I know the new year started eleven days ago. But I had a few leftover blogs to get out from 2011 first, and I'm not someone who can get on with the new when the old lies unfinished.
But here we are, and over the few days I have passed the 50 posts mark and the 500 page views milestone, so it feels an apt time to finally write my new year post.
2011 was a year of arrivals and challenges. The highlight was welcoming our newest boy, our Tiny One. He is a bundle of joy, easy-going (mostly), full of curiosity and with a very healthy sense of humour. The best sound of the year has been his giggle, the best sight his smile. I am head over heels.
We saw a lot more of our family (who came to help us through tough times), and for that I am so grateful and feel so lucky. I made, baked, wandered and wondered, just as I had planned. And I sewed, sewed, sewed: I found something that fired my soul.
I did lose myself and my plans for a while in the middle of the year when I was ill, but I've slowly climbed back up the hill and I hope (touch wood) that I'm standing near the top again.
It feels so good to turn the page to the new year. A blank sheet holds so much promise, and I can't help but feel hopeful and excited (and read Amanda's very inspiring post on the subject here). I've also succumbed, like so many other domestic bloggers out there (such as Charlotte and Monica), to the spring-cleaning and nesting urges that come with the blank page feeling. The utility room has been sorted, boxed and labelled! There are six big bags by the front door waiting to go to the charity shop! I even reorganised my earrings - perhaps I am going a little too far?!
I have been looking back over my list of aims and hopes for 2011, written when I started blogging (oh I do so love a list). How did I do?...
- I learnt to sew and bought a sewing machine, though I'd love to sew better and more.
- I cooked and baked, loved both, ate both, and my hunger for stove-time is undiminished.
- The Little One still has no quilted bedspread. I ought to be making one for the Tiny One too. Jobs for 2012! The Big One still has the one I made when he was small.
- Nature has been my home and heart this year past. I walked so much, in so many weathers and seasons. But I did not forage enough to fill vases as I would have liked. Kept forgetting the secateurs. As you do.
- All my cards were made! Big tick off the list, but I cannot move on and away: it feels a cop-out now to buy a card, and I think this habit may stick.
- Ditto for presents, other than obligatory purchases for the boys. And I loved making them. This habit is more than stuck; it is superglued.
- I have decorated a grand total of zero fairy/cupcakes. Roll over to 2012!
- I have embraced domesticity, and it has given me a hug back.
- I like to think my boys have been nurtured, though I suppose I ought to ask them (those that can talk). They missed out when I was ill but I hope I have been making up for it. I wish I had more time with the Big One. A resolution for this year maybe.
- I did not drown in new-motherhood. I swam happily for four months until I realised I couldn't see the shore any more. My family were my lifeboat, and I give such thanks for them.
- Babymoon... perhaps I should've done more of that. But we get on with things: it's a cultural thing.
- I have lived with the seasons. We've revelled in celebrations, eaten mostly in season, gone a little crazy for some seasonal fare like rhubarb. But summer wasn't revelled in enough: not our fault, but the Gulf Stream's.
- The boys have had more of my time. Being ill made me focus on them as I recovered, and now I have learnt how to leave the housework, or make it houseplay. All are happier.
- More time for me? I hope so. This blogging certainly counts. And the wonderful thing about the sewing and cooking is that both nurture and give to others, yet both are quietly selfish too (in the best possible way).
- Write, write, write... well, here we are.
- Books lie unread, other than non-fiction. I am not sure if it's a dream that can be fulfilled yet, since I cannot pick up a book and sink into it without letting the rest of life drop for days on end while I wallow in it. There are not 'days on end' available to lose right now. I either need to become a lady of leisure or think of a way to be a more disciplined, austere reader. Is there a happy middle-ground?
- The house is cushion-less, or at least home-made cushion-less. This time next year we will hopefully have a bit more puff and colour in our lives.
- Vases have been full about half the time I'd say. The other half has been miserable. We all need more flora and foliage in our lives, and my bare table (bar a small green pot of claret cranberries left over from the Christmas table) is pleading with me.
- The simple joys have been appreciated, and will go on being so. I need to remember to see the wood rather than the trees, and conversely the delightful details each tree has to offer.
- Was I happy? Yes. There were times of misery, but I have ended on a high and overall I'd have to say yes. And that's a lot.