Hey everyone! I hope you didn’t miss me too much during my hiatus. I can’t believe it’s 2024 already. A brand new year with brand new ideas for the future.
As you can already see, I have a few posts up on my blog already. Most of the content was written during my hiatus before I had my baby. I’m so glad that I prepared ahead because I am exhausted, in the best way possible.
I love my little baby boy. He’s the cutest. I could squish his face all day long. I am absolutely infatuated with his tiny fingers and bright eyes. And of course, my heart melts whenever I see my daughter or my husband give him cuddles.
But alas, as much as I wish I could get paid for being a good mom, I have work to do! A steady stream of content ensures my site ranks well, so readers like you can enjoy my favorite recipes and crafts. So let’s get into the nitty gritty of this post.
Last Year’s Recap
I love doing yearly recaps. The days blur into one another, so it’s nice to take some time and think about what happened throughout the year. I like seeing progress I’ve made, adventures I’ve been on, and how my life has changed from previous years.
So even though it’s 2024, I’m going to look at notable news, new hobbies, and experiences that happened in 2023.
Let’s start with the big stuff. In 2022, I had a few newsworthy events like catching Covid, paying off my credit card, and vacationing at Disneyland. In 2023, my life looped yet again and I did some similar things as the previous year such as losing weight, kept tabs on my health, and doing my best to be a good parent.
So what did I do differently in 2023?
I Sold My Car
When I first moved away from home to be closer to my husband, I bought a used Mitsubishi Lancer. That little car got me through a lot of big-time moments, including my first job as a content creator, my marriage, and the birth of my daughter. It served me well for more than a decade.
However, the years did not treat my car kindly. I had to keep it outside a garage for most of its time in my care, resulting in sun and water damage. For a while, I had no problem with the paint peeling from too much sun. However, the undercarriage of the car became so rusted from sprinklers hitting it day in and day out that eventually the cost to repair the damage was higher than the car’s actual value.
So we finally said goodbye to my old car. Farewell my friend. Now that it’s 2024, it’s time for me to move on with a vehicle that can better accommodate my family.
I Vacationed at Bear Lake
In the middle of 2023, I was very much pregnant and we had accumulated a bit of credit card debt from a few different things (our dryer needed replacement, our dog needed dental surgery, and we overspent at Disneyland). Still, me and my husband wanted to give our daughter some fun summer memories before her little brother arrived and added a whole new level of chaos to the mix.
Our vacationing options were a bit limited, thanks to our limited funds and my limited ability to sleep comfortably. As much as we wanted to go camping, I just could not manage sleeping on the ground. Only a hotel with a soft bed would do, but hotels were out of our price range.
But one of our wonderful friends suggested that we book an AirBnB as a group. Sharing the costs made the overnight stay more manageable, and we had a blast. We bought a pop-up shade tent for the beach where I could relax while everyone played in the water.
I Had a Baby!
This was probably the biggest event of my year. I had my baby boy in the beginning of December. He was technically due at the end of November but like a true member of my family, he came late. I ended up with an induction that went smoothly, and after 7 minutes of pushing, I got to hold my squishy baby boy.
With my new baby, I had to make quite a few changes. My sleep pattern is out of whack. I spend a lot of my time nursing, pumping for, or holding my baby. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My blog posts will undoubtedly slow quite a bit once I’ve run out of pre-made content from my hiatus. But I won’t stop posting entirely, I don’t think.
New Hobbies and Experiences
In case you’re new to my blog, the “MINE” in JenniBee Mine does have a sentimental meaning. I love to find “magic in new experiences,” particularly in small, day-to-day things. Exploring nature, trying my hand at different crafts, and enjoying small moments feels magical. Even though it’s 2024 and time flies faster than I can keep up, I still look forward to finding fun in the mundane. Here were some memorable magical moments from last year.
I Tried Hydroponics
As I promised last year, I tried the hydroponics machine that my parents bought me for Christmas. Unfortunately, my particular device did not come with any instructions, so I had a lot of guessing to do to assemble it and figure it out.
I initially tried growing a few kale plants with some seeds I had lying around because I read somewhere that kale worked well in hydroponic tanks. While those seeds sprouted beautifully, the sprouts quickly became leggy and yellow and died. I’m not sure if they didn’t have enough light from the device or if they didn’t have enough nutrients to sustain them.
So I tried again but with some tomato and bell pepper plants. Surprisingly, both the bell pepper plants and tomato plants grew successfully for a few weeks, but then they, too, started looking pale and droopy. Fortunately, by the time my plants showed signs of stress, the weather had warmed just enough to move them outdoors, and they grew successfully over the summer.
I look forward to researching hydroponics a little more and trying again now that it’s 2024.
I Bought a Greenhouse
This purchase was a completely unexpected and delightful one. My husband and I were shopping at Lowe’s for a fresh batch of Traeger pellets as well as a few other odds and ends. We passed by a cute little green house that looked like it would fit perfectly in our yard. I stepped inside and looked at the price tag.
It was on sale!
But when we went to look for the actual greenhouse, we couldn’t find anymore. We asked a sales associate about the greenhouse, and he said that the floor display was the last one. I was a little disappointed at first, until he said that he was willing to give us the display for even less than the sale price.
We happily bought it and set it up in our yard. And I had the best growing season I’ve ever had since moving into our townhouse. I harvested a lot of tomatoes, though most of them were still green when the cold weather hit.
Now that it’s 2024 – I have all sorts of ideas for improving my little garden.
I Learned to Loom Knit
During the early stages of my pregnancy, I did not feel my best. Morning sickness lingered for most of the day, so photography and baking seemed too overwhelming. I needed something to do with my hands, however, without draining my already depleted energy reserves.
I had a few extra points on Amazon, and I used those points to purchase a set of round looms*. I grabbed some cheap yarn from Wal-Mart, and I found one or two tutorials for getting started. It didn’t take long before I was hooked (yes, that was a pun).
Now I’m excited to share the things I’ve learned with you. I’ve already made a tutorial for a tiny hearts beanie, and I plan to make more things this year. It’s 2024 – time for new content!
What Am I Looking Forward To?
Last year, I had some lofty ideas in mind for new recipes, art, and posts for my little blog. However, now that it’s 2024, I realize that these goals might be a bit much for me to handle. Better to keep things simple now that I have a new baby in the mix.
I Want to Finish My Blanket
In my loom-knitting fervor, I thought I’d go ahead and purchase an afghan loom* so I could make even bigger projects than beanies. I pictured all sorts of baby blankets and ponchos made from all sorts of colors.
However, I bit off a bit more than I could chew with my first project. I thought I’d make a blanket large enough for my husband to cuddle. But my husband is 6’4″, and a blanket that big takes a lot of time to make. I’ve been gradually chipping away at it for months, but I’m determined to finish my project now that it’s 2024.
I Still Haven’t Made an e-Book
For a while now, I’ve contemplated making an e-book of all my recipes. I want to do a separate e-book for my BreadbytheHour.com site that compiles all my favorite breads into one place. And I think it would be fun to have a family favorite recipe book for my personal site that I could give to my parents and brothers and sisters to use on a regular basis.
I’ve accumulated so many favorite recipes that I think an e-Book would be a great way to keep everything in one place without having to rely on an unpredictable internet connection. So now that it’s 2024, I want to at least get the ball rolling on these e-Books, even though it was my same goal last year.
I’m Going to Cuddle My Kids
Honestly, this is going to be the biggest thing I do this year. My baby is only going to be a baby for so long, and my big girl is growing faster than I can keep up with. So my goal for this year is to give them as many cuddles, hug, and kisses I can possible give them.
I’m going to take them on walks and photograph bees. I’m going to read them bedtime stories, and tickle their tummies, and squish their cheeks. And of course, I’m never going to stop telling them just how much I love them. They’re going to get sick of me saying it, but I’ll say it again and again anyway.
Do You Have Goals for the New Year?
Well thanks for my overly long New Year’s post. I had a lot of fun thinking about last year, and now that it’s 2024 and I’ve got some solid goals in mind, it’s time for me to get to work on all the good times ahead of me.
But what are your goals? Do you have some big plans for this year? Did you meet your goals last year? Let me know in the comments section below.
*As an Amazon associate, I provide links to products on my website from time to time. If you make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps me keep my site running. I’m not paid to write about specific products, and please don’t feel obligated to buy something from my blog.