Welcome to 2017! Before jumping full steam into the new year, I thought it would be good to take a look back at 2016. It was quite a year for our family…one I am sure we will not soon forget. I knew the year was jam-packed, but I had no idea exactly how full it was until I started preparing this post! So grab a cup of coffee and a snack…this is a loooong post. 🙂
We started last January here on the blog with a look back at the previous year’s posts and then jumped into two posts on our trip to Chattanooga, Tennesee – part 1 and part 2. These were the first of many travel posts in the year. (27!)
We decorated the house for winter…
and the kitchen and dining room later in the month for Valentine’s Day.
My favorite post in January was the Favorite Things Birthday Party we hosted for my father-in-law’s 90th birthday. This was such a special time for our family to share together and honor him, but it will also be treasured in my memory even more because he sadly passed from his earthly home to his Heavenly home last summer. I am so very thankful we did that party.
Then came February. For the last few years I have had a goal of one organization project a month..but once again, I did not meet my goal. 🙁 (But I did manage to get a few projects done in 2016. 🙂 ) The first project was February’s post on organizing the dining room cabinets.
That was followed by more Valentine’s Day decorating and gift ideas from around the house, an overnight trip with my husband at The Retreat to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and a bowling birthday party was held for him.
A recipe and discussion of how to make a caramel cake was up next, and we attended an almost spring wedding late in the month. My husband’s retirement from his engineering job was a major milestone for us in 2016, so my favorite February post was about the two retirement parties that honored him.
Then came March. One more organization project (the pantry) was completed and checked off of my to-do list…
and we toured the homes of Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, another handbag designer.
Then all the spring decorating in our house commenced with 3 posts alone on decorating with green, (part 1, part 2, part 3 ) followed by my colorfully floral favorite ones for the Easter home tour. (part 1, part 2)
My husband and I did a good bit of traveling in the spring, and April’s posts reflected it…first to beautiful Gibbs Garden in North Georgia and then to Sylva and Waynesville, North Carolina. We stayed at a wonderful cottage while in North Carolina, and I shared it with you in 2 posts (part 1, part 2.) Because Easter was in March, the 2 posts about April’s decorating reflected no holiday theme…very different for me! 🙂 We hosted a bumble bee party for my mother in March, but the post about it appeared on the blog in April – my favorite post for that month. 🙂
In May, my favorite post of the month (and possibly for the entire year) was the one I shared about celebrating our daughter’s graduation from college.
During that month, we also looked at another home tour here, cooked up some Blue Cheese potato chips, and toured a gorgeous beach house in Fernandina Beach, Florida when we made a quick trip there after the graduation party.
Travel continued throughout the summer which made my keeping up with the blog very difficult. June and July each had 6 posts about our trips to Seattle …
and the Columbia River Gorge area.
Obviously, the beautiful natural landscape made up the bulk of my photography from these trips, but there was a “house” portion too (yay! 🙂 )…which made its way into 4 posts about the charming little town of Seabrook, Washington.
I’ve said that blogging was difficult for me during June and July because of all the traveling we did. Well, we continued traveling in early August with a number of visits to towns in North Carolina. I have not shared any of that on the blog yet, but hope to in the next month. Our North Carolina travels were cut short in August because my father-in-law became critically ill, (after nearly 2 years of in and out of the hospital stays) went home from the hospital with Hospice care, and passed away near the end of that month. The only post I wrote in August was a tribute to that wonderful man.
Things finally got back to “normal” here in October. 🙂 I shared a trip to Oklahoma from back in the summer, the Southern Living Idea House we visited in Birmingham, and 3 posts with plans for a possible lake house for us (which is very much on hold since the lot we were interested in sold. 🙁 ) We visited Disney World while our daughter was working there and had a very fun time at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. 🙂 I finished making new drapes for our master bedroom and shared the new look with you and decorated the house for Halloween (my favorite post of the month!)
A little more of our trip to Disney World made its way into the first two posts in November – the Contemporary Resort, where we stayed, and Disney Springs, where we shopped and dined (at one of my all time favorite restaurants ever!) Near the end of the month, I pulled together all of the organization posts from the blog plus all the organization I had done during the year, and wrote one BIG storage and organization post to share with you. (So I organized the organization! 🙂 )
Then finally Christmas took over the blog in December with 3 posts on Mary Kay Andrews’ home all decked out for the season, (part 1, part 2, part 3) and one post on the Avondale Estates Christmas Home tour. I drug you through our home here to see the Christmas decorating in our master bedroom, the hallway and bathrooms, our daughter’s bedroom, and our sons’ bedroom. And if that wasn’t enough, we also went all thru the rest of the house looking at more Christmas details and concluded the year with a post about being home for Christmas. (my favorite for the month.)
And that, dear readers, was a year in review!
And now for the numbers (for all you math folks out there like me. 🙂 )
The top 3 most read of the 2016 posts were…
and #1 – drum roll please.…
A Favorite Things Sort of Surprise Birthday Party
(which I think was very fitting for the year. 🙂 )
Thank you sooo very much for reading the posts here, and if you happened to see Talk of the House in any of these other places this year, I also thank you for reading there!
On Better Homes and Gardens website:
On the Whole Foods blog:
Over at The Kitchn website:
or on Country Living magazine’s website:
And I also thank those of you that happened to view my pins on Pinterest over 12 million times this year.
(And if you pinned from the posts here, I love you even more! 🙂 )
2016 was an intense filled-to-the-brim year – for which I am thankful – both for the happy blessings and for the sadness because we know we will see my father-in-law again in a much better place. Who knows what 2017 will hold? I am thinking this year will be less – less traveling, less entertaining, less demanding – which is quite alright with me. Less in this case actually means more….more relaxed-at-home time, and that is a good thing. 🙂
So my wish for all of us in this new year is that we untie the ribbons of each day and slowly enjoy the gifts we have been given. 🙂
Happy New Year to all of you!