Thursday, December 31, 2015

Our Year in Review

For so many in our family-- us included-- the year 2015 was a whirlwind of good and bad. Mark and I faced some of our toughest situations yet as a married couple, but so far we've managed to pull through each one. I learned a ton about myself, about marriage, and about life. I won't go into all the "lessons learned" since I waxed eloquent on that topic yesterday. But I did want to share a quick look back at our year. So much happened-- I can't even wrap my mind around it all. 

My blogging friend Whitney of Hey Whitney Blog shared her End of the Year Digest this week. I loved the idea and decided to do the same for Patina & Purl today. Writing for this blog has been a great way to immortalize our lives together. It was so fun to look back and see what we were thinking, feeling, and experiencing as the year went by. If you're new to the blog, this post will help you get a feel of who we are, where we've come from, and where we're going. 


This month marked not only the beginning of a new year but also the decision to make a major life change. I decided to leave my M.A.T. program at Mount St. Mary's University and went to work as the Assistant Director of Financial Aid at McDaniel College. I think our early twenties are definitely a time to flounder around, figuring out who we are and who we want to be. It took a lot of courage to jump off the proverbial cliff and try something new. 

My favorite posts:
Deciding to Change
First Snow of 2015


Because I was busy learning my new job at McDaniel College, February and March were the lean months for the blog. It seemed like this month was determined to freeze us to death-- we got so much snow and bizarre sub-arctic temperatures. I became convinced that we had moved to Alaska rather than Maryland. 

My favorite post:
Self-Portrait in Third Person


March was a hard month for me. Naively, I thought March meant the arrival of spring. Instead, it meant more snow and ice storms. In the spirit of authenticity, I'll admit that I became really discouraged and depressed this month. I wasn't happy with my job, my health, or the weather. My life seemed to revolve around work and icky snowy mess. Looking back, I'm so grateful for a husband who unconditionally supported me through a hard month. In happier memories: we found a Civil War battlefield behind our local Target. 
My favorite posts:
Our Dining Room Tour
Bully: Owning a Pitbull
Our Weekend in Photos: Monocacy Battlefield


With the arrival of spring, I made another big change and leap of faith. Keeping our budget in mind, Mark and I decided that I needed to work in a creative capacity in order to truly be happy. I went to work for a local vintage furniture company. Simultaneously, I began writing a novel, working on my Etsy shop, and blogging again in earnest. Like the winter fog melting away, I felt my depressed mood finally begin to lessen. 

My favorite posts:
Morgan & Newman // A Springtime Wedding
Photography: Baby Girl Harper
Creating a Capsule Wardrobe


May marked the beginning of my love of chalk painting, as well as my journey to physical fitness. Mark and I began working out together every day, which tremendously boosted my mood. Our house underwent some of its main renovations-- and we were nominated for the Apartment Therapy Small Cool Contest. 

My favorite posts:
Paris Grey Dresser Makeover
Industrial Pallet Coffee Table
Our Patio Makeover


June seemed like a month of travel, planning, and family events. Our best friends had a baby shower for their first baby, while at home we began planning our kitchen renovation. I meanwhile sat down and gave the blog a serious once-over, determining its new direction and giving it a new look. Overall, Mark and I just enjoyed summertime in beautiful Frederick. 

My favorite posts:
Around Town: Frederick City Guide
Revitalizing Old Art Prints
Baby Boy Shower & Bump Shots


In July, that peak month of summer, Mark and I enjoyed a family vacation to the North Carolina coast. While there, we received the scary news that our best friends were at the hospital, having their first baby over a month early. Luckily, everything turned out all right for the little baby boy. 

My favorite post:
Photo Reel: Ocean Isle Beach, NC


August was a hot whirlwind. Mark and I took Solo on his first camping trip to Gambrill State Park, and I undertook two of my biggest furniture makeovers of the year.

My favorite posts:
Old World Style Dresser Makeover
Warm Industrial-Inspired Vintage Desk


This September, Mark and I seemed to go hiking almost every weekend. We just couldn't get enough of the perfect mild weather. I think September may have been cooler than our December! Everything glowed with a bright green vibrancy, seemingly in defiance of the coming autumn. We discovered new favorite hiking spots and explored an orchard.  My crafty side went into over-drive with fall craft ideas. All in all, September was a really fun month. 

My favorite posts:
Around Town // Worthington Farm Hike
Chalkpaint Pumpkin Pillow Hack
Wheat & Berries Table Arrangement
Stovetop Apple Simmer 


This month, Mark and I celebrated our third anniversary with an impromptu trip to Washington D.C and the exact spot where he proposed: the Jefferson Memorial. We explored Georgetown and found the oldest building in D.C.  On the renovation front, we tackled our kitchen renovation and other small projects around the house with the help of Mark's parents who came up for a visit. Meanwhile, I unlocked the secret to achieving a stained look with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Finally, I had the honor of guest posting at Hey Whitney Blog. 

My favorite posts:
Chalk Paint Makeover: the Stair Rail
Bathroom Makeover
Chicken Vino Bianco Recipe
The Oldest House in Washington
How Thomas Jefferson Changed My Life


November was the month of renovations. We finally completed the kitchen, and I transformed our dining room with a birch tree statement wall. To celebrate Thanksgiving, Mark and I traveled to Delaware where we ate too many carbs and explored Cape Henlopen State Park. Surprisingly, our kitchen makeover was subsequently featured on Apartment Therapy and Unfolded. 

My favorite posts:
Kitchen Reveal
Workspace Tour
Birch Tree Statement Wall


This topsy-turvy year rounded out with a much-overdue trip to Georgia to celebrate the holidays with family. Opening presents with my two nephews added a whole new definition to the early morning Christmas excitement. 

My favorite posts:
Cape Henlopen State Park
Master Bedroom Makeover

Thanks for following along this year! I hope you enjoyed reading about our antics, furniture makeovers, and renovation adventures. It sounds like 2016 has a ton of new adventures in store for us already. I can't wait to see where it takes us and to share our discoveries along the way.

Have a safe and happy New Year!

This post format was originally created by Whitney Torres of Hey Whitney Blog in her post End of the Year Digest. I emulated the format for my own "Year in Review" post. 


  1. Isn't it funny how a whole year can be tied up so neatly in one little blog post. It's amazing how many experiences we go through that become just another part of our year, who we are, and who we will become. Happy new year!

    1. You're so right! I was just thinking how much time goes by so quickly!


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