the things she can do in a year.

“I think we should just get bunk beds now,” my husband says nonchalantly on a Wednesday evening. I am throwing toy cars into their allotted basket, a futile effort that will surely be undone within the hour.

“But what if Carson stops sleeping?!” I whine back.

A non-napping toddler has zero effect on my sweet husband Monday-Friday. I, on the other hand, often plan my entire days around the glorious hours of 1-3pm when everyone retreats to their respective quiet places. Carson naps in his crib, in his room. Everett plays quietly on the floor, in his room. I work/read/watch TV/scarf down a turkey sandwich with a side of apple slices and chocolate chip cookies, in my bed, in my room.

We have a whole system, and the system is not broken.

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“He’ll sleep fine. They’ll love it. Plus, we can turn the extra bedroom into a home office,” he says.

The idea of a home office is alluring to me (I currently work from my bed + the dining room table), but also seems highly unpractical. We want a third baby, eventually, and I argue that it would be silly to turn a nursery into an office and then back into a nursery again.

“One year is nothing, what’s the point?” I scoff.

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It’s January (how?), and I am starting to feel that nagging need to self-reflect on the past year. I blame Instagram. Every time I open the app, I am flooded with a slew of photos featuring year-end recaps and fresh goals and all of the chosen one little words for 2017. I create my own collage and reluctantly hop on the bandwagon.

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And it is only then, thinking back on 2016 as a whole, for better and for worse, that I realize how long a year actually is. For it was only in one year’s time that, by God’s good grace, I was able to do the following:

-Co-launch & co-host the Coffee + Crumbs podcast 

-Get paid $1,000 (!) to write an article for Women’s Day Magazine

-Sign a book contract (!)

-Write/edit/take photos for/help design an entire book, alongside my C+C team

Travel to Guatemala; launch the Mother-to-Mother Care Collective

-Co-lead two online writing courses (1, 2)

-Hire two new writers

-Launch a Patreon account

-Launch a monthly newsletter

Co-design a calendar

and last but certainly not least,

-Launch The Year of Creativity.

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I am … (to put it mildly) exhausted. What a crazy, busy, wild, creatively-fulfilling year 2016 was. I stand at the start of 2017 with a cup of warm coffee in my hands, a brand new office to call my own, and this simple realization:

One year in the greater span of your life may be nothing, but when it comes to dreaming and hoping and growing and walking through the doors God has graciously opened just for you, one year can sometimes be everything. 

For me, 2016 was the year of everything.

I am tired.
I am grateful.
I am proud.
I am slightly terrified of what comes next.

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Here’s to 2017 – to a fresh start, a new space, this book (!), and opportunities yet to be discovered. Thank you, as always, for supporting me, for supporting us, and for making much of this work possible.

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p.s. If you want to spend 2017 creating alongside me, please consider this your personal invitation. The Year of Creativity is open and ready for you; use ASHLEE15 to save 15% off the yearly price. We’re already making lots of beautiful things. Join us?

p.s.s. I was totally right about the bunk beds, which is why Carson is now napping in a pack-n-play. Worth it, though. I really really really love my new office.

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6 Responses to the things she can do in a year.

  1. Robin says:

    GORGEOUS! And inspiring. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 We just moved our two into the same room as well. Also love that you have a little mini desk next to you. I just might have to do the same thing.

    xoxo

  2. So proud of you and all you’ve accomplished! And also LOVE that office, what a gorgeous space!

  3. Victoria B says:

    Love this office! Also I just pre-ordered your book. 🙂 It comes out the month I become a mother, so I have no idea if I will have time to read it right away, but I still have to have it. 🙂

  4. kiki says:

    GIRL. Your office is so beautiful and writing SO inspiring. LOVE LOVE LOVE. But, one teensy suggestion. Get yo’self this outlet cover for your office: http://www.wallplatesonline.com/p/94956-Devon-Brushed-Brass-1-Duplex-Outlet.aspx?gclid=Cj0KEQiAqdLDBRDD-b2sv6-i6MsBEiQAkT3wAk_eb7xtcDe7Ulyxsq3S0T_Xx0B96UwU8x1UrUV6Yv0aAiFA8P8HAQ

  5. This might be a totally strange question, but the size of your desk is the exact size I’ve been looking for – where did you find it?!

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