2013: A year in review
Personal: I began 2013 with a newly minted 2-year-old and an 8-month-old...and I'm still alive and standing! Watching the girls grow into a preschooler and a toddler this year has been amazing, mind-boggling and exhausting. One friend who also has kids 17 months apart told me that during the early years, every day brought the "highest highs and the lowest lows." I second that. Last year was indeed filled with ups and downs, but we've come out the other end with two little girls who love to play together (before the playing turns into tackling, hair-pulling and crying), jump off anything they can find to climb, work busily on art projects and explore the outdoors. Their increased independence and fewer completely sleepless nights (thank you, ear tubes x four) left me more time to create, photograph and write than I've been able to do in the last few years. It felt good to develop ideas and then actually be able to follow through on them—with many interruptions and on a different timeline than I might have imagined several years ago. But still.
Photography: After years in the making, I officially launched Calm Cradle's children's photography division this fall. I also began migrating my nature photography shop to Society6. And, of course, I took an overwhelming number of photos of our family.
Design: This year was busy on the design front. I rebranded, redesigned my website (and just updated "Popular posts" on the right-hand sidebar), learned how to design fabric patterns (here, here and here) and created my sister's wedding invitation package, which I'll share with you soon.
Personal: Perhaps my most important goal for the new year is to continually re-balance—and give myself a break when things don't go the way I planned. More than three years as a parent has taught me that "finding balance" is a constant process. Kids, routines and the rest of life change on a dime, so finding balance means constant readjustment. I'm a creature of habit, so this realization has been a difficult one. Instead of setting my expectations for tomorrow based on today, I need to accept that flexibility and shifting expectations is not only okay but necessary to survive and enjoy the next few decades of family life.
As part of that flexibility, another goal is to focus more on my girls when I am with them. I remember seeing moms at the park spend more time playing on their phones than engaging with their kids. I vowed I would never be that kind of mom. And now I'm glued to my phone, for no good reason other than being addicted to it. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge believer in free play and letting the kids entertain themselves, but I fear that I'm too distracted these days.
I haven't come up with any brilliant strategies to accomplish these goals and am looking for suggestions. How do you re-balance and manage your distractions to live in the moment?
Design: I plan to continue to learn new design skills, software and sewing techniques. (My sewing goals are embarrassingly basic: learn how to choose the right stitch for a project and sew a straight line). I'm also considering adding a dedicated design category to the blog.