A Look Back at 2013

At the start of a new year, it’s fun to look back and see how far we’ve come. For the life of me, my mind was at a blank…. I knew we’d had the downstairs painted, the MR redid the girls’ shower, and we put in some garden beds. Was there really much else?

So I spent a few hours last night and then again this morning going through the blog and seeing what’s what. It’s really has been a year packed full of changes, life, fun, laughter, sunrises, and one really miserable garden.

The biggest change has to be having the downstairs painted. All faux-finishing is a thing of the the past and the moldings are gorgeous.

Painting Collage

To check out all the painting pics and progress, you can go to My Plastic-Wrapped LifeHeavenly GrayThe Saga Continues, and The Big Reveal. We’re really pleased with the neutral palette and how a little color has softened the stark feel of the house.

The biggest project the MR tackled was remodeling the girls’ shower. He pulled out the stacked washer and dryer and its cabinet, demoed the old bath tub and surround, and then got busy tiling, hanging doors, and installing new plumbing. It’s gorgeous.

shower 045

Check out the whole story at Opening Things UpTearing It UpDecision TimeTile Update, and Now That’s a Shower. The shower is as nice to use as it is to look at, and the MR has ordered tile for the floor, so Phase II is just around the corner. He also has been working on the downstairs powder room, and I’ll have updates to share about that soon.

One small change that’s made a huge difference in our lives was converting the front door to a key lock. Being able to Lock It Up and leave the through the front door has totally simplified the task of going somewhere.

New Outside 2

After you live with something for awhile, you just think of it as always having been that way. Maybe I can be excused then for forgetting about my awesome new So Sleek cooktop.

New Cooktop

I love the true-simmer option, and the more powerful fan works much better than the old one.

Other big changes that sometimes slip my mind are the solar panels and our new boiler. We no longer have to Push the Button to get the boiler to turn on, and we haven’t had one weekend where the temperature has dipped into the 40-degree range inside the house. The MR was telling me just the other day that the solar panels dropped our electrical bill way down in the early fall months; let’s hope our experiment with solar is a success.

Array 2

This last year, I spent a lot of time cataloguing our gardening triumphs and woes. Our flowerbeds look better, while our kitchen garden and orchard are expanding. I had our soil tested this fall, and the results showed a Nitrogen deficiency. Surprise, surprise, one of the sign of this is poor plant growth. Maybe that’s why my lettuce remained the size of my thumbnail for months, or maybe it was just the bunnies. The seed catalogs have begun arriving, and I am ready to being waging war with the deer, birds, and wildlife again this year.

Fenced Garden

A look back wouldn’t be complete without a few of my favorite projects. I love the revamp of The Little Bench

Garden Update August 6 004

While it’s found its home under the portico during the winter, next spring it will be back out on the deck for book reading and bird watching.

I also love, love, love my Penny for Your Thoughts countertop. It adds a bit of interest to the office area and hides the dust that gets beneath the glass on the white counters.

All Finished

Another fun project and one of my most read posts of the year was the Bling Baby jewelry organizer I made for the master closet.

Bling & Plaque

Unfortunately, I think I may need to add to my storage options. I have a hard time keeping this area neat and tidy; there’s always room for improvement.

On the decorating side of things, with the help of Design Seed, I Picked a Palette. I chose citrus hues for the summer and spring swapping gray for yellow in the cooler months. I love color and sometimes have a hard time editing. This gives me a little more focus when I’m selecting fabric or adding some accent pieces.

I like the idea of changing decor with the seasons to add a little excitement. That’s why the mantel has sported a variety of looks over the last 12 months.

Seasonal Mantel Collage

Now that all the festive trappings have been packed up, the mantel is looking a little bare. I do believe it’s time for something new.

You may be wondering what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks of silence. Well, I braided hair, bought a new car, gave out Christmas sweaters, celebrated with friends and family, marked Cocoa’s one-year anniversary with us, watch sunrises and sunsets, helped Baby Girl start on a 10-day raw food diet (really hard), went to a 13-hour volleyball tournament, and traded two college students in for one Australian exchange student. It’s been busy, fun, and crazy.

Holiday Collage

And now I’m ready to get back into the swing of things.

Wishing a wonderful start to the new year for each of you!


5 thoughts on “A Look Back at 2013

  1. Oh my gosh I really, really missed your blogs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Such a great year you had. We did too! I did not know about the 10 raw food! My hat goes off to all who participated. Can’t wait to catch up. Theo.

    • Thanks MK. It’s always nice to be missed. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Raw foods is crazy hard. But Baby Girl came home from school and announced she had amazing energy all day. Her friends all commented. Of course one of her teachers mentioned her lunch looked like a farmers market. 🙂

  2. What a wonderful wrap-up of your busy, busy year! I love your cooktop soooo much and the penny-for-your-thoughts bench – so clever. It has been a delight watching your renovations, family happenings and mantle decorations (love them!) unfold. All the very best for you, your family and your bigwhitehouseonthehill this year!

  3. Pingback: January In Review | bigwhitehouseonthehill

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