Hello my dear blogging friends! Today I'm celebrating my EIGHT YEAR BLOGAVERSARY! Wowza! Every year when I do my end-of-the-year wrap up post I can't even believe that another year of fun and creativity and crafting has passed! This year went by especially fast! I look forward to writing this post each December, and sharing with you my favorite projects from the past year. CLICK HERE to read my wrap up from 2016! This year end post helps me wrap up the year and reflect on my creative journey. I feel like I grow in new ways each year, both as a person and as an artist. Having my blog is a lot like having a diary or a journal and it's really cool to look back at eight years' worth of cards and projects all in one place! I am so grateful to have this place to share with the world and with you my creative supporters and friends. Thank you for being part of it all with me! It wouldn't be the same without the interaction from you, and all the friends I have made through the years. You bless me all the time with your kindness and love.
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! And, Happy New Year 2018! Be sure to check back here on New Year's day because It's the Season's Givings Blog Hop day! All of the bloggers in the hop are giving away prizes! TONS and TONS of prizes! It is always really fun! You don't want to miss it, I promise!
2017 was a very busy year. I had some really great crafting opportunities, and my photography business kept me busy in addition to stamping and designing. It was also a hard year for me. Not bad, just hard. Lots of trials and growth this year. I went through a lot this year and it forced me to deal with some very deep things that I've not wanted to deal with. That being said, I can 100% say that I am emerging here at the end of the year a stronger and more confident person. More sure of my place in this world. More sure of my identity in Christ and less dependent on the opinions of others. I'm only 53 years old and I finally figured that out (laughs at herself). In all seriousness, there was a lot of quiet time with God this year and HE has changed me, sharpened me, refined me, with HIS ultimate wisdom and love. I've spent a great deal of time at home this year, becoming closer to my husband and my few very dearest friends. Blessings to be sure. I don't ever want people to think that my life is picture perfect or amazing all the time. It isn't. I am always grateful, though, no matter what is happening. That is my choice in life and it's one of the ways I honor God. Life is hard. For all of us. Grace is AMAZING and we should dole it out often and in abundance. Especially to ourselves. I'm a bit anxious and excited to go forward into the new year as this 'new' me. Maybe a bit hesitant, too. But I know I'll be fine. That is the promise. My family is doing well and we are happy and healthy, and that is what really matters.
Here's what I wrote last year: "My word for 2017 is BRAVE. Brave enough to be myself without the fear of the judgement of others. How powerful is this concept? I am a work in progress... Free to be my authentic self, the real me. The ability to say how I feel, find my passion, stand up for the things that matter, don't settle, don't apologize.... That, to me, is bravery."
Reading this now, a year later, I'm like whoa! That was SPOT on. I tried to be brave this year. There were a LOT of tears this year. Buckets of tears. But in our darkest places we find out how strong and brave we can be, right? (Every time I hear that song Be Brave - I cry! OMG I love that song) CLICK HERE to see the video!
My word for 2018 is TRUTH. There is only one truth and it is solid, stable and unchanging. My identity is anchored to the truth of who I am to God. Lack of being anchored in the truth causes us to rise and fall with circumstances. The truth keeps us from drifting afloat. Gives us hope. The other facet of this is that I often don't want to SEE the truth as it is put before me. I want to always believe the best in people and situations, and that gets me hurt. Truth is a more realistic way of navigating this harsh world... So TRUTH has two meanings for me. I've already started using this in my journaling and planning for 2018.
Do you choose focus words or resolutions for the new year? I'd love to hear! Leave me a comment about your hopes for the new year!
Something I love to do here on the blog at the end of the year, is to take a look back on my creative journey from the year before! This annual post is kind of like a cyber scrapbook! Thank you for joining along with me in 2017! We had some good times! My blog is my journal, and here I keep a record of my statistical progress. So, on that note, here are some fun stats from the year. Here at the end of 2017... I have now written 1262 blog posts in 8 years, received 32,915 lovely comments, and...drum roll...I hit the one million unique visitors landmark! That happened back in February! The company that I was using to track the visitors and blog hits went out of business...and one day I no longer had access to that information! Bummer... I am very happy that I can say that one million people have come to visit A Blog Called Wanda! Thank you!
Five years ago, I started the tradition of recapping my favorite projects from the past year. I get so much nice feedback about this! Here are my favorites from 2017... There are a lot! So grab a cup of coffee or tea, and settle in! I hope you enjoy the look back with me!
To see more information about each project,
please click on the the individual photos!
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!
I appreciate all of you so much, all of your love and kindness and support!
I wish you the very best year ever! Cheers to 2018!