Last year in 2023, my word for the year was “TRY”. Every year, I always spend the first week or two in January processing the year that just ended and praying about a word or theme for the upcoming year. I wasn’t quite sure what the word “TRY” would entail but I was excited about what God had in store for me.
At the time, I was homeschooling our two youngest kids in elementary school. I also wanted to expand my DIY content beyond Instagram so in February, I started my website and my blog. I did this with a Showit Template by Grace and Gold and learned a ton setting this up myself. As someone who didn’t start social media until age 41 and a technology beginner, this was a huge accomplishment. I basically watched a lot of videos and dedicated a lot of time to learning how to do this while also homeschooling. It was a lot, but I also learned that I thrive on learning new things and challenging myself. I felt really proud of figuring it out and being satisfied with the finished product.
Beyond technology, I tried a lot of new things. I learned how to power wash our deck, use a new paint sprayer, use a nail gun and a drill for the first time, remove trim, and refinish an antique chair. I used gel stain for the first time here and sold my first furniture flip on FPMP here that I did completely on my own. You can see a lot of these DIY projects below and follow along on Instagram here.
Mitch and I renovated an RV from the 1990’s for a family of 9 and I started working with clients one project at a time. It’s been slow going but that’s been by design. It’s fun to take what I’ve done in my own home and begin to use those skills to help others. I am slowly helping others attain affordable home design in their outdated spaces one client at a time. I love helping others save money AND be proud of their beautiful, functional and updated spaces. With each client, I am Iearning something new and I am truly grateful that they are trusting me with their spaces.
In the spring of 2023, I started to sense God prompting me to put our two youngest kids back in the traditional school setting in the fall of 2023. I was excited but also sad as I truly loved the pace of homeschooling. I loved the slow mornings drinking coffee and reading out loud my favorite novels in front of the fireplace. My favorite way of learning is hands on, experiential learning so taking field trips and having my kids weekly in a nature class at the Outdoor Discovery Class was so gratifying. They took rock climbing classes, took music lessons in the mornings and did a Co-op on Wednesdays when I largely worked on my DIY content. It felt pretty amazing but I was also needing a change.
You see, I had been a stay at home mom for 15 years and started to feel burnt out. I sensed needing to have a break and some space to focus on this business. I knew my daughter, an extrovert, would love the social aspect of school and that my son would thrive on being challenged by someone other than me, so I took the step of faith and put them back in school. I felt anxious about it but also excited about the future for myself and for my children.
Overall, putting my kids back in traditional school has been a very positive experience. It took about a month for them to adjust and they enjoy their amazing teachers and friends. We miss certain aspects of homeschool, but I am at peace with where we are this year. I am open to doing whatever God asks me to do and I trust His plan not only for my kids but also for me. I try to listen to His voice and go wherever He asks me to go. He stretched me by inviting me into many new challenges and roles and for that, I am grateful.
Looking ahead to 2024, I asked God to give me a new word and this year I heard, “SETTLE IN”. I’m not exactly sure what that means. I never know in January how this word or phrase will impact the upcoming year but the idea of settling in feels grounding and peaceful.
Transitions and new adventures are exciting but they can also mean a lot of change. Settling in feels more like putting roots where I already am and investing deeper into the people and areas where God’s called me to be. I am hopeful that settling includes rest and balance of incorporating what I’ve learned so far instead of learning so many new things.
So I hold loosely our 2024 Project List for our home. Here are some goals Mitch and I have to complete this year:
I hope you will follow along here in my blog and also on Instagram as I document my DIY journey that I take with my husband. I hope to share some client projects and am open to helping others in the West Michigan to make their dream spaces a reality on a budget. I hope to expand on what it means for me to “settle in” this year in my role as a DIY blogger and content creator, but also as an intentional mom and friend. If you pick a word for the year, please share below in the comments. I would love to hear from you and cheer you on this year!