Wow, I can't believe that 2014 is here already. Where has the time gone? :} On to a brand new year, full of unknown adventures and challenges.
I decided this might be a good time to check on the thirteen things I wanted to work on in 2013. Then I wished I hadn't. I pretty much bombed on all thirteen!! Part of that was me being too clever. Thirteen goals can be a bit overwhelming, especially for a non-organized perfectionist like me. ;)
So, since I didn't want to spend the day huddled in a corner going over all of my failings, I thought I'd review some of the things I did accomplish this year. :) Hopefully I won't sound too conceited here...you can let me know if I do. ;)
1. I gave my blog a completely new look, making it less cluttered and (hopefully) a bit easier to navigate.
2. I added Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube to my social media accounts. I tried Twitter, too, but that didn't work out so well for me, so I dropped it.
3. I hit 300 followers and then passed it by. (310? Seriously?) :D I reached over 734,000 page views. Incredible. I had no clue I would come so far in this blogging journey. You guys are amazing. :)
4. This year marked the first time a toy company contacted me and offered me a product to review for free. (Ahhh Products' "Lil Me" Bean bag chair for dolls and Moose Toys' "The Zelfs") :)
5. I did do a pretty good job with family devotions this summer. Every morning, the girls and I read a chapter from the book of John, a chapter from the Bible Knowledge Commentary about the same chapter in John, and then watched the corresponding chapter in "The Gospel of John". (Although the translation used in this version is not my favorite, I appreciate the fact that they dramatize the story using the text of the Bible only, so there's a lot less room for odd creative license.) It was a really wonderful experience for all of us, and we had some great discussions. :)
6. I started teaching an art class. It's been a unique experience...a little crazy, but rewarding. :)
7. I joined my local doll club and had the opportunity to be the special speaker at least three times. I'm so thankful for the friendships I've made there.
8. I exercised and ate right for several stints. This year, I hope to make it a little more regular. :}
9. All three of my daughters attended school this year, so I've had a bit more free time, though not nearly as much as I'd envisioned. :}
I'm probably missing something huge and significant, but that's all that's coming to mind at this point. ;)
So this year, I thought I'd be a little less clever and post five things I'd like to focus on in 2014. ;)
1. Devotions, devotions, devotions. One of my friends gave me a devotional book that I'm looking forward to using. It helps you read through the entire Bible in a year. I'd love to accomplish that this year, and to grow in my relationship with the Lord.
2. Writing. I'd really like to focus on getting a regular writing schedule in, both for my blogging and my novels. My novels will never be finished if I don't treat my writing time like a regular job.
3. Health. I'd love to be better at eating right and exercise this year, so I can be more energetic and accomplish the things I need to do.
4. Time Management. This goes for house cleaning, vocal workout, time spent with family, writing, and everything. I'd really like to be a better steward of my time.
5. No fear. This year, I don't want my fear of failure or whatever else to stop me from doing what God wants me to do. By His grace and through His power, I want to do the things He has planned for me this year. This also means I need to be open to changes in the plans I've set up for myself. :} Sometimes, He has different things in mind for me, but what He has prepared for me is always for my good.
Not sure how well I'll do on these, but I'd like to try. :)
Before I go (and head up to my sister-in-law and brother-in-law's house for the day), I'd like to leave you with a few bits of news.
First, Disneystore.com is offering free shipping today only when you purchase any of their new arrivals (in celebration of the new year). Use the code SHIPNEW.
Secondly, there are new Zelfs on the way!! I'm so excited! :D They aren't up on the official Zelf site yet, but you can see a few pics on their Facebook page (some of the photos were posted by fans who have already found them). I can't wait until everything is officially released. :)
For those of you who don't know already (but I'm sure you do), Isabelle, the new Girl of the Year from American Girl, is up on the site. Be sure to check out her collection. She's really cute, but probably not a doll I'll be adding to my 18 inch girls. :)
Also, there are new posts up on Tess and Maggie's blog and Belle's Bulletins, for those of you who are interested (click the names to see them). Belle's post is her VERY LAST POST EVER. It's been a great three-year run, but she's ready to move on and focus on her family. :) Be sure to stop by and wish her well, if you like.
I have a lot of fun review posts coming up for the month of January, so stay tuned! In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful New Year's Day. :)