need to remember: I am and have enough. 

One of the main lessons I learned this year is that I can’t “do it all” (cliche, I know). And that half of the things I thought mattered, really don’t matter at all (hello, wanting things that I actually hate and don’t want at all just because everyone else seems to like/want them). I’m extremely grateful for that lesson because it helped me realize:

Life is continuous reinvention. Re-evaluation of what matters. Re-construction of priorities. And re-commitment to goals.

HOWEVER, despite my natural tendency to have an “always improving” mindset and attitude (ahem, I’m pretty much a self-help junkie over here), this year I realized that being grateful for who I am, what I have and what I am already doing is important, too. Change is a wonderful thing, but so is savoring the present, living in the moment, and reveling in life as it happens.

This year, I loved more and thought more that I ever have before. 2013 was a year for falling back in love with, and in doing so, really getting to know myself

Whoa, just typing that line and accepting that realization was powerful. What a gift. I can only hope that with each passing year I come to know myself more fully.

ANYWAY, I took a journey through the archives of this blog to come to all of these conclusions, and created a little bit of a memory lane for myself (and I guess, if you’re interested, for you as well).

All Things Wonderful & Noteworthy: 2013


In January

In February

  • I celebrated Mardi Gras with visits from my lovely college girlfriends, Ashley & Autumn and
  • Marked the three-year anniversary of my sister Kristina’s death by writing about it for the first time.

In March

  • I made Irish Car Bomb cupcakes and had a crazy St. Patrick’s Day celebration in St. Louis and
  • Shamelessly embraced my love for The Bachelor (well, specifically Sean  Lowe as the Bachelor).


In April

In May

  • I went to Vegas for the first time with my family & had way too much fun,
  • Attended my first bachelorette party ever for my long-time friend Lauren and
  • Road-tripped to Dubuque, Iowa to spend an awesome weekend with college friends celebrating Jake & Nicole’s wedding.

In June


In July

  • I watched my best friend from high school become a Mrs.,
  • Hosted my family for the fourth of July,
  • Read the Joy of Less and started thinking about how to adopt a more minimalist mindset in my life.

In August

  • I headed back to the Quad Cities to see another childhood friend get married (congrats Ashley & Joe!),
  • Really stated embracing St. Louis & all it had to offer as I got to know more people through kickball & such,
  • Wrote about How to Be A Good Sushi Date, and
  • Shared 7 Tips for Better Small Talk (two of my favorite posts).

In September


In October

In November

And finally, In December


Well that was fun. I’m joining Erika for Grad-itude 101 today. Check out the link-up here.

What lessons did you learn in 2013? Which are you most grateful for? 


  • esther julee says:

    I feel like that’s a common theme with all these gratitude posts: growth. 🙂 I loved that you broke down your year like this and created your memory lane.

  • John Lavelle says:

    On August 3rd my wife and I celebrated 45 years together. It was a wonderful day. On August 9th we golfed together and came home. That night she fell and shattered her right humerus and on August 14th she had a four hour surgery to repair the arm. All the vows that we took 45 years ago came rushing back to us. Never take your health for granted. She is now able to do most all of the things she loved to do and is even working out with me three days a week. Our surgeon is now our hero and I am still impressed with how my loving wife handles things both good and bad.

    • So great to hear that she is doing better!

  • Erika says:

    Erika: I read this post with a huge smile on my face — especially the realizations of how much growth and love and acceptance you’ve experienced for yourself this year! Reading through your highlights, it sounds like it really was a wonderful year — all of the things you were able to capture and the things that didn’t make it on the blog, too! I look forward to following along in 2014! Thank you so much for linking up with GRAD-ITUDE 101! And happy anniversary to your blog! 🙂

    • Ah thank you Erika!! You’re so sweet.

  • […] no secret I’m newly into minimalism. Streamlining my wardrobe, decluttering my bedroom, making more intentional purchases and striving to want less has become a […]

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