In 2013, I Learned…

20 Things I Learned in 2013

Happy New Year my blogging friends!  I have missed sharing my life with you these last 6 weeks.  I am still in Maryland for 2 more weeks, but taking some time to reflect on the past year.  It’s hard to believe we fit so much life into these last 12 months.  My blogging buddy Katherine is hosting a link-up party this week entitled, “In 2013, I learned…”  I decided that this was a great opportunity to summarize what this Abundant Wife has been learning this year.  So, without further ado:

1. I’ve always loved to organize, but I was surprised to learn that I enjoy cleaning too.

2. Praying and walking make a great combination, especially for this young mom.

3. When Brad and I got married, we agreed that I would stay home with our kids.  I love sharing with other moms how we do it!

4. There seems to be a pumpkin theme going on around here.  And a compost garden theme.

5. Thanks to a tip from my blogging buddy Jessica in June, I finally received my first $107 paycheck from Google Adsense in December!  Apparently, you actually CAN make (a little) money blogging.

6. I learned to edit my photographs on PicMonkey so that they would generate more Pinterest traffic.  (Thanks Ruth!)

7. I learned that BHAG‘s (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) inspire me, and they inspire others.  (By the way, we’re only $14,000 away from paying off our last student loan!)

8. I discovered a clothing company called Twice, and promptly bought 4 shirts using the money I earned!  Then I remembered how much I love new clothes!

9. Once the dust settled later in the summer, I enjoyed trying some new recipes in the kitchen.

10. I read 23 books this year, and got half-way through 3 more.  I love reading and always learn a lot from books!

Oliver's 3rd Birthday

Oliver Andrew’s 3rd Birthday

11. I read all of the New Testament, and read from Genesis to 2 Kings this year.  I also managed to maintain consistent “quiet times” and journaling through most of the year.  Again, I always learn a lot from reading the Bible!

12.  I created a Twitter account, and then linked it to my Facebook page, so that I’d never have to fool with it again.

13. After years spent avoiding a budget that covered anything other than our monthly bills, and little success with cash envelope budgeting, I finally signed up for Mvelopes.  I am now a fully converted budget-lover.  I don’t know how I lived without one!

14. After reading The UnWired Mom, I experimented with going unplugged, deleting my Pinterest account, deleting all my Facebook friends, and taking breaks from blogging.  I’m gradually getting back on the computer again, but trying to find a good balance between computer time and family time.

15. I tried DIY facial cleanser, shampoo, and conditioner, and Brad tried DIY laundry detergent this year.

16. Apparently making money by selling books on Amazon is a popular topic!  I wrote a post about it after I got a lot of questions on Facebook.  In October Woman’s World magazine called to interview me about it, and I was featured in an article on page 24 of their December 2013 issue!

17. I quit blogging on May 17, and started blogging again on May 28.  I had a difficult time adapting my computer habits to our increased family size this year.

18. I really enjoyed the time I spent this year deepening friendships with friends from church, my siblings, my parents, and even other bloggers!  I was also reminded again and again, what an awesome man of God I married.

19. I learned again how important it is to set aside my to-do list at times so that I can be there for the people around me.

20. Finally, I learned that I set WAY too many goals for last year!  This year I hope to have fewer goals, and to make sure that they are all SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely).

Naomi making dough ornaments

Naomi Faith Making Dough Ornaments

So, what did you learn in 2013?  I’d love to hear how you’ve grown this past year!

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3 Responses to “In 2013, I Learned…”

  1. Katherine A. says:

    Hey Jessica, I’m so glad you were able to get this up. Thanks for linking to the party!

    What a great year of learning, family, and growth in the Lord that you’ve had! Such an exciting update on your student loans, and congratulations on your first blogging check! I hope it is the first of many more to come.

    Happy New Year, friend!


  2. Yolanda says:

    Hi Jessica,

    Happy New Year! I learned a lot this year but want to focus on what I learned specifically from reading your blog:
    1. Cleaning challenge- I wish I could say that I enjoy cleaning but your enthusiasm was inspiring to me and I realized that cleaning isn’t all that bad.
    2. Making money selling textboos online. I sold around $100 and used the money to purchase a new printer.
    3.Twice Clothing company- first time I heard of it was on your blog. I have a new wardrobe purchased with an affordable budget.
    4. Sharing your financial journey. Congratulations on the great progress!
    5. Prayer and walk challenge. Although I didn’t do it, I was greatly inspired and plan to do something similar in the spring.

    Thank you and have a Blessed 2014!

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