Wednesday, December 31, 2014

time for reflection

Here we are, the last day of 2014. A day where we reflect on the year and start thinking
about what we're going to do differently the next year, right? On the last day of the year, I like
to go back through my planner, photographs, and blog and review the year in my mind.
 My year was filled with ups and downs like everyone else...I went through five months
 of physical therapy for a rotator cuff tear, had my first root canal, and was diagnosed with
 and started treatment for primary lymphedema in my arm. But, of course, there was lots of
good stuff to balance that out ~ day trips, weekend getaways, meals out with friends,
thrifting and antiquing with friends and family, craft shows, book sales, dinners and 
holidays and celebrations.

I tried something new: ceramics.

 Two beautiful, healthy babies were born to two of my young friends (welcome
to the world, Landon and Emma!) and a pregnancy was announced by my cousin.
As wonderful as it is to celebrate new life, the unfortunate reality is that we also
experience the end of life. Two of my online friends lost their husbands, a friend lost 
her sister, and an acquaintance passed away in her sleep on Christmas day.

 Tim got a "new" car in March.

After a very snowy winter, we welcomed spring into our home by hosting Easter
dinner and having loved ones around our table.

I met a new blogging friend in May: Cathy from  My 1929 Charmer!  
That's her in the middle, Penny from At Home in English Valley on the left, and me
on the right.

One of my best friends, who has lived less than a mile away from me for many years,
moved almost 50 miles away in June. I'm happy for her because she got a new job -
which was a big promotion - and she moved into a darling townhouse - but I miss
having her close by.

In July, a piece I submitted to Reader's Digest was published in their column,
"Life in These United States". 

 Tim and I went on our first photography adventure together in July when we went
to photograph an abandoned barn and surrounding land.

I visited the Japanese Gardens (Rockford, IL) for the first time this summer.

 And we got the chance to visit two new-to-us places: Madison, Wisconsin for
our 30th anniversary in September...

 and Chenoa, Illinois for a mini family reunion in October.
(Back, L to R: my second cousin, Brenda; my mom; my sister, Laura; my aunt, Suzie;
and my great-uncle, Irvin. Front, L to R: me; my second cousin, Lisa, my second cousin,
Ann; my second cousin, Donald; and my second cousin, Greg.)

So here we are. December 31st. Are you doing anything tonight for New Year's Eve?
I was supposed to go to a friend's house tonight to celebrate with some friends, but
I have a full-blown cold. I'm a coughing, dripping, sneezing, congested mess. So I'll
leave you with this quote that I found in a magazine months ago and had on my phone:

 And one last very important thing ~ thank you for taking the time to read my blog,
for all your lovely comments, and most of all, for your friendship. You all are treasured.


  1. I hope that 2015 brings only wonderful things to you and yours - and good health all round too. Happy New Year! xx

  2. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  3. Happy New Year to you and Family, I wish health, happiness and prosperity. I love your makes me happy.

    1. Thank you so much, I am thrilled to hear that!

  4. I enjoyed this look back. Happy 2015 to you and your family

    1. Thank you so much, Rhonda - happy New Year to you and your family, too.

  5. This is so wonderful, Mel! We definitely have ups and owns, no denying, but you have great family and a zest for life that I don't see in many of my friends. Keep smiling and moving on my friend. We are going to have a terrific 2105!

    Much love to you,

    Jane x

    1. Yes, we are, Jane! Thank you so much and Happy New Year!

  6. Happy New Year, Melanie.


  7. My dear friend Melanie;
    I love your blog, every post is unique and interesting. May you and yours have a Bright and Beautiful 2015! Love and Hugs, Nana

    1. You are so sweet, Nana! Love and hugs right back to you.

  8. Those gardens are gorgeous! I didn't do a year in review. I never have, so I should have. I enjoyed reading yours.

    1. The Japanese Gardens were gorgeous. I wonder what they'd look like in the winter? Probably interesting in the stark beauty, as well. Glad you enjoyed reading my year in review.

  9. You've had an eventful year, Melanie! I hope you're feeling better and I especially liked the quote you left us with on New Year's Day. It's so easy to become insecure and try to do what others expect of us, instead of following our hearts. I enjoyed your end of the year post and I wish you a very Happy New Year!

  10. Such a lovely recap! The new born is so adorable :) The Japanese GArden looks really awesome!

    I hope you have a great year ahead and may God bless you and your family!

    1. Glad you enjoyed the recap and thank you for your kind comments and visit!

  11. What a lovely quote to end that post! Have a serene year spent living the life you envision!

  12. When we look back (so lucky to have a blog to do this) we see how much we have accomplished. It doesn't have to be big! I'm tickled to be part of your recap, meeting you and Penny was truly on my "favs" list, both of you are ever so sweet! I've never been to the Japanese Garden but will put it on my list to do! Congrats to your Reader's Digest article, how cool is that! Take care, and may 2015 be filled with joy and health!

  13. You would love the Japanese Gardens! I hope you visit there. Thanks for the congrats on my Reader's Digest publication. May joy and health be yours, as well.


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