Contemplating the New Year…

It’s very exciting to be writing a blog post!  I thought I would take some time to share my thoughts & feelings with you today.

Contemplating the New Year

I have been reflecting upon the last year and contemplating the next one quite a bit these past few days.  I think that’s a pretty common occurrence around the new year marker for many people.  I actually sat down and watched the two videos I posted last year, one about my 2012 New Years Resolutions on OLJ, and the other, my New Years Vlog 2012: Reflections & Resolutions on MHWL.  At first I thought, “Wow, that was only a year ago?” which very quickly turned into, “Wow, that was a WHOLE year ago?!”  Time is funny, isn’t it?  In a year’s time I have managed to grow in so many ways as an individual while somehow staying the same “me.”

I don’t often watch my own videos after I finish my final edits on them.  It’s a bit of a weird experience to sit there and watch yourself just because you can.  I really wanted to see where I was at this point last year, though, which is why I decided to watch those videos.  I had grown so much in 2011 in so many ways, all mainly correlating with my YouTube and associated social media growth, and I wanted to remember how it felt this time last year.  I can again note a marked growth spurt with this new year and new chapter and am excited about the implications.  It can be hard to notice changes on a day-to-day basis, which is why I depend on this annual tradition of reflection to really take some time to appreciate the past year & my experience of it.  So, what’s the verdict?

2012 was a very good year.  A very, VERY good year!  Some highlights that stand out include participating in & completing my first half marathon, becoming confident enough to vlog and turning MHWL into a vlog-centered channel, finally organizing the storage/utility room in our house, and getting this blog up & running.  There are, of course, other, more personal, emotional hurdles I overcame as well.  My self-confidence has improved markedly, I’ve finally got a handle on my IBS, and I’m learning how to manage my anxiety better.  I feel strong, both physically and emotionally, and I’ve really come into my own as a woman these past few years.

One of my most special accomplishments is turning what started out as a side project hobby into an actual career.  It is no secret that my efforts on YouTube have started to pay off, quite literally, as I earn a commision from ad sales that YouTube places on or next to my videos.  [Side note – Anyone can do this!  Once you have a YouTube account & start posting videos, you can opt to “monetize” your videos.  You have to set up a Google Adsense account in order to be paid revenue.  It’s as simple as that!]  I am officially providing my own personal spending budget now and hope to take on more financial responsibilities for our family in the future.  It’s kind of a neat feeling to get paid to do something you love.

I treasure being a housewife, of course, and will always consider myself to be one, but I am now also officially a career woman.  It is a funny world we live in where titles and labels carry so much meaning.  It’s hard not to get swept away in that way of thinking.  I’ve personally always felt that so long as I feel good about what I do on any given day then that’s all I should need in terms of validation.  It’s an easy thing to say, more difficult to believe, and even harder still to actually put into practice.  Feeling validated from the inside is a beautiful thing and does not come naturally to me, as I imagine might be the same for many others as well.  It is a practice I’ve had to work very hard on and continue to work at, but ultimately I have come to realize that the only person who can truly bring me happiness is myself.

Coming into my own, especially this past year, has helped tremendously in that department.  I can’t thank you, my wonderful viewers (and now readers!) enough for your support, encouragement, & enthusiasm.  I can’t wait to continue to share with you all in 2013.  I’m cooking up my New Years resolutions & reflections videos, hopefully coming up this week on OLJ & MHWL.  Stay tuned!

I wish you and yours a very happy & healthy new year!


95 thoughts on “Contemplating the New Year…”

  1. Jen,

    Since I stumbled upon your channels in mid-November, I have taken great steps to change my life. Becoming more organized, putting more effort into how I look and gaining a new perspective on happiness. Thank you. I hope you have a wonderful 2013 loaded with love and happiness. I plan on having that!

  2. What a well written blog! It’s lovely to be able to read your blog along with watching your videos on YouTube! 🙂

    Congratulations on your 2012, it certainly sounds like (and watching your videos seem like) a very successful year and I wish you and your family every happiness in 2013 and into the future.



  3. Beautiful post. I wish you another successful year on YouTube. Love all your channels. I have learned a tremendous amount of stuff/things from you videos. Thank you for sharing.

  4. I am greatly looking forward to your New Years videos! (if this isn’t too personal might I request you share the probability of you and Don having a little one in this coming year? I understand if it is too personal, I’m merely curious). Either way, I’m very excited for your videos. 🙂
    I’m also really looking forward to this blog and your future blog posts! You are such an inspiration to me. I am now a future housewife and love watching your videos for inspiration and just pure enjoyment. Please keep up the GREAT work you do! I know it takes a lot of work, but your subscribers see it and appreciate it!

    P.S. I just started up a blog myself. A personal one, but a blog nonetheless. And you are the subject of my first post! I know I don’t have many, if any, viewers but I’m hoping it may help even the smallest bit in getting your name out there 🙂

      1. I love the avoidance of the question. 🙂 It’s totally okay – it’s NONE of anyone’s business and you certainly don’t have to answer anything. I just want to say that I think you’ll be a great mom when the time comes. 🙂

  5. Jen, this was a very nice first official blog post. I am really excited for you to have started a blog. I feel like we are like twins. I probably have all the same anxiety and struggles as you. I feel like when I am watching you, I am watching myself. You are a very strong women with a very nice family and I wish you the best in 2013!! Tell Winnie Happy New Year too!!

    Sincerely, Taylor

  6. So awesome to READ and view your posts from one spot….very cool.
    I took have been reflecting on the past year and so look forward for what the Lord
    has in store for me in the 2013. Thanks so much Jen for sharing so much of yourself,
    and your life… not only is it entertaing, I have learned alot form your posts.

    Keep up the awesome work you already do…. :0)


  7. Jen
    Congrats to a very fulfilling year! I stumbled across you and have been hooked ever since.
    I enjoy all the adventures, and it helps me, as I feel like I am sorta there at times lol sounds weird I know.
    You have also helped me understand my BFF a lot more too as she is a lot like you and loves to organize lol.
    Looking forward to many more adventures with you Don and Winne and the rest of your family’s and friends.
    Take care, hugs

  8. Hi Jen! Could you please let me know what kind of decoration that butterfly on your macbook air (?) is? Where did you get it? Is it a case or a sticker? Thank you!

  9. Congratulations in the new blog! I look forward to experiencing all that is coming for 2013 with you, along with the rest of your viewers. Hope you have a good one.

  10. Hey Jen. I am actually even more excited for your blog posts than your videos – which I adore.
    But I do believe you are a very great writer and I am sure I will enjoy some pretty cool posts.

    Have a great 2013!

  11. Hey Jen!
    Hope you had an amazing new year’s eve!
    I am looking forward to more blogposts – this was already a good start 🙂

  12. Congrats on the blog Jen! I’ve been following you for quite some time now, and am amazed at all that you continue to accomplish. Kudos!

    Happy New Year,

  13. Jen! Congrats on an amazing 2012! I love watching your videos. You insprie me to keep motivated every day! I have been hunting for a lap desk and just noticed the one in this picture! Where did you get yours?!

    Looking forward to more posts on here!! The website looks great! 🙂

      1. I was just going to ask the same & have feeling you’ll get a ton of q’s about what’s in the pictures you post from fashion to decor to vlogging equipment. I know I’m curious! 🙂 Congrats on the blog! -Jane

  14. Well done for overcoming so many hurdles this past year, Jen. You make a great blog-writer! I’ll look forward to reading more from you 🙂

  15. I’m glad you had such a nice year. I’m getting control of my IBS and severe anxiety through diet. I read “Wheat Belly” and am now following the author’s suggestions, with great results.

  16. Hi Jen…… happy I decided to check the blog! It was nice to just sit and read your post and reflect myself on the last year and the next! Will you be putting links on your Facebook page each time you enter a blog post, as you do with your videos? Thanks for all you do, you’re much appreciated! 🙂

    1. I’m working on it! I’m very new to WordPress so it’s a learning process for me. Hoping to have that figured out ASAP.

  17. It has been amazing to watch you grow as well – so glad to hear that you’re feeling more confident. You make us feel better about ourselves too!

  18. Hi there! We just wanted to stop by and say congrats on all of your successes in 2012 and we can’t wait to see what 2013 holds. We have watched your videos for a few months now and haven’t really commented. Not sure why…:-) Thanks for sharing your holiday with us on your MHWL channel. We have really enjoyed them! Don seems awesome and Winnie is just too stinking cute.
    As fellow bloggers we welcome you to the blogging world. It’s a wonderfully supportive community (we also have a YouTube channel!)
    Happy New Year to your and your family!

    Jayme & Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings

  19. So nice to see your post! The blog is just beautiful! I’ m looking forward to adding your blog to my “daily dose” of social media. Congratulations on a great year and to making this year even better! You’re very inspiring and a personal goal of mine is to get my blogs up and running again, too. Thanks for the inspiration!

  20. Hi Jen!
    I decided to start running this year. I hope to make it to the Disney Princess half marathon in 2015. So I have time to take it slow and train. Any tips? Thanks
    Bella 🙂 ((HUGS))

  21. Hi Jen! I’m so happy for you and all of your accomplishments. You are a very energetic, creative, talented woman who is personable and funny to top it off! No wonder Don snatched you up 🙂 Good luck on your marathons that are coming up soon, and I am looking forward to watching (and reading) your future endeavors.

    Love from Wisconsin! Melissa

  22. I have to say I am truly excited Bout this blog! You write beautifully. Happy new year and I am very much looking forward to this blogs future posts

  23. Congratulations on your success in 2012 and may 2013 be even better! I LOVE your videos and now your blog too!! I can’t wait to see what this year holds for you.

  24. Congratulations on all your accomplishments Jen. Happy and blessed new year. You are an inspiration to SO many people. I enjoy all your videos and now your blog. Continue being a busy bee! I wish for you that 2013 brings you more than all the previous years combine. Simply YOU ARE THE BEST!!!!

  25. I love your new blog! I swear we have the same issues to deal with. I have bad anxiety and IBS as well and I have learned that I can only live one day at a time and try to conquer these issues. I think the only time I don’t have anxiety is when I am in Disney! LOL

  26. I want to thank you for your videos these past two years! You have been such an inspiration to me in terms of organization and self worth. Thank you for letting us into your life and being so honest! I wish you, Don and Winnie and very blessed and Happy New Year!

  27. Dear Jen:
    I too have noticed your growth and confidence in each of your videos. You have helped me so much with your organizational recommendations and I have put into practice. I want to thank you for sharing with us. I wish you continued success and blessings.

  28. I stumbled upon your organizing blogs a few months ago but am now a faithful follower of all of your YT channels! I thoroughly enjoy watching each and every one of your vlogs, it’s a great way to end my day! I’m so thrilled for your personal growths this past year, you should be incredibly proud of yourself. Keep up the great work and keep on vlogging!

  29. BRAVO!! Well done and well said Jen! I love this journey you are on. You are very wise and I can see much unfolding here. A lot of new beginnings and adventures!! I am thankful for all of your positivity. You give much, don’t expect anything in return and the Universe opens up good things in your path. It’s just fate, so naturally you fill this roll as you were born to do it! Thanks for sharing a life well lived and to the fullest! I can’t wait to see the path this journey will take you on and I’m so glad I get a front row seat to catch it all in! Blessings! xx

  30. Love your blog! Thanks for sharing your talent with us. I truly needed and appreciate it so much. I just had my second child and have been overwhelmed at handling all the household work and budgeting and so forth. Thanks to you I now feel very motivated to tackle my responsiblities at home. Thanks and looking forward to hearing and reading from you!

  31. Dear Jen, I can`t wait for your New Years Resolutions vlog 🙂
    I decided to have a word for each year and my word for this year will be “willpower”.
    Happy new year to you.

  32. I absolutely love anything you put out Jen!! I wish you lots of joy and happiness in 2013 god bless you and your family!!

  33. Congrats Jen on all of your accomplishments. I have really enjoyed your vlogs and just know there are even greater things ahead of you! Coming into one’s own is a great space to be in.

  34. Welcome to the blogging world, Jenny Jen- from one Jen to another 🙂
    Looking forward to keeping up with you in the virtual world this year! My friend got me hooked on your videos, as her and I both share a love of all things organized.

    Take care!

  35. Happy New Year and Congratulations on your Blog! I wish you everything wonderful as you embark on new beginnings in your life. I look forward to seeing everything unfold for you. Happiness always, Susanne.

  36. Happy New Year Jen! I am so happy that I discovered your channel in 2012! In a strange way, you remind me a lot of myself…just slightly older than I am. I have grown to have a new appreciation for all that you do on the daily basis. I thought my schedule was busy in 2012 and I would look at your videos to put my scheduled into perspective. 2013 holds great things for you and we cannot wait to be along to share them with you. Blessings to you and your family! Wishing you a happy and prosperous new year!

  37. So excited to see your blog post this morning! I just wanted you to know that you influenced me over the holidays to be more organized and efficient with everything, from shopping and decorating to baking and wrapping. It felt great to get so much accomplished and to not be wrapping on Christmas Eve, which is the norm for me. I made your spinach squares and they were a huge hit with everyone!

    I too have IBS and social anxiety and I admire how you can throw such beautiful parties and get togethers, they terrify me. I will make it my New Years Resolution to work on that and to be more organized, (with your help of course, lol).

    Happy New Year to you, Don and Winnie! 🙂

  38. Happy New Year!!! I hope you and Don have a wonderful year ahead. I have been watching all of your channels since the beginning and am so pleased to see you have started a blog. I know you will have much success with this venture as well. I have learned many, many things from your vidoes. I strive to be more oragnized (who doesn’t?) and I am a house wife as well. I take great comfort in knowing there are other house wives out there other than the one’s in reality shows…LOL :0) Here’s to you Jen and your continued success!!!!!

  39. So excited Jen! From one blogger to another, there is nothing more special than expressing oneself through written word and photos! Hope you enjoy your new camera that I have spotted in your photo – you are going to love it!

  40. What a nice way to start the new year! I have been eatching you for about a year and a half now! I have accomplished new organization projects and have gotten some great health/excersise ideas and of course shopping ideas! Keep up the hard work,you are a great person! 🙂 Dana.

  41. Jen you are an inspiration for me and many others, you show us that if you pursue your goals and dreams they will come true Congrats on the new blog and keep vlogging almost everyday you inspire me to be a better person and to be more organized (even though I am very lazy). all I can say is Thank you

  42. This blog is great. Congrats again on the launch and I’m so excited to check in and read your blogs. I have been following your channels since over this past summer and I’m SO glad that I found your Youtube. It happened on a random search for Lush-related videos, and I have enjoyed your videos ever since tuning in daily. Good job!
    P.S. I have these same PJ pants from Target. I saw them when you posted them in a video and ran out to get them!! =)

  43. Lovely first blog post Jen. You are a great writer! We all struggle with our own personal demons. Thanks for sharing with us. Happy new year 🙂

  44. Jen, I just couldn’t be any happier for you. You have accomplished so much and in so many ways. It has been a joy and an honor to witness your personal growth. I simply adore you, Don, your extended families and that precious little Winnie. I believe you are on a wonderful and blessed journey that will take you wherever you want to go. Keep finding the joy… and thank you for sharing some of it with us! Big Squeezes full of appreciation and gratitude!

  45. I enjoy your videos so much, especially the blogs! You are always an inspiration to me and I applaud you for your personal growth! I wish both you an your family the best and I hope that 2013 is a good one!

  46. Jen, nice blog :). I have tried to reflect on my own 2012 growth or lack there of. Some of me wishes I could watch a video to see who I was and what I was thinking. My 2012 ended with such shocking and unexpected changes in my life, that I realize I need to at least journal my thoughts in order to get through. Some how I need to get a grasp on who I am so I can gain some sense of comfort and control again. Your videos and blog just seem to bring a calming spirit to my day. Thanks again and looking forward to a really awesome 2013 with you and all your medias 🙂

    1. Journaling is a wonderful way to sort things out in a private, more comfortable way. I hope to do more journaling myself in 2013 🙂

  47. Happy New Year Jen. This was a fantastic blog post. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…..I adore and admire you and your family. Going to watch last years videos now! Thanks for linking them.


  48. U r such an inspiration Jen!! I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store for all of us!! I can’t wait to watch ur vlogs from both ur races this year and celebrate with u when u accomplish them!! I am 35 and I’m here to tell u that my thirties have been some of my most successful mature years of my life!! I hope u meet ur goals and hopes for this year Jen!! Ur a great person inside and out and I will forever be one of ur biggest fans!! Love to u,Don and little Winnie!!doxoxo

  49. I feel the same. I only wear make-up when I leave the house and sometimes not even then. I would maybe b n my pjs all day. I’m divorced, my kids r grown. But if someone would ring my doorbell I would pretend I wasn’t home. If I needed 2 go 2 town I wouldn’t because it was a hassel 2 get ready and fix myself up. I own very nice clothes, make-up and other acces. So this year I get up and do all the things above. But if I’m not going anywhere I do all of the above except more casual. The other day my son came over and said “where did you go today?” I said nowhere I just want to look nice when you come over. It really makes me feel better about myself. We need to respect ourselves more as well as our apprence.

  50. Hi Jen,
    I love watching your youtube channel very much. I remember the video of “Organizing Your Time: Reading and Journaling” was my first hit on your channel, I couldn’t help to follow what you’d worked on organization. I’d got inspired on starting my resolution plan from your videos.
    For 2013, I’ve developed a new approach in organizing my 2013 Resolution, that I would like to share with you (and any of your readers). As I’m uncomfortable in filming a video (English is my secondary language), I put all into my blog. If you have time, I would like to invite you for visiting, it would be nice to hear your comments.

    Best wishes,
    Wihmunga from Hong Kong

    1. Thanks so much for sharing! I very much enjoyed your post. I hope your new system works out for you! I also loved the little worm on a hook part of your blog design. Super cute! 🙂

  51. Hi Jen,
    I can’t believe that you actually did your vlog! You have grown since 2010 because I remember I was looking for some organization for packing for a trip. I saw your video and fell in love with them. You are such a strong emotional women because sometimes I’ll look up ” organizedlikejen” or “Myhousewifelife” on google and there will be this website called gossip guru or something. People on there don’t know what there missing when we watch your videos cause they are so inspiring and enteraining! Happy 2013!

  52. Hi Jen
    I very much enjoy watching your blogs and have appreciated all of your organizational tips. However when you mentioned that one of your resolution was to get more personal time I was shocked. 90 percent of your day involves personal time running, exercise, yoga, shopping, journaling, bathing. And at least 4 vacation yearly. I don’t understand how you could possibly need more time for yourself, you don’t clean or cook. I wish you well, I hope you realize how fortunate you are, most women don’t even come close to having the time you have dedicated to yourself.

  53. I just found your blog today! I have been going through and ridding myself of junk for over a year now and I still need to improve! You talk about organizing you pantry, can you post some pictures? Do you have any before pictures? Is there somewhere that you have shared a link perhaps to the products that you used?

    1. I’ve filmed two pantry videos for OLJ. One was part of my kitchen rejuvenation series I posted in February 2011 and the other from our family vacation home in Utah from July 2011. I’m going to be working on my pantry at some point in the next few months & will definitely film the entire process for you guys for OLJ! 🙂

    1. My career is not about organizing makeup. It is filming, editing, & posting content on YouTube and all of the social media that goes along with it. I spend most of my time working on these things & get paid to do so, which I’m pretty sure are the main points of what constitutes a career.

    2. Beth,
      Career – a field for or pursuit of consecutive progressive achievement especially in public, professional, or business life (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

  54. What a lovely post for the New Year!

    Happy New Year my friend – may your happiness continue to grow through 2014 and beyond! (hmm sounded a little buzz lightyear but you know what I mean 😉

    You will never know how much you have inspired me to overcome a few of my own personal life challenges – so thank you to you! Very much looking forward to hearing from you on the Tubes after your break – until then be well, take care Jen 😉

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