WHAT I LEARNED IN 2016

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Well, 2016 sure was a year that did not go at all how I thought it would. Rewind to New Years Eve 2015. I was all excited cuddling my 2-month old Sailor, still in lots of pain, physically and emotionally weak, and going “2016 is the year I get my groove back, starting tomorrow!” I was convinced I’d get my childcare in order immediately, start working again, and find that balance that all new working mothers want to find. Still to this day, I’m blown away by how much that did NOT happen until the very end of the year. All through 2016, I struggled to find the balance, turned down some styling jobs, missed some fun events, relied only on the times my mom was in town to get anything done (not the best plan), and couldn’t find the time I needed to keep up with the blog in the way I wanted. Looking back though, my biggest regret now that 2016 is behind me is not that I couldn’t do more for myself, it’s that I wish I could have found more peace in that reality and just let it be what it was. But I kept fighting the uphill battle. This is something I desperately need to work on – being at peace with the struggle and and the mess, and finding the beauty in it. Breathing easier through it. Not trying to fight it. For now though, I’m going to see it as a valuable lesson rather than a failure. We can’t win em all and this motherhood thing is f*cking HARD.

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What 2016 did do was teach me how to be a loving mom, who doesn’t have daily breakdowns anymore (score!). It taught me how to be patient and enjoy the little things in a day, even if there’s a big part of me that’s wishing more was getting done. Patient on a larger scale too, as Sailor is now at an age where taking care of her demands a lot less of me physically as it did in the beginning. It showed me how important my family is, how important sleep is. ;) It showed me how special this time is, and just how efficient I have to be in order to have that balance I want. It showed me how I’m going to have to let go of the things that don’t serve me.

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2016 forced me to prioritize with my business. Previously I had been splitting my time evenly between 3 subbusinesses – personal styling, wardrobe styling for TV/photo shoots, and blogging. Sure, they’re all closely related, but trying to do all three meant that each business was a 1/3 part-time business, and I was a jack of all trades in my little category, but a master of none. I was kind of all over the place, dabbling in a TV job here and there but never actively pursuing them until another one came along, never having time to promote my styling services, and then abandoning my blog when I get busy with one of the other categories. At some point early in the year I had the realization that I need to hone in on my goals for myself and my business, let go of some expectations, and focus only on the more important things.

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What can you expect from me in 2017? You are going to be seeing a lot more of me and The Life Styled. This blog, the content I create, and connecting with you guys who share similar interests are my passion (even if 2016 didn’t show it). We finally got some childcare. After moving into our home in October (the other huge change in 2016), we found a part-time nanny who we love and can work with my fluctuating schedule – SO hard to find. I’m finally able to take the time I need to create more content, develop ideas, be creative, and see some projects come to life that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I definitely learned that these things don’t happen magically, and that I need help in order to do them. I’m so happy to be on the other side of that realization, and ready to face this year head on. I can’t wait to show you guys what’s next! Get ready for more style inspiration, home updates, baby and mom musings, cocktail recipes, DIY projects, health and fitness, beauty product obsessions, AND get ready to look at your style (and yourself!) in ways you never have before! More on that VERY soon.

I’d love to hear how you guys find balance in your life, and what are some of your resolutions? Leave me some ideas in the comments!

My Minnesota uniform (brrr) : coat (old Club Monaco but I love this one) / hat / jeans / boots / scarf / gloves (old from Gilt but these are fun) / lip color / my grandmother’s vintage purse

 

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  1. I TOTALLY hear you! It is such an adjustment to get used to the new normal, and so hard to just accept what it is. It does not get easier, but it gets different. Now having an almost 4 year old, I look back at the early stages and realize how fast that time zipped on by. Before you know it, she will be talking, brushing her own teeth and be fairly self-sufficient, which will give you more of a break. Now that I’m about to have another one, I’m definitely feeling the anxiety of having our life turned upside down again :) You are rockin’ it, and looking awesome doing it! Love you!

    1. thelifestyled 01/05/2017

      Thank you Rachel! I know you know all about this! You’ve done so well with P and I know you are going to do great with 2!! 2017 is going to be a wonderful year for you!!!

  2. Amy Lee 01/04/2017 Reply

    In lieu of resolutions each year I choose a theme word. This year is simplicity! I echo and feel so many of the same things you have gone through in 2016, in such different ways but figuring out the balance of four kids, and knowing this is my complete family,figuring out how to get me and my body and my goals back once and for all, etc, etc…. How do these things bless me and bless my family!?! Anyway, simplicity is my 2017 and I am looking forward to being inspired through your blog and your examples this year!

    1. thelifestyled 01/05/2017

      You are such a natural with 4 kids! I don’t know how you do it, but I have a feeling 2017 is going to be amazing for you!

  3. Brittany Kallman Arneson 01/04/2017 Reply

    I can SO relate to all this. I love your thoughts here and especially appreciate your honesty–I think it’s important that moms share how challenging it is to balance it all, especially while pursuing entrepreneurial/creative interests where we have to put a lot of energy into self-promoting. You are, as always, an inspiration to me and I can’t wait to see what this year will bring! Very excited to be seeing more on the blog. <3

    1. thelifestyled 01/05/2017

      Thank you Brittany! I am ALL about the honesty! What’s the point of holding back the truth when it might help other moms feel like they’re not alone? Glad you enjoyed reading this! xo

  4. Lillian Runnels 01/04/2017 Reply

    Great blog. I understand the business in life. High school makes me busy enough so it is hard to find time to do the things I enjoy. My resolutions are to eat healthier and get more exercise! Loved this blog and I can’t wait for more.

    1. thelifestyled 01/05/2017

      Thank you Lillian! Eating healthier and exercising are great resolutions that will help you feel so much better!

  5. Grace Deason 01/04/2017 Reply

    My wonderful childcare provider is absolutely my secret weapon and the savior of my sanity several times over. I am so glad that you found a nanny that you like who fits with your family, that to me is just everything in terms of balance and productivity. Hooray!

    My goals for 2017 are in some ways small. I used to say, this year I will learn to play guitar. This year, I aim to at some point pick up the guitar. But if I am more honest, I do have a lot of expectations for myself that I am not sure I will let go of, even though they won’t all happen. It is hard for me to focus energy on what’s important because everything that I want to do and be seems important. But, here comes another year, my baby will grow and change, and with luck I will be there in my front row seat.

    XOXO

    1. thelifestyled 01/05/2017

      The childcare thing is 100% the holy grail and the key to success as a working mom, or just a mom who wants to be other things than just a mom!I love your thoughts on the new year.

  6. Jen Pinkston 01/08/2017 Reply

    Loved reading this and excited for what’s to come for you and the site this year!

  7. This resonated so much with me. Especially the part about letting myself be in the process I am in instead of constantly feeling like I’m a failure–or not where I wish I was.

  8. Jenn Tranbarger 01/17/2017 Reply

    So excited for you in 2017! And selfishly very happy to have you back to blogging – I love your outfit posts! Thanks so much for the inspiration!