Logging in to my little corner of the Internet felt oddly strange. That last post from September? It was the last time I logged in to my website, which seems like something I probably shouldn't share with you but I think we're beyond all that at this point.

I've missed blogging. I have. But I feel like I'm wearing so many hats right now that "blogger" had to come off. At least for a little bit.

You guys, parenting is hard work. It's FULFILLING work, but it's hard and time consuming. I want to be there for all of my little guy's milestones. And I don't just want to physically be there, but I want to be fully present, which means that other things have to make way for this season of life.

It's hard for me to admit that because I see so many people juggling so much more than I am, and doing it so seemingly effortlessly, but I've had to be honest with myself over the last few months about what I want and what I'm willing to give up for something else.

2018 will be the year of MARGIN for me. After talking with friends, reading books and listening to podcasts on the subject of hustling vs. simplifying, I know that this is what I need. I need a reduced workload so I can 100% focus on work when I'm working and family when I'm ... familying. ;) I need to say no so I can say YES to the things that really and truly matter.

Keeping margin in my life is my one and only overarching goal for 2018.

Living a life of margin_0001.jpg

The Finished Product | Nolan's Nursery

Before we even knew if Baby Baldwin was a boy or girl, I knew I wanted to do a neutral nursery. I'm not super into the stereotypical boy and girl stuff; I saw clean, white walls and lots of black, brown, cream and gold in the tiny room we'd picked for the nursery.

That was the challenge: Nolan's nursery is pretty small and we had to be really intentional about the bigger pieces we picked for his room. I think it works though! Yes, we wish we had a little bit more room. A bigger dresser would be helpful, and the rocking chair hits the wall sometimes, but it's a cozy little space that I hope he enjoys for awhile. :)

Crib: Bratt Decor
Hand-Lettered Sign: House of Belonging
Mobile: The Felting Dorcas
Rocking Chair: Best Home Furnishings (ordered via Fish Furniture)
End Table: Urban Outfitters
Rug: Urban Outfitters
Shelf: Country Door
Animal Heads: Little Living Shop, Atelier Caroline and Target
Moses & Changing Table Baskets: Design Dua

2017 + January Goals (and a little announcement)

Um, hello. I feel a little bit like a dog crawling back to its owner with its tail between its legs. It's been FOUR months since I posted a blog. Four?! A little embarrassing that I let this blog of mine get away from me, but I had a pretty good reason.

Baby Photographer

Yep. Nathan and I are expecting and will be welcoming a little boy into our family in early April (or maybe late March or mid-April? Who knows)! We are very excited although it still seems a bit surreal! My pregnancy has been very smooth sailing so far and while that in itself didn't keep me from the blog, working my tail off this fall to make sure I could take a maternity leave (most likely from mid-March through May with VERY limited booking through June, although I'm still ironing out the details) in the spring DID. If I didn't know the definition of "hustle" before, I do now, and I am so grateful to everyone who booked me and showed me grace over the last season.

Needless to say, this upcoming year will be full of changes and new normals and surprises. You know I love goal setting and while I initially wasn't going to set any major resolutions or goals for this year, I realized that I would need the focus more than ever! Nathan and I accomplished some really big things in 2016 with slow and steady progress, and I want to keep that going in 2017.

So, here they are. My 2017 goals. Probably my most important ones yet!

1)   Put my family first. (I've never felt such a big pull for something. This is the most important thing I will do this year.)

  • Add another member to our clan!
  • Find a new normal routine.
  • Continue date nights with Nathan 2 times a month (even if it’s just dessert in our backyard).

2)   Take care of my body. (It's amazing what the human body can do; I realize that more than ever now that I'm pregnant. Not only do I need to continue taking care of my body over the next three months, I've also started to think about loving my body post-baby.)

  • Prep meals/snacks as much as possible on Sundays.
  • Start a dinner log so meal planning isn’t quite as tedious.
  • Drink two canteens of water a day.
  • Complete Insanity by the end of the year.

3)   Tend to my intellectual and spiritual health. (This may be the biggest struggle for me once the baby is here, but I'm determined to do a little bit each day. Baby steps add up!)

  • Create a "To Do Before Baby" list and work on it a little each day.
  • Do our annual house decluttering before April.
  • Read 15 books.
  • Get back into a morning devotional/quiet time habit.

4)   Continue working towards financial freedom. (It's not especially exciting to talk about, but Nathan and I have been working towards paying off our debt for a few years now. It's definitely slow and steady progress, and we've seen that a little bit here and there really makes a difference.)

  • Continue paying extra towards our mortgage.
  • Save [$x,xxx] towards exterior house projects.
  • Finish off our emergency savings once again.

5)   Find a joyful balance with the business so that it’s life-giving but not all consuming. (I'm embarrassed to admit that the business has been my priority over the last few years. It should always exist to enhance our lives but NOT be my end-all and be-all. A full calendar made me feel successful in the past and now I'm working towards being at peace with extra white space and margin.)

  • Finish booking 2017 weddings and be OK with the fact that my calendar looks a little different than in years past.
  • Blog ahead and do templates for just about any recurring e-mail/form possible.
  • Update my website.
Cleveland Wedding Photographer

And my January goals:

  • Finish For the Love by Jen Hatmaker and read What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty and Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky Bailey
  • Create a "To Do Before Baby" list
  • Finish our baby registry
  • Start a dinner log
  • De-clutter and clean out my office (oh boy ...) and our bedroom
  • Clean off/organize computer
  • Create e-mail templates
  • Finish 2016 editing and loose ends

Nathan and I are extreme noobies when it comes to this baby thing. We don't have any nieces or nephews and aside from our friends' babies, we aren't around little ones very much. If you're a parent, nanny, grandparent, teacher or ANYONE who knows little kids well, we are all ears when it comes to planning for a little one to join the family. Leave a comment below, and please share your own 2017 goals, as well!