I love this quote! It's so profound to me after the year we have been through. Reflection is a very important part of growth. Without looking back at what has happened and how it has affected you, you don't grow. You just simply move forward blindly. But the problem remains that it is often hard to slow down enough to do it.
Today, I am going to slow down and reflect on the past year of FFP. I hope you in turn will also take a few moments to reflect on your past year and how you've grown.
Before I begin, let me preface by saying that as a working wife and mom I always live in a tension. I once had a student say to me, "Mrs. Braddock, you have it all - a career and a family!" I quickly corrected her and said that when you work and have a family, you always sacrifice something. They are not always big sacrifices, it's not always the same sacrifice (even from week to week), and sometimes it's a hard decision to make, but you usually have to give up something important for something else more important. So please keep this in mind as I reflect on the past year.
Here's some of the cool things that have happened to me and FFP this year:
- First and foremost, I had my second baby. That, my friends, is quite the accomplishment for me and any other woman. You can read about Baby Ben here.
- FFP got a fresh look last spring. Many thanks to future dietitian, Dustin Lawhorne, on his handy work. I hope you enjoyed the gray and turquoise theme. I may look to redo the look again this year as I love change.
- My food photography is improving (hopefully) and my most popular Healthy Aperture submission was Slow Cooker Rosemary Acorn Squash. This was also my most visited post from the year.
- I won two recipe contests this year with my Avocado Croquettes with Avocado Cucumber Sauce and Blueberry Banana Mascarpone Coffee Cake.
- I had the privilege of being on TV 13 times this year, talking about all my favorite food and health topics. If you missed any of them, you can find links to the videos here.
- I was invited to attend four food industry media trips and was able to attend one. You can read about it here. I love attending these trips because it gives me a first hand look at many of the food questions we are all asking. My goal is to see as much about our food system with my own 2 eyes as I can. Then, I can report to you all "from the horses mouth" and give you the fresh perspective you are looking for.
- I've had the privilege to work with many food companies and offer great giveaways. Many thanks to Late July, Gourmet Garden, Snazzy Gourmet, Vita Coco, and King Arthur Flour for working with FFP.
- I've greatly increase my presence on Twitter and Instagram. Please follow me and join in on the conversation and see lots of pictures of what I'm eating (ok, and my cute boys too).
- Personally, my family went through the most challenging year we have ever experienced. My husband took his first head coaching job at a new school and new district (sounds glamorous but it's really hard work), we bought a new house (which was a terrible process), I was pregnant and had a baby in August, and my oldest son started having seizures. (click the links to read about each experience) Jackson continues to have seizures more frequently then we'd like, but they are much less severe and more manageable. He is on medication and we are told it takes a while to find the sweet spot on the right dosage. Thank you to those who sent words of love and support through these experiences. Brian and I have been talking a lot this month about how much has happened this year and how each experience has changed us. We are hoping for a little less eventful 2014, but we've learned that's really out of our control.
So thank you for joining me on my journey in 2013. I hope 2014 brings us both happiness, (good) challenges, growth, health and lots of love. Check back in later this week as I share my goals for 2014. Start thinking about your goals. I'd love to hear them.
Happy New Year!