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Project 52 | FIFTY TWO

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How is it fifty TWO already? How did I manage to keep this up all year? I still don’t know the answer to either.

This year has been. by far, the most personally challenging year I have lived. It has taught me lesson after lesson and made my priorities crystal clear. It has been hard and there have been plenty of tears…and on the other end of the spectrum, it has been amazing and full of such joy. They really do exist together, these high highs and low lows. From his dreamy birth to his challenging infancy–it was year of the yin and yang. And my sweet, beautiful girl was by my side every step of the way. My constant reflection of my own emotion.

I walk a very interesting line in this crazy life–including plenty of that yin and yang. I am intensely private, yet I write this very public blog. I love to share and help, but I’ve started harboring guilt because I feel like I am not doing a good job being as helpful as I can–spread too thin to answer every question and comment. I love to see my articles on pinterest, but going viral comes with a cost: content theft & nasty comments from strangers. Kind, sweet, loyal mamas who I love learning from; and nasty people who can’t seem to give me the same respect I try so hard to maintain in my corner of the internet. So much joy AND so much of the opposite of joy. Seems like lately, this blog has brought me the opposite of joy. I am full of struggles. Just like all of us mamas. But making my personal life part of the blogosphere is taking it’s toll on me. & making me nervous about all that I put out there.

I recently decided to make my Instagram private, for my friends and family only. My only goal there is to document our life to (a) print a book to enjoy over the years and (b) to help my hubby & family far away feel like they are part of our days. I mean no offense in going through and trimming down my followers–I am admittedly freaked out by some recent things that have happened and this is just one way to help my feel a little safer.

I have been throwing around so many ideas in my head about what this blog means to me and what it will look like as we move forward. I don’t think I would be as happy without it. It does bring me joy. I know it is a resource for so many of you, and pulling is completely is not something I want to do. I just have to think deeply about what I am comfortable with it being to others. What images I share. How I share them.

I have a new format idea for 2013. Whether I move forward with that idea is TBD. I sure hope you are still here with me–as I have so much to share. SO much.

I just need to find the “happy” in the internet again.

Thank you, all of you, who participated in this year’s Project 52 below. I hope it has brought you some of the clarity that it has brought me. & I sincerely hope you make a Blurb Book out of your images & story! You can always click the link in the sidebar to catch the latest specials going on–they usually have a great deal just after the new year.

xoxo, sweet friends.

HAPPY 2013!

May your new year always be even more joyful than the last!


Here’s everything you need to know about

my 2012 Project 52.

Adventures in MommyhoodAnd NowAubrey My LoveBlossoms & VintageBugs & Boo-Boos Candice CravesCandidly Colette Caynay PhotographyChristina’s Project 52 Chronicles of KTClaire Jane The Crain’s Nest Dana Moran Photography The Daulton Dabbler Englexas Everything Eatherton Fairy Wings & Dinosaurs Finding Joy Firecracker MamaFreckled PinkFrom Stanwood to Seoul Gin & Juice Boxes Heather Marie PortraitsIci & LaIt’s a Graham LifeIt’s a Strange & Lovely RideKate L Photography Keeping up with the Carters Kim Percival PhotographyLiving for Love Lizzi Photography Mahina & Lucas Mama Bethany McLain Padilla Photography Mist Moments Memories by Mere Moments & Impressions The Mommyhood Memos Moo with Me Moxie Made My Tots TravelNavigating the MothershipNicole Dina PhotographyOh the Places We’ll GoOur Baby Behr Our Splendid Little Life Phreckle Face Photography Quiet FootstepsRachel Gray PhotographyThe Robersons Shades of Bliss Shutter Mama BlogSide of the TableSimply Us Snaps of Our LifeSquamish Baby The Todd’sTruly Dedicated Mommy We Aren’t Scared of SugarWe’re Better Together Wicked KateWokabout Z as in Zebra

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  • mary - Hi Shawna, I have followed your blog for almost a year now. I first found it as a resource for homemade babyfood. I said the same thing on IG, but just wanted to again THANK YOU for sharing your thoughts, crafts, cooking and, most notably, your personal images with us. As a mamma of a 1.5 yr and 6 week old, you’ve served as an inspo mom, and I feel like I can get through these wonder weeks. Best of luck to you, your family and your husband. Hope fellowship goes well. Oh, and by the by, please share some images of E on his bday. I just have to see that little guy tear into some cake! xoxReplyCancel

  • Ashley Sheehan - Shawna,
    I can’t even remember how long I have followed your blog. It is by far my favorite blog. I have two small children too and a traveling spouse, so a lot of what you blog about resonates with me. I beg you to not stop blogging. I blog all of the time and turn it into blog books each year. It has been so cathartic for me, and I’ve seen my love of photography grow because of my blog. I completely understand the internet scares though too. Just wanted to let you know your blog is adored!ReplyCancel

  • Shannon - I totally get you here. While I am no where near the size of your blog, I am super overwhelmed with what to do with my blog. Lately I’m confused about what to do with it. I’ve considered shutting it down. I’m very overwhelmed with all my images and whether or not to share them and where. There is the blog, instagram, FB and we all do this to ourselves don’t we? Why do I care? Does anyone care? Will my kids care? Should my kids be put out here in the world for everyone? Should my blog go private. Can I make money with my blog? Should I start my new blog and make it more of a resource/moms can do anything/superhero blog? How do I tie my business into my blog? Should it be personal? Seriously, I am conflicted as you can see. I am one who really has enjoyed your blog and will be excited to see where you take and also supportive with whatever you decide to do with it. If you figure it out, let me know! ;)ReplyCancel

  • Tameeka - Dear Shawna
    I just thought I would take a minute to say thank you for your beautiful blog. I have no idea how long I have been following you for to be honest but I know it is because of your reviews, suggestions and ideas that I have purchased many a product. I have gone through many of your old posts.. my husband is beginning to roll his eyes at me when I approach and suggest a cool new to me product that I just read about. hehe :) Your blog is a fantastic resource to us Mumma’s who want the best for our babes and the best for our lives and the best for the environment we live in. Thankyou. I know that you will figure out the best balance for what your family needs at this time.
    Meeka :)ReplyCancel

  • Jordan Jensen - thank you for writing another heart felt post. you add a ton of value and your corner of the internet is filled with people that respect you and are inspired by you. there are always going to be nay sayers. but you are better and brighter than that. thank you for sharing your story and encouraging so many of us to do the same. looking forward to what 2013 brings your way, shawna. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kirsten - Shawna, I am so sorry that the internet has been unkind to you. I cannot imagine what it is you are going through, but for me I know that I definitely see you as an inspiration. And I also want to say you definitely make me want to be a better mom. Thank you for being such a strong spirit and voice for us mommies. I know I talk about your blog often telling others about how they can look to your blog for advice from cloth diapers to fun crafts with our kiddos.

    Like you though I understand how different seasons bring about different and drastic changes. And I am so happy for you and your new season and I cannot wait to see what your blog will look like in the upcoming year. Thank you for letting me follow your lovely family and no upset will be taken from this follower if I cannot follow your feed on instagram.ReplyCancel

  • Tess Donohue - I think this is my favourite and most relevant week of P52 for me that you’ve written. Since becoming a first time mama in March I’ve bombarded myself with books, document, articles, blogs and ‘opinions’ from a variety of people. Many times I have almost argued with myself over what is the best avenue to take for my son, with conflicting recommendations coming from all these sources. Then I remembered to trust my gut, use the information but trust the feeling. Go with what my heart is saying and deal with the results and ramifications whatever they shall be. More often than not, the gut instinct was the best option and just worked. Simply worked.

    There is a happy balance in the Internet and you will find what works best for you and your sweet family (close and extended). You are a prominent and popular blogger and you have a place here and we want you to keep blogging (on your terms). Enjoy the rest of this holiday season Shawna and rest, relax and restore and I hope we hear from you soon.

    Meanwhile, I’m beginning project 52 next week, wish me luck! Thank you lovely!ReplyCancel

  • Navigating the Mothership - I’m so sorry you were even put in a position to have to make this decision. What a gross and violating feeling to see your stuff elsewhere without credit. My husband doesn’t understand why I don’t pursue making my blog bigger & more popular and it’s because I’m fearful of losing my little niche of kind and supportive people. Keeping it small keeps me feeling comfortable and willing to share. Of course, on the flip side – you are copied because you are doing admirable and interesting things so it’s a marker of success…but that doesn’t go very far when the mama bear instinct is triggered or bad feelings are created.

    Anyway, I very much understand your decisions and look forward to seeing what you have to share on the blog in the future, even if it doesn’t contain much on the family front. Happy last few days of 2012 to your family!

    PS – My last blog post was all about my own life lessons from 2012 – a particularly challenging year for me. Basically what I’m slowly learning (or accepting, really) is that I need to embrace the messy of life, both the good & the bad. Struggles will always be a part of my life. So similar to what you are feeling!

    PPS – I decided that I need to go small for Project 52 next year (if I do decide to do it). I’m going to take a picture of one meal a week (I’m a dietitian, now SAHM, but I still loooove food). It might mean I share a recipe or maybe a story about that meal or maybe it will be a rare date meal. Anyway, it seems like something that might flow more easily for me and take the pressure off. Worth a try, anyway!ReplyCancel

  • Joy - I’m so sorry about the rude comments and property theft. That’s horrible, absolutely. I hope, though, that you find your comfort zone somehow and stay here. This is a wonderful blog that so many value. I know I’m echoing the other commenters, but please stay.ReplyCancel

  • Carmen Perez Febles - Shawna
    I had left you a message on IG, I hope you got it:). Stay positive and don’t let them break your spirit or faith. My grandmother always said “todo en la vida se arreigla, menos la muerte” translation “everything in life has a solution, except for death”. Have a wonderful and blessed new year. I look forward to your future posts on your blog, whenever that is;).

  • Susanna - Shawna,
    I have absolutely LOVED following your blog after a friend of mine told me about it a few years ago. Even though you update here and there, I still feel like I find something new everyday even in your old stuff. There are so many things in ones life that can make us feel overwhelmed – and although I’d be sad to see you not blogging a lot, I’d be happy to know you are feeling less overwhelmed and judged/criticized by people that really don’t matter – you are a wonderful mama and are SUCH an inspiration to those of out here who follow you! :)ReplyCancel

  • Brenda - I am sad to hear that you are going trim back, but I totally understand. Your first priority must be your family. I just want to thank you for your sharing and desire to be transparent. My God bless you and yours!ReplyCancel

  • Cori - Oh! I have so apprecited your blog this year! Thank you, thank you for being so honest and vulnerable in your posts. It really has given me more hope and confidence in myself and in my faith. I just can’t express how much I have gained through coming to know you a little through your blog.

    Have a happy and prosperous New Year and may God bless you for all the good you have (and continue) to do.ReplyCancel

  • Bonnie - Shawna,
    I have followed your blog for the past 8 months or so and have really enjoyed reading about your projects, thoughts on mothering, experiences, etc. I appreciate the honesty and positivity that you show in your posts, and have learned a lot from your blog. That being said, I totally understand the desire to simplify and protect the privacy of yourself and your family, and I think most people would understand whatever changes you choose to make to the blog. It’s been a pleasure reading the blog so far, and I hope it continues to be a pleasure writing it for you as well! Happy new year to you and yours!ReplyCancel

  • Shannel - Thank you so much for inspiring me to complete a Project 52. I still have my last two weeks to post, but it has been such a great way for me to challenge myself to reflect during what has been my toughest year personally & to capture memories of my baby girl & our family growing up. I can’t wait to drop them all into a book as you suggest.

    I am glad you are making the decisions that are right for you & your family in regards to this blog. Your content & images are so appreciated & inspiring, but I understand that you have to make changes that will bring you to a more comfortable place. I look forward to your “new format” if you decide to bring in to us this year!

    Happy new year & thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Jan Miller - Agreed! I am not generally a commenter, but the positive and professional approach you bring to motherhood and life in general have been so motivating and encouraging to me over the last year and I have learned a lot from you!

    My son is about the same age as Everett, but with Caroline’s disposition. Whether you keep up with the blog or not, you should know that your tips, tricks, and beautiful photographs have added color and perspective on my own life as you’ve shared insights into yours.

    Thanks for being part of my happy internet. :)ReplyCancel

  • Larissa - Dear Shawna,
    It breaks my heart to hear that anyone would be unkind, or even worse make you concerned for your safety. I know you expose yourself emotionally in each post, and I hope you know it is appreciated. I had a little girl in July and soaked up so much of your blog in preparation. Whatever direction you choose to make I send you many happy thoughts and love. There is much second guessing in this life as a parent, wife, woman and I hope you find what brings you happiness in each of those aspects.ReplyCancel

  • Carrie - It has so saddened me to hear your struggles lately, but totally understand the desire to close ranks” and think about everything for a little bit. I look forward to you coming back (if you so choose) and wish you a very happy 2013!

    I started reading your blog probably about a year and a half ago and just love your perspective on parenting, crafting, and life in general. I remember your homemade baby food and cloth diapering posts really opened my eyes that “normal” people can do those thing and do them WELL! Now that I’m pregnant, you can guarantee I’ll be referring back to those posts! I’m not sure what choices I’m going to make for my little one, but it’s so reassuring that there’s a place I can go for practical information on some different options.

    Thank you for making your little piece of the internet so great. Enjoy your little cuties and I hope to see you back here eventually :)ReplyCancel

  • project 52 | one » quietfootsteps - […] Sadly, the inspiring creative momma, Shawna from Styleberry, that inspired me to do this project last year isn’t doing it this year.  You can find out why here and here. […]ReplyCancel

  • erin smith - I am joining Project 52! Please link me up.
    love the blog :)ReplyCancel

  • erin - I am joining Project 52 for 2013. love the blog and your inspiration!
    can’t wait to see what this year brings :)ReplyCancel

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