2013 Reflections + Bucket List Recaps

Under the Oaks blog: 2013 Reflections + Bucket List Recaps(photo via)


Aside from having the most vacations in one year, 2013 was pretty calm for me and Jason. Unfortunately, my family lost its most important person, my grandma, in May so the year has been a bittersweet one. Right now I’m feeling very thankful for all of the blessings in my life, especially having my mom down here with all of us for Christmas. It felt a little more like home with her here. One of the greatest blessings of the year is that I didn’t get laid off! It has been a good year at work so I’m very thankful that I didn’t have to go through that again. This is also the first year that I’m able to say I’ve been at the same job the entire year. It feels so normal but when I think about how much I’ve gone through the past 10 years since being in NC, I realize it’s definitely abnormal. Either way, I’ll take it! And we are celebrating our first full calendar year of marriage! So much to be toasting to tonight.

As for the bucket list…

1. Get healthy and stay healthy. Ending the year the way I feel has been a great accomplishment. I’m not at my “healthiest” but I am definitely not where I started the year and I’m very thankful for that. My mindset has changed for the better and so has my diet. Beginning paleo was probably one of the best decisions I could have made for myself and Jason has taken to it pretty well. Over the past couple months I’ve realized just how much of a difference it has made. It has been an eye-opening experience and I’m glad paleo has found a way into our lives.
2. Become financially stable or something quite close. This has to be my favorite because we have just attacked our debt this year and we couldn’t be happier! Granted, less vacations would have allowed us to be a bit further this year but finding the happy medium between both has been key and I think we did a pretty good job at it. And now we get to do it all over again in 2014 after our renovations. Awesome.
3. Cook more. We definitely eat at home on a regular basis now. I’m still not doing as much of the cooking but I’ve had my fair share this year.
4. Grow a garden. Fail.
5. Learn to sew. Fail.
6. Write creatively. I’m not calling this a fail but it sure didn’t happen this year. But I’ll take it if it means I’ve been able to spend more time here!

Home renovations on Under the Oaks blog: 2013 Reflections + Bucket List Recaps

7. Get more involved in finishing our house. Our shed is 99% done! Enough so that we have moved most things out there that don’t belong in the house and empty the second bedroom so it can be finished! Rolling through the house list is exactly how I want to start my new year!
8. Less pinning, more doing. I’ve actually started organizing my Pinterest after finding some of my first pins and realizing my taste has changed a bit since the early years. I know this is on the 2013 list but stay tuned for more on this one.
9. Start an Etsy store filled with… something I haven’t created yet. My sister has been doing well over at Oak City Sisters. I’m still not up yet but there are some things in the works for 2014. Hoping by the middle to end of next year, I’ll be up and running!
10. Give back. I will admit that I didn’t do as much small volunteer jobs as I would have liked but CANstruction took over for a few months and our accomplishment there has meant so much. I’d call this one a success for the year!


2013 has been quite a year! I too lost my grandfather’s physical presence, but am comforted to know he watches me from a place of peace and happiness. I grew a lot emotionally, decreased a little physical (yay!), and had lots of good laughs. I accomplished a major feat professionally, and completed some projects at home as well. I had some not good moments, but silver lining: I learned something from all of them, and that’s the point anyways, right?

So, the big question, how did I do on the bucket list?

1. Take at least one photo of myself every month. Not done, selfies aren’t for me. Lesson learned.
2. Go somewhere I’ve never been stateside. Done. A and I traveled to Nashville! Read about it here and here, and maybe even over here.
3. Go somewhere I’ve never been internationally. Done. We traveled to Toronto over the summer.
4. Get a massage. Done.
5. Buy only one pair of shoes this year: red-soled Christian Louboutins. Not done, but I did hold out all year on buying shoes until the last month. I literally found myself in Saks holding a pair of Louboutins thinking, do I really want these one pair of shoes that I may only wear on occasion, or do I want 5 pairs of shoes that I will wear often on rotation? I picked the 5 pair.
6. Get a facial. Not Done.
7. Learn all the lyrics to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ album “The Heist” by November. Done. Boy did this come in handy when my husband and I saw Macklemore & Ryan Lewis at the PNC Arena … I may have been in the older tier of attendees at the show, but I was fangirling and spitting rhymes way better than the teens I was surrounded by.
8. Note my favorite song every month to make my own personal soundtrack for the year. Done. January – “Thrift Shop” (Macklemore), February – “Same Love” (Macklemore feat. Mary Lambert), March – “That Girl” (Justin Timberlake), April – “Patty Crash” (Nikki Jean), May – “Miracle Mile” (Cold War Kids), June – “Better Dig Two” (The Band Perry), July – “Holy Grail” (Jay Z feat. Justin Timberlake), August – “Applause” (Lady Gaga), September – “Sweater Weather” (The Neighborhood), October – “Still Sane” (Lorde),  November – “Lucky” (Kat Edmonson), December – “Blue” (Beyonce)
9. Make a trip once a month to Goodwill. Done. While it wasn’t every month I really read this as “give back and give back often” and I feel I have succeeded in this venture.
10. Visit, hike, and photograph some of the waterfalls in the Asheville area. Done. My husband and I traveled to Asheville, North Carolina for a fall getaway and it was really nice. We also learned some lessons on the importance of timing visits to the mountains in the fall.
11. Discover my signature drink. Done … sort of. My initial goal was to find my own version of a Carrie Bradshaw Cosmopolitan, but I’m just not that girl. Instead, I turned this into a “find a drink you are most comfortable ordering” and for me that became a nice cold glass of Riesling.
12. Get a puppy. Done. I consider this item complete because the puppy we are adopting was born in 2013, but will be coming to live with us in early 2014. His name is Franklin, aka “Frankie”, and he is a black and silver miniature schnauzer. My husband and I are super excited to become puppy parents!
13. Hug and kiss my husband once every day. Done-ish. I was much more affectionate towards my husband in 2013 and after reading about The 5 Love Languages I learned that I naturally show affection and love through acts of kindness. Fortunately we have many more years to be affectionate with one another.

Happy New Year! Have you taken time to reflect on your year before moving on to the new?

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