Out with the 2013 Outtakes

Ummm...Hello!!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I have finally emerged from my holiday time away spent with family and friends.  I had all these grand plans to take the last day of break {for me that was New Year's Day} and be super productive.  You know like the productive when you plan to deep clean your house, re-organize every room, make a run to Goodwill, take down your holiday decor, clean out your closet, do weeks of laundry, make a couple of gourmet meals, finish any projects that did not get done in 2013, get a head start on 2014 regular work, and get in be early in a day.  Per the usual, I over planned, and Stuart and I decided that binge watching the most recent season of "Sons of Anarchy," while chowing down on a fresh batch of cheesy, black eyed pea dip would be a fabulous and healthy way to welcome the New Year. 

Thankfully we have been blessed with the worst winter South Bend has seen in about 20 years, so I have had lots of time in the house to get all my to do lists done.  If not for the blizzard we have had resulting in 18 inches...yes....18 inches of snow on the ground here, who knows when I would have made the time to get this post up.  Here...I...finally....am, about 6 days too late, happily ringing in the new year with some fun outtakes from 2013.  I cannot have you people thinking that all my pictures look as nice as they usually do.  

And what would my farewell post to 2013 be if I did not tell you how I did this year on my hopes and dreams for 2013?  I don't expect any of you to remember THIS post from last year.  I didn't.  I was even dreading pulling the old thing back up for fear that I had been a complete fail, but I surprised myself.  In 2013, I wanted to keep things real on the blog, not cry over spilled milk, be a little bit healthier, get closer to God, and continue to love.  

Keeping the Blog Real:  I have done a pretty good job of keeping things real on the blog this year.  I do my best to share my life stories here and there and have been much better this year about not letting the blog be an unrealistic representation of me.  If I am too busy to blog, I don't.  If I have a little big meltdown, I share it.  If an outfit turns out less than perfect, I post it.  If something awkward happens, I tell you about it.  I know the second I start putting to much pressure on this site being perfect, that will be the second I lose myself.  So I hope that those of you still around, enjoy what I am putting out there.  If the answer is yes...you are the best.  If the answer is no...no need to keep checking in on me.

Crying Over Spilled Milk:  Yeah I still do it.  But I have been shocked that since I moved to Indiana, I have really only had one big meltdown.  I mean sometimes life just pushes you on the ground, and you have got to get back up, but who ever said tears were not allowed.  Not I. 

Healthy Me:  Ok!  This area I can give myself maybe a 7 out of 10 for a couple of reasons.  First, Stuart, my sister, my brother, and I have been training for the Disney Princess half-marathon, so we have been running regularly all throughout 2013.  Second, I have started going to this wonderful Barre class at B Present Studio.  My first class was actually a Junior League social event.  Still patting myself on the back for having the courage to exercise near people I was hoping to make friends with because I do NOT look pretty when working out.  Finally, I have been working hard to cook more with healthy oils and have at least one vegan protein shake a day.  So why not give myself a 10 out of 10 you ask?  I still don't feel that any doctor or nutritionist would advise eating queso multiple times a week, so 7 out of 10 it is.     

Getting Closer to God:  This is the hardest one for me to briefly share on the blog.  I guess in some way that makes me feel good because it means that it was one of the longest stories of 2013.  Nevertheless, I do want to share a bit of our story with you.  Last year Stuart and I started going to a church in Nashville that initially we really liked.  We enjoyed the worship, the Sunday messages, and the community.  So much so that we began the new member process, it was through that process and conversations with family and friends that we learned that particular church was not going to be a good fit for our family.  As hard as it was to walk away from that community and to have some very difficult conversations with some close friends, Stuart and I learned even more about one another and what we are looking for in a Church community.  We grew closer to one another and closer to God throughout the process.  Though 2014 is upon us, and we have yet to find a home church, I am very thankful for the journey we continue to go on together to find a place that feels right for us and our beliefs.      

Love:  It feels weird to try to decide whether or not "I did a good job loving" last year.  There are many instances where I think I showed great love last year, and then there are times when I could have loved more or done more to show my loved ones how much I care about them.  Sometimes it is not just about feeling love for someone, but showing that person the love.  I always feel like I could love more, so I want to leave it at that.  I certainly loved last year, but I hope there never comes a time when loving more is not a goal for the year.

And with that I give you my one resolution/goal/hope for this year.  I would like 2014 to be the year of action.  Maybe it is my rapidly approaching 30s, the move that led us to a completly different part of the country, my new job, the opportunity to make new friends, the creative juices that are going as a result of my new environment, I don't know, but I am bursting with new ideas, hopes, and dreams for our life.  I need to start 2014 with what my old graduate student would call my action items for those things that are most important.  First up, thanking each of your for another wonderful year of support at DahliaLynn.  I cherish the wonderful connections I have made to so many of you through this site, and look forward to another year together.  Much love...J       


  1. so many great photos!


  2. I love that red and blue mini skirt! Happy new year and I hope to see more of you.