A quick reflection on 2013

by Lesley on December 31, 2013 · 9 comments

in best of the year,goals

family christmas

It’s 6:00 in the morning, and for the first time in…well…forever…the baby slept through the night. (Cue angels singing! Cue mothers around the world weeping!) I’m fighting off mastitis and the house is a wreck from being gone a week. If this post doesn’t get published now, while the kids are still slumbering, it never well. So here we go. 

Our family is back from Christmas vacation, and you can see some of our photos over on my sister-in-law’s blog. I hope to get a recap up here soon, but I make no promises. The grand summary is: we had a fantastic time with our families. The weather was amazing (80 degrees!) and we enjoyed sweet, memorable time with those we love.

2013 was a good, good year. We entered the year with some fears and unknowns, and ended the year with a healthy and stable family life. We know to not take these things for granted. I am very grateful.

Last January I picked a word to live by in 2013–gratitude–and I marked over 365 things I’m thankful for in a small journal. I hope I can reach 1,000 “gifts” in 2014. My biggest observation from keeping a gratitude journal? I often forget what I’m thankful for! It’s very fun to read through my list and notice repeat mentions like “cuddles on the couch,” “good conversations with friends,” and “Rolos.”


I’ve mentioned before that I’m a type A planner, so it’s rare for a year to pass that I don’t set goals.  Every year I complete a simple word document introduced to me by old friends from Santa Barbara, the Kearins. The document helps me complete and remember the present year, while dreaming and visioning the year ahead. 2013 was the first year I decided to break my goals down by quarter, and I’m so glad that I did. The first two quarters of 2013 I focused on writing, and the last two quarters were mostly centered on motherhood and a running goal. As I look back on 2013 I am proud of myself for accomplishing all that I did while also recognizing, accepting and even celebrating my limits.

Things I’m happy to have done in 2013

Best Moments of 2013

  • Holding sweet Owen for the first time on July 13. Nothing in 2013 can beat the moment we met our son.
  • Hearing Anna’s verbal skills come alive. Her spirit brightens my life daily.
  • Riding the New Orleans streetcars with Jonathan during our babymoon.
  • Watching Jonathan cross the San Luis Obispo Marathon finish line. Tears!
  • Seeing Anna discover the joys of the swimming pool.
  • Signing a contract to work with my agent, Chris Ferebee.
  • Hanging out with our friends in Santa Barbara for Nate’s wedding.
  • Singing Silent Night on Christmas Eve with Jonathan by my side, Owen in his arms, and Anna tugging on my legs.
  • Meeting my new nieces, Kaitlyn and Hailey, on Christmas Day.

Stuff to Do in 2014

  • Be a present, patient and loving mom and wife. This one is a repeat from last year, and it’s always top priority for me.
  • Find a publisher for my book, then write the remaining chapters.
  • Write for an exciting new project–a new NIV devotional bible for young women published by Zondervan.
  • Complete a blog redesign and start participating in a monthly “What I learned” linkup. (Before baby I averaged about 11 posts a month, and after baby I’m averaging 6-7. Maybe when Owen’s sleep habits are consistent again I’ll be back with greater frequency.)
  • Vary up my exercise routine with yoga and/or Pilates once a week. (Two times a week would be ideal, but hello…those classes are pricey!)
  • Spend a long weekend on the coast with Jonathan where we sleep-in and eat, emphasis on “sleep-in.” 
  • Spend less time online, and more time with my Kindle. My book list is miles long. If you’re trying to read more books, try creating a “Must Read in 2014” list on GoodReads. Here’s mine.
  • Maybe re-do our backyard? This is still budget dependent. Jonathan made our front yard pretty in 2013 and we really enjoyed using it during the summer. Hope we can make our backyard just as lovely!

I’d love to hear some of your favorites in 2013, something you’re proud you accomplished, and maybe a few things you’re looking forward to in 2014. Write your own post and link to it in the comment section, or, simply leave a few thoughts. Happy New Year!

P.S. For the first time ever, I’ve decided to not post my annual BEST OF list. Since I’ve been blogging what I’m into each month, I figured you’ve heard enough from me about best books, music, recipes, etc. (For previous years, click here.) And for anyone needing book recommendations, hop over to my GoodReads 2013 Book List where you’ll see all my 5 star ratings from the last year.

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I must say, I do miss your BEST of list. It was kind of like the oscars of your blog : )


Such great books on that list for 2014. Man, I love the Artists Way. I haven't read it in years. I could stand to do it again.


"Every year I complete a simple word document introduced to me by old friends from Santa Barbara, the Kearins. The document helps me complete and remember the present year, while dreaming and visioning the year ahead."

I'm interested in this document! I feel like I need a better way to plan/dream for the year and remember what I've done/seen/experienced (especially since I haven't been blogging much anymore).


Sounds like you had a great 2013! Your family photo is so cute! Happy new year :)


One thing I accomplished on 2013 was meeting the Miller family! Woo-hoo! Of course, Owen was in utero at the time, that shy little guy, although not for too much longer by then.

A blessed New Year to your family, Lesley,



Mastitis: ugh.  Had it.  Hated it. Hang in there.  Beyond that, I LOVE reading your random musings; you encourage me to put "find an agent" (and then hopefully succeed in GETTING an agent!) on my 2014 list as well.  Keep up the good work, mama!  xo.


What an amazing year you have had, friend! Seems like not that long ago we were eating dinner together and ringing in 2013 ;) Cheers to another year of motherhood, writing, and friendship!


ugh -- I had mastitis last week and it SUCKED.  I hope you have antibiotics!  Your goals for 2014 are wonderful.  Have you ever seen the free yoga classes at doyogawithme.com?  They're pretty good!  I'll be posting by 2014 sometime in the next few days... (dependent on baby sleeping, preschooler behaving (ha!), etc.)