Happy fresh start, everyone! Aside from the icy-cold weather and the somewhat depressing thought that the next three months involve a lot of gray and slush, January tends to be one of my favorite months.

I’m a big fan of clean slates, goal-setting, and dream-big sessions with my hubby. Stuff like that kindles an inner fire; it’s like I have permission to not be weird when I say, “So what does the next five years look like for us?” Kyle usually answers with his standard, “I don’t know,” being better skilled than I at living in the present, but I still like to ask those kinds of big-picture questions late at night when he’s about to nod off to sleep.

I also love that we’re getting back to a routine after a month of Adventing and making merry. There’s something soothing about packing lunch boxes and knowing that gymnastics is on Tuesdays.

So yes, my life is rerouting itself to our rhythm, except for one thing: I’ve got a book deadline in 28 days. TWENTY-EIGHT DAYS.
I’ve loved writing this book so far, and I so look forward to the day when it’s glued into a spine and I can offer it to you for your armchair and cup of tea. But that’s a year from now.

For now, it’s time for me to withdraw into my writing cave. I’ve got a lot to do still, and it deserves most of my writerly attention. That means I’ll be quiet here on Simple Mom for the next month.

But there will still be the same amount of posts—I’ve got a few favorite reruns scheduled, along with some fabulous guest writers at the helm. I think you’ll enjoy it.

This next Monday will be a bit different, though—I’ll be asking you to fill out a survey. Yep, you read that right. The last time I surveyed my readers was, oh, more than four years ago, and I could use your feedback again.

We’ve got some big things in store as a blog network this year, and I’m excited. But I need your two cents to know how to best evolve so that YOU, the writers here, and I are all blessed by a positive change.

So would you do me a favor? I don’t ask for them often, so hopefully you’ll give me grace here. Would you kindly fill out that survey when you see it on Monday? It won’t ask for any personal information at all; it’ll be completely anonymous. I simply need your feedback on what you like to read here, and what you’d like to see changed.

Thank you so much, friends, for everything. It’s because of you that I have a book deadline, and I don’t ever want to take that for granted.

So I’m curious: Do you have a special word, theme, or specific goal for 2013? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.