Thoughts on a new year…
This post has been sitting here waiting to get written for days. I’ve been struggling with inspiration, both in regards to the blog and just with my life in general. So instead of a post about baking with little ones, (which I may throw some thoughts about in anyway,) today you get: New Years thoughts according to Audra!!!!
Being a stay at home mom is one of my favorite things, something I feel really lucky to do despite how hard it is on a daily basis. I have major FOMO when it comes to Hugo & Fiona, even when I’m just gone for a couple hours at an appointment I hate missing out on cute moments or funny things they do or say. I love being their person, the one that knows them best, the one that can translate toddler speak, and always get’s what they’re trying to say or do the first time.
All of these wonderful things, however, come with some difficult parts too. I spend the majority of my days spending little to no time with any adults other than Andy. It can be isolating, especially in the winter when my instinct has been to just stay home and be cozy. I am an extrovert, a people person, someone who thrives with people around to chat with and just bounce thoughts and ideas off of throughout the day. Balancing this with the isolation of stay-at-home-motherhood has been my biggest challenge since becoming a Mom almost 4 years ago.
It was different in New York. I never felt like staying home for more than half a day was an option with how little space we had, so we were always meeting a friend or venturing out for short adventures. Yes now we have more space an an easier way of life, but I miss how NYC forces Moms to reach out and get together. It’s way too hard otherwise…that connection was a must.
So what am I saying exactly? What is the point of this random post? Maybe I don’t know. Maybe I just needed to write down my struggles openly on the platform I’ve created. Speaking of which, I love blogging, but it’s also extremely isolating. All the work involved is done alone by me, further widening the gap between my old life and my new.
That brings me to my thoughts this new year. My immediate goals were easy, 1- Read 25 books (I’ve already read two!) 2- Start exercising again (I joined a spin/barre studio so hopefully with stick with that,) and 3- Learn to knit! (I actually will be getting an in person knitting lesson from a friend this weekend!)
Besides that, my biggest hope this year is that I can get some clarity and “find myself” again (as cliché as that sounds.) Part of me was left in New York and for the last 18 months I don’t really know where I fit in. What’s my thing? What do I identify with besides being a Mom? I think figuring these things out will make me a better Mom and a happier person. I believe 100% that when you really know what you want from life and believe you’ll get it, you start to manifest that reality. It’s always been true for me. So my hope this year is I can figure out what the heck I want in life so I can start working hard for it. Get me?
What are your goals this year?
About these photos: A couple months ago, we did a little photo shoot with Ashley Summers Photography. The main goal was to get our holiday card pic taken, but she had a great idea to do a little in home baking session with the kids as well. I’ve never had anyone take pictures of me baking (with or without the kids really,) and I thought this would be fun so I went for it. We made my deservedly famous Best Banana Bread (Ever!) recipe, which I make with this kids often. I’ve been trying to really let Hugo take over and do more of the work, and this is a great one for that. Being a perfectionist, it’s actually taken me awhile to decide when I need to be in charge and when I can let the kids do a little more of the “work.” This recipe is perfect because it’s all done by hand. The kids can mash the bananas, pour in the ingredients, stir, and that’s pretty much it! (And if you add chocolate chips like I do most of the time, you can bet those little fingers will be snatching them up as well.)
If one of your goals involves baking with your kids or letting them take the reigns a bit more, this recipe is perfect. (It’s also the most popular one on my site by a landslide and it’s no wonder why- it’s really the BEST BANANA BREAD EVER. Trust me.)
It always takes me a couple weeks in the New Year to get organized and figure out what my blog goals are for the year. Is there anything you’d like to see more of? I plan to share more of my favorite quick dinners, and always some desserts since I don’t plan on my baking bug wearing off anytime soon. Happy New Year and thanks for sticking around. (Can you believe I’ve had this blog for 7 years???)
Great family shoot! Your kids are adorable!
Looks like your New Year is off to a great start Audra. Happy 7th Blogiversity!
Hi Audra, I enjoy your blog and reading about your family and your recipes. Your family is endearing to me as a reader especially seeing pics of the children as they grow. One thing I don’t see you write about is if you attend a church. If you do I would think you would find other mothers who you could get together with and enjoy the same good times as you did with your NYC moms. Also, perhaps planning at least two days or part of days a week that you do something for yourself while someone cares for your children. This would not be taking anything away from your children or family only a time for you to refresh and be a person. Being a mom is so important and you seem to enjoy the role but you need time for yourself, too.
Thanks Carole! I definitely need to find time to focus on me and stuff I enjoy. Thanks so much for reading and commenting! <3
Hi Audra, This is Carole again. One group for mom’s in the Central Florida area is called MOPS. Mother’s Of
Pre-Schoolers. Their web site is MOPS International. Perhaps this group is in your area and could be helpful to you and your children. This way your children could interact with other children and you would have time to plan for yourself. Thanks again for your blog.
love this audra and really feel you. I Love your blog and I love your recipes. you are sharing a gift through this medium that has tremendous value! I would love to see you make little videos! Its so easy now with a tripod and an iPhone and iMovie…timelapse etc….I wonder if there might be room on your blog for some of these? and it could incorporate more of your natural skills? your kitchen is so so pretty!!! I loved seeing the pix of you there with your kids. and yes baking WITH kids is such a great activity. I like the idea of sharing which recipes lend itself to that! :)
Tricia I do want to do video, but it seems so daunting to me to find time alone in my kitchen to get it all set up! My kids would be all over me! Haha. I do hope more opportunity for that comes. <3
Beautiful post Audra!
I always love reading your blog and you’ve been a huge inspiration to me for starting up my own blog… which, for the little time its been up has already made me feel a thousand times more happy and fulfilled.
So yes, my resolution is to build my blog, and be a happier and healthier person!
Happy New Year Mairi! Thanks so much for reading. Sending all sorts of good thoughts as you build your blog <3
Audra – I LOVE your blog. It’s my favorite food blog! Your recipes are great. I look forward to your emails! On motherhood…my kids are teens now, but when they were little, I felt like I lost a good part of my identity. I had to give up so many of my fun pursuits (crafting, running, reading marathons, etc). While I don’t regret having kids a bit, my observation is that your whole world and life change once you have kids. After one I didn’t feel the change as much. But after the second child (they were close together), I felt like a large chunk of my identity went down the drain. I was just too exhausted or ran out of time to focus on me. One day I decided that I needed to make a giant effort to reclaim some of what I lost. While things will never be what they once were, I feel like I now have a great balance between work, family time, and finding time for things that complete my sense of well-being.
Anne you are so sweet. Thanks for your insight. I know my kids are so young, I hope I can do what you did when they are a little older :)
I so enjoy your blog and glimpses of your family. I collect your recipes and then pour over them on the rare occasions that I bake, usually to take something to an event. (I’m diabetic.)
I hope you enjoy knitting! Maybe you will be able to join or start a knitting group. Also, some knitting shops have open knitting days/evenings just to knit together. For me, doing something other than my main passion–mine is quilting–is good for me all around.
I wouldn’t change anything about your blog. I really like the quick dinner recipes. But baking is nearest my heart.
You are so sweet. I also love quilting but I haven’t done it in awhile. I think knitting will help me relax while also doing something crafty which I love. Happy New Year to you!
#1-these pictures are the sweetest cutest most beautiful thing
#2-Now that I’m a new momma I can TOTALLY see me falling into the exact thing you’re talking about. I’m going to have to try really hard to keep myself from just being an island of me + James
Audra- First, thank you for your fabulous recipes and inspiration. I’m also a mother of two, but mine are now 13 & 19. I think it’s all about finding the right balance. The demands of your children will also change as they get older so you will have to constantly adjust and regroup. You’re so talented, I could see you doing a baking show on Food Network or even writing a cookbook. I wish you all the best.
Totally not related to your post…sorry! I adore Audra’s sweater. Where did you get it? Thank you!
Clicked here originally because I noticed your new photos and I cannot stress how much this is speaking to me right now. We just moved to the other side of the city -and- had a baby, in winter. Both have me scratching my head around soul searching and making more of an effort. I’m pretty extraverted too, but with a terrible winter, baby blues and moving to the ‘burbs, I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to reconquer myself. I’ve been referencing your recipes for years and years, and have always loved your sweet stuff (those 90-minute cinnamon rolls see our oven once a month). These personal posts are great – they remind me that motherhood is no joke, but that there’s always time for cake <3
Hi there! I’ve been a mom for two years now and I totally relate! I love crocheting and baking and reading and none of those things happen nearly as frequently as they used to (especially now that my son’s favorite activity is trying to climb and stand on our upright piano) (he’s succeeded three times now and it’s terrifying!) My husband and I work full time, though he works from home and watches our son. Both of us are introverts, so getting out of the house and interacting with people is a challenge! I think we definitely feel like we’ve lost a part of ourselves being parents, but we’re working on each getting some alone time and maybe throw in a date night here and there to regain some balance. It’s good for all of us to have some time away from each other! Anyway, I fully believe and trust that you will figure it all out and your kids will be much better for it! A happy mom makes life so much easier ;)