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.

IMG_2961_2 IMG_2966_2 IMG_2969_2 IMG_2975

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.

IMG_2986_2 IMG_2987_2 IMG_2990_2

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!