click on the image to see slide show
This isn't everything I made this year, not even close, but its a pretty close, and slightly fast...enough to cause a seizure (my husband swears he gets threatened to have one every time he looks at it.)
This year was kind of interesting to look back on. I feel like I've hardly let you in to my world on a personal note. These past two years I've been struggling with the balance of expressing my opinions on parenting, our struggles and triumphs in daily happenings as an individual, and letting you in behind the scenes of the "brand of V and Co." (which is where we have been led to here today thanks to all these years of blogging and hard work)
So to fix that...we've been in the works over here in creating a new website (as a "professional" part of the V and Co. brand) and then I can keep this as just my personal blog where I continue to show you what I made, show a few how to's and talk freely as a mother trying to look at the funny side of things to make this journey of life more of a laughing "HAha oh my gosh that totally just happened." Instead of "oh my gosh that totally just happened I want to curl up and die." moments.
It's interesting, this whole blogging thing. Here I started as a struggling mom of 4 little ones, with a deployed husband, sewing and praying my way to happiness, and putting EVERYTHING in my heart on this blog. Span 7 years later, what we have is a mom, with a pretty wonderfully boring life of daily struggles, kids in school, husband at work, getting to sew as a job, but guarding, and feeling stressed about putting my heart on the blog because the internet has changed so so rapidly.
It feels to me like there's a lurking debate waiting to happen/explode if you express any kind of...well anything.
I'm not a very confrontational person. And hardly ever (except a few small instances) have I felt confronted on my blog or anywhere on MY social media outlets connected to me personally. But observing as other bloggers (the non professional... and not the professional bloggers hired out by medias that want to stir the pot) I watch on my Facebook feed or other social media sites, become a frenzy and posts that pop up contesting and "in answer to" an original blog post that would have if not for all this chaos created after the post, not even made a blip on the radar, over night watch them get slammed and then slammed a 100 times fold, (and I speak that I've seen it down both sides of the aisle, every single side is guilty of this) I watched and observed as others either jump on to defend or to tear down that person's post... and this became too much for me. So I quietly stayed in my corner these last two years afraid to write anything about anything. It made me cry a lot trying to make myself write on the blog. How Stupid is that?
But how real is this?
Yes, I have my views.
BUT, I approach every situation and every individuals point of view trying to see it, and make sense of their view as well. It has made me a very humbled individual, in realizing often times both sides have merit truths to their feelings and opinions. My way isn't the only way.
I wish others would feel this way when they spew out hate and bile towards someones views.
Is this a post where I come out saying in this coming new year "it's all about to change and I'm going to take my anxiety of social media backlash and tell people to stuff it where the sun don't shine!"?
Uh, No. My life isn't a movie, it's not a tv show, and it's not a book where the end totally turns it around and you feel empowered by the main characters courage.
No, at the end of the day its real life, a real person, with a lot of insecure emotions. I most definitely do not have "tougher skin". It's much easier to say I'll just pop in here randomly to show you a few pretty pictures of projects I've worked on for someone else's magazine, book, company, or for new patterns. MUCH easier and safer.
I'm still scared to write about us like I used to. To be honest, as I continue to write this I'm having hives/dry mouth/want to make it all better by rocking back and forth in a comforting sort of motion in the corner... contemplating "Is this too much? Are people going to think I'm complaining, or weak, obnoxious? " or even worse "Is THIS going to spark a backlash somehow?"
If you know me in real life you know that this is a daily battle I have with myself. Sometimes its worse than other times. I am (oh she's going to show that she's a therapist's wife) a White personality, a people pleaser, a smoother of any ruffled feathers kind of person. It pains me to be assertive (for reals) and only become completely assertive stick to my guns when it comes to defending my family and the things I care most about, BUT only when I feel it to be important to correct a misunderstanding. Otherwise I do not feel the need to waste others and my time in arguing. Like I've mentioned before I look at the other persons perspective as well. You would also know that I constantly hide behind my sarcastic trying to put a funny spin on situations. That's who I am. And why I will never try to cause waves, and never try to out right offend. It seems though with the ongoing social media storm, stirring, brewing, lurking, waiting to explode, at some point I will unintentionally offend. And heaven help me all I want to do is make you smile, feel like you can do that project with me, and to assure you that yes it's normal to feel that parenting can be the hardest and worst thing in the world, AND be the best most fulfilling, fill your heart and soul with purpose and meaning and happiness kind of deal as well.
I want to just let go, write like I used to, and not be scared. And you know what? Perhaps now is the time to say "I can". And if I still have panic attack like feelings over it, perhaps looking into starting up drinking...becoming a drunk to let go of my inhibitions and write while intoxicated.... or look into getting some mental health (hey I know a good therapist!) and get pumped up with anxiety meds to the point of making my world into world of puffy pink marshmallow clouds and everyone turns into muppet character might be the way to go. Or I could just take each day as it comes, and slowly work it out while encouraging and telling myself "Seriously? I'm freaking out over nothing I'm not that controversial, and come on...some funny shiz happens to me. And ps: I'm not that kind of blog."
So...maybe you do get the end of the book turn around as you had hoped for. (all five of you still reading this, hi mom!)
So, yes, watch for the "new website to show up. I don't know when but it's coming. And watch for a few more "hey this is what I'm working on!" and "HEY look WHAT HAPPENED TO ME this weekend." of these kinds of posts as well. When I feel like I can handle it.
I think it's safe to say I'm still struggling to figure out how much to put out there these days and of course the balance of this blog between personal and professional...but, I'll move forward cautiously. It's just who I am.
So for this next year my short phrase of encouragement (no resolutions here) is:
"Be graceful, respectful and learn from what is thrown at you, good and bad."
Yeah. I think that'll do.
Happy New years from this gal and here's to 2014 with some fun projects and some bumps, up and down, along the way.
Thanks for listening.