Category / Blogging

LIY Coming Attractions for 2013

I’ve had a few emails and comments from readers asking what’s up next for 2013 – projects around the house, trips we’d like to take, new features for the blog, and much more. Twelve months out is a long time to predict and plan in any crazy amount of detail, but I’m happy to share my list of things I HOPE we’ll get to tackle in 2013!

In no particular order, the LIY 2013 Bucket List…

  • Decorate the basement. We have begun the search for furniture and accent pieces to bring this level of the house together and give it a more “complete” status. While it’s fun to take our time thinking through this and pulling it together, it does weigh on my mind that the sooner we can do this, the sooner we can start enjoying all of our work down there!
  • Tackle more organization projects.Ā The coat closet, the new storage spaces in the basement, and my office closet are at the top of the list. Hoping to share some before and afters, and some favorite closet-organizing products, early on in the new year. January = organization for me!
  • Officially launch a side business. I hope to be able to share with you all, before the year is over, a business that Page and I are working to build as an additional source of income. Things are still very much in the planning and paperwork stages, but twelve months is a long time to hopefully make some real progress!
  • Unveil a garage project. Page has an awesome idea for creating more storage in our garage and making more room for himself to work out there (both on building projects and on cars). I’m sure he’ll give himself a little break to begin the year (plus, it’s ski season and that will come first for a while!) but maybe before the year is up, we can give you a tour of a garage, transformed.
  • Finish the laundry room. This project got sidelined with everything basement-related, and there isn’t REALLY that much to do in there. But I plan to (finally!) post an “after” entry on the laundry room with some shelving added and some little details that make it a (slightly) more welcoming spot to spend time.
  • Share plans we have for our master bathroom…and maybe actually start on them. It’s not on a basement-sized scale, but this will be a larger project, and one we’re considering hiring out as opposed to DIYing, so there’s additional costs to consider beyond just supplies and fixtures. Our master bath is anything but “master” – it’s perhaps the one large check mark against our house when it comes time to sell it. It’s no different from the hall bath, it’s relatively small, and only has a single vanity. I’m not sure we can change ALL of those issues, but we are already brainstorming ways to vastly improve what we can and give the bath a grander feel. When building, we had hit our limit in terms of upgrades to the floor plan we built, so we left this bath per the builder’s plan for the time being. It will be a few months at least on this one, but stay tuned. šŸ™‚
  • Drink more. Hehe. In all seriousness, have been wanting to do a little cocktail series forever – from sharing a great mixed drink recipe, to how to style it for a party (think fun stir sticks, festive glassware, and cute cocktail napkins). You know me…any excuse to party. šŸ˜‰
  • Open up space for blog sponsors. When 2012 began, this little blog had anywhere from 50-150 hits a day, most of whom were my own friends and family members. It’s been so exciting to watch things explode this year, and on any given day 3,000+ of you stop by, hundreds follow on facebook (I’m still in shock!), and even more on Pinterest. I plan to continue to grow the blog and aim to create the content you want to read about. Part of this also involves bringing in sponsors to advertise products and services relevant to LIY readers. Unlike when I first began blogging, the cost to keep this blog up and running is more than the few mere dollars per month I originally incurred. Increased traffic and more content equals more server space to pay for, and even with my “in” with my web guy, there are still costs involved with keeping the rights to lifeinyellow.com. I’m not trying to make my first million here; just trying to offset some costs so I can keep writing here about the things I love and reach more and more of you as I do it.
  • Do a little housekeeping on the blog. In five years, you accumulate a LOT of content, and it has morphed beyond the way I originally organized it. To keep some order so you all can access it in a way that makes sense is a constantly evolving process. I’m planning to take a fresh pass at how I categorize and display various posts, and make it easier to find past content from months and years previous.

It definitely promises to be a busy and exciting year – both for us personally, and for Life In Yellow. Thank you to each and every one of you for supporting my little corner of cyberspace and taking time out of busy days to stop by and read! It has been an exciting year and I look forward to what 2013 has in store for all of us!

five.

This weekend, September 29 to be exact, marks the five-year anniversary of our “I do”s.

It’s hard to believe it’s been half a decade since we were married, and in many (good) ways, it seems so much longer. I started this blog just after our nuptials without any real forethought – it was simply a way to share wedding and honeymoon pictures with family. Fortunately, its existence endured beyond the honeymoon and, in a way, this little blog celebrates its anniversary every time we do.

I originally wrote the posts just for me as a way to archive our life together. Instead, what began as an audience of maybe a dozen or so readers (our parents, best friends, and the occasional lost Googler who landed on the wrong page!), changed drastically and has grown into an audience far beyond what I could have imagined when I started this project. As Smith life has evolved the past five years, so has the contentĀ that makes it into the posts. Hopefully the photos are a bit better composed and the writing a little more polished, but mostly I hope the perspective has grown a little, from barely out of college kids to the “late twenties” we are in now. šŸ™‚

I often forget that most of the people who follow this blog now are those I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting in person and while I try to respect that and keep things light here and not too personal, it seems okay to me, today, in the spirit of blog and wedding anniversaries,Ā to share a little more deeply than I normally might. I admit that I, myself, often skip the more life-behind-the-scenes posts of bloggers I follow but don’t know personally. So no offense taken if you want to pass right over this particular post. šŸ™‚

I always post something about our anniversary each year.Ā You can read about our first, second, third, and fourth years via the links. Most years I share a few pictures and brief thoughts, maybe followed up with a later post about how we spent the day or weekend. In past years, I have kept it brief,Ā but I look back on this fifth, most recent, year with particular fondness and joy.

I have more to say this year.


September ’11 to September ’12 brought a lot of changes our way. It was the first year in our marriage that neither of us switched jobs, either by choice or chance. We were both content and in familiar places with steady structure. That alone made it a great year and we count the blessing every day that in an unfortunate time for many careers, we get to go to jobs we enjoy where we are challenged to think and get to see our ideas come to fruition. I look forward to seeing where our professional lives take us in the next five years. We have lots of ideas and plans on which we are ready to lay some groundwork. There’s no instruction manual on how to proceed from here, and we are figuring it out as we go. It’s scary and thrilling and frustrating and exhilarating all at once.

Speaking of laying plans, the most obvious milestone of our fifth year in marriage (and consequently, here on the blog) was the purchasing of our first home. The purchaseĀ translated into our first time building a home together, a process that both tested and united us in ways I could never have foreseen. It was amazing to see something come to be out of nothing and witness the mistakes we made along the way, and high five over the decisions we stood our ground on during the process. We work together often in our freelance businesses (even our day jobs have brought us around the same conference table more than once), but this was the first real time we worked together on something as personal as a home. It was an up and down (but mostly up!) experience of which I’m so glad I got to be a part.

When I think about the little bits that make our life so happy right now, I cut to some of the more random, unseen to anyone but us moments, like an enthusiastic late night meeting with a client, sitting around a kitchen table and feeling the palpable excitement of an idea coming to life. I think of peeking outĀ a window as Page rearranges his sprinkler configuration for the millionth time and picture him as an eighty-year-old surveying the grass. I think of stopping whatever was originallyĀ on the day’s itinerary to go have a celebratory drink when some news at work (day job or otherwise) deserves a toast. More than anything, I think of Fridays after work, when I can almost count on coming home to a drink being poured for me and the speakers turned up for what always turns into an all-out dance party, just the two of us in the living room. Anyone else might roll their eyes at the ridiculousness. I love that I married the guy who stops only to turn up the volume.

I wouldĀ be remiss in writing an anniversary post and not talking about the man I married. I am constantly inspired by his, “sure, why not?!” attitude and his huge heart. He is up for anything and always the first to give when giving is needed.Ā I am continually amazed by just how hard he works. There’s no doubt Page lives by the mantra, “work hard, play hard” but most only see the second half of that equation – the half that golfs at every free moment and gets caught by friends driving too fast around town in his favorite toy. I think some of even our closest friends might be surprised toĀ see how a typical day for this dude might involve getting to the office by 6 to work on a freelance project, start his “regular” day at 8, use up his lunch hour to meet with another freelance client, go back to the office to wrap up his day, then head home and address whatever needs to be done there – mowing the lawn, grilling dinner, and often helping out with my latest hair-brained idea for the house. He takes his job(s) as a web designer very seriously, but his job as a husband even more so. Lucky me? Understatement.

As much as I would like to think that marriages work or don’t work based on just “knowing” the person you marry is the right one, I don’t think it’s true. I think you have chemistry, you do a lot of getting to know each other ahead of time, and then you stay present in your marriage, you don’t coast, and hopefully, you have a stroke of luck or two that you don’t grow apart and each stays equally committed – particularly for couples who got married as young as we did. As much as I thought I knew Page inside-out the day we were married at age 23, I feel so much closer to him now, five years later. I have thought more than once, “wow, it’s so LUCKY that we’ve turned out to be so similar”. (Seriously, how scary is that?! Ha!)

Whether it’s been luck, good communication, or maybe a bit of both – it has kept us on similar paths. I love that we see eye-to-eye on when to splurge and when to be frugal. That we are in sync on the topic of a future family. That weĀ are bothĀ talkers, drawn to positive, enthusiastic people with big ideas. I love that neither of us is tied to a single thing besidesĀ each otherĀ and we could move somewhere new in a minute, take on a whole new life, and be just as happy as we are now. Who knows? Maybe it will happen in the next five!

I promise to revert to my “short and sweet” approach for the six-year post. And I’m okay if no one (except for hopefully the guy I married!) even reads this far down in the entry. Life is sweet and years from this one, I want to remember all the reasons why. Happy anniversary to my best buddy and my other half.

Cheers (*clink!)

finally a blogger.

After months of oohing and ahhing over others’ blogs, I decided it was time to get on board! Here it is – simple – but my own little spot to post some pics, write down some thoughts, and share a little piece of life.

Page and I are busy packing to leave tomorrow for our CRUISE! We will be leaving from Long Beach on Sunday and stopping in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas before returning to California to fly home. We are both sooo excited! Best piece of advice EVER to an engaged couple: Plan to take your honeymoon at least a week or so after your wedding – you’ll be so much more relaxed for it, and it gives you something to look forward to after all of the wedding craziness comes to an abrupt halt.

I won’t be posting from the ship as internet costs six dollars a day (!) but I will be adding some photos when we get back!

Finally – thanks to Mom & Dad for our new luggage! We’re very excited!

 

Have a lovely weekend! šŸ™‚