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Possibilities...Welcome 2016

Doesn't it always seem like that the start of a new year inspires a feeling 
of fresh possibilities & potential?

Potential to make things happen.
To start fresh and re-evaluate goals or ideas and set some new ones.
It also brings reflection and thoughts about the year that just was.  
What you accomplished. 
What you learned.
 What changed you. 
What you changed. 
What you wanted to work on but didn't get to.

Every year it seems I start the year off
with a post to reflect about what I have learned in the previous year
and talk about goals for the new year.

So today,
I am sharing some of my favorite photos from 2015 
along with some thoughts. 

Every year has ups and downs of course but 2015 
was a great year. I enjoyed so much of it and I cannot tell you how grateful I am every day.
2015 brought family times, health happiness and a lot of travel.
Growth to my business and my brand and photography work.
It brought new opportunities, new friends, new relationships
and I really learned and grew so much last year.
Were there things that were not the best? Of course.
But I am grateful for a wonderful year of opportunity.


2015 brought changes here at home again this year.

Both of my boys have already moved out and spread their wings
 and just when I thought I might possibly be getting a little more used to those changes-
in 2015- my baby baby girl graduated high school 6 months early. 
One of the reasons I started this blog originally was because of some of those changes and not knowing just where I would belong when those babies grew up.
And here we are. 
My daughter is 17 now and I can already feel the earth under my feet starting to rumble as I know that she will be leaving the nest and spreading her own wings before long too.
I am excited for her but would be lying if I didn't admit to feeling a little bittersweet.


Not literally speaking- don't worry. 
I am talking about being a little more exposed and feeling that uncomfortable feeling
that comes along with it.
This year I took some steps that were big for me.
I decided- why not put myself out there. Take a chance. See what happens.
I might stumble
 but then again... I might not.

One of the things I learned more than ever this year
 is that you need to be believing in you.

 If you believe in yourself and your dreams- others feel that energy too.
And if you don't- well guess what?

It isn't always easy of course and it doesn't wave a magic wand 
but it is a good goal for the new year.


I tend to be one of those people who even when I have the voice of 
YES YOU CAN on my shoulder shouting at me- 
I will hear the voice of NO YOU CAN'T drowning it out.
I am so tired of that voice- aren't you? Really.
 But I had a realization...
if you have that much power to give to that negative voice
then you also have that much power to give to the positive voice instead.
My mom gave me a tip one time when I was younger about wearing a rubber band on your wrist. 
And every single time old Mr. Negativity crept in-
you pulled that rubber band and let it slap your wrist to teach you to refocus your thoughts.
I am going to try to be more intentional with my thinking
and dreams and focus this year rubber band or not.

Day Dreaming

I mentioned last year that I grew up spending a lot of time chewing on the end of my pencil gazing out the window. I would sketch and doodle and dream....and being a
 day dreaming kind of girl - well it is a big part of me.

I have been doing quite a bit of day dreaming about ideas for French Country Cottage recently
and working on expanding my wings with new things for my brand over here.
And there have been a few things that were like lightbulb moments in 2015 that got a few balls rolling in a few directions.
Fingers crossed that the i's will be all dotted and the t's all crossed 
and I will be able to share some of them with you very soon.

And I am so excited about something that is coming your way shortly
that is a surprise for you.
Of course, there is a whole lot of entertaining, travel, party ideas, 
decorating and diy and much more on the calendar too
And as we start a fresh new year
I want to say a huge thank you to all of you.

Thank you for taking the time
to read my admittedly often times random thoughts 
and for always bringing such positive energy to my blog.
I appreciate you being a part of my world here 
and am grateful that you include French Country Cottage 
on your daily reading list.

So hello 2016.
I am excited for you.
A fresh new year of potential
and blank pages of Possibilities ready to be filled with words
hopes, dreams, accomplishments
and so much more.
 I am hoping to write on those pages just exactly the way I see them
 in my mind and make this a most amazing year.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and wonderful 2016!

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  1. Happy New Year Courtney! Thank you for sharing all your beautiful creativity with us. Your blog is simply one of my favorites and it motivates me every time I look at it. Have a blessed 2016 and I can't wait to see all the beauty you create in it!!!!

    1. Thank you so much Katie!! A happy New Year to you and yours!!

  2. I look forward to your wonderful pictures and words every day.

  3. Happy New Year to you, Courtney. Your blogs resonate and inspire me. I'll eagerly watch to see what surprises you have in store for your readers!

  4. Happy New Year, Courtney! Long time reader, but I seldom comment. I, too, love the feeling that a new year brings with setting goals & decluttering. I read only a handful of blogs & yours is one of them. I look forward to following your journey this year.

    1. You are so sweet- thank you so much for including me on your reading list Krista- I appreciate it! Happy New Year!

  5. I agree with Katie, such a beautifully romantic blog. Magazines, if not book publishers should be knocking at your door.
    Wishing your dreams come true in 2016.
    Kathleen in Az

  6. Happy New Years to each and every one of you !!
    May your year be blessed.

  7. Well, I am truly grateful for you letting us into your life. You have truly been an inspiration and a real cheerleader -- you just didn't know it. I have felt and thought just like you. At times I thought you were writing down what I was thinking and feeling. Kind of creepy but good in a way because I saw it in print. I really look forward to getting to know you better -- I do consider you a sister of sorts. And I know that whatever you do it will be magnificent -- I'll help your rubber band along. :-)

    1. Such a thoughtful comment- thank you for always being so sweet Marisa. I appreciate your kind words and encouragement- and I hope to encourage you and others with my blog so it is so nice to hear that is the case! And... rubber band girls unite! ;) Happy New Year!!

  8. A wonderful post with a lot of joy and possibilities! I love it and i wish you a wonderful 2016!

    Greetings & Love

  9. Ooooo! I can't wait to see...
    Wishing you a beautiful new year, Cortney!
    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

  10. Thank you for your timely and inspiring post, Courtney! You put into words some of the thoughts that have been percolating in my mind recently. (I even bought a necklace inscribed with the word "dream" on it to remind myself not to lose sight of what's important to me).

    Wishing you a year full of possibilities & wonder!
    Mary from Cottage B at Home ~ Vintage Country Living

    1. Thank you so much Mary! I love that you have something like a necklace to remind you to focus- that sounds perfect!! A happy New Year of possibilities to you as well!!

  11. Here's to a memorable and adventurous 2016 together.

  12. Happy New Year, soooo looking forward to viewing all your beautiful ideas this New Year....


  13. That was beautiful! I enjoyed reading your words of wisdom. Happy New Year!

  14. Sweet post. Thank you for sharing all those beautiful images. Happy New Year and I look forward to following along with you in 2016.

  15. You are so inspiring! I have been struggling with my goals list for 2016 & your post gave me the push I needed! Thank you!! Love reading everything you post & am getting so much better at decorating my house too :) Happy New Year!!