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!