New Year, New Resolutions

Happy Monday friends!

I am trying to be extra bubbly today, despite the fact that it is my first day back at school.  I have a feeling, I'll be indulging in a glass of wine (or three) this evening.

Now that the holiday is up, I really wanted to launch myself into this new year and what better way to do it than reflecting on the last year and looking forward to the year ahead?

We'll start with last year's resolutions (full post here).
  1. Blog more:  My goal for 2013 was to blog at least once a week.  I don't think I made it every week, but I know that I came close and also made up for it by blogging 2 or 3 times some weeks.
  2. Gripe less:  This resolution was specifically in reference to my relationship with Bryce.  It was honestly an up and down year...summer was really tough (more on that below), but I can say wholeheartedly that I think I found success in this resolution.  Bryce and I have grown so much as a couple this past year and I am the happiest in our relationship that I have ever been.
  3. Get fit...again: CHECK!  My goal going into last year was to lose 25 pounds and fit back into my clothes from when I had first met Bryce.  I am happy to say that I exceeded my goal and lost more than 35 pounds!  It's funny because I went from having a closet full of clothes that were too snug to having many clothes that became too loose.  Gave me a great excuse to buy some new wardrobe pretties, though!  
  4. Try one new food a month:  I don't think that I actually tried one new food each month. Quite frankly, I forgot about this resolution and every few months would remember it and try something.  2013 did bring many new food experiences though, I tried:  sushi, fennel, and brussel sprouts just to name a few.

Now for 2014, I definitely have some new goals that I'd like to focus on this year.  Here goes:

I am really proud of myself for getting back into more blogging.  I still have a lot of room to grow, however.  I know that it's not realistic for me to blog 5x a week like I did when I first started blogging.  I would, however, like to work my way up to 3x a week.  My rule for 2014 is that I'm going to try and post 10x per month...twice a week as a minimum + 2 bonus posts thrown in each month.  I also have been brainstorming a new blog name for quite some time (more than a year, actually) and think I have finally found a name that really defines this blog and who I am now.  Don't get me wrong, I love the name "Sundresses and Smiles" but since creating that name nearly three years ago, I have grown so much as a person.  I think I have finally decided on a name that defines me and can also grow with me.  Stay tuned...I'm in the process of working on a new blog design and hope (fingers crossed) to launch the new design and name for my 3 year blogoversary in March!  

Though it may not be completely obvious, this resolution, is really just an extension of the "Gripe Less" resolution from last year.  Let me explain a bit more.  Bryce and I made the decision at the beginning of the summer that I would move in with him when my lease was up at the end of the year.  That being said, I had pretty much been living with him "unofficially" for months.  We discussed that the move was going to be a big project.  As mentioned in some of my House Tour posts (more of those coming in 2014, I promise!), this is just our starter home.  It's not decorated exactly how I'd like it and not filled with all of our forever furniture.  It is sweet, charming, and the place where we fell in love- I adore it- but, it is a small house.  Too small for all our stuff.  We agreed that during my summer break, I would start the process of trying to clean out, reorganize, and even move some things in. That made for a tough summer.  Bryce gave me the freedom to literally tear the house apart, pull things out and reorganize.  He came home almost every day to new projects and piles of things to go through.  Quite honestly, our initial inclination throughout the process was to fight each other. I thought we should get rid of something, he thought we should keep it.  I liked a new room layout, he didn't.  You get the picture.  One of my greatest passions is interior design.  I've thrown some good tantrums about his masculine house stifling my creativity.  I want the house to be a reflection of the both of us.  We've gotten through it, though, and have really learned to compromise. Now that I'm officially in, we're still in the process of figuring out what needs to be stored and what can find a home here.  It's a marathon, not a sprint.  We're both neat freaks and our house has been messy for months as we've navigated this new step in our life together.  But that's the whole point-- we're doing it together.  Sure, we get into some arguments along the way, but now they don't last long.  We realize that the end goal is to build a life together.  So moving into 2014, I want to make a home that is pretty...and neat....and girlie-ish, but I also want to build home full of our love for each other.  

I've always been a pretty happy, bubbly person.  However, as mentioned here, school has been really tough this year.  I'm not happy with my career.  I'm trying to make a change for next year (though I'm still figuring out what exactly that dubious word "change" means for me).  I do know, for certain, though that I'm sticking with my little kinderbabies until the end of the school year in June.  They're the whole point of pushing through this teaching thing each day.  That being said, I have nearly six more months to tough things out.  I hope to really take charge of my own happiness over those next six months.  School may not always be positive and may not always make me happy.  That doesn't, however, have to keep me from being happy.  I am going to move forward into 2014 trying to leave school at school.  No one or no thing can keep me from being happy except myself.  So, 2014...here you have it:  I choose happy.

And finally,
Maybe not one each month, but....I can handle some new things every now and then, right!?

What can I say?

What do y'all think?

Any advice for me moving forward?

Do you make resolutions?

Pop back later this week for a super yummy recipe (or two)!

Have a great day! 


  1. I feel for you regarding your job. Teaching is such a rewarding job but is also very tough, especially with everything that is demanded from us. I go back next week after being off from last year. Hopefully I am refreshed and can take on the rest of the school year. Look forward to the new name to your blog!

  2. Dang girl- 35 lbs! You do look awesome and it sounds like you accomplished so much in 2013. Hoping 2014 is good for you too! Xo

  3. I completely understand how you could feel this way. Every few weeks we are getting updates on standards changing from the state or county level and teachers are beyond frustrated on trying to meet each standard for each kid with a classroom of 30+. I think Pre-k is a very rewarding age and helps build foundational skills. I love being a school psychologist and feel like I can help individual students as well as entire classrooms in my role. It is a completely different than being in the classroom the entire day but great for a data loving nerd like me!

  4. My word for 2014 is happiness. I think sometimes we get so caught up in everything else that we forget to take charge of our happiness. Good luck with your resolutions and staying happy!

  5. I can totally relate with you on the moving in difficulties. I moved in with A, in a new city which was definitely a challenge. I wanted to make the space more "mine." Because this apartment is definitely not our permanent home at all, A doesn't really understand my wanting to change everything around especially since it is a very nice apartment. I think it's just a female tendency to want to take over and make the home ours, but I'm starting to realize that he's right, this isn't our permanent home and I need to freak out about it less. But it's through these arguments that our relationship has become stronger than ever and I've learned this new skill called compromise haha that I was definitely lacking in before!

  6. Great goals! I want to work on being a better blogger too. I really need to work on engagement along with posting often. I always reach a point halfway through the year and basically fail to blog for a month, and over the years the time span has gotten longer or it's happened twice a year. I think I just need to work on my focus in blogging this year.


  7. I don't make resolutions, but think it's a great time of year to make and continue with changes. Seems like you have really put a lot of thought into what you want to do differently and what you want to work on. I have a feeling you will be in an amazing place this time next year. Have a great first day back!

  8. 35 pounds? Way to go girl! You look fabulous, and I'm sure that your home does too ; )
    Life itself is a marathon, you're doing great, keep up the good work!

  9. happy new year! amen to getting fit again...always my struggle! haha

  10. You have so many new and exciting plans for this year, I know it will turn out amazing! Keep your head up about the job- you are an amazing teacher and any child would be blessed to have you! Keep doing what your doing and everything will work out. Have a great week love!

  11. These are great resolutions and congratulations for all of your success last year! Also, I'm really glad that you are going to stick with your students and try to make the best out of a tough situation.

  12. I can't wait to hear your new blog name! You have some great resolutions!

  13. It sounds like 2013 taught you a lot about yourself! I applaud all of your efforts going for in 2014.. I'm right there with you with making a change whether its simply a new school or maybe a new career path.. I'm still not sure. Looking forward to following your journey!

  14. Congrats on 35+ pounds- you are looking awesome!! I'm hoping to lose some of this newlywed weight, ugh!

    Our school situations are identical and I'm right there with you. We are 97% free and reduced, and have the state in our school trying to improve things. Sadly that means more on the teachers, and although are children are slowly making progress, it is seen as hardly any compared to other schools around. I'm struggling right now with what to do next year [I think I'd be forcing myself to work another year]. I'd love for The Lazy Daisy to take off, but in six months that is probably not possible, although I'd love to see that happen. Let me know if you ever want to blow off some stem and complain to someone, because I completely understand!

  15. Congrats on losing 35 lbs. You look amazing. It is so exciting you are making his home yours, I love all your posts about the house, what an exciting year you have.

  16. Allie, I'm so proud of you for this list! I think these are awesome goals and things we've kind of discussed as of late, especially the career transition. Work takes up a majority of our lives and if there's more bad than good every day... it's time to make a change. I was kind of big on the goals (resolutions? same thing?) this year with my 101 list, hoping to get it all done! And yes to blogging more!!

  17. Hello!
    My name is Ally, and I'm also a blogger from RVA. I originally found your blog through Instagram, and I adore your posts. You've got great style!

  18. I love your resolutions. The best resolutions are the ones you can grow on year to year. And as far as the moving in/house situation...I was literally looking around the other day in my home, thinking about how it's a work in progress (and I've been married for 17 years!) and how some of the things I couldn't WAIT to get rid of have become a part of my life I can't part with. Of course, many of those things have been moved into my sons' rooms, and they think they're just great! It takes time to build a home together. Enjoy the journey.

  19. Not only do I love your resolutions you have the cutest blog! So excited to be following now!

  20. 35lbs- way to go!! That's a hard enough goal as it is! It's really hard when you share a home with someone to mix your styles together. One thing we did was I let my husband's office be very masculine and then I got to make the master bedroom more girly. Can't wait to see where 2014 takes you!


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