Goodbye 2013

Posted by Shayla LaFreniere on Tuesday, January 7, 2014.

So my holiday was not as work free as I had planned but that’s okay because I spent it working on new laLa Grace card designs which is always really fun for me; and taking a break from everything else work related really allowed me to immerse myself in the creative side of my business in a way that I haven’t been able to in awhile.

I am really happy to be back blogging though especially because during my time off I spent some time thinking about what I would like to blog about in 2014 and I’m really looking forward to sharing it all with you over the next 12 months.

I also spent a little time tweaking the design of this blog just a little bit, the changes are so small many of you may not even notice them. I like to keep the design pretty simple but I wanted to clean things up a bit and I think I’ve accomplished that.

Before I dive fully into 2014 I wanted to take a moment to look back on 2013 and the moments that along with the previous years have helped shape who I am today.

At the end of January (January 29th to be exact) I opened the laLa Grace Etsy Shop and other than marrying my husband it just may be the best decision I have ever made. I have learned more about my creative style in the (almost) year since opening my shop than I did in the 10 or so previous years working as a graphic designer. I have SO MANY goals for laLa Grace for 2014 I can’t wait to see how things unfold and how much more I learn. The nice thing is, now when I do work on a design project I am able to bring my newly discovered style to my client work and give them something really unique. In fact I will be sharing a logo design project that I completed just before the holidays with you soon.

January through May I ran a series called Why Do You Blog? and though I’m not always the biggest fan of series like this I did it because I was genuinely curious to learn why people blog and was fascinated by all the different responses.

I’m actually planning to do another series this year though I am not tying myself down to running it weekly; I’ll just run it when new ones are ready. I hadn’t planned to do another series but a question has been coming up for me recently and I am really excited to see how other creatives will answer it.

In May we took a vacation to Myrtle Beach which was not enjoyable for me but it helped me to understand the kind of vacations and life experiences I long for that only travel can bring. I very much long to go abroad but there is so much in this country that I also want to see. What I learned on our Myrtle vacation is that I long for more culture based and exploratory travel. I don’t really want to go on vacation to sit on a beach unless it’s in some exotic country like Bali. When I travel the U.S.A I don’t want to go to “tourist” spots I want to explore towns and cities so I can get to know them and what they’re all about.

We are already in the midst of planning a trip to the Northwest and I can’t wait!

We spent a lot of time over the summer working on our new home, I shared some pictures of the Great Room with you and will be sharing more pictures of the other rooms as we finish them up. We are close to being mostly done (though I think design is a continual process) but the other rooms are not quite ready to be shared just yet.

In August I received my first laLa Grace wholesale order and we celebrated our 1year Anniversary in PhiladelphiaWe had a great time exploring the city and all the amazing local vegan restaurants Philly has to offer; if you’re a vegan you really must go there and try Hip City Veg and Vedge restaurant; actually you should try them; especially Vedge even if you’re not a vegan.

Speaking of Vegan I really enjoyed researching the content and creating the illustrations for the Vegan Living Blogs.

I also shared two (Botanical Gardens | Harpers Ferry) mini little local excursions that I hope to do much more of this year. I think it’s some times easy to forget how much the places we live have to offer so I hope to spend a lot more time being a tourist in my own city this year.

But the thing that shaped me the most in 2013 was definitely the two miscarriages that Christopher and I went through. It took me awhile to share our story but I decided too because I know reading a story like mine would have been very helpful to me when I was going through it. I was beyond touched by the emails I received from all of you and felt so blessed to be able to share life experiences (the good and the bad) through this blog with such an amazing group of people.

We have not tried since the last miscarriage in August but we are going to start trying again this month, so if you pray we’d be honored if you’d include us in your prayers.

Speaking of prayer I think we may have finally found the right Church for us here in Virginia. I loved my church in Arizona and though we’ve been going to one here for awhile it never really resonated with me but a friend of mine invited us to her church on Sunday and I felt almost immediately at home there. Spirituality has been a major part of my life since I was a teenager but that has really been lacking in my life recently because of not having a church that I like so it’s nice to find a church that will help bring more spirituality back into my life. I don’t believe you have to go to church to be with God but I do think that life is really busy and when you don’t have a weekly reminder it’s easy to let God take a back seat to other things that are far less important.

So anyway, that is my 2013 in review, I hope you all had a truly magical holiday and a wonderful new year; here’s to an amazing 2014!

Photo by my husband Christopher, Font by me.

{ Miranti Kayess } January 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM
I think it's such a great idea to celebrate and release the previous year before diving into the new. You've accomplished some amazing things in 2013, Shayla! And I hope you're really proud. I'm very much looking forward to continuing to follow your journey this year xo
{ Shayla LaFreniere } January 8, 2014 at 11:22 AM
Thanks Miranti! I look forward to continue to follow your journey this year as well. :)
{ Audrey } January 10, 2014 at 4:59 PM
I haven't prayed in a long time, but I'll say a special one for you.
{ Shayla LaFreniere } January 10, 2014 at 5:01 PM
Thanks Audrey. <3

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