Welcome back! I hope you had an awesome holiday season, spent with family and friends, and filled with love and joy.
It feels kind of strange to be back after my break, but in a good way. Hopefully it'll be so that I can get regular blogs out to you again, but I ask your forgiveness if I skip a day here and there. Motherhood has been an amazing ride so far, but raising a baby is very unpredictable. I have to fall in with her schedule, which means planning ahead is difficult sometimes. :) But I'll do my best to keep to my posting schedule.
2013 was a big year for me in many ways. It was a year in which dreams came true and new adventures began. Today I want to recap my personal year, as well as some stuff that happened elsewhere.
In January, the blog had a revamp. The old pinks, purples and blues went out the window and the current red, white and black look made its appearance. I may just revamp again somewhere this year. Watch this space.
I also started a new endeavour, my online novel. It was an incredible journey! Your voting took the story to places I probably wouldn't have let it go if I'd had the power to decide. It was challenging and interesting to write it! And it stimulated my creativity with every new chapter. I'm still planning to publish it as an ebook, but I'll let you know when this happens. The voting on the title came to a draw, so I'll probably flip a coin or something to decide what I'm going to use. :P
In March something awesome happened. The EU officially banned animal testing in the cosmetics industry. Read more about that here.
I also found out I was pregnant in March. Talk about a Valentines baby... :P You can read more about that here.
The Rise of the Exile Queen has been doing really well, and I have you all to thank for that. Please keep spreading the word about it, and please tell your friends to get it if you liked it!! Read more about that here.
In July, a lot of stuff happened.
YouTube Makeup guru, Talia Castellano's cancer acted up and she spent most of her time in hospital. I asked you to keep her in your prayers here. Sadly, she passed away soon after that post.
She remains in our hearts as one of the world's most sparkling stars!! Rest in peace Talia.
We found out Jellybean is a girl in July!! And I revealed her name would be Kayla. Seeing that little person on the sonar was enough to make my heart race, but finding out I was going to have a little princess nearly brought tears to my eyes. It was one of the most special moments of 2013.
Jan's grandmother turned 90! What a party that was! You can see pictures of that here.
My cousin Larissa had her kitchen tea at the end of the month. I had to wear the ugliest veil in the history of the world! But we had a lot of fun. Click here for more.
The very same cousin got married in August! It was the last makeup job I took on while pregnant, and I had my hands full with the bride!! :D But it was a beautiful event, perfected by family and a lot of love. Read more here.
In September, I had my baby shower. It was an amazing day with friends and family, and I realised once again how blessed Jan and I am to have such awesome people in our lives. We got the most amazing gifts for Kayla, which we now use every day. :)
I finished the second installment of my trilogy in September too! The Song of War started its editing process and will (hopefully) be ready in June this year!!
October was a busy month too, filled with preparations for the coming little person.
We completed the nursery and I shared the whole renovation process with you here.
The online novel also came to its conclusion at the end of October! I still can't believe it's done.
My grandmother's health had been deteriorating for a while, and I asked you to keep her in your prayers a few times. We'd been fearing cancer for a long time, but the most amazing news reached us early in November; my gran is cancer free! She's still pretty sick, but her illness is treatable and we're incredibly thankful for that.
Our lives changed forever on the 8th of November 2013, with the birth of little Kayla. She continues to be the sunshine in our lives. You can read about the birth and see a bundle of pictures here.
The world lost an icon on the 5th of December 2013, when Nelson Mandela passed away. You'll be missed, tata!
And then another little miracle happened on the 13th, when Liani and Franco became parents too. Liamé is a wonderful little bundle of joy and I know she and Kayla will be fast friends. :)
That was my year! It was an awesome one, filled with blessings, some heartache and loss, but overwhelming success and joy too. It was a year where hard work paid off, dreams really came true and miracles happened.
Now, at the beginning of 2014, I can only believe it will get even better.
My prayer for you is that your year will be filled with love, joy, friendship and success. That you'll be calm even when the storm is raging, that you'll know peace even when your heart is breaking, and that you'll love even when the other person doesn't deserve it. Dream big, work hard and don't stop believing.
I sound like a Hallmark card..., but I mean it.
Just don't cling too hard to your new year's resolutions, because they're often broken. Rather do something because you really want to, or need to, for yourself, to become a better person.
Here's to a new year!
Stay beautiful and be kind to animals,