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Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

I hope your new year has gone well so far and that 2024 will be better than you can even envision right now. My holidays and New Year were very quiet and peaceful on the outside, which means the noise in my head has been deafeningly loud. The new year brings up so many things: the reflection of the previous 12 months, the pressure of defining what you want in 2024, and weight loss messaging everywhere (heightened significantly this year by injections.) I found myself trying to numb the noise in my head by decorating all the Christmas trees and consuming a lot of media – social media, podcasts, books, TV, movies… which (no surprise) were only temporary escapes. Since I didn’t do a full Christmas decor roundup like in the past, I am going to share some photos here before getting into a longer update.

You can view a video of the holiday house tour on Instagram or TikTok.

Happy New Year 1
Happy New Year 2
I loved this bejewled Christmas tree. It was something I started last Christmas but I was able to better achieve my vision this year with extra ribbon and oversized gem ornaments
Happy New Year 3
Happy New Year 4
This Chinoiserie tree didn’t change from prior years, but I still love it just as much
Happy New Year 5
Happy New Year 6
Happy New Year 7
The magnolia tree is the one that started my tree-mania in my house. It is a tribute to my mom, who I associate with magnolias and who loved Christmas decorations. She died 16 years ago and my memories are fading but they hit in a good way when I get to decorate my house with so much glitter.
Happy New Year 8
Happy New Year 9
The animal print tree had a few new ornaments this year but otherwise remained the same. It’s my husband’s favorite, though truth be told he doesn’t really care one way or the other if we have any!
Happy New Year 10
Sometimes when people see my heavily decorated/themed trees they say they could never do that because their ornaments are heirlooms and so special. I agree and have my own set of those – they have their own tree. This is by far the tree I treasure the most – the ornaments have stories behind them and I get to recall the memories and people tied to them.

There were more trees, but I think you get the gist!

Now to address the silence: I don’t share this because I think people are waiting with bated breath for me to put up a new blog post, but because I need to get this out for myself. I started this blog almost 15 years ago. No one knew what a blog was, Instagram didn’t exist, and I was just some random 20-something in Kentucky who wanted to share some things on the internet in hopes that I wouldn’t feel so alone. I didn’t filter what I shared. There were posts about getting zebra-like stripes in a spray tan booth, the fact that I was a fat girl with a little car, and other random quips and observations. There was also a major weight loss focus, something I let go of many years ago as I divested from diet culture. I’ve been fortunate to have so many people continue to care about what I have to say for so long even as I’ve evolved as a person.

With the surge of social media, divided attention, and content creation/”influencing” now a huge industry, there’s pressure to do more, produce higher quality images or video, fight for eyeballs, “curate” a feed, gain followers, go viral… and it all made me doubt myself and what I was doing. Every time I felt myself falling into the “my content isn’t good enough” thought prison, I had to remind myself of spray tan Zebra stripes and “fat girl in a little car.” Back then, I was being myself no matter who paid attention. My desire wasn’t ever to be a “creator,” have the most followers, or be the most in-demand with brands.

On the other side of the pressure to stand out among the online noise is the fear of standing out too much. People on the internet can be so cruel – there’s a fine line between reaching people who could find something helpful about your message and reaching people who want to rip you to shreds. The fat hate is so strong and technology makes it so easy for people to spout off some hateful comment without regard for who is on the other end of the screen. It’s really gross, and avoidance is one way to skip all that.

Peloton instructor Christine D’Ercole often repeats this quote in her classes: “The most powerful thing anyone can say to us is what we say to ourselves.” The things I said to myself in 2023 were much harsher than anyone on the outside could say to me. If a friend said these things out loud about herself, I couldn’t let it stand.

So in 2024, I’m not letting it stand. What mattered 15 years ago is the same thing that matters today – that I feel comfortable showing up fully, authentically, and imperfectly. In doing so, maybe I can make you think about something in a different way, introduce you to a new perspective, or make you feel seen and less alone. Selfishly, I also hope that I feel more seen and less alone. If nothing else, continuing to share means that I’ve stayed true to myself and didn’t self-silence out of fear that someone might not like what I have to say.

Thank you for being here. ❤️

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