Reflecting on 2018, looking forward to 2019! / by Lauren DeMarco


Woohoo!! 2018 has been amazing!!! We have grown as a family, in one very literal way, and many other ways over the year!

We continue to use words like creativity, curiosity, kindness, gratitude, grace, and integrity as guiding values; we are always working on acceptance, discipline, focus, and presence but these are more challenging.

I like to take the time at the close of a year to celebrate the wins!

  • Our baby boy was successfully carried and brought into the world this year. He gave us a few scares but with the support of everyone involved, the DeMarco family is now a party of 4!

  • Luciana has made wild progress in her reading efforts, has maintained many beautiful little friendships which have serious longevity potential, and she has been practicing her favorite things: creative movement and drawing/writing. We are super proud of her and ourselves in helping her to become a smart, sensitive, and very cool little human!

  • Frank landed “the job” we have been hoping/praying on for way too many years!! Huge!

  • Many new skills, recipes, and projects were started, completed, consumed, and used!

  • Major household scale progress was made in our efforts to reduce plastic and waste! We even made sure there was no single-use plastic at Luciana’s birthday party, harder than it sounds! See more about her party here and our new habits here.

  • We had some fun adventures to D.C., Disney, Sesame Place, and beach week!

  • We had many, many playdates, built some rituals into our weeks, and made new friends; we each put a lot of effort into our relationships this year!

  • Important traditions were kept up with and new ones established.

  • We also did our share of purging, recycling, thrifting, consigning, and curating to make our home for functional and beautiful!

Coming up in 2019…

We are excited to send Luciana off to Kindergarten, celebrate love at 3 awesome weddings, have a front row seat to many “firsts” for Bear including his christening and first birthday! We plan to do a lot of reading and creating with the kids, pay off some debt we have acquired in some recent transitions of our own, and support our other family members with transitions they will be going through this year! I would love to do a round of pottery in the summer and take the kids on some local trips, maybe Hershey Park and the Crayola factory!!

Life is good!

Update: I have completed my concrete 19 for 2019 list, have set some goals to monitor monthly, wrote out a theme to focus on and have put together a work schedule. My workday schedule is specific and boring so I will keep that one to myself but here are the others!

Theme: Collect Little Moments of Joy
Focusing on recognizing and sometimes writing down little joyful moments of the day as I spot them instead of trying to balance out the day with good/bad moments, experiences, or behaviors and torturing myself about some sort of weird average. We’ll see if this “re-frame” helps me with my work on acceptance.

19 for 2019:

1. Once per month date night for 1st quarter (hoping we can stick to it for the year but the experimental first 3 months are the first step)
2. Pay off plan: 1. Save $1,500 2. Start with smallest debt and pay any extra to it. Hit goal of paying off $5000 of debt. Work on clearing all cards (a few recent transitions have caused us to build up some debt like my school nurse certificate, my husband going to electrician school, etc. but we are in a good spot now to start really clearing things up! So exciting!)
3. 4 or 6 week pottery session in August
4. Invest in some new scrubs
5. Make a few more wooden spoons
6. Try to make own wood butter
7. Make beeswax candles
8. Louis’ christening
9. Homemade wedding and baby shower presents
10. Ask to take Chi to first day of Kindergarten ( want to ask my boss if I can go into work late in order to take Chi to her first day of Kindergarten. May be the same as my first day of work but its really important to me and I want to ask for the things I want. )
11. Buy bathing suit and rash guard
12. Buy the perfect dresses for the 3 weddings
13. Stained glass class
14. Mentor a sewing machine newbie
15. Curtains for living room area
16. Peace of wood for live music
17. Hershey park and Kalahari trip
18. Tomatoes, peppers, peas, and herbs on porch
19. Front garden bed with hydrangeas


1. Bathrooms Wednesday (things to help me do it when I don’t want to: buy new cleaning tools, say “Only takes 30 minutes, doing it makes you feel way better than not doing it, take pride in your beautiful home, what else would you be doing?”, bring baby seat in while I do it so I don’t feel like I am missing so much time with Cub, do both bathrooms at the same time, make it easy by putting the supplies in a caddy to bring to both rooms, pair with buying a new song)
2. Log off instagram after notifications and favorites in morning and evening. Plus 1.5 hr alarm
3. Veggies at every dinner (try my best)
4. First Sunday breakfast out with Frank and the kids at our favorite spot (work it into the budget)
5. Towels laundry in before grocery store and when cleaning bathrooms.
6. Play dates monthly
7. Budget check Monday mornings at work
8. Blog post weekly, use Instagram as reference
9. Choose daily highlight in morning during breakfast
10. Morning journaling in notes instead of social media

Using my GET TO WORKBOOK to keep my plans in order. I use the blank section on the bottom of the left monthly calendar page to write the habits and the bottom of the right monthly calendar page to write down a reflection at the end of the month. I will make adjustments as needed. This strategy of monitoring helps me!