Goodbye 2012, a review

Jan 10, 2013 | Yearly Recaps


It was a deeply meaningful year, full of insights, truths, and watching a beautiful boy named True grow. It was also a significant year in business, too – an entrepreneurial playground where some of life’s biggest lessons come to play. I have learned so much this year…

My word for 2012 was innovate. Of course, innovate became innervate as I wrote about last week. I will never forget the power of one little word (thank you, Ali, for birthing this brilliant concept!) Before letting you go, 2012, I wanted to answer a couple of more questions that my dear friend Andrea Scher introduced me to many years ago. I also want to feature a few of your highlights and lowlights.


1. What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in regard to 2012? (What did you create? What challenges did you face with courage and strength? What promises did you keep to yourself? What brave choices did you make? What are you proud of?)

Mostly, I want to acknowledge the courage that it took (and is still taking) to not only look inward, but to travel inward, down into the belly of brokenness, where feelings feel a little bit scary, and a lot a bit uncertain. I want to acknowledge all the places where vulnerability met courage along the way, where mini celebrations were plenty, and where new ways of journeying were paved. I am proud of the soul work I’ve done in my personal life, my marriage life, and how both have deepened my awakening to life. I am proud of all the ways I have stayed committed to balance between mama life and work life, always allowing myself to lean into the desire to be with True and my family above anything else. I am proud of letting the creative journey frustrations come and go, and ultimately trusting (letting go) that it would all unfold just as it should. I am proud of the partnerships I made in business, that my work continues to reach people. I’m proud that I made the decision to get a studio outside of my home, a decision that proved to be a smart move in the department of boundary creation. I love that I am doing what I love, and that new seasons of growth feel straight ahead. I’m also proud of all the realization that it’s time for radical support, and that creating that in my life is 100% okay, even if 100% unconventional. I am crazy proud of my connection to my motherhood journey. It has been transformational in every way.

2. What is there to grieve about 2012? (What was disappointing? What was scary? What was hard? What can you forgive yourself for?)

In previous years I tend to grieve being too hard on myself, or not having enough balance, but this year feels different. I look at 2012 and am incredibly grateful for the deepening and the awakening, and the permission I gave myself to just be in it. All in. That said, I forgive myself for not recognizing sooner the inner work I needed to do. I forgive myself for all the times when I could have treated my body better. I forgive myself for the countless times when I missed or forgot or spaced or was late. And for all the times I came to a thought that was based in fear vs abundance. It happens 🙂

3. What else do you need to say about the year to declare it complete? The next step is to say out loud, “I declare 2012 complete!” How do you feel? If you don’t feel quite right, there might be one more thing to say…

I just want to say thank you for being the year when I got my big break in breaking open. Major freedom and truth and clarity and joy. 2012, I declare you complete!

Some highlights and lowlights include…


– Admitted that the creative life is a lot like having a boyfriend. Sometimes it drive you nuts and sometimes it’s all rainbows and unicorns (the best)
– Watched hundreds of iPhone videos like this one and this one of True and marveled at the sweet and tender adventure of motherhood, over, and over.

– Celebrated beauty and pondered truth and wrote my very own manifesto.

– Got a brand spankin new logo!
– Lots of house projects, including building a wall of bookshelves in our dining room, a plate wall in the kitchen, and happily rearranged the living room once, or twice.


– Took the leap and moved into a big, new beautiful studio space outside of my home. It changed everything.
– Realized that our dreams don’t belong to us, really. They belong to the world.
– Was featured in lots of kind press and launched a few happy blog projects.
– Wrote my favorite blog post of the entire year. It’s about the afterglow effect. 
– Launched Art In Motion where I show how I make paintings, start to finish (love this!)
– Delighted in the little things, like finding hearts everywhere, discovering feathers in my path, True’s love of painting, vintage oil floral paintings, and spending a couple of days with one brave mama and daughter.
– Launched new releases of products in Jan, including a couch, the very popular cuff bracelets, and lots of other goodies and treasures. Launched another release in July as well (mugs,  home decor, and more)!

– Created a charming, safe, alternative approach to baby gates which was then featured thousands of times all over the web, including Apartment Therapy and Pinterest.

– Struggled with trying to do it all.
– Launched Hello Soul Hello Business to some pretty amazing reviews with a pretty amazing collaborator (Beth Nicholls). This collaboration created a community of entrepreneurs where I (and others) could safely share the hard mistakes and lessons I’ve learned on my business journey as well as the triumphs. Really grateful.

– Got kicked to the curb by one very sweet husband’s insistence that I go visit some deeply missed friends.

– Cried when I watched her play the song she wrote about me.
– Felt lost from time to time, and leaned into my soul sisters for support. Gathered with some soul sisters  throughout the year. And even went to a cowgirl art camp 

– Outgrew my brand new mama wings and continued to be amazed and in love with True.
Collaborated with my good friend and brilliant speaker/writer Brene Brown

– Navigated the pitfalls of being online

– Did a major website renovation, and on the home front, we completed major front yard renovations (including curb side veggie boxes!), and back yard renovations (deck! grass! garden cottage!)

– Fell in love with Instagram and Pinterest (the latter of which gets neglected, but still love it.)
– Witnessed my best guy friend’s wedding


– Co-hosted a delicious day of conversation and food at the remarkable Teahouse Studio in Berkeley, CA with my good friend Andrea.
– Launched the How Cute Is That Series which I love, love, love.
– After years of having them closed, I opened my comments

– Shared/released some true stories, including my anxiety story, my parenthood/marriage story, and how my 2012 word, innovate, actually morphed into INNERvate
– Guided hundreds of fellow flyers through Flying Lessons: Tips + Tricks To Help Your Creative Business Soar, my ecourse that I’m pretty sure has changed my life as well as those who take it. The community always astounds me.

– Put a little free library in our front yard. Best community building move ever.
– Started making green smoothies, joined bootcamp, and started getting conscious about changing my habits.

– Celebrated living with a little love note to life.


– Continued to be amazed by him, every single day.
– Shared a couple sweet videos of True here (15 mos), here (17 mos)  here (19 mos)

– I made an important promise.

– Sat next to the pilot (who looked all of 16 years old) on a tiny plane in route to an adventure with some of my dearest besties.
– Went on an adventure to Maui – holy smokes, the beauty.
– Discovered Hulu which means I discovered awesome TV shows, like Parenthood and Scandal. Also discovered the best jeans ever (NYDJ brand).

– Had a photoshoot and got my first professional business video made. I love, love, LOVE it.
– I cleaned out my actual closet, but it seemed more about cleaning out my emotional closet (a very good thing). And as I moved furniture around, it seems as though I was doing some soul/spirit/emotional rearranging too. It all matters, no?

Thank you 2012, for all the abundance, lessons, safety, health, and grace.
More small steps from 2012:
* Created a special edition of Brene Brown’s brilliant parenting manifesto taken from her best selling book, Daring Greatly. Sold out in 24 hours. BIG success. See manifesto here.
* Discovered that my 2012 word of the year, innovate, actually morphed into INNERvate
* Suffered from a case of possibility overdose. I love that that still happens. Read more here.
* Hosted an original painting sale and sold out in less than 30 minutes. Do I really live this life? Major gratitude.
* Very lucky to be featured in several publications: Spirituality + Health magazine, Where Women Create magazine, and the book Grow Your Handmade Business. Read more here,and here.
* Released a new dream out into the world. New direction. Excited.
* Launched a new partnership with DecalGirl, the world’s biggest supply of artful skins for phones, laptops, ipads, and more.
* Had a photoshoot and got my first professional business video made. I love, love, LOVE it.
* Guided hundreds of fellow flyers through Flying Lessons: Tips + Tricks To Help Your Creative Business Soar, my ecourse that I’m pretty sure has changed my life as well as those who take it. The community always astounds me.
* Wrote my favorite blog post of the entire year. It’s about the afterglow effect. 
* New gift, home, and stationery products debuted at the trade shows, including my first line of jewelry which was received very, very well.
* Launched several new series on my blog including The Possibilitarian Project, Ask Kelly Rae, From the Archives, and other happy projects.
* Launched a brand new spiffy sponsorship program.
* Began monthly Facebook Live Chats on my Facebook Page. Super FUN.
* Said happy birthday to my one precious life.
* Keeping it real, I shared my anxiety story.
* Wrote my manifesto (finally).
* After years of having them off, decided to turn my blog comments back on. Here’s why.
* Traveled to Berkeley, CA to co-teach at Teahouse Art Studios – amazing experience!
* This website gets a major facelift. Love it.
* My collaborative ecourse with Hello Soul, Hello Business ended and was very well received. Happy dances all around.
*Admitted that the creative life is a lot like having a boyfriend. Sometimes it drive you nuts and sometimes it’s all rainbows and unicorns (the best)
* Felt lost from time to time + navigated the pitfalls of being online
* Just in time for Spring, new garden products are introduced! See my post with pictures about it here.
* My new studio changed my world. See what I’m talking about here.
* Our home was featured on Design Mom’s blog in her series “Living With Kids.” I’m a huge Design Mom fan and was honored have our home spaces on her gorgeous blog. See/read feature here.
* Launched my once a year sale of The Whole Shabang. It was a huge success. This was the third year I’ve offered the one day sale – always super fun.
* Struggled with trying to do it all.
* My brand new e-course launched – a collaborative project with Beth Nicholls, called The Business Soul Sessions: Where Passion Meets Profit. The e-course was a great success with amazing feedback.
* Brand new gift, home, and stationery products debuted at the Atlanta Gift Show. Read more here.
* Made a huge decision and moved into a brand spankin’ new awesome studio (outside of my house and into the Pearl District). More of the story here.
* Got a new logo! Full story here.
* My artwork was featured on a full page (back page) of the latest issue of Where Women Create magazine.
* Apartment Therapy featured my home’s half doors (an alternative to baby gates). See feature here.


ps: I’m a big believer in recapping our years – to look back, to relearn, to rediscover, to celebrate, to grieve, to realize just how far we’ve come. I’ve been recapping my blog posts by years for the last seven years. For those of you who may be interested, here are my yearly recaps:

Up Next: My word for 2013! Hope you guys are celebrating the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013.

Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (8 comments)
  1. Elizabeth

    Hi Kelly Rae Roberts! ; )

    I LOVE Kim Klassen's journey! Her story is so inspirational and so motivational. Love the story on how she got to buy her dream house!!

    Elizabeth Aviles

  2. Elizabeth

    Hi Kelly Rae Roberts! ; )

    I LOVE your art work, your journey and your beautiful writing!!!! Best wishes for 2013!!!!

    Elizabeth Aviles

  3. Silvia Byrne

    What a wonderful year you have had.
    Thank you for sharing all your adventures, the big waves, the sunshine, life … and always with such a beautiful way with words and always so uplifting to read. Wishing you just the most wonderful 2013 – here's to a brand new chapter and to everything it will hold for you.

  4. Maggie Pinque

    Someday, you and I will meet in real life & I will explain how I "met" you in the land of retail. (So similar to your story of meeting Leigh – another artist I adore.)

    In any event, I love your year end wrap up ~ I may have to do the same thing in my world.

    Thank you for all you create, write about & share. You are marvelous.

    Many, many blessings to you & yours.

  5. Kajal Dhabalia

    LOVE this post like I LOVE everything you do. Your openness in viewing our inner brokenness is really inspiring and comforting–you have knack for putting into words the love and support we should all be giving ourselves.

    Love that you've delved into the spiritual journey of really looking inward…it's amazing what happens when we start down that road. As an avid spiritual seeker I think that's what really made Hello Soul, Hello Business so special…it really made you dig deep.

    Hope you have a very Happy New Year's and I look forward to seeing all the amazing things you will do in 2013!


  6. JC

    I, too, LOVE your new Art in Motion series. From my heart to yours, thank you, THANK YOU, times a million for the inspiration you share!!

  7. janel

    I guess I didin't realize you had turned on comments…there have been so many times I wished I could comment and tell you how much I LOVE your blog, your open-ness, your creativity, but most of all your HEART. I have followed your journey for several years and just wanted to let you know how very much I appreciate your vulnerability. You are one of the sunshines in my day. Can't wait to embrace 2013.

  8. Christina Carnoy

    I recognize that little free library in the picture! I have used it twice now since we pass it on our walks! I put some books in it last time and took some books for the baby!!!! Cool!!!


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I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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