Happy New Year! Resolutions Revisited

I woke up to see the sunrise, on this first day of 2013.

It wasn't a sparkler, but I felt a sense of newness as I watched it unfold. I'm ready to embrace 2013.

Overall, 2012 was a tornado. A giant storm of change where I mainly felt dizzy, spinning round and round, struggling to get my feet under me.

We had grand plans. They seemed so simple on paper. Remodel an old family house and move our family in. Simple..right?

Looking back on my resolutions and seeing what actually transpired might be the best way to tell the story of 2012 for our family.

2012 Goals:

1) Survive the move back into the Portland area. Setting up a new house, building new garden beds, flower beds and trying to take as many plants with me as I can. I want to be thoughtful as I plan these new gardens, taking care to prep soil and being mindful that it will take years before I see the results I have in my minds eye.  I want to keep reminding myself to enjoy the adventure of it as I'm truly a creature of habit and find it hard to enjoy the journey. (I might as well been born a hobbit.)

We did survive the move, but boy, just barely. Our relationship with the homes previous owner (family) was nearly lost due to many problems that one might encounter when business relationships go sour. We had to fight through those issues on top of the renovations to the house which had been 'understated' to us. I guess the old saying is true, family and business don't mix. But, as we start the new year, we've tackled a lot of the big renovations with small detail fixes remaining (I'll be excited to restart my New House Files series when it's all done) and we continue to work on the family relationship, because it's important to us and in the end, it will be water under the bridge. 

The kids are in an excellent new school district and have been thriving. We moved into a neighborhood with wonderful neighbors and plenty of children to keep my own occupied and happy. I'm quite close to where I grew up and many of my childhood friends are close by and I feel comforted by the familiar scenery. 

I have moved many of my plants from our home in Rainier, my backyard flower beds are still 'under construction'. I did accomplish my goal of building a new front flower bed. That felt awesome :) Grade B

2) Plan a vegetable garden in three stages.  The first one will be at our current home, utilizing existing raised beds for early spring crops. The second and third will be at the new house for summer and winter vegetable gardens. (can I tell you how excited I am to have room for a winter garden? :)

Ok, I did 66% on this goal! I did use my Rainier garden to grow early spring crops like lettuce, snow peas and spinach. Then, the hubster built me new boxes for the West Linn garden and I got to work one fine late spring Saturday and built the first of four boxes.

The boxes for the winter garden, not built yet. Coming soon :) Grade B

3) Take care of myself.  I've really been stretched thin the past year and it's showing with some ailments I now have. I need to do things and tackle some health issues to stay healthy. Most importantly, I need to make it a priority.

Ha, yeah, this goal is quite hilarious to look at one year later. Ok, my intentions were good, really good, to try and take of myself. After the battles of 2011 (nearly losing husband to auto-immune illness, leaving my job to care for him..yadayada) all added up to Jenni losing her gall bladder in Feb, 2012. I did get better and was able to do much of the manual work needed on our new-old house. I got us moved and settled in. But, my luck ran out. I got very sick in the fall and ended up with a bad case of bronchitis and pneumonia. A hernia followed because I was coughing so hard in Novenber. Then surgery to fix that in early December. To finish the year, the hubster and I contracted Noro-virus from visiting family for the holidays. Yes, overall, I rate myself a 'D' on this particular goal.

4) Expand my food preservation by freezing and canning whole fruit and veggies and trying out new recipes for chutney's, relishes and pickling.

Grade F. Not even close. I was a bit too ambitious. I did have a bumper crop of tomatoes and used previously home-dried herbs to make wonderful sauces that I've frozen. I also had far too many zucchini squash and despite my efforts to pawn them off on any willing hands, I have more shredded and frozen in the deep freezer. May not need to grown some for quite a few years ;)

5) Try my hand at soap making, shampoo bar making and candle making.

Grade F. Didn't even come close. Ok, I saved old candle glass jars with the 'idea' to make candles, even book marked recipe pages and bought scents. Well, this should move onto next years list!

6) Keep building my small business.

Here I am giving myself an A+. Not only did I double my original sales goal, I grew this little business and kept it afloat through surgeries, moving and frankly chaos. I finally have my dream job and I built it myself :) Find it here

7) Keep on blogging and staying in touch with some of the wonderful people I've met through garden blogging. Sometimes, even simply through the written word, you find a kindred spirit and those people are precious. I feel privileged to have met some kindred spirits this year.

Grade C+. I started off blogging well, but as the intensity of remodeling the house and moving approached and was move than I could juggle and blogging fell off my plate for awhile. I apologize and hope to be back in the saddle for 2013.

Moving forward for 2013, I have a few goals to set forth:

#1) Take better care of myself. - see this is an improvement upon last year in that I've set it up as goal number 1. By this I mean not only physical health, but emotional too. Moving was very stressful and upsetting. I put down deep roots and prefer not to have them disturbed. My roots need nurturing in order to grow again. Nurturing for me is to be surrounded by good friends, good books, gardening and lot's of colorful blooms, so that's what I intend to do.

#2) Build 4 more raised garden beds and 2 long raised boxes for strawberries. 

#3) Grow a summer and winter garden

#4) Run a 5K. I'm going to heal from my hernia surgery and start training. I've signed up to walk the Portland Shamrock Run in March. I hope to be ready to run a 5k by May or June. 

#5) Go to Holland. (Might seem outrageous but we have actually planned this trip for 2 years and have been thwarted by husband's illness and then moving,so this year, we are going!!

I'll stop at five goals. Seems a good number. 

Wishing you all a Happy New Year and great gardening year ahead. Hello 2013!
Cheers, Jenni


  1. Despite your illnesses and moving it seems you had a pretty good year! I hope this year you and your family are healthy. That is so great that you've had success with your business!
    Hope this is a great year for you, and I'm excited to see how your house and garden are coming along.

  2. Jenni, This was an amazing year for you! One full of change and growth. I have been, and continue to be, proud of you and all that you do. I absolutely love that you "graded" yourself, lol, but I'd say that you are your harshest critic. You lived, you created, you loved - throw the grading part out! Happy 2013! ~k

    1. Valid points my dear friend! I will consider throwing the grading out...maybe ;) xo

  3. Happy New Year Jenni! I think you did a great job on reaching a good percentage of your goals this past year. I'm so glad I'm friends with you on Facebook, because it means I still can be in touch with you and what's happening in your life without your blog posts. You went through so much this year and last, I'm not surprised you were stressed and something had to fall through the cracks a bit. I hope you make it to Holland! I'm planning at least a couple of trips to Portland in 2013, so I hope I get to meet you for real.

  4. Way to go Jenni! You survived and are a stronger person. May 2013 be a wonderful year for you and your family.

    FlowerLady Lorraine

  5. Jenni,
    You made it! 2012 is over and now the settling begins. It is fun to look back and see what was expected and what became of the expectations. I am glad you are back on the road to health. That was one of the reasons I sent the honey. Moving is stressful, but now you get to make the house your home. Or should I say you get to make that huge backyard a garden:) I wish you the happiest and healthiest of new years.

    1. Thank you Bonnie! I am so excited about the honey, it is a delightful gift! Happy New Year!

  6. I'm glad that you have moved looking after yourself to number 1. Your health and that of the people you love is the main thing always - everything else can either wait or be mended.

  7. Hello, I have just recently started following you, so I haven’t been with you the whole year, but I can very much relate to your goals for last year – and I didn’t even come close on many of them either. But now is a new year, a new chance to start afresh and many of my goals for last year are still valid and good for 2013. Happy New year, hope 2013 is a good one for you!
    Take care, Helene.

    1. Thank you Helene ~ Wishing you a very Happy New Year too! Cheers, Jenni


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