Ice cream cone

Every year on my birthday, I spend some time reflecting on the last year and assessing key takeaways from what it’s brought me. I’m turning 32 on Sunday, so it’s about that time again! Last year’s post was one of my favorites as it had been an especially hard year, and I grew a lot during that period. I also thought I’d share some of my favorite images from the last year as a little trip down memory lane so be sure to scroll down to take a peek at those.

I spent most of my time as a 31-year-old pregnant which has taught me more than I could have ever imagined. That being said, it’s easy to forget those first five months when I was so desperate to have a baby, that it was all-consuming. Despite how difficult that period was, it also taught me some lessons that I’m beyond grateful for today.

For this year’s celebrations, we’re taking it pretty easy. I was going to have a party at our house but ended up emailing everyone to cancel earlier this week. I’m just not up for hosting a bunch of people right now… Sounds pretty much like my worst nightmare! My dad is coming down for a lobster roll lunch and I’m hoping we get a nice beach day and maybe a dinner with friends, but besides that I’m content just relaxing and staying cool.

In the meantime, here are some of the most important things I’ve learned since my last birthday:

1. Giving in to the universe

It sounds cheesy, but being a control freak for my entire life, letting go to a higher power has never been my strong suit. When I did, for the first time maybe ever in my life, it made a huge difference. At the end of September, we decided to “stop trying” for the first time in 18 months, and I was pregnant within a matter of weeks (Read more about my journey here). People had told me that this might happen, but it was still a shock to actually experience it.

Once I actually got pregnant, I knew that I had to leave it up to the universe as to what would happen. I was terrified of having another miscarriage, but there was literally nothing I could do about it. Giving in and trusting in that process was something new for me, but it worked!

2. The importance of rest

My first trimester was painful. I was nauseous 24/7 and so tired that I could hardly move for weeks on end. I had no choice but to spend most of my down time resting and relaxing… either reading a book or doing some serious binge-watching. I’ve never been one to enjoy tuning out like that, but after a few weeks, I let the guilt fade away, and focused on recouping my body so that I’d have energy for work.

That lesson has stuck with me throughout my entire pregnancy and has actually made me more productive because I don’t feel as frazzled and overworked.

3. Rising Above

In the last year, I’ve seen a rise in hateful comments from readers. It’s to be expected in what I do, but when it first started I had a really hard time with it. When one lovely lady said that I would be a terrible mother, I really lost it. Criticism on my outfits or decor choices are easy to digest, but when people shot me down as a parent, before I even had a baby, it was too much for me to handle… Plus hormones, you know? I had to do some serious soul searching.

In the end, I’ve decided to stop reading GOMI which is where most of it lives, and that has made a huge difference. If readers email me directly or comment on my blog/Instagram with criticism, I read and try to always respond. I believe that all of us can learn from each other, and sometimes I don’t see problems until they’re brought up. As always, I just ask that they’re expressed in a kind way.

At the end of the day, I can never make everyone happy, but I’m in a place now where I’m proud of the content I’m producing, and know that I’m doing my best work. That feels good!

Lobster Sweater

Floral Maxi Dress

Floral Maxi Dress

Striped Maternity Tee

Pink Wrap Dress

Pink Wrap Dress

Kitchen Reveal Post / Lemon Apron

Green Dress (comes in 8 colors!)

Our Baby Announcement

Monogrammed Clutch c/o

What do bloggers do all day

Gender Reveal Post

Lavendar Tunic (on sale and non-maternity!)



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  1. BeaJG said:

    Happiest of Bdays my dearest Julia!! You’re up for the best years of your life ahead! May your life be filled with love, health, gratitude and wonderful adventures. You deserve all the blessings and amazing things life has to offer!!! Huge hug!!

    7.7.17 · Reply
  2. Taylor Cannon said:

    I love hearing about what you have learned! Happy birthday 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
    Taylor | http://www.livingtaylored.com

    7.7.17 · Reply
  3. Julie said:

    Happy birthday dear Julia! I enjoyed reading your recap of the year and your reflections on the last 12 months. You make your blog a very nice and personable which is why I find it so engaging. It’s nice to feel that somehow you have become a little big of a ‘virtual friend’ to me and I am getting to know you through your blog. I am also so chuffed that this year was such a success on so many fronts and that soon you will me a mother. Enjoy those last moments of freedom before the big adventure start. Julie xx


    7.7.17 · Reply
  4. Happy birthday!! 32 is going to be so new and wonderful – I can’t wait to follow along! It sounds like you’ve had a great journey, experienced so much and are ready for your new adventure!!

    xo christa

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  5. Paola Blanc said:

    Happy birthday Julia, all the best for you, Anel and your baby girl and don’t worry about stupid comments. Kisses from Italy

    7.7.17 · Reply
  6. Brittany Olander said:

    happy, happy, happy birthday! i love this post- and cannot even believe someone would say something like that. i think you will make an amazing mom.

    xo, brittany
    our july wishlists on my blog today

    7.7.17 · Reply
  7. Adrianna Taeschler said:

    Happy Birthday Julia! I hope 32 brings you much joy and love. This is such a great post and I think it’s so important to reflect on the past year and see how much we’ve grown. Best of luck with your birthing process and I can’t wait to see your little one! Enjoy your bday weekend! xo

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  8. Caitlin said:

    Happy happy birthday, Julia!! I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing birthday weekend!

    7.7.17 · Reply
  9. Happy Birthday Weekend! Hope you have a wonderful weekend! Great post!

    7.7.17 · Reply
  10. Peppermint Dolly said:

    Happy Birthday!!!!! Hope you have a fantastic weekend 🙂


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  11. PrincessMaggie said:

    Happy birthday!! Who could ever be so mean to you over the internet? I love your blog and don’t let those trolls ruin it! Have a nice relaxing weekend!!!

    7.7.17 · Reply
  12. Katie said:

    Happy Birthday! This really will be your best year yet. I am so excited for you and all you will get to experience this year!

    7.7.17 · Reply
  13. Happy Birthday!!

    7.7.17 · Reply
  14. Mande K said:

    What an amazing look bak on your year! Happy 32!

    7.7.17 · Reply
  15. BRN said:

    Happy birthday! I’m sorry to hear you’ve seen an increase in unkind comments. Keep your head high- you’re doing a lovely job in all ways!

    7.7.17 · Reply
  16. Katie said:

    Happy Birthday, Julia! I love following along via Lemon Stripes and hope you have a great birthday!


    7.9.17 · Reply