2013 and Three Years of Marriage--What I Learned in 2012

As I look back at 2012 I cannot help but look back at the last three years...the last three years of my marriage.  I feel like I have learned so much and changed in my heart this last year as a result of the previous two years. 

The first year of our marriage, 2010, I was on cloud nine.  It was probably one of the greatest years of my life.  After what seemed like forever I got to marry my best friend, have a home, be a wife, and explore a whole new level of my creative being through having, decorating, and running a home.  My husband and I had zero commitments and life was all about us.  We did not have internet in our home at the time and I didn't have a smart phone.  When I was home, my focus was on our home.  It was a beautiful simple time. 

I always look back and remember how everyone warned me how hard marriage was going to be.  How the first year you are going to hash it all out.  When in fact, for us, it was the exact opposite.  We hashed it out in nearly five years of dating.  We did not have many surprises left.  Being married was like a breath of fresh air.  A life were I could thrive at who I wanted to be.  I learned that we were allowed to be different.  We did not have to be the norm. 

Year two was 2011.  This was a darker year for me personally.  I was very selfish and depressed.  I hated my job and just wanted to be at home.  I ran back to food for comfort after a steady two years of maintaining a forty-five pound weight loss.  There was nothing wrong in our marriage; I was just depressed.  I lost sight of who I was designed to be.  I let distractions like food and the internet get in the way of who I wanted to be.

I strived to go into 2012 setting better boundaries, letting go of unhealthy relationships, and being true to myself.  I learned I needed to let go of what the world said I needed to do with my life and let go of living a life so concerned about pleasing others.  I also quit my job to take care of my nephew.  Perhaps one of the most freeing things I have ever done.

Year three.  2012.  This year has been my healing year.  I started disciplines that set me on the path of peace.  I surrounded myself with focus.  I decided that my life at home was one that I wanted to truly grasp and find great pride in.  I accepted I was different from the norm once again and that in accepting that and loving it I was a happier person. 

I sense 2013 is going to be an amazing year.  I go in it with confidence of who I am and what I want out of life.  I feel called to encourage woman to go against the world's norm and bring back a passion in their home and family life. 

But I would not be here if I didn't have to fight for it myself. 

I am thankful for the last three years.  They have taught me a lot and have made me into the person I am today.  I look forward with great hope for what the year has to offer.

Perhaps you are like me a year ago.  Struggling and grasping on to finding your purpose.  Let me tell you a little secret...you can have the life you want.  You just have to choose it.  Make the sacrifice.  Cut ties.  May 2013 be the year you thrive. 


  1. Well said!! I feel like you in many ways. For me, 2012 was a hard year. I'm looking at 2013 to be a much better year.

    Happy New Year!!

  2. As I like to say, I don't just want to survive. I want to thrive. Here's to thriving along with you in 2013!

  3. Such a great post. I have only been married 6 months but the past year has been one of such peaks and valleys for us that I'm looking forward to working towards being our happiest selves in 2013. Glad to know it's not so unusual to have a wonderful life but not be thriving in it YET!

  4. Love this Ashley! And, I'm with you-- I feel like women often take for granted (or don't know how to embrace) what a wonderful opportunity life can present in the home. I admire your decision to quit your job, care for your nephew, and focus on home life. :)

  5. "I strived to go into 2012 setting better boundaries, letting go of unhealthy relationships, and being true to myself. I learned I needed to let go of what the world said I needed to do with my life and let go of living a life so concerned about pleasing others." This is exactly how I'm thinking about 2013. Staying true to myself. Starting the new year with focus on who I want to be and where I want to go.

    Thanks for an honest, breath-of-fresh-air kind of post, Ashley! Happy New Year!!

  6. It's fascinating to see how our lives have seasons that seem to correlate with the years. For myself, 2010 was a very dark period in my life. I tried to keep it off the blog as much as possible. :) 2011 was my healing year emotionally, but still a bad year health-wise. 2012 was my year of complete healing- I feel like I'm finally acting and feeling like the person I want to be! I'm excited about 2013, I plan on taking life by storm this year!

  7. Great post! So glad you were able to figure out what was right for you and do it. Wish I had myself that figured out after my 9 years of marriage - I'm getting there :)
    Kelly (thelilypadcottage)

  8. I'm so glad you found where you fit best this past year! Discovering that about yourself is something a lot of people don't figure out until they're much older or maybe not ever at all. Good for you! Happy new year, sweetie!

  9. P.S. Is your header font the same as Woman's Day? I used to get their magazine and it looks so familiar! It's pretty!

  10. Love this! You rock. Thanks for sharing.

  11. So funny how your 2012 echos what my goal is for 2013. I want to let go of what everyone else thinks and follow God's plan for my life, after all... He does know best!

    Wishing you an amazing 2013!

  12. well said. I hate when people assume that what they want everyone else around them want it too. I don't have a cell phone and truly do not see the need for one right now (although it sucks when the hubs goes to the market and I need something else.
    One thing I am doing is cutting people out, those who do not bring joy to me or my life are staying behind

  13. I have high hopes of 2013 being a truly awesome year.
    People often told me how hard marriage was and what a chore it was to make it work, but I couldn't disagree more. I mean, there are definitely things that can be worked on and made better, but being married has been such a happy and wonderful thing to me. It isn't hard, it's a joy.
    I'm glad to know that others out there don't just except things as "the norm". Happy New Year!

  14. Thanks for this message. You are such a sweet, sincere person. It is appreciated!

  15. I have been married for almost a year and can totally relate. People always talk about the first year being the hardest, but this year has been incredible and beautiful.

    I stayed at home in 2012 after quitting a job that made me depressed and drained me physically. I love it, but unfortunately I have to go back to work this year because of finances. You are so blessed that you are able to stay at home but not everyone is able to make that choice for good.

    Thanks for your posts, I check your blog every couple of weeks to see what new home decor or diy you are up to!

  16. Great post Ashley! My husband and I dated for 6 years by the time we married, and we have now been together total 11 years! After 6 years together things were definitely hashed out. Marriage was a breath of fresh air! I own a nail salon and work part time and I enjoy taking care of my home more. I have been thinking about getting rid of my cell phone and actually cutting out toxic relationships. I look forward to 2013 and making the most of each day and enjoying time for me and my family.


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