cheers to a New Year

Hello friends!
Happy New Year!
Merry Christmas!
Happy Holidays!  And all that good stuff (just a few weeks late).

We’ve been traveling and playing for the past two weeks, first in Austin then in California with our families.

And I realized that I never shared our official family Christmas card with you all!

So here’s a late Merry Christmas and thoughts on the New Year.
I went with the Merry Merry cards, ordered em up, loved the box they came in, loved seeing them all in a stack, didn’t love addressing them, but loved seeing the finished envelopes also in a stack (I’ve got a thing for stacks and rows), and loved sending them off to happy friends and family.

Casey and I have had a blessed year.  And at the top of the list, we’re thankful for these 3 sweet munchkins who challenge us daily but bring a joy we couldn’t find anywhere else.  I’ve been thinking more about family this past year and reevaluating my jobs as full-time mom and full-time blogger.

You’ve seen less of me throughout the year but I feel more available to my family, which has been wonderful.  At the same time I do miss the blogging routine I once had.  So as I head into 2013 I’ve got a few goals in mind.  Here are my hopes:

• Blog more, Instagram less
• Share more sewing projects
• Create and produce more patterns
• Share more This and That….and bits about family life
• Share our traveling adventures
• Share a home tour with Before and After pics of our house
• Continue organizing the blog, fill in the blank tabs
• Reach the bottom of my email inbox
• Celebrate the BOY?

……and whatever ideas and suggestions you might have.
Is there something you’d like to see or wish I’d create?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!

I know most of us have never met in person.  But I truly wish you the best this year.  I hope you’re able to make changes, improvements, to slow down if you need to, maybe you’ll finish that project you’ve always meant to, and that you can do what’s best for you and your family.

As always, Thank you for sticking with me!
You guys keep me ticking and typing.
Happy New Year.

Love, the Willards

  1. That little red headband is so cute! Did you make that? I need one for my Ingrid!

  2. 2) Kate

    I LOVE your blog!!! I would absolutely love to see a Celebrate the Boy feature again! I am the mom of two boys, and another baby BOY on the way so I need great ideas for my boys!!! Keep up the good work!

  3. Oh! Yay! I’m so glad you’re going to celebrate the BOY again!

  4. 4) Alie

    I Love your Hopes for the Year!
    Of course we want More Dana, but I have small people of my own, so I know how much they need me.
    So, more sewing is great, more This and That is wonderful, and More Made is fantastic!
    And we all know that while we WANT more Dana, the NEED from the family comes first.
    Happy New Year, and thanks for sharing all your Joy with us!

  5. 5) Karin

    Celebrate the BOY for sure – I have three of those little guys and need some inspiration for them! My oldest and I just made your hobo sack last week for his Legos!

    I’m impressed that you hand-wrote all the return addresses on your cards. I have return stickers which I don’t even put on myself – those same little boys think sticking return addresses and stamps on envelopes is an “art project” so I let them do it!

  6. I love your goals Dana, and I’m glad that you’ve made yourself more available to your family, you won’t ever regret that. 🙂 I always love whatever you choose to blog about, it’s always fun to jump into your creative world.

  7. Great cards! While I love your tutorials (because I use them all) your posts about your life are the ones I enjoy the most. I love how you share your life on your blog. I guess I have a weakness for blonde babies!

  8. 9) Abby S

    YAY! Excited to see Celebrate the BOY on your goals list. Would love to try sewing more for my little one.

  9. 10) RaeLyn

    Just enjoy your mommy-job. I think what you do is amazing. You always bring a smile to my day 🙂

  10. First, you guys are an adorable family! Great goals for the coming year. I can’t wait to see what you create! I agree. Instagram is an addicting time suck. I can’t blog well and IG at the same time. sadly. 🙂

  11. 12) Jody

    Hello Dana and Happy New Year!
    I was originally sent to your blog by a friend who was following your ‘Celebrate the Boy’ section. I’d love to see that area back in action (although I understand that now you have two girls and only one boy so the scale’s tipped!). Thank you for all the beautiful photos and ideas you share. All the best for 2012.
    Jody – Haida Gwaii, Canada.

  12. I would love to see Celebrate the BOY! I am pregnant with my first baby…a sweet little boy due in May, and man, boys don’t get much love in blog/pinterestland! I loved the knit blanket you made for Clara. I’m getting ready to start one (crochet) for baby boy using Clara’s as inspiration!

  13. 14) Netty

    now that I have a boy I hope the celebrations continue! Good luck with your goals! love the blog!

  14. 15) Ivana

    Happy new year 🙂

    I Love your Hopes for the Year! Especially I’m looking forward to the Celebrate the boy …

  15. 16) Megan

    Clara is SOOO stinkin’ cute! I love your blog and am excited you said more sewing tutorials! and a home tour! fun!

  16. Cute hairdo with the braid in the front! Love your sewing projects and with a boy due soon will be digging in to the boy-friendly tutorials when I can. Your photos look fantastic as always. Best Wishes back at you.

  17. Those are good goals. After reading them I feel you need a day or two off to breathe and relax. I love your posts, from familly to every day to sewing. Would love to have Celebrate the BOY back. Maybe some posts on those great thrift finds. Those are fun to read. As with life, spending it with family is the best and when you get a chance to share it on your blog, well, I love that too.

  18. Such a sweet card. I love it! I’m glad you guys had such fun 🙂 And it’s nice to hear ideas about blogging and how to balance it all with family. I really appreciate your thoughts on it! You’ve got some wonderful insight.

  19. I would love to see how to refashion things? I don’t usually have a ton of time (or talent) for sewing many things from scratch with my 4 little ones running (literally) around. But I often can find time to make it to the thrift store or the back of the closet and get items that need a little love to be made into something wonderful again. Like making regular jeans skinny, or using an old t-shirt for fabric for bows. Or a simple skirt for baby out of a maternity shirt….things like that. I am sure you are way more creative than I so I would love to see your take on thrifty refashions! Thanks!

  20. 22) Lydia Curtis

    Hooray for more Celebrate the Boy!! We just had out second boy in October, and, as I’m sure you know, it is so hard to find good tutorials for boy things. I can’t wait to see what you have in store!

  21. 23) mary Kay

    Happy Holidays to you too and Happy New Year – enjoy your blog and can’t wait to see what the new year brings to it!!

  22. 24) Astrid - Netherlands

    Dear Dana, the very best wishes for you and your family. Let’s make a fun and inspiring year of 2013, I’ll certainly keep an eye on your blog!

  23. I am always in awe of your beautiful photos (so stylish! So uncluttered and beautifully put together!) so would love to hear some styling and photography hints. Especially for getting more than one child to smile for the camera!

  24. Hi Dana,
    I enjoy coming to your blog even if you don’t post often. There is so much inspiration here!
    I am a quilter, but would love to sew a summer sundress pattern I have. Would you be interested in doing a tutorial for how to do an I visible zipper in a garment? I would also like to learn how to do a recessed zipper in a tote or purse.

  25. 27) British American

    Happy New Year!
    I’ll add another vote for celebrate the boy! 🙂 My two boys are 5 and 1, so I love to see boy stuff. 🙂
    Your family is adorable. 🙂

  26. 28) Michelle

    AAAAHHHH! Celebrate the BOY!! That series is what renewed my passion for sewing!

  27. YES to celebrate the boy, because I have one this year!! 🙂 I don’t know how you’ve done it in years past (although I know I’ve looked at many of the tutorials) but maybe you could make it easier on yourself with some guest posts or something. But put your family first. If boy sewing patterns also fit in, a lot of us will be thrilled 🙂

  28. 30) Ana

    Hi Dana! I, along with so many others, so enjoy your blog and your patterns. I know you mentioned creating more patterns this year. If I can request a pattern, I would love to see kid pants as a paid pattern with a variety of sizes. I know you have that as a free pattern, but I am one who feels so much more comfortable when a variety of sizes are already drawn out. I made the kid pants for my daughter and really love them and would like to be able to continue to make them for her as she grows. It’s such a great cut – they look great on her! Happy new year!

  29. 31) Jenn

    Isn’t it funny how close we feel to people we call friends that we may never have met in person? I think about this every so often too… I agree Dana, slowing down and enjoying the good fortune we have is so important. The kids, the spaces we have to call our own, the place we occupy in the hearts and minds of those around us, we need to take some time and cherish these. I would love to see a new post from you every day, but trade-off of more time with family is so worth missing out on some postings. A beautiful and joyous new year, internet friend!

  30. Celebrate the Boy!! Little boy #2 (7 weeks old! big brother is 3)is currently sleeping in my arms as I type one handed. I would love more boy projects to work on in this last year of being a stay at home mom.

  31. 33) Dalyn Luedtke

    Please please please celebrate the boy again. There’s so little for boys in general and it’s nice to celebrate our boys in myriad ways.

  32. I am SO excited that we’ll be seeing more of you this year! Amazing the connection you can have with someone/family when you read their blog. I love your blog and am also so glad to see you posted something new. Having two little ones of my own I totally understand putting momma above blogger. I’m with everyone else I’d love to see Celebrate the Boy again. Happy New Year!

  33. So nice to see a post! I was missing them…though Insta is great. You’re so good at it! Love your resolutions. I need to make some but I’m have a total slacker start, and as a slacker would say, “but it’s not all my fault!” 🙂 Welcome home!

  34. Thanks for your blog, Dana. It has definately helped me enjoy life more as a mum!

  35. lovely cards! looking forward to more of your creations on your blog.

  36. 38) Cary

    What fun! I would love your celebrate BOY since I now have 2 and struggle with what to sew for them. Cheers to spending more time with your family but I’ll take every sewing tutorial and pattern you want to post, I credit you with really teaching me how to sew and be more fearless in creating clothes for my (4!!!) kiddos so thanks and Happy New Year!

  37. 39) Paula Titel

    You can do no wrong on your blog. Just carry on!

  38. 40) k

    Happy new year! All those goals sound great, especially “more sewing projects”! Not because i think you haven’t had enough, but because i love them so much! Also, About the Boy is wonderful. The picture of you looking at Clara is impossibly adorable. I don’t know how you ever do anything other than gaze at your cuties!

  39. I had a small panic attack then when I read you had been reevaluating! SO glad you have space for all of us too! I love your sewing tutorials and patterns…and yes boys boys boys!!
    Totally blogging at its best x

  40. 42) jweed

    love your blog and all the inspiration it has given me throughout this year w/ decorating, gifts & sewing! You are talented in using your time wisely. Thank you for sharing!

  41. Happy New Year to you and your family!

    You’ve become my new ‘hero’ since couple of weeks! We are just two people in our house but I’m hooked on you, how you manage your home and children, and every creations of yours here and there on MADE. You’re very talented! 🙂

    I’m very glad to be found you through my friend’s link. My heart always melt away when I see your children’s pictures here. God bless you and your family! xox..

  42. Love your blog and all the great posts and ideas you share! I’d love to see a Celebrate the Man series, maybe before Father’s Day? I always have a difficult time coming up with homemade gifts and feel badly that I make things for all my other family members, but rarely my husband and my dad. I’d love to see what ideas other people have come up with.

  43. Happy new year Dana and YESSS do celebrate the boys!!!!
    I wish you and your family, a 2013 full of love, happiness, Lifgts and Peace.
    from here to you,

  44. Happy New Year! Wishing you the best in 2013! 🙂

  45. 47) Dkb

    I’m glad that many of the bloggers I follow have decided to take a step back this year. I won’t miss them, I don’t need to see a post from everyone on everyday. Just as you feel overwhelmed blogging everyday, I feel overwhelmed trying to keep up with them. I prefer less frequent, but more meaningful content. best to you in 2013!

  46. 48) Angie E

    LOVE your blog and also totally support more time with the fam as a stay-at-home mom. Good for you to make that a priority. And yay for more sewing projects! Those are my favorite from you! 🙂 Thanks for all you do!

  47. 49) Amy Stevens

    Such gorgeous Kiddo’s you have!
    I would LOVE to see Celebrate the Boy!!

  48. Celebrate the Boy! One of my goals this year is to sew for my boys more. My daughter seems to be much easier to come up with designs for (though she doesn’t wear the things I make much anymore). But, my boys are still young enough and they’ll wear almost anything! 🙂

  49. 51) Emily Smith

    yay for Celebrate the Boy! it is really hard to find cool patterns for little dudes! but you could do celebrate the girl too! maybe one for big girls?? looking forward to some new projects!

  50. 52) Mariana

    Celebrate the Boy… Yes please!!! Love your blog!

  51. Happy New Year to the Willards!! I have been enjoying the great photos you shared on Instagram over your vacation. I look forward to more great blog posts. You are forever inspiring! God Bless!


  52. Cheers to you, Dana and family! I hope you have a happy and exciting 2013!

  53. 55) ellen

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours! I just finished sewing a mountain of streamer ruffles for a baby shower, and was just so pleased with the results that I had to say thanks! I’ve made so very many of your projects and they work right every time.

  54. Happy New Year, Dana! I always enjoy reading your posts (and seeing your instagrams), no matter what the subject matter!

  55. Merry Christmas to you too. 😉 I hope your family has the most wonderful year!

  56. 58) Nathalie B.

    Oh yes, please do “Celebrate the BOY” again !
    Best wishes for the new year, from France 🙂

  57. Honestly, in enjoying every morsel of that Clara that you post, I haven’t noticed that you’ve blogged any less. Who’s counting? (Oh I guess maybe blog stats, bleh.)But quality over quantity wins in my book, any day.

  58. 60) Penny

    HI Dana – so glad you are keeping your blog! I love everything about your blog – especially the tutorials and how easy you make everything seem (seam!) to make!
    Love your patterns, too. The beach robe is an all-time favorite and this year I must make some of those beanbag chairs! I have the pattern – just have to schedule time to sew them. Can’t wait to see your house decorating ideas. I am glad you are able to raise your beautiful family and blog, too. I read your blog first!
    Have a great day.

  59. 61) Collette

    Happy New Year! Late, but still heartfelt. 😉

  60. 62) zakalia

    happy new year! i really enjoy reading your blog. what i would love to read is a guide on sewing machines (and sergers)… which features are important, what to look out for,… maybe for you to share with us which machines you are using? that would be super helpfull!
    <3 Lia

  61. Yes! Celebrate the boy!!!! And beautiful cards & family 😉

  62. Love this!! Happy New Year to you too!!

    I don’t know dude, based on these comments, do you really think we should Celebrate the BOY? Hrrrrmmm *scratches head*


  63. 65) Amy

    Happy New Year Willard family. I too would love some more celebrate the boy as I have a son just older than your beautiful Clara. I also love your home posts and having just bought our first family home I have no doubt that your posts will inspire me! Best wishes from the UK.

  64. I love your blog. its one of my favorites! I think your doing an amazing job!

  65. love reading your blog Dana–always fun, fresh and creative! would love to see a vlog (video blog) on here sometime. 🙂

  66. Yay for goals! I’m excited about this year! Love your list and love that your family is priority. That gets so lost in blogger-land! 🙂 Happy New Year, friend!

  67. 69) Sarah K.

    Awesome goals! Yay for BOY! Happy new year to you as well!

  68. 70) dale

    I adore your blog. My little boy is about 6 weeks older than Clara, and I love the updates on her. (She is such a cutie.) I’d love to see more about projects for boys, to add to the inspiration that you’ve already given to me!!

    You have a beautiful family – happy new year to you all.

  69. 71) Becky T

    Welcome back! Missed you!

    Good goals. Best in the new year to you and yours!


  70. 72) Emma

    Yea for more sewing tutorials and patterns!! Your blog has renewed my interest in sewing. In fact, I was gifted a new machine for Christmas. Eek! Any chance you’d be up for a diaper bag tutorial??

  71. 73) hotdish

    Blog more?? I can barely keep up with you now!! Woman, I don’t know how you do it but we appreciate it and will still follow you even if you don’t acheive all those New Year’s resolutions! (because, really, who ever does?)

  72. Celebrate the BOY! YES! (I have four)
    Happy New Year!

  73. Wow Dana I can’t believe you think you have been slack on the blogging front! Absolutely love your blog. Yes more celebrate the boy and family life please. x

  74. Would love to see the before and afters of your home. Am just starting on a house revamp and need inspiration.

  75. Something I’d like to see is a mac and cheese recipe if you have one! My boyfriend had been asking for homemade kind for a few days and I really thought you’d have a recipe on here. Alas, I ended up scurrying over to the Pioneer Woman since you didn’t have one! Your recipes always look so yummy :] Happy new year!

  76. 78) Jenny

    Happy New Year!! You know what would be absolutely awesome if you did a beginner sewing class type of thing, like you make videos and stuff like that. I know it would be hard for you because you have little ones, but that would be so helpful and I know people would definitely pay your help! I know I would! I love your blog! Keep up the great work!!

  77. 79) YveeB

    Happy New Year to you too! I am another voice for CELEBRATE THE BOY…. with two boys I am grateful for all the sewing tips, patterns and ideas for boys. There certainly aren’t enough around.

  78. 80) Soli

    Happy New Year Dana !
    Merci beaucoup for your inspiring and beautiful blog.

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