Ending the Old Year :: Beginning the New

Happy New Year, dear friends! Another new beginning is here, and I would like to wish you a year filled with joy, love, peace, and many meaningful moments.

Because we are away from home, and away from my oven and oven mitts, I thought I’d give you a quick glimpse into yesterday and today–a bit of life away from baking. We’ve been showered with blessings and are so grateful for these slow days of celebrating and being with family.

We ended the old year at the monastery.

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Everyone dressed for the day, hopped in the car, and we traveled to Saint Anthony’s, which is a vast Greek monastery set among the saguaros in Arizona. We went in search of a blessing, and found just what we were seeking. It was a lovely time of peace, prayer and reflection.

Then off to another sort of vast. A family party, populated by many little ones, mid-sized ones, and grown-ups like myself. We had ribs at 8pm and fireworks at 9. And I put the little one to bed shortly thereafter. Reports are that the big kids stayed up until midnight and beyond. Good for them, I say!!!

This morning has meant green tea, Greek yogurt, and two of those wonderful homemade powdered sugar cookie delights that one encounters this time of year. Butter, flour, walnuts. Yum…

Mid-morning was a trip to a friend’s horse ranch.

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We rambled around the many, many stalls. Rubbed the belly of an extremely friendly and pregnant horse mama. Giggled at a miniature donkey, Allie, who was being spunky, and we were herded by the ranch dogs. Good mid-morning fun.

And soon I will be off with 12 others to see Les Miserables. I’m wondering now why I put on a touch of eye makeup this morning. I’m such a baby when it comes to anything with a tinge of sorrow, or that shows children who suffer. I’ll be bawling my head off.

And before we return home, I’m hoping to gather some of the teens and adults and make snowflakes in honor of Sandy Hook elementary school.

Want to join me? It seems like a wonderful way to kick off this new year by creating something beautiful in memory of their little ones. I will share photos of our snowflakes and would love to see yours!

Cheers, dear friends!

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10 thoughts on “Ending the Old Year :: Beginning the New

  1. Pingback: Orthodox Collective

  2. Dearest Jane and family!
    Happy new year! May God grant you peace, joy, and His grace for 2013. What a beautiful way to begin the new year. Enjoy your time! Love you and yours,
    Kh. Tammy

  3. What nice pictures….I wish we’d gone there when we were driving out to Grand Canyon summer of 2011. Did you stay at the monastery overnight? The times of their church services would’ve been difficult for us…

  4. It looks like the closed the snowflake project 😦

    “Thank you to everyone who has donated snowflakes on behalf of the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School and the community of Newtown. We know that each snowflake represents the emotional outreach of the person making it. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity from around not just the country but the world. At this time, we have enough beautiful snowflakes to blanket the community of Newtown. Therefore, with regret we must close the snowflake project to further donations. Please take this idea and your snowflakes and create a winter wonderland of your own in your community as a show of solidarity for our Newtown families. Please share your winter wonderlands with us. We would love to share your pictures with the families of Sandy Hook and all the other participating communities. Also please read the message below from the PTA of the Sandy Hook Elementary School for another wonderful way to help. Thank you for your heartfelt and amazing creations and for all of your magnificent notes and kind wishes for the Newtown community.”

  5. The snowflake project is a great idea (and as you say, it will just be for us now that the official project is done) for entering into the pain and suffering of others, which I find a challenging thing. A part of me wants to feel their pain and another part of me wants to stay far away from it. After reading Scott Cairns book The End of Suffering I am “getting” that we are MUCH more connected to one another than we realize, especially in our very independent Santa Barbara culture. This is an important thing for me to grow in…letting the pain and suffering of others into my soul and spirit in a way that does not lead me to dispair. Challenging.

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