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Well, what can I say? When I look back at everything that 2014 was, I feel like a citizen of the Neutral Planet on Futurama.

Overall, 2014 just wasn’t a particularly stellar or particularly unfortunate year for me. Sure, there were some great highs and some kinda sucky lows (not all of which I’ve shared in detail), but there aren’t any major leaps in my brain that are saying “Yes! Best year EVER!” or “God, please, just let this year end.” It’s more of a general shrug of underwhelmingness. I step back and look at the year as a whole, and it just seems like a mixed bag of meh.

Still, in an entire round of 365 days, I think it’s necessary to look back and contemplate what was before setting new goals for what’s to come. In that way, maybe 2015 has a fighting chance of being as badass as I’m hoping it will be. So, here they are: my favorite and least favorite moments of 2014.
1. The new job

Having this on the list is going to be obvious for any reader who has been on this site more than ten minutes. I got a new job last April, and while it came out of nowhere, I am happy to report that I flat-out love what I do. There were some unexpected twists and adjustments to make it all work over the summer – most of which I wrote about in lengthy detail here – but without question, it was the right choice for me. And while most of this new change has its feet firmly planted on the pro side of 2014, pulling myself away from the blog more than I wanted to was definitely a con. My writing zeal has come back with a vengeance though, so I’m very hopeful about what that means for 2015 projects and posts.

2. House progress

When I first started writing this section about the house’s progress in 2014, I went on and on about how disappointed I was that I didn’t accomplish more. But then I went back through my photo album and realized that my real problem with 2014 was managing my expectations. My projects were scattered; I can’t say that any single room is finished. But then again, what’s new about that? It’s always been my style to leap from room to room, working on whatever helps me stay motivated. So in the end, the house looks much better than it did in 2013. My disappointment? Eff that.

Most of my focus was on getting the entire first floor in better shape, and the kitchen and laundry room are two hefty parts of the whole. I added a backsplash to the kitchen in March and hung the new painted doors back up, which also led to a few new tutorials, great tools, and some nifty tricks.

Since the laundry room is directly off the kitchen, I added some leftover tile to the back wall to help tie the two spaces together. Expect the completion of this room to be part of 2015 for sure.

The upstairs hallway was one of the hardest-to-reach spots, but it was great to not only cross this area off the list, but to paint the final wall in the living room, which means that covering all of the cavernous tan is finally complete! Oh, and if you ever wanted to know how a 5’2″ impatient chick hangs a wall-mounted stair railing by herself without inventing new curse words in the process, I covered that too.

Speaking of painting, the back patio got a much-needed refresher. As of this post, it still looks excellent (there were lots of questions about its long-term wear and tear), and I’m planning on re-reviewing the product with new pictures once the summer heat rolls around.

Last but not least: the dining room! I’m still crazy about the color (click on the link for color & brand details). When I’m futzing around with the rest of the house, grabbing a cup of tea from the kitchen, or just walking in the front door, I’ll catch a glimpse of the dining room and be reminded all over again: this room took a lot of swearing and patience, but the results speak for themselves. It’s great in the light, and being able to move the furniture and rugs in meant getting my living room back!

dining room

3. New York

It’s probably a little immature for how excited I was to travel to New York this year (there may have been giggling), but I have always wanted to go. And thanks to some well-timed, amazing sponsors, I finally saw this incredible city… twice!

While my experience is far from fully recapped on the blog yet, I can honestly say that all of my expectations were not diminished by the real thing. I am looking forward to revisiting as often as possible… even if that means seeing someone pants themselves again.

4. Dating

Is it possible for one’s dating life to be less than a sentence long? Yeah, that. I’ll elaborate a lot more in 2015 with some juicier details.

5. Family

I have a wonderful family. But to put it bluntly, Alzheimer’s is f*cking awful, guys. It sucks when it happens to someone you love, and it sucks to watch the toll it takes on other people you love who provide full-time care for someone with the disease. It is easy for no one.

In other family news though, it was nice to help my parents make over their dining room with new drywall, Shaker-style molding, and new paint. Mom’s been wanting to complete this project for years, and we finally made it happen. If you didn’t see the before (including 16-year-old me in Friends-style jeans), it’s a transformation you won’t want to miss.

6. Blog/Business

Financially, it was a relatively good year. Between blog sponsorships, design work, and plain old saving, I was able to pay off all of my smaller debts in the past year and have only my mortgage and (brand new) grad school student loans to bring with me into 2015. Chipping away at debt is never fun, but it feels good not to head into another year with a car loan or credit card debt.

7. Other

I had another appearance with SheKnowsTV’s Homestretch back in March, which led to one of the biggest (and shortest) room makeovers I’ve ever done. Embarrassingly, I have the recap post still in draft, but you can catch the full episodes on their website (follow the link above, and you’ll see a link toward the end of the post). Looks like I’ll have plenty to publish this year, if only because of everything I meant to cover in 2014 but never found the time to.

Sheknows Season 9

Well, that’s about it for 2014. It was a scattered year, but perhaps that means it will pale in comparison to what 2015 has in store. Happy New Year, folks – and goodbye to MEH!

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  1. Sometime last year I left a comment about how an elephant is best eaten in small bites. It seems to me that you’ve eaten about three of them in 2014! So you have a few leftovers. That’s OK. I tell my better half I leave some projects unfinished so that I’ll have something to do when I’ve done everything else.

    I’ve enjoyed reading your posts in 2014 and am looking forward to reading them in 2015. I’m hoping you have a better than “OK” 2015. After seeing all your work from 2014, it will be interesting to see how you exceed all of that…

  2. Sorry to hear about the Alzheimer. My father had a traumatic brain injury this year and it has been rough on everyone […] my mother being a well anchored pillar though. She takes the brunt of his aggression and nastiness, but only returns it with more love. So hard to watch…

    Hope the coping with your family member becomes less painful in 2015, if it is possible at all.

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your father. Remind your mom how much you admire her for how much she’s taking on. It will help :)

  3. Alzheimer’s? I feel your pain. When it is finally over, you will just remember the pre-Alzheimer’s version, though. And you will see the best in (some) other family members as they serve the one afflicted. It is a tough way to go. Hang in there.

  4. Maybe your expectations for a year are a bit too high. Things seem pretty good from the outside. You have a job you love. You have a hobby you appear to love (blogging). You own your own house and have developed a wonderful set of skills which allow you to constantly improve that house. You have a fun dog to share part of your life with. You appear to have a wonderful family close enough to visit on a regular basis. You have friends to share your life with. Doesn’t sound too bad to me. Enjoy the little things in life and don’t get too caught up in the big splashy stuff.

    1. Very good advice! I guess what I was trying to convey was the overall feeling of the year. I definitely have a lot of blessings in my life!