A Look at 2013

Hey everyone!  As "2013" is quickly coming to a close, it's always fun to reflect on the things that have happened throughout the year.  I like to do this as a kind of recording and sometimes a gentle reminder that life is short and incredibly valuable, so I need to make the most of it.  Let me share some of the highlights of my year as I reflect, remember, and contemplate what "2014" might hold in store.

My "2013" word was Authentic, meaning good, just, real, true, legit, actual, trusty, certain, factual, genuine, accurate, credible, faithful, realistic, believable,dependable. The words I've highlighted hold the most meaning for me. 

I made this bunting for my craft room and hung it where I could see it every single time I entered my room.  You can read HERE how I was inspired and went about creating this bunting.

This was my daily read throughout the year, and I've really enjoyed it.  I think this is about the 4th time I've read this book, and it never fails to inspire me.

The 'Simple Abundance' Path!

Simple Abundance: A Daybook of  Comfort and Joy

The Garden Casita!
It was so nice to get this project finished.   You can read all about it HERE.

Snow in our neck-of-the-woods!
These are the Superstition Mountains just 20 miles northeast of us.  Very rare for them to have snow, at least down so low.   There were even snowflakes falling around the Phoenix area -- some of the coldest temps on record for us!
We had to keep our citrus trees covered during this cold snap, and they looked like little
ghosts lined up along our fence.  Most survived, but we didn't get any fruit this year.

Something pretty!
The Man found the components for our new front door which you can read all about HERE.

Spring brought us a visit from some of our Northwest relatives, who hand-delivered these
 The china, silver and clock had all belonged to my sweet in-laws and are very precious to us.

Spring also brought the need to renew and replace........
 this ugly leather sofa with.......
These two lovelies!  Our backs are forever grateful.

The Man was building!
Our front outside entry had been begging for a bench, so I came up with a rough idea and The Man did this.  Read the details HERE.

Our garden started off beautifully, but didn't fair too well because of early and extreme heat.  We did get some tomatoes and squashes.

Some other family treasures that we received were quite a few china plates, hand-painted by The Man's aunt. You can read HERE how I planned out and hung them in our guest room.

We found a wonderful hidden treasure HERE.
This is Morning Glory Cafe at "The Farm" where we had breakfast.  About halfway through our meal, almost every table was in use!  

I bought my first box of Blue Ball jars and re-discovered my love of all things turquoise!

A kitchen tweak!
You can read HERE  how The Man added glass to my dish cupboard & how I found this old chippy window.

 We took a scenic route into New Mexico.  
By the time July rolled around, we really needed to get out of "Dodge," and you can read more HERE.

Arizona bark scorpion
Our very first, and only so far, encounter with one of these.  
I think I am forever scarred and paranoid!

Fun times!
It was truly the highlight of our summer to join our son and his family at Disneyland.  Seeing the excitement and joy on the faces of our two youngest "Grands" as they experienced this magical place for the first time pretty much describes "perfect" for me!

A bit of tweaking!
You can read HERE how we made a few changes that
made a big difference in this little bathroom.

You can read HERE how I made some improvements to our
breakfast set.

I truly did not think I would survive our AZ summer this year and......
Could not wait to bring out my Fall decor HERE, and

Then added some Halloween here and there!

An upcycled Wrapping Station!
You can read HERE how this all came about.  You can see Abby
is giving it the final inspection!

I've fallen hard for chalkboards, and this........

Big blank wall on our patio was the perfect spot to hang this large one that I made using an old frame & plywood.

A Harvest Party!
Go HERE to read about this fun get-together that I hosted for 
our Power Ranch Women's Club.

A style change!
I honestly thought I would never wear anything but tanks and capris after we experienced the hottest summer on record.  So, when there was finally a "nip" in the air, you can read HERE about how I found my new uniform! 

#1 Grandson!
Apparently the "athletic gene" skipped a couple of generations in our family and has landed squarely on the shoulders of our #1 (and only) grandson.  He is a star in basketball and football!

Attended our first "5 year olds" soccer game.
Players and team cheerleader have to stay hydrated!  This was just all about cuteness -- forget about kicking that ball around the field!

Another first!
We attended our first-ever school program -- our Kindergartener's class entertained us with a pre-Thanksgiving event!

Thanksgiving our son's way -- turkey cooked in the pizza oven!

More firsts!
Attended this little beauty's Hip-Hop Dance Recital and......

Experienced Zoo Lights with these two sweeties.  You can see more about these two events HERE.

Chihuly in the Garden!
An incredible experience that you can read about HERE

O' Christmas Tree!

Plenty of Christmas posts that you can find on my sidebar, but you are probably sick of those by now!

O' Christmas Kitty!
You couldn't possibly be tired of seeing Abby!

O' Christmas Eve!
A perfect ending to Christmas -- Christmas Eve spent with our 
son's family and four of our precious "Grands!"

It really has been a wonderful year filled with small changes, big changes, small events and big events.  What has made this year extra special are these precious little people and......
their parents, of course!

I hope it has been a wonderful year for all of you!  Being able to do this Blog and spend time with so many of you, truly makes me so very happy.  I'm always surprised and forever grateful for the strong bonds that have been forged through this strange world of blogging.  I appreciate y'all so much!

Please have a very safe and very Happy New Year! 
I'll see you in "2014!"
I love to party with these fine bloggers:
The Tablescaper at The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays
Karen at Sew Many Ways for Sew Darn Crafty
Cindy at Dwellings--The Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Kathryn at The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Mondays
Maria Elena at Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at Our Home
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life  for Inspire Me Tuesday
Leslie at House on the Way for Twirl & Take a Bow
Mary Beth at Cupcakes and Crinoline for Project Inspired
Karin at The Style Sisters for Centerpiece Wednesday
Angela at Hickory Trail for Efforts and Assets
Kelly at Live Laugh Rowe for Live Laugh Linky Party
Richella at Imparting Grace for Grace at Home
Pamela at From My Front Porch to Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday
Kathryn at The Dedicated House for Anything Blue Friday
The Tablescaper at The Tablescaper for Oh, The Places I've Been
Jody & Stan at Rooted in Thyme for Simple and Sweet Fridays 
Amanda at Serenity Now for Weekend Bloggy Reading


  1. Awesome Carol. Some of the photos at the end didn't load....don't know if it is just me or something else. Just thought you would like to know. Happy New Year.

  2. Carol...what a great year this has been for you! You really acquired a lot of meaningful treasures, made changes to your home and yourself (How pretty you are), and spent time with family. It's all good! And you reminded me that I need to start pondering a word for 2014. This year was grateful. I think I could use that every year!!


  3. I too am a big Simple Abundance fan! Love your garden casita! Happy New Year!

  4. Happy New Year to you! Looks like a great end of the year wrap for you and you sure look cute too!

  5. Truly a blessed and wonderful year for you Carol! I'm so glad I discovered you and your blog thru your casita! CHEERS to 2013 and 2014 dear!!!

  6. My mom has that same book and loves it too. :) Your new front door is gorgeous! I've loved getting to know you this year and look forward to your posts in 2014. Happy new year!

  7. I hope y'all have a very happy New Year!

  8. Wow, Carol. You should feel pretty great about yourself because you truly accomplished quite a lot around your home! It's so pretty. I love all the projects you completed in 2013. Your little blue bench in your entry makes me smile!

    I remember your word for 2013. I need one for this year, I think.


  9. I so enjoyed revisiting you year. My you did have a busy year.
    Happy New Year, Ginger

  10. What a great year you had! Thank you for sharing. You are one of the features at the Anything Blue Friday party at The Dedicated House. Pop on in and grab a feature button for your blog! Here is the link to this week's party. http://thededicatedhouse.blogspot.com/2014/01/anything-blue-friday-week-41.html Hope to see you again at the little blue soiree! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse


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