2014 In Review: family, the house, motorcycles, and leather goods

How did that happen so quickly? Weren’t we just here? The Holidays and another year over, with a couple months of dark, cold, gray winter still looming. To cheer us all up, we thought we’d put together a look back at 2014– it was a great year, and believe it or not, the top posts on this little blog of ours reflect what we’ve been focusing on and what’s important in our lives.

The top 5 posts based on views this year were:

  1. Mr. Stork: ok, this is actually from April, 2013. But it sure gets a lot of traffic! This is the post in which Alaina announced she was pregnant with Foster. Of course, we didn’t know he was a boy yet. Didn’t know how awesome he’d be. Didn’t know anything, except that we loved each other, were spending the rest of our lives with each other, and this little offspring would be a daily reminder of those things.Alaina Shearer Pregnant Selfie
  2. The big yellow house: in which we introduced everyone to this big, old, yellow, did I say old? farmhouse we are lucky enough to call home. It’s a fixer-upper, but the bones are good, and it turns out we really enjoy this renovation stuff. Since we moved in, we have: cleaned out the main line to the septic, located the septic and installed a riser, fixed a few leaky pipes, fixed a leaky toilet, removed 3 layers of wallpaper in each of 3 rooms/halls/closets, painted walls/ceilings/cabinets, learned how to skim-coat drywall, torn out walls in the kitchen and put in new ones, torn out bubbling flooring and then put it back in, replaced the older of the two HVAC systems, rewired the barn a bit, rewired the house a bit, and put up some reclaimed wood on the kitchen walls. All while raising 4 kids and taking care of an awesome 83 pound mutt. And running a Columbus Advertising Agency and building a leather goods business. Ups, downs, good, and bad. Worth it.the kitchen
  3. How to change handlebars on a 2004 Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide Sport (FXDXI): a step-by-step guide to– you guessed it!– changing the handlebars on my motorcycle. I wrote this one in 2012, but it’s been getting a lot of search engine traffic this year. Which is exactly why I wrote it. I wanted to switch out the stock handlebars on my FXDX, but couldn’t find anything even remotely helpful, all in one place, online. So, I pieced together what I could find online, along with what I found in the manual, took some pictures, and put it up. Club Style 2004 Harley-Davidson Dyna FXDX
  4. Handmade is hard work: in which I detailed the good and the bad of wrangling leather. Turns out it’s kinda hard to make leather goods that will last a lifetime. But it’s also worth it. Hearing the hollow sound a leather briefcase makes when it’s almost done. Seeing a customer’s bright eyes and smiling face when they take delivery of a leather padfolio. The smell of my shop when I walk in each morning, coffee in hand. I’m a ridiculously fortunate guy.black handmade leather briefcase
  5. This place: again with the house :) This time with some before and after photos. So much wallpaper. And Foster getting a bath in the kitchen sink. Even on days when a renovation project isn’t going as well as we hoped it would, or days– like yesterday– when we find out the septic tank drain isn’t draining like it should (add it to the fix-it-list!), we still feel incredibly grateful to be able to raise our children in this place. It’s quirky with all the different stairs and levels. It’s charming with all the cozy nooks and crannies. It’s ours, and we are so happy to be here.Baby getting a bath in the kitchen sink

There’s our list. Our 2014 in review. But there was so much more: the 2nd annual FBEC Party when I didn’t smoke even close to enough brisket; running our Say Social! photo booth for the 4th annual Arena District SantaCon (and thanks for the room, Crowne Plaza! They are a great downtown Columbus hotel choice, if you’re in the market, by the way); Foster learning to walk and talk; Lily, Benjamin, and Cohen growing up and turning into amazing people right before our eyes; and so many get togethers with great friends and family.

Thank you for being a part of it, and for sharing your stories and support.

Here’s to 2015: may we continue to live with purpose, laugh with abandon, and love with all we are.

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