Every year seems to go faster than the previous. Maybe because I am in fact getting older, and life with children is so fast, and so long at the same time. I read my year end post from last year, and I laughed because not much has changed, but at the same time it has.
Matt and I celebrated 6 years of marriage. It's pretty impressive how much we've accomplished together in just six years. This year we continued to work on our home. We added a ton of ship lap to the house, as many of you know. We spent a lot of time on the water with friends this summer. We took our first long family vacation back in March. Matt's still in love with his work, and continues to be successful.
Eloise turned 4 this year, and started preschool in September. Flora turned 3 in November, and is continuing to be her true self. I am knee deep in toddler sister mode, and oh boy, it's tested me beyond measure, but wouldn't change it for anything.
Then, there's me.
I woke up one random morning in January, and went back to my CrossFit gym after two years of working out at home. Getting back into that early morning fitness routine after babies was great for me this year both physically and mentally. Having that hour to myself - with adults - (even at 5:30 AM) has been a great way to start my day. I took on a handful of contract jobs that introduced me to some really wonderful people. I also took on new jobs that challenged me more than usual, so I consider this a win. This summer I did cooking demos at The Corner Farmers' Market in downtown Coldwater! I had a blast working with the people of Coldwater. They were so welcoming, appreciative, and accommodating. I am looking forward to next summer at the market! I was able to enjoy the lake with my friends, family, and neighbors. Our relationships deepened, and I cannot tell you how thankful I am for my little neighborhood. I got to watch two of my favorite people marry the loves of their lives. Summer went too fast, per usual, and I sent my firstborn off to school. I was surprisingly happy for Eloise. She loves school, and watching her grow in many ways has made me very happy and proud. Fall was slow, but my brother moved closer to home, and I am excited to grow my relationship with him after nearly 10 years away from each other. I donated my time and talents to a local organization, The Early Pregnancy Loss Association. Supporting this community has been a mission of mine since experiencing miscarriage. I also helped host our first annual hayride/farm tour with Greener Grass Farms. Dan and Deb have no idea how thankful I am for them. They not only help feed my family, but they also help feed my passions, and they have supported me from day one. And here I am. A week after Christmas, and I'm feeling all sorts of crazy. I'm surrounded by a Christmas mess, and anxious to get my house and life in order. I'm also looking forward to routine and norms. 2018 was a joy. Don't get me wrong, it's had its moments. But, reflecting on this past year has shown me there are a lot of great things in my life - even when I sometimes feel like I'm drowning in the everyday SAHM mom life. I have my husband, my girls, my cat, my family and friends, a roof over my head, and healthy food to feed my family. Life is good.
I've said it a thousand times, but I'm not a big "go get em" girl when a new year starts. As I get older, though, I focus on enjoying the moments I can, because life is short. Sometimes I drown myself in thoughts of not seeing my children's kid's kid's kids (lol) and it breaks my heart. Even though life gets crazy, I know that it's not forever. Therefore, I will love the heck out of my husband and children each day. I've learned to do things that bring joy to me, and I'm proud of myself for saying "no" and "yes" more than usual this past year. I bought a composition book for my future cookbook. I look forward to slowly re-branding myself, and focusing on me and this little corner of the internet because there's still a lot of work to do. I look forward to taking on new house projects to continue to make our house a home. I look forward to warm summer days, traveling with family and friends, and possibly even welcoming another furry bud to our family. Winter will be slow, but I will enjoy the downtime (and hopefully some snow!), and rest assured that spring and summer will be here soon enough.
This year was in fact beyond the plate. I took you all into my home. You know my husband, and my children. You know my passions and the things that make me... me. I feel The Steph Gordon Blog taking a good turn. THANK YOU for supporting me.
I wish you all a very happy and safe New Year's Eve and Day! Thank you for your support, and I am so happy you're here.
With Love & Celebration,
When Zego Foods asked if they could send some product my way, I immediately researched their business and products. I promise you, my beloved followers, that I would never promote a product I don't love. My Zego bars arrived yesterday, and the girls and I did a little taste testing for our mid morning snack. Let me first give you an overview of Zego.
Zego's mission is to give you peace of mind. As a busy mom who cares about what goes into the mouths of my babes, this is absolutely reassuring. Most of you know that my family and I live a paleo lifestyle. Eloise also has some eczema issues, so we are careful about what goes into her body. Zego Foods refrains from many allergens, and their products are allergy tested. Their products are top 12 free, top 8 free, organic, non-gmo, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, nut free, paleo friendly, vegan friendly, and so on. They really are the perfect snack bars. I also love that their Just Fruit Bars contain fruits from the USA!
We loved every bar we tasted. The girls especially loved the fudgy chocolate fruit and seed bar. I love that their chocolate is safe and free from dairy. I personally love any kind of fruit bar, so I appreciated the just fruit and fruit chia bars. The blueberry and raspberry flavors were refreshing and tasted real (YAY), and contain zero added sugar. Win!
These bars will make great stocking stuffers for everyone in your family. If you are in need of a few last minute stuffers, you are in luck! Use code "stocking 25" for all the Just Fruit Bars! And, you receive 15% off your first order!
I hope you give this awesome company a try. Thanks, Zego Foods, for reaching out! I see Zego Food snacks in our pantry from here on out!
I'm starting to wonder if I should talk about decor instead food... just kidding. Kind of. You guys really seem to love when I share my home decor, so thank you for that! This little Christmas tree box got a lot of buzz, so I'm going to share how to put this pretty thing together. Some of you even made your own and tagged me in it on Instagram! I love it!
My vision for this was pretty simple, literally. If you've been following me for a while, you know that I love simple decor and this box is just that. First, you'll want to establish a box of some sort. This box was handmade by family, but it'd be pretty simple to do yourself with five boards, nails, nail filler, and some sandpaper. My mom used chalk paint to finish the box. Some followers also told me they bought similar boxes on Etsy.
The next step is easy! Grab 3-4 craft foam blocks (mine is large since it's custom) - depending on the size of your box. I lined the entire bottom of the box with the foam. You can find the foam blocks at any craft store, or on amazon. They are more expensive online.
Place natural Spanish moss on top of the foam blocks. This is personal preference. I like the natural vibe, but you could easily do fake snow, etc. I bought my Spanish moss from Hobby Lobby. One bag is plenty and goes a long way.
Tuck various sizes of bottle brush trees from Walmart into the Spanish moss. I paid between $1-$3 per tree, and used seven trees. When decorating, always use odd numbers of pieces.
Finally, I wrapped twinkle lights gently around the trees for a little sparkle. You can find smaller strands of fairy lights at Walmart for a few dollars.
That's it! If you have anymore questions, let me know! I'm always happy to help :) Tag your Christmas boxes with #sgbchristmasbox. I can't wait to see them!