Tuesday, December 31, 2013

what a year 2013


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.

59 comments:

katie z. said...

I definitely can agree about the fear of expressing "anything" because it will all cause a backlash. You can do it, and I promise I, at the very least, won't bite!

mascanlon said...

Happy New Year Vanessa and to all of yours, sweet, funny and real family members. And I promise as another White female archetype that I will never argue, boo or say nasty things, its just not in me either! (It was the nuns!)

Deanna said...

I enjoy reading your posts, and to those who don't I say "Don't read it then". It's refreshing to know that someone else is going through or thinking about the same things that I am. Look forward to seeing your new site. Wishing you strength in the New Year!

Brenda said...

I can understand your hesitations about how much personal stuff to write; I have similar thoughts go through my head every time I post something on social media. BUT, I do want you to know that the original reason I started following your blog about 4-5 years ago was because of your wit and your down-to-earth "my life is crazy and I deal with it with humor" scenarios (um, your littlest noisemaker asking you to come wipe her bum while you are in the middle of filming a video tutorial ring a bell?? haha, I still laugh over that!) Anywho, just want to let you know that I just love that about your personality - how you express the moments that would make some moms cringe, but you handle them with a sigh, a smile, and say "yep, and those kiddos are all mine :)" Happiest of New Years to you, may 2014 treat you well V!

Kendra said...

I feel the same way (not that I even blog much anymore) I'm afraid to write out loud like I used to. I love reading your blog, and although I miss the openness and candor of a few years ago, I feel like the transition has been natural and comfortable. No matter what, I'll keep reading and enjoying what you decide to put out there <3

Anna said...

I love your blog because of all the good and bad any crazy. plus the very beautiful work that you do as V and Co. Looking forward to you continuing to letting yourself be you.

V and Co. said...

thanks guys this is what i needed to say, it's been the big elephant for two years now. it sucks to have anxiety that takes over certain situations. i appreciate the support! and the promise to not bite! haha!

Funky Kim said...

I dusted off my blog. I've even posted a couple of times. But I haven't told anyone I'm back. And I don't tell facebook when a post is up. I'm terrified. I need to come to peace with whatever it is that is holding me back.

NorahS said...

Looking forward to it! I got hooked on your blog back when you posted about transforming the smurf house into a beautiful home. I would love to see how you have decorated this new house, too. I love whatever you post! Just keep posting!!! :)

Belinda said...

Hey can you slow down the slide show so I can enjoy each & every picture :)
Love your blog, your voice, your sense of humor & your style!
Keep it up!

V and Co. said...

belinda, i've tried...but i'm sometimes computer stupid/dont want to take the time to figure it out/just let it be as it is :) but i'll see if theres a way to slow it down. :)

gmp said...

I love reading your Blog, and you should feel free to run like you want. After all, it's your blog!! Keep doing what your doing!
Happy New Year! I hope 2014 is good to you!
Grace

Amanda & Brian said...

I very much understand where you're coming from. It is what keeps me up at night thinking…do I delete my Facebook account, or keep it? Ugh. It's exhausting. Much more than it should be. :/

So…I love that you're going to put yourself out there. That is one of the reasons I adore your blog. Frankly, I probably reference it much more than I should. lol Your blog has heart. That's what makes it worth reading. Sure you make gorgeous stuff, and have more creativity in your pinky than I have in my entire body…but you are a person…a real person. And in Internetlandia, bursting at the seams (see what I did there?) with impersonal blogging, I value yours highly for it's honesty, humor, and creativity. So, thank you for that. You will never know how reading your blog has gotten me through many a down day on this road of being a SAHM with a frequently traveling husband.

mo said...

Bravo. Everything is so divisive now. My goal for 2014 is to contribute to unity. To listen more and not contribute my voice to those who would have me jump on a bandwagon or react. I look forward to your daily chatter in the year to come!

Betty65 said...

I am a retired nurse and for the last two to three years I have enjoyed reading your blogs. It is nice to keep up with a talented sewist and a Mother and her young family. You keep those blogs coming and let your talent soar. It is so nice to get up with you in the mornings you brighten my days. HOORAY for the internet for the elderly we have company on a daily basis. Betty

Erica said...

I appreciate and agree with what you have said here. A few weeks ago and deactivated my facebook account on a whim and was surprised how liberating it felt. Facebook was making my life more negative without me even realizing. My word for 2014 is "evaluate." I want to spend time considering whether the things in my life really belong there or whether I am better off without them.

Roberta MacDonald said...

I think you're the greatest :-)

Melanie said...

I give anyone who has a blog a thumbs up! I sooo enjoy all the quilting creativity and along with that a peek into your family life. Just a peek, so we all know we are human. Flaws and all we are all on this earth to support each other any way we can.

Rachel said...

Ok, I either want to make or buy everything you made this year! What an incredible amount of things you've accomplished, all while raising 4 kids and managing a home. I wish I were 1/10 as productive as you! All beautiful.

Lee said...

Oh how I wish more people were like you! The world could use more people that believe in being kinder and gentler. Rock on and keep smiling because that is one of the things that makes you so special.

MsMidge said...

I love this post. I started my blog off many years ago as a "personal blog"....spewing my thoughts and feelings out on a regular basis. It was only when I took up quilting that it took a swift change over to a "quilting/creative blog" that my readers increased dramatically and the interaction. So then I felt like I couldn't write personal posts anymore? I don't like to be defined by anything. So I find it hard to hold back on my personal life in my blog, but I then have to understand why people come to read it - they want to know what I've made, how I've made it and why. Most of the time they don't care that I've just had a meltdown, my kids have all got chicken pox or my sister has just been put in a mental health facility! But all of those things have played massive parts in my life over the past 12 months, and I feel like if I don't mention them, then I'm ripping off my readers, because if they knew - they'd understand why I sew like a mad woman posessed!!! Anyway, I'm dribbling now..... Great post!! xxxx

TerriSue said...

Sometimes I can't believe what people write in comments on blogs. I think the whole anonymity of the web lets people think that they can be nasty. Who's going to know after all. I feel if people are reading a blog they don't agree with they should just silently unsubscribe. You are giving your time. They are not paying to read your blog. So I go back to what my mother always said..."If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." I am probably one of your older readers. I am in my late 50's, but you have taught me so much. I enjoy your writing and I pray that you won't be afraid to say what you want to say anymore. God Bless.

Tamie said...

Hang in there and be yourself. Your true readers will still be here for you- no matter what. On the other hand, I can totally understand where you are coming from. Just do what feels right for you. Happy New Year.

Bennett and Graves said...

As a follower of a number of creative blogs I am completely blown away by anyone's negative or critical points of view. What? Read, enjoy, learn, or not. Thank you for your input into my creative efforts.

Kathie said...

I enjoy your posts and sense of humor.Write whatever you want and don't worry about the negative people. I swear, there are people online just to post negative garble. I'm always thankful they're not my neighbors!

Heather Hambrick said...

I love your blog! I was brought here a long while ago for the sewing, but love your life happens stories. Thanks for sharing your voice of encouragement and the adventures of a Godly family in an increasingly evil world. Keep up the great work! Happy New Year, I look forward to reading about what you're working on in the new year.

Cindy said...

You need to go back to writing about your quilts, your family, and whatever else you choose to write about. Don't worry about whatever anyone else thinks. If someone tries to get controversial on you, delete their post! It's your blog, isn't it? You're no Molly ** who intentionally started a big free for all on his blog, a blog I no longer follow, btw. Why? I have no time for Drama Queens. I prefer real people with real problems, like me. You're a big girl, time to put your big girl panties on! LOL Just Kidding!

Cindy said...

Totally forgot to wish your family a Happy New Year!! I really want you to post and be yourself again, please?

Julie Ann said...

There will always be people who thrive on being negative and enjoy stirring the pot. Unfortunately it seems that it has become more pervasive as time goes on. However, I do believe it is important to not let their voices drown out or diminish others. There is really no way to tell the reason behind the behavior, but to just agree to disagree and not mention it further. It is difficult for a person to continue a disagreement alone.

I grew up with people telling me what the greatest joys in life are but leaving out the part where those things that really mean the most to us can also give us the greatest pain and heartache. The key is to find a balance and try to concentrate on the joy. Easy to say, sure!

You have a wonderful life, a beautiful family, a creative and successful career (not to leave out fabulous fabrics!) and all is accomplished by hard work and dedication. I admire you and all the successes you have earned.

laurakam said...

Thanks for posting,please keep it up.... I love your patterns and fabric lines but your humor and way of looking at ordinary things is what I look forward too.

trish said...

Hi V! I spent the whole time reading your post, nodding my head. I totally feel where you are coming from and am so thankful that you are my friend in "real life". I am going to write down your quote and hang it where I can see it. So many teachable moments in our lives the past couple of years. I don't want to miss a single one of them.
hugs to you! Trish xo

the silly blather of nan said...

Thank you for sharing your feelings and thoughts. The reason I don't have a blog is because I am afraid of the comments and wondering if I have said too much. So you are one brave person and I admire you for it. Keep sharing as you are, I really enjoy reading your blog. Have a great 2014.

Jessica said...

In your slide show you made the cutest grey quilt with like doilys on it. Did you do a write up on this? I would really love to learn more about how you made it?

sonia said...

Love your blog and look forward to reading your webpage. Best of lucks for the new year!

Anna said...

hi v, just want to tell you that you're awesome. I'm excited for your new site. and I think you're doing an amazing job of keeping the shiz real.

Laura Fedewa said...

You go girl! I think your blog is great how it is and I hope you see all the love you are getting for just being a real person not a robot falling into society. I am a mommy and new blogger and things can get tense and you can feel unsure about everything but it works out and I feel as long as your honest that's what matters, because let's face it, no one is perfect and if life was it would be no fun!

Anonymous said...

This is one of the bravest things I read in awhile and I am your (older) soul sister! I share many of your personality traits. I deleted my Facebook account as it made my stomach churn to post anything even mildly "controversial" and my FB friends were pretty much all people who knew and at least theoretically loved me! I cannot imagine posting where the world one see it.

You could take the stance that it is YOUR blog and simply delete rude/aggressive comments. The internet trolls will move on to more fertile ground if their inflammatory responses disappear without you giving them air space. I read a frugal living blog that went through a period of time when a few "haters" mocked her choices and generally posted non-helpful comments. The blog owner announced one day that she was going to take down negative posts and I don't think she had to do it very many times before it stopped. Thank you for sharing your feelings and thoughts! Barbie

chris said...

I read your post with sadness... as a newbie, I have only been reading posts for the past year. You are not alone! A number of the blogs I enjoy to read are in a standstill for the same reason. I really hope that you are able to make it through this. I really enjoy your contributions! I believe if you don't have something constructive to say then it should be held. I wish others would do the same. There are so many of us who appreciate the sharing. Hope to hear more from you this year!
Sincerely... chris

Abby said...

Great post! I look forward to seeing what you have in store for us this year. Love your goal/saying for 2014!

Nikki said...

I am right with you. I wish all of the nasty comments weren't so visible. There has been and will continue to be negative people....it's too bad that the internet has given them a platform. Do what's right for you and the kinder, gentler blog readers will accept whatever you chose to do. Best wishes for a peaceful 2014!

Jessica Munk said...

I've really missed your "real life" blogging ;) it's been a rough 3 years for me (just not in the sewing mode) so I haven't commented hardly. But just wanted to say I miss hearing about your life and your perspective. It helps me feel less alone :)

Janet Sonnier said...

I have what I call "my blogger friends" (yes, you are one). Blogs that start my day with a project and/or a smile. It's the people who aren't afraid to put themselves out there, that really make a difference in other's lives. I have laughed out loud on some of your stories. Being from the South, your sledding story cracked me up! Great descriptive writing! I hope you are able to stop overthinking on the haters and continue to bring kindness and laughter to us who appreciate and enjoy it!

HallieBerryQuilts said...

I think at the end of the day, people want to know who you are as a person...mother, wife, friend, all the above. I for one enjoy your posts, seeing what you and the family are up to, looking at your projects and the fun posts you post about market. Keeping it real is what you're all about, that's what I like to see :)

Kellie said...

You are one of my favorite bloggers....because you are real! Just keep being you!

April said...

Ya know Miss V, you could always right a book about your funny family happenings. I know I'd buy one! That way all your compiled stories would be well 'thought through' and there would be no nasty 'comment sections'. As a mother sometimes we are just looking for a little inspiration a little laughter to help us get through a perhaps tough bump in our path. I laughed until I cried when I read about you locking yourself in the bathroom at church and when your husband used your face for his sled ride! it still makes me smile just thinking about it. Don't give up on us, perhaps just find a safer more 'protective' avenue. In the end, you are a blessing and I thank you for that. :)

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year from a quilter (the term is used loosely because who has time anymore?) in Marion. I appreciate your comments and we all appreciate you sharing your talents and inspirations. It's what keeps us motivated to find the time!
Karen L.

Karrie S said...

I love your work. It's amazing. I would LOVE for your to express your feelings/thoughts/what you did this weekend. I follow your blog via email so I don't miss anything. I'm sorry that you have anxiety for expressing yourself, and I'm proud of you that you were able to share this post with your friends/fans/ect. There are other quilting bloggers that show their lives a bit more and I love that, but I love how you share all your projects with us. I guess what I'm saying is that you should share what you feel comfortable with. It's not worth the anxiety and dry-heaves, but I don't think there is much in the quilting/fabric world that is so controversial :) It seems like a great awesome group of people that share a love of quilting and not as lot of haters.

I would love that you would share a bit more. As a fan it's interesting, but only if you are comfortable with it.

Happy New Year!
karrie

Lindsey@InspiringCreations said...

I think it's sad that we have to worry about every little thing we say when we blog. I personally am drawn to blogs that share personal moments and feelings. To me, that makes a blogger more human and relatable. I find myself going back to those blogs over and over again. I definitely blog about personal stuff and not personal stuff because I enjoy it. I'm glad you are deciding to the do the same. :)

wendysquilting said...

I just want to let you know that I really loved reading your blog when it was so real re you as a Mom dealing with life with a deployed husband. I haven't had as much time to read blogs in the last couple of years but I have popped in now and then and enjoyed it. I am super happy for you re your business success!
Stay true to what matters most to you :) I too understand your need for peace and also the anxiety...I wish you and your family all the best in 2014!

elizabeth said...

I have always found your blog inspiring :) I have also hoped someday I will get to meet you in person. You seem like you would be really fun to be around. All the best to you and your family in 2014. Can't wait to see you other blog too :)
elizabeth

Bintang Malam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
V and Co. said...

thank you all for your words of encouragement, it's been noted and appreciated. it also has helped me to be more at ease. it's just been the big elephant in the room for the last two years and it took courage for me to point it out. i know i'm not a controversial blogger, nor do i ever bring up controversial things up on the blog, hence the irrational thoughts that it would happen to me.so thanks for listening i appreciate it and i am working out my stupid anxiety ;)

Erika Benson said...

Your blog has become one of my favorites over the past year or so. It must be very difficult to put yourself out there, heart and soul. Showing the world any one element of this blog - projects, patterns, fabrics, or aspects of family and personal life - takes a lot of courage. You have that bravery already, your decision just depends on what makes you feel the best and most whole at the end of the day.
I love hearing all of your stories, and seeing all of your creative projects. I'll keep reading no matter which direction you choose to go.

Amy said...

I have to say Vanessa that I look forward to reading your blog. Your happiness, your attitude toward life and your "roll with it-ness" are wonderful. And even better, after your visit to our quilt guild last year, I know that you are truly all these qualities in real life. I feel like you could be the best friend next door, the person you have to call when "____" just happened or "___" just did what!? Your honesty and humor are refreshing. Thank you so much! Life as a mom/wife/woman is a constant work in progress and I appreciate your honesty in sharing it with us.

Nana said...

Vanessa,
I love your blog and have enjoyed reading all that you post. Especially personal or funny stories. I've laughed until I cried, thinking you are so blessed with a positive outlook! I too suffer from aniexty, and am always worried I'm making a fool out of myself, or that people don't like me. That perception is my reality. And I hate it. But I do understand it. I gave up Facebook 2 years ago and felt it was the best thing I had done in a long time. I felt a burden lifted. I was so tired of the negative posts. It really affected my day. Now I fill my day with projects and reading specific blogs that uplift me and make me smile. You have done that for me and I thank you for your positive outlook, when I know you are living a normal life!
Happy New Year to you and your family and may you find peace in your decision.

Patrichter said...

Happy New Year Vanessa, I love your blog and I can't wait to see your new web site. I look forward to reading what you write. You inspire,are insightful and all that is wrapped up in funny!
Keep up the great work

Love the video. Wish it could be a bit slower. Thanks

Jan R said...

I love what you write about on your blog. I am a retired home ec. teacher and love your approach to sewing and how you used to feel about sewing. I have said that home ec. teachers have turned more women off to sewing than any group around. As the Mom of 2 grown girls and 5 grandkids, your stories about your kids are a riot. Keep it real here and don't sweat what a small group might say. Happy New Year to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Hi Vanessa, I just wanted to tell you many of your posts this year have been the funniest I have read anywhere & helped me over come my own anxiety/ depression issues. I've been just about peeing my pants so much (over your husband using your face as a sled....or trouble with your flights a few quilt markets back, or even your kids Christmas photo) that I've had to read your post to my family when they ask, "Whatcha laughing at??" They laugh too & I tell them that's why I sit on the couch blog surfing at night while they watch TV - to find the lighter side of life for just a moment. So keep it up, your talents, writing (&humour) are a gift! Regards, Kym

Katie said...

Vanessa, I related to so much of what you said! Your blog was one of the first blogs I ever faithfully started following, and I always think you do such a great job of expressing yourself and representing all of us moms that are just doing the best we can every second of every day. Know that you have inspired me and many others in so many ways, and now I (finally) am starting my blog. I'm already sure it will be a failure, but I won't know unless I try! haha! :)
Best wishes for a lovely 2014,
Katie

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