30 December 2015

The Redheaded Stepchild 2015 Year in Review

Here we are, poised at the end of 2015, which means it’s time for a look back over all the happenings of the past year. While it wasn’t quite as memorable as 2014 (in terms of not adding 50% to our family), as I reflect now over the year behind us, I realize just how busy it was! And you saw most of it here on the blog.

I told you about all the DIY projects I took on this year – not as many as years past (and not one per month, as I’d hoped), but good enough!

Custom framing an antique dress
Turning library prints into décor
Silhouettes from digital photos
Faux photo-wrapped canvas
Faking a blackout shade
Painting a gold scalloped pillow
Making a custom handwriting font
Streamlining the photo book creation process

Even if I didn’t DIY as much, I did give my house a little bit of love by adding a few new pieces (free vintage bar cart!!) and finishing some long-standing projects.

Our duvet cover, Lady Ofelia
Raising the bar cart
Reclaiming the master bedroom
Finally, a new bathroom rug
Hanging our family gallery wall
Family photos in the office

I also didn’t organize my house as much this year, but it’d be hard to top last year’s organizational frenzy! Still, there was plenty of closet-cleaning-out action all around the house.

Sorting baby’s storage
Pantry purge, part two
My best closet cleanout tips
Jewelry collection reorganization

I also spent a surprising amount of time in the kitchen – surprising to me because I feel like we’ve spent the year in a solid pasta/taco/stir-fry/chili rut! But turns out I actually cooked a few new dishes, many of which actually do make their way into the meal plans, and a some excellent (mostly chocolate!) treats as well:

Gnocchi and sausage bake
Bacon, swiss, and scallion muffins
Mini meatloaves
Chicken quesadillas
Teriyaki chicken salad
Chicken saltimbocca pasta
Lemon pepper chicken with orzo

Chocolate orange muffins
Chocolate chip cake cookies
Easy chocolate toffee
Chocolate chip wedding cake, part 1 and part 2
Almond chocolate chip granola
Lemon berry tartlets

I also realized, looking back over the year, that I played hostess to three big family gatherings this year. Huh! Granted, I was mostly hostess-in-name-only for my sister-in-law’s shower, but I guess I did work pretty hard for Baby P’s baptism reception and first birthday party.

Baptism party planning
The baptism of Baby P
A bright and sunshiney baby shower
Little P’s party food
Little P’s party decorations

And because I went all-out celebrating in a winter ONEderland for Little P’s party, I took every opportunity for Christmas cheer this year.

A very IKEA Christmas
DIY winter chalkboard art
DIY burlap flag garland
The annual holiday card

But when we weren’t throwing parties at home, we traveled all over the dang place – semi-regular trips to Wisconsin and Tennessee, plus Oslo, Salt Lake City, and upstate New York (not to mention all my recent job interviews). I almost forgot how we spent almost a consecutive month traveling this past summer! So hard but so fun.

DIY infant passport photos
Easter up north
Nursing-friendly summer travel wardrobe
Team P takes Oslo, part 1, part 2, and part 3
Tips for a European trip with an infant
Wisconsin Dells and Snowbird, UT

Of course, all that I’ve recounted pales in comparison to my absolute favorite project, which is helping Baby P become Little P. I think I can count this past year as fairly successful (and that’s not even counting the nine months I spent as his primary source of nutrition, oh my gosh).

The unabridged Baby P birth story
Our favorite newborn gear
Baby’s first Easter
Fall at Grant’s Farm
More fall family fun
The weekly photo project
Baby P turns ONE

But there’s one last big success of 2015. Remember those passing mentions of testing the waters on the job market? Well, while we were celebrating Little P’s first birthday, I was also in the middle of negotiating and accepting my dream job – a well-supported faculty position, at a fantastic school, starting next fall. So that means there are BIG changes for 2016 for Team P... finishing up our jobs here in STL, saying farewell to our wonderful bosses and coworkers and Little P’s teachers, finding a new place to live (maybe buying?!), and moving Casa P to Ohio. It’s crazy and overwhelming and we are all THRILLED.

So here’s to 2015, and all the successes we had! And here’s to a year filled with as much family, excitement, new experiences, and fun for 2016!


Janice said...

We here in OHIO are beyond excited to welcome Team P to our land! Can NOT wait to be of any assistance to help you all get settled in to begin a new chapter in the lives of Team P!!!

Rachel C said...

Yay!! Congrats! How wonderfully exciting! I know you like to keep a nice level of work related privacy, which I understand and respect, but I do hope you'll write about your dream job (Why it's your dream job? What you'll be doing?) and the exciting, life changing adventures and decisions that Team P undergoes this year!