Reflecting on 2017, looking forward to 2018! / by Lauren DeMarco

2017 has been a lovely year. We, as a family, have been healthy and safe and we have maintained our lives with grace and gratitude.

We have been in the "everything is okay" space rather than the "it will be okay soon" space, which I try to appreciate as much as possible. I am always in search of the balance between the "are you breathing just a little and calling it a life? (Mary Oliver)" idea and the "surrender and make the best of the things you cannot control" concept; in order to stay sane and "happy".

Overall, life is good. *Special thanks to tea, candles, cozy socks, blankies, and the beach.

And although it doesn't feel like it day-to-day, when I reflect back on the year, I have done some really cool stuff and grown a lot.

My top 10 favorite accomplishments of the year:

1.  Learned to throw and hand-build many different vessels from clay and porcelain; discovered by "ladies" design throughout this creative process.
2. Taught myself how to use my Canon Rebel on the manual setting and have developed a photography style.
3. Completed a large portion of the 100 day project in April, my garden fence mural came out of dedication to this project as well as some beautiful sun prints and some natural dying.
4. Perfected my banana cake recipe, have recently replaced half of the chocolate chips with butterscotch chips and this cake it everything, if I do say so myself.

5. Completed my school nurse certification. (I had been working with an emergency certificate)
6. Started composting and was dedicated to my garden throughout Spring, Summer, and Fall. Learned a lot about different plants, processes, and the seasons.
7. Have made it through some strong efforts and big disappointments with career opportunities in our household, proud of my strong marriage.
8. Have gained some clarity and grown to be more honest with myself about money.
9. Have strengthened my political stance through educating myself about both sides of many issues. I have been using any platform I can to speak out/vote/etc.

and most importantly:
10. I have modeled for, cared for, and guided my daughter, Luciana, through another year. I am proud of her and proud of myself for being the best Mom I can be. Cheesy, but so real.

I am super excited about 2018 and have some ideas...

I would love to have another baby this year! AHH! Trying is in our control, the outcome is not...we'll see...
Some other goals: to build a tea pot and more cool pottery, to continue to make stuff and update my Etsy shop (more consistency is a goal with this), to celebrate our (mine and Frank's) 10 year anniversary (not 10 years married but 10 years as a couple) with friends who have been on the journey with us, to encourage Luciana in the beginning of her "learning to read" efforts, to pay off a credit card that we used to pay for some life stuff on during a transition time, to continue making my home more personalized and special, to be present and joyful when visiting with my parents on our weekly dates, to maintain a regular walking schedule and improve my intuitive eating practice, to start and maintain a kickass cut flower garden, to visit with and enjoy my grandparents in their beautiful home, to organize sister adventures at least quarterly, and so much more!!!!