Hello 2012 … Goodbye 2011

Hello 2012! Whoa, 2011 was a doozy. Around the world we saw regimes crumble, wars end and begin, and major environmental disasters. Here in the United States the year was filled with increasing poverty disparities, partisan bickering that took to new heights, criminal trials that captivated the world, and the death of a monster. I think I’m one of many that shares a hopeful sentiment for the coming year … 2012 will be better!

On a personal note, if I were to sum up the last year in two words: emotional and hectic. I started my second year of teaching in a Title I school through Teach for America and had to wrestle with my own personal disappointments, expectations, and reflections on leaving my former career. I totally over-extended myself (surprise, surprise) with a side job, university work, and volunteer commitments. My husband and I bought a new home that finally put an end to 3 moves in year, each move accompanied by the sort of intangibles that can’t fit into boxes. My small business-owning parents dealt with the tribulations associated with the economic uncertainty of the year and my sister and brother-in-law showed us all what strength and love look like in the face of cancer.  This picture was taken in Hawaii where my sister and brother-in-law celebrated post-chemo. It reminds me of the beauty of life, our world, and all the little corners I want to explore.

We all know the old cliches, but I really do believe that tough times make you stronger. I’m looking forward to a new year filled with growth, discovery, and accomplishment.  We have finally settled comfortably into our beautiful home and I am working on envisioning and realizing the path I want to take professionally. A friend of mine told me not too long ago that I needed to be trained on how to relax. Although I value my busy, goal-oriented nature, I do want to focus on not over-extending myself and spending my time on things I truly value. I am slowly learning that spending time on what you love, whether it’s valued by anyone else or not, is not selfish.  If you truly want to love your life, you have to take steps to make what you love part of your life. I know how lucky we are to have a comfortable and safe home, loving family, our health, and good careers. 2012 feels like the year where all my blessings will collide and open doors to new adventure and fulfillment. That’s where I’ve set my sights. Where are you going in 2012? What amazing adventure and excitement awaits you?

I wish you all a bountiful and beautiful 2012!

Now, on to FOOD!!

Each year wordpress prepares an annual report for this blog, which helps me focus on what I what to improve for the next year, not to mention it’s pretty interesting. I’m in the process of researching the possibility of moving this blog over to wordpress.org and I’ve recently taken a photography class and set up a little photo “studio” in my kitchen. More on that later. I hope to improve the platform, content, and photography on the site in 2012. Any advice on moving from wordpress.com to wordpress.org would be greatly appreciated!! 🙂 Thank you for reading and I hope to provide you with even more recipes and quick tips for 2012.

Here are the stats for 2011 …

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 29,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 11 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.